Monday, January 28, 2008

Thank you Everyone!

Last night was the completion of 60 hours of intense Freedom training....and a little bit of sleeping and eating. The first night was mostly a party which was super fun. My buddies Tim Halberg, Ricky Mia and Michael Costa dropped in guns drawn ready for war! They put the target on my bed but that got boring and so we started shooting Tim and that was way more fun!

Then Saturday morning it began - quite possibly the most intense day of training I've ever done and it shows the commitment this group has to develop and grow because they stayed with me and we went over so much! It was 8 hours before dinner and then we went out after dinner and did a night shoot in the pouring rain. We only lasted 40 minutes because Santa Barbara was angry and so we retreated back to the Freedom House where a symphony of snoring was only slightly muted by the howling wind. lol ... Good thing I had my Bose noise canceling headphones and we will provide ear plugs for the next slumber party. :)

Then on Sunday we had another great day talking through some new techniques for a "Hands-Free" workflow and we also talked a little bit about how to "Get-FIT" and create more FLEXIBILTY, INCOME, & TIME in our lives and then how to use those things to create more meaning in others lives. I am so excited at the questions and the commitment of this group to bring purpose into their business.

We also had the special guest Mike Larson drop in and share with the group some awesome ideas of ways to validate the bride and groom and create community with his clients. He said something which is so true and that is "Be First or Be Forgotten" - so true! Mike is a firm believer in the on-site, online, and now he's adapting an in-studio slideshow as well which is great! Super smart dude and he even showed us his ridiculously crazy camera toss RIGHT INSIDE the Freedom House!

Because everyone was staying at my house I'm limiting these to 10 people and one person couldn't make it so we had 9 plus Kenny Kim who is an awesome photographer friend of mine from Chicago who came to snap the pictures you see here and if you want to see the pictures bigger go to his blog...and then my videographer Paul Rogers, the beautiful Brittany who we didn't actually get to shoot because of the nasty weather.

...and saving the best for last my unbelievably magnificent Crystal! Wow! Nearly every person at the workshop came to me and told me how incredible she is 3 or 4 times and none of this would have been able to happen without her. Those of you that were here now realize how vital she is to my life. Crystal thank you thank you thank you!

In this image we have the amazing crew!
Front (left), Mark Barnes, Crystal Hutchinson, Amy Jett, me, Penny Sylvia, Melanie Merkling, Mery Donald,
Back (left) Corey Hage, Kenny Kim, Gustavo Fernandez, Regas Chefas, Andres Valenzuela,
Far back - the rest of Santa Barbara :) ...and this awesome shot was taken by Miss Brittany Leigh.

Thank you again for the incredible weekend. I feel worn out in a good way and totally stoked to do this again.


Andres said...

DJ, thank YOU for opening up your life to us all. I left the Freedom House so inspired and I can't wait to continue implementing all the awesome stuff I learned! Looking forward to hanging out again!

Oh yeah and Crystal WAS amazing!

Dawn Davis said...

So sweeeeeet! I'm so happy that you all had a great time! And yes, Crystal, is AMAZING! You are so lucky to have her!

Happy days!!!!! : )

~ Dawn

Corey Hage said...

DJ, Thank you for taking the time to do this. It was such an awesome experience, I'm already taking big steps toward that freedom. Thanks for taking the time to personally talk with each of us as well, it totally VALIDATES everything you talked about and more. Looking forward to hanging out again soon!

Crystal was awesome, thank you to her too.

Katie Humphreys said...

so fun!! I wish chris and I could have been able to stop by and see all you guys! We were down in LA shooting this weekend, but just wanted you to know we're thinking of you! Looks like a great success!!

let's hang out soon!! xoxo

Tim Halberg said...

The party was a blast! Though i still have little red dots on my bum from the 20+ shots I took from the machine gune!!!! YIKES

Melanie Merkling Photography said...

Thank You DJ, This was the best investment I have ever made into my business!
I was thinking about changes toward freedom and brainstorming all the way home. Then I kept my poor husband up until 3 in the morning rambling on and on about all the great things that I learned... and then I then I told him that I NEED an assistant :) :) :)! Crystal is Awesome!

LaCour said...

Looks like everyone had a fantastic time! Congrats on kickin' off the Freedom & Slumber experience...what a blast!

Keep on asking the important WHY questions :)

Rachel (and the LaCour crew)

Anonymous said...

DJ, thank you for a wonderful all inclusive weekend. For opening your amazing home to a handful of strangers who are now new friends and Freedom advocates. I am continually humbled by your kindness and everybody in the industry and this weekend confirmed once again that i made the right choice to pursue my photography passion and join the wedding photographer ranks.

Ginger Murray said...

Weren't you worried at first about even having this? (or you mentioned that you weren't sure how many people would sign up, or something like that?) Looks like it was more than a success! Seems that everyone had an amazing time! Yay for promoting freedom!

Mike Larson said...

Dude, it was such a pleasure to hang out with you guys! Everyone there was great! Rachel and I loved the dinner you guys had. Crystal is the best as well!

Penny Sylvia said...

Crystal and DJ, thank you so much for such a wonderful weekend. Everyone was so awesome. Crystal, your the BEST for being so great ... you made the weekend seem like we were at home. DJ, you are the BEST for being so generous with your time and knowledge. It was so great to be able to just hang with you. Paul, Kenny ... dudes you rock at your images and your ability to make me feel comfortable with getting filmed like 24/7!!

Alli, thanks for letting us nab DJ from you for the weekend!!

I can't wait to see you all in the years to come! And, to share each of our success' large and small :-)

I'm totally excited about that!