vegas + wppi

This morning I wanted to take a few hours to go through Vegas. Try to write out what happened in Vegas. I know, I know, 'what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.'But this time, there will be some secrets I will keep just for little ol' me, and there are some things that I want to shout out to everyone about how amazing this experience was. For those that don't know, I went to WPPI, which is a conference for wedding and portrait photographers. It is insane. Something like 15,000 photographers attended, and we had the opportunity to listen to some of the greatest photographers from around the world. My photography-crush was there, and I had the chance to listen to her speak, and it was so great. Because I watch her blog, I know a lot about her business and the way she approaches her work and her life, but to listen to her was pretty incredible. A couple highlights from J* was the fact that she started off her talk with a seriously cool DJ. He had the place pumpin'! She encouraged all of us to continue to push and continue to change our businesses (for the better), and don't be afraid to make mistakes. One of my favourite lines from the day was when she was talking about how her work was starting to creep into her personal life/time, "I was making out with my computer at midnight. This was totally jacked up!". She had great insight into  how to propel your business forward without sacrificing what is truly important in life. She's so great!

Another great speaker I saw was the super cool, uber-swag, Jerry Ghionis. An Australian wedding photographer who started out his presentation (at 8AM in the morning) with nightclub music and models walking around showing off a fab new light! It was pretty cool… He was the 'lighting guy'. Talked about taking places without a lot of 'charisma' and turning them into looking like a million dollar hotel. I am reading what you are writing, Jerry. Yes please! One of my fave Jerry quotes was this, "How many weddings are fairy tales? If it's not, make it one." Our job as photographers is to capture wedding days the way you always dreamed it would be. That is our job, so no matter what, we need to work to make that happen no matter the circumstance. Every time.

Next was Becker. Yup. One name. Like Cher. Well, not really. His full name is Christopher Becker, but he's so cool, people just call him Becker. I liked Becker a lot. He was super funny and was easy to listen to, but what I liked about Becker was his push to always better yourself. One of my favorite lines from Becker was (excuse my potty language), "Know your sh*t, and then learn some new sh*t." To the point, and so true. Our photography world is ever-changing, and we need to stay up on what is happening and continue to learn and grow! Plus he gave mad-props to one of my favorite photography-peeps, Gary Fong, for being one of the first to start the crazy change we are seeing today. And if you know Gary, you know he is still working to continue the change and bring new ideas to this industry. I also saw Jose Villa, who's work alone inspires me to continue to mould and shape my photography style (even though he hates the word 'style', so maybe I should say…. 'niche' 'brand' '?'). If you haven't seen his images, GO NOW! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And of course there is the ever-cute Zach and Jody. These two had some awesome tips on the business side of things that I have already started to put into place into my own business. So, so great. Love these guys. There was SO MUCH MORE that I could write a zillion blog posts about, but I won't do that to you (or to me). But know that this has changed my business (for the better) and I cannot wait to continue implementing all I have taken away from WPPI in the Okanagan!