If you’ve been following along on social media, you might have seen that I took a trip down to Phoenix for a conference called Showit United. So, first things first: what the heck is Showit United? Well friends, Showit is a web design company! They design beautiful websites for photographers all around the world, revolutionizing website building by dragging and dropping your content! NO CODE! You can completely customize and “brand your business like nobody’s business!” with the click of a button. Sounds awesome right? I’m hoping to make the investment next year and become a Showiteer myself! To learn more about what they’re all about, click HERE.
The incredible support team at Showit hold a conference called United each year. Like minded Photographer-Entrepreneurs from around the world unite, leaving gear, skills and experience at the door, making everyone equal. Keynote speakers, Styled Shoots, Education – this investment gives you the resources to not only make your business better, but your life at home better too. All while given the chance to practice your craft!
I decided this year to go to United after my good friend Raelene came home last year a completely different person. I couldn’t help but wonder what it was that made her so…. emotional?!! The education part I totally get, it’s a photography conference… there’s bound to be some education in there! But why are you emotionally drained after leaving United? You see, I came here thinking I was going to meet my idols, shoot my dream sessions and learn how to better my business. Not to mention be in this beautiful new place I had never been before, and go for a dip in the pool! I quickly learned that this was all such a small part of it. Of course you do all these things and they are aaaaaaamazing, but what I didn’t know was that these people would change my life.
Running a business is hard guys. Running my photography business is HAAAARD! I’m the CEO, Marketing Director, Sales rep, Editor, Content Engineer, Designer, Publisher, Writer, Shooter, Web Master, Accountant, Receptionist – a one woman show. Whats even more hard though, is seeing my family suffer and not love what I do, because my work is taking me away from them. Lets be real, I felt defeated this year. I ran into hiccups, it felt like nothing was going right and I wasn’t fully aware of the proper steps I needed to do in order to run my business successfully. I was honestly ready to throw in the towel. I felt like I shouldn’t be doing this anymore and that maybe this just wasn’t the thing I need to continue doing with my life. A small portion of these feelings was laziness, because here I am thinking this was the best it could be? I mean, business is booming!! BOOMING! I’ve been fully booked these last couple years and LOVING every second of that. So what or how could I do better?! What you didn’t see was that behind the photos, I wasn’t putting in the effort into something I truly didn’t love anymore, and it was taking me away from the people I loved most. I love shooting don’t get me wrong, and I always will. But the business side of things was running me dry and making me not love my job anymore. I was suffering, my family was suffering and even worse my clients were suffering.
United gave me the resources to change all that. These people made me realize that my family is more important than any job I will ever have. I learned (which was such a big one for me) that I’m not alone in these things that go wrong and that they can happen even to the best of us. They can happen at any point in time, and I have a new found strength I never knew I had. Although it may not have seemed like I was strong, crying into the arms of strangers… but you have to move forward with your head held high because these things happen every single day. So thats what I’ve done. I also realized that being a one woman show is damaging my business in more ways than one and that I need help.
With each speaker I felt like they were talking to me personally. You relate sooo much to every single word they put out there. The plus side? These people you look up to treated you like family… I mean, I was talking to Katelyn James about haircuts! They’re actual people! Just like you and me. I know it’s hard to believe Jasmine Star is a real person, but she is and she is soooo lovely! After Terri Baskin spoke to my heart during her 5 minute, I walked up to her almost in tears relating to her words in more ways than she probably knew, and her response to me was “Girl what can we do, how can I support you?”
The hugs are genuine and these industry leaders CARE about you and your business. Along with the other 300 walks of life you get the opportunity to meet and hangout with. This is why it’s emotional!! Yet you leave so inspired and ready to tackle the world. I felt support in my own personal journey, while supporting others in theirs – THAT is what the Showit United community is. After all, these are the only people who understand how hard it is running a photography business. I needed this trip. And I never knew just how much I needed it until now. As a mother and full time photographer, I value this conference and what it’s done for my business AND my life at home. And I couldn’t encourage my industry peers enough to go! If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your family.
Showit United ripped out my heart emotionally, but mentally put it back together. I went there wanting to quit, but I left wanting to just. do. better.
Thank you to the Showit team for giving me my life back, and for guiding me back to my passion.
Thank you to these strangers who are now my people, for supporting my journey.
And of course thank you to my clients, who never gave up on me.
Now for the fun part! Here are some of the images captured while at United 🙂
My first meal in the USA: In-N-Out!
Amy and Jordan
Terri Baskin and Jasmine Star
Zach and Jody Gray and Katelyn James
Montana Dennis and Hope Taylor
Ryann Lindsay’s Styled Shoot
Look! There’s Tim Hussey!
James and Jess, they are SO fun!
I obviously had to take a photo of my ring in the cactus guys… #shameless
Jenna Kutcher and Katelyn James
I look incredibly tired in this photo, BUT JASMINE STAR!
Sliding down the slide with Julie Paisley at Rustler’s Rooste AND Kaycee and I getting a Demos Sandwich?! Amazing night at the FIESTA!
The Black and Gold Gala
Misty C and Hope Taylor
These Gala portraits taken by the talented duo Keith & Melissa
Natalie Franke and Julie Paisley
Watching Julie shoot was a super cool experience! I just love her!
Thanks Kim for these snaps, I absolutely loved the Cactus
New headshots thanks to Raelene!
Thanks Joanna for capturing these fun candids!
Raelene’s idea of new headshots LOL
My last few hours in Arizona well spent…
Stay tuned for the Styled Shoots I shot while in Arizona in a later blog post!
Are YOU interested in attending United? They just released their 2018 dates 😉
Browse around HERE if I haven’t already convinced you.
© Chloe photo 2023