Images by Voytek London Wedding Photographer and words by Laura Babb
Let's start with an apology of sorts: there are more than 200 pictures here. It's more of a sorry-not-sorry really. Wojtek, our official SNAP 2017 photographer did an amazing job and I can't tell you how much I love these pictures of what was one of my favourite SNAPs to date. There are a whole load more that we'll be sharing on the SNAP Facebook page at a later date.
As always I'll be letting the words of our attendees do the talking, but first a few thank yous!
Thank you the SNAP team: Alex, Pete, Shelly, Wojtek, Sam and Dani, Sophie, Alice and Hannah H
Thank you to our brilliant partners Fujifilm and QT Albums
Thank you to our sponsors Peter Wilbourne Design, Catalyst Wed Co, Grizzly Bear Design, Jenn Edwards, I Do, Brolly Bucket, Madeleine Jones, That Event DJ, Department Store for the Mind, Fractal Filters, Flothemes, Doris Loves, Flying Vinyl, Ewe and Nu Bride
Thank you to our speakers and, of course to our brilliant attendees. I've said it before but the people are what makes SNAP so special and the fact that everyone who attends comes with an attitude of openness and inclusivity really does create a very special atmosphere. A few of our speakers who've attended and spoken at lots of other events told me that SNAP is the best conference they've ever been to and for that I am very grateful.
Here's some of what our SNAP community had to say about SNAP 2017!
I just didn't know if SNAP was going to be for me or not. But after the complimentary welcome hugs on arrival, my comfort zone was already tested and got me ready for what was to come. After 6 or so years of shooting solo, not reaching out to the photography community and with no photographer friends as such either, SNAP was a big deal for me. My car share buddies we're my anchors through the festival and we're going to be seeing a lot of each other I can tell! So right even before arriving at SNAP I already had some new best friends because of SNAP. That was only the beginning though. I can't remember a time when I've laughed so much, cried so much and felt part of a community that really brought me out of my shell. I've now shot four weddings since SNAP and I already feel like a better photographer. I'm hugging everyone for a start! Maybe that's not for everyone but it's really helping me get closer to the people I'm photographing. All the things I learnt at SNAP are still buzzing through my mind that I think the effect of SNAP will be felt and seen in my work for quite some time to come. I was both challenged and inspired by a fantastic curation of diverse speakers. Combine that with all the warm lovely aspects of being in an amazing setting with lovely people and all the wonder of being at a festival, SNAP was truly a life changing event for me and something I'll be carrying in my heart for some time to come. www.mikeplunkettphotography.com
I was borderline selling my ticket 2 weeks before SNAP, I had been going through a really hard month or two and quite frankly the thought of meeting 100 new people and socialising on a scale that was far beyond anything I had ever done before, completely petrified me. I can hands down say it was one of the best weeks of my life, from a business and a personal point of view. I adored how open and caring everyone was, I was made to feel so welcome. I don't remember a bad reaction from a single person during the whole 5 days and that really is something special. The speakers were all fantastic, the live shoots were super fun and all the activities, the campfires and the hang outs and everything in between made it such an incredible few days. I would hands down recommend SNAP to any photographer looking to expand their business, get a whole heap of inspiration or who just generally needs a kick up the bum (like me!!). I absolutely cannot wait to go back next year! Thanks so much Laura and the rest of the SNAP team! - www.charlotterawlesphotography.co.uk
I've been to Snap three times now and while I feel like I know what to expect, each year has been different. I've learned different things which have improved my business but most of all I've learned how to build my confidence, built a really supportive network of friends and improved my photography. Snap isn't a week away glamping and learning about photography, it's more of a long term membership to the community that keeps me coming back. - www.parrotandpineapple.com
It's hard for me to put into words how I feel about SNAP. When Laura asked Jaden and I to come to the UK to teach, I said yes faster than I could even think. The logistics didn't matter, we we're going. On day one when we arrived, jet-lagged, and anxious, we were met with the biggest smiles, and the tightest hugs from complete strangers, who would quickly become our new best friends. The whole SNAP community are some of the kindest, coolest, weirdest, most welcoming humans, with Queen Babb leading the way, as easily one of the most loving, caring people I've ever met. Thank you for the opportunity to speak. Thank you for welcoming us into your family. Thank you for everything. www.graceandjaden.com/
This was my second year at SNAP. Last year I was a little worried that it would be "cliquey" and that I'd feel left out, which has happened to me before at photography workshops/conferences. Of course, it didn't happen, and everyone was bloody lovely, so my only worry this year was that it wouldn't live up to the awesomeness of my first one! But again, I needn't have worried. Literally the only thing that wasn't as awesome as 2016 was the weather, and I'm not holding that against anyone. There's something special about SNAP. I think it's the fact that it feels like a holiday: part summer camp and part workshop. So when you leave you feel rejuvenated all over: your mind has relaxed because of all the fun times and happy people, and your body has relaxed because of the holiday vibe. Add to that the talks and classes, some inspiring for your mind and some full of practicalities for running your business, and it's no wonder that we all left feeling overwhelmed (in the best possible way) and full of excitement about our futures. Remember that book "Chicken Soup for the Soul"? We should all write a book called "SNAP for the Soul"! Kat Forsyth
Scroll down for more amazing feedback from our attendees!
