Friday, March 31, 2006


So last month I was incredibly flattered to be included in an article with two of the hottest new photographers in the wedding industry!

Jessica Claire and Liana Lehman have just blown me away with their shooting styles and business savvy and I was really stoked to see that they're gonna be sharing what they've learned at an Xtreme conference later this year. Xtreme is a company that they own and it puts a whole new twist on photography workshops because it focuses on the experience of the people attending, which is such a perfect model because that's what we should always be doing with our clients in any business!

If you wanna be inspired then CLICK HERE and watch this sweet slideshow that they made with Showit Web v2! This is the coolest thing ever!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

1000 Members! Let's Party!

I know it's only been 3 days since we celebrated that OSP had reached 50,000 posts but in the last 3 days (since Gary Fong featured OSP on his blog) We've had 93 new super cool people join! How awesome is that! So that pushed us over the 1000 mark tonight and I wanted to be around when it happened but I had a PICTAGE PUG meeting. Who was the 1000th person! I can figure it out through my new member emails I think but if somebody knows that post it up! Yea!!! Another thing that is so cool is that all the new members immediately recognized that this place is different and that the vibe is so awesome!

I'm so stoked! You guys rock!


Monday, March 27, 2006

Thank You!

A week ago Kevin Meyers wrote and said he was gonna be in Orange County for the weekend and wanted to have dinner with Jasmine De La Torre and me. So last night when I rolled in and there were like 20 people I was blown away...and kinda confused. :) I came to find out that they had thrown this surprise OSP party for me because OSP reached 50,000 posts! How awesome is that!

It's really amazing to be a part of this group of people and to see them show so much love and care for their friends and colleagues. I hear stories of hope and success from people every single day about how the encouragement they've received from their friends on OSP has allowed them to live their dream.

I can't even begin to express my thanks to all of you on OSP. As I've said many times before - this place is yours...and thank you for what you've made it. The reason it has gotten so big is because you have created an environment where people can be who they are, an environment where people can be appreciated not only for what they've accomplished, but for who they are becoming. You've created an environment where people are human again and all of you realize that your words can hurt or heal so you take the time to make sure your posts express humility and knowledge and that your conflicts are handled with civility and respect.

All of you are my heros - my friends - and you're the future of this industry.

I'm blessed by you!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Freakin' Hilarious!

So I definitely have incredible friends! ....and I'll post more about the surprise party they threw for me tonight when I get back to Santa Barbara and have pics to show from this amazing night, but while I was at dinner with all of them I started to get all these emails from people who were wanting to buy the new beta Showit Web V2 but so many people were buying it that it crashed the website so they couldn't do it! LOL - That was part of the reason why I tried to limit it to only 50 buyers today but I guess that part of the store doesn't work with "virtual" products because there really isn't a product! Haha!

So when I got back to the car I logged in with my wireless card thingy and saw that it had maxed out the 100 GIGS of bandwidth that I have allotted to that site! WOW! Luckily I have access to 400 GIGS of bandwidth so I just added some more so I'm sorry if you tried to order earlier and couldn't but everything is back up and running and hopefully we won't have another mad rush tomorrow but if we do I'll be around all day so I'll be able to get it fixed.

Thanks for your patience and I'm so stoked that everyone is so excited! This app really is unreal and I saw some killer shows already today and am looking forward to seeing more and more as we all get our minds around the creative possibilities we now have!

Friday, March 24, 2006

OSP - everywhere!

When I was out in Seattle seeing The Fonginator teach us how to sell albums and make tons more money Missy Carl had one of these and I thought it was so awesome and I can't believe it's taken me this long to get one! Last month I was only home for 8 days so I spent a fortune on internet at the hotels and the airports! It's always $10 every day at the hotel and then if you wanna get online from the airport it's another $10 so with this little card I can get online anytime - anywhere for only $80 a month!

...and it's fast! I can't believe it!


Can you believe this!!! WOW! I knew OSP was getting big but I had no idea it had gotten this big this fast...and I had no idea how much we've grown in just the past month!!!

...and today was a big day because we had our 900th friend join and we passed 50,000 posts!

That's so cool! It's really late and I have to drive to Palos Verdes in the morning for a wedding this weekend so I'm not going to go into how much I love all of you - but I do! :) Thanks for making OSP such a wonderful place!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


What a week! It's been a lot of late nights for me and my friends this week but well worth it! Honestly - I'm so amped about everything that's going on right now and yesterday I went to bed at 2 and woke up at 7 and was just so excited to get up because I knew I had so many fun things to work on! ...and it's 4am now and I'm still just too stoked to go to sleep!

