Friday, September 29, 2006
This email is from a photographer in Tennessee named Derek Lee and I think he makes some very accurate realizations in his email. He seems to have realized that the successful photographers in this industry have become successful not because of their art but because of their attitude. So right on! Isn't it true that our attitude has the ability to be a huge disqualifer in our lives. If we have a poor and bitter attitude it can hold us back from so much happiness and success and so I'm really stoked that Derek has realized that.
One thing that bothered me about Derek though is that when you go to the front page on his website and scroll down you see that he did a google search or something and then pasted all the other Tennessee photographers names into his webpage to try and siphon exposure from their names. Seems like an odd thing to do.
For the few of you that read my blog I'm wondering what you think about all this? The email is pretty funny.... :) Enjoy. I put my thoughts in bold...
In my thoughts below, is what I feel to be the truth. And it aggravates me to
no end. I truly feel that you select photographers are NOT the best. The
media and good marketing skills have made you so.
Ok...Derek...why does that aggravate you so much?
I told Bambi that she is nothing more than a "gimmick" that photography
equipment manufacturers use to endorse / sell their product.
That's a mean thing to say.
And that MOST any decent photographer can take any two attractive models, dress
them up as a bride and groom, and win print competitions, write a book, etc.
You are right and most decent photographers do. Isn't it great that they share their work and knowledge with us.
I wanted to know what made her better than all the photographers that are just
as good as she is ................................. like myself.
Maybe her attitude...
Yes, I consider myself just as good as Bamboo and Dennis Reggae.
That's great that you are confident in your work. That's an important first step. The next step is getting other people to think you are as good as you think you are...that's where marketing comes in.
I'm upset that these two people and a few others shine like they do in the spotlight, when all it really amounts to is they got a lucky break.
Samuel Goldwyn said, "The harder I work, the luckier I get."
They were in the right place at the right time. It's not that they are better
than the 500 other great photographers there are in the USA. It's just that
Dennis got a lucky break shooting a high profile wedding, and then it
snowballed into him being the celeb's choice photographer. Why did the celebs
keep choosing him? Because he is good, consistent and likeable, NOT because he
is the BEST. Dennis Reggae is NOT THE BEST. There are many, many other
photographers that can do JUST as good a job as he can.
Another great observation. Who we know and more importantly who knows us is a very important thing in business.
But it has EVOLVED into him being "the best". Because "the best" can sell an
Eskimo a block of ice. The market needs people like Dennis and Bambi to sell
Are you an Eskimo?
Consider this, I have a "Widget" for sale that helps you make better pictures, I
go place an ad and sell a few. Now, Dennis and Bamboo team up and run an ad
saying "We use Widget for our photography". Those widgets would sell out in
So right on...glad you pointed this out because it's so true. Advertising doesn't really work anymore because consumers have been too overwhelmed by ads so now they rely on recomendations from the people they trust to help them make purchasing decisions. It's exactly why my Showit Web widget works so well to get more weddings.
Now Dennis is offering 8 people to come to his home for $1950 so he can make a
fast $16000 and show off his home and tell you his philosophy and show you some
technique. This is, if anything, for aspiring photographers that have $1950 to
spend without missing it and want a little get away. Otherwise, go take that
$1950 and buy the best lens you can, go spend a day shooting and taking notes.
That is how to learn photography. NOT by giving Bamboo $2000 at some hotel.
There are many ways to learn...I learned tons and saved myself so much time and frustration from hearing Denis, Mike, and Gary speak.
I truly, truly in believe these people: Denis, Bambi, David J, Fong are running
over-priced seminars aimed at aspiring photographers with slick marketing
tactics to get you to come, just to feed their greedy hearts, and you take
nothing away that you either didn't already know or could have learned on your
own, and bought yourself a $2000 lens instead. And they are even marketing to
photographers of my level, like I'm gonna pay $2000 to hear what I already
know? Paleeze .............
