I decided to attend this workshop for a number of reasons. The main one for me was a personal one. At the time I had been shooting weddings full time for a number of years. I was quite happy with that aspect of my photography and didn’t necessarily feel I wanted to do it for that reason even though we can always learn more. To presume we know it all is the worst for any artist, so I was open. New York was a town I had never been to but always wanted to so apart from the allure of spending a decent amount time with Samm (a buddy from our home town at the time, Perth) and Dan, the fact it was NYC sealed the deal for me. It added an extra level of excitement and if potentially the workshop was going to be all about weddings at least I was in NYC. But it wasn’t. It was so much more than just weddings, I left with my cup full, confidence to pursue more personal work, to find the time and commit to it and then some. The guest speakers were incredible and together with Samm and Dan’s personal experiences about their journeys, open and honest, I learned SO much. Egos were left at the door and it ended up being a group led by two incredible artists talking about their hearts. I laughed, took images, chatted, met new friends, got drunk and spent a week in NYC I will NEVER forget. I am Natasja Kremers and completely loved this workshop.
When I clicked that “register” button for Art And The Heart back in 2012 with Dan O’Day and Samm Blake, I was both skeptical and a bit scared about the kind of return I’d get on the huge investment I was about to make. As an artist I was so incredibly motivated by the work that Dan and Samm were pumping out, and I was so eager to get some 1-on-1 time with the two of them to learn more about their way of being and creation. At the time I was just 1 year into a full-time commitment as a wedding photographer, and I was obsessed with creative processes. Like all things scary as shit to us artists, the investment ended up being the right move for me. Dan and Samm are simply great people - they’re so willing to connect with those who have taken the time to be a their workshop - all questions were answered, and they even spent time with us outside of workshop hours. But beyond their personality, I actually learned a few things that really helped me as a new business owner. Surprisingly, I left the workshop being motivated to take my business and the value of my creativity a lot more seriously than I had when I walked into the workshop. Dan and Samm are a beautiful blend of of both creativity and business. They don’t only stand for being strong artists, but they stand for knowing the value of what you’re doing with your time and craft as an artist. That…is invaluable to see first hand in other artists that you look up to, especially in a time when the value of photography appears to be plummeting. I’ve now been running my wedding photography business for 5 years now and I can say that huge foundations of my business and creative techniques derive from what I learned at Art And The Heart.
I attended AATH Melbourne 2012 searching for my Why and also a lot of How. Dan and Samm created a space where I could begin to figure that out. I walked away with a whole lot of direction, a long list of ideas and lightbulb moments, challenges, tips and advice that very much shaped a lot of Why and How I shoot and run my business.
More specifically, Dan, on many occasions has inspired and encouraged me to listen to my inner voice and make work for myself first. (still trying!). Samm, I have felt I can really relate to, and that I don't have to be anyone I am not. Samm has also given me so many tools, to not only nurture creativity but also a lot of business knowledge. Even 5 years later, I really do still think of, and use so much of what I got from that first AATH.
The network of other attendees gave me such a massive boost and quite a few, I am still close friends with. thanks guys, truly, glad to have the opportunity to finally tell you all this.
Art and the Heart, The Byron Bay Series. Wowzas! How to describe the #bestthingever without sounding like you’re trying to sell Avon samples in the foyer of your local supermarket?
It’s like if your favourite band was headlining a music festival, and you go, but all the other bands have packed up and gone home, so you just get to listen, rock out to and have VIP access to the best gig of all time (in my opinion) for four full days. Epic.
It was the first ever photography workshop I attended and the best decision I’ve ever made. Samm and Dan have created a workshop that teaches you everything you need to know to be kick-ass in this creative and highly competitive photography industry by creating a space that both encourages and challenges you to be the most authentic version of yourself possible. After four short days, I had started to connect the dots of who I wanted to be as an artist and developed the confidence to make that happen (along with making connections with people that are now some of my favourite humans of all time).
Two genuine legends, with a ridiculous amount of talent and knowledge; these wedding photography guru’s know how to workshop and kick your business and life in the butt (in the best possible way).
Art and The Heart Southern Highlands was all kinds of awesome……the workshop was nothing short of amazing. I was overwhelmed by Samm and Dan's generosity - they shared so much of their practice and of themselves. I feel incredibly inspired to grow as an artist and become more savvy as a business woman. Both the quality and quantity of the information that they delivered was astounding. Deciding to do the workshop is one of the best decisions i have made all year.
I've been to a few workshops and I can say that Art and the Heart was my fave. Wonderful opportunity to give your creativity a refresh and to connect with like minded folk. It was obvious from the get go that Dan and Sam had put in a lot of thought into each day of learning. Highly recommended.
I attended A&TH Byron Bay at the two year mark of me being a full time photographer. At the time, I was flat out shooting weddings and the business side of things was going 'ok'... but I was already tired, uninspired and the whole art / heart side of things was lacking. How could I have gotten things so out of whack so quickly! 'Art & The Heart' was the perfect reset for me. While Samm and Dan cover every facet of running a photography biz, more importantly I think, they inspire you to be bold and chase after what makes you unique as an artist and human. Three years later, I still have the A&TH workbook on my desk (dorky I know), and a perspective that's helped me in every area of being a photographer. If you're just starting out in this crazy world, or in serious need of a reset like I did then look no further - Samm & Dan are your Ninja Masters. On a side note... expect amazing food, kickass accommodation, plenty of hang times and adventures in some of the most beautiful places on planet earth.
The 3 days spent at the Art and the Heart, Southern Highlands workshop reawakened my love of photography and totally transformed the way I plan to run my business. Samm and Dan shared their insight, in-depth knowledge and passion and were completely selfless in their pursuit to inspire all of us.
I have left the workshop a better photographer and richer for the experience.