It has now been a full week since I did the creativeLIVE workshop on introduction to product and still life. It was so long in the making, and then it was there.


The weekend before I left for Seattle, I had a huge list of things that were to be done for the workshop. And I had promised my daughter some daddy time before I left for a week. I was hip deep in three client gigs and my plate was nearly overflowing.

I called each of my clients to let them know where their projects stood, and that I would be pretty much out of pocket for the next week. They were all good with it, and would use the time to continue to gather their stuff together for their sites.

I laid out my weekend to the hour.

I was ready.

Till the FedEx guys showed up holding a package with a note attached:

“Don. This is the final proof for your book. We are behind schedule. We need you to proof it and get it back to us on Monday.”

200+ pages. (It will be out in late September)

Stress level jumped.

Funny thing about plans, they nearly always end up being more on the ethereal side than carved in stone. Needless to say, I was juggling and switching and doubled down like a crazed man for three days.

And yeah, the kid and I had our time too. That’s just as important as emailing all the changes to my editor at noon on Monday.

Promise very little if you cannot deliver.

The crew at creativeLIVE is one of the most professional I have ever worked with. My hat is off to them for making the weekend go so smoothly.

I was joined in Seattle by two of my best buds… Bret and Charles.

Bret is no stranger to the P52 folks, and he and I have been friends since he took my first workshop in Seattle about 5 years ago. Charles took the Florida workshop about the same time and we have been great friends since. Charles always joins me for the NY/Boston/ area trips, and Bret is always with me in Seattle.

After the workshop we spent a day in Bret’s Hummer taking the Mountain Loop Rd through the Cascades. I had taken that road 20 years ago and was surprised at how much had changed.

And how much had stayed the same.

If you have not taken that trip, you really must. It is fantastic.

On Tuesday, Bret returned to his regular job and Charles and I headed to the west side of the Olympic Peninsula. I have been to a lot of spectacular areas, but none more spectacular than that little piece of the world. I was there for only a day, and yet I find myself missing it… heh.

I got back late Tuesday and took a cab from the airport home. 103 degrees at midnight was a distinct difference from the 60 degree day I had just had. Distinctly different.

It took 2 days for me to wrap my head back up. I could’a done it faster in earlier days, I suppose.



I want to share a few books with you. They aren’t photo books, or “how to light” books. They are more “how to get some different thinking into your business” books.

First up:
“The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand for the Audience Who Will Love You (and why no one else matters)”
Meet Erika Napolitano through my Amazon Review for her book:

“Yes, Erika pushes some buttons, and gets in your face in this well written book on becoming who you are instead of who you thought you should be because that’s what all the popular kids want.

Screw ’em (yeah, Erika may say it even a little more forceful, but you get the idea).

The book doesn’t take a preachy tone, nor one of elitist ‘leader’ but more of a friend telling you what you may not want to hear. But you really need to hear it, so STFU and listen! Then do what you want, but do it with the knowledge that has been imparted on you.

Napoletano takes a very direct path. She tells you what has worked for other folks, what you should examine to see what could work for you, and lays out a nice concise roadmap for finding your very un-popular place in the world.

As someone who has NEVER been popular, well – except for that time I bribed all the kids in Mrs. Smithfield’s 4th grade class to vote for me, I find her simplicity and directness refreshing and a full vindication of my massive un-popularness. Screw ’em all, I say.

I recommend this book for any and all entrepreneurs, self employed, artistic, creative, and value conscious people struggling with all the market-speak, seminar-overloaded psychobabble-filled crappola that infests the web and self-help sections of the local library.

Buy this book. Buy two and give one to your friend. You know the one… the one that is always complaining about how hard it is and how they don’t get why no one comes to their site and bwaaabwaaa… Yeah. That one. Give them a copy, tell them to read it and then to STFU and get to work.

Thanks for a great read, Erika.”
Erika Napletano is Red Head Writing

Next up is Chris Guillebeau.

“The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future”

This book opened my eyes to some different ways of thinking… about business, about what I want to do, about time and locale and living the way I want to live.

There are so many things in this book that I wish I had thought of or known back when I was thirty that I can’t even begin to enumerate them.

I can say with confidence that my life would have been a bit different if I had read this book and instituted some of the thinking and ideas for work/life into my world.

The computer has given us all a new way to live, work and create. Chris shows us other ways to think about this new world and encourages us to open our minds to new and sometimes ‘crazy’ ideas on how to achieve a cool new balance.

Steven Pressfield has a new book out as well.

“Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work”

It is another one of his short, small, fast read books that will shake your brain and make you confront the ‘resistance’ and the personal demons that many of us face.

This is a single sit down read, but one you may want to do again and again. I love “The War of Art” and “Do the Work” as well. If you liked those books, pick up this one for your collection as well.

Funny thing is… there were times in this book I thought he was talking directly to me… singling out my demons and challenges for examples. How did he do that? LOL.

So that’s it… I am back in form and swinging at the ball.

We have so much to do in the time given us to do it. Live every day… and do the work.

And if you are interested in learning to light people and still life/product, may I recommend:

Lighting Essentials: Subject Centric Lighting
Tabletop Product Photography

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