The Delight Photography Business Retreat – My Experience

In September last year I received an exciting email from the wonderful Vicki Knights, a child & family photographer who I have been following for several years. In it she announced all the details of her workshop retreat for child / family photographers and asked if I was interested in signing up. To say I was excited was an understatement as I’d been waiting a while to find out more, so needless to say I signed up there and then.

Fast forward 7 months later and I was on my way to Florence House, in Seaford, East Sussex. It’s a beautiful venue with lovely grounds and within walking distance to the beach and cliffs.

I was a little bit apprehensive as I had never been on a workshop like this before and was worried about what the other photographers would be like, but I couldn’t have asked for nicer women & photographers to spend the next two days with. It was also so nice to finally meet Vicki in person despite being ‘friends’ on social media for several years!!

We were all really looking forward to learning from Vicki and she did not disappoint.  We all received a gorgeous & incredibly comprehensive workbook which Vicki has clearly poured her heart and soul into. It has totally opened my eyes as to how to run a successful business.   Vicki also gave us a wonderful branding book signed by the author, Fiona Humbertstone.

Vicki’s right-hand woman was the fab Vicky Holmes who dealt with any queries we had and spent time following us around taking the ‘Behind the Scenes’ shots, see below for some of her photos showing what we got up to on the retreat.

The Delight Retreat - Vicky Holmes_0001

The first day was spent on how to find our style and branding. We were really lucky with the weather too and managed to sit out in the gorgeous grounds in small groups to discuss our business.  In the evening, the on site chefs cooked us a wonderful meal of chicken and leek pie, with sweet potato and spring onion mash followed by Eton Mess. Vicki had also made sure there was enough wine, prosecco & some vodka for me to get the evening going 🙂

The second day involved talking about marketing, again so many tips and ideas from Vicki.  After lunch, as the weather was so glorious, we all had a walk to the beach and had a very steep climb up to the cliff tops!! The views were breath-taking so definitely worth it. Here are some of my Instagram photos from the walk!!

Kent Family Photographer

After recovering from the steep walk, we spent the afternoon discussing pricing, products and aspects of shooting and running a session.  At the end of the day, we were really fortunate to watch Vicky and see how she runs a typical outdoor family session.  We were also able to take our own photos at the same time and I was so impressed with how unfazed the whole family were with not only Vicki taking photos but 11 other photographers following them around with their big cameras!! It was such good fun!! We shot on the grounds and then had a walk down to the beach.  The hotel dog decided to join in on the action as well and kept photo bombing the session which the two kids thought was hilarious!

Here are some photos of the family that I took on the shoot.

Tomsett Family - Tenterden Family Photographer_0001Tomsett Family - Tenterden Family Photographer_0002Kent Portrait Photographer

That evening we all enjoyed another scrumptious meal with more wine & prosecco with some of us staying up late chatting.  On the final morning we had the opportunity to watch Vicki as she ran through how she would approach a baby shoot at home. Again both the couple and baby were quite happy to be snapped away by 12 photographers. A blog post will follow soon of this gorgeous little girl & her mummy & daddy.

Also included in the retreat was a head shot of each of us taken by Vicki and a 1-2-1 sit down to discuss anything we wanted relating to our business.   I was so sad when the retreat was over and we all had to head home! There’s so much to take in and I’ll be spending the next few weeks & months putting it all into practice.  The problem with spending time with a load of photographers is that inevitably you end up talking about new kit so a new lens purchase might be required 😉 all in the name of business of course!!

If you are a child or family photographer I could not recommend this retreat enough, whether you are just starting out with your business or have been in business for a few years but want to take it to the next level, this retreat will not disappoint you!! I know Vicki is hoping to run another one in the Autumn so head on over to her website to get yourself signed up!

Thank you Vicki, Vicky and all the lovely photographer friends I have made for a wonderful few days!

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