I was pretty adamant that I did not want to go. Even while packing I was saying it myself. I went & I'm so glad I did. SNAP is a beautiful place, not just the fact that it's been held in the wonderful land of Wales & Fforest, although that was a huge bonus having a short journey & sleeping in the most awesome dome. SNAP helped me find myself as a photographer & person again. I'd got into a proper funk with my ability since having our second baby & felt totally out of it as far as passion for our business & even wanting to do it at all. I'd considered going back to teaching. I'm now back on it, looking forward to the work we have booked, the people we will meet & the moments we will capture. I'm determined to address issues in our business & upgrade our level of functionality & to make our business even better! Each speaker I heard gave me something to take away, each person I spoke to made my heart glad I was there. I learnt I love deep conversation but sometimes can't cope in big groups, but all of that is ok, in fact, it's great!
I learnt I love listening to others & others like talking to me. I learnt being a photographer is only a small part of the SNAP experience. It's fair to say I was exhausted & ready to get home to our kids, but I loved having time to develop skills, listen & learn & I would recommend SNAP to everyone! SNAP is a good & special community. http://www.oacphotography.com/
My biggest reservation about going to SNAP is that I would have come away having not really gained anything and that it would feel like a total waste of time and money. I was even worried mid-week that that might still be the case as I was totally overwhelmed with everything. The amount of information in my head and being around so many people all of the time was like being at a wedding 24/7. Luckily Fforest is in the most beautiful countryside so I managed a few good long walks to bring back the calm, something clicked into place and it all turned into something amazing. I made such good friends at SNAP and felt part of a wonderfully warm, loving and accepting community. I was inspired by some amazing photographers and business people and learned a whole lot that I can pass on to my life & work. It's difficult to choose my favourite part of SNAP. It really is. I loved the venue and location, Pembrokeshire is one of my favourite places to be and it feeds my soul. We listened to some spectacular photographers and people stand up in front of over 100 of us and bare their souls in their work and life stories and their ways of working. Those same people sat round camp fires, shared dinner and danced with us and then also shared in the big teary hugging mess of people in the biggest group hug I have ever been involved in as we said goodbye to the friends we had made that week. For me THAT is what made SNAP. I still have to go through all my notes from the week and fill my to do lists with all of the things I know I now need to do to improve my life & business and I am sure if you come back in 6-12 months I will have a whole load to add about how SNAP has impacted my life. I really hope so! Much love xx www.larissajoice.co.uk
Having been to Snap reunion last year it made me feel like it wasn't my first time which was lovely. Just after I signed in, i looked out to the wonderful countryside and I felt slightly emotional but it was as a feeling of calm and knowing that I was going to have a wonderful experience. I don't know how I knew that but it all came true. From the first talk by Frank to the last talk by Jennifer my emotions were stirred up more and more in such a positive way. The journey through the week was one of discovery and realisation that I am good enough and to not fear but celebrate who I am and what I can offer. There was so much learning and knowledge to soak up together with real inspiration and the belief that I can do what I'm learning. The conclusion was an emotional response I was not expecting. I met so many wonderful, friendly and encouraging people that it has been the best thing I have done in a long time. Having been part of a totally different group of photography learning for the past year, this experience of really caring simply does compare to my previous experience. I have told so many people about Snap and I would recommend it to any photographer. I just tell everyone how liberating it is and how it made be believe in myself. As Jennifer said, just make it happen.
SNAP has been hugely influential on my career as a photographer so far. I have not only learned a whole variety of things from some of the best but I have found a community of people with whom I can share my worries and achievements without the fear of being judged. I feel wholly accepted and like people have got my back and that gives me so much courage to go out there and do what I want to do. I am especially impressed by the level of inclusion and the focus on diversity in the group. I always feel safe but know that if I didn't I would be listened to and that's so important. I feel like SNAP puts values before everything else and it makes me so happy to be a part of it.
