This blog post is a little overdue (ok very overdue!), but there have been so many exciting things going on at Rachel Fairfield HQ, it’s only this week I’ve had chance to sit down and reflect on the wonderful Delight Retreat run by Vicki Knights. This is a residential course held at Florence House in Seaford on the south coast, and honestly, I feel so honored to have been part of it this year.
Back in September this year, 10 photographers, all in varying stages of their career, met for the first time to spend three days and two nights together living and breathing photography. This may sound like a lot of hard work, but oh my goodness, it was so much fun! I honestly did not expect to spend these three days laughing and chatting and giggling away, but we all just seemed to click and by the first evening, it felt like spending time with old friends.
Vicki had put together a comprehensive book, also known as the Photography Business Bible, and we worked our way through our branding, marketing, pricing, products, shooting and last but not least business. It was so refreshing to be given permission to take time out of our busy lives, to think about exactly who we are as photographers, what our style really is, and what type of people we are looking to attract to our business. We are always being told that the market is saturated and there are so many photographers doing the same thing, but what was fascinating was that out of the ten professional photographers attending the course, every single person had a different style of work. We were all unique, and seeing that enabled each one of us to think about what we could offer, that would be different to anyone else.
On the first evening, Vicki had scheduled two shoots down on the beach in Seaford and the weather was just perfect for us. It was wonderful to see Vicki in action and to see how she runs her shoots. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to photograph two wonderful families, with very photogenic and compliant children. It can’t have been easy under the pressure of all of those telephoto lenses pointing their way, but they were amazing, and the golden light of the sunset was beautiful.
The following morning, those who wanted to, took part in an early morning yoga session which was a lovely touch and a great way to get going for the busy day ahead. We then had a baby shoot which started indoors and then moved outside to the stunning grounds of Florence House. The archways, the benches and the gorgeous and varied natural backdrops were perfect for this shoot, and enabled great variety for this family’s gallery. The little girl in the photos was just 13 months old, and I have to admit, did make me feel quite homesick for my youngest little chick, who was just 18 months old at the time.
The rest of the course was spent picking up lots of tips from subjects as varied as apps which will forecast the light direction for you at any given hour, to search engine optimization and the most fun games to play during a family shoot :-) The discussion amongst the group was invaluable and the support that each photographer showed for their fellow attendees, or “delightees” as we are more commonly called, was so heartwarming.
Yes this was a residential photography course run by one of Surrey’s leading family photographers, but it was SO much more than that. The venue, the food and the activities were all fantastic, but what made this course so special was the people. Thank you to Vicki Knights for the most incredible three days and to all the 2018 delightees- I can’t wait to see you all for our reunion.
Credit to Vicky Holmes Photography for the behind the scenes images.