This past week I was fortunate enough to attend the WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photography International) in Sin City, with my good friend Dawn Malone (http://www.dawnmalone.com) and Genia Veglia-Poole (@TreasuresPhotographybygeniapoole on Facebook). Since I don't do weddings and only dabble in portraits, my initial reaction was "why". But Dawn talked me into it and I'm so thankful that she did! As a "baby" in the photography industry, everything I laid my eyes on were brand new to me, and for a guy who likes tech, I really did feel like a kid in a candy shop. What a blast!
I got to sit in on presentations by some industry "rock stars"...Charleston Churchil talked about the EXPERIENCE of adventure weddings; Peter Hurle worked that stage and showed why he doesn't need a lesson in charisma; Joe Buissink rocked out his signature wedding portraits and a side of J.Lo we've never seen before; and the highlight for me was sitting through a live photo shoot w/ Lindsay Adler and telling her that she's one of my personal heroes! In between walking and browsing hundreds of vendors at the Las Vegas Convention Center, I also got a one-on-one portfolio review by one of the speakers Matthew Jordan Smith, a website consultation with Zenfolio (my website designer), picked up some cool gadgets (just because gadgets speak to me), and got a chance to try out a 85mm Nikon glass at the B&H Shooting Bay, where I photographed 4 sets of models and got to feel like a fashion photographer. That was so much fun!
Outside the convention center, we went alternative Las Vegas and shot an amazing sunset in front of the Cleveland Clinic of Las Vegas, AKA the Crumbled Metallic Kleenex Box thought up by the same architect who made the Disney Concert Hall in LA (Frank Gehry), crazy Fremont Street that can only exist in Sin City, Downtown Art District, and Container Park. Since we were on a pretty tight schedule and exhausted at the end of days, I didn't really do anything too "Vegas-y" besides donating some funds to the Flamingo Roulette Upgrade Foundation every night. :)
Now that I'm no longer a photography convention virgin, WPPI is surely on my annual budget and I hope to make this a regular visit. Road-trip, anyone?