I went on my very first retreat back in 2018. He[art] Of Home, run by the lovely Clare Barker-Wells and Yasmina Cowan was a fantastic introduction to in-person learning with a small group of like-minded female photographers.
Hosted in an amazing house in the Cotswolds, we all arrived as strangers and left with the best group of cheerleaders I've ever known, I even found a brand new photo bestie!
For those of you who know me from This Detailed Life, you'll be aware that Kirsty Hamilton is my Deputy Editor (and go-to gal for any wobble/question/crisis AND she makes the best roomie!)
We travelled to Chicago together last year for Click Away and had the BEST time! She was even my date for the Uckfield Business Awards when my husband had to be out of town and she made me look extra glamourous with a pre-event sunset session outside our hotel room!
She even hired me to photograph her gorgeous family before I niched down to brand photography!
Enough about Kirsty though, as much as I love her, she wasn't the only good thing to come out of the HoH retreat!
Truth be told, at that time, I'd have paid anything just for 3 nights away to myself! Twin toddlers were all consuming and I craved this time for me and my budding business. As well as time for me, I also came away with a renewed energy for my photography, both personal and business.
My review of HoH in 2018:
"It has easily been the most inspiring weekend for my photography, in both a personal and business sense, this year! The venue was amazing, the advice, learning opportunities and sheer volume of information being shared was immense. It was such a great investment and for a 3 night stay in a beautiful house with a dozen new friends (and a hot tub) with the majority of food (and wine!) included, it was fantastic value even without including all of the educational aspects from two truly talented photographers. Clare and Yas are both amazing teachers and just such wonderful, generous people. I'm still learning since the workshop and they (and my fellow attendees) are all there to offer advice and give a once over to anything new we've all been trying. We've become each others' cheerleaders and sympathetic ears, I'm so lucky to have met them all!
My first session since the workshop was my favourite ever, I loved it and am thrilled with the results, as was my client! I'm brimming with ideas and have loved seeing my clients cry happy tears over what I've captured when viewing their photos for the first time.
There's a fire in my belly and true excitement over where I can take my photography since taking this workshop, my confidence has been boosted no end and I am loving it! Can't wait for the alumni meet up next year!"
Talk about fired up, I was desperate to get home and start building on my newfound knowledge and skills! And this is what we want for you too!
Our retreat is of course rather different, being aimed at a distinct audience and with a lot more colour. We're not trying to copy anything they did (far from it, we're trying to create something unique), other than culturing that same sense of community and friendships.
One of the things that is similar is the shared sense of community which includes shared rooms. We're aware that it's not for everyone and that's why we will have at least one private room available but we hope you will embrace the camaraderie we envisage for our house.
I personally chose a shared room at HoH, despite needing space from my own family, I knew I wanted that community vibe to continue as much as possible over the 4 days and I relished the feeling of a girls' holiday vibe! Plus, it was cheaper!
Truth be told, at times I did need feel the need to be more introverted or find some space alone, there was plenty of space to take myself off to. Ditto for our retreat, we respect that everyone might need some more privacy over the 4 days and our house has plenty of room to spread out. And if you really want to be alone, you can always head 200m to the beach for a stroll by the sea (or just lock yourself in one of the bathrooms!) 😆
I'll leave you with a collection of photos of various days out since the retreat with a few of the other amazing friends I made there. My heart is full and I can't wait to meet more new photography besties!
We cant wait to share more info about the chameleon retreat with you (did you spot a clue above??)
If you're not already on the waiting list, sign up here to get all the news first including early bird access when we release the tickets!