Destin, Florida Photography Workshop Organzied by AKP Retreat

Every year I try to combine my love for visiting new places with my passion for photography by participating in a creative retreat. My goal with these experiences is to come back an even wiser, more creative photographer. I want to make new friends and enjoy new surroundings. You may remember my posts from 2017 and 2016, when I participated in the House of Flynn retreats in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. This year I decided to try a different retreat that I had been following for several months. I actually met the AKP Retreat organizer, Ashton Kelley, in Mexico with The House of Flynn that first year. The AKP Retreat always looked like so much fun. I had been following the pictures of the girls throwing confetti, laughing and eating together for a while. Everyone looked so happy – so I had to check it out for myself.

I just returned from Destin, Florida after spending several days with about 30 creative women. I left with new knowledge to incorporate into my profession, a handful of new friends that share my love for photography, and love for a new sandy white beach. I made memories of hot tubing in 30 degree weather with other crazy women like myself. We took selfies in bridesmaids dresses and laughed over coffee in the local beach coffee shop. I enjoyed alone time as the sun beat down on my face and the ocean waves filled my ears with their crashing.

My Favorite Retreat Images

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the entire extended weekend and the vendors that made it the most magical, awesome photography workshop experience!

Upon arriving we all decided to trek up to the beach and check out a ship that had been wrecked and abandoned on the shore. Although the temps were in the 60s, the fog was thick over the ocean and we couldn’t get a good view of it. But the foggy, haunting atmosphere was really unique and made for some great images.

shipwrecked boat on miramar beach, florida at florida photography workshop
shipwrecked boat on miramar beach, florida at florida photography workshop
shipwrecked boat on miramar beach, florida at florida photography workshop
shipwrecked boat on miramar beach, florida at florida photography workshop

I mean, just check out this boat’s name. Could it be any more appropriate??

shipwrecked boat on miramar beach, florida at florida photography workshop
shipwrecked boat on miramar beach, florida at florida photography workshop

Day 2 was filled with lessons in the morning and then we headed out to the Destin Bay House for the styled shoot. The temperatures dropped like 10 degrees in an hour and it was pretty chillly and windy. The models were such good sports and rocked it out for us. And the views were just amazing!

chandelier hangs from tree at destin bay house in florida

The Styled Shoot vendors that made this setup look absolutely gorgeous included:

Design and Florals: Simply Gorgeous Events by Laura-Jill

Venue: Destin Bay House

Paper: Rock Paper Sis

HMUA: Powder and Paint

Cake: Blue Lace Cakes

Ribbon: Illumesilks and Adorn Company

Runner: Green Earth Studio

A little surprise for all retreat attendees was this cute little swag bag of goodies!

Magazine: Magcloud, Tumbler: Discount Mugs, Cookies: The Sweet Elements, Notebook: Paper Makes Me Happy, Face Mask: Anthropologie, Rose Quartz: Chakra Healing Shop, Eye Mask: Camel and Birdie, Lotion: Bath and Body Works, Confetti: Pops of Colour


On the third day, after another morning of really informative classes, several of us had our headshots taken by the wonderful Amber Robinson.


Bad Ass Coffee, my favorite morning ritual to get the day started. I had coffee here each morning, sometimes by myself, sometimes with a group of friends. I loved this little shop so much I got a t-shirt to take home 🙂 And the final morning, a small group of us took back off to the beach one last time to capture that great morning light!


The above behind the scenes image of me was taken by Hannah Roberts Photography. I love behind the scenes shots!


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  • AudreyJanuary 25, 2018 - 1:04 pm

    It was so wonderful getting to know you and these amazing women during our retreat. Can’t wait till next time!!ReplyCancel

  • Angie McPhersonJanuary 25, 2018 - 1:05 pm

    GIRLLLLL this looks like SUCH a fun retreat and your images are beautiful!!ReplyCancel

  • AshtonJanuary 25, 2018 - 1:24 pm

    April! This is such a beautiful recap and I cannot wait to capture your branding experience later this year! It was a joy having you and seeing you again after our time in Mexico! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • MahliaJanuary 25, 2018 - 3:26 pm

    I love the way that you photographed this retreat!! I can’t get enough of that blue ribbon!ReplyCancel

  • SharronJanuary 26, 2018 - 2:40 am

    These images are so telling. Beautiful scenery, community, encouragement, and creatives! <3ReplyCancel

  • JessicaJanuary 26, 2018 - 10:31 am

    So glad you had a great time and came!! I love that’s a ashton put in so much hard work to put this together for us!ReplyCancel

  • JenniferFebruary 27, 2018 - 7:30 pm

    Such a fun recap! I adore the name of that boat (and the photo of it on it’s side), and the invitations with the ripped edges are so lovely. It looks like you had a GREAT time. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ashley EibanFebruary 27, 2018 - 7:49 pm

    Oh my goodness! This workshop looks like so much fun & I’m so jealous- I could really use a trip to FL right about now! 😉ReplyCancel

April B Photography

Serving Virginia & Beyond

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