The Winshape Retreat in Rome, Georgia is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been in our lives. Maybe it’s the rolling vistas of green grass against the white brick buildings. Perhaps it’s the fact that Winshape is placed in the middle of hundreds of acres of Berry College campus and gives the sense of “being away from it all.”
Or maybe, just maybe it’s because of the true life change that happens there.
From the moment we first arrived at Winshape for the Connect Retreat last year, we could feel the presence of God. He is moving. He is changing lives and marriages. It will always have a special place in our hearts.
Last year, we approached Connect with the mindset that we wanted to capture every moment. We were always ready to take the next image so we could preserve the memories. And we did! See our post from Connect 2015 here! But this year, we took a different strategy. We decided to live in the moment. To take in the memories while we were there in real life instead of in pixel form later on. In full disclosure, we weren’t 100% successful! But we tried!
One of the most wonderful things about the Connect Retreat is the feeling of “getting away.” As photographers, our job is to capture and keep safe some of the greatest memories of our couples’ lives. The bottom line is, we are carrying a burden of pressure with us. But when we arrive in the parking lot of the Winshape Retreat center, we can unload those burdens for a few days.
We can focus on the things that truly matter: our relationship with God and our relationship with each other.
And while we certainly focused on those important things, we still managed to get some amazing people in front of our cameras! Is there any surprise there?! Let’s start with Eric and Jamie (aka EJ in our house). EJ are two of our best friends in the world. And we just met them 15 months ago! We love them to death! We did a quick session swap with them which resulted in the beautiful pictures of us seen above as well as the images of our gorgeous friends below! Could they be any cuter?! And they have hearts of gold. Not to mention their style! Ow ow!!!
Next up, our friends Mistry & Scott! We met them at Connect last year and we loved them right away! They are working towards being in their business full time and we are cheering them on! So when they contact us a few weeks ago about doing a little mini session for them at Connect, we said, “ABSOLUTELY!” And they turned out great! Mistry & Scott, you have two cheerleaders in South Carolina! Keep doing great things!
In a last minute little bit of fun, our newest friends Kari & Trevor offered to take some pictures of us (here’s one of them!) and we were able to squeeze in a few minutes with them in front of our cameras as well! Kari & Trevor are one of those couples we knew through social media (let’s call it “mutual stalking” haha!) and so getting to hang out with them in person was so fun! We can’t wait to see them again!
And last but certainly not least, though we didn’t get to take many pictures, we did get to hang out with our dear friends Kristy & Vic from Miami! If you know us, you probably know how much we love these two! If you need proof, here’s exhibit A and exhibit B!
Now, you may be thinking “I thought you said you didn’t use your camera that much.” Well….what can we say? We tried!!! We don’t have a lot of other images of the retreat, and we are ok with that. Because we have the memories. We have the friends. And the Lord is still working in our hearts!
When you take the time to focus on the things that truly matter, you might be amazed what experiences you can take away. You might be surprised what you can learn about yourself, about your spouse and about your God! We WILL be back at Connect 2017 if all goes well and we can’t wait!
P.S. This was our small group this year that we met with each day to discuss struggles and lessons learned. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of amazing people!!!
P.P.S. Special shoutout to these Connect 2016 leaders! We know that a lot of time and effort goes into every second of this retreat. But rest assured, lives are changed.
P.P.P.S. (Ok this is getting ridiculous. Last one!) This picture because…this is the real us. With perfect Instagram feeds and unrealistic Facebook expectations of the world today, it’s good for the soul to share as many real moments as possible. This, friends is as real as it gets. We didn’t even know this picture was being taken! Real. Life. Take us or leave us!