Finding Your Pure Poise Retreat

girls weekend away on the shores of Lake Superior, to build confidence and selflove, run around in our underwear with newly made friends, create artistic portraits, eat delicious food and just pour love into each other. This is something I had visions of for the past year or so. To gather a handful of women together from all different walks of life and create a memorable weekend together. In July 2019, we made it happen.  

I love going to new and desolate outdoor locations to shoot dramatic images, it’s literally my favorite. With our harsh winters here in Wisconsin, outdoor shooting in lingerie is pretty limited, so once summer hits I love to be outside creating magic as much as possible! Being somewhere new presents creative challenges and gives you a thrill of it being forbidden. I’m a risk taker. However, I don’t want to get taken to jail with a client, so I do have my limits. So I found this beautiful home on the shore of Lake Superior that was also located on a secluded, private wooded lot and it was perfect.  

I rented this beautiful, huge home on a nature sanctuary for a long weekend in July, and then opened up 8 adventure seeking spots to the ladies in my VIP ladies’ group on Facebook. I scheduled with two of my hair and makeup guru ladies in mind so that ladies could do dramatic themed looks or sultry dark ones, and still get the makeup results they get in studio. I also asked a dear friend of mine, Andrea Engel to attend with us and provide massage therapy, morning yoga practices and assist me in some natural healing.  

“I AM ENOUGH. I AM A BADASS”.

I did up individual gift bags for each of the ladies in attendance including a monogramed wine tumbler, inspirational journal for reflection and custom branded necklaces reflecting my brand. Necklaces were engraved with “I AM ENOUGH. I AM A BADASS” and accented with a genuine moonstone which signifies inner strength and growth in new beginnings, awakens feminine energies and guide to your inner path. Gifting is definitely one of my top love languages, so giving meaningful keepsakes is part of the experience for me.

As part of the Friday evening to Sunday afternoon experience in this remote location, I provided all main meals and chose hearty, but healthy options. Some might say that the meals were their favorite part besides shooting! No one left the table hungry and we all felt good about our indulges. I deeply feel that we can only feel as good as we eat, so I wanted our nourishment for the weekend to be just as loving to our bodies as I wanted to be to these women. Our licorice and wine consumption weren’t lacking though! We also had plenty of down time where we connected with our new friends, gave each other space for personal growth and expression, some spiritual awakening, and the luxury of a massage out on the beach.  

I pretty much was holding my camera from sun up to sun down, literally, each day. Ladies had the chance to shoot anywhere they wanted, around the house, balconies, wooded areas surrounding the home, the boardwalk out to the private shore, of course on the beach and in the water, and then we adventured off site Sunday morning to visit a fairly secluded waterfall area I am familiar with from visiting the area often with family. I brought a large part of the studio closet, so we did fun themed looks, lingerie, plenty of nude running around the beach, and just whatever! I even brought sparklers so we tried out nighttime shooting under only sparkler light during our campfire chats. I can’t even fully explain how much I enjoyed getting to be creative with a group of ladies who is all about my work and is down to try anything, without time restraints or expectations. Everything we did was a challenge and an adventure for something unique. 

Today its more common for ladies to tear each other down than to build each other up. It’s a sign of jealousy and poor self-image. Why this is the result of this thought, I will never fully comprehend, but I wanted this weekend to be about the opposite. Cheering on the lady next to you, because she is just as much a badass as you are. Encouraging one another, forming new friendships and being vulnerable around other like-minded women who want to be better versions of themselves. Although the weekend was focused around shooting, because I’m still me, it was also about loving yourself as well as those around you despite all of our differences. I still get teary eyed when I look at this group shot of us, so proud of the variety of women, ages, sizes, backgrounds, who all came together that weekend to empower themselves and each other. I’m so grateful that I am able to work with ladies like this every day.  

Be on the lookout for when I choose the 2020 Retreat date/location if you want in on a good time, because I definitely want to make this an annual thing!