A few weekends ago I had the opportunity to do something totally outside of my comfort zone. Now you might be thinking rock climbing or white water rafting… or something equally as challenging. It actually wasn’t anything physical or outdoorsy (which would also be outside of my comfort zone). But this was equally as terrifying. I decided to go to a photography workshop. Why would a workshop be outside of my comfort zone, you ask? Well for starters it was a small group of us – about 10 ladies total. None of whom I knew prior to showing up Friday evening. (Terrifying.) Secondly, it involved glamping. Now I camped fairly often as a kid. I’m not foreign to the world of tents and outside cooking. However, it’s just not my preference of activity. When it comes to staying away from home, I like to have the comforts of home. Preferably in a five star hotel room. I really had no idea what I was walking into. What I did know, was that it was being led by the one and only Spanki Mills. That was pretty much all I needed to know. She is a photographer out of Austin who I’ve been following for quite some time. I had been searching for a workshop or mentorship for a while. I felt like I was at the point in my photography journey where I had improved on the technical side of things & really wanted to improve on the artistic side. I was feeling a bit stuck & needed a restart. This weekend provided just that.
We stayed at Green Acres in Elgin, TX. “A boutique glamping retreat for all”, according to their website. That it was. (Click the link to book it for this summer!) I was lucky enough to have the Airstream all to myself (which saved the introvert in me). Being a mom of two, it’s tough to find quiet time to reflect and research and process my photography needs and skills. Having a few days to myself allowed that time. The decor and vibe of the property is something you would see in a hip Austin hotel – complete with BeautyCounter products in the shower, and The Citizenry pillows and rugs. Talk about a dream place to photograph. The land itself is covered in green grass & yellow flowers & comes with its own donkeys and llamas. So. Much. To. Photograph.
The ladies who participated came from Atlanta, Oklahoma, North Carolina,Cali & Dallas. They were encouraging and welcoming and open. I know I can go to any one of them to ask questions about photography or business or marketing and they will take the time to listen & respond. Spanki shared anything & everything. We talked about it all… how to market our business; how to shoot more inspired, connected photos; how to compose emails… everything. It was invaluable to be able to bounce ideas off of other photographers & get valuable feedback. Plus – they were all super cool & super sweet girls! We had so much fun having coffee together in our pjs in the mornings, and wine together in our pjs at night. (While I shot so many photos over the weekend, most of the ones of the property & behind the scenes below were actually with my iPhone.)
I’m so thankful God pointed me to this weekend and so grateful for Spanki sharing her time & talent. I feel energized and ready to do some new work!
I wish we could make this an annual thing, ladies. Can we?
“The Lodge” provided a great indoor meeting space for us when it was raining. And yes, we had technology.
The Spartan sleeps 4, complete with its own kitchen, bathroom & shower.
My sweet Airstream
One of the comfy yurts
The lovely Spanki. (Nikon D750)