Insta Inspire 2017

On April 28 I left my three sleeping boys in bed and headed to the airport at 3:45 am.  Insane, right?  There's only one reason I would do something that crazy.  To meet up with all the photographers who I admire and am inspired by at the inaugural Insta Inspire retreat.  Held in Stamford, CT, I had the immense honor of speaking to the group and leading a shoot along.  It was a weekend filled with learning and laughter and I am already counting down the days until next year's event!  It was hard to leave my boys for the weekend, but I called the first day to check on them and they had popcorn and ice cream for lunch, so I think they did okay. :)

The very first night of the retreat we made quite the scene pulling up to the beach with a massive coach bus filled with eager photographers, and I'm not sure the locals were exactly happy to see us, but the location was too beautiful and the models were too precious for us to be discouraged.

My girl Whitney Williams leading a maternity shoot along at the beautiful Tod's Point in Greenwich, CT.

My girl Whitney Williams leading a maternity shoot along at the beautiful Tod's Point in Greenwich, CT.

Erica Bowton, the brains behind the retreat, shares some tips with attendees during her Friday night shoot along.

Erica Bowton, the brains behind the retreat, shares some tips with attendees during her Friday night shoot along.

I could use a lot more beach hair like this in my life.

I could use a lot more beach hair like this in my life.

I was sad and a little anxious to leave my family for the weekend, but a view like this can make a girl feel better real quick.

I was sad and a little anxious to leave my family for the weekend, but a view like this can make a girl feel better real quick.

Saturday was a jam-packed day of hands on learning with panels, presentations, and editing workshops, oh my!  I walked through my editing process to show attendees how I got from this image...

To this image!

Later in the afternoon, I spoke about how to "Beat the Boring" in your photography.  We started off with a fun photography personality quiz and then spent the next half hour or so talking through some things you can do with your shooting when you're feeling bored or in a rut.  We talked about incorporating emotion and humor into your photos, learning new photography tricks like the ring of fire and freelensing, how to change up your perspective and how to shoot and edit with deep shadows and silhouettes.

That evening I had the pleasure of leading a shoot along with about 13 other photographers.  It was the perfect evening to spend chasing a sweet brother and sister around on their bikes and capturing them playing and twirling in one of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen.  

 

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And finally, all the instructors!  It's funny how we are all photographers with cameras always in reach, yet the only photo we got together was this iPhone snapshot!  Still, I'm grateful for it.  This was Friday night, and I know I'm not the only who got up at an absurd hour, so it's a wonder we were all even awake at dinner time. 

What a great time learning from these ladies and I am so thankful they took time out of their lives and away from their kids to spend the weekend with us!  Looking forward to the next time we are all together again!