I have found myself reflecting so often these past few days since being home on all the goodness my time at the United Conference held. After gathering in Santa Barbara with some of the most loving, talented, and incredibly giving people in the industry from all over the nation, that verse from 1 Peter has been on my heart... "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." (1 Peter 4:10) I love that. And love that that's what this community is all about. Every person is so dedicated to giving of their time to share their gifts in a way that serves, encourages, and helps others. It is powerful and inspiring and just blows me away. It's something I feel so humbled and privileged to be a small small part of!
So I really could go on and on about how much I adore this community and how much the people in it have enriched my life! But instead, here's a BUNCH of pictures that share about my time with some of my favorite people in what I now believe to be truly one of the most beautiful places in the country. Ahem, besides Lancaster, OF COURSE. ;)
Home for the week! Santa Barbara really couldn't be more beautiful!!
Although this technically was a photography conference, I ironically didn't get my camera out too much throughout the week. Instead, I really just loved reconnecting with so many sweet friends and meeting so many new ones! However, I couldn't resist grabbing a few pictures one evening on the beach in the pretty California light. :) That sweet Tori Watson sure is gorgeous, isn't she?!
Love this girl!! Jen Jar is so beautiful and genuine. Anddd I miss getting to spend time with her hilarious personality every day. :)
Roomies!! No words for how much I love them. So grateful for the sweet time we shared. Natalie, Katie, Anna... I love you big time. (And yes, Katie is in her wedding dress! Natalie convinced her to bring it along for a fun shoot on the beach one evening!)
Ohhh this image. Lukas Vandyke took it and it just fills my heart with thankfulness. These four women (Mary, Karen, Suzy, & Katelyn) are some of the most respected leaders and teachers in the photography industry, and yet, I look up to them for so much more than just their gifts in photography and business. These four women have beautifully dedicated hearts for the Lord and have each taken the time to pour into and encourage me personally. There is really no way to truly say how much I admire these women or how overwhelmingly grateful I am for the example they set.
Sooo many people I love so dearly in these instagram snap shots. Oh my heart. Such happy memories with the most amazing friends. I really could rave for hours about every single person in the images below...
350 incredible, world-changers. So honored to stand among them. (Image by Lukas Vandyke)
Oh Santa Barbara... I will be back. I promise. :)
This recap would not be complete without a HUGE thank you to the Showit + PASS teams who hosted this incredible event. To DJ, Andrew, Kevin, and sooo many others... thank you. Thank you so much for the love you've poured into this community and the way you've served us so well. The example you're setting is inspiring and left each photographer in attendance going home with a desire to share, serve, and celebrate with others that much more!! I'm counting down the days until next year already! ;)