Photography Retreat: Pot Luck Pow Wow 2013

Jun 27, 2013 | For Photographers, Personal

A couple of weeks ago, I got together with some of my best friends in the photography world – and, to be quite honest, some of my best friends anywhere – for a little vacationing, a little learning, and a whole lot of fun. The Pot Luck Pow Wow. Back in November, at the Foundation Conference, a few of us were talking one night about how it would be nice to see each other outside of the conventions and workshops where we met, and spend a little more time getting to know each other. Conversations like that often end up going nowhere, but I was determined to make it happen, and with a little push from another group that I spent time with at the Foundation Workshop in January, we started drawing up some plans.

Before long, we had a house in the Hamptons that was bursting at the seams with excited wedding photographers from all over the US – and one from the UK – ready to spend a week together. Each attendee was asked to present on a topic, and I talked about client meetings and the initial contact process. I learned a LOT over the week, and several of us agreed that it had been the most useful “conference” that we had ever attended. Not only that, but the takeaways were huge, and I’m already using many of the tips given that week.

Anyway, I mostly want to share a few photos from the week. I left my pro equipment in the closet, and instead shot with my iPhone and Fujifilm X-Pro 1. The group shot above is courtesy of awesome Cleveland, OH wedding photographers Genevieve and James; most of the rest are mine.

Some silly stuff from the driveway of our rental house. Fellow Brit Mike, and Fresno wedding photographer Mark above, Gulnara below:

Things didn’t get any less silly when we headed out to the beach … Joe, James and Chicago wedding photographer Steve posed for their boy band photo, as Britney creeped into my frame:

Beautiful, happy Aga:

Just like at weddings, we decided we needed some group photos of all the guys, and all the girls. I have no idea what these boys are doing, but it made us laugh … and I love this next one after the group jump, with Mike running and falling towards me:

My dear friend, roomy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago wedding photographer Candice took this snap of me back at the house. I’d love to know whose hat this is, as I’d quite like one for myself!

Our evenings were spent either hot tubbing or around a fire. I love this photo of James and Genevieve snuggled up by the fire pit that they brought all the way from Cleveland.

San Diego wedding photographer Ed Atrero and Mike, again. One of my biggest take homes from the week was an off camera lighting tip from Ed. I put it into practice at my wedding on Saturday, and my reception lighting has never looked better. Thank you Ed!

In the background of this next photo is Caroline, one half of the hugely talented Austin Wedding photography duo Caroline + Ben.

We had some crazy weather that week, but one of my favorite afternoons was when a group of us took a windy walk on the beach. Love this photo by Joe of me and my ladies – Gulnara, Nadine and Candice.

Gulnara above, and below, two of my absolute besties, Jenny and Candice. The rope writing on the wall behind them says “Bliss” – the perfect word to describe this amazing week.

This final photo is my “teaser” from Ed, who very kindly offered to shoot my portrait after I requested some headshots. He was shooting film, but this was a quick shot from his digital “light meter” camera. I absolutely love it! Thank you, dear friends, for a week of love and inspiration. I miss you all tons, and can’t wait to see you at the next gathering, wherever and whenever that may be. And here’s to the next Pot Luck Pow Wow … cheers!


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