Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WPPI 2010 Highlights

I almost didn't go, and that might have been one of the worst decisions I could have made this year.  But about 2 months ago I knew that I needed to invest in this trip, to help start my business off on the right foot.  I read all the platform class descriptions and checked out the events and planned my schedule - every minute of every day.  My previously posted schedule was skeletal compared to all the details I actually wrote into it (there are probably help groups for people like me).

It was early afternoon when I arrived in Vegas.  Admittedly, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the hotel lobby and at first wasn't even sure where the check-in desk was (possibly due to the 3 hrs sleep I was trying to function on - that's my story).  After settling in I decided it was nap time.  Yes.  It was my first time in Vegas and I TOOK A NAP!

I barely mustered up enough strength to wake up, shower and get ready for Becker's early bird dinner.  Okay, so that's only part of the truth.  The other part is that I felt alone.  Over 12,000 people were registered for WPPI and I was there by myself.  I was back at my first day of school as a child after the Army transferred my dad to a new duty post.  Would anyone accept the newcomer?  Would they like me??  Was I wearing the right clothes?!?  (My wardrobe stress had prompted a shopping trip just before I left home.)  But, I had come this far, and the voice inside my head convinced me that stepping out of my comfort zone was the only way to move forward. 

And I'm so glad I went.  I arrived at Dos Caminos in the Palazzo and immediately introduced myself to Christopher Becker, who was mingling with a table full of photographers.  And then the girls at that table became instant friends.  They were all warm, friendly and inviting, making all of my trepidation melt away.  I even had the fortune of spending more time with some of them throughout the next few days.  That night undoubtedly started my WPPI experience off on the right foot!  So thank you, Becker, for hosting that shindig!

Here are some highlights from my trip:

Becker and me at the dinner he set up for Saturday night.  Thank you, Becker, for your generosity and graciousness to other photographers!

At my first 8a platform class, Jesh de Rox moved me to tears as he spoke about his Beloved project.

Louis Torres caught this image during Becker's headshot session.  Dane Sanders happened to be walking by and jumped into the shot with me...totally made my day!  Thanks, Louis, for capturing this - you are the man!  (And thank you for letting me steal this from your blog! ;)

Becker grabbed a couple of quick shots of Dane....

And here's Louis!

I read Dane's book "Fast Track Photographer" a few months ago and was immediately inspired.  His words resonated with me from the beginning, especially because he was the same age as I am when he started out in this business, and it's often intimidating when other budding photographers are so much younger than I.  But his advice to "embrace who I am" has helped me to focus on being me rather than try to emulate someone else because of their success.  So, if you haven't read his book, what are you waiting for?!  

Dane Sanders interviewing Becker on

Of course I had to see the lovely and amazing Miss Jasmine Star during her appearance at the Leather Craftsmen booth.  She doesn't know it, but one day I'm going to make her my BFF.  Okay, she does know it, because I totally admitted it to her on her blog yesterday.  J* and Leather Craftsmen were raffling off not one, but THREE companion albums...and I WON ONE!!!  I stood there in stunned silence before finally screaming like a 12-year old girl who just won tickets to the Eclipse Premier.  THANK YOU Jasmine, and THANK YOU Leather Craftsmen!  I'm still in disbelief!!

I love my beautiful Hawaiian friends!  Pinky Yoshimoto, Anna Kim and I had a great time mingling at the [b] school party.  I met Anna at J*'s workshop last month, and I absolutely love this girl.  Keep an eye on her, because I see great things in her future!  We also had a chance to chat with the sharply dressed JD....

Despite my initial fear and nervousness, WPPI turned out to be an amazing experience because of all the wonderful, friendly and genuine people I met during those few days.  I am truly thankful for such a kind-spirited community of peers!
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  1. Laurie, Laurie, Laure ~ I cannot imagine what my first WPPI experience would've been like without your sweet self! SO. MUCH. FUN. I can just see things taking off for you. Cheers to a rockin' 2010! xoxo

  2. It was sooo nice to meet you at the Justin & Mary platform class! Your blog post was delightful and summed up a lot of how I felt when I first got to WPPI. Good luck in building your business, but I'm sure you don't need it as you have a bright personality and wonderful talent! I see big things in your future :)

  3. pockethoney@gmail.comMarch 17, 2010 at 9:02 PM

    Ok, you had me rolling with that "eclipse ticket" comment!!
    SO proud of you, sis!

  4. YAY i loved it and playing text tag with you during the entire thing and then RANDOMLY seeing you go up the escalator and me going down it. LOL

    but finally we manage to see each other at Leathercraftsmen

    Where is that picture that we all took that I didnt want to be in, I'm sure I was looking that bad that Ashleigh didn't post it...

  5.!! Dream big honey!

  6. So great to meet you Laurie! Sorry for crowding your shot.

  7. Dane, are you kidding me?! Did you see the geeky smile on my face? SO great to meet you!

  8. Laurie...what a fabulous recap! I almost felt like I was there! I am so glad you had such an incredible time and OMG (yes like another high school freshman who just won Eclipse Premier tickets)...Dane Sanders commented on your blog!!!!! :)

  9. Yay!! I'm SO glad you came to WPPI and I'm SO glad you had such a great time!! :)

  10. Wow you were at the Bschool party on Saturday. Too bad we didn't get to meet. We came in late and were sitting at a table in the back! Good times though.

  11. Laurie! So great to meet you and love you too!! =)


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