If you need me, i’ll just be over here screaming out my excitement because 3 days from today i’ll be on my way back to Tempe, AZ for Showit United 2018!!! If you haven’t heard of Showit, they’re THE best website platform out there, and if you’re a photographer, they have THE best conference out there called United. If you always wanted to go to summer camp as a kid, and never got the chance then you’re in luck because that’s literally what this conference feels like. Summer camp for grown ups where you get to see all your best friends once a year and learn amazing things, and get #allthehugs. BUT, this post isn’t just about United….It’s about what to pack for a photography conference.
Now, this will be my third year going to United. You can see my first time (when I got to teach my first breakout session ever) HERE, and my second time (late year) when I struggled being there pregnant HERE.
I’ve learned a few things the past two years when it comes to packing, and I wanted to help out some of you trying to decide what you need to bring, and what you can leave behind. So here’s my list of to-bring items!
- Camera & lenses (obviously…HA!)- Chance are that you are going to be taking pictures as some point during your photography conference. Bring that camera and some of your favorite lenses. BUT….(there’s always a but) remember that if you’re going to be a part of styled shoots, longer lenses are always nice. I know there’s a TON of photographers who LOVE the 35mm length. Unfortunately, when you’re sharing the space with 15-30 other photographers, you don’t necessarily have the space to get alllllll up in your models faces with your short focal length. People will want to kick you. On the other hand, if you just want pictures of other photographers taking pictures, then you bring that 35mm, my friend. Just looking out for you.
- What i’m bringing……one of my Nikon D750s, my 58mm f1.4, my 105 f1.4, and my 105 Macro because I LOOOOOVE me some Macro details.
- A Notebook- I can’t speak for ALL conferences, but trust me when I say you’re going to want to bring a notebook. If you’re extra special and get to go to United, there’s a good chance you’ll get some sort of notebook in your SAWEET swag bag, but it’s never a bad idea to bring one just in case.
- What I’m bringing……This year I splurged a little and bought a new Surface GO tablet with a pen, and i’m SO excited to get to use that for note taking at United. I’ll put all of my notes on OneNote and will be able to get them on all of my devices when I get home. I just found out I can even take audio recordings and put them right into my note. Along with pictures. Sweet, right?
- Clothes you’re comfortable in- With most conferences, there’s usually a bit of sitting…..You don’t want to wear those jeans that are a little too tight. Well, at least I don’t. I’m not saying wear your pajamas, because (mommas i’m looking at you) when you do really get that chance to dress up a little bit and NOT have to worry about ending up with spit up, or someone else’s food all over you. Am-I-Right? ALSO though, think about the weather you are going to be in. It’s been in the 50’s (Fahrenheit) where I live, and i’m MORE than excited to be in warm sunny AZ. I have to remember how much warmer it’s going to be, and it never hurts to check the weather before you go!
- What I’m bringing….I LOVE my stretchy skinny jeans. And i’ll bring all the flowy t-shirts and comfy shoes too. I’m all about style AND comfort. You won’t see me in stilettos (like ever, anymore). HA!
- This one is specific to United attendees! Your GALA attire!!! United throws one HECK of a party one of the nights for us when you get to dress up in either your best formal or cocktail attire! Really, it comes down to how fancy you want to go. It’s never a bad idea to go all out. Bust out that sequin dress, girl. You deserve it.
- What I’m bringing…..I bought a formal dress from Macy’s this year and it has all the sequins. I’m also planning on being a bit extra and using some glitter for eyeshadow and the fanciest lashes I can find. 😉
- MY BIGGEST TIP- Don’t pack your bag so full that you don’t have room for your swag!! I’ve made this mistake two years in a row and last year had to end up shipping a box back home. BUT, that’s my second tip for this one. If you don’t have room in your bag, don’t be afraid to head to the post office and send a box back home to you! It helped me out last year! It’s cheaper to send something in the mail than paying extra for another checked bag!
I’m SO dang excited to head down to United this year! I can’t wait to hug my friends, hear from some of my favorite educators, and have a little momma-time away from my babies after a crazy year. I can’t wait to tell you guys ALL about it, and bring home some fun ideas for next year!!!
What’s your ONE thing you could NOT forget to bring to a conference?!