The definitive Biggerpockets conference photo experience extravaganza!

 

First, what is BiggerPockets?

BiggerPockets (BP) is an online community focused on real estate investing.

Their platform includes a web forum where people can interact and share information, and they host a very popular podcast that allows people from a variety backgrounds in the real estate field to tell their story of success.

I found the BP podcast back in 2014. It showed me the power and the possibility of buying profitable real estate and I’ve been buying assets ever since. Over time I became completely immersed in the community, for example:

I write for their blog

I was a guest on their podcast (the best guest they have ever had!!!)

and I tried to make a little hype video just for this conference

I really love this community, so when THE Mindy Jensen told me they were having a conference, I couldn’t say no

And I brought my camera to see if I could make something cool with it.

 

PREP WORK

What’s the most important thing to bring on your trips? THE HAIR DRYER AND PRODUCT YOU KNOW AND LOVE Don’t rely on the hotel equipment, super rookie mistake.

Why not just bring a cell phone?

A few years back I was given some really good advice. Find three hobbies in life to keep you happy. One to keep you in shape, one to make you money, one to keep you creative.

This advice is simple but surprisingly effective.

So I picked up photography about ~4 years ago and I’m while I’m not great at it,  I enjoy doing it just for the sake of doing it. Sure I could use a cell phone, but I would miss a ton of shots that only this thing can get, and I wouldn’t get any better at using my camera.

So I’ve been doing these little photo stories for a while. I try to just tell my about my experience and the people I meet, there is nothing I get out of this other than to see if I can create something unique, so I hope you think it’s cool!

 

WARNING: This is is ridiculously long, I was able to cull it down to a reasonable ~150 images and a narrative to go with the whole thing. There is no other content post that will compare to this, maybe that means it’s epic or maybe that means it’s too long for it’s own good. Regardless, I’m the only one who can produce it, I hope you enjoy!

 

Ok enough of me talking, let’s go to Nashville!

 

Whatup Nashville?

Welcome!

This because hotel was amazing from start to finish.

 

Two of the main portions of the hotel are these giant atriums. The humidity was a nightmare to my hair but for photography it was perfection. That’ll have to wait though. I dropped my bag off in the room and then left the hotel.

 

This is my good friend Lee Huffman and his wife Anna.

I met Lee on Biggerpockets ~5 years ago. He owned some real estate in the area I was living and I was just getting started. He flew into town to check on stuff, I met him, we drank for 5 hours, been friends ever since.

He wasn’t at the conference but he lives in Nashville so he scooped me up the night before the conference started to catch up.

Lee taught me a lot about real estate, we’ve made some money together, He encouraged me to start this blog, to go to Fincon, and we went to Cabo together a few years ago.

aaaaand we’re drinking

They brought the kids too, and these kids are actually kinda awesome. I’m very rarely around kids so it’s fun to spend time with people my level of maturity for a bit.

I love this picture

They gave us this glass with lipstick on it from a previous customer. In bird culture, this is considered a dick move.

 

I randomly ended up at Kid Rock’s bar which was LOUD and crowded. Totally my style.

People told me Nashville would be all country music, instead, I found this!

Saturday ends here.

Anti-climactic I know but I didn’t bring my big camera to the bar and I don’t often take cell phone pics.

The event starts Sunday I just flew in early to party.

 

Sunday

I went for a walk with Mindy early in the morning to get enjoy peace before the madness began.

That lasted about 5 minutes when Lee pulled up and took us to a local diner.

It was the most okayest breakfast I had in days.

As Mindy would say, “Extreme no comment”.

She just showed up like this can you believe it!?  I knew nothing about it in advance but I’m flattered by the commitment to our friendship.

Everyone knows Brandon Turner right?

I can’t tell if that’s a happy smile, or an incredibly uncomfortable smile.

Biggerpockets 2019 baby! If you missed it, you missed BIG!

#mistake

Hair check….PERFECT!

I have the only Pink logo BP shirt in existence. Jealous?

Everyone at the event was jealous, and for good reason. It’s so dope! And it matches my shoes.

Also, yes I dress like a angry teenager

This hotel has an entire water park apparently. I didn’t go to it at all, but it had this really tricky entrance right in front of my elevator. Just a neat thing to walk by each day.

 

Lining up to register for #BPcon2019

…and there was much rejoicing.

Connor Anderson at reception!

