In cased you missed one of our posts, here are all five parts of United Week in one place:

Part 1: Serving Others 
Part 2: Sharing Our Gifts 
Part 3: Celebrating New Photographers
Mock Engagement Shoot: Photos
Mock Engagement Shoot: Behind the Scenes

In sports, the huddle is the safest place on the field, where you can’t be hit, hurt, or penalized, a place where you go to get refocused and reenergized, helped, hugged and high-fived. You can’t have the game without the huddle, because the huddle is where you make the plans to run the plays that bring fans to their feet. The huddle. That’s where the difference is made. 

We spent last week in a professional huddle at an international photographers conference called United 2014 in Santa Barbara, California, with hundreds of fellow Shoot & Share photographers who are committed to three foundational business principles:

1) Serving others
2) Sharing our gifts
3) Celebrating new photographers

As a collective group, we’re on a mission to transform an entire industry and change people’s lives not just through what we do, but with who we are. Over this week, we ‘re going to share three specific stories — even though there are hundreds of examples — that encapsulate these three principles and what they mean to us, starting with the first one right now…

Part 1: Serving Others
What would the world look like if, like Ghandi said, we lost ourselves in the service of others? This week, we saw service on display in every way, shape, and form, from people of every size, shape, color, and creed, from the valets who, with so much dignity, called us “Sir” and “Ma’am” everywhere we went, to the servers who said, “Our pleasure,” every time they cleared a plate or glass, almost as a thank you for the opportunity to serve. The opportunity to serve. That’s such an amazing idea, isn’t it? That one could get so much pleasure from serving someone else, that they’d feel like the lucky ones. That was the message and the mission that surrounded us all week by our conference leaders. We heard story after story about ways photographers, our peers, had served their clients so well, with such wide smiles, big hearts, humble intentions, and true professionalism, that clients’ people’s lives were literally changed forever. It’s re-energizing to hear stories like that, because it reminds us that how we do what we do is just as important as what we do, that no matter what you do for a living, it has the power to change lives.

one could get so much pleasure from serving someone else, that they’d feel like the lucky ones

A powerful example of service this week came from our friend, Field. He’s part of a husband-wife wedding photography team in Phoenix with his beautiful wife, Kari. At the conference, he and his lovely lady signed up to participate in an engagement shoot that we were leading, which was humbling in itself because they are more than talented in their own right. We were expecting 20 photographers, which is a CRAZY number to begin with, but when 40 showed up (yes, 40, we’ll blog more about that this week), we were honored, but also a little overwhelmed. So, what did our competitor friend from Phoenix do?
What a person with a servant’s heart would’ve done: he drove a huge carpool of people in his car to the shoot and stayed there with us, but instead of shooting, he spent most of his time helping other photographers that we didn’t have time to help, even carrying our bags, and offering to get us water. A few decades ago, one photographer probably would’ve never done something like that for another, especially not for someone in his same market, but Field did, and we couldn’t have felt more loved by him or grateful to him. He embodies what this community is all about: servant leadership.
 

Last week, we were reminded, more than ever, how important it is to serve each person in our path in every way we can, from the clients who invest in us and, therefore, help make our dream a life, to the people who need things that can’t be bought, like our attention, care, compassion, and love — all of which we should be intentionally giving with an open heart. Our culture tells us that you can get everything you want in life just by looking out for yourself, for number one, when in reality, it’s the opposite. Like Zig Ziglar said, “You can get everything you want in life if you help enough people get everything they want in life.” This week, we’re going to marinade in the service we didn’t deserve yet others gave to us, soak it all in, and just hope that if we cover ourselves in it long enough, that it’ll flow out of our hearts, and zest and season the coming days, weeks, and years of our life. We are so excited to take on this upcoming busy season and serve, just serve, so that others may feel the love we feel each and every day.

Santa Barbara Beach Engagement Photographers_0018

 We l-o-v-e traveling! Wanna catch up with our adventures around the world? You can do that here!

International: Ireland • England • France • Spain • Italy • Greece & Turkey • Anniversary Photos: Venice

Domestic: Nashville • Denver • Phoenix • Vancouver • Seattle • Vegas • Atlanta • Santa Barbara • Florida • Virginia • New England/New York • Sedona • San Diego • Nantucket • Boston • San Diego • Virginia • Arizona

16 comments
filed in: Personal, Travel

    Justine

    I LOVE this. You two are such an inspiration! So glad I got to "smeet" you guys. Fingers crossed that makes a future blog post ;) haha

    Justine

    I LOVE this. You two are such an inspiration! So glad I got to "smeet" you guys. Fingers crossed that makes a future blog post ;) haha

    Amy & Jordan

    Likewise! YOU are an inspiration. And, yes, it was SO nice to "smeet" you, too! Who knows? Maybe that's coming later this week ;-)

    Amy & Jordan

    Likewise! YOU are an inspiration. And, yes, it was SO nice to "smeet" you, too! Who knows? Maybe that's coming later this week ;-)

    Annamarie

    I love this!! So sad I didn't get to meet you guys last week! You two seem so fun and genuine!:)

    Amy & Jordan

    Shoot! We would've LOVED to meet you! Well, we'll all just have to come back next year :-)

    Annamarie

    I love this!! So sad I didn't get to meet you guys last week! You two seem so fun and genuine!:)

    Teresa

    Thanks again Amy and Jordan for having me join in. SO glad I asked! Hope our paths cross again soon. Let me know if you ever come to the Bay Area!

    Amy & Jordan

    You bet! It was OUR pleasure to meet you! And, yes, the next time we're in San Fran, you're our girl!

    Teresa

    Thanks again Amy and Jordan for having me join in. SO glad I asked! Hope our paths cross again soon. Let me know if you ever come to the Bay Area!

    Amy & Jordan

    Shoot! We would've LOVED to meet you! Well, we'll all just have to come back next year :-)

    Amy & Jordan

    You bet! It was OUR pleasure to meet you! And, yes, the next time we're in San Fran, you're our girl!

    Miranda Mirsec

    It was such an honor to have met such wonderful and humble people like the two of you at such a fantastic huddle! Thank you for your serving heart. Warmest wishes and hugs, M.

    Amy & Jordan

    Miranda! The pleasure was OURS! Hugs right back at ya!

    Miranda Mirsec

    It was such an honor to have met such wonderful and humble people like the two of you at such a fantastic huddle! Thank you for your serving heart. Warmest wishes and hugs, M.

    Amy & Jordan

    Miranda! The pleasure was OURS! Hugs right back at ya!