I am so excited to share this dream of mine with you! Growing up in Texas, I’ve seen and experienced first hand just how diverse and beautiful Texas can be. But meeting people from other places outside of Texas made me realize: most people truly think Texas is just desert, Wild West, cow pastures, and yee-haws. It got me thinking about how much people truly miss out on by not knowing how truly diverse Texas’ geography is, and everything is has to offer! While there ARE of course deserts and cow pastures, there is also SO MUCH MORE. Oceans and beaches, rivers, swamps, mountains, canyons, rolling hills and open plains, cityscapes, forests - Texas is so much more than its stereotype. I wanted to give people - specifically photographers - a chance to come and experience Texas for themselves and open themselves up to a huge, new (and probably unexpected) space to create in.

Howdy, y'all! and welcome to

Couples SHoots


Elopement shoots






12 total shoots

It’s a content retreat intentionally designed for photographers to come and be inspired, get creative, and experience everything Texas has to offer. Attendees will get to photograph 12 different styled shoots, have experiences unique to the region of Texas their retreat is being hosted in, and form friendships with other creatives that will last a lifetime. So, basically - treat yourself to a little business-minded getaway trip, come to Texas, bring your camera, take awesome pics, meet amazing people, eat delicious food, make some super fun memories, and grow your business with your incredible new content! It's an awesome way to make new connections in a new place, give yourself some fresh content for your socials and portfolio, take personal creative freedom during every shoot without the pressures of satisfying a paying client, and give yourself room to grow and feel refreshed + inspired!

What is the
Deep in the Heart Retreat?

"Where do I even start?! I had my eyes on Alison’s Deep in The Heart retreat for weeks - a tab I refused to close on my laptop even though I knew I’d unlikely be able to attend (considering I live in east coast Canada). I spent weeks researching different retreats around Canada and the US, but always came back to this one. The level of detail, the beautiful mood-boards, the large variety of shoots, Alison’s adorable and sweet demeanour all sucked me in - I bit the bullet and booked my flights, eager to explore everything East Texas had to offer. And holy cow, am I ever glad I did! I couldn’t have pictured more aesthetically pleasing styled shoots, and I will never ever get over the content I was able to create during the retreat. I honestly didn’t expect these shoots to fully live up to the mood-boards (I’ve heard this can be a rather common issue sometimes at retreats) - but these did NOT disappoint - I was in awe with the level of detail that went into ensuring nothing was missed. My highlights were definitely learning so much from the other attendees, being able to photograph couples/a bride with a horse, capturing a whimsical romantic elopement at beautiful Caddo Lake State Park, and getting to work with all the amazing models/couples who were so clearly in love. And the cherry on top: I made friends for life. Absolutely the best investment I have EVER made for my business! After an extremely slow month with barely any inquiries, I suddenly had three new inquiries all within an hour of posting my retreat photos in a local FB group. I am so SO happy I decided to go, and will probably always think back to this experience as one of the best times of my life."


As a photographer, I know how it is sometimes. You go, go, go, and you get caught up in the busy-ness of being a business owner. It can be pretty nonstop as a photographer, and sometimes it gets challenging to make time for yourself to slow down and allow yourself room to feel inspired, take risks, and step out of your comfort zone to get back into your creative mindset. It's hard to do that when you're shooting for paying clients, because ultimately you've got that pressure of trying to make it perfect for THEM. But what if the roles were reversed, and you gave yourself space to make it perfect for YOU? To step back, slow down, breathe, and let yourself experiment with creativity in a variety of ways, without the added pressure of trying to please anyone other than yourself. As a creative, you NEED and DESERVE that freedom and opportunity. Your business deserves to be poured into in a way that is also fulfilling and inspiring to you - and that's exactly the purpose of this retreat. All the heavy lifting is done for you with styling, model calls, location scouting, etc. All you have to do is show up, put on your creative hat, and make some magic. 

If you're ready to give yourself room to grow creatively, this is for you.

Curious as to what we've got in the works for the shoots? Check out the inspo for each one here! 

Vision Boards

March 27-31, 2023
Texas hill country

Overview of our week






- arrive + meet everybody
- welcome dinner at the AirBNB

- breakfast at the AirBNB
- morning shoots at the Carrington
- lunch in downtown Austin
- explore downtown ATX
- evening shoot at Chapel Dulcinea
- dinner + paddle-boarding in ATX
- editing + hanging out at the AirBNB

- breakfast at the AirBNB
- sunrise shoots at Pedernales State Park
- lunch at the AirBNB
- time for hanging out or exploring FBG
- evening shoots at Enchanted Rock
- dinner at the AirBNB
- editing + hanging out  at the AirBNB

- breakfast at the AirBNB
- morning shoots at Wildseed Farms
- lunch at the AirBNB
- time for hanging out or exploring FBG
- evening shoots in Luckenbach
- dinner at the AirBNB
- campfire + s'mores, last hang

- breakfast at the AirBNB
- say goodbyes


I am so excited that you're on board and see the vision - it's going to be AMAZING! Keep scrolling to find a general overview of what's included, lodging and pricing details, and the application form! After you've read everything to make sure you know all of the info + details, fill out the form at the bottom to apply! Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis. I can't wait to connect + create with you!

ready to apply?!

