Friday, September 25, 2009

18 Hours A Day; Fast Food; and You!

Good Morning Everybody,

After three weeks on the road, we finally arrived back home yesterday and got to sleep in our own bed. Boy, it sure felt good. Even though we’re only here for a few days, it’s still the pause that refreshes.

We had one of our most enthusiastic groups in Columbus Thursday night. I think about the loudest cheering I’ve heard at Door Prize Time. Everyone was so excited and I believe it was a good time for all in attendance.

It was more that that too.  We had a few of our friends come by – Kent and Sarah Smith from Kent Smith Photography, whom I feature in my DWUC program. It is always GREAT to catch up with old friends.

Indy 4 You know, even though being on the road is long 16-18 days and nights with a McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Subway or an Arby’s restaurant in between, it’s still a good time.  I love the audiences and the people we meet on the road, including our sponsors that are also hanging with us from city. Both LaDawn and I feel truly blessed!

Everyone is looking for a way to take better pictures and maybe add to their bottom line just a bit.  I think my DWUC tour tries to provide some of the answers.  Thanks to all for the wonderful blog comments, emails, and Facebook notes.

Indy 1 Let me share with you a few of the highlights of the tour from these past three weeks. One of the first surprises was the fact that my friend and Canon rep showed up in Indianapolis and brought along a pre-release version of Canon’s new 7D. WOW, it is expected to be released in about a week – not much longer to wait.

We headed up the road to St. Louis but missed the Arch for the first time ever.  I guess our GPS didn’t want us to see it this time.  Next stop was Kansas City.  Again, another great group on attendees. 

I didn’t have a wedding that weekend so we just hung out at this wonderful, slightly secluded and very quiet Doubletree Hotel in Overland Park.  I think LaDawn and I both OD’d on the chocolate chip cookies that weekend.

Taste Of course one of the highlights of the KC stop was the barbeque. A wonderful taste treat!  The best restaurant stop was T.A.S.T.E, a relatively new restaurant in Overland Park that serves food that will knock your socks off! – Outstanding!!! A definite Ziser recommendation.

Next it was off to Omaha on Monday, Des Moines on Tuesday, Minneapolis on Wednesday, and concluding the week in Milwaukee on Thursday.  In Des Moines, some old friends showed up to help LaDawn with the room setup.  I hadn’t seen Wayne for years, but in Des Moines, we had a nice visit.  Wayne took my class over 20 years ago.  Yes, he still operates a successful photography studio,  and now he also wears a full fledged M.D. hat, as well. Maybe I didn't do a good enough job teaching and he had to look for another line of work;~)

Iowa I wanted to say too that are drives through the Midwest were beautiful.  A lot of people around the US don’t even know how scenic the Midwest can be.  Again, that is one of the joys of our travels.

Minneapolis was our  biggest crowd to date – 275 attendees, that was till we hit Chicago the following Monday where we had over 350 photogs stop by for the presentation.  I didn’t get hardy any sleep the night before – I was so worried the fire marshal might come in and shut us down.

We actually spent the weekend in Chicago and caught up with our long time friends, Ron Stewart and his wife Paulette. Ron has been running a successful studio and art gallery in Wheaton for many years – he doesn't want me to reveal how very, very, very long;~)

We had another great meal at Ivy’s in Wheaton, Illinois. Hey gang, if you are ever in the area, this is another restaurant not to be missed. OK, it’s starting to show, isn’t it – LaDawn and I “live” for good restaurants on the road and the weekends are the only time that happens.

Morning Glory-IMG_7669-Edit-EditAfter Chicago, it was off to Grand Rapids on Tuesday. We misjudged the time change and arrived 1 hour later than scheduled. Oooops!! THANKS to the spectacular volunteers who jumped right in and quickly set the room and prepared the welcome packets. On Wednesday we we off to Detroit where we saw that spectacular sunrise Thursday morning before leaving for Columbus. Again, we had great crowds in each city, but by the end of Thursday night, both laDawn and I  were running out of gas.

Another nice surprise, another visitor and friend who showed up at Columbus. It  was Erik from Animoto.  Erik is Animoto’s marketing guru and it was good to catch up with him.  More on my visit with Erik on Monday.

Just because we have arrived home doesn’t mean the work stops!We are working on another project this weekend. I can’t tell you what’s happening over the weekend. Just know it involves shooting some special video sequences for an upcoming project – I’ll keep you posted.  After we wrap that project, hopefully today, it’s time to re-pack the bags for Photoshop World in Las Vegas.

So gang, in closing, I want to personally THANK all LaDawn’s volunteers for helping set the meeting room, prepare welcome bags, assist with product sales and then tear down the room and assist with packing the van. It is about a 2-3 hour process before each show and an additional 30 minutes after the show. We are truly blessed by the willingness to help by these special people.

I want to thank the great hotel staff in Overland Park, KS for outstanding front desk service.  I want to personally thank the whole hotel “Banquets Department team at the Westin in Detroit for being so responsive to our set up requests. Especially I want to thank Daris, the bellman, who was the most responsive and helpful bellman out of all the hotels we visited.

To the vendors that help to make the Digital WakeUp Call seminars even more informative and exciting. The door prizes are amazing! We really appreciate those that travel from city to city - setting up, tearing down over and over and over. A big THANK YOU!

I want to thank Gabe’s (from B&H) wife, Nancy for being my model for our impromptu posing session in Columbus. I also want to thank wholeheartedly the over 800 2400 photogs that came out to hear my DWUC program over these last three weeks and for all their enthusiasm, cheers, words of appreciation, gratitude and support.

And lastly, I want to thank my wife, LaDawn, who puts so much behind the scenes work into this tour.  She is the real power behind the success of our tour!  Hey, Sweetie, I love you.

On that note gang, I’m out of here.  Video starts shortly.  I hope to see many of you at Photoshop World next week. See ya’ then.  -David

P.S. One more note, don’t forget, you still have time to register for that colossal 16 hour marketing program that kicks off at 9:00 A.M. Monday. Lot’s of top marketing talent to capture some wonderful tips and techniques.  You just might to tune in. For additional information or to sign up just hit the registration link right here.



  1. Thank you for your whirlwind tour of the US, sharing some great photography knowledge (both technical and business) with so many photographers for a very affordable price. Loved your talk in Portland; can't wait to hear about your next tour, but I guess we'll let you take a few months off :)

  2. Hi David just curious if you had a course description for your lightroom for wedding photographers seminar at photoshopworld.

    The description posted is incorrect