In my long career as a professional image maker, I’ve been to countless conferences, workshops, and seminars. One of my favorites is Imaging USA, put on annually by Professional Photographers of America(PPA), and it’s always a grand affair. For the past 6 years I haven’t missed one. It’s always good to connect with old friends while making new ones, in addition to attending the workshops and presentations.
This time I went with a different purpose–to interview photographers who had started their photography career after the age of 50. What an interesting variety of people and stories! We interviewed a retired pediatric surgeon, anesthetist, radio engineer and school teacher,to name a few. We had a total of nine individuals passionately pursuing their second dream career of photography. Their specialities ran the gamut: pet photography , children and families, photojournalism, and even weddings! ( Weddings, which I personally stopped when I got closer to 50 because I just didn’t want that particular hectic pace any longer).
They inspired me!
Never too old, Never too late..
You will meet them in an upcoming episode of Silver Sage, and we know their stories will inspire you!
In the meanwhile, check out this article I wrote for the online community Sixty and me and get some ideas on how to pursue the hidden gifts and talents in you!
I’m a volunteer photographer for the Heart Galley of Los Angeles. The Heart Gallery LA is an online photo gallery as well as a traveling photographic exhibit created to find forever families for children in the Los Angeles county foster care system.
Recently, the photo shoots were done at the LA Arboretum. These two sisters were my first ones for the day. They were 10 and 7 and they were a hoot. Not afraid to speak up and tell me what kind of photos THEY wanted to take. That’s what was going on in this clip. “can we take pictures looking at the water?’. ‘can we take pictures looking at the sky?’ can we take pictures ‘like this’ (striking a pose). I told them once I got the pictures I needed, yes.. they could give me some direction as to what they wanted. and we spent about an hour checking out different locations in the garden.
When photographing the children, requirements include getting standing full-body shots, smiling and personality images, and siblings must be photographed together… no individual shots.
You can find out more information about the Heart Gallery, and the children looking for Forever Families, here
Wow. What a shock for the historic Summit Inn to become a casualty of the Blue Cut Fire that raged through the Cajon Pass and surrounding areas August 16.
We were just there in July, filming my interview with Route 66 expert Jim Conkle. This was my first time being there.
I perused the gift shop full of Route 66 items. (I had another first — I bought 5 lottery tickets from the gift shop– they were all duds.)
He had his first ostrich burger with a big chocolate shake.
I had an orange soda float… reminded me of the 50/50 ice cream bars I used to love as a youngling.
Word is they’re going to rebuild. Glad to hear that.
This past weekend, we filmed a long-planned trial segment to see how we’d do with a baking episode. My partner in
crime creating, is my cousin Paula. She and I started baking together when we were quite young… somewhere around 9 and 10 years old. And we usually conducted our joint baking ventures when we were babysitting our younger siblings . All us kids (8-12 of us) would be together in one house…either hers or mine… while our mothers were out shopping (or just enjoying themselves with a kid-free time). We had already been cooking and baking at a young age with our mothers, so we were quite responsible and knew what to do unsupervised. (In the photo above, Paula is on the left, me on the right, and that’s her oldest brother between us. She and I were about 19 & 20.)
We mostly baked what we call ‘box cakes’… the Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines cake mixes. It was always a 2 – layer cake, with frosting made from powdered sugar mixed with a little butter and milk, and tinted with food color.
We’d assemble that two layer cake with frosting and hold our breathes… to no avail. That darn top layer would always split in half and slide off ! We started using toothpicks to keep it anchored, however that split top layer continually plagued us.
Those times of making ’box cakes’ has been long gone for years now, and we each do all of our cake-baking now from scratch. So we did enough footage for 2 episodes… I did a German Chocolate Cake, and she did a Coconut Pineapple Cake.
Oh, the title of this blog post? We were both born in Mobile, Alabama. Our families are southern and our mothers’ taught us the Southern way of cooking. So Paula came up with the name for this fledgling cooking venture –Strictly from the South. Though we were both born and lived in the South in our young years, our families migrated to California to a little blue-collar city called Compton. Here is where we began and completed our k-12 education. So we joke … are we indeed strictly from the South, or are we instead,.. Straight Outta Compton?
We were in Lancaster, California on Valentine’s Day, filming several scenes for a documentary we are producing From the Heart of A G
The setting for this particular scene is a hidden, hole-in-the-wall, club, with an oldies crooner providing the entertainment. The oldies crooner hired was Norma Carter of the Delfonics–a group I started following when I was in junior high school!.
So, I guess that puts me in the ‘oldie’ category, eh ?
Grateful to have my friend, Dr. Leita Harris, agree to cover some health issues facing women after the age of 50. We’ve known each other for quite a while, and we covered the topics of stress and menopause, discussed in a way to benefit men, also.
Another thing Dr. Harris and I have in common–we both have mentoring programs for adolescent and teen girls, and at times we collaborate with our programs.
Here is a 31 second humorous clip from our discussion on menopause.
If you were to get into a conversation as to where the richest place on earth are, wealthy cities such as Abu Dhabi and Tokyo would likely come up in the discourse. But are cities like these truly the richest places on earth?
“The graveyard is the richest place on the surface of the earth because there you will see the books that were not published, ideas that were not harnessed, songs that were not sung, and drama pieces that were never acted”. From Maximizing Your Potential by Myles Monroe
So many leave this world with the gifts and offerings that will enrich themselves and others–still in them.
Death comes and it doesn’t discriminate. Doesn’t matter your age. Your occupation or lack of one. How important or unimportant you may be. How many gifts and talents you have to contribute to the world, or how much you have already contributed. Doesn’t care what future plans you have or dreams there are within you. Doesn’t know the meaning of ’ waiting until it’s ‘convenient’
Death is an equal opportunity event. We are all mortal…and we all eventually die. And we’re not privy to know when it will be.
In a commencement address at Stanford in 2005, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said:
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart
If you knew you were going to die soon, what are things you would be doing differently now, to bring unfulfilled dreams within you to pass?
I teach photography-based personal development workshops, and the photograph of the cemetery is one that I use in a lesson encouraging participants to search for and discover God-given dreams and talents…and then help them identifying and implementing steps they can take now to move towards that dream.
I’ve found it important to take time, periodically, to review my life and aspirations and ask God and myself…Am I doing the best I can to fulfill what I’ve been put on this earth for?