i am so excited to share this workshop wrap-up from my first “a wildflowers workshop” for professional photographers held in round top, texas this last weekend!!! it simply surpassed my expectations in every possible way! i had surely planned for the logistics and the instruction down to each tiny detail but there was no way i could have planned for the impact that this incredible group of attendees could have had on my heart and also be able to add so much to the workshop themselves! it was pure magic, really. 20 women photographers traveled from all over the world to the tiniest town in texas for this workshop held at the belle of round top mansion and it began with a big texas-style bbq dinner on friday night and ended sunday in the late afternoon. all the women stayed in various farmhouses and cottages in the historic town and i believe felt as though it was just as much a retreat as an instructional workshop. i tried my best to emphasize the importance of letting every aspect of the experience SOAK IN… the peace and calm of the country, the blessing of being away from so many distractions (emails, facebook, work, family members, life in general), the ability to just be able to sit in an old wooden rocker on the porch with a glass of sweet tea and really make the most of the weekend to get back to the heart of when they first fell in love with photography. it was amazing. i was so blessed and so thankful that i was able to be raw and honest with these women about my experience in this sometimes difficult world of photography. a big huge thanks to deb and doug byers, owners of the belle for being such kind, sincere and thoughtful hosts and friends, the weekend surely would not have been the same without you. we took tons of photos, laughed a bunch, talked for hours on end about business and our hearts in this industry, indulged in some seriously amazing gourmet food (big thanks to sarah neale for her genius in the kitchen!!) and grew in so many ways. i could really go on forever here but i figure i should let you go on to see the images and also hear a bit from the attendees about their experiences. many, many thanks and hugs to everyone who was a part of it all!
words from the attendees…
“The underlying theme of the weekend was to get inspired! Not to just take pretty pictures of strangers, but really jump in there and make art. Get to know your clients. Learn their story and photograph them accordingly! Such a simple idea that we tend to forget amongst all of the “work” related to our businesses. I also learned some valuable, or more accurately invaluable, business pointers that I absolutely needed. I was drowning with my business, and I signed up for the workshop as a last ditch attempt to keep myself and my business going. I didn’t want to resent the very thing I started out loving and I could feel myself going there. I learned workflow tips, I learned time management, I learned how to stand up for myself and not get run down. I will go so far as to say that I truly believe attending this workshop saved me as a photographer. I feel very positive about the future, I feel positive about the changes I am going to make, and I feel INSPIRED! And can I just say – I met some pretty amazing ladies in the process! For me, just having a group of photographer friends (yes, I now call them friends!) that I know I can call or e-mail is an amazing feeling. They offered more support than I’ve had since I started, and all in just two days! Each one of them understood where I was, my fears and my doubts, because they’d been there. I didn’t only get advice from Joy but also from 20 wonderful photographers! Priceless.” – Kerri O’Neal, Kerri O’Neal Photography
“The Wildflowers Workshop was my first workshop experience, and to be honest I didn’t know what to expect. I do know what I hoped for: a game-changer. I was stressed out and exhausted from the expectations of clients and frustrated by the level of intense competition coupled with a general lack of cooperation in the industry. What I found was a place of calm support and a lot of understanding. Don’t get me wrong, I was looking for great information too, and I got a lot of that. But I am finding that more than anything I have had a change of heart. I am experiencing the passion again that pushed me to photograph in the first place. I am motivated to be an agent of change in the industry rather than just complaining about it. And most importantly of all I am making the photographs that I want to make. I am still processing everything I learned at the workshop… and I’m so, so glad I went.” – Dara Enns, Dara Enns Photography
“I feel like this weekend was a life changing experience for me. Not only for the photography part of it but I also feel like I learned how to be inspired by the little things in life on a daily basis. Joy is an amazing woman!! I can’t thank her enough for everything she did for all of us. Everything was over the top!” – Brooke Graves, Legacy Fotography
