There is almost nothing better for a photographer than the annual WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) convention that happens in Vegas every February/March. I may be a bit bias considering I've only been been twice, but those two times are enough for me to co-sign. WPPI is the most incredible experience. If you ever been to a place full of the thing you love the most, then you know what I am talking about. 15,000 people who love what you love as much as you do, a trade show of every possible photography product you could imagine, available to touch and feel and play with, and people tons and tons of people, some you know, some YOU REALLY KNOW, and some you don't but get to. Its a playground for the photographer with all day every day recess. WPPI for me in inspiring. Its motivating. Its exciting. Its overwhelming. Its high energy, tons of laughter, smiles, its expensive meals with amazing friends that you generally only see once a year, its photo shoots in the desert and pre-arranged outfits. Its parties and fancy drinks (if you aren't pregnant). Its the MGM food court, the Signature sleepovers, its water because your skin gets so dry, its high energy and screaming hugs, its really really hurt and tired feet, its platform classes of the most talented photographers in the game. Its a dream come true and every year that I can go, I will. I will never miss this conference. This year I didn't get to take any classes, although I signed up for 5, the lessons I learned from the quality time I spent with other photographers who love this craft and love the LORD, no amount of money is worth.
When we first started talking about WPPI 2012 I had made the decision not to attend. I had decided it was overrated and I probably didn't need to go every year, for what??! Not much has changed. A week and a half before the convention was to start, my dear friend Annie convinced me to go and I am so glad. Before I went to WPPI, I was tired, uninspired and a bit over photography. I imagine 70% of my feelings had to do with my pregnancy, while the other 20% is probably the natural depression that sets in along with the winter NW weather- but I truly didn't know if shooting was my love, if I should keep going. We finished the year like chickens with no heads and I was still tired from very high intense fall season.
While at WPPI, I met so many photographers who were new to me, who I follow, who are my heroes, who encouraged me and built me up and told me that what I did mattered.... that they paid attention, that they followed me, that I inspired them- and I was reminded why I loved this thing so much, and better than that- that I make it possible for other people to press through- who wants to walk away from that??! I make a difference. The same difference that so many of my heroes make for me, I am making for someone else. When I came into that realization, I was humbled and all I wanted to do was shoot.
I am so thankful for this profession. That for the last 15 months I have been able to pay my bills (along with Isaiah) with my camera. I am so thankful that when my beautiful baby enters this world that they will be able to easily fit into my career and that I won't have to choose between motherhood and a job I adore. I am just thankful. There is nothing more refreshing than 15,000 of your closest friends meeting up every year to keep this industry alive, a industry that I am honored to be a part of.
This is my WPPI. I hope you will join me next year!
For more information about WPPI: visit: http://www.wppionline.com/