I like to learn and I’d stay in school forever if I could…so I’ve been to lots of photography workshops before, and this Blair & Thurston retreat was, by far, the best one yet. It went so beyond my expectations and has given me more than any other photography workshop, retreat or conference ever has.
We were spoiled from the minute we walked in – the retreat was held at a beautiful farm and we were immediately given yummy wine and a delicious gourmet lunch. I was already sold. Even without the photography part, being spoiled like this with no kids to worry about, was just what a busy mom needed.
We spent the next two days getting pampered with more wine, more delicious food, private yoga, an inspiring guest speaker, a portfolio review, some super fun photo shoots and lots of encouragement from Bre, Elena and an incredibly supportive group of women. We were never bored, yet we never felt there was some crazy schedule we had to adhere to. It was the perfect balance of learning, work, introspection, fun….and wine.
I expected to learn about photography, which I certainly did, but there were two more huge takeaways for me, and these are two things that not one other photography retreat or workshop has ever done for me:
- Bre and Elena make a real effort to foster a community of like-minded, hard-working, passionate photographers to lean on each other. It was obvious from the start, we weren’t there JUST to learn from them. They wanted us to learn from each other – which we certainly, certainly did. And not just that, but we helped each other. We exchanged ideas, feedback, and resources, while taking time to really talk to each other about our hopes, dreams and struggles. None of my non-photographer friends really want to talk about my career or where I’m going with it – it’s hard for them to understand. I can’t tell you how good it felt to talk to women I admire, who share my passion for photography, about what’s next for me.
- Bre and Elena were adamant that it does no good for us to learn to shoot like them. In a world where everyone has a camera, the only thing that will set us apart…is ourselves: Our lives, our personalities, our passions and how WE see the world through our cameras. We can’t shoot what anyone else wants – the magic will come when we shoot what we want and how we want to.
I left the weekend relaxed, inspired, recharged and excited about what’s next for me. I learned a lot but had a ton of fun doing it. There’s not much more I could have asked for.