The Academy in France - a Styling Workshop

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

I am sharing some of the best bits and pieces of inspiration from my recent time in France.


If you read my last blog post, you will recall I mentioned that I would be attending a styling and photography workshop, called The Academy, led by professional prop stylist and contributing magazine editor Heather Bullard.


It was a week full of surprises, fun experiences, and strategic learning! Over the week, I definitely sharpened my eye for capturing the better photographic shots with my trusty camera.


One of the greatest benefits of the week was forging new friendships and connections with eleven wonderful and creative women who also attended the workshop.


THE GROUNDS

this pastoral landscape is part of the property of a chateau and vineyard in south western France
pastoral landscape

The grounds of the château were charming and pastoral - something that could be right out of a fairy tale. While here, it is easy to lose track of modern times. There also happen to be about 50 acres of vineyards surrounding the château. The château vineyard, in the Bordeaux region, produces wine under its own label.


THE CHATEAU

This 17th century chateau is currently used as a residence
17th century château

Who wouldn't love to wander the grounds and explore this château?! This portion of the château dates back to the 17th century, but the remaining turrets (there are three of them on the property) are from the 13th century.


ANCIENT TURRETS

the first visible turret as you approach the château
a turret at the château

This turret is seen as you approach the château. It is attached to a barn or garage-like structure.

This 13th century turret is part of a working chateau
an ancient turret

This turret is at the rear of the property. It is connected to the owners' living space and contains two rooms.


Coming from the United States, a much younger country than France, it is a bit mind-blowing to imagine a structure existing that is this old and still in use as part of the home.


ADVENTURES IN BROCANTE SHOPPING

I am considering antique English food scales at this brocante in south western France
shopping at the brocante (French flea market)

Having never been to a flea market, brocante shopping, with my broken French, was a fun adventure. Luckily I was surrounded by some brocante veterans who showed me the ways of searching and bargaining.


MY BAG OF TREASURES

my basket of decor treasures from a brocante (French flea market) in south west France - including art, ceramic pitcher, copper vessels
treasures from the brocante

I found so many things that I loved, that I had to purchase an additional piece of luggage to enable me to bring everything home! I was on the hunt for some art. Nothing is of any particular monetary value, but is very precious to me in memory and experience.


STYLING AND PHOTOGRAPHY

styling and photographing - copper pitche, ceramic bowl, wooden food containers and plants
styling and photography at The Academy

Once the shopping was done, there was honing of styling and photography skills to be addressed and practiced. This was a time when I was able to work directly with Heather Bullard and her assistant Hannah. So fun to get hands-on time with the pros!


There is so much more to tell, but I will end here today and share more on my next post.


Have any questions or comments? Please send them to my email - valerie@hillandvalleydesign.com or my Instagram @hillandvalley.design - I love the connection and dialogue!


Until next time, have a fantastic week!