Monday, March 31, 2008

Thank you

Thanks for all the comments about my stach! I wanted to let you all know that if you would like to save this as your screensaver you can do that by clicking on the picture and then saving it. :{)

What do you think?

End of the Month

Don't forget that it's the end of the month and that means TODAY is the last day to submit photos for the March OpenPhotoContest! So many great pictures already submitted!

This month's contests are:
Bride and Groom - Artsy
Wedding Details
Seniors (Highschool or College age - not old farts)

Over $600 in prizes being given away to the winners this month as well as features in OPC's monthly newsletter and on OPC's website!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Two Great Quotes

Branding and Networking have become kind of buzz words in our industry and people have gotten a bad taste in their mouth when they hear them. We've seen photographers focus completely on their "brand" and deliver a crap product or forget about their business and then had everything collapse around them.

We've also seen the idea of "Networking" get the rap of being a means to a (selfish) end. These quotes set it straight.

The best brands never start out with the intent of building a great brand. They FOCUS on building a great - and profitable- product or service and an organization that can sustain it.
- Scott Bedbury

Definition of Networking = "Discovering what you can do for someone else"
- Darcy Rezac (The Frog and the Prince)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Time Lapse Sunset

Here was my first attempt at a time lapse. My friend Mark Fiore taught me how to do it yesterday and it's so fun! This is a sunset from the Freedom House last night! You can click on the little box in the corner and watch it full screen! enjoy!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Best Dinner Ever

So the other night Allie came over and cooked up some amazing pasta. It was unbelievable! I'm still eating it. I had a bowl yesterday and I'm gonna have a bowl in a little bit....and she brought over her cute friends too. One of them is single and one of them is almost single so post up on the blog if you wanna know which one.

Tonight the Westmont Business Club is coming over. They come over sometimes and all share their ideas. They call it a "Think Tank" and it's a brilliant idea and everyone gets smarter as a result. It's funny b/c I've never even taken a business class and I actually dropped out of Westmont but there are some smart cats over there and we all learn a lot at these things.

It's interesting in our industry of wedding photography because there is such a focus on photography and almost zero focus on business. I was guilty of it too. For years and years all I thought about was taking picture and every day I would take pictures...but now I spend time every day thinking and learning how to create a better life through my business.

When was the last time you spent an hour taking pictures?
When was the last time you spent an hour reading about business?

Download my booklists and spend some time this week investing in yourself!

DJ's 1st booklist
DJ's 2nd booklist

Rock on!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How do you find peace?

I woke up at 6am today to a beautiful Santa Barbara sunrise...and being that I'm still exhausted from last week I knew that God got me out of bed for a reason. The past few months my life has gotten so far out of wack and one of the ways I know to get myself back on track is to find (or create) structure.

This is like pulling teath for me b/c I love to live a very fluid life mixing work and play and everything in between, but I realize, or I'm beginning to, that even though I'm 28 yrs old I am like a two year old in that I need some consistencies in my life and I usually find that in the morning.

I like to get up and make coffee and then head to my library and on a good day I won't leave or be bothered until noon. I read, pray, and think and this is by far the most valuable time in my day. BUT... when I travel it's a bit trickier especially when I have presentations to give and flights to catch early in the morning day after day after day. If this goes on for too long my life can get wacked like it feels now.

So for those of you who have been affected by this I am sorry and thank you for not giving up on me.

I'm curious how all of you find that peace in your life that we all need? What are your tricks? As I've added elements to my life that compete for my time, attention, and passion I've found it really difficult to not "drop the ball" in every area.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Home and Happy!

Happy Belated Easter everyone! I came home from Vegas on Saturday and am almost fully recovered from an intense week. It's funny because shortly after I posted about how I was seeing the light at the end of tunnel I got gnarly food poisoning!

It was our last night there and Allie and I went to try out Nobu in Vegas b/c Deyl's been talking it up and it was excellent but 20 minutes later I couldn't even stand up. It was really kinda scary. I've never felt like that before. My face felt like ice and I could only walk a few steps before getting dizzy and curling over. Anyway, I'm better now and it's so nice to have Gary and Missy in SB celebrating Easter and enjoying the beautiful weather.

I just got finished recording a little video for Showit Sites which shows how cool and custom you can now make your websites... and tomorrow I'm gonna finish up some Freedom Club videos.

Rock on!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Seeing the Light

The city lights here in Vegas represent the light at the end of the tunnel for me...and the end to a 3 month whirlwind that was more exhilarating and exhausting then anything I've ever experienced. I just did the math and figured out that I've been flying an average of 310 miles a day every day for the past two years. Yikes. I've already flown over 27,000 miles this year and the funny thing is that even though right now I'm feeling spent I am beyond excited for what's coming next.

The next two weeks I'll be catching up on things that I've been wanting to get to like the Freedom Club as well as planning some small get togethers across the country. The Freedom and Slumber party was such a blast so I want to go out and meet more of you in settings like that.

My buddy Rudy shot the image of me above at the Adobe booth and I must say that meeting so many of you at WPPI made this a wonderful way to close out this chapter of the year.

