Virginia Wedding Photography Workshop

August 1, 2019

I’m Manali
Coach, editor & brand photographer based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. When I'm not behind a camera or teaching about systems, you'll find me at a vineyard or cuddled with my cat Keegan on our cozy couch!
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One of my big pipe dream kind of goals for this year was to host my very first all day wedding photography workshop at Stone Tower Winery! Just seven months later, I can’t believe it’s come and gone! This workshop actually started out when I went to create a kind of operating manual for my business halfway around the world haha! I was in India for about two and a half weeks visiting family at the beginning of the year. Each afternoon, everyone would go into their rooms for a quick mid-afternoon siesta giving me about 2 hours of quiet time, besides all the rickshaws outside honking away. And before I knew it, within 2 hours, I had the majority of the slides that I realized would be PERFECT to teach from. My whole business, laid out into slide format. How valuable would this info be to someone who was starting out or even to me a year ago? VERY!! Hence the idea of hosting a photography workshop to share the knowledge was born!

Throughout the months since then it was a time getting together all the logistics for the workshop! I had all the content but I LUCKED out with Lauren at Stone Tower Winery, generously letting us use the space for not only the styled shoot portion of the day, but also for teaching all the content! So the day started at Blend Coffee Bar in Ashburn with coffee and getting to hug all the attendees (!!). One of my favorite parts of the entire experience was getting to put together a little gift for them that they got to open up right as they got there. We started the day with going over all the nitty gritty details of how I photograph a wedding day from camera settings, to how I help guide the day to stay on time, shooting well not only for my clients but also for publication, and off camera settings for the reception as well! Nothing was left untouched!

From there we hopped over to Stone Tower Winery for the styled shoot portion of the day! I will say, even while keeping things simple, styled shoots are really such a huge collaborative effort that just simply aren’t possible without the help of all the incredible vendors that put it together. I always describe it as planning a wedding on a small scale just without the guests aspect of it! A huge shout out to the vendors below for bringing our vision to life! The attendees will be leaving with some GORGEOUS shots to include in their portfolio!

We broke for some lunch and let me just say that pizza from Stone Tower Winery, is ALWAYS a good idea! We went into the second part of the content which covered my entire workflow from the first inquiry to the consultation to preparing for the wedding and eventually sending off the final gallery to clients! This included all the tools I use, how I keep track of all my weddings, and my editing style. There are SO many steps that go into the entire experience but it’s so cool to break it down and hear all about how the attendees are going to implement certain parts into their own workflows to better serve their own clients!

Again, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to all the attendees and vendors that made this day possible! I know that it’s one that I will never forget and this day has me already looking forward to the next workshop that I get to host! It’s such an honor to be able to share what I’ve learned over the past couple of years and to see how the attendees are planning on using their knowledge to grow their businesses even further. I know these ladies are going to go on to do big things and I can’t wait to cheer them along every step of the way!

If you want to learn about topics that were taught at the workshop, mentoring sessions would be a great option for you! These mentoring sessions are designed to provide you with a personalized plan of action to take you from overwhelmed & stressed for time to running a systemized business you love & allows time for what matters most.


Here are some behind the scenes pictures taken by the wonderfully talented Jontell Vanessa Photography! Couldn’t have done the workshop without her!! More pictures from the styled shoot portion are coming soon 🙂

Each attendee got a bag full of all this including a Rifle Paper Co notebook, a Fineliner 0.4mm pen (my favorites!), a cute mug to sponsor all the late night coffee/tea, Boom Chika Pop popcorn, and sandalwood & bergamot candles from Chesapeake Bay Candle Company (wish you could smell these!!).

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Some behind the scenes of styling details at Stone Tower!

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THANK YOU to Elise for all the help on the day of the shoot!! This girl drove up from Charlottesville the morning of and back there to help out with a REAL wedding ceremony later that day!!! Couldn’t have done this day without her helping out!

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Jontell killin’ it with these headshots! Girl is super talented and I’ve been falling IN LOVE with her branding work!! All these girls, Rachel, Adela, Sehar and Jewel who couldn’t make it, will be my second shooting interns for this fall and next spring and I’m SO excited to have them with me on wedding days!!

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Some of Jontell because, these florals by Kory were too good NOT to photograph!


Hehehe these are my FAVORITE!


“Look at the mess of stuff I’ve made!” Jjkjk this is me teaching my off camera flash setup and system!


And on to the content!

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Going over some editing hacks!

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The Dream Team of Vendors

Venue: Stone Tower Winery
Planning: Angelica & Co Weddings and Laurel Elise Weddings
Photography: Jontell Vanessa Photography
Florals: Kory of Spring Vale Floral
Calligraphy: Liz Lyons Lettering
Dress: Modern Trousseau Georgetown
Hair & Makeup: Gabby and Martha
Rentals: MS Rentals Charlottesville
Models: Marla and Dustin Bondoc


If you enjoyed this blog post, you should follow along on Instagram and binge read these posts as well:

MP Workshop Experience

Creative at Heart Conference

Making the Switch Part One



If you’re looking for a personalized plan of action to takes you from overwhelmed & stressed for time to running a systemized business that you love & allows time for what matters most, feel free to hop on the waitlist below!

This is for photographers who are looking for a customized one-on-one photography mentoring session that includes a two-hour video call or in-person coffee date to work through a pain point or build a sustainable business strategy for 2020.

Each mentoring session will come with a personalized blueprint of action items to help solve your biggest pain point and time during our session to start implementing these strategies to help take you from stressed for inquiries to completely booked in 2020!

Topics that can be covered during these personalized one-on-one intensives are:

  • photographing & editing
  • client workflows & communication
  • organizing the backend of your business
  • your marketing strategy
  • or a fully customized session to best fit your business!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to me at to see if this would be a good fit for you at this time!

Submit your email below to get on the waiting list to learn when the first spots open up! This will also automatically you enter into the giveaway for an Emily Ley 2020 Dapperdesk Planner!

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Start drafting a photography-friendly timeline & get to know the couple better so you can best personalize their experience with you from the start!


Photographers, tune in to this masterclass to learn how to quickly build your photography business and consisntely raise your prices.


Thinking of investing in a branding photography session? Read about branding sessions & how to get the most out of yours!

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How I Can Help

I help creative small business owners feel calm & confident in front of the camera or behind your business with brand photography, educational resources & online business management.


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Helping creative small business owners overcome the perception of perfection & ditch comparison to generate momentum towards their goals - one week at a time!


Enneagram 4w3, cognitive & computer science major turned biz strategy nerd!

I went from charging $600 per wedding to over $5k & went full-time within 1 year of starting my biz! Now I help creative small business owners show up confidently behind the scenes with elevated brand photography, business strategy to build their dream biz & life and help managing all the logistics and details along the way! 



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