Sunday Morning Reflection: Social Media and New Friends

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There’s something about Sunday mornings that’s different from the other days of the week.  I always have a little more time to think about what happened over the last few days and what things I’m going to work on over the next week.

This morning as I hit Twitter, I was at 13,999 and it got me thinking about all the new friends who have come into my life thanks to social media. And yes, I’m using the word “friends” as it’s normally used. I use Twitter differently than most of you. I use it to get to know more people with the same love for photography that I have. Many times I’ve picked up the phone to actually call somebody who’s given me some good feedback or has images I really like.

Twitter has become the door for so many people to walk through and then email, Facebook and eventually conventions and live programs become the icing on the cake.  They’re live events where we can actually meet face to face, talk about the industry we all love so much and add more blocks to the growing strength of each of our networks.

This week I met Jim Hilgedick. He’d made a comment that I really appreciated. He did it all in 140 characters, but I couldn’t express myself in 140 back to him. In fact his tweet came on a particularly tough day and it meant so much to get some positive reinforcement. I picked up the phone and called him to say thanks, left a voicemail, he responded with a DM and I felt lucky to be getting to know another photographer.

Maybe that’s why I love the summer program so much, because it brings so many of us together. We get a chance to know each other. On the SCU home page we wrote:

So at SCU we’ve decided to do something radical. We’re going to go back to basics. To human handshakes, telephone calls, meetings that happen face-to-face in a room full of people who share a passion for photography...

I don’t mean to be rambling this morning, but there’s no way to directly express everything I’d like to write about.

We have one of those decorative pewter plates with an engraving on it of an old Spanish proverb:

                                                                                Living well is the best revenge!

Well, this is my definition of living well:  getting to know terrific people who share so many of the same passions. Working with people who want to raise the bar on the quality of so many different aspects of photography. Waking up smiling every morning wondering what new things I’m going to work on today.

Tomorrow is my birthday…today I’m going to hit 14,000 followers on Twitter…we just launched an industry first with a way for photographers to attend a great program and pay for the bulk of it later…Scott Stuart, a photographer, Summer School attendee and now friend is going to be in town next week and we’ll grab lunch…my buddy Doug Box is here later this week…and Sheila and I are going for a walk on the beach in forty minutes…life is simply pretty damn good, in spite of the challenges.

Thanks doesn’t begin to cover my appreciation for the support from so many of you, the great content being provided to this site from so many amazing faculty members, friends and partners and the fact that as I’ve said so many times in the past, I consider myself one of the luckiest guys in the industry.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and a Sunday filled with good friends and lots of smiles!

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