I believe it’s extremely important, as a photographer, to continually learn and develop (pardon the pun) my photography skills. I attend various courses each year for this sole purpose. Recently I went on a photography retreat hosted by Live in Love Photography and Splash Photography over on South Stradbroke Island staying at the fantastic Ramada Couran Cove resort.
I was super excited about spending the weekend with a group of girlfriends who also happen to be a ‘bunch of photographers’ (I wonder if there’s a name for that?!) guaranteeing it was going to be a weekend jam packed with fun, food & photography skills.
After we had settled into our gorgeous accommodation we headed to Spa Island for sustenance and a brief run-through about the weekend ahead.
We grabbed our gear and headed off on an orientation walk around the resort. Wandering through the rainforest and ending up on the beach. The first ‘brief’ I received was to ‘see’ everyday objects and look for a new angle or way to photograph them. Sounds easy, right? They tell you it’s a ‘brief’ but then giggle that they renamed it from ‘challenge’ so we wouldn’t think it was too hard to achieve!
We were treated with a stunning sunset that afternoon as the sun set over the water. Our photography ‘brief’ (aka challenge) was to capture a silhouette.
Of course with a retreat, it can’t all be about the craft. Food, fun and fantastic company is also hard to beat. We all met up for dinner, in what is aptly named The Restaurant, to enjoy some fine wine, fabulous food and great company.
After dinner we had a tutorial on smoke photography. I can assure you there was more fits of laughter than photos taken and although I’m sworn to secrecy about what had us giggling like school girls, let me just say I’ll never be able to ‘bang’ into a table again without laughing out loud… Our smoke photography session went into the early hours of the morning but eventually we all crawled into bed dreading the alarms that would wake us for sunrise in just a few short hours.
I think I managed about 3 hours of sleep before I was tapped on the shoulder and woken up for our scheduled sunrise photo shoot – for those that know me, you’ll know that I don’t wake up before coffee and given coffee was not on offer (that would have required waking up even earlier), I was pretty hard to drag out of bed. While travelling to the eastern side of the island in the dark with the moon still visible all I could think was ‘this better be worth it…’ I am happy to say it was well and truly worth it – the predawn was glorious and the sunrise displayed intense purples, pinks and oranges. Even while my eyes felt like they were half closed, I was thankful for getting up to witness this scene.
After sunrise we went back to the resort to download images and enjoy some breakfast. After a delicious and filling breakfast and my much needed coffee, we returned to the beach exploring the water’s edge and into the sand dunes.
I’m happy to say the weekend continued like this; more food, photography ‘briefs’, fun, laughter and at the end of it all a sense of achievement and images I’m proud of.
I highly recommend the Live In Love Photography and Splash Photography Weekend Retreat, it delivers amazing food and photography tutorials at a perfect pace – time for looking, shooting, improving, processing. Sheryn and Anita were constantly on hand to assist, guide and introduce new techniques both in camera and during our post processing sessions.
To finish off a perfect weekend we all sat around enjoying the outlook from the deck and sharing our photo adventures (and maybe we had a cocktail or two just to celebrate such a lovely weekend away).
This retreat certainly delivers on food, fun & photography and with their next photography retreat scheduled for Friday 25th – Sunday 27th July 2014 you’d be mad to miss it. To enquire or book into the retreat contact the girls: Sheryn@liveinlovephotography.com.au or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell them I sent you along 🙂
Until next week,