When life has you running around in circles – changing your direction every few minutes, don’t forget the special people in your life.

Stop. Take a breath. Take another breath, but bigger. Hug those close by. Listen to their stories. Appreciate them for all that they do. And even when you are not at your best… take pictures. Lots. These are what the memories are made of.

I get it. Really. I do. Too old, too young, too big, too little, hair-cuts, no clothes that look right, the zit that just. won’t. go. away. I get it! But there is that but… and not butt… but “but” – when they are gone, or you are gone, who is going to tell that story? What is going to tell that story? Pictures will.

Vacations, special events such as weddings, baptisms, births, graduation and so much more need to be told and shared! I’m not saying pull out the slide show projector and show 250 pictures of the cactus you took while on vacation… I’m saying take pictures of the family! And you – and you know who I am talking to… the one who is ALWAYS behind the camera taking pictures and never in FRONT of the camera… yes you… you HAVE to get in front of the camera too. Have to. Nuff said.

Because if you don’t, you won’t get special moments like this –

I can tell you – we all had our own flaws to deal with. Too small, too big, not dressed right, acne – the list could go on. But we had this moment where we could all get together and capture this great event, where Mom and her 2 daughters and their own daughters could be together. We all moaned and groaned about the photo, but knew in our heart that we were already lucky to be with mom on this day, that a picture with mom for just a few seconds would not kill us. Maybe that I posted it on my site will kill a few, but in general, it wouldn’t hurt us to pose and take the picture.

Where am I going with this? Take pictures of the family.

LOTS of family pictures.

Most of all? Print them! I’m done with cd’s with pictures that never get printed. Don’t keep the blurry, out of focused photos – keep the good ones. If you have a digital camera, look at your picture in the screen – see if the lighting was good, did anything get in the way of anyone? did you get everyone smiling? could see everyone? If not – slow down and try it again.

And another message to those who don’t like their picture taken and they hide behind someone? Especially in group pictures? Don’t do it. I know you don’t want your picture taken, but this will not kill you. Trust me. Taking your picture will not hurt you!

Don’t forget the pets! I have photographed many pets of the family over the past few years, and though they are not the most cooperative member of the family, I do capture the best of your 4 legged best friends.

Family – we all have them, and sometimes they drive us batty but we love them dearly and we must preserve their memories and the moments we share with them.

So this is for my own mom – who I have been blessed to have in my life. She had a heart-attack 18 years ago this month and was told she should never had made it and this past week I was with her as she had heart surgery again that came with good news and I hope for another 18 years or more with her…