“The Wildflowers Workshop left me so very moved and inspired that I was brought to tears at the end of it. As a city girl to the core, heading out to rural Texas was definitely an exercise in doing things out of my comfort zone, but I knew the workshop would make any potential snake bites or scorpion scares completely worth it! The workshop and my time in Texas were beyond amazing, with no country catastrophes to speak of. Surprisingly, I found myself at peace in the Texas countryside! I loved it! It was much like a retreat, for me. It relaxed me and allowed me to be an open book to all of the wonderful creativity and knowledge shared with me as a part of the workshop. I was SO inspired by the experience and truly touched by Joy’s openness. You could tell this was something that Joy and her family had put their hearts into, and I could feel it every step of the way…I feel so completely blessed to have been here, learning from Joy. And everyone! From the bottom of my heart, thank you!” – Amanda Adlesick, Amanda Megan Miller Photography
“Joy’s workshop has allowed me to begin the creative process that will keep me true to myself by building my confidence as a photographer, a woman, mother, and wife. Sharing my journey with Joy and 20 new friends was just what I needed to rekindle the passion I have to be authentic, craft my niche, and share my creations with others. As a photographer, I now understand how important it is to be confident and value my own work. As a 38 year old mother, I realize that my two boys need to see their mother as a confident, successful female. As a wife, I have learned to never lose sight of the support that my husband has given me, and how important a schedule is when giving your companion and family the time they deserve. Joy’s workshop was truly a breath of fresh air- just what I needed at this time in my life. I look forward to my future as a photographer and am ready to take in all the beauty that God has given this world, slowly and fully, one image at a time.” – Kyla O’Neal, Kyla O’Neal Photography
“I enjoyed every single minute of the workshop! I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! Joy created such a warm, inviting, and friendly environment that ended in new friendships and she was so transparent and shared her heart with us! It really meant a lot to me for her to share what she has gone through in her photography journey. If I kept going on the road that I was on, I was going to end up with some of the same problems and heart aches that she encountered. I believe because of her openness and advice, she helped me start on a journey down a new and better road! Joy’s advice made me make better business decisions and she gave me the confidence to carry those decisions out! I have been so blessed to meet her and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to attend her amazing workshop! She really inspired me with all of her creativity and I can’t wait to put all my new ideas into practice!” – Katie Hollis, Memory Mom Photography
“Perfect location. Perfectly planned. Perfectly joyful! I’m walking away with 20 new girlfriends, knowledge spilling out of my head, and a bunch of full CF cards!! A Wildflowers Workshop has encouraged us to implement change to our businesses for the balance and well being of our lives. Joy is sincere in her teaching and honestly wishes success to us all and that is the heart of true passion!” – Stacy Ideus, Stacy Ideus Photography
” I am a 21 year old college student just starting in the portrait photography business and the workshop fee was a pretty big stretch for me. But oh, was it worth it! The knowledge that I gained will be with me forever. Not only did I learn how to run my business successfully, this workshop forced me to look at my goals and to feel better about myself and my work. I am so inspired to be a better photographer, and a better person. The photo shoots we shot together were beautiful, and for me it was a huge honor to be able to shoot with you. So Joy, I have decided to stick to my guns, balance it all, and be happy. This workshop was so personal and I made life-long friendships that are so supportive and I couldn’t be more excited about nourishing them. I just adore you Joy and you have influenced me in ways that I couldn’t even begin to put into words.” – Betty Jean McKissick, Snapshots by Betty
“While just in the beginning stages of starting a photography business and needing guidance, insight, and inspiration I jumped at the chance to go to a Wildflowers Workshop. The setting to the weekend was peaceful and serene. The photo shoots were done in typical Wildflower fashion, beautiful and unique. I received many tools and resources to help inspire my creativity, business practices, and my work as a photographer. There is no doubt Joy put her heart into every detail that made up this workshop. I found the insight and guidance I was looking for however, I left the workshop feeling inspired as a photographer, an artist, and a woman.” – Maureen Cari
“I’ve followed Joy’s work for years now and when I found out she was having a workshop for photographers I was beyond excited!!! This workshop was such a huge blessing to me, it really gave me a chance to look at myself differently as a photographer, to see that what I do has great value. This workshop in so many ways put the sparkle back in my eye I’ve loved photography for years but lately just got lost in the motion instead of seeing what was right in front of me. Joy shared from her heart and taught us again to look with our hearts at what we were capturing.” – Jamie Costea, J. Costea Photography
