At the beginning of the month I boarded a 7am flight with fellow SC photographers, Melissa & Jessica, and headed to the desert for a week of everything photography! Vincent and I went to Las Vegas for our babymoon and I went there in 2012 for WPPI, so I was so excited to go back to WPPI and to be going with some friends! Vegas is a lot. I mean, a lot a lot. From the mammoth buildings to the endless food options, Vegas certainly has a lot to offer.
Before I get too far ahead, you may be thinking, “what on earth is WPPI?” Well it stands for Wedding and Portrait Photographers International and once a year they host a huge conference in the City of Lights. There are hundreds of vendors, thousands of photographers, wonderful classes, and lots of free swag (I got 6 free shirts!). I really can’t describe how insane the whole thing is because not only are you in a crazy busy city, but you are also with thousands of people who “get you.”
I’m still sort of reeling from the whole thing. This years convention was very different from the one in 2012, mostly because I’ve been in the industry since 2008 and the industry changes so fast! I didn’t realize how far behind I had gotten and it has been a real wake up call for me. I had many opportunities to sit and chat with other photographers and when I’m there I feel so understood. These are my people. They understand the stresses and “hoorays!” of being a business owner and they also ohhh and ahh with you over photos! I live with a CPA – he is so very kind about it, but the husband doesn’t care about the artistry, so to be able to bond with others in your line of work is amazing.
I could tell you all the wonderful things I did, the incredible speakers I heard, and how much money I spent at the expo – I could talk about it all day. But instead, I am going to tell you one of the highlights of the week – the Rising Tide Society’s Fireside Chat with Natalie Franke and Andrew Barlow. I am a co-leader of my local Tuesdays Together, which is meet-up started by the Rising Tide Society to help locals meet up for education and networking. Natalie and Andrew spoke about lifting each other up with little acts of gratitude and to remember that being part of a tribe isn’t what YOU get out of it, it’s what YOU can give.
The bonds I’ve made in the last year with other photographers has been the most valuable thing. Not a class on SEO or how to book more clients. Creating true bonds with your people.
Some of the other “notables” are: cocktail party at a penthouse in the Palms, buying a Spider Holster & MagMod diffusers, Showit dinner at Wicked Spoon, Trevor Daly’s lighting class, endless wandering around with Melissa, riding out to Mount Charleston and Spring Ranch (I’ll post more on that soon!), and meeting some incredible people! It was a great week but I missed my husband and daughter dearly! So much so that when I asked Melissa if we could try and book earlier flights out she agreed and we peaced out of Sin City early Friday morning.
Here are some photos from the styled sessions I participated in and a few phone photos! But simply put y’all, this Southern girl is going to keep is East Coast style and leave the crazy-ness of Vegas behind!
There are many photography conventions throughout the year in Las Vegas. Whether your planning to attend one this year or the WPPI next year check out some of the great Las Vegas package deals on Vegas.com!