Last week I got to attend a photography conference in Lexington, KY called The Reset Conference. This was year 9 of the conference but my first time attending. In this episode, I share what I loved about this conference in particular and my key takeaways from each of the speakers I heard.
Grab your ticket for 2023 https://theresetconference.ticketspice.com/resetchattanooga?r=KATE1224
Speakers I mentioned:
Cherise Kiel -Newborn Wrapping
Amanda Warfield -Content Marketing Strategy
Mallory Jackson -Styled Children’s Shoot
Creative Soul Photo -Styled Children’s Photography
Still and Wild- Kim Bear – Still Life
John Branch IV Photography – YouTube
Octavia Elease Designs – Showit Designer
Kate Hejde is the host and creator of How You Pictured It Podcast and Dear Kate Brand Strategy. She helps photographers create a profitable business that fits into their lives. With over 10 years of experience running her own photography business, while raising three kids, Kate believes that business is not one size fits all and that you define your own success. Kate teaches through her podcast as well as through course, group coaching, and 1:1 mentoring.
So you might’ve noticed we took a break from the podcast last week, and with really good reason, I was attending the reset conference in Lexington, Kentucky.
This was my first time attending that conference. Though I’ve done a variety of other conference and education things in photography. But I wanted to share a recap kind of, of my thoughts and experiences with this particular conference and my experience with other conferences in the past, too.
I am someone who craves education. I love to learn. I love to research things. I can spend hours diving deep on any subject
and become an expert on it in my own brain.
So when it comes to running my photography business, I’m always looking to learn new things.
In the past, I attended the photo native workshop, which was in Provo, Utah; mostly, it did move to Santa Barbara towards the end, but it no longer exists. It was a small conference for photographers, and it covered both wedding and portrait photography and introduced me to some really great speakers and ideas. I always attended with my friend, Colie from Colie James photography.
I loved that it was a small community and we felt really comfortable there, and like we could meet new people and make friends quickly and easily.
I’ve also gone to WPPI a few times, mostly though I go there for the expo and to see all of the vendors that exist in the photography industry.
It’s also a super cheap plane flight for me to Vegas and quick.
And who doesn’t want a little trip to Vegas every once in awhile?
Especially because it’s held in late winter when I’m tired of Colorado and need to see some more sunshine and warm weather.
I’ve also done a couple of in-person workshops and one-on-one mentoring things out of state when I wanted more concentrated education on a certain topic.
So back to reset.
My friend Colie, that I attended all of those photo native conferences with, attended the reset conference last fall in Waco, Texas.
I wasn’t quite ready to travel at that point, but she really enjoyed the conference and told me that it was really similar to photo native in the size and in the community.
So I booked my ticket for Lexington,
which was not as cheap of a plane ticket for me as Vegas.
Not as quick, but it was fun to go somewhere new that I’ve never been before.
The conference officially started last Monday, March 7th. But we arrived on a Sunday.
And went to the hotel where everything was being held.
I absolutely loved that. The hotel house to the conference and all of the events for the conference, as well as us.
We didn’t rent a car. We just used an Uber from the airport and to go out for a couple of meals.
It was so nice. Not having to worry about driving anywhere and waking up and just going straight down to the conference without any travel.
As soon as we got to the hotel, there were other conference attendees hanging out in the lobby. We joined up with them for a late lunch. We had been flying since 6:00 AM Colorado time, and it was now 2:00 PM in Kentucky and I was starving and exhausted.
After lunch, we hit the registration table and then took a little nap before coming back down to the hotel bar.
I loved the scene. When we walked in, there were people playing board games, there were people watching basketball on TV, and people just gathering and chatting.
Photographers had taken over.
The next morning we grabbed coffee from the hotel coffee shop
and headed to the first keynote with Vanessa joy.
I loved her spin on things. She was talking a lot about work-life balance and how work is part of your life, which you’ve probably heard me say here as well. And how life is part of your work too. She talked about including your family and your friends in your business and making sure you’re doing more of what you love with the people that you love.
Next was the first set of breakout classes. I believe there were about four different speakers you could go to at any of those times.
The first one I went to was Cherise Keil, I hope I’m saying her name right, but she was teaching newborn wrapping. She had brought stuffed animals and dolls for all of us to practice on and a ton of wraps.
It was fun to see how another photographer tackles newborn wrapping, because it can be so challenging. And I learned some new techniques that I haven’t used before, even though I’ve been doing this for 10 years.
After class, I snuck into the vendor expo for a few minutes, where we met up with some other photographers and made a plan for lunch.
I love eating at local restaurants when I’m out of town and trying new foods. We went to a place called Ramsey’s Diner, where we had soul food. The best pork chops I’ve ever had; they were so delicious; and some yummy potato salad and some kale and sweet tea, of course.
After lunch, I went to a session with Amanda Warfield, who is not a photographer, but she’s a content marketing specialist.
She hosts the podcast, Chasing Simple, and she had been in a copywriting course with me with Ashlyn Carter of Ashlyn Writes, so I recognized her name and I wanted to meet her in person and see what she was all about.
