Colorado Feminist Photo Vaycay // LGBTQ Styled Engagement Shoots
Last month I went to my second Feminist Photo Vaycay, and as expected, it was amazing. This year it was in Colorado, west of Denver, and it was gorgeous. There's already one planned for February in Palm Springs and I think there's already a waiting list.
Feminist Photo Vaycay isn't your typical photography workshop with talks all day and expos in the afternoon. It really is a retreat, where everyone stays in one house overnight, and it feels a lot like summer camp. Mostly everyone there is a wedding photographer, although one year a few wedding planners came and the models for the styled shoots stayed with us. Typically, it's woman-identifying feminist photographers.
It's super relaxed, there are chefs to cook for us and optional styled shoots. Everyone is at a variety of different levels and has different experience (like some people only do elopements or high-end destination weddings, and some people are part-time). There's a lot of sharing of ideas and everyone is so open. There's a lot of people coming together asking questions and troubleshooting together in roundtable-like casual discussions where there's no pressure to come up with any perfect answers.
It's very choose-your-own-adventure, where you can really do whatever you want. Last year, some people didn't do any of the styled shoots and just hung out or got some work done. Some people did every styled shoot. Either way, it's fine and there's no pressure to perform or outdo each other.
If you can't tell, I love Feminist Photo Vaycay.
The organizer is Carly Romeo, and she does everything. She's a wedding photographer, she organizes this retreat, she started her own chocolate company (I know), and she's the camp director at Feminist Camp. She's amazing and from what I know, she started the retreat because there wasn’t really anything like it and she wanted it to exist because she wanted to go to it. From Carly, "I just wanted a chill way to spend time, be creative and experimental in a safe feminist space".
A lot of the same people who came last time also came this time (and a lot more new people too). It's really nice to know people all over the country who share the same values and are in the same field. From the first vacay, I ended up being able to meet up with people in their cities when I was shooting a wedding in California or on the East Coast. Plus, we get to refer each other when we're not available. So it's great for networking and just meeting people in a similar boat with similar passions and struggles.
For the styled shoots, Carly always tries to get couples that are underrepresented in the wedding world. Being able to see yourself on a photographer's website when you're looking for a wedding photographer is so important.
This year, we did two styled shoots of two couples. Stylist and wedding planner, Dawn Mauberret came and figured everything out for us, which makes a huge difference with styled shoots. When I planned my wedding, honestly the most overwhelming part was deciding on styling. I know what I like individually, but putting everything together is hard! So it was really nice to have someone there to figure that out for us.
Colorado was so beautiful, probably one of the most beautiful places I've been. After the retreat, Mark flew in and we had a little mini vacation together and got our photos taken on Mt. Evans. I didn't take too many photos, we really just relaxed and stood in awe of the milky way at night. We stayed on top of a mountain and we did a little exploring, hiking, and went white water rafting.
All in all, it was the perfect vacation. Scroll down to look through the photos from the two styled shoots we did, one of our fearless leader, one of everyone's favorite Pangtography, and the night sky at our cabin!
Love these photos? Contact me to chat about booking your engagement shoot here!