Archive for 'Workshops'
2013 has offered some fun speaking opportunities, and I’m beyond grateful for the wonderful people that have invited me to share some insights on one of my favorite topics- social media. When Shay and Ashlee asked me to be a guest speaker at their first Business and Branding Essentials workshop for photographers (and any business owner) in Tampa, I was thrilled! I planned on sharing essentials and key strategies on how to use social media the right way, tips on engaging the audience, and boosting a business’s online PR. I was so pumped on sharing as much knowledge as I could and helping business owners utilize social media tools in the best way, that I never imagined to gain even more than I had to offer. I met an inspiring group of entrepreneurs with BIG goals and passion. I walked away feeling inspired, having some major decisions I’ve made reconfirmed, getting re-introduced to myself, and creating
5 6 major action steps to keep me on track on my goals this year.
I can’t thank Shay and Ashlee enough for letting me be a part of such an amazing experience. As Shay mentioned during the workshop, I also wish this workshop existed when I first started my business! However, I’ve learned along the way, that it’s all in God’s time.
A HUGE thanks to the group, for being so warm and inviting! Shay, Ashlee, Katie, Amy, Ben, Shem, Dani, Lauren, Sheyla, and Brianna, I know 2013 has tremendous blessings in store, stay focused and don’t give up on your dreams (and keep those hashtags, @, and bit.lys spreading your news)! ;)
Carolina and Shem, thank you for providing your beautiful space for the workshop. It was perfection!
Khaled passed by and grabbed some behind the scenes and created this lovely highlight video below (I thanked him in XO’s).
Thanks Shem for grabbing these images behind the scenes:
LOVE these gals! So proud of them!
Do you notice how I’m trying to restrain my hands?! I didn’t do such a good job on keeping them in check as you may have noticed in the highlight video, ha!
Some Instagram iPhone shots I grabbed throughout the day:
Is it really almost March? 2013 is flying by, but not before offering the most amazing opportunities! Kismis Ink has a few surprises in store that we’ll be revealing in the next few months, so get excited! But first, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be a guest speaker at the Essentials Workshop at the gorgeous new Blue Lane Studios on March 2nd. If you haven’t registered yet, you have a few more days so jump on it here!
I can’t thank Shay and Ashlee enough for inviting me to share some insight on social media and how it’s been a tremendous tool in my business success.
A few weeks ago, I posted these words below on my Instagram and I wake up with this truth daily. Set the bar high.
I don’t know where to begin to describe last week. It’s still a blur of airplanes, delicious food, and laughter. Lots of laughter. When my dear and super-talented amiga, Kathy Romero, invited me to the Dominican Republic, I couldn’t have imagined the beauty, friendships, and experiences that awaited. I’ve been to previous Inspire Smart Success experiences, as an attendee in Orlando, Fl and as an exclusive photographer in Cancun, Mexico and every experience has brought new friends, inspiration and clarity. It’s a wonderful experience when the industry’s finest gather in an open and creative environment, where being inspired and soaking in words of wisdom comes as naturally as breathing.
In between catching up in the office after being away for 8 days and photo sessions this week, I look forward on reflecting over my notes and unforgettable experiences. I can’t wait to share my experience- Dominican style- on the blog in the next few weeks; but for now, I leave you with one of the precious scenes I saw daily while in DR.
Meeting the elegant Grace Ormonde and inspiring Jasmine Star all in the same week has left my head spinning! As I try to wrap my mind around last week’s events, I can’t help but feel extremely blessed to be part of an industry with so many talented and motivating individuals.
When I first heard about The Fix and realized it was coming to Miami (about a 4 hour drive from Tampa), I knew I had to make it happen. My favorite city + my favorite writer? Yes, please! I have been following Jasmine’s blog since 2009 and I know I’m not alone when I say she is an incredible inspiration. She’s a wonderful wedding photographer but beyond her lovely images, her words talk to my soul. She motivates me to find my online voice and gives me hope that I’ll be able to share with my readers my unique thoughts and aspirations in a way that will make a difference.
I came across Jasmine’s blog through Showit. Khaled and I have been using Showit since shortly after opening our business a few years ago and have seen the community continue to grow and inspire. I still remember when Showit had only 6 other pages ‘liked’ under their Facebook page- Kismis Ink‘s page was among those…yes, I felt really special. :P
When Khaled and I arrived at Awarehouse for The Fix, the first person we ran into was Andrew. We had met Andrew at the PASS tour in Orlando last summer and it was great to see him again. His smile is contagious and he’s always so much fun! After Khaled left, (I think he just secretly wanted to eat up all the Cuban pasteles at the hotel and practice his Spanish while I was away) I connected with other attendees while we waited for the doors to open. The evening was incredible. I met many Facebook friends, including Ashley Goodwin. She’s seriously the sweetest gal and I’ll have to find a way to hang out with her again! You may remember her from Jasmine’s CreativeLive workshop. Ashley is helping with The Fix tour and doing a great job-she’s a pro on stage! I also met another FB friend, Jillian Tree. She’s adorably kind and graciously offered to snap a photo of JD and I after I sorta-maybe jumped into his convo with a few other attendees! It was a ‘now or never’ moment for me and I’m glad I did. JD is as kind as can be and after a few minutes of chatting with him (mostly about yummy food), we were instant friends!
Ashley got the event started by going over the details of how the night would unravel. It was great to hear that the attendees would have several opportunities to ask questions and discuss the struggles they face in their business. Jasmine’s presentation was on point. She gave incredible advice, shared her experiences, and talked about the struggles she has overcome.
