Friday, May 10, 2013

Who Ever Said Having a Happy Marriage Would Be Easy?

I rather feel like celebrating today. Not because it's Friday, but because it's my wedding anniversary.  With that in mind you can guess what the focus of today's collections of images and photos will be.

Giving the high odds for not succeeding at marriage today,  enjoying wedded bliss no matter how many years is a great thing. Seeing folks who have been in for the long haul should, I think, give hope to all of those lovestruck newlyweds.

The thing with marriage today is that commitment can literally mean a lifetime. Where years ago, "until death do us part" probably wasn't going to be that long, in the 21st century it's not uncommon for couples to celebrate not just 50, but 60 years together.  My parents' 70th anniversary is this December. They also recently told me about another couple in the long-term care facility in which they reside who has been married for 75 years.  Amazing.

Having spoken to many milestone anniversary celebrants in my years with a local newspaper,  it was a common question to ask them their secret.  The answers from these 'lifers' were always the same.  Forgiveness, a sense of humour, loyalty and not giving up when the going was tough. 

Sage advice. No one ever suggested sustaining a happy marriage would be easy.  But if you can forgive the faults, laugh at the mistakes, remain loyal and fight through the bad stuff,  it will sure help.

iCLIPART.com Anniversary Illustrations

iCLIPART.com Anniversary Photos

iPHOTOS.com Anniversary Photos

iPHOTOS Anniversary Illustrations

Acclaim Images Anniversary Collection

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Illustrations For Stars and Stripes Forever Day

On May 14, 1897,  Philadelphia, PA was the site of the first public performance of American composer John Philip Sousa's The Stars and Stripes Forever.  Known primarily for his patriotic and military songs,  "The March King's"  homage to the American flag was composed on Christmas Day 1896 on an ocean liner bound from England after a holiday.

According to the USA Flag site, the song's subject has been a symbol of the nation's strength and unity for more than 200 years. Representing the country's original 13 colonies are the red horizontal stripes, while the white stars on blue are symbolic of the 50 states of the Union.  There is symbolism behind the colours as well: red for valour, white for purity and innocence and blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice.

With the day to celebrate "Old Glory"  (a nickname for the flag coined by 19th century sea captain William Driver) approaching,  it seemed appropriate to highlight these collections of illustrations for your Stars and Stripes Forever Day projects:

iCLIPART.com American Flag Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com American Flag Illustrations

Acclaim Images American Flags

ClickartOnline American Flag Clipart

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wedding Photography Tips

In just a few days my husband and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary.  May might not be the traditional month for marriage, but we felt it would be a good idea to beat the rush down the aisle.  Booking ministers, halls, etc., can be a challenge when you've set your special day during bridal boom time.

With a certainty, from now until the fading days of summer, weekends in most communities are a whirlwind cycle of showers, stag and does, stags and ceremonies.  A few, who like to buck the trend, may pick autumn or even the Christmas season for their nuptials, but generally summertime is bridal time.  And while everything about the big day is important, there's one aspect that really needs to be given its due.

Our daughter was married last year and as a photographer, finding the right person to capture her big day for posterity was imperative.  Budget-wise she was financially cautious throughout her planning, making concessions she felt could be made. But there would be no settling on the photographer.  She had the list of poses and groupings well set in her mind long before she finally found the professional she felt could do them justice.  In the end, she made a great choice and has beautiful pictures to cherish and help her remember what was a perfect day.

That's the thing about wedding photography. The bridal couple, along with their family and friends, put a great deal of time and effort into planning the grand occasion.  Thus, when it comes to having the event covered in pictures, you don't just want good, you want perfect memories of this exciting time — memories that capture the mood and atmosphere, memories that tell the story.

So, if playing this special role at weddings is of interest to you, these sites offer some great tips on how to do the job well:

photos tuts+ Tips for Contemporary Wedding Photography

Improve Photography Essential Wedding Photography Tips

DPS Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers

iVillage Must-Take Wedding Phots

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thank a Teacher Today

Today is National Teacher Day, an opportunity to say thank you to a special educator.

Teachers don't always get the credit they deserve. In Ontario, where I live, the high salary and summer's off open the door to various attacks from parents and the public in general, who are tired of working hard for little compensation and long hours. 

But, as the mother of a teacher I know that that summer off isn't as it appears. My son is at school well into the first part of July finishing up loose ends, and back again for the last couple weeks of August to get set for the upcoming year.   Granted it's still a great time to be on holiday, but, when you consider he's also often in the classroom on weekends, too,  it's not a whole lot more time off than many others enjoy.

Certainly,  as with any profession, there are those who probably shouldn't have chosen this career path, whose interest in becoming a teacher may well have been based more on those summers off than on any great love or interest in helping to develop young minds.  But sadly, these poor examples have us painting the entire profession with the same brush.  It's unfair because there are many who really do have the kids' best interests at heart, while receiving in turn, little or no support from indulgent parents and the government. 

Several years ago, in my newspaper days,  I shadowed a teacher.  I was surprised by how demanding the job can be, comprised of large classes, virtually little ability to discipline, little respect and  longer hours than most believe.  The teacher I was with arrived at 7:45 a.m. and was still there at 4:30 p.m. with a half hour lunch and no breaks.

A good teacher is worth every penny they make and every holiday they take. The impact they can have on a student's life is invaluable.  I know I've never forgotten my favourites and am grateful to them for inspiring my love of words.  Wish they could have done more about that math thing, but they were only human I suppose.

So here's a photographic salute to those who inspire an interest in knowledge:


iCLIPART.com Education Photos

iPHOTOS.com Education

Monday, May 6, 2013

Let These Photos Inspire You to Get Fit

We're entering our second week of Family Wellness Month.  It's a good time to promote the type of lifestyle that we know contributes to optimal health — emotionally, mentally and physically. Eating well and getting regular exercise has been proven to extend life, sharpen the mind and lift spirits.

One place to get active is a gym. When I was growing up, exercising indoors typically meant bending and stretching to Jack LaLanne and his contemporaries.  I remember coming home after school to see Mom stretched out on the floor in front of the television, doing leg raises and sit-ups to the bracing instructions of the Father of Fitness. 

But it wasn't until the 1980s and Jane Fonda that anyone ever dreamed of doing their cardio work inside.  Before aerobics there was walking, running, dancing, and playing sports. Then along came high-stepping group routines that increased the opportunity to, paraphrasing an adage from those days, not sit, but get fit.

Then, demand for more opportunities to step up the game saw gyms popping up in almost every community and folks lining up for memberships. Ellipticals, treadmills and cycles had people running and training in spite of inclement weather or time of day. 

If you've been thinking the time has come to get moving, maybe these photos of people working out will give you the push you need:

iCLIPART.com Workout Photos

iPHOTOS.com Photos of People Working Out