This was my 3rd year attending Showit United, a photographer’s conference hosted in Tempe, AZ by the amazing website company Showit.co. What really stood out to me this year, is just how much my own mentality effects what I get out of the conference. It was clarified as I was speaking with people that were there for their first or 2nd time. They asked if it was really worth it to keep coming back, I believe it is. (Already saved my seat for 2020 woo)
One thing I have always loved about this conference, is that each person has to find 3 people to hug. I was only able to find one this year, but it gets you talking to new people!
My first year, I was jazzed! I had opened my business earlier that year. I was pumped to learn all that I could. I wrote out all the people I wanted to meet, questions I wanted to ask, things I wanted to learn. I made lots of new friends that I still talk to today. After the conference, I went 100mph at my business, implementing everything I could.
It was so grounding and inspiring to see my mentors and role models in person; to see that they are just people and that if they can make it, so can I. I cherish my blurry cell phone selfies with all my heros!
You can read about my first year experience on this blog post.
The second year, was totally different. I quit my day job February 1st, then February 14th I found out my younger brother had died in a car accident. By the time showit came around in November, I felt like closed off. I felt like I had left my job too early. I was really scared and hopeless. Listening to the heartbreaking stories from Katelyn James and Ben Hartley just stuck with me, I couldn’t get past my own mind to hear the point about growth and overcoming hard things.
I didn’t blog my experience that year. I didn’t want to go back honestly. What brought me back, was all the friends I had made wanting to see me there. My friend needed to sell her ticket and I booked a wedding in the area for the Friday before the conference, so it all worked out well. I am forever grateful that my friends from United keep in touch with me and keep me going.
This past year, I have really dug into fixing my broken thinking (with lots of help from the books Love & Respect and You Are A Badass). Our marriage is so much better. I love more. I’m more grateful. Though I am not perfect, I am living more intentionally and seeing the world with wonder.
This year at Showit, I felt whole. I felt at home. I felt comfortable with who I am and where my business is going. Admittedly, I wish I would have taken the time to make more new friends, but now that I have so many old ones that I love, it is hard to find the time and energy to get over my shyness.
I was hooked onto every word this guy had to say. His view on client experience, is exactly what I am going for. Not only is he an incredible magician and entertainer, but he really knows how to serve people.
After his keynote, I attended his breakout, and then also his show at dinner. I couldn’t get enough. He sparked so many ideas for me on how I could better serve my clients.
My favorite thing, was how he carried a single fake shrimp, just to make people laugh. So random, but so effective!
I love how he summed it up, that relationships are the most important part of our business. We need to craft our message from the client’s perspective of “How can you do that for someone like me”. Every point he made was gold!
I especially love how he shared that his 9 month old facebook ad agency, made over 6 figures without an instagram, twitter, website, and even a facebook page with images on it whhaaaaattt. That felt so freeing! So often I feel trapped by thinking I have to post everyday and interact online for hours in order to be successful which is just not true.
His 5 minute fuel was exactly what I needed. I totally have a “made it” list in my head. That I need to make 6 figures, shoot 40 weddings, work with wedding planners, shoot at amazing destinations, sell out workshops, speak at conferences, have 10,000 followers and then I will have made it. I look around and think that everybody else has those things. But here’s the thing, they don’t! I look around and think everybody else has it together and I’m the only mess, but that is not true at all. We are all vulnerable and working towards something. We can encourage and help each other reach big goals.
Shared their powerful life-changing story about an accident that changed their perspective forever. Their graphic gave me an epiphany! We hear all the time, you can’t pour from an empty cup or you can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself. It finally hit home for me though why that is selfless.
I guess I was a real visual learner this year, because I was all about the awesome graphics. Ben Hartley’s graphic on client’s needs we should be meeting just blew my mind. It is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. If we can solve a higher, more complex problem then we are more valuable to potential clients.
Denise Karis put together the cutest book swap for attendees! I was so excited to swap out a book for one that someone else donated. I always get a long list of books to read after United 🙂
The swag bag is such a small thing, but just made my week. This year it came with a beautiful necklace, awesome glasses, and a fanny pack just to name a few things. I loved this year’s theme!
In true get-er-done fashion, I made a goal to have a new website up by the Showit United conference. It didn’t happen, but I stayed up almost all night the first night of the conference to get my new site published. Then met with a website designer and SEO expert the next day. There was a lot of polishing to do of course, but they were so so helpful in helping me with the new site!
I’m no singer, but I was so impressed at Karaoke this year. The big TV and DJ made it 1000% awesome. It was so much fun!
I attended one of the most organized and extravagant styled shoots I have ever been too. It was all absolutely stunning and very organized. I didn’t realize that #1 a stylist was involved and #2 you can’t touch what they have styled. I don’t like getting the same photo as everyone else, so I started to change the flatlay which was a big no no that I was not aware of. I was so embarrassed and pouted for a minute because I was so caught off guard.
Then I thought, what can I learn from this? It really affirmed my recent decision to move towards shooting only outdoor intimate weddings and elopements. As much as I can appreciate all the beauty of that shoot, it didn’t set my heart on fire. Shooting with strangers passing by, in a confined space surrounded by buildings is just not my jam. Plus, I don’t like just taking pictures of pretty things that are materialistic. I want to take photos of the natural beauty in this world.
The beauty of all this is that it doesn’t make fine art photographers or stylists wrong and it doesn’t make my style wrong. We can both create beautiful photos and serve people that share the same values. There is a space and a NEED for all of us in the world.
This conference is so special because it is so much more than just business tips. As you can see from our massage train with Montana Dennis above lol. It is a place of connection and personal growth. I am so grateful to have been a part of it. I hope to see you there for Showit United 2020! You can get more info about it here.