The hardest working guy at BP and always has a smile on his face.

I peek over to see him hard at work, because I’m nosy and I love to invade people’s personal space, and I see him WATCHING SPORTS!! What a slacker

#busted

My good friend and fellow moderator, Dawn Brenengen.

Dawn was on BP Podcast episode 72 (#OG). She is an agent and investor in Raleigh NC and we met for the first time probably ~4 years ago at a meetup and have been friends ever since.

If you’re new to BP or bad at networking let’s take a moment to recap. You have only seen a BLIP of this event so far and we’ve already met a few of my good friends all who have stemmed from this website. Reach out to people, be persistent, then add TIME. Relationships build and you never know what they will turn into.

Me: “Hey Dawn, it’s noon on a Sunday….wanna grab a drink?”

Dawn:

 

Scoping out the hotel again. It had a lake that you could take gondola rides on and pass by a patio with people having brunch.

There is a small shopping village right in the center of this area. If you were there you may remember there was a big sign for a popular clothing brand on that pink building. I photoshopped it out because they didn’t pay me to advertise.

These rooms had balconies looking into the main area. So dope

Another restaurant in a different atrium. These are all on my walk through the hotel. I’m really hoping these images capture how incredible this place is.

Beautiful

Let me introduce you to Zach Gwin! 

Zach runs video production at BP and in the short time I’ve known him he’s been a tremendous help for my video work. BP is lucky to have this guy around, and I’m lucky to call him a friend.

More proof that reaching out to people online will eventually lead to real friendships.

In June of 2019 I purchased my first 24 unit apartment building. It was a tricky process but it was made easier by having people around who had done it before. I found Justin Fraser through mutual connections and he had just done his first, a few months later I closed one.

This is us meeting for the first time <3

My badge says “Moderator” because I’m a moderator. This made me feel very important, but I didn’t realize that BP had made a dick measuring contest out of it by allowing certain people to get more flags at the bottom. Then I saw Mindy and the results were in, she definitely has the biggest dick.

I met this super nice fella Josh the first night downtown. Guy is a total introvert but such a good sport. Lot’s of introverts attend these conferences and they act as if they have some significant disadvantage.

Introvertedness doesn’t mean you can’t network, it usually just means it’s draining for people or they need a longer recharge time. Being shy is something else, it’s part of your comfort zone and anyone can grow their comfort zone. Josh is a perfect example.

Also enjoy the rare moment I let someone else hold my camera!

Happy hour #1

My good friend Shelby Osborne

Shelby owns a real estate brokerage, she’s a fellow vet, she’s buff, and she’s only a pain in the ass some of the time.

I don’t know what I could have done to deserve this glare.

I met Milan through Dawn this weekend, guy was super nice at the bar. We were taking photos and I got this GREAT one of him. I was so proud of myself. I got to the hotel that night and sent it to him immediately.

The next morning I saw him and he said “thanks” and walked past me as fast as possible. I was hurt by how cavalier he was with my hard work. Someone tell him he’s dead to me.

I met Ian Reeves on the internet somehow this year. Great dude and an avid reader, which is the quickest way I judge a person.

Matt Faircloth hosted this event and wanted to give a speech.

Look how scared his wife is! That’s how you know the dude is a powerful orator!

Craig Curelop the author of the new book “The house hacking strategy” and famous world traveler J Martin

Mike Glaspie!

For my reddit fans, tell me this totally belongs on r/accidentalrenaissance

Happy Hour #2

My new friend Lucia.

We met online before the conference and then hung out a ton at the event.

Make friends through the internet before you go to any conference. Big help!

I apologize for my hair. The humidly was treacherous.

I know you!

Dave Robertson wins the best T-shirt advertising award by a mile

He put his Biggerpockets profile on his shirt. What an incredible idea.

Unfortunately we know he gets less than 1 vote per post so he must not be providing that much value. Get to work Dave!

Lucas Hall, I love this dude.

I really owe him some great headshots, but this will have to do.

I met Lucas at Fincon2018 and again at Fincon2019 and now again here at BPcon.

If you are a small portfolio landlord you NEED TO TALK TO LUCAS. He started two companies called Cozy.co and Landlordology.com both are incredible resources for investors and his success with them is well deserved. Super nice guy too.

