Tag Archives: style+photo workshop

The cheese ladies, our first workshop, and more: it’s the top 4

This month's blogposts have been so much fun. In June, I've enjoyed giving you a glimpse into our life here at The Fortress as well as a peek at other towns.

This month’s blogposts have been so much fun. In June, I’ve enjoyed giving you a glimpse into our life here at The Fortress as well as a peek around other towns in the area. We’ve truly had a wonderful first few weeks here, and I know this is only the beginning.

As we roll into July, be on the lookout for an announcement about our fall workshop. Sign-up for my mailing list to get first dibs on spots. You won’t want to miss it!

Top 4 from June

The Chestnut Flour of Lunigiana

The Cheese Ladies

Ciao from Pisa

Our First Style+Photo Workshop at The Fortress

xx Annette



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Our first Style + Photo Workshop at La Fortezza!


Well it happened. They came and went so quickly. Our first ever Style + Photo Workshop at La Fortezza at our new location in Northern Tuscany. We really had a wonderful time. The studio space has amazing energy, and our attendees got to experience it for the very first time.


We started our workshop with a wonderful dinner on the terrace overlooking the mountains and the quaint village down below. Our view is simply breathtaking. All of our attendees were truly delightful, and our planned events went off without a hitch.


We had a great time playing with props in the studio and learning about our cameras from super experienced and gifted photo instructor, Christina Wedge; she is truly an inspired teacher.


Our excursion to the local bread maker and to visit with mother daughter cheese makers was a hit.  We headed back to the kitchen with our chef, Leo, to learn how to make homemade raviolis, and of course, we took this opportunity to hone our editorial styling and photography skills. Chef Leo was a great subject; our in process photos were amazing.


Photo by one of students: Marisa Curatolo,

Photo by one of students: Marisa Curatolo

On Saturday we took an all day tour of Parma which was beautiful and of course delicious. We had lunch at a local trattoria and then were expertly guided by AJstyle team travel concierge Forrest Spears through the city. We ended up in the beautiful Teatro Farnese,


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Our farewell supper was lovely. I will always remember the first workshop, and of course all of the people that made it so special. Love to our attendees; you were such a pleasure to spend time with.

We are just about to announce our first Fall Style + Photo Workshop. Sign-up for the mailing list to get your spot first. If you’re interested in joining the Olive-centric Style+ Photo Workshop, with Emily Followill and Chef Alisa Barry Nov. 8th, email me (annette@annettejosephstyle.com) for a spot. We already have 3 people signed up, so spaces are limited. Website page launches mid July.


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Italian Riviera Style + Photo Workshop 2016

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As many of you know, last week was my Italian Riviera Style + Photo Workshop. My team and I had an amazing time setting-up the workshop as well as working with all of our stellar students. This year we had a lovely group. They came to us from all over the U.S., and we even had a lifestyle blogger from Germany. Check out her post about the workshop here.

Kortney, from the blog The Western Charm, travels all over the world and took 5 days from her busy travel schedule to join us last week. Thanks Kortney. xx We enjoyed having you.

Italian Riviera Workshop

Putting together a workshop is daunting, however it’s also so rewarding. Gathering props and food stuffs to style and shoot is a mad dash all over town to look for the best of the best. Check out this little video from Megan for the behind the scenes of our prep day.

We take great pride in working with each and every one of our attendees. This year we had a lovely mother daughter duo from California and Texas; these ladies brought warmth, humor, and a little magic with them. I was surprised this year to see the passion and the drive to get the shot right. Calling upon some of my basic tips, attendees were able to create on brand images and explore their cameras in detail.

Italian Riviera Workshop

Here are some of the highlights from the week:

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Street photography on the streets and beaches of Alassio, tour + lunch at a 16th century castle located on the property of the worlds largest basil farm, La Lanterna Pizza party on the beach, cooking lesson with Giulia from Jules Kitchen , farewell dinner at Conde Nast Travler’s best 50 boutique hotels, Villa Della Pergola.


