One evening this spring, I set out on a walk through downtown Atlanta, in hopes of getting some street portraits. It was a Friday, and as I made my way down Peachtree Street, I realized that there weren’t many people around, and things were pretty quiet. Still, I checked my surroundings to make sure that I wasn’t going to be in anyone’s way. There was nobody around me for at least 100 feet, so stopped to take a quick photo of the Flatiron building.
As soon as the camera was to my eye, I voice came into my left ear – “I am so sorry to interrupt you, sir. But I am starving, would you please buy me something to eat.” I snapped the shutter, and looked over my shoulder, and a man was standing to my left, where there was nobody a one second before. I have no idea of how he got so close to me in such a short amount of time! It was odd, but the man looked me in the eye and repeated the question. He looked so miserable and embarrassed to even ask. Earlier that day, I had attended Mass, and prayed for an opportunity to help someone in need, so this was my opportunity!
I offered to buy the man dinner from one of the restaurants on Broad Street, which is usually a great place to see lots of people sitting at outdoor tables. As we walked down Broad, the entire street was completely empty. I let the man choose where he wanted to eat, and walked him in, bought his dinner and set him up with a soft drink. He was very thankful and my purpose was fulfilled, so I set off on my walk in search of a potential model. As soon as I stepped out of the restaurant, the street was still empty, except for one young couple.
Both had bleached blond hair, including the man’s goatee, and both were wearing corresponding black and white outfits. Man, this couldn’t have been a more perfect looking couple for some quick portraits. I walk up to them and said, “Hey, I really dig your look! My name is Devin, and I’m a photographer, would you guys be ok with letting me take some quick portraits of you both?” They introduce themselves as Prince and Sani, and Prince tells me that he noticed my camera, and was going to ask me if I would take their photo. Perfect!
We walked over a couple of blocks to a nice location and began shooting. About three shots in, a man walked by with his dog. It was black komondor, and I asked if we could get his dog into a couple of the photos. The owner introduced his dog as Ziggy, and was happy to help us!
As Prince, Sani and I continue to shoot, I learn that they had just moved to Atlanta and were just married that day! I said “Congratulations, I guess this makes me your impromptu wedding photographer!” Prince then said to me, “Man, I was so excited when I saw you walk up with your camera, and then you asked if you could take our photos … Were you sent to us by God?”
I answered by saying, “Well, God had a plan for me, and meeting you two was a very happy by-product of my purpose today.” The truth is, if I had dismissed a man in hunger, and walked on, I would not have been given the opportunity to meet Prince and Sani. They were a very nice young couple; in love and with big plans to make a splash in the Atlanta music scene. I am very grateful to have met them! They were a fun models, and were very sweet to me and one another. I wish them the best, and to the man I fed that evening: I’ve not seen you again during my man walks through that part of town. I hope you are well, and that God is with you…