I had the privilege of tagging along with my amazing wife to a Professional Photographers convention in Las Vegas. Promise is always has always been so good to tag along to my many outings in the church world and it was a blast to swim in her world for the week.
I was moved in so many ways this week. I was moved to see how a general market business could be so full of ministry potential. I was moved by the passion and heart of these ambitious, hard-working, sometimes lonely, talented and artistic group of Professional Photographers. Seriously, there are some amazing people in this industry.
The organization WPPI puts the convention on and it is primarily for wedding and portrait photographers. Total, I think I heard there were about 14,000 of them hanging around in Las Vegas over the convention days. Pretty wild. It’s a great chance to connect with other photographers, hear from some influential voices in the industry, talk to product vendors on the trade show floor and get inspired about photography.
Honestly, the convention was just okay. I wasn’t the hugest fan of how the thing was run…the whole thing was kind of hectic and unclear for new people. The part I loved the most was connecting with all the people there. We met SOOOO many great new people and got to hang with some of our good photog friends too.
We spent quite a bit of time with the crew from ShowIt. Promise uses their web software for her website. They’re team was their at the convention and getting good time with this group was one of the highlights of the week. They hosted some focus groups with some of their really great photographers and I got to sit in a couple of them. I was really inspired by the heart of a lot of the photographers that spoke in these focus groups. ShowIt set things up very relationally and less sales pitchy. It was a the kind of vibe I would want if I were in this industry.
So many friends and to much good to say about them all.
A few people from our week in Las Vegas that you should check out too:
David Jay is the visionary, team builder and the heart of ShowIt. He’s got a prolific mind and is always thinking quite a few steps in front of the average Joe. Promise and I got to spend some significant time with DJ (as they call him), his girlfriend Christianne and their team. This guy follows Jesus and lives like him. If I can love and treat people with half the heart of DJ I’ll be in good shape. So grateful for his encouragement to me and Promise in this season!
Jamie is 19 years old and one of the most talented, articulate, professional, fun, faith-filled and wise beyond her years people I’ve met in a long time. She’s a rising voice in the industry and I’m glad to now call her a friend.
Troy Grover is my brother-in-law and awesome friend. He has been a HUGE part of connecting Promise and I in this industry. Troy is one of those guys that has the ability to be great at whatever he touche. Troy is an amazing photographer and handles his business with such tact and professionalism. I’ve got lots to learn from Troy. Good thing he’s in the family! I think he got the short straw on this deal. 🙂
Steve and Stephanie have become great friends in recent months. They live here in the Phoenix area and are just such a good hang for us. These are easy, no drama-for-yo-mama kind of friends. They run a great Photography business too and we have plenty to learn from them!
Melissa Jill is a wise soul and a woman that has figured out the way to tether her art for justice too. She’s a solid photographer and has a quiet wisdom about her. It was an honor to get to hang with her a bit this week.
Zach and Jody Gray are awesome Nashville photographers. These two gave me quite a glimpse at the potential of what Wedding Photographers could do to change things like divorce rate, etc… It’s amazing to think of the ministry potential in a general market business. I love the drive and tenacity that the Grays have and I’m looking forward to the chance to hang with them again in the future!
Like I said, these are just a few of the faces of some of the amazing people we spent time with this past week. Anyways, go check these guys out and be inspired through their amazing images. There is so much to be learned in life by looking at wedding and portrait photography. These cats are paving the way for good days ahead too!
Overall, our experience at WPPI was really great. We’re thankful that we had the opportunity to be a part of it. We’re hoping to go back next year too!