Posts Tagged ‘WPPI’

The second picture below of a dilapidated chapel sign is interesting to me.  The tag line reads “We’ve only just begun.”  Well, it is clearly done but this sign has made me pause and think about my short journey into photography.  I, too, have only just begun.  When I think of all the things that has to be done to set up shop, I honestly feel paralyzed.  And perhaps fear is also playing a part.  I wonder how many dreams have been thrown away?  Like the chapel sign, how many dreams have ended up in a “boneyard” because fear suffocated the desire to follow those dreams?  One way to allay fear is to be brutal about setting goals.  Goals provide a vision for how you want to achieve something.  Without setting down goals, then you become directionless.   I like this old expression, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there.”  Could it be that a dream never takes off because we have not taken the time to set goals and act on those goals?  If a goal is never set, then you will certainly feel lost and that’s when fear creeps in and takes over.

Speaking of just beginning and chasing dreams, the model in these pictures is none other than the beautiful (you’ll see what I mean) Jessie Poole.  Jessie hails from Virginia Beach, VA.  This was pretty cool because Virginia Beach is part of the Hampton Roads area where I lived for three years.  Jessie just plain rocked this shoot.  I didn’t take too many wide shots of her.  I wanted to showcase her natural beauty by taking a lot of portrait shots.  Jessie was even a good sport in the last image when I asked her to do what the Japanese love to do when getting their pictures taken: the peace sign!!  Thanks for modeling for us, Jessie and hope to see you in December when I’m back in the States.



















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WPPI Roundup (Part 3)

On my previous post I mentioned how it was such a tremendous opportunity to shoot at the Neon Boneyard.  What I didn’t mention was that I felt like crap during the shoot.  I don’t know what it was but it could’ve been food poisoning or a stomach virus or something triggered by my lack of sleep during WPPI.  Whatever it was it got me real good!  I was already feeling bad hours before the shoot.  My stomach was upset, had chills, and I think I had a fever.  I was bummed out a bit because one of the things I was looking forward to besides shooting was hanging out and getting to know the other photogs.  But I was a “ghost” that day.  The laid back, goofball, fun “Riz” was nowhere to be found.  WPPI lesson #1: Make it a priority to rest (and eat healthily) EVEN at WPPI.  I had all the excitement of a newbie photog at his very first convention and the first couple of days I did not sleep nor eat well.  So, I still had a great time (relatively speaking) at the Boneyard but I think about how much richer my experience would have been if I had been healthy to engage in some potentially inspiring and productive conversations, both during the shoot and the post-session party (which I, of course, could not attend).  Memo to self for next year’s WPPI: rest, IDIOT!  I’m sure my wife, who’s coming next year (yey!), will keep me accountable.

Okay…let me share just how much fun it was to shoot Dustin and Jessica!  They were so comfortable in front of the camera.  There were some moments when it was as if these two lovebirds were by themselves and not modeling for 20+ photographers.  And I hope that some of the pictures below captured the mood I just described.  Oh, and by the way, I didn’t know this until afterwards but Jessica is a budding recording artist.  I would have loved to hear her beautiful voice in person.  Check out her site.  Dustin and Jessica, thanks for braving the cold to give us great photos for our portfolio.

P.S. I also included more pics of the Boneyard.




















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Whoooahhh!  It’s been one month since  WPPI and over one month since I last blogged.  In the blog community, that’s almost like someone died.  Well, I didn’t.  I’m back and I have some serious blogging for all of you.  WPPI stands for Wedding & Portraits Photographers International and it is a convention like no other.  I took part in training, networking, a tradeshow, and early-morning parties.  In my 7 days in Vegas,  I must have gotten only about 25 hours of sleep.  And wow, did I pay for it!  I’m still recovering from a cold that I got at the end of my time there.  At next year’s WPPI, I will do a better job of taking care of my body.  I will share more about my overall WPPI experience in a later post but on this post I will concentrate on a night photoshoot I was a part of on Monday, February 16th.

Many of you know I entered a contest held by fabulous Florida-based photographer, Scarlett Lillian.  Well, I didn’t win the grand prize but imagine my surprise when Scarlett graciously offered me the chance to participate without having to pay for the price of the shoot!  This is long overdue but 1) thank you, Scarlett, for allowing me to join you on this incredible evening 2) thank you to my college students who helped me with such a fun entry photo 3) thank you to all of you who voted for me and left encouraging comments on my blog and Scarlett’s blog.

Shooting at night has always been intimidating for me but at the shoot, I got a chance to overcome this fear and just have fun shooting and learning from my mistakes in the cool, night Vegas air.  I even got a chance to play with the new PocketWizard and experiment with off-camera flash.  I didn’t become a master of night photography after the shoot but I was encouraged to improve this aspect of my craft.  To be the best that I can be I have to learn to shoot in all conditions.

And did I mention all the cool photographers I met at the shoot?  It was such a fun group!  Two of the people I met at the shoot are David Esquire and Kerry Garrison, hosts of my favorite photography podcast, Camera Dojo.  They are just as much fun in person as they are on their show.  If you want to improve your photography, then definitely check out their site.

Oh, and I don’t want to forget to say “Thank you!” to our awesome models that night: Lyndsay and Anderson.  They were so much fun!  Lyndsay is also an up and coming photographer.  Check out her work here!

Well, without further ado, here are some of my pictures from that fun evening!  If you want to check out the work of all the other photographers, including Scarlett Lillian’s, then here’s the link:  http://tinyurl.com/b7sp83

















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UPDATE: I’m currently in second place.  Please rally all your friends and give me some voting love 🙂 Here’s the permalink for the entry:


My entry is #13.  You can vote after picture #15.  It’s a pink text asking you to click on it.   Thanks!

Who is Scarlet Lillian?  She is an awesome, awesome wedding photographer whose work I’ve been following for sometime now.  Her images are incredible.  You’ll see what I mean when you click on her name for the link to her site.  I have an incredible opportunity to attend her photo shoot in Vegas for free as well as win other camera accessories and tools.  How?  She is holding a photo contest and my picture is one of the entries.  I would be extremely grateful if you voted for my picture!  People have submitted some really nice images; very creative stuff!  Have fun looking through them and then VOTE FOR ME 🙂  Opportunities like this is why I am so pumped up about my first WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) convention.  I’m looking forward to  training, networking, and making new friends from around the world.  

Here’s the link to the Scarlett’s site just in case:  


And before you head on over to her site, I thought I’d post my picture entry here on my blog.  I’m thankful for all my students for helping me put together this shot.  Average class size is 20-25 students but somehow I was able to squeeze in 60 students in that room.  All right, enjoy the pic and then head on over to Scarlett’s site and VOTE ….FOR….ME!  Thank you in advance.


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