Showit United 2016 | Made to Create. United to Grow.
That was the heart behind the whole Showit United conference this year. Made to Create. United to Grow. My heart and head are full after just a few short days (that felt like a whole week) with new friends, and some amazing photographers from around the country. I met some of my favorite photographers, and realized just how normal they all are.
Ok. Now maybe I haven’t met many famous people. I think I can count one. I met Tommy Lasorta at Disneyland when I was in high school, and I’m sure there’s some people that don’t even know who he is. He was super nice, but I’m also sure he just wanted to spend time with his grand kids. He was more than happy to humor us with photos. Well, it’s safe to say that the photographers I met over the week were MORE than happy to humor me with my fan-girl photos.
My first #demossandwich with the amazing Amy & Jordan.
The ever adorable pregnant Katelyn James 🙂
James & Jess — LOVE them! 😀
I’m sure some of you know that I completed my certificate with the International Academy of Wedding Photographers within the last year, and it was SO fun to meet my instructors from those courses. Those were some of the funnest fan-girl photos to take! 🙂 Katelyn James is just as charming in person with her slight drawl, Mary is as majestic as a unicorn and has a way with words that WILL have you in tears-every time, and Montana was as awesome as you would expect. Amy and Jordan really are as happy as they seem, and I could just go on and on about how down-to-earth Matt and Carissa are. They really are amazing people that are so willing to help others make not only their businesses great, but also their lives.
PC: Chad DiBlasio
That right there is an AMAZING group of photographers that are firm believers in community over competition. It was amazing meeting some of my fellow Academy students, and finally put a real face to the name. We are all so active on our online community, that it felt like we were already good friends when we met in person. It’s kind of a strange thing when that happens, but I LOVE it!
I had too much fun with my new Canadian friends! 🙂 and Veronica (in the back). Fun fact about her- she’s from Romania, so of course I HAD to tell her that my great grandpa said that he was Romanian Gypsy Royalty. HA!
I also got to meet Jasmine Star, and make an absolute fool of myself by telling her how I think of myself as a honorary mexican. HAHA. Growing up in migrant towns, I’ve always joked about it. But as the word vomit was coming out about how I kept speaking Spanish to my new Canadian friends, I realized I probably just should have kept my mouth shut after she said “that’s great.” HA! Seriously, you guys. I was ridiculous.
I also had the awesome opportunity to teach myself! I taught a short 1 hour break-out session all about ring shots!! I gave away all my tips and tricks to get some amazing ring shots. Afterwards, everyone kept asking me how it went. I think it went well, but I had to keep saying “well I HOPE they got something out of it.” I would much rather have a discussion type class, than me just sitting and rambling on. It also would have been more fun to have more time with those that were there. It was fun, and scary, but i’m a firm believer that to REALLY understand something, it helps SO much when you have to teach it to others, so that was good. I may keep on doing so if people are willing to hear from me! 🙂
I finally met the amazing Ike & Tash out of Tacoma! I have been following them on Instagram for some time, and Ike is as hilarious in person as he in on Snapchat. I also loved meeting some fellow Washingtonians. There’s weren’t many of us! They shared their heart behind why we do what we do and how we should focus on serving and how we need to remember to always be thankful! It was great to hear from them!
There was so much information to soak in and start implementing into my business that it was hard to even know where to start, but with help from Katelyn, she let us know that we really just need to make micro changes to make macro results. We don’t have to change EVERYTHING all at once, but as long as we’re progressing forward, then we’re doing something right.
It really was just amazing to be in the same location as so many other photographers and photography vendors that believe in coming together for a great purpose. We’re not here to compete, or to show how amazing we are. We’re not here to book more clients than the next guy (or girl!). We’re not here to feel jealous of others when they are busy than we are, or make more money than we are.
We were there because we love our clients, and we love what we do. We believe that we were made to create! We believe that when we work together we can be united to grow! The heart and soul that was put into this conference was amazing, and I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone looking to go to a photography conference in the future. The people are amazing, the content is perfect, and you’ll come out with SO many new friends!
I could go on forever about how great it was, but here’s just a few highlights from my time in Phoenix.
- Got to spend time with my friend Karalee before the conference started. I stayed with them the first night and of course we had to make a 11 PM ice cream run to Walmart. It was worth it. 😀
- I got to go to a speaker lunch-in before the conference started. I met most of the speakers and vendors and that was kind of overwhelming. One of those times that you sit and think “WOW. Am I really qualified to be here?” But everyone was amazing, and I got to meet Natalie Franke Hayes- the founder of the Rising Tide Society. And she’s as amazing as you would think. But totally helped me feel welcome and like I just belonged. I owe her for that one. That night we had a welcome party by the pool, and it was fun to meet more conference goers! 🙂
- The first day of the actual conference went by so fast! Full of keynote speakers, breakout sessions, that’s the day I taught my session in the afternoon, and an awesome styled shoot! I can’t wait to share that! That night we had a Wild Wild West party at a bbq place. We line-danced, and ate ribs, and then headed back to motel for karaoke. Of course I sang Shania Twain, and rapped Gangsta’s Paradise. Because i’m SO gangster. HA!!!
- Day 2 we had more keynotes, more breakout sessions, more shoots, and then we ended the conference with our Freedom Ball! It was election night so we had that playing on the tvs, but no one was too concerned with that because we got to watch a magician, guys. If you’ve never heard of Jeff Kaylor you should look him up. I have always been one that’s been a little leary of magicians, but i’m a believer now you guys. After the ball, we had to option to go up to the presidential suite and watch him do more magic….and I think the image speaks for itself.
PC: Cassia Karin
- That night was kind of bitter sweet because it was the last day of the conference itself, but the next day was a photo shoot with THE Montana Dennis that definitely didn’t disappoint, a workshop with the Academy instructors, and I finished it off with a few hours with the creators of the Tonic Site Shop, Jennifer Olmstead and Jeff Shipley. Those two are amazing, and I’m so grateful for the one-on-one I got with Jeff to help me with my website! I ended the day back with my friend Karalee with Top Golf and more ice cream.
Another fun fact: I’m a horrible golfer. The golf pro had to come over and help me. And while it helped, i’m still no good. Too much muscle memory from softball or something. 😛
All in all-the conference was amazing, Phoenix was fabulous, it was awesome meeting new friends and spending time with old ones, and I still suck at golf. Keep your eyes out for more fun from our styled shoots! In the mean time, check out the video of it all!