Fincon 2019 was AMAZING
First, what the heck is Fincon?
Fincon is a conference for financial content creators such as bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers who cover all varieties of financial topics, self-referred to as money nerds. Last year was in Orlando and this year was in D.C which btw is a breathtaking city. We all get together and help each other improve their talents/brand/business/money. It’s the only place in America where talking about personal finance is not taboo!
Fincon2018 was my first and I absolutely loved it. I brought my camera to it because I bring my camera everywhere I travel and I made a photoblog post about it last year and told some stories about people which I have done before but only for individuals. Doing a story like this was new, fun, challenging, and people seemed to like it.
What is this photoblog?
I have no idea, it’s just something I stumbled into. I like photography and I like blogging.
This year I wanted to do another Fincon story and I wanted to make it a little bigger than last year, but I’ll be honest it was not easy. This was the most difficult photography project I’ve done so far but I still think it came out neat.
Why do this and not just let the photographer do their job? Because I’m not taking pictures of strangers, I’m taking pictures of people I make friends with, and when I take someone’s picture then I get to tell a little story about them. For many of my relationships, it’s more than a photo, it’s my way of showing you some of my genuine human connections (which is something I happen to love).
Also be warned that this thing is long but hopefully, you’ll find my personal Fincon experience interesting. If you enjoy this and want to be a bigger part of it next year I am happy to include you! Let’s be best friends.
Enjoy, and thank you!
I shot the entire weekend with a Canon Eos R, which is basically a 5d mk4 but in a mirrorless body. It’s a pretty incredible piece of engineering I must say.
I’m shooting with a Sigma 27-70 2.8 Art which is fantastic glass and it’s quite versatile but a sometimes bit uninspiring. Prime lenses really are the way to go.
If you don’t know anything about cameras that’s ok, this isn’t about photos this is about people.
Fincon could not have possibly started better.
I arrive at the hotel and before I can even find my room my very good friend Mindy (@MindyatBP) ran up to me, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and handed me a bottle of Tequila.
Someone at Fincon described it to me as “drinking with friends you only get to see once a year to talk about something you both share an interest in…sometimes it’s called networking.“
Pete helped me launch my blog from the start, he helped me launch my podcast, I’ve been on his very famous podcast before, he won the Plutus award for Best Entrepreneurship/Side Hustle Blog at Fincon this year, and he’s a grade A fantastic human being.
For these things and more he deserves a better picture than this but…..he didn’t get one.
Sup Liz Eischen!
She runs Kitchen Table Finances and other than the fact that she can’t whistle, she’s perfect. She’s extremely nice and usually nice people are annoyed by me but she seems un-phased by me so I cling to this rare opportunity.
She volunteered to help people find their way at Fincon because that’s what perfect people do. Liz is one of the highlights of my Fincon both times.
Could you believe there is someone in the world with more hype, more style, and more general loudness than me?
Well you shouldn’t because there is not.
But Bethany Bayless would be my toughest competitor. She didn’t give me a second of time this year, and I’ll never forgive her for it, but I got some great pics of her and I hope that makes her feel guilty.
Check her out at BethanyBayless.org
Look at these knuckleheads
I met both of them last year at Fincon and I’m thankful for them both.
I was on Dave’s podcast as well, but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to brag. #humble #blessed
FINCON: Where money & Media meet
…..perhaps I should have started with this.
I have a giant camera and people react differently when they look up and see it. This is a pretty good representation showing the scope of reactions I get.
Lee Huffman is one of my closest friends. He taught me real estate, he got me to start this blog, and he got me to go to Fincon. I’ll never be able to repay him, and I’m not going to try.
He also taught me how to fly the world for damn near free! If you want to travel the world for free using miles and points, check out his site WeTravelThere
My friend Shelby.
I really wanted to take this space to bust her chops and trust me that she really deserves it, but I won’t, because I’m such a good person.
We have become kinda good friends and if you didn’t get to meet her at Fincon you should fix that next time.
Doesn’t it seem like she’s looking at some savory piece of meat across the room….
The picture above includes two of my favorite people ever:
MINDY AND MYSELF
Shelby and Mike are in it too
This fantastic lady and I have been friends for ~5 years now and I am thankful, to say the least. We met on a real estate website that I spend a an irresponsible amount of time on called www.biggerpockets.com
In the last ~2 years she has passed onto me quite a few opportunities of which some of which I barely deserved, and she does it for no reason other than she genuinely seems to like my personality, which I assure you surprises me just as much as it surprises you.
I’m going to come out and say something that’s known to be in my textbook style, unnecessarily brash but incontrovertibly true:
If you don’t like Mindy Jensen then you’re a fucking idiot.
Mindy is the best there ever is, the best there ever was, and the best there ever will be.
