This interview is a part of a new series that highlights the story of the Traveling Umbrella. Each project participant is mailed the Traveling Umbrella and asked to keep it for about a week. They use it as a photography prop before they mail it on to the next person on the waiting list. Learn more at:
Participant: Sunshine Hedlund
Location: Independence, Minnesota
Find Her on Instagram: @sunshinejoy76
Interviewed by: Rachel Fergus
When you visit Sunshine’s instagram page, two things become apparent almost immediately: Sunshine loves the Minnstagram community, and she loves her adorable, baby-girl Hazel. The community and Hazel have both posed with the umbrella for Sunshine, many times. “I love rainbows,” Sunshine shared, “I even have a Rainbow Brite sweatshirt that I wear quite often, so of coarse I love #shineonyoucrayumbrella. And it made me really happy to get a photo of Hazel and the umbrella”. Other times Sunshine has snapped photos of the brella were at instameets, and just hanging out with friends.
Though Sunshine never had the umbrella, her story shows the community-building power this prop has. “I actually didn’t have the umbrella for a week, or officially,” Sunshine wrote, “Matt Hoffman, @coffeewithhoffee, and the umbrella came out to visit us in Maple Grove”. Just looking at her feed, you could never tell that Sunshine hasn’t had the Traveling Umbrella herself because of the numerous photos of the brella. Sunshine shared, “the umbrella was another opportunity for us to spend time together, to be creative together, and grow in our friendship and photography skills”.
“The traveling umbrella has enriched my experience with Instagram,” Sunshine wrote, “It’s fun to see people all over the world connected by a single prop and hashtag”.