I was so fortunate to attend the inaugural workshop with Cass Vanhorn in the beautiful countryside of Victoria, BC. I expected to enjoy myself, spend a few days with a friend (another workshop attendee) and hopefully learn a few new tricks. Not new to the workshop scene I have learned to manage my expectations even though the vast majority of my experiences have been exceptional. Yet nothing quite prepared me for the magic of Victoria with its history, youthful cool vibe, lush forests and the generosity and kindness of Canadians!
The workshop actually began before ever setting foot in Canada. Cass held a basics review webinar several weeks before the actual workshop so there was no time “wasted” on these things during our precious in-person time. So on Friday afternoon at 2pm I arrived at the stunning Westin Resort and went directly up to the penthouse where lunch was being served by Cass and husband, Rob. What a spread! Fresh fruit, veggies, breads, cheeses and other yummy items. Cass’ philosophy was that to feel good we should eat good! As much locally sourced, organic, farm to table foods as possible with not a lot of carbs or sugar to prevent that afternoon drop in energy.
After some quick introductions we sat down to a lecture where we discussed what Cass looks for when she shoots, how she sets up for shoots and how to make the most unlikely spot look amazing. At around 5pm we set out to photograph some adorable children in the lush greenery. We learned about shooting during the hour before golden hour, finding beautiful light amongst the thick trees and working with kids to capture that genuine emotional connection. We learned that without lovely light an otherwise beautiful photograph just falls flat and we learned how to find that light and also that not all locations can provide that element no matter how pretty the setting might be. In total we shot two very different locations that evening and several children of different ages, both boys and girls. After shooting for several hours we returned to the Westin, checked into our LUXURY room and headed back to the penthouse for dinner, more lecture and a wrap of the day. We headed to our rooms around 11pm.
Next morning, delicious 7am breakfast prepared by Rob then off to shoot at 8. Cass had lined up an adorable 10 day old baby girl and the mama was such a trooper - she showed up in rain! We scouted location and found some great spots and Cass explained the whys and how's of her choices. Once baby arrived we waited out the weather then ventured into the forest for some beautiful newborn photographs while learning about setting up outdoor locations to keep baby comfy and safe. Cass was very aware of newborn safety and made sure someone had a hand on baby at all times.
When we wrapped from that shoot, we headed back to the hotel for some afternoon snacks, a very thorough portfolio review and then we were back out shooting in the late afternoon. We shot a little girl, a little boy and then a beautiful couple and their baby girl. We got to shoot in a park environment like anyone would have in their own town and then on a path in a cedar forest. Around 8pm we went back to the hotel for another gourmet meal and finish up on the portfolio review, heading to bed around midnight.
The last day began early and it was all editing and questions ending at noon. In addition, one of our attendees had a little girl who was to be a sleeping baby model. She didn't cooperate on Saturday so Cass made a special trip with her on Sunday after the workshop and before heading home herself that afternoon to get the shots she (the student) wanted.
To summarize, this was an amazing experience in every aspect and was so much more than expected. Cass and Rob are so dedicated and both gave more than 110%. Cass didn't hold back on anything, sharing her knowledge, thoughts, tips, tricks and anything that was asked of her. The location was gorgeous and the hotel was truly a luxury resort. Rob is an exceptional cook and it was perfect to have all meals served on location. If you want to hone your craft, network with other professionals and be pampered, just go to one of Cass’ workshops. I certainly hope to attend more in the future! I guarantee you will have your socks blown off so bring a second pair! It was an A+, 5 star, 2 thumbs up experience!"
A. Jessup, Florida, USA
Victoria BC, In-Person Workshop, 2017
It was an honor to be one of the attendees at Noelle Mirabella’s first workshop in Victoria, BC. I first saw her photos just 6 months before the workshop and instantly fell in love with her fine art style and the how beautiful the images are. I went to browse more of her photos on her website and found about the in-person workshop. At first, I was very nervous because I wasn’t sure what I will get out from the workshop as I have never been to any in-person workshop before.
When Cass had the basic review webinar weeks before the workshop to give us some background knowledge, I know for sure I will learn what I want to learn from the workshop. She answered all of our questions, and make sure she covered everything that we would like to know. I knew made the right choice when I see those beautiful images on the slide again.
Everyone at the workshop were all very nice and knowledgeable. Cass and her husband, Rob were so warm and welcoming. They made sure we always have good food, drinks and were comfortable. The food Rob prepared was so amazing, we had to get the recipes from him after the workshop.
