Roadtripping- the camera goes with, and as everyone knows, grab the touristy shots, but put your people in most of them- it’s way more interesting. Lesson learned when you look back and see a whole lot of “postcard” shots that all start to look the same, right?


And here’s a hint for free: shoot into the light- make sure your exposure on your subject is good, but for those of us over 30 we’ll appreciate the effect a whole lot more. Use your pop up flash in a pinch to fill in if you absolutely must, just tone it down if you can. And if you really want to score points with ladies over 35, have the camera just a little higher than their eye level. Trust me on this one, you will score some serious brownie points.


We’ll see you when the car turns back around and returns to reality

You, uhmmm, Have Something On Your Face

Morning faces. Aren’t they great? On a sleepy child, they are so endearing. But on a sleep deprived mom? Well, they can be a just little frightening.

Now sometimes we may have that face coming to us. Anyone ever had the experience of coming home from a date late only to be staring down the barrel of a ticked off, slept-in face of your mother, who has coffee breath layered on to morning breath powered by a lecture of consequences that will have you re-thinking breaking curfew for the rest of your days? But I rabbit trail…. your face…

You know that a good friend will always tell you if you have something on your face, or on your teeth, or the seat of your pants. Changing the things that need it, and can be- those are usually helpful. Not having your contacts in and telling your daughter she has something her nose … which turns out to be a pimple? Really not helpful.

And then there are the more stubborn, but not permanent things, “on our face”.


What about the things on our face that come from within…. do we wear our worries? our joys? our bitterness? Plastic and botox tries to erase the faces we earn. Our words and actions will reveal if what is on our face is real.

A real face- one that’s genuine but not cruel.  Put that one on.

A face that welcomes surprises and the unexpected. There’s a place for that- like letting friends show you their love, instead of insisting it follow a script. Even on your birthday. Put that one on.


You were beautiful the day you were born. You just were. Your sweet face welcomed connection without even asking for it. You too, now show love with faces that that are dear to you. You offer that touch, a hankie, a mirror.

Kindness that understands, put that face on.


Bravery with a little grit not grudge- put that one on.

Availability regardless of a little inconvenience, without enabling- put it on.

Calm, patience, undivided attention, resoluteness, confidence not bravado- all sweet things to go on a face. Those are the things that make the memory in the heart, or the picture canvas hanging on the wall, really really sweet.

Some call it bed-side manner, or customer service, or public service ….. or legacy. So when it’s a friend and you are concerned about what is “on their face”, go get coffee, bring a hankie…. but first, don’t forget to look in the mirror yourself.

Keep it real, your face knows and tells it all.

Just Put It Down and Look Around…..

A camera is an easy and obvious thing that can get in the way of seeing the present. Case in point, a few years back my daughter and I were out hiking a wonderful trail with my sister and friend. So much beauty, and good air, and conversation…. and quiet. God bless the quiet. But it was still easy to miss beauty. So while I am busy grabbing bites (specifically, eh-hem, pictures) of what I miss in my urban living, one of the ladies quietly says, “you need to turn around and look at your daughter…..”  It didn’t last for long when she realized there was an audience.

My ballet girl, enjoying a moment to herself (she’s leaping on a path at the base of that stream- no photoshopping- it’s all in the camera angle) The obvious points are:

Point of view- they will grab varied perspectives                                                                                         Look around, or you could miss something really amazing.                                                                 Thank God for the people who have your back.

Sometimes people will tell me they’re just not into taking pictures, and my response breathes a little envy “Ah, so you’re into living the moment.” There is much merit in that.

For those of us who are sentimental slobs and fear forgetting those kodak moments we try to tuck into our hearts, our camera still goes with us. Still though, take the time to put the camera down, stop texting, stop talking, stop thinking about yesterday or tomorrow and just live- just for a moment.



Blaming It All on Bob

Bob, how did this happen to him? He’s sitting on the shelf, contentedly gathering a bit of dust and suddenly he’s off to some new outing. He’s a bacon saver. There’s a school of thought that when you go somewhere, don’t just take a picture of “it”, put one of your people in it.

So what do you do, when every last one of your people is stinkin’ tired of getting in the shot? You get Bob.

What about Bob? Bob happened on a trip to LA a few years back. Mom was on a geocaching mission. We’re talking m-i-s-s-i-o-n and the fam was … well, extending good sportsmanship, when out of the corner of my eye, Bob. Sure we were looking for a geocache at one of the original Bob’s Big Boy restaurants- but there was Bob. Good natured, go along-to-get-along Bob. And he’s been a good side-kick on occasion. Especially when there are friends and family involved.

Bob and Marv hanging at a Henry. (They're Henry Heads)

Bob and Marv hanging at a Henry. (they’re Henry Heads)

Bob and beloved JP Patches

Bob and beloved JP Patches