Smile Politely

Reset(ting) and refreshing

A few weeks ago I attended the Reset Conference, a photography conference held at the iHotel. What I’ve done here is lay out the conference via some photos that I took, and I’ll discuss how they conducted the conference on the whole. I hope other photographers will take notes and check this conference out next year.

The conference was nearly $300 to attend, which initially, felt steep when I was registering. By the time I was finished, I believe most poeple felt that they got what they paid for (myself included) — and it was worth it. Not only was the information valuable, we also got some freebies. Always a good thing when you’re going to an all-day conference.

The conference was very decorative. They had a couch on stage on which the hosts sat and spoke. There were two of them — and they seem very relaxed and in control of the conference, which is most appreciated. They also had a DJ who played music periodically which kept the group awake and having fun.

There were seven or eight vendors at the conference — ranging from comapnies who made baby clothing for portraits to companies who made backdrops for portraits. Printing companies, design firms who help sell your photos (Miller’s Printing), and plenty of others. For me, it was nice to meet the folks at Miller’s because they are the ones I frequently use to make prints. It was nice to put a face to the name.

The keynote speakers were a pleasant surprise — as I expected them to talk about camera settings and posing, but instead, they spoke about changing your photography business from a transactional based business to creating experiences and relationships. There was an additional speaker who focused on social media, work/life balance, and workflow. I found that a lot of these tips were useful considering my career as a nurse and balancing everything within the rest of my life.

In couple of breakout sessions (you had to sign up for these in advance and pay a little bit extra), where you could go with a professional photographer and learn more practical camera skills. 

I do have to warn you, though — that if you attend this conference,be prepared to have some Christianity pushed in your face at times. There was a worship service prior to the meeting, which is fine, but then during some of the keynote we seems to focus heavily on how to incorporate, or how the keynote speakers incorporated a Christian God into their photography practice. It’s not a dealbreaker, but just something to be aware of. I could have done without it, or it could have been presented in a more general fashion.

Overall, the conference was a grand slam. First, it is very cool to have a conference like this in Champaign. It was well organized and the content was excellent. The Reset Conference will be back again next year, but as a two day conference. If you are photographer in the area, this is a must for you to attend.

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