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Lessons from WPPI | Seattle Wedding Photographer

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Last year I took a break from conventions and conferences in the photo industry. And honestly I regret that. I didn’t think I needed to go and didn’t want to spend the money but I felt the weight of it before the wedding season even started. The lack of inspiration. The doubt. I missed out on building on my relationships with other photographers and vendors and creating new ones. I missed out. I was wrong. Missing events affected my business and me personally. So I wasn’t going to have that this year. I figured I’d play 2016 by ear other than WPPI that was going to be a must go.  And just over a week ago I headed to Vegas for the big event.

Vegas is crazy. On it’s own. But WPPI there is so much going on. So many things I want to check at the expo for my biz. Networking events. My own event for She Will Thrive. Catching up with old friends. The list goes on and on. FOMO is a real thing and we all have it. Staying up til 5am each night just to make sure we don’t miss something and up and out by 10am for sure so we don’t miss more. It’s wonderfully exhausting.

I didn’t even attend a class this year. But it’s amazing what 3 days with like-minded people can do for your spirit. People who challenge you but believe in you. Sometimes more than I even believe in myself. I’m still on a bit of a high trying to sort all of my thoughts and ideas and where to go with them, what to do first.  I did make sure when I first came home to write down the biggest lessons. Whether they came from a one on one conversation, or a group conversation, or some were just thoughts that smacked me in the face with no conversation needed, here they are. My lessons from Vegas.

  1. Community is so powerful. Relationships created on the idea that we are better together. Helping each other. Supporting one another. Building each other up. And the reminder that we aren’t alone.
  2. Believe in magic. Enjoy things as they are. Let them happen. Not everything has to make perfect sense with limits and boundaries. They can just be.
  3. Sleep can come later. Not too much later or I might get sick and die. That’s only sort of an exaggeration. But it can wait a few days 😉
  4. Good is still good. Everything doesn’t need to be great. And really what is great if everything is great. Just a reminder that good things are still good. Give them credit, be proud of good things. We can’t be great constantly. Good isn’t bad. Even though something might be small that doesn’t mean it’s insignificant.
  5. Just dance. It makes everything better. Even bad back pain. At least momentarily. As long as you don’t stop and you always have an alcoholic beverage 😉
  6. Inspiration is a collaboration. It doesn’t just miraculously appear. It starts somewhere and grows. Surround yourself with people who inspire. Dreamers. Thinkers. World shakers.

I have been a freak since I got home. Fluttering around. Totally been screwed by the time change, but my mind hasn’t stopped racing. From these lessons, thoughts and ideas brought up by this trip.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to go. And to those of you willing to give me a slice of your time til 5am you have a special place in my heart. I’m forever changed by you. I’m stoked to see this industry move forward with you all leading the way!

Some of these lessons/thoughts came from conversations on a walk with Meg where my extreme exhaustion played into my inability to keep my walls up and I emotionally broke down. Tears on the Las Vegas strip wasn’t on my agenda. But I’m so thankful for a friend that refuses to let me drown. That hour walk was monumental. I kept busy most of the trip that photos never happened. Except on that walk we found a white wall, pulled out our cameras and we laughed.  I love these beautiful images we took of each other. And why isn’t our hair that great everyday?!

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Astin Fowler - March 17, 2016 - 2:59 am

Although I haven’t been to WPPI or a convention yet I definitely look forward to it. But I connected with your lessons and your fluttery, racing mind because I am in that stage of my business as well. I stayed up till 4:30 last night going over my contract and client information sheets just to make sure I had everything written out exactly how I wanted it. Keep going! You can make great things happen.

Lee Brochstein - March 17, 2016 - 4:26 am

I have been debating on whether to go to some social media conferences lately and this post convinced me that YES! And, love the pictures!!

Dannie Lynn Fountain-Jagodzinski - March 17, 2016 - 10:57 pm

LOVE! I may not be a photographer but this was a really good review to help us non-industry folk understand why WPPI is so hot!!!

Nicole Leonard - March 18, 2016 - 1:32 am

Oh! I’ve never wanted to go to WPPI but this makes me wish I’d gone! Next year, maybe!

Emily Jean Smith - March 18, 2016 - 10:34 pm

“good is still good” Love it!! Sad that I had to miss WPPI this year, but still hoping to make it work for next year.