The Invitation: Hawaii Photography Content Day That Builds Community
I always say this, but it’s also kind of the magic of it all: this one was different. Having entered year three of hosting The Invitation content retreat–I have to say that each one holds its own. The Invitation’s ability to create individual experiences but maintain its foundation is why we started The Invitation. We can host this same content retreat, in different locations, with different photographers, and the same kind of magic happens. The Invitation Hawaii remained true to its roots while creating a completely new experience that I’ll never forget at this Hawaii photography content retreat!
Long before my Invitation co-host, McKenna, became a Hawaii local, we knew that this was a location we had to check off our list! The Invitation Hawaii followed our three-day, two-night retreat structure (started by The Invitation Palm Springs) extending beyond just a single content day. We like to build community first, then create art together, so our content day schedules always reflect that. We allowed the time and flexibility to make the most of our Hawaii experience!
Our group did three Hawaii photography content shoots in two days, and it actually wasn’t as crazy as it sounds even though it’s still chaotic! Doing that many shoots became a little cramped mostly due to the fact that it was the time of year when the sun goes down earlier. Even though we didn’t have as much daylight to work with, we still made the most of it. McKenna and I, along with the attendees, felt a kind of exhausted bliss at the end of each day that only comes from capturing so much beauty!
There were a smaller number of photographers at this Hawaii photography content event so everyone was able to have a lot more time with the models. Of course, we want as many attendees to come as possible, but there is so much beauty in smaller groups. Switching between differently sized Invitation events allows each content day to uniquely build up our photographer community in its own way.
One shoot included an additional couple allowing for two photographers at a time with each couple. This made for a super slow and relaxed session that enabled each photographer to take a ton of photos. All the poses we could think of were used and everyone felt satisfied with their shots which doesn’t always happen!
One of our couples, who had recently become Oahu locals, connected so much with our photographers that they became honorary Invitation members! It was such a sweet surprise to witness even our models creating community. Everyone walked away with new friends from our Hawaii experience!
Hawaii, I’ll never get over you. This was my second trip to Hawaii, and I understand now why “aloha” means both hello and goodbye. It’s a place that once you’ve been there once, it never really leaves you. You’re always saying hello and goodbye to Hawaii. The landscape always amazes me, and it’s so cool to visit during different times of the year and experience milder weather!
For some attendees, this was their first time capturing their own Hawaii photography and it was the perfect opportunity to explore! Each location we shot which included waterfalls, the mountains, and beaches were so diverse that it made every session have its own individual flavor. The models were amazing, the locations were perfect, and I witnessed the best sunset of my life that I’ll never get over!
These sessions at different locations went super smoothly because McKenna and I learned so much from our previous Invitation experiences. Also, because it was a smaller group, this allowed for the entire experience to be more relaxed and intimate. One of my favorite locations was actually the house where we stayed. It was right on the beach with our own private access as well as a perfect view of the sunrise.
Our second day was spent almost entirely just hanging at the beach before heading to the sunset shoot. Surprisingly, so many of my favorite moments had nothing to do with taking photos. One morning we listened to worship music together while making breakfast after watching the sunrise. Those moments are the ones I remember the most and make me smile the biggest when I think on them.
Photographers from our Hawaii photography content retreat and other Invitations have shared that the biggest draw to return is community. Everyone loves coming back to see their friends and the people they’ve met through these events. It means so much to us that photographers return. The Invitation is meant to leave photographers wanting more but I really can’t believe it every single time. This was the whole point of starting The Invitation and the fact that this dream is a reality is insane!
Read more about past Invitation content retreat experiences and join us for the next one!