Showit United 2017
Oh man, guys. What can I say about Showit United that I haven’t already said. I’ve spent this last week processing, and reviewing all the things I heard and learned during my short few days in Arizona this year, and I’m still not sure I can find all the words to adequately sum it up.
If you missed it, last year was my first year at Showit United. Not only was it my first year there, but it was also my first time TEACHING at any photography conference. While I did love teaching fellow photographers how to take even better ring shots, this year I didn’t teach anything, but had the time to learn and grow from some of the best! I loved getting to see old friends, make new ones, reintroduce myself to some of my favorites (and spend WAAAAAYYY too much time talking to the great Montana Dennis. HA!), but this year was definitely different.
I went into United this year not really knowing what to expect. I knew that this year was going to be fun to see all my old friends- you know, all those online friends that I only REALLY get to see once a year. I was excited, and nervous and anxiously awaiting getting some much needed time without a kiddo. Heck, I even flew first class (cue that Fergie song “Flying first claaasssss…”) to get down there. I was feeling SO dang fancy while they handed me my hot towel, as I shamelessly watched others around me to try to figure out what the heck you do with this burning hot towel.
I ALWAYS get tomato juice with ice EVERY TIME I fly. BUT, this time I got this fancy glass cup…instead of plastic.
My fancy first class “lunch.”
The lady next to me was super sweet. We minded our own business for about the first hour and half, but after her 2nd Gin and Tonic, she proceeded to tell me her life story. That included telling me about her late husband, who had passed away a few months back after living 15 years in remission from stage 4 lung cancer. WOW. Now, if you have ever been around a pregnant woman, then you know how emotional we can be. As soon as she told me about that, my first thought was my sweet mother-in-law who had fought a similar battle for almost as long, and how she had just left us a few weeks prior. Of course it ended up as tears on my end, my sweet neighbor passenger apologizing that I was crying, others in first class watching us, and I wiped the tears from my eyes, and sucked it up. It was a great talk. I never got her name, but she was the sweetest.
So my trip didn’t start on the happiest notes. It actually started kind of sad, but I digress.
Luckily, I was met by my sweet Canadian friend, Raelene at the gate! She’s the one I went to see in Canada this winter!! I was SUPER excited to get to see her again, and I knew that United with her was going to be a blast! That part I wasn’t wrong about! I was joking with her before I flew out that she should make a HUGE sign while she waits at the gate….but I was joking….but she did it anyways. HA….
So we finally got my rental car, and headed back to the motel only to pester our Showit friends, and get a picture with Raelene’s fancy-dancy sign!
At some point we got In-N-Out. And animal style fries aren’t my favorite.
I feel like I should also mention, i don’t think I took ANY photos with my actual camera while I was at United. Like none. And a lot of the photos I stole from other people. HA.
Moving on, our first night was the welcome party by the pool. I always LOOOOVE that because I get to see all my online friends in person again. It’s like a high school reunion, but with people you ACTUALLY want to see. 🙂 But I don’t actually have any photos of that. So moving on…
The next day started with the tastiest breakfast buffet-which I actually had every day down there, and I decided if I had a chef cook me breakfast every morning, I’d be more apt to eat it every morning.
On the way to the Fiesta….and our food at the fiesta —the second night.
Our second and final night we had our Black and Gold Gala/Awards banquet. It’s safe to say that this is our one chance, as photographers, to act like we really want to at all our wedding receptions we attend.
We even had a drink donkey there….
My favorite Canadians. 🙂
And the best table out there on the left and our new band on the right.
And Montana Dennis….probably one of the realest guys out there.
And sweet KJ. She basically changed my entire business with her photography education.
I had to say goodbye to this sweet thang at the end of the week.
Goodbye AZ. Hello rainy, dumb Seattle.
So now that you saw a small run down of the week, I can end with this. My BIGGEST take-away I got this year was the importance of family. Yes, we can do all this work on our business, searching for those people that we’re trying to reach to buy our products or our goods, but what about the people that we already have in our corner. Are we neglecting them for the sake of our business. In the years to come, is it going to be my business that is my legacy (probably not) or will it be my sweet family, and my kiddos (probably yes).
Are they going to remember me as someone who spent way too much time on my computer, or off on shoots? Or will they remember that we spent time chasing waterfalls, and playing when I really should have been editing photos (hello outsourcing!!!). I hope it’s the latter. And I know that we’ll have hard times to come, everyone does, but we’ll get through it together.
There’s way too many times that I have thought after scrolling someone’s Instagram feed how perfect their life looks, or how great their house is, or how “put together” everything of theirs seems, but we’re all fighting our own battles. We just need to remember that, and be kind to everyone. NO.MATTER.WHAT. And be present for the people that are already here for us.