This year, for the first time, I attended WPPI in Las Vegas. WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) is one of the largest trade organizations for wedding photographers. They host a conference and trade show every year, and it is MASSIVE. This year some 16,000 people passed through the MGM conference center for the event. Since this was my first year going I tried to read up on everything I should do and see and tried to cram in as much as possible. I was in Vegas for a full six days, and returned home with an overwhelmed brain, and a bit physically and emotionally exhausted. BUT I also returned EXCITED, FIRED UP, and READY to conquer more then ever.
(ABOVE: HEADSHOTS BY [b]ECKER AT HIS ANNUAL WPPI AVATAR SHOOT)
My goals for WPPI:
1. Attend as many classes and LEARN as much as I could.
2. Meet lots of new people.
3. Hunt down new tools and vendors for albums.
4. Find a camera bag solution for the growing amount of gear in my kit.
I am happy to report I accomplished all of the above, with a little bit of follow up and further research needed on numbers three, and four (I'll reveal more on those later).
A true HIGHLIGHT was watching the print competition judging. I am THRILLED I decided to go early so I could witness that. It was extremely educational. I told people all week that, "It blew my mind!" If you go to WPPI I HIGHLY SUGGEST checking that out.
Another memorable moment was Tuesday. I had already been in Vegas nearly 4 full days, and my brain was TIRED. I felt overwhelmed. That night I went to the AIRPLANES AND BLAZERS party and danced my hear out. I didn't care how silly I looked, or who was watching. I danced out all the tiredness, and overwhelming feelings and re-energized myself for the rest of the conference.
My favorite platform class was hands down the class given by Susan Stripling. She was kind, informative, and packed in as much practical and useful information as she possibly could. She shared her work from about 5-6 years ago, explained how she came to reevaluate her work and what she did do improve and grow. Then she showed her current work in contrast. The applause and cheers at the end of her class were by far the most enthusiastic and sustained of any class I attended.
I CANNOT wait to go again next year, and hopefully CELEBRATE what has grown and developed since my first WPPI.