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March 4, 2010 at WPPI 2010 in Las Vegas

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Written by: Lawrence has arrived in vegas after a gruesome 2 hour delay due to heavy winds at the Vegas airport.  The good side is that I met two seasoned photographers and gained some insight on their experiences. I am looking forward to more “sponge action”.

I’ve finally completed setting up command central at “the castle”.

I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with my readers every day while I sit in bed looking at a cool view of “the castle” and “the pyramid” beam of light.

If the windows were cleaner, this image would rock. I also have an hdr of the castle that will be posted when i get home to my Macbook Pro.

I’ll have a 2-way radio with me at all times on channel 5 if you want to say what is up.

If you haven’t already, follow me on twitter

You won’t just be reading about my experience at WPPI but you will now be able to see what I see thanks to the folks at Vholdr. You will experience WPPI in my perspective using the ContourHD – HD Helmet Camera by VholdR .

So make sure you bookmark this page!

____________________________________________________ at WPPI 2010  MARCH 7TH, Sunday


Sunday 312-317 Keynote – Gregory Heisler Keynote 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

  • Sorry everyone due to the 2-hour flight delay, I missed all of the items planned for Sunday. Although, I will do my best to locate other photographers that attended the items below to provide you with their feedback and experiences.

Sunday 309-311 WELCOME RECEPTION Event 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Experience by Jen May

“Imagine a room full of theme park lines with crowds in between and you’ll get a good picture of what the WPPI Welcome Reception was like.

This is sort of expected when you’re kicking off the 30th Anniversary and reuniting with thousands of photographers.  So, I’d say that it was a good opportunity for photographers to chat with each other, check out the scene and find out about parties happening after the reception. not a waste of time at all.”

Credit: Jen May Pastores of Jen May Photography

Thanks Jen!

________________________________________________________ at WPPI 2010  MARCH 8TH, Monday

Wow am I exhausted. Yes, i a m starting today’s entry in this fashion.  Shall I say it again? I am exhausted. Words of warning.. This is my first WPPI and to add to my fault, I only searched for tips and tricks on how to conquer WPPi two days ago. With that said, my first tip for WPPI is to plan at least a week before you arrive to lay your feet down on sin city’s soil.

As you read through my daily “journal” entries of WPPI 2010, look out for the random tips of tricks learned through my mistakes.

Ok well let’s begin. I woke up today on 03.08.10 at 6:20AM not because i have an early meeting or need to eat breakfast but to wake up my girlfriend. Which worked out overall as it forced me to get and prep the equipment that I would use to cover today’s events.

I first unloaded my Think Tank Photo Urban disguise pro 70 and placed the equipment on the extra bed.

My goal for the first day was to attend a few platform classes and do some recon work in the exhibits. I was successful.

After first registering/self badging (i missed registration Sunday because of the 2 hour delayed flight), I was still able to make it to the Jerry Ghionis – Reinventing the Wedding Album. Boy was I glad I made it.

Jerry Ghionis started the platform class at WPPI by going over his albums when he first started many years ago. They looked really bad in my opinion. There were a lot of highlights in the images. The colors were extremely over saturated. Again, it seemed that was the norm back then so it was acceptable.

After a few minutes, he started showing off his most recent work that won numerous WPPI album contests. I was truly humbled and inspired . His change was drastic. I was amazed on how much the photography and his style improved…Am i biased because my style is similar? No, I don’t think so as there were massive applause after his various images that were presented to the class. You then saw attendees of Jerry’s platform class whip out their camera’s to capture the images displayed on the large screens to refer to at a later date.

Jerry then proceeded with providing us with information on what has worked for him in his album design. He went over details on how to extend a background and use different styles of albums to communicate the story of the couple.

You will just have to check out the rest of Jerry’s work to understand the extent of knowledge he shared at the platform class.

At about 9:30AM, I stepped out of the platform class with Jerry and camped slightly camera right to the front door. This way I can capture the attendees exiting the fairly packed platform class with Jerry Ghionis.

