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  • Writer's pictureEllie

WPPI Photography Convention

What happens in Vegas...

I just landed back in rainy San Jose last night from a whirlwind of continuing education, networking, and getting tons of inspiration at the Wedding and Portrait Photography International (WPPI) Convention in Las Vegas. They say, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," but I am so excited to share all the inspiration and things that I learned with you! Okay, so the saying may not apply in this situation, but it did make you read this first paragraph, right?

It would be impossible (or take WAY too long) if I tried to share all the great things that I learned, so here are my top 5 experiences:

1. Getting to see my photography idol Lindsay Adler in the flesh and see her work her magic first-hand! Besides her gift for teaching, I am constantly blown away by her dramatic beauty portraits and fashion photography. Check out her work above and here! Stunning, right?! Anyway, I got to attend her class "Creative Studio Lighting to Blow Your Mind" and it definitely delivered. I have so many ideas from creating amazing wardrobe pieces to dramatic lighting to special background effects. If you would like this kind of dramatic beauty photography, I've got you covered!

2. Meeting Tia Stout (left), a lovely photographer from Utah, at Lindsay Adler's class. This was my first time at the WPPI conference and I was a little nervous about going alone, but I totally lucked out when I sat next to Tia because we hit it off immediately. Tia has a photography business in Southern Utah that specializes in Senior Photography. She has some serious talent - check out her work here! Along with meeting Tia, I met so many friendly photographers from all over the world. Australia was representing! Having a network of other professionals definitely adds fun to what I do and increases my knowledge of the most recent trends in the industry.

(This photograph was made without photoshop or a double exposure! Check out more of his work by clicking on the photo.)

3. Hearing Jerry Ghionis' keynote. Whoa. Just whoa. I am a little embarrassed to say that I was not familiar with his work, but I am so glad I am no longer in the dark! Jerry is a world-renowned wedding photographer and his work is crazy sexy, creative, and full of emotion. His Australian accent and his rendition of Charlie Chaplin's "smile" at the end didn't hurt either. There were literally tears streaming down my face! The highlight was hearing his behind-the-scenes stories of how he has captured some of his best photographs. I've got a ton of new tricks up my sleeve for those less than ideal locations and conditions, as well as fun new ways to help bring out your personality in photographs.

4. Discovering Dan O'Day and hearing his humorous, insightful, and inspiring seminar. Dan is a wedding photographer from Australia and I was instantly drawn to his photojournalistic style that really seems to capture the mood and personality of the weddings he captures. Dan is a master of his craft and he offered many valuable insights into creating an amazing experience for his clients and how he stays inspired. I am definitely going to include more of this style into my photography because it truly documents memories - not poses.

5. Getting to learn from the world-renowned Bay Area photographer Bambi Cantrell. Her class "From Trash to Treasures" (you had me at hello) focused on effective and beautiful posing, and using ordinary materials such as window screen (yes window screen - see above), newspapers, and tulle to create extraordinary wardrobe options. I am literally jumping up in down in excitement to try these flattering and dramatic techniques with you!

Here are some snippets from the day...a newspaper dress on the left with Bambi and a dress that incorporates window screen on the right - I love that movement!

Then I got a chance to pose our lovely model Carly whose dress was enhanced with tulle:

Attending WPPI was an amazing experience. I learned so many new things from the world's best photographers, met incredible people from around the world, saw the most exciting gadgets and products, and have inspiration to carry me through the entire year. Now who wants to play with me because Michael will definitely be a no-go for the dresses and curve-enhancing poses! ; )



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