Last week I attended my first ever Reset Conference in Waco, Texas. AND it was also my first time teaching at a conference. The entire experience exceeded every expectation and I want to share about it before the memory starts to fade…
In the almost 11 years I have been in business, I have been to many other workshops and conferences. Before arriving at Reset, I had a general idea of what to expect: vendor expo for shopping, a couple of keynotes from big names, a couple of days full of breakout sessions from a variety of educators, and then optional opportunities to shoot or mentor in small groups.
The format is similar to other events I have attended in the past. BUT, let me just tell you that the community is what sets Reset apart from the rest.
Rebekah and Kellie have done an incredible job of building a kind, genuine, and insanely welcoming community. Upon arriving to check-in at the convention center, I was greeted with smiles and hugs. They already knew who I was, that I was a new speaker this year and that I would need welcoming. Immediately I was comforted and even more excited to be there. I felt like I actually mattered and wasn’t just someone who held a ticket.
My breakout session was on Monday afternoon and while I attended sessions in the morning, my mind was definitely elsewhere. I was going through my presentation in my head and praying that things would go smoothly. Meanwhile, my own community of followers, clients, students, and friends spent Monday morning texting and messaging me like crazy to know that I was covered in prayer and support. And I definitely felt lifted up.
My presentation was amazing. (No technical drama!) And my biggest prayer, that my topic would resonate with the attendees, was answered! I spent the hour in a room full of women (and men) nodding, tearing up, and confirming to me that the topic I was teaching on was one that needed to be heard. My favorite part though was after my talk was over, I had a line of women who wanted to chat and share their own stories with me. My heart was literally exploding.
After the last breakout session of the day, Kelli White did a mini branding session with me. She offered this to the group of speakers at Reset this year and I was so excited to participate. I can’t wait to see what comes from our fast and furious 30 minutes together. Monday night a small group of us went to dinner to unwind and toast my presentation being a success! It was exactly what I needed after such an emotional and intense day.
Tuesday I spent the day just being a student and it was wonderful! A group of us went shopping and had lunch at the Magnolia Silos over our lunch break and that was a fun treat. Tuesday night it was more eating and more time with friends. The conference officially ended Tuesday night but many people stuck around for all the small group opportunities on Wednesday.
Wednesday morning I got to sleep in just a tad (yay!) and then I spent some time in a small group with Dawn Richardson. It was just the nudge I needed to get my task management system in order. Wednesday afternoon I got to teach TWO back-to-back small groups.
First I led an in-home family session shoot-out. We had the most ADORABLE family to photograph and we couldn’t get enough of them. I taught this group how I lead a session, my philosophy for family photography, and how I use light. It was a great session.
After the family left, a few students stuck around and had a small-group mentoring session with me all about in-home family photography. They got to completely pick my brain about how I market these sessions, what galleries look like, and so much more.
After the mentoring group left, I was all alone. And it was glorious. Ha!
Conferences (especially teaching at them) are exhausting experiences. They are a blast, but completely exhausting. I promptly ordered Door Dash, poured a glass of wine, and literally vegged out like a zombie…
The next morning I slept in, checked out of the Airbnb, and headed back to the Magnolia Silos to hang out alone before heading back home.
It was such an incredible trip. It refueled my soul in a way that I didn’t even know I needed. And I am already registered to go back to the Reset Conference in March! And yes, I have applied to speak again too (fingers crossed). Want to join me? Registration is already open and I would love to meet you in Lexington!
Because I didn’t want this blog post to get too insanely long, here are the top 11 highlights of my first Reset Conference experience:
Katelyn James– both her opening keynote and also meeting her at the Silos.
Finally meeting Shalonda aka Chubby Cheeks Photography (we have run in the same circles for years and it was awesome to finally connect- plus we are both Texans!)
Dawn Richardson aka Tech Savy Creative getting my Asana workflow under control
Fabled the cutest bookstore you have ever seen.
Our darling Airbnb– If you need a place to stay in Waco, I highly recommend it.
The most incredible salad at Hotel Indigo. I am literally still dreaming of it.
Breakfast at Magnolia Table. I had gluten-free avocado toast and a latte and it was DELISH!
My candles from Magnolia Home– Quite possibly my favorite candle ever.
Cauliflower Margarhitta pizza from 900 Degrees at Magnolia Silos. Y’all, I inhaled this pizza and really want to drive back to Waco to have it again!
My friends Cara and Chris of B Family Films driving to Waco to take behind-the-scenes photos and videos of my two sessions on Wednesday. I am SO excited to see what kind of magic they made!
But of course, the biggest highlight of all was spending so much time with some of my closest industry friends including Colie James, Christine Dammann, Mallory Shelton, Octavia Elease, Caitlin Mcneil, Meredith Green, Nikki Caviness, and Natasha Sewell.