Over the past year you've likely noticed a new name now and again on wedding posts: Steve. We met Steve literally by happy chance while J was covering a live music Greendrinks event a year ago. New to town and talking up as many new faces as he could (and is so good at!), Steve approached J and the two hit it off. Fast friends and with frequent conversations about their shared love of photography, by the time wedding season arrived we knew we wanted to have Steve with us at events. A second photographer to start, we are starting to book Steve for weddings on his own this fall as well. We all enjoy having Steve as part of our team (tho I think J might be the most excited to have another male in the group. Ha!). Steve was our token guy on our recent trip to WPPI in Las Vegas since J stayed home with Will, and below are his thoughts on the experience.
While it is true that I left Las Vegas exhausted and depleted, I was not exhausted and depleted in the ways commonly associated with leaving Las Vegas. The WPPI show was stocked with the best wedding photography talent from around the country, and we were in town to binge. Photography-till-you-drop perhaps, but the inspiration we felt will not be fading away anytime soon.
Rolling deep with the emilie inc crew was a great way to be introduced to the massive trade show. I was able to get much more out of the experience thanks to knowledge and recommendations from our WPPI veterans. Not to mention traveling as a group was good, clean fun. Setting out together, it reminded me that emilie inc is different from most studios in that we have a a small group of shooters as opposed to just one or two. I am seeing that this arrangement has many advantages, not the least a very rewarding experience at WPPI.
The MGM Grand was the venue that housed our four day photo bender. As Megan mentioned, we did not set foot off the (considerable) lot until hours to go on our last night in town. Did not breathe fresh air except during the occasional step out to soak up the desert sun between classes. On the inside, it was all about absorbing as much info as possible.
Two enormous expo halls were packed with vendors. I made an effort to filter as I browsed the many aisles; concentrating on the relevant, the new, the industry standards. I stopped by Canon and Renaissance Books, Pinhole Press and Dynalight, Radio Poppers and Manfrotto. A gentleman at Lowe Pro replaced a broken buckle on my Stealth shoulder bag. I ran into Jason Esposito, program director at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. Was fortunate to stumble onto one of my favorite talks of the week, a short presentation at the Nikon booth by Amy Deputy. Inspiring person, inspiring imagery. Though I'm a Canon guy.
The presentations held in the numerous conference rooms surrounding the expo were the highlights of the week. Photographers lined up and packed in for Dave and Quinn, an energetic husband/wife team who lit up the 8am audience with tales of their greatest failings (and recoveries). Another hot ticket was Jasmine Star, mentioned by Whit in a previous post. A favorite of mine was David Beckstead, who encouraged us to experiment and work outside of our comfort zones. David had a highly entertaining talk; at one time explaining how someone once told him never to shoot with lens flare, so he decided to become a master of lens flare. His work is worth checking out.
Flying home, my head was swirling with thoughts about what I had seen and heard. As mentioned, I left Las Vegas exhausted, but more so I left inspired and creatively invigorated. And the timing couldn't be better. Bring on the warm weather, bring on the spring, and bring on wedding season 2012!
Thanks very much to the amazing emilie inc. team, and a big shout out to all the talented presenters.