This past fall Carey and I hosted a photography workshop in Croatia. Linda, Maggie, and Zhanna came to host alongside us, and we arrived in Zagreb a few days before the workshop began to pick up our rental car and drive 3 hours into the countryside. We’d rented Villa Sancta Maria, a huge old stone farmhouse at the top of a hill overlooking a huge valley in Istria, the heart of Croatian wine and truffle country. I’d never been to Croatia before and wasn’t sure what to expect, but when we rounded the corner at the top of the hill and pulled into the winding road leading up to the house we’d call home over the next week, what I saw took my breath away. Perched at the very top of an enormous hill (I think it also qualified as a small mountain), we could see the entire valley stretching out towards the setting sun.  Rows of vineyards graced the curves of the hills around us, and across the valley you could see an ancient hilltop town winding it’s way up to the fortress at the tippy top. Fog settled to the bottom of the valley the next morning, and I watched it dissipate in my jet lagged state (awake much earlier than I would have normally been), and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to find words to describe the scenery and the feeling of that place. Stone buildings scattered throughout the countryside like bread crumbs on a cutting board; some inhabited with the same families for generations, some given into time and overgrown with trees. Dense old forests that have existed in the same place for thousands of years, holding a treasure trove of delicious treasures if you know where to dig. People so friendly and excited to share their country with you, that they smile and wave at you from their front yard as they see you drive past. Food so fresh and purely good that you understand why people have fought wars over things like salt and spices. The only one other place I’ve traveled to that gave me the same sense of awe, majesty, and just pure unadulterated joy at the experience of existing in that particular location was Iceland.
Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

 

Then the attendees arrived, and everything turned to magic. We had the most incredible  group of women attend, and I miss all of them very very much. Laurie, Beryl, Noreen, Megan, Lisa, Annika, and Helene, thank you all so much for joining us in our adventure. Actually makes that adventures, we had quite a few! They included helping a lone Croatian man push a stranded ‘truffle train, through a narrow dirt road, enduring my first-ever speeding ticket, befriending the three Croatian kitties that lived around the outside of the farmhouse (which Maggie and Linda aptly named Butternut, Acorn, and Grumpy), witnessing the loudest crack of thunder of all time from the farmhouse’s balcony, and climbing a small mountain road in a giant van (props to Carey for being the best van/bus driver ever). It was pretttttty  epic. I could probably write about it forever, but instead I’ll just recommend giving our Croatia podcast episode a listen (Maggie guest stars!) if you want to hear all the sordid details.

When the workshop ended and it was time to leave the house, it was hard. Something about that house made you feel instantly at home the moment you stepped inside, like it was giving you a big hug. Everything there was so perfect, that we knew we had to go back. {UPDATE: We sold out within 3 days of announcing registration, thanks so much for everyone who signed up! To stay in the loop on registration openings for future workshops, you can join our email list here} So, I’m really really  REALLY excited to announce that we’re going back again for the exact same week this year, and we’d love to have you join us! The workshop takes place September 30th – October 4th in the same home on the same hill in the same town. On the technical side, we’ll be going over shooting with mirrorless, DSLR, and iPhone cameras, styling, social media, and Adobe Lightroom. On the food side, we’ll be going on a guided truffle foraging excursion, picnicking in nearby villages, wandering through the smallest town in the world, and attending a truffle festival where we’ll be trying wines and truffles from around the region.

And a huge thanks to all of our sponsors below, who made our Croatia workshop a very special occasion, indeed.

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

Croatia Photography Workshop in Istria by Eva Kosmas Flores

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