John’s Picture Perfect Contest: December 2021

John Hawkins

by John Hawkins, Club CEO

How to enter:

Do you love to take pictures? Submit your photos to the Picture Perfect contest. Once a month, the best pics are selected for publication. If your photo is published, you’ll receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card!. ENTER PICTURE PERFECT CONTEST

See Contest Rules below the pictures.


“Sorry, no Christmas wreath in this one! However, I believe that technically my contender for [the contest] (taken near Topanga State Park in the San Fernando Valley) is still checking all the boxes: Blue (sky); green (trees and foliage; in the background); and red (fire engine): check! Ho Ho Ho and happy holidays.”

– Yves Didier, Airport Police

John’s comment: You, too, Yves. But technically, you didn’t have to include all three colors – red, green or blue! I liked your framing and stillness … but let’s be honest, who resist a Citroën! Thanks for submitting!

“We took a short vacation to Big Bear in late December 2020 right before a big snow storm hit. The next day dumped about 20 inches of snow, and we decided to build a family snowman. It started out small and then we kept adding to it!”

– John Otoshi, Retired, LADWP

John’s comment: I love the verticality of this family shot, John. You could have framed this anywhere, but all the tall trees (and maybe a light pole) behind your family gives it a pleasing consistency that ordinary family photos don’t have. Thanks for submitting, and happy holidays!

“From the Huntington Library Garden. Enjoy!”

– Virginia Wai Ching Lit, Retired, Public Works/Engineering

John’s comment: These days we use bright LED lights to bring us holiday colors. But back before electricity, they used what they found in nature, just like you did. To the traditional holly and ivy we can now add the colorful flowers from the Huntington, thanks to your photographic eye. Thanks, Virginia! Happy holidays.

“City Hall getting ready for Christmas last year donning its green and red colors with a background of blue and red skies! Note the crescent moon near the top left corner of the picture.”

– Carlos Aranda, LADWP

John’s comment: We could have included this awesome photo in our cover story on City Hall lighting a few months ago, Carlos! I love the majesty of this … and the big open sky makes it a thing of wonder, as if pointing to the heavens. Well done, and happy holidays! 

“This was at Union Station. My three sisters and I had never taken a picture with Santa Claus. We finally had this opportunity, and as you can see we were excited as little girls.”

– Rose Serrato, Retired, LAPD

John’s comment: Rose, Santa and his (photo) helpers might have set a nice backdrop for you, but they didn’t create the smiles that rival that of Santa himself. First time together with Santa? It’s never too late to catch the spirit! Thanks for submitting, and happy holidays.

“All Boxed Up and Ready to Go! After completing the tree and the rest of the family went shopping, I stayed home knowing better than to brave the malls. Trinkets that were too big and heavy for the branches had other uses; I might as well bring them to life!”

– Dominique Daito, LAPD

John’s comment: Dominique, this is one of the most unique Christmas photos I’ve ever seen, almost like a stop-motion Rankin-Bass Christmas special combined with a Pixar sensibility. You have me wondering what they’re saying to each other. It’s awesome for sure. Thanks for staging it and sending it in. (And I’m with you on the malls.) Happy holidays!

Parol (English: lantern) is an iconic Filipino symbol of the Christmas season. It’s a colorful star-shaped lantern that represents the hope of a bright future. We bought one from one of our visits in the Philippines and it now hangs by our door.”

– Christine Isidro, Building and Safety

John’s comment: So simple, so complex, so festive. You chose a perfect warm light to better highlight the red, blue and green. Excellent. Happy holidays!

Picture Perfect Contest Rules

  • Please submit the full, original digital file (up to 3 megs file size).
  • The contest is open to all Club members in good standing. Non-members are welcome to submit, but only Club members are eligible to win the monthly prize.
  • Photos can be of any subject matter: vacation, portraits, families, landscapes, still lifes, pets, etc. Subject matter must be appropriate for Alive!
  • If your photograph does not win, you are welcome to re-submit.
  • Winners are chosen by Club staff. All decisions will be final.
  • You must certify (if asked) that you indeed took the picture. No ringers!
  • The contest is all in good fun: The Club cannot be responsible for delays in delivering Alive!, or for delays in the transmission of responses.