Spend four days and three nights surrounded by like-minded creatives who will pour support, creativity, and fresh ideas into your business.

You'll be inspired by incredible keynote speakers, driven by the guided mastermind sessions, and refreshed by the workshops taught by industry-leading instructors.

You'll have heartfelt and motivating late-night talks complete with PJs and a glass (or two) of wine... and you'll walk away with a community of people to encourage and support you as you take your business to The Next Level.

Have you ever wished you could take time away from your every day life to focus on intentional growth in your business?

This retreat was created for


The late night talks, the intimate small group conversations where we all help each other navigate our pain points, celebrate each other’s wins, and get personal without our walls up. We have hard conversations, we laugh, we cry, we grow—together. It’s with this in mind that I created the Next Level retreat. 12 people, one house, late nights, and lots of growth. Where we will push each other to the next level in our businesses, stop talking about “finding balance” and actually take the time to do things that are good for us (yoga classes, meals away from a computer screen), and where we will find inspiration and refresh our minds.

the next level vision

At the last conference I attended, I sat in my hotel room with my three other roommates and in the midst of our deep conversations I realized that this was hands-down my favorite part of every workshop, conference, convention, etc that I’ve attended.

Sound Amazing? Keep scrolling!

Where we will arrive alone, and we will walk away a community.

the next level retreat is for...

grab your spot here!

... the experienced creative who has reached a plateau or rut in their business. who loves what they do, but may feel a pull to do more. This year, The Next Level Retreat is open to all creatives (not just photographers!) with at least two years of experience.

This retreat is for creatives who long for rest, growth, and community. For the business-owner seeking inspiration and intentional growth. For the dreamer pursuing big goals in their life and business.

* Not sure if this retreat is for you? Please reach out! Together we can find whether or not this experience would be beneficial and a good fit for you. Get in touch here!

all the details

curious about what's included?


september 16-19, 2019


more details here!

austin, texas

registration includes

three nights stay at a beautiful home on lake travis (near austin, texas)

incredible keynote speakers and mini-workshops with industry leaders

a meditative sunset yoga class (don't worry: this will be a super relaxing beginner session!)



carefully curated swag bags with thoughtful treats, along with goodies from our sponsors

all snacks, drinks, and meals 

most importantly... a community of boss creatives you can rely on!

mastermind pajama sessions each night (with plenty of wine provided!)

access to our private facebook group before and after the Retreat

new headshots provided by laylee, plus access to our gallery of candid and behind-the-scenes shots

I have answers!


More Questions? Let's chat!


 What are the accommodations / How will I find my roommate? 
      Accommodations include a shared king bed, or a single twin-sized bunk bed. Rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so please book early to secure your first preference. If you are traveling and attending with a friend, you are welcome to request your roommate; otherwise, you will be assigned to a bed / room.

What should I bring?
       You'll receive a packing guide via email as the Retreat gets closer... but as a general rule, keep it casual! We are going to be hanging out in sweats or pajamas for most of the Retreat. You are welcome to bring an outfit for your headshot, and a swimsuit.

What is not included?

       Attendees are responsible for their own travel / transportation. You are also welcome to purchase any additional food or beverages you would like to store in the house (but we'll have plenty available!).

How many seats are available?
       In order to create an intimate retreat experience, seats are limited to 12 attendees.

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kind words from past attendees

""It was such a one of a kind experience, and we are so grateful that we had the opportunity to grow in our goals and learn more about the industry we love!  Maybe this last statement seems a bit dramatic…but, friends, we sincerely mean it when we say this retreat has forever changed our lives." 

- Bret & Brandie Photography

kind words from past attendees

"I could not have asked for a better group of 12 people to spend a week with building relationships, resting, while brainstorming dreams and goals for each other. I feel so rejuvenated and inspired to push myself and those around me, to build my platform and community with like-minded creative entrepreneurs."

- Heather; HYP Images

laylee emadi smith

Laylee Emadi is a photographer and educator with a heart for serving others. She believes in people first, heart over hustle, and comfort over couture. Since she started her business, Laylee has served the creative industry with authentic encouragement, tell-it-like-it-is honesty, and a wide open heart. She's a connector, a cat mom, and a bloody mary enthusiast who can't wait to get better acquainted over a cup of coffee with you.

our speakers + instructors

meet the team, friend!

natalie franke hayes

Natalie Franke Hayes is a photographer, educator, speaker, and Founder of the Rising Tide Society. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Visual Studies and a concentration in Visual Neuroscience and the Psychology of Seeing. Natalie lives in San Francisco, California with her high school sweetheart and serves as the Head of Community for HoneyBook.

jessica peddicord

Jessica Peddicord of Simply Jessica Marie is an artist for sweethearts, and an educator for fellow watercolor artists. She has a heart for both creating thoughtful, keepsake-worthy custom paintings that her clients will cherish for years to come, and for teaching budding watercolor artists to build creative confidence and excitedly grow their own flourishing artistic businesses. When she's not painting, you can find Jessica sipping a frozen margarita with her hubby Zack and their adorable puppy Oscar at their favorite local dog park in Dallas, Texas.

hope taylor

Hope Taylor is an industry-leading wedding photographer located in Fredericksburg, VA. Her journey of becoming a full time business owner immediately after graduating high school gives her a very unique perspective on entrepreneurship and business. She feels very strongly about educating and inspiring other creative small business owners to fearlessly pursue their dreams while also providing the practical tools that they need to get there (while also obsessing over peonies, buttered popcorn and mint chocolate chip ice cream).

Jessica Peddicord

Jessica Peddicord is a Dallas, Texas based artist who creates artwork that celebrates the people, pets, and places you call home. She believes that everyday moments should feel uniquely remarkable, whether that is by hanging your new map art print to commemorate moving into your first house, or learning how to paint the flowers that were always growing in your mama's garden. She strives to help others live more colorful, intentional, vibrant lives through her art, and her artistic education! When she's not painting, you can find Jessica sipping a frozen margarita with her hubby Zack and their adorable puppy Oscar at their favorite local dog park.

get in touch!

 Leave me some details below or contact me directly at laylee@layleeemadi.com and I'll be in touch soon!

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Do you have questions about the retreat? 


your message has been sent and I'll be in touch shortly.

sponsors + partners: Coming soon!

interested in sponsoring this event? Get in touch here!

Thank you so much to our wonderful sponsors for helping make this retreat special for each attendee. We are thankful to partner with you! 

Special thanks to Gaby Caskey Photography and to 2018 Next Level attendee Quianna Marie Photography for providing the behind-the-scenes photos displayed on this page.