everything is awesome | The Awesome Workshop 2016

Normally I fire off blog posts like nobody's business.

But I am struggling for words to do justice to our gathering of 15 amazing women this past weekend in Madison CT... so let me just start typing and hope they come...

Over a year ago, I approached Molly Flanagan and Kellie Hatcher to join forces with me to do an in-person workshop. It was to be my first 'hosted' workshop and I had been an admirer of those two ladies for years.

So we began planning. The toughest part? What the heck to call it!

After going through countless name ideas and lots of argui...errrrr.. I mean debating about it, we just said, shoot, let's call it the Awesome Workshop and make it really.freaking.awesome.

We were blessed to have the seats sold out within seconds. Most of which were filled with our alumni of students whom we all had met before in classes we taught... which made this gathering that much more special.

I mean, think about this crazy age we live in where we forge relationships with folks we never even have met 'officially.'  To be able to finally meet our online students rocked.

And speaking of rocking... the house. THE LIGHT. Molly was the first to arrive and she said she was floored. She got to see my reaction as I ran up and down the stairs literally with her kids in tow and saying, 'wait, stand there, holy heck this LIGHT!!!!' Kellie's reaction when she arrived? Exactly the same.

The house couldn't have had any better light for a photographer. Period end of story.

We spent the next day and a half doing site reviews, Lightroom, business, discussing social media, critiquing images from each student, and really getting to know our similarities and sometimes (and even more important) our differences in shooting and our take on photography.

By far my favorite part of the teaching was the actual shooting where we broke out the attendees into groups of five and each went with an instructor to shoot with us in round robin style.  It gave them a chance to see how differently we see and approach our subjects and the light. What is more important to one is less important to another and that it's OK.  I loved seeing the a-ha moments and giving them some tips on how to keep engagement up with the kids (which was my focus).

From a personal standpoint though, the attendees found something i can guarantee most didn't realize- connection with fellow photographers on a level WAY deeper than any Facebook group could bring them. In the end photography is about connecting. And by nature, we as humans crave that... and the fact that it came up in the feedback from them that it was an unexpected gift? Well, that is pretty darn awesome.

Here's a glimpse into the food, fun, work and amazing women who made this weekend possible.

xx girls.

© all images jennifer tonetti spellman except the teaching images of me which were taken by MIALYNNphotography