2010 WPPI Road Trip, Orlando!

Road Trip Oh my, what can I say. This seminar/workshop was probably one of the best days of profession education, inspiration, and networking that I have done in the past 5 years.

For those who may not know, Wedding & Portrait Photographers International(WPPI) is an organization for wedding and portrait photographers set on education and consistency among photographers. There is an annual convention in Las Vegas that draws THOUSANDS of photographers. The road trip is an extension of that event.

The speakers were great and powerful. Hosted by Liana Lehman, with great motivation and instruction from Doug Gordon, Bruce Dorn, Amber Holritz, Garret Nudd & Rebecca Grinnals, and a great bonus from Bambi Cantrell.

doug and me

Some of the things that I noticed:

There had to be over 300 attendees that were there. Of those, two-thirds were women! There was a huge minority make up, mostly in Asian/Pacific Islander and Latino. Less than 5% in total were African-American. Now, why do I make this point? It seems that many black photographers that I come across, specifically market to other blacks, then in the same breath, they criticize their market. When I see poor numbers like that at an event like this, it makes me wonder how can you complain about not getting the clients you want, when you do not improve yourself to give your clients the product THEY want! There were photographers from Savannah, Ft. Lauderdale, and even as far as Puerto Rico, that speaks a lot.

Another reason why this blog might be pointed to certain groups, is because I have noticed that many minorities market to their own minority group, yet many of my friends who are white, just market!  There are many dynamics that go into this, more than I want to detail here, but these are things that I wish my fellow photographers would evaluate.

I loved the business applications as well as the photography discussions that were brought up. Liana gave her "7 Tips" to include, Knowing your numbers and your duty as an Artist! It is important to know that as a Business Person, your responsibility is to your business first, and as an Artist, your responsibility is to your client.

Doug Gordon did an AWESOME job as well, with instruction in poses and motivation in business. He shared a quote that I want to share with you:

"You cannot always share what's in your minds, but a photo from your heart can."

He shared that we need to be different, but consistent. Creat impact, and make the invisible visible.

Bruce Dorn shared many great points on the use of video in DSLR's. Striking was finding out that Canon 7D can rival the video output of a $500,000 Aeroflex camera which is used in Hollywood.

Amber discussed about being yourself, and being real with yourself and your clients. Bambi showed us how to make women BEAUTIFUL through boudoir!

My favorite was Garrett and Rebecca's presentation. It was about the state of the business. Very sobering information. Such as that photography business is the second most failed business in the U.S. behind restaurants. That the average photographer only lasts 18 months. After being in the business for 7 years, I am truly grateful.

There IS a difference between being a Champion and being Average. Many photographers and their business STRIVE to be AVERAGE! This is not a slight. How many of us had our moms tell us when we were younger that we should be an accountant, or a doctor, because it was the "safe" way to go. SAFE IS AVERAGE!

Garrett and Rebecca gave many tips, such as how to make a 50% increase in business by (you should have went to the road trip). You didn't think I was going to tell you everything did you!

All in all, it was a splendid event!

Have a great day!

Leighton DaCosta

Hello, I'm Leighton and I help people around the world tell their story. Let me introduce myself. Whether it's for online dating, or a professional profile, it always seems that the "About Me" section is always the hardest to write. Not because you have nothing to say about yourself, but because you want to be sincere, genuine, interesting, and brief all at the same time. I have never been a fan of writing about me in the third person, like: "Leighton DaCosta, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to Brooklyn, NY at an early age when his parents wanted to form a new life for themselves and their children. In the third grade, the family moved to Orlando, Fl, where Leighton considers his home town. After spending 3 tours in the Navy, he settled in Jacksonville, and now Miramar, Florida, where he now calls home. Today, still wanted by many, he does work as a fashion and wedding photographer. If you have a wedding(or photo shoot)... if no one else can help... and if you can find him... maybe you can hire... ok.. this is not The A- Team." But you see what I mean? What do you know about me? How can we connect? Did you know that my FAVORITE food is Pizza and Sushi? Or that my favorite color is Purple? When I go to the wine bars, I usually order Mimosas, because even the cheapest champagne tastes great with some good ole OJ. When I travel, I like staying in nice hotels. Not because of the name, (even though I AM partial to Hyatt) but because of the bathrooms. One of my favorite hotels is the Viking in Newport, Rhode Island. Small rooms, but AWESOME bathrooms. I LOVE TO EAT, and eating as much as I have, has led me to be about 100 pounds more than I was in High School... Yeah there is some muscle there, but if it was all muscle, I'm sorry folks, I wouldn't be taking photos, I would be retiring from the NFL. If you want to see some of my favorite dishes, follow me on Instagram. Because of that, I find myself now in the gym more than ever. Trying to stay fit and alive... I workout, so I can EAT! Well that's enough for now, if you want to know more about me, follow my blog. Better yet, I want to find out more about YOU. So let's talk!