...so I went to WPPI, OH MY!

typicalLasVegasCasinoor if there was a hell
There isn't a whole lot that will get me to Las Vegas but a free pass because of paying attention to facebook updates from great vendors like Blueberry Hill to the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) conference and trade show was something a hopeful photographer just can't miss.  So I pretty much bribed and begged a fellow hopeful photographer to go with me and off we went.  We walked ALOT!  We learned ALOT!  We even won a few things without even gambling and we spent a little money to improve our craft.
lemondropmartinistasting the pear martini at Fiammos
  Some highlights for me include going to the "Women in Contemporary Photography" event to hear several wonderful women speak (I was looking forward to Jasmine Star but they were all great) on how they got into the business of photography and make it a success.  There was quite a line to see them speak but there were plenty of seats and it was well worth the lessons learned.  I regretted my decision not to get an iphone to twitter because it surely would have meant a great giveaway during the presentation.
largecrowdtohearwomenphotographers womenincontemporaryphotography  
There is much to learn about papers to print on.  I have a 13" Epson printer I use for last minute projects that prints beautifully but I really learned a lot about the difference papers make.  I was carrying a usb flash drive with samples of my work and I had them printed by several different vendors selling papers as well as printers.  Ilford (who photography students most often used for b/w film processing paper) printed one of my still life images on a beautiful glossy paper, it came out absolutely gorgeous.  Another printed a portrait on an Epson matte art paper which looked beautiful but had these distracting marks from going through the printer.  A printer vendor showed me the new Epson 24" printers than run only about $2500 and printed on Kodack paper a couple of prints.  They came out nice, the printer is such a great price but the Ilford paper was far and above had the best results.  The new 17" printers from Epson are very impressive as well.  I am coveting a larger Epson printer for sure.
The Sony booth had some great demos of their video cameras and DSLRs going at all times.  They had some great speakers as well and they had a rotating display of prints from the speakers shot during their presentations.  They were so good!  I missed America's Top Model photographer and manly man, Nigel Barker who gave a big fashion show/photo shoot the night before I got there.  I shoot with a Sony and although many may snicker behind my back about it, I continue to see some pretty great work being shot with the Sony.  My friend is a Nikon shooter and although the Nikon speakers were a must see, she really enjoyed the Sony speakers especially Me Ra Koh (see my previous blog post).
so cute!
The Blueberry Hill booth
There were some great specials on albums but it was overwhelming which company to choose from!  We both want to have a portfolio of our work printed but choosing an album or book style within our budget was quite daunting.  I will have to write a whole post on this subject!  We both won free canvas prints and found some really good vendors for printing.  We saw a lot of ideas for marketing and new ideas for props and backrounds.  As I set up my studio, I have enough supplies from my previous career in the antiques business that I will be able to create my own props and backrounds.  One of my favorites was the booth that got me there in the first place.  Blueberry Hill has the cutest hats for baby photography, I got a fedora and adorable yarn kitty hat.  I would like to get more fedoras in other colors and the sock monkey hats in every color!  Can't wait to shoot babies with those hats!  Her partner for the show (Lemondrop Stop) makes the nicest floors and backdrops.  The floor looked great after thousands of people walked on it.  They are just starting out and their presence could have been stronger (I was hoping for a show special) but their products look fantastic and they are environmentally green.  I am definitely going to order from them.
They were always crowded!
Gotta get me this floor!
  Kodak was giving away some new types of film, so glad film is still being strongly supported.  I got some to practice on my daughter's Mamiya film camera, that should be a fun project.  I wish I would have had more time to spend with the equipment vendors.  I am looking to buy a continuous softbox setup for the studio we will build as soon as the weather gets better.  I saw an underwater camera case I would love to use for underwater maternity shoots.  I have the perfect pool for underwater photography so it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.  There were some nifty gadgets, books, equipment deals from all the vendors and lens deals from Sigma.  
bride modelwildmodel
I actually took these myself!  Really!
Some of the equipment vendors had live models to show the usefulness of their products and it was fun capturing images, I felt like I was cheating but the results were great.  There was some topless girls being body painted, I have no idea what they were selling but they drew a large crowd.  We came home with lots of literature, offers, notes from the great speakers and so many ideas to implement.  We walked miles and miles to see everything at least once, sometimes even three times to see the speakers and ask questions.  What will we accomplish from this?  We'll see won't we.
As I find great posts on WPPI from other blogs, I will list them here...

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