Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Las Vegas - continued

My last post must have left you hanging for all the details! :) so here they are. I attended Wedding and Portrait Photographers International annual conference and trade show in Las Vegas last week and it was amazing. It's the first time I've attended this event although I've been to other photography conventions, like the Professional Photographer's of America, in Las Vegas three summers ago. I must be honest that I really don't like Las Vegas. I'm not a gambler and all the artificial details, smoking everywhere, and the sheer size of the place makes me really uncomfortable. But this convention was jam packed with seminars and the trade show from 8am to 9pm so I really didn't have time to even think about it. Plus staying at Paris Las Vegas did help a ton. I love it there. So quaint and awesome crepes and sweets.

Basically the convention is a great opportunity to learn all that you'd expect: new gear, new ways to approach my business and new products. But I was surprised to find that I was also really inspired by some of the photographers' seminars to do more and stretch myself as an artist. Jesh de Rox presented a unique and inspiring seminar about creating the best self we can and improving our interactions with those around us. He implored us to stop having superficial conversations and make more of the moments we have with everyone around us. As photographers, we must strive to find the amazing characteristics of each of our clients and explore those with our images. Imagine finding the good in everyone around us. The world would be a better place for everyone. He urged us to think that the world is on the verge of a significant change if everyone could engage in finding the best in others and honoring that. Pretty substantial and moving stuff.

Jerry Ghionis presented his work and the way he approaches each wedding he photographs. He has an amazing ability to take ordinary scenes and make the extraordinary. Sometimes we don't have the most stunning rooms to work with as on-location photographers, but Jerry has been able to use things like fans, glass sculptures and reflections to create gorgeous images that transcend the room in which they were taken. Truly inspiring...

I went to Vegas without my pro camera on purpose. I know! Crazy to attend an event like this without it. But I felt that I wanted to focus on learning, meeting new people and improving myself and my business and not focus so much on the actual photography. I don't know if that makes sense... Anyway, I did bring along Nick's point-and-shoot camera just to take some snapshots here and there. After Jerry's seminar, in particular, I was inspired to get creative. I found it pretty difficult with a camera that I couldn't control very well (no manual mode or ability to change things up) but I did have a great time playing.

In addition to all the great information, a ton of new products I wanted to buy and being inspired by some fantastic photographers, I had the opportunity to hang out with some friends and meet new ones. While I don't have a picture, spending time with Ernie and Chris Russell was great. Ernie made me laugh even when I was feeling so sick. (A nasty cold hit me the day I flew out and stayed with me through the whole week. Fun stuff!)

Dinner at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas. Katie and Chris Torres (6 of Four Creations), Amanda and Nate Reynolds (Turtle Pond Photography), Megan Resch (thanks for the picture!), Shelly Valentine Photography, Jerrod Brown Photography, Regis Photography, Sticky (Brandy J Photography), Jen Odom, Garrett Nudd Photography.

And here's another of Jen Odom and me. Although I've met Jen a bunch of times, this was the first time we got to hang out a bit. Since our significant others couldn't make the trip, she was my date! :)

Also had a great time hanging out with Lacour and the Shoot Q group. Rachel, Andrew, Mark, Erin, Jen, Adam and Will. This pic is Lacour's from their blog.

Hope to see all you soon!

Now back to work.....