Today my friend Mark came over to do the final filming for the Mexico DVD and I'm so bad at that sort of thing so it took me 5 hours to say my 6 lines but it was so fun! I was so lazy too...I knew the interviews were gonna be a 3/4 shot so I didn't even bother getting outta my pj's - I just put on a shirt. Then Todd came over tonight and he just left a few minutes ago! He's been coding and I've been testing and making templates for Showit Web 2.0 and we have a pretty good beta that will be going out to a very small team of testers over the next couple of days.

...and I just couldn't resist posting this up! I just saw it on the forum! lol - My friends Amber and Nathan Holritz from Tennessee have the cutest kids ever and they're wearing shirts that say "DJ is my homeboy" and "Future OSP addict" - That's so freaking hilarious! I love it!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What an awesome week (whoa - and it's only Wednesday!)

My buddy Todd and his wife Elisa and son Kiefer are in town and for those of you who don't know this already Todd is the wizard creating the magic of Showit Web. He's also the rockstar who made my website and who got me into this world of digital media.

Here's the story...on my 18th birthday Todd rolls into my house carring this big box and I'm like "bro - you didn't have to get me anything." ...and I thought it was probably a soccer t-shirt or something because at that time I don't think I had ever spent more than $10 on someones birthday present and so you can imagine my shock when he pulls out the nicest flatbed scanner you could buy. I remember because we had just been looking at it the week before and it was $150! It even had this attachment that could scan negatives! It was unreal! I scanned everything for the next 5 years (including many things that probably shouldn't be scanned) :) but I never forgot the generosity of that present and really the generosity of his whole life!

My website and Showit Web are a continuation of that. When we were finishing up my site I knew that I needed the ability to put up these slideshows for my clients consistently so I asked him to make this program to help me do it and then I told him other photographers need it too so we could sell it and make a little money for all his hard work. He told me just the other day that when I told him that he was thinking - "sure, we'll probably sell 40 or 50"

So he's pretty excited that Showit Web V.1 has almost 700 users in just 6 months. :)

Kiefer is not so interested in Showit Web really enjoys the big candle on my coffee table. lol


Monday, March 20, 2006

Amazing Picture!

I have tons of friends who have done incredible jobs getting their businesses started but I don't think there's anybody who I'm more proud of than Sarah Barlow. She is a wonderchild! I'm not even gonna tell you how old she is because you wouldn't believe me!

We first got connected a little over a year ago and I've been blessed to get to know her and her family a little bit, and watching how rapidly her business has grown through faith, prayer, and persistence has just blown me away!

Most of you already know her so you know exactly how incredible she is and this post was actually supposed to simply be an announcement of how we got the results back from all the concert pictures everyone submitted from the BG-RSJ-JL concert and they picked Sarah's shot and so would I! This shot is freakin amazing and it just goes to prove once again what a talented and developed shooter she's become.

***CLICK HERE*** to see more of Sarah's work! and click here to see her blog!

Sarah wins a ton of free Showit stuff as well as DVD's and upcoming T-shirts! So be on the lookout for cool new stuff!

Whoa! Cool!

This is awesome! Did you guys see that the author from Creating Customer Evangelists posted on my blog! This is a guy who lives what he teaches and you'll see what I mean when you read the book. The info in this book applies to our industry possibly more than any other! Read it!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sales - Evangelism

So I've been reading more in Creating Customer Evangelists and am loving it! I've also been understanding more and more how important it is for us all to think about things from other peoples perspective. I think it was Zig Ziglar that first said, "the quicker you help other people get what they want - they quicker you'll get what you want." ...and this is especially true in customer evangelism.

"Sales is rooted in what's good for me. Evangelism is rooted in what's good for you." - Guy Kawasaki

...and so in an effort to give all you ladies what you want I found a pic of Mark for you from when we were filming down in Mexico! :) Enjoy!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Mark Fiore!

My buddy Mark Fiore is such a stud! He works primarily for Linkin Park but he's done work for tons of the biggest bands in the world and here's one of my favorite videos he's done for a band called Olivia.

He and I are working on finishing up my mexico DVD and I'm so grateful that he's working with me on this because he is slammed with these big rock bands wanting him and he's taken a month out of his life to work with me!

