–by Aaron Berger
Who wouldn’t want to escape winter’s onslaught of snow and bone-chilling winds in exchange for the warmth and excitement of Las Vegas? If the weather is not convincing enough, as to why tens of thousands of photographers annually converge on the country’s top desert destination, there is another compelling reason why the photography industry calls Las Vegas its winter vacation home–WPPI.
WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) https://www.wppiexpo.com will beckon photographers from around the globe to attend its annual conference and expo from February 25-28, with a new location this year. Mandalay Bay serves host to a week filled with education, networking and entertainment. With an ever-evolving industry, photographers find themselves yearning for the latest and greatest in technology, the most cutting-edge marketing tactics and occasions to learn from the best in their field.
Each attendee may have different reasons for going, but there is no lack of opportunity when it comes to seeing WPPI as a viable business investment. One would be remiss in not taking advantage of all that is on the table during this fun-filled week.
As photographers, we frequently find ourselves on the proverbial secluded island. Sure, we work with people, but there are also long, hard and lonely hours spent planning, searching, editing and record keeping. Spending time with like-minded people rejuvenates the soul that is searching for a spark of inspiration. In between Platform or Master Classes, WPPI is conducive for providing this much-needed time. Sharing ideas and visions, lamenting failures and brainstorming ways to improve all transpire when creative minds collaborate. Get off of that island of seclusion and meet new people at this year’s show!
Whether specializing in wedding or portrait photography, a wide array of educational avenues exist on a multitude of levels. From beginner to seasoned professional, learning comes in every form and conveys an ever-increasing desire from the expo to broaden its educational offerings. Innovation spurs on new topics; so much so, that what is seen from year to year takes on a new face, as opposed to growing old and redundant. Instead of just being told how to do something, Photo Walks at the show have created chances for photographers to put theory into practice. Get out and join one!
On the show floor side of things, the education continues. Albeit on a smaller scale, there is an abundance of opportunities to learn from top industry leaders who represent and demonstrate the use of various companies’ wares. Not only do attendees gain additional knowledge regarding photography skills, but they are also exposed to products recently introduced to the market. Walking around the rest of the floor, show-goers are able to dive in deeper to see first hand and even test out a wide selection of these products that were demonstrated.
One of the most profound ways to grow as a photographer is to hear what trusted veterans of the craft have to say about images, whether as a stand alone print or as an image found in an album. To beginners, this is an aspect of WPPI that is often either unknown or overlooked. Whether for 30 minutes or three hours, attending the Photo+ contest judging should be a priority. It is vital to the growth of a photographer to hear and learn what it takes to create a quality image! Constructive criticism carries with it a value upon which money cannot be placed. Be sure not to miss the print and album judging!
Once the day’s learning has taken place, it’s time to find out why Vegas is known for its nightlife. Kick back and relax at a show, listen to music and dance at a nightclub, or just walk the strip to watch people. WPPI and its vendors also host various parties at which attendees receive free admission and possibly a complimentary drink or two. These are great times to extend the interaction with new friends and industry professionals one meets during the day. Go try something new!
WPPI has something for everyone and is definitely a valuable experience for every photographer. Whether from a mind newly filled with knowledge, or a bag full of product samples and other goodies, attendees don’t go home empty-handed! Find out for yourself why the show and expo continue to grow each year and what it has to personally offer you!
Registration is now open for WPPI 2018! Click below to plan your experience.