Just a note to say hi from Vegas! The Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Convention is probably the largest photography convention in the United States. There are a ton of great speakers with valuable information and I'm doing a lot of research into different products that I'm thinking of offering in the near future.
Of course, my favorite part is getting to meet and hang out with people that I barely get to see because we're all so busy. It's the best time to bounce ideas off of each other and to really think about what we're doing and why.
I have some of the best roomies in the world!!! Pictured below is me, Jessica Hill, Abby Rose, and Kristen Taylor. All are excellent photographers and the coolest chics you'll ever meet! If you get the chance to hire any of these girls - do it!!
Today I had lunch with some more of my favorite people, Mike & Bobbi of By Bobbi.
I'll update with more pictures tomorrow!!
How did I get so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such phenomenal people?!! Seriously.. I could go on and on about everyone pictured in this post, but you just have to trust me that they are all amazing. Each person is an incredible photographer, artist, and just all around good person.
Tim was my "fake fiance" during a presentation at OSP Indy. He's infamous in the photography community because he has traveled around the world working with some of the most amazing photographers, and he has the images to prove it! On top of that, he's just an incredibly nice guy and generous person.
Garrett & Joy Nudd are some of the coolest and friendliest people you'll meet. I first met them at a free workshop they hosted in Chattanooga, TN and was blown away by their generousity and willingness to share with others. Garrett also has an incredibly smooth way of getting his brides to do just about anything! Take a look at his blog and you'll see what I mean!
The Weibners have so much fun and personality in their work! When I first saw their images, I just knew I had to meet them one day because I could just tell these were two cool cats... and last night I found out just how cool they really are.
There are no words for me to describe the gestalt that is the LaCour team of Erin, Mark, Rachel, and Andrew. They have it all - talent, art, business, intelligence, intuition, personality, creativity, and total generosity. They walk the walk and are consistently at the top of their game in everything they do. I have so much respect and admiration for each one of them... to know that they consider me a friend is just completely amazing to me. Man, I'm lucky!!
Jos and Jason, The Photographers, are crazy cool cats who I met for the first time here at WPPI. These guys are characters unlike any other and they have facinating stories to tell. I can't wait to keep up with them and see what they get into over the course of the year... I have a feeling they're going to come up with all kinds of crazy ideas!
Aundrea is one of the powerhouses behind BluDoman.com, the company that created my website. Not only is she smokin' hot, but she's incredilbly smart and talented. I'm so infactuated with this company, and their growth is just amazing to watch.
Daria Bishop is such a sweet person!! She totally waited outside of a seminar just to meet me today!! She's such a talented artist and an incredibly warm and genuine spirit. Not to mention her style of fashion is out of this world! You should have seen the back of this shirt... it's haut!
Could Sticky & Brandy be any hotter?! I got to meet them for the first time here in Vegas and I'm so glad I did!! They are just adorable together and are such wonderful people. I'm looking forward to keeping in touch with them throughout the year because hotness like that just can't be contained. ;-)
I was finally able to download the rest of my point & shoot images, so I have to give a shout out to the rest of the awesome people that I had a chance to hang out with while I was in Vegas!!
On the last day of the convention, I finally had a chance to wander the tradeshow floor and check out some of the albums and new products that I was thinking of offering this year. It's kind of amazing how you can be in the same hotel with people you know all week long and never ever run into them! That was definitely the case with Dan Schimpf and Cindy Wagner!
Even though the last night was awards night with a big spread of food, a lot of attendees had already left. One thing I learned from photojournalists Greg Gibson and Emlie Sommer was to always arrive early and stay late because that is often when you get the story you really want. ;-) In the case of WPPI, it's when you get to hang out with some of the hottest photographers, like Marcus Bell and Cliff Mautner. I've learned from both of these guys in workshops and found that they have a lot of experience to share with fellow photographers.
Since you've already met Daria and Andrew in pictures above, let me introduce you to Rustin Michael Cerveny (far left) and Alexander Morozov (second from right). Both of these guys are excellent photographers and just all around great guys. Will someone remind me how it is that I end up meeting such awesome people??
On my way to dinner with the LaCours, I met Jay Premack, great guy from Washington, DC. I have to admit that I felt a little guilty telling him where I was from and that I had three weddings in Washington, DC, but I truly believe that there is plenty of work to go around. I'm so glad that we ended up meeting and hanging out for a while. He's a wonderful photojournalist with beautiful storytelling skills.
As we were walking back from dinner, the fabulous and full of energy at 1 am ,Pepper Nix jumped out of line from one of the cafés inside Paris and literally pulled me into line to have a late, late, late night snack with a bunch of her friends! I knew Pepper through Pictage and she gave me some great advice with a tough situation last year, but I hadn't yet met her until this evening - it was so nice to finally meet her in person! She has so much energy - it's contagious!
The beautiful Michael & Anna Costa and I sat next to each other at the café and got to talking about business and marketing stuff. This is another totally hot couple who shoots together and I have to admit that I'm fully jealous of couples who get to work together to create such beautiful imagery!!
Across the table from me were the creative eyes of Nick & Signe Adams. Unbeknownst to me, Signe already knew me from my PhotoLoveCat Blog for photographers. It was so cool to meet some amazingly talented photographers who I may have helped in some small way. Their work is edgy and original, which I absolutely love! You can bet that I'm going to become one of their blog fans now!!!
About half way through our night meal, Becky sits down next to me and tells me that she's not a photographer, but she's here at WPPI to be a sponge and learn more about the photography world. I'm intruiged! I imagine it to be the equivalent to me sitting through a medical convention and trying to understand the technical language without having too much experience in the field. She asked a lot of great questions and I hope I answered them the best I could! Eventually she mentioned that she was helping Joe Photo as a type of business coach. How cool! Once we got on the topic of business, we had a lot in common and pretty much just spent the rest of the night chatting away. I felt very honored and humbled when at the end of the meal she turned to Joe Photo and said, "this woman is AMAZING!" I don't think I've blushed like that in a long time. ;-)
My flight left late Thursday afternoon, and since I had missed the Foundation party on Tuesday night (thinking it was Wednesday night), I wanted to make sure that I met up with some of my mentors from the workshop. From left to right: Leigh Miller, not one of my mentors, but definitely an inspiration!, David Murray, one of the nicest people I've met and an excellent mentor, me, and Huy Nguyen, one of the few people who probably really understands my sense of humor and who keeps my ego and enthusiasm in check. ;-) I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such incredible people.
What a great week I had - full of inspiration and fuel for the future!!! I feel so incredibly fortunate to be in such talented company and among so many wonderful people. I feel blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I hope to be back next year and meet even more amazing people!!
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