...and yes ladies he is single and if you can find him on MySpace you can probably become his friend.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Scott Corridan

Yesterday I was so stoked because I got to meet Scott Corridan who is a BIG BIG BIG TIME wedding designer and you've probably already seen some of the magic he's done on TV or in a magazine because it's everywhere, but anyway, it was such an honor to meet him and his lovely assistants and we're working a wedding together later this year and it's gonna be such a killer Santa Barbara wedding! I'm so stoked!

Another thing that was so cool about Scott is that he's so humble...and I notice the same thing with Mike Colon and it always cracks me up because these guys, who are the absolute best and at the top of what they do have such a down to earth view of themselves and are such awesome guys.

I'm so blessed!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Funny Story!

So my buddy Deyl was over last night and he said the craziest thing happend the other day... He searched for my name on iTunes (I dunno why he was stalking me) anyway... some people popped up and he started watching this podcast and he first said the photos were awesome and he loved the song and just had to know who it was. So he writes to this photographer and the photographer writes back saying, "Hey Deyl...are you still doing some video stuff?" Wild huh! It totally tripped him out so he showed me who it was and it was JT Pals! Haha! Isn't that so awesome! For those of you who didn't know JT used to be in video and still incorporates that into his stellar photo business so he must've remembered that I started a video business with Deyl way back in the day!

So the point being - this song is HOT! ***WATCH THE VIDEO!***


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Let's chat :) the past couple of years I've been fortunate to be able to talk with 100's of Brooks students and many other photo students and most of them are absolutely wonderful, positive and incredibly hard working....I've even had the opportunity to do a couple of workshops up at Brooks and have spoken to a few classes up there about my business but I have begun to notice a trend in some of them and obviously a large enough of them for me to make a point about it here and I'd like your feedback so please let me know if I'm off base or help me understand why this is the case and what we can do to fix it.

So here goes...

A troubling amount of photo students that I've come across have been so negative, with nothing positive to say about anything and this really bums me out. They instantly spot what's "wrong" with this photo or that website and they throw this snob attitude that their way is right and everybody else is wrong. It really does bum me out that these people are missing the point and I'd love to help them see how important it is to be able to spot the positive.

Let me tell you a story about one of the most successful business men ever - Sam Walton. One day he and one of his business partners were walking through a competing store and the store was filthy with empty shelves and junk everywhere and when they got outside Sam asked his partner, "what'd you see?" and his partner immediatly went off about the mess and how poor a job they were doing keeping the shelves stocked and sales updated and then the partner asked Sam the same question and Sam said, "That store had the most amazing perfume rack I have ever seen. When we get back to the office order one of those for all of our stores."

Through the mess and mistakes Sam Walton was able to see the good and take advantage of it and become one of the most succesful business men in the world. Can you do the same? It's easy to spot what's wrong but the real winners are those that can spot what's right and use it to better themselves.

I did it!

Ever since I moved downtown I've been saying I would get a membership to 24 Hour Fitness because it is honestly 20 yards from my front door so today I am very proud because I actually went in and got signed up! Just the sign up process got my heart pumping b/c they've got all this stuff like trainers and payment plans and vitamins and I'm like dude, "just sign me up for as long as possible and let me pay right now." So I got 3 years for just over $800 and then it's only 80 bucks a year after that!


Whenever I travel I read more than usual so I have this stack of books that I'm reading right now, but this book just came in.

Creating Customer Evangelists

..and I can already tell that it's gonna be awesome! I'm becoming obsessed with this word of mouth phenomenon that is completely overpowering the traditional (aka. old school) ways of marketing like print/radio/tv advertising and mailings. There are so many ways we can get our name out now and it's really incredible to think about the power we have right at our fingertips!

Just today I was on the phone with a company that handles my international medical insurance, because I might have a fun trip coming up, and I was chatting with a lady who was handling some of the payment stuff and I just mentioned that I was a photographer and she said "Oh yea! I was just on your website." I've never even talked to this lady before in my life! It's wild and I'm slowly getting a grasp on how this stuff works!


Monday, March 13, 2006

Updated Schedule!

My buddy Todd always gets mad at me because he made me the sweetest website ever and I still lag in keeping it updated! Haha....but I just finished updating my schedule from the last couple of weeks and I'm gonna really try and keep on it because it's so cool! All I have to do is type in this little text file and then upload a picture and it adds in all the other stuff!

I also made a little slideshow from the Atlanta PartnerCon so be sure to check that out too!