Hi! I'm Alison Bien. (My last name rhymes with nine - I know, you probably thought it was bean or something, I'm used to it! Haha.) I love hanging out with my pups, exploring new places with my husband Jordon (and soon, our baby boy as well!), binge-watching way too many TV shows and documentaries while I edit, and singing way too loud in the car. I eat entirely too much fast food, I single-handedly keep Amazon and UPS in business, I taught elementary school for 6+ years, and I've been a photographer for 10 years - since my first year of college! I've learned so much through my own experiences over those years, and now that I've quit my job as an elementary teacher, I'm pouring 110% into this passion of mine... starting with a dream that was inspired by one of my favorite photographers, Beba Vowels - this retreat. Her retreats were where I found the most creative freedom in the last few years, where I felt safe to explore and experiment and grow and learn. I knew I wanted to be able to provide that for others as well, and I am so excited to be able to host my own retreat to give you that very same opportunity in my home state of Texas. 

Meet your host, Alison

info + Pricing


- $2750 if paid in full up front
- $2900 if payment plan is chosen (payment plan will be four payments of $725 or two payments of $1450)
- *$150 discount for past attendees
- *sales tax will be applied for all Texas residents and will be added to first payment if choosing a payment plan


- all lodging for the night of March 27th through the morning of March 31st
- 12 styled shoots + headshots
- attendee gifts
- all meals (except one, when we go out to eat) - dinner on 3/27, breakfast and dinner on 3/28 (we'll eat out for lunch this day, and this meal cost is not included in your ticket), breakfast, lunch, and dinner on 3/29 and 3/30 , and breakfast on 3/31 (and snacks throughout, of course!)
- paddle-boarding/kayaking group excursion
- lifetime access to an online group with all other attendees for continued communication
- 10 new photog besties :)


- flights
- transportation
- breakfast/lunch on 3/27, lunch on 3/28, and lunch/dinner on 3/31

Our home for the week:

AIRBNB Cabin in fredericksburg, TX



We'll be staying at an AirBNB cabin in Fredericksburg, Texas. You MIGHT be sharing a bed with another attendee, but there is enough room that most people will have their own bed. (Beds are chosen at random by drawing a number when you arrive, but you're always welcome to swap on your own afterward if you guys want to!) Photos of the AirBNB can be found in the gallery above. It's going to be a ton of fun - think of it as a huge sleepover with your new besties!!


These shoots have been carefully and intentionally styled to give you the most variety possible in this region of Texas, from the locations to the models and the styles of the shoots. At the Carrington, we'll have a moody, editorial bridal shoot with a full tablescape downstairs, a fun pre-wedding bridal shoot in the bridal suite upstairs, and an outdoor wedding in the courtyard with flatlays, a cake, and maybe even a cute pup if we're lucky! At Chapel Dulcinea, we'll have a Spanish-inspired elopement with flatlays. At Pedernales State Park, we'll have time for headshots (if you want them), a cozy couples shoot, and a sunrise elopement with flatlays. At Enchanted Rock, we'll have an adventurous golden hour couples shoot, a boho sunset elopement, and flatlays. At Wildseed Farms, we'll have a bloom-filled garden-style wedding portrait shoot with flatlays and a playfully romantic couples shoot. To finish out the week, we'll head to the tiny town of Luckenbach for a pastel springtime wedding in front of the old oak trees, a tablescape and flatlays to match, and a punchy, country dance-hall vibe for the last couples shoot.


While there isn't any formal education planned for this retreat, there is going to be SO MUCH for you to soak up and learn from throughout the entire week. I'll be an open book for you all week, ready to answer questions, offer feedback, give guidance during shoots + editing, etc. Whatever you need, I"m happy to help! But even more than that, you're going to be creating with 9 other photographers in addition to myself - that's 10 other creatives with unique shooting styles, posing preferences, business perspectives, and more. It's INCREDIBLE how much growth can happen in one week when you surround yourself with like-minded individuals!


Aside from content and community, I want you to also get to experience some things unique to Texas hill country while you're at this retreat. I've got several things planned for us to enjoy together as a group, including time for food and walking around downtown Austin, paddle-boarding on Lady Bird Lake (where we *might* get lucky enough to see the famous bats on the Congress Avenue bridge!), time for shopping + exploring Fredericksburg, and more. I can't wait for you to come and experience everything Texas hill country has to offer!




Once you submit the application below, I will review them on a first-come, first-serve basis. The first 9 applications that are received will be sent a proposal immediately. Be on the lookout for an email from me including that proposal - it will come from my HoneyBook account. If you are one of those first 9 to submit an application and receive a proposal, you will have 24 hours to sign and pay the deposit. If you do not complete the proposal within the 24-hour window, the proposal will expire and your spot will be given to the next person. (I will try to check in with you first, but I can't promise that!) If you are not in the first 9 applications received, you'll receive a proposal if someone before you does not sign and pay within their allotted time frame. Once you sign and pay, you'll be sent an email with a link to a Facebook group for our retreat attendees. Be sure to join that for all future communication and info!

Check your inbox soon! ;)