Style Lab Workshop 2020 Recap

Created by internationally acclaimed pet photographers Charlotte Reeves and Craig Turner-Bullock, the very first Style Lab Workshop was held in January 2020 in beautiful Tasmania, Australia.

It was a dog photography learning experience like no other. Over four full days, we delved deep into what made our attendees' images instantly recognisable, providing them with a deeper insight into themselves, their work, and their own unique style.

There was plenty of opportunity for group and individual activities, inspirational chats, creative shoots and editing deep dives.

We shot at three amazing locations - a lavender farm (featuring the most epic sunset), a blue lake and a forest. Our attendees found these locations so inspirational!

Read on to find out what makes our Style Lab Workshop different to other dog photography workshops.

An extraordinary experience for everyone involved 

The sun peeks through the leafy branches of the trees at Hollybank Forest, creating glimpses of ethereal light amongst the earthy darkness. It sets over the most magical of lavender fields at the Bridestowe Estate, and rises once more over the vivid aqua water at Little Blue Lake.

A group of some of the world's most eager pet photographers appear to pay homage as they prostrate themselves, bowing down before the golden orb.

And yet, it is not the sun that is being worshipped in this moment, but the beautiful dog models who have gathered at these locations to be captured by those keen students.

Those same students who squeal with glee between periods of intense concentration as they soak up so much new knowledge along with those golden hour rays.

Style Lab is where you find your photographic voice

"What is it that makes my photography truly mine?"

"What makes me stand out from the crowd?"

"How do I know when I have found my unique voice?"

"How can I tell a whole story with a single photograph?"

These are just some of the questions that were on the lips of the students as they arrived at the stunning eco spa retreat we had the privilege of staying in for the duration of our Style Lab adventure.

Over the next four full days, we would explore those questions and more, to help each student pull back the layers, addressing technical blocks, their limiting beliefs, and revealing deeper insight into themselves, to uncover their true potential.

"The all inclusive, full immersion type style of these workshops just crams so much valuable content into every hour of the day. You'll make friends for life while massively improving your photography skills at the same time: what's not to love about that! We went to unbelievably stunning locations for our shoots, and had amazing dog models who came with fully prepared, educated, and engaged owners.

"Charlotte, Craig and Alicja just provided us with so much inspiration that by the time of our photoshoots, we were bouncing off the walls ready to go. These shoots provided us with a perfect, safe, learning environment, while challenging all of us individually at the same time, which is not an easy thing to do.

"Charlotte, Craig and Alicja blew us all away with how open they were, showing us their pet photography journeys from the very start and sharing their inspirations. We all watched in awe as Alicja shot live in front of the group, and then again as she edited the images from start to finish right in front of our eyes. It doesn't get too much better than that.

"I have come away from Style Lab with increased confidence, inspiration and joy in my own photography, some images for my portfolio and a testimonial for my website. But the intangible things are so much more: a feeling of camaraderie with my fellow students that I honestly think we will have for years to come, and a now personal relationship with the tutors that I will cherish forever."

Sarah Coverdale, UK

FOUR full days of tuition...

From learning about inspiration and motivation, to investigating mindset and creativity, our days were filled with educational content, personalised feedback sessions, voyages of self-discovery, and more.

Everyone found themselves pushed beyond their subconsciously self-imposed limits to redefine their understanding of the world around themselves, and to find their place within it.

 ... from THREE world-class instructors

Charlotte Reeves, Craig Turner-Bullock and special international guest instructor Alicja Zmysłowska joined forces to lead the group to places they'd never travelled before - both literally and figuratively.

Three multi-award-winning photography educators with very different but instantly recognisable individual styles, sharing their insights into how anyone can achieve the same by finding their inner truth.

Shoot one: Bridestowe Estate Lavender Fields

Our Style Lab participants captured some absolutely stunning images from this shoot, which featured one of the most epic sunsets ever! The colours, the light, the dogs ... it was all total perfection.

