Thanks SmileBooth for this great set of photos of me & Haley!
This year was the first year that I attended WPPI (Wedding Photographers International) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Being in the wedding photography industry over the past couple of years, I was so bummed to see twitter and facebook ablaze with comments about this amazing, educational and fun conference while I was at home. But this year I was finally able to attend! I love workshops and always come away with so many ideas and am always re-energized to get back to work. This year I was so excited to hang out with some amazing Dallas wedding photographers and to room with Valerie, Jessica & my friend Haley.
Here’s my tiny review of WPPI 2012
I was so excited to go to the classes, but I had read a ton of reviews saying to pick just a handful so you wouldn’t be overwhelmed when you were there. So I narrowed down my list to hear Jerry Ghionis, Elizabeth Messina, Dawn Shields, David Beckstead, Susan Stripling. I learned a little something from each of them that I have been working on and incorporating into my shooting already. I learned great posing tips and lighting skills from Jerry, learned about personal perspective and style from Elizabeth, how to make every wedding beautiful from Dawn, to approach every photography opportunity with a fresh set of eyes from David and to make the best decisions with my lens, frame and exposure from Susan. I learned a whole lot more from each of those speakers, but that’s just a snapshot from some of my notes.
I was excited to have the opportunity to get right back to work with two engagement sessions right after learning from these world-class photographers. I chose great speakers to hear from but I could see how new photographers may be lost in selecting quality classes to attend. I went through the entire list of speakers and checked their websites and their work quality was a main factor in selecting what classes I attended. There were some speakers whose work was less-than-appealing and it was a bit disappointing to see them put forth as industry leaders. But I think if you do your homework before attending WPPI, then you will be equipped to make good decisions.
The MGM Grand was a wonderful hotel! I have stayed at 3 other hotels on the Las Vegas Strip and I really enjoyed my accommodations for this workshop at the MGM Grand. I would consider staying at the Signature at MGM next time because they have a mini kitchen and it’s a smoke-free area, but I did enjoy my room and it’s closeness to everything about the conference.
The two-building tradeshow was pretty amazing! It was such a great opportunity to check out all of the new products to use and to view products to sell to my clients. I came away with some pretty amazing new products to offer my clients. I also came away with a new ShootSac cover and a Spider Holster that I’m dying to try out soon.
Sunday night we hung out with Dallas wedding photographers at the MGM. It was a great night chatting with Sara & Rocky, Tanya & Cesaer Perez, Valerie Valdez & Sarah Kate – all of whom I look up to and admire for their amazing skills and great businesses.
Monday night we attended Photographers Unite – a Christian photographers get together for worship and preaching. It was an incredible night of stripped down worship and wonderful preaching that inspired me and brought me to a better understanding of God and the Gospel.
After Photographers Unite we headed to the famous Airplanes & Blazers Party at The Gallery Night Club at the Hardrock Hotel. The party was so much fun! We all danced and socialized all night with a couple hundred photographers.
Tuesday night we were able to score tickets to the F-Stop Party which was held in the Palms Place Pent House Suite – it was a pretty unreal experience hanging out with amazing photographers from all over the US, dancing and enjoying the best view in Las Vegas.
I learned a lot, I was inspired, I came away with cool products for myself & my clients and I had a great time dancing with friends at some really fun parties! If every year was like this, I don’t know why you’d ever want to miss out on this opportunity.