Dripping Springs, TX - February 2019

Our early arrival in Austin had us feeling very optimistic for sunny weather but after a few days, right as our guests began to arrive to Dripping Springs, we realized the warmer temps would be taking a quick departure for our retreat weekend.

However, the beauty of this unplanned winter encounter allowed us to spend every evening cozied up by the fireplace while also practicing the ever evolving art of learning to see light in every situation.

2019-02-25_0001.jpg
2019-02-25_0005.jpg

Upon arrival, our guests were welcomed with a glass of wine as they wandered our beautiful, spacious home for the weekend. We were so thrilled to have found the perfect Maker’s Luck house in Texas Hill Country. With ample space for all our guests to spread out & literally almost every detail considered, we couldn’t have been more fortunate to receive our guests in this modern space.

2019-02-25_0003.jpg
2019-02-25_0002.jpg

Our first dinner brought both laughter & fast connections as we quickly discovered things we all had in common. It’s always exciting to watch how swift a group of strangers can ease into comfortable friendships in such a short time.

After a light dinner our first evening, due to the chilly temperatures, we opted to have a cheerful s’mores & hot chocolate bar indoors. The amazing team from La Pera in Austin treated us to 3 kinds of marshmallows as well as delicious Mexican hot chocolate.

2019-02-25_0004.jpg

As the fire embers started to slow, after a long day of travel for most of our guests, we ended the first night excited & ready to begin our education the next morning!

Friday morning we awoke to a casual breakfast of Purely Elizabeth granola bowls, coffee, tea & the most perfect soft boiled eggs from our official egg wizard, extraordinaire, Marissa! We were so excited to dive into a morning of education as we gathered in the main living space, warmed by the fire.

We Wanderers Retreat-4422.jpg
2019-02-25_0006.jpg
2019-02-25_0007.jpg

Our Friday education included manual mode, rules of composition for storytelling & discussing our favorite gear & lenses. And after a beautiful lunch from La Pera, we headed out to our first excursion at Treaty Oak Distillery.

2019-02-25_0008.jpg
DSC_2599.jpg

At Treaty Oak, we were greeted by Carter, who was our tour guide for the afternoon. He couldn’t resist welcoming us all with a shot of gin, which some of us took better than others.

Wrapped in serape blankets, we wandered the Distillery as we each took opportunities to sneak off & snap a few storytelling images. Carter was so helpful in explaining not only the fascinating history of Treaty Oak but also the layered process of distilling. He allowed us to try some odd samples, so we could taste to understand each step of what would eventually become the finished alcohol!

2019-02-25_0011.jpg
2019-02-25_0010.jpg

After our tour we enjoyed a craft cocktail from the lounge & of course, we made a friend! Gus, probably the biggest puppy we’d ever seen, was completely fascinated with our group of ladies & made it a point to even hop into our group photo.

DSC_2672.jpg

Finally, we made our way to the Cocktail Lab where we had a private area to practice more storytelling images using beautiful, moody light & gorgeous cocktails!

Treat Oak is probably one of the most comfortable, laid back, open air distilleries we’ve been to & everyone was so kind & generous to our group. We can’t wait to go back!

2019-02-25_0012.jpg

Our Friday evening concluded with a stunning candlelit dinner where we sat with wine & chatted long past the time the dishes were cleared.

Saturday morning, after our casual breakfast, we took a short walk to our upstairs apartment next door for our meditative sound bath. We were so fortunate to have Carol Johnson, from the Zero Gravity Institute in Austin, & her husband, venture out to Dripping Springs just to share her healing gift with us. This was probably one of the most fascinating events we treated our guests to as not one of them had ever experienced something like a sound bath.

2019-02-25_0013.jpg

Carol did a wonderful job of explaining exactly what would happen before she began to play the crystal bowls & sing with her stunning voice. It was truly a special & unique wellness experience & so interesting to hear how everyone felt during & after the event. Obviously, we wanted a chance to take some pictures of Carol as well so she graciously agreed to play for us as we all took turns snapping as many pictures from as many angles as we could.

DSC_2758.jpg

After our meditative morning we headed back to the main house for an afternoon of learning Lightroom. It was so wonderful to be able to answer everyone’s questions as they came up & show the useful features of this popular editing tool. This was a session everyone continued to refer back to throughout the weekend as laptops would come out & our guests would dive into editing their own images.

We continued to be spoiled with all our meals and lunch did not disappoint.

2019-02-25_0014.jpg

Saturday afternoon brought another fun storytelling opportunity as Trisha led a food photography styling session using Purely Elizabeth granola. Our guests watched as she explained her process of styling with movement & story in mind.

Then they got an opportunity to head off into their own corners of our home to find the best light & take a turn at styling their own granola bowls with props & linens! We loved walking around the house & seeing all the fun pockets of light our guests were able to locate. Some of our ladies had actually scoped out & laid claim to their chosen locations before the session began!

