I’m tired and I sound like I’m an 80 year old man. My voice is gone but my heart is full. This past week we did something that we have never attempted before…. we hosted our FIRST EVER, large scale destination workshop. When I mean LARGE SCALE, I mean 18 attendees instead of 12, a full blown styled shoot at a real wedding venue and over 20+ hours of teaching content! whew!! It was amazing! I’m still recovering but I’ll tell you what… this is the BEST type of “tired”. I’m sure some people wouldn’t think that hosting 18 people for over two days and teaching non-stop would be fun but I LOVE IT.
We started the workshop with a welcome dinner inside of the barn. Michael and Jill prepped the food and everyone got to meet one another for the first time! We had friends from CA, OK, OH, MD, NC, GA, NY, VA, DC and PA all come together for this two-day workshop! From the VERY FIRST NIGHT, I could just tell that this was going to be an amazing group. I was 100% spot on with my judgement call. Over the next two days we became our own little “tribe” of friends who all have a passion for photography, business and being creative.
We hosted this whole shindig at the incredible BIG SPRING FARM and I cannot thank Buddy and Jill ENOUGH for being such amazing hosts. (as always!) Their love for people is so evident in the way they open up their home so willingly to serve others. Just being at this gorgeous venue is an experience in and of itself and I was SO excited for our new friends to see the beauty of the spring, the mountain views, the rustic barn and the restored farmhouse!!
Day one included a massive styled shoot with a ceremony setup, a gorgeous tablescape (that we later used for a group dinner under the stars! ah!) a boutonniere bar and one amazing couple!! It kills me not to show you these images but you can keep scrolling for a sneak peek!! :) The incredible Kaitlin Holland of The School of Styling is responsible for putting this styled shoot on and we are SO thankful for not only her talent and time but also her friendship!!!
Overall, I do not think this workshop could have gone better. There were so many sweet moments where I knew that the attendees just GOT IT and that feeling is PRICELESS!! Sometimes it happened after hearing about my workflow system… another time it was during the editing demo and then for quite a few, they had their “ah-ha” moment when I demonstrated the “posing evolution”! As always, I ended my presentation with a picture of my and my dad dancing together at our wedding. I’m bawling my eyes out while hugging him as tight as I possibly can and it’s one of the most cherished pictures of my lifetime. I end with this photo because it represents so much of what we stand for. Our jobs matter. They make a difference and ultimately, if we truly care about our clients and serve them well, our jobs can actually CHANGE people’s live for the better!! THAT is what gets me excited and if I’m being honest, I’m secretly hoping that the good Lord always allows me to host workshops because I absolutely adore them!! :)
Here are some BTS shots of the workshop with some shoutouts to the incredible team that made this happen!!
Oh my GOSH! This is straight out of a dream!!
This amazing lady… she styled and planned the shoot and I’m so thankful for her!! Follow her HERE and you can thank me later!
Bokeh was WELL LOVED!
Trip to the top! We took a sunset break to head to the spot with the BEST view at Big Spring!
Yea get it Gayle! :) haha Don’t kill me for posting this! I just love it!
Styling | The School of Styling : Kaitlin Holland
Florals | Amanda Veronee
Decorative Rentals | Paisley & Jade
Venue | Big Spring Farm
Models | Josh & Brittany Anderson
Assistants | Jill Powers & Buddy Powers
Dress, Stationary, etc coming soon!
CHEF’s Catering for the amazing meal!!
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The day started with bubbly personalities and bubbly drinks in the historic Linden Row house in downtown Richmond. I walked in, found Leah and then one by one I met her amazing bridesmaids. From the moment I met them all, I knew this was going to be a fun day, not lacking any energy! I loved the way this day started…. however, it got even better the moment dad walked in.
It’s an exciting day in Youtube land! We have just launched a brand new series that we’re really excited about!!!! So often when I’m going through KJ All Access episodes and editing our behind the scenes coverage of our wedding days, I find myself noticing a lot of scenarios that require a lot of thought and problem solving in order to create a FINAL image that I love!!
Gosh it feels good to do what I love to do again! This was my first shoot back since maternity leave ended and I loved every minute of it! I have known Matt and Abby for years and years and so while this was a true portrait session with paying clients and outfit changes, etc…. it was also a shoot with dear friends and it was wonderful to spend some time with them!
First of all, let me just say, I do NOT endorse not hiring a professional birth photographer! As you read this, keep in mind that I desperately wanted to have my friend and fellow photographer Jill with me during my fourth birth. I was heartbroken that she wasn’t allowed to be there!
Have you ever showed up for a wedding or a portrait session and took one look at the location and thought…. “You’ve got to be kidding me!!! How am I going to make this work?!” I have. I have had so many scenarios in my career where I have thought….“Ok, how in the world am I going to make this lousy location work as a great portrait location!!?”.
It still feels surreal to tell people about what we do for a living. We photograph weddings and we teach other people how to photograph weddings. It’s quite literally a dream job for a creative like myself who loves people! Every month when we do these Student Spotlights, I’m reminded all over again how much of a privilege it is to be a part of these photographer’s lives and play a small role in their stories.