can we be besties?

Have you ever wondered how I pick my workshop locations? How I get it all done sight unseen and MILES away from my home… well it would NEVER haven without YOU!
I asked my sweet friend Laura to do a quick write up on what it was like to be a hostess for "A Day with Spanki" workshop for you.
Spanki Workshop
I’m was strictly a wedding photographer when I asked to take a senior portrait, and instantly fell in love. It was like a girlie makeover day with outfit shopping, hair, makeup... the works! I knew I had found a passion. Showing teenage girls, on the age of woman-hood, how to be tastefully beautiful. I started tasteful stalking other senior portrait photographers blogs that I loved when I ran across Mrs. Spanki Mills. For a moment my world stopped. Her portraits, her lighting, her location, and her poses... seriously, they couldn’t get any better! I was her average social media follower for a few weeks until she announced she was hosting a workshop. All I knew is it was far away, but I going to do what ever I could to get both me and my daughter (who’s also a photographer) in that workshop.
After reading about the workshop details on Spanki’s blog, the last line caught my eye “Contact me if you’re interested in hosting a workshop in your area....” Oh. My. Word. I didn’t even second guess it. I emailed Spanki, probably sounding like a over-excited teenager talking to a movie star, “I adore your work and would LOVE to host a workshop if you’ll come to California.” In the back of mind thinking, she’ll never respond, and if she does, Texas to California is too long of a trip. To my surprise, she responded immediately with a “when should I be there?” response.
We set a date. That made things much more official and my first thoughts were, now what? Spanki made what could be a stressful idea, into a fun adventure. We both started to advertise the event. Once we had a final attendee list, now it was time to work on venue. As a hostess, part of your obligation is to do the leg work in your area. Spanki and I messaged each other 20-30 times a day (I’m not kidding), going over details. First where to host the event. From hotel meeting rooms, to a restaurant banquet room, to a house rental. Then food. We had chosen to rent a house so we chose to bring food in. The planning of what type of food. From where? Did they deliver and if not, how was it getting to the house? Supplies. We needed to fill the house of day-to-day necessities for a house that would home 8 women for a weekend. That meant shopping trip for me. And that was only lodging and food. I was so excited I even had t-shirts made!
Next we needed models and a shoot location. I scouted the area sending photos to Spanki of ideas. Once it was chosen, then we talked props. What ever we needed I was going to need to bring or build. I started my own model search. Since our attendees were a mix of family, wedding, lifestyle, and senior photographers, we needed a few of each. I ended up with 2-senior models, 3-mid 20’s female models, and 1-couple. With the help of Spanki, we hand picked 2-3 complete outfits per person. Not always is a hair and makeup artist brought into the event, but to host a workshop you HAVE to love planning, and to me this was to me part of the fun. I worked within the community of beauty consultants and had someone volunteer for hair and another for makeup, in exchange for portfolio building portraits of the models.
That was months of planning turned into a few paragraphs. Then the even weekend arrived. As the hostess, I picked up the keys to the house early the day since I knew Spanki was flying in late that night. I went to the house, delivered all the supplies, and made it feel a little more homey. Left the key hidden outside (that’s another story on it’s own), and headed home knowing the next morning the fun began. This entire time texting with Spanki back and forth letting her know how everything was unfolding.
Day of. Yes, it was here. Woke up to Spanki’s Instagram feed of “I’m in California!” I wasn’t sure who was more excited, me or her? As the hostess I had to make sure I was at the house a few hours before the workshop began. I brought bagels, donuts, fruit, and of course my Keurig machine. Arrived to see Spanki on the porch taking detail pictures of the house. We had talked so much about so many things for so long, but seeing her made it real. I was with Spanki Mills! We hugged with excitement and the weekend began to unfold like magic. All our meticulous planning and hard work had paid off and it went off without a hitch.
As the workshop attendees arrived and the workshop began, it was perfect. As a hostess, yes you have to be on your A-game and ready for anything but because how we had prepared, I didn’t miss a thing. I gained not only unforgettable knowledge of our industry, but a best friend. Thank you Spanki. You simply came in and changed our worlds.
So there you have it… it DOES require work on your part, BUT I try to help the best I can to make sure we make it a weekend to remember a LIFETIME!! I also forgot to post a few images of our cute little home away from home while we were there…
If you are interested in hosting a 2014 workshop in your area… email me with SUBJECT:  "Host a workshops in YOUR TOWN" and tell me how we can make it work there!  info{at}spankimill{dot}com