Snap is such a breathe of fresh air. The industry is saturated with workshops that are based on ego. Snap is so different. There is an almost tangible effervescence about the whole five days and it's totally inclusive. Nobody (should) feel out of place and there is a smile around every corner. I'm a firm believer in learning at workshops. Nobody wants to be 'sold to' and nobody wants to feel small. At Snap, this isn't the case and even though I'm a professional grumpy bastard it's a place I enjoy being, with people I enjoy being with.
Yes I admit, I was debating on whether to come to Snap up until a few days before it all kicked off. I had just come out of a 5 year relationship, with someone who I thought was the love of my life. I *knew* that coming to Snap would do me a world of good and take my mind off of things. But a huge part of me just wanted to crawl into a ball and disappear down a deep black hole and stay in bed and wallow all week. Motivation was at an all time low, I felt like life was over (as dramatic as it sounds) and at the time it felt like my business and finally getting on top of shit was such a far away dream again. I had only really recently got organised (business wise) in the last year and felt like I was finally getting somewhere in terms of my routine, health etc, as we had finally settled in our house and it felt like things were finally getting on track. After the break up, I left our house that night (which we'd only purchased together 8 months before) and felt like I had just taken a billion steps backwards. Where was I going to live? What was going to happen with work now? I had finally started to get to a happy place where I felt like work wasn't ruling my life day in day out. Now there was going to be a huge upheaval and everything felt like a mess. I can safely say that picking up the courage and coming to Snap was simply the BEST thing I could ever have done. And it could not have come at a better time. I spent time with a bunch of good friends who I had known for a long time, but I also met so many amazing and wonderful new people. My eyes were opened up to what a huge place this world is, how much there is to see and how much there is to do! It was so good to chat to other people, make new friends and swap stories. It was incredibly therapeutic and just made me realise how small my problem was - and that there is so much to live for and be grateful for. And the talks! I came out of the talks feeling like I could take on the world. Not just professionally but personally. I feel super excited about the future of my business, even if there will be a few hiccups along the way in terms of getting settled into a happy place again. It was exactly what I needed. Everyone was so kind and welcoming. It can be easy to dwell on the negatives and take our job for granted, I can safely say I left each talk thinking "I am so incredibly lucky, and this is the best fucking job in the world" and I couldn't wait to get back to work. The organisation of it all was brilliant. Laura, you are an absolute legend and I can't even begin to imagine how much work you and the rest of the team have had to put in to make sure Snap happens. Thank you! - www.lauradebourdephotography.com
I came to Snap during my first year of business and it has given me the push to keep going, the knowledge that I am able to approach my first busy season with confidence and the feeling that I'm actually doing ok. The atmosphere, the food, the speakers were all wonderful and since being back I've realised I took in so much more information than I originally thought. And the endless cups of tea on offer is my idea of heaven.
Would my third SNAP be as good as the first two? I'll admit I was apprehensive but you smashed it yet again! Thank you Laura and team xXx I loved the split of newbies and olds and that everyone got on. I loved the way everyone, including the speakers, mixed all week. I loved the Wednesday party night! And finally, I absolutely LOVE the community emotional outpourings & honesty post SNAP too and the community page.
From the moment SNAP 2016 finished I knew that I would have no reservations about coming back to do it again in 2017! And it was even better! Its quite hard to define what it is about SNAP that sets it apart from other photography gatherings but I've never known a community that is as encouraging and supportive and inclusive as this one. Laura Babb and her small team worked tirelessly to create an experience that meant I came home feeling refreshed, enthused, inspired, challenged (in a good and necessary way), befriended, and more focussed than I have felt in a long time. I know this will reflect on my business in the coming months. - www.wildheartsphotography.co.uk
As a photographer from the US I was really worried about going to a workshop abroad because of the cost and unfamiliarity with the speakers on the list but I decided to attend anyway, hoping that putting myself outside of my comfort zone would bring me something different to my life and business. I have attended many workshops over the years because I've always been searching for "my people", which I would consider those who are creative, welcoming, supportive and incredibly fun. SNAP completely exceeded my expectations. From the moment cars started arriving I instantly felt welcomed, included and most importantly seen. At workshops I have attended in the past I felt invisible and unimportant, especially when I knew only a few people to begin with. The SNAP community was incredibly welcoming, genuine and no one acted like they were more important than anyone else. I had conversations with many that went deeper than small talk and left feeling like I had a wealth of new friends from all over the world and many invitations to visit the UK again as soon as possible to spend more time together. I have sung praises about SNAP to many friends already, telling them that it was planned with heart and intention to create a true community that supports each other and welcomes people in with open arms. Ultimately, community is what we crave as human beings and as creatives that thrive on emotion and connection- most of us tend to work alone on most of our days. Having an opportunity for something like SNAP is invaluable to creating new connections. I had the time of my life at SNAP and I was legitimately so sad to leave the U.K. after this experience. Laura you have truly created an incredible space and place for people to grow and thrive and I feel so lucky to have attended. Thank you for all your hard work and know that it has a profound impact on those who attend. <3 I will be making it a priority to stay in touch with the people I met and use the knowledge I learned at SNAP to better myself and my business. I can't wait to attend again!
