What makes you happier, Michael?
Nature!! Human nature, Mother Nature… I’m truly fascinated by the world that we live in.
Describe your perfect happy day.
Bear with me now because I’m going to try and squeeze a lot into this day!
The day would begin with a sunrise walk with my wife, Kaitlin. I should note that I have a child-like obsession with trains, so our morning stroll would likely take place along the railroad tracks… preferably where they run through a natural landscape and definitely with our cameras in hand!
Now this may sound a bit crazy, but the next part of my perfect happy day would take place at work. Aside from photography, I am an Irish step-dance teacher (yes, like Riverdance), and if I’m being honest, I really can’t imagine a perfect day that doesn’t include teaching my youngsters.
Later in the afternoon Kaitlin and I would head down to the beach. We’re both very close to our families, so our parents, Kaitlin’s siblings, and maybe a few friends would join us for some surfing, relaxing, and a barbecue in the sand. To cap off the night, Kaitlin and I would put on a movie (or watch Big Bang Theory) and have a nice, relaxing evening at home.
What’s your go-to when you need a boost of happiness?
I discovered a wonderful song by Paul Evans about 15 years ago called “Happy-Go-Lucky Me.” I dare you to listen to this song without smiling! If there were a movie about my life, this song would definitely be the hit song on the soundtrack.
What’s the last thing you smiled about?
I just came from my parent’s house and they have the NICEST mailman! He’s very jovial, very chatty, and always has a smile on his face.
As a professional photographer, what are your favorite parts of your job?
Smiles!! When I began my career as a lifestyle photographer, my approach was as an artist… composing creative photos that my clients would want to show off to their family and friends. As time went on I realized that my joy wasn’t in looking at the photos after a session, it was in the interactions i had with my clients during the session. By shifting my focus from the resulting photographs to the client’s experience, I found myself taking a genuine interest in getting to know each individual’s personality, making photo shoots more enjoyable for both the clients and myself. Now I find that my clients often love their photos before they’ve seen a single image, all because it was a fun, positive experience!
What do you dig about Happier?
I love the positivity that fuels our Happier community! While other social networks have become venues for complaining and corporate advertising, Happier is built on optimism and the understanding that no joy is too small to appreciate. There’s something to be said about giving an otherwise fleeting moment of happiness, a tangible, physical presence in our lives by way of text or photo, and Happier really makes it an easy process.
The accessibility of the Happier team is wonderful, and being able to send a smile to another person’s moment has got to be the greatest idea on the Internet! I really just love everything about the Happier community; the staff, the app, the website… you’ll be hard pressed to find a bigger fan than me (though I’m happy to share my title of Number #1 Fan with each of you!