What if?

What if you could create images that 

 show emotional and visual depth… 

 tell stories at a glance… 

 strengthen your brand… 

 and attract your ideal clients?

The “Build your Brand through Storytelling and Styling” workshop will teach you how to do these things and more! 

Together Virginia Chavez Smith & Kim Winey will teach you uncommon approaches to help you create storytelling portraits. They’ll share loads of details to make your sessions a success and help you build a stunning and memorable portfolio.  In addition to the invaluable education, you’ll also enjoy a shooting location like none other. Set on a farm (did we mention the piggies??), on the Big Island of Hawaii, you’ll have access to a tropical garden studio, AND! a greenhouse is being built specifically for Kim Winey’s styling workshop.

It's an all-inclusive, unforgettable experience you will never forget!  

The “Build your Brand through Storytelling and Styling” workshop is all-inclusive!

We will provide shared room occupancy, at a Hilo Airbnb, with all the comforts of home. Here, you will have easy access to the beaches of Hilo Bay and other unique, nearby attractions. All of your meals and snacks with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced, delicious food are included. Dietary restrictions are easily accommodated. Transportation for the workshop will be provided to the various locations we will be visiting, as well as to the studio approximately 30 minutes from the Airbnb.  Airfare and transportation to the Airbnb (a 10-minute drive from the airport) are not included

During our workshop, you will have 4 days of instruction & shooting (SPRING, 2023 - dates to be announced). This includes classroom-style (fun & interesting!) presentations, customized styled sessions, models especially chosen for our workshop, and you’ll have access to the studio wardrobe and props to play to your heart’s content, as well! You will come away with not only knowledge, but gorgeous images that you can add to your portfolio to help build your brand. 

We will also provide additional connecting time & assistance before and after the workshop through our private Facebook group! We want you to get the most out of your efforts as you build your portfolio with unique, story-telling images.  In order to create the best possible experience for each attendee, this workshop will have no more than 8 students. 


The investment is $3200 per person with a nonrefundable 50% retainer to hold your accommodations and reserve your place.

Your place incudes accommodations*, meals and snacks, driver for planned excursions, permits and workshops
It does not include flights, dining out on your own, personal expenditures


For a short time we are offering an early bird discount limited to 2 spots for $2700. When the spots are gone, the deal will be gone!  

*Pricing is based on double occupancy, single occupancy is an additional $800.

To reserve your seat in the “Build your Brand through Storytelling and Styling” workshop, submit your interest in the request box below at the bottom of the page.  If you have any questions, please email bigislandportraits@yahoo.com or call/text Virginia at 951.897.8732.

Your Collaborative Educators

Calling Hawaii her home now, Virginia Chavez Smith is our hostess with the mostest!  And joyfully escaping the cold Pennsylvania winter to join her is Kim Winey

Together, they have over 34 years of professional photography experience. They can't wait to pass on some of their hard-earned knowledge. Their biggest hopes are to inspire you and expand your creativity through storytelling & styling, help you develop a recognizable, extraordinary brand, and build lasting, supportive relationships along the way. 

 They both love connecting with new people, chocolate, and creative brainstorming which is what drew them together when they first met at a photography conference, The Promoting Passion Convention. They also share a deep love of "yardening", traveling, eating, and family time. And they recently discovered a surprising connection in their work history of fashion & product display. (This likely kick-started their mindset of imagination in storytelling and styling in their photography.) 

Scene-creating, Storytelling and Styling with Kim Winey

In her own words...

"Thank you for your interest in this unique course. I’m excited to share these tools and tips with you so that you can create scroll-stopping, emotive photos for your clients.  (And we get to do it in Hawaii!!!)

This detailed approach to styling and activity-based posing is rare in the portrait world. Knowing how to execute carefully curated, story-telling images at a high level of excellence will help you and your brand truly stand out. 

In this class you will learn how to…

  • generate unique session ideas and concepts 
  • utilize social media platforms to organize your sessions 
  • coordinate & collect clothing & props 
  • find your ideal clients and funnel them into your sessions 
  • plan and implement color stories (so important!) 
  • design sets that feel rich and lush 
  • implement poses and activities that keep your clients smiling 
  • create images that look like they belong in a magazine 
  • edit your images with a storybook look 

This will be both a presentation and hands on experience. The focus will be on coordinating, designing, creating, and running a smooth & memorable session. It will be packed with information! I truly look forward to teaching you this gorgeous style of portrait photography. 

