Meet Our {un}convention Intersectionality Panelists: Jaime Patterson of Hidden Exposure Photography

 Meet Our {un}convention Intersectionality Panelists: Jaime Patterson of Hidden Exposure Photography

If you're a fan of Catalyst, then it's likely you're no stranger to Jaime Patterson of Hidden Exposure Photography. She is a member of our Advisory Board, as well as a contributor both of her photography and her writing. She recently wrote an article discussing the word "fat" and self-worth, and the role the wedding industry has played in perpetuating the ideal that body size and self-worth are somehow intertwined. 

Jaime will be joining us at {un}convention on Sunday, November 5, at Quirk Hotel in Richmond, Virginia for our panel about the importance of intersectionality in the wedding industry. She will be joined by Tim Riddick and our editor, Liz Susong, as they explore how everyone's identity means that we all are affected by oppression in different ways at the points where the many facets of our identity intersect. 

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Meet Our {un}convention Diversity Panelists: Brittney Taylor

Meet Our {un}convention Diversity Panelists: Brittney Taylor

Brittney, joined by fellow panelists Lucy Baber, Amber Marlow, and Nadiya Nacorda, will be discussing this issue head on during our afternoon panel on Sunday, November 5th at {un}convention in Richmond, Virginia. Attendees will leave with a new perspective on how issues of diversity and inclusivity can play a significant and genuine role in their business.

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Meet our {un}convention LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Workshop Leader: Cassandra Zetta

Meet our {un}convention LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Workshop Leader: Cassandra Zetta

Cassandra is a photographer based in Cincinatti, Ohio, and has worked tirelessly to support the LGBTQ+ community, which she herself is a member of. In addition to making sure that the couples she works with feel loved and supported throughout their wedding process, she also has worked to educate other photographers in the nuances of serving the LGBTQ+ community that often get overlooked. It is because of this that we are so completely thrilled to have Cassandra host a workshop for us at {un}convention.

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{un}convention profile // Meet the Host of the Bridechilla Podcast

{un}convention profile // Meet the Host of the Bridechilla Podcast

I sometimes see myself as a bit of a lone wolf in the wedding industry. I’m not a vendor, and I’m not really a wedding blogger (I don’t do styled shoots or talk about dresses). I’m an advice giver-er, a support person, and a virtual bridesmaid. I’m using a medium that is pretty new to a lot of people. I swear and say things that would probably make The Knot shudder. (One of the show’s mantras is "fuck chair covers.")

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{un}convention profile // Meet Laura Babb of SNAP Photography Festival

{un}convention profile // Meet Laura Babb of SNAP Photography Festival

1. What made you say yes to being part of {un}convention?

Of all of the things that bug me about the wedding industry, {un}convention seems to counteract almost all of them.   

The lack of diversity, the lack of inclusivity and the bullshit (am I allowed to say that?!) propensity to revere some vendors as rock stars, while wholly ignoring the fact that we are all service providers with (what should be) the same aim of doing a brilliant job for our couples, is something that needs to change, and I feel that {un}convention, along with events like SNAP, which also aim to educate and support people in these areas, are a really brilliant first step towards change.  

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Flashback to the First {un}convention

Flashback to the First {un}convention

Before liz and carly were liz+carly, they were just two lone islands in a sea of chevron paper goods. Both otherwise practical people, their soft spot for photographing (carly) and coordinating (liz) lovely events brought them somewhat reluctantly into the dreaded Wedding Industrial Complex. They were surrounded by couples chasing the dragon of The Perfect Wedding (TM) and a vendor culture invested in keeping that carrot dangling. When they found each other, it was love at first sight. Together, they vowed to build a community for like-minded professionals straddling the line between participating in and critiquing weddings: {un}convention was born.

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{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Jen Aprahamian + VINA!

{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Jen Aprahamian + VINA!

Our panel at (un)convention is made up of three amazing business owners who we absolutely adore. They will be sharing their best tips for finding your ideal clients, running a successful business, and generally how to rock. Today we're introducing one of our panelists, Jen Aprahamian, co-founder of VINA!

