Category Archives for "WORKSHOPS/CONFERENCES"

WPPI 2015 Overview – Show Returns to Las Vegas on 2/28/2015

I’ve been attending photo shows sponsored by photo organizations, publications and other industry groups for over 20 years, and there are a few that really stand out in my mind for the quality of programs and the trade shows that usually accompany them. One of them, the PhotoPlus Expo, happens each Fall in New York City (you can read my review of the 2014 show here), and another fantastic one (Imaging USA) is being held this year in the beginning of February in Nashville, TN.

I just received some information about the programming schedule for The Wedding & Portrait Photography Conference and Expo (WPPI) 2015, which is returning to Las Vegas from 2/28 to 3/5/2015. Even if you don’t plan to attend, there is a lot of great information that can be found by reading through the course descriptions and following the news about the show on Twitter, Facebook or the show’s website. Below is the full text of the press release, which covers a lot of information about the event. Some of the things I found most interesting are the new photo walks, the four day hands-on filmmaking class that looks like a great opportunity for those interested in diving into (or improving their skills in) the world of “moving pictures,” and Joe McNally’s two-hour keynote, scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, from 8-10 pm. If you’ve ever had a chance to attend a Joe McNally talk or view one of his presentations online while he shows his outstanding imagery, it’s always enlightening.

PRESS RELEASE (reproduced in its entirety)

Photo Walks, PLUS Classes and Keynote by Joe McNally Highlight New Education and Inspiration at WPPI 2015

Reduced Prices for New One-Day Plus Classes, 50 Photo Walks through Las Vegas, and Intense Four-Day Filmmaking Track Exemplify WPPI’s Dedication to Innovative Learning

New York – December 30, 2014 – The Wedding & Portrait Photography Conference and Expo (WPPI) continues to be the most anticipated event of the photographic industry, and for good reason.  For one week each year, thousands of photographers and filmmakers gather in Las Vegas to try new products, expand their skillsets by taking premier, hands-on educational courses, and network with friends and industry leaders. The annual conference promises new events and educational additions each year and WPPI 2015 promises to continue that tradition.

“WPPI has built a solid foundation by providing unique ways of educating our attendees – creative learning techniques, events, and technologies are all part of the fabric that makes up the WPPI experience,” explains Jason Groupp, WPPI director of education and membership.  “WPPI 2015 is filled with new seminar tracks, an amazing lineup of Photo Walks, an inspirational keynote by Joe McNally, and two very exciting networking parties. We’re giving our attendees the chance to learn directly from their role models. These are priceless lessons that will stay with our community members forever.”

For the first time, WPPI will host a series of Photo Walks – 50 total – led by some of the industry’s most renowned photographers and educators including Jen HillengaCM LeungTony CorbellRocco AncoraZach and Jody GrayJennifer Rozenbaum, and Kelly Brown. Attendees can choose to begin or end each day with an interactive Photo Walk conducted at a variety of locations in and around Las Vegas.  A complete listing of scheduled Photo Walks can be found here; for more details on each walk, visit the WPPI Photo Walk Facebook page where many of the walk leaders are sharing ideas and schedules for their walks as well as answering questions on each session.

Catering to the positive feedback on smaller, hands-on classes, WPPI has added 10 new one-day PLUS Classes for 2015 for a reduced price; $149 each for members and students, $199 for non-members.  Limited to 25 participants per class, attendees will benefit from a more personalized and intimate learning environment. Each PLUS class will consist of a 2-3 hour presentation, followed by hands-on training and an afternoon of on-location shooting.

Attendees are encouraged to participate in the online #WPPIKNOW Trivia Challenge. Photographers who answer each question correctly will be entered to win a free Full Platform Pass to WPPI. A Full Platform Pass is required for attendees wishing to take a PLUS/ Master class or Photo Walk. For those already registered, WPPI is giving the winners $99 to put towards the purchase of any educational class. To play, Like the WPPI Online Facebook page and look for the next #WPPIKNOW post or email in your inbox.

On Tuesday evening, March 3 (8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.), Joe McNally will take to the stage for this year’s keynote presentation.  McNally has been recognized amongst the 100 most important people in the industry. His career has spanned more than 30 years with assignments in more than 50 countries, including shooting cover stories for TIME, Newsweek, Fortune, & The New York Times Sunday Magazine. After a day of interactive learning, attendees will be able to sit back, relax, and be inspired by one of our industry’s greatest photographers.

WPPI 2015 will again host an intensive four day hands-on filmmaking class led by Joe Switzer, limited to 20 students to ensure an intense and interactive experience.  Participants will be part of the crew that writes, shoots, and edits the official 2015 WPPI video from beginning to end.  The film will make its debut during the awards ceremony on March 4th.

Did Someone Say Party?

WPPI 2015 will be hosting two networking parties.

