People and Portraits

February 19th in Reedley

One month ago today, I spent the morning in Reedley, California with my children and some of our good friends. We visited four generations of their family. The oldest is about one hundred years older than the youngest. February 19th is the anniversary of Executive Order 9066 signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. More than 100,000 […]

A Kaleidoscope of Resolutions

New Year’s Eve, 2017 Pt. Richmond, California   “A day is a span of time no one is wealthy enough to waste.” – from my son’s fortune cookie after our photo shoot This year is the fourth year that I have photographed Christine Findley and her daughter. Each year I photograph them around Christmas. It […]

Farley Family Photos – The Orchards

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 […]

A Letter to a Teenager

Today my daughter is 13 years and 13 days old. As she approached thirteen, we discussed the significance of her becoming a teenager… and we both realized that we did not feel anything different. It felt like just another year. When she was ten, I collected photographs from her first ten years. One of the […]

Mason Farley – And The Family Stone

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 […]

2016 Farley Family Photo Transition

We have a family photo tradition that mirrors our family. My two children and I have gone to the same location since 2008 and taken photos in an urban meadow. During the last two years, the meadow became a construction site. While our meadow became a shopping mall, our family split into two households in two cities. I guess there is a metaphor […]

Birthday Dozen

My daughter turned twelve last week. She held a “Cupcake War” birthday party and created original desserts. Before the party, I reminisced about my twelfth birthday and shared some of the memories with her. During the party, I photographed Emily and her friends and the “guest judges,” including her nine year old brother. I photographed her the next day […]

Classy Senior

Last week I photographed my friend’s daughter Haylie. Haylie is a high school senior. I was a high school senior when her mother Kimberley started 9th grade. We had met several years earlier when we were just kids, but we did not become friends until high school. Even then, I could have been a better friend. […]

Farley Family Photography Pilgrimage

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 […]

Christmas Portraits in Clayton California

Christmas Day 2014 Clayton, California   To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up Oscar Wilde, from The Importance of Being Earnest On Christmas Day, I visited a mother and her daughter in Clayton, California. I brought my camera and received the gift of their company. During the drive, I wondered […]

Tanner Family Aloha

When I photographed the Tanner family last Sunday, the parents and two kids had just returned from a Hawaiian vacation. I have known Nicole since we both attended UC Santa Barbara (more than) a few years ago. Now we both live about three miles from each other in the Bay Area. While I was taking […]

Everyone is Adopted

Everyone is adopted… some of us are more adopted than others.   I was adopted 46 years ago today on July 3, 1968. As long as I have known my life story, I have known that I was adopted. I have always loved being adopted. I wish that every child could be adopted, even if […]

Emily Farley – Yesterday and Today

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 […]

From Mexico with Gold

When I traveled to Mexico City four years ago, I never expected that I would meet Olympic Gold medalist Tommie Smith one day. Four years ago, I was thrilled to see the outside of the Estadio Olimpico Universitario during a family vacation to Mexico. This year I met Tommie Smith. The 1968 Summer Games were important […]

Family Portraits at Mills College Oakland

Last month I started teaching photography at Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California. I love teaching, but I miss being a photographer. Fortunately, I was able to be a photographer last weekend when a friend asked me to photograph her family. We met at Mills College in Oakland, California for a portrait session with her […]

Peace, Love, Happiness and Nashville

Suicide. When I started writing  A Letter to Fathers Considering Suicide in the Digital Age, I knew that there were no good days for a father to commit suicide. I quickly realized that there were not any good days to discuss suicide. I eventually published on my mother and step-father’s 25th wedding anniversary. I could […]

The Effect of Butterfly Suicides And Maroon 45

“The moment that you feel that just possibly, you are walking down the street naked exposing too much of your heart and your mind … that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.” “Sometimes life is hard… and when things get tough this is what you should do… Make Good Art” – Neil Gaiman, […]

Sausal Creek Trail Field Trip for Melrose Leadership Academy

I often tell my son, “Today is a good day. Do you know why?” He does. If he is having trouble, he reluctantly answers, “Because you get to spend it with me.” And it is true. Every day I spend with my boy (or my daughter) is a good day. Yesterday, was a great day, […]

Dancing Across The Curriculum

A year after I interviewed writers for my March 2010 Open Heart Insert Foot series, I began a similar project with photographers. The 2011 series had the “inspiring” (and misleading) title, March Portfolio and Social Media Project. While the interviews began in March 2011, they continued into mid-May 2011. By new technology standards, I marched […]

Super Secret Marketing Plan

Super Bowl Sunday is the one day that Americans forget we hate television commercials. Companies will pay at least 4 million dollars for each thirty second advertising spot during the game. If I understood marketing, I could explain why companies continue investing more money on Super Bowl ads each year, but I do not even know how […]

Melrose Leadership Academy After School Assembly

When parents toured Melrose Leadership Academy during the current school year, many asked about our after school program. Parents, grandparents and guardians asked if our students learned about different cultures. We were asked if our children were engaged and challenged. Most people wondered if there were enough physical activity. Nobody asked if the parents were […]

2012 Favorite Photo Session

Each year when I review my pictures, I am surprised by how many images I have taken. This year I knew there were fewer photographs, because I was injured in an April car accident. I planned to separate the pictures into a Best of Part 1 and a Best of Part 2. Then I saw […]

Tanner Family Portraits

The last week, I have reconnected to my UC Santa Barbara past. In addition to visiting with a few former University of California Santa Barbara Gauchos, I attended the Cal-UCSB basketball game on the Berkeley campus. Before the game, the UCSB Alumni Association sponsored a Pre-Game reception.  On Saturday, I also photographed the Tanner family. […]

Alicia Stephens and her beautiful Jewel of a baby

Six months ago, Alicia Stephens became a mother. This is her daughter and their first Christmas together.   I met Alicia when both of us worked for the Upward Bound Program at the University of San Francisco. Upward Bound is a government program that supports low income first generation college bound high school students. Recently, new non-profits […]