As a photographer, I choose one thing every year that will help me grow and better my business. My husband can attest to the fact that I had been waiting and waiting for Sassyfras Studios to do another photography workshop since I had first met them in 2012. So as soon as their post about a folk retreat in Wilmington NC went up, I knew that would be my pick for 2015! 

 Walker World

Walker World

We stayed at Walker World Artist Retreat- eclectic, colorful, and built by hand, it was an inspiring place to learn and grow together. But the place isn't what made the retreat one of my highlights of 2015. The first night of the retreat we sat and had a yummy dinner together and then gathered on the floor to make flower crowns. We talked about photography and the struggles we had with it. I felt so connected to this group that I had only known for about 3 hours. I already knew the rest of the retreat would be an incredible experience.

 Inside Walker World

Inside Walker World

The next day we snuggled up inside while the rain poured outside. We listened to Christen and Lauren (Sassyfras Studios) talk about their experiences and their hearts for what they do. We explored the house, had fun taking some photos, and snacked the afternoon away.

The third day was shooting day. Christen and Lauren set up two amazing sessions for us to watch them capture and then get to capture ourselves! The first was a cozy, indoor session complete with sweaters and hot drinks. In the afternoon, we wandered around Wilmington to practice what we had been learning (Aka we had the best models: each other!). The second shoot was on a beach at sunset with so many lovely details that Christen and Lauren had put together. Everything from the dress, to the location, to the props and poses were setup by them! We hopped in every once in awhile to try a pose but honestly, a lot of us just wanted to take it all in! It was an inspiration to get to shoot creatively in glorious golden hour with a perfect setup. But this also wasn't what made the retreat special.

 Christen and Lauren showing a pose (My couples know that I do this too ha!)

Christen and Lauren showing a pose (My couples know that I do this too ha!)

 Our first shoot of the day

Our first shoot of the day

 Exploring Wilmington

Exploring Wilmington

 Does this remind anyone else of Pride and Prejudice?

Does this remind anyone else of Pride and Prejudice?

 Golden hour, you have my heart

Golden hour, you have my heart

The last morning we all said our tearful goodbyes and packed up our cars to head home. I had been ready for 4 days of learning and shooting, but what I wasn't ready for was the amazing group of girls that attended the retreat with me. Being in the wedding industry can get discouraging at times because of the competitiveness between vendors, thinking your work might not be good enough, and dealing with stressful situations. Every girl at the retreat was an encouragement to be around and Christen and Lauren are two very special women who I am honored to know. The biggest take away for me, and one that the Lord has been teaching me all year, was that what we do is about people. Life is all about people. And the people I got to know at this retreat have made my life better.

Enjoy these snippets of what I captured, 

Kate

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