The Weekend Lens From The Click Retreat


I spent the greater part of last week in the Outer Banks with a wonderful group of women at the Click Blogger Retreat. This event was hosted by Today's Mama and sponsored by Southwest Airlines, HP, Snapfish, Sony, Avery, National Geographic Kids, KIND, The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Carolina Designs Reality, SAGA Construction & Development, and epiphanie bags.

The 50-60 attendees and organizers stayed in two huge houses next door to each other right on the beach and it was so much fun.

Tracey Clark and I led a casual session where we talked about everyday life photography and Project Life. Everyone who attended the retreat went home with a 12x12 Project Life album, page protectors and a Jade kit. For most of the women at this event Project Life was new - some had heard something or other about it online but for many of them it was completely new.

It was so cool to get to have a conversation and introduce people (especially women who are already into taking photos) who might never consider traditional scrapbooking to give this sort of documentation a try (completely remembering that it can be anything you want it to be). It's such a great introduction to memory keeping.


One of the fun pieces of this event was getting to try out some new cameras from Sony. I was most interested in their new Alpha NEX 7 camera - a super small little camera that does a whole bunch of cool things but the thing I thought was the coolest part was that as you make adjustments (like increasing the shutter speed or ISO) you can actually see how that will change the shot you are taking on the screen or through the viewfinder. That's a huge learning tool in and of itself to be able to see what's going to happen if you up or decrease any of those manual settings.

I think I might have finally gotten over my mental block and moved into manual mode with my camera thanks to my new friend MeRa Koh (who was shooting with that Sony camera I mentioned above). For some reason what she said in her presentation clicked and I shot in manual the rest of the event. But my favorite part was sitting next to her on the shuttle to the airport and having one of those life conversations that will stick with me for a very long time.

A couple favorite shots:




Big thanks to Rachel at Today's Mama for inviting me to participate in this event. She's so down-to-earth and fun and together and this event totally reflected all those qualities. Loved every one who was a part of the team for this event.

One of the biggest benefits of these events is the opportunity to connect in person with like-minded creative people. In this case it was a lot of super tech-savvy women who I loved learning from in all the different conversations over the four days. So worth it.

Check out Tracey Clark's post on this event here.

I also wanted to take a minute today to say thank you for being here. I know you have a choice in how you spend your time online (and in everyday life) and I so appreciate that this is one of the places you visit. Hope you have an awesome Monday.

43 thoughts

  1. Debbie

    2013-10-14 11:47:02 -0400


    Will you be purchasing the sony? What did you like most about it?

  2. Shivani Cotter

    2013-10-14 11:52:39 -0400

    Love this post Ali! So great meeting you!

  3. Robyn

    2013-10-14 12:09:19 -0400

    Sounds like a great trip Ali - and THANK YOU! for having my favorite first thing in the morning go to site! I get excited every morning I open up to a new entry from you!

  4. Jill

    2013-10-14 12:32:10 -0400

    Your blog is a daily read for me! Lots of personal and crafty inspiration here :)

  5. Phaedra

    2013-10-14 12:48:47 -0400

    I've been following you since you first appeared in CK and the reason I do is because your blog is so well-rounded. It's not only about scrapbooking layouts/projects/products (although you do provide lovely links for fun things I very much enjoy), it's also a wonderful reminder to stop and think about the Why in my daily life & how I can express that with the projects I choose. The posts often remind me to be more mindful with my family, at work, with friends, and in general. Thank YOU for providing something that's at the top of my day's list!

  6. Just Shireen

    2013-10-14 13:02:24 -0400

    I'm so glad I got to meet you! Even if you did kick my butt at the duck race.

  7. Melinda

    2013-10-14 13:41:49 -0400

    Isn't Me Ra the best? I learned to shoot in manual from her too! Sounds like a fantastic retreat.

  8. EmmaJ

    2013-10-14 13:45:15 -0400

    I followed a few of you on Instagram. It looked like a fun trip!

  9. Julia

    2013-10-14 14:03:00 -0400

    Hope you have an awesome Monday, too. Mine will be over in about four hours time and so I'm looking forward to a great Tuesday!

  10. Kathy

    2013-10-14 15:35:06 -0400

    Thank you for sharing. I was following click retreat all weekend on Instagram after seeing your post last week. Interesting on so many levels. Trying to improve my camera skills, document life, and we love OBX. We have vacationed there the past 2 years and simply love it.

  11. CJ

    2013-10-14 15:57:43 -0400

    I do so love to visit your blog Ali, especially when you talk about photography. The retreat looks wonderful, and your pictures are stunning. Lucky you, going to such a lovely spot. Thank you for sharing. You always put so much time and effort into your blog, and it is very much appreciated.

  12. Nina Chow

    2013-10-14 17:24:33 -0400

    I love reading about your adventures Ali. I have always loved your stamp designs and work, so glad that I have found your blog. Thanks for being so honest about your life experiences, truly inspirational.

