WPPI 2020 Conference Highlights: Insightful Education & Creative Inspiration

WPPI 2020 Conference Highlights: Insightful Education & Creative Inspiration


Las Vegas, NV—February 23–27, WPPI 2020 is located at its community-oriented home in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. WPPI specializes in the creative and business aspects of wedding and portrait photography as well as filmmaking. Moreover, the event combines educational seminars with a major industry trade show and networking events—all designed around a friendly, fun environment.

Professional, amateur as well as emerging wedding and portrait photographers along with filmmakers attend the Wedding & Portrait Photography International Conference & Expo to network, learn new techniques and build better businesses. In addition, attendees get to see firsthand an array of imaging products and solutions from the world’s top photo suppliers.

The biggest wedding and portrait photography show in the U.S., WPPI offers an affordable education program that features leading photography instructors from around the world. It offers an extensive selection of portrait and wedding photography classes, with training in a wide range of photographic subjects.

Moreover, not only does WPPI’s show floor feature the latest cameras, lenses, printers, accessories and services from the best brand names, but it also hosts special events and presentations. And they are all focused on inspiring you to push your creativity and take your skills to the next level.

Enhance your educational experience at WPPI by purchasing a Conference Platform Pass and adding on Intensive and Master classes as well as a Photo Walk. A Conference Platform Pass gives you access to all Platform classes; a guest pass for a friend; access to the WPPI show floor; entry to live judging of the annual Print, Album & Filmmaking competition; entry to the Honors of Excellence Award ceremony; and also access to select special events. Master classes, Intensive classes and Photo Walks are available as add-on purchases.

WPPI 2020 Session Highlights

Here is a sample of the Platform, Intensive and Master classes you can attend to help advance your skills and grow your business.

WPPI 2020 Platform Classes

A Platform class is a 90-minute, theater-style session that prepares you to become a better photographer and to run a more successful and profitable business. This year, learning tracks include the Baby Summit; Boudoir; Business & Marketing; Drones; Filmmaking & Video; Inspirational; Lighting & Posing; Panel Discussions; Portrait; Postproduction & Workflow; Rise & Shine; Spanish; Special Events; and Wedding. A Conference Platform Pass provides access to more than 50 Platform classes. There is no preregistration for platform classes; seating is by general admission. Arrive at least 15 minutes early to ensure entrance into your choices.

David Aquilar

February 24: 2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Room: Islander E
PC10: Everything You Need to Know to Incorporate Video into Your Wedding Photography Business
David Aquilar & Turner Blatchley

Turner Blatchley

You probably already have a camera that shoots video, so why not incorporate video into your photo business? In this class, David and Turner take you through a step-by-step guide of everything you need to do to become a wedding videographer. They’ll cover preparing your business; getting the word out; successfully surviving your first wedding day; postproduction; and final deliverables. The goal of this class is to shed light on the whole process of adding video into your photography business while serving happy couples who just cannot wait to tell all of their friends.

Audrey Woulard

February 26: 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
South Pacific F PC38: A Simplistic Approach to Impactful Imagery
Audrey Woulard

Often photographers are in the position where they can’t afford a lot of equipment. Or perhaps the setup they are photographing in doesn’t allow for a lot of equipment. Audrey will illustrate how to capture beautiful imagery with minimal equipment and use your surroundings and created light. She’ll also discuss how to engage with your subjects to create captivating images that will wow your clients and create fans.

Meg Loeks

February 26: 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
South Pacific E
PC44: Storytelling by Light
Meg Loeks

Join Meg as she discusses how to maintain a cohesive style in every type of light—from high noon to golden hour to off-camera flash. She will walk you through the ways of manipulating light anytime, anywhere to match your personal voice. In addition, you’ll discover ways to strengthen storytelling by use of color, lens choice and more.

February 27: 3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
South Pacific AB
PC54: Boosting Your Wedding Averages with Album Sales
Lori & Jeff Poole

Lori and Jeff Poole

If you’re looking for a way to increase your wedding averages, even in a small town, this is for you. Jeff and Lori’s studio is in a little town where the average wedding photographer costs $2,000. One of their biggest secrets to above-market-average wedding sales is high-dollar wedding albums. Nearly two-thirds of their clients chose to add a wedding album to their package last year. Albums brought in an extra $2,500 to $4,000 per client on top of their original wedding package. They’ll go over what to look for when choosing an album company; strategies to incentivize album purchases; secrets to helping clients design more profitable albums; streamlined album workflow; and policies for pain-free revisions, timelines as well as payments.

WPPI 2020 Intensive Classes

These classes are one-day, intimate and intensive learning experiences that are limited to 25 participants. Intensive classes span six hours, including a lunch break. Furthermore, all sessions are taught by a world-class photography instructor. They are available as add-on classes to the Conference Platform Pass.

