A Creative Way to Share Magic

After writing about seeing magic in America, I’m not simply going to let the words drift away on the Texas wind. Instead I’m inviting you all to see a little bit of magic and share it, one photo card at a time. This idea isn’t original, but it comes with a creative twist:

You get to hone your artistic skills in the areas of photography and writing, and brighten someone’s day in the process.


The idea came to me while observing a beautiful sunset in Big Bend National Park. I made a photo with my instant camera and realized I wanted to physically share the beautiful moment from this sanctuary. Someone else needed to feel inspiration from this!

You might not be able to change the whole world with a magic wand, but you can change someone’s world by giving them a little bit of magic.

All it takes is:

  1. An instant camera and capturing a place, moment or scene you love.
  2. A message, poem or quote inspired by your photo.
  3. A library, bookstore, etc.


Here’s what you do:

1. Take snapshots of something you love around your home or during your next national park visit.

2. Let the image inspire a positive quote or creative writing. If your friend was feeling down, what would you say to him or her? Maybe it’s even a poem or uplifting quote inspired by the photo. Combine the photo and message on a card – maybe even a piece of paper you were going to toss.

3. Go to a library, bookstore, or someplace where you can use your stealth to leave the photo card. Maybe even the magazine rack of your doctor’s office. Leave the note where someone will likely discover it within a few days.

In my example I stuck the card in a library book set up on display. Dorothea Lange’s famous Migrant Mother will likely draw someone toward the book, and as soon as they open it my note will slip out.

4. Repeat

Front of the card with Big Bend sunset photo (Polaroid’s have an optional adhesive back, so they become sticker photos).
Message written on the back.
Placed inside the front of a book.
Book with Migrant Mother cover returned back to shelf – would you expect a photo card for you inside? Maybe someone will really need the message.

This idea has two rewards:

1. You offer kind words to a complete stranger.

In a media climate of fear and suspicion, I think we need to build trust more than ever. Why not tell a stranger something you believe can brighten their day? Kindness is contagious – it creatives positive ripples. This is a simple thing anyone can do.

2. You get to enjoy the nostalgic pleasures of instant photography.

Remember those old polaroids? Well those days aren’t over, in fact they’re having a comeback. I love instant photography for a few reasons:

  • It’s a fun way to observe and document your daily life.
  • You never quite know what the result will be, so the mystery of the photo makes the subject even more interesting, inviting awe and wonder. The mundane becomes… magical!
  • Building off of that, instant photos offer unique perspectives.
    • You get something tangible in your hands right away. Digital can feel cold, while instant photography gives you something to paste right away.

“Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is creative art.”

Ansel Adams said those words, and while we’re not world-famous photographers, I think we can all borrow a bit from his wisdom to capture something magical and share that art one guerrilla-style photo card at a time.

See magic, my friends, and spread it often.


*This post is not sponsored by Polaroid or anyone else – merely my own desire to inspire. 

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