I was really lucky to get a last minute ticket to SNAP 2017. I really was. I have followed SNAP adventures but I had not guts to come to previous year ones. I am one of the introverts who does not look like an introverted person so I find large groups of people I do not know quite overwhelming and shy away from networking events. As a result I have been a bit of a lonely wolf until last year. I pushed myself to come to SNAP and I am so happy I did it! On a first night I chatted to a couple of people that I did not realise where the speakers and realised later that there is not we are here/you are there mentality going on. Everyone was super approachable and eager to talk and offer advice beyond the speaking slots. It is quite extra ordinary that there was such a variety of speakers and topics that each of us could find something for themselves. I have taken away so much from each of the speakers, lectures, business classes that my head is still buzzing and my list of things to do with regards to my business is super long. But SNAP is not just another workshop - it is also filled with fun activities and super party (wait to see the pics and my blue hair disaster that left my hands looking dead blue for a couple of days later). And most importantly - a whole big bunch of new friends. Inspiration+Learning+Fun+Friendship=SNAP Community. Thanks Laura - you have created something extraordinary.
The first year of SNAP blew my mind a bit. I fell in love with the wonderful Fforest site and the inspiring group of people who had gathered there, sharing their collective wisdom and enthusiasm. I left feeling so fired up and excited to take on the 2015 wedding season. The second year I was in a bad place emotionally. I was burnt out and I felt like I'd lost my love for what I was doing - full on imposter syndrome with lashings of fatigue. I really needed SNAP to lift my spirits but I also felt a bit intimidated by the awesome photographers who were going to be there and worried that it would have the opposite effect. In reality, I found SNAP 2016 soothing and re-energising in equal measures. I left feeling relaxed and like I had found my way again. This year I was so bloody excited for SNAP and I knew I kinda risked being disappointed as a result. How could it come close to the previous two years? The bar was set so high now. Surely it couldn't be reached? But as soon as I arrived on site I knew it was going to be exactly what I needed it to be. I came away happier than ever. I found inspiration where I needed it and allowed myself plenty of downtime. I didn't try to do everything or experience any thing in particular. I just went with the flow and let the experience wash over me. And it was all good! For me, SNAP is totally about the community and about having some time away from home and the day to day running a business shit that breaks my soul. It's about stoking the creative fire within and then toasting lovely little marshmallow ideas over the flame. It's about trying new things and stepping well and truly out of my comfort zone. And above all else it's about friendships. The kind that make the wedding/photography industry feel a whole lot less lonely and intimidating. The kind that mean I know I have people to turn to all year round when I need them. The kind that will keep me coming back year on year on year. SNAP people are my tribe. The SNAP festival is my happy place. The SNAP community is my home.
