[talk: 2012 WPPI Conference.]

Last week I headed to Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2012 WPPI Conference. My friend Melody of Melody Davis Photography and I were roomies at the incredible Cosmopolitan Hotel - and man, were we excited.

The plan was simple ... a few days away to concentrate on our photography businesses - take a couple of classes, mingle with a few people, and maybe even head to out to take some pics in the Nevada sun ...

I had thought that the trip was going to be about learning more regarding the technical part of photography.  Instead, I left feeling like I learned so much about the TYPE of photographer I wanted to BE.  

It seemed to me that so much of the conference was driven around the financial part of our  businesses, as apposed to the reason why I fell in love with the art in the first place:  the emotion and memories.  It just didn't sit right with me - and that was a good thing.  Learning, learning, learning.

** um.  the raspberry creme brulee crepes above?  Mel's breakfast ... she's a champion. **

More than learning about stuff, I learned about who I want to be - how I wanted to portray myself ... and maybe even more importantly ... how I don't want to.  I realized the things that I don't want to do, the ways I don't want to run my business and what kind of images I don't want to take.

We attended a couple of classes, and listened to two great business women/photographers ... Jasmine Star and Jessica Claire.  This was time really well spent, gleaning from their experience ... and again - I just kept feeling confirmation about where I'm heading, where I want to go.  I particularly felt connected to Jessica who spoke specifically of her journey.  She showed us, through a powerpoint presentation, her humble beginnings and how she focused herself to move forward.   She was down-to-earth, she was family-oriented, she was talented.  It was brilliant.

During the week, we brainstormed and I bounced so many ideas off of my friend Melody.  Two brains are always better than one - and sometimes we encouraged each other, sometimes we suggested something else ... but it was the creative process in full-go.   Fantastic.

Most male business owners have weekly or monthly meetings.  Maybe they have a weekend conference or mandatory classes they take.  But - I think women entrepreneurs just don't have this opportunity - unless they make it happen themselves.  And let's be real - who has the time??  However, now that I've experienced it, I feel that every business-woman should be given the opportunity to stop their lives for just a couple of days and refocus themselves.  Time set aside to have a new goal, to recheck their motives, to rekindle that passion they had for what they did ... it's probably what we all should be doing.

For me - the experience simply nurtured the deep need I have to be creative.  Whether it was the La Reve show at the Wynn Hotel (yee gads, it was Cirque-inspired-genius), the perfectly presented crepes at the Paris Hotel or just walking down the main strip and marvelling at the architecture ... I found myself being drenched in new ideas and longing to go to the next level with RedHanded Photography. To make it stronger, better, without compromising why I started in the first place ... 

On day three, Melody and I rented a car and headed out into the desert - and there I learned what it felt like to be a client *grin*.  And no children as props *grin*, or hiding behind other family members.  I felt what it was like to be alone in front of that intimidating lens.

We took turns directing and modelling - something I am NOT used to at all ... and something that Melody's done quite a bit of *grin*.  A little unfair, perhaps, that my images will have her modelling expertise in them - while her pics will have me laughing and feeling self-conscious in most - saying "... Acccck.  I hate being in front of the camera!!"

That time in the desert was invaluable - and we made so many fun memories.  I have more pics and posts on that to share soon - and video *grin* ... we'll see if I can persuade Mel to share those with the world.  Don't worry - she's got equally entertaining material of me singing "Crocodile Rock" in the car ... I'm not about to post anything without her permission for fear she'll do the same *laughing* ... 

It was only a few nights ... and it didn't go by too fast or too slow.  It was just right.  Our hotel  was perfection.  Everything we ate was super yummy ... and the only clothes I didn't end up wearing was my workout gear *grin*.  It's ok ... my shins needed the break.

** yes.  that's a toe-ring.  I don't even know if I can get it off ... **

So what now?

Well - I'm now looking forward to relaunching RedHanded Photography with its new branding and website.  Why?  Because I think it's important to always move forward, to have a fresh idea - and to continue to stretch myself creatively.  

And I know my do's and don'ts:  I don't want to be a photographer that loses sight of the love I have for it; for the love I have for meeting new people, and for the immense privilege it is to be chosen - for whatever it is that they've asked me to capture.

I don't want to be robbed of that by succumbing to "what everyone else is doing".

I don't want people to hire me because of cool-styling or props ... I want people to want ME to be their photographer because my passion is obvious and my work tells their story - not my own.  I want to have earned the title "photographer" - not just because I chose this profession, but because it's WHO I am.

I don't want to ever think I know it all, and be afraid of trying new things.

I don't want to be busier - I want to be better.

And I did try something new, by taking every one of these pics with my IPhone.  It literally stretched me and forced me to see things differently, and it actually got pretty fun.

So.  There you have it ... fresh breath into my business, a new focus, a new confirmation ... and I can't wait to relaunch April 1, 2012.  

It's gonna be a great day.  No foolin' *grin*.


  1. We had a great time getting to know you better! You are a lot of fun!

  2. :-) ... it was so great connecting with you two as well. the whole thing was such a great experience - for more than just the obvious. really great.

  3. Lovely pictures and awesome photography.

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