2018 WPPI Wrap Up

One of the  highlights of my job is getting to attend the Wedding and Portraiture Intensive in Las Vegas in February.

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When I went last year it was career changing. I learned and implemented a lot of marketing techniques that helped catapult my business in mid-late 2017. As business owners, we are always talking about Return on Investment. The ROI with WPPI was huge.

I vowed that this year I would bring some friends with me, so this year my friend Beth, who is an outstanding photographer in Missoula, and I drove. Does anyone else out there love road trips? I always have. It’s about 900 miles between Vegas and the Bitterroot Valley, but we cleared the journey there in one day. Okay, so we actually ran into a bit of trouble on the road, but what is life if not unexpected? 

We met some other friends there who were a bit smarter than us and flew. My friend Stephanie out of Sonomish, Washington, has been with me on my photography journey since the beginning, and this was the first time we got to meet in person. 

My mom is a photographer in Texas. We roomed together, took some of the same classes, and headed out for a mini portrait session on the strip early one morning. 

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More than anything, I learned all sorts of new ways to connect, impress, and build authentic relationships with my clients. This business isn’t about awards or accreditation. It’s about making my clients happy. At the end of the day, it’s about the photos that are hanging on their walls or the albums they can’t wait to share with others. It isn’t about online galleries; it’s about gallery wall art. It’s prints over pixels. It’s creating the heirloom pieces that will be passed on to their grandchildren.

Thanks Rangefinder Magazine and WPPI for the opportunity to learn, grow, be inspired, have fun with old friends, and make some new ones.

Shoot & Share Contest Results

One of my favorite things about being a photographer is that there is always something new to learn. Just like any form of growth, sometimes you don’t notice those incremental changes as they happen. 

Every year, Pass.com hosts a large photography contest. When I say large, I mean it’s the biggest free and fair contest in the world. More than 1 million photos are submitted for a variety of categories like Kids, Family Photography, Bride & Groom, Emotion, etc. 

This year I wanted to share my results in the Shoot & Share contest with you because it’s so fun reliving these moments and telling the story behind the photo.

This photo of the Wyman family against the Bitterroot mountains was a finalist out of tens of thousands of photos in the Family category. Renee coordinated the family’s outfits impeccably. We were worried about the gray, colorless skies that day, and I think we even felt a few raindrops, but everything worked together to make this beautiful family portrait. 

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I love the details in this photo of our styled shoot with Champagne & Linen. From Alexandriah’s gorgeous two-piece lace dress to the flowers atop the Cakes in the Zoo cake. Shoot & Share voters must have loved it to. It ranked in the top 10 percent of Details photos. 

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This is my baby girl, Cora Belle Williams. I had planned to have her wear a lavender Tutu Du Monde gown and we’d searched for the perfect wall of lilac bushes. The day we planned to do this shoot, though, it was very cold. It was almost dusk when we took this. I could tell she was shivering, but handled it like a champ, and as a result this photo ranked in the top 10 percent of  photos in the Kids category

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This was one I couldn’t have planned for if I’d tried. Terra had just given the flower girl in her wedding a necklace and bent down to kiss her on the cheek amid a sea of green bridesmaid dresses. If you’re a photographer, you know it can be hard in the moment to remember to get down on different levels, but I know this photo just wouldn’t have been the same if I had photographed it from above.