  13. Trisha Hamilton

    2013-10-14 17:47:46 -0400

    You are amazing. I wish I could meet you!

  14. Jessica

    2013-10-14 19:01:35 -0400

    What a wonderful opportunity! How fun!

  15. Tauni

    2013-10-14 19:22:43 -0400

    Ali, It was so great to meet you in person. You're a breath of fresh air in this industry and I can't wait to collaborate with you on projects in the future!


  16. Melissa

    2013-10-14 21:06:56 -0400

    That's very sweet, Ali. You're welcome and thank YOU. It's an honor to be here with you, your family and Katie. Thanks for letting US into YOUR lives.

    Love your photos and tales of your time in the "OBX" (outer banks).

  17. Debora Prass

    2013-10-14 22:55:24 -0400

    Tks for sharing! :)

  18. Kristin

    2013-10-14 23:09:37 -0400

    I love lev love my NEX 6!!!! It is fantastic! I just got a few months ago. I went with the 6 because the lens that came in the kit was a little newer and nicer. Also, my husband read that the 7 had some issues with overheating while video mode was on. The 6 is really great! You can transfer wirelessly from the camera to your phone without internet connection using a phone app. Also, the ISO goes up to 25000 so it's great for shooting in low light settings. It's so compact because it is a mirror less camera which is also why the preview image changes with the settings you input. Such a great camera!!!

  19. Lisa W.

    2013-10-14 23:10:35 -0400

    OH makes my heart sing. YOU always amaze me. I think/dream ALL the time to meet you. My friends tease me because I call you my friend A month ago or so I was recovering from a major surgery, I didn't feel real good but needed to get OUT. I ask my husband to take me to our local Ikea (still a hour away) but I REALLY really wanted to get the Expedit shelving with the casters you had advertized awhile ago. I thought WHAT else could make me feel better than that. And it worked:) While we in Ikea we found the shelving unit and I was explaining to my husband now we need to find the casters. He said are you sure you can do that. And I said YES...he said how do you know for sure. I said because my friend Ali showed it on her blog!!! He said WHO is your friend Ali!!!! LOL of course he knows nothing about scrapbooking except when I show him all my fun project life albums and mini books ect. The reason (sorry for such a long post) I am pouring my heart out is because OF course I love LOVE love to read your blog AND soak up all your inspirtion, your thoughts, your feelings. THIS post is exactly why I love you so much. When I read your "thank you" for taking the time to read this blog I really wanted you to know why myself and I am sure allot of others enjoy's this blog so very much!!! And so I thank you for always inspiring us to love the art of scrapbooking, and the love you show us you have for your children, parents, friends and all!!! Again you make my heart happy. Even when I am having not such a good day, simple little things like reading your blog, listening to what you have to say, how you "see" the little things that ARE really big things! So many times I think about something or am touched by something, and then I read your post and think OMG she see's/feels it too! My dream is to meet you someday in person. To spend alittle time just listening to what you have to say. Maybee one of those trips where you teach, ahhhhhhhhhh my dream come true! So I just want to say THANK YOU for this blog. I love scrapbooking with a passion but this blog is WAY more than that!!! Thank you Ali!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Me Ra Koh

    2013-10-14 23:19:45 -0400

    Girl, our two hour shuttle conversation was epic. I remember telling you I get crazy car sick and needed to sit in front too. You looked at me and said "Just don't say anything else that is inspiring." LOL! And WHO did all the talking MISSY! You were by far one of my favorite parts of Click! Next time you are visiting your bro, walk on down the hill for a margarita! xoxo

  21. Bambou Orchidee

    2013-10-15 05:10:09 -0400

    And thank YOU for all the inspiring things you share here with us. I've learned so much since I come here (Project Life, December Daily, Hello Story, among others...), and it's always such a pleasure to read your posts.

  22. Marie

    2013-10-15 10:51:42 -0400

    Ali! It was so great to meet and chat with you. Maybe we'll have to plan to meet up at Sasquatch next year, or even something sooner. A PNW creative retreat of sorts!

  23. ajira

    2013-10-15 15:03:34 -0400

    Wonderful recap- the retreat sounds delightful. Yay on transitioning to manual! It will change your life. :D

  24. Dalon

    2013-10-21 11:45:57 -0400

    Thanks so much for always being real - sharing from the heart - and inspiring everyone who reads your blog to live fully! I only sit down a couple times a week to read the blogs I truly love, and I'm so glad that you're still out here posting and sharing. ;-)

    Just this year I moved my family from Alaska to Oregon, and while I'm not back in the scrappin groove totally, I'm getting there. I'm hoping to finally attend an event where I can meet people face to face that I've only read about over the years.

    I appreciate your creativity and your honesty Ali - so glad you enjoyed a wonderful and productive weekend!!!

  25. Project Life® 2013 | Week Forty-One | Ali Edwards

    2013-11-28 00:00:58 -0500

    […] This week mainly features photos from my trip to the Outer Banks back in October for the Click Retreat (awesome time – you can read about my experience here). […]

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