Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Woman's Retreats | BTS Imagery | COED Retreat | Workshops!

Well, the time has come, friends!

My first woman's photography & wellness retreat concluded just a few weeks ago, and let me just say this: It was a weekend to remember. There are fun weekends, but this was something different. These are not only incredibly fun, but also moving and intimate weekends. You will come as a stranger (I did) and you will leave with a bunch of best friends. I am quite sure all who came not only left inspired with a renewed perspective, new images, and some 'oomph', but also as good friends. There is something almost magical when a bunch of women gather, that are like minded, to create and to renew and it was an honor to have led that and to have been able to be a part of it. Thank you to my new friends Merrilyn, Sam, Lianne, Ella, Brooke and Karrah for being the brave first few. I adore each of you, to pieces.

So, I'm going to hop right in, as I have so much to cover regarding this last retreat (including the BTS imagery which really speaks for itself) as well as touch on the next retreat and even on next years COED weekend. I'm excited for these upcoming events, and it's my hope that through offering these few upcoming weekends that I get to meet as many of you as possible, who are looking to connect and grow through life and through creating imagery, in a forum that is founded on no pressure and getting back to one's roots, as you reconnect with yourself and with your creativity.

As of this blog post, enrollment is officially open for both retreats, and spaces are already becoming limited for both.

So, let's get to it. There are so many images and I think they are a better narrative than much of what I could say without them. Is a picture worth a thousand words? In this case, I think so. :)

~ Taken at my first Woman's Retreat, May 13-16th, 2o11 ~


So, when is the next Women's Retreat?

*When: October 28th - October 31st, 2011 (a friday night - monday morning)

*Where: Retreats take place on the North Shore of Minnesota (Lake Superior) in a luxury 3500 sq. ft. cabin that offers three bedrooms, three baths, a private beach, expansive views of the lake, a flat screen television, jacuzzi, and fireplace. Additional cabins of the same description will be added depending on the number of registrants.

The location, while luxury, is also very remote and at the mouth of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (one of my favorite places on Earth). To get a better idea of the atmosphere of the Boundary Waters and to see imagery of the actual cabins we stayed/stay in, please view THIS BLOG where I go into depth about the atmosphere of the Earth up there as well as the landscape.

*Tuition: $800.00/person or if you are willing to bunk w/ someone (yes you can come in a group of two / come with a friend ;) for $950.00, you are able to split the cost of attending down the middle, bringing each of your individual costs for the WHOLE weekend down to $475.00 per person.

*Deposit: Half of tuition is due to at time of registration to secure your spot. Once registered you will be sent a welcome packet as well as a Q&A regarding your weekend. Once fully paid you will be sent the address to our location. The retreat locations are kept a secret to not only ensure our safety, but also to maintain the intimacy and integrity of these weekends. The rest of tuition is due no later than 3 weeks prior to the event. I wanted to post this early enough (still 5 months away!) to give everyone a chance to have this be affordable, allowing enough time to secure your spot and pay the rest down the road.

*What's the layout of the weekend?

Friday: Arrival. You will be able to arrive and settle into the cabin as you enjoy a home made dinner with views of the lake. The food during this weekend is delicious and fresh. Several attendees from the first retreat have requested I put together a 'retreats cookbook'. ;)

Saturday: A day of wellness. The morning begins with a home made breakfast and then introductions, as we get to know one another and enter into our weekend. The day is filled with wellness activities led by myself and designed to allow you to not only unwind, but also to get back in touch w/ yourself. The process of creating (imo) is very tightly wound with being able to connect with who you are, and so Day 1 is all about who you are and renewing that connection. In life we often lose that link with how fast life tends to flow with things like work and being overworked and deadlines. That's also why I've chosen such a remote location; so that it really does give you a 72 hour break from life and the opportunity to recharge. We all need it to be better photographers and we all deserve it. After a homemade lunch, we finish introductions and continue wellness activities and a few secret things I have planned, while each person gets the opportunity for a massage. We head into the evening with an incredibly good (and again homemade) dinner, before a night of another top secret activity ;)


A day of shooting!

After our homemade breakfast, you can watch as my MUA and model prepare for our long day of shooting. Once ready, I will lead the group, allowing attendees to watch how I shoot and watch how I work with a model, before everyone gets their own opportunity to shoot as well. My MUA/MODEL/LOCATION/PROPS are all provided. I bring a widely adaptable idea to the shoot, with many props and areas to shoot so that you are allowed to mold it into your own concept, very easily. I also will teach (as this is how I shoot) a variety of my favorite natural lighting techniques and teach you how to make the most of shooting on location, regardless of time of day, and natural lighting elements/challenges.

After shooting wraps, we head back inside for a homemade dinner (these days are long and fun and you are going to be hungry) and a night of editing.

Monday: After we wake and enjoy our last homemade meal, there's another very quick top secret activity before you are free to depart as your itinerary demands.

*What does tuition cover?

all meals
retreat materials
wellness activities
shooting/model(s)/location/makeup artistry/wardrobe, etc...

*What doesn't tuition cover?

travel to and from the location (ie: gas/airfare/driving/etc...)
phone calls from the cabin


A few shots made by attendees at my first woman's retreat!

My image from the retreat ... (& thank you to Karrah for being such a great model!)

photo below by: Ella Grace Bell

photos below by Sam Nandez

photo below by merrilyn romen

photos below by Lianne Viau

photo below by Brooke Anne Reynolds

For those who would like to participate in my next all women's retreat, please email me: or feel free to message me on facebook or RSVP TO THIS GROUP

Spaces available: 7-14

My last event sold out in just under 24 hours, and I anticipate this one will book very quickly.
I have increased the number of available spots to allow more people to attend as well as to allow people to come in groups of two if they choose.


***Now, just to touch on my COED retreat.

My COED retreat will take place in MAY of 2012. (exact dates, tbd)
Tuition is the same ($800.00)
The format will differ slightly from these all women retreats to better accommodate the needs of a COED group.

I am accepting deposits now for my COED retreat, as well.

Spaces available for coed retreat: 5-7

Please email: or message me on facebook to secure your spot.



I will be accepting deposits for workshops within the week, so please stay tuned.

Workshops will range between 3-400 dollars and will be one on one in 4 areas of focus and will take place over several sessions online over a course of several days. If you'd like to secure your spot for a workshop, deposit is half of the course fee. Thus far, I have nearly 400 workshop signups, so these offerings will be first come, first serve the moment they become available.

Please email me at: to secure your spot w/ a deposit.
Workshops are more intensive (teaching/interacting/lesson plans/FUN) and are able to be taken from anywhere in the world, for those who cannot travel, and who desire to follow a specific curriculum. retreats are more hands on. workshops are more intensive, masterclasses.

Again, I will be blogging about full details of workshops (likely tomorrow or friday) but feel free to message to put down a deposit, securing your place in line.

Ash x

Thank you!


aishaladon said...

Your workshops sound fabulous. Im in California with two children. I wish you had some of your workshops online, maybe youtube video tutorials about lighting and concept development.

I am really struggling with figuring out who I am as a photographer and conceptualizing that visually. Any suggestions or resources. I think I want to do still fine art for people to decorate their homes, but I'm not sure. I have only done portraits in the past, and have lack of inspiration here in Sacramento. :(

Need to travel. :)

Lilibeth said...

Hi, my name is Beth currently working as a virtual Assistant.
I really like your collections.

tduarte said...

I agree with aishaladon!
Im a photographer too and looking at the making-of pictures i was wondering, the improvised diffuser that youre using to soften the sunlight, is a piece of fabric or paper?