TikTok plea reunites amateur photographer with lost Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS R6
(Image credit: Canon)

In a heartwarming turn of events, an 23-year-old photographer from San Diego, California, found herself in a real-life fairytale after her $3,700 camera got accidentally given to a Goodwill store, and sold for $70.

Kelsie Lee's story captured the attention of millions on TikTok, leading to a chain of events that ultimately resulted in the recovery of her beloved camera, a Canon EOS R6. Let's delve into the extraordinary journey that unfolded, highlighting the power of social media and the kindness of strangers.


i love you all, thank you

♬ original sound - kelsie

Kelsie Lee, a passionate photographer, had recently purchased a Canon R6 camera worth $3,700. While visiting her family in Arizona, she accidentally left her camera in her mom's car, and was then unknowingly donated to Goodwill. 

Devastated, Kelsie quickly realized the gravity of the situation when she discovered her camera was sold for a mere $70. The loss became even more poignant as it contained an SD card brimming with precious memories of family trips and captured moments.

Determined to recover her camera, Kelsie turned to TikTok, pouring her heart out in a plea for help. In her emotional video, she shared her story and offered a $500 reward for anyone who could assist in finding her lost camera. 

Within minutes, the TikTok community rallied behind her, demonstrating their unwavering support and solidarity. Photographers and videographers from around the world empathized with her plight and expressed their desire to help.


♬ original sound - kelsie

As Kelsie's video gained momentum, it caught the attention of a local news channel, ultimately leading to a serendipitous reunion. A couple who had purchased the camera at Goodwill saw the news segment and realized they were the ones in possession of Kelsie's cherished device. 

The couple, who happened to be amateur photographers themselves, went above and beyond by driving all the way from Prescott, Arizona, to return the camera. Their selfless act of kindness touched Kelsie deeply, and she was overwhelmed by their generosity

Inspired by the couple's compassion, Kelsie took to TikTok once again to express her gratitude and seek help for the kind-hearted individuals who had unknowingly purchased her camera. 

She tagged Canon USA in her video, hoping they could assist the couple in obtaining a camera they could afford. Canon responded swiftly, offering a new camera as a gift to the couple, highlighting the incredible capacity for goodwill that can arise from social media platforms.


♬ Somewhere Only We Know - Hilman Rospandi

Kelsie's incredible journey taught her the profound impact social media can have when used for good. It demonstrated the ability of strangers to come together, offering support and assistance in times of need.

Furthermore, her experience exemplified the importance of paying attention and being open to the positive possibilities that can arise from unlikely circumstances.

Kelsie Lee's accidental camera donation transformed into a remarkable tale of compassion, unity, and the resilience of the human spirit. Through the power of TikTok, the kindness of strangers, and the generosity of Canon, she not only recovered her camera but also witnessed the uplifting nature of social media. This heartwarming story serves as a reminder that remarkable things can happen when we reach out for help and allow the goodness in people to shine through.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specializing in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound, and many more for various advertising campaigns, books, and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science, and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is a member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected into BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in street, medium, and large format photography with products by Leica, Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa, and Sinar. Sebastian has also used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI, and everything in between. He now spends his spare time using his trusted Leica M-E or Leica M2 shooting Street photography or general life as he sees it, usually in Black and White.