The Glow Workshop : A Recap
It’s been a week since I attended a photographers workshop titled, “The Glow Workshop“. It was held last Monday at a stunning place called The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell, an adorable, shabby chic inspired bed and breakfast located in the quaint town of Round Top, TX, which is east of the live music capital of the world, Austin, TX! And man, was this workshop good. In fact, extremely good for the two wonderful photographers who aspired to hold their very own workshop for the first time! These wonderful ladies are Amanda of Amanda Marie Portraits and Shalyn of Love The Nelsons. Both very talented, genuine and successful photographers. I actually have known Amanda for years, we’ve photographed a wedding together way back when and I’ve watched her grow into the outstanding photographer she is today and I know of Shalyn because she used to work for the designers who designed my logo and blog Hey, Sweet Pea!
I didn’t actually stay at The Prairie like most of the other ladies who attended. I had a wedding in Schulenburg the Saturday prior and stayed with my BEST friend/other half, Arielle LaGuette (a very talented musician, check out her music here) in Austin, TX…pretty much one of my favorite cities ever. It’s like a second home. Or a Disney World for adults. So I left Austin super early the morning of The Glow Workshop. I’m not the best morning person ever but the scenic drive and the unique music of Animal Collective helped. I saw some deer run across the road as I was getting closer to my destination.
I knew that this place was going to be cute. Like a dream. And indeed it exceeded my expectations. The Prairie is a cozy farm setting that has lived peacefully for over a hundred years. The Prairie dates back to the mid 1800s with 45 acres of beautiful open landscape and the rustic feel of five homes. There were comfy Shabby Chic sofas designed by Rachel Ashwell, stunning crystal chandeliers adorned the ceiling mixed with tattered lampshades, vintage fixtures and original wood floorboards. There was taxidermy wearing sweet floral or vintage hats. It was authentic, a comfortable and lovely surrounding, the perfect place to inspire and learn. Even the bathroom was warm and inviting. Haha. Overall this place was an eclectic mix of rustic, bohemian, vintage and romantic. I felt right at home.
The Glow Workshop is mostly aimed for ladies who are either new to the world of wedding and portrait photography and those who want to freshen things up. I’ve had my business since 2009, so even though I feel like I know the ropes, you can never learn enough. There is always room to grow. “The goal in growth is not to get “bigger,” it’s to get better” – Lara Casey. And honestly I needed to re-spark myself! Is that a word? I was getting to the point where I was overbooking myself, overworking myself and at times I admit I was starting to feel burnt out. I mean it’s hard to be creative and stay at the top of my game all the time! Even with this awesome, exciting job that I adore very, very much…it goes back to the old saying that if you do too much, you will get tired of it. People love my work for it’s creativity and I always strive to be better than the last, so attending a workshop was just the thing I needed. I needed to be around other photographers, learn and get my spark again! And It was inspiring. I not only learned additional advice from Amanda and Shalyn but I also felt comfortable to share my own input with the other lovely ladies.
Hello yellow rose! My favorite. :D
Things got started at 9am, where Amanda and Shalyn began the workshop by sharing their stories of how they got to be where they are today. It was real and relatable. It got emotional too. They cried, we cried, they laughed, we laughed. Then we talked about business basics like how to build a business you love and knowing your purpose. The main thing is to stay true to who you are and know what defines your style. It’s also a good idea to create a mission statement for your business. I feel that my purpose is to capture those moments in between. Those sweet memories, they won’t last forever for everything is temporary but because of my photographs the memories surely will. And that’s what is most important to me with my photography. I have always been a creator, since I was a little girl, whether it was drawing, painting or creating a costume, I was always being active with my creative mind and now I’m happy to share my creativity with others.
We also discussed blogging 101, vulnerability and confidence as well as finding your style. We also talked about creating boundaries, creating an inspiring workspace and social media advice. The inspiring workspace is something that I DEFINITELY need to work on. Since I’ve moved into my house back in May my office at the moment is embarrassing. It’s pretty much in limbo. I basically edit and email from my couch or the nearby coffee shop. I’m taking off time in December so I will actually have the time to redecorate, paint and create a workspace that is inviting and happy. It surely needs to be painted yellow!
