Last week we spent four days in gorgeous Scottsdale, Arizona with a group of the most amazingly talented photographer friends, learning the true spirit of Community of Competition. After attending last year in Santa Barbara, we knew we would never miss another year! It is a complete game changer. To be able to look back over the past 18 months and see HOW MUCH our work has improved, how we’re so much more business minded and relational, and most importantly have to allow our lives run our business, not our business run our lives.
For those of you who haven’t ever heard of UNITED, it’s hosted by ShowIt, who is the amazing company that runs our website and has allowed us to uniquely brand ourselves like no other interface we’ve even seen. The moment we arrived we were welcomed with wide open arms, genuine smiles from ear to ear, and Prickly Pear juice (an Arizona favorite which is delicious!). We kicked off the conference taking a First Look class taught by the amazing Abby Grace. Two gorgeous couples, a stunning venue, and being led by one of the industries finest, we were in heaven! It was also during one of the loudest thunder storms of my life. Arizona is no joke when it comes to comes to storms! We were loving every second!
I just adore this! Abby captured Rachel and I doing our thing while it was our turn to lead.
Details! Details! Details! Our love language! We then had the complete honor of learning Details for Publication from the remarkable Natalie Franke, who is also the co-founder of The Rising Tide Society that Rachel and are leaders of here in Monterey, CA. Learning tips and tricks from one of the best in the business was absolutely mind-blowing!
And the speakers… They made us laugh, some made us cry, but they all helped us realize why were are doing what we do, and why we love it so much. Mary Marantz helped Rachel and I realize every morning we wake up, put on our capes, and try to be superwoman. We have to realize we can’t do and be everything and everywhere at the same time. Funny realization that we thought we could. Natalie Franke shared her story and the similarities we have we astonishing! I had a light-bulb moment and after years of struggling how I got to be where I am today, I quickly realized I too have a story to share, and so does Rachel. Mine’s not so pretty, there’s a lot of struggles and tears, but it lead me to where I am and who I am today, and for that I wouldn’t change a thing. Rachel and I area excited to share both our stories individually in the next few weeks. Katelyn James shared how to be consistent in our brand but it lead to how to be more about people, less about pictures. Another game changer speech! Justin Marantz is a lighting genius and we left so inspired! Jennifer Olmstead from Tonic Site Shop spoke exactly what we needed to hear at that moment since we’re in the stages of updating our branding. “Listen to what others are saying…” If only we would have done that a few years ago! Lessons learned. We found what we want our brand to represent (besides Anthropologie with a nautical flare), consistency and purpose. Abby Grace spoke about the gentle no. Coming from yes people, this was very powerful! Amy & Jordan closed with so much excitement, positivity, we left feeling like we could take on the world.
“God is doing something in your life…It’s going to be BIG and GREATER than you’ve ever imagined!”
And there was Jordan… We haven’t laughed so hard in a long, long time! If we had to caption this one, it’s his “Hold everything, did someone say pizza?” We love you Jordy!
We also had the incredible honor of getting in front of Justin & Mary’s lens before the Galla began. Holy moly! Nothing like we had ever experienced before or will experience again. The light, the mood, it was magic!