07786934176 mona@monanaem.com

Five years ago I was asked during a dinner table game, a question: “What would be your dream job?” and straight away I answered … a photographer.

That got me thinking, why can’t I have my dream job and get paid for something I love to do! At that time natural life style photography was beginning to trend in the UK. So I put a search for outdoor family photography and there it was…. on the top of the list Vicki Knights Photography

Immediately I fell in love with her style of photography and how she came across: genuine, warm, friendly, talented (I could go on and on…) but above all a hard working and devoted mum.

Inspired by it all, I slowly started building my portfolio, improving my techniques and attending courses to hone my skills in post production.

Ok, so I hear you saying “ how did you make your journey to Vicki Knights retreat….”

You get to a point in your career, where everything is stable… clients are happy, you get enough work that keeps you busy (but not too busy!), get lots of likes and comments until one day …..you get a client who is not as pleased with their photos as you thought they were going to be!

At the time I was annoyed and started doubting my work but thinking back on it now, it was a new beginning! I contacted Vicki Knights for the first time seeking advice and she added me to a supportive lifestyle photographers group, who gave brilliant advice and shared experiences on every aspect of this industry.

I soon realised that I wasn’t the only one  facing these insecurities or dilemmas. The group has helped me build my confidence , be proud of my work and above all introduced me to so many talented photographers.

Ok so I’m finally getting to the retreat now…. when Vicki announced last year she was running a Business retreat for photographers, well of course I jumped to the chance and the 6 month countdown began!

The Delight Photography Business Retreat was at the charming Florence House in East Sussex. A gorgeous setting near the coast and surrounded by beautiful grounds. It was the perfect place to get inspired, reflect and photograph of course!

I was excited to meet Vicki but at the same time felt a bit nervous (having followed her for years I knew everything about her but yet she knew nothing about me). I didn’t need to be nervous, she was exactly how I had imagined (well taller than I expected)…simply wonderful!

The retreat itself was exactly what I was looking for, a totally comprehensive workshop on how to run a successful photography business. In addition I met 10 lovely female photographers who shared similar desires and passion for family photography.

Vicki’s wing woman Vicky Holmes co-hosted the retreat and took all behind the scenes images and the fantastic group shot below.

Over the 3 days we shared our experiences, ate tons of scrummy food (still remembering that sticky toffee pudding – yum) had lots of laughter and squeezed in some work of course! Watching Vicki in action was a great learning experience as it gave me an insight into how I would like to photograph in the future.

Not only did the course help me identify my brand, my style, my strapline but also improve my technique in shooting from a distance.

Here are my results from the two gorgeous shoots:

Thank you again Vicki Knights for this amazing opportunity, Vicky Holmes for being such a great laugh and to all the other lovely ladies for making my first retreat such a delightful experience.

I’m really excited about putting new actions into my business so watch this space!


Mona x

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