When a heavy rain storm seemingly ruined senior picture day for Sydney Johansson, a 17-year-old with cerebral palsy, her mom and the photographer, Jessica Vallia, were left to problem solve. They wanted Sydney to have a great photo shoot, but where were they supposed to go if they couldn’t use the great outdoors?
They turned to the same place any of us might to escape the rain: Starbucks.
“Laura joked about the Taco Bell senior photos a few years back and that it was too bad Chick-fil-A was closed being Sunday,” Vallia told PopSugar. “The only other place really was Starbucks, and we all agreed that it was a trendy, upbeat kind of place for a 17-year-old and we’d just have to make the best of it.”
They weren’t sure that the Starbucks location in Fountain, Colorado would allow them to photograph Sydney inside, but they figured it was worth a shot considering Sydney had a scheduled surgery coming up and the senior pictures had to be taken that day. Plus, let’s be honest, Starbucks could use some positive press!
According to a Facebook post from Vallia, Sydney’s mom, Laura Johansson, went in to ask the shift supervisor, Chris, if it was OK to have the photoshoot inside, and she was pleasantly surprised by his response. Not only did he say it was OK, he ran out in the pouring rain to help Sydney get inside without getting wet.
“Not only offers his umbrella but when Mom went inside to get the umbrella he came outside in the pouring rain to help us get Sydney inside!” Vallia wrote on July 16. “He isn’t even under the umbrella and trust me, he was soaked through but brought me a dry towel for Sydney.”
And that wasn’t the only example of Chris giving Sydney the star treatment she deserved.
The stranger even made them all hot chocolates and refused to take any money from Sydney’s family when they ordered food and drinks during the shoot! Check out one of Vallia’s photos below.
To make the Starbucks location even more fitting for a senior photo shoot, Chris also made congratulatory signs for Sydney.
“Ten minutes later they came back with all these signs and started hanging them up in the corner and moving stuff so we could shoot there,” Vallia told Philadelphia’s KYW-TV. “That’s when the tears [started to form], and we were like, ‘OK we cannot cry right now. We’ll cry about this later.'”
All in all, Sydney’s Starbucks photo shoot turned out even better than they could have ever anticipated, and the senior joined the ranks of the coolest couples, new moms and others who have flocked to Target, Taco Bell and more to get commemorative photos taken.
If you could pick any business for your next photo shoot, where would you go?