This was the first year I attened the WPPI photographers convention. This convention is targeted towards wedding and portrait photographers. I arrived on a Wednesday and left the following Tuesday. My impression? Meh. Was it worth the time, money and effort? Yes and no.
The classes were hit and miss. There were 3 levels of classes; plus, master, and platform classes. There was some learning to be had from the master and plus classes. The platform classes seemed more about selling the teacher on his or her product/work. No suprise when I saw booths appear outside of the lecture rooms, selling the speaker’s products.
During the event, there was a print competition where 5 judges viewed submitted prints and gave scores about the prints. Judges not only looked at the composition of the image, but also the printing and matting of the image. For some of the prints, judges gave critiques for folks to understand why they gave their grade as well as how the print could be improved. It was interesting to hear what the ‘professionals’ had to say.
The part of the convention that I did enjoy was the trade show. Lots to see and learn. When looking for new products to use or provide to my customers, it’s hard to guage quality by just looking at a screen. Being about to hold and feel a product makes decision making so much easier. My goal was to find wedding albums for my customers and came away with several that I’ll be ordering samples from.
Another aspect of the convention is meeting all the other photographers from around the world. I met shooters from Ireland, Kansas, and South Africa. It was great to be around folks with similar a passion; photography.
Conclusion: Would I go again? Maybe as an excuse to go to Las Vegas and for the trade show for a few days. I will give the convention one thing; I came away inspired to shoot weddings again. I attribute this mostly to the plus class I took from Cliff Mautner. Bring on 2012 weddings!!!