It was a sad feeling, but heightened more by sheer disappointment. True, there are worse things in life. But when you’ve packed 5 bags of the coffee you’ve been waiting to buy for over 2 months, only to realize that you’ve forgotten it all in the hotel room that is a 10 hour drive away… well… if the inside of my car could talk there would be some colourful words in that story! Lucky for us, shipping is a service that never goes out of style, and we would love to take the cleaning staff of our hotel out for coffee someday to say thank you!!!

Adding to that pouty lip episode was the rush of feelings Patti and I had when our brains flashed back to when we were making that purchase at Intelligentsia on Randolph Street in Chicago. The experience we had, not only while we were there but leading up to that moment. For the past 2 years we’ve been hearing about Intelligentsia, tasting their coffee that family and friends have brought back from trips, and hearing about the shop, the barristas, the sounds, the experience. We had never been there before, but after we dropped our bags in our hotel room when we pulled into Chicago,it was the first place we went. In that moment, outside of the car when we realized we didn’t have the 5 pounds of coffee in the trunk, disappointment may have popped up, but that experience of being there could never be taken away.

Experience was a huge part of the reason to go to Chicago in the first place, not only personally but as photographers and aiming to constantly improve, not only in the craft but in running a business that we love and still having an incredible life together and our loved ones at the same time. On our last evening in the city, Jasmine Star (voted one of the top wedding photographers in America) presented her experience as a photographer in business with what she calls theFIX. It was an evening less about simply taking photos, but more of reflection of why we do what we do, the struggles that come along with it and the connection we can make in life and photography business owners. Over the past few years of her having an extremely popular blog, she has virtually helped hundreds if not thousands of photographers in the confusion of starting up business and life in general with a business by just being herself and being very open in sharing the knowledge that she has and along with her own experience. As for theFIX – the topic is something that she offers everyday on her blog, but the experience of being in a room full of like minded people and feeling the motivation fill that space was just that much more of a good thing than being solitary in front of a computer screen in the safety of your own home.

Patti and I had met Jasmine 2 years ago while in Las Vegas when she presented for the first time at WPPI. To a room of 1000 people, on 2 separate nights, she used my blog post about how I love Reese’s peanut butter cups as an example of creating a connection virtually over the web. With my jaw on the floor, I stood up and interrupted her to say “Hi”. My experience of that moment lasts still today because, after her presentation last week in Chicago I apologized again for being rude 2 years ago. She gave me a big hug, said she loved when I did it and told me that she still talks about it today.

For anyone out there that’s starting in photography, thinking about it, scared or just simply wants to make a connection … I’m up for coffee and an insight into my own experiences, anytime. And I’ve got some great whole bean all the way from Chi-town!

Our view from the cheap seats 😉  All the cool kids sit in the back!

Smiles after the apologies and laughs.

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