PhotoLUSH 2016 | Recap

February 26th-27th was probably one of the most impactful weekends I've experienced as a photographer, thus far. Finding what you love, realizing your potential as a professional in that industry and working with clients who believe in what you do is incredible, don't get me wrong. But, there's something so incredibly inspiring about meeting and building community with likeminded people. It's hard to put my finger on it. Possibly it's being validated and praised by people you've always seen as "WAY out of your league"? I'm not really sure. Whatever it is, it's incredible. 

PhotoLUSH, for those of you who don't know, is a star-filled conference of Washington local (mostly Bellingham, I believe) photographers, videographers and business owners that come together and share their knowledge with other photographers, videographers and business owners. We learn about other's passions, SEO, business taxes and beer! ;) It's incredible fun and if you're an aspiring photo/videographer you should definitely consider attending next year!

The first night we had something called a Print Salon (which I was far too chicken to participate in), where people brought prints of one of their favorite photos from the year and we then proceeded to vote on our favorites. I've now scoped out the competition and know what to bring for next year, watch out guys! ;) Haha Somewhere between that and a wine mixer we had the privilege of listening to the ever lovely Tiffany Burke of Tiffany Burke Photography from Tacoma, WA. I've taken her social media class before and am continuously inspired how she's unapologetically herself and consistently producing award worthy work. We also got to goof around with the best photobooth company in town, Oh Snap! Photo Booth. 

 With my fantastic friends Brendan & Caylie

With my fantastic friends Brendan & Caylie

Day two opened with a beautifully influential appearance from my loves, coffee & muffins. It was truly incredible, you should have been there! ;) After that was the always amazing husband & wife duo, Joe & Patience, where we got to hear their story from start to present. It felt so subtle, amidst the giggles and general morning excitement, "Schedule in time for family." Such a simple idea but one that I am *so* bad at. It hit me like a ton of bricks and I'm probably *too* excited about implementing this into my routine. (Look out family members, I'm coming for you) We then heard from Meg, the guns behind Evantide Photography! ;) She had some incredible insight on managing each session exactly the same, directing workflow, and pampering your clients. It was awesome!

After the first couple presentations we each got to participate in a Styled Shoot. I chose the "Under The Sea" breakout taught by Katheryn Moran Photography. We learned the fundamentals of reaching out to vendors, picking a theme & sticking with it, moving around and paying attention to details and researching the blogs/magazines we're wanting to submit our work to. After talking we had a chance to shoot with the session she'd styled for us! Here are a few things I worked on:

That's just a small idea of what we were dealing with. Everything was SO PRETTY! Gah! <3 You can find all the vendors on my Facebook page! Anyway, after the styled shoots were over we had a quick lunch in which my stunning friend and fellow photog Caylie Mash, of Caylie Mash Photography, and I ran down to Clark's Point for some 10 minute headshots. I'll be posting those pictures in a different blog entry after we add to it! ;)

As lunch wrapped up we all herded back down the stairs to hear more lessons from how to make beer look sexy to mastering the art of "Personal Projects." We also saw a quick Mastin Labs editing tutorial and an adorable skit about how to rock your business taxes. That all took a few hours and then we stretched our legs for some good 'ole fashion meatball sammies and wine. Crazy delicious. 

To finish the night we listened to some super nerds from Ethoseo talk about SEO and how to boost your business successfully and get your name out into the world. It was a LOT of information but I've also never been so intrigued about internet happenings in my life. Haha And after the Ethoseo speakers we got to hear from the *on fire* duo Ike & Tash who are doing so many incredible things with their business. I almost couldn't wrap my brain around it so I took actual bullet-pointed notes for this talk. We learned 10 (really it was 12) Business Essentials and more. One of my favorite quotes was, "The next level (in your business) will be what you decide it to be." 

We all have the power and potential to make our businesses flourish on our own but, I think what really takes you above and beyond is having an incredible community to help lift you up. PhotoLUSH 2016, you were beautiful and I will cherish and apply everything I learned for the rest of my business days. Thank you SO MUCH Aaron & Clinton for doing what you do - the impact of this event is life-changing.