Having attended in 2016 I did wonder, albeit for a brief moment, how Snap could be as good or even better second time around, but I needn't have wondered at all. Again, Snap, you blew my mind and have filled my soul with so much, for so many reasons. For the varied mix of speakers - from editorial to wedding photojournalism to business to SEO to live shoots and more - this is not a traditional, run-of-the-mill wedding photography workshop. There was something for everyone and learning to take from every single session. The addition of 1-2-1s to tailor learning to your professional needs is great, too. For the inspiration. From Franck's documentary work, to Jide creating the beautiful and simple out of the chaotic, to Andrew practically bursting out of the Learning Barn with energy and enthusiasm, to Hannah inspiring a room full of people to go and create something new in video, there was so much varied and brilliant work and approaches to ponder and tailor to your own journey, style, and business. For the food - best food I've eaten anywhere. The Fforest team need to publish a recipe a book! For the best Wednesday night parties in the world. For the communal dining and evenings - this isn't just a week of back-to-back lectures in some bland conference space (yuck). This is also a chance to rest, get some fresh air in beautiful surroundings, and recoup and reenergise. Being off-grid for a few days is so restorative, and being able to sit around over a coffee at breakfast or with a pint of ale by the camp fire in the evening and get to know people from different countries and walks of life. But above all, for the community. My husband calls this my cult and he's probably not far off! ;) You can't put a price on being a part of such a supportive, genuine, friendly network - where community over competition is at the heart of everything. Everyone has everyone's back. Everyone is on their own journey and is cheerlead-ed on by everyone else. Triumphs and diversity are celebrated. Business and technical challenges are overcome together. Everyone has something to offer, no matter if you're a world-renowned speaker or someone who's just starting out. I've left Snap again this year full of ideas and plans, and I am so thankful for having the Snap family in my life. I can't wait to see what everyone does with their lives and work this year. www.annielovettphotography.com
Snap for me was a whole bunch of emotions and thoughts and that was before even arriving. I knew I wanted to be pushed outside of my comfort zone in order to create some new friendships, better my business knowledge and generally, improve my work but I didn't necessarily want to do that with over 100 new faces, all of whom kick arse in the photography world! That said, I went for it and bloody hell, I'm glad I did. Snap and all the amazing people there allowed me to be me! As cheesy as it sounds, I had gotten into a rut of taking the same pictures over and over. Being with a huge bunch of creative genius' allowed me to see things differently, experiment and most importantly, get my passion back for what I do. I have never known a community like this. One where there is so much support and love and pure talent! I have been privileged to have been part of it and literally can not wait to see what next years Snap brings! Laura, you are one hell of a lady organising such a kick arse event - thank you. www.timelessphotographystudios.co.uk
I have always been amazed at the community wedding photographers seem to exist in and within 10 minutes of arriving at Snap I felt like my community had grown again, and that's something really special and not something I'd really felt at photography workshops before. I was a smidge apprehensive about being a new face in a sea of second and third timers, but I needn't have been. I learned a lot of stuff at Snap that I can apply to how I work and shoot and I came away empowered by the stuff I DIDN'T agree with... But I also learned a lot about myself. Being away from home, my children, my desk... with limited opportunities to touch base gave me time to think about myself - that doesn't happen often - and that's just as important to me. Having to be social all, I learned a lot about myself... I missed a few sessions but I used that time to drink hot coffee and think or just switch off... I don't think I'm the only photographer out there who's guilty of not making or taking those opportunities. Snap is so much more that a conference. It's a journey, a family, a release and a community and I'm so glad I committed to that ticket even with funds were a little tight last year. Family is everything, and Snap is just that.
Wow, Snap really blew my mind! During my studies I learned a lot of technical stuff but felt really boxed with regards to creativity. Snap really helped me to discover a free and creative side to my photography which I'm so very grateful for. I also learned a bunch of business stuff that I never even thought of. I felt such a sense of freedom at Snap. Maybe it was the community. Maybe it was seeing how people struggle (just like me). Maybe it was experiencing a bunch of strangers just cheering me on for no reason at all. I felt encouraged and empowered. I'm so grateful for the experience and wouldn't trade it for anything.
After my first year of Snap last year I thought things couldn't get any better than 2016. Well! 2017 was EPIC! It wasn't any better in any particular aspect. It was different. I think I got a bit more this year from last year in regards business approach and where I'll be focusing my efforts. Last year was very much about me finding my style of photography. I'm not sure if that's just because of the emotion and passion the photographers from last year brought to the table but more that Snap in 2016 molded me visually through my photos. This year has been all about what to do with that and it didn't disappoint. Cannot wait to see what the next Snap brings and what else I can get from it.
Snap really is something very special. Having enjoyed Snap 2016 as an attendee I was so excited to be invited back as a speaker. During the process of proposing and planning out my talk it really struck me how much care was put into providing attendees with quality content. There were steps along the way to set learning outcomes to make sure that the sessions were the best they could be. I felt that it helped me to raise my game as an educator and it made me so excited to see what the line-up had to offer. It was full of rich, diverse and thoughtfully-planned educational content. There was so much to be learned, regardless of what level you were at. And then there's the community. Snap is more than just a workshop... a conference... a retreat... it's a family. Yes, that's ludicrously cheesy but: if you're part of it, you know exactly what I mean and if you're not part of it yet, all I can say is that I've never known a kinder, more inclusive and just plain awesome group of photographers. At times that meant deep talk, setting the world to rights around the campfire, laughing til my stomach hurt or sharing support when my emotions got the better of me. It's that combination of inspirational educational content and even more inspirational company to enjoy it with that makes Snap truly unique. I feel so lucky and grateful to have been part of it. http://www.camerahannah.co.uk/