WPPI Overall Experience:

I had the pleasure of spending two days at WPPI. Not as long as I would have liked, but sometimes life comes with a full schedule! Fortunately, the experience I did have there was perfect. One my first day there, I began my adventure on the show floor getting familiar with the vendors and what they have to offer the world of photography. As a young student on a budget, many of these products were out of reach and my equipment bag was fairly small. Luckily, media badge holders receive a special backpack full of goodies. Some fun items and some very useful items! (And the delicious treats in the media room added to the joy of the event!). After receiving my media badge and backpack, I went on my way to explore. I believe that my favorite part of WPPI was that they give attendees so many opportunities to win products. Just about every vendor has a raffle, sample products, or decide to throw products into the crowd. For this reason alone, I suggest anyone who will attend in the future to bring plenty of business cards! Your business cards will enter you into these raffles and you never know if you may get your hands on something great!

The first class I took was called Full of Confidence (Nervous as Hell) with speakers Katie and Kevin Hulett. When I was searching the WPPI app for classes that I was interested in, this was the very first class that popped out for me. As a photographer looking to gain experience, I could relate to this title. I have shot a small handful of weddings and the nerves set in every single time I’m waiting for the big day to begin. Shooting weddings could easily be one of the most stressful jobs for a photographer. Everyone is extremely nervous on that day. You have to deal with nerves of the bride, the groom, and worst of all, their parents. Not only do you have to worry about all of that but you also have to make sure you work well with the videographer to keep everything running smoothly. Although smooth sailing is always ideal, I don’t believe I’ve shot one wedding yet that went smoothly. People run late, people get cranky, and of course you have a few dozen “paparazzi family members” who always seem to try and get in the middle of you and your shot. This class talked about all of that and so much more. What I enjoyed about this class is that Katie and Kevin were so down-to-earth and shared their horror stories and how they were able to overcome it. They were very relatable and reminded me why I love shooting weddings. One thing that I did take from that class was to always be a friend to your client. Just being their photographer will not get you any referrals and will not give an everlasting impression. Sometimes taking that small extra step will take you further than you’ve imagined. Your client wants to trust you and that is something that you should reassure them of. At the end of the day, if you provide your client will exceptional treatment, a warm smile along the way, and beautiful, creative images, you will earn yourself a friend in those clients and referrals that will make you soar.

Another point that Katie and Kevin made that I absolutely loved is to take your time. Weddings are always so hectic and rushed so why not give your couple a breather and relax while working your magic? This is something that I never really thought of! When I’m shooting a wedding, I feel extreme pressure to hurry and get the shots so they can move on but this class made a great point to show that your client hired you for a reason and they really enjoy taking these images. Make the best out of the time you have with your clients and don’t rush because you may miss out on great photo opportunities. I am very satisfied that I took Full of Confidence (Nervous as Hell) and I was able to take a lot from it. This class definitely boosted my confidence as a photographer!

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