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Alt Summit 2019

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Alternate title: Alt Summit 2019 and K10 moves to Texas

This blog post has been poking at me from the back of my mind for months and I’m only two months late writing it. But it’s Alt Summit, a colorful explosion of fun, empowerment and creative ladies kickin’ ass wrapped neatly in a 5 day package in beautiful, sunny Palm Springs, California. It had to be written about. It’s long-winded and maybe a tad oversharing, but that’s just my style. So skip to the photos or buckle up, pals.

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I had the privilege and honor to be one of the handful of selected professional photographers covering the event. What’s funny is I almost didn’t apply to be a photographer for them. I thought there was no chance that with over 73,000 followers on Instagram and so many talented ladies, the conference would pick me. I’m a self taught photographer from a small town in the Milwaukee suburbs, who was I in comparison to them? But I applied and weeks went by. I was feeling down on myself one evening, sure they hadn’t chosen me and actually had vented to my boyfriend, “Why am I not getting where I want?” And less than a half an hour later, almost comically, I got an email. I was in. I was an official Alt Summit photographer for 2019.

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Fast forward a few weeks and an 18 hour drive across the country, I moved to Austin, Texas. I was officially a southern belle, y’all. We still had boxes stacked in our apartment, I barely had started my photography based position here in town and suddenly, here I was, off to California. To say it was intimidating is an understatement. The photography team had barely gotten our photography assignments, I hadn’t met my roommate for Alt and this was the first time I was going on a multi-day trip by myself ever.

And while the first night in an unfamiliar city was rocky to say the least (let’s just say the Quality Inn was not high quality, if you get my drift), my Alt experience soon shaped up to be what I was hoping. Beautiful, rewarding if not challenging. I came to Alt with three mini-sessions booked with other attendees and left with fifteen. I covered my new hotel fees and then some. When I felt lonely and homesick, I met three women whose friendship and support I still value and cherish immensely. One of my assigned sessions ended up being with Alison Faulkner, the motivational speaker behind The Alison Show. I admit, I had no idea who she was before Alt. But impromptu dance parties and a spirited speech about business and narrowing your focus made me a believer – this lady knows what she’s talking about. Her session ended up being one of the things I’m most grateful I was an Alt Summit photographer.

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Alt gave me the opportunity not only to photograph powerful women or attend insightful sessions, but to create imagery that actual was what I wanted to create. In Milwaukee, I was limited to a few summer months in a city that is endearing, but grey and dark. Palm Springs was bright, cheerful and colorful. I now have a portfolio I’m proud of, showcasing what I love to do most. Empowering women through photos, enabling them to build their businesses with strong images that align with their brand voice and connect with their clientele. In fact, Alt Summit has one of my images front and center on their homepage. They share my images on their Instagram (which I immediately share to my own story, I have no shame. I know.) But out of a team of more than ten photographers, it still excites me when they pick my photos to share to their followers.

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So would I recommend going to Alt? Whole heartedly, yes. It’s worth it for the connections you make. But I made a few rookie mistakes that might be useful to know if you’re considering going:

  1. Get business cards. It might seem antiquated or you might get hung up on a design, but do it. My roommate wrote notes about the people every night on each card so she’d remember about them, which I definitely recommend. You’ll get a lot, you’ll give a lot. I felt a little silly since I didn’t bring any.
  2. Pack snacks. I was hungry A LOT of Alt, haha. It’s hard to carve out time to eat running between hotels to catch your next session and you might get a meal ticket that’s no where near where you are. Bring snacks.
  3. Go to meetups. Make meetups. Two of my best Altie pals were because I decided to go to get brunch with some random girls from the Alt Summit Community Facebook page. Alt has a ton of wonderful women around, but you can’t make friends if you don’t put yourself out there.

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I’m excited to announce I’m going to be an official Alt Summit photographer for Alt 2020 too! I’m teaming up with the lead photographer, Nicole, and we’ll be the two paid photographers for the whole conference! Keep an eye out for photos of this year’s Alt soon – or check out my Event Photography page!