Photo Workshop Contest!

contest giveaway

maui photosBenja Iglesis is giving away 2 free Professional Photography Workshops!  


How to Enter:

In the comments below, write down your favorite Hawaii story/memory.  You get points for being specific, having humor, and striking an emotional cord.



2 winners will be chosen!  Winners will choose between:


INLAND Workshop 1-2hr session

Photography 101 (basics of how to use a camera).

How to shoot like a pro:

  • What lenses to choose.
  • How to capture the perfect shot (aperture, speed, etc..)

VALUE $390.00


UNDERWATER Workshop 1-2hr session

How to use an underwater camera (A to Z)

How to shoot like a pro:

  • How to capture the perfect shot (aperture, speed, etc…).
  • How to shoot in different scenarios.
  • How to setup underwater photography system.
  • This package includes a guided shore dive.  

VALUE $590.00

*** Lessons will take place on the south side of Maui coast ***



Contest Run-Time: The contest will be running for 30 days (May 23rd to June 23rd)

Winner’s Announced: June 26th

Prize Redemption Period: June 26th to July 24th

Workshops Running: May 20th to July 24th


What Else?

For any one of our fans, you will get $40 off classes if you mention this site or our Maui Facebook page.  Go to or Email Gabriela to redeem this big saving.

benja iglesis


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  • I came to Maui the winter of 2011, from September through March. I became a “WWOOFER”, trading my time to stay in a bed and breakfast house. It was quite amazing, located way out in Huelo, on a cliff. The website described it as a place to just “be”, and that is exactly what I was looking for and stating out loud for awhile. The woman who ran it turned out to need a bunch of slaves/servants for all her needs! But, I must say, I learned much about myself!
    So, I decided to return and live here, accepting Maui’s healing energy! I got back in time for the return of the humpback whales! Oh, how I LOVE those majestic creatures, so full of grace and ancient knowledge!!!
    I had a friend come to visit her sister and I got to go with them-canoeing with the whales, out from Cove Park. That has got to be the most incredible adventure of all, so far! 🙂
    We paddled out, and I sat quietly, tuned in with my head and my heart to connect and call out for them to come see us…….and, boy, did they!!! Even the guide said we got a great show today! There were MANY, all around us, ONE even swam right under the canoe!!! There are no words to describe the complete AWE I felt, seeing it that close, right beneath me, I wanted to jump in!!!
    I, also, got a shot of a baby breaching so very close to us! I will NEVER forget these moments on the water, and can barely wait for their return!

  • I took my husband to Maui for the first time last fall. Maui is my favorite island and I was so excited to show him everything! We snorkeled everywhere, hiked, shopped, ate, relaxed, and spent a lot of wonderful moments just being in silence next to each other and enjoying being alone. The day before we were leaving we planned on making the drive to Hana. We decided to go the opposite direction, starting from Kula and going around the back side. We loved the beautiful drive, landscape flowers, cattle, and ocean views. We finally arrived in Hana and well, one thing I didn’t mention is my husband is not adventurous as I am with people and strange situations. He was not taken away by quaint little Hana, he was wishing for more restaurants and since he was totally unfamiliar with the place he really just wanted to head back to Makawao. He didn’t mention we were low on gas until we were outside of Hana. I told him there is only one gas station and we need to go back. He insisted there must be another one, and wanted to press on. With every twist and turn the stress increased. I was doing my best at not telling him how stressed and frustrated I was. He started coasting on downhills and using our downhill speed to head back up every twist, then coast down, over and over. Of course there was construction at one point and he asked a construction worker where the next gas station was? “Paia” he answered. We had no idea how far from Paia we were and just how long our gas would last. Eventually we started having fun with our crazy coasting game. As we rounded toward Paia we were treated to a beautiful sunset scene and we coasted into the first gas station. He promised to listen next time. We are great companions because we have fun in almost any situation. He loved Maui just as much as I do, and next time we’ll just stop for gas.

