Tag Archives: marrakech

The Marrakech Express

Last weekend my friend Oma and I decided to take a quick trip to Marrakech. Since it is a quick flight from Italy, it is a rather easy weekend excursion.

We stayed at a charming Riad, and once we figured out how to get back to the place, we were golden. It is quite hard to find your way around the center of town, even if you’ve been there a bunch of times like I have. One incredible discovery was a map app that literally saved us a couple times called maps.me.

The maps.me app, once downloaded works offline. If you’ve every been terribly lost in another country, this is a MUST.

The food in Marrakech is delicious and fresh. Some of my favorite places include Le Jardin, Nomad, and Terrasse des esepices  , but make sure you make reservations, this is very easy to do online. Note: Don’t miss Norya ayroN at the top of the stairs at Le Jardin for one of a kind Moraccan style kaftans and tunics.


We had a great time shopping for rugs and furnishings for our guest quarters. One of my big finds this trip was the most glorious rug vendor Bazar Du Sud, introduced to me by our guide Monica. I highly recommend that you hire a shopping guide. If you are interested in hiring my guide, just contact me through my site and I will connect you to Monica. I had a few places in mind for my shopping excursion, however our guide Monica had some new places on the schedule as well. I love shopping at Mastupha Blaoui, and if you have not been, GO! I found all sorts of great pieces for the guest quarters.

Warning: Leave plenty of time in your schedule as this place is enormous and chocked to the brim with amazing rugs, furnishings and home accessories. One amazing place we went, although it was not Moroccan and is owned by a Belgian woman, is called Magasin General. It is in an industrial part of town and is styled perfectly with treasures from all over Europe with a focus on Belgium. The owner is charming and full of helpful information; not to be missed. It is swoon worthy for sure.

All in all, our Morccan adventure was successful, and I managed to snag a few treasures for La Fortezza. I hope you will come visit sometime and stay with us in our newly appointed rooms.

Check out my instagram feed for more photos of our weekend trip to Marrakesh…Ciao for now

xx Annette

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Project Soar Marrakech 2016 :: The Portrait Project

Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | http://annettejosephstyle.com Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | http://annettejosephstyle.com

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 | http://annettejosephstyle.com

Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | http://annettejosephstyle.com 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 | http://annettejosephstyle.com Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | http://annettejosephstyle.com Project Soar Portrait Project in Marrakech | http://annettejosephstyle.com 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 | http://annettejosephstyle.com 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 | http://annettejosephstyle.com

Photo Credit: moi and Sarah Dorio

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Marrakech Style + Photo Workshop 2016

AJS Marrakech Workshop | http://annettejosephstyle.com

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 | http://annettejosephstyle.com

AJS Marrakech Workshop | http://annettejosephstyle.com

AJS Marrakech Workshop | http://annettejosephstyle.com

AJS Marrakech Workshop | http://annettejosephstyle.com

AJS Marrakech Workshop | http://annettejosephstyle.com

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

AJS Marrakech Workshop | http://annettejosephstyle.com

AJS Marrakech Workshop | http://annettejosephstyle.com

AJS Marrakech Workshop | http://annettejosephstyle.com

AJS Marrakech Workshop | http://annettejosephstyle.com 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 | http://annettejosephstyle.com 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 | http://annettejosephstyle.com

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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What I pack for Marrakech



As most of you know, I will be taking a group with me to style + photograph in Marrakech, Morroco.

What you may not know is what I like to pack.

I want to share some of my favorite travel items geared especially for this very special creative adventure. I like to pack light with only 13 essentials on my list, and I always pack with comfort in mind.

Since we will be in Marrakech in February, the temperatures will still be cool yet moderate, so layering and scarves are essential.

I like to go with a minimalist color palette and add a little zing with accessories like scarves and jewelry. Over the years, I have collected Moroccan beads and chokers and bracelets that I always pack. These things are practical and sentimental as all of these pieces have a story and an adventure linked to them.

What to pack for Marrakech:

  1. A vest and a jacket are my 2 essentials. I love my suede fringe jacket; it’s a great piece to throw over a dress in the evening.
  2. Long ethnic dress
  3. Comfortable boots
  4. Ballet flats or low, block heels for evening, the streets can be quite uneven so I like to stay away from high heels
  5. Sneakers
  6. Long Sleeve tees black and white
  7. Leggings and jeans
  8. 3 cotton shirts I love Olive Drab as a color option
  9. Beaded necklace
  10. Clutch
  11. Messenger bag Although since we carry a camera, I use my ONA camera bag on the streets.
  12. Lots of scarves
  13. Jumpsuit

What are some of your travel essentials? Any must haves?

xx, Annette

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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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