|FAQ: When did you start going to WPPI (DWF…Photo Plus, etc)? As a relatively new photographer, should I attend?
The quick answer is YES!
Beyond all the absolutely amazing speakers you’ll hear, the fabulous seminars available, and jaw-dropping trade-shows, you’ll meet other photographers and make new friends. It’s really a win-win-win. I had only owned my digital SLR a couple months when Mike invited me to join him and his beautiful wife at WPPI. I went as his assistant and helped him with whatever he needed, when he needed it. He was insanely busy, but he made sure I was able to attend a few seminars…as well as ensure I went to the parties later that night with him! ;)
I met SO many incredible people and I’m blessed to now call them friends. Actually, the first time I ever met Becker was at WPPI 2006. He walked around the tradeshow floor like he owned the joint and I thought to myself, Who does this guy think he is?!? ;) It wasn’t until later during the conference when I got to know (and completely adore) him. That same year, I met a newbie photographer named Cameron Ingalls. He hung out late one night after one of Mike’s presentations, so we started chatting. We immediately clicked (we spoke about his girlfriend and his other life passions), and promised to stay in touch. And we have.
Last Friday night, JD and I headed to Irvine Spectrum to join Becker and Jess for Happy Hour appetizers before Becker was ready to purchase Leopard at the MAC store. Shortly thereafter, JD, Jess, and I met Cameron and his wife Anna (the aforementioned girlfriend!) for dinner and we spent the evening under a blackened sky. Our long dinner served as further proof to me that continuing to attend conferences will make me a better photographer, but—more importantly—a better person.
If you’re wondering right now whether you should attend a conference, DO IT! The return on your investment is priceless and you’ll be so happy you invested in professional as well as personal growth!
Jess, Becker, me