So it has been a crazy whirlwind of a couple weeks! I mean CRAZY (pronounced CAH-RAY-ZEE)!!! Three syllables of crazy! Dave and I flew to Las Vegas two weeks ago today to attend our very first WPPI conference. We were WAAAAAY overwhelmed with what came! I was so nervous in the weeks leading up to WPPI, because I felt like I didn’t belong there yet. I knew that a number of my “photog celebrities” would be there and I didn’t feel worthy of even being in the same room as them talking about photography. Dave kept asking me why I was so worried about it (it is a regular question around our household on a variety of topics…what can I say? I am a tad bit neurotic sometimes!) I tried to explain how I felt about WPPI. I told him that I felt like I was going to be the geeky kid at high school around all the popular “In” kids. Not only was I going to be the geeky kid, I was going to be the geeky freshman kid and the “In” kids are seniors. Not only was I going to be the geeky freshman, but I was going to be a geeky freshman transfer student so I wouldn’t even have the luxury of starting school with the other geeky freshman. They were already going to have their friends and lunch tables would already be claimed and I will be the geeky freshman transfer student standing in the cafeteria against the wall with my beef-a-roni and carton of milk (and I don’t even drink milk!). Are you feeling my nerves yet? So what does any geeky freshman student do in such situations? They bring their husband/best friend to school for moral support! Haha!
Dave and I packed our bags and headed to Las Vegas! This was the first trip to Las Vegas for both us, we were Vegas Virgins. 🙂 Dave and I got an incredible deal through Expedia for our flight and hotel room. We paid an extra $10 a night to be “upgraded” to the “West Wing Package” because as we know in the world of photography, if it costs more, it must be better, right? 🙂 Well we got there to find that our room was located quite a distance away from the other “Grand Tower” where we were originally supposed to be, and the “West Wing” looked like it had been taken over by 1,235 bachelor parties the night before. The hallways were dark and had stained carpets. As we rode the elevator up to our room, we commented on how it looked as though someone had been sick on the shiny elevator door. We got to our room, to find a room that’s only tiny little window, stared at another cement wall of the hotel, and our glass countertops and glass desktop, had not been windexed/cleaned after the last guest. My pre-WPPI anxiety stepped it up another notch and my wonderful Dave recognized the terror on my face, and said, “Let’s make a trip to the front desk”. We were switched in to the original room that we were supposed to have in the first place and the difference was night and day! Lesson learned = more expensive is not always better…. and…. don’t stay in the West Wing of the MGM Grand… unless you are having a Bachelor party and are in to that kind of thing! 🙂
That night, we were able to meet my aunt and uncle from L.A. for dinner and our first “strip” experience. I’m talking about walking down the Las Vegas strip! Get your minds out of the gutter people! 🙂 We checked out a few of the nearby casinos and called it a night because the next morning, the madness would begin! We had to walk 10.7 miles to get from our hotel room (which I remind you was in the MGM Grand) to get to the conference area (which was also in the MGM Grand). Okay maybe it wasn’t 10.7 miles…..it was only 10.3 miles! Ha! We definitely got our exercise while we were there. WPPI was AWESOME! We learned so much, and we have created a three page long Goals/To-Do list of changes we would like to make in the business. That list is slightly overwhelming at the moment as it sits on my desk next to me. Ok, A LOT overwhelming! The platform speakers were amazing, the tradeshow floor was crazy, and the cameras were abounding!! Over 11,000 photographers pounced on Las Vegas during the conference! I had the opportunity to meet some new people. Some treated me like the geeky freshman transfer student, but some people were very kind and encouraging. I was informed by one group of photographers I encountered in line for JB & DeEtte Sallee’s class, that I was the ONLY photographer out there that did not have an iPhone. Maybe they hand those out sophomore year? I was disappointed in my interactions with a couple of my “idol photographers”, but I will tell you one idol that did not let me down! Jasmine Star! She is every bit as friendly, kind, and amazingly fabulous as she seems on her blog! I had the opportunity to talk with her for a minute after she talked at the Kubota Actions booth, and she treated me as an equal, and that was SO appreciated. She even walked out of her way to shake Dave’s hand when I pointed him out through the crowd. Dave took a picture of Jasmine and me with my cell phone (Blackberry Storm… no iPhone, the horror!!), but it is a picture that I will keep to myself because never have I looked more geeky freshman transfer student-ish than when I was standing next to her! Haha! If you ever see this Jasmine, you rock and are greatly appreciated by so many people that admire you! More to come in future posts about the inspirations I have had, and the things I will be working on. I can’t wait to see what the future holds! 🙂
And because what is a blog post without a picture…. here is the little man that we missed WAY MORE than he missed us while we were away…. 🙂