AKP Magical Retreat | Destination Wedding Photographers

I met Ashton Kelley-Werkmeister of Ashton Kelley Photography in a Facebook group.  We became friends and she eventually added me to a couple of her Facebook photography groups.  I was really liking what I was seeing.  I loved Ashton’s attitude, drive, work ethic and morals.  She heavily promotes #CommunityOverCompetition.  She encourages photographers to help, work with and support each other.  It’s rare to find that in the photography world.

As I started getting to know Ashton better and started interacting a bit on her boards, I saw that she was running photography retreats.  I pulled up her website and saw she was doing one in Orlando.  SO CLOSE TO ME!!!  So, I stepped WAAAAYYY out of my comfort zone and reached out to Ashton and signed up.  It was a weekend with other women photographers.  A day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.  Two styled sessions.  Some discussions.  And ALOT of laughs!  I truly had an amazing time!  Next time, if I get the opportunity, I would also stay and have the full immersive experience.

Our first night, we sat around the pool and hot tub, chatting and getting to know each other.  I felt way out of my element, but everyone quickly made me feel very welcome.  The next day was spent in Disney.  Most of us stayed at Magic Kingdom.  Some headed to EPCOT for the Food & Wine Festival.  We did get our group PhotoPass picture first…

We had just made it back in time for this retreat.  We had been in Chicago up until a couple of days before.  You see, the Cubs were in the World Series – and won, in case you have been living under a rock.  😉  BUT, the day our retreat was in Magic Kingdom, three Cubs’ players visited and had a parade!!!  It couldn’t have been more perfect!  Well, maybe if the entire team would have been there…

While Steve was waiting for the Cubs to set up on the garden lawn to give their interviews, he hopped out onto Main Street to take a photo for us…

After our picture, we were walking past Fairytale Garden where Merida meets.  I saw Paula, the best Character Attendant ever, hands down.  She helped us get this photo…

We kept breaking off into smaller groups.  We decided to say hello to Belle in the Library before calling it a night.

The next day, we started early. We had some business related discussions while our first styled session was being set up. Then, it was time to have some fun.  The idea behind this session is the couple had just gotten engaged and this was their engagement party…

Look at this baby pineapple!

Aren’t they adorable?!

I love the freckles!

My very favorite photo of this session!  I love it!

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The final day of the retreat was all about a styled session.  This was set up as a wedding.  This couple was awesome!  They are truly married and were a dream to work with!  The location was absolutely beautiful!

I normally don’t get to take too many photos of the groom.  Steve is typically in charge of that when we photograph a wedding.  So, this was fun for me.  It was something different…

I think I was channeling Steve here – hiding in bushes and behind trees.  😉

One of my very favorites from this session.  You can see how much he loves her…

We had a visitor…

STYLED ENGAGEMENT SESSION
Event – @akpretreat
Design – @simplysimplygorgeventsbylj
Rentals – @achairaffair
Cake & Cookies – @everything_cakes_orlando
Macarons – @dearmacaron
Paper – @ealexdesigns
Top – @freepeople
Bottom – @freepeople
Hair & Makeup – @nattycontreraartistry
Airstream – @hitchedphotolounge
Ring Box – @juliabyjewelry
Floats – @allshewrotenotes

STYLED WEDDING
Event – @akpretreat
Venue – @capenhouse
Design & Florals – @simplysimplygorgeventsbylj
Rentals – @achairaffair
Cake – @everything_cakes_orlando
Macarons – @dearmacaron
Paper – @ealexdesigns
Hair & Makeup – @nattycontreraartistry
Ring Box – @themrsbox

Proud to be…

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Some behind the scenes…

This photo not taken by me – that’s me in the green dress on the right…  😉

Also not taken by me – that’s me still in the green dress on the left, next to the bride and groom.  Ashton takes a photo like this at the end of every retreat.  I love it!  🙂

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