This past March I literally had a dream that josh and i were in Europe teaching videography and photography!! I woke up and i couldn’t stop thinking about it. (I had been getting inquiries asking if we would ever do a workshop so maybe that is what sparked my dream) ✨I told Josh, this sounds sooo crazy!! But I think maybe we could do it!?! I was so surprised that Josh was so on board because he is the responsible one in the relationship haha. So literally that week we created a website, decided where we were going, and booked an airbnb! We were so nervous when we launched! That first day we got hundreds of applications!! We were seriously blown away. 😮My heart couldn't believe it was even happening, but it's truly just a testimony to me "If you can dream it, you can achieve it!
Hosting our Santorini retreat workshop with josh and Natalia was definitely one of the most amazing experiences i have ever had! Josh and I taught photo and video classes and natalia taught yoga and ice cream making 💗 these two made SO much magic happen!!!! ✨
We were sooo stoked the first day of the retreat because we were finally meeting all the fun people we’ve been talking to for the last couple months!! Since most people were flying in at different times it was tricky figuring out schedules. In the end, we ended up getting everyone at the house around 12:30. Once at the house everybody introduced themselves, what brought them to the retreat, and what they are most excited about. The coolest part was how i literally felt like i had already been friends with these people! Right away I felt like the group dynamic was so amazing and people were becoming friends right off the bat! it was really cool to see how we had people from all over the World from Spain to Canada to so many different states in the US, from California to Georgia!! Afterwards, we had a break for lunch before we started our first class going over Manuel Camera settings. It was awesome to see people in the group turn their cameras on manual and start practicing. In this group, we had some beginners all the way up to people that have been shooting for 5 years. It was fun to see the things we could learn from each other and then go out to practice. Before we went out on our first lookout point we decided to spot at a highly recommended gyro shop called lucky’s. Going there definitely makes you feel lucky because the food is sooooo good 😛🙏🏼 After eating, we wanted to go to an amazing spot to watch the sunset, so we decided to go to the Imervogili village which is one of the places on Santorini with the iconic white washed villages on the side of the cliffs looking over the ocean and other nearby islands. There we practiced our manual camera setting and learned tips about best times to shoot and lighting tricks and tips. We had such a fun time taking turns getting shots of the views and each other as the sun began to set over the ocean! By the end of the day it felt like we had all been friends for years 💕💕💕
Natalia started the day off with teaching yoga and making breakfast. Lots of people slept in to recover from all that jet lag 😅After breakfast we had class on Movement & Composition. We then drove to Amoudi Bay to swim and cliff dive. I ended up taking out the water housing and getting some fun shots under water with the group. Everybody seemed to love this part!!! It seemed like everyone was feeling more and more confident with their cameras which was pretty amazing to watch! We ended the day watching the sunset in Oia at the prettiest lookout spot ever!!! The sunsets in Oia are crazy crowded with tourists, so it was lucky my friend Samantha recommended this amaaazing spot we had all to ourselves!💛✨ At the end of the night we split off into smaller groups to get some dinner before heading back to the house. 💗
After a quick breakfast we were all shuttled to the dock where we boarded our Catamaran for the tour around the Caldera of Santorini. This was definitely one of the best parts of the trip. We ended up having three stops, lunch, and a lot of good time to relax and get some good shots! The water was so blue and clear we all wish we could have stayed swimming all day. We booked the full day tour and still wished it was longer! It was so beautiful 😭💛Once we returned, we had some amazing dinner made by Natalia accompanied by some really good Italian/Greek styles pizza. We ended the night teaching photo and video editing classes!