After 30 minutes, I proceeded to the exhibits.

My task for today for the exhibits at WPPI 2010 is to do some recon work of some of the vendors. With great success.

At around 10:30AM, I made sure to stop by the Smug Mug Pro booth to show some support to a fellow photographer Peter Garr.

If you haven’t heard of him you will soon. He’s a Santa Clarita based wedding photographer and the Los Angeles Smug leader, blogger of , entrepreneur and all around great guy. He talked about how to be a photographer in these hard times. We can all use these tips. Thanks Peter.

I’ve also met Mark Wallace for the first time in person and he was really cool and then I continued to walk through a few vendors and made mental notes to the most important vendors for my visitors and myself to visit on Tuesday.

After the exhibits walk through, I was extremely tired and my equipment is running low on batteries.

So, I completed my coverage images and proceeded to the command center. It took me about 30 minutes to walk from excaliber. So, I need to do my best and make a reservation to MGM signature. 2 hours or so ago, I then got ready to see Jared Bauman . Unfortunately the line was long so I moved to Jim Garner’s platform class. Jim had some insightful information to share. The insight has definitely impacted how I run my photography efforts.

After Jim Garner’s platform, I decided to grab a bite as the next platform will not start for another hour. I intended to go to Blake Discher’ platform that went over until I ran into Jen may photography and Peter Gar photography. Two great full time photographers. Make sure to check them out for inspiration.

Jen may at first wanted to check out Jasmine Star’s platform titled Ghetto Fabulous Marketing. But due to the line that practically wrapped around, we all agreed to check out Kevin Kubota’s platform.

Before the Kubota platform class we had a few minutes, so i took the opportunity to get some WPPI Experience footage I was successful in that task as Jen May agreed to be video taped. The video will be posted when i return from WPPI.

During Kevin Kubota’s platform class, I asked to borrow Peter Garr’s camera to take some images.Although, I won’t be able to post these images until a later date because I borrowed Peter’s camera and he had it in raw so he will still need to slightly process the pictures.

Kevin talked about the core strength of our studio and for the most part it was a good platform class. There were a few mental take aways to really look into and see efficiencies.

After Kevin’s platform, we were curious to check the “Pool party”. Once we got to the party, we were given one free drink voucher. But before, we proceeded down to the stadium floor, I asked a favor for the fellow photographer to take an image of the huge are just for photographers.

The party was a quick experience as literally less than 30 minutes, the tower no longer exists.

That was my exit to the room and here I am writing for you my readers instead of sleeping. I hope you appreciate it. Look out for me at the showroom floor.

I was also able to catch up with Jen May from Jen May Photography and she gave a little blurb below.

________________________________________________________ at WPPI 2010  MARCH 9TH, Tuesday

Wow am I exhausted. Yes, i a m saying it again..I didn’t even get to go to any parties because I couldn’t wake up after an intended 1hr nap which turned out to an 8 hour nap.

As you read through my daily”journal” entries of WPPI 2010, look out for the random tips of tricks learned through my mistakes.

Ok well let’s begin. I woke up today on 03.09.10 at 6:00AM again. I knew it was going to be another long day.

My goal for the 2nd day was to attend a few platform classes and actually stop by to the exhibitors from the list I generated after yesterdays recon of the exhibit floors. I was able to get some great video intros of exhibitors that i will be going in more detail as you read the “journal entry” for March 9, 2010

I’ve realized that it is impossible for me to make it to the 8AM start platform classes due to my current work flow for PhotographySILO,.com.

With that said, I headed straight to the trade show and worked my rounds to capture video intros (elevator pitch style) of the different exhibitors.

I was able to meet the owners of the companies that have supported my blog by providing review units. They were all great and very friendly in person. Like Shai of Spider Holster is a great guy very friendly and approachable. The people at Think Tank Photo were very knowledgeable about what the photographer needs in a bag and it is apparent in their product line. I’ve met more supporters that would be introduced in more detail later down the journal entry.

