Category Archives: blogtember

They Belonged to My Father

Monday, September 30: ‘Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it’s special.

I do not really have anything ‘old’ that was passed down to me.  My dad was going to give me his mother’s rings when his dad passed away but my grandpa had put them somewhere ‘safe’ and they were never found. My dad’s rings were stolen somewhere between the scene of the accident and the hospital because he arrived at the funeral home without them. After his death I took a few things of his home with me.
My dad really enjoyed the 20-volume Aubrey-Maturin series (ever see Master & Commander with Russell Crowe?) and so I took home eight of the books. I have 1-10, minus 8 and 9.  I have begun the first book but need to pick it up again and start all over. It is one of those that requires your full attention.  Since my dad loved them so much I feel I need to read the whole series while I am alive. I found my local used book vendor has many of his books too. So I should have no trouble finding the other twelve books in the series. 
I remember reading Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein as a girl after my dad recommended I give it a try.  His worn copy was the first book I looked for on his bookshelf and now it sits on the top shelf of mine. 
Three books, just as old as the previous book mentioned, I found about the United States Marine Corps in World War II were in my dad’s collection.  Vol. I: Beginning’s End, Vol. 2: Battering the Empire, and Vol. 3 Death of an Empire.  Printed in the early ’70s the pages are now an amber colour and they all contain a middle section of black and white WWII photographs.  The books were compiled and edited by S.E. Smith.

A Photograph.

I know I look like my dad and that we have the same eyes. But when I saw old photographs of what his mum looked like when she was a young woman I was surprised to see how much I looked like her. All my memories of my dad’s father mostly revolve around visits to his his trailer in the elderly community where he lived in New Jersey.  It always had a strange musty smell of mildew and a bitter cat named Reggie, who hissed whenever he saw my sister or I. My grandpa was nice and liked to watch old episodes of  the original Star Trek and Next Generation.  We saw him once every three years or so since we lived in Europe and he died during my sophomore year of Uni.

It was after his funeral that I found an old photograph of him and his wife, a woman who died before I was born, and fell in love with it.  They both are so young and look so happy.  They look like a couple I wish I could have known.  Honestly I wish my dad had been alive longer so I could have asked him more about them and what it was like growing up.  But back to the photo. I love all the elements of the time…his pinstripe suit, stripe tie, and pocket square and her 1940’s styled hair, pretty black dress with tear drop cut outs and pretty sleeves.  It is a souvenir photo from a date night out at the Village Barn Restaurant which was on 52 W. 8th St in NYC.   

As an interesting tidbit I did some research and found out that though it closed in the late 1960’s it became Electric Lady Studios, where famous rock group legends like Jimi Hendrix and The Clash  recorded.

This was the last post for #Blogtember

I really enjoyed being a part of this series with Jenni and now look forward to returning to recapping our summer adventures in Wales in England…aka your regularly scheduled programming here on ACR.

Q: Have you been passed down anything old from your family? 
What would you want to pass down to your future generations from what you currently own?

 *photographs belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Blogtember: Life Lately

Blogtember Day 15: ‘A “life lately” post. What you’re up to, how you’re feeling, how you’re doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!  Even thought I read through the whole list of Blogtember posts before the start of September, it still seems like a surprise every day that I work on a prompt.  I was glad to see this ‘life lately’ prompt as I feel there has been a lot going on and would like to just catch everyone up in one place.

Affordable Online Photography Courses
The most exciting news is my new BLux photography courses are progressing well and the first one will be ready in October.  Registration has not yet begun, but keep you ear out as I will be mentioning more about it it closer to the time.  I had a guest post on The Bradley’s Blog which came out this weekend.  The first course is B.In Focus, a photography 101 course that helps you make the transition from auto settings into manual.  The goal is to help students get their camera to do what they want it to do.  As a teaser, here is a first look video about the BLux photographic courses.

Blogging Everyday 
I am still posting every day and have been since February.  With each month that goes past I feel so accomplished as I finally found something I love to be consistent with…since exercizing comes and goes. 😉  While I write every day, I do not expect people to read my blog every day for I can hardly expect everyone to share on the interests that I talk about on ACR.  So in case you are new here are some of the themes I have ben blogging about lately:
…of course Blogtember prompts!

