April 19th, 2013
April 19th, 2013
March 9-16th, 2013
This was my second year to attend WPPI in Las Vegas, the biggest annual convention for professional portrait photographers. I was with Catie Bartlett once again, and our new recruit Jodi Campbell. (We missed our Carly Carlson this year!) We decided to drive this year… and in the words of G.O.B. Bluth, “we made a huge mistake”. Ok, maybe not, but lesson learned and we’ll have to try something different next year. Because 18 strait hours, from Oklahoma to Vegas (and back), in the car is torture. But we had a lot of cool photos opps- a blizzard on the way there, and sight-seeing on the way back.
We stayed in the MGM Grand this year, which was THE BEST, and really the only way to go. Robby & Savannah Doland attended the convention separately, but I was so excited we were able to meet up- love those guys! The biggest lesson I RE-learned this year is not to try to attend a class EVERY block, but rather choose a few topics to focus on, thereby getting a lot more out of it. I probably had a lot more tip if I’d written this post a few months ago, haha. But that was the biggest thing to stick with me. I was a lot better about it this year. I was also stoked to see some of my photo idols in person and sit in on there classes, such as Sue Bryce, and Rob & Vanessa Adams! Rob and Vanessa are incredible talents, and I had the privilege of learning from them both in depth during my trip to Seattle for Creative Live! (But that’s for a later post.)
I focused on stretching the legs of my Canon 5D Mark III, 45mm tilt-shift lens, and my fun new toy- the Fujifilm Instax 210. From here, I’ll tell the story in pictures. (Any photos of me were taken by Catie or Robby.) Many of these images are available to purchase as a print. Please email me if you’re interested!
Triple exposure somewhere in Arizona:
Double exposures on Las Vegas Blvd:
This year we got wind of one of the raddest parties happening during WPPI- LAZERS & BLAZERS! More double exposure experiments, dressed up all fancy before heading out.
Also, if you can’t fully appreciate how jealous you should be about this party… here you go:
Toward the end of our trip, I had to show Robby & Savannah around my all-time favorite spot in Vegas- The Neon Museum.
Fulfilling our tourist duty:
On the way home, we hit the Hoover Dam (I’d never seen it before)…
…and the Grand Canyon (second visit for me- the first time being also on the way home from my first trip to Vegas):
Grand Canyon Pano:
Somewhere in New Mexico:
As always, can’t wait for next year! Finally posting these photos has made me so anxious. Who’s in??
I thought I was done with WPPI, but I completely forgot about the roll of film I shot in my Holga in Vegas! During my recent trip to New York (which I will blog about soon), I shot mostly film. When I developed them, I found a rogue roll from a few months earlier. As Holga goes, the images produced are very unpredictable, which is all the fun! Enjoy!
Finally getting my third and last WPPI post up! On our last day in Vegas we visited an area called El Dorado Canyon in Nelson, NV.
On the way to our intended location, we decided to pull off the road and get some fashion-style shots in the pure desert scene. Although the Vegas landscape doesn’t vary much, it was a refreshing difference from Oklahoma, and we had so much fun shooting in the dry sand, with a backdrop of mountains.
It was still pretty early in the day, so we did what we could with the lighting! It wasn’t ideal, but the “harsh desert sun” look really added to the concept in a way.
Who doesn’t love a good proportion illusion?
The next set of pictures are actually in El Dorado Canyon. Their property is littered with cool vintage objects, old cars, a few barns, and even a wrecked airplane. This location has been used in parts of big productions such as 3000 Miles to Graceland, and has also been used as a shooting location for big name musicians and fashion photographers.
We found a gutted bus that we could have easily shot in for hours! The entire inside was painted white, creating an amazing, natural reflector. Behind the scenes shot of Catie Bartlett:
So who all made it out to WPPI this year?? My second trip to Las Vegas, NV was my first trip to the annual WPPI Photography Convention, and I definitely plan to go back as often as possible! I expected that I would learn a mind blowing amount, and I was not disappointed. I had the privilege of sitting in on some informative lectures and demonstrations by some of the world’s A-List photogs.
Although the learning was structured more for taking notes on paper, my group and I made some time for experimenting and mini photo shoots. The talented ladies that traveled with me this year were:
Catie Bartlett: No doubt you’ve seen mention of her on my blog before as we work closely together in our day job and on photo projects. She currently specializes in family and children photography.
Lisa Lee: I’ve known Lisa for a few years now, and have loved watching her grow as an artist. She focuses on the fine art aspect of photography- taking everyday scenes an manipulating them into a completely different visual experience.
Carly Carlson: I met Carly for the first time on this trip, and I’m so blessed that I did! Throughout the week I came to see her as a mentor, and a friend. Unfortunately she lives hundreds of miles away, but since WPPI we’ve relentlessly tried to persuade each other to relocate to our respective cities. I think I’m losing however, because Carly has an established studio in Baker City, Oregon, where she specializes in some awesome High School Senior photography.
Below are some of my favorites from the week, including everything from images of our beautiful Nevada surroundings to some fashion-esque shoots of each other. We’ll just get started off sexy, with a few (G-rated) shots from our boudoir shoot experiment in the hotel:
We had a great view of the Strip each day during our (very long) commute to the MGM Grand for the day’s classes. On paper, a hotel right across the street sounds great, but it took at least 20 minutes of relentless speedwalking to get there, and the trip clocked in at over a mile each way!
I had the opportunity to learn from some super A-List photographers at WPPI, but only happened to take my camera along to one class. (Like I said, it was a long walk! Extra baggage gets heavy.) I grabbed a picture of Jasmine Star, who is known for her high end wedding photography. She is sweet, down to earth, and hilarious! She graciously hung around after her class to answer every question of the hundreds of people who lined up to meet her, including me.
The four of us set aside an afternoon to explore the Strip and practice some of the shooting techniques we had been picking up in our classes. We found some gorgeous lighting. Here’s a few that I snapped of the other girls:
Finally, a few more photos from around the Strip. I used my new Lensbaby lens on a few of these- can you tell which ones? (Okay, it was all of them.) It’s a specialty lens that has really neat, in-camera, blurring effects. The first set is from the Bellagio hotel fountains, and inside under the Chihuly glass ceiling in the lobby. It felt like home in a way, since the OKC Museum of Art is home to a great Chihuly collection, which I’ve seen so many times. The second set of photos are from other hotels on the strip, and I found shooting a backlit, clear glass chandelier with my Lensbaby to have the coolest effect yet!