I feel like this is a journal entry post…and I’m a little behind on this blog post because I went to this conference in NOVEMBER – but better late than never because I have LOTS of thoughts on it! Do you ever feel like sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time? Well, the Showit United conference felt like that to me. SURE, I planned on going to it… I intentionally bought my ticket and intentionally flew to Phoenix but when I arrived I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I had gotten myself into. I went in with no expectations and the willingness to be open, learn, and grow. When I signed up for United, I was added into a special Facebook group for all attendees. I observed people posting about being nervous because it was their first time or posting about seeing old friends from the previous years – most everyone was counting down the days until we could all be united — (get it…).
Fast forward… what I loved about arriving at ShowIt United was how friendly everyone was. I never ran into a person that wasn’t smiling or bear hugging everyone in site (Showit believes that handshakes are lame and hugs are much more cool – I agree- I’m a hugger!) United does it right. On the back of every name tag was a list of 3 people who you were meant to try and find by the time United was over! I thought it was a great way to get everyone to interact! I met 2 out of 3 of my “hug friends” but hugged like probably everyone else… hehehe. It was also neat because, to be honest, I didn’t know many of the other photographers attending! I was in a room with hundreds of seriously talented artists and now I’m blown away on social media but all the work I’ve been seeing by my new friends!!
Over the next few days, I heard from so many talented men and women in the industry… Mary Marantz, Katelyn James, Matt Kennedy, Amy & Jordan Demos, Natalie Franke, Jasmine Star and SO many more. I had heard some of the speakers talk before but what made it different this time was seeing them interact with everyone in-between. These people aren’t on pedestals, really, they are REAL PEOPLE. They may be “ahead” of me in the business… but they were in my SAME shoes in the beginning of their careers. All of them inspired me in different ways to keep pushing and working hard for what I want my small business to become. Who knows, maybe I’ll speak at United one day!
My 5 biggest takeaways from United:
- I’m not good at karaoke. Megan of Megan Noll Photography killllled it. Let’s just say her new name is Meglamore and Macklemore might be out of a job.
- I got to meet and come face to face with photographers whose work I have fan-girled over.
- I will continue to strive to shoot in new places! I loved shooting out in the desert with James & Jess Photography for this pretty sunset styled shoot!
4. I need to create “stack” days in my business (thank you Amy & Jordan Demos!) to be more productive during the week. Stacking more than one out of the house task in the same day!
5. I got to take away knowledge from the headline speakers but also walked out of United with new friendships from my peers.
United was overwhelming. I feel like overwhelming often has a connotation as a negative word but for this experience, it was a positive feeling!!! I was overwhelmed by the positivity, the encouragement, and new people I met. I soaked in as much as I could… but not everything SO, I’m excited to say that I’ll be heading back to Phoenix this November to attend United 2017!! Until then, I’m reviewing the notes I took down and implementing small changes to ultimately turn my business into something better than it has ever been!
If you’re a photographer and you think you’d like to attend United, you can sign up by clicking THIS LINK!