The Reset Conference 2018 | Indianapolis

You guys. I went to a photography conference and DIDN'T TAKE MY CAMERA.  I wasn't doing any shootouts this year on purpose, and I had a specific list of business items I wanted to learn about and tackle, so I left my gear at home.  The only reason I might have taken it would be to have it cleaned and calibrated, but there's always next year right?! LOL :)

Speaking of next year.... *drum roll please*... the Reset Conference will be in LEXINGTON, KY in March 2019!!  I can't wait for the green rolling hills, horses, bourbon tours, plantation shootouts, ahhh!!

Back to 2018, here are the speakers I learned from:
Twig & Olive Photography (Doug & Bobbi)
Hernan Sanchez (Stills by Hernan)
NC Stephens (Terminatetor Kitchen) -- he's from Champaign!!
Megan Kuethen
Jasmine Norris-Dixson
Jeff Rojas
Dannie Fountain (I bought a 1-on-1 mentoring session with her -- AMAZING!)
Christina Ramirez (I hope she's back next year because I NEED to do a shootout with her!)

The first morning of the conference, we woke up to the most beautiful sunset out our room window. And then it was off to finish checking people in at the registration table and for the first keynote speaker! The rest of the day was filled with breakout classes, and chilling in the room with Chicago-style pizza. :) A large group of people went to the Yard House, but I was exhausted, so I skipped out this year.  Next time, Vilma!! ;)

One of my favorite things about The Reset Conference since we moved out of Champaign and now into other cities, is getting to experience the culture, surroundings, and environment of other places that I don't visit often.  I got some awesome shootout images last year that I still uses in some of my marketing and on invoices. On Sunday I went to lunch by myself to make it back for my 1-on-1 with Dannie, and I took a nice walk around Monument Circle and enjoyed the nice-ish weather and sunshine.  It was fun to grab a salad on the circle and sit with a window view out at the hubbub of the city.

The last night of the conference, many people were heading home right away, but I had a somewhat harrowing experience on my drive home last year (got pulled over, got lost, was exhausted, was starving), so I decided not to chance it this year.  I booked a ticket on the Greyhound and brought the bus back to Champaign.  The bus station may have been a bit sketchy, but the relaxed drive was so worth it -- I was able to get a bit of work done, I took a nap, and had free wifi and a plug in!

At this year's Reset, we also had a photobooth with a pretty gold sequin backdrop!  The photos turned out SO great!  I'm so glad they added this little feature this year and I hope we have one again next year!  These photos are courtesy Stacey Houston Photography.

People always ask what your takeaways are from a conference.  I did take quite a few notes, but I made a conscious effort to stay present and really hear the speakers, so sometimes I just took photos of their slides instead of writing them down.  I also read a blog post from another conference saying that when it's over, you should narrow your key to-do list down to just 3-5 main things that you can focus on and actually do.  You can't do it all.  *I* can't do it all -- and I know that.  I have already made a bunch of updates to my website to make it cleaner and more attractive.  I also have some concrete tasks I picked up from Twig & Olive and Christina Ramirez that I'm going to put into practice right away.  I also want to up my food and commercial photography, so I'm going to take some big things I learned from NC Stephens and develop some more projects in the coming months.  He also told me one KEY piece of equipment I'm missing, so that is on my wish list that I'll hopefully purchase soon!

Can't wait to see everyone in Lexington at Reset 2019!!! #reset2019 #theresetconference 

Parachute Dress Shootout | Senior conceptual photo session


At the Reset Conference in early March, I signed up to participate in a shootout with two teen models wearing parachute dresses.  The skirts were literally made from parachutes that our shootout leader and organizer Sarah Jane had purchased online.  I thought the effect was really cool and would love to do another one of these sometime.  The shootout also challenged me to think outside the box a bit more when planning my senior session offerings.  The parachute dress idea would be great for a conceptual session perk for senior model reps.  I'm going to be brainstorming ideas for my future reps and clients to add even more value to their senior picture experience! In the midst of the shootout, I also did a few behind-the-scenes photos, so watch for those too!

photography workshop shootout with Sarah Jane Photography pink and green parachute dressescommunity over competition city girl senior session with skyline billowing parachute dress photo session


senior girl power pose with huge dress train parachute dress senior session on monument steps

We only had a few flash triggers to go around and they were all for Canon and I'm Nikon, so the off-camera flash ones below were ones I took with Sarah's camera.  I'm so glad she gave us all the chance to do a little OCF with the dresses!

large pink parachute dress images wide angle huge dress train photoshoot off-camera flash parachute concept shoot photos

My Own Headshots | Midwest wedding photographer


While in Indianapolis for the Reset Conference, I participated in a headshot exchange with my friends Kristin, Heather & Beth.  And a few months prior to the Conference, the staff all got together at my friend Kellie's studio to do team and individual headshots for marketing purposes (those are the ones in the gray sweater at the end of the set).    Thanks to all these talented ladies for updated headshots that better reflect my brand and that I can use for my own marketing! Champaign wedding photographer Holly Birch

Chicago wedding photographer Destination wedding photographer Holly Birch Midwest wedding photographer

studio headshots with nuetral gray tones boots and denim

modern country club wedding photographer Holly Birch natural and candid wedding photographer Holly Birch get to know wedding photographer Holly Birch