My kids and I have taken photos every year at the same Walnut Creek location for almost ten years. When we started, we called our spot “the meadow.” Recently, “our meadow” has been developed and named “The Orchards.”
We visited our meadow again last weekend after my son’s baseball game. It was the first day of the “time change,” which gave us an extra hour of sunlight. The 2017 Annual Farley Family Photos.
My kids were not happy with the change.They missed the open space. They felt that something special had been taken, but they made it work.
Watching my son, reminded me of this picture from 2010. Mason was about the same age as the boy he met last weekend.
Even though my daughter was sad about the changes, I was proud that she noticed some of the new trees had not been planted correctly.… Read the rest
Today is my birthday. My son’s birthday was six days ago. (I am a little older than he is.)
Just as I did with my daughter on her tenth birthday, my son and I returned to the hospital where he was born ten years earlier for a photo shoot reunion. This time my daughter joined us since she had also been there when my son was born.
My daughter called the hospital “Magic Land,” because it gave life. (You can see and read more here.) Mason did not seem as reverential as his sister, but that does not mean he dismisses magic or life.
When we visited the Magic Kingdom six years ago, it rained much of the weekend. Mason found life where many of us found disappointment.
Mason likes magic. Unfortunately, I could not find the old photos of “Mason the Magician,” but I found many wonderful memories.… Read the rest
For the last seven seasons, my children and I have visited the same location for family portraits. We bring at least two cameras and take photos of each other. My daughter took the picture of me that might still be at the top called the “featured image.” In 2010 I called this trip the “Farley Photo Pilgrimage.” A high school friend and her children joined us the first year; another high school friend and his daughter joined us last year. The kids’ mother joined us once or twice. Every year we visited the same meadow… until this year.
This year the meadow became a construction site.
We visited our new construction site on my birthday this year. It seemed appropriate to visit a construction site at the beginning of a new year since our family is being rebuilt. Families and meadows are constantly changing.
If you are interested, you can view more photos from the 2010 trip that ended with a visit to the doctor for stitches.… Read the rest
At the high school where I teach, students wear shirts that say, “You are stronger than you think.” Besides having epilepsy, I have dyslexia fueled by paranoia, so that the first few times I read the shirt, I thought it said,
You are STRANGER than you think.
As a person who has lived with epilepsy the last 30 years, I am probably a little stranger than I think I am. I do not always play by the same rules as everyone else, because I am unable to do so. The rules were not designed for people like me, so I have been forced to go my own way. In my effort to fit in, I have become strange. I am stranger than I think… but here is the joke. Everyone is a stranger. Everyone is different. It is as if we are, to paraphrase a Jack Johnson song “Stranger Together.”
When I had my first seizure 30 years ago, I was a high school student.… Read the rest
Tonight my daughter Emily and I visited Alta Bates Summit Medical Center where she was born ten years ago. Emily called the hospital “Magic Land,” because it “gives life.”
Ten years ago today was the best day of my life, because it was the day I started being a father. There is nothing better than being a father. Ten years ago today I also started taking photographs of my daughter. The gallery I created for Emily’s 10th birthday contains about 100 photographs as of tonight.
Today is also the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ American Invasion. (Their first concert was in Washington, D.C. on February 11, 1964.) While I celebrated the Beatles and an R&B musician who inspired Emily’s middle name, I also listened to a George Strait song during my morning commute. When Emily was four, “I Saw God Today” was the CMA Single of the Year.… Read the rest
Last week I attended the Sonoma County College & Career-Ready Fair at Windsor High School. Almost ten years ago, I had an idea that high school students in Sonoma County should have a Fall college fair. I worked for a college and when I visited the local high schools, I realized that many schools had eliminated theie college counselors. Students were not receiving information about college. It was unfair.
You can view more College Fair photos here.
I approached many people with my idea, but only one person had the vision necessary to sustain the event. Chris Vetrano, the assistant principal at Windsor High School, knew how to organize events. With the help of many other community organizers, she has built a successful annual event.
I attend each year to remember what inspires me. I am inspired by people who are willing to help others. I am inspired by people like Chris who can see a crazy idea and create a successful event.… Read the rest
I have photographed the Vans Warped Tour the last four years and even though I am clearly not the targeted demographic, I have loved every year. (This year, I photographed twenty six bands in one day. 26!) After only one hour at Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheater, I was humming the (new/old Blink 182) song “What’s My Age Again,” and believing the Warped Tour’s slogan — “Best Day Ever.”
Now, for the challenge! I am going to translate the Vans Warped experience for older music fans.
Last week, one of my friends, Diana Butler Bass, asked her Facebook audience, “How, exactly, does one explain Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow to one’s 15 year old kid?” Many of her friends responded, but I do not think any of us had the right answer, perhaps because some questions are better unanswered. It is probably better that I never asked my parents to explain Starland Vocal Band‘s 1976 suggestive number one hit song “Afternoon Delight” when I was 8, which is about the same age as my children now.… Read the rest