WPPI is coming up fast. As I’m perusing through the courses offered on the day I will be there and searching through which companies will be exhibiting, I’m reminded of several reasons why I think WPPI isn’t really a great match for me since I’m not a wedding or portrait photographer.
But, it is still a photography show. Last year when I walked the show I found plenty of things that were catered or interesting to me. I even got a great deal on a new lens to replace a 10-year old lens I had.
Here are several options for those of us who do not fit into the wedding or portrait categories.
The exhibiting companies
Wandering the show floor offers plenty of opportunities to learn about new products from software to gear that can be used in any genre of photography. Are you in the market for a new camera, lens, tripod or backpack? Several vendors are there to help you and show you their latest and greatest.
You’re also able to actually use and test out some of this gear which is very helpful if you’re in the market to purchase. Need your camera cleaned? Generally, one or two camera companies offer this for free at their booths as well.
One bonus to almost any trade show is the giveaways and contests to enter. Lens rental companies giving out $50 gift cards, camera bag companies giving away free memory card wallets … these are just a couple of the things I came across at the show. Other giveaways included lens clothes, stress balls, pens and notebooks. You could spin wheels to win water bottles, SD cards and other items or enter/have your badge scanned to win lenses and cameras.
One of the big bonuses is the show specials offered; discounts are always just a little bit better at shows on everything from lenses to cameras to bags and tripods.
Top-notch teachers to learn from
Several of the exhibiting companies have experts presenting on a number of topics in addition to the schedule of classes offered. Just because you don’t photograph portraits and weddings does not mean you can’t learn about lighting and apply it to what you do shoot.
Presentations are given on portraiture, headshots, creating storytelling images, sales basics, printing, album making, using social media and much more. You can always learn something that you can apply to what you do.
Course offerings cover a wide variety of topics
Go more in-depth with the learning opportunities available. At WPPI there are several different course tracks to choose courses from, not all are strictly related to wedding and portrait photography. They offer tracks on lighting and posing, workflow, business and marketing, technical and design, and an inspirational track among others. Much of what is offered in these courses can be applied to your own work and business.
Meet other photographers
Networking with photographers is never a bad thing. We all have stories to share and it’s fun to swap those stories and experiences with like-minded people. If you attend courses or live presentations take the time to ask questions of the instructors, hang around a bit after and meet them if you’re able. The majority of photographers love to help each other and answer questions.
There are also photowalks at WPPI. These are both fun and an excellent way to meet other photographers, not to mention getting outside and out of the convention center for a nice break.
Want to meet and hang out with the Photofocus authors? Come on the photowalk with us this year. The photowalk is scheduled to begin right around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, 2019. Stay tuned for additional information. You can also join us for breakfast Wednesday, February 26, 2019, at 9 a.m. at Bayside Buffet inside Mandalay Bay. This will be limited to 40 people, so we ask that you RSVP in advance. Click here to secure your spot!
Whether you only have one day to wander the show floor or you’re able to attend for the full four days, I have no doubt that even if you’re not a wedding or portrait photographer you will find a minimum of one thing that is beneficial for you and my guess is that you’ll find many more than that.