Roberto-Valenzuela wppi 2020
Roberto Valenzuela

February 23: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Crimson BC (Delano)
INT04: Learn to Achieve Photographic Awesomeness through Beautiful Posing, Amazing Lighting and Creative Composition at Any Location
Roberto Valenzuela

In this class, Roberto will share his approach to transforming any location using light.  He covers the creative use of flashes, portable strobes, gels and also even continuous light equipment to make magic happen at any location. In addition, this is a great opportunity to learn important and practical lighting techniques in a small group setting.

February 23: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Indigo FG (Delano)
INT09: From Prep to Production: Mastering the Wedding Day
Tracey Taylor & Dee Green 

Tracey Taylor and Dee Green

Australia born but based in Tokyo, Tracey and Dee share their decades of experience photographing weddings in more than 20 countries. You’ll learn how they approach a complete wedding day, from preparation to production. They’ll also provide insights into how an incredible customer experience can be your passport to the world. Understanding the importance of balancing clockwork precision with a buoyant energy as well as having knowledge of traditions and being culturally aware—all while making it seem effortless—are necessary to a successful business.

February 23: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Sienna BC (Delano)
INT01: Create Art Images for Clients
Brooke Shaden

Brooke Shaden

Go beyond a typical portrait session and learn the ins and outs of how to create one-of-a-kind art images for your clients. Brooke will share her fine art techniques. She’ll also fill you in on what questions to ask clients to create more personal work and how to work quickly and efficiently to create a dynamic art piece. In addition, Brooke covers how to edit with simple but impactful tools in Photoshop, along with light business tips with an emphasis on shooting fine art commercially.

February 23: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Crimson FG (Delano)
INT06: Planning, Directing and Editing Successful Video Projects
Richard Harrington

Richard-Harrington wppi 2020
Richard Harrington

Video is a team sport and getting it wrong can be expensive. This course tackles everything you need to create better looking videos that please your clients and are also enjoyable to watch. Director Rich Harrington shares practical experiences: learn how to develop a concept for your video; figure out the right equipment as well as personnel that are needed for the job; create shot lists and a style for your video; work with clients and crew successfully; direct talent for the best performance; capture great on-camera interviews; backup and organize your footage; edit video and mix audio; as well as color grade your footage for a polished look.

WPPI 2020 Master Classes

A Master class is a focused two-hour, hands-on session limited to 50 participants. Providing a detailed learning experience, the Master class tracks cover a wide variety of photography as well as filmmaking topics. Master classes are available as add-on classes to the Conference Platform Pass.

February 25: 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Tradewinds D
MC04: The Art of Wedding Photography Storytelling
David Stanbury

David Stanbury

Award-winning UK photographer David Stanbury, FBIPP, FMPA, FSWPP, guides you through all aspects of wedding photography storytelling. In this intensive Master class, he’ll run through how to create a distinctive style and capture those important moments. What’s more he discusses creative wedding album design that provides clients with the ultimate wedding story. The class covers the technical as well as the creative side of documentary photography as well as the importance of good communication with clients and the skills to create amazing wedding albums that reflect your brand.

February 26: 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Tradewinds C
MC09: Creative Light Painting and Night Photography
Ben Connolly

Ben-Connolly wppi 2020
Ben Connolly

Join Australian wedding photographer as well as light-painting enthusiast Ben Connolly for a creative how-to session on light painting and night photos. Ben will demonstrate some cool light-painting items, such as a Pixelstick, fiber optic whips, acrylic brushes and also his own set of light tubes. He’ll discuss the key points to creating engaging, colorful, yet technical light-painting photos on any wedding day or shoot: camera settings; time of day to shoot; and also the items you can make at home; and some amazing commercially available gear. In addition, he offers tips and tricks to add more flare to night photos with the use of overlays, speedlights, sparklers as well as other pyrotechnic items (not demonstrated). Ben will also give away a set of light tubes so that one attendee can get creative straightaway.

February 26: 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Tradewinds A
MC41: How to Be a Studio Portrait Photographer in 137 Easy-to-Follow Steps
James Musselwhite

James Musselwhite

With his easy-to-follow guide, James can help you start or maintain a successful portrait photography business. Moreover, his seminar breaks down his 16 years of portrait expertise into 137 easy-to-follow steps that every portrait photographer needs to know. So much of portrait photography is about more than just the image, and he will take the time to share stories, experiences and advice on how you can make the best, most sellable portrait session for your clients. Moreover, this session is fast paced and packed with lots of tips that photographers of all skill levels can implement immediately.

February 27: 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Tradewinds C
MC48: Black-and-White Perfection
Rocco Ancora

Rocco-Ancora wppi 2020
Rocco Ancora

There are times when the color of an image is distracting and black-and-white conversion can enhance composition, contrast and texture to tell a story or convey a message. There are many different techniques of converting a color image to black and white, some more effective than others. WPPI Grand Master as wel as four-time WPPI Grand Award winner Rocco Ancora takes you through four different techniques in creating dynamic black-and-white images in Photoshop. Learn how your color tones convert into shades of gray and also how they play an important role in achieving beautiful tone separation. He also covers the tuning of contrast to achieve nostalgic black-and-white darkroom looks.