Well the day finally came for the annual Wedding & Portrait Photographer’s International (WPPI) Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.  This was our third year attending this “whirlwind” of an event where 15,000 professional photographers and over 500 vendors meet annually and attend workshops, photo-shoots, meet & greets, print competitions, ceremonies, awards, and of course the after-parties.  This all in between  exchanging ideas with other photographers and talk about what new products and services are out that we can offer our clients.

Here was our first day video that Brandon shot on my iPhone:

This was an eight day event…that’s right I said it…eight days.  I know what you’re thinking?  Wow!  Three days in Vegas is a long time, I can’t image eight.  Well you would be right, but luckily we kept busy with all the functions.  We started at 7:00 a.m. and finished around midnight every night.

This year we were able to bring our son out to the event.  He didn’t want to attend the workshops, just hang in Las Vegas, see the sites, ride the rides, and be a 16 year old.  Tonya took care of that while I was attending workshops and when I got out, he ran his mom ragged some more and then tore me up walking the strip, riding the tram, and slinging us around in every roller coaster he could find (which was awesome by the way).  It was a blast.

Had to hit another roller-coaster:

We then flew him out after four days which was his first time on an airplane.  Tonya was not liking that one little bit!  We ended up getting an “escort” pass so we could get him to the gate.  Of course I knew he could do it (it’s a guy thing) so I told him, “Ok, you lead us to your gate and we aren’t going to help you.  Just follow the signs and ask someone for help if you need to.  Guess what?  We got to the gate just fine.  Now we had dinner plans with Jeff & Holli True on the strip so we needed to get out of there.  Well…Tonya wanted to sit and wait the two hours until he got on the plane.  Bless her heart I could tell she was emotional as her little baby boy was growing up and Mr. Independent.  She finally agreed to let him carry on his journey by himself.  Guess what?  He made it home just fine and she was happy again!

One thing I had the privilege to do was attending what is called a “Plus Class.”  This is an extra workshop that is limited to only the first 25 people who sign up.  Needless to say I was able to get in and it was full 15 minutes after it opened.  It was taught by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography & Design.  They are one of the tops in the field of wedding photography and have several high-end celebrity clients under their portfolio (Eva Longoria, Oprah, and many more).  They were able to bring in a couple models so we could get out of the classroom and do some’.  They were wonderful and I have a couple images to share from that shoot.

I can’t tell you how great it was and what kinds of neat things we want to implement into our business and offer our clients and friends.  Stay tuned for some great stuff!  All in all it was a great eight days spending time with family (even though I missed my daughters and extended family) and friends.  I made new ones that I’m sure will last a lifetime.

Below are some of the images from the week.

Brandon welcoming everyone to his city

Tonya, myself, and the creepy statue guy!

I shot this out of our hotel window at the MGM

A couple images I shot during the workshop with off-camera lighting. I wanted a shot with the sun reflecting off the building behind her. Shot with a 16-35mm 2.8 wide lens.

We went to dinner inside the Venetian and it's just beautiful inside. I shot this with available light on a 16-35mm 2.8 wide lens.

You can't go to Vegas without seeing a water show every time and I couldn't help but grab a couple images while I was there.

OK I couldn't help myself when I saw this portrait at the end of the hallway!