WPPI 2017 and My First Encounter with The Desert

Having spent my entire life living on the East Coast (North Carolina, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts then back to New Hampshire), I’m very accustomed to the landscapes out here (mountains, countryside, oceans, beaches, busy cities…). While I have traveled out of the country plenty, including a semester in Rome, I had never really traveled further west than Kentucky (which isn’t all that far west, let’s be real) outside of a quick jaunt to Point Loma Nazarene University for Executive Student Government Training in college for a few days. So, when I made the decision to travel to Las Vegas for the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Expo (WPPI) for the first time, I knew I would be seeing all types of things I had never seen or experienced before on top of learning so so much from the best in the business. I’ve got soooooo much I could share about my trip and you can bet there will be multiple blog posts to come about WPPI (including more on the Desert Styled Wedding Shoot I was a part of at Seven Magic Mountains), but let me just tell you how it all went first. I’ll share some iPhone snaps throughout and at the end will share some images from my professional cameras.

The journey to Las Vegas was actually a pretty hectic one for me. On Saturday, I had a beautiful winter wedding I was photographing at Wentworth by the Sea in New Castle, NH. Amidst dealing with some of the coldest temperatures we’ve had all winter, my second shooter and I wrapped the day around 11:30pm – and I still had a 2hr drive home. Once arriving home, I had 2 hours to shower, import photos from the wedding, wrap up some things at home and finish packing before my husband drove me the hour and a half to the Boston airport to board my 6am flight. I think I may have gotten 3 hours of sleep on my journey west as the first flight to Salt Lake City included the sweetest little girl who couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 saying “Whoa, daddy, no way! Clouds don’t look like that in real life! They are so much fluffier!” After flight two and a shuttle ride to the hotel, I got all checked in and went straight to the killer hotel room that I got to share with Elvis, Ali, Marilyn and later, my WPPI roommate (who is epic and awesome). Along the exhausting journey to Las Vegas, I managed to get kicked in the face with a head cold, so I spent the first half of the Super Bowl in my hotel room before getting myself together and riding the monorail one stop down to join some new friends at an outdoor bar for the remainder of what will easily be the best Super Bowl performance in history (I’m a huge Patriots fan. Completely unashamed.)