I actually haven't ever done my own seminar but I have done workshops through the Brooks Institue and the people who attended seemed to come away pretty happy and there businesses are growing and their lives are hopefully more free as well. :) That's great that you already know everything that Gary, Denis, Bambi are teaching...maybe you should do a seminar and share your knowldege and do a workshop because there are a lot of people out there that don't know everything and are excited about learning.
Fong did NOT make his fortune in photography, he really isn't that great of a
photographer, he made his wealth in real estate and of course selling
photography related products.
Fong is super smart, probably has a very high IQ. He has marketed himself well
as the "Mr. Know It All when it comes to photography" which he does know alot.
Fong's seminars are for aspiring photographers only. I purchased his
lightsphere and swear by it, I will continue to use it until something better
Yup - Fong is really really smart and everyone should have a Lightsphere.
I also purchased his DVD seminar set, and was furious by what a piece of
worthless junk it is. I felt ripped off by him, I felt as if he stole my money
and didn't care. I asked many times for a refund,
I ended up selling it to someone else on ebay. I felt like a crook myself for selling it on ebay.
So why did you sell it to them if it made you feel like a crook? Did they ask you for a refund?
If you take notice, David Jay is the new name being spotlighted. Guess what!
He has his own product for sale too! No! Really?
Yea - Showit Web is cool. I just got this email from Mike Colon a few minutes ago and I'm so glad that Showit Web and Fong's products are helping so many people.
Hmmmm, lets see:
Famous name = sells product
Fong would be proud.
Yes I hope he is. Fong is like my merchandising dad. He has taught me and everyone so much about how to create a better business through merchandising and I've heard from so many people that his Album PreDesign concept has done incredible things for their business. He's great and I hope he's proud. :)
Hey wait a minute!! Isn't that David Jays logo on Gary Fongs Album ShowCase
By damn it is! Ok, now that explains everything, Gary discovered David and
said "Hey, I'm gonna make you famous so you can sell products under your name"
"People are going to think you created it and they will buy it and we will
split the profit" "I have my team of software designers working on a program
for you to peddle as we speak"
hmmm...maybe there is a conspiracy going on...lol... I'm excited for the day when Gary invents something and then gives me half of the profits on the sales to put my logo on it.
Marketing = Gary Fong You gotta hand it to him, he is smart and makes more
money than all the other high profilers out there.
But I'm still mad about the rip-off DVD set.
Lastly, what about Bamboo AKA Bambi AKA Bam Bam... Paleeze stop with the
I haven't used any nicknames
A long time ago, she took some models, dressed them like a real bride and groom,
took all day to get the perfect shot. She wins a print competition. She writes
a book, (Well, ok, she didn't REALLY write it herself, the Prez of WPPI wrote it
for her), puts in some pictures that any decent photographer can take, slaps her
name on the front and it sells a buttload, I actually own it. She is likeable,
and has a cute name, she is named after a well-loved Disney character. She
shoots a high profile wedding or two and the next thing you know, BAMBI IS THE
BEST IN THE NATION !
Good for you for picking up a copy.
No, she isn't. She has pretty pictures that any decent photographer, like
myself, can take.
These people above with the exception of Fong, all have been at the right place
at the right time. They're not the best, that's what the marketers want you to
think, because only the best can sell ice to Eskimos.
My dad always said that if I focus my business on helping other people I would always have plenty of work...so if at some point an Eskimo wants to buy some ice from me and I can help her out by selling her some then I will happily do so.
Funny post on the blublog...
I just heard that 350 people tuned in from all over the world to hear my "Creating Freedom" talk yesterday and Pictage recorded it and put it up so if you missed it check it out! Thanks Pictage! This is awesome!
CLICK HERE! to access the presentation from Pictage Events. So cool!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Late last night I flew in from Seattle and had to get right back to work and I spent over 200 minutes talking today and that is a lot of talking for me. I did 2 webinars for Pictage giving my "Creating Freedom" presentation to people in several different countries and it was a lot of fun but totally crazy because everyone was muted except for me and so I couldn't see or hear anybody which is kind of spooky b/c you don't know how the audience is connecting with the message.
