March 25, 2014

UNITED 2014 // Santa Barbara, California

At the end of February I went to Santa Barbara, CA to attend a photography conference called UNITED.  I can't believe it's already been a month!  

UNITED is put on by the guys who created Showit, PASS and Shoot & Share.  The focus of the conference was around connecting + growing a community of photographers and we heard from some amazing business + artistic leaders as well as participated in some AMAZING shoots!

I started off my trip on only 2 hours of sleep from the Vancouver airport.  The plane took off from YVR in the snow and landed couple hours later at LAX in gorgeous sunshine!  It definitely put a smile on my face.  (I also love the feeling of taking off and landing... is that weird?) haha.

I traveled with another photographer, Christy, from our Shoot & Share Vancouver group, and we rented a car to drive from LAX to Santa Barbara.  It was such a gorgeous drive along the coast and through Malibu (I was jealous of the surfers out on the water!), till we finally arrived at the Fess Parker Doubletree Hotel in Santa Barbara late that afternoon.  There were already a lot of photographers gathered in the lobby as we checked in and we were able to meet David Jay for the first time within minutes of arriving as well as catch up with a few familiar faces.

Being at United was a great experience.  I have to admit I had a lot of reservations about attending, I'm introverted and tend to start feeling out of place in large groups... and there was 370+ photographers registered!  Some who were quite well known and extremely talented, so it was a bit intimidating at first! :)
I kind of had the "best" and the "worst" of times that week, it definitely challenged me personally and professionally.  Overall it was an amazing experience, but I will admit I dealt with a couple challenges that included a couple late night calls to my husband for encouragement! :)  That along with the packed full schedule and lack of sleep, I felt so overwhelmed by the time it was over.  In the end I was able to decide on some major changes happening soon for my business (but I'll blog about that later!)

Back to the fun stuff... I made new friends and had the chance to participate in a lot of fun shoots!  SO MUCH FUN.  Each shoot will be blogged separately so I can properly credit those involved and share a bit more info... otherwise this post will be a mile long.  For now here's a bit of a photo recap during my week in Santa Barbara at United and shots from around the Fess Parker Doubletree Hotel. (our hotel right on the beach!!!)

Our amazing hotel...
Shoot and Share Vancouver group at United!
Behind the scenes at the Posing Groomsmen shoot!
Food truck lunch on the beach on our last day!
All Images © 2014 Cecilia Flaming

Want to know what's coming up next on the blog?!
Here's a "sneak peek" list of the shoots to look forward to over the next couple of weeks!!!
The links will be included once each one is up... so check back!

- Sunset Beach Bridal Shoot
- Posing Groomsmen Like a Boss 
- Late Night Studio Shoot
- 10 Yards of Fabric Shoot 
- African Bridal Shoot
- United After Hours Party

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