Thursday, March 29, 2007

WPPI 2007


We just got back from a week at the WPPI convention in Nevada. We got up each morning at 8:30 to go some incredible classes to learn the hottest new things in photography from the best photographers in the world. (let's say I got up at 8:30 and my wife, Janice, well...she went shopping at about 10.... she'd hang with me some, but she's a hairdresser by profession, so the workshops are not always her thing, unless we are at a hair show, then she's all over it)

The WPPI is the largest professional photographers conference in America, and I got to meet, study with, and learn from over 50 different world famous photographers from around the world. My first class was with Art Wolfe, who is an incredible photographer with National Geographic Magazine, and he dazzled us with his new collection about to be released worldwide this year on the National Geographic channel. One of my loves in photography is outdoor photography, ecology and the environment. I love the beauty of our planet, and the delicate detail of our ecosystems. If you have time, visit and see this guys incredible work!

Most of my studies at the this week were for portraits and weddings, so I went to as many classes as I could all day long...from 8:30 am to 9:30 pm each I did not get much time to see the sights...but I'll post a couple of photos above...most of the photos in this post were from the trade show floor where all the big companies gave even more classes. Canon and Nikon were the main camera vendors, Adobe Photoshop and Apple took up most of my time as I learned the new CS3e versions and many other cool photo programs. (I went to several classes taught by Julieanne Kost with Adobe, she knows her stuff and is an Adobe guru)

Some of my favorite photographers that I put on my learning list: Mike Colon, I've met him briefly once before, and chatted briefly again with him. Mike is exciting and full of creative genius, you'll probably see a little of his influence in my photography style. Bruce Dorn is another of my favorites, he has a cinemaphotography background, and has a new found love for wedding photography, I love his style utilizing fresnel lights, again, my style. There's one shot of him on this page, again, my cheapo pocket camera did not do him Justice...Not too many photographers utilize his style of photography, so being able to study in his lectures is a huge plus for me.

I also love Bambi Cantrell and her partner, Michael Van Auken. I had a chance to see both of their workshops and chat with Michael for a few minutes about marketing. I spent a lot of time in the Pictage booth, got into the VIP booth and learn again from Dennis Reggie, Bob Davis, Michele Celentano, Liana Lehman, David Jay and many more. The pictage guys are great! I love their service and how they support me in my quest for the best in service for all my customers.
Some of the hottest things at the show: Canon's new Mark II 16 megapixel camera is on my list when it comes out later this year. Adobe Lightroom & CS3, DXO, Wacom, Gary Fong's new lightsphere, Graphi Studio, Epson Professional Printers, Image Therapy, GNP, Capri Albums, Willowbook, Lensebabies...these were just a handfull of the vendors that I visted with and spent some money goal is to only have the best for my clients, so getting the best in the business is important.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Vicki and Jed Taufer from www.VGallerynet. They are on my "list" of who to watch, they are super nice and both have incredible talents. Oh, I forget to talk about the gallery wraps, I'll get some in the studio over the next few months, you'll love these.

Anyway, we had a blast this week, learned a years worth of information, and got a chance to hone my skills even more. Most of my clients know me for my wedding style, and a lot of mom's love my baby portrait style, and my business clients always benefit from my "out of the box" approach to projects. My goal is to always achieve more, even when I'm at the top of my game, I always step back and review, learn, and evaluate my skills. This year is just about booked solid, so I plan to use all I've learned to give my clients the best possible in artistic & technical photography.

Here are a few quick pics from our cheapo pocket camera, we stayed at the Paris Hotel, got to eat at our favorite restaurant, Wolfgang Puck in the Venetian, and wandered around for a day, and got a day in at the pool too. We didn't catch any shows, but we did go to Mandalay Bay to see the aquarium, and we went to one wild but tame dance club, Pure, just to check it out, and we ate lots of croissants at the Paris Hotel. WPPI treated us to lots of great parties, food and food and more food and we got to meet lots of great fellow photographers.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ronell Ragbir & Ginny Owens

Last week I had the honor of photographing Ronell, a sweet young teenager from Trinidad. Here is a part of Ronell's story, she's here at St Jude fighting terminal cancer. It's claimed a part of her leg, doctors don't give her much hope, but she's letting God use her through this terrible disease. This story is amazing, inspiring and beautiful. Ronell has some simple wishes that are coming true, she has a gift of songwriting, singing and love. A lot of people have come together on giving Ronell her wish. In fact, at the time of this blog, I'm sure this story has grown even more.

While sitting in a luncheon last week for a musicians conference with my friend Bruce and his team, I was asked if I had time to photograph Ronell in the recording studio for a project that will benefit St Jude. Ginny Owens got a call too, she dropped everything in Nashville to drive down to help Ronell. It was a sweet time, emotions were incredibly beautiful. Ginny has overcome so many obstacles in her life, and wanted to help Ronell in her quest to share what God is doing in her life. (visit Ginny's site at )

I can't wait to see how God uses this special girl. Being with her in the studio for 2 days
reminds me that we are not here on this planet on our own power. It's humbling. It's a reminder to use our gifts that God has given us to help one another. I'll keep you updated
on this project and it's impact on so many familys at St Jude. (For you photographers out there, I used the Canon 5d with existing light, iso 1600 and 3200 using the 24-105 mm IS Canon lense. The studio was very dark and quite a challenge to work in low light, and, the noisy mirror prevented me from shooting while they were recording, so I was limited in opportunity to shoot.)