Two weeks ago, I had the honor of helping lead a free photography workshop for the emerging artist called IGNITE!  Organized by the incredible women of NJ Spark, IGNITE was designed to inspire, build community, and shine a light on the love of Christ.  God has freely blessed us in so many ways, and in turn, we want to freely bless others!  Over two days, 37 photographers gathered in one cozy farm house to learn all about posing, conducting meaningful client meetings, second shooting to grow your business, blogging, album design, and how it is never too late to follow your dreams.  We shared a pot luck lunch, photographed a gorgeous styled shoot, and indulged in way too much hot chocolate. Today I am excited to share a behind the scenes look into the workshop!  Enjoy reliving so many fun moments captured by Cassady Adams, Lisa Hibbert, Mekina Saylor, and yours truly below.

Jessica OH was kind enough to open up her cozy farm house in the Poconos for the IGNITE workshop!

The Leaders and Speakers from NJ SPARK!  Pictured from left to right: Cinnamon Wolfe, Cassady Adams, Mekina Saylor, Cassi Claire, Amy Rizzuto, Jessica OH, Deborah Ryan (not pictured: Lisa Hibbert)

I spoke on “How to Conduct Meaningful Client Meetings”.  A few of my favorite takeaways are:

  1. Show your couples you care about them right away by drafting a personal, upbeat, and informational initial response.
  2. Try not to “overdress” for your first meeting!  Think about the environment you will be in and what your couple might be wearing.  I often meet in coffee shops and opt for dark jeans, a cute top, and boots or heels!
  3. Bring samples of your work on either an iPad, album, or both!  Also make sure you have a contract handy so you can walk your couples through the next steps if they would like to book!

Mekina Saylor shared so many helpful tips on “How to Second Shoot to Grow Your Business”.

Cinnamon Wolfe dropped some serious knowledge about “Becoming Besties with Blogging + SEO”.

LUNCH BREAK…family potluck style. 🙂

Many of the attendees were kind enough to share reviews after the workshop!  Here is what a few had to say:

“The IGNITE workshop is so much more than a meeting of experienced professionals seeking to teach you their craft; it is like reconnecting with family. Although I hadn’t met most (almost any…) of the ladies before the workshop, they literally all greeted me with open arms, smiles and hugs. It was truly an incredible experience. I was tangibly “brought into the fold” 😉 The talks were informative, relatable and inspiring, and the styled shoot was so much fun! We captured some truly beautiful moments to add to our portfolios and made some lasting friendships that will help grow our businesses. Only a few days after the workshop I had already made significant improvements to my business workflow and strategy!  I hadn’t been to a workshop before and this experience has definitely set the bar very high. Thank you so much for everything ladies!” –Anne Molnar

“I was fortunate enough to attend the Ignite Workshop not only once but twice. From the first minute I felt welcomed and instantly at home in the presence of Ignite ladies. They indeed turn darkness into light. The first time around the girls generously shared their knowledge of posing, pricing, marketing and then answered numerous business questions long after the workshop time was over. No topic was off limits. I left with so much valuable information. The second workshop was organized in a similar fashion but also included a styled shoot where attendees could start implementing newtechniques right away. The workshop is great for both new and seasoned photographers. Doesn’t matter where you are in your photography journey, you will learn a lot, meet new friends and leave re-energized and motivated to move your business to the next level.”- Tanya Isaeva

“The Ignite workshop was one of the best things that I’ve ever done for my business. The girls were a complete open book and everyone was friendly and helpful. I learned about business, posing, finding balance, and ways to serve my couples well. Every attendee and presenter was kind, open, eager to learn something new, and so supportive of each other. An incredible team of vendors came together to create a magical winter styled shoot and the day was filled with positivity, and God’s grace.”

To hear more of the top takeaways from attendees, check out the Focus(ed) Podcast Cinnamon and her husband Paul put together here.

Cassi Claire shared all about “Mastering the Album Process”.

Deborah Ryan made everyone cry when she shared her inspiring and encouraging story about how it is never too late to follow your dreams!

Jessica Oh blew everyone’s mind when she revealed exactly how she captures authentic and emotional wedding portraits!

Ready to see more from the IGNITE workshop?!  Follow Red Oak Weddings and make sure to check out their blog tomorrow for a first look at the styled shoot!  It really was filled with so much magical snowy goodness!  A huge thank you to all the amazing professionals and models who generously contributed:

Florist – Kerry Patel Designs
Tables + Chairs – Beyond the Barn Rentals
Hair + Make Up – Nancy Caroline Bridal Styling
Calligraphy Signs – Penned By Alice
Jewelry – L Priori Jewelry
Bouquet Ribbon – Honey Silks & Co.
Dresses – Rent The Runway
Videographer- TONEmedia

If you think this looks like a blast and are interested in hanging out with us on a weekly basis, email me at for more information on joining SPARK!  We are a group of female photographers who meet every Wednesday from 12pm-4pm in NJ to pray for each other, spend time with Jesus, and of course, talk about photography. 🙂  We would love to get to know YOU!

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Amy Rizzuto is a NYC and NJ wedding photographer
who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.
For more information visit!


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