A few weeks ago, I took a much needed mommy vacation to Phoenix to attend a photography conference called United. What originally drew me in to attending this particular conference was the speaker line up. Pretty much every photographer I’ve ever looked up to was speaking and I was so excited to soak up everything they said. Now that I’ve had a few weeks to really process that experience, I want to share how much it’s changed me.
Each morning and afternoon there was a main session with who I like to call “photography royalty”. These are the rockstars in the field who have built amazing followings and businesses. Whether the topic was how to deal with bullies, how to be present for your family, or how to be “real” on social media, all of the talks really hit home. If I’m being completely honest, there was a lot of mom guilt to sort through on this trip, and I cried during every single speaker. #momlife
Between the main sessions, were “breakout” sessions. These were put on by other leaders in the community and were more over marketing, blogging, and expanding your business. These were super informative and one by Donal Doherty really inspired me to make a significant change in my business (more on that later!).
I also attended three styled shoots and came home with some amazing images!
Amy and Jordan Demos were the big headline for Day One. Their talk about how to stack your schedule to increase efficiency was such an eye-opener and made me wonder why I hadn’t been doing that this whole time! I was SO excited to hear them speak in person since I’m a huge (HUGE) Amy and Jordan fan, but it wasn’t until Katelyn James closed out the conference on her talk about doing the stuff that matters, that I really felt an overwhelming desire to make a change. As a new mom herself, she had some really great wisdom about outsourcing and making time to be present in her child’s life. I know that’s something everyone says is important, but when you’re hustling to build a business, sometimes being present gets put on the back burner. But in the end, being a present parent and spouse is the most important job we have. I shed quite a few tears in this session, and kind of left the conference thinking I needed to scale my business back in order to make things work at home (which I know was not the message Katelyn was trying to send).
On my flight back, I really struggled with wanting to expand my business, but also wanting to have more time with my family. I started thinking that I couldn’t possibly grow my business any more than I already am and still be the mom and wife my family needed. I thought I needed to maybe pump the breaks a bit to make them happy. I’ll be honest, it was an emotional flight home. My husband has always been super supportive of my dream, even when he’s frustrated with my lack of time to spend with him. He’s so supportive that he’s even building me a shiplap wall for my bridal show booth for 2018! When I got home, he greeted me with an idea he’d been thinking of. What if I could use the shiplap wall for more than a bridal booth? What if I could take it to weddings and create a sort of photo booth? I could have cried. Suggesting I expand when I was literally just thinking I needed to pull back to make my family happy was everything to me. But how could I take everything I learned about work-life balance in the previous days and still add on something new?
Over the next few days, I started really thinking about Miguel’s idea and tried to figure out how to bring that idea to life while structuring it in a way to not take too much more of my time. By the following Monday, I had a very clear vision. By that Thursday, I had a registered business. So, without further adieu, I’m so excited to share this new extension of Catie Ann Photography:
Be on the lookout in the spring of 2018 for updates, a launch, and the coolest photo booth experience to rock your next event!