In case you come back here to the blog now and then you might have seen that we spent some time in the USA recently. The main reason was, that we attended the largest and coolest photography convection of the year in Las Vegas: The Wedding and Portrait Photographer International aka WPPI. Second was to do our new PROMO video with the one and only Cana Family. In case you missed this, here it is. And third, we needed to get away from the never ending winter :-)
We have been there last year already and it was actually a no-brainer that we would go back again as it was really really important for us to meet incredible people in this industry and to listen to the TOP-notch wedding photographers of the world.
And please let us get this straight right away: those folks are NOT naming them selves the BEST in the industry, no one ever would do that. They simply prove this by there fantastic work, inspiring attitude and intelligent leadership, their experience and the will to share with others. This is what makes them to TOP-notch, nothing else.
This year was a lot different for us because during the year 2012 we could convince some very close friends to come and join us for the week (or even longer).
First, our dear friend Nadia Meli and her hubby Eddy, jumped on the boat. They wanted this last year already but their South Africa trip made it a little tricky, but we were more than happy to have them along with us and share the suite in “The Signature” with us. (Btw, if you ever go there for more than three days, this is the place you want to stay)
Ingo’s best buddy Stefan (Stinglight Photography) had a short-term decision to join us too and this was just great to hang out with him (unfortunately his wife wasn’t able to make it).
We talked about Carina and Martin already, who completed the Austrian/German connection in Vegas for a couple of days.
We noticed right at the registration process, that the schedule for platform classes was much different from last year. Sure a lot of same speakers but also some new and totally unknown ones to us. This was really good chance to get to know other leaders in the industry than the folks we are already following. Also we had the chance to listen to people we missed last year due to schedule conflicts.
Where as last year we both made most of the same classes, we this year split up to gather more information and share it later. That was even sweeter as also our friends did not join the same classes all the time. So we could do much in parallel with discussions and talks later.
There were good classes, there were fantastic classes and there were classes you walk out saying “this was by far the best talk I have ever heard”.
Not to talk about every single platform talk here but we would like to give you an impression of the people who inspire us and why:
Elizabeth Messina (LINK)
She is extremely professional film shooter and still a very sweet and nice person. She talked about the work she does and how she approaches her shoots. Sure in 1,5h you might not see everything she does but we really enjoyed listing to her talking about different shots and the stories behind. She talked about light, the softness in her photos and the emotions she is capturing. To give you an idea how nice and sweet she is: she answered every single tweet that day for thanking people to come to her class. We don’t know how many people were in that room, about 700 or so and you bet those photogs use twitter to show if they like a class or not :-)
Justin and Mary Marantz (Only Mary was speaking though) LINK
We have heard of these two inspiring folks and followed them over twitter for quite some time. But still, we did not know much about them until that day. Mary covered two main topics in her (very emotional) talk. The business site and how to have a life next to your work.
She talked about their way to the stage of their business they are right now and which mistakes they made. Not only in business but also in life. It was already very emotional while she talked about her family but then this girl stepped on stage… Boy, this was not only emotional for girls… if you want to know more about this, here is a recap of J&M about the WPPI talk over at their blog (LINK). We cannot bring the to words in just one little paragraph. Seeing Natalie Franke up on stage was even more emotional (and surprising) for us as we got to know her a little two days before. Littel did we know!
Jeremy Cowart (LINK)
This is one of the most inspiring and down to earth person we have personally met in this industry. Seriously, we love Jeremy and the way he changes people’s lives. We follow him since years, had a casual dinner last year at wppi together so it was a must to join his talk this year!
It was the last platform class before we left Vegas. It was the latest scheduled one and thus not everyone could do it. Hoping for Jeremy that he gets an earlier class, maybe opening stage, next year. Not sure if its his schedule or the WPPI but he needs to get heard by many more people!
He talked about his Haiti and Uganda project. A project were murderers are photographed next to the families they destroyed, with a message of them saying they forgive him! Goose bumps guarantied!! And here we are talking now of the rare moments where Ingo has wet eyes in the public. Nough said!
During this week we have seen and met so many fantastic people and got to talk to so inspiring talents in this industry, this is such an eye opener for everything and we are super thankful that we could make it again. We hope we are able to be at WPPI 2014 and we can only encourage you, if you are a photographer, go there and enjoy the great vibe and inspiring people of this industry.
There would be so much more to tell you about WPPI13, but we cannot put that all in this posting. You know what? If we meet in person, we would be happy to let you know more about it and all the BTS or you simply ask us some questions in the comment section below.
Good start into the week everyone!
Carmen and Ingo
PS: we will be back with our road trip and some shoots soon.
PPS: all shots iPhone only ;-)