August 8, 2012

hello 48.....hello complete strangers.....


yesterday was my forty eighth birthday
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i had nothing planned and nothing on my calendar other than "happy birthday to me."
after getting dressed i had one of those lightbulb moments. what if i challenged myself to take photos of 48 complete strangers on my 48th birthday. now i had a plan.
i hopped in the car and drove down to the union, only to discover that there was nowhere to park. 
off to state street i went. 
immediately after parking, i started going up to strangers, telling them i was a photographer and that for my 48th birthday i wanted photos of 48 strangers. they all smiled and said yes.
well, i did have one man in a hurry who passed quickly by saying "no" before i even told him what i was doing, but other than that, everyone i met was happy to stop and pose for me.
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i found families, bartenders, lovers, homeless people, a nephew visiting from austria, bike riders, book readers, marketing students, visitors from england, a parking authority, other photographers and people in a hurry and everyone of them wished me a happy birthday when we parted.
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some i talked to in great length. others were just a quick, "thank you so much."
bryan, who i found while he was on his break, offered to buy me a drink or a shot for my birthday from the bar he was working in. i passed, but the offer was so sweet. instead, we talked about life, colorado, snow boarding, portland, oregon and the coast. 
model like mike told me where he was from and how he was searching for what he wanted to do with his life, hoping soon to find his passion. he reminded me so much of my son. i told him i only found what i was passionate about 5 years ago and that it will happen when he least expects it.
the marketing students said they loved this idea of mine, the 48 strangers for my 48th birthday. the guy in the group said, "i completely respect what you're doing." that made me smile.
~
so in two and a half hours, i had talked to 48 people, smiled more times than i can count and had more birthday wishes than i ever imagined. i was even told that i looked more like 38 than 48. wow. if that isn't a great gift i don't what is. below is a video i made of all 48 strangers. i hope they make you smile as much as they did me.
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{slide show works best if you let your cursor rest on the side of the first photo that comes up...as that will get rid of the thumbnail photos at the bottom}


49 comments:

  1. Well! I am blown away! Happy, belated now, birthday, beth!!!!!! Love you! Kath

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  2. Beth, Happy Birthday! What a wonderful, clever way to celebrate! I enjoyed your *48* very much!

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  3. Only you my dear would come up with such a fabulous brain storm of an idea. You not only know how to celebrate a birthday, you know how to celebrate life! What an inspiration! ♥

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  4. Fun photos ... glad it was an enjoyable one.

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  5. You my friend, are amazing!
    It sounds like your birthday was extra special this year.
    Happy Birthday to you Beth!
    xo.

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  6. You are so filled up with creativity it's mind-blowing! You made your 48th extremely memorable!

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  7. outstanding work. See you!

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  8. only YOU would go out and give gifts to 48 strangers and make it your gift to yourself. and to us. you are the best. i love you.

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  9. love it! great idea. great shots. glad you had a good birthday.

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  10. How fun! Happy Birthday Gorgeous!

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  11. Beautiful faces, I smiled at every one of them! Beautiful idea, you're so brave! Beautiful you, happy birthday!

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  12. Great idea! Happy birthday wishes

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  13. so fun! happy, happy birthday!!!

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  14. Happy belated birthday ~ and what a great memory you now have of it! Very Cool!!

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  15. Amazing You! Loved every picture. Definitely a gift to yourself. I keep thinking of it as a gift that grows, by being brave to do this and having the JOY to celebrate in this way. You became a different person by stepping out of your comfort zone and simply enjoying what you do.

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  16. I am unable to see this. Do you have any suggestions? Big black box.

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  17. what a beautiful creative spirit you are, beth! cheers to another year - may it be your best yet. xx

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  18. What a great birthday present to yourself! Love the photos. And happy birthday!

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  19. Happy birthday - what a fun idea and such an amazing way to spend your day. Think of all the people who were affected in a positive way by what you did and went home and told someone about it? Very cool!

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  20. What an original way to celebrate your birthday! Congratulations on the great success with it, and happy 48(38)th birthday! *wink*

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  21. I love, love, love what you did. What a great project for a birthday! I'd have to take a few more pictures than you did, though :)

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  22. Love it! Happy Birthday Beth!

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  23. Happy Birthday! Ditto. Super present. They are beautiful photos and all have stories behind them. Hope you gave them your cards. xo Jenny

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  24. WHat an artist you are, and a sweet, sweet life-liver. This is a great gift to yourself and your peeps.
    I love you, Bethie-Girl !

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  25. Well what a cool idea. My next birthday is 58 - maybe I'll remember to do something like this. Thanks for sharing these and a belated Happy Birthday to you, Beth.

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  26. What an absolutely clever idea, Beth. You always surprise me! I love that about you. Well done, my friend. xoxo

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  27. Happy birthday to you! Many blessings!

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  28. So lovely and you don't look anywhere near 48, sweet one! Happy Happy!

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  29. Mary KopelkeAugust 08, 2012

    What a great way to spend your special day! Love your pictures.

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  30. That is simply the coolest, most joyful, spontaneous, life-celebrating birthday party I have ever been witness to! Thanks for sharing...and Happy Birthday, of course. :)

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  31. Happy birthday...and I love what you did! Very inspiring, and I may have to copy you.

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  32. This is/was a terrific idea...what a wonderful way to spend your DAY!!

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  33. Leave it to you to think of something so cool! I love your idea. I'll bet you didn't expect when you woke up that you'd be receiving 48 birthday wishes from complete strangers. Kudos to you for thinking of this bold and unique birthday gift for yourself. Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

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  34. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! My iPad won't let me see the slide show.... Can't wait to see when I fire my pc back up in am! You are so fun..... What a great way to spend the day....

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  35. You are one crazy lady. Only you would do that. You must only be 32, cause thats all the photos I saw. Love the 2 aiming their camera at you and the guy with all the ink. Some pretty good looking people in Wisconsin

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  36. Oh, this is wonderful and clever! I won't be turning 48 till January---somehow I doubt that I'll get folks at their summery best like you did! Happy late birthday, Beth! : ) Katie

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  37. wow .. first of all, did you get married when you were, like, born? So young, you are so young .. and brilliant .. love love love this adventure you had .. and what fabulous faces .. i especially love the guy shooting you! Happy Birthday Beth!!!!!!!!! muaah!

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  38. How cool is that? What a wonderful idea, but one that I could not bring myself to do for a million dollars...spontaneously talk to 48 strangers? I could never ever do that!

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  39. great idea Beth and great photos..made me smile just watching the slide show. Happy Birthday!

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  40. Holy cow girl!!! What a great gift you gave yourself. Bravo! And happy birthday!!!

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  41. how awesome!
    Happy birthday, my dear friend.
    xo

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  42. This is soooo you, Beth! Fabulous.

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  43. Hello, beautiful you! Happy belated birthday (and what a creative way to spend it!)

    p.s. LOVE the haircut.

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  44. Well, how fabulous!
    Happy, happy belated birthday to you!

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  45. You. are. amazing.
    all the happiest and brightest
    and bloomingest to you,
    beautiful woman,
    and may all your days be peace.
    -Jennifer

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  46. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this post. I love that you are brave to go up to people to take their picture. I love that they (almost) all said yes. I love the smiles on their faces. I love your spirit and joy.

    You were so much more productive on your birthday than I was on mine. Now I feel like a slacker!

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  47. yup, totally smiling. i love that you did this. love, love, love. and i hope you had a wonderful birthday.

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**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth