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So you've heard me talking about United for the past 2 years, what is it? Showit United is a conference for photographers based in Phoenix Arizona. It has leading industry speakers, fantastic workshops, and is ran by my favourite company in the world; Showit!
“But Gillian, you're not a real photographer, why are you going?”
Although I just like playing with my camera for fun, it's a great opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends, and hang out with the totally awesome team from Showit! I am also providing website coaching while I'm over there so I get to be part of the conference. As I mainly serve photographers, it also helps me stay at the front of the industry so I am aware of all the new trends, marketing tactics, and also their technical lingo. This helps me provide an amazing service to them.
As I do a little bit of everything while I am over there, I though it best to make a list of everything I'm taking with for a week of chaos.
The Showit workshops are out of this world! What could possibly be better than participating in a styled shoot in the desert?! You also get to work with some amazing vendors (dress makers, cake designers, rental companies, models…). You are placed in a group of around 20 with an experienced photographer hosting the shoot. They provide direction and help you set up some stunning shots. It's a great opportunity to learn and build your portfolio at the same time with some showstopper images.
(I am not a professional photographer so I only really have the basics)
Last year I loved the website coaching. It's a great way to get some one-on-one time with brand new people and practice your teaching skills. Some came to me for layout advice, some to fix a few page errors, everyone was different. I felt it was a good way of getting more credibility behind my brand. The only downside is I fly over from Scotland, and it's a long way to bring an expensive laptop. Showit, the day you make your builder accessible on iPad will be one of the best days ever!
Here's what I packed for the coaching:
All I would recommend packing for the conference is some comfy clothes. Pens and notebooks were provided by Showit (I took my own for all the coaching notes also). So comfy clothes and your camera phone for taking lots of selfies with your new buddies!
This is by far the thing I look forward to the least. Last year my traveling wasn’t too bad as I managed to fly Aberdeen – London – Phoenix, it was as direct as possible for me. This year I have not been so lucky. The only flights I could get were Aberdeen – Paris – Seattle – Phoenix, totally around 27 hours of travel time each way. Yikes. But the only way to get around that problem directly is to consider something like a fractional jet scheme which has a whole different ballpark of considerations to go with. It’s ok though, I have a lot of work trips coming up so I’ve invested in an “AWAY” travel suitcase with a battery pack. This will be my first time using it, but it claims to have 8 full iPhone charges in the battery, meaning I’ll be all set to go with no reason to not get some work done on my way. My plan for this trip is to write out all of my blog content for the net year, I am going to bring my iPad along in order to do this as I personally find it so much easier to use on a plane than my laptop, and the battery life is AMAZING!
Showit is all about community, so some of the best bits happen in-between the keynotes and the conference. Last year I made so many new friends, and got to hang out with some of my favourite clients ever! There are also some great events Showit put on for attendees, such as a welcome party & a gala dinner. These are a great excuse to get all dressed up! Last year I took part in a few extras that other people were running; the Tonic afterparty, and a location styled shoot held by Ryann Lindsey in the middle of the desert! This year I'm getting some new headshots done in a nearby Air BnB before the conference by Ryann, and then possibly some fantastic desert headshots done by my conference bestie Regina K Popova.
NOTE: If you are like me and are traveling with a lot of expensive electronics, please be aware of your surroundings. I have a very distinctively coloured case so if anyone moves it it will catch my eye and can easy be spotted from a distance. I also have a passcode on my case to keep it secure. Please take precautions when traveling with expensive items.
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