We’re fresh back from Las Vegas, where Eileen and I were privileged to be instructors at WPPI, the world’s largest wedding and portrait photography convention. What a week it was! Although we’ve spoken at WPPI before, this was our first year being offered a full speaking schedule — from our class at the WPPI University, to platform-style classes, to our special Ignite presentation that closed the week, and even an on-location PhotoWalk class with live models (shown below). The experience exceded our expectations in every way. Honestly, we expected perhaps 50 to 100 attendees per class, which would be considered a good turnout for “newcomers” like us. Instead, on day one we were thrown headfirst into a class of over 300 attendees! That was followed up with speaking at Photographers Ignite to a giant auditorium of 1,000 photographers at the MGM Grand. On top of that, our personal PhotoWalk class on the Vegas strip sold out — a complete shock! Thankfully, we didn’t trip on stage or make too many gaffes, and the audiences seemed very forgiving of my corny sense of humor…
We especially enjoyed attending evening soirees, including the Shutter Magazine party (a magazine I’m a writer for) and the WPPI Annual Awards Ceremony. (We even won an award for our Second Half Competition portrait entry “Adoration.”) But our favorite gathering was the smaller and more intimate benefit for Thirst Relief, one of our favorite non-profits, where we got to sit down and really get to know a few of the biggest names in photography who also support the organization. Meeting and speaking alongside Cheryl Haggard of NILMDTS was a great honor as well; her organization is doing such important work through photography.
Best of all was re-connecting with our fellow photographers and friends whom we only see once or twice each year. Two of those people are our friends and also husband-wife team, the amazing Rob Adams (of Rob Adams Films) and Vanessa Joy Adams (of Vanessa Joy Photography). These two are even busier than we are, instructing and photographing celebrity weddings; so we were so happy they agreed to model for us during our PhotoWalk. In return, Eileen and I even got to model for Vanessa’s class, which was a ton of fun — and super-educational for us being on the other side of the lens. Some of those photos coming soon! Of course, the sweetest part of the reunion this year was finally meeting Rob and Vanessa’s brand new baby girl. 🙂
I especially want to take a moment and thank I Do I Do Bridal Boutique right here in Athens, GA, for working with us and providing the gorgeous wedding attire for our models. We love having such talented stylists right down the road from us!
And thanks to all our students this year! We met some really amazing people in all of you, shared some terrific conversations, and have been super impressed with the quaity work we’re seeing coming out of your cameras. Special thanks to Robert Armstrong for sharing behind-the-scenes photos with us, including some of those below which he shot. If you still have images to post from our PhotoWalk or other classes, continue hashtagging them #BlumeEDU. We’re on Instagram and Twitter, and we can’t wait to see more! 🙂