I don’t know where to begin really…except for maybe at the very beginning. Touché? Um, yes. It’s just that I’m still SO overwhelmed with happiness remembering my travels to Santa Ynez last September to attend the amazing photography workshop of Elizabeth Messina. She has long been a superstar to me, a kind-of icon I literally swooned over every single time I saw a photo she took. Even her iPhone images leave my breathless–they’re just pure magic. But last September was amazing on so many levels. This idol of mine became a real-life person. Someone who physically and emotionally embraced me, someone who shared with me conversations over amazing food, and someone who wiped tears from my cheeks. More than once–though this last part is somewhat embarrassing. It’s just that after enduring the Boulder Creek Flood we’d been through only weeks before, I was overcome with so much sadness and joy all at the same time, the tears just seemed to come easy. Yet, most of those days, I smiled through them. Ironically, it was actually hard not to be present. Every last detail was thought of and even the way our food looked half-eaten on a plate was worth a second glance. Or, in many cases, a captured photo.

I have so many images I want to share, but I am starting with just the first few moments I saw as I arrived. The entrance where our classes and photo-shoots were to be held, the breakfast buffet that greeted us on a gorgeous table, the little vignettes that were set up around every corner, and the impeccably organized and sun-light classroom I’ve ever seen. …Elizabeth, your workshop was like walking into the most ethereal dream I’ve ever had. My eyes have hardly ever seen so much “pretty” all in one day’s time. And just listening to you talk and watching you shoot was worth every penny of investment to get there. I adore you on so many levels, but thank you for being so real and thank you for keeping my inspirations alive and my dreams always “luminous.” xo

Shalynne Imaging - A Lovely Workshop - Elizabeth Messina

I have so many images to share, but I not finished diving into them just yet. I really just wanted to get my experience out there and start at the beginning–with my first visual and emotional impressions organized here so I can always reference them. I forget very little about my life and experiences, but I live through the images I take while they transpire. Hardly anything makes me happier. 😉

And special thank you to Utterly Engaged for sharing the images of us attendees from this workshop today! I’m so happy to have even had a small part in it! 😉 xo


A Lovely Workshop: Elizabeth Messina | Venue Host: Sunstone Winery | Event Planner: Mindy Weiss

Event Planner/Workshop Designer/Florist: Mindy Rice Floral Design | Calligrapher: Maybelle

Rentals: Found Vintage  | Paper Delights: Wiley Valentine | Food Styling: Elizabeth Colling

Tableware: Small Masterpiece | Artisan Bakery Foods: The Baker’s Table