For the last 2 years, I have heard so much about how magical the lighting is in California.  I had dreamed of maybe one day shooting there but really didn’t think that dream would ever come true until one day on facebook, I saw where my friend Laura Hernandez was having her first workshop.  I thought about attending for a total of 30 seconds before I sent her a message that I wanted to attend.  After all, I had admired her work for quite sometime.  So without hesitation, I paid for the invoice and then started dreaming.  Attending a California workshop from some of the most talented of photographers, was a dream!

January is usually down time for photographers but I love to use it for education.  I am big on keeping up my education on my business because photography is an ever changing business.  I try to attend at least two workshops a year and to say this was one of my most favorite workshops ever is an understatement!  Usually, my workshop are rather large but when Laura told me that she was keeping it small, I was excited for more one on one help.  Laura and Rachel came through in a HUGE way with this.  First of, I have to say, having the workshop in their home was awesome.   The intimacy and homey feeling that they welcomed us in, was way more that I ever expected or experienced.

The first night was our welcome dinner.  What a wonderful experience they provided for us.  They brought in a personal friend that was an amazing chef, Hannah Cook.  If you are ever in Monterey, California, she is worth the look up!  Everything about the welcome dinner was intimate, elegant, and welcoming.  Oh and I can’t forget, we laughed A LOT!  Yes, we played  “Heads Up” and I was awful at it.  But what a great way to break the ice and make us all feel an instant connection to each other!

The Monterey Workshop by Laura & Rachel started of early the next day.  So unusual for California weather, it was raining (and it is still raining there).  No sweat for these two.  They have such a wonderful Rising Tide Society community, they were able to get us an awesome indoor location Move Studio in downtown Monterey.  So many great vendors contributed to make this a beautifully styled shoot.  The links to all these wonderful vendors are at the bottom of the blog.

Laura and Rachel opened not only their home but their hearts to each of us.  And six attendees was the perfect number.  By the end of the two day workshop, I can honestly say, I feel like I have five little sisters spread out over the country!  I am already wanting us to rent an Airbnb for a week together!  Of course, it has to be in Monterey with Laura and Rachel!  Laura and Rachel shared so much of their business and personal experiences with us, we left the workshop feeling inspired with not only our businesses , but also with life in general.

And I also have to say a special thanks to Laura and Rachel for capturing anniversary pictures of Todd and myself.  I will blog about that amazing experience soon!


Despite the incredibly windy conditions, the beach was perfect for our headshot session.

Some of my fellow workshop sisters!  Why does California and Chicago have to be so far?My super cute roommate Aura Aguirre of Aura Elizabeth Photography.

A special thank you to all the wedding vendors who teamed up with the Laura & Rachel team that make this workshop perfect!

Hosts | Laura & Rachel Photography 

Bridal Boutique | Epiphany Boutique

Wedding Dress Designer | Justin Alexander

Bridesmaids Dresses | Watters

Bride/Bridesmaids Earrings | Erica Koesler

Groom’s Suit| Michael Kors

Bride’s Shoes | Adrianna Papell

Hair & Makeup | Blush Hair and Makeup

Rings | Fire and Brilliance

Socks | In Case You Get Cold Feet

Calligraphy | The Crafting Casa

Invitation Suites & Journals | Katie Michelle

Styled Shoot Venue | Move Studios

Coordination | A Sparkling Event

Florist | Twigs Floral Design

Cake | Room for Dessert

Garters | The Garter Girl

Welcome Dinner | Chef Hannah Cook


Monterey Workshop by Laura & Rachel

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  1. Aura says:

    Girl, this is great! I loved being your ‘roomie’ and miss you already!!