FAQ

What is the cost?
The COSMOS Gathering is an all-inclusive photography retreat taking place over four days and five nights. For this experience, the cost will be 2,500€ and includes:
A welcome dinner on arrival to meet and chat with the other attendees and hosts.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout your stay.
Morning coffee breaks.
Transportation to off-site shoot locations.
Three-days of technical and business advice to enhance your photography skills and elevate your business.
Three assisted styled-shoots to learn from and build your portfolio.
One-to-one reviews to evaluate your existing portfolio, website and images taken during the retreat.
Use of the hotel’s facilities including the heated swimming pool, spa, tennis courts and mountain bikes.

How do I get there?
The closest airports to Giaole in Chianti are Florence Peretola (1h20 drive) and Pisa International (2h drive). The cost of the retreat does not include flights and onward travel so you’ll be responsible for booking this, although our team is on hand if you need help with logistics. We’ll be sharing updates via the COSMOS Gathering Facebook group, so we encourage anyone travelling from abroad to link up and coordinate flights and onward travel.

How many other people will be attending?
COSMOS will be an intimate gathering with no more than 20-25 attendees in total. We want the retreat to be as enriching and engaging as possible so places will be limited.

What topics will be covered?
We want the gathering to be as organic as possible and for conversations to take us to unexpected places, but there will be structure to certain topics. Lelia will be talking about vision, keeping inspired and how to stand out in a crowded market; Alli will be giving us the lowdown on editorials, covering everything from sourcing models to getting published; Bek will be sharing her tips on working with couples on an intimate but relaxed level and how to get the best portraits from the shoot; Miryana will be telling us how to create short videos for your website, and Alessandra will be talking about styling, moodboards and how to anticipate trends. In addition to this, we’ll also be scheduling 1:1 portfolio reviews (we’ll ask you to send us details of your website in advance) and covering many other topics. Exact details on the topics and schedule will be shared closer to the event.

Will everyone be shooting at the same time?
You’ll be divided into smaller groups for the assisted styled-shoots, allowing plenty of time to go at your pace without fighting for the prime spot! You’ll each get the opportunity to engage with our models on an individual basis and put into practice any new learnings. They’ll be plenty of props and beautiful scenery to capture, so when you’re not shooting the couple, we suggest you ad lib! Our hosts will also be on hand through the styled-shoots to offer advice and assistance.

Why is it only open to women?
We wanted to explore the feminine side of creativity and see what can be achieved when working together collaboratively. We also want to forge tighter bonds and create a strong network that we can all rely on for help and support, in both our capacity as industry professionals and as individuals.

What type of photographer is the retreat aimed at?
We welcome photographers from all levels and backgrounds although the focus will be on professional editorial and wedding photography. The only pre-requisite is that you are comfortable using a DSLR manually and understand the basic functions.

What language will be spoken?
All sessions will be conducted in English.

Can we shoot in film or digital?
One of the aims of the retreat is to help raise your level using the same tools that have defined your art, and all teachings will apply to both styles of photography. However, as we will be reviewing your images throughout the retreat, we do suggest sticking to digital for the large part so we can easily provide guidance.

Can I use the images in my portfolio and social media?
Absolutely! The COSMOS Gathering is designed to provide portfolio upgrades and new content to help you attract your ideal clients, so we encourage this wholeheartedly. Our only request is that you wait one month before sharing the images on your blog (sneak previews on social media are fine), that you credit all the suppliers involved and mention the photos were taken at the COSMOS Gathering. All details of contributors will be provided during the retreat.

Can I submit the images to blogs or magazines?
From our own experience, overexposure of the same shoots from different photographers can be confusing and counterproductive to your business, so we kindly ask you to refrain from submitting images of the assisted styled-shoots to magazines and blogs.

What are the sleeping arrangements?
Double ensuite rooms are included in the cost of your stay, but if you’d prefer to share with someone you know, a reduction of 50€ per day from the total cost will be applied (250€ in total).

Will my dietary restrictions be accommodated?
Yes, of course! Please let us know when you book and we’ll make sure everything is taken care of.

What will the weather be like?
The weather in late October/early November is still relatively mild but evenings are chilly, so please bring suitable attire.

Is there a payment plan?
Yes! Once you register, you’ll be required to pay a deposit of 1000€ to secure your place. The next instalment of 500€ must be settled on arrival, and the remaining balance of 1000€ (or 750€ if sharing a room) must be paid directly to Castello di Spaltenna.

How do sign up?
To book your place, follow this  link: http://leliascarfiotti.com/cosmos/product/1-person-registration/

What happens after I book?
Once registered, we’ll invite you to join the COSMOS Gathering Facebook group where you’ll find ongoing support and friendship in both the run up to the retreat and beyond. We’ll also use this group to communicate updates, start conversations to get you thinking about your business and personal goals, as well as logistical advice and information.