WPPI -What’s a commercial photographer doing at a wedding and portrait convention and trade show? Β – St. George, Utah Commercial photographer

It’s been a busy time for me lately. Just back from a trip to a Texas I headed right back out of town to attend WPPI in Las Vegas, Nevada. What is a commercial photographer doing at a wedding and portrait convention and trade show? Well I have to admit that WPPI convention and educational resources don’t do much for me because it’s not designed to address my needs as a commercial photographer. But I do have a lot of fun hanging out with 10,000 other photographers and partying. The main reason I attend is the trade show. It’s great to see all of the latest and greatest gear, software and lighting equipment. I get to visit with the people who actually design my favorite software and products. I do have to be careful to not get too enthusiastic about the new products because lots of things are cool but don’t really add value to my business.

I attended several marketing classes and a drone class, while my daughter who is a boudoir photographer attended classes on posing, lighting and boudoir. Β I try to bring someone new each year to help them expand their horizons and take advantage of this wonderful educational resource. Usually I bring one of my assistants or an intern. This year I brought a local gal who’s work I’ve been watching. She has oodles of creativity but I could see she needs to work on her technical skills. It was a lot of fun introducing her to WPPI. I wish she could have attended more more classes but I think by the time she left she had absorbed as much as she could in this short of a time.

If you are wanting to improve your portrait or wedding photography check out WPPI.

Resting my feet after a long day at the trade show in Las Vegas

​

Nikon d5 camera – deconstructed


Nikon Pro services gave free camera cleanings to NPS members. They also spoiled us with food & drinks when we dropped our cameras off , which was nice because a plain old bottled water was $4 at the convention center!

Nothing is ever perfect….

I was talking to my daughter today . She was having a rough time because she had planned a fishing trip with her husband and little boys this past weekend and nothing went as planned. She was wondering if she’s ever going to have a good time “like we did when she was little”. I found myself repeating what my grandma had told me a long time ago.

In my teens, my grandma told me “Nothing is ever perfect, so make the best of what you’ve got”. As an all knowing 16 yr old, I rolled my eyes and thought I’d prove her wrong some day. My life, my career, my husband, my kids… It was all going to be perfect.

Years later I know she’s right. I’ve only had one moment in my life when I looked around myself and truly thought “this is perfect“. What’s ironic is that at the time I had absolutely no control of the situation. (I am kind of a control freak, I like to plan every little detail.) I had been hiking since before day break, had spent a couple of hours photographing the Subway, which I’d been dreaming about since I was a kid. I was tired, hungry and trying to stave off a headache. I was feeling old…It doesn’t help that I was about 20+ years older than everyone on the hike and not in great shape. My son had hiked back to prod me up the trail faster. Then I walk around the bend to see this:


Our friends on the hike had prepared a surprise for us! Three of them had hiked in early hauling over 200 lbs of equipment… Plus a full size picnic table! The table was next to the stream and a small waterfall. It was set with cloth tablecloths, cloth napkins, candles and glass dishes. It was amazing! Like a mirage …I couldn’t believe it was real. A complete sushi dinner!

When we sat down to eat we just looked at each other…everyone grinning from ear to ear… This moment was epic…I knew I would never experience anything like this again in my life. There was a quiet connection ..a unity…a shared feeling of complete gratitude. No one spoke a word, but we all felt it. Gratitude for each other, for the moment we were living in, for where we were and who we were. Senses were heightened, a clarity, a feeling of peace.  I’ve never felt this before.

The silence was broken with a bout of laughter.  For some it was the surprise, for others it was anticipation of seeing the surprised faces of their friends. There was relief and triumph of pulling this off without us finding out. The amazement, how could they have possibly carried all of this stuff this far down a trail that I could barely navigate with a 10 lb pack?

We had a delicious sushi dinner.  The hikers coming by all wanted to know what the special occasion was? Proposal? Anniversary? It had to be something big! It was actually my daughter’s birthday and the birthday of one of the guys who hauled it all in ….but it was just meant to be a surprise for friends, and it was.