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{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Oriana Koren

{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Oriana Koren

Little-known fact: Oriana Koren was the originator of the term "Wedding Space Disruptor," which Catalyst has adopted as a name for all our wedding professional friends who shake things up and run their businesses boldly. Oriana has recently moved from weddings to editorial work (and moved from Chicago to LA via the South) and has loads of experience to share from her time as a go-against-the-grain photographer. We're excited to welcome her as a panelist for (un)convention San Francisco!

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{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Slingin Pretty!

 brandon kirk and marita cardenas of slingin' pretty

Brandon Kirk and Marita Cardenas are Slingin Pretty, a powerhouse team out of Richmond Virginia serving up the freshest hair, makeup, and lifestyle looks for modern brides + grooms (and beyond.) Their signature blend of sass and class make them one of our favorite businesses EVER. They have been at every (un)convention thus far (Richmond '14, Brooklyn '15) and are completely jazzed to be crossing the country this time for our San Francisco event! ALL ATTENDEES will get free headshots with hair and makeup touchups by these babes. Yeah, you're welcome. Learn more below!


What’s distinctive about your brand/company/work and where did you get the idea?
We are relatable. We are real live people. We have a personality- we are funny and sassy. We know trends and set trends. We care. We are really into what we do. We are in to each other too- like we are actual real life besties! Our brand/logo comes from the trend of the hashtag and our company name means exactly what you would think! We sling it all together and make our client look pretty. It’s pretty simple. And that’s our approach to beauty, to customer service, to contracts, to our personal style- simplicity. Even our business cards and website reflect that. Simple. Black and white and some grey. Effortless, like us. We just show up and the pretty happens!

Did you have a background in your industry and if not what emboldened to do it
We both previously worked in high end salons for years. But, working for “the man” in this industry, often stifles your creativity (and your money making power- lets get real).

When did you know you wanted to own your own business?
When the owners of the last salon we worked for suddenly closed up shop and we realized we had clients on our books who would be left stranded (including a bridal party of 10 in two days!)… we knew we had to do something. We made it our mission to do whatever it would take to take care of clients, especially this bride and her family.

What were the main steps between having your idea and making it a reality?
After finishing hair and make up for that bridal party, looking at our work we did outside the salon, taking inventory of what exactly it took to pull this off - to make ourselves available, to travel where our client is, lug our tools and cups of coffee and and kick ass attitudes with us… we went to Panera for lunch. And, over a doughy turkey bravo sandwich (with chips NOT an apple… who gets the apple?!) we decided to start a business. We thought, this can’t be that hard, right? We just offer our services and be flexible and completely mobile. This had proven to be key in our success!

What are the biggest pleasures of your job? What could you do without?
Seeing our client’s face when they look in the mirror and they realize, “I am f*cking hot!”  Their posture, presence and awareness of their potential completely changes in that moment and gives us that instant affirmation that we did what we were supposed to do.  Also, not going to lie, we have the coolest clients.  At first glance, our clients may not resemble our personal ride or die crew but then we hear their clever wedding hashtag, they start their email off with “Greetings Slingin’ Pretties” or someone drop the F bomb and Brandon and I look at each other and think, “I’d totally hang out with them.”  

We could do without the pleasantries sometimes.  Meaning - if you don’t like your hair or your eyeshadow, just say you don’t like it.  While we always appreciate working with kind and polite people, no one is doing anyone any favors when a client is so worried about not offending our work.  As much as we appreciate the thoughtfulness, dancing around your dislike for something hinders us as professionals to deliver what it is you really want.  Clear and honest communication is the fastest way to getting what you want.

Has failing at something or quitting ever lead to success for you?
Totally!  Brandon and I started #slinginpretty when the salon where we were working suddenly closed.  Based off of our experience, we naturally went to work at another salon fairly immediately because we had to maintain some sort of income while exploring our own business venture.  After a few months and with the participation in the first {UN}convention, inquiries just began pouring in.  We realized that we couldn’t commit to someone else’s business that conflicted/competed with our own.  Quitting our salon jobs allowed for us to accommodate more clients, participate in more creative projects and nurturing professional and personal relationships that have only bolstered our confidence in our brand.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Marita: A pop star. Or a spy. I pretty much just wanted to be a Bad-ass.
Brandon: This is really full disclosure here… I wanted to work for Donald Trump in New York City in Trump Tower. I grew up in the 80’s and would see Trump on tv shows like, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and was obsessed with rich, 80’s big hair and shoulder padded affluent New Yorkers. Now, I squirm with ickyness and shame just thinking about it! 

