As much as I wish I was, I am not Greek, although many people think I am. I am Lebanese and Syrian, so I come from a Mediterranean background, my roots just come from across the sea. I do feel qualified to call myself an honorary Greek, though, because of the church I was raised in. I am an Orthodox Christian, which many people associate with the Greek Orthodox Church (My Big Fat Greek Wedding…I’m sure you’ve seen it. There are many Greek people at our church, but it is full of all kinds of other ethnicities and that’s what I love most about it. I know Greek music, tradition, Greek dances, the food, and a few words here and there. Months ago, I heard a friend of mine, Tracy Burch, was considering doing a photography workshop in Greece after doing one in Ireland and I told her if it ever came to fruition, I would come design and style it no questions asked. So, here we are! Heading to Mykonos, Greece in April for The Elysian Workshop and I CAN’T WAIT.
The workshop will be hosted by a group of talented Kentucky photographers – Tracy Burch of Tracy Burch Photography, Ashley & Zac Brown of Shining Light Photography, and Kelli Wellman of Kelli Lynn Photography. They will be speaking on a multitude of things about photography (technical skill, film…etc) but also help the attendees discover their why, build them up, and let them know their why is enough. I’ve designed but also attended workshops myself and can say the community you build is more cherished than anything. I went to my first one around seven years ago and the people I met from it are still helping me elevate my business. Who you surround yourself with is EVERYTHING.
My purpose of attending this trip will be to design, style, and flower three shoots, all completely different from the other. Between myself and some input from my Greek friends, I feel so inspired to design authentically to the location and the culture. I am planning to take some cues from our church history (particularly the colors of the icons, the candles, and the odes to the senses) as well as the rich colors of the Greek islands. While the actual designs of these shoots are not nailed down, this is what I’m feeling inspired by today:
Painting by Zinaída Serebriakova
If you are a photographer looking to elevate your brand or skill, searching for community, burnt out, or just plain confused on why you are doing what you are doing (trust me, I’ve been there a few times….) consider joining us! Traveling is always an incredible adventure, so regardless of the actual workshop, it will open your eyes and invigorate you to see beyond what you’ve imaged before. I cannot wait for this experience and cannot wait to come home afterwards and see where it takes me.