“The retreat was an amazing experience. Vicki is totally transparent sharing her own path to success in a humble and warm fashion. She also provides really lovely detailed workbooks, 1-2-1 sessions, headshot sessions and beautiful families for us to photograph.
Chuck in a group of lovely photographers, an amazing venue & food, prosecco, yoga and spa treatments…a total recipe for success!
Thank you Vicki, I learnt so much, made new friends, had lots of fun and left feeling invigorated and motivated to take my business to the next level.”
Clare Walpole Photography
Nearly 3 weeks ago I ran my 2017 Delight Retreat for professional family and child photographers and we had the best time! This was the third Delight Retreat that I’ve had the pleasure of running, you can see more from the first one I ran in April 2016 in this blog post and the one in Nov 2016 in this blog post.
If you’re a family/child photographer who loves the look of this retreat and are keen to know when the next one is, please read right to the bottom of this post as I’ve just opened up bookings for my next Delight Retreat in September 2018. I’d love you to join us!
So let’s start with the venue. As soon as I walk into Florence House I feel a sense of calm wash over me. It really has a lovely feel to it. It is just perfect for the retreat as it’s walking distance to the beach and cliffs so we don’t have to get in our cars for the whole 3 days.
Plus everyone gets their own bedroom and all 3 meals are cooked for us by an amazing chef, what a treat!
We had all been chatting in a private Facebook group before the retreat, so it felt like I knew everyone before they arrived! After a cuppa and a chat it was time to get started.
All of the photographers were welcomed by a personalised package of my 170 page workbook and a branding book as a little gift from me.
We spent the first afternoon getting into ‘finding your unique style’ and branding. There were lots of breakouts and lightbulb moments as everyone got a much deeper insight into their style and themselves.
All of these behind the scenes photos were taken by the lovely Emily from Emily Kathleen Photography who was my right-hand woman for the 3 days. Emily came on my first retreat last April so I was delighted to welcome her back!
We were so lucky with the weather considering it was mid-September. So for our breakouts we were able to sit outside in the beautiful grounds.
Then at around 5pm we finished the training for the day and picked up our cameras as I had organised a couple of family shoots for the evening. We started with the gorgeous Essie who you might remember modelled for us at my last retreat.
Here are the photos that Emily took of us photographing Essie around the grounds of Florence House.
And here are the photos that I was taking!
Then we strolled down to the beach and carried on the shoot there. You may know that shooting on the beach when the sun is shining is not the easiest of scenarios! But luckily as we were shooting at golden hour the light was nice and soft and Essie was just a star throughout. Here are Emily’s photos of us all shooting on the beach…
And here are the photos I took of gorgeous Essie on the beach.
Then it was time for our 2nd shoot on the beach, this time with brother and sister Ella & Soul…you may also recognise them from my first retreat last year!
Check out the positions us photographers get ourselves into to get the right shot!
Here are the gorgeous Ella & Soul…
Here we are on the beach at the end of the shoots, with lots of 70-200 lenses!
It was then back to the house for some much-deserved glasses of bubbly, a gorgeous dinner and lots of photography chat.
We had a baby shoot organised for the next morning so that the group could see how I would approach a typical family shoot at home. What a treat it was! The baby girl was just adorable and literally sat posing and looking around the 10 cameras…what a star!
Here are some of the behind the scenes shots that Emily took of the shoot.
Here are some of the photos that I took indoors. I demonstrated some different lighting techniques such as side window lighting and backlighting.
Then we went outside in the grounds so I could demonstrate how I pick different backdrops for lots of variety in the shoot.
We spent the rest of the morning talking about marketing then followed by another lovely lunch.
There is a lot of info to take in during the marketing and pricing sections of the training, so to give our brains a rest, we went for an invigorating walk up the cliffs. It’s a bit of a tough climb up but the views are worth it from the top!
As you can see it was pretty windy up there, as demonstrated by Penny’s hair on the left!
Then after more training, it was time for to enjoy some lovely wines and a delicious dinner. It was so lovely to see the whole group bonding and being so supportive to each other.
On our final day I had booked a sunrise yoga class for 7am…I was amazed that everyone turned up to this, especially after a late night for some! Here is the view that we had from the room.
We decided not to photograph the yoga class as none of us fancied being photographed in downward dog! 😉
The yoga class was really good and just what we needed to set ourselves up for the day ahead. As important as the training is, it’s also essential that everyone had some down time to really think and absorb everything we had gone through in the training sessions and breakouts.
We then had a beauty therapist come to the house so some of the ladies enjoyed some massages and facials while I was shooting headshots.
