Why I am attending WPPI {and what classes I'm taking}

In a few short days Paul and I are headed over to Las Vegas to attend WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International). This is a HUGE conference for photographers that happens every February in Las Vegas. I knew last year wasn't going to be possible and I made it a goal of mine that it would happen in 2015. Its only a four hour drive for us so which is an even bigger bonus! 

There are two huge reasons why WPPI will be so beneficial to me at this point in my career. 


This is the thing about photography that just continues to excite me EVERY. DAY. The learning never stops. You NEVER reach that point where you are done, nothing left to figure out. Even after 40 years I'm sure there would still be something new to try. Its such a massively large field and I am enjoying the learning process immensely. I feel its very important to diversify your learning strategy as well. Reading websites and practicing is one thing, but being around others in your field and learning and listening to their experiences and insights will absolutely help to grow you in your own journey. 


The Expo is where all of the vendors hang out and show you their stuff!! As with most industries, there are thousands of support industries out there and trying to figure all of that from behind a computer screen can be maddening. For example, I am researching album companies right now but without the ability to see, feel and touch the products themselves its very difficult to make a decision. There are at least 5 album companies (maybe more) that will be at the WPPI expo. I can look at all of them and then make a more informed choice about what to offer my clients!> 

When you sign up to attend WPPI you can select 5 platform classes to go to for guaranteed seating and then you can try to attend other classes that are at different times that your platform classes during your time there. Or you can just attend the platform classes. There are TONS of options. I chose the five classes that Paul and I will be attending while we are there together and some of them are taught by photographers who I have MASSIVE respect for. I am over the moon excited!!


  • Beloved : Photographing the 5th dimension taught by Jesh De Rox
  • Dueling Identities: Ten steps to balancing personal and professional marketing taught by KATELYN JAMES!!! 
  • Fabulous Family Portraits with phenomenal sales taught by Sandy Puc


  • The First Five Years: How to Launch a Successful Photography Business taught by Kevin Kubota
  • The Perfect Light taught by ROBERTO VALENZUELA!!!

Katelyn James is a wedding photographer based out of Virginia whom I have followed and admired for a while now. Her heart for the industry, her business savvy and her adorable dog are all so inspirational to me!! Roberto Valenzuela wrote that amazing book Picture Perfect Posing that I have discussed previously and I am so excited to hear him speak in person. 

I also plan on stopping by and talking with Amy & Jordan so Paul can meet them. I am so excited to see them again!

This weekend is going to be a blast and I am so excited to soak in all of the info to benefit my business and my clients going forward!!




#AJWorkshop insights


Its been a few weeks since my time at Amy and Jordan's workshop in Scottsdale, AZ. I've finally had some time to process everything that I learned and overall recover from the excitement of it all. I wanted to take some time to share my biggest insights from attending their workshop in hopes of helping others as they might decide to attend either A&J's workshop specifically or any other photography workshop of this nature! 

This was the FIRST photography workshop I have attended in person. I've done a lot of online learning as well as a few classes on Creative Live but actually going in person was something I have wanted to do ever since I discovered that such a thing actually happens in the photography world!! When the opportunity came up I jumped on it and I am so incredibly glad that I did. I am even more excited that my first was with Amy and Jordan, two people who I have admired and respected for a very long time. 

These are by far my biggest insights and takeaways from this workshop: 

1 // I probably shouldn't do these kinds of workshops

HA! You weren't expecting that were you? Although I absolutely loved every minute I was there, focused interaction with lots of people for large amounts of time is not my strong suit. I am a classic introvert who is fine giving a speech in front of 500 people, but small talk with 15 people gives me heart palpitations. I am so much better one on one. The learning was GREAT, Amy and Jordan were FANTASTIC, all of the other photographers there were AMAZING, but I'm not 100% sure I will do another workshop of this nature. One on one coaching might be a better way to go for me. I wouldn't have really known this without attending this workshop, so I'm glad I did! 

2 // Focus everything around your WHY (your purpose for being in business)

Within the past few months this concept was really starting to gel with me, but this workshop finalized it. If you want to have a successful business that has IMPACT (on something more than just your checking account) you need to figure out what your purpose is. WHAT in the world are you trying to accomplish through your business? Once you really narrow that down, you have laser like focus and everything about your business can be centered around that reason. This really keeps you from getting off track and floundering. I have my WHY and am so incredibly excited to see where that WHY takes me. 


Don't do things just to do them. EVERY decision you make needs to be intentional. Why are you doing it? What is the purpose? How will it fit into your overall plan? Everything from the colors in your brand to identifying your ideal client to choosing which images to post on your blog...ALL of it needs to have some intention behind it. Again, a great way to stay focused on the mission you are trying to accomplish!! 

Alright, those are my top three insights from this workshop. They may sound serious and like we did nothing but get really deep for two days straight, but I promise we had a TON of fun as well. One of the things I love most about Amy and Jordan is their JOY. They exude joy in everything they do. We had a great time learning and laughing and just overall having a great time not only with business info but lots of photography info as well!! 

Favorite general things I learned from the workshop:

  • To use an ExpoDisc correctly you need to have your camera set to evaluative metering. Duh. No wonder it was not working out for me the way I wanted. I feel like this fact is left out of a lot of online tutorials, so this tiny tidbit of knowledge was massive for me!
  • White foam boards. Enough said. 
  • Two words: Giggle out. 
  • Jordan REALLY enjoys feeling like the President
  • Curating is magical
  • Chipotle has an incredibly awesome online ordering system
  • Photomechanic. Buy it now. 
  • KC England sounds EXPENSIVE 
  • Community and Relationship are the JAM
  • Amy and Jordan are two of the most amazing people I have ever crossed paths with. They are true blessings from God! 

I really hope someone considering an in person workshop finds this information helpful and if you have any other questions feel free to contact me!