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Wrapping Up the Event

 



The cold and snowy winter days in Michigan have me longing for a warmer respite. So the call of the exciting Wedding and Portrait Photography International Conference and Expo is excuse enough for me to hop on a plane to visit the warm climes of Las Vegas.

The goal of the conference portion of WPPI is to hone the skills of professionals who specialize in weddings, portraits, video, school and sporting photography. Classes, seminars and photo walks are led by noted pros and educators who share their techniques with attendees to help grow their business.

The expo portion of WPPI takes place in a huge hall where manufacturers of photo equipment, accessories, materials, and services can present their products to attendees.

The venue for WPPI was the huge Las Vegas Convention Center. Event organizers told me that the show outgrew the space at MGM Center. The LVCC was easily able to accommodate the 13,000 attendees and 230 exhibitors.


Convention goers are attracted to WPPI by the many well-know photographers and instructors that conduct more than 200 different classes. You may recognize some of their names and work: Joe McNally, Sue Bryce, Joe Switzer, Lindsay Adler, Tamara Lackey, Me Ra Koh, Bambi Cantrell, Katrin Eismann, Bob Davis, Jerry Ghionis, Roberto Valenzuela and Julianne Kost to name a few.


At the expo, I made my way through the exhibit hall and stopped often to listen to many of the seminars and demonstrations sponsored by the major equipment manufacturers. Here’s a quick look at a wide variety of topics presented to attendees.


Lighting Techniques


A Nikon Demo


Self-Portraiture & Posing


presented by Brooke Shaden

Posing the Family


presented by Michele Celentano


Nikon Ambassador


Dixie Dixon

with an attentive audience



Photojournalist Joe Bussink

Talking Mirrorless Cameras at Fuji

My stay in Las Vegas was short but I did talk to dozens of equipment and accessory suppliers during my visit to WPPI. As soon as I get my act together, I’ll review some of items that caught my attention.


 

 
Written by: Arnie Lee

 

 

WPPI 2017

20th January 2017

Wedding & Portrait Photography International


Conference and Expo

 


 

 

In just a few days, the WPPI Convention will be underway. I’ll be heading out to the (hopefully) warm climes of Las Vegas to attend this annual gathering that takes places from Feb 5th through Feb 9th.

The WPPI is for photography professionals who are looking to enhance their various skills – posing, lighting, printing, marketing and sales. More than 200 classes are taught by expert photographers and speakers. In addition to the core wedding and portrait photography classes, a new Professional School & Sports Photography (PSPI) program has been developed to capture this growing segment.

To accommodate an expected 12,000 attendees, the WPPI has moved to the spacious Las Vegas Convention Center. These classes are led by 175 instructors including notables such as Katrin Eismann, Julianne Kost, Lindsay Adler, Joe McNally, Jerry Ghionis, Roberto Valenzuela, Bambi Cantrell and Bob Davis to name a few. Click here to see the wide variety of classes and instructors.

The expo portion of the convention has some 250 exhibitors in the hall showing the newest cameras, lenses, equipment, lighting, accessories, supplies, marketing material and services. All of the major camera manufacturers have booths where they demonstrate their latest wares.

For more information on this year’s convention, please visit the WPPI Conference & Expo website.

I hope to see you there.


Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 


 
 

WPPI 2016

28th March 2016

The Wedding & Portrait Photography International Conference and Expo

Can you guess who the target audience is for this convention?

For those professionals who want to enhance their skills – posing, lighting, equipment, marketing – the WPPI is a week-long “university” taught by experts. This year’s WPPI took place March 3rd through March 10th at the MGM Conference Center in Las Vegas. WPPI organized more than 250 classes and seminars for 13,000 anxious attendees. These classes were taught by 175 instructors including notables such as Joe McNally, Tamara Lackey, Lindsay Adler, Roberto Valenzuela, Bambi Cantrell, Hanson Fong, Kevin Kabota, Jerry Ghionis and Gary Fong to name a few.

In addition to the conference, the expo highlighted 270 exhibitors showed the newest cameras, lenses, equipment, lighting, accessories, supplies, marketing material and services. All of the major camera manufacturers will set up booths to demonstrate their latest equipment.

