Archive for the ‘childrens photography’ Category

New Years Resolution…Divorce!

January 4, 2012

Bitter cold winds whip across the lawn as I drag out the remnants of Christmas past. This magnificent, beautiful tree that once caught my fancy over all the others looks dry and limp now.

Every year I wrestle over when to get rid of it. Too soon and you risk incurring the wrath of those still reeling over the brevity of the Kardashian “marriage”. Wait too long and you become rather attached to the memory of the holiday magic and it’s harder to let go.

The New Year, for most of us, ushers in little change, despite our ritual resolutions. But for some, the stress of the holidays proves to be the breaking point. The tree becomes a metaphor for their spouse. They resolve to radically change their life this year by breaking from the family.

Save for a few celebrities, divorce is a process surrounded by challenges. Challenges that are new to us.
One is wise to look for assistance, as early as possible, from competent folks who are trained in such matters.

Lawyers, accountants, therapists and clergy can all help guide you through this difficult process.

“How does THIS relate to photography?” you might ask.

Good question!

And I have an equally good answer.

Late last year I was contacted by several photographers who shared stories of how photography had helped them to heal and get their life back on track after divorce. It helped them get past feelings of loneliness and restore their confidence. It gave them a sense of purpose and opportunities to meet and interact with fun new people. Exactly the results you would expect if you’d read my survey results.

Not willing to settle for hearsay evidence, I went to an expert on matters of divorce and had a wonderful conversation with Dr. Lisa Rene Reynolds, therapist and author of the new book, “Parenting Through Divorce – Helping Your Children Thrive During and After the Split”.

You can listen to the full interview at the bottom of the article here:

Listen to this enlightening interview with Dr. Reynolds on Photography and Divorce now.

Even if you’re happily married, or long past your divorce, you’ll find great tips on using photography to keep your life happy and healthy…or maybe help someone you know get through this difficult time.

*** Listen all the way through to discover how even smart phone cameras are getting in on the action!

(This article was reprinted courtesy of


Photography Reflects Me

July 7, 2011
"Camera Mirror"
Camera Mirror Photo

Is there anyone who can walk past the looking glass without taking a peek?

Whether it’s a store window, bathroom mirror, hall mirror, or our own distorted reflection in the brass handrail, we simply can’t pass up the opportunity to have a look at ourselves.

But we sure don’t want anyone to take our picture!!!

As a photographer, I’m occasionally drawn more to the reflection of an object than the object itself. One day, while working on a project, I had set the camera down briefly and then found myself looking straight into the front of the lens. I could see a perfect reflection of myself.

“Photography reflects me,” I thought.

Later that day I got to thinking about how photography really does reflect me, and it reflects all the folks who enjoy picking up the camera as a hobby or profession. Our photos, our final work, is not only what we saw physically in the scene, but it is also part of our vision. Part of our personality. Part of our being.

I got to thinking about how fun it would be to have a desk or wall accessory that was shaped like a camera but had a mirror where the lens would normally be. Then everyone who walked by could “see” themselves in the “camera” without fear of actually having their photo taken.

Not finding them anywhere online, I decided to make one…and then another! Folks loved them! Appropriately, I name this camera mirror, “REFLEX ME”.

The photo above is a side view.

It’s sure to make you smile. It gets me every time!
Makes a great one-of-a-kind gift for your favorite photographer too!

Made right here, in Buffalo, NY by yours truly…
Robert Schwarztrauber

P.S. If you’d like to see more views or get one for yourself or a friend, go to:

Time for a New and Exciting View

December 18, 2010

Niagara Falls Best ViewMaybe this has happened to you too…

The other night I was watching “Build It Bigger” on The Discovery Channel. They were showing how the Hoover Dam was built. I’ve always been fascinated by how some of these giant structures come to be.

In fact, I was so wrapped up in the program that I didn’t hear my daughter ask me a question. “Dad, didn’t you hear me?” she asked.

“No, I was hypnotized by the TV,” I said.

Truth be told, I was not really hypnotized by the  tube, but the results were the same as if I had been. In reality, I was simply experiencing the effects of tremendous focus. Concentration. In that state we block out unrelated sights and sounds until they suddenly startle us from our trance.

