Whewwww…where to begin? It’s like we all gave birth last weekend. Seriously! Conception of a concept, growing it to maturity over 10 months, and then straight labor pains getting it off the ground in it’s entirety last Friday and Saturday. Have you ever planned something much bigger than yourself with another couple in a different city for a workshop in yet a DIFFERENT city? It’s not easy…I assure you. But thank goodness we were partnered with Jodi and Kurt Baier of Jodi Miller Photography. I can’t think of better teammates to put an idea into motion and execute it with grace, patience, and professionalism. I felt like ticker tape was going to fall down from the tent ceiling after we said our goodbyes to our INCREDIBLE attendees! We did it!
There is really nothing too new in this industry. Workshops pop up all the time across the country. What makes ours different, did we really “arrive” to a place that made us an authority on the wedding photography industry? NO, I can say that for sure. What I do know is that we made LOTS of mistakes but also LOTS of wise choices. We learned what it is to elbow your way into a saturated industry with integrity, humility and your eye on the prize. Not money or fame….instead, satisfied customers and a clear vision of self. Ryan and I also learned that being “successful” in this industry doesn’t mean you have to be working like dogs and traveling all the time. You indeed can run your business without it running you. You can also have an extremely successful and lucrative business and still be (gasp) PART-TIME! We also wanted to partner with Jodi and Kurt..not only because they are amazing photographers…but they represent what the industry can be on a full-time basis. They are wise beyond their years and we are so proud to call them friends.
We love living and shooting in the south. There is so much that the south boasts that our dear SoCal friends can’t replicate. Although we can get frustrated with our shorter wedding seasons or extremely hot, swampy weather there is much more to celebrate: and celebrate we did! Venn Workshops was born out of the idea that we have much to embrace in The South as well as some unique obstacles to overcome. There is a serious lack of vision in this industry and sadly far too many copycats. What would it look like to break away and grab hold of your vision, create a sound business and utilize this area of the country to its fullest?
It was a no brainer for us to take this idea and plop it dead center in one of the most stunning working plantations I’ve ever seen. Pharsalia Plantation is nestled into the foothills of the Blue Ridge and there is beauty on every side of this hilltop home. Apple orchards out the front, grape vineyards to the east, horses to the west. Garden after beautiful garden line every pathway. It was the perfect setting for this workshop. Foxie and her daughter Maria rolled out the red carpet for our guests. The cuisine was BEYOND!!! The girls are STILL talking about what we ate while we were there for the day.
I’m going to do a few posts about the workshop but I wanted to set the scene for the “why” we chose to do a workshop. These are the bags and journals the girls were given. Kurt made the journals all by himself! He did all the binding as well…..slow clap!
A few “action” shots as the groups rotated around to different styled spots.
There are many more details under the tent to come. It was a glorious way to end the evening and we ate till our bellies exploded. Oh, I can still smell the BBQ pork if I close my eyes….YUM!