Faith’s Symbiotic Story: “Hi, this is David, your Simbi photographer.”

Symbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi and you’ll receive a Simbi Star Badge. Email your entries to


My phone buzzed. The screen lit up with this text message from David. I’d only been on Simbi for about a week and this was my first real interaction with another member.

A senior in college, graduation was just on the horizon. I was about to join millions of other wide-eyed kids in the hunt for a highly coveted possession- a job. Ah, web presence. You forget about it until your future boss finds your pixelated close-ups. Not me. I wasn’t about to succumb to the clutches of mediocre selfies. I was going to get me some professional head shots to show off my personality on LinkedIn and other social profiles.

One catch- I didn’t have $500+ for a photography session.

I turned to Simbi.

Although a humble Simbi newbie, I started off with enough simbi to “pay” for David’s photography on the site. We agreed on 150 simbi for a solid two-hour session. He found the perfect location to shoot- one of the most beautiful spots in Orinda, CA.

Honestly, I thought it would be awkward when we met. I even felt a little guilty. This guy drove all the way here to take pictures of me—for free. It took a couple of skims over his “Your Simbi photographer” text to put me at ease. David was just as excited to snap some rad pictures, and he took his job seriously.

He completely embodied Simbi’s slogan #LoveWhatYouDo. He even expected nothing in return.

“In fact, it’s kind of liberating.”

David joined Simbi because the currency felt ultimately “faith-based” (funny ‘cause my name is Faith- ha ha). He told had zero monetary expectations for his service. Did I say that he had zero monetary expectations? Because he had zero monetary expectations.

Within 45 minutes, I already had some amazing photographs. I don’t consider myself a very photogenic person- striking a pose has always been a bit awkward for me. David did a great job of making me laugh and feel comfortable the entire time. The results? Some pretty sweet and natural-looking pictures.

I got a great experience and a shiny, new social media presence. I couldn’t help but wonder, But what did David get out of all this? While it wasn’t in dollars, the value was intangible.

After David sent me the edited photographs, he joked that he had the better end of the deal. He wasn’t wrong- Simbi gave him more than he could have ever imagined. To him, it was completely different from working for cash. Less pressure. No strict transactions. A rush, kind of like gift-giving. Most importantly, more gratitude.

When deeds are measured by dollars, people are less grateful. The expectation is simple- a great job comes with a price tag. Appreciation is tossed aside. With Simbi, he felt the complete opposite. Every single thing he did was another “favor.”

And here was the kicker- doing good felt good.

I asked, “How are you going to use the 150 simbi?”

“Hmmm… I don’t know. Maybe treat myself to acupuncture? I never really felt like I could afford that.”

Turns out, he was always thought less about getting simbi and more about giving his service.

I think that’s what they call a community. I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of this.

I can’t wait to pay it forward.

Faith E.


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