If you read my recent Blog SSS – Why Me? you’ll know I was incredibly nervous about being part of the team due to present at the Style, Skills & Silver Insta style workshop.  The event was hosted by Hiho Silver the equine and country jewellery company I’m so delighted to be a Brand Ambassador for.  Well, the beady eyed amongst you will have seen that the event took place last week and hopefully you’ve been enjoying the visual & literal fruits that have emerged from some of the Bloggers and Small Businesses who attended. I know I have.

So how did it go for me?  Did I cope, did I stare down some poor unsuspecting soul as I contemplated my next sentence….?

♥︎ ♘ ♥︎

It was an early start for me on the Thursday as unlike the rest of the team I wasn’t able to be there the night before.  I was somewhat guilty about this as I was fully aware that much of the physical preparation to create the rooms we used at The Fish Hotel were late into the evening by everyone else.  Somethings in life can’t be helped though so it was a Moon o’Clock rise for me and I left Somerset as the sun slowly rose.  Usually the only thing on the M5 that’s got my attention is the M5.  However for brief moments on a near empty road I was able to really enjoy the view as the early morning mist lingered on the Somerset Levels through the pinky orange morning haze.

Oh to be a photographer out at that time!

Just over a couple of hours later I arrived having wound my way through the estate grounds to the hotel.  The climb up the aptly named Fish Hill with it’s treelined switchback corners was like being in the Alpes.  The views out across Worcestershire were spectacular and inspiring for the day ahead.  I think if I was staying at the hotel the views alone within their grounds would be worth the trip to gain some peace and personal grounding.

I was greeted by Ruth from Dressage Anywhere with a big smile and a cup of tea.  God bless that woman and then lots of love and hugs from my friends in the team that had put the day together.  They all looked amazing and ready to share their knowledge . The way they’d decorated the rooms was just perfect and I knew we were in for a great day ahead.  A few sips of the brew and I was revived and ready to put my fears to one side and start meeting and greeting.  I’m still wondering if Ruth put some kind of gin in my tea that morning…

I was in the Skills workshop with Ruth, Rhea Freeman (business coach, friend and deliver of all things hilarious – intentional or otherwise) and also my fellow equine photographer, the fabulous Sophie from Sophie Callahan Photography.  Our mission was to help everyone see the value behind good images for their website and social media content, how best to use those images and to encourage them to use one particular style of image, flatlay images, in their own lives. Together we wound our way through both the morning and afternoon sessions.  Inevitably as newbie’s to things like this we possibly could have changed things slightly and I know that for me I was uber conscious of where my eyes were, they have a tendency to talk to the floor at times but as people responded to training, and boy did they respond, it was much easier to keep standing there and delivering.  I kept telling myself there were jelly beans with my name on them at the end of each section…

Self bribing… works a treat.

….although working from a room with shelves filled with sweets emulating the best of traditional sweet shop displays was hugely dangerous.  Nevertheless, it was another tick in the box from The Fish!  That and the green juice from the well stocked fridges, that was an utter revelation to me!  Looked too healthy to be good but I was very wrong.  I think that’s a first for me, a non alcoholic green drink!

Anyway, watching everyone playing around with the enormous amount of props we’d all brought for them to use was brilliant.  Seeing things being shifted minutely, or ditched entirely, as the story they wanted to tell through their respective image developed was just fab to see and totally replicated just what I go through when I’m creating a flatlay myself.  The self named ‘Faff and Wing it’ process.

Before I knew it we were having a final chinwag over a drink in the comfy room upstairs with everyone and listening to Hiho’s King of the Road, Andrew, talking about the Brand.  The room was buzzing, truly it was.  The general opinion was that our equine and rural industries have been crying out for something like this and Emma from Hiho, who was the brainchild behind the day, had totally filled the gap.  Her ideas were brought to life thanks to the hard work and support from many and by bringing together some incredible Brands to be used in both the Style and Skills workshops.  The end result was lots of very happy delegates (sounds a bit formal for such a friendly environment) leaving with heads full of ideas, new skills to take forward and a whole bunch of contacts.  Probably a few friends too.

I’d call that a success – wouldn’t you?


♥︎ ♘ ♥︎

With huge thanks to my fellow team members for all their enthusiasm and hard work. For picking me up when I didn’t think I’d delivered and for not letting me fall off that wooden block on the day!  Yeah right, too busy with your cameras for that one!

Emma Warren      @emmawarren_1
Rhea Freeman     @rheafreemanpr
Melanie Clarihew @mackenzieandgeorge
Karen McConnell  @karenandclan1
Harriet Edwards  @harriet_lily
Sophie Callahan  @sophiecallahan
Ruth Chappell    @dressage_anywhere


Grateful thanks to sponsors and providers for the day….

Mackenzie and George  Fairfax & Favour  Albion Lifestyle  Bloom & Wild  Cocoa May  Dimpsey  Annabel Brocks and of course The Fish Hotel


See you at the next one…

Rachel x