  • I was in Maui this past Feb/March of 2013. I am half Hawaiian, and until this year I had never set foot in my native land. I have always felt that I had this huge piece of myself missing. When the opportunity arose to be able to go, I actually could not believe it. I have felt that tug, and that desire to reconnect with my ancient ancestry, but never seemed to be able to go. My trip was incredibly healing to my heart and my soul.

    There are two very memorable experiences I had. The first, was the snorkeling! So amazing!! I felt like a fish, and I did not want to get out until the boat crew was calling us in. That day I got to see 9 sea turtles. So peaceful, and beautiful, I could hardly contain myself! The second was my visit to Keawala’i Church. I visited the grave of the ancient one buried there, and boy did I feel the sacred energy that surrounded the entire cemetery. The last night there, as the sun was setting at the beach just down from the church, I laid down on the sand to take pictures of the sunset. The view was incredible! Lighting perfect! Waves Perfect! Sail boat silhouette perfect! I could not take enough pictures. The most profound moment, was when I tried to get up off the sand, I felt stuck to the ground, attached to mother earth as if it was drawing out of me, anything that no longer served me or negative. I will never forget, and I intend on returning very soon!

  • Maui brings many happy memories, brings feelings of peace, serenity, and closure. Now that I live here with my little family, it is heaven. Amongst life’s everyday roller coaster moments, we have a sanctuary to find laughter and fun! About 3 years before moving here my mom died of ALS but before that she was able to visit Maui and discover Her Magic. So thankful for this, my mother fell in love with the sea, sand and people. When my brother and I visited Maui soon after her death, we spread a little of her in the Maui sea. To show her approval, a magestic dolphin appeared to me in the distance, leaping in grace, exuding Aloha. This is my favorite memory. Along with Maui sharing her beauty with us, my brother and I had the trip of a lifetime together. Even if I don’t win, my goal is to spread awareness of ALS and how we can all fight for a cure.

  • All of my magical Maui moments center around nature. It always comes back to the aina and the moana for me. Whether it is running through the ancient trails of Iao Valley up on the high ridges or down by the river beds, we used to race each other and make pretend we were natives hunting or escaping. Thinking of the way the moon lights up the ocean as I sat with her on the breakwall of Mala chasing cowries and sharing hopes and dreams, it felt like the night could last forever and that would be okay. Or being caught in a rainstorm on Sugar Beach at midnight her summer dress turned into a transparent apparition of cloth and we laughed and reveled in delirious love. How about the mystical trek to Little Beach on Sundays when the most epic group of adventuresome spirits descends upon the isle’s only nude beach to play music, have fun, and let loose in a truly communal atmosphere. Let us not forget the many awesome nights and days scuba diving in some of the most hospitable inviting healthy waters in the world. Maui has been good to me over the past 13 years, I have worked with many wonderful people in some of the most beautiful locations on Earth. I have painted million dollar homes, bbq’d Mahi on a booze cruise, bartended in a fine dining restaurant, waited tables in numerous oceanfront locales, taught kayaking and scuba, sold tikis, made coffee, sandwiches, pizza, etc. I have stayed in many nice hotels and homes, rented and owned many cars, had my share of luck along the way and my share of misadventures and it’s all good because the Aloha spirit is alive and well, whether it’s the way my very first GM 13 years ago still waves and remembers me or the way it seems that the local sandwich shop knows my order by heart. I love this place, its people, and it’s history. Maui No Ka Oi!

  • Aloha from Canada! I just recently came back from my first trip to Maui to celebrate my birthday and I have to say, how fortunate I was to meet such lovely locals and to see how beautiful the island is! It was a trip that I made out on my own, and to really step out of my comfort zone.

    One of the important things I wanted to do on my birthday, was to watch the sunrise on Haleakala Crater. It was to represent the dawn of a new decade for me, a fresh start, and to make new resolutions for myself. I remember people ooohhh-ing and ahh-ing at the same time as soon as the sun peaked above the clouds, what a beautiful sight!!! it made me feel so happy and alive to be on earth, and grateful that I was able to see that view.

