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American Ingenuity on Display!

My husband flies model airplanes, and my son flies real ones. They passed along these photos from a piece on the Internet, which goes to show how important ingenuity is in getting the job done . . . a fact that applies not only to the business of photography, but also to getting yourself out of an even bigger fix. Here's the story:

During a private "fly-in" fishing excursion in the Alaskan wilderness, the chartered pilot and fishermen left a cooler and bait in the plane. And a bear smelled it. This is what the bear did to the plane.


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The pilot used his radio and had another pilot bring him 2 new tires, 3 cases of duct tape, and a supply of sheet plastic. He patched the plane together, and FLEW IT HOME !


The moral of this story is exactly what photographers who know their stuff know to be true: Duct tape: Never Leave Home Without It!

Celebrate the New Year; Celebrate Getting Older!

I really loved this column I found on the Internet. It was written by Regina Brett of the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. Her “life lessons” are appropriate to reflect upon as we start a new year. I hope Regina won’t mind that I added 5 more lessons concerning business to make the number round out at 50. Thanks Regina!

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

1 Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2 When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3 Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4 Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5 Pay off your credit cards every month.
6 You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7 Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8 It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9 Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10 When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11 Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12 It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13 Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14 If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15 Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16 Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17 Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18 Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19 It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20 When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21 Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22 Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23 Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24 The most important sex organ is the brain.
25 No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26 Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27 Always choose life: YOURS.
28 Forgive everyone everything. But if you can't, put them away so they can no longer hurt you.
29 What other people think of you is none of your business.
30 Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31 However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32 Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33 Believe in miracles.
34 God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35 Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36 Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37 Your children get only one childhood.
38 All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39 Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40 If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41 Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42 The best is yet to come.
43 No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44 Friends are the family you choose.
45 Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
46 An easy way to grow a bank account is to buy necessities at a second-hand store and put what you saved in the bank.
47 Life is easier when you are debt-free.
48 You can’t improve what you can’t measure.
49 Measure twice and cut once.
50 If you believe you can’t accomplish something, you are right!

Next Stop Imaging USA!

I shot this image of the Alamo last year during a fun visit to San Antonio, one of My favorite towns, with Carol Andrews Jensen and her husband, Greg. Carol and I will be back in San Antonio to teach the SMS Business Basics class at ImagingUSA on January 13 and 14. San Antonio will be a great backdrop for IUSA, and I look forward to seeing many friends there! if you plan to arrive on Saturday, January 15, the day before IUSA opens, don’t miss out on the PPA Charities Celebration event, which you can snag some great deals during the live and silent auction. For more information, log on to the PPA Charities website. I hope to see you there!

A Happy New Year in 2011?

As chaotic and problematic as 2011 is likely to be for business, I know it will be a happy new year if our friends and fellow studio owners, Jed and Vicki Taufer, and the other American families stranded in Nepal with their adoptive children, manage to get back to the US — sooner rather than later.

The Taufers are one of 56 American families struggling to bring their legally adopted children back to America. Vicki has been in Nepal with Nima since August awaiting a visa to allow them to enter the U.S.; Jed joined them on Christmas Eve, but he must return to the U.S. soon.
Read about their story here.

The fact is, Jed and Vicki need our help to bring their precious adopted daughter, Nima Jade, home.

There are two ways you can help Vicki, Jed, and Nima:

THIS LINK AND SIGN THE PETITION OR COPY AND PASTE THIS TO YOUR BROWSER: http://www.petition2congress.com/3867/bring-stranded-nepali-adoptees-home-now/

CLICKING HERE. So far Jed and Vicki and their supportive families have borne the tremendous financial burden of fighting for Nima by themselves, but you can just imagine how emotionally and financially crushing it is to run a business and advocate for your child in a country so far away at the same time. The Taufers' generosity is well known throughout the photography industry, so now it's time for us to reach out to help them.

Whether or not you are in a position contribute, take a moment to view Vicki’s incredible images of Nepal and the beautiful children who are waiting to be embraced by loving families and communities here in America. Thousands of people now know their stories because of the talent and commitment of Vicki and Jed Taufer to share these images around the globe. Please hold them all in your hearts and help any way you can!