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WPPI 2018

05th March 2018

What’s is WPPI?


Late last momth, I left the bitter cold and snow of Michigan and trekked to a warmer environment for a couple of days. My destination was the Wedding & Portrait Photography International Conference and Expo in a warmer Las Vegas.

Here are some of the photographers lining up to register for WPPI. I was told that attendees numbered about 13,000.


WPPI is an annual event. The audience is the large set of professional photographers and videographers who earn their living shooting weddings, portraits, school and sporting events. The five day conference consist of classes, seminars, photo walks and live demonstrations taught by celebrated professionals and industry educators covering every imaginable photo topic.

In addition to the conference, there is a three day long expo at which several hundred manufacturers of photo equipment, accessories, photo finishing services, frames, albums, software and services present their products for attendees.

The venue for WPPI was the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on the south end of the LV Strip


This year the conference consisted or more than 200 different classes covering a wide gamut of subjects: equipment, lenses, posing, lighting, flash, printmaking, pricing, babies, special effects, drone. The list of instructors are among some of the most well-known and successful photographers: Me Rah Koh, Matt Kloskowski, Denis Regge, Terry White, Bob Davis, Lindsay Adler, Miichele Celentano, Bambi Cantrell, Julieanne Kost, Hanson Fong, Jerry Ghionis, Roberto Valenzuela, Tamara Lackey, and Joe McNally to name a few.


While I sat in on a few classes, I spent most of my time at the expo.

Follow me as I take you on a quick walk through of the exhibit hall to show you the types of photographic knowledge that is available at WPPI.


Special Effects Class

Lindsay Adler behind the lens


A Lighting Demo

Posing Babies


Jerry Ghionis at the mic

Portraits Up Close


Single Flash Demo

Group Shots


Hanson Fong Bounce Flash

…and the result


During the couple of days that I spent at WPPI, I talked to several exhibitors about their products.

I’ll have additional articles here describing these products in the next few weeks.

I hope you’ll be back here soon.

Fashion



 

 
Written by: Arnie Lee

 

 

Weddings, Portraits and More

11th February 2018

Upcoming WPPI 2018 Conference & Expo

Having been part of the software, computer and publishing industries since 1980, I’ve been to Las Vegas more times than I care to count.

However the thought of another laborious trip out West isn’t going to keep me away from the Wedding & Portrait Photography International event this year. For the past several years I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this meeting where 200+ classes are taught by professionals covering a wide range of photography topics including lighting, posing, drone, video, baby/child, sports, school, printing, retouching, marketing and business. Among the instructors are many recognizable names: Tamara Lackey, Lindsay Adler, Julieanne Kost, Sue Bryce, Jerry Ghionis, Roberto Valenzuela and Joe McNally who will share their skills with the attendees.

In addition to the standard classes, there are smaller and more intensive sessions aimed at a limited number of attendees. And for those who’d rather be in a non-classroom setting there are multiple scheduled Photo Walks that provide hands-on learning.

I’m especially interested in the WPPI Expo. In the large exhibit hall you’ll meet with manufacturers and suppliers of photo equipment, accessories, photofinishing, presentation and framing, software and services. On the expo floor, various manufacturers present live demonstrations of their equipment and techniques. It seems that all of the major brands are on hand to demonstrate their products and answer your questions. I’ve made many purchasing decisions after having met with sales reps at earlier WPPI events..


This audience is taking in a presentation at the Canon booth

If you’re anxious to sharpen your photography skills, take a look at the many classes that are offered at the conference. Last year WPPI hosted about 13,000 professional and advanced photographers.

WPPI will take place February 24 to 28 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. For more information please visit WPPI Conference & Expo.
 
 

By Arnie Lee
 
 


Summer Faces

31st May 2016

 


 

Just Faces

Here’s a small album of pictures that show you that Summer is here.

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 



 

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WPPI Conference & Expo

22nd February 2016

The Wedding & Portrait Photography International Conference and Expo

As I sit at my computer in crusty Michigan with the clouds building for another forecasted snow storm, I’m looking forward to escaping for a few days.

My destination is the WPPI Conference & Expo which begins March 3rd and runs through March 10th. For professional photographers and hobbyists alike, it’s a chance to learn from experts.

Additionally, you’ll travel to the warm climes of Las Vegas at the MGM Conference Center for extracurricular activities that are sure to add up to a practical education and fun packed week.

WPPI is comprised of hundreds of classes and seminars taught by noted photographers 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.

Alongside the conference is the expo portion in which 80,000 square feet of space occupied by 300 exhibitors who will showcase 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 wares.

To look at the wide range of classes and seminars please visit WPPI Conference & Expo.

Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 


 
 

WPPI 2015

20th March 2015

2015 Wedding and Portrait Photographers Conference

Each March I make it a habit of leaving the cold climes of Michigan to enjoy some warmth and sun. My destination is the WPPI Conference in sin city, Las Vegas.

