Freelancers, creatives… Do you ever feel alone with your challenges? Do you sometimes miss talking through plans and ideas with fellow peers in your field? Do you ever get to really play if you only work by yourself?

I’m a fan of co-working because it brings back the element of company while working (the clue is in the name, innit?!) and makes admin days less draining and hard. But sometimes even that isn’t enough. Sometimes you just gotta get out there with your colleagues/peers/fellow creatives and let your ideas go wild! I urge you, find your crowd and rent a place somewhere else for a little creative retreat – it can be far away or just an airbnb in another town 20minutes away from where you live. But meet up, talk about your plans, ideas and challenges and play as much as you can with your craft. I promise it’ll be the best thing you can do for your creativity, sanity and business!

I’m telling you this from experience. I’ve done a few versions of these get-togethers in the past – most of them were street photography trips (Barcelona, India, Istanbul, Colombia) that felt like amazing workshops. But last week I attended one of those creative retreats that was different from my previous experiences.

Organised by Marianne, a wedding photographer from London (amongst other titles), 18 female photographers made their way to an airbnb mansion between London and Brighton for 2 days of education/playtime/relaxation. A couple of days was literally all I needed (even though none of us would have minded staying longer), the take-away for me was immense. I loved every minute of the two days, I’ve made new friends, learnt a lot, took some photos and even got in front of the camera. And I have a long list of things to do to improve my business, processes and mindset. The motto for this week was definitely “community over competition”. Sometimes all you need to do is talk through things, get some validation or another pair of eyes on your plans. Let me show you what that looked like for us:

This is the whole bunch of us:
[aside]photo taken by Holly Rose[/aside]Ashdown Smashdown groupshot

And here are some of the photos I took.
preparing dinnerphotographers talking businesscreative talk over dinnercreative talk over dinner sunny day photographers shootingportrait of HollyCorina portrait Anna shooting through necklace creative portraitportrait of Alice 70s stylephotographers shooting modelCommunity over competition Alice and Elyseportrait of SamHolly Rose self portrait by the lakeCorina and Amy playtime photography portrait of ElyseCommunity over competition Marianne shooting Alice as birddiscussing the shots takenMarianne shooting creative conceptual portraitCommunity over competition Alice sitting for photoportrait of Nicoledinner time and singingCommunity over competition photographers and wannabe singers

I also got to sit for Marianne for her bird-women conceptual idea. I’m a queen version of a baby bird or something like that. This is seriously the coolest photo ever taken of me!
Anja by Marianne Chua

And as I said, I got in front of a few cameras as well. Here are a few of my favourite shots:
[aside]photo taken by Corina[/aside]Anja by Corina Photography
[aside]taken by Nicole[/aside]Anja by Nicole Engelmann Photography
[aside]taken by Ami aka The woman and the wolf[/aside]taken by Ami The woman and the wolf
[aside]taken by Ami aka The woman and the wolf[/aside]Anja by Ami The woman and the wolf
[aside]taken by Holly[/aside]taken by Holly Cade

So, go out, find your tribe and create something amazing together! I promise you will not regret it!