The workshop schedule is very intense. We were up from 7am to 11pm everyday!! Cass made sure that we maximize the shooting time and really explained her editing in details. We got to see how she works, what her camera settings are, and her editing in details. I couldn’t believe how fast the two days passed and we have done so much in 2 days. I have learned so much. Not only from her photography skills, but her personality and kindness. This is a 5 stars experience, I would definitely recommend her workshop to everyone and hope I can go again.
J. Kuan, British Columbia, Canada
Victoria B.C, In-Person Workshop, 2017
Noelle Mirabella Photography has a beautiful painterly and fine art style that I really love. I didn't know Cass Vanhorn or know much about her when I saw that she was offering her first live workshop in Victoria, BC. I knew I really loved her work and I've been striving to take my work to the fine art level. I thought the workshop would not only be in an amazing location (I love Victoria!), but very creative and inspiring.
Cass and her husband Rob really outdid themselves. The workshop took place at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort just outside of Victoria. Our class and meals were in the penthouse and our rooms were nearby, so we never missed a beat. We started the workshop Friday afternoon at 2:00 with lunch, a lecture and two on location shoots with four children. Cass shared her composition style and camera settings and we all had ample opportunity to shoot. For the entire weekend we were either shooting, sharing meals or listening to Cass' presentation. We got up at 6 am and worked until 11pm.
Cass and Rob were so warm and welcoming. Cass set a high professional tone and we couldn't have asked for a nicer group of photographers. It was great networking and making new friends.
I highly recommend this workshop! It was risky jumping into this not knowing Cass and especially since this was her first on location workshop. Well, lucky me! This workshop has already made me a better photographer! I was able to apply what I learned right away and love what I'm seeing. Best of all, I know my clients will be blown away by the quality of their images, therefore the workshop will have paid for itself with better sales.
C. Mintz, Washington, USA
Victoria B.C, In-Person Workshop, 2017
Every once in a while, someone will cross your path, and awaken a part of you, even though that part of you has been there, it suddenly comes out of its slumbered state. Once the awaken has happened, you find your life channeling forth on a new enlightened path.
For me, this had been one of those “blessed” moments: Cass has inspired me from the moment I saw her work. Being a part of Cass’s course was not only something that I needed, it was for me, to be inspired, to be challenged, and to be awakened.
The course was created so that a novice, or a pro could glean information, and inspiration. Cass’s material was well organized and all her presentations were easy to follow. She speaks with great ease, and beautiful clarity of words. She made us feel, as her students, that we were right there beside her. She reveals all the work, magic and formula you need to take your images from good, to great, and turn your photos into a masterpiece. Nothing is held back. She walks you through her award winning photos, step by step. Then you are requested to bring your best photos to the class where they receive a detailed critique. You will learn things that you never saw before. You will never look at your locations, nor your light, or subjects in your photos the same. You will see, and understand what you must do, to produce fine art in your photographs.
As a class, I watched each of us grow, in our ability to accomplish photography on a whole new plain of thinking. To learn how to control our cameras so that our SOOC pictures were sharp, balanced and had beautiful bokeh. Taking our pictures into processing, where they are polished and refined until the “wow factor” is achieved.
I believed what I gleaned in a course with Cass, has saved me months, if not years, of searching and learning, trial and error, in order to achieve such beautiful fine art photography.
I loved the spiritual and emotional support and beauty that Cass brought to the table of learning. This course holds a candle to none other that I have taken. If you are considering taking one of her courses, my advice is DO IT! Don’t let the magic pass you by.
JA Standring, Alberta, Canada,
Online workshop, May, 2017
First of all, I just wanted to say what an amazing workshop this has been. You have my eyes scanning for locations everywhere I go and have made me fall in love with light all over again. It's funny that I originally signed up to understand your editing process, but now find myself doing even less editing than ever because you have showed me how to get the magic right in camera.
I feel so much more confident assessing a scene and knowing exactly what spots will yield great results. My editing process has become much quicker and more streamlined.
You are amazing!!! If anyone wants to grow their creative spirit, I heartily recommend they sign up for one of your workshops!!
