No wait, really. Let's just say that again. Whew!!
It has been a long, crazy, whirlwind of a couple of weeks, but United & WPPI are now officially over. It feels like we were just getting used to the West Coast time zone and now we are headed back home. And then we'll only be there a couple of days before we go five time zones in the opposite direction.
Yea, like I said. Whew.
This was our seventh year attending WPPI & our sixth time speaking. So I guess you could say we're seasoned pros, but the truth is you just never really know what will happen once you get out there. This year was a pretty different year for us! Instead of flying right in to Vegas & spending the first few days jet lagged, this time we drove in through the desert from Santa Barbara since we were already out there for United. So we were already pretty adjusted once we got there. And I have to say it was pretty cool to drive in out of the darkness and suddenly see the lights of the strip!
This year we were also speaking on Monday morning (which is an AWESOME time slot!!), but it was so crazy to be done that early in the week!! Normally I'm up in our room working on my talk right up until the last minute...so I didn't know what to do with myself & all that free time! It's a GOOD problem to have! This was also the first year we were speaking on other stages like the Shoot & Share Theater & the Profoto Vegas Wedding shoot. It was the first year we ever entered the print competition and it was the first year we were walking around and found our images hanging up a TON of places!! So a LOT of firsts for us this year, and we loved it!
Here are a few of our favorite highlights:
*Walking to the trade show and finding a HUGE image of ours right at the entrance!!
*Getting our copy of Rangefinder and getting to see our full page Profoto ad in real life! It turned out SO good!
*Speaking at the Shoot & Share Theater, getting to meet a ton of new friends there, and seeing Ashley & Jeremy's gorgeous faces all over the booth!
*Being asked by Canson to have a blown up picture of "Elizabeth in White" in their booth. They print for all of the BEST of the BEST every year in the print competition, so it was such a huge honor to be asked by them!
*Getting to spend so much time hanging out with Matt & Carissa, Ashley & Jeremy, Katelyn & Michael and Buddy & Jill. These guys feed our souls SO much and they are all such SMART business people! Every time we're around them we walk away with something new we need to do asap! We're so lucky to call them friends!
*Dinner at Mesa Grille. It is one of my all time favorite restaurants & something we look forward to EVERY year in Vegas.
*Our J&M Freshman Soiree. Every person there helped us raise money for our big surprise ending at our Platform talk & I am so grateful for each & every one of them.
*Speaking of, getting to tell the stories of Kelly Lemon and a 9 year old girl (Vivienne) who started making lemonade. Both of them have made it their goal to end human trafficking and it was so amazing to honor both of them. I'll be doing separate posts for them, so stay tuned for that!
*Speaking of THAT, getting to hang out with Vivienne & the entire Harr Family at the Bellagio Fountains...just you WAIT until you see the video!!
*Having heart to hearts with people like Kelly & Ashley who remind me that the work that we do matters. To always keep focusing on the Why and forget completely about the Who's Who.
*Getting to see Katelyn, Matt & Trevor all give their first ever WPPI Platforms & have all three of them absolutely ROCK it!
*Getting to spend more time with Amy & Jordan....these guys are quickly rising the ranks of our favorite people ever!
*Getting to catch up with our amazing long time friends Melissa Jill over lunch at Emerils & Jared Bauman over coffee. I LOVE surrounding myself with people of integrity who are willing to do the work & not take shortcuts. They stand for something & I am better for knowing them
*Crossing off a bucket list item of giving out a giant, oversized Ed McMahon worthy check!
*The Profoto Party at Wolfgang Pucks & getting to meet so many incredible photographers there!
*Mark Seliger. Period.
*That time we were walking down the main hall of the MGM Grand and saw a girl walking around with no pants on. Note that this is both equally a highlight & a low point of our trip (possibly my life!). But it was my first (and hopefully only) "What Happens in Vegas" moment and I'm glad to have checked that off the list.
*This super cute photo someone caught of Justin & I hugging on the escalator. In that photo I see everything I love about our love.
*And finally....Justin winning a print competition award in his first year ever entering!!! AND he got a cool crystal trophy!! :)
Happy Friday friends! We're off to sleep for 24 hours straight!
The ahhhh-mazing folks at Tonic (the geniuses behind The Black Tie Bride & Well Groomed Groom brands!) were so incredibly generous to give us a site up to $850 value to giveaway at WPPI! But we didn't want all of you guys at home to miss out, so we decided to run it here too! Our talk at WPPI was all about starting your "Why," and then letting every other area of your business be driven by that purpose & how powerful a change that can bring about in both your own growth and your impact in the world!
So here's the deal! Leave us a comment letting us know your own Why & how you are going to let that guide at least one new area of your business and we are going to pick one lucky winner from that & our entries at WPPI to win an $850 Tonic Site!! We'll announce the winner early next week. Annnnnd...GO!!
