March 16, 2010

2010 WPPI Wrap Up

If the crowds on the show floor and in the classrooms were any indication, the wedding and portrait photography market is alive and well. More than 14,000 photographers attended WPPI’s annual trade show and conference in Las Vegas last week.

The classrooms were overflowing with young, eager photographers who wanted to learn anything and all they could to improve their photography businesses. Some classes were so popular that WPPI had to run them twice to give everyone a chance who was interested opportunity to attend.

The trade show was split into two areas and was flat out huge. There were hundreds of booths. I hurt my knee and wasn’t able to walk well so I didn’t visit all the booths, but I did manage to see some old friends.

Some of the highlights for me included participating in the Nudeior workshop led by Carlos Baez, assisted by Jessica Lark and sponsored by Photofocus with food courtesy of Pictage. I’ll be writing a separate post about this experience. It was great.

Copyright Jessica Lark

I spoke on behalf of Kodak on Tuesday night on the topic of using Twitter to help your photo business. We had a good crowd despite the fact that the talk was counter two of the biggest parties and a class with Jasmine Star. Kodak was kind enough to give me one of the first Kodak Play Sport underwater, 1080p video cameras as a gift. I’ll also be reviewing that separately.

Copyright Jessica Lark

I got to meet the president of Hasselblad USA and got my hands on their new 40MP medium format digital camera. You can read more about that here. http://photofocus.com/2010/03/11/hasselblad-h4d40-first-impressions/

I also had the thrill of being one of the 20 speakers at the first-ever Photographer’s Ignite – http://photographersignite.com/. It was the most amazing (and quick) two hours of my life. Mark Twain once said, “I’d like to write you a short letter but I don’t have time, so I wrote you a long one instead.” It’s hard to be concise – it’s easy to be a blowhard. Each of us that presented at Ignite had five minutes. That’s it. Someone else controlled the slides. It was fun, invigorating, inspiring and cool. The presentation was the last day of the conference and many had already gone home, but still, the very large room was packed and standing room only. It had the feel of a rock concert or a MacWorld Steve Jobs keynote. If you want to see what the crowd looked like from our vantage point on stage, check out this photo – http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=11402693&id=854345337 – I was honored to be involved and Kevin Kubota deserves major congrats for organizing and running the event.

Last but not least, I had the chance to spend lots of time with some old and new friends, got to meet with some of my long-time sponsors, signed up some new sponsors and generally got to eat way too much great food. I had hoped to meet some photographers I really admire. It was close, but at the last minute I did get to meet Tamara Lackey. Don’t let her movie star looks fool you – she’s one of the top children’s photographers working today and I’m hoping to get a guest blog post out of her soon. While I won’t remember all the cool photographers I met some do stand out – Katie Trujillo, Riz Crescini, and Sarah Petty to name a few.

I’ve never been to a WPPI event. It was fun, but large. I probably prefer the smaller boutique conferences since it’s easier to actually get to meet and spend time with folks, but this wasn’t bad for a large conference. Perhaps I’ll see you all there again next year.

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This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store