Underwater Kids Retreat

beautiful underwater image of mother and child

I absolutely love creative retreats. Not only are they a great way for me to interact with like-minded professionals, but there is a creative retreat for everyone!

I recently traveled to Micanopy, Florida, for the first ever Underwater Kids Retreat.

mother and young daughter underwater

The Underwater Kids Retreat was an amazing experience! The very best part of the retreat was reconnecting with NAPCP friends. Former NAPCP Photographer of the Year Jennifer Kapala instructed us, along with co-hosts Amy Vecchio and Christi Allen Curtis. I was so excited to see my fellow NAPCP Ambassadors Willy Wilson, and Kim Tank, too! I was thrilled to meet some virtual friends in person, and make some totally new friends, as well. (I’m lookin’ at you, Amy, Christi, Renee and Samantha!)

Outside of fun-with-friends, I was incredibly excited about the Underwater Kids Retreat for two reasons. First, last year I purchased Ikelite underwater housing. I played with it and learned some things, but I looked forward to gaining real knowledge about how to get the most out of it for myself and my clients. Second, this was the first workshop I attended since Nolan’s birth almost TWO years ago! Time flies.

Day 1

It wasn’t the warmest of Florida weekends, and the Airbnb’s pool wasn’t heated, but we powered through the first day with incredible models. In the evening we did a night shoot in a black-bottom pool. Using pool lights and lights from outside the pool, we challenged our artistry and executed our individual visions. This session gave me such a boost of creative energy! I’m practically bursting with ideas for warm-weather underwater shoots here in California.

Day 2

Ginnie Springs is one of the most gorgeous natural water locations I have ever seen.

This is what they mean when they say that nothing compares to winter in Florida. The water temperature at Ginnie Springs, which is just north of Gainesville, stays at 72 degrees all year. Bonus: this water temperature also makes alligator sightings highly unlikely! Jacque Cousteau himself described the water of Ginnie Springs as “the clearest water in the world”. Cypress trees line the shores. The eerily beautiful scenery relaxes your mind and body. I’m certain there are few places as wonderful as Ginnie Springs, Florida.

My clients will be delighted to read that I can’t wait to put all I learned into action. Let’s adventure together to the ocean, your favorite lake, or the pool in your backyard!

Each and every one of the wonderful women who attended the Underwater Kids Retreat contributed to the community learning environment in her own special way. Please visit them online for further inspiration!

Jennifer Kapala: Instagram | Website
Amy Vecchio: Instagram | Website
Christi Allen Curtis: Instagram | Website
Willy Wilson: Instagram | Website
Kim Tank: Instagram | Website
Samantha Ann: Instagram | Website
Renee Stengel: Instagram | Website

  • Jennifer said:

    These are wonderful!! Thank you so much for coming - it was amazing to see you again!

    • admin said:

      Ditto & thank you for such a wonderful experience. I can't wait to continue to grow this part of my art & business!

  • Renee said:

    I absolutely adored getting to meet you “in real life” Mary!! So thankful we attended th retreat together!!
    Beautiful photos!! I love the photo of the expecting mom from above the water - awesome perspective!! And the little girl falling through the water at night - amazing!! Like an Alice in wonderland shoot!!
    I can’t wait to see where this journey takes you my friend!!

    • admin said:

      You're so sweet Renee!! It was wonderful meeting you as well and I look forward to being on this exciting ride along with you! xox

  • Barb said:

    Mary these photos are absolutely gorgeous and inspiring! It sounds like an an amazing experience. Can't wait for you to return and come play in the waters of Maui :)

    • admin said:

      Thank you Barb, you're so sweet!! Also, me either!!!