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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!  💐💝🌺

 

 

 

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

 

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.

Featured, Food and Drink

Morning Fruit

January 2, 2018

Because I shot it in the morning, but it could also be afternoon fruit or evening fruit depending on when you decided to eat it. Or if you’re my Yittle it might be definitely eating the cherries, trying the blackberries but as soon as you hit a tart one, you’re out and, completely ignoring the green grapes fruit. That seems a little long but whatever. 😉

 

Happy Tuesday, folks!

Featured, Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

The Personal Side of Rick Sammon

December 28, 2017

Award-winning photographer Rick Sammon is inspired by the world around him. He aims to have his creative visions come to life through his photography as well to help teach others to do the same. While you may know of his many awards, books, and various other accomplishments, hear from Rick about his travels, love of music, his family, and how it’s all shaped the person he is today. Amidst the stories, you’ll be inspired by the words he lives by and, just maybe, learn to view the world in a whole new way.

It was a joy to sit with Rick! His smile and attitude are infectious, and they make you want to jump up, run out and have fun—with your camera, with your loved ones, and with the life, you’re living. If you want to smile (and you won’t be able to help yourself) I encourage you to watch The Personal Side of Rick Sammon.  It’s the perfect way to start the New Year!

Thank you, Rick, for starting our 2018 with a collective great big smile!

Happy New Year, Everybody!!

Featured, Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

What a night!

December 11, 2017

This past Saturday night we were able to celebrate with another gallery showing for another winner, artist/photographer and member of KelbyOneSteve Wallace. Steve is an anesthesiologist, a lawyer, a talented photographer (with a goal), and KelbyOne member. His magical Myanmar images and artist’s talk delighted everyone that attended and watched around the world. His photography inspired us to want to engage with other cultures in a more subtle and human way, and his talk was fascinating, fun and thoughtful. If you missed it, you can watch it at this KelbyOne link. I’d like to thank Steve (right), his lovely wife, Becky (left) and all the members who showed up to The Gallery at KelbyOne and made the night so special.


Steve during his talk with Larry Becker as he answered questions from the live web audience.


Steve explains how he manages that magical light.

Who wants to be this cool? Everyone! Meredith Duffin was calling the shots in the control room and making it look easy.

I’d also like to thank BayPhoto for always providing such beautiful prints, and the KelbyOne team because I don’t think there is a person in the building who doesn’t touch this effort in some way and I’m grateful for them as well. From individuals like Viktor Garcia (my right-hand man when it comes to the gallery) to Pam Suttmiller in accounting (who helps create a beautiful wine and cheese presentation) to our excellent video, marketing, graphics, and web teams. Heck, even our editors are tweeting about it! Haha! Everyone has a hand in it, and that’s not even counting the selection and judging process (loads of help coordinating all of that from Mr. Erik Kuna) to arranging the travel and accommodations for all the winners (thank you, Jeanne Jilleba). So many hands on so many things and I’m so very grateful—thank you.

We gathered, we celebrated, and we promised that we’d all do it again. I like that about us.

Kalebra

 

 

 

Featured, iPhone

Thanks for the help, Maggie.

November 17, 2017

My little Maggers was kind enough to model for my first iPhone X shot. Good job, Maggie—now let’s get you a treat! ☺️

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Featured, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

The Personal Side of Trey Ratcliff

November 15, 2017

A conversation with Trey Ratcliff is this magical mixture of wonder, whimsy, and peacefulness. He has the gift of ponder—I like that about him. The only downside to getting to talk with Trey is that the conversation will eventually have to end. If you have the time, I encourage you to give “The Personal Side of Trey Ratcliff” a listen. One of my favorite interviews—I’m still trying to figure out how the atmosphere in the room was so zen-like when there was an actual hurricane (Irma) only hours from making landfall. Trey is a fascinating person and shares about everything from photography, his philosophy on life, to life in New Zealand with his family and family of bees. Well, how else would you make your honey?

To learn more about Trey and everything he’s doing visit stuckincustoms.com

Happy Wednesday!

Kalebra