I some amazing bloggers coming to the sidebar in October, including our winner from the September Giveaway for my brand new ad space opening up.  There a just a few more spots open for Second Star to Right and Compass Points for October if you are interested in sponsoring ACR.  Alternatively you can also take over my blog for a day and submit a guest post.  Get in touch if I can be of any assistance. 

You may have noticed some changes on ACR lately in regards to the design.  I have been trying out some different looks and restructuring how things have been laid out. If you notice anything out of place or a broken link, please let me know.  I have tried to catch everything, but you can never have too many eyes keeping a look out. 
Favourite Reads
I love sharing posts I read that I love because they are some of my favourite posts to read on other blogs. However the sensitive person in me always feels a bit uneasy as I do not want anyone to think I forgot about them or did not like their posts this week. The opposite is true as I am always so motivated and encouraged by the amazing energy and work that is being put out into the blogosphere.  Thank you to you all for loving what you do and sharing your passion with us!  With that said these are some really great reads from recently:
Following your Blogging Compass by Belinda at Found Love. Now What?
Its Okay – Expat Version by Patricia at Kisses and Croissants 
Third Culture Kid by Elizabeth at Sattvic Family
New Norm V by Chelsea at Lost in Travels
Snorkeling Borneo by Amanda at Living in Another Language
Q: What Have Been Your Good Reads Lately?

*Image original to A Compass Rose blog by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007-2013 All Rights Reserved |

Blogtember: Fictional Short Story

Blogtember | Thursday, September 19: 

Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence:
“To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.”

That simple thought entertained her mind between the mundane daily activities.  Her mother had made sure her tutors had seen to keeping to the regular schedule, despite Zee’s many requests for taking the day off.  While she sat in the classroom of solitude to write out the comparisons of life in modern times to centuries past, the world was busy without her.  The entire compound was alive with bustling activity to prepare for the evening’s feast.  The manor’s normal cold setting had been dressed up in in an occasion for celebration.  Banners waved from the concrete walls of the compound and flowers decorated every space within.  A constant flow of footsteps could be heard up and down the stairs of the five stories in the main house.  In the center of it all, her mother like the queen bee, gave orders to everyone under her roof.  
Zee sat with her books, her eyes gazing out the windows wanting to be anywhere but inside.   Her tutor, a tall wiry man in his late fifties with no patience for daydreaming tapped his his cane on the wooden floor beneath her feet.  With a slight jump, Zee regained her attention and focus to the task at hand.  She recited the facts she had been taught to remember of wars, vengeance and victory. It all seemed like a bloody fairytale and surreal to her life behind fortified walls with guards.  The line of men in her family had sacrificed much to give the future generations of successors the power to live comfortably without fear.  It was in irony that Zee was made to feel like a prisoner within her city.  The only place she had ever known to call ‘home’ and yet she yearned for something more.  To have a voice and will away from guilt. 
The dinner that was held that evening had been meticulously planned over the year past, each detail arranged by her parents.  It was her rite of passage, a coming of age party to which everyone in her family had when they turned eleven years old.  She had been told to be proud and to know the purpose of duty she carried as a member of the Daveed family. However nothing of this event, nor the dinner party seemed at all to interest the girl.  While she admired the addition of the flowers it was only because they reminded me of the outside world. A place she would rather roam free and explore than bare another moment of etiquette lessons and history lectures.  
Zee sat tall in her seat at the long table in the great hall of her the family manor.  She sat flanked by her cousins Eli and Gabe who were older than her and home only for a couple more weeks of summer holiday.  They talked on either side of her about their mischiefs at school, and their plans to win the tournament starting that autumn.  It was only bits and pieces that she heard as she was lost in her own thoughts, creating art out of her food with her fork. It was then that that the doors opened loudly with  urgency and purpose. With their disruption to the the dinner party a man ran in carrying what looked to be a letter addressed and still sealed in wax.  It was given to her father who was siting by her mother, previously discussing with her uncle about the feast at hand.  He ripped open the seal and had only managed to read a few sentences himself when his wife reading over his shoulder had blurted out, “Zee!”
Her fork hit her plate with a clang in a room that felt silent at the piercing yell from her mother down the table.  She looked up as the heat flooded to her cheeks and a sickening anxious feeling tightened in her gut.  She did not know what was happening. It felt as if the whole world was staring at her and in this moment everything would be going horribly wrong.  For a girl who prayed at night for change for a way to escape this prison sentence of a life, it was in the throws of change that she felt real fear for the first time in her life.  
Her mother did not have to speak a word further to let Zee know that she requested her presence immediately at her side.  She knew her mother too well to read each syllable in one of her looks.  Her chair pushed out from behind her, Zee stood up and walked down to where her parents were sat at the end of the table. Each step she made on the hard floor made a clicking sound and like a second hand of a clock she felt the ticking clicking foreboding to what was to come. She came close enough, swallowing hard hoping for something she could not anticipate as the fear of unknowing was readily taking her in whole. The letter was now pushed at her by her father as her mother’s lips pursed in anger.
Zee’s eyes fell from her mothers to the letter, holding it now in her hands as she began to read.
…to be continued.

