I started my recap of The Reset Conference last week thinking I’d just have one post. After 1500+ words, I decided to stop and make a new post about day 2. Here you go! *Next time, I’ll take my camera out and take some real pictures. 🙂
Jeff Rojas | Photographing Men
I have to be totally honest that prior to finding out Jeff was speaking at Reset, I had never heard of him. Of course, I had to stalk his social media and website to find out more about him and his work. This guy is talented! I love how he photographs men to make them look strong, genuine and raw. Jeff talked to us about his grandfather, bringing tears to our eyes, and how photographing men well really does matter. Guys really do care about looking good. So many times as a wedding photographer, I’m so focused on making the bride look good. We think that once we get the obligatory shots of the groom getting ready, with his groomsmen and a few alone, we are good to go. I know that I’m guilty of not taking time to really learn how to photograph men well. I’m looking forward to dragging my hubby out sometime soon to practice some of Jeff’s tips and tricks.
Kara Kamienski | Managing Expectations
You know how some people have shirts that say “Jesus is My Homeboy”? Well, I need a shirt that says, “Kara is my homegirl”. Haha! I first met her years ago at the first workshop that Bekah and Kellie held and have followed her ever since. What I love about Kara is her genuine love for life and people! Well, that and the fact that she is hilarious! I laughed so much in Kara’s breakout that my sides hurt. This girl is a great storyteller, with her words and with her work. Before class, Kara brought me a sheet of notebook paper and asked me to draw a person. I looked at her a bit confused and she repeated, “Just draw a person.” And, she walked away. Oh man! I am not good at drawing, but I proceeded to draw a poor example of a curly-haired lady wearing a dress and boots. See crappy cell phone pic of my crappy drawing below. (Don’t judge. My 4-year old was so proud of it, she hung it on the fridge.)
While I was drawing my person, Kara walked over to the other side of the room and handed a piece of paper to another attendee. As Kara began the class, she asked me to bring up my artwork and show it to the class. I wish I had this on video, because when she looked at my drawing she about passed out and tells me that I just ruined her illustration. Apparently, Kara had asked the other lady to also draw a person. But, this time, she asked the lady to draw a woman, with curly hair, wearing a dress and boots! Haha! What Kara was trying to do is help us realize that when we don’t communicate all of the details and expectations for our clients, we can’t expect them to follow them. I just ruined her talk! Sorry Kara. 🙂 Even though that plan didn’t work out quite right, we all were able to relate to what she was trying to say. What I walked away with from her session was how to communicate well with our clients and manage their expectations as well. She gave us a step by step process to be proactive with our clients to set up their wedding day well.
Elena S Blair | The Art and Business of Meaningful Family Photography
Elena is another fellow Clickin Mom who I’ve been following for quite some time. I first took note of her when she started doing school photography in a brand new way, creating art of these children in the minute or two that she had them in front of her camera. I was intrigued by how she could capture so much of their personality in a short amount of time. But the thing that has kept me coming back to her work time and again is her touching family photography.
You might wonder why I even attended this breakout, since I market weddings and seniors on my website and social media. When I chose those directions for my business, it wasn’t because family photography didn’t appeal to me. What I’ve found is that traditional family photography isn’t me. What really draws me in and makes me feel alive is this idea of family photography as connection and life and meaning. THAT is what you see in the work of Elena S Blair. THAT is the kind of art I want to create if I’m going to pursue family photography. Elena challenged us to shoot clients like we’d shoot our own families. When I’m photographing my kids, I’m not sitting them on a stool in the woods and asking them to look at me and smile! No! I’m following them around in the day to day, trying to capture them being them. I’m trying to capture those things that they love, the way their hair curls by their temples, the dimples in their hands that won’t last forever. I’m capturing the gap in their teeth and the crooked bangs because that darned Junie B Jones encouraged them to be creative with a pair of scissors. Those are the kinds of things I want to capture and preserve. I want to remember the way my youngest touches my husband’s beard and how my she grabs my face and looks right into my soul. If a photographer I hired captured my family like THAT, I’d cry buckets of tears and hand her my right kidney.
I am so thankful I took the time to hear, and cry through, Elena’s talk. My business and my work will be changed because of her and I’m grateful.
Megan Kuethen | The Power of Story
Choosing which breakout to attend during this time slot was just plain hard. All five of the options appealed to me in some way, but what drew me to Megan’s was the title alone. I had never heard of Megan or seen her work, but I was so drawn to the power of story and how to tell a story in my work. Let me just tell you something. This breakout was like a therapy session for all of the attendees. I think over half the room shed at least a few tears while we listened to Megan’s story and then sat there as she drew out our stories so tenderly and effortlessly. It was just beautiful to watch her eyes light up as people in the room shared what photography meant to them and their why behind what they do.
I also connected to Megan’s struggle with the church. As Christian women in business, I expected to hear her faith come out a bit. I didn’t expect her to be so vulnerable and honest to share that part of her life. Having come through my own struggles with the church, I was able to connect and relate to her in a way that I may not have had she not been so open. How does this affect my business? Megan challenged us to get back to our “why”. Why were we in business? Why did we fall in love with certain types of clients? What about photography really mattered to us? Megan’s talk helped me to think back to my childhood and the countless hours I sat on our living room floor with an old Wolverine boot box between my legs. I would spend hours looking through those prints of my parents and my grandparents, thinking about their stories and how my story fit into it all. That was the beginning of my “why” and that’s what I want to do for my clients.
Natalie Franke | Mind Over Matter
As soon as I heard that Natalie was going to be at Reset, I knew I was going to add her breakout to my schedule. She’s been such an encouragement in the industry, and I wanted to meet her.
Natalie’s talk was all about how to choose courage in our lives and in our business so that we wouldn’t let fear get in the way of our dreams. I was so encouraged by her challenge for us to stop and realize that we are so much more than our job titles. It’s so easy to box ourselves in and think of ourselves as just this one thing that we do that pays the bills. What she helped us realize is that if we would just have the courage to start and learn and persevere, that the path of our lives just might look like something completely different and much more beautiful than we could have ever imagined when we began. I love Natalie’s story. I love how she started this wonderful photography business and then had this little spark of inspiration to see a community come together in the spirit of community over competition and The Rising Tide Society was born. And, now she has this amazing business where she’s equipping, inspiring and encouraging those of us in the beginning. She didn’t start without fear. But, little by little, she chose courage and now we are all blessed by her and this wonderful community.
Wow! What a weekend. I don’t know if anyone at all will read this post in its entirety, but I hope that if you do, you’ll head over to some of these amazing people’s websites and start following them. And when The Reset Conference opens up registration for 2018, sign up! I’ll see you there!