WPPI officially kicks-off on Saturday night, February 28 with its new evening event, Almost Famous. For the first time, WPPI will celebrate other talents of its members against a backdrop of their photography. Whether it be song, dance, playing an instrument or any entertaining talent, WPPI members are invited to strut their stuff in front of a live audience for a fun, entertaining and inspirational night. Hosted by Grand Master of WPPI Jerry Ghionis and proudly supported by Triple Scoop Music, this will be the perfect introduction to your 2015 WPPI experience! The showcase will be followed by a performance by a Triple Scoop Music artist for a night of fun and dancing.

Sunday night, March 1, will feature the annual Opening Party at Hakkasan, the hottest nightclub in Vegas which is conveniently located inside the MGM Grand. The party, proudly sponsored by industry giants Canon U.S.A., Inc. and Bay Photo, is exclusive to WPPI Full Platform Pass holders and includes an evening filled with drinks, glitzy photo opps, and dancing to the beats of the resident DJ.

On Monday evening, March 2, attendees will enjoy an evening under the open skies of Vegas by the MGM’s famed Producer’s Pool. Enjoy the company of your peers, industry leaders, and the sights of Las Vegas while sipping cocktails and enjoying music beneath the stars.

About WPPI

The WPPI Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference + Expo is the premier industry event for photographers and now, filmmakers, specializing in the creative and business aspects of wedding, portrait photography and filmmaking. Each year, over 13,000 professional and imaging professionals attend WPPI to learn new techniques from industry leaders, build new relationships to help grow their business, experiment with new products from major manufacturers to improve productivity, and to use Vegas as a backdrop while expanding skillsets and portfolios.

Additional information and a complete schedule of seminars and activities is available online at

Related Links


Composition and Lighting Tip from Digital Photo Academy Instructor Don Peters

Last month, we started highlighting images, tips and insights from instructors at Digital Photo Academy (DPA). This month, we’re highlighting an image from Photographer Don Peters, one of the 100+ instructors at DPA. Don is based in Chicago as well as Orlando (generally during the winter months). This photo definitely reminds me of the colors I often see when visiting the amazing theme parks located in and around Orlando.

photo © Donald Peters, All Rights Reserved (click for a larger version)

“My mantra, in my Composition in the Field Classes for DPA, is to look for color, shape, texture, pattern, line, form….etc.   This in-studio composition of a simple array of colored pencils gave me an opportunity to explore several of these elements.  Using close-up extension tubes, mounted between my camera and lens, I was able to focus very closely on my composition of the pencil tips.  Using a goose-neck desk lamp was all the illumination needed for this on-tripod exposure, and I was able to move the lamp around to try various pleasing light angles to create shadow and best show off the texture of the shaved wood.   Because the lamp I used had an incandescent bulb, I adjusted the white balance setting in my camera to overcome the “yellow” cast of the bulb and make the subject appear more natural.”

Technical Information:
Camera: Nikon D300 on a tripod with cable release
Lens: Tamron 90mm, 1:1 macro
Kenko 50 mm extension tube
Aperture: f/11
Shutter speed: 1/150
ISO: 200

Lighting: Simple goose-neck desk lamp with incandescent bulb, about 45 degrees left of the subject, which cast some shadow on the right side of each pencil, to portray the form of the curved objects.

The front of the lens was about 4” from the pencils for this image.

You can learn more about Don, and find some of his other images on the Digital Photo Academy site by visiting this page.



A Winter Image and Inspirational Thoughts by Photographer and Digital Photo Academy Instructor Frank Siteman

I’m very happy to announce that periodically, The Imaging Buffet will be highlighting images, tips and insights from instructors at Digital Photo Academy. Digital Photo Academy offers live weekend photography classes in approximately 20 cities across the United States each month. This month, we’re highlighting an image from Boston-based Photographer Frank Siteman, one of the 100+ Digital Photo Academy instructors. With winter coming soon (hopefully not too soon!), Frank’s image and tip to capture a snowy evening can serve as inspiration:

photo © Frank Siteman, All Rights Reserved (click for a larger version)

“This image was made while I was working on a motion picture in Woodstock, VT in the late spring.  One of my assignments was to shoot footage for the opening sequence and to scout locations.  Driving around snow-covered muddy roads was a challenge, but finding beauty in the early morning was anything but.

I found this house, enveloped by a wet sticky snow, before 5AM, and being the only vehicle out at that time… and a stranger to boot, drew attention.  It was just what was needed to create a human touch to offset the cold and somewhat forbidding environment. Daylight color balance assured the light from the inside of the home would be very warm and since the sun was hours away from rising, the daylight, like the day itself, remained a very cool blue.  This intense contrast of those complimentary colors, as well as the web of snow covered tree limbs worked well to create an atmosphere of intrigue.  This image, with the person peering from behind a curtain, presents an unknown story, and in doing so, maintains interest for the viewer.  Who’s looking at whom?

Using a 20mm wide angle lens, I  hand-held my camera for a 1/30th sec exposure at f/4, at ISO 100.”

You can learn more about Frank, and check out some of his other images on the Digital Photo Academy site by visiting this page:

Please note: The Imaging Buffet receives no compensation for bringing these images and tips to you, and we have full editorial control over the content. As a part of our relationship with Digital Photo Academy, you will find information about The Imaging Buffet and upcoming workshops and events on their website.

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