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So just what is The Family Narrative anyway?

The Family Narrative is a gathering of family photographers for three days of education, camaraderie, discussion, and industry-building. We have three primary goals: 

1. To create a space for a long weekend's worth of discussion, demonstration, and the distribution of real, rich content that everyone in attendance can use to improve their businesses and their lives, and

2. In doing so, create a diverse community of photographers who will continue to push and support one another long after the retreat is over.

3. Our long-range goal is to change the narrative around Family Photography as an industry: we believe it deserves to be seen and valued for the challenging, important work that it is.

Who is it 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.

When is it?

We have two upcoming retreats:

Sydney, Australia, August 7-10, 2018

New Orleans, LA, March 11-14, 2019

How much does it cost?

Your ticket price depends on the kind of rooming situation you choose and are variable depending on the location. You can see pricing information and more about what's included for Sydney here and the US here.

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.
  • you can read more about what sets TFN apart from other conferences here

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!

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 do you select your teachers?

When we sit down each year to brainstorm who to invite to be our speakers/mentors/teachers for The Family Narrative, we are looking for kick-ass photographers who are all super-enthusiastic about this project and the prospect of creating real and meaningful change in the family photography world.

That said, we firmly believe that the right group of instructors is greater than the sum of its parts, so we're looking for more than just a great group of individuals. We want people who represent a range of business models, target markets, experience levels, and teaching styles, and who bring a variety of human experience stories to the table - who they are, where they live, who they sleep with (or don’t sleep with), what they look like, etc. It's an incredibly complex puzzle to piece together, but (we believe) the secret sauce that makes this retreat the best in the business.

How do I get a ticket?

Ticket sales are open for Sydney and can be accessed here. Tickets for New Orleans 2019 can be accessed here.

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.

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 is the refund policy?

Ticket purchases are non-refundable, but can be transferred for a fee of $75 up to 30 days prior to the event. Within thirty days of the event, no transfers will be allowed. In order to transfer your ticket, or for further questions, please contact us via email at info@thefamilynarrative.com.

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

Generally speaking, 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've received from our attendees is that they didn't get enough time to explore the city, which is one of the reasons we decided to schedule our retreat during the week, in the hopes that you can sandwich your stay with weekends on either end (or both!) to make the most of your time. We highly encourage adding at least 1-2 days to your stay to allow for adventuring!

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 The Family Narrative, 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. 

How are roommates assigned?

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.

Will snacks be provided throughout the day?

We’ll buy you lunch and provide coffee service every day, but you may want to have a snack in your bag in case you get hungry... all that learning can really work up an appetite!