The Thriving Photographer

In my bid to keep improving my business and photography, I challenge myself regularly to attend different training courses, and last weekend’s Thrive Retreat was the best yet!

Leah Remillét, photographer, entrepreneur, business coach, and all round supermum (or supermom – as she’s from the US), was the host of what can only be described as the most luxurious, fun packed, inspiring course I have ever attended.

So, I could keep gushing all day long, and probably will a little bit longer, but in the meantime let me tell you a little bit more about my amazing experience.

8 talented lady photographers (and mums – albeit one of them to two kittens) from across the globe joined me for the Thrive Retreat. As we pulled up nervously to the entrance, I entered the gate code in to keypad, and the two giant gates opened to introduce us to Ivy House.

It was the sort of house you could only ever dream of staying in, fabulously furnished with 7 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (most of which were bigger than my main bedroom at home), a kitchen to die for, 3 lounges, oh and just the one indoor swimming pool, and 2 hot tubs…. It was at this point I wondered whether I’d actually booked myself in to a weekend of luxury pampering, rather than business training, and I soon found out I was in for both!

Ivy House Lounge

Just one of the amazing lounges!

After meeting the other girls and settling in to our rooms, each decorated in a unique uber cool style, we headed downstairs for the introduction session number 1, and the start of the gift giving extravaganza!

Amazing Gifts

The start of the gift giving!

My Chair

My ‘conference’ chair!

The evening went on with gorgeous food, lots of excited chatting and exchanges of tips, tricks, thoughts and ideas, to be finished in the hot tub outside before heading off to bed!

Day 2 started equally as exciting, with a lovely well needed lay in (until about 8.30am, but anyone with a little one will understand that 8.30am is amazing)! We headed down for breakfast, beautifully prepared by Leah’s friend and retreat assistant Ashleigh, who was also on hand for the whole weekend to provide anything we needed!

Then came the first of our business coaching sessions. What Leah doesn’t know about running a successful business with 3 kids, hubby and busy home, isn’t really worth knowing, and it was with a head full of ideas we strolled off to lunch on a barge along the Great Union Canal!

Dream Big

Inspiring notes left around the house!


Lunch on the Grand Union Canal!

The afternoon saw session 2, and then off we went like a group of excited teenagers to get ready for the first of our photo sessions. With the clouds lurking overhead, Leah grabbed her camera and got us to pose in front of the lens for a change to provide us with a new set of headshots! Boosting my confidence and making me feel a step away from a Kardashian, we finished the headshots and popped ourselves off to the dining room for another super tasty feast!
The night ended with us getting confident in front of the camera again – to make a home made music video! We laughed until the tears streamed down our faces, and although I’ve not seen the finished video yet (and I’m not sure I’ll share it either), I’ve no doubt it’ll have me laughing again and again!

Day 3 had us getting down and dirty with the most intense session so far, planning, marketing and business development, another brilliant session which left my brain buzzing. We had lunch and then each had 1 to 1 sessions to discuss our individual plans with Leah and get her thoughts and ideas on what we can do differently!

Saturday afternoon saw the arrival of a new bunch of faces for our second photo shoot session. The sun was shining and we were all excited to get started! A gorgeous family with 2 young boys, a lovely couple, and Leah’s 3 beautiful children had volunteered to be our models for the afternoon, and give us the chance to shoot in different locations with Leah on hand for tips and more of her knowledge and advice.

The end of another fabulous day, and we headed out to the local pub for dinner, where Leah presented us with yet another thoughtful and amazing keepsake of our journey!

We made our way back to our weekend home, full of chatter, but sad knowing that we were going home the following morning! Our final night ended with us sharing a glass of wine, and yet more yummy food in the hot tub, oh and I think at one point Disney movie soundtracks were being blasted by 8 angelic voices… J

Sunday morning came all too quickly, our last get together, and then it was time to say goodbye, we headed off home, feeling eager, inspired and so happy to have met such a wonderfully talented group of women.

Thank you girls for making it such a memorable, fun and worthwhile weekend.

Leah Remillét – you are my new hero!!

Look out for my new blog post soon showing all of the pictures taken at the retreat!

Thrive Retreat

Celebrating with a glass of bubbles!