Join Caroline as she shares her experiences from the Sony Kando Trip 2022.
Hey everyone. My name is Caroline Jensen, professional photographer and Sony Artisan, welcome to photos in the garden. Today, I want talk about a really unique experience that I had this week. I'm sponsored by Sony. And I want to preface by saying that. So obviously I have some affection and connection with Sony, but this past week they put on something that they call Kando
now, Kando is one of these words that isn't really directly translatable into English from Japanese, but it has a myriad of subtle meanings that go deep into your emotions. If you see something that gives you goosebumps on your arms, maybe music that you hear that moves you just immensely that's Kando
When you feel that warm and fuzzy feeling of seeing a friend after a long absence that's Kando it's, it's slightly related in my mind. I might be totally. but in my head, I kind of connected with the also not translatable word of hygge from the Scandinavian culture. It's this feeling of connectedness, joy, peace thrill, a little bit, but always calm and loved and cared.
So they put on this, this vacation really for a select group of photographers, influencers, bloggers, bloggers, famous people and they, they put it together and bring us together in a beautiful location this year. It was at sun valley, Idaho, and absolutely stunning. resort. Just stunning. I want to begin this by saying that I wanna thank the staff of sun valley.
They were so sweet and so kind answered all my questions as a garden photographer. I was of course, really interested in all of the landscaping and I, I made a point of trying to send thanks off to their wonderful garden team, because they obviously were incredible and are incredible and put a ton of work into that location.
So it's a ski resort, but it's also a place for summer fun. They have an outdoor skating rink in 85 degree heat, this wonderful skating rink, which sparkles like new fallen, snow. In the middle of August , which is a really fun thing to do. I wish I had had a chance to go ice skating, but I was too busy talking and getting to know people that was the overall tenor of the, of the trip for me, at least was reconnecting and making new connections with people.
I've been to a lot of Sony events over the years, and usually they're pretty fast and you, you get a quick high, a quick hug and then you move on. But. This space that they created gave us both education inspiration, and they let us reconnect with each other. By giving us a little bit of breathing room to sit around beautiful water ponds and, and beautiful landscaping and take hikes and go on, go to classes that gave us the opportunity to really connect with each other.
I don't wanna sound like I'm name dropping, but this is kind of a, it was a fun event filled with people that made. Fan girl a little bit like a lot, you know, I'm, I'm a, a flower botanical photographer. Those of you who know me know that, that I shoot in my own property. I'm not a world traveler per se.
Not much anyway. And, and I'm kind of a home body. I'm a mom of four kids. I homeschooled for 20 years, 20 plus years. And I live in the middle of nowhere. It's really fun to get together with people who are like, well, when I was in Uganda and when I was in Thailand and when I was in, you know, and to hear all of the stories from people who live lives that are completely different than my own, it's fascinating.
But the one thing that I want. To say about this marvelous group is how humble people to sponsor who are incredibly humble. I would be remiss if I didn't say how Sony took the time and care to be really careful with the people that they chose to sponsor. They picked a group of people who are so humble.
Normal sweet, compassionate, and very personable. There wasn't anybody that I went up to to introduce myself to who I was eager to meet, who didn't greet me with a smile and kindness. And, and that was so amazing. You know, some people I have seen it multiple. Conferences conventions and Kando retreats, Sony product launches.
And I, I haven't been able to go up and say, hello. And two of those are, are Tony and Chelsea Northrup who have a wonderful YouTube channel that I've followed for years and years and years. And I was able to, to just chat with them on a bus and they're just the sweetest people. I was able to just chat with a lot of people that I've known, you know, virtually through the years, people that I've seen and followed on Instagram or YouTube and, and, and just say hello.
And it was, it was really fascinating to me. I'm very, very humbled to be in that group. Have I said that , they created a space where we could not only try out gear and, you know, I wanna stop here and say yes, Sony is a huge global company, a very important company that does movies. And we learned about that.
They, they have music of course, and, and PlayStation and all the things that, make up what Sony is, but they gave us the opportunity to kind of dip our toes into the different avenues that Sony covers, and, and in doing so we were able to get a better idea of the vision of the company and the products that they make and how they can help us.
But the most important thing aside from camaraderie and connection that I want to focus on is the fact that they listened and they continued to listen. This was a three day. Four days, somewhere in there, if you include travel solid time when their ears were open and they were listening to what the people who use their products have to say, and that was really unique.
They had a, a team from Tokyo come over. They had small groups and focus groups and, and all of these, these intimate gatherings where you could legitimately say, this is what I want out of your products. This is what would make my life better. This would, this is what would help me make the. The, the beautiful images or video that I want to create.
It was, it was fascinating. There was just this overwhelming feeling of. being cared for. And the, the food was incredible. Brook Shaden and I are vegan, and they did a great job of accommodating people who have different dietary needs. They listened to our issues and took care of finding us food that we needed.
And, and that was really nice because sometimes you feel like you're out in left field in the world. There was a wonderful woman and I can't remember her name, but she, she, she headed up the food for all the people with food allergies and different dietary needs. They were very, very sweet in, in helping us again, it was just a wonderful experience.
