So much to share I don’t know where to start!  I had the incredible priviledge of attending The Savvy Sisterhood on the Waterfront Workshop earlier this month in Alys Beach, Florida.  Wow!  It was seriously over the top incredible.  I have to be honest.  I was really in need of a little time away and I thought a few days at the beach with a bunch of women who love photography sounded perfect.  I thought I would get quite a bit out of the workshop, but I needed some rejuvination of spirit first – photography skills second.

Well, I got both – and then some.  I have been home for over two weeks and have barely scratched the surface on processing all that I took in….

It turned out the oh so fabulous local family photographer Jennifer Burns of Jennifer Burns Photography was also attending.  We have known each other for several years, but hadn’t connected in a while.  We each signed up separately, but once we found out the other was going we decided to travel together.  Then we connected with Jesseca Bellemare on our layover (seriously – I need to travel to North Carolina just to have her create photographs of ME, she does amazing portraits of women, I was so excited to learn from her at the workshop!!) and with Laura Winslow when we landed.  I sat by Laura in the van and we started talking about branding – before I knew it we had reorganized my packaging and marketing materials on the ride to Alys Beach!  So before I even arrived in Alys Beach I had reconnected with a dear friend, made two great new friends, and gotten all kinds of inspired on ways to improve Renee Stengel Photography. By that point I was thinking, forget the vacation, I am ready to Soak.This.In.

And the whole four days went like that.  Every minute was filled with inspiration, rejuvination, learning, connecting, growing, bonding, building ideas…

I think what I most appreciated about the amazing speakers at the workshop (like Laura) is that they made themselves available the entire four days.  I got to have a conversation with Jamie Schultz about holiday card and album design while we were sitting around waiting for our house to be ready.  I was able to talk to Kelli France about styling families for their sessions while we walked from one presentation to another or with Whitney English about marketing and branding over lunch.  I was able to talk to Leslie Kerrigan about how she works with a hair and make up artist for her senior girls – something I want to do for my  Moms! – in between two sessions or with Stephanie Fisher about newborn posing during a break.  And it just kept going.  Each woman there was inspired by another – each of us seemed to have something to contribute and each of us was ready to learn.  And that was just the in between stuff!  I cannot even begin to share all that I learned at the presentations, styled sessions, and break outs!!!

So when someone asked me if it was worth the investment – the investment of time away from my family and my business as well as the cost of the workshop and travel?  I say it was worth every minute, every penny…and then some!

Thank you Marsha for organizing The Savvy Workshop – it was a gift greater than I knew to ask for 🙂

And what would a photography workshop be without bringing home some beautiful photos to share…

We had the opportunity to photograph several families one afternoon.  These family sessions sure did make me want to move to the beach!  Seriously, who is up for a surf board session next summer?!? The next day we worked with three beautiful senior girls styled by Leslie Kerrigan of Seniorolgie.  This was a new area for me, and I have to admit, I really enjoyed it!  Our last morning we met a sweet baby girl, posed by  Stephanie Fisher.  I could share hundreds of photos of course, but I did manage to narrow it down to these… Enjoy!

And of course – you can’t put thirty women together for four days and not expect there to be some serious instagram fun to be had!  So here’s to reconnecting with a dear friend, making new friends, the best swim I have had in a year, the most gorgeous location a photographer could ask for and having more fun than I could keep track of in four short days – oh, and the cutest little post office in the world 🙂

 Thank you to the amazingly talented photographers/mentors for the fabulous styling, posing, directing, coaching and teaching!

Jamie Schultz of Jamie Schultz Photography and Jamie Schultz Designs

Kelli France of the Chic Critique Forum

Laura Winslow of Laura Winslow Photography

Leslie Kerrigan of Seniorologie and her make up artist Rachel Nelson of the Vivo Spa Salon

Marsha Misfud of The Savvy Photographer

Stephanie Fisher of Stephanie Fisher Photography

Whitney English Kolb of Whitney English


  1. Laura says:

    Oh, Renee, what a fabulous post with gorgeous photos! LOVE that shot you got of the sweet senior with the water! You nailed it!! I had the best time as well and it was such a treat to meet all of you + to get to chat. Big hugs! xoxo

    • admin says:

      Thank you Laura!! It was so fun to photograph with someone who is on the ground more than ME! I Loved It! And thank you for the inspiration on the water fountain shot – I loved the inspiration you gave me on perspective!!