    I ended my birthday at the Luau in Lahaina, where I sat with these couples from various parts of the US – they sang Happy Birthday to me, and I was so touched! and even though I was far away from family and friends, I didn’t feel alone the entire time I was there.

    Mahalo Maui, for teaching me to “live Aloha” 🙂

  • Having my dive master certification has its perks when diving with any number of dive operations on Maui. My most memorable experience came on a dive excursion to an area known as Shark Condo at Molokini Crater off the southwest coast of Maui. In about 80 feet of water with 150 feet of visibility our dive group spied a large dark object at the furthest extent of visibility. Unable to positively identify it, we gathered ourselves together to make ourselves look larger to what ever creature lurked just beyond our view.

    As the creature came closer I suppose our group’s larger mass and bubbles caused it to turn away from us exposing the undeniable strips of a 12 foot tiger shark. We stayed together until the beautiful creature was out of view at which time our professional dive guide pulled out her slate and wrote, “Not supposed to be here” to which I responded on my slate, “The shark or us?”. We all had a good laugh underwater before finishing our dive and returning to the boat. The beauty of that majestic creature will be something I will never forget.

  • I have always loved photography and you will never see me without my camera I have never had any lessens or classes but people always count on me for being the picture taker person and seem to enjoy them. I took some pictures of Yellowstone lake and entered them into a contest and won. I was proud of myself because I’m just a mom with a camera and my computation was some big name photographers. That tells me I have the eye and heart but now I just need the knowledge and that’s where you come in if you pick me .

    Now the Hawaii part I have never been to Hawaii but have always wanted to go to the place everybody calls paradise. In 2004 I got married to my high school sweetheart we wanted to go but could not afford it we had 2 small kids and needed a house for them but made a promise we would go one day and do the true Hawaii vacation. Well it’s 2013 and we have been married for 9 years and still not have gone. so please pick me and answer my wish of being a good professional photographer.

  •  I believe we leave pieces of us wherever we go and I most definitely left a huge piece of me in Maui. Back in 2002 my parents, brother and I visited Hawaii. There we embraced the island lifestyle, the slower pace, quintessential aloha. My father’s adventurous spirit urged us to bike the coast line of Oahu, drive up Haleakala volcano on Maui and hike through beautiful untouched waterfalls of Kauai. He made us eat fresh fish, fresh fruit and of course fresh coffee. I remember while driving all over the islands he insisted on turning off the radio so we not only SEE but FEEL. My mother, the ying to my fathers yang was skeptical of all the friendly natives and wondering if the fruit on the side of the street was really free. She wasn’t convinced just yet that the aloha lifestyle was real, until we drove the Road to Hana. This windy road that hugs the Maui coastline made this family vacation unforgettable. Every one of our senses were magnified. The blues were bluer, the greens were greener, the rain was sweeter, the waterfalls were calm and thunderous making you feel exhilarated and humble all at the same time. My mother not caring that her hair was getting wilder and wilder throughout this drive should have given it away but when I saw her looking out the window in awe of the endless pacific waters, I witnessed her surrender to Hawaii. In that moment she was young, she was free and she was beaming love out of her pores. She was so happy and appreciative and so excited. I wanted to live in that moment forever and thats when I knew, Maui would one day be my home. If I could just allow myself to take a huge leap of faith and live drastically different from the norm. To not only live the length of my life but the width of it as well. To lead a more positive, calmer, slower and healthy life. To truly appreciate my surroundings and take time for myself and my family. To be humble and to live with less. To be able to live unapologetically. To redefine success.  I knew that if I promised myself to try and do all these things and make a dramatic change whether it be a couple of months or a lifetime, my life would be just as I dreamed and, well, why not?

