Sometimes as a creative small business owner, I am lucky enough to attend meetups with fellow creatives. Rather than feeling like work, my job can sometimes feel like a big brainstorming session/ snack party where I take creative workshop photos. That doesn’t sound horrible, does it? In this particular instance, it was also a sleepover. It seriously couldn’t get any cooler. I love my job!
I was invited to photograph Ascend, a 3-day workshop hosted by Sharon Kopko of Pressed Paper. Sharon’s dream was to gather together with like-minded creatives looking to discover new things about the creative business world. Then once the retreat was over, they would head home & apply their new knowledge in order to elevate their business. It sounded like a great investment for those wanting to learn about marketing, editing, and elevating their brand.
There were AMAZING speakers lined up for this 3-day brand + marketing event for creative small business owners. They were amazing graphic designer Michelle Brown of Mishku Studio, stylist extraordinaire Sandra Chau, brilliant film photographer Anna Peters, and marketing specialist D’Arcy Benincosa. What a dream team! They’re such lovely women and inspiring role models. The speakers did an amazing job organizing a schedule and a presentation to educate the attendees. It was seamless and educational.
Setting the scene
The workshop took place at Sharon’s casita, which was designed entirely by her + her husband John. In other words, what a labor of love it was! They worked for months nearly nonstop to build this new addition to their home. It would be the future site of Pressed Paper, along with a space for workshops like Ascend. A perfectly multipurpose addition to their home. The casita was built, filled with essentials, and decorated just in time for the spring workshop!
On top of being multi-talented by completing all of the design and landscaping and for their home + casita, John also engineers tools specially for Sharon + her homemade paper-making business. As if that wasn’t enough, he is also a chef! What an amazing guy! Therefore, he and his daughter Sarah made all of the delicious meals during the entire workshop from scratch. I repeat, from scratch. It was such a memorable part of the workshop for me. I always connect with delicious food made with love!
Styled shoots were happening when it wasn’t a scheduled class time or small group discussion time. I was in heaven, getting to photograph all of the behind the scenes. It was so refreshing to be able to creatively play with these amazing women who flew in from around the WORLD (looking at you lovely Aussies, Michelle and Sandra).
I’m so grateful for my time spent photographing Ascend. I learned so much. Like I mentioned earlier, I love my job so much. This truly didn’t feel like work. New friends were made and old friends were squeezed. All of the photos taken really represent the community that was formed, the creativity that was pulsing throughout the casita, and the learning environment that these amazing speakers cultivated. I can’t wait to see what Pressed Paper does next!
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All photos: Lightbulb League