Since I’m not sleeping ...
One of our past guests asked very interesting questions that I thought I would answer here... since I’m not sleeping anyway.
If one of our guests is asking I’ll assume that others have the same question.
“What do you teach in a retreat and who are your experts? Why retreat and not teach a workshop? “
Cambridge dictionary definition of retreat “A quiet and secluded place in which one can rest and relax”
Workshop “a meeting at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project.”
Those are the dictionary references and if we are being completely honest we are doing both here. We use the term retreat to imply unstructured itinerary. We plan everything and provide a schedule and the services but if you just decide to lay by the pool in the sun all day then that is your choice, no judgement. It’s a very nice pool.
Teaching a workshop implies expertise. I’ve done well in photography and have been given amazing opportunities, but I wouldn’t consider myself any better than any other seeker of the light. It’s never too late to learn a new way to make the camera perform. Some people new to the craft are just born with a gift to create exciting or emotionally moving imagery. Why not bring both sides of that spectrum together to share stories and knowledge. Most importantly, to share a week long adventure together as a group of light seekers. I’ve never met a photographer, seasoned veteran or budding enthusiast, that didn’t teach me a trick or two.
The residence and the attached Bed and Breakfast, are much the same. Both have high vaulted ceilings, a lot of nooks and hidden stairways ( think Winchester house minus the creepy factor ) and up/down stairways that, let’s face it, after almost two years here, living in the attic ( seriously not creepy ), you’d think I could give the old ‘buns of steel’ trainer a run for her money.
The renovations continue after the tourist season is over in late September. Our long term goal is to keep the feel of rustic cabin going. Our colours are a soft whitewashed putty on the rough wood. Light natural linen canvases with prints and artwork complimenting the seaside where we live. There are nights when the surf is so rough, the waves crashing on the beach can be heard from the open terrace doors. We’re well protected behind the dunes and the soft pine of the forest. Sometimes, that breeze brushes through the drapes and the scent of sea salt and pine cones linger in the guest rooms after the breeze has moved on to the Bassin side.
The property is on the edge of the forest reserve so think wild life, owls hooting at night, hawks diving and swooping over the tree tops, fox, wild boar, and deer close by. The winding 5 minute drive to Le Grand Crohot beach is its own kind of special and if the group is just a few, we can take the convertible and throw in some surf boards. Wouldn’t this be the most relaxing destination for a photography retreat? A retreat where you can experiment with your camera with everyone else who is doing the same with their own. At the end of the day of adventure, after cocktails, maybe a shower, or a swim in the pool, regroup with your fellow camera buffs and re-tell the tall tales of the ‘one that got away’ that day. We can show each other our ‘daily catch’ on the big screen and discuss the merits of one technique or filter over another. Now close your eyes and imagine yourself here. Retreating to SW France.