The 1:00 had a few glitches b/c everytime someone would come into the conference it would beep twice in my ear so it was kind of hard to focus and I felt a bit distracted but the second one we got it sorted out and it went really well. :)
I think next month we're going to do a live Q&A which would be fun too. It's really cool that Pictage pays for these things...they don't pay me...but it costs thousands of dollars to put these things and it shows that they're really working hard to make this industry better.
Also, I checkout Ron Storer's blog - he's a great Seattle photographer and got some cool shots from the dinner the other night!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
So last night Shelly dragged me up to the top of the Space Needle and I must admit I was a little bit scared looking straight down 500 feet but it was a lot of fun and if you're ever in Seattle you should totally go. The dinner was great and it's an incredible view of the city.
Click to see this way bigger.
Here are some cool pics I snuck off of Shelly's blog.
...and I'm really excited about the webinars tomorrow. I think I have some things to share that can really make a big impact and create more freedom in people's lives. I know these things have done a lot to free me up and I haven't heard from a lot of you lately so I think people must just be getting bogged down in the wedding season.
I have to say goodbye to Seattle now and a super big thanks to Gary Fong and Missy for letting us crash at their stellar pad. Wow! I picked up some shampoo and other misc. items for you. haha. :)
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Right now I'm sitting atop the space needle 500 feet above the safe earth and Shelly is teaching me how to deal with my fear of heights, flying, women...just kidding... I just wanted to tell you all that if this big needle tips over and I don't make it that I love all of you and you are my inspiration.
Here are two of my favs and don't forget to sign up for the Webinar below if it hasn't filled up yet. I'm not sure what it tells you if it's full but apparently some people had trouble signing up so that might mean it's full already.
Click here for the slideshow.
:) Rock on!
Monday, September 25, 2006
I'm seriously falling in love with Seattle. It's a great place (for part of the year) :) .... today Shelly and walked for like 25 miles (I think) and it was so cool b/c they leave the Seahawks stadium kinda open so you can walk up and look inside.
There seems to be a lot of artsy people here and there are tons of galleries and little coffee shops and you can just walk forever and the buildings and skyline are amazing. We walked so far we had to take a cab back. I wanted to walk and get more exercise but the cab was probably better. ;)
Nap time now and then a big group of local Seattle photographers is going out to dinner. There is such an incredible group of photographers here and I'm excited to meet all of you!
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Click on the picture to see it bigger.
click on the picture to see it bigger. I'm not very good at the photostitch thing but it was fun. I'm scared of heights and so it's kind of scary being out on their balcony because it's so high up. We're above the crane next door that is building a new Four Seasons.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Means different food...kinda.
Can you guess what I always order to eat. The desert was different but the meal is pretty much the same. I'm at the Marriott for 2 nights for the wedding and marriotts are pretty nice! I never stay here because I really like Starwood hotels but the bride and groom booked it for me.
Friday, September 22, 2006
I rarely get rental cars anymore because I'm not very good at finding my way to places and with as expensive as they are it's usually cheaper to get a cab anyway! ...and being in a cab is nice because then you can see the sights too. Does anybody know why rental cars are so expensive?
When I rented cars on the tour it was always around 100 bucks and I was thinking wow they only have to rent this a few days a month to cover their costs and everywhere I went they were strapped for cars so I think those businesses must be doing well...or at least have a lot of potential!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
..and I just found an email from a bride wanting me to shoot her wedding next year but her email was on August 1st so I don't think I'm gonna get that job.
...and secondly a big congratulations to Ms. Jessica Claire who is by far the most amazing photographer out there and if I had my other computer I would find the email I sent to her a long long time ago telling her she was the best I'd ever seen and she was gonna shoot my wedding...and Shyla just sent me the write-up on her and to my surprise they talked about me a little bit but am I ever glad I wasn't in the competition because I hate losing and there is no question that Jess is the best so next time let's not waste anybody's time with the whole voting thing. Jess - I've told you many times - You ROCK!