It is a known fact that most of the world’s greatest success stories are born of this great concentration. Someone with great vision and persistence (often called FOCUS) was able to accomplish in one lifetime what the millions who came before him or her never could.

Some people say it’s hard to concentrate, hard to stay focused. And yet everyday millions of people will sit hypnotized for hours in front of the TV. Concentrating on the plethora of nonsense borne of viewer polls and advertising statistics. If it’s loud and changes views every 7 seconds, we’ll watch it – good, bad, or ugly. Especially bad or ugly.

But there is a better view available. One that lets you choose the best scenes in the world. Surprisingly, some of them can be found right in your own backyard. (Like Niagara Falls is to me. See photo above).One that lets you get your body moving, one that lets you meet new people, one that lets you feel better about yourself instead of worse.

There is a view that will train your mind to concentrate, to focus as you’ve never done before.

Let’s recap.

Better concentration. More fun, more physical activity. More people meeting. More praise. A heightened sense of self-respect and a general overall good feeling about one’s self.

“Sounds pretty good,” you say. “How can I get that view?”

Well, it is as near as the back of your camera. It’s called, oddly enough, a viewfinder.

Ironic, the simplicity. We all walk around hoping for something new and exciting to appear in our life, but though we want another view, how many of us actually go to the VIEW FINDER?

Millions of photographers do worldwide. But all those extra benefits I mentioned in the recap are often kept quiet, and discussed infrequently, and just amongst ourselves. You can join us if you like! We’ve got a great view on life because everyday we get up and look for what’s beautiful in this world. Studies have shown that what we look for, what we think about most in our life, comes to be. We create our own reality – which is merely a reflection of our thoughts.

This year is about to close. I can promise that if you do nothing to change the view, the view will still be the same next year. And the year after that. You’ll sleepwalk  through life, hypnotized by the folks who do have a better view.

Why not get a little serious about photography now?

The physical, mental and even economic rewards can be great. But as they say…you’ve got to participate.

Robert Schwarztrauber

P.S. If you’re interested in using your viewfinder (your camera) to really improve your health, wealth and wisdom in the coming year, send me an email and I’ll be sure to put you on my pre-publication list for my soon-to-be-released home-study photography program. Unlike other programs, this one’s not designed to push you toward achieving worldly artistic greatness, but is focused instead on a simple,  fun way to achieve your own personal satisfaction, and better physical and mental health through digital photography.

Send your emails to:

The Secret to Getting Something Better

February 4, 2010
“What you see is what you get!”

There’s a reason why quotes become common place. It’s because they have been shown to be true. Otherwise, once said, they would quickly be dismissed and forgotten.

“What you see is what you get” goes deeper than just taking things at face value. It means more than getting exactly what you see in front of you and nothing more.

What you see and how you see it actually define your reality. Notice I say YOUR REALITY and not just reality. We all live in the same world, but we don’t perceive it that way.

If I wake up one day, and it’s snowing and cold outside, I might think this is terrible weather for driving the kids to school. If you’re an avid skier you might wake up and think the weather is excellent today. We both wake up in the same exact world, but our reality is different.

We “SEE” things differently – just as if we were wearing colored glasses.

Colored glasses on our brain that is. Everything we think is “colored” by our past experience, good or bad. Everything we think is colored by our emotions that day. If I’m grumpy, the world takes on a sort of gray color that day. If I’m happy, the world seems a bright sunny yellow.

Fortunately, the color of our glasses is completely under our control. No external forces can make you feel anything you don’t want to feel. No external forces can make you SEE things a certain way. Our creator, in his infinite wisdom, gave us complete control over only one thing…what we think. In effect, the ability to change the color of our glasses.

Having been given complete control over only one thing, it makes you wonder and appreciate just how important that one thing is. Seems it’s all important. You can change, at any time, what you think. That’s powerful!

Changing your thoughts can change your life…in the instant you decide to do so.

There is no “reality”. The world, and every smallest part of it, is just what and how you choose to see it.

You are the creator of YOUR WORLD!

If you’re looking for the fastest, easiest way to change anything in your life, I have included the proven secret on page 15 of “Building Blocks of Prosperity”.