Again you would think I would repay her with better pictures???
I’m lucky to know such a hotshot as Cody Berman. This guy is incredible, and he was on my podcast too!
Also, he’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Sober he’s this sweet young dude. Drunk he turns into an insane frat boy! I actually think this is why I like him so much.
Hey look, my first new friend at Fincon 2019.
Well then, just kidding…
Actually don’t worry, this is how most of my friendships start.
I met Sunitha at the real estate booth day 1 and we became fast friends. You know how sometimes you make friends you instantly know are going to be life long term friends? With Suni I knew right away!!!
She didn’t know at all, but that’s ok.
Ok this was 30% funny and 70% rude.
That’s my business card that I had given to a person who was interested in doing business in my market, she asked me and this other fella for our business cards. He didn’t have one, so he thought it would be funny to write his info on my business card. I caught the shot over his shoulder.
Not a big deal, we are buds and we were laughing about it at the time, but it’s a really good opportunity to remind everyone you MUST bring business cards.
I know they are annoying and outdated, but they WORK when you need them and when you don’t have them they work against you because when you don’t have them it’s a representation of your unpreparedness and unprofessionalism, rookie.
We went down the street to grab an uber and saw this almost-celebrity rush to in his limo/Honda so as not to get spotted by the paparazzi. Look everyone it’s Paul David Thompson!
Whoever that is?
National Museum of the American Indian
So the event for the first night was at the National Museum of the American Indian and it was DOPE.
I rode in the car with these 2 people who where strangers to me but they were super nice so I tried to get a nice shot of them.
They run Waffles on Wednesday!
Mindy will appear throughout this adventure, but this will be the best picture you see of her. Sorry boo!
I met this handsome guy on the left last year at Fincon and we spent the whole weekend together. Chris Williford and I would have spent most of this weekend together too but his wife kept stealing all his attention. So selfish!
Chris is a great dude, he just smiles 24/7 and it’s so contagious. We made a pinky promise to talk more throughout this year and I’m looking forward to it.
THIS IS WHY I BRING MY CAMERA EVERYWHERE
Photography is a tricky hobby because you have to be prepared for constantly changing environments and you want to bring as little equipment as possible but you also want to have everything with you for flexibility. I didn’t have my tripod with me but I was able to set the camera on a ledge and take a long exposure. It’s not perfect, but it’s close.
Lots of people had their cell phones out for this shot but no phone can get near this. Sorry ro, get on my level.
This was my best shot of the trip by far and even though I felt like an idiot carrying my bulky camera around at a party, being able to have this shot was easily worth it for me.
I hung out with Mark Lancia from Money For Meaning a bunch this year and a bunch last year. Super nice guy and I’m kinda sad I didn’t get to talk to him more because he seems to be quite a bit smarter than I am.
Lunch with new friends!
From right to left
Me in super blur
Rich from Rich on Money
One of Bens’ friends that I only met briefly (sorry!)
My buddy Dan Mackin from Millenial Real Estate Investor
A new friend Chris Sheppard who I hung out with a bunch this year
and another new friend Ben Lapidus
Ben runs, among his own investments, the Best Ever Conference in Denver which I will be attending in February. Ben gave me a lot of his time and advice on how to put together my next syndication and I’m sorry that I cut his face off on this shot.
So I’m a pretty picky eater, I hate it, but I live with it.
Sunitha invited me to Thai food and I’ve never had Thai food, and I DID NOT want to go but I didn’t want to be a sissy, so I said yes to opportunity.
and let me tell you friends, WHO KNEW IT COULD BE SO TASTY!?!?! WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME BEFORE NOW?!!
I ended up going again the next day LOL
Paul David Thompson is very successful real estate investor who I met last year. He was generous to have me on his personal podcast and then his group podcast “What’s up Next?” which won the Best New Personal Finance Podcast at Plutus awards this year and to be honest I’m not sure they could have done it without my guest appearance. You’re welcome Paul
ok I guess he’s not that intimidating…
You know what they were making at that Ally booth?
They had a 3d printer that would put your face on a little dessert. Last year it was pancakes.
I think we can all agree that I look delicious <3
I had to go to the hotel bar to pick up my credit card from the night before because…alcohol.
Chris and I got that card back and opened a new tab immediately and then I didn’t get any more pics for the rest of the day.
By the way the Washington Hilton is INCREDIBLE.
I haven’t been to DC since I was kid but the building, the location, the city, and the weather all made for a perfect weekend.
Big thank you to the Fincon people for putting this together. This was a fantastic experience they put together.
This is how you get through the weekend, 2 coffees at once!
We we all just standing around chatting when we made somehow made friends with the actual paid photographer at the event who is pretty damn good….I really didn’t need to do all this.
