I was visiting with my friend Jack Waugh and realizing that he needed an updated portrait. He agreed, and we tried out different locations, including at his computer and in his library. As is normal for me, in portrait situations, each venue looked good, and presented a good portrait. But as is also normal, I kept pondering what we hadn’t tried. Well, Jack is an historian as well as a writer, with a Lincoln and Civil War era specialty. I kept looking at the desk, at the whole setting near his computer and realized that the perfect shot was right in front of me.

The camera I used? I’ve long regarded them as tools, and what I had on hand was an iPhone. I used the available tool to advantage, then switched to Photoshop for straightening and cropping and sharpening.


Little did I know, in creating this snapshot of my four-year-old sister, that photography would someday become my career. I was seven years old and using a twin-lens box camera that my older cousin Bill had given me.

When I became enamored of photography as a teen, I had also become enamored of cameras. I soon learned, however, that it’s content that counts. Cameras are only tools to extend your vision.

“Little Sister” became images for a book I produced as an adult professional, titled “See-Saw.” Its images come from the editing that I did as that professional, seeing now what I saw back then.