So Long, Summer of 2014

It’s hard to believe, but this is the last week of unofficial summer. Labor Day is just one week away, and the official autmun grind begins.

Personally, I feel like the summer ended somewhere in July. Work has gotten very busy, unlike any summer in recent memory.

At the same time, I had some great experiences this summer, including watching Soleil sprout up even more and get taller. Here are five memories I won’t forget anytime soon:

Soleil, the Jaguar Girl

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There comes a point where your kid becomes much more sociable and fun. Soleil is becoming quite the young lady. She knows what she likes, including face paint, painting in general, all things pink, trains, horses, dinosaurs and just about any live animal. She even likes taking photos now, and will tell me to set up the camera so she can point and click. This “girl jaguar” face paint photo was taken at the Central Park Zoo.

New York, New York

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You never know where business is going to take you, and little did I know this summer would involve some significant travel to New York City. And I love New York, so the trips made me happy. Two thumbs up!

3) Rocking the Full Frame

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Part of my summer activity included fundraising for and launching my 365 Full Frame project with my new Nikon Df camera. This has been immensely fun, and I am learning a ton. Now I also am getting mentored by my new client Cade Martin. Heck, I even started shooting in studio last week.

4) Business Is Red Hot

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About mid-July we started winning what would be a string of four new clients and one new business partnership (to be announced soon). Tenacity5 went as long as we could without hiring, but it became apparent that we needed help, so Jessica Bates has agreed to join the company, and will manage several clients for the company.

In addition, I signed a book deal in mid August for my third novel (it will be a present day novel, not one from the Fundamentalists series). This will be released in early 2016.

5) OMG, the Nats Are Serious!

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I was at that heartbreaking Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS against the Cardinals. Ever since then the Nats have been a bad case of unfulfilled potential, that is until this summer. They have been red hot, and it has been great enjoying my partial ticket plan with my wife Caitlin, Soleil and friends. Playoffs here we come!

So those are my five big memories of The Summer of 2014. How about you? What will you remember most?

Oh, That Party Culture

The following photo essay is about SXSW Interactive networking events. However, before I start that, this year’s festival was been marred by events on Wednesday night, specifically a drunk driving attack on Red River Street that resulted in death. Anyone who has partaken in SXSW knows Sixth Street, and could imagine this happening. People are walking, meeting, and greeting everywhere — as evidenced by the photo below.

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SXSW Networking Culture

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Many people debate whether or not the content at SXSW is valuable, but for me the conference has always been about the incredible networking parties. In fact, I have been to only one session in the past three years.

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The long table at the Yahoo! Lounge.

Whether it’s sitting across a table sharing a drink or a cup of coffee or walking around at a networking party seeing friends and meeting new people, events dominate SXSW. You can walk up and down the streets of downtown Austin, and see venue after venue filled to the brim with interactive pros.

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Howard Greenstein and Cory Doctorow on 3rd Street.

Of course, networking events are not about masses of attendees, the streets, party themes or the venues themselves. While these things add to the ambiance, SXSW is always about the people.

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From left to right Richard Binhammer, two friends, Laura Thomas and Paull Young.

For example, a charity poker match benefiting charity: water hosted by Porter Novelli provided an opportunity to catch up with my friends Richard Binhammer, Christopher Barger, Wesley Faulkner and Laura Thomas.

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My original SXSW coach from 2009 and former housemate Aaron Brazell caught up with me at the DC All Star party. He’s showing off his new tattoo in the above photo. Both Aaron and I have a penchant to get ink in Austin. Fortunately, I escaped tattoo-free this year.

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One of my colleagues at client Vocus Dee Wong struck up a conversation with this sales rep from Hootsuite. The two were pretty funny on camera!

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Wherever you went you could see conversations happening. This chat happened at the IEEE party between William Hurley, or Whurley as he is known, and Eric Gradman from Two Bit Circus.

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It was wonderful to talk more with people who I am just getting to know like Ann Tran.

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That’s in spite of the fact that she and Kerry Gorgone photobombed this pic of Calvin Lee and Brivo LabsMike Martoccia, LOL! That’s what SXSW is all about, hanging out with work colleagues, building new relationships, and having a little fun together.

What was your favorite SXSW 2014 moment?

The top featured image was taken at Mellow Johnny’s during the Chevy Tweethouse event. You can see my whole SXSW 2014 photo set here.