Tag Archives: Peacock Pavilions

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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#marrakechworkshop 2015 part 3- What happens at our Styling and Photography Workshops?

Peacock Pavilions

Peacock Pavilions

Some of you may want to take one of our styling and photography workshops and may want to know what the schedule is like when we put on one of our workshops. Deborah and I worked very hard in Marrakech to create a full immersion experience for our students. This is something we strive to do with every location and every workshop we do.


Photographing and styling in Marrakech was a whirlwind of the sights and sounds of the souks. The colors, textures, and flavors all around us inspired all of us and made for amazing imagery. Photography is a technical skill as is styling, but we like to think everyone has their own personal look, style, and point of view. Our workshops are designed to help creatives find their artistic voice. In Marrakech this was the case times a thousand.

Here’s a brief look at our workshop in Marrakech:

The evening before the formal workshop began we of course welcomed everyone and had a fantastic and delicious cocktail party and soiree in an Arabian tent. Sound amazing?? Well it was! (for the full party story, see the feature I wrote and styled in the Travel Issue of M&V Magazine hitting newsstands in mid May).

The next day we went into the Medina (the central market place) and photographed plus shopped for props and food stuffs in the souks. The colors, textures, people, animals, and food are the most fantastic photographic subjects. Plus it gave everyone a chance to get to know each other, and in some cases, get to know their cameras. We had an amazing day.

You may be asking yourself what does the formal workshop look like; what will I take away besides the gorgeous imagery? Here’s an overview:

Day 1 : We have a dialogue and Powerpoint presentation where both Deborah and I discuss the fundamentals, of both styling and photography, how we work, and how we market ourselves. There is always lively discussion of latest trends in technology as well as in styling and production. This gives our students an opportunity to ask any questions they would like to in a safe and supportive environment. Although we do give it to you straight, we want to make sure you have the real skills in the highly competitive field of styling and photography. If you are coming to improve your blog story telling or are the owner of a product line, we can answer questions about how to photograph products and make your blog as impressive visually as it can be. With plus 20 years in the industry, we give you practical solutions to navigate the current landscape. We even discuss the latest software applications for book keeping and styling and even photography fees. We share effective collaborative approaches with clients as well. In the afternoon, we work on styling and photography of food and still lives, as well as show you how to do your best work with tricks and secrets of the trade.

IMG_8910 Peacock Pavilions

Day 2 : Day two is all about Styling and Photography fundamentals in practice. Each student is given a real editorial assignment to complete. In the case of Marrakech, it was a travel story featuring Peacock Pavilions. Students styled, shot, and edited their story in one day with the technical advice of Deborah. using current editing software. I spent the day styling interiors, people, and food with each student.


Day 3 : We met over breakfast reviewing everyone’s photographs and shared insights and critiques. It’s always fun to see everyone’s captures and point of view. The afternoon was free, but there were several activity options offered to students, and then a farewell dinner where I dare say one of the students was so moved by her incredible experience and the friends she made, she shed a few tears. Which quite honestly made all the effort so worthwhile.

We had an incredible group, an amazing time, and everyone went home with amazing images plus an experience of a lifetime…not to mention some gorgeous rugs. ūüôā¬† Deborah and I were so grateful for all the amazing creatives that attended and put their trust in our hands. We know this will not be the last time we see our new found friends, but until then…Viva la Workshop!

If you want to up your styling and photography game, you too can join us on a creative adventure as we move our workshop to the Italian Riviera, at the beginning of June. Sign up now as spots are limited. We would love to work with you. Feel free to email me any questions: annette@annettejosephstyle.com


Photos by: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn and Frank R. Joseph MD

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#marrakechworkshop part 2 – Atlas Mountains cooking school






One of the cool things about a styling photography workshop is that one can plan to do plenty of cooking. I thought it might be nice to learn something about Moroccan cooking before we started styling and photographing it. Besides the Atlas Mountains are such a gorgeous location, and there would be many great photo ops…right? Well when we pulled up the Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot, it took our breath away. The cooking school was located on a terrace and the tiny kitchen was fully equipped and worked perfectly for our class. The chef was delightful and spoke perfect English; he was organized and a great teacher.

We started with Moroccan Mint Tea, which I must admit was very addicting, so I was happy to learn how to make it. The recipe is below.

After we enjoyed our tea, our lesson began.

The Menu:

– Harira Soup
– Traditional Vegatable Tagine
– Spinach and Ricotta Briouattes- thin pastry filled and folded into a triangle, served with the soup
– Mhalbea- Rice pudding

It was the most glorious sunny day, too! Our lesson was 3 hours, and then we all dined on our creations on the terrace of the hotel, over-looking the mountains and pool at the resort. After lunch we wandered the property and found a stable filled with a menagerie of the cutest camels and goats. We stopped by the Berber shop, that supports the village artisans which was set up by Richard Branson’s mom who lives on site. As a matter of fact, my husband Frank and Deborah’s hubby Jim had a lovely conversation with her while we were all cooking. Cool, huh? What can I say? Everything was yummy, and it was the perfect way to start the workshop week: getting to know everyone and cooking.

If you want to come along next year, I will have dates and information on the site coming soon. In the meantime, for more photos of our workshop in Marrakech look for #marrakechworkshop and follow me on instagram. If you can’t wait until next year to join us, sign up for our #italianrivieraworkshop coming in June.


Peacock Pavilions

Moroccan Mint Tea
makes 2 liters

You will need:

– 1.5 teaspoons green tea leaves
– Boiling water
– Sugar to taste
– 4 springs of fresh mint
– Teapot
– 4-6 Moroccan tea glasses ( these are available in the states, at World Market


Boil the water in the teapot.

To the pot add the tea leaves, and pour 1 cup of water into the pot. Leave for 30 seconds, pour off the liquid into a glass and retain it (this is the aroma of the tea you’re retaining in the glass; it should be a golden color).

Now add a second glass of water to the pot and mix the tea. Pour off the water and discard (this is the dirty water, and has the tannins and impurities from the tea).

Put the first golden cup back into the pot, fill the pot with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add your mint and sugar, and leave to steep for 5 minutes.

Pour the tea into a glass then pour it back into the pot 3 times to mix the tea. Moroccan’s like to pour from some height. Pour tea into glasses and enjoy.

tea photo: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

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Maryam Montague’s Cocktail of the Week

  headshot: Tiffany Kirchner Dixon  cocktail image: Stephanie Alman

Maryam Montague did not set out to become a internationally recognized designer and blogger. She and her husband moved to Marrakesh (temporarily, so she thought) while pursuing their careers (his in architecture, hers as a humanitarian specializing in democracy). While there, they set about creating a beautiful and comfortable environment for themselves and their children. Maryam began documenting it in her aptly named blog, My Marrakesh. Fast forward several years, and Maryam and her husband now run Peacock Pavilions, a boutique guesthouse, so that they can help others can enjoy the magic of Morocco. She was generous enough to share a cocktail recipe of hers that could only be more amazing if you were to sip it while staying at her place in Morocco!

Peacock Prohibition Tea
3 lemon wedges
Sugar syrup
2 oz. Gin
Dash of orange flower water
Earl Grey tea (cooled)
3 oz. Lemonade

Muddle lemon wedges in cocktail shaker with a little bit of sugar syrup (syrup recipe). Add gin to shaker with a dash of orange flower water. Pour a good bit of Earl Grey tea (cooled) and some ice cubes into shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into ice filled high ball glass. Top glass with lemonade and a few more cubes of ice. Garnish with mint and serve!

Check out more images from Maryam’s lovely Peacock Pavilion here.

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