Catalyst West Coast with Hillsong United and Steve Fee Band

Hillsong United Worship Band

The Fee Band

I only thought yesterday was a long day.  Today was a great day and all I have time to do is just decompress a little bit.  It was a non-stop packed day with Hillsong United from Sydney Australia (I am now an official fan), The Fee Band which came over from Atlanta (who sung their new song “Glory to God”), and a whole host of fantastic speakers like Guy Kawasaki, Andy Stanley, and many more.

I wish I could go through the whole day here but I can hardly keep my eyes open at this point.  I did want to post a few photos of the bands.  The first of Hillsong United, the second is Steve Fee.  I will have to do several more posts at a later date but for now, here are a few shots from today. See more photos of the Steve Fee Band at Catalyst.

Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel Photos at Catalyst

Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel at Catalyst

Catalyst Staff backstage at North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley at Catalyst

Andy Stanley at Catalyst

Craig Groeschel at Catalyst

Craig Groeschel at Catalyst

I am still working through the last part of my edit for Catalyst One Day.  Two of the key speakers at the One Day event were Andy Stanley (North Point Community Church) and Craig Groeschel ( who talked about creating and sustaining momentum.  They had several individual sessions and then one larger session with both Andy and Craig with a great Q&A session which brought out hard questions from attendees.  I only wish I could have mentally recorded everything they said.

What I did record of course were the images of the day.  Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel are always animated, making for great photographic subjects.  Hope you enjoy a few from the day below.  The first photo is back stage with some of the Catalyst staff prepping for the day (that is Brad Lomenick in the middle sporting my very own hair cut).

I still have a few more, one from a session with Lanny Donoho which had everyone on the floor laughing, and then he drops a hand full of Mentos in a 2-liter of Dr Pepper, so stay tuned.

We are No Longer Selling Books as Amazon Marketplace Sellers

Books for Sale

It’s official, we are no longer selling books on Amazon.  For those of you who didn’t know, we have been selling books on Amazon in the Amazon Marketplace (those are the used and new books you see when Amazon is sold out or when you just want to buy the same book Amazon sells for $39.99 for $.01) for years.  Yesterday we sold all our remaining inventory, some 4,000 used/new books in one large bulk sale to a buyer in Texas.  For Deb and I, the books had become (as Andy Stanley put it last week) the old sofa that no one wants to get rid of because it has always been there.

We started selling book on Amazon at the same time we were full time eBay sellers (eBay lost out as a viable place to sell as a business long long before Amazon) back in 2005, and sold full time on Amazon in 2006-2008, and it was some of the hardest work, most laborious, and in the end least profit making work I can ever recall doing in my life.  It came at a time when Deb and I needed to work from home, needed and wanted to work together, and many blessings came our way over those years of selling books online.

Over our selling life on Amazon, we sold over 9,000 books at a retail price of $65,000 (that’s not as much as it sounds when you divide by 3 years and then start thinking profit margins), kept a high feedback rating, and learned a lot about hard work and to appreciate what we were given.  Not much different than what we gained and learned from our previous businesses we started and ran together, except that this particular one took over our entire house top to bottom.

Amazon Marketplace Seller

After running several small businesses over the past 10-12 years I have come to understand that each business or product has a defined life cycle, especially when you are running very small self made businesses.  Products come in and out, jobs, customers, and life in general, has a lifespan or timeframe where some things work well.  The key is to know when it is time to move on and get rid of the old sofa.  For the books, yesterday was that day, and we were both thrilled.  There were many many reasons, but knowing it was indeed the right time to let it go was a good feeling.

Anyone that wants to know the inner workings of selling on eBay or Amazon feel free to drop me an email.  Combined I think we have about 12-15 years experience selling on both platforms and we lived and breathed eBay and Amazon, so we do know our way around.  We certainly know how to get in trouble with big brother, and how to survive when the rules get changed (and they always do).

Our online selling life was great, and really is always something we think about no matter what we are working on or doing.  In those years, we managed to:

  • work together 24/7, netting 20,800 more hours spent together
  • fought off fraud
  • and copyright infringement issues
  • fended off domain landsharks
  • had $300,000 in sales without making a profit
  • sold alongside corrupt competition
  • continually fought customer theft
  • avoided a few lawsuits
  • didn’t sue a few times when we could have
  • were falsely accused of anything and everything
  • Witnessed to many (I hope)
  • were praised and awarded
  • ridiculed
  • made some great friendships
  • ate at a huge unknown number of restaurants
  • filed for our own patents and trademarks
  • never clocked in once
  • travel to every state in the country
  • live in a bus, apartment, house, tent, campground
  • lived in Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Alabama (and many others)
  • filled approximately 250,000 orders
  • counted approximately 2 million crystals
  • imported products from Austria
  • invented our own products
  • worked for a competitor
  • took 50,000 product images
  • went through about 30 computers
  • used miles and miles of tape, boxes, and packaging
  • cried, laughed, bled, and cherished every second

Thankfully for us, now, we have both moved on to a new chapter in our lives together and it doesn’t look like there will be much online selling involved, and that’s a good thing, because I am exahusted.

