March 11, 2014

Creator Series: Shannon Ho | The Beautiful Art of Balance Workshop

[#1] Share with us a quick summary about this lovely photography workshop.

The Beautiful Art of Balance” is a unique, intimate photography workshop and lakeside retreat for the woman who longs for more (and less) in her career and life…one who is yearning to fine-tune her ear to the voice of the Lord and hear His desires on how to balance the two.

On April 10-13 (4 weeks away!), we will escape to a private 10,000 square foot waterfront home on Lake Eufaula in eastern Oklahoma to worship God and learn the ins and outs of owning a successful photography business. 

[#2] How did this workshop develop?

I have had a camera in my hand since the age of 13.  After graduating from Baylor University with a degree in photography and getting married, I opened my home studio, Shannon Ho Photography, in 2002.  In 2009, the Lord began speaking to me about writing a journal that He titled “The Beautiful Art of Balance”.  It was a different journal…one that spoke specifically of the fine balance of work and family and what the Lord had been showing me during my journeys and struggles so far.  A year or so later, I noticed a small seed had emerged…a desire to host a photography workshop to help and encourage women from all I had experienced as a wife, mother, friend, believer, and business woman. However, I’m not a public speaker…I am an introvert who loves one-on-one time, and a girl who couldn’t imagine speaking in front of more than a few people.  Yet, the Holy Spirit kept pressing.  And just as He’d given words to Moses when He felt inadequate, I knew He would give them to me.


Then, the hard times hit.  Over the next three years, my husband and I entered into a ring of high-stress circumstances coming from all directions that would cause many couples to crumble. I was weary, tired, creatively burnt out and emotionally exhausted.  I could hear His voice speaking to me about Leviticus 25… just as God had instructed people to rest their farmland every seventh year to regain nutrients and replenish, so He asked of me.  To trust in His provision before, during and after.  So, I stepped out in faith, with no promised income for that whole coming year.

This workshop is a harvest from that season of rest.

[#3] Will you also be teaching about photography?

Most definitely. We will not only be covering the spiritual side, but I’ll also speak extensively about shooting, pricing, and how we intentionally educate our clients to insure a wonderful relationship that builds trust and ensures that they have lovely art in their home.  We will also have the opportunity to visit my home studio to see how it operates.

[#4] Who is this workshop designed for?

This workshop is designed for part-time or full time professional women photographers who seek to better their skills in shooting, overall business, and who have a desire to seek out the voice of the Lord to find their own unique balance.

It is for the woman who might be struggling to stay afloat whether it be alone or with children sweetly scurrying under foot. And is for the one who just desires to go deeper and to enhance what she’s already built.

[#5] Do you feel like you have balance in your life and business?

Yes and no.

One definition of balance reads: “Mental & emotional steadiness; habit of calm behavior.”

Early one morning, I clearly felt Him say that He wants to take me (and already has) to those hard places in order to produce in me what He wants taught in this workshop.  Those times can feel like a bumpy road of imbalance and fear.  But I think the question is what do we do during those times of imbalance and fear?  Do we allow our minds to feast on those lies that try to implant themselves into our mind? Or do we diligently focus on seeking what God desires out of the situation?  Many times, I choose self-pity and sadness and I allow myself to be overwhelmed which makes me feel imbalanced.  But the times where I choose to quiet myself and truly listen for His voice and seek His heart on situations, I feel more peaceful – more balanced.  I feel privileged that the years and seasons of struggle and success have allowed me to digest, process and gain perspective…and to now be able to give that away to make other ladies’ burdens a little lighter.

Have I arrived at “balance”? I still struggle. But I also know that the more I ask to hear His voice, and the more I expectantly wait for it, the more peaceful I feel.  I still have piles of laundry, stacks of dirty dishes and floors that never look swept.  I still have children who need correction and I still have a heart that needs to repent at the feet of our Father.  But if it wasn’t for the struggle for balance, would the beauty of dependence even emerge?

[#6] How do you handle the “hard days”?

Hard times humble us. They beckon us to depend on the only one who can truly deliver. A few weeks ago, as I carried my almost-three year old up the steps for the tenth time, crying and kicking because of her disobedience, I questioned myself…“who am I to teach these women?”  I sat down, exhausted, and cried. But those are the sweet opportunities where He loves to speak to us. I knew those doubtful thoughts were the enemy’s voice and not the Lord’s - and THAT is where He wants us to be.  To know Him so intimately, that we choose to hear His voice over the lies that are whispered in our ears.  He desires for this habit to invade every decision in motherhood, marriage, work, etc.

[#7] I hear you have an amazing group of contributors ... can you tell us about them?

Yes! I am so blessed to have these women alongside me for a portion of the workshop: 

a) Ashley Ann Campbell | Under the Sycamore | | @underthesycamore
Ashley is an intentional, crafty and creative momma of five who pens the popular blog “Under the Sycamore” and is the creator of “SnapShops” online photography courses.

b) Whitney English | Authenticate Strategic Brand Consulting |  & | @whitneyenglish
Whitney is a passionate and driven woman and mother who inspires creative entrepreneurs to a fuller life of authenticity and purpose.

c) Alissa Mazzenga | | @feasting
Beauty flows from the fingertips of this lovely girl. I’m excited for the workshop attendees to learn calligraphy from such a talented person.

Click on over to the “Beautiful Art of Balance” website and snatch up one of the last few seats! Registration closes March 24th.

*******As a treat to our (Kelli & Vanessa’s) readers:  If you sign up by March 15, you will receive $100 off. And if you and a friend sign up together, you will both receive $200 off your ticket!


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