for my sistas

i don’t know how to accurately write about hey sista. it is so special—so precious to us.
a treasure. somehow it gets better each time.

but what makes it so dear are the women who show up. who are open and vulnerable.

here’s what I know.

  1. this is a workshop. Allison and I prep our talks all year long, constantly taking notes and forming thoughts. The thing that I talk about that’s most important to me is inspiration and imagination—and every workshop I’m completely blown away by how other photographers take that info, use it, and create. we share a lot of practical information but also work to give you tools to develop the creative side—the entire week is focused on creative refresh and giving you opportunities to create that for yourself. there are moments of learning and absorbing, there are moments of shooting and being hands on, there are moments of creating and reflecting—the whole dang thang.

  2. this is a community. the girls who come to hey sista have their own little facebook group that they end up using long after we have our final breakfast—it’s a safe space where women feel free to share embarrassing questions, creative struggles, and pretty much everything in between. this place has always been a place where we’re all on the same ground level—there are no cool kids here—just women being open, and trusting each other to be kind and accepting and encouraging.

  3. this is fun. we eat every meal together. we work hard for slumber party feelings. we laugh a lot. swap our most embarrassing stories. day one is always a little nerve wrecking but by the end—like magic every time—we’re friends. we’re dancing and hot tubbing and looking at the stars and squealing over the photos that were taken that day. we celebrate big.

you know what else? this is only special because of the girls who show up and are awesome. each time, each group of women—it’s always exactly who needed to be there at that exact time. it blows me away the timing of it all.

so yes, this is a workshop. at a beautiful home. there are meals at long tables decorated by a world famous florist. there are talks on everything from shooting florals, staying creative, and learning how to better more smoothly more kindly run your business. there are three live shoots. there is an incredibly talented hair and makeup artist. there is coffee and hella lots of snacks. there is 2 on 1 time, where Al and I pour into you and your business individually. there is live editing. there are new headshots for you. there are no secrets. There are no cliques. there is music. there is a beautiful location to surround yourself in. there are people who are going to root you on and help you figure out how to push to the next level. it’s everything you need and maybe even a little bit of what you didn’t know you needed.

there is sisterhood.

there is replenishment.

but also, don’t take my word for it. i’m gonna share what some of these beauties (from hey sista Joshua tree!) have shared recently as well. so scroll and have a read and decide for yourself. this is worth the plunge.

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“as a wedding photographer it’s easy to get consumed in the hustle and hey sista was such a good reminder that we never stop being artists.” Sista Julia

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“Spent a week in the California desert, dancing in the sunshine and laughing with some of the most wonderful women I've ever met.” Sista Kait

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“how is this week already over?!? something I’ve looked forward to since august come and gone but what remains are new friendships, refreshed inspiration and excitement for this upcoming yearrr!! thank you to the baddest ladies for putting on the most incredible and inspiring week!! straight queeeeens I tell ya.” Sista Sunshine Kate

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“It feels like such a monumental thing to put something out there on social media after attending It was such a transformative and special experience and I felt like for the first time in a long time I was encouraged to give myself permission to not be constantly present online and to not be a slave to the infinite Instagram scroll. Instead, I focused on opening up my mind to what comes creeping back in when the content overload of each day isn’t clogging it up. . . . I met and grew to cherish the different pieces and parts and personalities of a group of complete strangers over the course of a few days. I created selfishly, and lived unselfconsciously. . . . What I am feeling in the wake of this week is nothing short of magical and electrifying. In quieting my mind and emptying my creative wellspring of all the useless clutter, I can feel the beginnings of new inspiration and thoughts sprouting. Ideas and thoughts that have come from within. It’s a feeling I have been chasing and seeking to restore since I was young, and feeling this way makes me feel like the same scabby-kneed kid sitting on the far edge of the grass in my parents’ backyard, looking out at the city and past that, at the ocean, sinking into twilight.” Sista Valerie

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“After a week of being surrounded by a group of powerful, beautiful, talented and bad ass women with the Hey Sista retreat in Joshua Tree, my heart feels full and inspired.

It's scary to put yourself out there and pursue a passion that feeds your heart and soul. It's even scarier to be vulnerable about doing so with other artists who you look up to. But putting yourself out there and connecting with other artists + creators and just beautiful human souls in general, is so worth the initial fear of jumping in and creating.

I feel lucky to have met and connected with such a unique group of souls who are insanely talented in their art, but stand out to me most for the glow inside their hearts they all shared with me and each other.” Sista Savannah

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ANNNDDDDD because why not—I want to share a couple other past sista’s thoughts.

@AnniqueMarie “One year ago, I walked into an airbnb with my suitcase and camera bag, and i was handed a mimosa and hugs. the rest is history. i met some of the strongest + best women at @heysistaco, and i Learned from the most inspiring leaders. thanks for changing my life, ladies. love and miss you all!”(hey sista, Palm Springs)

@MEGBRADLEY “This time last year I had the opportunity to attend the workshop put on by some real talented ladies (sistas). I almost backed out for the second time because of some family things- I’m so glad I didn’t and quite frankly, this workshop and I were meant to be. If you ever have the chance to splurge on yourself and are looking for a way to further yourself as an artist/creative/entrepreneur 👉🏽go to a workshop. Doesn’t have to be this although I’m ridiculously partial. Go for people you’ll meet. Go to get away. Go for you. You won’t regret it.”(hey sista, Palm Springs)

we have so much incredible stuff planned for this next workshop.

and we’ve got a few spots left. one of those is for you. yes, you.

take the jump, and join us in the woods of Oregon.

—> run don’t walk.