I have an old metal tin, which I’ve used since childhood to hold many of my keepsakes: my lost teeth, photos of puppies, gumball machine rings, Girl Scout badges, and a ballerina necklace. This old tin also holds something special from my grandpa, an old square dancing belt buckle.


It is amazing how many memories can be evoked from the discovery of just one object.

Finding this belt buckle brought back more than just a memory of how much my grandma and grandpa enjoyed square dancing together. I was reminded how I loved to go and visit them at their house in San Francisco, how excited I was when they let my brothers and I “paint” their garage with paint cans filled with water, and how much fun we had playing Yahtzee at their dining room table. I remember the sleepovers, hunting for Easter Eggs, taking the bus to go shopping, and even the sound of their voices cheering for the San Francisco Giants as we listened to the game on the radio.

Most importantly, I remember the love I felt from them, my love for them (then and now), and their kindness toward each other, and to all of us.

Now, as a parent, it warms my heart to watch the bond between our children and their grandparents grow. They may not understand how fortunate they are to have these relationships now, but, when they are older, I hope that they look back at this time in their lives with fondness, just as I am doing now.

In these moments, I miss my grandparents, immensely. I am grateful that I have so many wonderful memories of my time with them.

Thank you, grandma and grandpa!

Unexpected Reflections

With my camera at my side, I set out for downtown, hoping to find a vintage car or two to photograph. As luck would have it, I came across a 1950 Ford F1 truck (parked in perfect light!) and began photographing the details.


f-103-3rd365-5661I soon noticed incredible reflections of color and

f-103-3rd365-5669was surprised at how clearly the details of my surroundings seemed to jump right off of the black paint of the truck.

f-103-3rd365-5676I heard a car coming, stepped aside, and continued to admire the reflections. Through my viewfinder, I watched a new reflection move up the side of the truck. A new reflection, which provided me with more to admire

f-103-3rd365-5703and to focus on.


Another vintage Ford (from the 1930s) parked right next to me!


I woke up today needing to photograph words. In those early morning hours, I honestly wished I knew why.

In taking photos every day, I have realized that some of my photos are inspired, some are the result of patience and waiting to capture a story, and some images (because I spend a lot of time looking and seeing what’s going on around me) unfold before me. Other photos fulfill another purpose; they satisfy a personal need. The latter being the most difficult for me, since the reasons behind what I need are not always clear.

Taking photos this morning was challenging. My initial search for words offered results with neither meaning nor purpose; I was definitely trying too hard to make a photo happen and forcing a photo never works for me!

I put my camera down for a bit. When I stopped trying so hard, I found the words I needed, right on my computer monitor. (Thanks, Jackie!)


When I read these words, I knew that I had found exactly what I needed and understood why I needed to find them.

This photo serves as a personal reminder to continue doing what makes me happy; I hope that you continue to do the same!

Storytelling: Learning to ride a bike

Our daughter woke up early yesterday, full of enthusiasm; she was ready to learn how to ride her bike without training wheels.


After a lot of practice with us at her side, she gained the balance and confidence she needed to ride on her own.

With a little extra convincing, she was ready to give it a try, without any help.


She pushed off and rode the length of the playground on her own,

Jean_H_de_Buren_bike_5291over and over again,

Jean_H_de_Buren_Bike_5224beaming with pride!

Jean_H_de_Buren_Bike_5204Such a huge accomplishment! We are all so proud of you!


The Cemetery

Recently, a friend and I decided to get together, visit a new destination, and take photos. When she suggested that we visit a local cemetery, I was completely open to the idea, but found myself wondering how I should go about capturing images in a such a place.

When we arrived, I felt a bit lost and overwhelmed; I wondered how to properly show respect while taking photos in a cemetery. I needed to get comfortable, especially since I was so focused on figuring out how I should take photos.

I get comfortable by starting small and focusing on details.


I needed to walk around, quietly observe, and to get away from focusing on should so that I could find both a connection to the cemetery and my voice. So, I explored.


Then, it happened; I found light, my constant companion on my photographic journey, and my voice became clear.


As fond memories of my grandparents came to my mind, I found a needed connection with the cemetery. I began to see stories all around me; stories that, I imagine, have been here, waiting to be discovered and shared.


I was no longer thinking about how I should be taking photos; I just did what came naturally. I found a way to capture the story and the respect that pressed so heavily on me when we first arrived at the cemetery.


This photo outing proved to be a much more challenging experience than I anticipated, both personally and photographically; I am thankful for the experience!