A Quick WPPI 2012 Day 1 Recap

I’m at WPPI 2012 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand and I thought I’d give everyone a quick recap in case you can’t make it out to the conference.

The Venue
Personally, I love the MGM. I know some people don’t, but I’ve always liked it. I guess you kinda have to like Vegas (which I do) because the MGM is definitely Vegas-y. The walk from my room to the expo and classes is about 10 minutes which isn’t too bad in “big” hotel terms. Here’s a shot of the long hallway that you see every time you want to go back and forth.

And here’s an iPhone photo of me standing on the escalator looking outside at beautiful Las Vegas, and probably the closest I ever came to being outside in 2 days 🙂

The Classes
I bounced around a lot the first day. I wanted to try to take in as much as I could. First, I tried to get into Jerry Ghionis’ class but it was full and I was turned away. Then I tried to get into Tofurious (Lawrence Chan), but again I was turned away because it was full. I found out the hard way that you have to get there early and I got there right around 8:05am (5 minutes late). I jumped into Jared Bauman’s class and was pleasantly surprised. He had a lot of great real-world business info to share and he delivered it really well. Then I went over to Sarah Petty’s class (I know call her the Tip Queen). She was giving out tips like they were candy. She was an incredible wealth of real-world knowledge and I enjoyed watching her. After that, toward the end of the 8-10am track, I slipped into Lawrence Chan’s class (I guess some people had left by that point) and wound up regretting that I didn’t get there earlier. He’s got a lot of great info on social media and I could see how his class would have been great. Plus, it didn’t help that I heard a lot of people raving about it later.

(Lawrence Chan)

(The guy at the door who told me I couldn’t go in at first)

Later in the day I saw Blair Phillips talk about Senior Photography. Then Sal Cincotta (photo below) on taking your business to the next level. I thought Sal was absolutely awesome. He’s got a way of talking to the crowd that just draws you in. Plus he did something really cool. In the beginning he had a slideshow of his work but instead of a music track behind it, he had a live singer and guitarist playing. Very cool!

(Sal with a packed room and a live music slideshow)

I closed out the day with Tamara Lackey’s class at 6pm. I had dinner plans but I couldn’t pull myself away from her class so I ended up being late. If you’re ever able to check out any training from her I’d definitely recommend it (and she’s just an awesome person to talk to).

People I Wish I Got To Watch
I heard great things about Zack and Jody Gray. I walked with them for a while through the convention hall and they couldn’t go 5 feet without being stopped by some one who raved about their class. Of course Lindsay Adler is always great to watch and I didn’t get the chance to this time around. Luckily she’ll be at Photoshop World next month so I’ll catch her there. And of course one of my favorites, Cliff Mautner. I always enjoy Cliff’s classes but I got in too late on Sunday to catch his.

The Expo
Of course the Expo is always one of the highlights of a show like this. Millers Lab/Mpix Pro was one of the busiest booths I saw. Here’s a photo of Khara Plicanic (and I thought my last name was hard to pronounce) teaching about albums.

Here’s another of Keri Meyers where you can see just how many people are crowding around.

The Nikon booth was SLAMMED! I’m sure everyone was asking about the new D4 and D800. Here’s a shot of Doug Gordon doing a live demo.

GraphiStudio was another one that seemed to always be busy.

Canon had a theater set up as well and it always seemed to draw a nice crowd (and no, as a Nikon shooter, my feet didn’t burn when I stepped into the booth) 😉

Here’s a photo of my buddy JP Elario (killer wedding photographer and speaker) at the Zenfolio booth.

Overall it’s been a good show. This was my first time to WPPI. So far, I’m finding it very heavy on the business and marketing side of things. I’m not sure if that’s the norm, but I didn’t see much technique or shooting in many of the classes. Just an observation. I guess I expected a little more technique and shooting advice than I’m seeing but I still have today to roam around so I’ll let you know what I find. Thanks for reading!