Our Retreat


If you’ve been wondering what happens on our Capturing Childhood weekends, this blog post is for you! We are just planning our shoots for our next retreat in October, and we realised we haven’t shared the photos from the last one back in March. So here’s a little about our experience, what we chatted about with our group, and we’re sharing some of the amazing photos they took over the weekend too.

When you first start out with something fresh, like a new course, it feels like a very vulnerable place, wondering if anyone will want to come. Our retreat weekends have been steadily growing, and this is how we wanted it to be. We’ve had a mixture of attendees, from parents wanting to take better photos of their children, to portrait photographers just about to set up their business and feeling they need guidance, and help building their portfolio. There are places left on our next weekend, on the 5th and 6th of October. It will be the fourth of these weekends that we’ve run, and we’re looking forward to welcoming new weekenders to the barn on the hill, a perfect location to learn, shoot, and just be.

We thought we’d take you through some of the things we talk about and share. These weekends are ever evolving, and we like that too, that the course grows, shifts, and changes a little every time.

In March, we were joined by 6 participants, all at different stages in their creative journey. Everyone brought so much to the group, and we’re forever grateful for these conversations about our creativity and practice.

We always start our weekend off with pastries, tea, and introductory chats.

And then everyone finds their spots on the comfy sofas. In the morning, we talk about techniques, breaking a shoot into chapters, and how to see and use light.


When we’ve chatted for a while in the morning, we like to stretch, and get out there for our first shoot of the weekend. Martha was our first model. We had just talked about how light can give shots a signature feel, so I wanted everyone to experiment with different light, and see which they like best. We also chatted about getting down on to the children’s level so we’re let into their world. What I love the very most about photography, is everyone’s different interpretations, that there are so many different ways of viewing character.

After lunch, we really start getting into personal style, and feeling confident in our voice as photographers, that we always have something new to say in our photos. How bringing our thoughts back to us, back home, can help with the stories we’re trying to tell in our images. What does a shot make you feel when you press the shutter? And how when we’re taking shots in this way, the viewer feels part of that story too. Olive and Suzi stepped into the limelight for our next practical, and when I started getting excited about the light we had in the room, I crept into a few photos too.


On Day 2 we talk a lot more about personal style through our own experiences with this. What we do when we’re planning a shoot and how personal projects can feed into work. Day 2 leads us into a family shoot in the afternoon, where we put everything together that we’ve learnt over the weekend. The day before, I took everyone out to the location so they had a good idea of where it was going to take place, and maybe spot some areas they’d like to experiment with shooting. I lead the shoot so everyone can see what happens on our sessions. How I lightly direct if there’s need for this, and learning when to step back so those natural interactions happen.


I’ve never been great at saying goodbyes, as I always want an event, party, workshop to carry on! It felt very special these two days spent together in the barn on the hill. If you’d like to join us for our next Capturing Childhood weekend retreat, the dates are 5th & 6th October. The location is close to Hebden Bridge in Cragg Vale. Both Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge train stations are nearby. Payment plans are now available, just let us know if this is the option you’d like to go for by emailing us at info@sarahmasonphotography.co.uk.

Wherever you are on your portrait photography journey, we’d love to get you a step (or two or more) closer to shooting in the way you want to, the way that makes your heart sing. We hope to see you soon.

Stories Of The Everyday - Colour

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We’ve had such a lovely time looking through the photos for our monthly Stories Of The Everyday theme. I think we chose a good month in May for it to be COLOUR with all that spring in the air and in our steps. So firstly, thanks for joining in. We love putting these monthly compilations together. At the end of the blog, we’ll be talking about our June theme - we have been really looking forward to this one!

But first, let’s bathe in all these glorious colours!

We hope you feel radiant and bright after the blast of all those spring rainbow colours ! So our June theme is something we’ve been excited about since we first thought about these monthly themes, and it seems like the right time to launch it in June. It’s all about A Sense Of Place. Whether it’s a landscape, a favourite view, a family home, a walk you do every day, a drive over moors, the smell of the sea and the wind in your hair. We want to talk about, and show photos of those places that get under our skin, that make us tingle when we talk about them, that feel so deeply ingrained and entwined with what makes us who we are.

Are you in? We’d love to see your photos and read your stories. We’ll share them all at the end of this month, just hashtag your photos #storiesoftheeveryday_place. See you next month!

Stories Of The Everyday - Growth

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When we announced March’s Stories Of The Everyday theme as GROWTH, it seemed pertinent to us, as Olive was in the full throes of teething. With those bright red cheeks, grizzles, and her constantly wanting to put anything on those gums to give a little relief. And as March waned, a small peak of tooth emerged. A bright white shard that we keep getting glimpses of with her big smile, or through wide mouthed cries as it pushes just a bit further. These themes are here to be interpreted just as you like. Maybe it was the first signs of spring peeping through that inspired you to press the shutter, or your own personal journey, a project you’re working on, or maybe the littles in your life you wanted to capture for GROWTH. We’ve put together a selection below, a cross section of some of your lovely posts.

And if you’d like to join us for April, the theme is WONDER. Just use the hashtag #storiesoftheeveryday_wonder, it would be nice to see you there. And if you think someone else would like to join in, do let them know!

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