As I sit down to finally write this post, four months post-workshop, I have so many memories drifting around in my head. Memories of the four hour drive to Indy - the furthest I've driven alone, part of it in a crazy downpour on a highway with too many lanes to count. Walking up the driveway into the cabin with a pounding heart... wondering what the three days ahead would hold. This felt like such a huge step for me - investing a decent amount of money into furthering my education. I had dreamt of attending not just any workshop, but this workshop, for years. I had followed Joy Prouty on social media and read every magazine article she had written or been featured in. Something told me her workshop would be filled with my kind of people.
As I entered the cabin, I noticed Joy's lovely quilts adorning the couches and chairs, and the ladies chatted like old friends. We came with no expectations other than to learn from Joy, and knew nothing about the other attendees, yet we felt connected from the first moments. There was not a single note of judgment, only love.
Over the course of the days there, something happened to me. My eyes opened to the idea of figuring out who I really was so that I could better serve my clients while also balancing my family life. I realized that I needed to make some changes, and scribbled approximately 50 pages of notes in the little green notebook Joy gave us at the beginning of the workshop. I still look at those pages every week or two, and it brings the rush of realization back. The excitement, the passion, and the desire to work through some things in my life so that I could be the person God created me to be.
We really made the most of our time together thanks to Joy and her wonderful family. They have such servant's hearts. We shared our stories, ate delicious meals, chatted by the campfire, danced in the rain, and photographed the most beautiful families. We learned so much from each other and I feel connected to these women in such a unique way. Their stories are now woven into my own, and we support and lift eachother up on a weekly basis. I'm so thankful for that.
It's rare that a day goes by when I don't think about our workshop. I think about Joy and her strength and vulnerability. I think about each of the women and the authentic way they shared. I think about the long drive home from our time together, and the prayers of gratitude I lifted up. A dream of mine came true, and the gifts I took away from that trip are abundantly pouring out of me into all areas of my life.
If you'd like to read more about the workshop, these beautiful ladies also blogged their experience from our workshop, and I know you'll enjoy reading their words...
Tara Strohl of Tara Strohl Photography
If you're reading this and considering a workshop with Joy, I urge you to say yes. Go, learn, and share your heart with the world.
I'll also be blogging my own images from the two family shoots we took part in, so stay tuned! For now, here's a glimpse behind the scenes at our Wildflowers Workshop.
It was hard to leave, knowing this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and that I may not see every person I connected with over our 3 days together. But I left with a notebook scribbled with dreams, a rekindled passion for documenting life, and friendships that will last a lifetime.