It’s been almost a month since Beth and I returned from Australia. How has it really...has it really? The whole experience was every thing I could have ever hoped or daydreamed it would be. Every single thing and a thousand more things.
We spent the first week in and around Sydney, mostly trying to barrel through jet lag and prepare for the first workshop. It was barely spring in the southern hemisphere, so the sun was pale and languorous and the air was frosty and the waves rolling into the Sydney beaches were swollen and majestic and terrifying. And it was all beautiful, and we fell in love with all of it before we even had a chance to try.
Our first workshop was held at Glenmore House, a historic farmhouse and country property owned by Mickey and Larry Robertson. Sweet mercy, it was exquisite. So, so beautiful. Our classes were held in the cozy, once-upon-a-time dairy and our meals cooked in the adjacent kitchen, and we were able to wander the grounds to explore and photograph the gardens. Which were immaculate. Pink jasmine everywhere. Cabbages the size of basketballs. Lavender growing like pokeweed would here (why?!). It was a dream.
The workshop was co-taught by Beth, Luisa Brimble, and me, and we had lots of help from our gorgeous friend Stacey Clark (That's her above: the smiling lady on the right. Luisa has an uncanny talent for being behind a camera while simultaneously managing to avoid walking in front of one). Our lovely participants were greeted each morning with tea and pastries made by The Floury Baker (her date tart!!!) and the first day's lunch was provided by Arthur Street Kitchen (she is moving to NYC! New Yorkers, you are so lucky.). Claire Dickson-Smith cooked all of us a stunning dinner on the first evening, to nourish us after a long day of natural dyeing (eucalyptus and acacia bark), learning about manual camera settings (Beth and Luisa are such good teachers), and cozying up in front of the fireplace.
On the second day our participants were able to really delve into the practice of photography, working with Beth to style food scenes (she made the most beautiful rhubarb tart which...why do I not have a photo of?) and Luisa to experiment with manual settings outdoors. Each one of our guests were so dear and wonderful…I loved getting to know them all. Turns out all that stuff about Australians being so nice is true after all. I miss them! Ladies, if you're reading this, I miss you! I will forever be grateful to have had this experience with you. Y'all!
After wrapping up the second day, Luisa, Beth, Stacey and I headed back to town for an incredibly memorable dinner cooked for us by Aaron of Studio Neon (who is our collective new best friend) and readied ourselves for the second half of our trip in Melbourne. Which, of course, is a whole 'nother story for a whole 'nother day :)