I briefly touched on this the other day when the internet ate my blog, but I wanted to write about it in a little more detail. Let me start by saying I know there is fine line between posting personal info and info that actual relates to my business, but I need to get some things off my chest that I should have gotten off my chest months ago. And it may help explain the importance of what this post is about – courage. And WPPI.
I started my photography business (before the licensing phase) with someone else. Someone who had asked me to marry him…who later revoked that offer. All you brides-to-be and former brides of mine – go ahead and gasp. I had shot weddings and portraits long before this person was involved in my business, but when he came along, we combined everything we had. He was my second shooter/person I wanted to spend my entire life with. And he left. But this post isn’t about him – it’s about how that affected me, and my business. Since then, I have dedicated about 100% of my time to my business. Being alone is making me face hard decisions, and helping me make choices that benefit myself. It feels so selfish because I am such a giving person, and I always sacrificed for the greater good of a relationship, but here I am doing all this stuff for me.
Which brings me to WPPI. If you’re a client, you may not know what WPPI is, but I encourage you to keep reading. An insurance company sent me free tradeshow tickets for WPPI, and I was like “WTF is WPPI?”
WPPI stands for Wedding and Portrait Photographers International, and they do this HUGENORMOUSGANTIC convention and tradeshow in Vegas every year. I had never heard of it. But I am so glad I did.
In my new selfish life of doing what is best for me and my business, I researched WPPI a bit more and found out I could attend classes lead by my favorite photographers (like Jasmine Star), and tons of other influential, amazingly talented and successful photographers from everywhere. I couldn’t pass it up. I didn’t care how much it cost – I had to go. So I’ve purchased my registration, hotel accommodations (I’m sharing a room with 3 other fantastic gals I met through WPPI’s site), and all I have left to do is decide whether to stay 3 nights or 4 and then book my flight.
WPPI is like Disneyland for photographers. It’s about learning, growing, networking, shopping for cool stuff (gear, albums, accessories), and having fun. If I had heard of this years ago – I would have been DREAMING of going every year until I could go. It’s going to be an invaluable experience for me.
Now you may be wondering why I said this post is about courage. It takes a lot of motivation for me to go out of my comfort zone, not to mention going out of my comfort zone BY MYSELF. Before I found the roommates, I had already decided I’m going. Companion or not. I. Am. Going. Do you know how many cajones that took for me? Like a few. Hundred. I’m not the type of person to book a flight to Vegas by my lonesome to meet up with thousands of strangers who all share the love of photography. But that’s exactly what made me take that leap. Thousands of photographers – who all love what they do, who all want to be better at it, who all want to meet all these other photographers and learn as much as they can.
Yes, I feel selfish. Yes I feel a little crazy. But I also feel courageous. And I hope from this day forward I can always find the courage to do the things that scare me.
And now that I’ve shared something incredibly personal with you, to answer your question (I know you’re thinking it) – yes, I still love taking photos of people in love. It reminds me that love is real, and that love is possible – even if things didn’t happen for me the way I wanted them to happen.
To end on a positive note (and thank you to everyone who is still reading), I am going to be a better photographer, and person, when I come home from WPPI. And I am going to have a great time. I’ll tweet about it the whole time I’m there, so make sure you follow my twitter feed to see what I’m up to down in Vegas.
Did I mention it will be my first visit to Vegas? Am I in for trouble or what?