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January 8, 2016


image10_WEBThe Event. That was its name. It sounded a little intimidating… so vague but so powerful. It wasn’t just The “photography” event, The “business” event, The “creative business owner” event… it was just simply, The Event. Let me tell you it was THEEEE Event to be at. If you ever needed a full day kick in the butt kind of event to get yourself going, this was it. I didn’t know what I was going into but by the time it was over, I left with a notebook full of notes and quotes (even little drawings and diagrams), photos with friends from the photobooth, the feeling of happiness getting to meet new friends and hug the old ones, and feeling grateful to be able to do what I am meant to do and dangit, I’m going to be OK. You see, when I first got up the courage to leave my 9-5, from the moment I looked at my boss and the words rolled off my tongue, “I’m ready to move on…” I had NO IDEA what I was really doing. I mean, I “did” but I didn’t have all the questions answered… I still don’t. I’m in my 7th month of self-employment and I’m still figuring it out. I think I will ALWAYS be doing that at one point or another. There are so many things that resonated with me while listening to each of the speakers at The Event share their knowledge. Words that when they spoke, my head was nodding up and down and my lips were saying “yes”, “so true”, or “omg! that is so me”. Lemme tell you a few things – maybe you’ll learn something about yourself too.image9_WEB(excuse the terrible quality – I didn’t bring my real camera!)

  1. Mary Marantz. Dang, this woman is so great. It was my first time hearing her speak and I was BLOWN away. When she spoke, I felt like she was speaking to me. She started talking about comparison and how it can paralyze you if you let it. She said, “we are ALL doing the struggle.” How many times do you, do I, do we, look at what someone else has at some point or another and say, “I’m not _____ enough” or “I’m sure it was so easy for them…” She made a good point – when we say that, we’re dismissing their struggle. They were once where we are. Instead of looking down at their victory, we should say YAY, GOOD FOR YOU! because there is ALWAYS someone ahead of you and don’t forget, someone behind you probably looking at you and saying the same thing! The takeaway: Don’t compare yourself to other’s victories. You have your own and you will make tons of other ones, one step at a time.
  2. Natalie Franke. She engaged us all about how marketing has SO MUCH TO DO with our brains and how we THINK. It’s not a mystery that we connect with emotion. She reminded me that it’s okay to be yourself and open up on your blog and show your clients who you are as a person. (So get ready for some heart to hearts with me in the coming weeks… 🙂 )
  3. Jenna Kutcher. I think she’s my spirit animal. She bounced around stage making everyone belly laugh. She reminded me of ME… when I’m on a photo session doing ridiculous things to make my couple’s laugh. It’s OKAY to be ridiculous because people like you when you’re YOU. She also reminded us that we are ALL enough. That when someone tells you that you have nice hair you shouldn’t look at them and say “oh, I haven’t even showered and I haven’t gotten it cut, ew.” TAKE the compliment. Be NICE to yourself. Talk to yourself the way you talk to others.
  4. Jen Olmstead. She reminded us that it is a good thing to attract and repel clients. Some people might look at that and say… WHAT???? But don’t you want ALL clients???? The answer is no because think about it… there is a style for everyone. I want my clients to want ME, my style, my eyes, not just a person to show up and shoot the wedding because they think they “need” one. Think about it in this corny example. You need a purse. You could buy a purse at so many stores, right? but you have your eye on ONE specific purse. It is SO YOU and you MUST have that ONE. That’s what I want to be. I want to be the ONE for YOU.
  5. Abby Grace. Relating to what I just talked said above, Abby said, “you can’t be ALL things to ALL people.” She also said, saying no can open more doors. So many times people assume that when you’re saying “no” that it’s a bad thing. Why is the word “no” always thought of as a negative? It’s okay to say “no” to live a life you love and one that aligns with your visions. This stuck – “I didn’t quit my 9 to 5 to work 24/7” I say, TRUE LIFE. Take a look at YOUR life and figure out what you can give the “gentle no” to. YOU WILL BE HAPPIER.
  6. Hope Taylor. This blonde bombshell is NINETEEN years old. Age is just a number. She is wise beyond her years. She spoke about how people used to put her down when she told them she wanted to be a photographer… “how are you ever going to make that work?” I can totally relate. There have been people I’ve met before that roll their eyes. I had someone tell me that “being successful at photography was going to be like trying to be a rockstar… aka it will never happen.” You know what that does to me? It fuels my fire and makes me say, oh yeah? Well then you should catch me on my worldwide tour coming up soon. Never let ANYONE put you down. Hope said, “clients come for your images but stay for your heart.”

    Pause for photos 🙂image7_WEBBethanne, me, & Camille!image2_WEBWith THE Mary Marantz!image6_WEBMini reunion with some of the April KJ Workshop girls! Me, Naomi, Katelyn, Candi, & Clara!
    image8_WEBimage5_WEBSO happy to see Katelyn again!

  7. Justin Marantz. The lighting god. That’s what I’m going to call him. This is the part in my notebook that I scribbled down lighting scenario set-ups… you should see it… He showed us images where it looked like he shot near a window then showed the behind the scenes of the earrings set up on a pool table in a dark room. WHAT? I’m telling you – I was blown away by the power of what the flash can do. That is on my to-do list!
  8. Elle Danielle. A lawyer turned wedding photographer. What a mix! She kept me on my toes talking about law and making sure we are doing what we need to be doing as business owners. It was a REAL talk about REAL stuff, not just the pretty pictures we take but how to make sure we’re making smart business decisions. Good nitty gritty stuff.
  9. Ashley Scobey. Reminding us that shortcuts aren’t always a good thing. How many times have I had someone say, “oh you can just photoshop that out later.” oh heck no, I will do my very best to get it right the first time to save myself hours of post-production time! Ashley reminded us that we all have things that interrupt us and we need to focus on being efficient and effective in order to have balance in our lives. We need systems for how to “run” certain areas of our business so that we maintain that order for each and every shoot.
  10. Katelyn James. You guys know how I feel about Katelyn James, you can read about my workshop experience with her, HERE. But this time she talked about something a little different. “You aren’t as behind as you think.” She talked about how to make micro changes for macro results. It’s a simple concept when you think about it. You don’t have to do something DRASTIC to make a change. Another corny example. Maybe you’re sick of your hair. You don’t have to dye it blue with pink tips to get people to notice. You could simply get a trim and maybe some bangs. (That was probably an awful example, but maybe relatable). But there are so many business-y things she mentioned that I hadn’t really ever thought of before. and that’s why she’s a genius business woman.image4_WEBimage3_WEB

Overall, you can see that my mind was blown. I can’t wait to kick my butt into high gear and implement new things into my business and make it better. Always learning, always changing… isn’t that life? Kinda great right? I used to be afraid of change but now I embrace it because there’s always something new around the corner. Cheers to 2016!

xoxo bd


  1. Candi says:

    So glad I got to
    See you!! Such a good day!!

  2. Bethanne says:

    Love it Brett! Go on now and kick some booty this year! So excited for you!!!

  3. I am SO SO glad that you were there! It was such a blessing to be a part of and I can’t wait to watch you rock 2016 🙂

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