How can I even begin to describe last week? Five days in Vegas at the biggest wedding photographers convention. Thousands of photographers all gathering together – I was warned that it would be overwhelming, especially since it was my first time going. But the people I met, the photographer friends that I’d made online that I finally got to meet face-to-face, made it not so overwhelming but absolutely AMAZING. I’ve belonged for months to two extraordinary photographer groups: Pursuit31 & Showiteers. P31 was started by Karen Stott, for Christian women photographers. Showiteers is the community from my fantastic website company, Showit. Both groups are just brimming full of positive, encouraging, the most friendly awesome people! People I’d talked to and messaged online that I couldn’t WAIT to finally meet & give them a big hug! I also got to be roommates with four other INCREDIBLE ladies…but thats for another blog post (yes really, my roommates were that cool that I’m going to have a blog post just for them & how I miss them!) :)
Someone said “WPPI is like summer camp for photographers” and I can’t remember who it was, but I think they were completely right. It was so much fun, I didn’t want it to end, & I loved every minute (when else can you talk almost non-stop photography stuff for days straight? David would fall asleep if I did that). Showit had their own set of classes they organized called Showit United, and I love that all of the speakers (Jasmine Star, Zack & Jody, Mike Larson, David Jay, Karen & Isaac Stott, and many more) and the point of the classes wasn’t all about greed & business success, but about sharing, being open, balancing & prioritizing life (kids, family, dreams, etc) and photography, helping others, being personal, giving your clients a good experience, focusing your business. That’s Karen & Isaac below, rcoking their class ‘The Balancing Act’
*All photos are from my Iphone. Some were on instagram which is why they are different sizes, have a frame or certain tone to them.*
FAVORITE PARTS OF WPPI:
1. Friends – the friends I saw again, the friends I finally got to meet, and the friends I made while in Vegas! They made the whole week the very BEST.
Julie & I at Jasmine’s class! This girl is the most-loving & loveable lady I know, seriously.
Seeing Jasmine again :) Which I get to do again, this friday at the Fix!
Jamilah, me, Jasmine, Samantha & Vanessa! LOVE each of these ladies!! <3
Stacy & I <3
Alicia, Charlie & Jessica. More amazing friends :)
Meeting Mike Larson. I’ve commented on his amazing work on his blog & he remembered me! Wish it wasn’t blurry, oh well :)
2. Grocery shopping with Alejandra – She picked me up saturday night from the airport, we had fun almost getting lost looking for the grocery store, and then buying too much food together for the week. We actually bought pancake mix & syrup to make for our room one morning…and ended up having it wednesday night, those were seriously the BEST banana pancakes ever! Oh and yes, of course I needed two boxes of cereal for one week, and a whole package of oreos… ;)
3. Showit Dinner Sunday night – I was a lil late getting to this since I came from a workshop, but I felt so welcomed when I got there! Getting a big hug from Trevor, who coordinated the dinner at ‘The Wicked Spoon’ buffet. Walking in, seeing Julie Story again, finally meeting Samantha Lord (we’d been waiting to be roomies for months!), meeting Cassie Jones (shes the sweetest & such a cute prego lady!), and so many other familiar faces! At one point we all stood up & said our names, and it was good putting names to actual faces (not facebook profile pictures), and made me want to scramble around the room finding everyone to finally give them a hug in person! Thank you Tiffany Chapman for coming up & chatting with me, Vanessa, Donnell & Jamilah for all the talking we did at our table :)
4. Photog Unite Monday night – This was so awesome! In the middle of Las Vegas, getting together & worshipping God. It was such a good reminder in the midst of all the classes, workshops, meet-ups, of what was truly important. I loved being there <3
5. P31 Soiree Tuesday night – I had a ton of fun with my roomie Megan Bookhammer getting ready! She did my hair in this romantic messy bun, and did a glorious job of it (people complimented on it on our elevator ride, seriously). Dressing up is a lot of fun, but so is meeting and hanging out with other Christian lady photographers! I absolutely loved talking to Kristin Wall about their ‘Pursuing the Light’ Retreat, and how it came to be. Hanging out with Stacy & Megan, chatting with Katie & Courtney & Aurelia, and hanging out later that night at Elizabeth-Ann’s room with a bunch of ladies. :)
View from the penthouse suite where the soiree was!
Hanging out after! I wish I could hang out with Kristin, Alejandra & Stacy ALL THE TIME.
6. Being in a Flash Mob – If you don’t know what that is, look it up on youtube! It’s like a coordinated dance in the middle of a crowd. Showiteers organized it, I found out about it a while before wppi, and knew I just had to join it…would regret it if I didn’t! How many chances are you gonna get to be a part of a flash mob, really? I was nervous the whole time before, but it was SO MUCH FUN! Here’s a picture of it happening (I’m wearing the coral shirt with white skirt near the left), there’s going to be a video of it coming soon that I’ll share on my facebook :):)
7. Wednesday night – Photoshoots, making banana pancakes, walking around Vegas, shopping for Tom’s shoes, walking around the Cosmopolitan, joining a big group of Showiteers in the New York, New York Dueling Pianos area. This night was just FULL of fun :) When Megan went to sleep around 2 or 3 am, I just stayed up for my 6:30am flight and left the hotel around 5am. No sleep that night = a good solid three hours sleep on the flight home, and then sleeping thirteen hours the next night… ;)
Yes I totally bought the TOMS lace shoes! Found them on Pinterest, of course.
8. Getting home to see my hubby – My friend Ayriel picked me up from the airport as David was still at work, but as soon as he got home we just spent the whole next 4 hours catching up. Mostly it was me excitedly telling all my stories! It was so good being home again & snuggling <3
9. Getting to celebrate my birthday – The day after I got back from Vegas, by: sleeping in (that 13 hours), and my hubby had a cold so he decided to stay home with me for the day :) My dad was in Miami for a meeting, leaving that night, so he stopped by for an hour which was really special! Got to see my favorite two men in the world on my birthday!
What I ate for my Birthday dinner :) Japan Inn Hibachi, frozen yogurt, & cheesecake birthday cake! YUMM.
I absolutely loooooved last week, it was beyond amazingly awesome, and I really hope to go next year again. I also hope though that I’ll somehow see many of the friends that I met there, before then! Seriously, come visit me in Fort Lauderdale, come on your next vacation here. One of my favorite things is having guests over, so please feel totally welcomed. I would love to hang out & can’t wait to see so many of you, & get ‘my face hugged off‘ (Showiteer phrase for: a giant hug) again :):)
<3 <3 <3 <3
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