The companies I’ve met with will be listed in the order of meeting with them and discussing their company and product.

Ok so at around 9:40AM, I arrived at the main floor of the MGM convention center awaiting the opening of the trade show floors. As I waited, I prepped my video gear as I will be heavily using the equipment for the scheduled exhibitor.

As the doors opened for the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom, the first vendor I approached was Finao Online LLC.

I met for the first time the co-owner of Finao Christine Perry-burke. She was great. Very energetic and passionate about her product and is displayed in her video below.

After meeting Christine and listening to her talk about her products, I am now more inclined to select them as my album vendor of choice. As i moved to the exit of the ballroom, I ran into Brett from Post Pro Photo. Brett goes over the companies service offerings to photographers across the globe.

I then moved to the MGM Grand Ballroom where i met the majority of the companies of interest.

As I entered through the doors, i proceeded in the direction of Think Tank Photo. I told my contact at the company that I will stop by the booth this time around and I kept my promise. I am surely glad I did as I was able to learn about the new items in their product offering.

I am definitely considering their new lighting equipment bag. Stay tuned for more details.

After my chat with Think Tank Photo, I moved a few feet to see and finally introduce myself to Shai of Spider Holster. Shai was able to provide me with a quick demo of his ingenious product that I see will be the next big hit in photography gear.

Thank you Shai for the support!

I then moved to the right of the exhibit floor and met with the knowledgeable folks of Tamron.

In the video, you will see the offering of Tamron and how it is a great solution for a budget conscious consumer that want great glass.

As I walked more to the right of the showroom floor, I made sure to drop by to the Black Rapid booth and say hi to Ron Henry.

He introduced the company and showed off the product and revealed a new product for the ladies in the short elevator pitch style video below:

I then moved to the LENSBABY booth and to my surprise Craig Strong was there to speak a few words about this product below.

I then found my way to the GO|Bee booth and met Lauren Hillary. She is the owner and designer of GO|Bee bags. Lauren talked to us about her product offering in the video below.

I then passed by the Forbeyon booth as their albums caught my attention as I moved through the exhibition halls.

As my time was running low before the next platform class, I only had time to visit one more company. The last but definitely not least was Mpix Pro. The knowledgeable person at the booth provided me with a better understanding of Mpix and their offering.

I then rushed back to level 3 of the convention to catch the 11AM platform class with Louis, but it looked like he didn’t end up doing a makeup class. I was lucky that Jasmine Star had a platform class at that time.

Jasmine Star…What can i say? She is a STAR. Jasmine is insightful and just down to earth. She engaged the crowd like no other presenter of all the platform classes I’ve sat through. I will not even bother detailing what I’ve learned after sitting through her class because it would just be too long of a journal entry. So I’ll save you the trouble of reading through it.

If you live near orange county, make sure you attend her Smug meetings.

The last platform class for the day was a Legal class, which unfortunately didn’t help me much as it was pretty basic and the information is what you should have already known if you are a photographer at any level. It was a good refresher of course.

After 8 hours of platform classes and roaming the trade show floors, I was beat. I ran into a fellow photographer Peter Garr the Smugmug Los Angeles Leader. We first met up so that I could get some images from the Kubota platform class for my blog that he took for me. We went up to his MGM Signature suite and downloaded the images to my thumb-drive. I have to say that the rooms at the MGM Signature are amazing. I will make sure next year to stay at the MGM Signature. Of course it is dependent if I get enough sponsors. After the quick exchange, I grabbed dinner with Peter and his friend and also fellow photographer Danny Baker. It was a great dinner talking shop and about our experience from the platform speakers messages.

