Conferences are expensive and time consuming but are really essential in growing a successful business. Recently I attended Belly Baby & Beyond in Newport Beach, California. The weather was quite a switch from Arizona but the cool, mild humidity was somewhat refreshing. The only thing I would have traded was my sandals for Uggs.
The attendance wasn’t incredibly high but the presenter line-up definitely matched my expectations. Phenomenal photographers who specialized in certain areas of their craft such as; safety, transitioning between poses, and creative composite work. The conference also featured great topics discussing the business and marketing side of the camera as well as top-notch vendors.
Although the entire conference was informative, I most enjoyed Julia Kelleher’s session – “Purely Kids, Photographing Beyond the Early Years.” Her minimalist approach to interacting with young children while capturing them in their natural essence inspired me. I was really looking forward to meeting Julia in person and watching her work and she did not disappoint at all.
In the evening I visited the vendors and added some sentiments to my inventory. I also ran into a favorite vendor/friend/client, Chante, who I haven’t seen in years. I photographed her wedding in Northern California four years ago and she is the master behind My Darling Emma which is a staple line of headbands and accessories I carry in the studio! It was a pleasant surprise and I think we both squealed like teenagers when we saw each other.
Sunday night when the conference wrapped up, we headed north so we could wake up early and hit the L.A. fabric district, but not without the most important pit stop. I couldn’t wait to stop by and see my 95-year-old grandfather… Isn’t he just a doll? I spent a good 2 hours, reminiscing about family get together, looking at photo albums, and making his bed pulling the sheets tight and fluffing his pillow. Even at his age, he walked us out to the car and in true gentleman fashion waited for us to leave before he went inside. I love him beyond words.
Lastly, the L.A. fabric district, rows and piles of fabric storefront after storefront. I didn’t make too much of a dent but I did find more jersey material for the bean bag and wraps. You can never go wrong with this material and these sweet colors. It’s so pliable and soft for a naked little baby to snuggle in to.
I’m back in full swing now planning and scheduling like crazy. I see expansion and growth in the future and it looks really good!