Saturday, February 28, 2009

Expectation Overload

Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation about expectations and the burden they can become and it reminded me of this post I wrote earlier this month but never published it but I think it's good so check it out.

Isn't it weird how if someone expects us to do something we feel
obligated to do it. Why is that! Email is the perfect example. When
someone emails us don't we feel like we have to email them back?
Weird! How many of you spend more time emailing than you want to? My guess is that that most of you are like me and you do. Why do you do that! You just said you don't want to! You do it because we've been trained to think we have to do what people expect of
us. I mean isn't it rude to not call somebody back when they leave
you a voicemail or email them back when they email you?

This was one of the hardest things I had to get used to and I
want to challenge you to think about it as well. Are you being
controlled by other people's expectations of you? Maybe in your life it's not email but it's something else. Whatever it is just know that you don't have to let this control you. I don't return the majority of my vm's and I certainly don't email
back even a fraction of the people who email me b/c if I did I would spent 10 hours a day typing emails!

I want my life to be about loving people and glorifying God. Now some of you are thinking ahhhh
come on DJ! That's just a lame thing to say so you can avoid the fact
that you're selfish...and I admit sometimes I am just being selfish (or lazy) but
personally I don't believe my life is meant to be spent behind the
computer and so I'm not gonna spend my life there whether somebody expects me to or

...because when it comes down to it I want to be your friend - not your pen
pal...and not on facebook. In real life! What a concept! I want
to see you and hug you and experience LIFE together!

So let's get OUT of our IN box and get into reality. There's a fullness to life that
just can't be experienced behind these silly screens and so if you're
spending more time behind the computer than with people face to face
try switching things up - see how it goes!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

From Scratch!

Dude - this was awesome.

Mike Larson is one of my favorite photographers, businessmen and most of all a huge inspiration to me as a man of faith who loves his wife and works incredible hard to help other people. He drives down 2 hours from SLO each week to be part of the Christian photographers meetings and last night he came early to hangout and taught me how to make squash ravioli from scratch!

I didn't have a lot of the needed utensils like blenders or a roller pin thing so we used wine bottles to thin out the dough. It was a good workout.

Then after that we baked the squash I had the job of scooping it out of the skin. I wasn't very good at that but Mike was patient with me.

Then came the fun parts where we put the dough through this machine Mike brought over and rolled it super thin. We had to keep decreasing the number on the side of the machine and then it was like paper thin. I don't know how it stayed together.

We used the Foosball table for the production and folding of the ravioli.

It was insanely awesome and I have a lot more in my freezer to keep eating this week!

Data Mining

*kind of another geek post - sorry - I guess I'm feeling geeky this week*

All of you who've heard me speak know how consumed I am with knowing WHY people do things... well this translates over into my job with Showit b/c a huge part of what I do is try to understand why people buy our products so I do my best to get my hands on as many graphs and things that show our data and they are encouraging when they look like this. Generally up is better. :)

I'm really stoked that Showit (sites) is already exceeding my expectations (which are usually super optimistic). Last year when we launched we immediately hit 100 subscribers per month. which was our one year goal and now only 8 months in we're up 25% to over 125 new subscribers per month.

And on a different note - what's the deal with international orders today. For some reason intl orders went crazy today for Showit (web) so I'm wondering if there is some kind of tax rebate happening over there or big conference in Europe or something. We usually get one international order each day but today we had

Two in Germany

...and a bunch in the U.S. but it's just weird to have them all happen today so I was wondering if anybody knew why that was?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Geeking Out!

So yesterday and today I have been totally geeking out. I dunno. I get on these kicks sometimes and it's fun.

Yesterday when I saw this gorgeous view I wanted to take a picture...

but when I grabbed my camera I remembered that I hadn't used my 2x converter in awhile (not used for this shot) or my wireless transmitter which is the coolest thing ever BUT nearly impossible to setup and the Canon directions suck. So I searched around on some forums and went step by step about 13 times until I got it but I did it myself instead of just resorting to asking one of my developers who are way smarter than me. All too often our first resort is just to ask someone else to fix our problems for us and then we aren't stretched and don't grow.

Anyway. It's been super fun shooting pictures around the house and then instantly when I shoot them they are on my computer so I don't have to download them....and then I just drag them over onto SmugMug and then delete them off my computer. I don't store any pictures on my computer anymore b/c I know that I always have the full resolution image backed up in multiple places by SmugMug and I can instantly grab it anytime.