Thanks to both of my fans who wrote in and asked why I wasn't included.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
First of all Fong and Missy are so nice to let me stay at their sweet pad which is insanely awesome and I love it because it has both city views and water views. I'm super excited to see them tomorrow.
I also like the tall buildings because Santa Barbara doesn't really have any tall buildings and so I was walking around in Chicago and now here just looking up wondering what's in all of them...and then I saw this really different looking parking structure.
I almost forgot this picture which I really like. I took all these with my camera phone when I was walking around today. :)
Anyways, I have like 10,000 emails to respond to and I seriously love hearing from everyone and I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to so many of you. Email has really bogged me down lately and I don't want anyone to feel like I'm being a punk and not writing back. I really want to but when a lot come in like after the tour and after PartnerCon I sometimes feel overwhelmed so thank you for writing and for all the encouragement and questions.
It's so exciting to see so many of you taking steps towards more freedom in your lives and working hard to make continual progress towards your purpose! Keep rocking and I'll try and get back to all of you.
:) My best,
...don't know when I'll be back again. Haha...I like that song.
It's kind of a sad day though because for the past couple of months I've been in Chicago every couple of weeks and so I've never had to leave without knowing when I'd be coming back but right now I'm leaving and I don't have another trip planned yet so it was kinda sad. The Barlows always take such good care of me and teach me so much and it's always a blessing to be around them!
Right now I'm off to Seattle and I can't believe I made the flight. We left the Barlows 1 hour and 10 minutes before takeoff and arrived at the airport after boarding had started so I was super thankful for the loyalty programs because I didn't have to wait in lines at all and I even took tme to be nice and talk to the TSA guy about my camera. He was really interested in the image stabilizer and I'm trying to make sure that even when I'm rushed I take time to be nice.
Gotta fly now.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I am quite proud of the very accurate prediction that I made about the sweet girl who found my phone last week. So here is me and my new friend Jen. :) and as soon as BB is fully charged back to health I'll make another post because I know all of you have been worried.
Incredible! I've been able to meet so many wonderful families through my career as a wedding photographer and the two families from last weekend rank at the very top! I was honored to be involved in Talia and Anthony's wedding and have the opportunity to spend time with their wonderful families! They had a gorgeous wedding downtown at the Four Seasons and Brad Person came out from Minnesota to shoot with me and we had a blast! I pulled in the singer from the band for this shot because a shot of just me and Brad wouldn't cut it. :)
and of course here's the slideshow! Yea!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Goodbye by dear Blackberry. I will miss you.
Looks like Monday is back to the T-mobile store.
So do you remember how worried I was about my Mark II after I thought I had broken her again...well I think she had just gotten a bit shy from all the attention she got at the canon factory because when I went to ship her off again she worked! Yea! So she's back and I just finished shooting a rehearsal out here in Chicago and it looks to be an incredible wedding tomorrow!
Friday, September 15, 2006
When my friend Shyla posted this quote on her blog it really stuck with me...
"All things being equal, people will do business with a friend; all things
being unequal, people will still do business with a friend."
...and I just listened to an interview with Bill Gates and the interviewer asked him to give advice to people just getting into business and he said that he thought his business became successful because he hired his friends and they had fun and really believed in what they were doing.
I think working with friends is so important because when you're in business with your friends you can't just bail when things get rough and so it forces you to do the thing that most people fail to do in business and that's persevere! It's been proven over and over again that ideas aren't really worth anything - it's the "aggresive implementation of those ideas" that makes ideas succeed.
I also think this is why the photographers who surround themselves in communities ( like OSP :) end up making big strides really fast. When you put yourself out there and tell people who you are what you want to accomplish those people will become your friends and help you reach those goals and get your through the tough times.
After having a good two weeks at home in California I'm back to Chicago (my second home) for a big wedding this weekend and then I'm headed straight to Seattle for another wedding out there next weekend. I really want to shoot a wedding in every state before I retire.