My roommate

David Pere and I met at Fincon2018 and hit it off well. He’s also a veteran, he’s a total ball buster, an endless try-hard, and a man of high moral character.

We shared a room at Fincon2019 and at BPcon and he’s always providing me with hilarious and embarrassing photos, this is the least incriminating of the weekend.

Everyone knows the famous Coach Carson right?

Grant Rothenburger

Grant reached out to me last year and asked me to be on Joe Fairless’ podcast, which I was incredibly thankful for even though I KNEW I had no business being on that show (based on my experience). Great dude and we had a lot of fun together, I tried so hard to get a good picture of him over the weekend, hopefully this is a good display of his handsome.

The second event of the night was hosted by Biggerpockets

Great event overall but the overwhelming highlight was this pretzel stand. I swear they had some spicy cheese with it that was life changing. I went in to this event as one person, I ate these pretzels, and I left as a new person.

Connor is showing off his white claw.

I finally had one of these terrible drinks and now I can positively confirm that they are terrible.

This guy is taking things VERY seriously

Waiting for our Uber to the after party. #responsible

Freshen up yo!

Hair check….NOT GOOD!

We got back to the hotel and I wanted to blow dry my hair again before going to the next party. I’m sure you get it.

Meanwhile I wanted to show dave what my new camera can do. So I put it on a tripod and faced it at as. It has wifi functionality so I can control it 100% from my phone with a real time display link. NEAT!

Also we got to partake in this type of shenanigan

When I checked into my room I realized it was a single bed, but two of us were staying together.

The military prepares you for situations like these so it was no big deal, I thought it was funny.

maybe it was all an elaborate ruse to get David to take this picture. Either way,

#worth

Walking down to the bar I passed this gazebo in the hotel. This hotel delivers!

After party

Hotel bar

I sort of have to apologize here. This was supposed to be a BP dinner event for employees and I totally crashed it. I was even told by someone that I wasn’t really allowed to come but…..

UNLESS YOU CAN PHYSICALLY STOP ME, I’M GOING TO GO AHEAD DO WHATEVER I FEEL LIKE

Mindy conjuring a spell of some sort

The whole point of what I’m doing is to take and share technically proficient images, not snapshots. That means deleting the blurry, poorly composed, and poorly lit photos.

This one is blurry but I couldn’t resist sharing her excitement.

Connor hard at work, or watching sports?

Another shot I didn’t want to share.

Missed focus, but Brandon is trying to crush this dudes head and I wanted to share the evidence.

I will always take a picture of someone taking a picture

Walker Meadows and someone who didn’t think it was important to wear a name badge.

Looks like Kevin is deep in thought about life

Also deep in thought, but not about life…..looks more like he’s daydreaming about donuts.

As soon as he saw the camera he turned into a diva!

Great picture of friends

Mindy, Clayton, Alexandra, Craig, Christina, and Zach.

I had just met Clayton for the first time and had an interesting but common experience with him. We didn’t really click the first night, probably because I was a stranger in his party, and probably because I’m obnoxious.

So the next night we hung out and made peace, and all worked out, and I’m grateful for a new friend.

The common part for me is that usually people don’t like me much at first. Must be the burden of being so good looking I suppose, I’m so intimidating 😉

I don’t know what this face is that Alexandra is making, but it feels like a threat.

Sometimes I’m lucky that people will enjoy posing for the camera. In this case I was unlucky that Dave wanted to pose for the camera.

If you read my Fincon2019 blog you know that I desperately owed Mindy some great pictures.

She made that downright impossible.

We got kicked out of this bar, they even had to flash the CLOSED signs on all the TV’s.

Time to party in the lobby I guess!

THIS IS WHY I BRING MY CAMERA!

That dude is like 7 foot tall, so when they combine it’s like 8 foot tall!

Moments of magic like this are why we live <3

One of my favorite shots of the weekend. He looks so distinguished. Love this dude

I call this “pretending to be shy”

Sitting in the rain, alone, sad. Poor gal.

I mean, she did it voluntarily, we were all under canopy….but made for an excellent image.

And with that, I think it was a good time to wrap up the night.

Monday

I didn’t have a good reply when someone reads my shirt. I just wanted to wear something snarky.

Also notable in this picture, hair game on fleek.

I lost my voice the first night. I couldn’t eat enough of these things.

I refuse to stop yelling though. No matter how bad my voice would squeak.