I just went downstairs and took this picture of my media room where I do workshops and also where we fight. :)

...and here is a picture of what this room looked like when I moved in!

Wow! Yes! There was pink carpet on the walls!

Lastly, I just downloaded the beta of the new Safari and it's super cool. It has this feature where it shows you your most visited websites in this neat little panel. It also has a way better tabs menu and some other cool stuff so check it out.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Vote Yo

We collected five videos about Showit! A couple of them are pretty freaking funny so you should watch them and then pick your favorite.

Click here to see the videos and vote!

I've also been taking some fun shots from my house and today I saw this boat cruising way out in the ocean underneath this cool low cloud so I snapped a hot of it and then played with it in photoshop.

and then this one I stamped the boat out.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bob and Dawn Davis - Signup Fast!

I don't recommend many workshops but I do recommend this one! Bob is an incredible photographer and he's also an incredible teacher of photography and Dawn does the albums, blogging and lots of other stuff. So essentially Bob has the easy job. What a bum. ;) A couple years back I did a workshop with Bob at Apple headquarters in Paris and it rocked!

I learned more about how to use my flash from Bob in 20 minutes then I had learned in 5 years of being a professional. This guy is legit. There's a little video here and you can skip the begining to get straight to some of the fun shooting we did.

Click here and signup...and maybe we can get Bob and Dawn to do a workshop at the Freedom House someday!

*** WARNING - you will notice in this video that I have Tylenol PM next to my champaign. Do NOT take these together. It can kill you. I didn't know that and used to down some before my workshops in europe b/c I'd always arrive and have to work the next day so I wanted to get on that schedule as soon as possible. My good friend Regis Chen told me how dangerous it is after seeing this video.***

Friday, February 20, 2009

Beautiful Photography and Beautiful Photographers!

Ok so these two amazing photographers are beyond incredible!

Gabriel and Carlie are just - wow!

Click here and checkout their brand new website that they created with Showit...all the graphics are custom hand drawings! How cool is that! Also, click through and go to their blog because they could make an entire portfolio with their last shoot. It will knock your socks off!

Lost 4 Pounds in Vegas

Every year I feel like I go to Vegas and turn into a chicken with its
head cut off...but not this year. I owned Vegas instead of letting it
own me. Every night there is party after party and everyone is pulling
and jockying to get me to do this or that and so there is a tremendous
amount of pressure but I've gotten a lot better at saying no...even if
there is no explanation or reason.

Also because we had these great suites with full kitchens we were able
to eat healthy. My sweet friends Annemarie and Shyla picked up food
and I am so craving one of Annemarie's incredible sandwiches right
now. :) yummm. This is such a better way to do it rather than eating out every meal which is super expensive and I usually feel like crap afterwards.

Anyway. I feel good. I need to do better about lifting weights though b/c I'll pick up some weight pretty quick if I do that. I think I should be at 175 but I'm glad I trimmed down a bit and now I'll build it back up with muscle.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Home sweet home

Home sweet home, originally uploaded by davidjay13.

I am so happy to be home! I love it here.

Leaving Las Vegas :)

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came up to the Showit Suite! What a treat it was to meet you and to get your feedback. We are already moving forward with lots of your suggestions and I have been so excited to see what you've been creating!

I booked a flight home early this morning because I really want to be home. It actually would've been cheaper to stay another night here and fly home tomorrow but I'm ready to get out of this air conditioned, timeless biosphere.

The buzz around the show was definitely SmugMugPro and their BayPhoto integration which now combines their rock solid technology and support with an insane pro lab. I stopped by their booth and it was nuts. Everyone is so excited and you may have heard by now that Jeff Jochum is their new Chief Marketing Officer and I can't imagine a better fit for the job!

I made a little Facebook group for SmugMugPro so be sure to join me over there so we can chat about all the cool new things happening!

Rock on!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


What a time! Wow! Yesterday was amazing.

I got up early to another stunning desert sunrise and then a bunch of Christian photographers from as far as Malaysia came up to my suite and we just chatted about all the cool things God is doing in our lives. I've been to WPPI four times and the two hours spent with these new friends was definitely the highlight of all of them.

