nternet, it's the time. Can you smell it? Feel it? When 15,000 photographers descend on Las Vegas for a week of learning, networking, and debauchery, you know it's nothing else than the WPPI Conference. This year marks my fifth year in attendance and my third as a speaker and it always amazing to walk away from Sin City with a pocketful of new friends...I love connecting with photographers, so if our paths cross, please say hi!
I'm incredibly honored to announce I'll be hosting a platform presentation entitled The Anatomy of Lips + Clicks on Monday, February 20, 2012 at 3:30pm sponsored by the amazing folks at PASS. Lips + Clicks will dissect HOW people talk about you as a better way to enable them to market your services and grow your business. It'd probably be best to preboard for this WPPI class because seating will be limited and registering secures your seat!
Last year I had the privilege of speaking in MGM's Arena (but I won't be speaking there this year) and while it was an awesome opportunity, I felt something was missing from the experience. And that 'thing' was awesome music. A few months later, I was at a party when I heard The Flashdance mix and all of a sudden I was THAT guest. You know, the girl who needs to be peeled from the dancefloor after making holes from all the moves she busted? Yeah, that was me.
A few weeks ago, I took a random chance and emailed The Flashdance to inquire if he'd like to see my dance moves again (I'm telling you, they're epic). He'll be in Las Vegas to DJ a premiere major rager for photographers--otherwise known as Airplanes and Blazers--on Monday night, so it seemed like the universe was really putting us together. And then I promised not to act all creepy and stuff. Many thanks to Blogstomp for sponsoring his appearance (for those who don't know, Blogstomp is what I use to place borders on my online images) and if there's an impromptu dance party on Monday afternoon, we'll know who to blame.
I'd love to see you there...and who knows...maybe THE CLAW will make a repeat appearance!
On Tuesday morning, I'll be speaking at Showit United (if you haven't already registered, this event is closed), then heading back home. It's a super short trip for me this year, but I promise to make it up on the road while visiting a city near you at The Fix!
Out + About : Vivian Maier Exhibition
heard about Vivian Maier and--at the risk of being totally dramatic--I fell in love. You can find out more of her story here, but the Cliff Notes version is this: a guy stumbles into a pile of photograph negatives and discovers a treasure of work by an unknown artist...thousands of hours, scans, and prints later, Vivian Maier was being heralded as a remarkable--yet hidden--street photographer.
I was so moved by this story and I wanted to be a part of it, wanted to give a voice to Vivian. I donated money to her Kickstarter project and I've been following her story via the web.
On Christmas morning, JD handed me a gift wrapped in gold bow. I unwrapped The Vivian Maier book. And then I cried.
Every so often I open the book and stare at black and white images that move me, that make me feel something, so you could just imagine my excitement when JD and I made our way to the Merry Karnowsky Gallery for the Vivan Maier - A Life Discovered exhibit. As we made our way through Los Angeles, I looked out the window and felt lucky. Lucky to do what I love and, much like Vivian herself, see the world from behind the shadow of a camera.
En route to the gallery, JD stopped me from photographing him...he prefers to be behind the lens. I definitely prefer to be behind the lens as well, but when we stumbled on this mid century modern sofa, I begged JD for it. I even resorted to the pleasepleasepleaseI'lldoanything mantra that worked well with my parents as a kid, but not so well with him...
I felt weird taking pictures of pictures, but I didn't want to forget a single thing. Not.one.thing. To see more of Vivian Maier's work, you can check out her website, but I'd definitely suggest checking out the book...it's breathtaking. Really.
Even though I didn't get the sofa, we did enjoy shopping on Melrose Avenue and I even made a picture to remember the memory of it all.
Friday Randomness : Magic + Milkshakes
ast night we walked the dog and JD pulled the hoodie over my head, pulling the strings extra tout. It makes me feel warm, it makes him feel he's taking care of me. It's funny what strings can do. We walked in the moonlight around midnight, the streets quiet with the exception of the sound of Polo's paws prancing on pavement. I made fun of JD, pushing buttons a wife only knows, and he poked back. Next thing we knew, I taunted him from running four feet ahead of him, daring him to catch me four blocks later. He sprinted, I shrieked, and Polo ran between us in the light of the moon.
Life is simple, life is beautiful. And I don't want to forget the small things that make me happy.
Here are a few things that make smile this past week and I hope they do the same thing for you...
esterday the lovely Tiffany Buckmiller posted on my Facebook page and asked the following: For those of us who are deathly afraid of photographer "mixers" can you do a blog post on not embarrassing ourselves and etiquette for making business contacts and friends?! Thanks! See you in Denver! Oh, Tiffany, I can't wait to give you a hug at The Denver Fix and let you know I, too, am still trying to find the right way mixing.
I definitely don't have the answers, but here are two personal stories that happened less than a week ago at a conference to help illustrate my point...
Real Life Story Number One: It was called The White Party and the invitation encouraged everyone to wear white, which might not had been a problem if I actually owned more than two items of white clothing. I paired a dress shirt and white pants, but decided I looked like Ellen Degeneres and left everything at home. Instead I wore a champagne-colored shirt and skirt. That should have been a sign of things to come. Really. I walked into the all-white party with my roommates, but somehow got separated and I was left standing by the buffet station. Alone. From afar I saw a speaker who presented on a panel I attended earlier that day, so I approached her circle of friends and waited patiently to introduce myself and let her know how fabulously she presented. And then the worst thing happened: they Mean Girls-ed me. Uh, yeah. CLOSED THEIR CIRCLE and pretended I wasn't there.