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The Italian Riviera has been our summer place for 30 years, and we’ve lived in Alassio for 10 years. You may know that I have been house hunting for 3 years, and I am happy to report that we’ve bought a home in Tuscany and will be making the move this summer. The home is big enough to house our students, it will have a commercial demo kitchen, photo studio, and student lounge and living quarters. We will be renovating it through out the late summer, fall, and winter months to prepare for spring workshops and retreats. Keep your eyes peeled this winter for announcements. More details to come about the renovation on the blog. Needless to say, we are over the moon.

Thank you to my amazing team, Emily Followill for taking time from her busy schedule to come and teach photography, Kayla Alexander for being the all around best assistant at photography and styling. Our new addition, style assistant Hannah Holst, and of course the ever amazing Megan Bowers, from Pictory Productions.

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Thanks to our guest Social Media expert Anne Sage for her passion and insightful SM presentation. We love Anne. This was Anne’s second trip to Italy with us; check out her blog to see her impression of Italy. xx

I hope you consider joining us this year. There are 2 new Style + Photo Workshops available right now. Sign up, so you get your spot. See you there!

Photo Credit : moi, Kortney Gruenwald, Anne Sage, Emily Followill

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Style+Photo Workshop at Steve McKenzie’s :: Why you should always stay a student

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Hi Everyone! It’s Nicole, Annette’s web manager and friend. I’m thrilled to be sharing my latest Style+Photo workshop experience with you. Back in the fall, I attended my first style+photo workshop with Annette and Christina Wedge at the helm. I learned so much, but I knew there was a lot more for me to wrap my head around.

When Annette invited me to her latest workshop at Steve McKenzie’s in Atlanta (one of our favorite shops), I couldn’t say no. At the previous workshop, I was really focused on styling. Even though Annette is sweet and says I have a great eye, styling is something that’s always been intimidating for me.

However, with Annette’s incredible teaching methods, I found myself learning so much so fast. From color triangles to making just small adjustments, I was able to start to understand the secrets of being a stylist.

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So once I had that under my belt, I knew it was time to focus on my camera. Friends, my camera is something that I’ve been trying to master for years, and I have come to understand that really, it will always be a learning process…and that is OKAY!

At this workshop, I spent time really playing with different settings on my camera. I really focused on understanding what ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds mean and how with each adjustment I make, there is an adjustment to how the photo appears. I would guess a certain combination and take a shot, and then I would try another combination and take a shot, and so forth. (see the vast difference below)

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The result was a series of photos that went from dark to bright, and I was actually able to understand what each change meant! I am so excited to learn that I can change the brightness of my photos without having to edit in Photoshop. Major time saver. And even better? My photos improved a ton.


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Which brings me to my next point. It is really hard to grasp all of this information the first time around, especially when you’re taking pictures in a photo-rich, captivating environment surrounded by new friends. If you are able, I would plan to take Annette’s workshops more than once…and not just twice…three or even four times! Each time, you’ll hear something you didn’t hear before, and you’ll understand something different about your styling techniques or you camera.

Ultimately, stay a student, and keep learning well beyond the workshop. Practice might not make perfect, but it definitely makes improvements.

xo, Nicole

Photos via: Nicole Letts

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Coca-Cola Workshop, a sweet afternoon!


When I was contacted by Coca-Cola to conduct a workshop what can I say? I was thrilled.

We are a Coke family. My kids and my husband only consume Coke products, a true family of the South. I grabbed everything out of my prop stash, headed to a studio in King Plow and brought all sorts of food stuffs and goodies to play with. Coke delivered cans and bottles of Coke.

My group arrived, and we were off and running. I have to say that teaching is really something I love. I love sharing all my years of styling knowledge; I find it exciting and fulfilling. For years I worked as a photo stylist, never imagining myself here teaching and mentoring young stylists.

As you read this, I am in London teaching a tabletop styling class at Summerill and Bishop’s new school. It’s funny where your personal journey takes you, isn’t it?

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My Italian Riviera Style+Photo Workshop will be posting next month, so follow my Style+Workshop Instagram for the registration announcement. Don’t hesitate to sign up once it’s up! I have a feeling it’s going to fill-up fast, since the West Elm Workshop sold out in 48 hours, and Marrakech in record time, too.

See you at the next workshop adventure! xx


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