N. Singleton, Brisbane, Australia
Online Workshop, Oct, 2017
I've taken a lot of online courses and several in person workshops, as well as attended a few highly touted conferences. Often I'm left feeling like the presenters are holding back in order to get you to buy into another opportunity or save their advanced information for themselves. With Noelle Mirabella's online workshop I definitely didn't feel that way. From the very beginning Cassandra sets the precedent that no question is off limits and she is an open book of an incredible wealth of knowledge and talent. She creates a supportive learning environment and really invests in the learning of each of the attendees. The course is structured well, but also flexible to the requests of the students. It is all encompassing from structuring a business, marketing, preparing to shoot, photographing, and editing. This course has been a turning point in my photographic career.
C. Mercredi, Alberta, Canada
Online Workshop, May, 2017
I can’t say enough about how amazing this online webinar was for me. I have taken many classes live and was wondering how much I could really learn from a webinar. The one big draw for me was Cassandra’s work. I found her work online several years ago and felt like I met someone who could see in childhood what I see…the importance of preserving the beauty and innocence of children with an old world feel. It was the first time I had seen work that really drew me in and captivated me. I had no idea how in the world she did it but I knew I wanted to know how. When I saw that she was offering a webinar I jumped at the chance. It was worth every penny and more. It is clear this is her passion and she holds nothing back to help you break out of your comfort zone and grow if you are willing. I learned more in this webinar about natural light photography, composition and editing than any class (including live) I have taken. It pushed me to grow - in just one week I was stunned at the difference in my own work - it was quite a moment for me. Her clear feedback and advice were instrumental in helping me look at my work differently. When I uploaded images for feedback she was quick to respond. I loved having her available for two weeks with questions that came up as I was out practicing what I had learned. The live webinars were amazing…so much packed into those. I learned everything from scouting for locations that are under your nose, more sophisticated forms of composition and editing as well as strategies for getting those sweet sleepy shots. This class forever has changed my photography journey.
B. Koesel, Texas, USA
Online Workshop, May 2017
Dear Cassandra! At the End of this webinar I want to say something! English is not my native language but I hope Google translator will help me). My friend sent me the link with your page and I was amazed! This is the best work I've ever seen. And of course I couldn't miss your webinar. There were some obstacles (my bad English and big difference in time, but I decided to listen to you and I was all ears and learned what I understand, then I can sleep later). And, now I can say that I had a lot of webinars but no one inspired and amazed me like yours! Every drop of your information was valuable for me. Even your voice was sounded so welcoming that I wanted to listen to you again and again. I want to say Thank you very much!!! And, I am sure you'll continue inspiring others in the future. I can only hope that one day my art will touch somebody as yours touched me. Million times thank you!!!
D. Sauleak, Moldova
Online Workshop, May 2017
I honestly don’t know how to adequately express how grateful I am for this workshop. I wasn’t actively searching for a workshop to attend. Going into it I was proud of my work but as with every photographer knew there was lots I could improve on. I have admired Cassandra’s work for so long that the second I saw she was offering a workshop I did not hesitate to sign up. I knew that even if I got a little glimpse into her world of photography it would be worth every penny. Every expectation I had was completely blown away. For two weeks she shared with us all of her secrets on getting those tack sharp, 3-D incredible story telling images. Watching the growth of the people in the group after just one of her webinars was mind blowing. But the best part was she was not trying to create a bunch of photographers whose work looked just like hers. She gave us the tools for us to be the best version of ourselves that we could be. The words from her constructive critiques are invaluable. Every critique was presented with kindness. She has a heart of gold and it was evident that she poured her whole heart into this workshop. She was invested in our success. If that meant reviewing a technique 3 more times, having an additional webinar, writing out the steps, she did so without hesitation. The behind the scenes photos of her work completely changed how I see the world. There are opportunities for magic everywhere. You just have to know where to look and how to breathe life into a photo in Photoshop.
A. Whitaker, Louisiana, USA
Online Workshop, May 2017
I highly recommend taking the Noelle Mirabella Online Worskshop. The course was an incredible learning opportunity and well worth the investment. Cassandra was an amazing instructor going above and beyond my expectations. She assigned to the group shooting assignments to be done throughout the course and took an incredible amount of time going through each student's work to offer constructive feedback on what worked well and what could be improved upon. She answered everyone's questions, in detail, and was an open book throughout the course. Her warmth and sincerity shone through her written and spoken words. She was truly invested in ensuring everyone took something away from the course. Webinars were also provided throughout the course to discuss the basics of photography (e.g. composition, lighting, styling) and editing techniques. The webinars were full of information and Cassandra continued to share anything that was asked of her. She is a remarkable person, photographer and artist. I hope to one day have the opportunity to take an in-person workshop with her. I highly recommended course!
