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|| News Item: Posted 2007-12-17

Fifty Reasons To Love 'That Time Of Year'
By Robert Beck, Sports Illustrated

Photo by Elfyourself

Photo by Elfyourself

Merry Christmas from Robert and the crew: (l-r) Lani, Welch, The Double K, and Robert.
I have put on my Santa cap, grown a little scruffy beard and, well, I feel a bit like the big man in red.

I love this time of year. Not because it snows or gets cold around here. Not because I enjoy the extra large lines at every airport --- of people who have never traveled before. Not because I have to put up all those decorations I seemingly just took down. I just enjoy the season. It's better than the NFL season, NBA season and baseball season combined. Kids are out of school. Everyone seems cheery. Some folks get more sleep ---others party harder. The neighborhood looks bright and the Rose Bowl is just around the corner. But, being the big man in red (shoes), my most favorite part of the season is giving the unexpected to my special peeps. Now, many of you, sad to say, are not my special peeps. I don't even know most of you. But we are peeps together...Yes? So here is what I wish for you (I would get it for you but I just don't have the time):

1. Your own cheerleader to toss around the house (If you know what I mean).
2. Funny jokes you never forget so you can pass them on to your friends without screwing up the punch lines.
3. Goretex shoes that fit AND keep you feet dry.
4. A portrait subject that will give you more than five minutes...And a smile if you need one.
5. A Mark III that works. Or just trust yours to work. You can always spend some time learning HOW your camera works or HOW to manually focus. A camera is a tool. Some tools work better than others. Hence the sometimes-derogatory term "tool." That being said...
6. A D3.
7. Any Nikon flash.
8. Some new music by Los Lobos, Van Morrison, John Mayer, The White Stripes, Ray Charles and Jimi.
9. A "green" car for EVERYONE...Especially a bio-powered pick-up truck for those in need.
10. Doughnuts that are good for you...And me. I think I asked for that last year.
11. Parking passes for everyone!
12. Your favorite bowl game...And...
13. Unimpeded shot-lines of the victors celebrating and the losers in distress without a TV guy OR a still guy with a camera in their faces. (We know who you are and you may be crossed off the list next year).
Photo by Robert Beck / Sports Illustrated

Photo by Robert Beck / Sports Illustrated

Kojo tosses a cheerleader.
14. Come up with your own, new, creative idea this year. Just one.
15. That being said...Check out the work of your favorite photographers. Check out the work of the "masters" like John G. Zimmerman, Heinz Kleutmeier, Walter Eos Iooss, and, yes, The Little Penguin.
16. Figure out a simple, inexpensive and easy archiving system...And share it with the rest of us.
17. Ditto for a slide presentation system.
18. A trip to a foreign land (not just a foreign state).
19. Head-high surf at least once a week.
20. Snowboard boots that still fit.
21. A skateboard that supports your weight (Okay, that one is kind of selfish).
22. A nap (preferably in the sun) everyday.
23. Super fast free internet connections galaxy wide.
24. Pay some dues...Any kind. Anywhere.
25. Blame yourself for your own mistakes...And laugh at 'em too. Because, well, they are pretty funny.
26. A niche for your kind of photography or, better yet...
27. Editors and/or clients who loooooooove your style.
28. An iPod that never gets lost.
29. A mobile phone that works when you want it to.
30A. Exit row seats for everyone!
30B. Security systems that eliminate terrorists from the planes and prevent sick people from sitting in your row.
31. Exclusive airline and hotel privileges for every photographer and assistant.
32. An assistant like Kojo (but not Kojo) for the rest of you.
33. Music lessons or a guitar pick in your pocket at all times.
34. A better diet and the discipline to stick with it.
35. Superior knowledge of Flash, Photoshop, Final Cut and Aperture...And the time to put them to good use.
36. The web address you want. For free.
37. At least one dunk, one homerun, one fingertip catch and one sub-ten minute mile.
38. A self-cleaning rain gutter.
39. No tax surprises.
40. Comfy noise-canceling headphones.
41. A monopod that works when it is wet.
42. A supersonic eight-stack card reader.
43. Hard drives that never fail.
44. Pets to pet.
45. Large, inexpensive, and sweet Pomegranates year round.
46. Ditto for avocados. Except for the sweetness part.
47. Car keys that find themselves.
48. Swimsuits that make us look good. I apologize to the two of you that already look good in swimsuits.
49. Hugs to kids, whether they are yours or not.
50. A healthy '08.

(Robert Beck is a staff photographer with Sports Illustrated.)

Related Links:
Beck's member page

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