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WPPI - Wedding and Portrait Photography Intl Conference in Las Vegas

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

Liza Mahler Photography WPPI

When I am at WPPI it feels like I am thrown into a whirlpool of talented and energetic creatives, buzzing around in search of the next thing to present or master in the midst of the City of Lights - for a whole week. WPPI is packed with speaking engagements, classes, demonstrations, photo walks, events, presentations, and even nightly parties at some of Vegas' best clubs.

I've found that attending at least one photo conference a year helps me stay in the loop with current developments in technology and new techniques. This, in turn, allows me to make improvements to my craft after learning from the best in the field and brainstorming with some of the industry's brightest minds.

I just got back from WPPI 2019 and here are a few of the things that keep me coming back for more every year: It’s held at the end of February in the fun-tastic and photogenic town of Las Vegas and it's held during the week so I don’t loose my time with family or any of my weekend photo sessions; like a beehive, it's huge and there are tons of classes to choose from; there is a juried show - if you enter your work/s it will be professionally critiqued even if it doesn't win; I can get my hands and eyes on the products I've had on my wish list at their robust expo; I can participate in one of the satellite events in addition to WPPI to fine tune my skills in a certain field; there are plenty of models and beautiful natural locations within an hour distance from Vegas to practice at; last but not the least - I can have my Canon equipment serviced at their shop right on sight.

Prince Harry and Her Royal Highness Meghan Markle. Photo by Alexi Lubomirski

One of the keynote speakers this year was Alexi Lubomirski who has spiraled right to the top having recently taken the official engagement and wedding photos of Prince Harry and Her Royal Highness Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle. It was interesting to learn that he himself was a prince, so good luck getting that job in the future, mortals!

The most exciting reveal at WPPI this year was the announcement of the “Bokeh Master” Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art - it’s fast, extremely sharp, and has a razor-thin depth of field that really does produce a beautiful bokeh for portraits. It’s an impressive monster lens that’s big and heavy, but it has a lens mount for a tripod to counter that. I had a chance to test it with my Canon 5D Mark IV and it is actually quite manageable. It's shipping March 24th from B&H and (I assume) Adorama as well and with an MSRP of $1599 it's bringing a lot to the table at that price point.

Camera body Canon 5D Mark IV Lens Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art

I can only imagine the bokeh if images are taken outdoors with a fun background and some decent lighting

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art


There are many conferences to choose from, and they are well worth the investment if you are interesting in growing in your field. I'd like to know more about other conference in the USA and around the globe, which one have you attended and what did you think of it?

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