WHERE DO I BEGIN??? Holy cow you guys. I can’t even begin to tell you what an amazing weekend I had in Roanoke, VA at the Creative at Heart Conference. For those of you who aren’t sure what C@H is, it is a conference designed for like-minded creatives to come together to build long-lasting relationships and learn skills and practices to help better your small business, all with the comfort and support of new friends. We were greeted with such sweet swag bags filled with goodies from sponsors and fellow creatives, and quickly jumped into seminars and breakout panels with some amazing industry leaders. And I mean AMAZING industry leaders – like Katelyn James Alsop, Natalie Franke Hayes, Kat Schmoyer, Mary Marantz, Lauren Hooker & MORE!
I am literally on information overload from hearing these wonderful people speak…simply filled to the brim with information, inspiration, and encouragement. Not only were these talks informative, but they were from the HEART. These wonderful leaders dug deep into their souls and shared personal stories and helpful lessons and we all laughed and cried together. I’ve never felt so understood and supported by so many people who have been where I am right now, or are in the beginning stages of their small business just like me. And that sense of community is so invaluable to me. So not only did I take home lots of tips and tricks to improve my business, but the biggest and most important thing I am bringing home is positive relationships with new “friendors” in this industry. And with those friends come a support system, and with support comes confidence – which I have been lacking greatly!
Just last week, this lack of confidence had me 100% convinced that I will NEVER become a full time wedding + boudoir photographer. I mean how could I?! I rely SO heavily on my current full time job to pay my rent, my school loans, and so much more. I’ll never book enough weddings at the necessary rate to be able to cover my expenses. There are just too many photographers out there. Why would they pick me??
This conference has completely changed my outlook on this. Not only did I receive tips on how to save up and prepare myself for this venture, but other professionals shared their stories and trials on how they went about becoming full time and you know what? It wasn’t easy! But it was worth it. And I can always go back to work if it doesn’t work out right? Right!
Kat Schmoyer made us ask ourselves some pretty deep questions during her speech. And as I asked myself these questions, I became more and more confident and sure of what I needed to be doing with my life. I need to be photographing weddings and boudoir…its what I am passionate about, and where my heart is happiest! So why CAN’T I become a full time photographer? Sure, it may take some time, maybe even a few years, and I will certainly have to make some sacrifices, but it WILL happen. And you know why?
I AM a wedding + boudoir photographer.
I AM a believer in love.
I AM a creative.
I AM confident.
I would not be able to come to this simple yet life changing realization if it weren’t for the amazing speakers at this conference and the incredible friends I gained. You all hold a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to see how everyone’s businesses grow! Community over Competition, always.
If you are considering attending this conference – I highly recommend it. Every person can benefit from it-no matter what stage your business is in, and it is worth every. single. penny. I could go on for days about what I learned at this conference, seriously! Below are some images from my experience!
Thanks to Tyler Herrinton for the group photos!