Industry News

The Secret Retreat: A Workshop for the Aspiring Destination Wedding Photographer

March 12, 2018

By Jacqueline Tobin

Photo © Claire Penn

Want to learn how to run your own successful wedding photography business while also experiencing a relaxed, retreat-style setting in Italy? Then you should consider the Secret Retreat, September 11-15, 2018 in Naples, Italy (which, after this, won’t be such a secret—registration is open now).

“This workshop is geared toward female wedding photographers who are keen to build a destination wedding portfolio, book destination weddings and who are looking for a relaxed setting,” explains co-founder and UK-based photographer Claire Penn, who was an Rf 30 Rising Star in 2014. “You should be keen to learn from four very enthusiastic speakers who tell it like it is, hold nothing back and are willing to kick your ass (albeit gently) if necessary.”

The Secret Retreat, says Penn, was born out of a desire to design a workshop that would be the one that female wedding photographers would want to attend. “It’s also about making your business a beautiful reflection of yourself, creating something that inspires both you and your dream clients,” she adds.

The other founders and instructors include Lucy Woodrow and Andrea Ellison (this month’s Editor’s Pick). Melissa Love of The Design Space Co. will also be joining them. “I will be talking pricing, marketing and destination weddings,” says Penn. “Andrea will be teaching how to find your ideal brides and how to get their attention, Lucy will be covering branding 101 and how to do some soul searching along the way, and Melissa will be sharing the tools you need to ensure you have the perfect shop window—your website. Add to this some down time at the pool, fabulous meals and beautifully styled shoots where we will share our secrets and where you can practice your posing skills with our real couples.”

Last year’s attendees told Penn that the styled shoots were “paced exceptionally well with plenty of rest periods in between,” she reports, “and time to get shots both on video and stills—with no awkward vying among participants to get the shot.”

Related: How One UK Photographer Aims To Diversify The Photography Education Scene

Are You Ready To Unplug? Behind the Scenes with Three Wedding Photography Workshops

Q&A with the Brains Behind Inspire Photo Retreats