Who is The Family Narrative for?

TFN is for family photographers - if you photograph families in any capacity, you will find a place here. It should be noted that our goal in creating this retreat was to offer established photographers a place to commune with their peers, push through burnout, learn from each other and leave feeling inspired and invigorated. With that said, we welcome new photographers, as long as they understand that speakers and discussions will assume a basic understanding of both photography and business. If you are brand new and looking for instruction on how to use your equipment or ideas for how to start a business, this may not be the right first step.

What is the format of the workshop?

We’ve put a schedule together as diverse as our teacher list: there will be individual talks presented to the whole group, panel discussions, moderated small-group discussions, photo demonstrations, and portfolio reviews. We hope that by presenting information in a variety of formats, we will keep you engaged and interested and make sure you have the opportunity to learn in the way you learn best!

When should I plan to arrive in New Orleans?

Our gatherings will officially begin on Monday late afternoon evening and conclude after lunchtime on Thursday. Three nights' accommodation at the Pontchartrain Hotel (Mon, Tue, Wed) are included in the workshop cost as well as coffee service and lunch Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

Where will the sessions take place?

To further the tight-knit community vibe we are committed to creating, we’ve rented a space across from the Pontchartrain for our classroom setting which will allow for an intimate (non-corporate) setting, with natural light and a daily happy hour available. 

How do I get a ticket?

Applications launch June 15th. 

Why is the price tag on this retreat higher than for other retreats?

Yup. We can't deny that The Family Narrative is an investment... but we can promise you that every dollar will be well spent. In addition to having up-close and personal access to some of the best minds in the industry, your ticket price includes:

  • three days packed with family photography-focused content applicable to your business and life - no fluff or filler allowed
  • personalized website reviews from teachers and organizers
  • three nights' lodging at a premier boutique hotel in the historic garden district
  • three small group lunches with other attendees, organizers, and teachers at some of NOLAs best restaurants
  • killer swag
  • optional evening social activities
  • a community of fellow family photographers that extends beyond the weekend and is a great source of inspiration, information, and support.

Why do I need to apply to the retreat?

While we wish we could have all of your voices as part of our chorus next spring, we have chosen to once again keep our numbers small so as to facilitate a truly personalized, intimate experience. Given that, an application process allows us to make sure we have attendees from a wide range of locations, backgrounds, and experiences. Please don't be put off! We have created a simple application process to get more information from you. Once you've filled out our application, you'll hear from us as soon as possible regarding next steps!

What’s the best way to travel to New Orleans?

That all depends on where you’re coming from… Planes: the nearest major airport is Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). Trains: Amtrak services the city. Automobiles: load the Pontchartrain's address into your GPS, crank your favorite tunes, and hit the road! (2031 St Charles Ave, New Orleans,
LA 70130)

Is there limited seating for the sessions? How many sessions can I attend?

The seating is only limited by the number of people in attendance. There are only 45 total spaces available, so even the full group talks will be pretty small. Your spot at the retreat comes with full access to all talks, panel discussions, participation in small-group discussions, and opportunities to participate in photo session demonstrations and portfolio reviews.

Will there be down-time or time to explore the city?

With the exception of Monday night (hello: cocktail party!), your evenings will be free. We will be putting together some social activity options for those who want to continue hanging out with their new-found friends, but there’s no pressure to participate if you want to head out on your own. The number one complaint we received last year, if you can call it that, was that our attendees didn't get enough time to explore the city, which is one of the reasons we decided to schedule our retreat during the week, so you can sandwich your stay with weekends on either end (or both!) to make the most of your time in New Orleans. We highly encourage adding at least 1-2 days to your stay to allow for adventuring around NOLA. 

How much does participation in the retreat cost? Can I split up the payment?

The workshop cost varies based on the accommodations you select: the hotel has single king bed rooms, shared rooms with either two queen or two double beds (so those sharing a room will not have to share a bed), and two family suites, which accommodates four people (two twin-sized beds, and two sharing a king). If you happen to have a friend attending, you are welcome to request rooming with them; if not, you can still select placement in a shared room - we’ll be happy to pair you up (and will be sending a questionnaire to help us do so in the best way possible)! 

Ticket fees can be broken up among three payments: 1/3 due at the time you apply, 1/3 due November 1, 2017, and the final 1/3 due January 15th, 2018.

Can I bring my partner/family to The Family Narrative?

If you buy a ticket for a private room, you can bring a partner to New Orleans, however they would not be able to attend the retreat events. The most important thing to consider is that we are going to keep you busy with lots of activities every day, so unless your partner is totally cool without you for most of the weekend, you may want to save the shared vacation time for another trip. 

Unless you are a nursing mama, or unable/willing to be away from your infant, kids should stay home. As we said, your weekend is going to be cram-packed with learning and communing goodness; we want for you to feel fully present to get the most out of what we are offering. 

What is included in the ticket price?

Your ticket gives you access to all events, discussions and presentations, as well as accommodations at the Pontchartrain Hotel (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights), coffee service and lunch every day (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday); Visiting NOLA and not taking advantage of the amazing local cuisine is a crime though, so we're making dinners a choose-your-own adventure activity. We have some favorite local spots that we can recommend if you want to head out on your own.

Can I choose to book accommodations on my own?

You can, but we hope you won’t. We aren’t able to discount tickets for people who have made their own lodging arrangements, and we’re really looking forward to the shared space element of our community!

What should I bring to The Family Narrative?

We’ll send out a packing list closer to the dates of the retreat, but it won’t be extensive: comfortable clothes, your camera gear, and all the positive energy you can muster are the only real necessities!

Will snacks be provided throughout the day?

We’ll have coffee service every day, but if snacks are a vital part of your day, you should absolutely bring them along.

I do some family photography, but also photograph weddings, editorial, commercial work, etc. Can I still attend The Family Narrative?

Absolutely! Many of us (the organizers and teachers) do work outside family photography as well, but are excited to give this part of our business the attention it deserves. Your voice will be a fully-understood, much-appreciated addition to the conversation!

How were teachers selected?

When we sat down to brainstorm who to invite as a speaker/mentor/teacher for The Family Narrative, we knew that in addition to kick-ass photographers, we wanted to find people who represented a range of business models, target markets, experience levels, and teaching styles. We pulled together an amazing mixed bouquet of people who are different in so many ways - who they are, where they live, who they sleep with (or don’t sleep with), what they look like, etc. - but are all super-enthusiastic about this project and the prospect of creating real and meaningful change in the family photography world.

What is the refund policy?

While we are not able to offer a refund on any payments, we understand that things do come up and will do everything in our power to facilitate your ability to resell your tickets to other people who missed the window of opportunity once the event has sold out.