Where do I begin? In just a few short days we climbed a mountain, drove a brand new jeep wrangler around Los Angeles & Santa Barbara, ate a ton of amazing cuisine, met some of my favorite photographers in the world, nearly-instantly made 300+ brand new best friends, shot wedding models on the pacific coast, watched west-coast sunsets, attended life-changing lessons and seminars on photography, photography business, and serving others. I’ve already seen several blog posts circulating about this amazing event – even after reading these incredible testimonies and journals about UNITED 2014 – I’m still shocked that Sarah and I got to attend, and it wasn’t all a dream.
Part 1 // Let’s talk about SHARING.
When I first met fellow “shoot and share” photographers I thought this was exclusively about the photos. At United I learned it’s that – and so much more. Each photographer is different, and each has unique ways to present their art to their client, but I consider myself a 100% shoot and share photographer. When our couples decide to invest in Common Spark Media, they’re looking for our style, our methods, the fun we’re going to have together, and their images.
Every session we shoot gets a special PASS gallery (video explaining the awesomeness that is PASS here!) and with that special PASS gallery, you get an easy and beautiful way to show off your photographs, share them across multiple social media platforms, PRINT your photos with incredible ease from an awesome print house, and my personal favorite: you get to download all of your photos. No worrying about calling me for print permissions, you don’t have to exclusively go through me for a canvas (although we print amazing photos in house, and stretch our own canvas with our own, bare-hands) YOU get to own the images.
It’s your day. Your memories. Your experience. I want you to OWN the images. So I share them with you. Shoot and Share, get it?
But what I’ve learned: My friends who a part of this “shoot and share revolution” don’t stop there. It’s not just about sharing your imagery with your couples. It’s not just sharing a pretty gallery so they can share it too – it’s about sharing your time. your energy. your knowledge and love.
When I meet with couples I’m giving them something I can never take back, my time. When I meet with new photographers, learning their own techniques, trying new ideas out, pushing themselves and me further and harder, I’m not keeping my tricks up my sleeves. I’m not hoping to hoard my thoughts or my time for myself. I’m sharing. Sharing time, sharing experiences together, sharing laughs and smiles – even tears sometimes.
My philosophy of sharing isn’t just about sharing photographs, it’s about sharing life. Being thrilled to work with new photographers and new vendors. Teaching and being taught by one another. It’s a real joy to share, and honestly it’s a breath of fresh air, an escape from the dog-eat-dog world out there. I can feel the difference, my family can feel the difference, and every couple that chooses Common Spark Media feels the difference.
I tell my son, Titus every day to be a good sharer. United 2014 reminded me I should be the same.
Here are a few photographs from United 2014 – more to follow in future posts!