(s0rry to my gorgeous friends on the right side of this picture b/c the flash bounced off the mirror and makes it look like they got only 1/2 of a spray on tan. lol)

...and another highlight came when I got to meet this sweetheart! You may already know who she is but if not you'll find out soon enough. I've been in love with her music from the moment I heard it and when we sat down for lunch I noticed a beautiful tattoo on her arm saying "You are Beloved" and I am! Seriously. My name "David" in Hebrew means "Beloved" - isn't that crazy! I used to have a little plaque on my wall growing up and so did she b/c her name means beloved too! Anyway...more to come...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Big Day - Big Bubble Bath

I woke up at 5 this morning to an incredible sunset which was a real treat. I spent some time reading and preparing for my talk which went so well. So many friends came which always blesses me. Thank you.

There was a great crowd too which I was a little surprised by since it was 8am! I talked on WHY we should use video and media in our business and then Ron Dawson talked about HOW to do it. I snapped this shot of Ron as he moved the crowd (and himself) to tears - literally. He's an amazing guy.

Then after that we had three groups of photographers come up to our Suite and chat Showit stuff. It was super helpful to hear what you love and what we need to work on and we're doing a few more groups tomorrow and Wednesday but I think all the spots are filled so if you're having trouble "signing up" or hearing back it means that somebody beat ya to the punch. this post is getting long but I HAVE to write about these girls because they are really an inspiration to me. The Boudoir Divas. I met Kimberlee West a few years ago and have watched her career as a wedding photographer as well as a Boudoir photographer explode. She and Marissa started the Boudoir Divas and quickly rose to the top of their field. They have a beautiful book on boudior photography that I was honored to write the forward to so be sure to check that out!

They treated a huge group of us to an amazing sushi dinner! I am just so blown away at how sweet and giving they are and I hope all of you have a chance to meet them. I snapped these quick pictures as they were talking and just being around them made me want to try my skills so I snapped this shot of their legs. I think I'm a natural. lol.

Lastly I was gonna finish the night by going to Becker's party. He always has the coolest party at WPPI but I was shattered and so I came back up to the room and dumped the whole thing of soap into the bath and had a big bubble bath. It was amazing. It was a great day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Showit Suite info and Christian photographers hangout.

A couple quick things :) I just got into Vegas and I just wanted to let you know that we are in TOWER TWO (2) at the MGM Signature. Which is amazing and it's gonna be so fun to have you up to hangout!

The rooms are all connected so it should be easy to find and you don't need a room key to get up to the rooms which'll make it way easier. The roundtable and design sessions will be in suites 19-718 and 19-720 which means floor 19 room 718 and 720.

Also, on another note. The Christian photographers in Santa Barbara have been meeting every week at my house to read and pray together and it's been a really sweet time and they all want to get together out here and so on Tuesday morning at 8am we're gonna meet in the lobby of tower two (2) here at the MGM Signature and either come up to my suite or if there's a bunch of us we'll try and get a little ballroom or something to hangout and be together. If you're into that cruise over!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Showit Suite Schedule

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

I am stoked for WPPI!

We have two suites dedicated to all of our Showit users at the MGM Signature and I'll be bopping between the suites and the SmugMug booth on the tradeshow floor. The reason we are doing this is because we want to hear from you how we can make Showit exactly what you want.

Also, if you haven't already be sure to checkout a brand new update to Showit Sites with more cool stuff. Including drop down menus, twitter widget, visible fonts, an updated library and the ability to "drag select". Click here to read more.

We will have TWO different suites. One will be for 6-10 person roundtable discussions about Showit and the other Suite will have designers and our support studs available to give you personal help with your site.

If you'd like to be part of the roundtable discussions and/or the design suite see below.

FYI - THE ONLY WAY TO GET ACCESS TO THE SUITES IS TO CONTACT JD [at] with the time you'd like to attend and then you must meet one of our support studs in the lobby of the MGM Signature on the hour so we can bring you up. You can get to the MGM Signature by walking through a long hallway from the MGM grand so give yourself some time to get there. We will post what tower we are in as soon as we know. Here are the available time slots.