Maternity Shoot on location in Wales

Blogtember prompt for today is just photos and so I present to you a photo heavy post from a maternity shoot I did with my friend Miriam on location in Wales.  These were shot in three different locations during our time in Snowdonia. Miriam is not just a beautiful person with a beautiful heart, spirit, and soul but a fellow artist and photographer.  I am so blessed to have been able to document the last part of her pregnancy with her fourth child.  I thought I would share just a few, but I had so many favourites.  

Linking up with Jenni’s Blogtember challenge

*Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Reliving: Travel Memories in Italy

It is the next edition of Travel Tuesday with my cohost Belinda.  I look forward to reading all your posts in the link up this week.  While it may take me a bit to comment on all your posts, I do read every single one.  We are proud to announce a new exciting update starting next month!  While we do Travel Tuesday every Tuesday, the first Tuesday of every month will be our themed prompts.  On October 1st it will be the first Tuesday of the month and the prompt is:  “Show us your most favourite photo from all your travels and tell us why it means so much to you”. 

Also would like to bring to focus one of my favourites…of course I loved them all…Travel Tuesday posts from last week. Danielle from the Lifestyle Project blog had a great post about meeting  boy in Cambodia. This story touched me on a personal level as I related to one of the sweet girls I met while I was in Cambodia. I still have the painting she did that I bought from her to bring home. She had one of the sweetest smiles I have ever seen.  
This is also the next installment of Blogtember with Jenni.  The prompt for today states, “A Memory You Would Love to Relive.” 

A memory I would like to relive. There are so many that would be awesome to relive like old devolved films re-watch end over in my mind many times over.  I thought of how easy it could be to mention my late father again or in the height of my baby fever about the birth of both of my sons. Then it hit me in preparation for my Travel Tuesday post just how special traveling is  in my life. How there are certain trips that once taken cannot simply be revisited with a return flight. Which got me to focus on my memories of taking my husband ‘home’ for the first time.
Normally you bring your spouse home before you get married or shortly after depending on the circumstances. For me I brought Ryan to bella Napoli in Italia eleven years after we first met at University and nine years after we got married. It was not because I did not want him to see the place I have still lived longest than anywhere else in my life. But we had spent the majority of our relationship stateside, despite our best endeavors to find a way abroad. 
Unfortunately the photos I took on my phone of Ryan’s first couple of days in Italy including our day in Rome and our first night in Napoli were gone when I got my phone stolen days later in that trip. You can read about my night in an Italian Jail for the story on that one.
So I would love to relive all of Ryan’s firsts in Italy again. To look into his eyes as he saw Rome for the first time after we got off the plane in Italy. To watch him try his first bite of pasta in Rome. His first real taste of gelato, the nectar from the gods. Of course his first bite of pizza in its birth place of Italy. It was one of those trips you cannot simply experience the same way again the second or third time around. 
However my sons have yet to go to Italy. So on our next trip ‘home’ it will be my husband and I together watching as our sons experience the beauty if Italy for the first time. Smelling the Mediterranean salt air, tasting their first authentic pizza margherita, listening to the chorus of loud Neapolitan voices in the bush city streets, and watching their young eyes as they see where their mum grew up as a girl. Well for a total of six years in two different times of my life. For the other places that will be another trip here and another trip there. More memories to make together and more moments in time that I will live over and over again in my mind.