Thank you all for your love and support (and patience) through this chaotic season. I wouldn't have gotten through it without you.



Recap of the past 3 months:
Nicaragua - Little Eden Cay
Tampa, FL - PPA Nationals
Jacksonville, FL - Visting Allie's fam
Santa Barbara - Freedom and Slumber Party
New Hampshire - PPA State Convention
Washington DC - stopover visit with Allie
Orlando, FL - Props Convention
Wedding at Firestone Winery
Showit Retreat
Orange Country - Wedding with Jasmine Star
Hosting Westmont's Business Club
Dayton, Ohio - PPA Regional Convention
London - Getaway
Germany - FotoWerkstatt Convention
Las Vegas, NV - WPPI

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Young Guns

For opening night this year at WPPI they named 12 of us "Young Guns" and they joined together two ballrooms to fit 2500 people and then gave us each a few minutes to share some tips with the group.

Skip Cohen, who's in charge of WPPI, sat us all down and said that there is ONE reason we were invited to give this presentation. It wasn't because we were the best photographers, or the best business people, he said it was because we were unique, different and we didn't let ourselves blend in to the masses. Wow. It's a scary thing thinking about an industry like ours and how important it is to stand apart and to be different. It's easy to be the same but we need to fight that urge because in the long run it will really hurt us.

Everyone shared some great ideas and I talked about how important it is to have a unique website. Our websites are often the only interaction potential clients will ever have with us and I've seen too many photographers become commodities and have to lower their prices because they adopted a website that looked just like somebody elses.

Checkout this fun little video Paul put together from the night. I'll be posting the audio content from this as well as from my platform presentation on the Freedom Club.

CLICK HERE for the video!

Rock on!

Here are some more pics!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

WPPI Schedule

At this point this is my schedule. My asst Crystal knows that on any given day if I have more than one thing on my schedule it's a rough day so you can see that WPPI stretches me a bit. :) Also, Crystal tracked down my phone in London but I still don't have it so don't bother calling me or texting me.

Also, Crystal is really mean to me. When I first came home she said "How do you buy a purse and then lose your phone." ....but then she found it so I still love her despite the abuse.

My schedule usually goes even more nuts once I get there but I'd love to meet you if you're gonna be at the show so come say hi and my buddy Brett Austin will be there armed with a pretty insanely awesome sneak preview for Showit Sites so if you spot his sexy mug around the show ask him for a demo. I'll also be giving a demo (and maybe even a secret download link) during select presentations. :)

See you in Vegas!

Friday, March 14, 2008

More survival tips

Gary Fong just posted about how to dig a home so we have a place to live during the recession and so it is important to have shelter and I also wanted to talk about what some things to be careful of in terms of food.

1. Be sure to start by capturing and eating the smaller animals. They are sometimes hard to catch because they are fast so we will want to go out and buy some small animal traps NOW while there are still some left and while we still have some money to buy them with.

2. Catch enough food to eat and then a little extra to use to hunt bigger animals. It is important to catch bigger animals partially for food but also for warmth. Getting a nice fur coat is not a luxury in the wilderness it is a necessity. Use part of the fur for your coat and part for your head b/c that's where most of your heat escapes from. Some of you have a lot of hot air in your head so be sure to keep it in there for survival.

3. Make sure to also get an *extra* fur coat for your best friend. Having your dog warm and comfortable will prove to be a great asset for you as you hunt for more food.

....more tips to come and remember you can never be too prepared.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Strong Housing Prices :)

I figured since Gary posted a doomsday post I'd post about how excited I am about the great real estate market. :)

My friend Deyl talked me into buying a house last year despite lots of skepticism about the market but the cool thing is that the Freedom House, and my whole neighborhood, has shot up in value because every house is unique! Checkout these numbers! My neighborhood is up 150%!!! Sweet!

In a slouching market there are things that can keep values high and one of those things is uniqueness. As our economy worsens and the brides start to penny pinch a bit more we ABSOLUTELY MUST separate ourselves from the masses.

We must be different!!! So think about what your potential clients have as a first impression of you and think about how that could be hindering your success if it makes you look like everybody else!

Winter in SB

When I woke up this morning I saw that there were some winter clouds in the sky and so grabbed a quick photo to show the hostile weather we are dealing with here in SB.

I know many of you are dealing with these same extremes across the country so just know I will be thinking of you and if you need anything just let me know and when I get back from the beach I will respond.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

OSP's meteoric growth!

Online Social Networks have fascinated me ever since I started OSP back in October of 2003. Since then it's been incredible to watch as it slowly grew and then all of a sudden exploded and is now one of the best photographer communities on the net.

It is also the only one that I know of that still has never had advertising and is free to subscribers! That is super cool.

Checkout this New Users graph showing all the people signing up every month!

and today when I logged on there were 640 people from all over the world chatting away! That is so cool!

And for those of you who saw the B School blog today you witnessed The [b] share a tip encouraging people to bug me but I will [b]ounce you! Watch my tip!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

BTW - I don't have a phone

I left my iPhone at the hotel in London and they can't find it so if you've been leaving me messages then I can't listen to them but thank you.