11:00am-11:45am (roundtable and design suite)
12:00pm-12:45pm (roundtable and design suite)
1:00pm-1:45pm (roundtable and design suite)
2:00pm-2:45pm (design suite only)

11:00am-11:45am (roundtable and design suite)
12:00pm-12:45pm (roundtable and design suite)
1:00pm-1:45pm (roundtable and design suite)
2:00pm-2:45pm (roundtable and design suite)

11:00am-11:45am (roundtable and design suite)
12:00pm-12:45pm (roundtable and design suite)
1:00pm-1:45pm (design suite only)
2:00pm-2:45pm (design suite only)

Can't wait to see you in Vegas. I'm waiting and heading out after church tomorrow so I'll be in tomorrow evening.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Drummer Boy

Amy, Vanessa and I hitup El Paseo for a late dinner and some margaritas tonight and midway through dinner we were like let's get drums and do a drum circle! Crazy right b/c it's already 9:30 and I've never even seen drums for sale anywhere but Vanessa gets on her iPhone and sees that there is a guy in Santa Barbara who makes these drums.

So we call the number on his website and he answers and Vanessa says that we want to buy some drums and he's like "yea ok who is this" and she's like it's Vanessa and he's like "do I know you?" and she's like "no but I want to get some drums." He totally thought it was a joke but he said he'd meet us down by the beach b/c he lives way back in the mountains but he needed to come down to pick up his son. So we drive and meet this cool hippie dude named Ishmael who is a Brooks Graduate who pulls seven or eight drums out of his truck and he talked us through the different sounds they make and we ended up buying three drums. Then Amy had to be a lamo and go home and work so Vanessa and I came back up to the house and played the drums and she even danced and played the drums at the same time. Tomorrow night Deyl's hosting a meeting here for Opportunity International and we're gonna have a legit drum and dance circle after that. I'm so pumped right now.


Here is another reason NOT to go to Starbucks. There are people like this there.

I mean are you serious dude. Let's make a list:
  1. He has his sunglasses on inside
  2. He has his monster earpiece permanently in his ear
  3. He has another wired earphone and brittany spears mic in his other ear
  4. He's on Skype in Starbucks annoying everyone.
  5. He has a mouse and mouse pad in Starbucks
  6. He was reading an email over the phone (just forward it dude)
LOL - WOW...glad I had my earphones to drowned out this tool.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This is one of those blog posts that I don't want to start because I know I can't make it perfect enough. This last weekend I had the third Freedom and Slumber party at my house and wow is all I can say. I can think of only a few other times in my life when I felt this thankful for the work I get to do and I know it has to do with the people who I'm around. The group who came up to this workshop really embraced each other and I know they are already doing incredible things. Speaking of...check out this stellar video Troy Grover put together of the weekend!

This weekend my dear friends Bobby and Lindsay Earle and Jasmine and JD came up and helped out which was such a treat for everyone. Bobby and Lindsay and Brittany Leigh (who's wedding I'll be shooting later this year ... but more on that later) were the hot models and I must say with all humbleness that I still got a little magic left with my camera! ;) Here are two of my favorite shots from this weekend.

I uploaded a bunch of my favorite pics to this facebook gallery but I also uploaded the pics straight out of the camera to this smugmug gallery so you can download the full res versions if you want them and you can even see the camera settings on each image by hovering over the big image and clicking on the "photo info" button.

I miss everyone and I wish I could do these things every weekend.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I just finished up the third Freedom and Slumber and I can't believe how lucky I am to get to do things like this.

I'll share more about it later because this sunrise is beautiful.

I can't believe I ever miss a sunrise!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wonderful Dinner and thoughts

Last night was so wonderful. My friends Amy, Vanessa and Emily came up and cooked this incredible dinner with salmon and sweet potatoes and vegetables and then I did my part and prepared the wine. :) We ate it outside overlooking the city and chatted and dreamed about going to Buenos Aires and studying dance and lots of other stuff.

We talked a little bit about the craziness that just got stirred up and it's great to have friends who understand my life to chat with about that stuff. They challenge me and question me as do many of you which is something that I really appreciate. To be honest I haven't read Gary's post nor do I feel a need to. What is revealing though is that I spent several years sharing my thoughts and advice with Pictage and they decided to take Denis and Gary's advice instead and go a different direction...that's's their business...but why now all of a sudden after years of deaf ears do they care this much about what I have to say?