Q: Where would you like to go again from the places where you have traveled? 
A Compass Rose
A Compass Rose

Here’s how it works:
1. Share a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. Grab the lovely button. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie & Belinda in a link! 😉 
3. Linkup goes live every Tuesday at 8 am GMT.
4. Hop around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Link up will be open for a few days, make sure to check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!
5. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!

Big Announcement & B.Lux

Blogtember | Monday, September 16: Write a public love letter to someone in your life. (It doesn’t necessarily need to be romantic.)

Dear Friends,
Today I have some pretty big news but cannot begin to talk about it without saying thank you.  Thank you to so many of you who have been influential in my life and my journey in the last several years.  With out your inspiration, motivation, and encouragement I would not be on this new path that I embark.  It is with my whole heart that I write this public letter of gratitude and reflection.

Pictured with amazing supporters of my photography journey, most importantly my husband Ryan.
I have to start with my family.  Thank you to my parents for encouraging me in my creative endeavors.  For the number of cameras, rolls of film, and editing software you supplied me with while growing up at home.  Thank you to my dad, watching down from heaven, who got me my first really nice camera after the birth of my first son.  Thank you to my husband for encouraging my interests in photography and getting me my first DSLR that began it all. Thank you Ryan for letting me explore my passions.

To my expat & model friend Leigh who brought me back Penguin biscuits from England before we ever met and who I have photographed on many occasions in Hawaii and England. 
You have always been so amazing to my family and I am better for knowing you. 
Thank you to my fellow photography enthusiasts in the Hawaii military wives community.  As a self taught photographer I really appreciate all the guidance and for answering any questions I had when I first started using my DSLR.  Thank you to my good friends who let me practice and were models for me while I honed my skills with the camera.
Liisa and Melissa whose art I adore and friendship I cherish. I miss working with you both!
Thank you to my friends that I met in Hawaii who sparked my creativity passions in photography.  The painters, the illustrators, and artists who encouraged me to continue in my art.  Thank you to my models and my team of make up artists who brought to life my creative vision for my first ever photography exhibit.  It was the one photo shoot that began them all. Thank you to all the models, stylists, make up artists, and assistants that I worked with there after.  I could not have asked for a more amazing group of people to have worked with during my time in Hawaii. It was never work and you all became like family to me.  Thank you for taking confidence in me and encouraging me with each click of my camera.  Thank you to all the other photographers who treated me like their sister, teaching me and advising me in my work.  When it came to moving away from Hawaii at my last photography exhibit, I was blown away by the turnout and all the support. I may have left the island but a piece of my heart will always remain with you.

At the magazine launch for my first photos published!

Thank you to all those who were apart of my work being published in magazines, newspapers, and online publications in both my photography and my work as a hairstylist & make up artist. Thank you for your belief in me.  It has been an honour to be a part of something so much bigger than me.  Thank you also to all those who I look up to as mentors who have taken time to correspond with me in person and online.  It really has meant so much to be able to have such creative and motivated people in my field who find success doing what they love. The fact that you have taken time to encourage me in my passions still means so much to me today.

Thank you Hudson for being my cheerleader and friend and hooking a girl up when I needed help. 
Thank you to all all those I worked with in the fashion world.  From the runways of Oahu, to Tucson Fashion week on the mainland, and Bristol Fashion week here in the UK.  I have really enjoyed being able to be apart of the fashion community.  Thank you for the encouragement of all the fashion bloggers here in the UK and for welcoming me as I left the US.  Thank you to all my readers here on A Compass Rose.  You live all over the world and make me feel so connected and included in this blogosphere.  Thank you for all your support, your love, encouragement and kind words on my photography and posts.  I started blogging every day to give myself consistency in a nomadic life but I found out I return every day because of you.  You are so welcoming and so loving that it is hard to fathom that there is a form of distance by miles between us.  Thank you for following along on my journey as a photographer living the ex-pat life.

To the fashion & photography community in Hawaii you will always be my Ohana!
Faithfully Yours,
Bonnie Rose 
(pictured above in black and the long blonde wig)

Linking up with Jenni’s Blogtember challenge


It is with much excitement I announce some really big news.  I began Bonnie Rose Photography in the winter of 2007 and have been blessed with many great opportunities since that time.  This Autumn I embark on a new path with BRP and look forward to being able to give back to the photography world that has continued to inspire and motivate.