As the evening progressed, I decided to go back to the room to drop off my video gear from the day with the intention to attend the SmugMug and bayphoto party. But as I dropped my gear in the room , I felt really tired and with an hour to spare before the party, I took a nap….You know what happened next….. 8 hours later and here I am writing this journal entry. I really need to try to make it to at least one party. Wednesday will be more of a possibility as I’ve pretty much covered WPPI for, I can relax a bit today and just enjoy the convention as just a photographer and not a blogger/publisher of a photography information site.

________________________________________________________ at WPPI 2010  MARCH 10TH, Wednesday

Wednesday is my scheduled chill day. Since I’ve completed my coverage of the WPPI 2010 convention, I am free today to roam the exhibits of the show room floor as a photographer.

I woke up at my usual time of 6AM. It was easier this morning to wake as I fell asleep at 9PM yesterday, Tuesday night. Yes, I went to sleep at 9PM. I didn’t intend to sleep this early. Tuesday night after dinner, I went back to my hotel room to drop off my photography and video equipment and get ready for the SmugMug party. It was only 9PM and the party didn’t start till 10PM. Since I was exhausted from the days coverage of WPPI, I decided to take a short 1 hour nap. You know the rest.

So Wednesday morning, I went on with my daily routine of taking a shower setting up the gear and my 30 minute walk to MGM from Excalibur.

At around 11:30AM, I entered the platform class doors of Jared Bauman. To make note, this class is a makeup of the max capacity of his original 3/8/10 platform class.

Jared Bauman talked about how he was able to accomplish a 6 figure income with his current process.

After the platform class, I proceeded to the trade show floors for the last time. I made sure to say hi to Shai from Spider Holster and traveled to the Samy’s booth with the intention to buy a lens. After a few minutes of contemplation between buying a lens, I decided to purchase an SB-900 Nikon flash, a Hoya high quality circular polarizer, and two nikon camera batteries.

With my latest purchases, I had to work my way back to Excalibur to drop off the items to my room before the next platform class.

Once all my new photography toys were dropped off, I then walked another 30 minutes back to MGM in time to make it to the 2:30PM-4:30PM Jonathan Canlas Platform class titled “I’m Not Just a Wedding Photographer. Jonathan talked about how he doesn’t just classify himself as a wedding photographer but a photographer with a style that transcends all of the types of photography. From commercial to weddings his style is apparent and consistent.

I then moved on to the last platform class of the day involving business of photography. With the careful instruction of Craig Heidemann, he enlightened us on how we should treat our photography business.

At around 5PM, I met up with some photography peeps for dinner at a Brazilian restaurant. It was fun and filling dinner.

Before dinner, I was able to conduct experience interviews with a few of the photographers that you will see below.

After dinner, we then proceeded to the awards ceremony and witnessed greatness in our craft. Once the award ceremony ended, we worked our way to Mandalay Bay for Scott Robert Lim and camera slingers party. This was the first only party, I was able to attend. This will definitely change for next year as I plan to attend at least one party each day. I know this is only possible if I have help with my coverage of WPPI 2010. So next year, I hope to bring along an assistant to help me with my task to cover WPPI for to the best of my ability.

On the way home from dinner, I was able to capture a taxicab confession from some photographers.. watch out now.

________________________________________________________ at WPPI 2010  MARCH 11TH, Thursday

I attended the special bonus program with Sondra Ayers and Jerry Deck and met a photographer that i’ve interviewed on this site. His name is Mark Robert Halper. You should check him out here.

I then met up with an old friend had dinner and was on my way back home.

I’ve learned a lot on my first time at WPPI. Next year will be ten times better. I hope to gain enough sponsors for myself and an assistant to help with the costs of coverage for the site.

I hope you enjoyed the coverage and please let me know on what you would like to see for next year.


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Thank you!

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About the Author

Lawrence Atienza is a Jack of all Trades and Master of ALL. Whether it be in the realm of Advertising/Advertising operations with over 10+ years of experience to dabbling in the creative realm of photography and founding/writing for, Lawrence Atienza gives his all. You can find him on Google+,Twitter and the major social media outlets.



One Comment

  1. Love it! Great coverage. rocks!

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