Welp! This post might be a little overdue, but with a double header wedding weekend and twitch-gate 2015 welcoming us home from Vegas, this is the first chance we’ve had to reflect on everything that happened last week at WPPI! Wow! What a whirlwind!
We’ve got a full recap down below, but we thought we’d start off with a few photos from our very first time ever teaching at WPPI! Last year was our first year even attending photography conferences, so we were beyond honored, excited and slightly terrified when we found out we’d be teaching a master class at one of the largest photography conferences in the world this year! We taught on a topic that we’ve become really passionate about over time because we’ve seen such incredible things happen in the lives of other photographers as we’ve taught Get Published in 5 Simple Steps across the country. There was definitely an extra set of nerves this time around, just because the WPPI setting is so intimidating. As you can see, Amy was so nervous that she didn’t let go of her coffee the entire talk. The one thing she’s figured out, though, is with a good skirt and a big cup of coffee, ANYTHING is possible!
Once we got going, we had a lot of fun, were so happy with the way it went and were so grateful for all the photographers who let us know how it impacted them. It made all the hard work, sleepless nights and caffeine consumption more than worth it. We are truly so thankful to that early morning crew of students, who bared a not-so-enjoyable wake-up time to spend the morning with us, and for our sweet friend Melissa Jill, who also woke up WAY too early to be with us and take these photos!
Yep, still holding on.
Look at that grip.
She’d make Lorelai Gilmore proud.
Probably one of the most ironic parts of attending a huge photography conference like this is we spend a whole week talking about professional photography, and then don’t even think to take one single picture with our professional cameras! Which means we’re sharing about the rest of our trip through our trusty iPhone 5 photos!
Right before our talk, we looked at the sign outside our class and did a double take. Mostly because we didn’t realize how different we look in our bio photo than we do in real life! The power of Photoshop, eh? If we ever signed up for online dating, THIS is definitely the photo we would use. The gracious staff at WPPI came to personally apologize for the mistake and tried to fix it right away, but we insisted they keep it up the way it was. It was the perfect reminder that while we may be speaking at WPPI for the first time, we really AIN’T THAT GREAT!!
Even though our days and nights were absolutely PACKED from morning ’til night, we still found a few ways to sneak in some good ol’ fashioned sight-seeing, including a pit stop at The Hoover Dam and a late night ice cream hunt on The Strip with friends that turned into an extended wild goose chase and a memory we wouldn’t trade for any of it.
We also had the honor of volunteering as models for Thirst Relief, an incredible organization with a huge heart, who partnered with four awesome photographers to help raise money with a shoot-out where photographers could learn how to shoot from a group of talented industry leaders. Amy got pampered by the Thirst Relief team with professional hair, makeup and a dress that had her channeling her inner-Beyonce all night. We were paired with the incomparable Zach Gray, who is an absolute wizard with off-camera flash (OCF). Zach made us look WAY cooler than we are in real life, and we’re excited to share more of those soon!
The week was full of honors, including our brilliant friend Mary Marantz asking Jordan to introduce her during her platform talk! How do you write an introduction for the ultimate writer? Someone with so much talent and wisdom and someone we love so much?! So much pressure! We realized the only answer was to speak from the heart — and throw in a Bon Jovi reference and Teddy Roosevelt comparison! Obviously.
We also had the immense honor of being named one of Rangefinder Magazine’s 10 Educators to Watch, and seeing it in print was definitely one of the most surreal moments of the conference!
Aside from all that though, the moments from this conference that we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives will have nothing to do with stages or magazines or bright lights, and have everything to do with the people we are blessed to call friends. Friends who slipped handwritten letters of prayer and encouragement under our hotel room door in the middle of the night. Friends who know that leadership doesn’t start on a stage; it starts with bowed heads on bended knees. Friends who cheer each other on, build each other up, and celebrate each other’s successes as if they were their own. Friends who make us laugh until we cry, who make late-night conversations worth a little less sleep and friends who make us feel like the luckiest people in the world just by knowing them. That, friends, is true industry success.
We l-o-v-e traveling! Wanna catch up with our adventures around the world? You can do that here!
Domestic: Nashville • Denver • Phoenix • Vancouver • Seattle • Vegas • Atlanta • Santa Barbara • Florida • Virginia • New England/New York • Sedona • San Diego • Nantucket • Boston • San Diego • Virginia • Arizona