    ~ Jules- recent Maui transplant

  • Visiting Kauai Hawaii last year was on my bucket list!!! Seeing the Napali Coastline by air, land and sea was breathtaking. But a hike through the coastline was a must, so I set off with my ruck sack and bottle of water from Ke’e Beach knowing this trek is an eleven mile stretch and it takes approximately three days to complete. There was no way I was making it that far, but wanted to see how long I could walk through this beautiful palm tree lined trail with various hidden waterfalls. Half a mile in I made it to the Pali lookout with a breeze that smelled of salt air, fragrant flowers and coconuts. The Napali Coastline has to be one of the most incredible coastlines I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The jagged peaks soar above you, beautiful azure blue water below and the forest is alive with birds, flowers, trees and the sun dances here.

    Schewww two miles in and I’ve hopped a small waterfall through a rocky edge and arrived at Hanakapi’ai Beach. Time for a break. At this point, I am officially sweating my arse off, super thirsty and ready for a power bar. I propped up by the water and noticed a small enclave where the waves were crashing into and when the tide would go out you could run up to it and jump in the cave just before the next wave came racing in. I played this game against the ocean for sometime enjoying the sound of the waves and breeze.

    Making my way through a bamboo forest I, of course, carved my name into the trunk of this bamboo tree marking my spot in the hopes to return years later to find it once again. Mango and passionfruit had fallen off the trees and perfectly ripe for the picking. How amazing a mango tastes plucked off the rainforest floor, juicy, succulent and sweet and unlike any mango you will ever get in the store.

    I set off again to find the first waterfall you come to which is approximately four miles into the trail…I believe was Hanakoa Falls. Deep into the valley, dodging branches, climbing roots, skipping stones, winding around through the dense rainforest you come to an open area with a massive waterfall cascading down, around and sideways depending on the wind direction. The absolute epitome of scenic beauty. As cold as shitake as this was, I dove into the water pool with an endless bottom until I reached the falling water, underneath and then on the other side. The view behind this falling dream is incredible, the sound of it crashing as it hits and the calm you feel is amazing. What a glorious way to spend an afternoon.

    Knowing four miles in meant four miles back, I made my way back on the trail system. Not exactly knowing which direction I was really going I tried to remember natural navigation and small reference points but I really didn’t care. Getting lost in a rainforest could be a lot of fun. Somehow I wound up taking another route and ending up by several different waterfalls. Jumping rocks and crossing paths is tons of fun and cools you down.

    After my long journey, which was about eight miles total, I ended up back to Ke’e Beach and coming off the trail I was tired, dirty, thirsty, shoes were wet, hair matted and I was greeted with a friendly smile and a HUGE coconut. “One coconut for the lady?” “Yes please and thank you!!” Taking a machete and hacking off the top I was handed the biggest coconut I’ve ever seen and a straw too!! I sat down at the mouth of the trail and drank the freshest coconut milk in the world. There is truly no way to ultimately describe the beauty, the raw nature and exhilarating feeling of being on top of the world looking over the coastline. You will just have to discover this journey for yourself and carve your little spot in one of the most beautiful islands in the entire world.

  • ALoha Me and my Fiance went to Maui In 2010 and we had a wonderful time the next time we go we are gonna get married there. while we were there in Maui we did lots of activities and wanted to take lots of pictures.The thing is we weren’t always a couple in all our pictures lol. when I took Pictures of him they were fast and Quick he had the biggest smile on. when he took pictures of me he made me stand there for about 15 min it seemed like lol I said is the camera not working he said yes he says smile I said I’ve been so I smile again still no puicture I said did you take it he says no smile I said I am smiling lol now I’m getting fustrated but still no picture then he finally takes the picture but no smile cause I got tired then he says look do you like it I said no he says do you want me to take it again I say no its ok lol I asked him why did it take so long for you to take the picture he said cause I was waiting for the perfect shot lol so I hope I win this contest so I can teach him how to take the perfect shot so when we go back and get married he can have that perfect shot