So how was grandma right?

NO-THING is perfect. (Moments, however fleeting…are!)

To others it might not have been viewed as perfect. If we thought about the 2+ mile hike – uphill – that we’d be carrying all of this stuff out (which ended up in the dark) it might have dampened the mood. It could be considered less than ideal, but our group was determined to continue the evening as EPIC! And it was … We hiked out in the dark. We didn’t have enough flashlights so we had the little tea candles from the table. It was slow going, lots of tripping and falling in the water and on obstacles on the trail. There was music (until our batteries died), singing and laughing and working together to get all of that stuff and each other up the hill.  When it was all said and done… Bruises, cactus, sore muscles and all, I wouldn’t change a thing! The circumstances were not “perfect” but the EXPERIENCE was!  (I still have the candle by my desk now as a reminder of that special day.)

“Make the best of what you’ve got.”

  
  I am :

Grateful for the good people who consider me a friend.

Amazed at what friends will do for each other.

Stunned that people are so generous.

Blessed to live in such a beautiful area.

Happy to be able to follow my dreams.
***special thanks to Johnny at Sakura for loaning the plates, serving dishes and napkins from his restaurant, and for preparing an amazing feast for us!

ASMP Food styling workshop for photographers in Salt Lake City.

This past weekend I attended a wonderful food styling workshop taught by Suzy Eaton. It was set up though ASMP Mountain West and hosted by  Pictureline. There was a wealth of information provided. Suzy showed us the tools of her trade. It’s amazing how much a stylist can bring to your team. It’s kind of ironic that most photographers I know complain about amateurs in the market….but at the same time they try to do their own graphic design, web site, wardrobe, set and food styling. I feel like we need to remember how important it is to hire other professionals! 

 When I have a team working on a project each member brings so much to the table as far as talent and creativity. I love having a stylist on my shoots. It frees me to do my job and truly focus on the creative aspects of my photography. I haven’t worked with Suzy yet but I hope to in the  near future. I have been an admirer of her work for quite awhile.

Suzy judging the students work.

Our team’s effort at food styling. We got second place.
iPhone photos!πŸ‘†πŸ». 

Moab Easter Jeep Safari

I went to Moab last week to shoot some jeeps for Flog Industries. It was the 49 th year or the annual Easter Jeep Safari. It was a good time. I’ve never seen so many jeeps in one place! (It made me miss mine!)

We spent the first day checking out the vendor show and scouting locations. I even made a quick trip to Arches NP to check it out. I had my son/photographer in training with me on this trip. Off roading, races, rockcrawling and jeeps….an 11 yr old boy’s version of paradise.

IMG_1110.JPG
iPhone pic – Skyview Arch
IMG_1111.JPG
My jr. photographer – iphone pic

 

 

 

 

 

The second day we went to watch the races at BFE. There was a lot of action! This event is one of the qualifiers for King Of The Hammers so it was intense. I will post photos soon.

We spent the rest of the day on the trails rockcrawling with Bryce from Dixie Four Wheel Drive and Cash from Bryce Christensen Excavating. They have some really sweet jeeps (with Flog bumpers). The photo shoot was great but the rockcrawling was even better!

IMG_1092.JPG
Cash’s jeep – Moab, Utah
IMG_1091.JPG
Bryce’s Jeep – Moab, Utah – Flog bumper

IMG_1088.JPG

 

Yay! It’s spring!

I know I’m jumping the gun…and we will probably get a spring snowstorm just to foil my gardening plans… But I don’t care! Woohoo!!!! I love spring! I’ve had a slow week in the studio so I’ve spent the week at home cleaning the yard and starting on some gardening. It’s always rejuvenating to spend time out in the fresh air, but springtime is special. It’s the start of a new gardening season and a time to plan and dream of the harvest.  My green house has its starts going. I have fresh herbs for vinaigrettes so I’m a happy camper. I hope my fellow gardening nuts are having a great spring too!

