January 31, 2020
Photography conferences are one of my favorite ways to take some truly dedicated time to focus on my business. There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by hundreds of other creative entrepreneurs and getting to spend a few days doing nothing but learning and building relationships centered around my passion for photography.
If you’ve never been to a photography conference before, you might be envisioning stuffy trade shows and pretentious guys in name tags giving boring talks in hotel meeting rooms. Showit United – put on by the incredible folks of Showit, the company behind my website – is nothing like a traditional, boring conference. It’s become one of my favorite annual industry events because it blends supportive community, actionable education, and uplifting inspiration unlike any other event.
What makes it different is that you’re not only going to learn and be inspired, but also meet and connect in REAL life with so many talented and welcoming photographers just like you. At Showit, it’s a spoken rule that there’s no handshakes, only hugs. This is a prime example of the attitude and approach taken for the entire conference. Last year I went by myself and left with so many new friends. It’s definitely an experience you can be unafraid of attending solo.
I think Showit sums it up perfectly with this explanation:
United is…an investment of your time and resources that will fill you creatively, and provide you with a community that truly cares about your heart and your business
Plus, it’s impossible not to be inspired when you’re surrounded by this beauty every time you step outside:
2019 was my second year speaking at United, and I was so excited to present a breakout session on my Posing Flow. Last year I gave an inspirational talk on embracing fear and imperfection in business, and this year I took a more tangible approach and spoke on Posing Flow. It was standing room only and I received awesome questions and feedback.
I walked my students through how I use my posing flow to capture all the photos I need, whether I have 5 minutes or 50 minutes with a couple on their wedding day. I shared my top strategies for making clients feel comfortable and confident during their photo session.
One incredible thing about attending these conferences is that you can’t avoid making new friends and building new relationships! I especially loved that some of my photographer friends whom I’ve gotten to know over the years came to support me at my breakout session! And of course, my husband Brad was in the back of the room cheering me on, too.
It can be really intimidating to educate others, but I truly believe it’s one of the most rewarding ways to spend my time. After spending so much time developing my photography skills and gaining my footing in the industry, I love being able to pay forward that experience and helping the next generation of photographers learn and grow.
As a speaker I was so proud to be a leader at a conference that talks about things like racism, overwhelm and overwork, marriage, becoming parents while balancing businesses, and so many more controversial and difficult topics that most conferences avoid. It’s real, and it’s raw. Todd (the CEO of Showit and founder of Showit United) is the definition of a leader in the photography industry. He’s one who never backs away from a challenge; and it shows in the way United approaches learning: with heart and honesty.
And of course, United wouldn’t be complete without some fun after all that learning during the day! We got to let loose at Monday night’s dinner party, followed by karaoke, and get all dressed up for the formal gala on Tuesday night. The best part is that you’re guaranteed to get a few nice photos of yourself, because you’re surrounded by other photographers!
I already can’t wait to be back at United 2020 this coming November! If you’ve never been to United – or even to any photography conference! – I can’t think of a better time to get started than now. I hope I’ll see you in Arizona later this year!
PS: Want to learn the structure of the exact go-to poses I teach my students? Just click below to get access to my posing guide with my top five go-to poses.
You can get 10% off an annual subscription to my website platform, Showit, with code magic at checkout!
Tune in to this exclusive video taken during a real, live wedding. Watch how I pose and work with my clients to achieve beautiful, natural couple's portraits!
Get Behind The Scenes Access
WATCH a lIVE