Heading into Whitney's fourth year with us (how on earth did that happen so fast?!), she returned to WPPI again after representing emilie inc with J last year while I was home with a weeks-old Will. Whitney is one of the most hard working and brilliantly wired photographers I know, and it's always a treat to spend time together. It was especially exciting for me to watch her in such a creatively-rich environment, learning new things, getting pumped about a new product and generally just being Whitney- curious and chatty with anyone and everyone, always eager to hear even a total stranger's story. Her storytelling never turns off. I love that.
Returning to WPPI for the second time was maybe even more exciting than the first. I had my maiden year under my belt, so I was able to soak in a little more of all the 2012 happenings. Plus, having almost all of the emilie inc. crew there to experience it with me was fabulous! Though not quite the veteran Em is to WPPI, I reveled in knowing the little things that can make the long days seem not as long -- like knowing when to hit the Starbucks and food court to avoid the crazy lines, navigating the MGM Grand without getting lost, and replenishing my trusty water bottle at the coveted bubblers in the hallway leading to Canon's Professional Services lounge. I even brought my sneakers, prepared to attack the two massive tradeshow floors. The throngs of fellow photographers weren't as overwhelming to me this year. I was happy to see some new and familiar booths, and sad to find a couple missing. I think I crave the exciting energy and education at WPPI even more, since it is held during the middle of our non-shooting season. It makes me extra amped for the fast-approaching weddings.
This year my classes centered around inspirational advice, what to do, what not to do, but make it your own. Dave and Quin Cheung's positive energy was infectious, and I'm excited about my purchase of their post-production software Motibodo. Jasmine Star encouraged us to really show ourselves in our marketing to better connect with our clients. Jim Garner reminded us that every thing we do in our business has a meaning and that albums are the important story books of a couple's wedding day. Jose Villa beautifully presented prints of his (yes, I will be framing some!) and reminded us the value of critiquing our work tangibly through prints, not just the computer screen. Mike Colon demonstrated how fairly simple on and off-camera flash can really enhance a photograph. David Beckstead challenged us to shoot for ourselves, to try something new and if we fail to have the burning desire to get it right. Amy Deputy's emotion and passion pulled at my soul-strings as a documentarian and reminded me why I do what I do, why I love what I do, and why what I do matters.
Thanks to Em, I have quickly learned that WPPI is more than just a tradeshow. It is the perfect time of year for us wintering New Englanders to fly to the warm West of Las Vegas, catch up with old friends, meet new photographers, bond with our emilie inc. team, and be absolutely inspired to continue to strive to make beautiful photographs.