The Reset Conference: coming your way

This blog post is dedicated to the Reset Conference.  I have a lot to say- so try to follow:)  I may or may not be all over the place:)

I can tell you all about the conference (which I will below…when have I not taken the opportunity to talk, haha!)  But I also wanted to share this amazing video made by Park Life Films at last year’s conference.  He pulled me out in the hallway with no warning and told me to answer some questions.  These answers I gave were NOT scripted, they came from my heart.  Thank you God for giving me the ability to think under pressure.:)

So…what do I think?   Well…it’s pretty much amazing.  I am a huge fan of analogies (and I happen to think I’m amazing at them)…so here’s some for you.

first. Netflix.  So, I love going to the actual movie theater.  It’s an experience, and it’s cool, and I eat my popcorn.  And after I pay close to $60, my family and I can enjoy a tub of processed popcorn and a 2 hour flick.  OR- I can pay for my Netflix, make homemade popcorn, snuggle, and not miss 5 parts of the movie when my daughter has to pee.

next.  teeth whitening treatments.  So I could go to the dentist, get all uncomfortable and spend $500 or more to get some pearly whites.  Or…I could go to Walmart, get some teeth whitening strips, and whiten my teeth while doing dishes, playing with my kids, or even peeing.  Anything I can multitask while also doing the necessary things like using the bathroom is a win-win for me.

again.  Dancing with the Stars Live.  Hear me out on this one.  I recently took my daughter to see her absolute favorite TV show live.  Why?  Because it was in Peoria.  It was 15 minutes away- and I could give my daughter the opportunity to see something and someones that she most likely will never have the opportunity to see in California.  Why not?  well, to go to California- it’s crazy expensive, it’s inconvenient to leave our family for days, and it’s just highly unlikely to fit into a family budget.

What do all these things have in common?  They’re amazing, they work, they’re far less expensive than the alternative, and they’re close to HOME.

So….where am I going with this?  RESET.

You know what RESET is?  I’ll tell you what it is.  It’s a crazy incredible photography conference for new and veteran photographers alike that focuses on not only the techniques of photography and running a business, but also provides a unique experience to network with an industry of people who are used to working alone.  And guess what.  It’s markedly CHEAPER than most conferences and it’s close to HOME.

It’s the Netflix/teeth whitening/ DWTS Live tour of photography conferences.

Last year, I was honored to be a panel speaker at the inaugural year of Reset.   The whole idea of me speaking there actually speaks to the conference itself.  The ladies behind this conference (Rebekah Albaugh and Kellie Penn) are actually two of my biggest competitors in this industry.  AKA we fight over wedding bookings with each other.  And yet, we’re friends.  We realize that this industry can use more of each other and less of the drama!  They, just like this conference, believe in working together to educate, support, and love on other photographers.  Here we are last year:)


So- because I love to fire back at the haters (just kidding)- I want to smack down all of the ‘but..if’s’ that I’ve heard.  bring it on.

“But I can go to a bigger conference.”

Sure you can.  I know.  I’ve been. I went to WPPI last year and a few years before that.  It’s awesome, yes.  But it’s expensive.  It’s a flight, and multiple hotel days, and a big conference fee, and all your meals.  To fight in line with thousands of other photographers to get to see your favorites, OR, you could come to Reset.  Which is located in central Illinois.  A few hours drive for most of us Central Illinois photographers.  A reasonable conference fee.  And about 150 other photographers this year.

“Big conferences have big names.”

Uh…did you see the line up this year?  KATELYN JAMES, ZACH AND JODY, and SARAH BETH.  for real.  If you don’t know who they are, you aren’t a photographer.  and if you are a photographer and still don’t recognize these names, time to climb out from your rock and absolutely register for this conference.  Because, my friends, they are AMAZING.  I’ve had the opportunity to hear a few of them speak.  Where?  at those crazy expensive conferences I attend in Vegas.  Yep- these SAME speakers are the MAIN speakers at those huge conferences with thousands upon thousands upon thousands of photographers.  People flying in from ALL OVER THE WORLD to hear these people speak.  and they’re going to be HERE. in good little ole’ Champaign.   The whole ‘send a gift’ to my clients when they book a wedding that I do?  It’s HUGE for me- a great step in my business- and I get a ton of compliments from couples on the gesture.  Know where I learned it?  Zach and Jody- WPPI- 2012.  boom.

