I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the Cunning Dental Group in Montclair, California. They are a top cosmetic dentistry practice in Southern California and they have an annual corporate retreat. This is my second year attending in Alaska, and I've enjoyed spending quality time with the team.
Cunning Dental Group is a family-owned company that has been in business for over 46 years. It's a privilege for me to work on their advertising and marketing initiatives. After working hard all year long, it's refreshing to stop and take some time to reflect and learn more about the people that you work with. Taking time off to visit Alaska has been a wonderful experience. I get to breathe the fresh Alaskan air, enjoy the scenic landscapes and interact with the abundant Alaskan wildlife. Not only do we get a chance to experience Alaska but it's the opportunity to get to know each other better. It's great to see how Cunning Dental plans an annual corporate retreat with their employees. I'm learning valuable information on how to successfully run a long-term business.
Even though some work is discussed, I found that the majority of the time, the team took the opportunity to relax and spend time getting to know each other. One of my favorite parts of the trip was saltwater fishing. Whether we were close to the shore or out in the deep ocean I found that focusing on trying to catch the fish was very refreshing. Even though we all have busy lives both personally and at work, fishing was the only thing on our mind. I'm not a fisherman by any means. This is only my second time fishing ever. But I really enjoyed the sport. It's a great way to unplug and forget about everything except catching the fish while you're out on a boat!
There is something to be said about taking time off for a corporate retreat. We look forward to it all year long and as soon as the trip concludes we can't wait until next year. Attending Cunning Dental's corporate retreat has opened my eyes to the importance of taking time off to reflect.
Dr. Cunning with his vast knowledge and experience gave me two pieces of advice that I cherish. Invest in passive income opportunities and take more vacations.
Passive Income Opportunities
I'll admit that I am a work-a-holic. I enjoy working. I feed off success and competition. Even though I feel that I'm just getting started in business, I look back at my accomplishments and feel that I've done a pretty good job. I am focused on getting ahead and working hard. Sometimes too hard. But so far I'm happy to say that the hard work is paying off. I can check off the passive income opportunities as my oldest brother and I have dipped our toes in this form of long-term investment.
Taking More Vacations
Again, I've been a work-a-holic for a long time so vacations have been harder to come by. Even though I would take small weekend trips with my friends here and there over the years, I was excited to take a big two week vacation with my family back in 2007 to Italy. That was a great experience and even though I've made a huge effort to travel more these past two years I am counting down the days until we take another big family vacation to France.
Technology, Photos and Websites
Back to Alaska - I took the opportunity to shoot photos with my new Sony A7R II professional camera. I previously took the Nikon D800 but I found it to be more challenging since the D800 is a bigger camera with more bulk and weight for both the camera, lenses and tripod. With the new mirrorless A7R II the size and weight were dramatically reduced. I found it easer to carry the camera and I was able to include a compact tripod as well. The camera performed admirably. Not only was I impressed with the quality of the photos but the range of shooting in day or night was very impressive.
I've been experimenting with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and landscape HDR photos for about two years. I shot everyday at different times so that I can try to get some detailed landscape shots for future post-processing into HDR. For these photos I take three shots bracketed and combine them to produce the final HDR image. So far, i've been very pleased with the results that I created and I hope to continue to get better at HDR since this is a fun, technical hobby that I enjoy.
Once I finalize these HDR shots at full high resolution I can test these shots on a responsive website to make the image span the whole width of the page. On a mobile device the image should collapse down so that the mobile experience is maximized.
Cunning Dental Group has given me the opportunity to visit Alaska with their annual corporate retreat the last two years and I'm very appreciative of the opportunity. Taking beautiful HDR landscape photos of Alaska has allowed me to test cool new responsive design website templates and themes with these amazing photos. Not only did I gain wise knowledge and advice from Dr. Cunning and his 46 years of experience in business, but I got a chance to get to know the whole team better. As I work more closely with them on new projects and marketing initiatives it's great to continue to build on the partnership and to continue to help them achieve success in their cosmetic dentistry field.