Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding & portrait photographer serving DC, VA & Worldwide. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!
Manali Photography is a wedding & couples' photography business based out of Washington D.C. and Charlottesville, VA. When she's not making couples laugh or editing for the fastest turnaround time you ever did see, you might find her with family & friends at a vineyard with cheese & rosé to share! Cheers!!
Trying to sum up the experience that Creative at Heart is, is a very tough thing to do! Creative at Heart is a 3 day conference for creative business owners that provides its attendees with community, practical education, as well as a heart check every year. The conference is led by Kat Schmoyer who created it because she was craving a community and in her words, a home away from home for creative businesses of all industries, backgrounds & caffeine-levels!
I had attended last year so I was able to come into this round a little less introverted, a little more sure of myself and aware of what was going on. I stayed in the hotel where the conference had its block and I absolutely LOVED getting to connect with some of the attendees and even the educators on a more personal level because of it! Getting to hug fellow Round 8 peeps made it feel like I was coming home and a special thank you to Allyson who drove over 2 hours to get dinner with us on Wednesday night!! I absolutely love seeing how much everyone has grown in the few months since the last time we met and I know that everyone is going to be doing even more incredible things by the next time we meet 🙂 The late night treat was SO fun this year and turned into a dance party which is something that has literally never happened before but seemed super fitting for it hahaha.
Each day is filled with educational content from both keynote speakers that present to all 150 some attendees as well as breakout sessions that cover specific topics that each attendee can sign up to participate in. You also get to think through issues related to your specific business each day during lunch with your panel members that consists of people within the same industry you’re in led by experienced leaders in your field. The panel was actually one of my favorite parts of the entire conference since we got to know our panel leaders as well as each others’ businesses a little better during this time. A lot of us were going through similar seasons in our business and it was priceless to get to hear from Terri, Katelyn, Abby and Amy for what they recommended for specific issues. It was almost like being mentored one on one but with other photographers who understood your pain points as well.
Some of the keynotes that I enjoyed most were Nancy Ray’s on abundance, Laura Foote’s on tailoring your business to your own strengths, Megan’s on branding with heart (absolutely LOVED this one and am implementing things she mentioned first!!), and Abby Grace’s one on setting boundaries in your business. My breakout sessions were also incredible and covered everything from profit and loss, to conversion driven websites, incredible tips for consults (thank you Lauren specifically!!), to self care for entrepreneurs, and systems and workflows.
Shout out to my roommate Lauren for being an incredible friend to process ALL the new things we learned with, for having numerous late night talks, and for sharing knowledge from her very own breakout sessions WITH me!! I’m so glad Creative brought us together <3
It’s hard to encompass exactly how much this conference means to me in words or even pictures but if anyone is on the fence about going next year, I highly suggest investing in the experience once to see if it feels like “home” to you too! I came home from the conference feeling refreshed in the middle of busy season, inspired and motivated to tackle some really big personal and business goals for the year!
I wanted to focus on building relationships this time around so I definitely didn’t take as many pictures as last time but here’s a mix of ones I took with my camera and iPhone! Here’s Tyler & Ashley Herrinton’s recap video that does a pretty great job of encapsulating the whole experience!
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