Book Review: Getting Things Done by David Allen

The Problem

I wrote this book review almost a decade ago for another blog that I wrote. Getting Things Done is one of the books that changed the way that I work. A decade later I still use the GTD system. I use Evernote as a supplement to my system. You can read the original review below.

I Was Ineffiecient

My workflow has always been inefficient. From my earliest days in school till just recently I have been an unorganized mess. While my quality of work has always been high, the amount of time and effort involved in obtaining that quality was on the long and difficult side. From elementary school though my junior year in college I was grossly inefficient at getting things done. I would always finish my projects on time, but things were never well organized. Things were never well organized because I had never been taught how to be organized. My senior year in college I read a blog post about being more efficient with my time. I started blocking out 4 hour chunks of time to work on projects and doing them one at a time and taking no breaks. This method worked well for me, but I still had other things on my mind that made me ineffective with my time.

Something Had To Give

Since graduating college, getting married and starting my own business my organizational skills really started showing up as being quite poor. I was terrible at managing my time. I had a very hard time making time for my business, my family, my friends and also wanting to get more involved with other organizations. I figured it was time to try to get things prioritized. There had to be a better way to do things then they way I had been doing them.

I was on twitter about a year ago and a friend of mine tweeted about David Allen's bookGetting Things Done. They said that they were going to start a getting things done system, and sent me two links about what that was. The first link was to an article about using Gmail as your central “Get it Done” inbox(to http://lifehacker.com/5321180/turn-gmail-into-your-ultimate-gtd-inbox) The second link was to an application called Evernote that one man used to change hislife(http://www.40tech.com/2009/08/25/getting-things-done-gtd-in-evernote-with-only-one-notebook/).

These two links got me started with GTD. Later I decided to buy the book.

A Simple Concept

David Allen has a simple concept. Get things out of your head and on paper. David Allen says that if you can get all of the ideas swirling around in your head on paper that you can be more productive. David advocates writing all the ideas down and putting them in a filing system. David has a great system that I have implemented in my life. I have become more productive with his system. Writing everything down and organizing it into distinct areas and projects has helped me to get more done and to remember more stuff that I need to do. I recommend GTD for those that are looking to help out their workflow in any industry. The concepts that David presents can be implemented in any knowledge or creative job. This is a great read for photographers. You can apply the workflow discussed in the book to your creative process. You can apply the concepts to client meetings, post processing, and your daily life.


Where To Buy

I purchased my copy from Amazon's Kindle Store. You can purchase your though this link Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity


Why Read?

As freelance photographers we spend a lot of our time working on projects for clients. We also spend a lot of time watching and reading photography tutorials. Both of these things are great. We also need to sharpen the saw on personal and business development. Reading books is a fantastic way to expand our view of the world and learn new things.

About Nick

Nick Bumgardner is a commercial photographer based in Nashville, TN. He has 12 years of experience in food, beverage, and product photography.



Surviving A Recession As A Photographer

Impending Economic Doom

Cue the music. CNN is playing it up. It is all over the news that our economy is could hit a recession in 2020. I know there are a ton of photographers and other freelancers out there that are getting worried because economic growth might stagnate.

What Is A Recession?

Put simply a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. It just means that the economy is not growing.

What Would A Recession Mean For My Business?

So the obvious question for commercial photographers is what would a recession mean for my business? In general, the answer is simple people and businesses are spending less money during a recession.

That means that things might tighten up. It does not necessarily meant that people will spend less money in your niche. I’m going to tell you about my experience in the last recession and give a few tips to help you survive the possible recession.

I Began My Business In A Recession!

I started my business in 2007, during the beginning of the last recession the last recession lasted form 2007 though 2009. I was able to start and maintain a viable freelance photography business that entire time. I was just getting started in commercial photography at the time. In general the budgets were down a bit and there were less shoots taking place because some clients had less money to spend. Commercial photography is not necessarily a recession proof business. It all depends on where consumers decide to spend their money. In the last recession I found that overall clients were still spending money on marketing. You have to market and advertise products to get sales.

Some Tips For Thriving In A Recessionary Market

Sit down and create a budget for your business and for your personal life. See were you can cut expenses.

Dig the well before you need it. Start networking now. Build up your network so that you have many different potential clients to pull work from.

Keep your head up! In a down economy it is easy to get down on yourself for not making enough money. You have to stay positive and provide excellent imagery for your clients.

Create compelling content and tell compelling stories. We are creatives after all! The more we put ourselves out there the more people see our work and hire us!

Wrapping It Up


I don’t know if we will go into a recession or not, I’m no economist. Having said that I’m not worried. After spending 12 years in this industry I know we go though cycles with advertising and marketing. There will be up years and there will be down years. Either way my company is going to stick around and create compelling imagery for my clients. I am going to choose not to believe this recession is going to happen. I hope our economic growth continues. Let’s opt out of this recession togeather.

Honey Tree Meadery Review

I Finally Get To Try Mead!!!

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Eight years ago I heard a story on NPR about mead. After that story mead which I had previously never had in interest in became a sudden obsession. I had to learn everything I could about mead. I also had to learn of the meads available locally at the liquor store which was supposed to be the “best”. After my research I ran out the the liquor store and picked up a bottle. I got it home, sat it on my kitchen table and my cat Thomas Paine immediately knocked the full unopened bottle of mead off the table and onto my tile floor. My sudden obsession with mead came to a crashing halt. The honey nectar of the gods never passed my lips. As with most sudden obsessions it then passed into obscurity. Then along comes Honey Tree Meadery.

