This Sunday Morgan and I are heading out to Las Vegas for WPPI, which is basically a huge networking party for wedding and portrait photographers. Whoever decided to designate Las Vegas as the convention capital of the world was genius. Last year was my first trip out and like the terrible blogger I am I am just now posting the photos. But that’s just a testament to how awesome last year was, I was so starstruck and excited that I couldn’t have been bothered with blogging about it.
Last year I went with fellow Birmingham wedding photographer Emily Kicklighter and every part of the trip was exciting. From hotel room photo shoots to meeting a leather clothing designer to parties to meeting the faces of Leather Craftsmen (Hi David and Howard!), hearing Jose Villa and Elizabeth Messina speak and almost missing our return flight because we’d forgotten to gamble during the whole trip and the hotel had slots…it was so inspiring and fun. Emily has been such an awesome mentor and friend to me in Birmingham and I know I wouldn’t have had half as much fun without her there! (And if she’s reading this she should book a ticket to Vegas stat.)
One of our first nights there we happened to pop in for the Sony fashion show and Nigel Barker was hosting! If you follow my blog at all you know that I am obsessed with the novelty of fame. As a child I cherished my Greg Fishel and Muddy the Mudcat autographs (our local weatherman on WRAL and our local minor league baseball team’s mascot). I get excited when I see Frank Stitt at one of his restaurants in Birmingham and once in Chapel Hill I squealed when I saw Mama Dip at Mama Dip’s. Imagine if I lived somewhere like Nashville or Hollywood where real famous people live.
Bobbi and Mike.
Emily modeling one of Kippy’s leather coats. While we were looking at the coats the designer, Kippy, came over and made us try them on! I would post a photo of me in the one with the orange fur collar but I can’t let you convince me I need it so I won’t. But I do need it. And how amazing that the designer was in town?
At the tradeshow The Boudoir Divas had a studio lighting and backdrop set-up you could try out. I’m pretty sure I asked this girl what celebrity she looked like and then decided on Natalie Portman (if you want to debate me you can look at the rest of my photos from WPPI on my proofing site and weigh in).
Pinhole Pro, The professional side of Pinhole Press, was one of my favorite booths just because it’s so important to see products in person and this company offers products to consumers with incentives for photographers. Guestbooks, softcover books, notepads, calendars… The paper feels good. The design is clean. This is what I recommend to clients that want to order their own goodies. I have two Pinhole Press sample albums in my office right now. True fact.
Emily and I both volunteered to model during New York photographer’s Jason Groupp’s lighting seminar.
After feeling inspired my shoes needed a photoshoot.
Arkansas photographers Matt and Meghan aka Aus10 Photoartists after a dinner hangout with Nate and Becka Robinson and their friend’s with PadProof.
Emily spotted Becker the day after we heard him speak and asked if he was doing photographer headshots (something he’d mentioned during his talk), and Emily coaxed him into using my camera to snap a few headshots. He quickly switched to party mode and we ended up with at least a hundred rapid fire shots. Bringing someone extroverted who is not afraid to ask the biggest photographers to take your photo is helpful really.
And what I’m most looking forward to this year… Airplanes and Blazers. If this event was the only event at WPPI I’d still try to justify going. Ever since stalking photos from the Airhorns and Lasers party in 2010 I’d wanted to go and it was so much fun that I stayed until we were pretty much kicked out of the party!
So psyched to call these folks dance partners, Nate and Becka Robinson, Angie and Matt Sloan, Mark of Mark Brooke Photographers, and Ken Liu from Renaissance Albums!
And a little bit of Bham representing. Brandon and Stacey Gresham and Steven DeVries showed up too.
In light of all of the memes about what I really do, remember that this is only my glamorous life for three days of the year. If you’re going (most especially to the Airplanes and Blazers 2 party!) let me know! And if you’re considering going next year I’d be happy to convince you…