Meet the AJS Workshop Team:: Sarah Dorio


I cannot say enough wonderful things about my incredible workshop team. Marrakech only made it all the clearer that my team is full of the best in the business. As I continue to introduce you to members of the team, I am reminded of each of their awesome talents.

Today, I’d like you to meet Sarah Dorio, our fabulous and super talented Marrakech workshop photography instructor. You know how much I love Sarah after last week’s post about Project Soar. She is amazing, and I am happy to introduce her here today.

Meet Sarah Dorio, our Marrakech Workshop photographer |

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself:
What is your full name: Sarah Ianacone Dorio
Where are you from? Rochester, New York
What do you do for a living? Photographer

Q: What is your role on the AJS Workshop Team?
A: Photography Teacher/ Workshop Leader

Q: Tell us about your background.
A: I‘ve been taking pictures since I was a little kid. I love to travel, look at art, and meet interesting people.

Q: Describe your expertise for the workshops.
I’ve been shooting professionally for 17 years, and I was a photo assistant before I started shooting on my own.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a part of the AJS Workshop Team?
A: This was my first experience. Working with Annette, Cassandra, and Megan changed me. They are all such creative, smart women, and we all learned to support each other pretty quickly. It was as if we were creating one thing, together. A single, creative unit.

Meet Sarah Dorio, our Marrakech Workshop photographer |

Q: What is one app (business related or not) you absolutely cannot live without?
A: Ooooh, both the camera and the music app. Equally.

Q: Where is your favorite place to travel?
A: I don’t really have a favorite, but I measure places by the people and the spirituality. I have a deep love for Istanbul, Mexico City, Jaipur, New Orleans, and Marrakech. Also, China. I love China. I studied abroad in China, so I can’t look at a photograph of China without getting emotional.

Q: What is one travel destination you hope to cross off your bucket list?
A: Japan

Q: What is your favorite part of exploring new destination?
A: Always the people

Q: What is one travel essential you’re sure to pack on every trip?
A: I always bring way too many books. Not sure if that’s an essential, but for me it’s an emotional essential. If that’s a thing.

Q: Just for fun (and in true Annette style), what is your go-to cocktail?
A: Coffee!

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Project Soar Marrakech 2016 :: The Portrait Project

Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech |

One of my favorite things about the Marrakech Workshop are the days before my attendees arrive.

One activity in particular is the thing I most look forward to… Sunday’s Project Soar sports and art activity. Project Soar is Maryam Montague and Chris Redecke’s (Owners of Peacock Pavilions) Girls Empowerment and Education Non-Profit.

Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech |

Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | It’s so exciting to get to plan an art project for the girls. You may remember I wrote about Project Soar last year.

Well this year with Sarah Dorio, my workshop Photo Instructor, in tow we created a portrait project for the girls. Sarah brought her Hassenblad fitted with a Polaroid back, which enabled her to take insta-pics of the girls. I, of course, had to bring some boas and crowns as wardrobe. What girl doesn’t like a boa and a crown? The girls were so excited to have their portraits taken, they patiently waited in line for their turn. Once their Polaroid was developed, they went to work gluing it to a poster board and then embellishing their portrait. They all did a beautiful job and had a keepsake to proudly display at home.

Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | I was very taken that last year when we came and took photos of the girls that they were shy, and it was hard to get most of them to smile. But this year, thanks to all the great activities and support of the Project Soar team, they all were much more confident and outgoing. It’s extraordinary what support and self esteem building activities can do, especially for these young girls during their formative years. Project Soar is doing so much for young women in the community; read about it here.

If you would like to make a donation, please make one here. The girls have so little, and Project Soar provides them with the means to achieve so much. The cycle of child brides and a lack of education can stop, and you can so easily help these girls become accomplished and educated women of the future.

Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | As you can tell, I have grown to love these girls; I cannot tell you how it warmed my heart that they came running up to me with kisses and remembered me from last year. They took my hand and would not let go. So little can make such a difference. It’s up to us strong women of the world to help all women reach their full potential, and honestly it’s not that hard.

My workshop group was so amazing and generous. They all attended a fundraiser dinner the week of our workshop, and we all vowed to get the word out. Stay tuned for more information about a fundraiser coming to Atlanta. Thanks to Sarah Dorio who tirelessly photographed all the girls and did so with kindness, patience, and a big smile on her face.

Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech |

Photo Credit: moi and Sarah Dorio

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Marrakech Style + Photo Workshop 2016

AJS Marrakech Workshop |

Landing in Marrakech always sparks a warm light in my heart. Something about Marrakech has always spoken to me. Not sure if it’s a past life, or an appreciation of light, color, and texture. Or maybe it’s just the hustle and bustle in the street that gets my creative juices flowing. Whatever the reason, I decided to go back and teach styling and photography to another workshop group.

