This three word mantra, Click, Click, BOOM! is the BEST way to describe the Click Retreat! Imagine sixty plus women who are super savvy with blogging, passionate about photography and a collection of incredible sponsors coming together. Amazingness, right?!
The first twenty-four hours we had INSANE winds, rain, thunder and lightning. At around 6am there was a massive BOOM! The whole house lit up and then went instantly black. Get this…The lighting struck the transformer box right outside our two homes. Holy smokes! It was the loudest BOOM, I’ve ever heard. And yes, that instantly bonded us all since most of us thought our two houses were being bombed. Rapture went through my mind! But the sun did come out, and the inspiration flowed!
I had the honor of assigning all the women to take self-portraits for our first group exercise. They not only had to take them before the retreat but bring 8×10 prints to share. Nothing like an ice breaker that makes you feel naked all at once. But this is one of the reasons these women are so awesome and have such incredible blog followings (talking in the millions), because they give it their all. They all did it! And not only the attendees, but the women execs from Sony, Southwest Airlines, HP, Snapfish, National Geographic Kids, even the sponsors participated which is pretty amazing!
For over an hour, women got to know the heart of each other and unexpectedly learn a lot about themselves. It was beautiful.
Afterwards, we pinned them up on beautiful boards, covered with custom Click Retreat fabric by Spoonflower. Seeing these pin boards line the walls with every self-portrait created such a powerful, open setting.
Due to the rain and crazy winds, I did an impromptu class on how to shoot with window light (a.k.a. shoot in Manual baby!). This was a definite “Click, Click, BOOM!” moment as I saw light bulbs go off on their faces. It was a BLAST!
Many were set free to shoot on Manual and never look back! Check out Ali Edwards post here. She was Manual mode for the rest of the retreat, and later on… she introduced me to the world of scrapbooking. Project Life to be exact.
As I listened to Ali, a major inspiration and leader in the scrapbooking world, share about how she scrapbooks a spread for every week of her life, I was both inspired, challenged and felt like my head was going to explode. I’ve never even considered writing on my photos or heard of a silhouette printer, but OMG, the things you can print!!!! And yet, the best part was seeing the Wild Horses together (LOL!), and an epic conversation in the shuttle for two hours.
Sony was amazing. Not only did they sponsor me to come, but they brought the Director of the Artisan Program and a SONY Trainer. With over a dozen cameras, they helped women walk through the two new camera models, the NEX-5T and a3000 DSLR (priced at $399.99–crazy low price for a DSLR).
And on top of all that, they gave my Target SD cards to every woman there. Thank you SONY for not just saying you want to be about empowering moms, but taking action upon action to do it! (Reminder to all the attendees to check out the three, private videos (baby shoot, freezing action and retrieving deleted files) you can access with the SD card!
Rachael Herrscher and her team at Today’s Mama did the most AWE-mazing job with this whole retreat. The vinyl siding were a blast, but what I really loved was how they cultivated an atmosphere that gave us time to sit and be. The spontaneous conversations that happened throughout the day and late into the night…those conversations were so special and filled my soul.
Stacy Debroff, one of the most wicked smart business women I know, has been an incredible mentor over the years. At one point, I locked her in my room and ran her through every part of our business, picking her brain, gleaming from her wisdom and advice. Her insight always feels like a “Click, Click, BOOM!” moment!
I also got time with dear Tracey Clark, who I never see enough. Boy, I soaked her kind spirit up.
When the sun came out, we all played on the beach.
barefoot, fancy feet!
beautiful, inspiring women I asked questions to until we landed in Seattle 🙂
(don’t be fooled. this little chica ended up sitting down in the waves fully clothed!)
At the closing party, sponsored by Avery, the talented designer Alma Loveland had these perfect cards on hand. Is that your “Click, Click, BOOM!” or what?! Yep, I was in the blue house where the transformer box blew up. LOL!
A big thank you to Today’s Mama for hosting such an amazing event, and to all the incredible sponsors I’ve mentioned above and all the rest; KIND, The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Carolina Designs Reality, SAGA Construction & Development, and the beautiful epiphanie bags. And most of all, a heartfelt thank you to ALL the beautiful women I met this last week! You are all AWE-mazing and inspire me to no end! Thank you!!!
*Check out the different links of these amazing moms, or see the Instagram photos at #clickretreat!