Following is a look at those items that caught my attention at the this year’s WPPI a couple of weeks ago.

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Presentations and Seminars

There were many opportunities for everyone to learn new posing and lighting techniques right on the expo floor. All of the camera makers and many vendors were holding demonstrations conducted by well-known photographer/educators.






DXO One

This small unit is a camera that works in conjunction with an iPhone. With a large 20mp 1″ sensor and f/1.8 lens you attach it to your iPhone to control settings. It also works “off-phone” if you want a small, lightweight camera. Though small, it can capture RAW images too. I found it very straight-forward to use and the images were quite good considering the convention hall lighting.

Suggested price is $499. For more information please visit DXO



MagMod

MagMod makes a set of accessories to improve the quality of light from your flash unit. These include a snoot to narrow the light to a beam, a sphere to diffuse and soften the light and a bounce that reflects the light output and avoid harsh shadows, gel which add various colors to the light and grid to focus the light.

What is unique about these accessories is that become part of your flash unit using a magnet for instant attachment. Price for the complete set is $235.

For more information please visit MagMod



RL Handscrafts

I received two demos at this booth. One was for their Derringer above left for carrying from 1 to 3 cameras. You wear the strap on both shoulders with wide padded straps that relieve pressure points and back. The straps are adjustable for easy access to any of the cameras. Price is $485.

For carrying two cameras, the Clydesdale above right can help you more easily carry your equipment. The strap attaches solidly to the camera’s tripod socket. RL makes several styles differing in weight, padding, air holes for easier breathing, color. Prices start at $205 to $425 for the deluxe version.

For more information please visit RL Handcrafts



Sony G Master Lenses

Sony is the undisputed leader of mirrorless cameras. They have been rapidly adding lenses to support their highly acclaimed full-frame models: A7R II and A7S II cameras.

Three of Sony’s new lenses made it to WPPI for demoing. These are the 85mm f/1.4 GM, 70-200mm f/2.8 OSS and 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. Prices are $1800, $2900 and $2200 respectively. For the 70-200mm lens, Sony is also releasing 1.4X and 2.0X teleconverters. Sony claims a higher resolution of the G series lenses compared to others and superior auto focus performance.

For more information please visit Sony



Spider Holster

Spider makes a holster with a unique locking-clamping device for conveniently carrying your camera at your waist. The holster is adjustable and is worn like a belt to either side. The clamping device is solid and easily slides into the holster for hands-free carriage. Price for the Spider Pro holster is $135.

The company also has a variety of heavy duty hand straps that come in a variety of colors. All are made of durable material, attach to the camera with a tripod plate and include a removable wrist strap. Price for the black model is $65 and $75 for other colors.

For more information please visit Spider.


Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 


 
 

PhotoPlus Expo

09th November 2015


 
 

The PhotoPlus Expo is the largest photography show in the US. This year more than 21,000 photo professionals and enthusiasts flocked to New York City’s Jacob Javits Center to attend the various events. These included more than 100+ classes conducted by 140 speakers covering posing, lighting, equipment, software, services, business techniques and strategy. In addition there were 15 photo walks across the New York City landscape in which participants were mentored by noted professionals.

I took an interest in the more than 250 exhibitors covering more than 100,000 square feet of space and demonstrating their goods and services.

 
 


Following are some of the exhibits that I stopped by during my visit to PhotoPlus Expo.

There were an abundance of live seminars and demonstrations on the expo floor. These covered a large gamut of photo topics: better use of equipment, lighting techniques, wedding and portrait sets, directing and posing subjects, post-processing and software usage.

Many well-known photographers and educators were on hand for the seminars and floor demos: Hanson Fong, Joe McNally, Lindsay Adler, Tamara Lackey, Terry White, Julianne Kost, Scott Kelby to name a few. With more than 100 classes, there is learning for every photographic category.


Equipment

For those interested in trying new cameras and accessories, all of the major manufacturers had exhibits and representatives to demonstrate their wares and answer questions. Even hard-to-find accessories such as these long lenses were available for hands-on trial for the many interested photographers.

