We lost an Angel …

How could one not love Maya Angelou? 

Her name. Her voice. Her words. You can almost feel the touch of her hand when reading her work. She could find beauty unlike anyone amid the struggles of her life. Now an angel never to be forgotten. She's the type of person that could inspire anyone to want to write. I feel like I took her work for granted. I should have known more about her.

Here's something I wrote. It's not about Maya but it is about seeing, smelling, feeling everything, and finding some joy and peace amidst it all. And feeling like the training wheels just came off and you are totally ready for whatever comes next …


the world becomes small again

the smell of fabric softener
synthetic perfume
and diesel exhaust
the plastic of the water bottle

muffled thumping and rattling
2 jackhammers
the rhythm is gonna getcha
a man lacking several teeth shouts “play the numbers! i do”
the chain whispers secrets whenever i can listen
wind hums like a current rushing faster than me
a seagull announces something
a shapeless cloud remains speechless

moments sparkle past like reflections on waves
sharp. transient.
a disconnected landscape
am i part of this world
or debris unwanted?

thoughts bubble up and try to stay
but dissolve like pop-rocks fizzing self-importantly
then sink under the surface

eyes to the wind
meandering faceless vehicles
blinking. beeping. coughing.
glance back.

look down at the blur
a jarring memory triggered unexpectedly
by the scent of a thing or a someone unknnown
of things forgotten not forgiven


pedal faster
a yellow light just changing
signal a turn

the smell of rain
a flowering tree

I am a lone seed surfing a river unaware of my purpose
I go under the surface, if just for a moment
the world becomes small again
a rumble of thunder somewhere in the distance 


Thank you Maya ... for inspiring so many.

Finding Personalities (with imperfect photos)

This post is about finding personalities. Freezing otherwise overlooked moments. Creating memories, Occasionally breaking rule. And sometimes pretending you are being attacked by a dinosaur.

Are these the best photos photographically? – Some have perfect focus, clarity, glimmer in the eye and a flawless pose - but sometimes we get lucky and beauty is found in the spontaneity and the essence of life's imperfections …

My latest shoot was for my friend Maggie and her family. She is one of the friendliest, most cheerful people I have ever met so I had no doubt it would be a joy to photograph her along with her son and husband. She is also a breast cancer survivor and very involved in making the world less breast-cancer-having-ish … There was no question that I wanted to give her some really great memories with our images (and I knew she wanted to show off all that great hair she grew back =D !)

Fortunately, I'm not afraid of encountering wildlife during a shoot.

People always amaze me in front of the camera. Could I make him do this? Of course not. Is it great? I thought so.

It's never the obvious shots that are my favorites. Direct sunlight is a "no-no" for the most part and the more I can avoid it the better. But in this case, I think it works. A tight shot of a close family!

The dog got in the way! Or maybe not!? Not a good portrait - but a welcome addition to a group of photos getting to the heart of what this family is like.

His eyes are closed! But it a joyous image capturing the personality?

Hey - he's not even looking at the camera … and direct sunlight with harsh highlights and shadows!!! By the way, they have a waterfall in their yard. Yup!

"I will photograph your family watching TV!" Sounds creepy and lame - but with a chair like that how could I NOT?! …

Let's take a break! … I don't think so kiddo. Click.

Naturally, there were more formal, clear posed images from this shoot. But by far I enjoy looking at the images that wer unplanned and imperfect.