Warmly, Kim"

Your Brand, Your Story, and Your Styling with Virginia Chavez Smith

"Finding your brand voice  means finding your vision, figuring out who you are as a creative photographer, clarifying the stories you want to tell, and expressing them with style.  When you discover the work you love to create, there will be no stopping you!  

Included in your personalized experience with me:

  • a personal one on one portfolio review (in advance)
  • a brainstorming session to help you refine your workshop shoots
  • learning the techniques that will build your best images  
  • curated props, and wardrobe for the workshop shoots that you will imagine
  • you will learn how to shoot for your own stock library as an extra service for your clients
  • discover how you can submit your work (including paid sessions) for additional income in publications
  • you will learn how to create effective brand images (headshots, environmental portraits) as each student participates in a daily exercise along with me, coming away with great images for your website about page and social media

This is a hands-on training, the workshop begins before you arrive as we understand your goals, collaborate to create your dream sessions that will be ready for you here in Hawaii!"  


A Rainforest Farm Studio!

A photography workshop at a Hawaiian rainforest farm? Yes! It will be an experience you’ll never forget.A beautiful Airbnb in Hilo has been rented for your overnight accommodations. During the day you’ll be transported to various nearby locations to shoot exquisite portraits. Your favorite destination will likely be Virginia’s Rainforest Farm Studio. There you’ll find a 400-square foot, fully equipped, indoor studio & dressing room, with an extensive wardrobe and a large assortment of props to enjoy. Her Hawaii permaculture rainforest farm also boasts several outdoor studio spaces for inspirational photography.  3 acres of banana groves and tangerine trees, ti plants for traditional Hawaiian cooking and leis, ginger, papayas, pineapples, coffee, and tropical gardens await your creative talent! There are also two New Zealand KuneKune piglets, chickens for fresh eggs and a couple of friendly mutts, because every farm needs a dog or two.  Additionally, there is a resort-style mini swimming pool area, a relaxing hammock for some sweet Hawaiian daydreaming, and a large lanai where we’ll nourish our bellies and refuel our souls. Last, but certainly not least, a gorgeous greenhouse is being built just for this workshop! You will never want to leave this relaxing, rejuvenating, awe-inspiring destination.

"Working with Virgina is a pleasure, with excellent attention to detail in every aspect of her work. Her aesthetic knowledge is outstanding. I'm jealous of anyone who has the opportunity to attend this workshop in this location!"

Anna Gunn 

Director & Founder of Porto Photography Festival

"Simply watching Kim work is a lesson in defining moments and capturing them uniquely. The way her brain tracks what's important, matched with her technical skill to make those moments come to life, makes Kim a master of her craft and a storyteller that punches right to the gut."

Brooke Shaden
Sony Artisan of Imagery
Founder of the Promoting Passion Convention

Aloha! We want to invite you to join us and feel welcome in the Facebook group for the "Build Your Brand Through Storytelling & Styling" workshop! - A (Fantastical, Epic, Unforgettable) Portrait Photography Workshop on The Big Island of Hawaii! 

Just click the "join our private facebook group!" banner above to join!

This private group will be used to share more details, connect with you, hear your workshop dreams, and start forming friendships. We'll also originally use this platform to share our workshop information with anyone who has an interest. We'll post about our plans... progress... collaborations... etc... we'll chat about our backgrounds, plus current projects, and we'll give you some pre-workshop photo tips, now and then, too! However, as the workshop gets underway, this group will be exclusively for those who attend. We expect to have a very bonding experience together in Hawaii, and we want this space to reflect that, as well.  Please feel free to leave questions and comments in our group as we go along. Your feedback and thoughts are greatly valued!  Thank you so much for a) showing an interest in our workshop (we can't wait!!) and b) reading this to the end. 

You rock. 

And we appreciate you!

Warmly, Virginia Chavez Smith & Kim Winey

To receive updates, news and future workshops by the host, Virginia Chavez Smith of Big Island Portraits and Branding.  No spam ever, unless it's a good Hawaiian spam recipe class!  


Are you excited to reserve a spot? Please fill out the form below. We want to hear about your interests, answer all of your questions, and make sure this is the best fit for your needs. Tell us about your workshop dreams!!

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