 


Services

Many attendees use the services available at PhotoPlus to clean and/or service their equipment Here is a Canon rep cleaning a DLSR while the owner waits. The major manufacturers Canon, Nikon, Sony and Panasonic all had technicians on hand to provide service to those with extended service contracts. They also provided complimentary cleaning.

 


Barber Shop Leather Accessories

I was attracted to goods at the Barber Shop booth. They had a very attractive collection of leather camera straps and cameras bags. Barber Shop is an Italian company and these goods were exquisitely stylish and solidly made. For more information visit Barber Shop.


LowePro Camera Bags

Based on my many years of satisfaction with their products, I stopped at the LowePro booth. On display were several dozen of backpack style camera bags in sizes varying from small for a single camera to extra large for two cameras with six or more lenses.

I took to their Urban Reporter which looks more like a messenger bag rather than a conventional camera bag. It has room for a laptop, a large camera and ample padded storage for several lenses and accessories.

I also saw their new DroneGuard. This is a case designed to carry a drone (e.g. DJI Phantom) and accessories. This makes transporting the drone convenient and safe.

You can learn about their product line by visiting LowePro.


Urban Reporter 350

DroneGuard

Tornado Hexcopter Drone

Drones are available in many different sizes and sport a wide variety of features. It’s almost essential that these flying devices have excellent digital equipment, stabilization and easy control if the desired end result is quality photography and video.

At the Yuneec booth, the Canadian company’s product director Mark Padilla gave me a demonstration of their Tornado H920. This professional drone has a lightweight carbon fiber body controlled by a sophisticated remote that includes “pilot view”, video downlink and instrumentation.

The camera provides full 1080 HD. Since the drone’s landing pods are retractable, the camera has an unobstructed view. Additionally, it is mounted on a controllable 3-axis gimbal for steady shots.

For more information please contact Yuneec.

Below you can see Mark giving me a demo of the Tornado H920:

 



Cotton Carrier Harnesses

As an outdoor photographer, I typically carry two or more cameras on assignment and headed to Cotton Carrier to look at their products.

Their “vest” holds one or two handsfree depending on the options selected. Each camera is held to the vest using a locking connector and leash. They also have a Speed Belt for holding a camera at waist level.

You can learn more about their lineup at Cotton Carrier


Epson SureColor P800

Over the years I’ve owned several professional quality printers. The most recent was limited to 13″ wide prints.

I’m now interested in a printer for making larger prints and stopped to talk to the Epson representative who demonstrated their new SureColor P800. This device can make 17″ wide prints on a very wide variety of papers, has several paper handling features including roll feeder, uses large capacity ink cartridges with enhanced black and white printing. The samples produced during the demo were superb. The SureColor P800 is now on my wish list.

You can find out more about the P800 by visiting Epson.


Kodak PixPro SP360 Action Camera

Kodak’s Rep Amanda Drain gave me a demo of their innovative PixPro SP360 Action Camera. As its name suggests, it captures 360 degrees as 1080p HD video.

The camera itself is a cube with a dome on top. It’s weather resistant and ruggedly designed to withstand drops and knocks. It has Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity and can be controlled with either IOS (Apple) or Android devices.

To see samples of the 360 HD video and for more information please visit Kodak PixPro.


If you’re ready to experience the PhotoPlus Conference next year, mark your calendar for October 19-22 at Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 


 
 
 

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PhotoPlus Expo 2014

18th November 2014

When October comes around, I usually journey back to the stomping grounds of my youth, New York City.

I’m always anxious to attend the PhotoPlus Expo at Jacob Javits Center.

This year it was held from October 30th through November 1st.



More than 21,000 professional and enthusiasts flocked to Javits to see this year’s expo.



on floor seminar from Sony

on floor seminar from Canon

PhotoPlus combines photo education classes and a large exposition. There are about 80 classes and seminars covering diverse topics such as techniques for posing, lighting, composition, movie making, sound reproduction, marketing and business practices.



on floor seminar from Nikon

on floor seminar from Wescott

The large exposition had 225 exhibitors including 60 making their first appearance at PhotoPlus.