Last year was the first time I brought a group to photograph and experience Marrakech. I learned a lot from that experience, I must say. In a country where the majority does not like to be photographed, it’s a daunting task to facilitate photography for attendees.

But this year, with the help of my brilliant friend and producer Mary O’Dell, I was able to secure photo guides from Marrakech and seamlessly provide subjects for our portraits. I must say seamlessly is probably not the right word…more like without major incident. In Marrakech, one must respect religious rules, and especially with the older folks bearded and veiled. They simply are not into having anyone point a camera at them. So with that in mind, we trekked through the medina, and we were able to shoot the most amazing photographs.

AJS Marrakech Workshop |

AJS Marrakech Workshop |

AJS Marrakech Workshop |

AJS Marrakech Workshop |

AJS Marrakech Workshop |

Our group this year was large: 14 students and 4 instructors plus 3 guides.

AJS Marrakech Workshop |

AJS Marrakech Workshop |

AJS Marrakech Workshop |

AJS Marrakech Workshop | Sarah Dorio, the photo instructor, along with assistant Kayla Alexander, did an amazing job working with each student and going over every question about apertures and ISOs with great patience and skill. We had 2 amazing instructors from Marrakech with us as well. Cassandra LaValle, our Social Media and Branding expert, gave a great talk and helped students amp up their presence on Instagram. I helped style and worked with attendees individually on their styled look and composition for the camera. AJS Marrakech Workshop | We had amazing dinners and wonderful lunches, and generally bonded with each other. The synergy of the group was amazing, all sorts of sharing and creating and discussion about how to better images.  Megan Bowers, our videographer, was amazing; she is a new addition to the team. You may have noticed some amazing shorts on my Instagram feed thanks to Megan. I think all in all, it was a highlight experience for us all. I know that I loved every minute of it. Thanks to my spectacular team, and the team at Peacock Pavilions, who are always helpful. A special shout out to one of the attendees that turned into a team member over the course of the workshop. Wendy Hanson who was spectacular at lending a hand to all of us; thanks Wendy!

AJS Marrakech Workshop |

Our next stop is Italy where Emily Followill, Kayla Alexander, and Anne Sage take the stage along with me to create gorgeous imagery centering around what else? Food. June 8th-13th, and it will be here before we know it. Please follow along on Instagram and Snapchat at annettejoseph.

Until next Style + Photo Workshop

xx, Annette

Photos: Megan, Sarah and moi


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#marrakechworkshop 2015 part 4 – Project Soar

IMG_8662 As many of you followed along on my #marrakechworkshop IG feed, you probably saw us spending our first day in Marrakech with some very cute girls at Peacock Pavilions. Some of you may or may not know that the owners Maryam and Chris spend tons of time to helping young girls ages 8-14 in their neighboring village. Project Soar, their amazing non-profit, is an inspiring project that nurtures and educates girls to aspire to be accomplished, educated women who can affect a difference in the their village and change in the world. Maryam and Chris open their home at Peacock Pavilions every Sunday, and the girls play sports and take part in various programs throughout the year. It’s the perfect environment to learn about opportunities, career paths, and to just have fun. Throughout the year Maryam and Chris work to raise money and awareness for the girls. When Maryam asked Deborah and I to take part in a photography-centric craft project with them, we jumped at the chance.

We all met at 10:30 on the basketball court at Peacock Pavilion; 43 adorable girls were in attendance that day. They were all enthusiastic about spending the morning playing basketball and learning about how a camera works. Deborah put together a really cute video, and I took care of the sun paper craft project. It could not have been more fun!  Our Project Soar translator Faysal ( who works with Project Soar) was terrific, plus he is a photographer/film-maker, so he was jazzed about the program for the girls.

Peacock Pavilions

Project Soar has become near and dear to our heart, and Frank and I are excited to continue to support Maryam and Chris’s efforts. It has become our pet project this year.

Speaking of projects here’s how you can help immediately!!!

Project Soar needs 15 bikes and helmets pronto!!!
The older girls will be moving to high school next year and it is at least a 45 minute walk to school each way.  This is when girls often drop out of school, leading them to become child brides and their childhood as well as higher education end there and then. A bike can make the difference!

We think a basic bike, rigged up with basket for books, a helmet, and a bike lock will cost about $400 in Marrakech. (bikes are more expensive because they must pay a big take since they are imported)

15 bikes = $6000.00 Check out their website, and please find it in your heart to help these amazing girls. please donate now.

Just think a few dollars can make a BIG difference.


Please watch for more on how you can help coming on my blog…


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