I was over-the-moon when I found out that Hope Taylor was hosting her next photography retreat in Nashville, TN. Right in my backyard! It has been challenging (and a tad frustrating at times, if I’m being honest) trying to pursue as much as I want to with my business while still working a full-time day job. Don’t get me wrong, that job is what is allowing me to invest in my business: purchasing new equipment, furthering my education, participating in styled shoots… all of it. And for that I’m thankful. But I literally come home with a sticky note of things that I need to do, ideas floating around in my head that I don’t want to forget… every day. And I just stare at the clock waiting for when I can come home and get to work on what I’m really passionate about. So even though my day job provides me with a bit more financial freedom, my time is something I’m still limited with. When I saw the post that this retreat for photographers would be 1. on a weekend 2. within a short drive from my home and 3. hosted by a photographer and business woman that I admired? Cue the happy dance!!!
Now, for those of you who may not know me well (by the way, we need to fix that!), I’m a bit of an introvert. So when one of the attendees messaged me saying that she was down in the hotel lobby with some other girls and to come and chit chat… I got butterflies! Seriously! Like, on the verge of panicking. As I took the elevator down, I felt like it was the first day of school and I was about to walk into a classroom full of new faces and I just hoped beyond hope that I would fit in. Guys… it was AWESOME! Within a matter of minutes, I met three awesome women that were full of energy and enthusiasm (big shout out to Colleen, Marena, and Tammy!!!)… and I felt at home. Everyone there shared so many of the same hopes and struggled with the same insecurities. It was both comforting and empowering to know that I wasn’t even remotely alone.
And if the other workshop attendees weren’t amazing enough, Hope was incredible! She is just as personable, sweet, and caring as I could have hoped for. The entire three days of the workshop didn’t solely focus on business strategy and portfolio building. There was a deeper goal at hand: not just to build confidence in ourselves, but to build confidence in each other. Late night cupcakes and chit chat in pajamas. Capturing the styled shoot in small groups. Having the online community where we could post about plans for the night and invite others to come along. All the educational content I soaked up and the portfolio images I captured–those were only a small part of the true value that I walked away with that weekend. And for that, I cannot thank Hope enough. XOXO
And while I’m thanking people. I want to give a HUGE shout out to all the vendors that made our styled shoots so incredible! THE NOELLE | BLUSH & CREW | OF THE FIELDS FLORAL | MODERN TROUSSEAU NASHVILLE | DULCE DESSERTS | K KELLEY DESIGNS | MRS. BOX
Christy Hunter is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Tucson, Arizona.
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