July 18 - 23, Italy

amelia 3.jpg
amelia 3.jpg
sold out

July 18 - 23, Italy


The total cost of this workshop is $3,500 for double rooms. A deposit of $1,750 is required to secure your double room registration. The remaining balance ($1,750) is due June 1, 2018. By purchasing this workshop, you agree to pay the remaining balance when prompted to do so. No refunds are available after booking.

Photo by Erin Rollins of Erin Rene Photography.

Add To Cart

Immerse yourself in the art of celebration and storytelling in our first ever Tuscan “The Art of Celebration Workshop.”  Premiere Southern wedding and event professionals, Master Florist/Event Designer, Kim Cheney, and Luxury Fine Art Wedding Photographer, Donna Von Bruening, join us as our exclusive instructors to share their knowledge and insight on storytelling, creating and documenting the perfect celebration or wedding.

This intimate workshop is for creative minds seeking inspiration, world travelers looking for a new experience abroad and wedding and event professionals looking to broaden their palette and build their portfolio. You will enjoy hands-on experience mixed with lively lectures and one-on-one instruction throughout the week. Expand your visual language and hone your artistic voice to tell stories that arouse emotion whether you are setting a table for your own special guests or seeking to enhance your professional portfolio.  For inspiration and fun, you will scour super-secret Italian flea markets for special props, enjoy Italian dinners al fresco while mingling with creative and industry professionals. It’s truly a creative retreat - a picturesque place to recharge and refresh.

This workshop is for photographers and non-photographers alike. For those not photographing, we will photograph your set-ups for you. We will also help you with iPhone photography, so everyone is included in the photography experience.

Join us for the Art of Celebration surrounded by the gorgeous beauty of La Fortezza in the Lunigiana region of Italy in Northern Tuscany.

$3,500.00 for shared rooms. 

Fee includes breakfast, all lunches (excluding free day), some dinners, all instruction, and excursions. Hotel included.

Note: Airfare is not included. Students fly into nearest airport which is Pisa, Italy. You are responsible for transportation to the workshop.

All attendees traveling from the United States are required to purchase short term international travel health insurance. Proof of travel insurance will be required to attend any workshop.

Here’s a good site to compare pricing and benefits: www.allaboardbenefits.com/policy_individual.htm

Travel Information:

Book your flight to Pisa. It is 1 hour and 15 minutes from La Fortezza's front door in Lunigiana. 


As there are no local taxi services in the countryside, we recommend guests arrive by rental car as it gives the maximum amount of freedom. 

Note: Once you are registered for a workshop, you will be able to reach out to fellow attendees through a private Facebook group to arrange ride-sharing. Please contact Annette with any additional questions.

The Instructors:

Annette Joseph, acclaimed food and prop stylist, will be teaching basics of branding and publishing. Donna Von Breuning, a fine art documentary photographer, and Kim Chesney, an event designer and master florist, bring together over three decades of luxury wedding experience to share with you the art of visual storytelling.

The Setting –  The Fortress

The Fortress, the Joseph's Tuscan summer home and workshop location, is nestled in the heart of Northern Tuscany a region known as the Lunigiana. The medieval stone compound sits on 27 acres, on the grounds are Roman ruins, a river and the vineyard. The Fortress has a breathtaking view of the Apennine mountains & the marble-topped Apuane Alps and the valley below. The property is surrounded by olive groves, chestnut trees, and fruit orchards. The Fortress was a medieval defensive tower in a region that had over 120 castles and kingdoms to protect in the 15th century. On the property there are 3 outbuildings, a massive terrace, and a private living quarters. You can wander the grounds with camera in hand and capture the Italian country life during your stay.

Lodging: You will be staying on our property.  


Wednesday, July 18th

Arrivals – Settle in, snacks provided

6:30 pm - Meet and greet aperitivo on the terrace

7:30 pm - Welcome dinner

Thursday, July 19th

8:30 am- Breakfast in the kitchen

9:00 am - Lecture in the studio
You will learn finer points of composition such as negative space, the rule of thirds, and other photography foundations to build your editorial skills and learn how to incorporate and pose people into photographs to bring more life to the story. You will also learn the finer elements of storytelling including composition, communication/plot, layering and editing, setting the stage and color palette. Learn the characters, their personalities, and how to bring that personal and emotional layer into the story. Donna and Kim will briefly cover the business of wedding photography and planning with a Q&A that will continue over lunch. Annette will be there to talk about social media and getting your brand out there.

Noon - 1:00 pm - Lunch along with continued business and branding discussion.

1:00 pm - 5:30 pm - Hands on photography and styling with Donna and Kim
With color palette and event ideas in hand, you will walk the estate foraging in nature’s bounty. Kim will show you how to use what is on hand and pair that with the Italian floral product to create stunning event florals. We will also pull household items to create vignettes and tablescapes. You will create your own table centerpiece, too!  Donna will walk along the adventure showing you how photograph supporting scene setting images.  

7:00 pm - Aperitivo on the terrace

7:30 pm - Dinner

Friday, July 20th

8:30 am - Breakfast in the kitchen

9:30 am - Board the van for prop shopping excursion

10:00 am - 11:00 am - Shopping at a super-secret flea market

Noon - Lunch

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm - Hands on Styling and Photography
This is your time to play and build your portfolio.  Props, stationery, wedding details and florals will be available for you to create and photograph, plus you can use you flea market finds. Kim and Donna will be available to assist, and Donna will take professional photographs for those who are not photographers.

6:30 pm - Aperitivo

7:30 pm - Dinner and a movie

Saturday, July 21st:

8:30 am - Breakfast in the kitchen

9:00 am - All day on location for a complete styled wedding shoot
We will bring together all of the elements of a styled shoot with a ceremony site, reception table and a model(s) to photograph. Join Kim in creating and styling the set, and then join Donna as she photographs the story.  Let them guide you or jump right to tell the story yourself.

1:00pm Lunch on location

Dinner on your own

Sunday, July 22nd

Free Day- Check the free day tab on the website for suggestions.

7:30pm Farewell Dinner

Monday July 23rd

8:30 am - Breakfast

9:00 am - Hugs and Goodbyes

*additional wedding photography courtesy of The Happy Bloom & Donna Von Bruening