One of my biggest tips and “MUST DO’S”, before you even check into a hotel. Is go to a CVS or Walgreens…trust me. If you wait till after your checked in you’ll be too tired to venture out too far and you’ll spend all your pocket money on vending machines and hotel gift shops.
This is a good chance to buy anything you forgot ( like sunscreen and lip balm), and stock up on necessities like water and snacks. Believe me when you’ve been walking around all day and you crash in your room for 15 minutes between classes you’ll be so glad you have yummy snacks in your room.
2.) Embrace the Uber!
Seriously Uber is one of those things that just made getting around so so easy. Not only was it easy and faster than cabs but it was cheaper. Here is a little tip- pay very close attention to were the pick-up points are. An uber driver told me they aren’t allowed to pick up in the front of casinos, so a lot of times you have to find them-which wouldn’t be a big deal but navigating through casinos can take some time and it’s super easy to get lost. So make sure you can find where they are picking up.
2.) Book it together and search for deals!
This last year I booked my flight and 4 nights at the Westgate for $300 total! I used the discount site Amoma.com (after doing some research). Also, look into booking flights and hotels together. It’s usually cheaper than booking them separately.
WHAT TO DO!
WPPI has it’s very own app. This was super helpful in planning my class schedule, easy access to the conference map, and I could even leave session reviews right after I took the class.
2.) Go to Judging
I can’t even tell you how many people told me to do this, and this year I made some time for it. I was so sad it was only 30 minutes between classes but it was so so good. I highly recommend going to the print judging even if it’s only for a short little bit. Its amazing to hear the judges’ comments and critiques. Next year I’m going to make sure I get to see more of it.
3.) Bring a Friend or Make One
Experiences are always better when you get to share them with somebody. This year I got to go around WPPI with a fellow photographer buddy Carrie https://www.carriepollardphotography.com We met through local a group called The Rising Tide Society, and it was such a amazing experience to discuss classes, and different show vendors, and basically have a buddy- I loved it!
If you aren’t going with someone no problem. There are tons of photographers there in your same shoes! If you don’t want to just walk up to someone first day of school status and say “hey wanna be friends”, join the WPPI group and see if anyone wants to meet up for coffee, or maybe see if anyone is from the same state and build a relationship that way.
HOW TO PLAN
Wear comfortable shoes, or at least bring them with you. No joke-you will be walking 5-10 miles a day…your feet will hurt! Some times its just about wearing different shoes that can help too. So I would wear Vans during the day and switch to flip flops later to switch it up.
It your planning to do a styled shoot, or take part in a shooting workshop take your camera. Try to limit your gear cause it’ll be heavy and you won’t use it that often. One thing I don’t recommend brining is your laptop- most likely it’ll never make it out of the bag. Just rely on you phone or maybe a small iPad.
I know you want to but don’t try to do everything. I prioritize what events are most important to me and try to do 1 of everything- fancy dinner, styled shoot, social event.
This year during WPPI I had an amazing dinner at Firefly Tapas If you go get the calamari, stuffed mushrooms, and of course Sangria!
I went to the Fireside Chat hosted by Shoot and Share , Honeybook and the The Rising tide Society I’m the coleader for our Tuesdays Together Monterey chapter so it was so great to see members and leaders from all over the US.
I did the tradeshow and walked the winning print entries. Which was so much fun to do with another person. And of course I took some classes.
Sounds like a lot right! It totally was but I basically planned one big event a day besides the session and it would out great!
SETTING UP A STYLED SHOOT
There are a couple different way to do this. You can pay to take part in a styled workshop-there are a TON going on during WPPI. You can join a friends styled shoot (which is what I did my first year). Or you can setup your own styled shoot.
Tips for setting up a styled shoot:
-contact hair and makeup
-shoot for the vendors, and deliver!
-think outside the “Vegas Box”
-get models (and get extra)
Contact local hair and makeup artist and see if they are will to trade. You’ll may get some no’s and that’s ok, but you may get some yes’ too! Tell them that you’ll be giving them photos an ask them if there is anything specific they need ( like a long skinny banner image for their website, or back of the head details for the hairstylist). Think outside the Vegas box. If you’re at WPPI not only is Vegas your playland but all the beautiful desert around it is too. Rent a car for the day and have the shoot right outside Vegas in the desert. Get models! Vegas is full of people who need photos of themselves! And they don’t actually have to be models. If you shoot weddings look for a bride who wants to get dressed up again. You can find a local business that needs new headshots, or a dance studio. Again think outside the box, and tailor the session to your business needs.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
Hi! I’m Brenden! I’m a portrait photographer that specializes in studio quality newborn photography set up in clients homes. I’ve lived in California my whole life, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve started to appreciate our beautiful coast here in Monterey. I started So Cute Photo in 2013, and I’ve loved photographing each families littlest member.
WHATS IN MY BAG?