The Mentor Series trek to Kauai was definitely one to remember!
We arrived to the beautiful island and settled into our Oceanside hotel. The workshop started with mentor and staff introductions and the room started to buzz with excitement. The energy was evident, this group was ready to go out and make pictures.
The first photo op brought us to the impressive Opaekaa waterfalls. It was a good place to start, and we could figuratively get our photographic feet wet. We then headed to Spouting Horn and ended the day at Poipu Beach. Mentor Series had hired two surfers to model for us and the images were nearly magical as the sun hit the horizon and the golden glow lit up our scene. The guys who sat for us were perfect and it was clear that everyone got some really good shots.
The next day, despite facing some weather, we headed to the North Shore. The views along the coastline were stunning albeit foggy so the mentors taught us how to best use the fog and flat light to our advantage. They really know their stuff! We also made a stop for some respite from the rain and it was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other, and take a break before heading out again.
After a few more impromptu photo stops, we made our way back to our hotel, had a chance to download our images, and then had a review session with our mentors. The session was so helpful and informative and everyone got a lot out of the advice from these two talented men.
The next day offered a chance to zipline in the morning (what a rush it was, and the group really bonded, whizzing through the trees!) and then hit a town for lunch. At sunset that day we were able to make portraits and learn more about off-camera flash by photographing 6 beautiful professional hula dancers on the shoreline (hired just for us!), with the mountains as our backdrop. What an opportunity that we wouldn’t have been afforded had we just visited Hawaii on our own!
The following days brought more fun and photo when we took to the air and photographed Kauai from above. Then we headed to the water and photographed the North Shore from our own private catamaran. It was a bumpy but gorgeous ride. The photos were unbelievable and the camaraderie grew. We were also given the opportunity to pull out our macros and turn our lenses to the flora and fauna on this garden isle. We stood over “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and we ended yet another amazing day on a shoreline, capturing the glow of the sunset.
Our last night ended with a really fun and entertaining luau, and of course our final slideshow. It was so fun to see how everyone would see the same scenes so differently! We were sad that the week was over but so glad that we had made some good friends and that we had come to Hawaii with the Mentor Series. These treks have taught us so much and never lack the delightful fun and gratifying education we desire. No question we’ll be back!