B.Lux Photography Courses

What’s in a Name?
Exposure is the amount of light allowed in when taking a photograph and is measured in lux, a unit of illuminance. I thought it only fitting to use this term as I shed light on subjects within the online BRP photography courses.

The first course of B.Lux to set to begin in October.  Soon after and throughout 2014  it will be joined by a number of other courses already in the planning stages.  The first course is entitled B.In Focus and the other courses have similar names with photography terms.

B. In Focus
In this course you will learn how to switch from automatic settings in your camera and to rely on your new knowledge of manual. The course is geared towards beginners who have only shot in auto and intermediate photographers who want a refresher to gain more confidence and skill in using manual settings.  To take the course you need a camera that can shoot in manual settings, be it a point & shoot camera or a DSLR.

It is a four week course, with freedom to go at your own pace throughout. It is structured into four week segments that include a lesson, an assignment, and quiz at the end of each section. Lessons will include text, images, videos, and mashups with 60% of the course being taught in video lectures.

You should take this course if you do not feel comfortable relying on manual when wanting to get the shot you want, or often switch back to auto when using your camera. By taking this course you will build the foundation to get your camera to do what you want it to do in manual. Though not required, this course is a recommended prerequisite for the next six photography courses that will be included in the B.Lux series.

Ready to take part in B.Lux?
Thank you for reading about the official announcement!  I know you will probably have many questions.  Do not worry much more is to come in the next two weeks.  Stay tuned for more information about B.Lux photography courses from Bonnie Rose Photography.  More information on how to  register, price, and number of openings available will be announced soon.  To make sure you do not miss out you can follow along on Bloglovin’, Facebook, and Twitter for special announcements and future updates.

Q: Are you ready for B.Lux?

*Bonnie Rose Photography @ 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

Self Portrait: ‘Pedestal’ & Photography Tips

Today’s prompt for Blogtember states, “A Self Portrait’. 

This was my recommendation for Jenni when she announced another monthly change and I was so happy to see it included.  I love taking self portraits because it has really helped improve my skill and push myself further creatively.  When it comes to taking self portraits there are no excuses and that is why I continue to do them.  I cannot postpone it because my model was a no show and I have been able to do these where ever I have been in my travels, including in the middle of Pompeii in Italy.

My Self Portrait Tips:

1. It does not matter what camera you have.
Yes different cameras will give you different results. However give the most skilled photographer a crappy camera and they will still produce an image worthy of art. Focus on the image you want to create.

2. Be in the moment. 
To fully harness your best work and experience the process organically you need to be present.  If you are constantly critiquing your work between shots, running back to the camera only to get more frustrated then I say take a moment to refocus.  You are photographing an feeling, a mood, an idea, or a message. Not perfection.  I have been crying in front of the camera before because I was upset about something.  However, I was living this raw moment to be documented.

3. Give yourself time.
There have been some self portraits that I get a lot of feed back from where I took it in only one or two shots. There are others where I probably spent a good hour and a half from start to finish to get the one shot I needed.  The point is to make sure you are not rushed and that you can devote the time you need. Do not rush art.

4. Find the light.
Lighting can make a good photo and amazing photo. I take a lot of photos in front of the window for natural light. It is a great way for me to get what I want without my neighbors giving me quizzical looks if I were to do it outside.  My favourite lighting is overcast skies as the clouds act like a huge diffuser.  If you do use a flash on your camera try bouncing the light off a white card attached to your camera to avoid harsh light directly into your face.  Experiment and see what works best for the shot.

5. It is okay to ask for help.
I have had family members and friends help me out as assistants on my self portrait shoots. Sometimes its to stand in for me while I focus my camera, to spray me with water, or to make sure my tripod does not fall from where it is positioned.  If you yourself have any questions for me I am always a quick tweet away.

Self Portrait Saturday

Normally this would be a post to go up tomorrow and my link up would go live along with it. However for the #Blogtember post I have put it up today and the link up will be available through the next several days. Next week the SPS will continue on Saturdays.  I am also going to be reinstating my themes that I did for the Self Portrait Challenge in 2012.  This year however I will do just one set theme a month so that the rest of the month does not limit your creativity and vision.  Hope to see you around for the furture SPS and make sure to link up this week!

Join Jenni for her Blogtember Challenge! 

*Image original to A Compass Rose blog by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007-2013 All Rights Reserved |