GOOD

Every day we’re inundated with celebrity gossip fueled by the sharks who roam the streets of Los Angeles and New York City armed with telephoto lenses. The paparazzi stalk celebrities with a dangerous zeal, sometimes putting their children in unsafe positions and causing traffic accidents. But what if these roaming hordes were deputized to do good? What if they captured people in acts of kindness and generosity instead of eating at trendy restaurants or staggering out of nightclubs? Well, a popular sausage maker has enlisted a photographer to do just that.


In their new promotion, Jimmy Dean is giving away $500 a week to lucky winners who snap the best shots of people doing good. To promote the contest, Jimmy Dean challenged celebrity paparazzo Giles Harrison to turn his cameras away from the stars and point them toward everyday people doing everyday acts of kindness. In the video above, Harrison photographs a man dedicated to cleaning up Los Angeles beaches and a chef who hands out care packages to the homeless. The project not only helps promote giving back, but it empowers people to feel good about themselves as well. “I’ve been doing this job for 21 years,” Harrison said, “and to take photos that actually have some meaning and just see the beauty in the things going on around me … it makes me feel very good.”

The goal is clearly to sell more processed sausages, but the concept is beautiful and could easily apply to other projects. What if we deputized Uber drivers to help the elderly make it to doctors’ appointments? Mobilized artists to paint the buildings in economically distressed neighborhoods? The possibilities are endless.