Robin Rayne-Nelson a Storyteller Chasing Rainbows

Robin Rayne-Nelson was the guest speaker at the Cherokee Camera Club in Canton, GA. Robin shared her passion for special needs and the LGBT community. [Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/25]
Robin Rayne-Nelson asked the members of the Cherokee Camera Club, “What’s your passion?”

The “Deer in Headlights” syndrome is how so many respond to this question. There are many ways we are asked this question in our lives.

“If you had unlimited money what would you do?”
“If I had unlimited time and resources what would I choose to do?”
“If you had unlimited resources what problem would you solve?”

Finding your passion is finding your purpose in life. You can’t think your way into finding your life purpose; you have to do your way into it. The experience is the reward; clarity comes through the process of exploring. Action is where you get results.

You may need to explore those things and places in your life that have brought you the most joy. This is where your heart was moved.

[Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/2.8, 1/25]
One of the clue’s that Robin gave us as she shared about her passion was getting choked up and the tears began to flow when she started to tell you some of the back story on the piece she shared about special needs.

“I am sorry I am getting so emotional …” said Robin. For me I was thrilled that a camera club was seeing the heart of Robin and how this is what was motivating her to make stories about special needs.

If something moves your heart to tears or great laughter that is a good indicator of your passion.

One major stumbling block for many of us is thinking that we need ONE passion. Most of us where multiple hats during the day, we are a spouse, a father, a co-worker, a friend, a photographer and so on. You can have many passions that you pursue.

One of the key’s to understanding passion for me was to realize that it was people that moved my heart. My wife moves my heart more than anyone. She cares so much for people and surprising them that she inspires me to also to be more intentional with others.

One of the things that gets in the way for me on a regular basis is over thinking it. I want to have everything thought out so that when I do act that things will go well. I don’t like being embarrassed.

Robin and I share the passion of telling people’s story. What was interesting to hear from the questions people were asking Robin is many of them want to tell stories as well.

The problem is their fear of rejection from people. “How do you get people to let you take their photo?” was a question asked by many to Robin.

Robin said, “Before you can show the rainbow, you have to go through the storm.” Robin was reminding them that in storytelling there is always some conflict and to cover such a conflict means we as storytellers must become vulnerable. We must be transparent with the subjects if we expect them to be transparent with us.

Robin told everyone that she leaves her camera in the car and often spends time talking and getting to know the subject first. Then she asks if it is OK to share their story and take some pictures/video.

Robin asked another rhetorical question, “Whose responsibility is it for the special needs people?”

Robin has a special needs son and only just recently after some 33 years of taking care of Chris has her son moved out with the help of some community resources to an apartment. What motivated Robin to advocate for Chris was the realization that her son would outlive her.

Not everyone with a special needs child has the capacity to take care of them. They don’t have the resources and often lack the skills that experts can give to their child.

If you are around Robin for very long you will hear her say their story needs to be told and I have to tell it. The words never spoken but always there are, “If not me then who will tell the story?”

You may already know your passion. I have the privilege to work with Chick-fil-A as one of my clients. This past Friday they rolled out their redefined core values.

– Here to Serve
– Better together
– Purpose Driven
– Pursue What’s Next

I have been thinking what would I write as my core values? Maybe it is just articulating that I have a passion to help people and organizations tell their story more effectively than they can do alone. Also to narrow down from everyone to where my gifts are I have a real concern for working with those whose work is focused on compassion.

Take a moment not so much to think about what your passion is, but think of something to put on your calendar that is an action item today that makes your heart happy.

Here are some story packages that Robin Rayne-Nelson has produced.