I made another trek out to Vegas this year for WPPI which is an annual conference for wedding and portrait photographers...and video. They're increasing their coverage of the video world which was nice to see.
I attended several classes during my time there and came away with new inspiration and ideas to implement. My interest was a mix of business, marketing, and some technical classes. Some sessions were with a very large crowd by well known photographers and others were in a smaller venue by lesser known (at least to me) professionals. I really preferred the smaller sessions. Two reasons I enjoyed these more: 1) They aren't trying to sell you anything and 2) They have so much more meat to their presentations because - you guessed it - they're not trying to sell you anything!
A few tangible take-away's for me:
- There are marketing opportunities everywhere. Watch for them and take the time to think about how to approach them in a unconventional way.
- Find ways to partner with other businesses that provide them with nothing but an upside.
- Stay organized with regard to obtaining and utilizing contacts.
- For portraits: Own it. The difference between an okay portrait and fantastic one is the direction you give and the connection you make with the client.
- Choose your lens wisely to tell your story. This year there were several presenters talking about being deliberate about lens choice to make your images stand out.
There were many more but these are some that stuck with me.
While I was in Vegas I arranged for a photo shoot to happen. I planned this out months ahead of time and worked with the model to stylize the shoot. I also had a make-up artist (MUA) which makes all the difference in the final output.
We started with headshots and worked our way into other poses and looks. Here are some from the session.