If you can believe it, I still feel like I am recovering from the whirlwind that was WPPI in Las Vegas last week. There was laughing, crying, lots and lots of walking, learning at every turn, and when I wasn’t too exhausted, there was some fun too! And since I rarely made it back to my room during those long days and my bag was already weighed down with water bottles, notebooks, and trade show fliers, my camera stayed packed up in my room until my shoot at Red Rock. But, don’t you worry, I Instagram-ed the heck out of Vegas. Here is the whirlwind of WPPI!
1. Yes, I created a color coded schedule for myself! I am that type A! 2. I told some fellow Showiteers to just look for the girl with the leopard print suitcase at the Vegas airport! It totally worked. My suitcase ridiculousness paid off! 3. Welcome to Las Vegas! First stop, Starbucks, because I ended up staying up all night before I left. 4. The Showit Coach, picking up photographers from near and far, at the airport! 5. WPPI check in! With goodie bags and everything! 6. My permanent necklace for the entire trip. 7. Our comfy suite! 8. The Showiteer dinner! My throat was killing me afterwards from trying to yell over a hundred photographers excitedly chatting away all evening long. And this was just the beginning…
Click through for more of the WPPI whirlwind!
1. The amazing Showit crew! Who not only got us any amazing rate on suites at the MGM Signature and picked people up at the airport in style, but also put on an amazing schedule of classes, panels, and events that made the entire trip worth it! Oh, and let’s not forget they are the wonderful team behind all my website goodness! 2. Emilia and I were ready for some Showit goodness. I loved getting to spend time with Emilia while in Vegas! 3. David Jay‘s inspiring keynote. 4. My first WPPI platform class, taught by the awe-inspiring, Elizabeth Messina. Even in a room full of thousands of photographers, I was moved to tears by her words. Definitely in my top 3 moments of WPPI! 5. I have already pre ordered Elizabeth Messina’s book! 6. Photographers in queues, hoping to get into sold out platform classes! 7. Jose Villa! Need I say more?! I only wish I had the opportunity to meet him. 8. The long MGM Signature hallways to my room after a very very long day.
1. The lobby of the MGM Signature, tower 2, was the official Showiteer hang out spot! 2. Christy and I waiting for Jasmine Star’s keynote! Christy is such an inspiration to me, I love this girl! 3. Jasmine Star, killing it, like she aways does! 4. We were supposed to go check out the trade show, but the warm sun was way too distracting. 5. Glad I got to spend some more time with these girls before they flew home! 6. Who knew WPPI was like going back to college? Lunch in the quad, anyone? 7. The real life energizer bunny, Trevor Dayley, went above and beyond to kill us all with kindness every single day in Vegas. Somebody get this guy a nap! 8. I set up my makeshift office in bed at the end of the night to keep up with client emails.
1. Time seemed to fly by in Vegas, but I still managed to make it to the tradeshow to geek out over gorgeous albums, pretty prints, and awesome new gear. 2. I took a minute to drool over the new Nikon D4. You will be mine, oh yes, you will! 3. HUGE prints being made on the show floor. 4. The Millers lab booth had me at hello. 5. Demonstrations and talks all over the show floor. Though not pictured, I have to say that my favorite was by Jesh de Rox. 6. I fell head over heals in love with this Spangled backdrop by Drop it Modern. 7. Sadly, my love affair came to a very swift end, when they SOLD OUT! I totally pouted. 8. I didn’t figure out the secret shortcut to the conference center at the MGM until my last day there! At least I got a work out on those first few days!
1. My only day off the Vegas strip and out of conference rooms! Thanks to Ryan of Ash & Ember, I ventured out to Red Rock for a couple very fun sessions! 2. A sneak peak of our session with Amy and Jesse. 3. Setting up shots at Red Rock with Ryan and Caitlin. 4. Another sneak peak, straight out of camera. 5. I really wish we had more time to explore Red Rock before the sun went down, but we experimented with some alternative lighting after sunset that was really fun! (Coming soon!) 6. The Las Vegas lights in the distance. 7. Dinner at the Red Rock Casino with the super fun couple from our Red Rock session. 8. Driving through Vegas with Ryan, listening to some Lana Del Rey and making plans for some shoots and hangouts, back home! I met Ryan at the Three Nails Photography workshop in Louisiana and I love that we got to hang out while in Vegas!
1. Admittedly, this photo was taken pre-Vegas on the night I acquired my sparkly dress, but unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of me wearing it, in Vegas. 2. Except for this dorky elevator self portrait! 3. Andrew Barlow breaking it down for a very fun Showit event called 5 Min Fuel, where a random grouping of photographers were given 5 minutes each to share whatever they wanted with the group. 4. Robin and Renee of the R2 Studio! 5. Have you heard of Dudoir? Yeah, it is totally a thing! 6. Stephen Vosloo rocking the under 5 minute retouching! I was in total awe! 7. Stephen is totally one of my favorite peoples! 8. Jeff Jochum…I don’t even have words. If everything hadn’t already been amazing, just his keynote, alone, would have made the entire trip worth it!
1. My last morning in Vegas! Breakfast with one my favorite people, Lauren! 2. I was so ready to get home to my other half and puppies to leave the cling cling of the Vegas machines behind! 3. The restart button. I needed a drink (or two) after having a total meltdown upon finding out all flights into Chicago from Vegas were cancelled on Southwest. 4. I spent 12+ hours in the airport and traveling, trying to get on any flight home! 5. Finally, I got on a flight…to Milwaukee! It was the best I could do to get out of Vegas without having to stay 3 more days! And I was over Vegas at that point. 6. I had an amazing time really, meeting so many great people, hanging out with my Chicago favorites, being so inspired I was moved to tears, and having fun, but it was time to say goodbye to Vegas. 7. Hello Milwaukee! The snow was way worse there than in Chicago, so I will never really understand why I couldn’t fly home in the first place. 8. But, my love came to retrieve me, in the middle of the night, to drive me back home to Chicago in the snow storm. I was finally home by 4AM! Home never felt so good!
(Photo by Christy Tyler. With a group of awesome Justin & Mary workshop alums! So happy I was able to catch up with Justin & Mary for a minute at their mixer! They make my heart happy! And I can’t wait to see them again soon!)
Was it totally insane at times? Yes. Was it more exhausting than I could have ever imagined? Oh, yes! Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!
I honestly had the most amazing time at WPPI and Showit United, I am so glad that I was able to put my fears aside and get out there this year. I never once felt alone or like I wanted to hide in my room. There was always a familiar face to be found in the crowd and I loved it! As far as what I learned, I still have so much to process and really think about, but I can’t wait to dig in and start making changes for the better in my business…and my life! I was so inspired throughout the entire trip that I was constantly jotting down ideas for blog posts, so you can definitely expect more of that to come. One of the things that has stuck with me the most since my return has been an urging by Elizabeth Messina during her platform class to “Step into your authenticity.” That is something I would really like to do, not only in my work, but on the blog. I always tell my clients that I want their images to be genuine, authentic, and true to them, so I think it only makes sense we step into that authenticity, together.