Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Hometown Workshop

What do you get when you combine twelve camera toting women...sharing three bathrooms for four days?

Toss in this beautiful old cottage, one fabulous hostess...and you have the time of your life.

My timid steps into photography began shortly after I lost TheRed One.  Interest in this new diversion began as a way to see detailed joy and beauty within the murky shadows of loss. Karen’s “Photographer’s Workshop”  taught me aperture, shutter speed, ISO and so much more.

That's how I knew that her Hometown Workshop would be absolutely incredible

and I was absolutely right!

From delicious breakfasts, catered lunches and dinners

to the nightly Treat Fairy.

Karen didn't miss a single detail.

But what I wasn't prepared for was how quickly I would fall in love with the women of this workshop.

I should have anticipated it...

because Karen attracts women with deep souls and huge hearts to her online photography classes.

These women came from all over the world...including Tammy from Canada

and Helena all the way from Rome, Italy.

Some of us had the same name...well just Lisa and I did!

Two of our group were even brave enough to bring babies to the workshop. OK so they were still in their Mamma's tummies, but brave just the same!

My friend Beth is a beautiful pregnant Mamma...we helped her come up with some great baby names.

One of us with a passion for music shared a CD  along with her beautiful smile.

And one of us had gorgeous long red hair just like my girl, of course I was instantly drawn to Nicole and her charm and engaging personality.

Then there was this beautiful woman who lost her precious son just a few months ago. Janette and I had so much to talk about. It makes perfect sense to me that somehow we slid easily into a friendship. Members of our club are like that.

While it might appear we sat around

and played games the entire time...

we actually worked very hard.

Karen is a self-proclaimed task master. And by checked your inhibitions at the door of Hannah House. This workshop is about learning and growing and knocking down walls.

Personally I challenged myself to push my photography to the next level. I was becoming too predictable and stagnant. Which meant that I took plenty of bad photographs the first few days, but it all eventually seemed to come together.

It was inspiring to see Karen's dear friend step into the workshop and assist. Coral is a talented photographer and an amazingly genuine woman.

Karen and Diane's relationship as mother and daughter is so refreshing to witness. Diane was our much beloved mom away from home. Oh how she spoiled us!

Karen's photography and writing on her blog display devotion to family and passion for living a definitive life. Generously, Karen shared her children with us.

And they were sweet enough to play along while we learned candid shooting.

I brought Coley fresh honey from Queen Fatty...he eats it by the spoonfuls!

Annie so adorable, I think we all wanted to slip her in our pocket and take her home.

And this photo taken by Michelle...captured just as Courtney looked toward heaven, waved, and said "Hi Jocie!" Yes...she did! 

Each new shooting session pushed us in a different direction.

This one challenging us to play with lighting during that dreamy golden hour. I had so much fun pushing the limits of the "safe" shot.

And a delightful surprise visit on the last day from my friend Jules...whom I have only met online during our class with Karen. Apparently the shock and surprise on my face was nearly as legendary as my scream!

All too quickly our workshop came to an end,

Not one of us took the exquisite four days in Hannah house for granted. We soaked up every luxurious detail  Karen had outlined.

Friendships were forged that will last a lifetime I'm certain of it.
I truly believe each of us left changed...and changed for the better. Our photography, our friendships, our love, our passion, all of it amped to the next level. Thank you Karen from each of us for the sleepover of a lifetime!


  1. You summed up an amazing experience beautifully, Lisa! Makes me want to do it all over again...with you!!

  2. I agree with Jules! What a beautiful tribute to our time spent with new friends and old. I want to go back soon!

  3. Well you know I did not attend either if these weekend workshops, but I look forward to a lifetime together with all you ladies. I can't wait to someday meet you Lisa and hope that happens soon;-) I also hope to meet all of you someday!!! This post left me with the biggest lump in my throat. It was just so beautiful. Frienship is truly a wonderful gift!!! xo

  4. I want to be back there! Your words and your photos are pure beauty. You speak from the heart and you definitely shoot from the heart. I wish we could all go back again together and we could bring more friends with us. Thanks for sharing your experience with us Lisa!

  5. I am still so thankful you had this experience. Not just for your photography, but for your soul. I know Karen spoiled you girls and it was well deserved. Love and hugs!

  6. I miss these ladies. Great recap Lisa.

  7. Wonderful post Lisa. Loved looking at your pictures and reliving it all once again. It was truly magical! Hugs

  8. I got to meet Karen, and a wonderful group of ladies, this past summer. What an amazing time! She mentioned her past students fondly!