2019-02-25_0015.jpg
2019-02-25_0016.jpg
2019-02-26_0002.jpg

After our food photography session, we snacked on granola while watching Trisha & Courtney edit some images they’d taken over the weekend. We love sharing this session with our guests as no two photographers uses the same tools in exactly the same way & our distinctly different editing styles are always the perfect example of this.

2019-02-26_0001.jpg

The afternoon moved quickly as we all prepared to walk to the studio space at the back of the property for our Textile Weaving experience with Zanny Cox, a local Austin textile artist. Having Zanny come & teach us weaving was truly such a special treat. Not only had she secured locally, handmade looms for each of our guests, she also sources her yarn from a local, sheep farmer.

Zanny shared with us her process of weaving & how it’s helped her cope with anxiety through a moving meditation. And she was truly so patient with all of us as we worked our way through our weavings, always offering suggestions, kind corrections & enthusiasm. By the end of the afternoon, we all had a complete wall hanging to take home!

2019-02-26_0003.jpg
2019-02-26_0004.jpg

Saturday evening we enjoyed our final meal around the table. Bethany & Rafael from La Pera have such an amazing commitment to local, fresh flavors & simple ingredients, every time we sat down to a meal, we all raved about how each new meal was the best!

Our evening concluded with our farewell ceremony that we make apart of every retreat. Gathered around the fire, we solidified friendships & looked forward to the things we’d carry away from our weekend together.

Sunday morning sat down for one more learning experience encouraging our guests to upload their images &  engage in an editing roundtable session. Everyone loved this as they were excited to upload & edit their images from the weekend. We offered suggestions, cheered our guests as they used new tools they’d learned & took turns gushing over everyone’s images.

After packing up, we lingered taking selfies & looking forward to the next time we’d meet!

DSC_8974.jpg
2019-02-26_0006.jpg

Our weekend would not have been complete without our generous & amazing sponsors. Our sponsors are a huge part of helping us welcome each guest personally in the most memorable way & we forever grateful to them for being apart of We Wanderers Retreat.

DSC_2493.jpg

FOTOstrap is an American made, genuine leather camera strap company from photographer, Katie Norris. Each of our guests was given a gorgeous, leather camera strap from their Designer collection.

Settle Ceramics is owned by local Austin ceramicist, Samatha, who makes heirlooms for the modern kitchen + home. Samantha provided each of our guests with a beautiful, handmade Cappuccino Mug.

Slow North of Austin shared their hand poured Tumbler Candles in a variety of amazing scents with our guests. This female owned Austin gift shop focuses on small local makers, natural candles & wellness.

Moon Rivers Naturals provided our guests with a bar of Facial Soap + Activated Charcoal Masks. This husband & wife apothecary, from Stefanie & Stephen, crafts handmade, small batch, organic skincare in Tyler, TX.

Karacotta Ceramics creates handmade, functional art pieces run out of Broad Studios of Austin. Kara Pendle’s Smudge Bundles include ethically-sourced, wild palo santo wood, organic sage, organic rosemary, wild flowers and lavender from the Karacotta garden, all wrapped in white, organic cotton string!

Purely Elizabeth made sure we had plenty of granola, not only for breakfasts, but also for our food photography styling session. Purely Elizabeth crafts granola, oatmeal & bars made with elevated, nutrient-rich ingredients out of Boulder, CO.

2019-02-26_0007.jpg

Want to read more from one of our guests? Check out LaShawn’s recap and thoughts - What I learned at the We Wanderers Retreat

Savannah, GA - October 2018

savannahWWR (22 of 89).jpg

From the moment we arrived in Savannah, we knew this place was special. The humidity was high just as mid October fell & while we were greeted with a few cooler days during our stay, most of our time in Savannah was warm & sunny.

We walked cobblestone streets, lined heavy with old trees blanketed in Spanish Moss. They were perfect for keeping the sun at bay during our strolls. Every so often, we’d catch ourselves pausing at an old, wooden door or iron gate & snapping a quick picture we’d ponder - what stories this place must have.

For our time in Savannah we were so fortunate to have our amazing friend, Marissa, come to assist us. Not only is Marissa such a dear friend, but her ability to intuit what our guests or we needed before we even asked was such a blessing. Whether she was refilling water cups, putting the kettle on for tea, sharing tips on editing or gathering foliage for our table scapes, the weekend wouldn’t have been complete without her presence. She truly blessed each & every one of us & there aren’t enough words to thank her for being apart of our retreat. And thanks to her suggestions, now we all get to practice our big belly laughs to loosen up before we get in front of the camera!