Included in the price of the retreat is a shiny new headshot taken by me. Not only is it great to have an up to date headshot of yourself to use on your website & social media, I feel like it’s also a really valuable experience for photographers to see how it feels on the other side of the lens. All of the ladies said they were nervous about it and that it was the only part of the retreat that they weren’t looking forward to! But their nerves soon disappeared and now they all have lovely new headshots to use, so it was worth it!
Here are some of the behind the scenes photos of our headshot sessions.
Lots of people have commented on my ‘brand colour’ jeans….teal happens to also be my favourite colour so I didn’t actually try to style myself in my brand colours, but I’m glad it looks planned!
And here are their new headshots. What an inspiring group of ladies they are (who also appear to be fans of the colour blue!)
And of course not forgetting my lovely right hand woman Emily. I made sure she wasn’t behind the lens the whole time!
Emily also took some new photos of me, thanks Emily!
I also include a 15 minute 1-21 session with me during the retreat. This is where I am able to offer bespoke advice to each person and ensure that they are clear on what they need to do in order to get their business to where they want it to be.
After more training in the morning where I talked through everything to do with shooting and how to ensure every shoot is a success, it was time for lunch and to say our goodbyes!
Thank you SO much to all of the photographers who attended…for your enthusiasm, warmth and support of one another. And thank you for trusting me to deliver an amazing few days for you.
It’s so satisfying after I run my Delight Retreat to see everyone continue to talk and support each other in the Facebook groups. I really love seeing how their businesses develop and grow after the retreat.
And thank you to Emily for all of your help and the fab photos!
And now let me hand over to the lovely ladies who attended, here are some of the comments from their feedback forms…..
“What can I say….an amazing learning experience. You have totally inspired me, both professionally and personally.
As well as sharing your knowledge and advice, you have also helped me meet some amazing photographers/friends!
Thank you so much. If I am half as successful as you, I will be very proud!”
Caroline Thornton Photography
“Really, really enjoyed this time away. So much to think about and action. Great company and great teaching. So much effort in the workbook and attention to detail. Food and accommodation has been amazing!
Vicki is inspiring! She is so good at what she does and now is so happy to share that gift with others. She really listened to everyone and got to know and understand everyone’s business.
The retreat left me feeling invigorated and ready to get my business into action. Thank you Vicki for your warm-hearted approach to teaching others.”
Hannah Robertson Photography
“What can I say? An amazing few days with a lovely bunch of ladies.
Vicki’s attention to detail, experience and wealth of knowledge is second to none and I have learnt so much. I can’t wait to put it into practise.
So sad it has come to an end, I loved every minute!”
Gemma Morgan Photography
“The retreat was lovely and just what I needed! Just fantastic to spend a few days concentrating really hard on all aspects of my business.
Vicki shared so much, it’s been invaluable. I’ve loved every minute and feel so much more confident now.
Fab group of ladies too – we’ll all be friends now having shared this experience together.”
Sara Dalrymple Photography
“Amazing! So many great ideas. Loved meeting the other photographers and having time to chat photography. The workbook is just brilliant – it contains so much useful, practical information to help in running a business. Practical tasks to do rather than just endless information.
Really enjoyed the photo shoots. And loved Florence House, just a gorgeous place to spend time away from stresses of normal life and the food was fab.
Thank you Vicki, this was everything I could have hoped for and more!”
Cheryl George Photography
“What an amazing experience! Vicki is so warm and open about all aspects of her business. The content of the course covers everything…and more than I ever imagined.
I’m leaving feeling inspired and motivated to take my business to the next level. The group of ladies are so lovely, the venue & food are fab.
Really recommend this retreat, it’s a true delight!”
Clare Walpole Photography
“Really fantastic! It has been so refreshing to come away and focus on my business, and Vicki has been SO inspirational. I feel like I really know what I need to be doing now and I feel motivated to do it.
I’ve loved meeting everyone on the retreat and have had so much fun. I wish I didn’t have to go home! Thank you so so much.”
Penny Brogan Photography
“I loved it! I am leaving feeling inspired. We have covered so much over the 3 days and Vicki has been so generous with all the information she shared. It will be so useful having the ‘bible’ as a guide when doing the work when I get home.
It really has been a delight!”
Tor Keene Photography
Thank you ladies for your wonderful comments, it really does mean the world to me and makes all of the hard work so very worthwhile!
I really love running this retreat, and have already booked Florence House for my 2018 one!
Are you a professional family/child photographer who would love to join me on the next Delight Retreat? I’ve now opened up bookings for my next retreat which is in the same venue in East Sussex on 26-28 September 2018. Please enter your details below to find out all of the details.
Thank you for reading to the bottom of my very long blog post, I really hope you enjoyed it!