Catalyst Photos at Northpoint Church with Steve Fee Band

Catalyst One Day in Atlanta

Steve Fee from Fee Band

Ashley on Drums

Yesterday was about the longest 24 hours I have spent in a long time.  It was a last minute photo shoot request for Catalyst One Day in Atlanta and it was non-stop from the moment we left on Wednesday night until we got back home around midnight last night.  I am still processing what all happened.  This was a full packed day with Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel as the keynote speakers led by worship with Steve Fee of the Fee Band and several other great musicians.  After Catalyst One Day was over we drove down to Buckhead to the Off the Blogs meeting with Carlos Whittaker, Anne Jackson, Jon Acuff, and Pete Wilson of Cross Point Church with worship led by Aaron Keyes, which was really an eye opener.

At this point I am not even sure how to start to digest the amount of great information that was given out on Thursday, not to mention the almost 4,000 images I shot for Catalyst.  I felt very privileged to get to be around all these minds and just tried to absorb all I could where ever I was at the time.

A friend recently asked if there is a movement going on in the church, and all you have to do is listen to what is going on with some of these churches and you can start to see signs of a broad movement in the Church Body.  Some churches will ignore it, some won’t and don’t know about it because they refuse to change, others are locked in cement and are dying a slow death, but there are churches who are embracing new ways to do things and look at “church” in a fresh new light.

If you missed Catalyst One Day, or the Off the Blogs event after wards, find the podcast, cd, or dvd, and just listen to the ideas and information these guys discussed.  I will set the stage with a few photos here with more to come in the upcoming weeks as I go through the complete edit.  Unitl then, here are a few opening shots of what happened yesterday in Atlanta.  This is the stage at North Point Church and a few of the band members (Steve Fee and Ashley on drums) back stage getting ready for the day.

Catalyst One Day in Atlanta and No Film or CF Card?

I am in Atlanta right now getting ready to shoot the Catalyst One Day event at Northpoint Church and later the Off the Blogs at Buckhead Church.  This was one of the most last minute shoots I was ever asked to do, but being that it was Catalyst (and the Off the Blogs) I was pretty excited about accepting the last minute offer.  Step one as a photographer is always always pack your film (or in this case digital compact flash cards).  Without a medium to record any images on, it makes your equipment and time pretty useless, and up until this month, over the last 10-12 years, I have never forgotten those precious cards (or film), but I did today.

I did the same thing a few weeks ago when we went to the Butterfly Day Center at Callaway and wanted to make sure I never did that again (same reason as today, I switched camera bags at the last minute) so I guess this makes number two.  Thank goodness there is a Best Buy in the same parking lot as my hotel and I can go pick up something I already have tons of, but can’t do the shoot without.

I am really looking forward to the day today and can’t wait to hear and worship with everyone at Northpoint.  I doubt I will be able to post any pictures throughout the day here but you might look for some over on Twitter, but I should have some shots of Andy Stanley, Fee Band, Carlos Whittaker, Anne Jackson, and several more posted here over the next few days.  Now off to our favorite neighborhood Best Buy.

Music at Catalyst with Jonathan Foreman of Switchfoot :: Photos

Jonathan Foreman of Switchfoot at Catalyst

Jonathan Foreman of Switchfoot at Catalyst

Catalyst Conference in Atlanta

Catalyst Conference in Atlanta

Catalyst Conference in Atlanta

I have been reading through reviews by many of the bloggers that went to the Catalyst Conference in Atalanta last week and most are so good and so detailed that I have determined I have very little of anything intelligent to say after looking at their sites.  One in particular, Brad Ruggles, has several great posts like Pay Attention To The Rule-Breakers, Call + Response, and Catalyst Live Blogging: Andy Stanley to name a few.  Another fantastic blog of note is Anne Jackson’s Catalystbackstage and her personal blog, she also has a great rundown on day two, see Catalyst Day 2 Sessions and Video Wrap Up for a great list of other posts too.

Hope you enjoy a few images from the music of the afternoon on Thursday.

I have determined my job is not going to be to review any of the topics or subjects for the individual sessions, I’ll leave that up to the bloggers who know what they are doing with that, but I will continue to post a few images. Afterall, this is basically Catalyst from my point of view.

Music at Catalyst Was Almost Beyond Compare

I have been to countless concerts, live events, large and small and one thing that stood out to me was how intense the worship was while these incredible bands performed for His glory.  Jon Foreman, the lead singer for Switchfoot, performed around mid-day on Thrusday and was just incredible.

Catalyst Conference Photos in Atlanta with Steve Fee Band :: Thursday

Catalyst Conference in Atlanta

Catalyst Conference in Atlanta

Catalyst Conference in Atlanta

Catalyst Conference in Atlanta

What an unbelievable day.  I thought I was actually going to have time to do a few blog posts but I am absolutely warn out.  The day started in a pouring rain with Spirit (the bald eagle) from the Auburn Raptor Center flying to open Catalyst.  Had never seen Spirit fly in the rain, but it happened today.

Once we were in the doors, the day was fast and furious with an overwhelming amount of real solid information from a set of the best speakers in the nation.  Today’s line up was Andy Stanley, William Paul Young, Jim Collins, Steven Furtick, Brenda Salter McNeil, Seth Godin, and Craig Groeschel, and some of the most outstanding, unbelievable music and worship lead by some fantastic musicians.  There was so much information shared by all these great speakers it was hard absorb it all.  I have only managed to pull the images from one card so far, so I will leave you with a few images from the morning session and will update the Catalyst08 gallery as soon as I can.