When I heard about WPPI convention last year, I was bummed that I had just missed it and resolved that I would be there this year. Leading up to the event, I had a lot of expectations and was super excited about the things I was going to learn and implement back home. Then I read David Beckstead’s article in The Rangefinder – WPPI Preview Issue. He wrote about how WPPI changed his career. The article had many great points which I had not taken into account: “People often think they are going to WPPI with specific concepts and ideas they are going to learn and that they will run straight into them. They plan every minute of every day. I find WPPI to be more fun and more powerful if you let yourself learn from the unlikeliest places.” Was I one of those people with the crazy spreadsheet and a planned schedule for eight days? YOU BET! So, I revised my schedule to be more flexible, and left for Vegas with an open mind, a great desire to be inspired and to learn as much as I could.
I was not disappointed. I have to say, George Varanakis and his team did an amazing job at making sure everything ran smoothly. Everywhere I turned, Mr. Varanakis was talking to people and making sure everyone was doing ok.
Then there were the speakers, who are not only amazing photographers but amazing people as well. As a full registrant of WPPI, I was able to attend a Plus class, where you get the opportunity to interact one on one with the speakers. This year, I had the pleasure of spending two days learning from the amazing Bob and Dawn Davis. They are such an inspiration both personal and professionally. I feel blessed to have been part of this class, and to have finally meet Bob and Dawn, as well as some of the other participants. Thank you Bob and Dawn for such an amazing experience!
I also attended WPPI U, which was worth every penny. Hearing from speakers like Dane Sanders, Cliff Mautner, Jason Aten, Julianne Kost and Joe McNally, just to name a few, was inspiring and insightful at the same time.
Some of my favorite platform speakers were Roberto Valenzuela and Kenny Kim. Being able to say hello and chat with them at the Go|Bee party was icing on the cake! Joe Buissink’s platform reminded me again why I love photography so much. He is such an inspiring man. Jasmine Star rocked her platform and made me feel SO normal. So much rang true to where I stand now and to where I want to move to.
Ahh, and lets not forget the goodies that are given away in every class. I won a free year of Showit from Bob & Dawn’s Plus class and Instax camera from Adorama!!! Thank YOU!
Last but not least, my roommate. This WPPI experience would have not been the same had I not asked Binita Patel to be my roommate. She is a great photographer from Boston whom I met at a Carla Ten Eyck Workshop. I am so glad we got to know each other a bit more in Vegas. Thank you for sharing this crazy, amazing journey with me.