For years now I’ve been asked if I would ever do an educational pet photography retreat, my answer was always no.
Well I’d panic about it being good value for those attended, provided the experience that they expect, it’s a massive undertaking to do alone and if I’m perfectly honest I was doubtful of my ability to survive a week in a house with strangers.
But in May this year I helped host Not a Retreat. We booked a big house in Aberfeldy gathered a bunch of pet photographers from all over the world, hung out and photographed dogs. This wasn’t an educational retreat but a chance to hang out with peers for a week. It was such a good time. I survived a week of socialising, so one of my worries disappeared.
What about my other worries?
Well for the week I had Kristen of Kristen Murray Photography in my car while we were travelling to all the amazing locations. We got along great and all week I was watching Kristen work. I was instantly impressed with how she would take charge of the dogs and their owner during the shoot, she knew what she wanted from the dogs and how to get it. Not only that but she was conscientious about making sure others got their shots as well, especially the quieter more introverted members of our group. And no one was allowed to voice any negative thoughts about their work or business in Kristen’s hearing! She would instantly jump in turning it into a positive or be working through solutions with them.
By the end of our week together I really started thinking maybe I could do a full on educational retreat if I had the help of someone like Kristen. So why not Kristen!
To my delight Kristen was very much up for coming back to Scotland to partner up for an educational retreat.
And that is how Woofventures Retreats was born!
What is Woofventures?
It is a pet photography educational retreat that will take place in May 2024 in the heart of the Scottish Cairngorms!
You want more details?
We have booked a luxury house in the Cairngorms. It will be a mixture of shared twin rooms and private rooms, each with their own modern en-suite. The house has lots of spaces to relax and socialise, as well as some more quieter spaces for those that need a little more down time.
We will be doing a mixture of studio, location and business education.
We will have a small studio space set up in the house and will be bringing in some dogs for you to get hands on studio experience. A chance to learn all about what I do in the studio and more! The goal is to have you confident to go make what you want to in the studio.
When it comes to location shoots we have some epic shoots lined up! The forests and lochs of the Cairngorms are so beautiful, you will instantly fall in love. Oh and we have an extra special day out planned in the majestic beauty of Glencoe! You can’t come to Scotland and not photograph dogs in Glencoe. Glencoe is absolutely my favourite place on earth. I find a great sense of peace when I’m there and it’s always so fun to place a dog amongst those mountains and glens.
We will have business and mind set education as well. Obviously mindset will not come from the pessimistic Scotsman, I think it’s hardwired into our DNA!
We haven’t finalised the schedule and you have the opportunity to give your thoughts on it by joining our waitlist and filling out a questionnaire:
We can’t be all things to all people but we are listening to feedback! We want to make this the best experience possible for the attendees.
Somethings we can absolutely do from the feedback we have received already – make sure there are plenty of dog models available to allow people to shoot in small groups, provide high quality pdfs of the content on day so you can really focus during classes and not worry about scribbling down notes, and we will absolutely make sure that the quieter voices in the group are heard.
So come join the waitlist to help shape the content of the retreat and be the first to find out the full details on launch!
If you don’t want to join the waitlist but would like to fill in the questionnaire with your thoughts on what will make the retreat special you can do that right here.
Images by Kristen Murray Photography
So lets recap on what Woofventures Retreats is!
An educational pet photography retreat that takes place in a luxury country house.
Set in the Scottish Cairngorms with it’s ancient forests, lochs and mountains – proper fairy tale stuff.
Education on studio and location pet photography.
The opportunity to photograph dogs in a studio environment.
Some epic shoots in the Scottish Cairngorms to get some portfolio worthy shots.
A once in a life time shoot in Glencoe.
Mindset and business education.
A chance to socialise with your peers and build some life long friendships – I can’t begin to explain how valuable this is.
We have some exciting extras to be included with the big launch.
And did I mention that Hamish and Dougal the hairy coos live in the garden of the house?
The thing that makes Woofventures different from other retreats? Well like other retreats it’s the personalities involved that make them all different. Myself and Kristen are passionate about dogs and photography, we want to help you develop skills that will enable you to realise your vision for both your photography and your business. We want to make this special, we want all your voices to be heard. We have so many ideas on where we can help, not to copy a style but to develop the skills to manage a session, the dogs and the owner to make something that is all yours. And Woofventures is happening in my back yard, I love Scotland and I can’t wait to share it’s beauty with you.