I can’t believe it!!! THIS was a dream come true!!
I love education. And as a photographer I personally attended several workshops and highly valued my own education, especially in 2013-2015. It was such a time of growth for me. I would have never dreamed back then that I would myself be teaching one of those workshops…but I am SO passionate about it it feels like everything I was meant to do!
I taught a few other workshops in 2019, lighting & posing and a night lighting workshop…both which went super well! And then I started dreaming about the fall, quickly realizing it was going to be a stressful time of year for me. Then, one day this summer I was photographing a wedding at RedBarn20 at Windridge Estate, and Ann (one of the owners) made a comment to me about the farmer’s cottage, and I told her I would love to do an event for photographers there! We talked about winter and I realized this would be the PERFECT time! After wedding season slows down, and at the beginning of the year when we could focus on goals and heading into 2020 with a fresh start!
This fall, I was asked a LOT of questions about marketing – what types of marketing is beneficial (bridal shows, etc.). And also, how did I take my business from the Hudson Valley to Central New York and have a full time business here after a year?! I then realized that Marketing and Adding Value would be the focus of my workshop…and everything CLICKED! (No pun intended)
I spoke with our planner Carianne Gunn (Emerald Events) and she went on a trip to Iceland in September and was SUPER inspired by all the scenery, colors and textures there! We had been dreaming about doing an Iceland-themed styled shoot and decided that this workshop would be SO perfect for that theme!! And I knew that would inspire all of us in the new year!
I was so encouraged seeing all of the photographers sign up before the holidays and give me feedback that the content was exactly what they needed for their businesses! And during workshop week, of course there were logistical issues that came up, and also the threat of rain on workshop day. But Carianne and I plugged forward and accepted whatever the day would bring us – we would bring that adventure no matter what! My friend Gabby who would be filming the course shared her excitement with me days before the workshop and that was so awesome too!
But what really started connecting me was the CONTENT. As I wrapped up my marketing session, it all came back to the HEART of connection, building trust and community. And for me, that gave me all the energy I needed for workshop day.
On workshop day, I was driving to the workshop and the SUN actually came out! And there was not one drop of rain, I was so thankful! I arrived early with Gabby to do some filming prior to the course, and Syracuse.com actually came to interview all the vendors about advice we would give to brides – which was such an honor!
Just before the attendees arrived, their welcome drinks were all set out by Carianne, their gifts were set out and my presentation was ready. I loved seeing their reactions to how beautiful and warm RedBarn20’s Farmer’s Cottage was! It was great mingling with the photographers, and eating Naomi’s gorgeous charcuterie board! We went into our first teaching session on VALUE, and I had given each of the photographers an assignment to evaluate another photographer’s business value from an outside perspective. It was awesome to hear the feedback they gave each other and how that helped them zero in on certain pieces of their businesses! And of course I covered a lot of helpful content and suggestions.
Then we moved into the STYLED SHOOT in the bridal suite, where we styled invitations, rings, shoes, the bouquet and the dress! Everyone had SO much fun with that and it would have been easy to stay there all afternoon – but we had a schedule! So we moved outside with our models Lindsay and Joe, who were styled SO beautifully. We set them in the tall grasses with the blue sky behind them, and their love was just so beautiful and inspiring – I could tell all the attendees thought they were the CUTEST! (which they are!). It was a little windy so Carianne was holding down the tables cape for us to photograph quickly at the end!
We then moved to drive to the waterfall (which I surprised the attendees with the week before the course!) – it was only 12 minutes away and I could hardly resist because of our ICELAND theme! I know this part of the shoot was a highlight for a lot of the photographers – many of which love working with adventurous couples, as I do!
After the waterfall shoot, we headed back to RedBarn20 for our last session, but before that we photographed the tables cape Carianne had set up inside. The warm candlelight with the blue twilight sky in the windows was such a GORGEOUS contrast! My sweet husband Derek helped us all with some static lighting (a trick of mine I love so much!) so we could all photograph at the same time! Then, we cut the AMAZING cakes by The Cake Shop CNY (did you see the “northern lights” cake?! OUT OF THIS WORLD.) and ate them! They were so moist and delicious and the perfect way to settle down, along with our coffee from Soleil Cafe!