2018-11-01_0004.jpg

The historic home we stayed in during our time in Savannah was the perfect gathering space. Three floors of beauty & design. Exposed brick, a claw foot tub, original fireplace mantels & hardwood floors made it easy to feel inspired in the beautiful space. During the day, we relaxed on the main floor while we taught the morning & afternoon education. In the evenings, we’d set the table with fresh linens, light our candles & sit down for dinner. Passing dishes & filling wine glasses, we’d laugh at stories from the day & pause to reflect on how quickly we felt we’d all become friends.

2018-11-01_0002.jpg
DSC_7844.jpg

Our meals were prepared by our private chef, Caitlin, whose emphasis lies in filling, fresh & healthy fare. We were treated to dish after dish of locally sourced ingredients with special attention given to every detail. We enjoyed abundant, vibrant salad greens, hearty roasted sausage stuffed squash & a divine maple, walnut crusted salmon that we continued to talk about on until the next day.

2018-11-01_0006.jpg

On Friday, we ventured out of the house for a photo walk through the historic district of Savannah. We strolled city streets & small parks while looking for light in every available nook & cranny. Our photo walk was a wonderful opportunity to not only see more of Savannah, but also to practice our practical skills photography focusing on settings, light & composition.

2018-11-01_0007.jpg
savannahWWR (46 of 89).jpg
2018-11-01_0008.jpg
2018-11-01_0009.jpg
savannahWWR1.0 (1 of 1).jpg
2018-11-01_0010.jpg

Ending at Forsyth Park, we all took turns taking pictures of the stunning Forsyth Park Fountain. Built in 1858, the fountain remains the heart of the park. Surrounded by benches occupied by both locals & tourists, it’s the idyllic photo opportunity for any visitor.

2018-11-01_0013.jpg

After dinner on Friday evening, we ventured out for a walking ghost tour. For two hours we wound ourselves through city streets, listening to stories about the darker history of Savannah including several known ghosts & haunted buildings. Never ones to take ourselves too seriously, we all had a few giggles.

Saturday brought a beautiful, warm, sunny morning with blue skies. Perfect for our hour yoga in Forsyth Park. Christine from Dancing Dogs Yoga helped us stretch & relax as we focused on heart opening poses with a calming guided meditation to close our session. We all walked back to our house feeling refreshed & restored.

2018-11-01_0011.jpg

After we freshened up from yoga we dove into editing in Lightroom & shared our favorite tips & tricks for both organization & getting the most consistent edits. This ended up being so engrossing for all our students, we actually decided to come back to editing after dinner one evening! Sipping glasses of wine & nibbling snacks from the day we found ourselves sitting on couches & the floor of the living room, chatting about editing long past dark.

After our Lightroom session we enjoyed some early afternoon storytelling & food styling with a charcuterie board. We’d been so fortunate to find an amazing butcher, by word of mouth, in Savannah & before our guests arrived we’d loaded up on beautiful cheeses & savory meats. We easily spent an hour pondering over crackers & nuts, dried fruits & blue cheeses!

The food styling also gave us an opportunity to work on our dramatic lighting, learning how to use overcast, directional light to achieve moodier, more contrasted images.

2018-11-01_0012.jpg

Saturday late afternoon we wandered back into the heart of Savannah & visited the legendary Leopold’s ice cream shop. What the locals say is true! The line is long but it moves fast! Our whole group was in in about 10 minutes flat with a variety of ice cream to taste & share.

Sunday morning brought our final, casual breakfast where we all felt comfortable to stay in jammies & sip coffee a few minutes longer before beginning our farewells. When it was time to bid each other goodbye, we hugged, laughed & promised to keep in touch.

Our weekend would not have been complete without our generous & amazing sponsors. Our sponsors are a huge part of helping us welcome each guest personally in the most memorable way.

DSC_7840.jpg

Satchel is a locally Savannah & female owned, custom leather-goods shop with everything designed & made in house. Beautifully crafted with attention to every detail, each guest was given a distinctly different, stunning Piper wristlet.

Pots by Jen is a hand crafted ceramics shop in the heart of Wichita Falls, Texas. Every Daisy mug was lovingly sculpted specifically for each one of our guests. With elements of polish & raw materials, Jen’s ceramics are a beautiful addition to anyone’s home ceramics collection.

Polder’s Old World Market is a family run, hand carved kitchen utensil shop in the mountains of Virginia. The Polder family crafts their Dreamware to not only be functional but beautiful & last a lifetime. Each hand carved piece is in-scripted with the Polder name & the year it was made.

Rough Linen is a female owned linen maker out of California. As well as luxurious bed, table & clothing linens they also make the perfect linen washcloths. The charcoal linen washcloths are not only perfect as a face cloth - they provide a very gentle exfoliation - but they are also the perfect travel cloth. Quick drying & easily packable, they keep you from getting dark makeup or mascara on any hotel or guest towels!

2018-11-01_0001.jpg