Oh blog. I thought it would be easier to keep up with this blogging thing. But, yet, I’ve got a lot of work to do on it. And I’ll keep trying…so bear with me.
When I decided to attend the United conference in Santa Barbara this year, I packed my guitar, a bathing suit…figuring I’d get to sleep in and relax, take some pics, hang with some awesome people, and come home refreshed. HAH. Ok, I did take some photos, and I did hang out with some AMAZING people. The rest of it…not so much. It was nonstop. I came home both exhausted and energized. But what I really came home with was awe. And here’s why…
I went to United thinking I was going to come home with mind-blowing knowledge about how to amp up my wedding photography business, and that I was going to take part in a ton of photo shoots and have a whole new portfolio of images. Yay, me! But I left realizing that all of that was secondary. Share, Serve, Celebrate was shoved down our throats in the best way imaginable. Be nice. Hug someone. Be nicer. Hug someone else. Find a newbie. Hug them. Tell them they rock. Tell them your story. We were all there at one time. Scared. Wondering where to start. Share with them. Help someone. Find people in need and use your gift as a photographer to help. Be part of a community that raises each other up instead of looking at each other as competition. We are a family. On the first day, I thought…this is nice. On the 2nd day, I was like…ok, I’m getting this. Maybe people can really be this genuinely nice. And by the 3rd day, I was completely inspired to just be good to people. For nothing in return. For no payback. Just because it’s nice to be nice. Funny how that works.
One day after a shoot, I was starving (go figure), and I walked into the lobby of the hotel. I saw a bunch of people I recognized from the conference, but didn’t actually know. I literally walked up to them and said, “I’m so hungry!” (because that’s what I do when I’m hungry, I find it necessary to just announce it). And they said, “we’re about to go to dinner, come with us!” And just like that, a whole new group of friends. I know it doesn’t seem earth shattering, but some of these people I’m sure will be in my life for a long, long time in some capacity or another. Little things change our worlds.
On the last day, the amazing Trevor Dayley spoke to us, sharing his incredible stories as a photographer, as a dad, as a husband…and we, of course, all ended up with tears in our eyes. But at the very end, he asked us, “What is your burden?” As in – what is the thing that we allow to hold us back. What is the thing that keeps us scared, or pins us down. And we each wrote it down on paper, made the paper into airplanes, and we let them go. And then he told us to pick some off the ground and read them. Because that way we can have compassion for the people around us, and we can see that we all have things we can relate to – that we all need support sometimes. And to be that support for each other.
I came home and told my husband, “I think everyone should go to United.” And he was like, “You mean all photographers?” And I was like, “No, just everyone. Everyone in the world.”
Beach bride photo shoot credits:
KJ -Karina Jo
Styled by House Of Style -https://www.facebook.com/HOUSEOFSTYLESD
Hair and Makeup by Tami Maxwellhttps://www.facebook.com/UnveiledMakeup
Baby’s Breath Bouquet – Rincon Floralhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Rincon-Floral/63226356664
Hair Accessories by Glam Gal Designs Bridal http://glamgal.com
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