I got to try some gear. I am completely enamored with the a one and the 24 G master. I, I wasn't really looking to try any gear while I was there. I was, I I'm very, very content with my a seven, four and G master 50. Like these are. Favorite lenses. What I use used all this past summer shooting my garden and flowers and still life, but I got to try the, the 24 and the a one.
And now I'm semi lusting. Okay. I am I'm lusting after them, which is not a good thing for me to do, but oh, wow. I didn't get to shoot as much as I wanted to. I really would've enjoyed having a full solid day to just shoot, but there was lots of stuff to do, but I did get enough of a chance to use it, to realize that I am in love.
The thing that, that, that I also really appreciated about Kando was that we were able to spend so much downtime. They, they created spaces where we were enjoying something like Sony audio or different. Aspects of the Sony company, but we were still able to, to chat during it. They had a lot of like mixers and get togethers.
And, and I got to know some people there's a fellow redhead who I was on her podcast, Sarah Creek, who was a special guest of Sony and, and I was able to hang out with her and she's just a hoot, Sarah. I love you. you are the best. We were able. Just chat with people and, and Me Ra Koh who is a good friend of mine.
The, one of the original OG Sony artisans, was my roommate. And we were able to have some of those deep conversations that are so needed and so necessary and healthy and loving. And it was just, it was just amazing to be able to have that. Now, the last thing I, I wanna say is thank you, Sony, for the amazing swag. You know, when you go to these, these conferences, there's often a swag bag and they did not disappoint. I was a little bit blown away, lot blown away, big time, blown away by the amazing things that they, that they offered to us. Now, as a corporation, of course, they, they want us to go out and use these products and share them with the world and, and create happy ambassadors, which I think they did in spades.
They let us. Be part of the creation process and they, they, they give us the room. and the, the mental space to use our products in a way that works for us. I'm completely different than everybody else there. And again, I'm very humbled by it. I'm a garden photographer. I, I, I shoot botanical plants and Flo and fauna that are in a very local environment, but their gear works for what I do.
And it also works for the people who should not geo documentary movies all over the planet, which is fascinating to me. but it was, it it's fun, you know, from a, from a personal psychology viewpoint of, of, you know, observing everybody, we realize that these people that are absolutely amazing are just people too.
And they have a story. They have a backstory, usually that, that led them to where they are. That's sometimes peppered with little miracles along the way. And, and sometimes peppered with tragedy that, that propelled them in a particular direction. It was really fun to hear the backstory on a lot of people who are really, really, really amazing.
Now my favorite class, there were a lot of classes. They gave us the opportunity to chat over doing things like painting and tie, dye, and goat yoga, which I unfortunately missed because I was, I'm pretty sure I was chatting with somebody in a hallway somewhere when that was going on. But the class that really, really, spoke to me was the NFT class.
I wasn't really expecting that to be a thing. I, I signed up for the class to listen to it and I have to say that it has stuck with me. And I have replayed the things that they've said in my mind over and over and over and over again. And if you want to learn more, you can follow these people on Twitter or Instagram, the people who.
We're on the panel. We're Dave dot Krugman. KRUGMAN. He was the moderator and super articulate about this whole topic. I found it was really fascinating. And then there was also Eric Rubins Jose Silva, Paola. I don't know how to say it. She's monaris monaris on Instagram and Twitter. And then Michael. And I'm gonna say his name wrong. I'm pretty sure I'm saying his name. Wrong. Michael Yamashita. . Anyway, I'm sorry if I'm, if I'm butchering your name but he was, he was one of the, kind of the old school guys, like back in Nat Geo days. And, and he's moved into this arena as well. And it was so fascinating to hear their thoughts on this.
I also listened to another panel on trends in social media and I, Justine was there and also touched, touched on NFTs as well. So it's something that I wanna dig into deeper and my kids in their twenties definitely have more information on it than I do. But it's, it's absolutely fascinating. So on that note, I just wanna say again, thank you, sun valley for being such gracious and marvelous.
Thank you Sony, especially Kayla, who is the Wrangler of. Artisan team she's, she's the head, the director of the artisan program, but she's really a wrangler of talent. And I'm just an amazing all around person who was one of the many people who headed up this wonderful event. I want to thank mark Weir, who is the senior manager of technology of Sony electronics and Matt Parnell, who is the director of marketing imaging and head of community, who has a massive part of everything. Kando And of course, Neil Manowitz who is the president and COO at Sony electronics. Without these people, this great event would not have happened. And I just wanted to say thank you and thank you to all the beautiful people I got to hug and get to talk to. Just a few, are Lizzy Gadd Chris Orwig and Brooke Shaden, thank you for hanging out with me. it was really fun. Scott, Robert Lim... I know I'm gonna forget. Of course, my mind is drawing a blank. Oh, Matt K Kloskowski who taught me Photoshop through his books years and years and years ago. And all of the artisans I got to hang Sara France, who is also another roommate of mine. She's a bubbly one. I can't keep up with her energy. I got to chat with a wonderful wildlife photographer. Melissa Groo who is also a special guest of Sony, Nancy Borowick thank you for hanging out with me as well. And anybody else I missed. I'm so sorry. it's all a war and a blur in my mind, but thank you all for, for hanging out and for giving me that experience, it was a real blessing and I look forward to future events.
Thank you everybody. Have a great day.