WPPI, an event that many of us photographers look forward to every year. This is the conference in which all wedding and portrait photographers from all over the world attend to listen to the best of the best photographers, touch and feel the latest offering from vendors and meet new people. I was very fortunate to attend this conference this year in Las Vegas. I met a lot of new people who are starting out in the photography business as well as those who have been around for a while. I also got to meet in person photographers whom Ana and I have always admired their work. It was great meeting Tamara Lackey, Beth Forrester, Sarah Petty and Doug Gordon in person. I also had the opportunity to see several wedding pros strut their stuff on stage when it came to lighting and posing. Kevin Kubota and Doug Gordon were amazing and motivational speakers. Let’s just say that I came out of this conference every day with a headache from information over load.
Although the conference was a lot of fun and informative, I learned a few things about attending the conference that I hope to remember next time I attend a photography event like this. Here are my learning points:
- Arrive early to the sessions that interest you the most. Many of these sessions are given by very popular photographers who will fill up a room very quickly, and I mean QUICKLY. I was kicked out of two sessions because the room was too full.
- If you arrive early, make sure to sit in the front of the room, in the middle. Many of the presenters will give things away, really cool things. Sitting in the back of the room will not give you any chance in getting anything from them. They can only throw t-shirts and gift certificates so far in a large room.
- Bring a camera so that you can photograph the slides. Many of the presenters have a link to the slides, but many do not. I personally cannot write fast enough to keep up with the presenter. Cramps started setting in at 15 minutes of a two hour presentation. If a camera is not possible, bring a laptop or IPAD with a keyboard so that you can type the information.
- Stay in the MGM Grand hotel next time. The walk from Excalibur to the conference was exhausting. I was sweating my you know what off walking across the street and walking the HUGE MGM casino. Not good. By the end of the day, I was so tired I could not attend the evening events. Yes, I am getting old.
- Leave your credit card in the room. Better yet, don’t bring one. I spent too much money at the trade show. Ana almost cancelled my credit cards. With the new props and equipment we got from the trade show, we are going to have so much fun creating your photographs.
- Bring an extra bag so that you can bring back all the stuff collected at the conference.
- Attend all the vendor parties and make a lot of friends. Get business cards and befriend them on Facebook and Twitter.
- Last but not least, HAVE FUN!!! This only happens once a year. Enjoy!!!!!
With all this said, I really enjoyed the conference a lot. I learned a lot, brought back a lot of information and we are now ready to kick this business into high gear and make 2012 the year in which we kick some butt.
Also, we the new props and equipment we got from the trade show, we are going to have so much fun creating your photographs.
Stay tuned for some exciting offers and events from us.