Just a few short weeks ago I found myself at Talton Lodge, attending and teaching at the first MakeLight Retreat hosted by my good friend Emily Quinton. It was a weekend created to inspire, learn, share and take a photo or two. I met a whole host of lovely people from the MakeLight Community, including the other truly inspiring ladies who taught and shared through their workshops. Kate from A Playful Day shared her storytelling techniques and if you don’t know Kate, visit her inspiring site where she delivers beautifully constructed podcasts either through conversations with others or through her own storytelling narrative. Gabrielle Treanor lead us through a mindfulness session, convincing us to put down our cameras and remember to look at the world around us through our eyes instead of our view finder and to engage with our surroundings using all our senses, not just Instagram, is Instagram a sense yet?! Her website offers lots of advice on the pursuit of happiness and mindfulness. The ever so passionate Kate from Posy & Petal, (very, very) patiently taught us how to make incredibly beautiful paper flowers, her attention to detail was incredible and the personalised place cards she made for everyone where probably my favourite thing at the retreat. Jody a florist and blogger from Country Wild Flowers, shared her love of flowers and led us through a floral crown making workshop, her combinations and colours were just a delight and I loved how differently everyone interpreted the challenge, from beautifully simple, to wild and free and a little messy with too much floristry tape (that would be mine).
Emily of course was on hand for portraits and Instagram, photography and life advice and husband and co-founder Stef grounded everyone with business and technical advice which was so helpful for those starting blogs, websites or wanting to get to a new level with their current offering. Last but not least we had the adorable and wonderful Sarah, a blogger at Taming Twins and representing Pinterest, she shared all her knowledge and tips for getting the most out of your Pinterest profile. On the last day I taught about Food Photography and Styling and it was a pleasure to share a little of what I do with such a wonderful group.
Talton Lodge is such a tranquil space, we had the Barn and the Kitchen Garden which is filled with chickens, apple and plum trees, a yurt, tipi, tree boat house and a wagon and two huge open tipis with a fire, that we could use for meals and gathering together for discussions. The food was delicious the company wonderful and whole Makelight Retreat an experience I’ll cherish, so I’m really glad Emily & Stef have already decided it’s going to happen again next June. You can find out more here.