WPPI is going great so far!!! If this picture below tells you anything, there are BIG amazing things getting done & I can't wait to tell you guys ALL about them. I wish you were all here & we could just grab a cup of coffee and I could just talk you through all of it. The highs & the lows, and the stories that are on my heart right now. That's all coming. But until then, here is a little quick look at our schedule over these last couple days of the conference so you know where we are if you want to meet up!
Today, Tuesday March 4th *8:30am-10:00am Watching Matt Kennedy ROCK out his first ever WPPI Platform!!
*11:30am-1:00pm Justin & I will be presenting in the Shoot & Share Theater on Building a Destination Wedding business.
*4:00pm-5:30pm: Hanging out at the Profoto Party at Wolfgang Puck
*6:30pm-8:00pm: Watching Katelyn James ROCK out her first ever WPPI Platform!!
*8:00pm-10:00pm: Chilling w/ Mark Seliger
Wednesday, March 5th *8:30am-10:00am: Watching Trevor Dayley ROCK his first ever WPPI Platform!!
*1:30pm-3:00pm: Building a Destination Wedding in the Shoot & Share Theater
*3:00pm-4:00pm: Hanging out at the Shoot & Share Panel
This morning, as we speak, I am finishing up getting ready and about to head down to give my WPPI Platform "A Business Built on Why."
I'm not going to lie, there are nerves. And uncertainties. And what ifs.
But this time around, I'm not too worried about that. Because more than anything what I know, is that whether I stumble on the stage or stumble over the words....today I have the honor of telling two stories the world NEEDS to hear.
And if I'll just do that, no matter what else happens....I can't fail.
I can't WAIT to share their stories with all of you soon too! In the mean time, if you would like to help support the really incredible cause that we are honoring today that deals with human trafficking...for the next 24 hours, 100% of every Guide that we sell will go to make up part of our donation.
So if you've been meaning to get a Guide, this is a GREAT way to do it. It would mean the world. In this case, literally.
Wish me luck!
And today ONLY, grab your copy of J&M's e-book The Guide for just $99 (normally $150) by clicking HERE:
We are just wrapping up an incredible week in Santa Barbara for the United 2014 conference, before packing up the car & heading to Vegas for WPPI! I can't believe how fast this trip is going already & I know that before we know it we're going to be on a plane back to CT. So I just want to make sure that I'm taking the time to remember & soak it in as we go!
There is SO much I could say about how heart-filling and life-giving this United was and how much the past three days have poured into my OWN life. But to try to put it into words is really pretty overwhelming & I'm not sure any of them would really do it justice anyway. It's just one of those things that you have to experience for yourself to really fully understand it. But I will say that a really POWERFUL thing happens when you get a group of people together who care about others. Who make it part of their core to serve others. And who see their gifts not as their own opportunity to move themselves forward, but as their obligation to what they owe the world. It's just a lot easier to be a better person when you're around folks like that, and I am so grateful for the way that this trip has pushed me.
Since I can't quite put it all into words, I thought I would just take a cue from my good friend Katelyn and list some of my favorite highlights:
*First and foremost would have to be then, getting to spend time with Katelyn & Michael. These two have taught me so much about what it is to love on people, to welcome them, to pour into their lives. AND they're just pretty hilarious to be around! #lololololol
*Bananas foster french toast at Jeannine's. That is all
*Meeting & getting to spend time with the absolutely adorableAmy & Jordan, quoting Gilmore Girls together and hearing about their very impressive "one light" skills! :)
*FINALLY getting to meet in person & hang out with our designer Jennifer Olmstead. Not only is she crazy talented, she is super fashionable and hilarious I will never look at ostriches the same way again! Some of my favorite moments were hanging out with Jen, Jeff Shipley, Aaron & Darren, Jeremy & Ashley and Emilia over an extra pitcher of margaritas!
*Getting to hear Matt Kennedy speak....he did SUCH a great job! He is road-tripping down to Vegas with us & I can't wait to get to know him better!
*Getting to hug on Karen & Isaac Stott. These two are like mine & Justin's couple soul mate with our quiet ways. I could just sit in comfortable, deep conversation with them for hours!
*Walking on the beach and listening to the very chill California waves.
*The sausage, bacon & jalapeņo "Man Omelette" that Justin invented while he was here.
*Watching Justin teach to a room PACKED full of people & seeing him make light bulb moments go off for every one of them. And that part where we re-created "Sailor in the Snow" with paper snow. That was pretty awesome.
*Hanging out & doing a mentoring session & couple shoot with the adorable Sara & Mike. SO excited for where these guys are headed!
*Cards against humanity. 'Nuff said.
*Just getting to meet SO many amazing attendees & hear what's next for them!
*Finally, having the INCREDIBLE Kelly Lemon come into my life! I can't wait to share her story soon!
Ahhhh and SO much more!! Happy Friday friends!
"No wait, wait, wait.....OK, bring it in for a hug!!"
May the odds be EVER in your favor.
And a HUGE thanks to our friend Lukas for grabbing these shots!