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The Jerry Ghionis Workshop Experience…


Jerry Ghionis is considered the #1 wedding photographer in the world… That’s right – as in the planet! How’s that for your business card tag line? What makes Jerry even more amazing then all the awards that sit in his stunning Melbourne studio (and there are a ton of them!) is the fact that Jerry is just a genuinely great person and he’s married to seriously one of the coolest women on the planet – certainly in our industry. Melissa Ghionis truly makes Jerry the very best version of himself and when you’re already rivaling for global awesomeness, a good women pretty much sends you to the moon.
I feel like Jerry and Melissa are old friends by now and it all started because I got a crazy idea. I was introduced to Jerry at WPPI a couple years back. After he finished speaking, I really wanted to go introduce myself. I very rarely have this urge but I was just drawn to Jerry’s personality so while everyone else came up and asked for autographs I knew I wanted to do something different so my dear friend Noelle and I walked up and asked for a picture. He naturally assumed that we meant with him and that’s when I surprised him; “Oh no, we don’t want you in the picture… We want you to take the picture” (Here’s the post). After that, I interviewed Jerry for Go{4}Pro – Inspire Me Interview # 15. And then this last year I finally got to meet Melissa while they were on tour with Sam Puc and we just clicked and became instant friends!
When I found out that Jerry and Melissa were going to be in Portland. I knew I had to be there and I was so excited to lend a hand with logistics. A huge bonus was that it’s not just a 5 day workshop with Jerry & Melissa but it’s also the opportunity to meet so many other awesome photographers who also want to learn from the master. One of the biggest surprises was seeing Becker in attendance. For those of you who may not know Becker, he happens to be an incredibly talented So Cal Photographer. Becker is best known in the photography world for the {B}School, (we’ll talk more about that another day) and he came with the incredible Keats Elliot who is a brilliant business mind in her own fabulous right.  There were successful photographers who had been in business for over a decade sitting next to people who didn’t even have websites yet. And the incredible thing is that both walked away feeling inspired, encourage and ready to bring it.
I’ve already gotten a lot of emails from photographers asking about the workshop and if they should take the leap. To each of them I say… Whole-heartedly – jump in (clothes on and everything). Jerry’s Workshop is worth every penny… One of the gals even said on the last day that she would have gladly paid $10,000. The experience was priceless.


On Thursday night, we all had dinner and then went to showoff our inner superstars with some Karaoke.  It was pure awesomeness! (yes that’s a word – my word).

Ultimately, I walked away completely inspired in every way! I have made 20 incredible new friends, spent a week soaking up two of the most brilliant minds in our industry – learning the art of light, posing, business, humanity, karaoke and passion…

AND AN ABSOLUTE DREAM CAME TRUE! At the very last minute, one of the models backed out so my husband and I stepped in on the second shooting day, meaning that I went from my photograph on the convention floor two years ago to the real deal from Jerry-FREAKING-Ghionis himself.


If you are dying to experience Jerry & Melissa in real life, I believe there are still 1 or 2 spots left at the San Antonio Workshop. It’s coming up from JULY 18th to the 22nd.



  1. Stephanie says:

    I saw Jerry speak this last year at WPPI and he was such a great speaker! Good to know his workshops are even better.

  2. Danny Dong says:

    This is the best best workshop ever. I am deeply inspired, challenged, motivated and educated. Jerry completely changed my view about photography. Everyday we start from 10 AM and end around almost midnight. This workshop focus on the most important photography skill about lighting and posing, and Jerry let you shoot with him together to gain hands on experience. I used to think I am doing the correct thing, but after this workshop, I know I was doing the wrong way. Thanks Jerry & Melissa, for putting such an amazing week for photographer. I am so lucky to be able to get a spot in this workshop. Jerry and Melissa is simply amazing, and everyone in this workshop is awesome. We made lifetime friendship through this workshop, which is not very often for other workshop.

  3. Thanks, Leah, for that beautiful description of the workshop. I was worried at first about spending so much money on myself, but I needn’t have worried quite so much. On the first day, the focus was on critiquing our images, and Jerry completely opened all of our eyes and our hearts with what he pointed out. In the following days, we found out not only how to critique our own work, but how to improve it. It was worth every penny, and I’m even thinking that I might do it again in a few years. There’s so much information, and very well presented, but you can’t entirely absorb it just in one go. But know that even the slightest thing that you absorb from there makes a HUGE difference in your work. Thank you, Jerry and Melissa, for making what could have been an ordinary experience into an extra-freakin-ordinary experience!

  4. Kari Swiridoff says:

    Leah, what an amazing week it was!

    As one of those photographers still lacking a website, it was pretty unbelievable to have Jerry and Melissa Ghionis truly investing in my work and my life. This workshop will definitely mark one of the turning points in my photographic career, and I can clearly see that I’ll be successful if I act on the things I learned (both as a photographer and as a person). It was well worth the money, in fact, it’s not even about money! What I experienced at the workshop was a priceless time of learning, dreaming and getting to know some of the best and most inspiring people in the world.

    I still can’t believe I got to be there!

  5. If you have ever had the opportunity to hear Jerry speak – without a doubt you were blown away by his images and his personality on stage. Imagine spending 5 days with that same guy… in a small classroom and shooting setting, while he pours his heart into YOU and YOUR business. Now that is MIND BLOWING. He said at the beginning of the week that the course would be a lot like the movie the Karate Kid — “you won’t always know why we are doing what we are doing — but trust me — it’s like wax on – wax off – I”ll get you where you want to go in the end.” AND HE DID! From beginner to seasoned pro — everyone walked away with exactly what they needed from Jerry. One woman said — it’s like we got new eyes this week. Well, I LOVE MY NEW EYES! Thank you Jerry and Melissa for putting on a workshop that makes me proud of our industry and the level of commitment and dedication of our industry leaders.

    • Leah Remillet says:

      Keats, you said it perfectly! I hope you’re having an amazing trip! I can’t wait to hear about it when you get back!

  6. Dionne says:

    What an awesome experience that must have been! I saw him with Sam Puc and was blown away. I couldn’t stop talking about it for days! He is amazing!

  7. Carrie says:

    Oh wow! That’s looks like it was so much fun and I LOVE seeing gorgeous Jenna in the pics! So exciting Leah!

    • Leah Remillet says:

      How funny! You and I are on each others sites cause I just left comments on yours! Love you & miss you! You can jump on Jenn’s FB wall to see a couple more from her photos!

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