“Goodtimes”

This month I had the great pleasure of heading down to Miami with one of my best friends, Andi Diamond, to go to the Portfolio Plus workshop with Kenny Kim and Ray Santana.  Andi had attended the first PP Workshop last fall and raved about these two guys, so I thought I would head down and see what all the fuss was about.  What an amazing, awesome, fabulous experience. First, doing what I love is such an awesome blessing, but doing what I love with one of my best friends is off the charts. Andi and I have known each other since we were pledges at UF- lets just say A LONG TIME. I have been fortunate enough to make so many awesome photography friends along this path, but its still not the same as shooting along side someone you have known for over half your lifetime.

So, I flew into Miami, and met up with Andi, and her hubby Pete {we will all meet up again for WPPI in Vegas-WOOHOO} and their son, Ethan.  After we dropped our stuff off, Andi and I headed to the Four Seasons in downtown Miami for the evenings “meet and greet”.  Mark loves to poke fun at me when I talk about the “famous” people I get to meet when I do these workshops. He always asks “what makes them famous”- UGH, as if its not OBVIOUS! These guys are amazing photographers! Seriously, AMAZING! Pick up the current issue of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style magazine {did I mention the Executive Editor of Grace- Yanni Tzoumas was there too-CRAZY} and these guys are all over the magazine! To me that equals photography royalty!Walking into the hotel was a bit overwhelming, what do you say to someone whose work you admire so much? Who has accomplished all that thy have {and so young}? I was, for maybe the first time EVER, utterly speechless.

But, as it turns out, I did not need to be- they were beyond humble, and helpful, and well, Fabulous! I chatted with Ray first, and I have to say, he was one of the most energetic, and down to earth people I had ever met- and if its possible, talked even faster than I did! Later when I met Kenny, I marveled at how different these two guys were- one energetic and busy and just bursting to share it, the other relaxed, down to earth, and a complete open book. The two amazingly accomplished the same thing with all of us- shared their philosophies, their history and their knowledge in two completely different styles- it was an incredible combination {see review of the workshop below the photos in this post}.

But it was not just Kenny & Ray- Kenny Nakai made the trip down with KK and was amazing to shoot with as well- I learned so much from him during the model shoot. And the guys over at Chris & Oliver cinema- what they accomplish with the HD video in a camera is just CRAZY! Go check them out at Vimeo.  Plus all the amazing photographers in the workshop- so much talent! It really makes the whole event awesome!

We were lucky enough to have 4 awesome models to photograph- the wedding couple is Jessica and Brandon {and yes, they are married in “real life”} from Brandon Scott Photography and then our engagemnt couple Barbara Moros and Matt who were not even dating- but look so smoking together you could never tell- wow-sers!

A few of my faves from the day

Ray giving us some knowledge…

Yanni Explaining how Grace and her team work…

Kenny sharing his info as well…

Portfolio Plus Workshop Review-

The thing about photography is you never stop learning- this field is always adjusting, there is new technology, new styles, and new ideas, every minute. I will be honest, sometimes that can feel really overwhelming. I am lucky, I have a fabulous husband, who is very supportive of all this, but being surrounded by others who feel exactly the same was as you {being so EXCITED about the use of kelvin instead of AWB} is a pretty amazing motivator. I came to this seminar with a good amount of knowledge. I am by no means an expert, but I am pretty confident with my camera and lenses.  When I first started, everything I learned seemed like a lightning bolt- from the smallest f-stop knowledge to the use of off camera lighting. Now, 3.5 years into this, it takes something really awesome to make me excited. In all honesty, while I am so blessed with my business, and where this has all taken me, I was beginning to feel really exhausted, and perhaps a little lost- until this workshop.

While I enjoyed listening to Kenny & Ray talk, and I learned so much about them, their styles, and their business- it was shooting with them that I found to be the most enlightening. These two guys, as well as Kenny Nakai, were like open books- if you asked, they answered.  Photography is such a personal thing, but when you find photographers who are willing to share their thought process, their settings, their images in the back of the camera, its just mind blowing! I have been to other workshops {quite a few actually} and when the workshop was over, that was it. This one was supposed to end at 4- well, most of us were still shooting at 7:30, and I know we were still chatting with Kenny & Ray well after 9:30. When I say giving, these two guys are off the charts! And while there two styles could not be more different, I felt that they both spoke to my brand, and my eventual destination with photography.

I know before I head off to a workshop, I google the name of the workshop to see if it was: a) successful and b) worth the money. I can say hands down, listening to these two guys is priceless.  I plan to attend the next workshop they offer {as a matter of fact, this is the ONLY workshop that I have been to with so many “alumni”} and take in as much knowledge as they are willing to give out! Especially if they add Dave Cross to the lineup again- 1 hour of CS5 knowledge- PRICELESS!

Thanks guys for an amazing opportunity and for being so honest and forthcoming with your knowledge, you have motivated me more than you will ever know! In the words of the fabulous Ray… “goodtimes…”

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  1. Andi Diamond says:

    Yeah, awesome workshop and awesome to be able to share it with a best friend. CONGRATS on the new blog and new branding! LOVE it and love u, Kel! xo

  2. Beautiful Work Kelly. HAD THE BEST TIME WITH ALL OF YOU. A BIG SHOUT OUT TO OUR PHOTOG STARS RAY SANTANA, KENNY KIM, AND KENNY NAKAI.
    Awesome Awesome!!!

  3. Kenny Nakai says:

    Hey hey hey! So I found this blog post from my google alerts! =) Thanks for the shout out! It was great meeting you and I’m glad to hear you had a good time! We certainly did have a fun time during our photoshoot with Brandon and Jess in her wedding dress! Keep up the good work! And I love your branding and blog! Sending you some blog love from Chicago!

    Kenny Nakai

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