You take a workshop, you expect to learn something--it's just sort of a given.

When Jose Villa asked me to guest speak at his workshop in Mexico, I went as a teacher, as someone there to help other photographers on their way to being better. I never expected that I would learn as much or more than they would!

When you are a wedding photographer, it's easy to get stuck in a rut of doing the same thing over and over. While consistency is to be revered, not criticized, staying fresh and open to new possibilities is SO important! I'm ashamed to admit that there have been many times I've resisted doing or trying new things, just on the basis of my discomfort with being outside what I know works.

Being at this workshop over the past week has taught me so much about myself. From Karina Puente's talent, to Jill LaFleur's spot-on talk on what clients really want, not to mention Jose's near-perfection with his equipment, I came away feeling absolutely refreshed and empowered to take on 2010 with a new attitude! I just feel so inspired to create things and try new things that I literally can't WAIT for my next shoots!

Having been in business for 10 years, the times that I have felt this way lately have been less frequent than I'd like. I had no idea how much was possible out there, so I have to give a HUGE thank you to Jose, Jill, and Karina for helping me to get over that hump.

If you can only take one workshop next year, it should be Jose's Mexican Hacienda Adventure--hands down. It's going to be around this time next year and VERY limited in size, so you'd better contact him ASAP if you want to have a shot at getting in!

We had some amazing models to work with, and I am so thrilled to be able to share these photos with you:

I will say, it's hard not to be inspired when shooting a bride and groom that look like this:


or when you have light that looks like this:


Jose and I split up for some of the shooting, and I was working with the most amazing bride and groom, Christian and Adriana. Seriously, drop dead gorgeous and incredibly sweet to boot. Mar from Team Hair & Makeup worked her magic and Matthew Johns did the snazzy styling. Having a stylist was SO rad! He's available to style wardrobe for weddings and engagement sessions worldwide, so you should for SURE contact him!! :


Claire Pettibone, who designed the gown is a freaking genius. Look at that detail!


It's easy to be inspired when you have a location that looks like this:


And people with attitudes like this:


And color like this:


and this....


These two might be my favorites:


but it's hard to contain my love for this one:


When I saw this spot, I almost died, it was that colorful and beautiful:


why not show a little more :)


You know I was obsessed with this light:


And this bride:


And these expressions:


Capturing this shot could have made the entire trip worthwhile alone:


But it didn't have to be alone :)


We ended with this:


Jose, thank you so much for having me be a part of this--I learned more than you can possibly know!

People who made this workshop a raging success are:

Claire Pettibone's amazing gowns
Mar with Team Hair & Makeup
Jill LaFleur-wedding coordinator extraordinaire
Jose Villa (obviously)
Oh my deer headpieces
Hacienda El Carmen
Citro Models