What’s your drink of choice? No one said it better than Biggie Smalls. Now we sip champagne when we thirsty - Juicy

 Pictures from slingin' pretty's past work

Five Reasons to Attend {un}convention San Francisco

Five Reasons to Attend {un}convention San Francisco

So you've seen us preaching about (un)convention San Francisco. You live in the area (we hear East Bay is really rad right now), you have next Sunday free, and you're like "WTF is this event all about?! Why would I drop $125 to hang out with these people?" Well, here are five reasons for you.

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{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Lara McCormick!

{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Lara McCormick!

At (un)convention San Francisco, we're featuring a hand-lettering mini-workshop with design guru and general badass Lara McCormick. Lara is currently the Head of Design Education at CreativeLive and shared a little bit of her background with us in a teeny tiny interview! Want to learn a new skill, meet Lara and other creative powerhouses, and improve your business? Grab your ticket to (un)convention San Francisco! 

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Kristen Poissant!

{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Kristen Poissant!

One of our favorite parts of (un)convention BROOKLYN was the three interactive stations! Our friend (and sponsor) Kristen Poissant was the leader of the Instagram Challenge Station, where she shared tips about styling for instagram and encouraged attendees to design and share images that captured the spirit of the evening. Scroll down to learn more about Kristen and see a bit of our challenge submissions!

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One week later: {un}convention BROOKLYN in photos

One week later: {un}convention BROOKLYN in photos

Woah, it's been a whole week already since #unconventionbk? YIKES! It seems like just yesterday we were wrapped in the beautiful, candle-lit cocoon of Atelier Roquette discussing representation, wedding space disruption, and how fucking delicious the food was. Want to get a sense for what the evening was like? Here are some shots by Betty Clicker Photography to help explain. Plus the group photo at the bottom by Justin McCallumWant to get involved with Catalyst but can't make it to (un)convention? Check out our brand-new Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Styled Shoot competition, Out of the Box

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Brooklyn Dogwood

{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Brooklyn Dogwood

Brooklyn Dogwood and Catalyst go WAY back. In fact, Catalyst co-founder Carly and Brooklyn Dogwood owners Corinne and Margot went to the same ELEMENTARY school! And isn't it so delightful when people from your childhood turn out to be the most awesome, savvy, creative business owners? We can't wait to see their creations decorate the space at Atelier Roquette at (un)convention BROOKLYN tomorrow!

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Panelist: Kellee Khalil, CEO of Loverly

{un}convention BROOKLYN Panelist: Kellee Khalil, CEO of Loverly

Everyone in weddingland has heard of LOVERLY, the company that shook things up back in 2012 with their gorgeous and data-driven approach to connecting couples with wedding professionals. We're so excited that the CEO and Founder of Loverly, Kellee Khalil, will be one of our panelists at (un)convention BROOKLYN!

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{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: Slingin' Pretty!

{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: Slingin' Pretty!

We get inspired by something that's different. We were sick of seeing our instagram feed chock full of only white brides in floral crowns. We decided to start trends. What is the next floral crown? What can wedding style and beauty look like if it isn't featured with white heterosexual woman? How can we influence this?

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Julia Lovallo!

{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Julia Lovallo!

Get your new logo, sweet website, or social media brand strategy ready, (un)convention attendees! At (un)convention you'll get a quick-and-dirty brand consult with some of the brightest branding experts in the industry. Meet one of them, Julia Lovallo

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{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: EQ Events

{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: EQ Events

As event planners who specifically invite clients who might otherwise worry about discrimination, we're expanding the industry to meet with the 21st century.  There are so many couples now able to celebrate their unions equally, and we are ready to celebrate with them!  

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Panelist: Katie Wannen

{un}convention BROOKLYN Panelist: Katie Wannen

We have three more speakers for (un)convention BROOKLYN to brag about, and we're mega thankful to get to share space with and learn from these powerhouses. First, we'd like to introduce you to Katie of The Plannery, a DC-based wedding planner and coordinator who is firmly on Team Wedding Pants for Women. We couldn't agree more. 

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