Here’s a quote from the Dali Lama that captured my attention this AM…

True peace with ourselves and with the world around us can only be achieved through the development of mental peace.

It caught my attention because as I was putting together my morning meal I was suddenly overwhelmed at how fortunate I am.

Having a spouse and partner that complements and completes me.

To be a photographer pursing the career that keeps me challenged.

To live in a land where I can make choices to speak the way I wish.

To have a forum like this in which to share ideas about photography and life.

To be able to have a meal like this…

  breakfast photo

I’m not normally one to take pictures of my food and share it on social media… (OK maybe sometimes) But this was the spark that got me thinking about how truly fortunate I am and have been throughout my life. I think a large part of my good fortune comes from recognizing and noting gratitude on a regular basis.

What are you grateful for???

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

tsa cheers

Photographer Kevin Ames and I were having a conversation about making people’s days better. I shared with him that when I travel I always wish the flight attendants a great flight before they have a chance to greet me. This really lights up their facial muscles, especially when they’ve had a day full of weather delays or been hassled by harried passengers who are delayed on their flights.

tsa precheck

“Hey! Thanks for help keeping us safe.”

Kevin shared that he addresses all the TSA personnel with a hearty, “Hey! Thanks for help keeping us safe.” I added this to my travel routine and noticed a huge shift in attitude whenever I have shared this thought with TSA.

We all appreciate being appreciated and I would like to turn Kevin’s thought into a movement. Whenever you travel any people you come into contact with try to make their day a little better.

If someone is wearing a good looking outfit or any thing that you notice that’s interesting let them know. I know I’m on the outgoing side and you might not be but at the very least let’s try it on the TSA people. Make everyone feel a little better and it spreads… Believe me. Any time you can make someone feel a bit better it like dropping a pebble in a pond. It doesn’t look like much until you see the rings spread out from that one little splash. When there are lots of small compliments shared and the concentric rings start to intersect that before you know it someone will be sharing a compliment with you…

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob





When I saw this sign in a local coffee shop in Lewes, Delaware it just got my funny bone.

photo of sign

“Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy.”

Love the thought!

Having a camera with you allows you to share fun with friends as well as business.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

PS – No children were hurt during the production of this thought. I do not condone nor encourage the feeding of espresso to children or myself if it is too late in the day!

no fun beach

Wandering the Gulf Coast beaches in between speaking gigs in Sarasota and Tampa. Ran into this sign on Longboat Key… By the time I read all the ‘NO’s!’ I figured this is no fun…

no beach sign. Longboat Key.Just playing… I understand the need.

kudos to us airways

I don’t want to share this story because it highlights what a bonehead I can be… But – it’s a story that should be told none-the-less.

I placed my iPad in the seat pocket in front of me upon boarding the plane because I knew I’d be listening to music or reading from it during my flight from Phoenix to Tampa.

Fast forward to eleven oh five PM when I wanted to read my iPad before going to sleep. I reached into my briefcase and received instead of the iPad that sinking feeling in my stomach. Instantly but not wanting to acknowledge the fact (and after frantically looking in between everything and tearing the briefcase apart) I knew I’d left it on board the plane.

Made some calls the following morning and no one had turned it in to the Tampa airport as yet but they now had my number and would call me if it was turned in…

Not having a ton of hope I awaited the call from Tampa. None was forthcoming.

Here’s an incoming call from California and it’s Brenda Powell the SMF Shift Manager in Sacramento asking if I am missing an electronic device. “Can you identify it?” You betcha’!! Red covered iPad with lot of images, books and music on it.

Turns out the plane had a full service turn-around in Sacramento and the cleaning crew turned it in and the staff worked their way through my iPad, found my email and tracked me down to return it. I want to share this story ’cause most people only pass on bad experiences and the cleaning crew and rest of the staff deserve to be recognized for their honesty and following through helping with the recovery of my stuff…. Even if I was stupid enough to leave it behind. Cheers to US Airways!

us airways logo

ppa award

Well imagine that!

I received an award from PPA that I didn’t even know existed. (I guess it’s because they just instituted this year) Here’s the press release I’ve sent out…


Local Photographer Enters the Elite
Earns Highest Membership Level from Professional Photographers of America

Sedona, Arizona – Bob Coates of  Bob Coates Photography in Sedona  has been named to receive an Elite Plus membership from Professional Photographers of America (PPA).
Starting this year, PPA began offering Elite and Elite Plus memberships to its more decorated members.  Coates is one of few to earn the prestigious Elite Plus membership. Out of over 26,000 members only twenty-two have earned this designation, yet another milestone in Bob’s illustrious career behind the camera.

“We are encouraging photographers to be more and grow sustainable businesses and,” said Kristen Hartman, director of member value and experience for PPA. “Mr. Coates continues to raise the bar in our industry and has certainly earned his place among the elite.”

Coates qualified for Elite Plus membership through continued education, image competition and a continued quest for excellence.
“This award has special meaning to me because it isn’t something you strive for, it’s awarded for overall performance in staying on top of the industry as well as giving back,” Said Bob. “It was quite a surprise when I was notified about the award as this is this first year it has been bestowed on members. I’m extremely proud.”
The new membership level comes with special benefits and perks, including significant savings, reserved only for the elite.
The status will be awarded on an annual basis. The only way for a member to lose their status is if they dropped their membership. To view Elite and Elite Plus membership level requirements and benefits, visit

About PPA
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA has roots that date back to 1869. It assists more than 26,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See why photographers love PPA at

Contact: Bob Coates
[email protected]