It’s been a dream of mine to attend WPPI for the last several years and when Annamarie emailed to see if I was going I knew I had to join them! Before the timing was never right, I had a wedding the weekend before or after, I didn’t know who I would room with and I wasn’t totally sure of what I wanted to accomplish by going. Waiting isn’t always fun, but I truly believe that if you’re patient and you prepare opportunities will come at the best possible times. If you’re wondering what WPPI is, it’s a HUGE convention where wedding and portrait photographers from all over the world gather in Las Vegas. It’s insane how much talent is packed into every room! There are classes, an expo floor and so many fun activities!
This year I had the opportunity to room with three sweet friends, the timing couldn’t have been better and I had goals in mind for the trip. I’m falling more and more in love with film and while I may never use it in my professional work learning about it is pushing me to be a better photographer. I understand with more clarity why I love the aesthetic that I do, plus it’s always fun to learn something new! If you’re thinking about going to WPPI for the first time I would highly recommend…
EXPO PASS – I was able to get a free Expo pass and it kept me entertained for three days. Take the time to explore all of your favorite vendors booths and ask if they have a speaking schedule. Multiple booths had photographers that I really admire speaking and I was able to gain so much insight AND have the opportunity to have a genuine conversation with them.
SHOES – Wear comfortable shoes, I promise you’ll thank me later.
SAY HI – I may have had a fan girl moment when I spotted Jose Villa and Joel Serrato. I was on the hall escalator, they were walking down the hall in the opposite direction and I went nuts waving as soon as I realized who it was. I’m not going to lie, I debated if it was worth hopping over the escalator to say hello and then realized that I would probably fall flat on my face AND look a little too excited. But I will say that I was really surprised at how open and accessible everyone was. I was able to chat with so many photographers that I truly admire and I couldn’t believe how kind and open they all were. I know it’s super scary, it can feel like you’re at a middle school dance, but it’s totally worth it!
KEEP YOUR SCHEDULE OPEN – I went into the trip with very few scheduled plans. I knew that I wanted to spend a lot of time on the Expo floor and fun opportunities kept coming up. KISS Album Company happy hour.. why yes, I think I will attend! Having freedom in your schedule allows for so many fun opportunities you might have missed out on otherwise!
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