The Flea Retreat
… was like no blogging conference I’d been to before. (Well, blogstock came close, since we all camped on site.) It was a refreshing approach to learning for bloggers and vloggers, it was suitable for veterans of the blogging world like me and newbies too.
Here I’ll share a photojournal, all (but the first image) shot on my OnePlus5 camera and are unedited (!), except for the occasional crop
…the beautiful Croydon hall, tucked among the rolling Somerset hills, but a stone’s throw from the sea. We had the manor house all to ourselves.
Thanks Emma for this ^^^ first picture. She writes all about life on Jersey at Island living 365 Check it out too!
As luck would have it, Spring came late this year, so we had the gorgeous
spring blooms to admire all over the lawns and gardens
I mean how beautiful are these?!
… at Croydon Hall is self-catering and Sally, Lindy and Sarah did an amazing job organising 3 wholesome meals and snacks and treats in between for over 50 people. There were pizzas, jacket potatoes, soup, danish pastries for breakfast and more
From attending a few events organised by Sally in the past, we know there will be cake.
The Retreat was no different… there was cake and all were just too delicious!
The team also organised a team of caterers for a special Saturday evening meal.
… were lead by professionals from their field.
I think we only had one blogger/ journalist, Kirstie, running a workshop. (Kirstie’s credenitals go way beyond blogging though as a member of the prestigious British Guild of Travel Writers and has been the poet in residence of the the Lake District for a number of years.)
Relaxing and setting intentions for the weekend with Rachel.
Taking your video skills travelling- learning about different options for kit- from Alistair. He’s main message was: don’t aim for perfect, just get started! And we did. After a presentation and discussing aspects of travel videos, we headed outside to test those skills and some of the gadgets Alistair had bought.
Dan critiqued our videos on Youtube and gave our little group a safe environment to discuss what is working and what isn’t. We had some great laughs as we were introduced to the lovely Lisa’s videos about narrowboating. (The picture below is a snapshot captured while shooting a video of our discussions.)
One of my favourite sessions was the presenting workshop with Darren and Sean. We not only got to learn from the guys who’ve been presenting for years, but we stood up and practiced our presenting skills too. And nerve-wracking as it is, we got critiqued and given hints and tips to improve.
Sunrise photography with Tom. Yes, we were crazy enough to get up at 5 am in the morning to photograph the sunrise. Tom gave some awesome tips as we were doing it. In fact, I had a few sessions with Tom throughout the weekend- photographing the night sky, photography critique session- and others joined him on beach walk photography and mountain biking photography sessions. Here’s a picture of Vicky upping her already awesome photography skills.
Katy graciously agreed to pose for a sunrise silhouette.
Sarah and Suzi forced us to put our cameras on manual…like truly manual, not just aperture priority (which has been my manual for the past years)… then took us on a journey of playing with our cameras with light coming from different angles- inside and outside of the house. They got us thinking, experimenting and getting some amazing portraits of each other.
Love the concentration I managed to capture on Karen’s and Ann’s face . (Above) Sarah was so kind and encouraging in her workshop style.
Anne even had me putting my phone, the OnePlus5 into manual mode and experimenting with ISO, shutter speed and exposure settings. (Below) And what a difference it make in the style of image captured. Can you believe this image is totally unedited, purely cropped?
There were other sessions like fashion shoots, food photography and videography that I missed, but fellow attendees raved about. The resulting pictures emerging are mind-blowing!
… was built into the agenda. Making the most of the spa, the swimming pool and just the facilities to chill, reflect or enjoy enjoy like-minded people’s company.
We had such amazing weather with temperatures in the mid 20C. A dip in the pool?
In true blogger style, Franca took a picture before enjoying the Cava the lovely Talya shared with a few of us chatting on the sofas in the lounge.
Chilling on giant bean bags and garden chairs, enjoying the warmth of the sun and people around us.
Going out on a high
…finishing with a positivity workshop and practising some on camera and behind camera skills left most with a smile.
… write a positive word about a person on a big, coloured paper
…pop the words on a backdrop behind the person. I love how cheerfully Caz posed! She’s adorable anyway and has all sorts of great frugal tips on Frugal Family
… and some more images (above and below) captured while filming on my phone camera
How much fun does that look like?! ^^^
Again… you can read a more wordy account of the weekend, with some salient take away points on the Flea Retreat review
Do you ever really take time out and invest in yourself to learn and grow?
Unedited pictures, shot on my OnePlus 5 phone camera.