WPPI 2011: My First Time & Recap

Last month I attended WPPI which is the an annual conference for photographers all over the country. It always takes place in Vegas, which to me is just sinful on so many levels.

It was exactly what I expected and more. I certainly did expect to grow relationships, build new ones and learn from some of the best in the industry and finally meet some of my biggest inspirations. The classes and trade show itself took place at the MGM Grand so we decided to stay across the street at the Tropicana and knowing what I know now, I am totally doing the MGM next year. As soon as we arrived that Sunday I immediately headed to class at 3:30 so no time to relax and take in things slowly. Lesson learned for next year. That following Monday and Tuesday were just pure insanity with my first class starting at 8:00 AM and having to leave my room at 7:00 AM just to take the 30 minute trek (yes, even if you walk fast) to the MGM and catch some coffee at Starbucks, no bueno I tell you. Also had classes in the afternoon and evening and let’s not even mention the parties we attended every night! Luckily, Kris was able to sleep in and have the day to lounge and have some me time which he really needed and so that was good. I think we will also considering bringing some lunch stuff with us next year. We brought a bag of apples, granola bars, water and nuts, but it is really hard to find healthy organic good in Vegas. Almost impossible unless you want to walk for hours. The best dinner was definitely at the Oyster Bar inside Harrah’s, highly recommend. And as ugly as Ugg boots are, they saved my life and I wore them everyday to class.

We left Wednesday morning after one of my classes which started at 8:00 AM and went over until 11:30 AM. Of course, that is because it was taught by the one and only Jose Villa, one of my biggest idols! His class was definitely one of the best I attended, by far. Also had a chance to briefly talk to him and get a photo with him. A few photos, all taken with the iphone.

The only nickel slot machine I played, spent $5 and won up to $8.

Kris is the greatest. What a great support I have in all of this, he really enjoyed himself and is looking forward to next year.

Christine of Pobke Photography from Australia, love this girl’s work. Shot by Kris at the Blazers & Airplanes party.

With Jose Villa, true artist at heart. Got to learn more about him and truly admire him even more. Plus, he’s a great dresser.;)

My photog friend, Karen and our new friend Colleen. We had the best time with them at the Pictage party at Studio 54. Thank you girls!

I have to say that I have never really been a fan of Vegas, mostly because I don’t care to gamble and I’d rather go see a show and great dinner, but not willing to pay for an $800 Vegas weekend. Especially when I can go to Mexico for a 1 week vacation and get more R&R with the same amount or less. However, I will say that I enjoyed this Vegas trip much more because it was about the learning experience and had awesome parties to attend with other photographers at a small cost or in some cases for free. Next year will be even more fun since Trude will be attending, yay! Can’t wait to start implementing on so many things I learned. Already have a set plan for next week, this is a crazy ride that is for sure.

Until next year Vegas!

show hide 2 comments

March 10, 2011 - 11:01 pm

malia - how great! you’ll probably be presenting there next year ( -:

March 9, 2011 - 10:37 am

Trude - Oh you KNOW I’m going next year! And I bet it really helps to stay in the same hotel as the conference – things in Vegas are always a farther walk than you think. :) So glad you got to meet Mr. Villa and Pobke!!