Day four, Oia is one of the main attraction in Santorini and during the sunset the place can get really crazy. Since we wanted to dodge the crowds we went with a group of early birds at 5:00 am to get to Oia early for the sunrise. There was 10 of us who got up for this! We were all super groggy at first haha but it was well worth it! The sunrise coming over the sleepy town of Oia was something we will never forget! 💛 it was sooo magical!! After taking pictures/video to our hearts content we headed back to the house for breakfast. Josh started off the classes with talking about business, hard drives, and finances. It was then followed by me teaching about social media and creating a brand. This was a really fun class because we got to hear from everyone’s experiences and there was a lot of really good discussion. So many of the people who came have started their own businesses and had such amazing insight to add! I for sure left this class feeling inspired. After the classes, Natalia taught an amazing gelato cooking class where we learned how to make two different flavors of gelato. After the classes, we decided to take advantage of the houses amazing pool and spent time taking pictures and diving on the little bridge that stretched across the pool. We then spent the evening hiking down to skaros rock for sunset for a final group pow wow! We all had notebooks and wrote in each others books. I started getting so sad the retreat was coming to an end 😭 we ended the day eating all together at a little Greek restaurant that definitely wasn’t expecting a group of 17 people to come in all at once. After getting home we shared pictures with each other and said our goodbyes to the people leaving early the next morning. I stayed up until 2AM with some of the girls! I didn’t want to say goodbye 😭💛
A lot of people had morning flights and had to leave early but for those who stayed we got to relax a little longer at the beach after eating breakfast and then said goodbye to the last people there💛My very favorite part of the retreat was the friendships we made. Each amazing person who came has a piece of my heart 💕💕💕
Josh- I just gotta give this guy right here a shout-out because First of all, he put SO much trust and faith into me going for this and it seriously means so so much 💕 Josh was pretty much the ultimate instagram guy for the trip. Not only did he take all the shots for the girls , but he actually doesn’t mind doing it which is a rare quality in a guy! He had lots of good times spending long car rides talking about makeup, hair, and boys. ;) He is so amazingly encouraging , sweet, and kind to everyone and I love that about him!
Natalia - it was so fun to have our sista Natalia there with us! Natalia is such an beautiful, amazing soul. Anyone who knows natalia know she has a heart of gold and is just pure goodness 💗💗💗She has done lots of retreats in the past, and so it definitely eased our nerves having her support and ideas an help throughout the whole thing ☺️ we literally couldn’t have done it without her and I’m forever grateful for her!!
Brooke! This beautiful girl came from utah. There are so many amazing things to say about this her. I look up to brooke so much!! 💗First off, she is so sweet, kind and humble. And second artist is an amazing photographer and designer and a true artist in every sense of the word. So much raw talent!!!! Every single photo she takes is pure art. I learned so much from her and her experience as a photographer on the retreat💛
Sam came to Greece all the way from Alabama! The first thing I think about Sam is her amazingly contagious smile and laugh!! It seriously brightens up any room immediately and is rare to find this happy girl without a smile 💛 Sam was such an amazing example to me of finding positivity and faith even in the hardest moments. I am so inspired by Sam and the love and happiness she embodies 💕💕💕
Emily- Emily is from Arizona. Emily was one of the very first who signed up for the retreat before it even launched which automatically got me so stoked for the retreat!! Emily is the girl that Just automatically is best friends with each person in an instant! She is the life of the party and pure sunshine ☀️ one of my favorite things about Emily is just how real and down to earth she is💛 she is so much fun and I truly believe the retreat wouldn’t have been half as fun without this girl!!!!
Cailee- Cailee came from California! I first met Cailee at the Taylor Swift concert in May! I was blown away by what an angel she is!! 😇💛 I knew after tswift we would be besties hehe! Cailee is one of the sweetest and most genuine people I have ever met! She is also amazingly talented at everything but is too humble to ever talk much about herself ;) but she is amazing and deserves to be told! 💕love this girl with all my heart!!!
