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!

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Creative at Heart Conference Recap Round 9

July 3, 2019


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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If you enjoyed this post, you should binge through these as well:

Creative at Heart Conference Recap Round 8

Hustle in Heels Conference



If you’re looking for a personalized plan of action to takes you from overwhelmed & stressed for time to running a systemized business that you love & allows time for what matters most, feel free to hop on the waitlist below!

This is for photographers who are looking for a customized one-on-one photography mentoring session that includes a two-hour video call or in-person coffee date to work through a pain point or build a sustainable business strategy for 2020.

Each mentoring session will come with a personalized blueprint of action items to help solve your biggest pain point and time during our session to start implementing these strategies to help take you from stressed for inquiries to completely booked in 2020!

Topics that can be covered during these personalized one-on-one intensives are:

  • photographing & editing
  • client workflows & communication
  • organizing the backend of your business
  • your marketing strategy
  • or a fully customized session to best fit your business!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to me at manalisontakkephotography@gmail.com to see if this would be a good fit for you at this time!

Submit your email below to get on the waiting list to learn when the first spots open up! This will also automatically you enter into the giveaway for an Emily Ley 2020 Dapperdesk Planner!

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Sponsors for C@H

Amy Lyn Stock Photo Discount // IG @helloamylyn

C@H Sticker on White Bags: Abby Woerner // IG @blair_made

Cait Raimondo discount // IG @cait.raimondo

Coco & June, Emily Kurth Prints // IG @cocoandjune

Gillian Sarah Discount // IG @gilliansarahdesign

Kari Roberts Discount // IG @karirobertscoaching

Katie Newberg Workbooks // IG @katiegrace_newberg

Lauren Perry Sticker // IG @laurenperrystudio

Motivational Notecards: Staccato, Kelly McTamney Harms // IG @staccatoinvites

Nancy Ray Discount // IG @nancyray

Paige Billing Discount // IG @paigebillingcreative

Pause With Purpose Print // IG @pause_with_purpose

Pepper Discount // IG @meet.pepper

Stickers + Coaching Discount: Alexandra Kaval // IG @gracespacechristiancoaching

Things Unseen Designs Stickers // IG @thingsunseendesigns

Late Night Treat: Dubsado // IG @mydubsado

Lemon Tote: The Welcoming District // IG @thewelcomingdistrict

Face Masks: Monique Hatchett, Shop Love Mo // IG @shoplovemo

Lotions: Luxe & Bloom // IG @shopluxeandbloom

Marble Phone Grips: Trena Little // IG @trena_little

Pen + Notebook Set: Dubsado // IG @mydubsado

Peppermint Lip Balm: Jenny MelickRoses and Azalea // IG @rosesandazalea

Pink Hair Clips: Chelsey Walker, Periwillow Boutique // IG @periwillowboutique

Van Gogh Print w/ Quote: Designed to Thrive Creative // IG @dmicheleperry

Winmock Print: Beloved Paper // IG @belovedpaper

Welcome Party: Shaundra Howard // IG: @shaundrahow

Sunglasses: Tara Sutton, To A T // IG: @everythingdonetoat

C@H Notebook: Bailey Shea Designs // IG: @baileysheadesigns

C@H Notebook Illustration: Simply Jessica Marie // IG: @simplyjessicamarie

Here’s to You Coaster: Katie Bowman, Blu3 Designs // IG: @blu3designs

Here’s to the Creatives Print: Nicole Miyuki Lettering + Design // IG: @nicolemiyuki

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