Just last week, the PPA held their whamma-jamma conference in Nashville.  One of their main speakers?  mm-hmm.  Zach and Jody.  Want a glimpse of the room during their talk?  see below.  If you think it’s not worth driving a few hours to hear these guys- tell that to this roomful of people who flew from all over the country and stood in line to fight their way into this class.  they’ll probably punch you.



“I learn best in small groups.”

okay.  So there are three keynotes (see above for their amazingness).  And then there are crazy other opportunities.  Breakout sessions.  I am teaching some of those sessions! What is this?  A small class where we (the speakers) share with you our secrets, our tips, our mistakes, our emotion, our reason for doing what we do.  I personally cannot wait for my class.  In addition, there are ‘concept’ shoots.  These are led by seasoned photographers who work right alongside you as you photograph set ups, models, scenes, etc.  It gives you the opportunity to be right there with the photographer who excels in that area- asking any and all questions your heart desires.  If that’s not an individualized learning opportunity- short of sitting you down in a padded room with earphones and visions of me on every wall- I’m not sure what is.


So that’s what I think it means to this industry.  What does it mean to me?  I spent my college career earning my degree in Education.  I come from a long line of teachers (Grandpa is a retired teacher, mother-in-law is a retired teacher, my mom is 1 year away from retiring as a teacher!)  It’s in my blood and in my heart.  I spent 9 years teaching kiddos with Special Needs.  I miss it to this day.  Here’s me as a young (and thinner!) Special Education teacher.


You know what’s amazing about teaching to me?  That feeling I get of helping another person.  It’s like a nurse or doctor, without blood. I truly believe I am making a difference in the life of another human being.  That by sharing my knowledge, I’m making their life easier/better/more enjoyable.  As a special education teacher, I literally was able to open doors for kids.  Open doors of acceptance, of self-fulfillment, and even independent tasks that they previously had to rely on others to do for them.  It’s a rush.  It’s a blessing.  I absolutely love teaching and I miss it.

But- on the same hand, I have discovered a buried soul in my photography.  This passion and career has brought things out of me that I never expected, or never even knew were there.  Have I worked my butt off to get to where I am?  Oh yes (well, my the size of my butt doesn’t exemplify this…but you know what I mean).  Have I put in hours and hours of studying to get to where I am?  yes.  Have I spent thousands of dollars in educational opportunities for myself?  yes I have.

What am I talking about?  how to balance work and life.  Did I shoot 48 weddings this year?  yep.  Did I shoot hundreds of sessions as well?  yep.  Did I volunteer over $5,000 of photography services to charities?  yep.  Did I speak to photography groups and college classes?  yep.  Did I ALSO go on vacation with my family?  yep.  Did I lead my kiddos’ school board?  yep.  Did I volunteer 3-4 hours a week at my kiddos’ school?  yep.  did I coach my son’s basketball team?  yep.  Can you do it too?  YEP.

And this conference-I get to share it with you.  I get to take my passion for teaching, my passion for photography, my experience building an incredibly successful photography business from the ground up, and my years of studying/educating/and investing- and I’m sharing it all with you.  No secrets.  No gimmicks.  Complete transparency.  I’m guaranteed to make you cry and make you laugh.  I promise to cry and laugh at myself.  It’s going to blow you away.  You’re going to leave inspired, lifted up, transformed, and ready for action.  And I’m one of several speakers there who will do the same.

You can’t miss this conference.  You just can’t.  Do it for you.  Do it for your family.  Do it for your business.  Take a day to experience all of the things you can do to make this career work for you and your family.  I can’t wait to see you there:) Register online at — Tell them I sent you:)