My mother would be so proud.

My father would be laughing out loud.

Bruce Wallace

It is the reason why, in the journalism world, we always – ALWAYS – have the reporters, editors and publishers behind the camera. Not in front of the camera, not getting their photo in the paper, but putting the spotlight on others.

Besides, good newspaper folks know that you want the photos to look good and newspaper folks don’t always look so great.

Products of too many hours at the bar and too few hours getting needed sleep, reporters are usually look too haggard to have their photo in the paper. Publishers and editors spend too much time in front of a computer, not enough time in the gym and, therefore, take up far too much space in a basic three-column photo.

But there I was, in last week’s Journal, on the front page, looking too tired, too out of shape, stealing the limelight from some very deserving business owners.

And, as many of you kind readers have pointed out, the very reason I was even in the photo – a plaque I had been awarded – was upside down.

Good grief.

“You would think after the thousands of photos you have taken, you would know how to stand there, pose, smile and not screw it up,” my co-worker Stacy Phillips laughingly pointed out as we looked at the photos on the computer before publishing.

Yep, I knew that I’d made a complete hash of things before the paper was printed. But there was nothing I could do. There were a couple of honors handed out during the Leaders Breakfast sponsored by Southern Boone Economic Development Council and the Southern Boone Chamber. Adam and Bailey Stanberry were honored with the Business of the Year award by the City of Ashland. I was stunned to be honored with an Eagle Award by area business leaders and my shock was evident by my reaction.

I had no clue what to do.

A few thousand times before this, I walked towards the podium, stopped 15-feet away, pointed my camera and hit the shutter button. My job complete, I attempted to move back into the crowd as unobtrusively as possible.

This time I was actually expected to receive a plaque and say a few words.

The whole thing was quite a surprise. Like most of us, I’m not used to receiving awards and have not had a lot of practice posing for photos.

I take the photos and it was completely weird to be on the other side of the camera.

So there I stood. Looking surprised. With my plaque upside down.

My mother would be so proud.

I can hear my dad laughing.

A serious note about this little adventure:

I’m no stranger to awards, but usually have taken photos of other deserving people being honored.

I try to be clever and a bit funny in this space each week, but I don’t feel so funny writing this. I feel very grateful, very humble – and it’s all due to many, many people.

I would not be able to publish this paper without the work of my very capable assistant Stacy Phillips and the loving support and dedicated work of my wife, Susan. I have an entire press crew at the Jefferson City News Tribune and SoBoCo students Claire McGinnins and Jess Duncan who put the paper together each Tuesday.

Most of all, a big thank you to you, the readers and advertisers who keep the Journal rolling each week.