Ana is a single mama to an 8-yr-old son, Javier, who loves to wear costumes 365 days per year. When not exploring her beloved Sunshine State with her family, she's planning date nights with her single dad beau, Mark. The former content director for parenting.com, Ana is now the VP of Content for Today's Mama. She has interviewed a wide range of mamas, from First Lady Michelle Obama to the Kardashians and everything in between.

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A Girls’ Weekend Like No Other

Last week, 60 unbelievable women gathered at two side-by-side beaches in the Outer Banks of North Carolina to take part in the first ever Click Blogger Retreat hosted by Today’s Mama. We learned a ton about photography, reconnected with old friends, made new ones, picked up a few tricks to help boost our businesses, all while dodging a crazy lightning storm, a government shutdown, and more. Over the past week, we’ve seen a slew of post-Click posts by influential bloggers who attended Click, and this one that follows is no exception. Here, a list of 80 Reasons to Love Click by Jessica Rosenberg. Perhaps something you read will inspire you to join us next year!

1. I’ve decided that the way SouthWest Airlines prompts you to “line up” to board a plane takes away all my air travel stress. I love how I no longer have to hover to be the first in my “group” to board.
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2. Nothing tastes better during a kickoff party than shrimp wrapped in bacon and dipped in barbecue sauce.

3. Especially after a million hours of travel and two skipped meals.

4. And eating them in a gorgeous old building built on a pier.

5. Accompanied by some amazing local wines.

6. The joy of hugging a friend, a fellow blogger, you haven’t seen in way too long is unparalleled.

7. Heck, seeing any friends after a long absence just never gets old.

8. Nothing says “kick back and relax” like a huge, squishy leather couch and a 71” TV.

9. Unless it’s a private movie theatre with massive LoveSacs and leather recliners.

10. A good movie is good. A good movie watched with friends in pajamas is great.

11. Especially when you’re snacking on Redvines and Cold Stone truffles. Mmmmm.

12. You’re just never too old for a good ol’ slumber party.

13. No matter how much you love your roommates, earplugs are always your friend.

14.  Being woken up by a lightning strike is utterly terrifying.

15.  Especially when someone is grabbing your arm and yelling “WHAT WAS THAT?”

16.  Even when faced with missing luggage, a NorEaster, no power, and no Wifi, you can’t keep the spirits of 50 women down.

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17. No coffee, however, leads to some grumpy faces.

18. Many people think “self-portrait” equals “headshot.”

19. Those same people are amazed at how much even a simple headshot can say about a subject.

20. It’s incredibly humbling and nerve-wracking to hear someone tell you what they see in your photo and how it makes them feel.

21.  Only at a women’s conference do you feel the need for tissues 20 minutes into the first session.

22.  You’re never too old to want to play in the surf.

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23. Or to enjoy digging your toes in the sand.

24.   If you’re going to squat a lot in the presence of photographers, you really need not wear low-riding pants.

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25. A nice photographer will delete all evidence of plumber butt.

26. You’re welcome. No, really.

27. Every expert has conflicting advice to share.

28. Turns out you really do need to just “play with a camera” to figure out what works for you.

29. The instant you can explain something, even something you just learned, you become an expert in someone’s eyes.

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30. Taking pictures of people taking pictures can easily become an addiction.

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31. Taking pictures of people taking pictures of people taking pictures is even better.

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32. Taking pictures of birds, however, is really annoying.

33. Little buggers are terrible at posing.

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34. And yes, it’s ironic that I said I had zero desire to go on a birding expedition and still spent an hour on the beach snapping pictures of birds.|

35. There is little more soul-soothing than taking a walk by yourself on a cloudy beach with just your camera and the sound of the surf for company.

36. Even when you think there’s nothing to take pictures of because the sky is gray and you’re alone, you’ll find something to shoot.

37. Those might end up being your favorite photos.

38.  When the internet is down and the only device you own that works is a camera, you can take an insane number of pictures in one day.

39. Not being able to instantly share them is pure frustration.

40.   Sometimes, though, it’s not a bad thing to have to rely on your own judgment rather than the feedback from virtual strangers.

41. That said, when two photographers you greatly admire tell you they love the photos you took of them and ask you to email them over, it feels pretty darn amazing.

42.  Photography is a bug.

43.  When it bites, it bites hard.

44.   It’ll lure you out of bed at 6:30 am to snap pictures in the rain (even when you went to bed at 1 am the night before).

45.  The birds will still not cooperate.

46.  Little buggers.

47.   I don’t even like birds.

48.  The bug will even lure you out onto the beach with two cameras; yours and the SONY one you borrowed.

49.   You won’t even feel silly with two cameras strapped around your neck.

50.   You might even feel a little special.

51.  People who are passionate are amazing teachers.

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52.  Passion is contagious.

53. Taking pictures of children is an art in and of itself.

54.  Getting your subject to relax enough to be able to capture their true selves takes patience and skill.

55. Once you figure out how to capture the light just how you want it, you can move on to thinking about composition.

56. Even with unlimited amounts of shots at your disposal, you still need to be intentional about the pictures you take.

57.  Knowing what you want to capture before you press the shutter release leads to much better pictures.

58.  A great picture tells a story without anyone needing to say a word.

59. Whether that story is the one you wanted to tell is entirely up to you.

60. I hold nothing but respect and awe for the people who learned to shoot using film.

61.  I would have given up long before if I couldn’t instantly see if I was capturing the light correctly.

62. I’m getting better, but I still get confused with the high numbers, low light and low numbers high light thing.

63.  Wait, did I get that backwards?

64. Saying goodbye to the friends you only see once a year is sad, no matter how much fun you’re having.

65.  When your friends leave early, it takes a little color out of the rest of your stay.

66.  Flying puts it right back.

67.  Thank you Kitty Hawk Kites!

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68.  Taking pictures of people flying is a hoot.

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69.  But it doesn’t beat the feeling of having your feet leave the ground for the first time.

70. Or the laughter when you see the photo of the look on your face when you take off.

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71.  Farewell parties are always magical (Thank you Avery!)

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72. Long lazy chats with new friends even more so.

73.   Despite what people might say, you can stuff a LoveSac back into its case.

74.  Yes, it’s really hard, sweaty work.

75.  No, the zipper will not hold.

76.  Packing tape, industrial size trash bags, and duct tape are the secret to containing the awesomeness of a Lovesac.

77.   Nothing quite beats late night conversations with people who are in their jammies getting ready for bed.

78.  Except for looking through the hundreds of photos you took during the day and falling in love with more than half.

79.  Getting up before 6:30 four days in a row is exhausting.

80.  Leaving a conference feeling inspired more than makes up for it.

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Jessica Rosenberg blogs at itsjessicaslife.com when she’s not busy taking care of her kids or snapping photos. Her first novel, Aloha Also Means Goodbye, is set to be published imminently.

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