You’ve heard the name.
But how much do you know about the man behind the camera?
Since the creation of Update Media Group in October 2009, Kory Woods has set out to keep you updated on some of the hottest events to come to Michigan. He’s been there to capture everything from club nights and fashion shows to birthday parties and step competitions.
The initial purpose of UMG was to provide affordable photography services to college students, but has since expanded. Today, not only does UMG include videography, but social media branding as well. In the past three years, Kory has covered countless events where he has captured high-profile names such as the undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, actor Morris Chestnut, rappers Wiz Khalifa and Lupe Fiasco, internationally acclaimed R&B singer Estelle, NFL player Braylon Edwards, and many more.
Aside from the fact that he is the CEO and founder of his own entertainment/multimedia company, Kory is also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc, and is an initiate of its’ Spring 2008 membership class through the Delta Nu chapter at Eastern Michigan University.
In this edition of 16dreams, you’ll not only get a glimpse into what life was like for Kory at 16, but you’ll also find out more about the inspiration behind his photography and how UMG came to be.
16dreams: When did you turn 16?
Kory: I turned 16 in 2002.
16dreams: Where were you living at the time?
Kory: At age 16, I was in between homes. My mom stayed in Oak Park and my dad stayed on the west side of Detroit, 7mile.
16dreams: What was your favorite subject in high school? Does it relate to what you do for a living now?
Kory: My favorite subject in high school was anything related around English or reading. It does correlate with what I’m trying to do now because I would like to be known as a journalist down the line.
16dreams: In your opinion, what was the best part of being 16? What was the worst?
Kory: The best part of being 16 was that I had my parents taking care of everything. Being an adult is a lot! LOL Worst part about 16 was that my father was at times too selective over where I could go and what I wanted to do. Not the same case with my mom.
16dreams: How did you celebrate turning 16?
Kory: I can’t even remember what I did on my 16th birthday but I’m sure it involved food and football practice.
16dreams: Who or what inspired you to pick up a camera?
Kory: Kevin “Crush” Davis of Crush Media Group was my inspiration. I used to see him at all of the hottest clubs in MI and biggest events “crushing” the scene. So as I picked his brain, Kevin gave me the game. He grilled me on what I wanted to do, how to make myself better, and how I was gonna market myself. [He’s been a] huge help and inspiration. He’s like a big bro.
16dreams: Have you ever faced negative criticism for your decision to pursue your passion? How did you respond?
Kory: I received criticism off rip for trying to pursue event photography. Crush and PMC had Detroit’s event scene on lock at the time I started. I was in school at Eastern and felt we should have that kind of service up here, especially with all the parties thrown in Ypsilanti.
I was laughed at for being at every event with my camera until Terrance Cochran of TAYLOREMADE start putting me on his events. I responded to the criticism by keeping it going to the point where people had no choice but to love what I do. It got to a point where people were sometimes going out and getting dressed for an event, expecting me to be there so they can get new pics.
I just rose above the hate. Turbulence is only temporary.
16dreams: In your opinion, what has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
Kory: My biggest accomplishment business wise was shooting an event with the undefeated, pound for pound best boxer alive, Floyd Mayweather. He had an event in Detroit in winter 2011, and I was one of the hired photographers. I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much that meant and the pictures I got of Floyd were great.
16dreams: What do you hope to achieve within the next year/ five years with UMG?
Kory: I honestly don’t know what I plan within the next coming years of UMG because I never thought I would’ve lasted 3 years still being booked, but here I am. I am just going to make sure I’m humble and try to keep it going.
16dreams: What advice would you give aspiring photographers?
Kory: Keep going. At first, you may not like your results. At times, I still don’t. I learned everything I did by trial and error. I chose to keep going and working to perfect my craft. Never let anyone tell you what you can’t be or accomplish in life. Silence them with your actions.
You might not be able to make every event, but you can make sure you stay “Updated” by following Kory on Instagram and Twitter @updatedceo or @updatemedia. Subscribe to UpdateMediaGroupLLC on YouTube for musical performances and behind the scenes footage you won’t see anywhere else! View featured galleries and most recent photos on his website http://updatemedia.smugmug.com including Love and Hip Hop NY star Erica Mena’s recent visit to Michigan’s newest Friday-night venue, Enclave!