Here's to the Creatives!

Last weekend I traveled to Roanoke, Virginia for the second Creative at Heart Conference. I left this conference with a full notebook and an even fuller heart. I knew it would be an amazing experience but I had no idea how life changing it would be.

This conference was designed for big dreamers and boss ladies!

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I learned an immense amount of information from an incredible lineup of creatives! I cannot tell you how excited I was to meet amazing industry leaders such as Katelyn James, Natalie Franke, Mary Marantz, plus many more! All eleven speakers were so enlightening, teaching us about authentic branding, blogging, marketing, client experience, and how to be financially fit (just to name a few). The leaders were very informative but also spoke from the heart and shared their personal experiences—which made me laugh and cry!

Creative at Heart is MUCH more than just a conference, it is a movement. These creatives are doing big things. I felt a sense of community the moment I showed up. A GENUINE community. I learned that community is always better than competition. I felt supported and encouraged the entire time I was there. I chatted with like-minded creatives who just got me, which was so refreshing. Not only did I leave this conference with advice + tips to improve my photography business and better serve my clients, but I also left with great new friends who are cheering me on! I am so grateful to be involved in this movement! #communityovercompetition

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One important aspect I learned about my business was my WHY. Why do I love photography? Why is this something that I have been passionate about for so long? Why did I take the leap of faith and start my own business right after I graduated from college? It is because I believe that documenting life is so important. I believe in legacy. I believe in dusty old photo albums full of family memories. I have been told that I need to find an area to "specialize" in and this is something I was struggling with so much in the early phases of my business. Why do I have to choose? How can I possibly choose?! So, I didn't. I call myself a "lifetime" photographer. I do not want to just capture the story of your wedding day, I want to tell the story of your life. I want to photograph my clients most important milestones and see a bride and a groom turn into a mother and a father. That is why I do what I do. The beautiful journey of life should be cherished + remembered and I am here to do just that for my wonderful clients.

I have big dreams for my business and this year you will see exciting changes happening with Susie Marie Photography. One goal I had for 2015 was investing more in my business by attending conferences + workshops and I am SO glad I did! If you are thinking about attending Creative at Heart round 3-- DO IT! It will be a total game changer for your small business.

THANK YOU to the entire Creative at Heart team for this opportunity. I am feeling completely inspired and cannot wait to take the wisdom I gained from this experience to develop my business.