Tucson, Arizona Content Day: Why We Created The Invitation
THIS DAY!! Where do I even start?! First I’ll give props to anyone who has ever hosted an event, because they are NOT EASY. I definitely underestimated the amount of work that goes into hosting content days in particular!! My dear friend McKenna and I spent hours on end planning this Tucson, Arizona content day, and when I tell you we learned a lot, I mean we learned A LOT.
Before I go into detail about this Tucson, Arizona content day, I want to share our why behind The Invitation!!
I remember graduating college and jumping headfirst into my business. Business was booming and truly keeping me SO busy! At the time, I was still living in my college town so I had friends there which was such a blessing. I’ve never really been one to struggle with making friends, so I was pretty well connected in my city!
For four years, I was around hundreds of people daily, living in a hall of 60+ girls, and interacting socially with so many people on a regular basis. I then transitioned from college to working alone from home, without coworkers, and shooting weddings where I was the only one on my team most of the time. To say it was a culture shock is a bit dramatic, but to me, that’s about what it felt like.
After a few months of this, I found myself in a downward spiral. Isolated and lonely, I started going to counseling for the first time ever with no idea what my problem was. It was truly one of the hardest seasons of my life, and I had no idea why.
I met McKenna while I was on a week-long Utah road trip with my girl and fellow photographer, Dani Purington. McKenna and her husband Callum were also on a road trip so they joined us for a portion of our travels and modeled for us at Horseshoe Bend! We basically spent the entire week becoming quick best friends and it was SO FUN!! Truly, the best week of my life!!
In Utah I remember feeling so seen and understood in my career, in my WHY, and in my desire to take photos. Then it clicked. I had completely been missing out on community in my CAREER. I had friends in my personal life, and they were amazing!! But, we so easily forget how necessary it is to also feel understood in your career.
McKenna and I decided to start traveling together around the country for fun and setting up fun creative shoots wherever we went. One day, the idea just hit us that it would make so much sense and be so fun to offer this same experience to other photographers! If we both were feeling lonely and isolated in our industry, how many other photographers were feeling it too??
Therefore, The Invitation was born.
Our heart’s desire is to create a space where people can come together and connect, create, and walk away with friendships that outlast a single day. Most of my photographer friends don’t live by me, but we keep up via FaceTime calls while editing and any other means necessary! It’s 100% worth the effort.
I already had a trip planned to Tuscon to visit a friend, so McKenna and I decided that Arizona would be a good place to host our first Invitation Content Day! I had never been to Arizona, so it was all new to me, which was part of the beauty of it!!
We spent hours messaging potential model couples and bridal shops, creating timelines, graphics, and marketing, and emailing attendees until finally, the day arrived. Our content day started bright and early at 5am in the Tucson, Arizona desert with Starbucks in hand, attendees on site, and model couples ready to go! It was so fun getting to explore with everyone, all the while capturing moments I’ll never forget!
After sunrise, we headed back to the Airbnb and spent some quality time eating lunch together and simply hanging out!! We had a great discussion going over one another’s business pain points and we even started problem-solving. Our conversation included asking honest questions, and it was all very fluid and natural being able to talk photographer to photographer.
One thing that is super important to us when it comes to The Invitation is setting aside quality time where we get to be together and form relationships! This might mean sharing a meal together, or doing something without our cameras! I firmly believe that when you share experiences, your relationships are deepened.
After a few hours of hanging out, we headed out to our sunset location and through a lot of wind and a little bit of chaos, we captured some amazing shots! It was such a blast and we shot all the way until dark!! We popped bottles of champagne, laughed, and had literally the most fun.
I’ll never forget lying in bed that night thinking, “We just did it.” It was one of the longest and craziest days ever, but we did it! McKenna and I both learned so much and we will take it with us wherever we go!