Vegas twice in one week…

After attending WPPI at the first of the week I had to come back for a full day “Serious Technical Training” on Capture One Pro 8 software. Josh Booth of Capture Integration did a thorough job! It was intensive!!!! It is an amazing program to integrate into my workflowI loved it and learned a ton. During the breaks there were lots of fun medium format toys (Mamiya, Phase One) and Profoto lights to play with! A photographers play day!

2015 Mesquite Off-road Weekend

I had a great time watching and photographing Mesquite Off-road Weekend events yesterday. It was beautiful weather. The riders put on an awesome show for us.
The event was hosted by Eureka Casino and they did a nice job. There were lots of vendors at the entrance. We had some fantastic tacos from Irmita’s …they tasted just like “tacos on the street” in Mexico.

All the rooms in Mesquite were sold out so we had to drive home afterward.

Here’s a few pics from the day:

IMG_0925-0.JPG

IMG_0929-0.JPG

Gratitude

This past two weeks has been a time of lots of reflection on my personal and professional life. I tore a ligament in my lower back and have been flat on my back in bed. It has been a terribly painful experience. I have had to have assistance to even walk some days. Those who know me, know that I am a very active, “busy body”, do it myself type person. To lay in bed and not accomplish anything is torture. Now that I am recovering I realize this experience has been a time of growth. I am so thankful for those dear ones around me and for the good health I have enjoyed. I have taken my blessings for granted but I have a new appreciation for even the little, seemingly insignificant things in my life. Walking, going to the restroom without assistance, picking up my grand baby, playing with my little girls, are all things I have taken for granted! The people around me have been amazing during this trying time! My children who have tended me through it all (without too many disasters) ☺️.
I am so grateful to be healing now!
GRATITUDE …. I want to make it a part of me, of my being.

Bee.jpg

There’s always someone better than you.

A wise man once told me, ” There is always someone better than you. Find him and make him your mentor. If you are always learning, you are always growing. This keeps you humble and keeps your work fresh.” The longer I pursue my photographic education, I find those words are true! With my journey I find mentors in the untraditional sources. I think it’s good to look outside your industry for mentors. I find inspiration in painters, dancers, designers, musicians….anyone who is really talented at what they do can be a great mentor.

This week I attended SEMA in Las Vegas with one of my favorite clients, Flog Industries .  It was fun to see all of the new toys and technology of the automotive industry. But most fun was seeing all of the work and love that people put into their vehicle rebuilds. So much care, attention to detail, hard work and craftsmanship goes into those vehicles. It was impossible for me to choose a favorite. It is interesting to see shifts in the trends too. Last year was lots of skulls and tattoo inspired paint/wrap jobs and a HUGE amount of matte finishes. This year very few skulls and chrome and shiny are coming back a little more. There were a bunch of foil looking paint/wrap jobs. I didn’t like the foil ones. I didn’t see one that had a perfect wrap application. Most showed scuff marks.
Anyway, I spent the week talking to people who are passionate about what they do. I feel energized ( except for my sore feet πŸ˜‰ ) with a desire to do something completely new to me. Let’s see what I come up with!
So learn something new today and share it here. Tell us about it!

IMG_0458-0.JPG

IMG_0459.JPG

What I do for creative inspiration….

I’m a person who thrives on creativity in whatever form it may take at the moment. Anything from remodeling, helping with an advertising campaign or working in my garden, if I’m not creating I’m not living!

Denise is my “muse” lately….she’s always willing to try something new and inspires me with fun ideas.  I love the chance shoot just for myself, to get my creative juices flowing.

We had a good time shooting in the lobby of our building. It’s like walking into another world each day as we enter the building. For those that don’t know, we have a studio at 348 N. Bluff, just above the St. George Day Spa.  The management just remodeled the entry and common area. It’s very glamorous, which inspired our shoot. (And for those looking for a high-end location for your business, this is it! There are a few spots open in the building…just sayin.)

_D3B0376T_D3B0339T_D3B0306