One of my followers on Twitter, Heather Curiel (btw, does awesome work with tintypes!!) asked me to do a post about the importance of WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International). Every year in Las Vegas, the WPPI convention dominates the city in one of the most engaging week-long workshops and expositions. But with so many photographer conventions out there, it’s hard to choose why WPPI? Here are my thoughts…
Location, location, location! Vegas is one of the cheapest places to fly into due to its central location in the US. Yes, PDN is awesome, but it’s a little difficult for my west-coast buds to make it all the way to NYC. Imaging USA is sponsored by PPA (Professional Photographers of America), but it changes locations every year. WPPI is consistantly located in Las Vegas every year. Which is great because WPPI can get you great deals on hotels as well as airfaire. Most airlines fly cheap to Las Vegas anyway because of the huge tourism budget Vegas has to bring in visitors. Clever, eh?
Experience! The WPPI 2011 convention in February will be the 30th anniversary of this photographic tradition. With some of the biggest names in the business, Bambi Cantrell, Tony Corbell, Joe Buissink, Jim Garner, Kevin Kubota, Jasmine Star, Ken Sklute, and so on… how can you afford to miss this annual get together of so many brilliant minds in the business all in one hotel? Plus, one of the biggest advantages of WPPI is the multitude of Master Classes you can attend. Each class holds up to 35 students and focuses on an intense 2 hours of very specific studio material. Everything from posing to lighting, from Photoshop to Lightroom, marketing and pricing, to social media and networking, everything is covered by the Master Classes offered at WPPI. My Master Class in 2011 will cover the growing advantages of online video marketing for your studio, how niche is that?
Friendships! The best part about WPPI is the lifelong relationships you’ll create while attending the convention. There’s so many gatherings and parties outside of the convention, like the Pay It Forward Party, where you can meet a lot of other photographers. There are no secrets about business building when you’re having a conversation with a new friend who operates a studio three states away. You can learn from studios just like your’s, but from other parts of the world. In my Master Class in 2010 alone, I had students from Oxford, Sydney, Columbia, Vancouver, Toronto, NYC, Austin, LA, Paris, etc. It’s the biggest opportunity for you to get first hand a real world glimpse of what’s going on in the photography industry.
Gadgets! Oh yes, and the vendor expo takes up two full-sized convention rooms :) Some of the best deals you can get from every vendor in the business you can receive while attending WPPI 2011. Plus, right now the WPPI 2010 Roadtrip is going on in 10 different cities across the country. If you register for the Roadtrip, you’ll receive free registration for WPPI 2011 in Vegas. Awesome!
So, I hope this gives you a better idea of some of the reasons by WPPI is one of my personal favorites when it comes to photography conventions. It’s definitely an opportunity every photographer should take advantage of. See you there :)