Hi friends! Oh, how I've missed you. It's the beginning of a new year in Charlottesville and I'd be lying if I said the past few weeks haven't been crazy; I'd also be lying if I said I wanted to have it any other way. Other than figuring out a new school routine, I've been focused on creating some new surprises for my 2017 brides and finishing out my 2016 wedding season with some super fun couples. Also, guess what?! I got a new macro lens! *Cue my squeals!* I've been getting by with macro filters for a little while, but I can't wait to put this lens to use for some ring shots. Purchasing new gear always feels like a well-earned Christmas present.
Then, the day before the first day of classes, I got to attend the Gathering Event and you can read the recap below! It was exactly what I needed before the start of another year filled with juggling business and school. Although I'm posting an entire recap now, you'll probably hear a lot more details about this conference in future posts when I talk about how I'm applying different topics to my business. Lastly, thank you all for hanging in here with me and my slightly inconsistent blogging. I can't promise that will change during this semester, but I can promise that you'll be seeing some gorgeous content when I start posting some of my recent weddings and engagements. Stay tuned!
Okay, let me tell you about this event that I can't stop talking about! The Gathering Event was hosted by Hope Taylor and Caroline Logan, two young (I'm talking 20 & 21) industry leaders. I've admired both of their businesses for a long time, so the second they announced the date, I vowed to do what I had to do to be there (luckily, it only took a few early wake up calls, but it was worth it!). The conference welcomed 80 young photographers from over a dozen states; I got to meet new people and hug some sweet friends that I hadn't seen in a while.
The conference was so powerful for me because Hope and Caroline were willing to put down all of the pretty, perfect walls that photographers are expected to put up on social media and tell us all about their struggles as young business owners. At the beginning of Hope's talk, she started with a quote from Caroline, "Wherever you go, be all there." The statement was so simple, but it reminded me that I've been given a gift from God to attend my university and serve people with photography. I'm constantly thinking about what life would be like if I was just a full-time photographer or just a full time student. Hope & Caroline reminded me that it's less about what I want and more about the Lord's plan, and living out that plan means being fully present in all my commitments.
My favorite part of the night was when we took a break for dinner. It was the perfect time to actually get to know some of the people that I had been having small talk with all day. For the first time in a long time, I was able to talk about my favorite software and how I really need to find a new preset with people who actually understood exactly how I felt. We talked about our favorite webinars and dream weddings to shoot; it reminded me how important it is to have a community within your industry .I'm beyond thankful for this entire event and all of the lovely ladies I had the privilege of meeting.
Some images from my iPhone, some from Natalie Jayne and Jessica Husted.