Friday, November 9, 2012

Connecting With Far-Away Grandchildren


I am a lucky girl this weekend.  I will be spending the next two days with the loveliest young lady I know — my three-month-old granddaughter.

I'm not one of these fortunate people who live close to their grandchildren. While they aren't huge distances away,  they aren't close either.  Visits, therefore, are generally planned and extended, which is both good and bad. Sure, I'd love to experience the pop-ins that many folks in my community enjoy — surprise arrivals from grandkids enroute to various others places in town, or simply coming in to touch base because they can.  But, there is compensation in knowing that when I do get the visit,  it's usually for a sleepover.

Growing up, I loved that my grandparents lived close by.  They were an integral part of my life and decades later I still miss them.   Looking back,  I can't help thinking how difficult it would have been to stay in touch on a regular basis had the physical distance between my grandparents and me been greater. 

I believe strongly that the bond between the bread layers of the generational sandwich should be nurtured.  I have been blessed with children who make every effort on their part, and who accept any effort on mine,  to keep the connection strong.  Technology, from social media sites to digital photography also helps to make this a relatively easy thing.

Here are some ways to help you stay connected with your far-away grandbabies:

BloggingBistro Reasons for Grandparents to Get on Facebook

boston.com Look Who's Skyping

grandparents.com Connect With Far-Off Grandkids

The Wall Street Journal Grandparents and Grandkids Connecting

fotobounce Parental Sharing

FamilyDetails Your Family Website

About.com Photos and Camera Products for Grandparents

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Finding Models for Photography

Many years ago, while working on a magazine, I was charged with organizing and overseeing a photo shoot.  A fairly long-legged step away from the usual editorial work I was doing, I eagerly embraced the task.  Change is always fun.

It didn't come without its unique challenges, however. The location was small-town rural, a place where young people in search of glamour left for various cosmopolitan areas, and studio spaces equipped to handle such a large project, were sparse.  Besides facing a limited hiring pool, this was a small publication with a budget as lean as catwalk models. I lucked out when a well-known local portrait photographer agreed to come on board,  primarily for the free publicity, and she worked with me scouting out affordable  locations, fashions and photogenic people.

It ultimately came together and it is one of my professional pride and joys from that time that I managed it on my own with relatively little experience in that milieu.

Now, as mentioned, there was a budget, albeit a dismally scanty one by most standards.  Imagine, the challenge for new photographers trying to break into the microstock industry.  The outlay of cash before one even has a guarantee of income can only be daunting, if not completely impossible,  for struggling artists.  Or, even if money, or lack thereof,  isn't the issue, knowing where to find good models may be,  particularly if you don't live in larger urban centres. 

If portrait and model photography is your dream, though, here are lots of ideas online on how to find models,  as well as how to get started without investing too much into the project initially.  Check out these sites for starters:

PictureCorrect Finding Models for Photography

PhotoSecrets How to Find Models Online

eHow Find Inexpensive Models for Photography

PhotoSecrets How to Get Free Models

photofocus Secrets to Finding Glamour Models

photo.tutsplus.com Where to Find a Photography Model


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

For Love of Dogs

Two years ago this month, my husband and I had to say goodbye to a faithful friend. 

Ani,  a Siberian husky mix, was a high-maintenance gal – high-strung, high energy,  high needs – and we loved her to pieces.  Hearing that her cancer was so aggressive we were left with only one option, was more difficult than I would have imagined.  After all, so many people noted, she was "just a dog".

Anyone who has a beloved pet, however,  knows that they are much more than that. They win your heart, become part of the family and like their human counterparts in that family,  have unique personalities. They are devoted and loyal companions. They play with us and work for us. They love unconditionally and labour without complaint.  Trained properly they come when called, sit when told and fetch when asked.  They don't even get offended when you look them in the eye and say, "Heel". 

So with thoughts of my Ani girl and for all the dog lovers out there, here's a look at some cute canines:

National Geographic My Shot Dogs Gallery

iCLIPART.com Dog Photos

Acclaim Images Dog Photos

tutorart Dog Photography

A Place to Love Dogs

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Images of Remembrance Day

There has been a change to Remembrance Day services from my childhood.  Most notably,  the diminishing numbers of veterans in attendance.  But there is no question that for most of us the meaning of this tribute to those who fought and to those who gave their lives for our freedom is as important now as it ever was.

I vividly recall the Remembrance Days of my childhood. The occasion was celebrated with as much solemnity as was appropriate.  While it admittedly has been a few years,  the images of the students' orderly march to the cenotaph, of a large group of veterans with heads bowed,  of the crowd standing in silent stillness in recognition of  sacrifice and valour,  are still vivid.  I recall, even before fully understanding the significance, feeling moved as people in uniform placed their poppies on a wreath and saluted, their expressions clearly conveying their memories. 

So it is, as we prepare to honour the fallen and acknowledge the sacrifices of so many brave men and women,  that we share some meaningful photos here ... "Lest We Forget".

ottawapanoramas.com Remembrance Day Photos

 Huffington Post The World Marks November 11

Acclaim Images Remembrance Day Photos

iCLIPART.com Remembrance Day Photos

Daily Mail Online Images of the Great War's Battlefields

Monday, November 5, 2012

Collections of Friends

In a rich life, there us one collection you have that will be diverse,  each part uniquely interesting, the value dependent upon the need. These parts will come in different shapes, sizes and colours, their talents as varied as their appearance. When it comes to playtime, to needing comfort, to enjoying shared interests,  it is your circle of friends you can call and count on.

When you take a look at the people you proudly call friends, it is likely that they do each mean something different to you.  There is the friend you can call when you just need someone to listen, but if you're looking for a fun night on the town, you would look to someone else.  There are the girls you shop with, the guys you drink with, the pal who loves to fish, the one who loves the opera.  There are friends who open your mind, and others whose silliness keeps you in stitches.  What is consistent is, that while friends come and go,  their absence in your life is usually missed.

Friendship is undoubtedly a blessing.  Here are some fun photo collections showing it in its various forms:

iCLIPART.com Friends

Art of Manliness a Photo History

twentytwowords.com Friends Pose for Same Picture for 30 Years