Vancouver Family Photographer | Kalaloch Photography Retreat 2015
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Last summer, I remember sitting at my desk, sulking about missing out on a local photography retreat that hosted a handful of photographers whose work often have me pause with admiration and heart ache with emotion. No, I couldn’t have made it anyway, with a spot opening a week before the retreat dates. Who would fill in for me at home? Can I afford it right now, when I’ve just started my business and not making much? I’m not in my twenties anymore, I can’t live impulsively like that. That would be irresponsible of me. So I squashed any ideas that tried to climb out of my mind.
Then the image share started pouring onto my newsfeed on social media. I allowed myself to look at a few. But resentment and envy found me and their noise was unbearably loud. It left me wondering if I’ll ever get to experience something similar, where a group of women can come together, exchange their views on photography, share their passion, and encourage each other on the ideas brewing in their minds. I think the universe heard me. Well, at least my dear friend, Kate Densmore, did.
While planning a trip for our Thanksgiving long weekend, and once again, avoiding social media because of all the image shares coming from Clickin Mom’s first Click Away conference, I told myself, no more sulking this time. I messaged Kate and blindly threw out the idea of having a photography retreat in Kate’s neck of the woods of the beautiful Olympic National Park. Not only did she catch my blind throw, she embraced it. If the park authorities give permission, we can definitely try and make it happen. On day 2, a Facebook group was created and the excitement of planning was brewing. It could not have come together any faster. In my mind, Kate was my rainbowed unicorn, sent by the universe to help me conspire this dream and make it reality.
So here we are, the start of January, the beginning of a new year. As far as I was concerned, my photography retreat started one day early because my east coast friend, Jana, flew in from below freezing Thunder Bay to come and stay with me. I had never met her in person but feel like we’ve been through enough online to start a conversation, and pretty much never stop – I love that woman! The next morning, off we went, like moths to the Kalaloch flame. We stopped in at Sea Tac to pick up the other member of our Canadian contingent, a long time friend of mine, Catherine, who I hadn’t seen since my days at Queens University in Kingston over 10 years ago! The day just keeps getting better and it’s only lunch! Speaking of lunch, we decided it would taste better with the company of the oh-so-amazing Bonnie, who could not make it to the retreat but was certainly able to meet us for some delicious pulled pork sandwiches! After a full belly and some afternoon caffeine, we are ready for the remainder of the drive to the coast.
#Kalaloch2015. That’s what we called it, thanks to our social media/iphoneographer/IG-master Nicole. We cooked for each other, emptied lots of bottles of wine, shot when we felt inspired, got in front of the camera even when it frightened us, learnt from and taught each other, shared our goals, filled our souls, and most of all, enriched our friendships. A camaraderie was born here, ignited by our love for photography and nurtured with the magic of Olympic National Park.
As much as I thought I would be shooting, I didn’t. I opted to freelense most of the weekend, so here are my shares from our photography retreat. Most of the time, I just allowed myself to breathe in this dream that became a reality, all because I asked about something I wanted, and was answered with amazing women who felt as strongly for the need to see it happen.
Alice, Catherine, Carrie, Dana, Davina, Kate, Jana, Laura, and Nicole, thank you so much for making this so much more than I could have ever imagined. Your friendships and words and the moments that we shared laughing and crying are something that I will always treasure so immensely. I am beyond blessed that I got to experience this with all of you. I will never forget #kalaloch2015.
As a way of sharing our unique experience, we have linked our blogs together in a circle. For a much more in depth recount of our time at Kalaloch, please click on over to the beautiful Carrie of Yili Photography and allow yourself to be wowed by her images and words.
Felicia Chang Photography specializes in newborn, birth, and family photography in Vancouver, British Columbia and surrounding areas including but not limited to North Vancouver and West Vancouver.