I was reading my IG friend, Katie’s post about her Makelight photography workshop experience, and it suddenly hit me that not only had I not shared with you the amazing Makelight Weekend I attended back in June, I hadn’t even sorted through my hundreds of photos!

So an emergency photo editing session soon followed, and here it goes…

You may recall that I attended Emily Quinton’s Makelight Level 1 workshop in January (blog post here), and it totally transformed my Instagram feed (@lingyeungb) – actually, it totally transformed my life! You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m really not. The inspiring workshop gave me an insight into styling, rekindled my passion for photography, transformed the way I look at and use natural light, and made me see beauty in life’s most ordinary objects.

The only downside is that my bank balance is going down with all the photo props I’m buying (and of course all the other workshops I want to go on)! Hardly a day goes by now without me spotting some potential prop or wanting to style up a little something for a snap or two (or lots). Friends and family staying over at weekends are more likely than not greeted by me in my PJ’s, crouching over a little set in the kitchen first thing in the morning… but that precious light and stillness when everybody else in the house is still asleep…! I also wonder if my neighbours have spotted this crazy lady picking up fallen flowers and fruits from the street, the one who appears to be forever snipping leaves in her garden…

Anyway, back to the Makelight Weekend!

If I’m completely honest, I was a little nervous about going away for a weekend with a group of people I didn’t know and sharing a room with someone else for the first time since first year of uni! The lovely Sarah (you must check out her amazing mixed media collages!) picked me up from the station on Friday afternoon, and my nerves quickly melted away as we bonded over our love for photography and Instagram, and getting lost on our way to our home for the weekend – a breathtakingly beautiful house in Winchelsea, East Sussex.

I was greeted by the lovely Emily and her super star assistant, Ruth from Gathered Cheer, oh and the Ocado delivery man. Then I met my roomie, Natasha from Taking A Moment In Time, and artisan soap maker Seona. It was a pleasant surprise to also meet Jeska and Dean from Lobster and Swan and The Future Kept, who brought along lots of gorgeous goodies and worked their styling magic for us to photograph (and eat)!

It wasn’t long before we got out our phones and cameras and started snapping away. There were so many beautiful details everywhere we looked it was almost difficult to know what to start with! Ruth put on an incredible spread for dinner, the fabulous Renie finally arrived after having moved hhouse during the day (!), and we all ate and chatted away about anything and everything as if we were long lost friends. The Makelight community is so friendly and genuinely supportive of one another. I don’t know what it is. I’ve met Makelight students, online and in person, who attended different workshops but you instantly feel connected. Perhaps that’s the Makelight magic (Emily, I think we need a new hashtag #MakelightMagic)!

Over the weekend, we styled, we took photos, we ate (but not before taking photos of styled food, of course), we went strawberry picking, we searched for the golden light at sunset on the beach, and we took some more photos. We all had different aims and objectives for the weekend; mine was to improve my styling, to incorprate more elements than I was comfortable with. Emily, being the ever so patient and encouraging teacher, spent lots of one-on-one time with each of us and guided us through whatever questions and obstacles we had. I know I still have a loooong way to go but I’d like to think my styling has improved since that weekend!

I took sooooo many photos it’s hard to choose, but here are some of my favourites taken on my trusty iPhone 5S (although I cannot wait to upgrade!) and Canon 550D…

Seona’s heavenly soaps

At the end of the weekend, we collectively styled a table, and the result was just stunning! Emily has also made this super cute video summing up our weekend if you fancy a peek!

Thank you again, Emily and Ruth, for putting together the most inspiring weekend, and to my fellow students for making it an unforgettable experience. Long may the #MakelightMagic live!