Good morning giant staircase

Monday was my longest day of photos. Get ready!

I didn’t spend my whole weekend drinking, I went to some of the talks too

I’m just as surprised by that as you

This is Leidy

If you didn’t meet this chick you 100% missed out. She’s fun, confident, and smart. I met her along the way somewhere at the event, then at the breakout I took this image of her. Showed it to her, and then convinced her to let me take some pictures of her around the hotel.

Also, every time I saw this chick I wanted to scream:

“LEIDY, WHEN YOUR WITH ME I’M SMILING”

thankfully I didn’t actually do it, because I’m super mature.

Brandon Turner giving an excellent keynote

Sell some books yo!

When you fly across the country from Las Vegas only to run into a guy you already know in Las Vegas but he didn’t want to make any plans to travel together.

I’m very hurt Jay Simpson. This picture is my revenge.

The intention Journal, buy yours here 

I don’t get a commission for this link, I’m just charitableAF

Whatup Josh!

Sometimes I self-sabotage just for the sake of it. Julian came and sat down with me during a very hungover morning while I was processing this weekends pics and started talking to me about short term rentals, which I actually need to learn about.

Instead, I just rambled on about my lack of motivation and how lazy I am. I don’t know why, just seemed funny at the moment.

He seemed like a smart and ambitious guy, but he left thoroughly unimpressed with me. LOL

Liz Faircloth gave a great talk about their progress from 1 unit to ~500

Her talk was so good it had overflow! Matt was outside talking to the rest of the group.

 

So they had a headshot photographer on site. Made me feel kinda competitive.

Which brings us to…

Headshots

I had this nice camera, and this beautiful hotel, so I was asking around if anyone wanted to walk and take some pics. I didn’t have any external lighting, and portraits aren’t really my wheelhouse, but was thinking maybe I could get lucky and come up with a picture they love that isn’t a standard linkedin type headshot.

Only a few people took me up on it, but how did we do?

Would like to thank this fountain for making my these images easy.

Ok, I’m funny but I’m now THAT funny, sure it seems she’s laughing AT me here.

 

Obviously Shelby said yes, she couldn’t refuse the vanity

Professional

and buff

 

My homie Dawn!

Wanna be on the Biggerpockets Podcast? Make friends with Kevin…

Of course the hotel has waterfalls, what did this hotel NOT have?

The Biggerpockets Party

Jay Simpson

Fellow BP moderator Nathan G

I thought it was just when he was drinking. No he just wants to be a model.

Not only did he wear his BP profile on his shirt, he got a clean one for every day. Super smart I thought.

BP knows how to throw a party yo!

Patrick Frankenberg

Not only do you get to meet people who you know online. You get to meet people who live near you that you didn’t know.

31 year Army veteran, lives 5 mins from my house, already heard my podcast, he’s already come to our monthly Las Vegas meetup, ridiculously nice guy.

How can you afford to NOT to come to an event like this?

I stole this picture from Erik Cabral! Thanks dude!

I met this guy playing video games, what a nerd!

~5 years ago before I had ever bought real estate and was just a slacker trying to pass the days I played a game called League of Legends. Wes and I would play often and became friends, we both grew out of it but stayed friends on Facebook. About a year ago he got into real estate and Biggerpockets, then he came to this event and is about to close on his first triplex.

EXTREMELY glad I got to meet him and we hung out a ton. Never know how you’re going to meet someone.

I’ve met Scott a few times now, nice fella.

One of the nights he came up to me and asked

“Who is asian work wife”

Now, if you don’t know me of follow me on Facebook, I’m constantly talking about my #asianworkwife (link to some posts).

Here is the deal: I work in a cubicle with a woman who happens to be Asian. She’s from Tibet, and she is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met and we joke around a ton. She’s a bit shy, she’s fairly conservative, and not very active on social media. Over the last 3 years I’ve made a fun little game of creating a hilarious persona about her, mostly about her love for hot Cheetos and funny cultural differences.

So when people who I don’t really know, approach me to ask about a mostly fictional character I talk about on Facebook it  just makes me chuckle. I feel like this is a talent I should use more productively.

Downtown Nashville

Broadway in Nashville was non-stop awesome.

It’s like 40 bars across a few blocks, tons of live music (no country surprisingly, thank god!), rooftop bars, karaoke, lots of whiskey, and fantastic people.

Also, I collected some embarrassing moments of my new friends….

