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Hope Taylor is a photographer specializing in senior portraits serving both Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.


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2018 Alumni Retreat Recap The Noelle | Nashville, TN

For Photographers

This post is going to be a LONNGGG one and I’m not even going to apologize. So many amazing memories, beautiful people and incredible businesses are in these photos. For anyone that is confused by the title “alumni retreat” – let me explain!

Last year, I began an annual retreat for all of my past workshop attendees and mentoring students. We are all in one big online community, and it’s one of the most active online groups that I’m a part of (seriously!!!) We constantly cheer each other on, answer each other’s questions and do what we can to lift each other up. On top of those alumni, for this year, I had two new online communities for my online courses (Senior Posing & Experience + Spokesmodel 101) that were also invited to be a part of this retreat! I consider us all one big, happy family!! 🙂

So, I create a once-a-year event where we all come back together in a fun location (2017 was in Charleston!!!) to learn more advanced content, connect in person with other members of the community, build friendships, get inspired and have FUN. There are only 25 seats per retreat, and I’m always blown away with how quickly they fill up!!

This year, I decided I wanted to take the alumni to Nashville – another one of my favorite places on the planet! When I found The Noelle hotel, I knew right away it was going to be the perfect venue. The entire hotel is AMAZING (and so aesthetically pleasing!) and the event space  was just to-die-for. Wait until you see in the photos!!!

I spent weeks prepping for this retreat, and worked with some seriously stellar vendors like Mariah of Blush & Crew who helped me put together the entire event. She helped make all of the reservations, coordinate the styled shoot, find the perfect vendor team and served my attendees and I so well. When we finally met in person for the first time it felt like we had been friends for years!!!

I traveled with my best friend into Nashville on Thursday to arrive a day early and EXPLORE! Erika had never been before (!!!), so I took her to aaallll of the typical Nashville spots! As attendees began arriving on Friday, we finished up some errands and headed off to the welcome dinner at George Jones!  It was the PERFECT “welcome” to Nashville with some delicious barbecue and southern cooking! We finished the night off with a late-night treat from Nothing Bundt Cakes before getting a good night’s sleep!!!

Saturday was the BIG day – the workshop day! We had a delicious breakfast from Five Daughters Bakery (seriously the BEST donuts!) and each attendee had a custom gift box waiting for them from Wish & Pink! Then we dove RIGHT in to content about email marketing, content creation, breaking into education, hiring a team, outsourcing, launch strategy and more. Then, while we ate lunch at MakeReady within the hotel, Mariah flipped the entire space into the most GORGEOUS styled shoot!!! The vendors are listed below but, ya’ll…just you wait!!! We finished the evening off with a YUMMY dinner at Fin & Pearl and my heart was so full!

On Sunday, we said “goodbye” with a delicious brunch at Henrietta Red – which is always the SADDEST part of the trip!!! So many hugs and sad “see you soon”s to all of the attendees traveling back home (from all over the COUNTRY).

These amazing photographers are just so close to my heart and I am so proud of them. It’s always been my biggest dream to teach others and build community. The fact that all of my students have become such a close knit family is such a blessing to me. I truly believe that education within the industry should be MORE than just education…and I will always be grateful that these ladies pour into EACH OTHER in the exact same way that I hope to pour into them.

Okay, enough babbling!!! I want you to see all of the PHOTOS!!! But, two last “thank you”s are in order…

To the styled shoot vendors and team who helped make this event happen: The Noelle | Blush & Crew | Wish & Pink | Five Daughters Bakery | Of the Fields FloralModern Trousseau NashvilleDulce Desserts K Kelley Designs | Mrs. Box

To all of the event sponsors that poured into my attendees so well (and companies who have done SO much for me and my business!): Honeybook | Thinkific | LeadPages | ConvertKit 

Now on to the pictures!!! Off we go to the airport (with my refrigerator of a suitcase…)


Zach at The Noelle was SUCH a huge help to us…and he got Erika and I’s room upgraded! We were BLOWN. AWAY. I mean just look at this…

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Can you tell we were excited?


Also, frozen sangria…..as if you didn’t have enough reasons to visit already.


We headed out to explore and ended up at ButcherTown Hall…BEST QUESO EVER. AND TACOS. AND STREET CORN. Just go.


On Friday morning we popped out of bed early and headed out to the 12 South area to explore! The Amelia Flower Truck is a MUST visit!!!





This is my mom’s best friend and my second momma, Lisa!!! She lives just outside of Nashville and was such a HUGE help for this retreat because she let me mail giant boxes to her house that I wouldn’t have been able to fly with…then she brought them to me!! Love you momma meatball!!!


Mariah and Josh…these two are SUCH A BLESSING. Mariah is based in SC but had worked events in Nashville multiple times…so she was able to help me locate vendors and make reservations I wouldn’t have known myself. She brought her amazing husband and it felt like we had all been friends for our entire lives. We made so many memories and laughed until our stomachs hurt!!! If you are looking for a planner in the south, Blush & Crew is your girl!!


We found the CUTEST clothes in 12 South at FWD Clothing – a cute little VW van that sells t-shirts and Nashville goodies!!


Welcome dinner night!!! SO fun!!!


Saturday = workshop day!!! Ya’ll…this space in the Noelle…I have no words.

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Wish & Pink put together these custom gift boxes for each attendee and THEY WERE PERFECT. I have worked with her before and she always blows me away!!!

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I just love them. TAKE ME BACK.


Alright guys…STYLED SHOOT TIME. While attendees were photographing this styled shoot, I was working with them one-on-one to address one question and/or pain point they had in their business. I spent four hours helping each of them make a game plan of their next steps…and I LOVED IT.


THESE DETAILS!!! K Kelley Designs and Of the Fields Floral absolutely killed it!

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I die.

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Can’t forget the adorable seniors!!! Thank you SO much for coming to model Carly, Kinsley and Brynn!! You are all STUNNING!

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You may recognize Megan and Tanner…because I photographed their UVA wedding earlier this spring!

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Just a handful of my faves from the #htpalumniretreat on Instagram!!!


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The Gathering 2018 Recap with Hope Taylor & Caroline Logan 


hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!



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