Black and White, Featured, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

I want to be just like the woman at the coffee shop when I grow up.

May 12, 2018

When I was around 20 years old and playing in a band full time, I would stop by the coffee and donut shop, near my apartment, after the gig. You’d always find me and several other regulars there, night after night, winding down from our “shifts” with coffee and a donut.

Or was that the reason we were there?

I knew that, for me, it was more about visiting with the woman behind the counter than it was for any coffee or donut — but oh the donut! The reason it was so good was that she knew I liked the maple glazed kind so, when she saw me coming in, she would take one and drizzle extra maple on it just for me. She’d greet me with a smile and a hug and tell me how happy she was to see me and then she’d always ask how the gig went? 

But here’s the best part.

She listened (really listened) to what I had to tell her. She’d laugh and smile her beautiful smile — I mean, who wouldn’t want that coffee and donut?! She made sure I knew I was special and she knew how special she was to me. Then one night, many nights into this coffee shop routine, I looked around the room and saw on the faces of others what I felt inside — welcomed and cared for — I mattered. If to no one else, I mattered to her and so did they. 

I listened to her conversations with them, as much as I listened to my own with her — this woman — this wise and beautiful woman was in her way…well, healing people from the inside out. Over the years I watched from across the room as laughter erupted, tears fell, and anger subsided. I don’t know what all the stories were about, but I do know they were made better by her. 

One person — one beautiful, wise, kind and caring woman — intently listening to people and making a difference in their lives.  What a gift! Making people feel…no, scratch that, making people understand that they matter and sometimes (by my observations) for the first time. I felt privileged to watch it happen. 

I was reminded of those times as I watched my mother from across the room, listening to my Yittle, just as beautiful as she was all those years ago in the coffee shop. Listening in that special way that she has always listened, and as I saw the look on my little girl’s face (a look I have seen on so many faces before), I felt privileged all over again. Privileged and grateful that my children have this beautiful woman in their lives to listen and listen well. 

Mom, in case I haven’t told you lately, you pour the best cup of coffee — ever. When I grow up, I want to be just…like…you.

Happy Mother’s Day — I love you.

 

I wrote this a few years ago, and it has now become a tradition to share it every year. To all the mothers — I hope your day is special and Happy Mother’s Day!  💐💝🌺

 

 

 

Personal Side Interviews

The Personal Side of Serge Ramelli

May 9, 2018

Photographer Serge Ramelli sees art in the world around him. Being an artist and having creativity is all about putting beauty out in the world – with many different ways of how to express it. Serge himself expresses art both through his photography as well as through acting and filmmaking. It was fascinating to hear the stories of how he got started, of his supportive family, and the dreams he’s still pursuing. His ambition is inspiring and motivating — I hope you’ll make time to watch the entire interview.

Merci beaucoup, Serge!

Kalebra

Featured, Nature

A Good Dawn

May 7, 2018

“Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees, the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.” – Oscar Wilde

Happy Monday morning, everyone. 🌻

Black and White, Featured, iPhone

Struggling with your photography storytelling?

April 28, 2018

“We ate well and cheaply and we drank well and cheaply and we slept well and warm together and loved each other.”
– Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Pick up a good book.

It’s a fairly easy answer, but one I believe could make a world of difference to so many photographers struggling with their creativity. Think about it—if photography is storytelling, then you need to supply your imagination with many stories (tucked away in your sub-conscience) so that when the time comes to be creative, you have something to draw from. It is impossible for most of us to have lived enough really good stories, and even if we have lived some really good ones, even great ones, we only have our one lifetime to collect them. On top of that, how much of that life have we lived before becoming a photographer? However, if we read great literature, novels, and poems we can turn all those stories into a deep source for our own creativity. It’s similar to technically knowing how to operate your camera—you learned it well so that you don’t have to think about how to use it when you need or want to use it. In that same way, you will draw on the stories you have read (learned) when you go on to tell your photography stories. At the very least, it won’t hurt you, and you’ll have read some great books.

I wish you all the creative life you seek and I hope this helps some of you get a little closer. Have a great weekend everyone!

Kalebra

 

Personal Side Interviews

The Personal Side of Melanie Kern-Favilla

April 13, 2018

Melanie Kern-Favilla is an award-winning photographer and KelbyOne instructor. You may also recognize her as the winner of the second Gallery at KelbyOne contest with her beautiful floral work. In her other life, she is a train engineer with the Long Island Railroad, wife, lover of dogs and big weather (the kind that brings tornadoes). If you’d like to see what a life of pushing past your fears looks like, look no further, this lady is the real deal. I hope you’ll take the time to watch Melanie tell her full story here, it’s exciting, inspiring, reassuring and calming all at the same time. Who wouldn’t want to watch that? 😉

Thank you, Melanie!

Kalebra

Featured, Personal Side Interviews

The Personal Side of Tracy Sweeney

March 14, 2018

What happens when your passion and determination are led by grace? Incredible, wonderful things that’s what. Sit with Tracy Sweeney and me as she talks about how she got started, her role as a mom, how she connects with the families and children she photographs, and how it all comes together to serve her purpose. The love and gratitude she has for her family shine through in every moment, as does her teaching background in the stories she captures in her work.

This Personal Side of Tracy Sweeney interview was inspiring, fascinating and joyful for me and I know it will be for you too—I hope you’ll make time to watch it.

Thank you, Tracy, you’re kinda marvelous.

Personal Side Interviews, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

A Peek at The Personal Side of Tim Wallace

February 1, 2018

“I’d rather live an amazing day that I would remember always than ten years of dull grayness.”Tim Wallace

After Tim’s Personal Side interview he became known around our offices as the real Batman. The full interview can be found here at KelbyOne.

Thank you, Tim, for the honor and pleasure.

Kalebra