Scroll through to see a selection of the images taken, as well as some great behind-the-scenes shots!

THREE shooting locations...

The stunning countryside of Tasmania offered up three perfect locations for us to explore with our canine models. We started with a sunset shoot amongst the iconic curved rows of the finest French lavender at Bridestowe Estate, the heady scent intoxicating our senses as we created magic with our cameras.

The following morning saw us welcoming the sun on its reemergence, this time over Little Blue Lake, an incredibly vivid aqua-coloured lake created by mining processes in years gone by. Finally, we bade farewell to the sun once more as it set behind the many exotic species of trees at the ethereal Hollybank Forest Reserve, creating the most bewitching of backlight to frame our beautiful models.

Every step of the way, the instructors were on hand to guide the students with their individual visions, coaxing each person's version of reality to be brought forth into being.

... and a mind-blowing TWENTY-EIGHT dog models

We knew we would get a lot of interest in our model requests, and Tasmania did not disappoint! An incredible twenty-eight dog models turned up over the course of the three shoots, superstars every one! The sheer number of models gave everyone the best opportunity to work with all sorts of different dogs, both in terms of looks and temperament, a truly wonderful educational experience.

Shoot two: the sparkling cyan waters of Little Blue Lake

The clearest of lakes, the clean shorelines and the soft foliage with golden light spilling through offered up a beautiful variety of shots at this location, and our students didn't hold back!

Take a look through some of images this gorgeous setting inspired them to capture, along with some behind-the-scenes showing the magic as it unfolded!

ONE idyllic eco retreat...

With everyone's minds and bodies being worked so hard during the workshop, it was so important to have a comfortable base to re-energise at the end of a long day.

Our eco spa retreat with its selection of quirky cottages was just that, allowing the seamless blend of nature and luxury, with wonderful healthy meals to nourish ourselves throughout the day.

Set in a private 36-acre estate, we were surrounded by the rejuvenating power of nature, giving everyone the peaceful seclusion we needed to reflect upon our style journeys.

 ... housing NINE incredible students

It takes a special sort of someone to decide they want nothing more than to be immersed in a voyage of self-discovery for four whole days, talking, living, and breathing all things dog photography. And that special sort of someone turned up, nine times over, in the form of these glorious students.

Every single one was totally committed to finding and developing their inner voice, of delving into their individual "why"s to draw forth something truly special.

Finding their tribe in each other and the instructors, feelings of solidarity, acceptance, and lifetime friendships were carved out, and the promise that they would always be by each other's side, acting as the loudest cheerleaders, however geography might separate them in the future.

"Style Lab was such an amazing experience shared with an incredible group of photographers.

I knew I would love the photo shoot portion of the workshop, but what I found to be the most valuable were the individual hot seats and group image critique. I really enjoyed seeing the wide range of styles in the final images. Although we all used the same location and dogs, we each had our own way of working with the dogs, light, and composition.

Style Lab was the perfect way to kick-start the year with a ton of inspiration and creativity. I look forward to creating a few personal projects this year and am excited to see how my style develops!"

Keri Nakahashi

Shoot three: the magic and sparkle of Hollybank Forest

This magical location conjured up visions of fantastical creatures playing in the mossy depths, and fairies frolicking in the golden bokeh as the fading sun bathed the foliage in liquid gold.

Our amazing students stepped right up to the plate, armed with confidence in their new skills, and created this stunningly diverse range of imagery, showcasing their evolving styles and capturing everything from from moody low-key to bright and optimistic high-key, with everything in between. 

We couldn't be prouder to see the evolution of these fabulous photographers!

Check out what our students had to say about Style Lab 2020!


"Style Lab Workshop was awesome!  It gave me a better understanding of all the elements to consider when developing my own style.

The locations for the photoshoots were epic and I thoroughly enjoyed receiving feedback and input from the other attendees as well.

It was such a great group, everyone was on the same boat looking to learn and share our own experiences."

Katherine Gonzalez

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