We were pretty excited to be doing a Welcome Home Workshop over in Belfast.. a.. because it's Belfast and we knew we would be spending a few days in good company with good food and.. b.. because this is where Pete's Dad is from.. where most of his family still are… and where Pete hasn't been for about 20 odd years.. it was definitely time to come home..

We spent the first few days in the centre of Belfast.. we held the workshop at the amazing Life Church on the Thursday and then had the Friday to explore the city.  We didn't realise when we organised Welcome Home that the Giro, a huge bike race would be going on that weekend.. but walking around with every shop proudly displaying huge pink window stickers and roads lined with people with pink flags.. it actually had such a lovely atmosphere.

We started the day at the famous Titanic Belfast (which is a definite must see) and then headed to the incredible Made in Belfast for the BEST. Dinner. Ever…

Here's some iPhone goodness of our time in Belfast..

Pete's parents had travelled over (they live in England) and on the Saturday came to pick us up to spend some time visiting relatives in Belfast and then we headed over to Donegal to stay with Pete's 96 year old Great Aunt Peig.  We spent the rest of the week walking along beaches.. playing card games.. eating sandwiches and scones and drinking vast amounts of tea.  Me and Pete have been together for about 9 years now but if I'm honest.. I didn't really know his family very well… and I think even Pete would admit.. his memories of his family are mostly from when he was about 11 or 12yrs old so to go back now, as an adult.. it really was such a special trip.

For me, watching Pete.. listening to stories of when he visited Ireland as a child.. meeting Aunties, seeing family photos, visiting the same spots.. it felt a huge privilege.  There are so many comparisons between both our families.. mine coming from Liverpool.. they both have such a strong culture.. both hard working.. living a stone's throw away from each other.. a wonderful sense of humour.. and of pride.. such normal, every day magic.  And one day me and Pete would love to start a little family of our own and this will be their history too.. this is their family.. our family.  It really did feel like home.

wash up on Make A Gif
A few more iPhone photos…

Ireland.. we'll most definitely be back.



The past six months have been pretty life changing.  We've sold our house.. paid off our debts.. moved back to my Mum's temporarily to save.. and then we're going to go travelling in November for five months.  I'm still pinching myself that we're actually going.

But more than that, right now.. I feel so much more at peace.

This time last year I felt like I was drowning.  I didn't know I was drowning, but anxiety, breathing problems, stress.. they were desperately trying to tell me.  I just couldn't switch off.  Ever.  The 'work' wheel we were on just kept spinning.  But it wasn't just the amount of work we were putting on ourselves it was the expectation that I was putting on myself.  I was petrified of letting people down.. I was petrified of slowing down or missing out.. I was petrified of physically not being sat at my computer.. just in case.. but what happens if.. but I might miss something..

These past 6 months have been bliss.  We've had less weddings and although we've still been shooting other stuff and doing Welcome Home we've had TIME OFF.  Real time off.. days where we go out.. weekends where we stay away in nice cottages with friends.. trips to see family.. walks on the beach.. meals out together.. parties.. we've been guests at weddings.. all the NORMAL stuff that normal people do.. and they do it without guilt.. yep.. you read that right.. NO GUILT.. none whatsoever.. because to normal people.. it makes perfect sense.  You work a bit and then you have a bit of time off.  You work hard and then you relax… and then you work a bit more and then you relax some more.  Simples.

And I tell you what.  It's AWESOME.  I feel like I'm getting to know myself all over again.  What do I like to do to relax?  I'm not sure if I really knew.. away from the computer.. away from Facebook and Pinterest and browsing blogs.. away from editing images?.. well, it's been absolutely wonderful finding out exactly what I like to do.. and now.. time off?  BRING. IT. ON.  There HAS to be a balance.. not just for me, not just for Pete.. but for our business too.  Every time we come back from switching off I feel more inspired, more energised, more positive, more creative.. and most importantly.. so much happier.



Over the past couple of months we've been up and down the country with our Spring Welcome Home Workshops. We've been up to Leeds and down to London and we've now welcomed another 40 homies in to the family and we still have another workshop over in Belfast this week.. (which we're super excited about!!)..

These workshops have literally blown our mind.  When we started them just over two years ago I knew we wanted to give two things.. the practical help.. so the tangible tips that can be applied to their business.. but.. much more than that we wanted them to go away with those butterflies.. that feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes you excited.. that pure drive, that confidence, that positivity.. the feeling that there is literally nothing stopping you.

I'm going to be totally honest.. what we've ended up with is something that takes those butterflies and multiples it by 1000.  The journey that we all go on on the day.. the connection.. the realisations.. the confirmation.. the freedom.. the answers.. the release.. I actually feel a bit stupid writing it.. but it's been incredible .. and if you're a homie.. you know exactly what I mean… :)

It's become about something so much more than photography.   So much more than how to market your business.. or what to charge.. it's about all that important shit that you push to the side.  All the stuff that you forget about when you have emails and deadlines and clients… it's about the stuff that really matters..

We're so grateful that we get to share Welcome Home with a bunch of the most amazing people.  And that's what they are.  A>M>A>Z>I>N>G.  They walk in and they give and they share and they're open and they're honest and they let that guard down and they are themselves and because of that, this family of peeps just gets better and better..

So.. what do we get up to?  Well there's a lot of talking.. (and quite often a few tears).. but there's also some photo taking too.. so here's some of all three gorgeous couples that came to be manhandled in front of a group of strangers for the afternoon.. :)

First up we had the lovely Chris and Gillian travel all the way down from Glasgow for our Leeds workshop..

Then Michelle and Colm came to Belt Craft in London and rocked it…

Then we had the infectiously happy Georgie and Alice at our second workshop in London.. (Georgie also wrote a blog post about the workshop from her perspective and it's pretty awesome.. go take a read)

..and of course, some Polaroid love..

..and here's some of the behind the scenes photos from three awesome days…

thank you to Anna Taylor Photography for these shots of the London workshop at Belt Craft Studios..

..and the lovely Hannah-May Photography for these gems..

..and the one and only Chris Barber for these…

..and not forgetting Scott and Kristene from Blue Elephant Photography who came all the way from Oklahoma.. yup.. Okla - friggin' - homa to come to Welcome Home!..

Oh and there's always time to fit in a Welcome Home Selfie..

..then we headed over to Battersea for our second Welcome Home in London..Thank you Inta Photography for these lovely photos..
This is most definitely my happy place.. (thanks to Sarah Aylward for this photo!)

So.. we're heading to Belfast this week for our final Welcome Home for the spring! We still have a couple of spots free so if you would like to join us, the workshop is on THURSDAY 8TH MAY 2014. Just pop us an email at info@emmacasephotography.com.  We'd LOVE to see you there!!

We also have an official WELCOME HOME FACEBOOK PAGE! Woop! Where you can find more photos.. blog posts from homies who have attended and we'll also be keeping peeps up to date with any news on there.. so go 'likey'.. ;)