The Reset Conference: March 15, 2015

This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the second annual Reset Conference.  I recently blogged about this conference and it’s importance to the industry- particularly to the industry of  this area.  As a photographer- we have so many options for further education for ourselves.  We can participate in online courses or webinars for sure.  These often give you some great advice and tips, but lack the hands on experience and (in my opinion) the more important need to mingle with others of your breed:)  There are also what I  affectionately call the ‘whamma jamma’ conferences- where tens of thousands of photographers take over a small nation for a week.  While these conferences are awesome for getting to see the ‘big’ names of the business and attend crazy trade shows- they are also incredibly expensive and overwhelming!


And then there’s Reset.  The small, intimate conference that allows for fellowship, tip and tricks, small breakout sessions, hands on concept shoots, and still- the big names.


I have a bit of an ‘insight’ into Reset as two of my best friends in this industry are the brainpower and horsepower behind it.  While they are very good at keeping their ideas secret- I do see firsthand the hours that go into the conference planning via their crazy instagram posts of their Thin Mint creamer and coffee.  I am so proud of them for what they have accomplished.


This year, I was honored to be asked to be a breakout speaker and concept shoot leader.  I was incredibly excited as my degree in education and my love for photography can mash-up into the ultimate experience:)  I shared a picture in my presentation of the day when Color Me Badd guest-starred on Beverly Hills, 90210 when I was like 11. It was seriously the best night of my life as an 11 year old- and I have those same feelings as a 36 year old when I get to TEACH about PHOTOGRAPHY.  The sense of responsibility to succeed is a little higher for the latter- but it’s amazing nonetheless.


I COULD NOT sleep the night before.  Months of listening to podcasts, reading business books, taking notes, etc. all had to come together for one 45 minute presentation.  I felt like I needed to be ‘the answer’ to these photographers.  As a novice photographer in this business, I made SO many mistakes that cost me.  Cost me money, time, health, sleep, friends, time with family, you name it.  I wanted to act as the heroic knight in shining armour and come in and save these poor princesses from the dragons and trolls that surround us in this industry at times.   I finally fell victim to my sleep at 4:44 a.m.- only to have an alarm beep at 5:45 a.m for my 7 a.m departure.  Guess I had to save the world on 1 hour of sleep.


Adrenaline and pride soon kicked in.  My amazing team arrived to my house all decked in our crazy awesome #teamkkp shirts.  We decided we wanted to walk into the conference united as a team- so we did.  There’s something incredibly secure about being surrounded by your friends who are there supporting you- tshirts and all- on a big day like this was.  The minute we arrived and I started seeing faces of photographers that I know and love- my sleep was nothing to consider:)  I was in heaven.  I LOVE being surrounded by people who ‘get me’.  This industry is lonely at times and having that interaction and support is priceless.


I had to start the conference by playing the part of Higgins in the Fallon-inspired Password game.  It’s a super funny ice breaker and I was so glad that Bex and Kellie asked me to come up with the words and play the part:)  I must admit- it’s hard to think of those words and not have your mind go in the gutter (haha!)  but I managed:)  It was hilarious and difficult at times for them- which made it even more fun:)


The first speaker out was Katelyn James.  You may not know her- but I guarantee any photographer does.  She’s a wedding photographer from the southeast.   She basically runs an empire.  Like I’m sure that there are groupies whose closets mirror hers and they named their first child (or at the very least their dog) after her.    I knew she’d be amazing- I just didn’t quite understand how much.  I’m kinda at a point in my business where I have a lot of stuff figured out.  I’ve been down each road of doing things 2-3 times, and I’ve definitely started to find my niches that work for me.  So I’m hesitant sometimes to see what else I can throw in the mix- as we’re already pretty busy and secure.  And then she started talking.  Her words spoke to me like I was one of those videos on Facebook that make me cry of the kiddo getting a hearing aid for the first time.  It was like I had never heard it before.  Suddenly, everything I had thought of in my business was kinda getting turned upside down and inside out and I was OK.  She referenced a book, Tribes, and I immediately downloaded it (sidenote- I read about 3-4 books a week, especially business and self-help ones!)  It’s 5 days later and I’ve already finished it.  It’s brilliant.  She’s brilliant.  I came home Monday and instantly implemented a good portion of her talk.  Even though the ‘restructure’ will take a lot of work on my part, I’m so EXCITED about it:)  I truly think this is the direction that KKP wants and needs to go- and it makes SO.MUCH.SENSE.