5 floor bar with a rooftop.

These were all taken with a cell phone btw.

I don’t remember this at all but how dare she touch my hair!

 

I had to watch this 3 or 4 times to really see all the action.

Tuesday

When I did the BP show they asked me some question about how new real estate investors do something, I forget what specifically was asked, but I found it a bit whiny, so I just said “Suck it up, buttercup”. Since then, people say this to me all the freaking time. It’s not something I say very often, but it’s fun to play into.

also, hair looking fly before I hit that humidity.

The infamous Bob Sleeves!

This guy invests in the same town as me. Superstar wholesaler.

Josh Dorkin keynote.

“YOU KNOW WHAT DO TO!”

 

This is the first and only time I saw this man standing alone.

…and he looks lonely.

He immediately photo bombed this moments later. Dude just can’t stay out of the glamour.

Scott, looking at a picture of Scott, that everyone is laughing at

Look Brandon, I know you think you’re hot shit and all but Mindy Jensen is MY best friend so don’t go around getting too chummy ok.

His best Blue Steel

Pictures of picture taking. I don’t know why I find this so funny.

The authors of Biggerpockets

Megan McCullum, this one is a handful!

Ryan Murdock and J Scott

I have been annoying this guy over Facebook for ~4 years so it was cool to finally meet in person.

He’s pointing at me!

Also, the girl on the right and I talked for a while at the bar the night before.

I called her Ajumma which I thought meant “woman”, I learned it when I was in Korea and I was so impressed with myself that I could share my worldliness with her.

Then she told me it means “old woman”…..

…and now we are not friends.

Mindy is teaching a few people how to apply a force choke.

 

Allison Leung works at BP doing the blog publishing.

I began writing for BP about 2 years ago, she’s helped me tremendously and I was really looking forward to expressing my gratitude, but she was too busy for me.

I don’t know who hurt you Allison but it wasn’t my fault, and now everything is ruined, and don’t even try to apologize to me ok, this ship has sailed.

 

Matt Faircloth, Dawn Brenengen, and Liz Faircloth

Matt wrote a book for Biggerpockets about how to raise money for apartment buildings. It was a big help when I bought my first apartment this year, and in addition he was generous enough to give me some time over the phone.

Liz gave a great talk about their journey from 1 unit to ~500 over the last few years .Very inspiring.

Great people in this community.

Dawn is ok too…

Liz put her purse down for a photo and I saw this. The pinnacle icon of dedication: a tape measure.

Do you need to bring a tape measure to this conference? You installing some baseboard while you’re here?

Apparently, she just carries this all the time.

Did you enjoy BPcon2019?

HECK YES! SURE DID!

I gotta come back here someday

 

THANK YOU

Did you make it all the way to the end? If so I thank you. It’s long but part of me thinks it’s cool making something few other people would be willing to. Although maybe it’s just unnecessarily long and no one even reads the whole thing.

Let me know how I can improve next year!

Now that it’s at the end of this thing, let me rant for a moment about the production of this post:

It takes a lot for me to make these event stories. I have to carry my heavy camera, then I have to explain it to everyone, then I have to make them feel comfortable around it which is the hardest part. I still have to network like everyone else, I usually drink MORE than everyone else, I still have to find time to learn more about real estate, and through the whole event I have to create this story in the back of my head and think of which shots I need, and where they go. Not to mention it’s not snapshots, I try to take technically proficient shots while in constantly changing environments and lighting. I’m also not a professional photographer, I’m just an asshole with a nice camera. I took 1,300 images and culled it down to the ~160 you see here, though I would have preferred to post another ~50 or so.

Lots of other people post photo stories, and the paid photographer likely took hundreds, but my hope is I can provide something neither of them can.

So please, if you liked this, tell me, that’s the only validation I get for doing so much work.

If you don’t know me and you liked this adventure, check me out at Biggerpockets and my look around website.

Thank you!

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Alex Felice

Alex Felice

My name is Alex, I live in Las Vegas and I’m a very high energy, loud, and eccentric guy. I like to talk about things that are high concept and important, no small talk! I like controversy, I speak with conviction, and I’m not a fan of rules. Oh, and I'm super into real estate investment.

8 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for these amazing pics Alex! You are a great photographer. I love the idea of 3 hobbies in life – one for health, one for creativity, and one to make you money. I love it!

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