***CLICK HERE*** to check it out!

... and be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter which you can now do right here! (just submit your address in the space to the right) LOTS of really cool stuff to share this month including a SUPER AWESOME shooting trick I've been doing that is definitely gonna get you stoked!


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Thanks Jeff

The day before PartnerCon last week the four of us, David Salomone, Davide Greene, Liana Lehman, and me got to hang with Jeff Jochum for about 6 hours and for those of you who don't know Jeff he is the Head of Marketing at Pictage and he actually came out of retirement because he really believes in what Pictage is doing and how they're going to be the company that is gonna make an awesome change in the wedding industry. (and they already are!)

Anyway...he spent the whole day with us teaching us about presenting in public and how we should be knowledge driven and make everything valuable. It's something I need a lot of work at but I was just so amped that he took a whole day to share with us all that he's learned.

***CLICK HERE*** to see a motivational presentation he made and showed at the first PartnerCon!

Then the next day at PartnerCon he shared some of the cool things that Pictage will be releasing soon and he also shared his strong belief in Gary Fong's way of selling albums. I heard there's been some commotion on the forum about that and I haven't been able to read the thread but I also see Gary's way of selling albums being the best way to increase your revenue from an event. I've chosen to be a "fee based" photographer so I charge my clients for shooting and then stay away from the backend sales but there is no doubt in my mind that his system works very very well!

I'm so excited for WPPI :)

United Miles

Well I just got done shooting my first wedding of the year and it was so much fun! I'll post some pics tomorrow and I'm also amped because I am so close to becoming a Premier Member on United in just over a month!

A month ago when I was flying to Brazil the guy was like, "You should sign up so you can get miles." So I did and in the last month and a half I've racked up almost 25,000 miles! I'm gonna try and fly 100,000 miles this year so I can be in the 1K club but if I don't make that I'll at least be in the Premier Executive club which is cool too.


...and I just read this and it made me feel pretty good too! :) I've never met Jonathan but I think he's a Police Officer in Singapore (oops) :) which is so cool because I wanted to be a Police Officer for so long! I even used to go on "ride-alongs" when I was younger!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Don't Miss Out!

I'm so excited because the sale that I offered in my newsletter was the biggest sale ever and it has already saved photographers almost $3,000 in just 2 days! I've seriously been so stoked the last couple of days because I've been getting so many emails just like this one from Chris Uglanica who's an awesome photographer up in Canada.

Here's one of his shots that I love! He has a super cool style and it's hearing this sort of stuff that really motivates me and I jammed on emails today and I got back to exactly 71 of you so I'm pretty much caught up and I'll try and get to the last 50 tomorrow...and I just got an email that 40 new people just signed up for the newsletter which is encouraging too!

...and the point of this late night post was actually just to remind everyone that the sale does end today so if you're wanting to get this stuff for the insane low price that I offered in my email be sure to jump on it before midnight...and thanks again to everyone who emailed. I love hearing from and I'm so excited to get to meet lots of you this year!

My best!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Helping people

For those of you who have read my website you know that my dad gave me the best advice ever when he said "if you make your business truly about helping people you'll always have plenty of work." I have tried to work hard to do this and although I still act selfishly more often than I'd like I'm so encouraged by the response I've had to my newsletters and my software.

When Forest and I first started cranking on software for my business we had no idea that so many people needed the same thing and then I pitched some ideas to my friend Todd as well and then he got his buddy Nate involved and I've just been so blessed by these three guys and their willingness to work so incredibly hard for me (and now for the whole photo industry) and it's so encouraging to know that everyone is loving the software and that it's helping people succeed in their businesses and hopefully provide better lives for their families.

I've gotta say it again that I just feel so lucky and blessed to have the friends that I have and I'm so glad that in some way they are able to touch your lives as well. My friend Deyl has also played a huge role in my understanding business as a whole and figuring out how to free up my time so that I can concentrate on being with the people that I love and hopefully help you all do the same. And I can't say enough about how supportive Gary Fong has been as well. He, possibly more than anybody else, has helped me see the needs in this industry.

I was up until 4am this morning working on my newsletter and I was almost falling asleep at the desk but I wanted to make sure that it added value to everyone who read it and so I was amped to wake up to dozens of emails thanking me for sending it out. I'll do my best to respond back as soon as possible.

We also had a flood of orders and I'm just so glad that this software is something that everyone sees value in and again a special thank you to the programmers who have allowed me to offer it for so cheap. They are amazingly generous guys and I pray God's richest blessings on them!