She had some great ideas on batching content and I’m in love with the strategies that she shared.
The next breakout I went to was with Mallory Jackson.
She did a styled children’s shoot with a couple of little girls and it was a “watch me shoot” style session.
Some photographers brought cameras and shot alongside her as well. I loved hearing the prompts that she used. There’s never enough prompts with little kids, I feel like, and it was fun to get some more ideas of posing and again, those prompts to get them interacting with each other and laughing and playing.
We wrapped up the day back in the expo room and made plans for dinner.
We headed to a pizza place where they had a delicious gluten-free pizza. It was also a brewery and they had a full bar. I can’t remember the brewery’s name, but pizza place was called Rolling Oven izza.
This dinner was a blast and it was so fun to meet new people. I was out with people that I had never met before; but some that I have followed on social media for awhile;
and the conversation was natural and flowing like we had known each other forever.
After dinner, we head back to the hotel where the conference hosted a dessert nd like a mingle kind of event.
It was so nice to have those built in times where we could interact with each other, build our community and talk to other photographers. I feel like you go so much farther when you’re working together with other people and running a photography business can be so lonely.
That was one great thing that I found at the conference was that there was plenty of time built in for long meals and like this dessert event. The next night, there was a gala with dinner served. There was just a lot of opportunity to meet people and have good conversations and I think those are what really keep us going.
Day two of the conference started out strong with Creative Soul Photo leading the keynote. They have amazing work, amazing ethics. I love everything that they’re doing and they are so clever with their business strategies and finding new sources of revenue as photographers and really doing what they love.
The next breakout I attended was with Kim Bear of Still and Wild. And it was on still life photography, which isn’t really something that I do ever. I usually have people in my photographs. I have done some product photography and that’s kind of what interested me in this course.
It was immediately captivated by Kim and how she talks about objects and light and the stories behind the things that we own.
She inspired me to do a personal project that I’m looking forward to and I really loved watching her shoot and move things around and create different stories and landscapes just with little objects and the light and shadows and how they played together.
She also had a setup for photographers to practice with, and you could stay after and shoot.
For lunch that day, we just stayed at the hotel and ate in the bar there.
After lunch, I went to a breakout class with John Branch on YouTube and learning how to create more streams of income and how you can grow with YouTube.
I was just blown away by him and all that he was teaching. And if we even signed up to do some more mentoring with him in the coming weeks You should go check them out for sure. I’m going to tag all of the speakers in the show notes for you. So you can go. See what they offer. And see if there’s anything there that they, that can help you out.
And then the last speaker that I went to was Octavia Elise. She is a website designer with show it. I’m a show at user. I absolutely love the show up platform and
Octavia was showing us some key tips to make your homepage pop and to convert. Viewers into clients.
She had some excellent tips. And one thing that stood out to me. Was that she said that the copy should dictate the design and not the other way around copy always should come first. And I loved hearing that from a web designer, it’s been a struggle for me in the past to find a website template
that would fit with a copy that I knew I needed on my site. So hearing that come from a designer’s mouth.
Was music to my ears.
So that concluded the speakers and then there was more community time built in. And then the gala, which was a dinner and an eighties party. I chose not to attend that, but had a great time hanging out in the bar. With other people who decided to hang back.
And ate dinner there too.
We ended up calling it an early night and knowing we had to travel again in the morning.
On our last day in Lexington, we woke up and hung out in the coffee shop slash bar area of the hotel.
Hanging out with other photographers until one by one. Everybody started to leave.
There were shoots and mentoring sessions available that day as well. But I had to get back home.
We headed to the airport with two other photographers who were leaving the same day. One was actually on our flight.
And had lunch at the restaurant there.
So what are my big takeaways from this conference? Well, I had some really great education and I had some unexpected ideas sparked for me to help me move my business forward. They also helped me move forward creatively. I feel like this time of year, it can be really easy to be bored with photography and uninspired. Everything is still a little brown and while the days are getting longer and the sun starting to shine,
you’re still kind of thawing out of that winter funk.
Conferences like this always light me up and give me so many ideas and motivation to keep moving forward.
Not only do I have ideas for shooting. I have ideas for my business and ways to make money and things to implement.
When I’m at conferences like this, I take notes on every breakout, but I also have a running to-do list at the front of my notebook. After each breakout session, I made sure to put at least one task down onto my to-do list so that I can put these things that I learned into action.
The community. I got to be a part of it. The reset conference was welcoming. Many of the attendees had been before. This is the ninth conference. That they’ve held.
But they welcomed me in, like, I’d been there too.
Reset conference was so very well done and I can not wait to go next year.
I actually already bought my ticket for next year. It’s going to be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee in March. Again.
If you have any questions about my experience or other workshops or conferences I’ve attended, please just send me a message. I’m happy to chat. Anytime.
I love talking to other photographers and that was evident. From my time at the reset conference.
I hope this episode has been helpful. And giving you some idea of what you can learn and what you can take away
From conference experiences and educational opportunities in the photography business.
Be sure to subscribe to how you pictured it on whatever podcast platform you use. And leave a rating and review.
I’ll be back next week with another episode of how you pictured it.