I’ve written a lot over the past year. In fact, after some quick adding up, I realized I’ve actually published well over over 150,000 words in the last 12 months. That’s a lot! Yet as I sit to write this article, it’s the first time I find myself struggling to find the right words to say.
I know it sounds cliche, but I almost feel compelled to say nothing but two simple words … Thank you.
It’s what I really want to say. It’s what I’m feeling, it’s what I’ve felt. It’s what I want you to hear. It’s what I owe to so many people. It’s what I feel compelled to put out into the world today.
At the time of my writing this, it’s been less than 24 hours since we announced Sprout Studio. Sharing it with the world was a big moment for me. It was a big moment for our team.
When I first came up with the idea of an all-in-one business management software for photographers on a scrap piece of paper, I dreamed of this moment. The response has been overwhelming. It’s the only word I can think of to explain how I feel about it. In the last 24 hours, and in the days leading up to the announcement, I felt so many different things; excitement, nerves, stress, joy, encouragement and gratitude just to name a few.
The response to the announcement surpassed all of our expectations. Tens of thousands of photographers across the world saw the announcement, and the internet was buzzing about Sprout Studio. We’ve had an overwhelming number of photographers sign up to get early-access to the software and it’s growing by the hour. We also filled up and sold out our Founding Members Program in only a couple of hours.
I am so thankful for all the support and encouragement. Thank you, again.
This article isn’t about Sprout Studio, though. This is about that one day when we got to let our secret out. When we celebrated our biggest milestone yet. When the world could finally take a peek behind the curtain. When all of our sacrifices paid off and our hard work was recognized. The one day that was unlike any Christmas morning I can ever remember. The one day that set the trajectory for the rest of our careers. The one day that was … Announcement day.
We’re photographers, and sometimes we find ourselves so busy telling other people’s stories that we often forget to tell our own. Although announcement day was crazy, I made the commitment to document it photographically, as best as I could with all the craziness happening around us. And in this article, I want to share this photographic story of Sprout Studio Announcement Day with you.
I normally start my mornings at 5:30am. I love the quietness, the stillness and the darkness. It starts my day in the right direction. I normally relax with a cold glass of water, a handful of almonds and read a book for a couple of hours. This isn’t “work time”, it’s what I call “Bryan time” when I get to focus on personal development and filling my head with positive thoughts, encouragement and education. Announcement day was a bit different though. Not in that I wasn’t up at 5:30am … my alarm was still set. But in that instead of having “Bryan time”, I had “Sprout time” and got to work right away. There was lots to be done to get the Sprout Studio WebPage finessed and perfected. Truth be told, we have been working so hard on the software itself for so long, that we hadn’t put as much time as we wanted into building the page that talks about the software. The image above is me getting going.
Something I’m being particularily careful of with the launch of Sprout Studio is to to protect our SproutingPhotographer.com content schedule. I love writing, speaking, doing podcasts and educating photographers about the business of being creative, and I don’t ever want that to slow down. If anything, I want to do more of it! So even though Announcement Day was upon me, I made the commitment to still record my intro/outro for the day’s podcast episode, since launch day fell on a Monday which is one of our podcast release days. If my voice sounded a bit groggy in that intro then know it’s because it was recorded at 6:00am!
I’ll try not to get too sappy here about this photo above. Over the last 18 months, my family has had to make some very serious sacrifices. Running a full-time photography studio while building and launching a huge software is not easy. Not to mention the insane content/speaking/traveling schedule. My wife, Ally and my 2-year-old daughter, Ava, have been so incredibly understanding and supportive with everything, and I am so lucky for that. On Announcement Day morning, as I was working upstairs in my office around 7:30am, I heard Ava downstairs getting up, and so I put work on hold and came down to spend some time with my family. Ava and I have a routine every morning where she asks me to “open weein-doh”, which means “open windows” and we go around the house together opening all the blinds. Announcement day or not, I’m not missing this routine with my little girl!
I’m totally a jeans kind of guy, but today was kind of a special day. Plus, we had an interview for our support role first thing at 9:00am, so I had to look the part. I’m definitely not a selfie kind of guy, but in the favor of documenting the day, I caved in.
This is Sandra, who many of you have met (virtually) through email. Her official title is “Project Manager”, but she’s basically the “glue” here at the Sprout and Bryan Caporicci Photography offices. Sandra was in bright and early getting going on some Sprout work and prepping for our interview.
Our team is spread out throughout the Niagara region (until we get a Sprout office space, which can’t come soon enough by the way), so Google Chat was on fire all morning with team members who were all busy working, getting ready for the announcement.
Coffee is a requirement any day at the office, but on Announcement day, it was particularly necessary. You’ll notice the almost-empty pot before 9:00am. The image on the left are a couple of resumes that were floating across our desk. We are hiring for our support position for Sprout Studio (the person you’ll talk with when you call), and on Announcement Day, we had the last interview in our first round of interviews.
Checklists were everywhere, and our typical easy-listening studio playlist of John Mayer and Jason Mraz was replaced with something a bit more energizing. Owl City … gotta love ’em!
Rob came in for around noon on Announcement Day after doing some work at his studio. While the team were working on the Sprout Studio Website and finishing up the custom-coded referral program, Rob, Sandra and I were perfecting content on the site. Collaboration has always been a key component in everything we do here at Sprout.
The picture above, on the left, is at 3:44pm, which is 16 minutes before the announcement. I was totally in the zone and completely unaware of anything happening around me. It was crunch time. Energy was high, productivity was on fire. The screenshot on the right is a post I put on our Sprouting Photographer Facebook Page at about the same time.
The official announcement. The first time the world was able to see what Sprout Studio was. Some of the rest of the team arrived to the office and were still working hard even though the cat was “technically” out of the bag. Last-minute fixes kept everyone on their toes!
Announcement Day ended with some pizza and wings, and a craft-beer tasting with the Sprout Team in the office while we sat around the computer watching the numbers pile up. It was so exciting to watch the buzz together as a team. The energy in the room was electrifying.
I want to thank you again. Thank you for reading this, first of all. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your encouragement. The response has been so overwhelming, and we’re still getting out from under the pile of emails, phone calls and messages that were sent re: the announcement. We can’t wait for this next stage for the Sprout team, and we’re beyond excited to get Sprout Studio into your hands.