keithleeSTUDIOS » St. Louis, Missouri Area Portrait Photographer (Weddings, Engagements, Boudoir, Seniors)

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Genesis Workshop 2011

What? The Genesis Workshop.
Where? Memphis, Tennessee
When? November 14th – 17th, 2011
Why? The opportunity to learn and work with some of the great photographers who I draw inspiration from over the last couple of years.

I have always hated the feeling of settling. I’m so critical of my work, and I really strive to become a better photographer every time I pick up the camera.

Attending workshops, like Genesis, is an opportunity for photographers to:

– Learn from others (not just the instructors) about different photography techniques and how to grow your business.
– Network with other great photographers.
– Look at photography, clients, places, and situations from a different perspective.

And more importantly, it’s an opportunity to invest in yourself. Sure, you could buy a cool new lens or awesome camera gear instead of attending a workshop, but it’s your vision and style that is unique… Becoming a better photographer will make so much more of an impact than any gear you can buy.

With the Genesis Workshop being held only 4 hours away from St. Louis, I knew I had to go. And if you have followed my work from the beginning, then you’ll know that Tony Hoffer and Sam Hassas greatly influence how I approach photography. These great photographers are the reason that I continue to push myself and never settle for mediocrity. Attending Genesis allowed me the access to get to know and learn from Tony, Sam, Ed (Pingol), Evan (Baines), and Mel and Jeff (Mansfield) on a personal level.

What I loved about this workshop –

    – Being able to meet like-minded photographers (even the ones who use Nikon :P)
    – Getting to know the instructors
    – No question was off limits for the instructors.

Some real big eye openers for me were –

    – No magic or secret tricks required. Each instructor revealed what makes them so successful in the industry, and how we can achieve the same success. It’s all doable…it’s just a matter of having the vision.
    – I’m worth it. I was fortunate enough to have a couple instructors and fellow students review some of my work before leaving, and overall, it was pretty positive feedback. I usually receive positive feedback from my fans, but it’s different when you get it from industry leaders and your peers. That said, it was the encouragement I needed to make the changes to my business in order to take it to the next level.
    – We’re worth it. A ‘DUH!’ moment occurred on the first night when Ed asked if Ali and I offered any packages together. I felt stupid saying no. That said, part of the changes for 2012 include Ali being more involved in the business, and we’ll be offering packages so you get the both of us.

Thanks again to all the instructors (Tony, Sam, Ed, Evan, Mel and Jeff), everyone that helped make this workshop possible (especially Amy Dale) and it was great meeting all the other students/fellow photographers/Canadians/Asians/Farid/Katie/Mark/Annabelle.

Enough talk and on to the images!

On the way to Memphis, Ali and I stopped over to Lambert’s Cafe to experience the home of the throwed rolls (and bottomless sides). Unfortunately, Ali and I ate a couple hours before and weren’t terribly hungry.



Upon arriving at the Meet n Greet, we were welcomed by Star & Micey (a great local band), and Ali and I spent the evening mingling with all the instructors and fellow students.




Ali originally planned on staying in the hotel room for the duration of the week, to work on her website and catch up on various stuff. But after talking to Amy Dale (one of the organizers), we found out that their makeup artist bailed. Unfortunately, Ali didn’t bring her full makeup gear, but offered to provide makeup services (with what she had on hand) to the models for the week, and even pitched in to help model for the instructors herself.

Ed –

We spend the cold and soggy Tuesday morning watching and listening to the instructors during the Instructor Shootout as we roam around Beale Street with our 5 models. Watching Sam, Tony, Evan, Jeff, Mel, and Ed work was a fantastic experience. They would explain each detail of their thought process and how to set the shot up.

Mel –

Tony –

Amy (Tony’s other half) watching her husband and thinking “He’s sooooo dreamy!”

Evan –

Ali doing some modeling for the instructors –


Introducing Sam Hassas (as he gets the up skirt shot… PERV!)



Tony –

Jeff –










Ali trying to stay warm –

Our group task was working with reflections. I did a reflection and silhouette of Ali –









Fellow Canadians… and Ed –


Farid’s turn in the hot seat with Sam –

AA = Amy and Ali –

  • Sam Hassas - December 2, 2011 - 11:54 pm

    Me. You. Ali. Vegas. Thats all.ReplyCancel

  • Drea - December 3, 2011 - 10:37 am

    Just awesome Keith! Love every single photo.ReplyCancel

  • Alex - December 13, 2011 - 3:25 am

    Absolutely love the b&w shot of Ali against the brick wall under the light.ReplyCancel

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