  • I was driving with a group of 8 friends to Hana in an old beat up International Scout with the roof cut off with a chainsaw. Typical Maui cruiser. About 15 miles from Hana, we started to over heat and had to pull over on the narrow road. We didn’t have a jug for water and we needed it bad. I started walking up the road to see what we could do and BAM, there was a 5 gallon jug full of water just sitting there on the side of the road like it was dropped from heaven…. I thought to myself…this place is so magical. We got back on the road, and then, about 10 miles from Hana, we got a flat tire. My friend was a little bummed and said ” we have a spare and jack, but, no tire iron to not only loosen the lug nuts, but, jack up the car. Once again we were hugged up against the cliff wall on the narrow road to Hana. As I sat down on the ground, Something hurt my behind when I sat on it….It was a tire iron… In disbelief, I pulled it from underneath me and held it up in the air…..We all looked at each other and started bustig up laughing….
    Maui No Ka Oi

  • I was diving with my husband off old airport beach on Maui. The visibility was a little low that day but we were making the most of it and exploring. My camera was busy snapping up pictures of craps and fish and the occasional turtle. I tend to be one that will try to do anything to get the best image in camera possible to document my trips. I found a lovely little rock ledge with a bunch of big eye fish darting in and out of it. I got as close to the cluster as possible, snapping away at them, when I noticed something got illuminated under the rock ledge. I thought I would try and get a little bit closer to this mass and get a shot of it. It was pitch black under this ledge and I couldn’t make out much of anything, but I had a flash! I figured I would keep snapping my flash until I got in close enough for it to illuminate what was under there. I’m trying to swim a little closer into the blackness but i’m finding that I am having issues. My husband was behind me tugging on my flippers and trying to pull me back out from under this rock cropping. He was not comfortable with me getting so far under in my search for a great picture. So I am flashing my way forward trying to see what I spotted underneath this ledge while trying to kick off my husband’s hold on my flipper when my flash suddenly illuminated a much larger shape than I was anticipating, coming towards me. I stopped kicking at my husband and welcomed the backward momentum as I tried backing off and out of the way. It was about that point that I remembered how reef tip sharks like to rest under ledges like this and that big eye fish were a favorite food of them. I kept my flash going as I was pulled backward and from the murk and darkness emerged a couple eyes. I was very fortunate that it was a large turtle that swam over me to the surface as I got out from under the rock ledge. Of course I kept on snapping as it surfaced and swam away from it’s resting location but my heart was beating a mile a minute at the what could have been.

