The Reset Conference is an amazing, uplifting photography conference that was started and held in Champaign, Illinois for the last three years. This conference was founded by friends and wedding photographers, Rebekah Albaugh and Kellie Penn. These inspiring ladies live in the same town and market to the same clients, yet they are first and foremost friends, supporters and encouragers of one another and their businesses.
That’s what sets this conference apart from so many other conferences out there. As a new photographer in 2014, I was so nervous to attend a conference where so many amazing photographers would be gathered. I knew Rebekah and Kellie and a couple other attendees, but that was about all. The moment I walked into the iHotel and chose a spot near the front (I get too distracted to sit in the back of the room), I was welcomed by multiple people that were genuinely interested in getting to know more about me and my business. It was so encouraging! I left the conference that first year, and every year after, with so many new friends.
This year was no different. Though the event was moved to Indianapolis, Indiana this year, I walked in and just felt at home. This year, a friend of mine came along to the conference. She’s just getting ready to start her business and this was her first conference. By the time we got seated in the ballroom for the first speakers on Saturday, she asked me if I knew everyone there. Haha! For an introvert that has a hard time feeling comfortable in a room full of people, that was saying a lot. While I didn’t really know everyone there, I did know several people and was so comfortable. These are my people!
The conference this year was phenomenal! I got to learn from some industry leaders and came home with so much encouragement and renewed passion. I could write pages and pages of take aways from this past weekend, but instead I’ll just post a sentence or two from each speaker that I heard.
**I’m breaking this into two posts because this was getting a little long with everything together. 🙂
Davey & Krista Jones | How to Build a Brand That Tells a Story: What shorts, burritos & razors have taught us about branding.
Davey & Krista were amazing enough to step into the keynote speaker slot on day 1 because of a medical emergency from the scheduled speaker. (Be praying for Tash from Ike & Tash as she fights for her health after a scary diagnosis last week.)
What I learned from these two is that I have a story and a specific market. It’s not my job to appeal to the masses and try to grab the attention of every couple looking for a wedding photography. It’s much more important to tell my story and relate to my ideal client, serving them in a way that tells their story!
Sarah Jane Shorthose | Pricing for Sales
I am not a salesperson, which is why I went to this breakout with Sarah. While Sarah walked us through our pricing and our dreams for our businesses, what stuck out most to me was that the core product that I offer should be a part of my story and my branding. This sure got my wheels turning and you’ll be hearing more about this in the future! I’m so excited to start planning what this looks like for my business & for my people.
Courtney Slazinik | Rock Your Website: How to Turn Traffic into Clients
I first met Courtney at an airport when we were both headed to ClickAway a few years ago. She is a wealth of information on websites, blogging and social media. I was so excited to learn from her again this year. While Courtney brought tons of practical advice on how to make our websites less confusing, more cohesive and useful, the thing I took away that I have already started implementing is how to provide valuable content for the people that visit my site.
Bre Thurston | Un-Posed: A Lesson on Moments, Joy & Happiness
Now this is where things started to get really real for me! I’ve been following Bre for quite some time over on Clickin Moms, which is an incredible community of mostly women and the place where I fell in love with photography. I’ve always been a big fan of her authenticity and joy in her work. I went into her session expecting to connect with her, but had no idea I’d end up in a puddle of tears. Bre shared her story with us in such a beautiful way, making me really dig deep to get to the heart of why I do what I do. Bre is a self-proclaimed “moment junkie”. The emotion and connection that she captures in the people she photographs is exactly the kind of thing that I want to show in my work! So why am I showing mostly posed, traditional work on my site and social media? Bre gave us the freedom to explore our “why” and let our work be something that truly reflects who we are. My favorite photographs are ones that really make me FEEL something and that’s what I want to share!
Davey & Krista Jones | Building & Nurturing Your Email List: Why “Join My Newlsetter” Isn’t Working
The last few months, I have heard SO much about email lists. It seems like such a daunting task to get going, but I know it’s something that is a “next step” in my business. That’s why I chose this breakout. Davey & Krista gave us so many great tips on how to get started, and they really made it feel less scary than I had originally thought. They also gave us practical tips on how to provide valuable content to our readers and help us stay out of the treaded spam folder. I’m so excited to get my email list up and running this year and providing useful content for my readers.
All in all, day 1 was amazing. I had a notebook full of notes with a lot of starred things to begin implementing in my business right away. Kim and I were exhausted from all of the information (and lack of sleep the night before), so we went out for dinner and then headed back to our room to get some rest before day 2!
Check back tomorrow for the day 2 recap. This post was getting a bit long. 🙂