“The workshop was amazing! Joy was so open and transparent about everything! I learned tons about my business and clarity on how to go from pre production to post production smoothly. I can’t wait for the opportunity to learn more from her.” – Candice Onken
“I came to the workshop tired, running on empty and truthfully hadn’t picked up my camera in a few months. But the second I got to the country, I could feel my creativity coming back and I was excited to learn as much as I could from the you and the other participants. I have had a very small business for the past couple of years but I came away from the workshop with lots of ideas for what to do (and not to do!) as I slowly grow the business and develop my style. I have hundreds of photos to add to my portfolio. Joy was an open book, completely honest and willing to share business tips, techniques and answer any questions that the ladies had during the weekend. I came away feeling refreshed, like I had been on a creative retreat, and that is exactly what I needed during this busy season of my life.” – Kelli Duhaney
“The workshop was an inspiring experience and well worth the long journey (from NEW ZEALAND!), I loved every minute of it. Joy is an extremely talented photographer and a woman who has so much knowledge to share. She is very passionate about her art and has learned through experience how to keep this passion alive and not let the business overwhelm your life. Being part of this workshop is not just about the 2 days of intense learning but a lifetime of friendships with people who share your love for photography. It’s also about creating a network of people you can communicate with when you have questions or ideas, and this alone is invaluable. This was a truly rewarding couple of days and I hope one day in the future to be able participate in another of Joy’s workshops.” – Bailey Phillips
thank you so much, my sweet photographer friends for sharing your words and your hearts. also, one of the attendees made a short video of her experience in small clips of the workshop and i thought it was so cool that she did it and wanted to share it… click here if you would like to view amanda’s workshop video!
*ALSO… big, BIG props to our workshop sponsors that contributed valuable products and discounts to the attendees – thank you!!! we love Design Aglow, WHCC Pro Photo Lab, Ketti Handbags, Paint the Moon Actions, Wild Sorbet Frames, Pure Photo, Sprinkle Baby Vintage, Sweet Violet Jane & Blu Domain Websites!
AND NOW FOR THE PHOTOS FROM THE WEEKEND!!! there are a variety of images from our various shooting locations in round top and also a few of each themed shoot but i will also be posting a full blog of all my images from each session later but these were just a few of my favorites and shots of the attendees in action for now!
our indoor meeting place for instruction was in the carriage room at the belle mansion and then we had meals under the outdoor patio surrounded by these amazing twisted vines that had grown around it over the years – it was so magical in the evenings with the dreamy light and the warm wind.our first instructional themed shoot – a couple’s shoot based on the simplicity of the country and vintage lace (models were the beautiful married couple, hunter and brittany). photographed on the grounds of the belle mansion at sunrise!our second shoot of newborn atticus and his adorable siblings, harrison & gracylu. the first few images taken at the belle mansion.we then headed over to the infamous festival hill for the rest of the newborn shoot. we constructed a “hot air balloon” i had dreamed up made of paper mache for this special shoot (a big thanks to my incredible husband, donny, for not sleeping and making 3 of these until we got one to stay intact)! our third themed photo session of the smith family! we were going for a 1950’s ice cream parlor feel but with more of a country vibe (using a vintage bike converted to an ice cream cart) and lots of crafted props. photographed at rachel ashwell’s the prairie (a dream location)!these last few images were taken by some of the attendees from over the weekend. SO many stunningly wonderful images came out of the weekend from all the attendees that i wish i could post them all but these were just a few of some action i missed myself…
*if you are a professional photographer and are interested in attending an upcoming workshop, please visit the workshop website here for more information! our next workshop will be held next month (june 7th-9th) down in julian, california is now completely full but we will be opening registration SOON for our upcoming soon-to-be-announced november 2011 workshop to be held at a private farm estate in santa barbara, ca!!! stay tuned for updates here on the blog once we open up registration and don’t hesitate to email with any interest. thanks so very much!