I love many things, that is just who I am. If I made a list of all the things I love, learning is absolutely at the top . Knowledge is not only power, but its also a source of joy. You don’t have to use knowledge as a way to better someone, sometimes you can just know things!

Did you know that they use salt on roads in the winter to turn ice into salt water? Well, salt water has a much lower melting point than regular water, therefore, using salt creates salt water on the road instead of ice! Knowledge!

There is also a saying I learned in college while studying 3D Modeling. The more you know, the less you know. It sounds counter intuitive, but its the idea that once you dive deep into a subject and really start learning what it means to specialize or to become an expert in a field, you realize that there is WAY more to learn than you thought.

Recently, I started to feel like I knew a ton about photography and I had hit a brick wall. But there is always more to learn. I decided that I needed to expand my horizons and learn more about the business of photography. That’s how I found Rooted to Thrive.

Rooted to thrive is a couple of awesomely talented photographers from the area, Pat Cori and Lindsey Paradiso, who have a passion for teaching and wanted to share their knowledge unto others.

They posted in a Facebook group I joined shortly after moving to the Roanoke area, and I scoured their site. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn and grow.

The workshop was nothing short of amazing. I felt behind the curve at first because most of the attendees had already established their own businesses. However after the first exercise, I really understood that this was not a competition, this was a collective of talented photographers that wanted to either teach and learn from others, or like me, wanted to grow and become better.

Our awesome group! Instructors Pat and Lindsey in the center to the left of me!

Our awesome group! Instructors Pat and Lindsey in the center to the left of me!

The workshop was full of great ideas and guidance on how to further our business, along with how to stay inspired. It even had a catered lunch by Blue Ridge Catering. Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!

I loved how interactive it was. We had plenty of hands on exercises along with getting down to the nitty gritty of website SEOs. Sounds boring, but its so crucial for a business like ours.

Towards the end of day one we had a styled shoot with two amazing Models (@queenalliecat and @King_Slav on Instagram) The best part of this shoot was that we got to combine our instincts as photographers with insight from seasoned veterans. Here are some of my favorites from the shoot!

Later that night we had an awesome guest speaker Sam Stroud! He does amazing nighttime photography and gave us some great tips and tricks to achieve some amazing night photos. He and most of the instructors also seemed to have the mindset of doing great things with less. I have seen photographers with 5+ flashes when they do a wedding, which always confused me, how do you use that many?! So this reassured me that my wanting to do more with less IS an actual thing and is very possible. Check out some of the nighttime shots I got.

I had an absolute blast at the Rooted to Thrive workshop! I have learned so much and have met so many new people. I truly believe I can advance my business and photography because of this workshop. I want to thank both Pat and Lindsey and everyone else involved, for making those two days unforgettable. Below I have some links to businesses that helped make this workshop thrive.

Models: (Instagram Handles)





Studio I Do (@studioidobridalsroanoke)

Makeup & Hair:

Glamhouse Day Spa (@glamhousedayspa)

Spray Tan:

Blown Away Spray Tans (@Blownawayspraytans)


Cara Cait Create (@caracaitcreate)


Fresh Baked Bakery (@freshbakedbakery)


Sundara (@sundaraevents)


Blue Ridge Catering (@blueridgecatering)

Photographer -


He is an awesome dude, who I hope to work with more. He took the great group shot I used.

And last but certainly not least our amazing educators

Pat Cori


Lindsey Paradiso


Sam Stroud