Posts in Student Reviews
I Am A Photo Native: Baylie Longenecker - Featured Photo Native Attendee

"Growing up, I always knew what I wanted to be-a photographer. Since I was 4 years old, when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up I always had the same answer “I’m going to be a photographer”. After I got married I got super burnt out, I felt that my work didn’t portray how I felt about photography, the passion I had always felt for this art was leaving, and I couldn’t hear my voice among the thousands of talented photographer voices out there, and I honestly didn’t know the first thing about business, I was trying to do everything by myself and from YouTube videos I was watching. I was ready to quit. My sweet husband, who knew how badly I loved photography, had heard of Photo Native and surprised me with a ticket on my birthday. He told me that if I went to Photo Native and still wanted to quit then I could and he would have to be ok with it, but he really thought from what he read that it would fuel my photography fire again. And he was right. 

Photo Native was everything a photographer could hope for and more. It made me excited for photography again, it taught me things I didn’t even know I needed to learn, it reset and refreshed my love for photography and it pointed me to the direction I needed to go. It didn’t just have fun photography classes but it also had the BUSINESS side of things which was huge for me! Since Photo Native I have hit every photography goal I have set for myself, I went from doing maybe one wedding a year to doing at least one wedding a month! It gave me a voice. It made me feel like I truly belong. I went to Photo Native a week after I had an emergency c-section and didn’t regret one second I spent there (thank you ibuprofen) THAT SHOULD TELL YOU HOW AMAZING IT IS. You belong at Photo Native if you haven’t already bought that ticket! It will change your life, and if that sounds dramatic it’s because it is. Photo Native is a place for you to find your voice, to find your passion, and to be surrounded by talented creatives who will inspire you and uplift you. It’s a community. A community where YOU belong. "

Baylie Longenecker - Photo Native Attendee

Photo Native 2019 is February 11-13 in Palm Springs, California. Early Bird Registration ends on June 30th, so get your ticket soon to save $200 and have priority registration access to Native Shoots and Boosts when they open up this fall.

Join Us, You Belong!

Valory Jean | Photo Native Student Review

Q: How have you grown as an artist since attending Photo Native?

After both Photo Native conferences I attended I felt rejuvenated as an artist and wrote down so many things that I wanted to try. I tend to stay in my comfort zone, and after the conferences I felt the desire to get out of that zone a little bit and do new things that I had never tried before. I never wavered from my style, but instead tried to do things that went along with it, and played around with different photo techniques. 

Q: What business skills have you implemented since attending Photo Native?

As far as the business side of things, I have made more of an effort to be present on social media. It's not something I am perfect at, by any means, but I'm trying to be smarter about posting and doing it in a way that I find my perfect clients. This year has been such a great year for that. I feel like I have so many family and wedding clients that I just click with and am so grateful that they found me. 

Q: You mentioned you LOVED the community and friends you made here, can you expand on that? 

I absolutely love the photography community and what Photo Native stands for. They are so inclusive to any artist and at every level. I've made friends from attending the conference that I don't think I would have otherwise, and I've reconnected with other friends that I don't get to see very often. 

Q: What is your #1 takeaway from Photo Native?

 I feel like my #1 takeaway from Photo Native is to be me. To be the best me that I can for my clients, for my family, and for myself. 

Loved getting to know our feature student? Join us for Photo Native 2018 and follow us on instagram for more inspiration.

Sara Weir | Photo Native Student Review
Samantha Kelly Photography-9025.jpg

Q: How have you grown as an artist since attending Photo Native? 

In every way imaginable. In so many ways and not in enough ways. I think what it did for me most artistically was allow me to call what I do art and get me thinking about what that meant to me. It's definitely something I'm still exploring and hopefully always will be. But yeah, giving me permission to think of it that way and how I can use that to have a business.

Q: What business skills have you implemented since attending Photo Native? 

 When I attended PN I was so so new to business. I'd been photographing for a long time, but had just launched my own brand. I felt lost on how to navigate so many things and still keep my voice - and still working to find what that was and what it meant too. I still fall back on that very first speech given by Just Hackworth about so many beautiful things, but what has stuck with me most is how he talked about we should treat each other as photographers. He said we were a community that helped each other even though we are in essence competitors. That has been the foundation of so much of my business and I know that it has lead to more work, better relationships, and meaningful experience in this industry.

Q: You mentioned you LOVED the community and friends you made here, can you expand on that? 

When I started this business I totally thought I could do it all myself. I thought it was a one man show. Fast forward 2 years and I've definitely been humbled. I need others in the industry for support, to bounce ideas off, and lift me up when it's been a crummy go of it. I love reconnecting with friends I've cultivated relationships with over social media in person and PN and I LOVE meeting and encouraging new friends. It's this encouragement that keeps me going, creating, and enjoying what I do!! And that definitely began at PhotoNative both from the people I met at the conference and through the classes lectures provided there. It's the core of the conference. 

Q: What is your #1 takeaway from Photo Native?

Oh gosh, really!? One!? Um you know it's the chance to get together with really awesome likeminded people. Meet face to face and talk about what we're all thinking about 90% of the time!! And to have my boundaries pushed and think in new ways. It's a chance to be re-insnpired after a year of work and looking forward to a new year of work. It's the people - always always the people, connections, and friendships I've found there!!

Loved getting to know our feature student? Join us for Photo Native 2018 and follow us on instagram for more inspiration.