 

From its name you can easily guess that the WPPI Conference is for photographers who are involved with weddings and portraits.

WPPI is mainly a learning experience for the 12,500+ participants. This year they attended more than 200 seminars, classes, demonstrations and photo walks taught by 150 expert speakers. Among many of the photographer-instructors were: Bambi Cantrell, Roberto Valenzuela, Julieanne Kost, Jerry Ghionis, Tamara Lackey, Clay Blackmore, Lindsay Adler, Bob Davis, Bruce Dorn, Gary Fong and Kevin Kubota. Subject matter included practical shooting techniques, posing, lighting, equipment, accessories on the technical end to marketing, advertising, pricing, client retention on the business end.

The WPPI show a staple in the photo industry – this was its 35th anniversary. It’s the premier show of its kind drawing photographers from 60 different countries.

Another side of WPPI is its huge 75,000 square foot Expo where some 275 vendors demonstrate and sell their newest equipment, accessories, supplies, software and services.

As you walk around the exhibit hall you’ll see live demo shoots, discussions and displays.

 



panel discussion at Nikon

entertainment at Plustek lighting


Bambi Cantrell

lining up to speak to Sony reps

 
To join the WPPI or learn more about the 2016 WPPI conference and expo, pleae visit WPPI Online site.

 
Please stay tuned for several upcoming articles about equipment and accessories that I reviewed at this year’s expo.

 

 
Written by Arnie Lee

 

 

 

 


Filling the frame

07th June 2011

Sometimes it pays to move in close

 

For portraits, conventional composition has you surrounding your main subject with a “border” – space around the face

For a more intimate look at your subject, throw away the rulebook!



In this photo, the young girl’s face has an interesting look but the background is slightly distracting.

Here we’ve moved closer to subject, eliminated the background and keyed in on her eyes and her giant smile.

By including the yard in this photo, we’ve caught this young lady in action but lost the emphasis of her face.

Again, by moving in close (or zooming in) we’ve changed the feel from an action shot to a portrait.

 


By simply minimizing or eliminating the border, you’ll key in on the all important eyes and face of your subject. The next time you’re shooting faces, try filling the frame.

 

 

Written by Arnie Lee

 


Beyond the Faces

06th May 2011

Adding Action to Portraits

 

As a grandfather with a camera, I’m very often snapping away when the grandchildren are nearby. So it shouldn’t be surprising that I have hundreds (maybe thousands) of photos of these kids in my collection.

Yesterday, three of them were out playing in our backyard. Here’s a few snapshots that I took. I’m a big fan of trying to incorporate action into these portraits. You be the judge of whether the action helps to make the picture.


My favorites are the candids. These are shots where the subject is totally unaware. When they’re preoccupied with having a fun experience, they may not know that you’re “spying” with your camera.

 


Obviously this is not a candid. Eden
knows that I’m taking her photo

But here she is unaware that
I’m snapping away

When it’s not possible to be totally candid you can use a semi-posed action shot. The action helps to avoid a face that’s preoccupied with the picturetaker.

 


This full length portrait of Logan
shows little motion

Here the angle of the shot
emphasizes his action on the slide

With a little patience, you can turn a static shot into a live action photo. A few minutes after taking the photo on the left below, she was being doing calisthenics – making the photo on the right much more exciting.

 


Here Ezra is clutching the wooden
post that’s supporting the swing set

Here she’s showing me the
agility that I wish I could still muster.

 


While each of the left-hand photos are OK, I’ve learned that adding a little action to the mix can turn my snapshots into real “keepers”.

Do you agree?

 

 

Written by Arnie Lee

 


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Add Soft Lighting to your off-camera flash

The modern day external flash unit is a vital accessory for indoor portraits, still life, food shots and more.

Light that originates from a small source such as an external flash unit is harsher than light that originates from a larger source. To “soften” the lighting especially for portraits, photographers often use “modifiers” to alter the lighting to something more pleasing. Most of the modifiers work by spreading the light out over a larger area.

LumiQuest has been a well-known maker of modifiers for many years. Among their bestsellers is the Softbox III. When I was attending the WPPI Expo, Heidi one of LumiQuest’s principals gave me a quick demonstration of this lightweight device. I was so impressed that I ordered one when I returned home.

The concentrated light from the flash bounces inside the reflector of the Softbox III and passes through the translucent material covering its face. Instead of harsh light originating from the small flash head, a softer light originates from a much larger reflector.

Follow along as I show you how I’ve used the Softbox III to improve the lighting on some of my recent portraits.

When it’s disassembled, the Softbox III folds flat to a 8″ x 9″ size, making it convenient to take anywhere.

As folded, it easily fits in the outer pocket of my camera bag so is always available when I’m carrying my external flash.

(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

(more…)

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…)

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