I took some time this past Monday to attend the WPPI Road Trip 2010 at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott. Sometimes you've just got to get outside and see what the rest of the world is up to.
I'd been to the Waterfront Marriott earlier this summer, with my Sister-in-law Nola. Nola works for Toursavers, a great coupon book, that has all kinds of great deals on fun activities around town. She gets to try all of the activities out, and blog about them. One of the coupons in Toursavers Seattle is for Eagle Rider Harley Davidson rentals. Since I'm the only one in the family with a motorcycle endorsement, and I own a Harley, Nola had me take her on a motorcycle tour up to Whidbey Island.
But that really has nothing to do with todays topic: WPPI Road Trip 2010.
For those of you that don't know, WPPI is Wedding and Portrait Photographers International. They are one of the largest photographer trade groups in the world; best known for their tradeshow and convention held in Las Vegas each year. They brought 4 well known photographers to speak in Seattle for the day: Dawn Shields, Nate Miller, Kirk Voclain and Jasmine Star.
What a great day! I can honestly say that I learned something from each speaker. Something useful, not meaningless trivia.
Dawn Shields sounds like she dominates her market in Missouri. Not only is she the top photographer in her market, but she owns two bridal publications and a bridal show. Her husband owns a couple more businesses. Busy people! Being a magazine publisher, Dawn believes in the value of traditional marketing, i.e., magazine ads. Hey, I've got a magazine ad. It's with Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom. I've had ok response to my ad. A few inquiries, but nothing that would make you go whoa! Dawn mentioned that the best ad response is for right hand read ads.
Hmmmm.....mines a left hand and has been since it started. Coincidentally I ran in to my Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom ad rep, Dixie Duncan, at a meeting this morning and she asked if I was going to renew my ad. I mentioned I would if it became a right hand read ad. Bingo! She said she'd write that in to my next ad contract. Nice to be able to use what you learn so quickly. Time will tell if it works.
Kirk Voclain shoots senior portraits in Houma, Louisiana. This man is wild. Talks a mile a minute. Speaks with his hands. Crawls on the floor. Loves Steve Martin movies and has the orangest hair you've ever seen. Creative. Entertaining. A real inspiration. And Loves what he does.
The final speaker was Jasmine Star. Daughter of a preacher and her talk was a bit like being at a revival meeting. Her talk was packed with information on branding. She's got it down. Five years ago she shot 3 weddings, the next year 30. She now shoots 23-25 weddings a year and averages $11000 a wedding. Not bad considering her first wedding she charge $1000.
By the way, here's a copy of my latest ad in Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom. This is the flower girl from Sanya and Matt's wedding. How cute is she!?