These are some of the many things Amanda and Shalyn discussed during the workshop. I think it should have been a two day event! So much to learn and so little time. So many questions to be asked too. There is always room to grow and there is truly no ‘reaching the top’ or end in sight when it comes to business. Or anything really. It’s taken me almost 4 years to reach the point I have reached now and I still have a lot of room to grow and plenty of things I need to do and work on! My list of goals for instance is huge. Writing down your goals and achieving them is something we also talked about during the workshop. It’s important to make sure you are held accountable for them. Even if it’s a little goal like getting a pedicure (which is something that I have added to my list of goals…I find myself editing so much that I neglect other areas in my life that make me happy, something as simple as taking the time to go get a pedicure and not feel guilty about it). Unfortunately feeling guilty is how I feel at times, when it seems I always have work to be edited, posts to blog, emails to respond to, calls to make, new business cards to order, etc. The Glow Workshop reminded me that I need to not feel compelled to work ALL THE TIME. They suggested we create our own work schedules and stick to the times!
After a quick delicious lunch and getting our headshots taken by Amanda or Shalyn, we returned to learning. Then it was time to go photograph the styled shoot and models and put what we learned from the day into action. After watching Amanda and Shalyn pose and interact with the models, I realized that the way I interact with MY clients was quite similar. So it just felt confirming that how I handle posing and client interaction is pretty good.
Just a couple of girls who attended. Paige Robinson and Taylor Green.
We got instagrammed!
My view while they were instagramming.
On to the models with hair and makeup by talented Tracy Melton! They are actually just boyfriend and girlfriend who volunteered to be our models for the day! They were precious. :) Reminded me of the time my boyfriend and I volunteered to be models for a styled shoot.
Aren’t our teachers so cute?!
I thought my shoes looked pretty snazzy.
This cutie wasn’t part of the styled shoot, but she made me miss my cat Ashley.
I just had to get a picture with Shalyn and Amanda!
Oh hey here’s me laughing.
And moving in my new yellow sweater.
This is the sweet girl who took my picture. The only other Nikon shooter!
Amanda and Shalyn collaborated with some amazing sponsors to hold a couple of giveaways and provide a pretty adorable goodie bag. Who doesn’t love a goodie bag?!?!?!?! It felt like a Christmas stocking digging through all the goods! Like a little calligraphy kit provided by Blue Eye Brown Eye, an inspiring bangle from Paloma’s Nest, a macaron (not pictured in this instagram because I ate it) by Cakewalk Bake Shop, some fantastic prints by SS Print Shop. Other sponsors were Artifact Uprising, Kate Foley Designs, Jo Totes, Lara Casey Shop, Bloom Theory, and Emily Ley.
My instagram photo of my glow goodies! Ashley loved the goodies too.
They held drawings for a fabulous camera strap provided by Bloom Theory. Another drawing for an adorable yellow camera bag by Jo Totes. And the last drawing was for the brand spankin’ new Photoshop. I already have Photoshop and don’t exactly use it, so I told Amanda that if my name was called to redraw a new name. Crazy thing was my name was drawn for Photoshop so she redrew like I had asked. I’d rather it go to someone who actually needed it and the winner didn’t have anything to edit her pictures with. I was so happy to hear! :)
By the end of the day we all wrote on a piece of paper a couple of our fears regarding photography and the business behind it. We tied the paper to a gold heart balloon, circled up and stated our fears one by one. Then we all let go. It was a great symbolic feeling to watch our fears fly away. Such a fun moment. Then I suggested that we all do a BIG GROUP HUG!
Amanda’s instagram photo:
It was sad to leave. But I left the workshop feeling, not only inspired, but satisfied with what I gained. I attended the workshop with the desire to reignite that spark. And it did. I got what I wanted…I’m flourishing! I applaud Amanda, Shalyn and everyone who helped make The Glow Workshop be what it was, they worked HARD! They have left such a sweet mark on my heart and I can’t thank them enough. On my drive back from The Prairie, I witnessed yet again deer running across the road directly in front of me. Oh deer.