S. Johannson, Saskatchewan, Canada
I just finished the Noelle Mirabella workshop and cannot recommend it enough! Cassandra was an open book to any questions that we had. No matter what your question was, it was going to be answered. From start to finish the course was so well organized and delivered. While watching the webinars, it was like sitting in a room of your closest photography friends. All aspects of photography were covered. From camera settings, shooting, lighting, scouting, editing, it's all wrapped up into this package. It is so evident how much time and passion Cassandra puts into this course. I can honestly say that the course felt 100% from her heart and that she truly cares about her students and making sure they are satisfied with the course. Anytime someone needed more instruction she went out of her way to make sure they understood including one on one time with them. I have a renewed passion to get out there and find magic in everyday places! The course has taught me to push my images further, to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone as well as new techniques and editing. Can I tell you how excited I am to finally not have neon greens!!?? I am beyond thrilled with getting to know Cassandra and working with her the last few weeks! She is such an inspiration to so many and I was honored to learn from her!
M. Lynam, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Online Workshop, May, 2017
I have been following Cassandra’s work for a while now, always being moved by the storytelling, authenticity, and honesty of her images. I fell in love with the perfect balance of the simplicity of her images and superb technical execution. As a creative and professional photographer, I could not help but wonder how she got there, what was her thought process, and how she saw light, color and composition to produce the images that moved me every time. So, when I saw that she opened an online webinar, I had to jump on it!
Cassandra’s webinar was well structured, suited for the beginner and advanced photographer alike, as she took the time to cover the basics and then went into the details of how she envisions, constructs, and brings alive an image. She herself is kind, smart, and supportive. Her critiques are straight forward, honest and actionable. This webinar left me with new tools I can add to my creative process to make my own. If you want to learn and grow your photography, and you are someone who enjoys the magic of Noelle Mirabella Photography, you will find this webinar to be time and money well spent. Go beyond the hazy action crowd. Join in, learn, grow, and make it your own.
P. Bezmen, New Jersey, USA
Online Workshop, May, 2017
I had the honor and privilege of attending Cassandra’s first workshop in gorgeous Victoria, B.C. To say that I was excited was an understatement. I was and still am a huge fan of Cass and her breathtaking images and stalked her page frequently lol. Prior to her announcing her first workshop, I begged and pleaded with her to teach me sooner. That is how excited I was! In true Cass fashion, she wanted to wait to mentor until all of her presentation materials were perfect. I understood and patiently waited and stalked her page more.:) When she announced her workshop, I was weeks away from delivering my second baby. I signed up the very first moment I saw the workshop was live. I had to go!! Sure, I would have a 7 month old and a 2 year old but there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity. I decided to make a family vacation out of it .... and so the planning began!!
Passports for 4 (check), camera (check), way too much luggage (check, check) lol and off we went. On our first leg of our journey, we were met with roadblocks. Our first flight was canceled so we were rerouted to another airport two hours away. After unloading the luggage and two small children a second time we discovered that we missed the second flight and the airport was only able to find another flight for us for the following day. This meant, I would miss the first day of my workshop. I was devastated. We packed up our car once again and headed to a hotel by the airport and headed out bright and early the following morning.
Once I finally arrived to Victoria, I met up with Cass and all of the lovely attendees just as they were wrapping up day 1. Everyone was super sympathetic to my late arrival and Cass assured me she would set aside time with me so she could go over the material I missed. Talk about a weight lifted off my shoulders. How sweet of her to set aside extra time just for me. I was thrilled! On the second day of the workshop we headed out to photograph gorgeous models with the most amazing scenery. One of these little models was my 7 month old daughter Emma. She was going to be our sleeping older baby model.:) While Cass posed our newborn model, I worked on getting my little one to sleep. Unfortunately, my baby did not fully cooperate for her modeling gig and we were unable to photograph her. I was so sad about it and figured it was just not meant to be. However, Cass, had other plans. She looked at me and said, "I am getting this image for you. If you want, you can meet me here after our workshop ends tomorrow and we can do this again". I was floored at her generosity and accepted her offer.:)
We then continued on with the workshop and photographed several other gorgeous children, along with a mommy & baby that afternoon. The following morning, we went over extensive editing and our workshop ended at noon. It was an overall amazing experience. I have been to several workshops in my career and have never went to one that was as well thought out and planned as this one was. Cass went above & beyond to create an exceptional workshop for us! We were even treated to gourmet meals that her husband Rob made for us each day. Cass didn't skip a beat!! I am beyond impressed with the knowledge I gained and I am forever grateful!! Oh and just like Cass promised, when the workshop ended a few of us ladies headed back out to photograph my daughter and it was an astounding success. Talk about an opportunity of a lifetime! Thank you Cass from the bottom of my heart. You are amazing.:)
Love, Erin Espinoza - Captured by Erin Photography, USA
Victoria In-Person Workshop, 2017
I have always admired Cass and her unique creations. I was extremely thrilled to see she was offering an in person workshop and better yet it was in Victoria, BC. I awaited the workshop with much anticipation.