  • I’ve been to Maui twice and Oahu once, each time has brought new adventures and discoveries.
    With a name like Kai, you know the water calls to me, so that is where my story is going to lead.
    My first trip was to Honolulu and one of things I really wanted to do was take an intro to scuba dive.
    As it turned out, I was in a group that was all Japanese, I don’t speak Japanese, so I wound up having a one-on-one lesson/dive with an instructor.
    As we swam out to the dive area from shore, I concentrated on my breathing and getting used to idea of not having to surface for air. All was good as we dove down to a rock about 15 feet or so below the surface.
    I could feel the current under the waves was fairly strong, but I was so mesmerized by the fish and the ability to stay under and watch them that I didn’t give it a second thought. That is until, in one swift second, I went from watching fish to being hurled upside down and backwards into the coral covered rocks. Rip current!
    I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the ocean, but I’d never been caught in a rip. the power of the water was absolutely incredible. As I tumbled along, I knew there was no way I’d be able to fight it until it let up, so I focused on keeping the regulator in my mouth and my mask on my face and forced body to relax.
    Knowing I had a nearly full tank of air, I wasn’t worried about drowning, but I was concerned about the fact that the current was taking me deeper under the surface.
    Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, but was really only a minute or two, I felt the current weaken a bit. Seizing the chance, I started kicking to to try to drive myself out of it, in a matter of few yards, I was free.
    I slowed and took stock of my situation and started looking for my dive instructor. In a few moments, I spotted him swimming furiously towards me, eyes wide and fearing he’d lost a student.
    When he got to me, I gave him the “Okay” signal and he pointed to the surface. I shook my head, “No” and pointed back towards the direction of the rocks. I wanted to continue my dive.
    He shrugged, gave me a thumbs up and slowly led me closer to the surface before guiding me back towards shore for a bit more fish watching.
    When we did surface, he tore off his mask and regulator and asked, “Are you SURE you’ve never done this before?”
    I told him I hadn’t and his very next statement was, “Well, you obviously have experience in the water!”
    That’s when I told him that my parents had both been lifeguards and had been competitive swimmers, so I’d been in the water from the time I was a baby.
    “I knew it, you didn’t panic. I’ve had people panic over simple things like a flooded mask and have had to drag them up.” He continued, “You really need to get certified, you won’t have any problem passing after what I’ve seen here. And when you do, come back and look me up. I don’t dive for pleasure much anymore, but I’d be happy to dive with you anytime.”
    Unfortunately, my schedule and a couple of ill-timed colds have kept me from getting that PADI open water certification, but I think about it every time I put on my mask and snorkel to look at fish.
    I also pay a lot more attention to the water, I know I got lucky once when I ignored what it had to say.
    So there’s my story, mahalo!

  • Aloha! I am very much looking forward to making some fabulous family memories with my husband and 9 year old son in 19 long days 😉 Neither of us have ever been to Maui and I have never been to Hawaii. We live in San Diego, which is not too shabby either. I am trying to teach myself photography by bringing my camera along on hiking trips with my boys…Trial and error. I love to capture the beauty of Mother Nature and also the love of being with my family. Would love to learn tips from a pro. Mahalo!

  • pick me, pick me! this will be a perfect gift for my husband if we win! the best part – we can redeem this prize while we’re on vacation this july! we’ve come to maui in july for the last 5 years and every year, we try to do something new. last summer, we drove all the way to hana (with our 2 boys!) and got to experience the bamboo forest. then, we had the courage to drive back via the backside of Haleakala! (shhh…don’t tell our car rental company!) That was awesome! Some parts were scary because of the narrow road – but, we had the road to ourselves! the scenery was spectacular! don’t ask me as me though if we’ll do it again in july. it could be fun – the whole road might be paved this time! 😉 mahalo! and, see you in july!

    • It does take a commitment to drive the Road to Hana (plus the backside), but for a photographer, there’s nothing better! Mahalo!

  • I wish that I could actually attend a workshop if I won! I have to share our funny story from our trip to Maui in February! We arrived in Maui on Feb. 11th, and on Feb. 13, we went on a tour to watch whales! What a fabulous afternoon we all shared as the whales out did themselves, and even went under our boat! The funny part was that evening, when my husband took his hat off and he had the shape of a triangle on his forehead!! He had turned his cap around while we were whale watching and had sunburned his head, big time! We continued to tease him about the Bermuda Triangle on his head for the rest of our vacation!

  • Aloha! I will be making my very first visit to the island of Maui in exactly 16 days!! I’m so EXCITED!! I’ve had a really rough start of 2013 that started off with a serious car accident. I walked away with no injuries but totaled my car. I’m so blessed to have such great family and friends and one friend in particular who asked me to join her on this trip in a few weeks. We are both photographers so this should be an EXCITING trip!! I CAN’T WAIT!! 🙂

    The last time I was on the islands was when I was 6 months old and with my mom on our way to Japan to visit. I know this doesn’t officially count since I don’t remember anything!! 🙂 I do have a photo in my album that has my mom holding me and posing with a Hawaiian native in a mumu!! I hope to come back rejoiced and relaxed. Mahalo! 🙂

    • We’re so sorry to hear about your car accident. It’s no fun, we know first hand. Have a great trip!

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