The next speaker out of the box was the hilariously honest Sarah Hill of Sarah Beth Photography.  I discovered Sarah last year when Sydney, our studio manager, showed me her work.  I fell in love instantly.  So much in fact, that I booked a family session with her for June of 2015 before it was even announced she’d be speaking at Reset.  So- when I found out she was- I was super excited!  It was a bit odd to listen to her talk from the perspective of a photographer and a client simultaneously!  The photographer in me was like ‘YES!’ and the client in me was like  ‘Oh dear…please don’t forget and look at her.’  haha:)  My team and I all agreed as she finished that my family pictures were going to absolutely rock because she will totally eat up my kids and their crazy, and my husband will never have to look at the camera.  And I get matted sunflare pictures.  It’s seriously a win-win.


Then, oh then, it was time for my presentation.  Let me start backwards.  I watched the video my team recorded of my talk.  I am, without any doubt, passionate.  Perhaps a bit too passionate.  It seemed at times like I was fighting to stop a war in Congress and not trying to convince photographers to surround themselves with good people!  haha!  Note to self- add a little lightness next time:)  Sorry about that:)  I think, reflecting on the situation, I want SO badly for them to ‘get it’.  To get it before it goes bad.  To make those changes NOW before this business starts running your life and not the other way around.  I had SO much information I felt like I was running a sprint.  Note to self #2:  I need longer to talk.  Or less to talk about.  haha:)  Guess my workshops will give me that perfect opportunity- I just apologize if anyone left my class with their head spinning:)))  But, I did get some great response.  I did have quite a few of the attendees reach out and tell me how it was the kick in the pants they needed.  That makes me feel good.  Really good.  So thank you, thank you for being there, keeping up, laughing at my jokes, and getting it:)


After the breakouts- I had an absolute blast leading a concept shoot.  For those of you who don’t know what it is- it’s a photography shoot set up beforehand- complete with a set, models, the clothes, you name it.  I did not set the shoot up- I was just told what I was teaching:)  Imagine my joy when I found out that I was teaching a vintage-inspired couple wedding shoot!  eek!  and then only to learn that the models they hired were one of my 2014 couples!!! even better:)  The group of ladies in the shoot were AWESOME.  I didn’t even shoot.  I just showed them how I ninja-pose, what directions I give the couple, my funny sayings (i.e. ‘booty to the business’) and so on.  It was so awesome.  The girls KILLED it:)  You should see these shots these girls got!!!  And the couple- no they don’t do this for a living:)  hehe:)  but they look like it:)  They’re SO good at it:)


The evening ended with a presentation by Zach and Jody Gray.  They are a husband/wife team from the Nashville area.  I’ve had the pleasure of hearing them speak multiple times!  Each time they are equally inspiring:)  and each time- I further respect them for I have no doubt I would NEVER be able to shoot with my husband.  haha:)


As a teacher, as a photographer, as a mom, as an anything- I always seem to be my own worst critic.  I spend hours the night after a wedding lamenting about ‘oh, I wish I would have thought about this shot’.  Same with this conference- the entire ride home I thought about what I should have said.  But- alas, there’s always another time.  I do feel like God is leading me in this industry to both shoot and teach- and I’m so grateful for our new building that is on it’s way to our possession so that I have the space to do just that.


But thank you, thank you Kellie and Rebekah for all of your work planning this incredible conference.  Thank you for believing in the power of educating each other, supporting each other, and being the best we can be:)



Look at that smile:) Can you tell I love to teach:) And my favorite photographers and friends- Kellie, Rebekah, and Holly:)


An icky phone shot (not that there were hundreds of photographers there with cameras…myself included! smh). My team with Katelyn James:)


The amazing group of keynotes, speakers, and concept shoot leaders! This is crazy talent up here:))


The awesome Vintage Wedding Shoot breakout session:)


Ultimate mash-up I’m telling ya. 🙂


Best. group. ever.