Paula- Paula was the one closest to home, coming from the beautiful Canary Islands in Spain! I seriously love and ADORE Paula! She is such a cutie, literally best style ever and also she is hilarious!! She literally saved our lives in the car while I was driving helping me with all the European driving rules!! She is an angel💛✨ her dream is to come to Hawaii and i know she is gonna make it happen so i can’t wait to see her in Hawaii someday soon💕💕💕
Chelsea - Chelsea is from Colorado living in utah! I got to spend some good quality bonding time with Chelsea the days leading up to the retreat. Chelsea is one of the most good to the core, generous, most heart of gold people I have ever met! We have so many friends in common I felt like we had already been friends forever 💕💕💕 Chelsea is one of those people ya just feel lucky to know!!
Maddie- Maddie is from Georgia. I loved getting to spend so much time with this girl in our drives around the island! The more i was around maddie the more i felt lucky to be around her! She literally is such a sweetheart 💕💕 I look up to her so much in her faith and optimism in life!! She makes everyone feel good and special 💛I seriously love her so much!💛
Hannah- Hannah is Maddie’s identical twin living in Georgia as well! I loved watching their sweet sister friendship. Hannah inspired me even before the retreat with her amazing food Instagram and her beautiful creations! I also love how much she shares her faith and heart online!! I just know she is such a bright light in the lives of so many 💛 the world needs more people like the twins!
Taylor- Taylor is from Texas currently living in Louisiana! The first thing I think of when I think of taylor is Lady boss!!!! She runs an amazing fashion blog and seriously kills it in everything. I am so inspired by her. My favorite thing about taylor is her beautiful heart and how generous and giving she is 💛 she always wanted each waiter and worker whole helped us to know how appreciated they were an tipped them(even when it wasn’t customary!!) so amazed by this girl.
Jon Luke- Jon Luke is Taylor’s husband who is also from Louisiana! He is exactly what i think of when I think of a ‘southern gentlemen!’ I wasn’t sure how it would be with him and josh being the only guys but it literally everyone LOVED Jon Luke! I learned so much business tips from him and he was also so helpful. Every morning he was the first helping Natalia with the dishes from her yummy breakfasts. He has such a kind heart and you can just tell how much he loves taylor 💛
Hanna- Hanna is from Canada. She is literally the most adorable ray of sunshine and plus she has some crazy awesome dance moves!!! I literally just wanna be like this sweet girl 💛 she came on the retreat last minute and I am sooo happy she came! It really wouldn’t have been the same without her beautiful smile and happy spirit 💛💛
Jarah - Jarah came from canada as well. She started a cool house party business called Mayberry’s and crushed it and sold it!! She is a true lady boss! The thing that inspired me the most about Jarah is the pure love she has for her kids/family 💛She was amazing putting her husband through school as he was becoming a doctor. She is also an amazing photographer and and doing the floss dance whenever possible. 🙌🏽
Whitney - Whitney is also Canadian living in utah! She is also an amazing floss dancer and is Jarah’s sister in Law and mama to the cuuutest boys! She is such a beautiful person inside and out 💛💛She is an amazing makeup artist too!! I never do my makeup and never really have been stoked getting it done, but when she did my makeup on the retreat I was amazed! She made me feel so pretty 💕💕 I love Whitney!!!!
Ashley- Ashley is from Salt Lake City Utah! I seriously loved Ashley the minute I met her! She is so amazing, kind and genuine! I saw myself a lot in her and her passion for starting videography and it makes me so happy! She is a bright light and I know life has such amazing things in store for her!! I seriously can’t wait to see where it takes her 💛
Overall, the whole experience was even better than we could’ve ever imagined it. It was so fun to meet all these amazing people and connect in an environment were we could learn and have so much fun. I feel like i left the trip with 15 new best friends 😭👭 and it’s been amazing to see the friendships they have created amongst themselves. Many of the girls who didn’t know eachother before planned to travel together before and after! It’s been so rewarding seeing the amazing videos and photos our friends have been creating. My heart really is so full from this experience 💛 josh and I will remember it forever! Who wants to come on the next one!?!