Early in March I flew out to Vegas for WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) a huge photography convention and trade show. It was both my first time at WPPI and my first time in Vegas. A slightly overwhelming experience...but enjoyable nonetheless. There are a variety of album companies, film and print labs, camera shops and other photographers who I work with on a regular basis. Through the beauty of the internet, I develop really close working relationships with these people/companies without ever actually meeting face to face. So getting to finally meet and shake hands with many of those people and put faces with names was by far my favorite part of WPPI. All business aside, we had some fun too. I met up with some other photographer friends while out there and we spent some time out exploring in Vegas and meeting (some very interesting) people. There are a few photos below of a couple that my friend David and I met while waiting in line checking into our hotel rooms. Their names were Jamie and Lauren, they lived in San Francisco and had been dating for about 8 weeks...they really loved to party and were a bit on the wild side. We got a text message to come meet them around 2:00am one night at a random (super sketchy) karaoke bar off the strip. They were pretty hammered by this point and were considering doing the classic Vegas thing and tying the knot but couldn't find a chapel that was open at that hour, strange for Vegas but probably for the best considering their drunken state. Nonetheless, since we're photographers, we figured it would be fun to shoot a few photos of them loving it up in the parking lot. It was a pretty shady part of town and was super late so there were some other really off kilter characters hanging around the area so we figured it would be best to say our farewells and get out of there ASAP. Thus we each hailed a cab and went our separate ways. They were a blast to hang with though and I really wish them all the best together.
The following day (despite little sleep) a few of us woke up early and slogged the two hours out to Death Valley and spent the day out there wandering around and shooting some photos. It was such an incredibly beautiful and foreign landscape...you really feel like you are on the face of the moon. The variances in temperature were pretty amazing, towards the end of the day we were at the Badwater Basin (the lowest point in the northern hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level) and were enjoying temps around 80 degrees, a welcome change for us east coasters. Afterwards we drove for about an hour (and up 5,476 feet) to a place called Dantes View that sits on top of a mountain and overlooks the valley. We were there around sunset and the temperature had dropped to the low 40s...a drastic change from being down in the valley. There was so much more that I had planned to see while out there but we unfortunately just didn't have enough time, everything is so spread out and you spend a lot of time driving...I guess that just means that I will have to plan another trip back.
So it was a great time but by the end I was really looking forward to coming home. If you are a photographer and have never been to WPPI, I suggest making the trip out at least once...its worthwhile for the social aspect alone. Well, I think I've rambled on too long already without sharing any photos...which makes for a boring post. :)