Cue Honey Tree Meadery

Honey Tree Meadery is a meadery based in Nashville, TN. They opened just a few months back. The opening of Honey Tree rekindled my dormant fascination with mead. A meadery had opened up in my own backyard!

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A couple weeks after Honey Tree opened I called up my buddy Jordan to see if he would be game to go try some mead with me. Jordan is also a mead novice. So we head over to Honey Tree on a Wednesday evening and give it a go. I arrive first and walk into the tap room. I am greeted by friendly faces doing yoga in the front room. They also have two bartenders working the taps. They asked me the most important question first. “Have you ever had mead”. I let them know that I am a mead novice. So they explain to me how mead is made and allow me to try samples of the three meads that they currently had on tap. They bartenders that were working had an amazing attitude and were more than willing to talk a novice mead drinker though the paces.

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Honey Goodness

After trying the three meads that were on tap I decided to go with the Basic Batch. I felt that the Basic Batch most embodied the basics of what a mead should be. It was 14% abv, served room temperature, and did not have any other flavors infused into it. Hence it is the Basic Batch. I don’t have a ton of experience with mead so I can not give a very thorough review. The majority of my experience with reviewing beverages is with Scotch and bourbon which have a substantially higher abv.

Color: The basic batch is a golden yellow color. It has thin legs that run quickly.

Nose: The nose is pretty much straight honey, with some sweetness, there was no detectable ethanol scent.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is thin, and a bit drying.

Taste: There is an explosion of honey sweetness, and a bit of a wine taste for lack of a better word.

Finish: The finish is short and sweet. The flavor does not linger.

Overall I would say that I enjoyed my first experience with mead. I will have to go back and try their other variants in more detail. It was a really great experience trying mead.

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The location of Honey Tree Meadery is top notch. It is right on Woodland with plenty of other things to do near by. The taproom itself is really nice and gives a nice view of where they make the mead. The back patio though was awesome. They have plenty of seating, they have a good number of plants and some nice shaded areas.

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We Will Be Back

My initial thought right after leaving Honey Tree Meadery was “We will be back!”. It was a great experience. They have a great tap room and a great porch. The bartenders were knowledgeable and really welcoming. The mead was fantastic as well. I plan to make many trips back over the coming year to get to know mead better.

Nick Bumgardner is a beverage photographer based outside of Nashville, TN.

5 Reasons Food and Product Photographers Need a Grip Cart

I have been a commercial photographer for 11 years. When I started my career I did not have a lot of stuff to haul around. I had 1 camera, a few lenses, and a flash. As I have grown in my career I have accumulated a lot of gear. With all of that gear I was having to take more and more trips back to the car. I was tired before I even started my shoot. So I started looking for a grip cart. I looked at tons of carts before I finally settled on one. Below are my top 5 reasons that you need to get a grip cart. Check it out!

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Carl Spies Product Photography

rowing up as an only child could be pretty boring. I got really good at making friends at a young age. But for those time where I did not have friends around I spent a lot of time playing board games with my parents. I played a lot of Monopoly, Risk, and Battleship. When I was growing up I always tried to play board games in the car, but it really just never worked out. Recently I was introduced to the best car game ever Carl Spies. It is like a modern twist on Eye Spy and the cards in the deck are really well designed and just flat out awesome. I did some product photography on white for the Carl Spies e-commerce website. Check it out!

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Nashville Lifestyles Best Pizza

I always get behind in writing these things up. Back in September I photographed some of the best pizza in Nashville for Nashville Lifestyles Magazine. I photographed pizza at Pastaria and Moto Nashville. Both restaurants do amazing wood fired pizza. The assignment here was straight forward and to the point capture one signature pizza at each restaurant with vertical and horizontal photos. Check it out the resulting photos below!

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5 Ways To Take Sharper Photos

I have been teaching photography courses for the last two years and before that, I helped to train new digital tech, and Jr. photographers at my previous job. I have found that one of the biggest problems that new photographers have is getting sharp photos. Whether you are a food photographer, a product photographer or a lifestyle photographer these tips are for you.

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Really Right Stuff BH 55 Review for Food and Product Photographers

In August of 2010, I ordered a Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head (you can order yours at www.reallyrightstuff.com). I have had the Really Right Stuff BH55 for 8 years now. I think it is now safe for me to do a little review of this ball head. The BH55 is the biggest, beefiest, and most expensive ball head that Really Right Stuff offers. In the configuration that I have this ball head runs $489. So the big question, is a ball head worth $489 for a food and product photographer?

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Murfreesboro Magazine Burger Issue 2018

I got asked to do the cover photography for the Murfreesboro Magazine Burger Issue again this year. This is one of my favorite editorials that I get to shoot. The magazine sends me to some incredible burger places in the Murfreesboro, TN area. This year I went to Goodness Gracious at the Mill, Burger Republic, and BurgerIm. I had a fantastic time doing burger photography at all three restaurants. Keep Reading to check out the tear sheets and see behind the scenes.

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