I do not care how many times you go to WPPI in Vegas. Each year is so different from the last....not better (and hopefully not worse) but a DIFFERENT kind of FUN. This year I went with Monica Roberts Photography, Wendy Gail Photography and Tina from Shot of Whimsy Photography. We had a BLAST and I was so glad I got to spend a few days with these girls!
So what is WPPI? It is not a week long party like many of our husbands might say ;) It is a week FULL of learning, networking and laughing. I get asked often "is it worth it" I say YES. Yes because YOU can make it what YOU want. There are more classes than any one person not only can go to but can process the information from. There are so many different styles of shootouts challenging yourself with shooting, building a portfolio or adding a little character to your work is all available if that is what you want. But for me, above ANY of the other there are RELATIONSHIPS made. Sure we know each other on FB, but with social media it is easy to forget the value of FACE to FACE conversations. Believe it or not, there are so many people there I have never even heard of and to have to chance to meet them is every bit worth the trip. I have know many of my FB friends for YEARS and the moment you get to hug them and sit down and have a REAL conversation with them is priceless. The relationships I have made from the past 4 years WPPI have gotten me friendships, vendor contacts for my business, business relationships with likeminded photographers and so much more. This year there was possible talk of being invited to speak at an AMAZING conference, I got to meet 3 new AMAZING companies that are now going to be offering my workshoppers AWESOME discounts, and I met 2 guys who heard my dreams for the future and THEY. GOT. IT and want to help get me to that place! BIG things come from this "week of parties" and I can not wait to watch as it all unfolds. Here is a little look into our 2014 WPPI trip...
This post is WAY long but I narrowed down as much as I could so I will post the first half then the second at the bottom of the image.
1. Tina, myself and Wendy met at the airport in Austin and Monica flew from San Antonio.
2. we were ready to get there, we had planned, talked, stressed, and worked for this day for MONTHS and it was HERE!
3. we met up with Moncia at the Vegas airport and our week... began!
4. We got in Sunday evening and after unpacking we headed down to the lobby bar to get a few drinks and people watch.
5. Did I mention we had a few drinks?
6. OK maybe a few TOO many drinks!
7. The next morning as we headed down to the trade show I could NOT wait to meet up with my long lost friend Monica Day, I was searching everywhere so I could find her and HUG HER NECK!
9. of course I had to stop and get my pic taken with the Woodsnap guys... 3 years and counting.
10. My Monica... can't you see why I ADORE this lady! (and yes, I claimed her as MINE...deal)
11. Wendy and Monica apparently hacked my phone
12. Someone had to do it...right?
13. celebrity spotting.
14. Please don't ask so I do not have to answer that...
15. the elevator selfie, when in Vegas...
16. the VOLCANO from the Rain Forest cafe...we needed a sugar fix and this delivered
17. finally got to meet Sasha from Bluelips Photography ...LOVE HER, she is as REAL in real life as she is on FB
18. room service = no explanation
19. **CHEERS** to business relationships that are more FRIENDships than anything else!
20. Candice with Candice Rock Photography....everyone told us we looked like sisters... I'll take it. I could only wish to be that beautiful! and Christian who happens to be my favorite Woodsnapper.
21. you can't go to Vegas and not go to Secret Pizza, best place ever and such fun memories each year!
22. just a little stalker-ish...we all have it in us.
23. Monica wrecking havoc on the Woodsnap booth, again...just don't ask!
24. people watching from my room during a tiny little break/ phone charge session!
25. Loved watching Ike and Tash give their presentation at the Black River booth
26. so happy to get to meet Bobbi from Bobbi and Mike
27. Can not wait to work with this crazy lady next month at The Reset Conference!
28. Dessert adventure... I mean shoot! ;) (thats another story)
29. Lovely ladies, Sasha and my two Monicas.
30. Rob, ok this guy won me over with his smile...and laugh. thank goodness he finds us funny...I thought he'd run off!
31. Walking to Pure go get our dance on...too bad by the time we got there our feet were killing us. But hey it was a fun little detour through the Flamingo.
32. Girls night outs are the BEST
33. We had our own little mini photoshoot in the hallway...that is what happens when you are surrounded by photographers.
34. Steve Saporito...just watch out, you will be seeing a lot more from this man I can promise!
36. Only Tiffany with Munchkins and Mohawks can make laughing beautiful. love getting to spend time with her!!
37. On our way to Serendipities for some frozen hot chocolate and onion rings!
38. Long with Custom SLR (my HANDS DOWN) FAVORITE camera strap EVER! so fun meeting the vendors you deal with face to face!
39. LOOOONG chat with my friend Kelly Moore. Can not wait to see what she is planning, I have been bribing her for over a year to get this done and I KNOW she will make it PERFECT!!!
40. Dessert shooting with Essie.
41. Remember Charity my Simply Spanki friend who joined us for the SS slumber party...I got to hang out with her in Vegas too!
42. Charity again, and Stephanie (another Simply Spanki sister) and Christin who happens to be local and we have hung out at a meet and greet before!
44. Oops...no matter how many times I'd tell myself I was NOT buying anything while I was there... Kelly Moore gets
me my pocket book every time!
46. Ricky!! Co-owner of Woodsnap and a dear friend... THIS is what I LOVE about WPPI, you get to see friends once a year but you pick up right where you left off and I am so glad we got to catch up.
47. Chic Critique meet and greet. I got to meet some AMAZING ladies!
48. Ok, so here we are making fun of Monica for her feet hurting and being a maw-maw...
49. that is what I get for making fun of her... shoes off. My feet HATE Vegas!!!
50. SO, I was done. Spanki -0 Vegas-1 I was ready for my coffee and a loooong nap on the flight home. As I sat at my terminal I run into my childhood friend and husbands college roommate Justin! soooo I thought I'd sleep the flight home but nooooo, we talked and laughed the entire way, thank goodness we didn't find each other in Vegas...that Baccarat table wouldn't have known what hit it!! :P
and if you prefer to watch as you listen to my favorite song...this is for your viewing enjoyment.
[video width="640" height="640" mp4="http://spankimills.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/IMG_8653.mp4"][/video]
Vegas you did my heart good... one more year.