I waited two years to buy my plane ticket. Two. Years. I watched online hour after hour, week after week, and year after year. “No. Don’t even entertain the idea. You are swamped with your day job, you have two young kids who need you–there’s just no way you can make this dream a reality.”
Then one night, I just got online and pushed all of my wandering thoughts aside and got out my debit card and just took a leap. If you’re anything like me, I oscillate between large decisions and often suffer from analysis paralysis. It’s real and it’s terrible! But this night…I made one of the best of the decisions of my life. I finally bought my ticket to Showit’s United Conference in Tempe, AZ.
It’s the photography conference of ALL photography conferences. Mmmk, maybe I am a little biased, but I walked away feeling like I had just stepped out of a existential and surreal world with a whole tribe of people that became a family.
I was able to meet the most influential go-getters and nationally recognized photographers that I have always looked up to. I mean, I have written three journals over the years of all of their education and courses I’ve taken online. Not only was I able to meet these incredible men and women–I was able to just TALK to them, enjoy them, and hug them… It sounds so silly, but when you meet someone you never thought you would, magic happens. I’ll be the first to admit…I was toally fan-girling!
It would be a shame not to share some of the greatness that I learned while at the conference! So if you’re a dreamer, a goal-setter, or a flirting with idea that there could be something more to your life, keep reading!
If It Doesn’t Work for My Family–It Doesn’t Work
This hit me like a ton of bricks. Why? Why didn’t this slap me in the face earlier in my career? It was only until this past year that I realized that I was doing TOO much. Too many weddings, too many shoots, too much time editing. I’m thankful I learned this early, however it is easy to slip into this trap of the ultimate “hustle”. Which by the way, I feel was one of the biggest and most sought after word–until everyone realized, “Hmm…my personal life is taking a dive. Maybe hustling isn’t quite as glamorous as everyone is making it out to be.” Truth!
Don’t Suffer from Productive Paranoia–Don’t Worry About the Next Thing
I had never heard of the term “Productive Paranoia” before. It’s essentially the idea of when we hit a goal, we don’t stop to appreciate it very long before we are stressed and anxious to create and beat another goal. Can you see where this is going? Despite the fact that this allows for very little creativity, it also is a recipe for disaster for both you and everyone around you. Who wants to be near someone who is never happy with what they have? How exhausting that nothing is ever good enough? Take one step at a time, be present in the stage of life or career you are in, and as time goes by, continue to grow toward your goals.
Fight to Live in the Present–Not Wish for the Future
Katelyn James is such an iconic and genuine person–believe me…from following her for years, then finally meeting and chatting with her one-on-one about life, she is truly as good as she seems. She spoke with such authority, because she’s lived it. She’s lived a nightmare of carrying a dying baby for 30+ months, never knowing what day he would pass away inside of her. Can you imagine?! She fought to stay in her present, even though it was a nightmare. But she shared that her baby, James, deserved that. He deserved her to love him every day he was alive. Katelyn says this is true in any stage of your life. We never know how long we have, but we do know that “beauty rises from ashes” and that we need to live in our life right now, so that we don’t miss it.
Be Curious What It Could Be Like
Do you have a dream? Do you ever feel that God has a bigger purpose for your life? What if you showed up differently tomorrow. What if you took one baby step toward your goal. For some of us that would be opening up to a friend to share their hidden dream, and others it may be going to the county court house to finally apply for a business license to make their dream a reality. Pay attention to your internal narrative. Are you believing in yourself, or are you denying yourself? What if you just allowed positive and hopeful thoughts flood your mind for just one day? If we don’t believe in us, who will?
This is JUST the Amy and Jordan course students! Family photo!!
Jasmine star is a business marking strategist–check her out if you haven’t! She was the very first one who started me down this road of starting my own business!
Lauren Fair is an award winning film photographer who I greatly look up to! There was only a handful of us shooting film, so it was amazing to learn from the best!
Me during a 7:30 a.m. styled shoot–as happy as I could be on a Monday morning. Outside our hotel, this pool/resort was amazing! It felt so good to be out of snow!
2019 Gala: Tropical theme. We danced our nights away. Every. Single. Night…. Julie Paisley got me back into film–and she is just the sweetest & so down-to-earth!
The photos I came for: my very own Demos Sandwich. Being able to meet Amy and Jordan and having a life-talk with Katelyn James was the highlight of my trip!
I was SO impressed with my experience and I fell in love with my new United family that I immediately paid for another trip for 2020. Are you interested in learning more?! Leave me a comment below and I would love to share my insights to see if you want to join me next year!