Fincon 2021

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

Fincon is a conference where money nerds get together and create content that educates and encourages people to reach financial freedom.

I can barely believe this is the third year I've covered the annual Fincon conference with my camera. What started out as a hobby to stretch my photography talents has now become a staple of my personality. Each year I lug a full frame camera and a big lens around for 3 or 4 days nonstop and then make a giant post with well over 100 photos and a story to go with each one. It's a creative endeavor that no one else in the world would bother to do, but I just love it. This year was no different.

This is also the first time I'm creating the blog as Life and Lens rather than through my old real estate blog ( I used to put photo stories on that site because I had nowhere else to put them, but this is a creative site and this is a creative endeavor so I'm much more at peace with the process. This also means I get to make a lot more comments about camera nerd stuff ;)

This is also the first time I made a video sequence in addition to pictures!

Camera stuff:

I started this shoot with the Canon R5 a camera I only bought 4 days earlier, I was very excited to learn it better. I only brought a Sigma 24-70mm lens.

Kate and I got to the hotel, went exploring and bit, and found this very neat-looking sky bridge.

I knew the universe was going to give me some good luck for photos this weekend because the very first morning I through my drone in the air for Sunrise and got this:

Super nerdy camera stuff:

At the last moment, I found out my friend David brought his new Canon RF 15-35 ultrawide lens which I have been drooling over for months. I immediately took it from him and kept it for the entire 4 days. For the past 4 years I have shot primarily 24mm which is already really wide. Wide lenses make the photographer have to get close to create a shot and those that know me can attest: getting in your face is not a weakness of mine. So for most of this weekend I shot at 15mm, this means I am really close to the action and create some giant frames. It was delightful.

For example, I made our hotel look epic at 15mm

The Hilton Austin was quite nice

Ok this story ramps up FAST, are you ready? We are walking Downton Austin for breakfast.

We go into this gorgeous building called The Driskill and I get a spicy chicken and a Texas-shaped waffle, a mimosa, and the strongest espresso of my life. WELCOME TO TEXAS.

This is my very good friend David Pere.

I'm very thankful for this hard working and generous dude. He lets me co-host his podcast, we are in a mastermind together, and we always room together at conferences...we even shared a bed once! We met at Fincon2018, isn't that neat how you stumble across lifelong friends.

Checked into the event, then went exploring a bit more

Camera stuff: Precision camera lenses have fine-bladed apertures which create starbursts when closed down. I was obsessed with how cool this thing was.

Diania Merriam and I met at Fincon19 and have stayed in touch close since then. Since then she has started a financial independence conference called EconoMe which had a very successful first year and is ramping up for its second.

At a conference full of frugal money nerds, only Cody Berman shows up in bling head to toe.

Here's David looking way cooler than he deserves to.

Austin had great skies and great weather all week, walking around downtown was blissful.

Not only did I get to check out this city with a sunset and my camera, I got to share a drink with my lovely lady and my closest friends . Life is easy

We went to this bat bridge that houses the largest colony of bats in the country, at night they all come from under the bridge at once and it's supposedly epic. We saw it but it was a bit underwhelming and impossible to photograph.

Luckily, I did not come home empty handed. One of my best sunset shots to date

We went to a place called Voodoo donuts where I ate ridiculous Oreo and peanut butter donut called "Ol' Dirty Bastard" under a glowing American Flag. Welcome to Texas bro!

Right before the donut shop I saw quickly got a peek inside this cool looking bar, I immediately saw this image in my head but we were moving fast and I didn't have the courage to stop and stick my face in there and snag it. This happens all the time, it always drives me to be more brave when the opportunity presents itself.

When we left the donut shop we walked back the same way we came, when we were passing the bar I peeked in again to see if my shot was still there, it was. This time I took my chance and I got exactly the image I had hoped for, the bouncer and I even had a happy little interaction. I almost missed this shot over my own personal useless anxiety.

Just a little life lesson buried in the middle of a chaotic day in a seemingly innocuous image:

be courageous at every instance you get, in opportunities large and small.

It's just a guy playing guitar at a bar in Texas, but it's just so cool.

Fincon was at the conference center, but in the hotel lobby is Lobbycon!

For those who don't attend events like this, this is where the real value is exchanged ;)

In the morning we went back to the exact same donut shop to get some for our friend Sunitha. It seems that I accidentally made some great PR images for them!

Ok in full honesty, Fincon wasn't that packed this year. I assume due to Covid-19. Look how packed I made it look though! lol!

My friend Justin Taylor is a local to Austin and I was very excited to see him. He has a severe Texas twang and when he talks I instantly realized how far from home I was, yet another "welcome to Texas" moment. This is significant considering I already live in North Carolina!

This is Drake, and despite how good looking he is when I point the camera at him I might as well be medusa because he instantly turns to stone. Over the next few years it's my mission to convert him into a narcissistic diva who loves the camera.

Drake and Shelby are a couple. He's terrified of looking silly on camera and she rushes to look silly on camera. #couplegoals

Since 2020 one of my main goals has been to be consistent on YouTube so at Fincon I searched for all the big YouTube people to learn from. We found Tim Schmoyer from the famous Media Creators channel and gave us a lot of his time and it was all in our very small group so super valuable. I'm grateful for him

Then this woman Erika comes up to me and says "Alex, I live in your town and I love your YouTube channel, also will you take a picture of our group?".

Girl, feeding my vanity will get you whatever you want.

The Shelby show

No matter what the occasion, my friend Shelby and I make time to do a photoshoot. Every time we travel, every time where in a city together, no matter how mundane the adventure, we have to create ridiculous pictures.