Can I come on a retreat as a helper or partner with you to host?
We already have a tight knit team that is well versed in working together, and as such we don't usually need help, and our partners & co-hosts are usually selected in advance and are people we know well and/or have worked with before. That said, we are always looking for local experts on the ground in locations around the world, so if you know a location well & feel it would be a great spot for a retreat, let us know!
What are the event dates for the coming year?
We are in the planning stages of the 2nd half of 2017. You can find tentative events & time frames under "upcoming". If you'd like to be the first to hear when new events become open for registration, you can click JOIN to get on our mailing list.
what are "workshops & practicums"? do you teach private lessons?
These are usually 1/2 day to 2 day classes in major cities during which Beth teaches photography, styling, photo editing, and social media and/or a guest instructor teaches their craft. In contrast to our retreats, these are shorter events focused on learning a specific skill be it photography, herbalism, baking, or knitting. Accommodation is not provided nor are any meals other than those during class hours. At the retreats we teach photography and provide whatever guidance you like in other areas during one-on-one chats, but they are more about the experience—not about styling or social media. If you want a more intensive learning environment, the workshops are for you. They generally range from $500-1200 depending on the duration, location, and subject. Beth is also available to teach custom, private one-on-one lessons in photography, styling, editing, and social media in 2017, contact her here to inquire about rates, availability, and details.
What are the "Retreats & escapes" and what can I expect?
They are all-inclusive, bespoke shared travel experiences designed by visual storytellers for aesthetes, creatives, and foodies in some of the most beautiful locations in the world. We emphasize that these aren't "workshops"—they are experience based, not class based. Our goal is to create community through a new breed of shared travel and to provide guests with luxury, authenticity, adventure, and slow living that leaves them both inspired and rejuvenated. We make each event unique by styling beautifully undone tables for gatherings, serving seasonal, local food made from scratch, and seeking out the most inspiring vistas, cultures, inns & homes, and countries.
At every retreat we teach photography to guests interested in telling their own visual stories & honing their visual voice from behind the lens. We also offer various hands-on activities like yoga, knitting, horseback riding, weaving, fabric dye, painting, cooking, and floral arranging at different retreats. We prepare elaborate meals in and also schedule culinary experiences out—from street food to fine dining—and we create an itinerary for unique exploration of the area from boats to hot air balloons to camel or horseback. Specific activities will be noted in the description.
The first day of each event we spend the morning giving a talk on photography basics, discussing visual storytelling, and making sure all guests that would like to be are comfortable using their cameras in manual mode. The talk is optional, and we provide an alternative activity or leisure time for guests who aren't interested. We work closely with each guest to make sure they leave able to use their camera & take the photos they aim to.
Guests are free to use their time with us however they choose. For those looking to improve their photography & editing, build a portfolio, or learn for the first time, the opportunity to learn is there, and we will work closely with you for the duration of your stay on everything from portfolio critique to photo basics to social media to post-processing. For those simply interested in travel, unplugging, and having unforgettable culinary experiences, the opportunity to simply be is there. For the guest who finds themselves in a transition and is looking for answers to questions they may or may not know, the opportunity to be quiet and search is there. It's all there. Our goal is to enable you to find the space to create, the space to simply be, or both. Most importantly we want you to leave with the energy & vision to go back and do what you love, whatever that may be.
what's the difference between a retreat and an escape?
Retreats are usually shorter 5 day, 4 night get aways in which guests stay in one location the entire time with one day out devoted to exploring the immediate local area. Typically they cost around $2800-3400 USD depending on room choice and are for 8-12 guests. These are typically paid in two deposits. These are all-inclusive experiences save airfare / getting yourself to and from the retreat.
Escapes are more intimate, luxurious, and longer. They are typically for a minimum of 8 days, 7 nights, and guests may stay at one or more locations. Typically they cost between $7,000-10,000 USD depending on location and duration and are for 5-6 guests. While typically paid in 3 installments, we offer customized payment plans to meet your needs. These are likewise all-inclusive experiences save airfare / getting yourself to and from the location.
Do you teach styling at retreats and escapes?
Not usually. Typically, with a few exceptions which would be noted in the event description, we only teach photography, not styling, at retreats and escapes. This allows us to better teach photography, style gorgeous tables & picnics, and focus on the experience and location. We have found we can teach styling more effectively & more affordably for our guests in a studio setting with a full array of props and lots of time devoted to cooking and styling. We offer many styling workshops throughout the year in major cities like Nashville, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Copenhagen, and Beth is available to teach private styling workshops. Hop on our mailing list to be notified of upcoming workshops if this is your main area of interest!
what's included in the price?
At every retreat & escape all expenses are paid in advance except airfare and getting yourself to and from the event. While you're with us every meal, activity, transportation, and accommodation is taken care of, and you're given a curated collection of gifts inspired by slow living & the country you're in. All photography and editing instruction for those interested is covered. We will plan every detail; all guests need to do is show up and experience it. While some meals include wine, guests are responsible for any extra alcohol or personal shopping they might want.
Who comes to retreats? Are babies or Children welcome?
Everyone! Men, women, couples, friends, and singles come. Infants under 18 months old are welcome with an additional fee for childcare. People from all walks of life, all nationalities, and all ages come. One of the best parts of the retreats is the diversity of creative, like-minded people who come together over a love of travel, food, design, and slow living.
Do I need to be a photographer?
Not at all. While visual storytelling, food, and design are the inspiration of all our events, we welcome non-photographers and all levels and breeds of photographers from professional to iphoneographer to hobbyist to beginner. Almost everyone is telling a visual story these days, and there's almost no field that can't benefit from a working knowledge of photography. Some guests come with nothing but iPhones, others come with film cameras, yet others with point & shoots, and the majority with DSLRs. Some come to take better vacation photos for themselves and their family, some come because they want to hone their visual voice for personal expression, and others come because they want to strengthen a portfolio or build a career. Most come to have a good time & relax. Any one of those is a great reason, and I'm sure there are hundreds of others that would be just as good!
I really want to learn photography during the retreat or escape. How can I best prepare?
We highly recommend that those with a serious interest in photography come with a DSLR equipped with a fast lens. If you sign up for an event and are unsure about which camera or lens to bring or buy, we can aid you in doing the research and making the decision that best suits you needs. We also recommend that you come with the latest version of Adobe Lightroom installed on your computer. For beginners, if you can figure out which buttons on your particular camera change the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed while in manual mode, we can help you even faster! But don't fret if you can't figure it out; we can help!
I have a dietary restriction. Will there be something for me to eat?
What food we serve varies from location to location, and while we can cater to vegetarians, specific allergies, and some medical conditions, if you are severely limited and your diet is highly specific and restricted, these may not be the retreats for you. Because the food culture of the location is such an integral part of each culinary experience, we let the country and region dictate the food we serve. That said, if you have many dietary restrictions or are vegan and would very much like to attend, we can create a special menu for you at an additional surcharge.
do you accept cancellations or offer refunds in any event?
Unfortunately due to the involved logistics & up front costs of these events we have a strict no refund and no cancellation policy regardless of circumstance. If you need to cancel we will happily help you try to find a replacement for your spot, and if we can find one you will be refunded in full minus a service charge of $200 but only in the event that a replacement is found. We strongly urge you to buy travel insurance and to be sure you can make it before you book.
Will your new baby be there?
Yes! My husband & I work as a team, and we plan to travel and host as a family. If being around a nursing mother or infant will bother you, these might not be the events for you. During certain talk and activities our baby will be away from the group in the care of whichever of us isn't teaching or being cared for by our babysitter.