Sometimes I feel like I'm living outside of my body and I can see what's happening but can't really believe it's real. This happened the first time when I went to Mike Colon's workshop and asked him very seriously for his autograph and instead he wrote his cell phone number and a week later Dane Sanders and I were hanging out with him in Santa Barbara and I remember him giving us some great advice and encouraging us to keep our expenses low as we grew our business.
Then just over a year after that I was with him and another huge inspiration of mine, David Beckstead, staying at a living legend's house - Gary Fong. I remember looking around thinking "how did I get here and what on earth am I doing here!" (I'm sure Missy is rolling her eyes right now - she gets bothered when photographers say stuff like this)
And this week has been another one of those experiences because Gary Fong invited me out to dinner in NY last week to celebrate the huge success of the Lightsphere at the photoplus show and while at Dinner Denis Reggie invited me to stay at his house for a few days in Atlanta and here I am - staying at the house of the man who created the industry of wedding photojournalism. It's crazy!
Denis Reggie was the first photographer I ever heard speak. I went to a workshop of his in LA a few years back and then I went to Mike Colon's a few months after that and then just earlier this year I went to Gary Fong's One Step Ahead tour and those are the only three people who's workshops I've been too and they are all incredible.
...and there are many things that these guys have in common but one thing that I noticed right off the bat is how incredibly generous they all are. These guys just never stop giving. Honsetly! I've seen it in Colon and Fong for the past year and the same is true for Mr. Reggie! Ever since I got here there have been people coming by the house and chatting and I got to talking with a few people at the PUG group in Atlanta and they all just raved about how Denis Reggie had helped them at some point along the way.
Sorry for the long post but I just had to write about how amazing these guys are and how blessed I've been to be able to watch their careers and learn from them.
Here's a little video that's really just fun and it shows just a small glimpse of Denis Reggie's guest house that I'm staying in. I'll try and get some pics of his main house tomorrow because it's absolutely incredible. He built it brilliantly with a special space for his studio and all of his staff that is attached but still very separate from his home and he also built in the most incredible wine cellar I've ever seen. It must have several thousand bottles of wine in there...and a game room with a TV that's as big as my car. I've never seen a TV so big in my life.
Tomorrow I head home and I'm excited.