Also Pictage just asked me to do another webinar on the 28th because I guess the first one filled up within a few minutes so we're gonna do another one earlier in the day so if you get the email sign up fast because I guess they can only have 150 people in each one. It's gonna be weird to give a presentation without being able to see the audience!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I just finished reading BarlowGirl's new book "BarlowGirl - More than Music" and it was fantastic! I'm sure they wrote it for their target market of high school age girls which means it is PERFECT for me! I read it in one day it was so good.
These girls are such an inspiration and it's fun to follow their life and see how God is using them to change a generation of young people who are so overwhelmed with conflicting messages.
The book gave me a glimpse into their life and their struggles and the last time I was out in Chicago I was talking with Sarah Barlow about the pressures they feel to be perfect. They talked about this in their book and I think it's one of the worst traps we fall into and it's funny because the harder we strive to be perfect and present ourselves that way the less we'll be able to connect with anybody and the less effective we'll be in getting our message across.
We connect with people through our mistakes and through our faults and I didn't think of this until right now but that's probably the reason I connect with so many people! :) Haha! Wow!
Anyway, thanks Sarah for the great CD and book and congratulations on shooting your first album cover! It's great!
...also...there's something spooky about someone the BG's mention in their book b/c it's actually someone I'm working with right now! The world really is small! I'll post more tomorrow b/c now I gotta go pack!
I have never looked for work or really thought about how to get it because I got lucky and implemented a Word-of-Mouth and "Word-of-Mouse" marketing system from the beginning and have continued to encourage and enable people to have conversations about me through the use of Showit slideshows and it's no wonder that Showit has absolutely exploded. Just in the past 3 days we've had 77 orders and I get tons of emails like this from people who's lives and business have been changed by the Showit apps...this one came into our support system from Charles Ford.
and the reason this stuff works is because the world of marketing our business is changing fast! So if you're still wasting money on advertising and hoping it'll get you more work I'm afraid you're going down the wrong road.
Checkout these latest stats from the Word-of-Mouth-Marketing-Association (WOMMA)
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I had a Blackberry 7105 for awhile and loved it and then tried the MDA and wasn't happy with it so then went back to the 7105 and then the Pearl came out and I'm super stoked on it so far...but JT was right in that it won't sync with Mac so I had to bust out my old PC and sync my old phone with it and then sync my new one with it so I could see who was calling...and I just noticed that a lot of my friends called today but I didn't know it was you so I didn't answer but now I know.
...and anyway this week is one of those "DJ goes in the cave" sorta weeks because for the past couple of months I've done a lot of talking and so I'm just gonna shutup for a while. I don't really like to talk that much anyway but it's fun to listen and ya learn way more when you listen anyway.
I'm gonna be leaving on Friday for another 10 days or so. I have a wedding in Chicago and then in Seattle so it's gonna be fun to fly again - NOT! (I'm scared of flying if you didn't know) and I'm so glad that Verizon finally came out with the new express cards becasue I paid a fortune for internet at the hotels on the tour and now I don't have to do that anymore! Sweet!
I've been enjoying going to bed early too. I really don't have much to do because all I'm doing now is shooting weddings every weekend. I read a lot today and walked around downtown some and I'm glad I have a lot of good books to read right now.
I'll post again tomorrow.
Monday, September 11, 2006
I just get Business Week and the Harvard Business Review right now because I think books are better things to read but every once in awhile it's good to take in some "Fast Food Knowledge" as Tim Sanders calls it. :) He rocks!
Also, I was really encouraged by how many of you have already started blogging and have posted here! That's so awesome!
Here are some more pics from the night "Mike Colon Style" engagement shoot! It was so fun and everyone got killer pics!
I was sporting my new cool Paul Frank shirt from Justin and Amelia Lyon! :) I love it!
Notice once security showed up I just put my camera down and acted innocent...
Then once they found out I was responsible I just played dumb (it was easy)