“Everything is related” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Octavia Sampson by © Camila Gargantini

“Octavia is an active member of her church and when we were talking about the things that are important to her, and doing a shoot that somehow showcased her involvement just made sense. She told me of an upcoming service happening at a school gym close by to her house so we agreed to shoot there during set up. It was great to see her community coming together to get the event going and although it doesn’t show in the picture, there were a number people around us setting up the gym for the service ” – Camila G

Image by © Camila Gargantini

An Interview with Octavia

Q. What is the best memory you have from a previous birthday?

A. My best memory would be my most recent birthday because my family threw me a surprise birthday and university graduation party.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. I do not remember a particular worst birthday, but one bad thing about having a summer birthday is that most of your friends are on vacation when you throw a party and are therefore not around.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that surprised you most?

A. My sister travelled to California around the time of my birthday but she had left me a list of clues to find the gifts she bought and had hid around our house.

Q. Is there a food or dish that you insist on eating on your birthday?

A. I choose to have a Cinnamon bun with lots of icing, instead of a regular birthday cake.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. The most important aspect of celebrating a birthday is expressing your appreciation for that person and selflessly focusing on someone else.

Q. Do you have any traditions or thing you always do to celebrate a birthday? What is it?

A. It is a sort of tradition that I go to Denny’s for a birthday breakfast with my family. Also for the past few years, it has become habit that I visit the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) with my sisters and cousins during my birthday week.