I have many, but my biggest take-away from The Fix is to EMBRACE change. As Jasmine explained, it’s the one thing that’s constant in our businesses.
I plan to print this quote that Jasmine shared and hang it in my office as a constant reminder:
“Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.” – Peale
As silly as it may seem, over the years I often wondered what it would be like to finally meet Jasmine in person. Where would it be? Would it be in Vegas among thousands of photographers at WPPI or a chance run-in during a break in the halls? I have yet to attend WPPI and I never imagined we’d meet in Miami, the city that my soul considers home. My parents moved from California (where I was born) to Miami when I was two years old and it doesn’t matter where I travel or reside, Miami will always be home. So what better place to meet Jasmine than where I grew up and share so many fond memories (almost all including delicious Cuban food)?
I’ve never considered myself to be the kind of person that gets ‘starstruck’ (actually, I’ve never been before) but I must admit that I looked up the definition and yes, I am super starstruck when it comes to Jasmine. I had all the symptoms as she walked over towards me at the photo booth after her presentation. Shaky hands, forgetting what to say, heart pounding…I felt like a teenager meeting a celebrity. I can’t believe I just wrote that, but it’s true. After a few seconds of taking in that Jasmine was standing inches away and conversing with me, I was finally able to relax a bit. She was beyond generous with her time and even signed my copy of her Exposed magazine. Watching Jasmine give her undivided and genuine attention to each of us there that evening was incredible. I’m grateful for Jasmine’s efforts, for everything she does to inspire this industry and I look forward to seeing her continued success. A HUGE thank you to her team and the wonderful supportive individuals around her that helped make this tour possible.
If you have an opportunity to attend The Fix at any of the upcoming cities, do so. I’m sure it will be an unforgettable evening. Be sure to give Jasmine and the crew a big hug from me too!
Dazzling, sparkling, and, INSPIRING. That pretty much sums up the ISS experience in Mexico. The luxurious event, held in Cancun, Mexico, was filled to the brim with exquisite details, expert speakers and an electrifying atmosphere. It was absolutely amazing to shoot and participate in such a creative, fun-filled environment. I can’t thank Stacie, founder of Inspire Smart Success, enough for trusting me with such a huge endeavor. Each day was filled with so many unforgettable details and experiences. It’s hard to pick a favorite from the event, but shooting the fire-dancers during the Blanco Party was definitely a thrill! Everyone at the event was warm and welcoming and we built an instant bond. I can’t begin to describe and count the immense talent behind this event. The gorgeous paper products created by Tifany of Gourmet Invitations, the beautiful cinematography of Ryan and Eric of Epic Motion, the unparalleled service by the staff of Now Sapphire resort, just to name a few.
Last summer I had the privilege of attending ISS-Orlando as a guest and it was an incredible experience but it could never have prepared me for what I experienced in ISS-Mexico. I must admit that shooting this event was not an easy task, especially without my amazing second-shooter (aka: my hubby) but I couldn’t have done it without the help of Karl & Nanette of Luminaire Foto. We had a blast together (you’ll see a bit of the fun in their photobooth at the end of this post) and it was a blessing meeting both of them.
Besides making new friends and sharing unbelievable experiences together, here are some mentionable highlights of my time in Mexico:
-Almost (accidentally) throwing Mike Colon off a lifeguard tower, this one to be exact. (Thanks Austin for the snapshot, priceless memory and thank you Ana, our talented model)
-Preston Bailey complimenting our work and autographing his book with, “Mariana & Khaled, you both have an amazing eye.” Yes, right at that moment life couldn’t get much better.
-Rooming with Krystyn of Bridal Beauty Chicago. I had never met her before and instantly felt like she was family.
-Christopher Confero and Clayton Gray. LOVE them both to the moon and back.
-Opening my dinner invitation on Day 2 to find that it was with Sonny Ganguly…you know, the guy that created Sony. (I guess it’s a bit of an inside joke).
-Working closely with Sandie (Stacie’s mom), Rachel, The Jens and the rest of the crew. They did a phenomenal job and it was such a pleasure.
-Getting to know Ceci Johnson. I met Ceci before in Miami last year and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to chat more with her in Mexico. She’s a big inspiration and I absolutely love her work.
-Tajin Seasoning. Lisi Korn, although we didn’t get to hang out as much as I would have loved, a big thank you for introducing me to the delicious seasoning. I finally found it in Tampa and use it on everything!
-It was hilarious and fun to spend time with Dana Larue and her hubby, Hunter. The monkey showing his ‘affection’ to Hunter was probably one of my favorite memories.
-Riding the van from the airport to the resort with Youngsong Martin and getting to know her and her hubby was a great experience.
-Traveling with my airport pals ❤ Petronella, Eddy and Marilyn, Eileen and her hubby, Brad.
-Meeting Kathy Romero. I can’t describe what a wonderful and inspiring woman she truly is. It’s no wonder why her beautiful face is gracing the cover of the first issue of ISS Magazine. I might even have to create a blog post to feature her and how she’s motivated me in many ways. Kathy…We’re.On.Fire.
There are just too many memories to list, but I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and share amazing memories with such a wonderful group of top-industry professionals. Wishing 2012 is full of much success and happiness for each of you!
If you haven’t attended yet, I highly recommend you check out and register for one of the upcoming ISS events!