Hey Lee if travel hacking means having to wear that awful shirt then I’ll pay for the plane ticket thanks. Love ya
We went to a bar down the street and we made some drunk friends.
I hope she is not mad I posted this!
The bar was playing Return of the Jedi!
I couldn’t hear it so I left
We came back to the hotel, grabbed a bite, and headed to bed.
I don’t have any practice taking pictures of food but I had a burger and I had my camera so I gave it a shot. Looks delicious right?
The always photogenic Bathany Bayless
Last year Bethany and her husband were in Las Vegas and they came out to have dinner.
P.T. Money came out to Vegas and we went hiking together as well.
Point is, If you come to Las Vegas, Let’s hang out! I’m FUN yo!
Craig Curelop is a house hacking MONSTER and just wrote his first book about it! KILLER!
I got an advanced copy of this book and he’s going to be on my podcast in the near future. I’m glad I got this neat shot of him shamelessly plugging his book. I met Craig last year but we bonded tight during this trip and I’m grateful for that. relationships compound yo!
Adam “Dobby” Dobbins was doing his first year at Fincon and he was a fascinated guy but I didn’t get any info from him! Frustrating. I didn’t finanything on google so if you know him please tell me how I can reach him.
He’s a retired navy seal, just completed a triathlon and dresses with mad style. I love this shot of him too.
I want to be taken seriously as a real estate investor
This dude was actaully cool as hell!
Brandon Neth and his wife were so fun and their life is JEALOUSY INDUCING.
Ridiculous haircut aside this guy was living his best life and I was happy for every moment I got to spend near him.
Oh look, a perfect sunset that I can use as a back light while my good friend Shannyn Allen stands in front of it and I can create this stunning portrait.
I don’t want to spend too much time telling you how cool she is, just trust me. I didn’t get to see her until Friday but we spent all day Saturday exploring DC and it was dope. We took a few pics together but I guarantee I won’t be able to do justice to how awesome she is and it’s a shortcoming I’m not happy about.
The Plutus Awards are given to industry leaders at Fincon. The purpose is to generate grant money to create opportunities for financial media to create, develop, and administer community-based programs that enhance financial literacy, education, and empowerment. It’s also a damn good time and they always put on a fantastic show.
Pete won an award and he deserved every bit of it!!!!
I didn’t get many pictures of Plutus awards because they had quite a few photographers there and I was far in the back and I sat in one place so every shot is basically this one.
Lets move on to something else.
I met Jessica Moorhouse!!!
I stalked Jessica’s website for a while and I’m going to steal quite a bit of her style and apply it to this website, to include her YouTube thumbnails. It’s not stealing if you call it “inspiration”.
DID ANYONE ELSE SEE THAT IDRIS ELBA WAS AT THE EVENT?!?!?
This picture doesn’t do him justice but don’t worry, I told him he was great in Pacific Rim.
Partying with my camera might be lame but these headshots came out great!
Did we talk about this sassy broad yet?
When most people see my camera they usually hide at least a little. Making them feel comfortable and confident to get a great shot of them is part of the fun for me, it’s a nice little challenge and bonding moment.
Every time I went to take a picture of Anna though she would get excited and do a pose and make a cocky comment.
It took all the fun out of it for me
But I can’t be mad because she’s so damn photogenic.
Our little excursion into DC was great, but I had dinner plans so let’s go back to the hotel.
Another epic portrait of THE Mindy Jensen
For my last night in DC I went to get Nepalese food for my first time ever. Now, this was a big deal for me because for anyone who follows my Facebook feed (WHICH YOU SHOULD) you’ll know about my #asianworkwife, who is one of my favorite people in the world and she is of Nepali/Tibetan descent. So we went to dinner and I couldn’t stop texting her!
I have been talking to this guy online for a few years and I’m really glad I got to meet him. He didn’t come to Fincon but we did meet up for dinner.
Russell Brazil is one of the top realtors in D.C. He’s smart, ambitious, and he never stops giving me a hard time which I love <3
I didn’t take my camera to the closing party and I left at 4am so that’s the last of my Fincon pics. So it’s time to go home!
Goodbye DC, hello Las Vegas!
I COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU BABY!
I’ve been doing photography for ~5 years now and I’m definitely not great at it, but I have my moments. I love this hobby and I just enjoy trying to get better at taking proficient shots and using it to engage with people better.
Thank you for reading all the way through!
I would love to know what people think of this, so any comments/critique are very welcome. All feedback is helpful because I really want to do this again and better but I want people to find it interesting too.
My email address is: Alex@lifeandlens.media
My Instagram (which is pictures of books, cars, and the gym)
I know it’s too long, I know it’s way too long, but I wanted to include everyone and to be fair the event was 4 days long! Gimme a break yo!
See everyone next year <3