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by Abigail Van Buren

Letters of Recommendation Aren't Guaranteed to Impress

DEAR ABBY: I am a mother and a stepmother and have several grandchildren. I have been the "family photographer" at all our events and holiday celebrations. Looking through our 35 years of photographs, you will rarely find me in one. I was always there -- but behind the camera.

I'd like to remind your readers that if they're at a gathering and see someone taking family photos, to please offer to use their camera to take a group picture that includes the photographer. It will be one of the few photos in their albums they actually appear in. And they'll be thankful for your thoughtfulness for years to come. -- INVISIBLE GRANDMA IN LAWRENCE, MASS.

DEAR INVISIBLE GRANDMA: With the holidays approaching, I'm pleased to print your suggestion. However, at large gatherings these days, there is bound to be someone in the group who has a camera -- or a cell phone -- with a timer so that everyone present (including the photographer) can appear in the picture.