Then, I taught the last session on MARKETING that ended with all the beautiful heart stuff that is the WHY that connected with all the photographers. I know the photographers left being inspired to share more of themselves and connect on social media. I know they left striving for more community and to not do this creative journey alone. And I know they left with tons of ideas for their own businesses this year.
I’m so grateful for the feedback I’ve gotten and how it’s inspiring them in their businesses. And I ALREADY can’t wait for my next course (it’s a BIG one – a wedding workshop!) that Carianne and I are planning for May 2020. Message me if you have any questions!
HERE are the photos from the Business Refresh Workshop! Thank you for supporting my journey!
Ready to meet all the photographers!
Carianne used the edible Icelandic “glacier” pieces from our Cake Artist Stacey, in the welcome drinks!
The charcuterie board by Naomi was SO beautiful!
My course packets and welcome gifts to each of the photographer attendees
Our first session on adding VALUE!
Thanks to my husband for helping me set up my iMac, it was the perfect screen!
I love making my teaching booklets, haha – such a nerdy thing about me!
How cozy is this farmer’s cottage?!
Lindsay being beautified by Michaela!
Carianne and Gabby choosing the earrings for our model Lindsay!
A gorgeous gown from Silk Bridal! They gave us 2 but everyone agreed this one would be perfect!
Haha love all the cameras at once!
This is hilarious, love you Melissa! Trying not to fall off the chair while doing her invitation shot!
This suite by Stonefruit Studio is incredible, so perfectly captured on the Styling Mat!
Love this bouquet too, such beautiful natural textures!
Derek and I’s wedding bands perfectly matched the gold accents!
Love this one Sarah captured of me! The joy!
Showing two approaches to ring shots and how to align them on the right focal plane!
Carianne doing her thing, creating a PERFECT tablescape!
Love these agate coasters with all our names on it in calligraphy by Elizabeth!
AHH how perfect are these two!
The behind the scenes of our shoot! ALL the cameras!
LOVE that one on the left! And isn’t her hair stunning?!
These two have SUCH a sweet connection!
LOVE this behind the scenes too, Sarah!!
Love these colors in the signage and on the sweetheart table! Carianne has the best eye for color!
One of my FAVORITES!
Such a fun birds’ eye view of the table!
WATERFALL TIME! This is EPIC, get ready!
LOVE these, and her hair from this angle!
So cute! Joe loved being accomplished during the shoot!
Another one of my FAVORITES! Such a sweet moment!
YESSSS! So romantic you two!
Back at RedBarn20…Stacey’s AMAZING Icelandic cakes! WOW wow wow.
I LOVE the tablescape at twilight, I think better than in full natural light – gives it a really intimate and warm vibe!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who made this day possible!! I really cannot be MORE grateful!!
A few personal thank you’s: First of all, to Carianne – you have such incredible vision and your styling inspired me and all of our attendees! Thank you for all you did to design, plan & coordinate. To Gabby, thank you for coming alongside to film behind the scenes but also being an amazing assistant with the eye of a photographer. Thanks for being on my team! And Sarah, thank you for living #communityovercompetition with me and capturing behind the scenes so graciously and beautifully! And of course to my sweetheart, Derek, thank you for ALWAYS being there when I need you – just your presence means the world to me!
Thank you Lindsay and Joe! Your willingness to be our models, have FUN in the process with JOY, and your sweet love for each other…you really were so perfect for this day. Thank you.
And to these amazing photographers pictured here (Alicia, Melissa, Madison, Brittany, Sam, Marlies & Grace)…you’re all AMAZING people doing great things and investing in your business! I believe in you all so much and 2020 is going to be a GREAT year!
Design & Planning: Events by Carianne
Venue: RedBarn20 at Windridge Estate, Cazenovia, New York
Cinematography: Gabrielle Fordham
Behind the Scenes Photography: SHP Brand Bash, by Sarah Fredenburg
Florals: Oopsadaisy Auburn
Charcuterie, Farm Table & Chairs: Brown Built Rentals
Vintage Rentals & Tabletop: She Rents Vintage
Coffee: Soleil Cafe
Dress: Silk Bridal, Rochester, NY
Linens: BBJ Linen
Hair: Dominique Fess
Makeup: Glam by Michaela
Jewelry: Rachel Weber Designs
Calligraphy: Paper Crane Calligraphy
Stationary: StoneFruit Studio
Cake: The Cakeshop CNY
Models: Lindsay & Joe Varre