Prior to the workshop Cass made sure we were all prepared during a group webinar. She went over gear, camera settings and what to expect.
When I arrived at luxurious Bear Mountain Creek resort I was warmly welcomed by Cass in the lobby and was surprised with goodies upon arriving at the penthouse. Cass was incredibly organized and a wonderful teacher. She held nothing back from us. We went to various types of locations. Some were magical and others she showed us how to create magic out of an ordinary spot. I learned what to look for in a location, how to look for light and how/where to shoot in different seasons and time of day. I truly enjoyed watching Cass edit and learning secrets of the trade from a master artist.
Cass spent time to give us detailed CC on 5 of our images. I found this extremely helpful. I feel like I grew a lot after this workshop. I am already applying the tools to my work and my friends have told me they can see my growth. I know my clients will be thrilled and I will be able to create better images for my own family.
It was a 5 star experience and a dream come true. I was a little bit worried prior to the workshop because I was 7.5 months pregnant with gestational diabetes. I thought we would be eating junk and processed foods all weekend. However, the food was fresh, gourmet and made by Cass' Husband. They made sure everyone was very well taken care of. I appreciate the detail, time and care that they put into every touch.
I highly recommend taking a workshop with Cass and I look forward to attending the next one she offers. I could not have learned this from a book, online class/group or webinar. There is nothing that compares to this workshop. -
A. Holt, British Columbia, Canada
Victoria In-Person Workshop, 2017
Attending Cassandra from Noelle Mirabella’s workshop was a one of a kind experience that I will always cherish! Every detail was not forgotten, from checking into our hotel rooms, to the delicious homemade food made by her husband, to the incredible wealth of knowledge Cassandra shared with us throughout the weekend. When I went into the workshop, I was well versed in Photoshop and Lightroom, and Cassandra helped me take my capture to the next level. Her attention to detail in the workshop is mirrored in her work. We were pampered and showered with love and genuine care. It was an honour to meet her and see her shine! Thank you Cassandra for making this such a memorable workshop! I am so thankful to have attended and looking forward to my next pieces of art!
J. Mahepath, Ontaria, Canada
Victoria In-Person Workshop, June, 2017
In June 2017 I attended the Noelle Mirabella workshop. It was amazing!! Definitely a bucket list experience. The shooting locations we used were amazing I will never look at a simple park the same again. The food was to die for.
The first day we had 5 little ones to photograph in amazing light. We leaned how to scout light and what to look for.
The second day In the morning was our newborn shoot. It's was pouring rain at the beginning but somehow we manage to have a really sleeping newborn and get some really amazing shots.
We also had an amazing mother and daughter in the evening at a simple park Cass showed us how to use the light to take amazing photos in a not so amazing place.
The last day was full of editing Cass is amazing I could watch her edit for days.
I would recommend this workshop to anyone who loves photographing children. I had so much fun I hope I can go again next year.
Victoria In-Person Workshop, June 2017
I signed up for this workshop hoping to learn how to edit a regular photo into a beautiful, dreamy image… Instead, I have learned how to capture beautiful, dreamy images right IN CAMERA, and then polish them with edition to simply help them achieve their full potential. Anyone can teach Photoshop, but it takes a passionate and talented photographer like Cassandra to effectively teach you how to look at the world differently, how to find inspiration and magic in the simplest places, gestures, moments; and how to develop your skill to be able to capture them. Her lessons are concise and well structured, her constant guidance priceless, and her ever so sweet and authentic personality makes learning a pleasure. This experience has been uplifting and my perception of my work is forever changed. I honestly consider this step one of the most significant ones I’ve taken in my career.
Thank you Cass for being a great teacher and an inspiration!
T. Preston, Miami
Two-Week Online Workshop, March 2018