Dream Chasers Workshop
It's with a very excited and FULL heart that I sit down to publish this blog today, friends! Nearly two years ago I started a group on Facebook that I wanted to dedicate to fellow dreamers like myself. I wanted to create an intimate online space that withheld judgement and negativity. I've found myself leaving groups over the past year on Facebook because they just get so big, and sometimes they get really mean, too. When I started the Dream Chasers Community, I made a promise to myself and the members to keep it safe. I'm pretty picky about who I let into the group because I want to see that they are in fact a creative entrepreneur and that they want to join the group for the right reasons.
The Dream Chasers Facebook Group is really what inspired the first annual Rose Ranch Photography Workshop.
For weeks I kept reading posts that read, "Hey, Emma! When are you going to host a workshop? I want to come!" It had never crossed my mind to host a workshop until it was brought to my attention. In all honesty I said to myself, "What the heck? I'm just getting started myself as a photographer, people want to learn from me?" But then I started connecting the dots. I started reading through my emails more carefully. I read notes from complete strangers saying how one of my blog posts had a serious impact on their own life. I read an email from someone telling me that because of me, they finally found the courage to start chasing their own dreams. Like... what? It hit me in that moment that, "Hey, I am doing something here, even if it's kind of difficult to see it for myself." I had some time to reflect on all of this and it did hit me that I have something to share with the world. I have heart and passion for what I do, every day. I am a woman who bounced from job to job trying to find that "thing" in my life that brought me joy. Then I became a mother and everything changed. For the first time in my own life, I decided to start living life on my own terms, even if it was scary as hell at first.
I took a leap of faith to chase some big dreams, and people started responding.
Do I have all the answers? Heck no. But I think what sets me apart is that I'm not afraid to put myself out there. I'm not afraid to fail. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm still learning and that I don't always know what I'm doing. I'm also not afraid to dream big. Dreaming big has been the foundation of all that I do here at Emma Rose Company. It's because of my Dream Chasers Community that things started to click and I saw a window of opportunity to help others grow and teach them everything I know.
So the Dream Chasers Workshop at Rose Ranch came to life.
I started the planning process and the seats filled! It was a whirlwind planning the whole thing, I'll be honest. Planning your first big event was tough but the most rewarding a fulfilling experience I've had yet as a wedding photographer!
All in all, my first workshop came together beautifully.
My attendees (and new friends!) all got a taste of what it's like to live in South Bend, Washington! Aka, we don't even have a stop light. Our town is small. I find it charming because I've been here for a few years now, but it might be a little bit of a shock for big city people! :) The first day was the main educational day! We talked about everything from finding your own meaning to camera settings. It was a FULL day of learning, and it was wonderful!
I had three amazing guest speakers at the workshop! Nancy showed the group how to put together a beautiful centerpiece, what to shop for, how to shop for the pieces and then walked us through actually making the arrangement. It was SO helpful! I cannot wait to implement what I learned from her to start making some of my own arrangements for various events.
Lastly, (but most certainly not least!), Lora with Lora Grady Photography spoke to the group about finding balance as a business owner who wears all the hats. Let's be honest, being a mama AND a business owner is tough but Lora has incredible insight on this and how she juggles the titles. Lora continues to inspire me every time I'm with her. I still have so much to learn from her and it was a true honor to have her part of this workshop as my second shooter, speaker, and friend. Thank you, Lora!
After a few of the talks, Nancy from Elixir Coffee Shop catered a beautiful lunch! We had delicious sandwiches, local fruit and you better believe... OYSTERS! Not everyone was a fan of that but I figured if people were coming all the way to The Oyster Capital of the World, there had to be at least a few half shells! Next time I might opt for some fried ones for first timers :)
Lunch was amazing, and I'm so grateful to Nancy and her staff for making it so special and memorable for everyone!
My studio was perfect for this workshop.
If you've followed along with me, you saw that I took over a new space in our sleepy little town. It sits right on highway 101 and it couldn't be more perfect for me in this season of life for my business! I painted the entire space white and wanted to make sure it was ready to go before the workshop. It isn't 100% finished but I'm getting there! We spent a greater portion of the workshop in my new space and it was so incredible to see it filled with so many beautiful and talented photographers!
I knew I wanted to offer head shots to all my attendees, and my new space made that so easy and fun!
I asked everyone to dress their best on day two for headshots in my new studio! It was SO FUN! And let's be honest, could this group of women be any more beautiful!? Seriously. I loved getting everyone in front of mine and Lora's cameras! I wanted my attendees to not only leave with new knowledge and inspiration, but I wanted everyone to leave with some updated photos to share with their own audiences. I knew my neutral white space would serve its purpose. I'll get into the styled shoot later of course, but I also wanted to put together a beautiful styled shoot so that they could all leave with something TANGIBLE to use to grow their business. It. Was. So. Good.
I wasn't kidding when I said this group was just BEAUTIFUL! I walked away from this entire experience feeling challenged (in a good way), excited, and eager for the future. I still have so much to learn, but it's because of these women and so many others along with me on this journey that I continue to chase my dreams. It's because of them that I don't ever want to give up.
My mom called me the day after everything was done and said, "So sweetheart, will you do it again?" I took a deep breath and said, "Oh yeah." It's as easy as that. Yes, I will. Was it hard? Sure. Was it a ton of work? Yes, more than I imagined. Was it worth it? Yes. Because of this workshop I learned more about myself in three days than I have in over two years. I learned how to give myself grace for the things I cannot control and I also learned more than ever the power of community and friendships in this industry. Sitting in my studio and then out shooting on our ranch with these women is something I'm still trying to sort out in my head to express my feelings. It's still surreal to me that this happened, and that it went so well. I learned a few things I'll do different for next time, but all in all, I couldn't have envisioned this to be any more amazing than it already was! So Dream Chasers,
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being with me at my first workshop! You are my people, my tribe, and I'm grateful to each and every one of you for helping me chase my dreams.
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