"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." -Ella Fitzgerald

As a mom, I've realized how important is to take care of ourselves-so we can be the best versions of ourselves for our families. The Blair and Thurston Photography retreat that I booked back in February helped me with that and so much more...it was women supporting other women, uplifting one another, empowering one another and creating a community of love and compassion. 

Photography has always been in my life, but it wasn't until I had my oldest, that my spark reignited. I found myself wanting to capture every moment, which led me to wanting to become a better photographer. I found clickinmoms.com, which led to me Elena and Bre. I ended up taking Elena's workshop- Going Beyond the Pose, and I feel like that is where I had many turning points as a photographer and person even! I had more confidence and I credit a lot of that to Elena, who effortlessly brought that out in her students. It was that extra boost of confidence that led me to apply and get into CMpro, which was a dream/goal of mine for YEARS! 

As soon as I saw that Elena and Bre were putting on a retreat together, I just knew I had to go! I had read the stellar reviews from the previous retreat attendees and knew that it was just what I needed! The excitement definitely outweighed the nerves, but as soon as I got off the plane in Seattle, I started freaking out a little bit! I realized how far out of my comfort zone I was putting myself! I never really processed that I was about to meet 7 strangers in a city that I had only been to a handful of times! It definitely helped that I felt like I already knew Elena from her workshop and had admired both her and Bre's work for years. They were so successful, yet they also had that rare ability to make themselves feel attainable and relatable- like an old friend! 

FAST FORWARD...once I finally met all of the amazing women and we took the beautiful Seattle Ferry over to Bainbridge Island, we settled in for the evening and just kicked back, drank some wine and beer and got to know one another! It honestly felt like I was meeting up with a bunch of my best friends. it was so unbelievable how each and every woman was so down to earth and kind. Although we came from all over the country and had a diverse array of photographic backgrounds, we all had a few major things in common that instantly bonded us...we were all obssessed with everything photography, we were women and mothers. OH, and we all enjoyed having a good time, which was awesome!! :) I couldn't have hand picked better strangers to be "stuck" on an island with! 

Bre and Elena are amazing business women and photographers, yet very fun and easy going-they are honest and open about everything they do and why they do it! Although they definitely didn't ever try to tell us how to take pictures or run our businesses, it was pretty impossible to not walk away being completely inspired by them! Thank you Elena+Bre for being open books, letting us grill you with whatever random questions that we had about anything and everything...you were both so giving of yourselves with our time together and I will forever appreciate that! 

If you ever have the opportunity to do something for yourself that you are passionate about, DO IT! It is so good for your soul to seek out others who you can truly share your passions and goals with that aren't your immediate friends and family members...go out of your comfort zone, live a little! 

It also didn't hurt that we had a private yoga session, an amazing chef, 2 incredible photo shoots and personal portfolio reviews! Here are a few moments from my trip!