I got really excited when I signed up for this past weekend’s retreat and workshop with the wonderful chef and photographer behind the blog Cannelle & Vanille. Aran Goyoaga’s photographs are so beautiful, soft, colourful and appetizing. She has a consistent and seamless style throughout her blog. More than anything I was extremely excited to see her process. She is becoming a lot more well known teaching workshops around the world and shooting for Coastal Living magazine and Whole Living Magazine.
I signed up for this workshop specifically to learn from her, but didn’t realize just how much more I would get out of it. The workshop was hosted by a creative retreat called The Makerie in Boulder, Colorado. I felt so lucky to be able to travel somewhere for the weekend and have the whole experience feel refreshing and new. The Makerie is such a beautiful and meaningful event. Women of all ages gather from around the world for this two-day retreat, some are professionals, others just want a getaway with some fellow creatives.
There were 6 different workshops running at the same time at the Colorado Chautauqua. Chautauqua is a series of small cabins first built in the 1890’s that are grouped together at the base of the Flat Iron mountain, which looks down over the town of Boulder. Chautauqua was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This one in Boulder is one of the few remaining still in continuous operation. “The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day.” These are the Rocky Mountains, and therefore the town is actually situated at 5400 feet above sea level. I had to get adjusted to the high altitude, but I can tell you it felt really healthy and the cool mountain air was so refreshing. Our workshop with Aran took place in a neighbouring town at the Lyons Farmette, where they host weddings and farm-to-table dinners throughout the summer. We got to use their kitchen space and cook & style the food together in one large group.
Being a photographer & artist can sometimes feel like a lonely profession when a lot of what you do is in your own head. Even when shooting people, eventually you come back home to your desk and your creative time is quite lonely. Grouping together with fellow artists, photographers & designers was so nice to experience. Discussing the trials and tribulations of working as a freelancer, how a change of scenery can affect your perspective, how time like this to reflect on what you’re doing and help to motivate you is sometimes just what you need.
I am so glad I chose to do this and I know it will help to fuel me for the rest of 2013 in the way I approach what I shoot, and remind me why I love it so much!