Week In Las Vegas

Jason and I returned home from six fabulous days in Las Vegas for the annual WPPI tradeshow and conference.  I hardly know where and how to begin describing what an incredible experience I had, but I will try my best.  We traveled with our buddies Aaron Watson and his assistant Kelsey Pace.  Aaron, the guy who makes things happen, had arranged a photo shoot for all of us with six models in a luxurious penthouse on our first full day in Las Vegas.  Local lingerie boutique, Derriere de Soie had graciously lent Aaron several pieces for the models to wear during our shoot.  While Aaron mostly directed the fashion shoot, Jason worked as a documentarian and shot a lot of fringe.  Some examples of Jason’s B&W work are below, and you can check out Aaron’s under his Super Model Experience.  I’ll post Jason’s color images later.

I can safely say that I averaged about 3 hours of sleep per night while in Vegas.  I don’t know if it was from sheer excitement, or if it was from all of the information and eye candy from the trade show, or if it was from the oxygen that they pump into the casinos…. probably a combination of everything.  All I know is that I didn’t want to sleep on this trip.  There was so much to be absorbed.  The thing that I definitely took away from this whole trip was getting to meet and listen to some of the best in the industry.  Jose Villa… I love his work, and he shoots film!  Hanson Fong… this photographer is a master of lighting and quickly posing any subject or multitude of subjects, regardless of their shape and size.  He is also a very funny man, and likes to refer to himself in the third person… he had me cracking up during his whole platform class.  Elizabeth Messina brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat…. her words completely touched and warmed my heart.  She spoke of her passion for the art of photography and the love of recording a historical moment in time for her clients with photographs.  These are ideals that Jason and I feel so strongly about, which is why we both felt as if she were speaking directly to us.  Her A Lovely Workshop is taking place this year at a chateau in France.  I am so thrilled for Aaron because he is going…

One of my favorite artists, Leah McDonald also spoke alongside photographer and artists Susan Beard and Julia Lehman McTigue.  Their platform was one of my favorites… such strong, graceful and gifted women.  Their art just blew me away and left me with so much rekindled inspiration…. I just couldn’t wait to get home to start playing with my medium formats and galvanizing my own artistic ideas into reality.  Leah and Susan asked us to dinner later that evening, and I have to tell you, I developed a tremendous girl-crush on both of them.  Jason and I will be visiting Leah’s home studio in Philadelphia in April.  We’ll get to hang out with her family and photograph her and her husband celebrating 16 years of marriage.  I will also be a part of a new series that she is working on, and if there is time, she’ll get to teach us some encaustic work, goody-goody!

If you don’t already know, Jason and I are poker fanatics.  We didn’t even have time to play a decent amount of poker… we were involved in 2 quick sit & go tournaments, which we both didn’t do so well in.  We did have fun, and I did get to meet Becker during my second game… he’s so friendly!

We also got to hang out and party with local photographer and friends Dominique Attaway, Sarah Cramer, Jack Looney and his lovely wife.  To the guys at the SmugMug/Bay Photo party, I say ‘Thank you for the fun, the photobooth and the Snuggies!’

It’s great to be back home.  I am still mentally digesting everything and can’t wait to start implementing the knowledge that I’ve gained from this whole trip.  LOVE!

-Tammy

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