I don't really like phones so I don't miss it but it means I can only check my emails on my computer which makes me even more thankful that i got an ultra tiny Macbook Air before I left because I can carry it around super easy! In London I bought a little "man-bag" to carry it in. :) Other than that I didn't buy anything out there. The U.S. dollar isn't worth jack in europe so I just couldn't buy anything. It's crazy what's happening and this was the first time I really felt how bad our situation is getting. I've been trying to tell Gary Fong for years about this whole recession thing but he won't listen. ;P

Clowning our way home

We're just leaving for our flight home and this is just a small taste of the fun we had here in Germany!!! What an incredible time! I love these people! Thank you thank you thank you.

Monday, March 10, 2008

This morning was fantastic! Coming to Germany was such a wonderful treat and I love the people here! I've met some absolutely incredible photographers and gotten to spend the last couple of days at the stellar Foto Werkstatt convention.

Michael Belz and his team at Foto Werkstatt put on the classiest convention I've ever seen and I've been to many very nice ones but I have been blown away at the level of experience Foto Werkstatt has produced... and It's their 20th year reunion! :)

Here's just a quick image from this morning!

I spoke about my images and my Freestyle approach to shooting.... it was really fun. I almost never do but they asked for that and I really enjoyed going back to my roots a bit and talking photography! There were 300 photographers there from 5 or 6 different countries and they were doing live translation through wireless headsets which was really cool.

I leave tomorrow to head back to the U.S. to get ready for WPPI which is always a whirlwind!

* The image above was shot by the beautiful and talented Allison Trowbridge and she insisted on retaining the copyright so all rights reserved. Yea right :P

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Huge Showit Sale - ENDS tonight! This sale is massive so don't miss it! Over 100 people have ordered in the past 48 hours!!! See below for more info...

Also Go here and submit in the poll on OSP. Our industry is great because you can do wedding photography at the level you desire and I'm curious how many of you are full-time vs. how many are part-time.

Also, today was a fun day for me and Allie in London. We did one of those bus tours despite the it has actually been nice and sunny but it was cold on top of the bus. brrrrrr...

Then tonight we went to eat at Nobu. My buddy Deyl has been telling me about this place for ages and we're gonna go to one in Vegas in a couple weeks but we figured we'd try one of them here too. :) Super good sushi but I'm still a Sakana fan.

DON'T MISS OUT on the insane sale going on with Showit Web right now! Yesterday we sent out my monthly newsletter with an unbelievable sale in it that ends TONIGHT! You can sign up for my newsletter by typing your email in the box to the right or on my site...and you can see the newsletter and HUGE discount by clicking here!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

This is a riot!

If you haven't already checked out the [b] School you definitely have to! Becker's been putting up tons of sweet free videos and I just saw this one that Jessica Claire did and it's so freaking funny. You have to watch it! Click play below or watch it on the [b] School site and watch all the videos there! Jessica better keep doing these! Allie and I are in London right now and we were dying laughing! Allie was laughing because the picture Jess used on the map shows off the "tower" on my head.

*You can watch it full screen by clicking on the little box in the right corner*

Monday, March 03, 2008

We made it to Germany

We made it to Germany, originally uploaded by davidjay13.

.... Now what?!?

Haha...seriously I didn't make any reservations or anything. I don't
give my presentation until Saturday morning so we have some time to
bop around. If you remember the last time I didn't make any
reservations I spent the night in a bathroom in Switzerland! It was a
nice bathroom though. Hopefully that doesn't happen this time! LOL.

I just figured out that I have literally flown 17 hours in the past 2
days! I flew home from Ohio and was only there for 12 hours before
hopping on the plane to Germany and my dear asst. Crystal will be
happy to know that we did get our upgrades!!! Yea! She spent hours
upon hours working on getting us business class seats which typically
cost $6k (which I refuse to pay cash for so we always have to work the
system) and it makes all the difference in the world! This is my
fourth gig in Europe since last January and I've managed to work out
business or first class seats everytime without spending a dime on
them. :)

Oh yea...I got my new LuLuLemon pants back from the tailor on my
"layover" in SB and WOW I can't believe I've ever worn anything else!
They are black pin striped and the most stellar travel pants ever!

More fun to come...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Another "Amazing" PPA group ;)

I had a blast this morning with the PPA group in Ohio. It was a regional convention so there were people from lots of different states that joined in. I got to see some long time friends from OSP that I hadn't seen in years and meet some new friends!

Unfortunately I had to jam to the airport right away because I'm headed back to SB tonight and then I have an 8am flight to Germany tomorrow. Phewww.... I feel good though! I had the chance to have dinner with David and LaDawn Ziser last night and it was so neat to get to hang out with this legend! David's been in the industry longer than I've been alive and he's still cranking! His "Digital Wakeup Call" tour is probably the most well known ever and I'm sure many of you went. Be sure to checkout his blog which has some awesome tips and tricks!