WPPI, Day Two ~ A day of ups and downs

You’d be surprised how much we sit on the floor at WPPI. There are so many classes by so many fantastic, talented photographers, and there’s only so much room in them, so if you want to see that person lecture, you better get in line and plant yourself. While I was waiting for one of my classes today, I found this girl sitting across from me to be very interesting. Not sure why.


Anyway, I had a very event-packed day today. Lots to share, so grab a glass of wine and join me!

Of course the expo sucked me in like a kid in a candy shop. I saw an amazing lighting system I GOTTA have when it comes out! And I’m very excited to announce, even though it’s way early, that I’m going to start offering Italian-made hard-bound albums. Check out the photos below. This is such new technology that it isn’t available for about three months. Stay tuned for pics when I get my first sample album!




I’m sorry to say, not all my expo experiences were good. When I entered the Epson booth, I was drawn to the 4×6 images that had been printed on one of their machines. I liked the styling of the model, so I snatched a few different ones to shove in my bag. Of course, a salesman approached me and asked if I did my own digital printing at home.

“I actually shoot 100% film at my weddings and other shoots.”

*Disgusted face, eye roll* “What are you going to do when film … goes away?” *Looks at me like I’m a complete idiot*

“It’s… Um…” Yes, I was actually kind of speechless. And anyone who’s ever met me knows I’m never speechless. Cassie says I can talk to a tree.

Under his breath, as if he was telling me some grand secret, he whispered that Kodak is closing its doors this spring. “Well, there’s rumors that they’ve been bought out, but we’ll see.” He proceeded to tell me how I’m going to be forced to change, (while rolling his eyes a lot) and he talked to me like I had the IQ of a goat.

I admit, I walked away a little shaken. That little voice inside started to say, “What are you doing? You don’t belong here. You’re not good enough. You’re going to go out of business. You’re fooling yourself.”

I tried to shake it off, but I couldn’t completely get rid of the feeling. The bottom line was, I had places to go and people to see and things to learn, so I shoved it aside, kept on trekking and distracted myself with the free popcorn.


Once the educational part of the day began, I was mesmerized.

I had the pleasure of seeing the amazing, strong, and talented Bambi Cantrell lecture today – “Fabulous Posing for Today’s Bride.” Her work is romantic and beautiful. I would say that her specialty is making any person look like a supermodel. She does everything right to flatter her subject – lighting, angles, etc. I learned some fantastic technical things from her that will definitely make me a stronger photographer.

She sells these really cool cue cards!


On one side is one of her fab photographs, and on the other side is how she did it – exposure, what kind of light was used (I like her because she uses so much available light), positioning of the model/client, if there was a reflector used and where it was used, etc. I have lots of studying to do, and I can carry them with me to weddings and engagement shoots in case I need reminders on flattering posing, angles and lighting.

The second class I took was “Creative Composition in Wedding Photography” by the lovely Susan Stripling, a super down-to-earth, creative, passionate photographer. I LOVE her work. She has an eye for shooting things in such a different and creative way, and I’m already studying her blog. She was kind enough to stick around and talk to whoever wanted to talk with her after the class. I wanted ** quite a while, because something she said touched me and finally made that little doubting voice in my ** shut up. (**Mark here. Dawn is apparently having so much fun there, she couldn’t “wait” for her “head” to come up with the right words. Have fun Dawn!)

When it was my turn to talk with her, I told her that I shoot film (which she thought was very cool), and how I was doubting myself. I didn’t know if I could really do this. I didn’t know if I belonged there. And I told her that when she shared images that were powerful moments she had captured for her clients and told the very large room that THAT is why she does what she does, it made me realize that I DO belong here, and I CAN do this, and I do it very well. And I thanked her.

She was so gracious, kind, and humble. She told me not to doubt myself, then asked for my card because she really wanted to see my work, and yes, I can email her questions any time that she’d be happy to answer. Thank you, Susan, for pushing me through one more day. Plus she said my hair was beautiful and “kind of fabulous.”


In the midst of all the running around, being tired, sitting on the floor waiting for classes to start, being insulted, doubting myself, and general drama that happens to peek into my life now and again, I had that wonderful moment at the valet station when I pretended I was just a rich lady waiting for her car. But a rich lady would’ve tipped more than $3. And she probably wouldn’t have gotten lost on the way back to her chalet. And she probably would’ve had a car charger for her phone so that she’d have GPS. Well, you get the point…


Share: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus