It’s been almost two months since The Signature Atelier, and I’m still not over how wonderful it was! Hence why it’s taken until now to write any sort of semblance of a blog post about it.

Katherine & I began talking about the concept of a workshop in France almost two years ago- I’d posted somewhere about how it was a pipe dream of mine, and after hearing from Katherine that she cherished the same ambition, we did the only thing that made sense; combined forces and turned dreams into reality!

Launching turned me into a nervous wreck- what if no one signed up? What if we made the announcement and…. crickets? It turns out all that fear was for naught- we sold out in less than three weeks!!

Now came the fun part: we spent a full seven months planning, wanting to account for every possible situation we could. We wanted to lessons to be rich in content, the shoots to be both beautiful AND useable in ours attendees’ portfolios, and for the fellowship to be deep. Another big item for us was to give our girls an authentic French experience they wouldn’t be able to find at any other photography workshop!

The Signature Atelier | France workshop for wedding photographers

And sure enough, every single one of our goals was realized, and then some! It’s hard to put into words just how incredible our week was, so I’ll let the photos do most of the talking. I do have a few people to thank, though:

Katherine, thanks for being the best co-host a girl could ever ask for. This workshop would be an unachieved dream if it weren’t for you, and I’m so grateful you were willing to team up with me! Thanks for always being the gentle voice of reason whenever I needed it, for all the incredible meals you provided throughout the workshop, and for leading our attendees with grace and warmth. Love you so much, friend!

Jenn, there is no way this workshop would have been anywhere near as smooth if it weren’t for your presence. Thank you so much for being willing to come and support us in the dozens of ways you did! From your stunning calligraphy throughout the house to your gorgeous ring boxes + paper good for the styled shoot, from the daily pain au chocolat to your wisdom & talent as an artist that you freely shared, you were such a blessing!

The Signature Atelier | France workshop for wedding photographers

Let’s go chronologically through the week! Waiting on every girl’s bed upon arrival was some fun swag, and a glass of bubbly was waiting for everyone out in the garden…

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One of my favorite aspects of the workshop was dinner each night. Katherine’s incredible in the kitchen, especially when it comes to authentic French cuisine, so each night featured a different multi-course meal inspired by Katherine’s time in France and her experience cooking for her French husband & their three little bi-lingual babes.

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Breakfast each morning: pain au chocolate and croissants, and Monday morning’s petit dejeuner also brought with it a gorgeous gift from Jenn Heller’s ring box shop 🙂

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Monday afternoon, we took the girls into the city for a walking tour of some of our favorite Paris highlights! And between bouts of rain, we also made time for a few headshots.

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The next morning at approximately zero-dark-thirty (no, but really- they picked us up at 5:15am) drivers took us to one of Paris’ most iconic spots for a sunrise anniversary shoot (with Arie & Kevin as our models!). Despite the threat of rain, the morning turned out so beautifully! We definitely had some shade thrown our way from the dozen+ other photographers who wanted our spot, but… #sorrynotsorry. You’ll have to get up earlier than that if you want to beat me and Katherine.

The Signature Atelier | France workshop for wedding photographers

The lovely Marie Rood working her magic with Arie & Kev

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The girls spent the rest of the morning in the city to give them a chance to explore, while Katherine, Jenn & I headed back to our home in Versailles to prepare for the afternoon’s first class- watercolor painting + rosé in the garden! This was one Katherine suggested early on in our planning, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of the whole workshop.

The Signature Atelier | France workshop for wedding photographers

Each attendee got to take home their travel palette of paints, and K & I had so much fun seeing the girls post snippets of what they were painting during and even after the workshop was over!

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The next morning gave way to the class I was most looking forward to: Film 101!! You guys know how much I love analog photography, and it’s played an enormous role in developing my artistic style & cultivating inspiration from throughout my times in France. I walked the girls through the beginning basics of shooting film- the various formats available, different stocks, exposure, fundamental rules of film behavior, and more.

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…and then during our styled shoot that afternoon, each of our girls got a turn with a medium format film camera to try their hand at shooting film themselves! This was SO much fun to see unfolding- hearing things like “I feel like I just fell in love with photography again” made my entire week! A huge thank you to The FIND Lab for sponsoring each of our attendees with film + processing- being able to provide that for them was incredible.

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Katherine’s talk on defining your signature style!

The Signature Atelier | France workshop for wedding photographers

Just hanging out of the second story window. NBD.

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Day 5 saw us departing for Versailles- the gates to the Domaine were within walking distance from our home, and it was the most BEAUTIFUL day for walking the property! Katherine & I gave everyone our best advice for what to focus your time on, and let everyone go their own way. Strolling the gardens & vast estate was inexplicably inspiring, especially since we also managed to make it over to my favorite spot in the Petit Trianon.

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Our last full dinner that night before everyone departed the following morning, complete with my favorite meal Katherine’s ever made + pinot blanc to spare.

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To our attendees: Katie, Sabrina, Dawn, Casey, PJ, Marie, Lina, Amanda, Alicia & Jessica, thank you for trusting us enough to come all the way to Paris to spend the week with us! It was a privilege, to say the very least, and I hope you all know that we learned quite as much as you all did that week. Thank you for the real & raw conversation, the late nights & early mornings, and for the honor of sharing so much of what Katherine & I have learned over the years. We love you all!

Spending the week with these 12 ladies was the highlight of my entire year.

The Signature Atelier | France workshop for wedding photographers

A huge thank you to our sponsors from the week- our girls were SO grateful for your time, talents & gifts!

The FIND Lab
Tonic Site Shop
Simply Jessica Marie
Jenn Heller Design Co.
Art by Megan
Ruffled Lane
Bekah Anne
Leather Craftsmen

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Our France workshop! The Signature Atelier

September 13, 2017

  1. Alicia

    September 13th, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Abby! This post had me reliving the Signature Atelier all over again- thank you! Best birthday gift I’ve gotten all week (don’t tell the hubby!)

    Meeting all the amazing women and learning seriously SO much is the definitely the highlight of my year!

  2. Sabrina Fields

    September 13th, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Oh my goodness, I LOVED reading through this and reliving that week through your photos. Thank you and Katherine so much for stepping through any fears you had to put on this workshop… it was amazing!! xoxo

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