Published on March 12, 2013 | by Daniela0
A Wedding Photographer’s luggage
Erica Brenci, Traveleurope’s friend and successful Wedding Photographer, is packing her bags to fly to Las Vegas. She’s not going to the States on vacation, as she’ll be participating in WPPI, the Wedding & Portrait Photography Conference & Expo, the biggest event in the world for wedding and portrait photographers. Her travel bag should carry everything she needs for the trip: her timetable in order to optimize her days at the Fair, clear ideas not to miss any opportunity, the clothes that most represent the type of person and Photographer she is, all the necessary devices to be always connected with the rest of her life, and of course cameras, including a spectacular 1970s style analog Fujica 35 mm camera. What follows is the story of her freaking out over the preparation for her trip.
Going to Las Vegas is an energy-consuming, emotional and financial investment. WPPI will feature a series of seminars on photographic techniques, portraits, marketing, motivation, enterprise management, as well as parties and side events organized by the exhibitors, which will help visitors build new relationships, new partnerships, new ideas.
You need to be prepared and organized to go to Las Vegas, you need a timetable and the list of all the events you want to attend, hoping not to have to make too many changes in the schedule. It takes great effort, but events like this, and WPPI more than any other, bequeath enthusiasm and give you a boost that lasts all year round!
So, the things to do are:
1) Draw a plan of all the events, both paid and free ones
You can’t be in two places at once! It would be nice to have the gift of ubiquity, but unfortunately it seems that not even the Lord had it! Nonetheless, I want to know everything! About marketing, lighting technology, (small) business management, contacts with customers, ways to have your articles published in various publications, what do wedding planners want, how to find your ideal customer (I must say I’m pretty lucky in this…) how to manage a workflow, etc.
And then there are the greats! Those who you’ve been reading of, appreciating, somehow imitating for a long time, or rather, those who you get your inspiration from. But darn it, events of this type are all SOLD OUT! Next year I will get on to it sooner…
2) Collect emails and telephone numbers of contacted people
Photographers like me, to meet, to know, with whom to share opinions and discuss diversity in the market; overseas suppliers or professionals with whom to start small partnerships, in order to give life to the Network that we have already heard about. In Italy this is still a weird word, here still prevails jealousy and the exchange of services is a barter of goods: the hours spent working ‘only’ mean earning money or getting hold of contacts for another assignment, hardly are a source of ideas and sharing.
Actually, with regards to wedding photography, things are changing a bit in Italy. Wedding Photographers are a bit more supportive than other photographers and we are learning the value of sharing, little by little. To be honest, I would say that we are ahead of the others in the management of the market.
3) Suitable clothing
Oh yes! Not only because Las Vegas is hotter than home, but also because I want to wear clothes that I like and therefore represent me the most. It may seem silly: your favorite shirt, a little chipped on the edges, with the tennis shoes you love, it’s your taste and your style. Indeed, more and more often your job is you, more and more they choose you because they want you and only you, and clients choose you after only five minutes of conversation.
What makes the difference is what you are and what you represent (your style.) Add a little reliability and professionalism, and people understand that you are worth more than your price and the geographical area you work in.
4) Devices to keep in touch with the rest of the world
God bless Wi-Fi! I will check in advance before leaving home where I will find free Wi-Fi access, and make sure I’m bringing with me all the devices I need: Smartphone, tablet, notebook, portable hard drive, battery charger (these are the most important, in anticipation of effective, more environmentally friendly systems.)
The first part of the trip is not a vacation, dear Marco (he’s my partner, and husband-to-be), did you notice? So your work goes on too! Emails, quotations, phone calls, social networking, partnerships, deliveries: the show inevitably goes on.
But I swear that after WPPI we will start our low-tech holiday and get back to old phone cards to call home and know how Rumba is (our trusty four-legged friend), just doing nothing and thinking nothing, eating fish barefoot on the beach all day, until late at night wearing only our bathing suits!
5) Cameras bag
Two cameras! One for me and one for my partner (again, Marco) – strictly analog. There are two: a 1970s style 35 mm Fujica camera here (one belonged to my dad!) plus color and black and white films, Fuji and Ilford, and the modern Fuji snapshot that I use to shot mini photos to take home, looking forward to buy a real vintage one! LED lights for photos and videos alike! Camera lenses! I won’t bring lots though, because I feel affection for one in particular: the very bright 50 mm 1.2 one… It won’t surprise me if one day I find it under my pillow. And then memory cards, loads of memory cards!
Are we ready? ‘Uh signur!’ That’s how we say ‘OMG’ where I live. Shall we go?