Thursday, December 24, 2009

New York Times Lens Blog: Families, One and All

The New York Times Lens Blog called for reader submissions on the subject of family, the spirit of family, not blood relations. Like the landmark exhibition The Family of Man, 282 readers pictures portrayed the ties that bind each of us in ways that are, for lack of a better word, familial. I submitted a favorite picture of my wife and daughter (left), asleep and snuggled closely like they always do, on a chilly December day last year, two days before Christmas. The photo is on page 3, row 2, picture number 5 from the left. Two people I love in my favorite newspaper, on Christmas Eve: happy holidays, indeed!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas presents

KC and Wesley, Oakland, December 2009.

Being a photographer comes in handy during the holiday gift-giving season. When one has 23 nephews and nieces on his wife's side alone, many of whom are having babies of their own, it's a lifesaver. No shopping, no Gap sweaters, no mad rush. Line them up against a canvas drop, take 200 shots apiece, print, frame, and voila! Christmas presents!

Scheduling the shoot is a challenge. The ideal way to do it is to take the pictures on Thanksgiving when the family is gathered together in one place. I missed that chance because of a trip to New York so my sessions have been spread over two weekends; I'm one-third done.

For picture frames, nothing beats Ikea. The Ribba line, available in black, white and silver, comes in many sizes and styles. The Ribba frames are well crafted, modern looking, and, above all, inexpensive.

For this holiday season, try giving the gift of pictures. It's a great way to have a good laugh with your loved ones while they channel their inner supermodel. Make a big pot of ragu while you're at it. Modeling makes them hungry.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009