The Makelight Retreat : The Inspiration

I am so very excited about the first Makelight Retreat in September. I really do hope that it's the first of many. 

For the past couple of years I have run Makelight Weekends in a beautiful house down in Sussex. I have loved them but they are limited to just 5 people and this year I wanted to bring more people together for a weekend away from everything to really take time out to focus on photography, creativity, our businesses and perhaps most importantly to give ourselves some time for just being. 

Stepping away from our every day gives us chance to reflect, look forward and plan. It also provides the opportunity to connect with ourselves and with each other. I always love the connections and friendships that are made through Makelight, whether it's a workshop in our studio or an online course. Holding a retreat is a very special opportunity to enjoy and benefit from all this over a whole weekend. There is no ticking clock or pressure to squeeze everything in before people have to leave to catch trains or pick up children from school. There is instead time for long conversations, for really learning how the camera works because you can keep asking again and again until the sun goes down and even the next day at breakfast. There is the time for really slowing down, making memories and sharing so much. 

Whenever I teach I am so inspired by the people who come to Makelight. There is so much creativity, energy, wisdom and interest. I always feel so inspired when I teach. I feel like I am gaining as much inspiration as I hope I am sharing. I end my days feeling tired but so happy and it is this that I wanted to bring to the retreat. I wanted it to be more than just me and I have been overwhelmed by the people from the Makelight Community who are coming together to teach with me on this special weekend. 

Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing more about these talented people but I just wanted to give you a little taste of what is to come. Kate from A Playful Day will be running a session about story telling. Gabrielle Treanor will be leading a mediation and running a session on mindfulness and photography. Kate from Posy & Petal will be teaching us how to make paper flowers. Jody from Country Pages will be creating flower crowns for us to wear for portraits and filling jam jars with pretty flowers. And Stef will be joining us too, to help you with all your tech questions and to help you think through your business if you have one. 

I will be there to teach you how to get the very best from your cameras and smartphones, to help you style and compose images, to help you learn to feel comfortable in front of the camera as well as providing portrait photography tips. We will also have a photo walk and we can talk social media, work life balance, daily creativity and I am sure so much more. 

I really cannot wait for this special weekend and I would absolutely love you to join me for this very first Makelight Retreat on September 23rd-25th in Warwickshire, UK. 

This video is from last year's Makelight Weekend to give you a little taste of what is to come! xo

Makelight Travels : Copenhagen

One thing I wanted to do before I turn 40 in October was to visit Scandinavia. I have been to Stockholm once many years ago but have been dreaming about going back to this area of the world ever since. There is so much of it that I want to see with Stef and our children but for now I thought if I could squeeze in a weekend break that would fill me with Nordic inspiration for a little while longer. 

Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight

So, last weekend I set off with my Mum for a little adventure in Copenhagen to celebrate being almost 40! I think I fell in love with the city as soon as we climbed off the plane. There is quite literally good design everywhere you look in this city. 

Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight

I took this brilliant book with me and we squeezed in as much as we could to the weekend while making time for coffee breaks and ice-cream along the way. 

Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight

We started with a delightful and informative boat tour from Nyhavn, followed by a delicious lunch. We sat outside wrapped in blankets - not the warmest of sunny days but I loved the way that all the cafes and restaurants had blankets on the chairs outside. 

If you go to Nyhavn take the one that is cheaper a little further along the canal and save your pennies for buying stationery and other goodies at Hay House. I could have actually moved right in. Next time I'm definitely bringing a bigger suitcase! 

Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight
Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight

Sunday was all about the food market, the Botanic Garden, cafes and exploring more lovely streets of this beautiful, design led city. 

Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight
Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight
Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight
Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight
Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight
Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight
Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight
Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight
Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight

I really cannot wait to return again. I want to explore more and go further into Scandinavia too and soak it all up. 

Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight

This little weekend trip was more than a weekend to celebrate my 40th year. It gave me some space in a different city to think, to quietly plan and to be totally inspired by everything around me. 

Copenhagen Inspiration : Makelight

Wandering around a new place with my camera (even if it's just my iPhone) allows me to be completely in the moment. I often see the world in photographs even if I don't capture them all. And I love to find little details and to really see a city through my viewfinder. It allows me to switch off and really connect with a place. 

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into Copenhagen through my eyes and that it inspires you to go somewhere new this year with your camera. It doesn't have to be far away. I have places in London that I have never been that I have on my "places to explore" list. I am sure there is somewhere near to you that you could have a little photography adventure in. xo

IMG_8877.jpg

 

 

Telling Stories - Photography & Styling Workshop with Ashlyn Gibson

Earlier this month I had the complete pleasure of running a workshop with author, stylist and shop-owner Ashlyn Gibson in her gorgeous location house, the Clapton Laundry in East London. 

Photography & Styling Workshop : Makelight

The day left me a little speechless and full of inspiration and ideas. I love teaching with other people because I learn as well as teach all on the same day. And I also get to watch people being inspired and having those moments of clarity and excitement, that I can sometimes miss when I am wrapped up in my own teaching. 

Photography & Styling Workshop : Makelight

It was so wonderful to welcome so many previous Makelight students to the workshop too. It made me feel pleased and happy that I had created a new workshop with Ashlyn that they wanted to come to. I always love to connect with people again and watch their photography and creativity grow.

Photography & Styling Workshop : Makelight

Teaching in Ashlyn's amazing home was wonderful too. The natural light, textures, colours and treasures from around the world were like being in the most magical dream. 

Photography & Styling Workshop : Makelight
Photography & Styling Workshop : Makelight

We talked a lot about story telling through images. A subject obviously very close to my heart as a photographer and as a teacher. Ashlyn's ability to put this important stuff into words is amazing and I can't wait for her to tell me everything again when we run this workshop again in October. 

Photography & Styling Workshop : Makelight
Photography & Styling Workshop : Makelight
Photography & Styling Workshop : Makelight

I left the workshop not only wanting to get out with my camera and make some new images but also wanting to fill notebooks with stories, memories and ideas to feed back into my own work. 

I would love to welcome you into our October workshop, Telling Your Brand Story With Visual Story Telling. Tickets are currently available at an early bird price until the end of the month. xo