Robert Schwarztrauber

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

January 8, 2010

Building Blocks of Prosperity Too cold to get out for your regular photowalk?

Don’t worry! We can find plenty to do indoors while we wait for warmer weather to come around again.

No need to put  your  camera away for the winter.  No need to feel those winter blues at all.

We only get to feeling low when we fail to keep our activity level high.

With that in mind, here are 5 great activities you can begin indoors to keep your body moving and build your brain power.

5 Photo-Smart Ways to Beat those Winter Blues

1. Learn and Practice Macro Photography.

Macro photography is essentially close-up or ultra-close-up photography.  It requires learning a few special techniques but most folks can get started right away with the equipment they already have or equipment that can be improvised from ordinary household items. It can really be a lot of fun and give you a whole new perspective on things. Exactly the cure when you’re feeling trapped indoors.

2. Create a Legacy – Publish your Own Photography Book

What better way to insure that your photo treasures are enjoyed for generations to come! Instead of stuffing your 4×6 prints in an ordinary photo album, why not grab 100 of your very best (or favorite) photographs and create your very own hardcover book? It’s easy now with many online printing sources to choose from. If you can drag and drop, you already have all the skills you need. I just finished a children’s book, “Building Blocks of Prosperity” using the online software. It’s super easy to use and you can add additional text and graphics. Plus, the quality of the finished hardcover book and the price can’t be beat. Avoid the cheap paperback version. If you’ve always wanted to be published, do it yourself this winter. Imagine how proud you’ll be!

3. Hone Your Photography Skills

Practice, practice, practice! Get out your camera’s manual and discover what it can really do. Get online and search photography techniques on Google, then practice them. You’ll learn all sorts of new things to become a more versatile photographer come springtime. If you use Photoshop, there’s no end to the things you can learn and practice.

4. Practice Studio Photography

Ever wanted to start your own small business? Taking portraits of folks from babies, to teens, to families, and pets can be a great new way to bring in some added income. New income plus new skills can really give you a warm and fuzzy feeling to get you through the winter.

5. Start Your Own Blog

Everyone knows something. Share your special knowledge with folks online. Even if no one ever comes to visit your blog (unlikely) you’ll still be amazed at how much you learn (and have to keep learning) when you commit to sharing your knowledge and  helping others. Plus,  feedback and comments from your readers can really lift your spirits.

There’s 5 simple starters for you. Fell free to mix and match, or use the inspiration to come up with your own unique plan. Just get busy!

Action! That’s the key to beating those winter blues. And for us photography lovers, there’s never an end to the activities and skills that we can pursue.

Robert Schwarztrauber

PS: If you’d like more information on my book, “Building Blocks of Prosperity” you can visit:

Literacy Through Photography

October 6, 2009

Forest Girls Frame-sm One of the greatest things about photography is it’s ability to enrich the lives of folks young and old.

I’ve written here many times about photography’s benefits to adults (increased focus and attention, increased mobility, better overall mental and physical health, and the monetary rewards) but not much about it’s ability to benefit the young as well.

Recently I came across a website from Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies that focused on a children’s program by photographer Wendy Ewald.

Ms. Ewald’s program,  Literacy Through Photography, is reaching out to children across the world -putting cameras in the hands of children and leading them to explore and express their surrounding through pictures.

It was heartwarming to read the stories of how much her students could learn and grow from the experience of taking photographs, many holding a camera for the very first time. Perhaps not so surprising to learn of how Ms. Ewald was learning new things right along with her students.

It has been my experience, and I’m sure most teachers would attest, the best way to really learn something is to teach it. Until you can look at something through another’s eyes you are only seeing one perspective. The echo that comes back from the student is the true measure of the effectiveness of teaching. Once received, that echo provides a sound basis for teaching the teacher through the new perspective gained.

I encourage everyone to pop on over to the Literacy though Photography website and follow the links there to stories of Ms. Ewald’s facinating adventures in bringing photography to children around the world. If you wish, you can also make a donation to help her in this great project as well.

Young or old, rich or poor, weak or strong, wherever you stand right now, photography offers you a vehicle to something even better. Pick up your camera now and begin to explore this wonderful world with the perspective only you can provide. The benefits are there for everyone.