The Blair Thurston retreat was transformational for me. I thought I would leave the retreat with some tips on how to be a better photographer, how to shoot in different types of light, and maybe I would meet some nice people. It far exceeded my expectations! 


But let me back up a bit…I knew since the first Blair Thurston retreat that I wanted to attend one. I have enjoyed following Bre and Elena’s work since finding them on Instagram and was looking for a smaller boutique learning experience, where I would have more hands on and face-to-face with the instructors. When they held the retreat only an hour away from home, I knew I had go.


The location, ambiance, itinerary and food did not disappoint! I don’t know about you, but when I go on vacation, I don’t usually plan for a personal chef, an in-home yoga session, or a private wine tasting. Bre and Elena went all out in making this retreat feel like a vacation where you don’t have to worry about a thing. They pay attention to all the little details and welcome you not just as a guest, but as a friend. 


The first thing we did on the retreat – after pouring glasses of wine and getting to know everyone as they arrived – was sit around the table and have a formal intro/welcome from our hostesses. I was a little anxious because I felt a bit out of place. In my mind, I hadn’t accomplished half the things these women had. I thought about an email I had received from Elena’s mailing list that had resonated with me at that time, Create Before you Consume. She talked about how comparing yourself to all the inspiration we see out there can stunt your growth as an artist and as a business woman; I was there and I needed to get out of that funk. 


I was honest and let everyone know that I didn't think I was at their level and that I was just there to absorb everything I could. But inside my head, I had so many questions swirling around: Who was I to be on this retreat with these talented business women? I was just starting out, was this the right place for me right now? 


Turns out, it was exactly what I needed, when I needed it. Coming out of the retreat I was invigorated with a new found confidence and plans...actual goals that I had written down and said out loud! 


The Blair Thurston retreat did more for me personally and creatively than I could have ever imagined. Bre and Elena genuinely want to see you succeed and are passionate about building a community where women support each other. I made lifelong friendships with a group of women I truly admire, and who I know I can go to for anything. This retreat was the best investment I have made in my photography journey and I would recommend it to anyone, especially if you find yourself unsure about what your next steps should be.


You can find Carmen's retreat photos below and view more of her work at the following:

www.photosbycarmenrobinson.com

www.instagram.com/carmspics/

www.facebook.com/CarmenRobinsonPhotography/

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