Portfolio+Workshop at the Biltmore Hotel! And more…

Hope all you Midwesterners enjoyed the recent blizzard!…  No not really, I am sure.   But hey…we were all in it together, and the cold is still here to remind us!  So grab your snuggie and cuddle up with a loved one and a nice cup of hot cocoa with coconut toasted jumbo marshmallows (my fav!) and think WARM, WARM thoughts!… :-)

And to help you warm up, continue reading this post for some great shots I have to share from the Portfolio+Workshop that were taken in warm, sunny Florida last month!  Okay, I’m going to level with you, the best day we had down there was the day of the workshop.  The hubby and I then headed over to Miami Beach and South Beach for a few extra days, and toward the end, it was anything but warm as a cool front moved in…however we still had a blast visiting the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, as well as going on the South Beach food and Art Deco history tour with Miami Culinary Tours.

But back to the workshop, as that is the main reason for this post…  It was AWESOME to get to see the Historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL and to learn from two wonderful and in-demand photographers, Kenny Kim and Ray Santana.  We learned a lot about the importance of having quality equipment, and knowing how to use the main settings for achieving the perfect exposure right in the camera.  Most helpful was the lecture and practical application regarding the Kelvin settings in the White Balance feature on DSLR’s, and knowing how and when to properly adjust this setting given the lighting situation so as to capture the natural lighting and skin tones of the subjects..  I feel like this lesson was the most important thing I walked away with and am already taking better photos.

Kenny and Ray also provided guidance on the “do’s” and “don’ts” of what you choose to use in your portfolio (admittedly I have to really work on this aspect), what not to put on your business cards, and how to properly handle clients, in both good and bad situations.  In sharing their personal journeys and experiences, Kenny Kim and Ray Santana provided a breadth of information necessary for any photographer working to build their business, and particularly trying to expand into wedding photography.

So enough with all this verbiage and on to some photos!!  Here are some featured photos from the workshop…

Now on to some of the photos from the Vizcaya Gardens

And for the Grand Finale… Some awesome photos taken during the South Beach Food and Architecture Tour with Miami Culinary Tours!  And just let me say, that I LOVE taking photos with ambient colors in the background (so there’s a good handful here for the viewing).  They often end up being my favorite photos. (Note: some of these shots may not be as sharp as they could be, but unfortunately I was not walking around with a tripod that night, and I was not using any flash so as to capture the ambient nightlife of Miami).  Still… Enjoy!!

First stop on our tour was the D. Rodriguez Cuba Restaurant at Hotel Astor.   Here are a couple photos of our yummy eats…

A very refreshing Mojito.

Followed by some tasty Cuban appetizers…

Next stop: the Essex House Hotel with  a lobby featuring an original polychrome mural of the Everglades that was restored by the famed Earl LaPan 50 years after he originally painted the mural.

Next: A walk down the Ocean Drive to take in the spectacular Miami nightlife featuring buildings true to Art Deco design…

A quick stop by the Vercace Mansion (now known as “The Villa by Barton G“).

On to the Hotel Victor  for our main course at Bice, but before we sat down to eat, had to get some photos of the awesome decor inside…

If you notice in the photo below, the light fixtures resemble jelly fish…

Our group listens to an explanation of the local food culture and how it inspired the night’s main dish.

Enjoying a nice glass of Alamos Malbec Argentinian wine before dinner.

And finally our main dish, “Paella” which featured, oysters, clams, shrimp, chicken and sausage atop a mild spiced Cuban style rice and veggies…  (I have to say my secret dream is to be a food photographer and critic).

Next Stop: A brief tour of The Tides Hotel.

An awesome photo of the La Marea Restaurant inside The Tides before patrons arrive for dinner.

The Coral Bar at The Tides.

We came back later for a little ambiance and a White Sangria Cocktail.

Outside of the Betsy Ross Hotel.

On a brief walk through Z Ocean Hotel, and couldn’t help but get a few photos of the decor…would love to go back to this lounge…

Next stop: Jerry’s Famous Deli for a quick sweet chocolate treat.

Then on to the local Art Deco Market for a little Cuban espresso.

Our culinary tour guide, Mirka Roch Harris, serving up a shot of that sweet Cuban coffee.

A brisk stroll down Espanola Way.

And then a brief stop at the Clay Hotel.

Our final stop of the tour… Gelato anyone?

Another sweet and yummy treat at the Milani Gelateria.

Just what we are all thinking of during all of this cold weather, right?!…

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