I was 17 when I first developed a lifelong love.
It wasn’t with a boy. It was with tea.
Sure, I had been around tea before. I remember drinking Russian Tea as a kid. My mom used to make a homemade tea mix with Tang, Instant Tea and a few other things. It was so good that I can still remember the smell.
But at 17, sitting at my best friend’s kitchen table after school one Thursday afternoon, I experienced tea in an entirely new way.
All the talk and chatter and nervousness of my teenager-filled day melted when I took that sip of Yorkshire Gold...known as the best spot of tea in England. Because my best friend’s mom was British, she knew how to make a good cup of tea. She gave us cream and sugar, and she added a few shortbread cookies on the side. The teacup was painted with pink roses, and it clinked after I lifted it up, sipped, and set it back down on the porcelain.
I felt cozy, and at home, and in love. And I never turned back. I will love tea always.
Flash forward three decades, and I have an entire cupboard in my kitchen devoted to tea. The bottom of my cupboard contains the strong black teas, my favorite. The middle has decaf, my go-to in the afternoons. And the top is filled with all the extras, all the herbals, the icing on the cake that I don’t need or use that often, but which I love to have on hand anyway.
When I go to the store to buy tea, I make it a sensory experience. I plant my feet on the floor and gaze at all the canisters. I browse the matcha and the chamomile and the exotic chai. I open up the lids of tins and smell the leaves and flowers. Depending on my mood, I use one of several mugs I love, and I choose a syrup or creamer to fit whichever tea I’m enjoying.
And this experience of being in the moment, of being present, of capturing coziness and hominess is not so different than the approach I take when I’m on a photoshoot when I’m helping a client tell his or her story. Whether my clients are getting a headshot for their business cards, or trying to tell their story through a message or brand, I provide a space where we can capture the essence of who they are through a crisp, intentional, thoughtful image. Branding is not just about colors and logos. A photo captures the truth of a person (even the soul!), and my work always exudes a presence of trust.
You can’t get much better than trust. On a saucer. With a side of cookies.
About the author: Lori Keefer is an entrepreneur, Jerry’s other half, avid bird watcher, band mom, lover of a good cup of hot tea, and your guide in personal branding photography. The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author. You can connect with her on her personal website, her business website, on Facebook or Instagram.