1) How to get the most of WPPI U by Dane Sanders
2) Winning Marketing Strategies by Jerry Ghionis
3) Lighting/Posing by Tim Meyer
4) Starting out right: Top 10 Things for your first 2 years by Jason Aten (this was very helpful in so many ways)
5) Law School for photographers: The Essential Legal Workflow by photographer/lawyer Craig Heidemann (I didn't know 75% of this stuff, scary)
6) Lightroom 3 - Step by step work flow by Julianne Kost (loved her, very funny)
7) Business/Marketing Panel by husband and wife team Scott and Adina Hayne (very motivational for us, they relate very well with our business duo, they have only been in the business for 3 years and are very successful)
8) Skills for Success by long time photographer by Cliff Mautner
9) Conquer today's challenges by a very hilarious photographer Doug Gordon (If you want to see an awesome speaker, Doug is the man
10) The Language of Light by the famous photographer, Joe McNally.
After I successfully "graduated" from WPPI U, we attended 5 different Platform classes the following 4 days. Platform classes come with a full registration and started as early as 8am and ended as late as 8pm, so there was no fun and games for us.
Not only that I got to learn the business, I also met some of the best wedding photographers in the business these days. One of them was our very own local and successful photographer, Mike Larson of San Luis Obispo, CA who talked about Finding Your Style. Along with Mike was three other photographers I blog stalk everyday, Jose Villa of Santa Barbara, CA, Mike Colon, and Jesh de Rox. Also on the panel are three of the biggest wedding blogs in the market, Kimberly from Style Unveiled, and Summer Watkins & Amanda from 100 Layer Cake. They talked about the importance of placing your work with these blog sites to expose and market your business. Classes were packed. I made sure I got there early to get the front seats. Classes ranged anywhere between 200-600 students. Each class gave out random prizes to students, which I won two big canvas wrap prints.
We spent the last three days of WPPI at the trade show. Basically, it was my very own big candy store. Everything you want in photography was there. Our main objective was to find the best photo book (album) that would fit our style. After searching and going back and forth to the trade show for three days, we decided to use Renaissance Albums as our vendor for our photo books. We love the style, the sleekness, and the modern look of it. I can't see any of our clients who would be disappointed of it. We also found some cool new print labs and listened to other free speakers that talked about anything from lighting, using flash to the best photo book in the market. We even purchased a Shootsac, I've always wanted one. You couldn't beat the discounts at the trade show.
I also got to see Patrick from StillMotion. They are the best wedding videographers in the business. I honestly will shed a tear whenever I watch their videos, amazing!
One of my favorite wedding photographers, Sarah Rhoads, along with her husband Chris, spoke about using Renaissance Albums as their number one choice for photo books. Her work always inspires me, I blog stalk her everyday. Haha!
With our full registration, we had the opportunity to attend some cool events after classes including the Sony Fashion Show hosted by America's Next Top Model fashion photographer and celebrity judge, Nigel Barker. Afterwards, my wife squeezed through the crowd and I was able to have her picture taken with Nigel.
My wife and I found a little time to squeeze in some fun while in Vegas. I mean, we are in Vegas, right? We attended the Airplanes and Blazers party at the Rio Hotel, hosted by Our Labor of Love and The Flashdance. The place was rocking with hundreds of photographers around the world. The two Smilebooth's were in full effect and the music was poppin! It was a great night!
Here is a quick video of the party put together by the talented StillMotion crew.
As our days in Vegas winded down, we strolled the strip and took some cool pictures including my favorite new hotel Cosmopolitan Hotel. I love the modern and sleek feel of the hotel. Their genius approach of interior design and creativeness blew me away.
Earl's Sandwich, best sandwich I had in my life. No joke.
I will definitely do it again next year, possibly sign up for some Master Classes. I've learned so much from WPPI and it has motivated me to reach higher in my business hoping that someday this will be my full time job. Nonetheless, it was a great experience which you will not be disappointed. Oh, by the way Studio B buffet, the best buffet I ever had.