Lastly, thanks for reading! :) It's an incredible priviledge that people listen to what I have to say. This comes with lots of upsides as well as some downsides but it's a reality and responsibility that I live with and take seriously. I look forward to continuing to share my life and my thoughts with you.

Rock on!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I said "I Do" ;)

Sweet! So I think all of you know that a year or so ago I started uploading all my pictures and videos onto SmugMug and using them for everything and it's been the greatest thing ever! When the fire happened I didn't have to worry about anything b/c all my full resolution photos for my business and my personal life (yes I have one! ;) are backed up by SmugMug on multiple servers all over the place and I can access them anytime!

As I talked with them more and more I realized that this was the solution of the future but what I didn't know at the time was how excited they were about the wedding industry. So over the past 6 months we've been having roundtable discussions with groups of photographers and the cool guys over at SmugMug to figure out what we need as professionals. Essentially we came up with a list of pro options that they are using to create a brand new solution just for us! How cool is that!

The sad part of this is that I was very involved with Pictage so the "breakup" was painful They worked great for me when they first started but year after year I felt that they got more out of date and more expensive for what they were offering and eventually I felt like they crossed a point where I couldn't feel good referring people to them and so I moved on. About that same time many people left Pictage who I felt were the ones trying to create positive changes there and I felt like things went downhill fast. One of the last people I know there is their CEO but I just heard that they are looking to replace him in the next few months too so it's a different place now.

All that to say - I'm excited about where things are going. SmugMug's new pro solution is gonna be epic so I'd suggest starting now in putting your stuff up there so when they get all the new pro stuff launched you'll be able to make it an easy transition for your clients. I'm working with them on many projects and they're gonna be in the BayPhoto booth at WPPI and they also have a hotel suite that you can go to and meet them and share what you'd like!

Lastly, I'm stoked to be SmugMug's Artist in Residence for wedding photography! Click Here to see the nice little write up

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I believe in celebrating and I am so stoked right now! One of my friends just got hired by an awesome company so I'm raising up my favorite drink "Millionaires Coffee" to him tonight!

Let's finish what you started!

Taking Time

Taking Time, originally uploaded by davidjay13.

This is one of my favorite times of the year. It's just over 70
outside with a little breeze and so I went for a run this morning and
then grabbed my book and headed out by the pool. Next to the pool is
this giant tree which loses all its leaves but then sprouts these
gorgeous flowers and that attracts all sorts of pretty birds.

Someone asked me at the workshop where I would go if I could go
anywhere in the world and I thought for a minute but landed on SB. I
love it here.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Rental Market is Crazy Here

So last year when I was going on tour my friend Paige who is a brilliant business woman told me to rent my house while I was gone. So I setup my house on this website and got like two inquiries and she said "DJ you don't know what you're doing - let me do it." ...and as a favor she created a website for my house (with Showit of course) - - and ever since then I've been flooded with inquires.

I had 37 inquires in the last month of people wanting to pay me $600/night to stay here! Wow! I want to be here so I didn't accept any of them (or even reply for that matter) but this summer when I'm traveling more I'm totally gonna rent it again. I actually love renting it because it makes me feel good that someone is enjoying this place when I can't and it makes me feel good that I am making money with a resource that I have AND I love it because it keeps the house simple. You can't have clutter and crap everywhere when you rent it and to be honest most houses are just full of a bunch of junk that the people collected over the years and should be thrown away. I don't really have stuff like that. My house and decorations are very simple and minimal and it helps me breath.

What resources do you have at your disposal? They don't have to be things that you own but simply things that you have access to that somebody else needs? Think about this? Think about what other people need and how you can offer it to them. Whether you actually go through with it is irrelevant - it's just a good exercise to get your brain working in the realm of solutions.

Go Cardinals

I really don't even like football or the Cardinals but my business partner Todd is a huge Cardinals fan. I've known him since I was 10 years old and he even loved the Cardinals then when they sucked and never won a game. Anyway.

As the Cardinals kept winning I kept feeling worse and worse for him because I knew if they kept winning he would have to keep going to the games. lol. So I was secretly hoping they would lose so he would save him some cash but now that they are in the Superbowl I hope they win.

Here's a picture he just posted from the stadium! :) He's the one with the face paint and that is his older brother who was friends with my brother growing up. Our brothers both played baseball which is an even lousier sport than football. Actually baseball is more of a game than a sport. The only real sport is soccer. :)