I thoroughly enjoy walking the aisles and talking to the vendors and learning what’s new in photographic equipment and accessories.


 
 
This is one of my favorite shows for learning about new photographic equipment and accessories. I’m now preparing a series of articles that highlight some of the new products from the show. You’ll see them shortly.
 
 
Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 
 


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Joby Wrist Strap

27th March 2014

Another “Handy” Accessory

Earlier this month I stopped by the Joby’s booth at the Wedding & Portrait Photographer’s International Expo. There I picked up one of their DSLR Wrist Straps.

While this is not a particularly sexy accessory, I’ve found it to be quite practical. Instead of a conventional shoulder strap which I have to slide off my shoulder in order to use the camera, the wrist strap lets me hold the camera conveniently and safely. It’s especially useful when I’m shooting from a single location and am not transporting the camera distances. The camera is there in my hand ready to shoot immediately.


The strap attaches to one of the camera strap lugs. The adjustable “loop” slides snugly across your wrist giving you a safe grip.

This inexpensive DSLR Wrist Strap is made of heavy-duty webbed material and costs about $15. For more information please visit Joby’s online website.
 
 
Reviewed by Arnie Lee
 
 


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Parade of New Cameras

01st October 2012

Photokina Part 1 – the new stuff

Every two years the photographic industry gathers at Photokina to introduce its new products.

The event takes place over a week period in early September at the huge Koelnmesse Exhibition Center in Cologne, Germany.



 

This year I again attended Photokina along with some 150,000 other visitors and walked the aisles of the messe’s ten huge halls to see the new photographic and imaging products from more than 1500 vendors.

What follows is a condensed report of those products that were of particular interest to me.
(more…)

Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Convention – Part 2

Here’s a follow up to yesterday’s report from the WPPI Convention. Below are several more of the exhibitors with whom I stopped to talk about their products.


The Spider Pro Camera Holster is a safe, hands-free way to carry your camera. A study bracket mounts to the bottom of your camera and securely clips to a wide, padded belt. The unit can be locked to prevent the camera from accidentally falling. The price is about $135.

A second lightweight model is designed for smaller point-and-shoot cameras.

For more information, contact Spiderholster

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Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Convention – Part 1

February 21, 2011

The WPPI holds its annual convention here in Las Vegas. My original plan was to fly here from Grand Rapids on Sunday. But the weather man kept telling me that Sunday was going to be a no-no because of the umteenth snow storm that was closing in on the midwest. So I rescheduled my flight and arrived here late Saturday and beat the foot of snow that closed highways, schools and activities.

The convention started on February 17 and runs through February 24th. There are two parts to the convention.

  • the first part are dozens of seminars led by some of the best names in the wedding and portrait photography business. Many of these professionals are versed in the creative styling, equipment selection, lighting techniques, printing selection and workflow while others are experts in the selling, advertising, promotion and business end too. I counted more than 100 different seminars with diverse titles as: “The Art of Light and Motion”, “Lightroom – step by step workflow for beginners”, “Winning Marketing Strategies”, “High Fashion Meets Wedding”, “The Power of Video Marketing” and “Your Wedding Business from Scratch to Success”.
  • The second part of the convention is the trade show with more than 300 exhibitors including the major camera, lighting and photo printer services.

The WPPI management was predicting 13,000 attendees – an impressive number mostly owing to a very full and robust set of seminars. The high attendance suggests that these individuals understand the importance of investing in their profession.

Today I spent some time at the trade show. Here’s a few of the exhibitors with whom I stopped to talk about their products.

Here’s a look at some of the attendees crowding around one of the camera manufacturers booth. The major camera makers were there: Canon, Fuji, Leica, Nikon, Panasonic, Sigma and Sony.

There were also dozens of lighting manufacturers, makers of camera bags and backpacks, tripods, backdrops, wireless flash syncs and printers.

In full force were photo printing services. With so many wedding and portrait photographers attending, they were keen to show them the huge range of photo services offered.

(more…)