I was mortified, but pretended I didn't see what they did and tapped the panelist on the shoulder. Hi, I just wanted to say you did a great job today and I loved your presentation...thanks. We shook hands and then I walked away. The end.
Real Life Story Number Two: I walked into the mixer alone and set down my coat on a nearby table. There were roughly 15 tiny circles of people chatting and I didn't have the nerve to approach them mid-conversation, but I also didn't have the nerve to stand alone by the buffet station (what's up with my gravitation to food?!) so I marched up to the one person who was standing alone. Caroline, she introduced herself and said she was holding up the wall. And then I offered to help. She was a single mom, had never been to Utah before, liked her drink straight up on the rocks, and was a reupholstery blogger. Yes, she made a living blogging DIY reupholstering. We simply talked about life while we held up the wall...and enjoyed ourselves.
Because we didn't approach the conversation with expectation, we simply conversed. That's it. There wasn't a need to swap business cards, immediately guess what the other could do for their social standing on the invisible social totem pole, or ask the same questions repetitively (although we did end up swapping contact info because she's the bomb). Caroline and I did what we were supposed to do: mix. After 10 minutes, we exchanged pleasantries and went our ways. The end.
I don't know what those two stories are suppose to convey, besides showcasing how presently mixers look for me. They're difficult, but I always try to keep a few things in mind:
1. I'll get more from a mixer being genuinely interested in two other people than trying to get 200 people interested in me.
2. Find people who are standing by themselves...they're probably just as desperate to talk to someone as you are.
3. Don't ask predictable questions...strike up the type of conversation you'd like to have as a way to avoid seeming insincere (instead of asking about the weather, maybe ask if they saw the Lakers game last night or if they're watching good reality television shows or compliment a great pair of shoes).
4. Stay away from the Mean Girls...the minute you give them attention, they have the power to make you feel like you're less than you are.
5. When all else fails, hang out by the buffet station...it easy to bond over mutual love of mashed potatoes.
If we get the chance to meet soon while I'm out on the road for The Fix, let's practice mixing and I might even be able to give you a few reupholstering tips along the way!
heir wedding was set the weekend before Chinese New Year, a year to the date from when he got on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage. They couldn't think of a better time to ring in new lives than by ringing in Chinese traditions of hosting an elaborate feast, giving money in red envelopes to children, and celebrating. The year of the dragon is believed to bring success and happiness, so Eric and Helen couldn't dream of a better way to start their marriage.
The wedding day began on a cold morning at the Biltmore Los Angeles, but Helen paid no mind to the rain because with it brought good luck. She continued pacing the suite and reveling in her moment as a bride. She hugged, laughed, and kissed those who walked in and out of her room, patiently waiting for her moment to do the same with Eric.
Eric quickly breezed through the hotel lobby, explaining he was caught in traffic. The rain, an accident, you know. After quickly dressing (taking special care of the new watch Helen surprised him with), the rain subsided, so he walked downstairs and into the street...and waited. As Helen slowly made her way toward her new husband, Eric's eyes filled with tears. They hugged, laughed, and kissed on the wet streets of Los Angeles in the year of the dragon. Together.
Helen and Eric, thank you for being so amazing. I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with such an amazing couple...to see (and feel) the impact in the lives you've touched blows me away. I appreciate you inviting me into your lives and documenting how fiercely you love. I hope you're winning big in Vegas and using the profits to get an extra long massage in Australia! Much Love and Appreciation... j*
The wedding day started in the Music Suite at the Biltmore Los Angeles Hotel...and it was breathtaking. The beauty of older hotels is the abundance of window light, so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Helen had three wedding dresses, the first was a Maggie Sottero...
Helen's second wedding dress was simple and free-flowing...freedom to dance was a priority, so she decided to do it up with a new dress...
I absolutely loved the bridal party...they were incredibly fun and made the day perfect.
**A special thanks to Kristy Geithman (the bridesmaid on the right) for referring Helen+Eric my way...love her!
JD's angle of the First Look...
Like always, I adore when couples opt to see each other before the wedding ceremony. The moment is so beautifully their own. It's private and a way for them to connect as husband and wife...and creates a lovely ebb and flow on the wedding day for photos. Here, Eric is overwhelmed at the sight of his bride.
Lucky for us, the rain subsided and we were able to roam Downtown Los Angeles for a bit...
This? This is how Eric looked at Helen all.day.long...he was smitten. And in love. And it was perfect.
Special thanks to Joyce Luck for doing Helen's hair and makeup...
We headed back to the Biltmore Los Angeles for the reception and I need to take a moment to thank Kelley Lee Gin of Picture Perfect Events for orchestrating a flawless day. There were SO many factors playing into the reception (one of them organizing 400 people into 33 table shots in 25 minutes...go ahead, say we're crazy), but she and her team pulled it off. I love when a creative team collaborates for the best interest of the bride and groom!
All florals and decor were provided by the uber talented Mille Fiori...
Helen and Eric had a perfect reception filled with laughter...
...feeding lions red envelopes...
...and lots of happiness surrounded by their friends and family.
To see more of Helen and Eric's Biltmore Los Angeles Wedding, feel free to CLICK HERE for a slideshow or simply watch it here: