creativelive – behind the scenes in seattle, taking care of business

There’s just no way I could pull together all the thoughts, emotions and experiences from this second experience teaching at creativeLIVE, so I’ll just say this:  I’m ridiculously grateful to be associated with such a cool organization.  I’m overwhelmed at how many people from all over the world tuned in, actively participated, offered unreal support to everyone involved and were kind enough to offer fantastic feedback after the Taking Care of Business workshop.  Okay, whew. There. I said it.  The saying has happened. Big thanks to those who supplied us with some seriously big prizes to give away during the course of the weekend:  Artsy Couture, Kubota Image Tools, Asuka Book, Capturing Life Better, WPPI 2012, Animoto, Fundy Tools, my partners who helped create Inside Contemporary Children’s Photography, and Triple Scoop Music.  They weren’t small giveaways, either – and there were a lot of happy winners out there.  In fact, Triple Scoop Music was so happy with the giveaway on creativeLIVE of my “Little Ones” music collection, valued at $299, that they are going to give another one away again – with this post about the weekend.  To enter to win, just follow @triplscoopmusic on twitter and let us know something you took away from this course – anything! – by commenting below. The lucky winner of those 10 seriously well-written, beautifully composed, royalty-free songs will be announced this Friday. If you didn’t catch any of the weekend, here’s a clip from the beginning of the course, including a very kind intro from my friend & (superstar) Photographer and Director Chase Jarvis (who I interviewed for reDefine – that very insightful episode will be out next week.): For a lot more clips and a truly excellent writeup, check out the creativeLIVE blog! Joining me this time around were some seriously brave, open-hearted, and all-in photographers who I respect and have a great deal of affection for: photo courtesy @Carolyn Ann Ryan From L to R: Courtney Jade – She made the very cool video that got so much buzz. Courtney is fun, upbeat and was very open to sharing her struggles and, obviously, her talent.  She had some great advice to share with everyone, and her energy and focus were great touchstones not just for me, but for the rest of the audience, as well. I don’t take enthusiasm for granted, and she has a great deal of it. Her take on the course is here.  Her descriptive take on the weekend is a great read. Erika Monaco – Erika was our Seattle native.  Initially a bit shy, she got so engaged in the course – and her own vision for her business – that the anxiety faded rapidly and we got to see just how sharp and clever she is.  I love watching people emerge from their concerns and just shine.  As a new mama figuring out a new course of juggling it all, I know just how complicated it is for her right now.  Setting multiple priorities is never easy – loving your work doesn’t mean you don’t love your family like crazy. I don’t doubt she’ll work it all out sooner than I did. I’ll link to her post as soon as it’s live! Jesse Clements – You may remember him from last September’s 3-day course!  Jesse put himself out there big, again, and in the midst of an extremely busy year.   I admire him for that.  My impression of Jesse after meeting him last year was wow, this man really loves his wife.  My impression this time was, wow, this many really, really loves his wife! – oh, AND he has truly made some great strides in his work this past year. Fantastic. We kept all the conversations very candid – when it came down to questioning whether he should re-think a major link to his business, whether to re-name it completely, he took a deep breath – but was open to the question.  I don’t know many better ways to grow than that. photo courtesy @Courtney Jade Carolyn Ann Ryan – It was lovely to see Carolyn again.  She had attended several talks and presentations I’ve given over the last year, but of course that doesn’t mean we had a  chance to really have a real conversation with each other.  Every one of the programs she attended happened to be different ones, with different content – and, I must say, I love her for noticing that.  These presentations take work!  😉   Having just moved into photography full-time, Carolyn has gotten quite an education lately.  She’s taking this very seriously, which I appreciate.  She not only jumped in completely this weekend, she also offered excellent information that she’d discovered, and she also shared a few things that had everyone melting a bit … like how important it felt to her to simply be liked as a child.  Most of us recognized how that doesn’t change when we get older, either. Check out her smart perspective on the weekend. photos courtesy @Carolyn Ann Ryan and @Courtney Jade From L to R: Kellianna Wirth: Kelli had shared ahead of time that she was extremely nervous about even creating her video and hesitated a LOT about the next step of putting it out there – and then, all of sudden, she was sitting there in the live audience, very much putting herself out there, as well as her business, her priorities and her very definition of who she was.  After we hugged goodbye, the next statement I heard from her was:  After this weekend I have decided to banish the word anxiety from my brain. It no longer exists. I don’t need it or want it. Read more of her inspiring feedback here. Donovan Fannon:  Donovan also created a stand-out video – he had me at “Hi, my name’s Donovan Fannon, and I’m a bit of a wreck.”  Turns out he’s not really a wreck, more a very honest guy with a lot of talent who is hopefully quickly better understanding what he and his business have to offer.  He received a groundswell of support from the interwebs when he stated a lot of concerns that others shared – then picked up all kinds of kudos for his very cool work.  Known as Rekanize, I laughed the first few times I said the word … then found that I simply couldn’t stop saying it as the weekend wore on.  We toasted his name (and him) repeatedly after the course finished.  His REKANIZE! post is here. photo courtesy @Donovan Fannon and @Jim Catechi (joint effort!) The entire crew behind this production is plentiful – unfortunately, they’re not all shown here, but this is the biggest group shot I’ve got!  They work hard, tirelessly and in a very focused manner.  And they are also just darn fun to be around, too.  They’re a stand-out group of individuals who make this big effort feel far more effortless. photo courtesy @Kenna Klosterman photo courtesy @Courtney Jade photo courtesy @Donovan Fannon I worked on this presentation for way, way longer than I thought I would – up through lunch on the second day, in fact.  Thanks for snapping this photo, Courtney – I had just finished speaking on the merits of single tasking when I had to jump back to my laptop to write up yet one more idea about how I could phrase something (that kept happening – wait a minute!  I can explain it this way).  Donovan made sure to walk over with his phone so he could show me a video of a vomiting baby despite my repeated pleas to not bring walking streams of consciousness my way.   Yes, he was joking.  And, yes, it was funny. photo courtesy @Courtney Jade A big thank you to fashion & celebrity photographer, American Top Model Photog & Sometimes Judge, and all-around friendly stand-out talent Matthew Jordan Smith for joining us on the program and taping a live reDefine Show while actually filming creativeLIVE.  Yes, that’s right – a show within a show.  Surreal and educational.  You can see the very inspirational talk, edited with photographs, here: photo courtesy @Kenna Klosterman A BIG thank you to everyone watching, however you watched! photo courtesy @Kenna Klosterman of Jim Catechi and … Who sent this in?  Your notes look familiar? 😉 photos courtesy @Kenna Klosterman and @Jesse Clements photo courtesy @Courtney Jade photo courtesy @Carolyn Ann Ryan Who doesn’t love these two??  Susan Roderick and Kenna Klosterman are the spunky, beautiful, fun ladies behind the live – they keep the whole show humming with their serious internet proweress and their smooth transitioning in and out of all the segments.  The world wide webs and I are crazy about you two, and you know it 😉   photo courtesy @Carolyn Ann Ryan See that guy in the green shirt on the far right of that image up there?  That’s Mr. Craig Swanson, the founder of creativeLIVE.  After all the talk we had about how you run your business, there’s no doubt that Craig fits the visionary description – he has a great love for entrepreneurship, for the real change these programs make in peoples’ lives.  He cheers people on through their breakthroughs and forwards emails from people who overcome their fears, along with his excited words about how amazing that is.  He’s crazy about his beautiful family of four, and I am grateful for our plentiful conversations about grand plans, educational walkthroughs, marketing, business models and all the kind of stuff that bore a few of my friends but fascinates he and I.  I’m looking forward to all the conversations yet to come. A quick 2-set of what it feels like to actually finish creativeLIVE: photo courtesy @Jesse Clements I think a few of us broke into dance when we finished the course.  I say a few because I’m concerned that I was the only one, and I danced like a velociraptor (tiny arms, clumsy moves).  But it’s simply such a relief to make it through and to be happy with how it went .. I know Celeste Olds, Producer Extraordinare with the Super Cool Red Hair (say it all together to a beat, sounds better that way) would agree with me.  Celeste keeps things running so smoothly, and I must say:  there’s a LOT of moving parts!  The running joke is that she furrows her brows when big plans are brought forth – but then she manages to pull them off anyway. Another thing that happened this whole weekend? photo courtesy @Jesse Clements Do I look a little shiny?  Or, rather a lot shiny?  Yeah, I know.  It was seriously HOT in the studio – so we just kept talking about how business was so hot .. but mygoodness we were dewy by the end of the workshop 🙂     To everyone out there who watched, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  The only downside of the entire weekend is that I couldn’t see many of you face to face, but I did love hearing from as many of you as I did.  Your messages kept me company for the two days it took me to get home between flight issues, luggage loss and general sleepiness (actually, long after that, too) … I’m GRATEFUL. Get your entries in to win some music, and I promise I won’t dance for you while you’re listening 😉    

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