2016 marks my 8th trip to the Wedding and Portrait Photographer International (WPPI) convention. This year, I find myself reflecting on all of my past trips to WPPI as a student, a vendor, an author and now a second-time speaker. For me, being a speaker is all about giving back, but I’m realizing now that I get more from WPPI than I could ever give back.
Every year at this conference, I learn something new. I learn things I don’t even know I need to learn. I am inspired by the creativity, craftsmanship and innovation found in the print competition, the trade show floor, the dance floor at Hakkasan, the wine and chocolate party… everywhere. I just can’t imagine a Spring without:
“The best week of your life.”
This year, my Master’s class on Posing Two Brides or Two Grooms followed a landmark decision in the United States for marriage equality. Never again will we count marriage equality states on our “fingers and toes” as Kathryn Hamm used to say. When Kathryn and I first started writing Capturing Love in 2012, there were only six marriage equality states, now there are fifty; That still sounds unbelievable to say out loud. This year I addressed an international crowd with the words “Love Wins!” behind me.
The enthusiasm and interest in this class was wonderful. Twitter and Facebook lit up with Capturing Love talk:
Despite the tremendous growth in the number of same-sex weddings, my class was one of two classes (out of 217 classes) on serving same-sex couples.
Since 2012, Kathryn and I have been advocating for photographers to be inclusive to same-sex couples, by modernizing their language, diversifying their portfolios and confronting many assumptions. As much as I enjoy being the only speaker at WPPI talking about gender identity (I like being different), I also think there is an incredible need for our industry to increase the Capturing Love conversation. As I said in my class:
I wish to create a safe space where any and all questions can be asked there will be no judgements made, just honest, helpful answers.
Help us continue and spread the Capturing Love conversation. If you want to see more classes on best-serving same-sex couples, let WPPI know in your reviews. If you can’t go to WPPI, invite us to come to your local photo group. And be sure to join our Facebook group.
Thank you to all of the wonderful photographers who attended my Master’s class. Thank you to our beautiful models Alicia and Negar, having the same models two years is super helpful! Thank you to WPPI (especially Jason Groupp and Samantha Tang) for hosting this most important topic. Thank you to all who donated door prizes: WeddingWire, Finao, Amphoto, Bay Photo, Kubota Image Tools, Jpeg Mini, Photo Flash Drive and StickyAlbums! Thank you to John Clarke Russ, my calm and cool assistant. You are all amazing!
Now I’ve gotta pack my bags for #shutterfest. See you next year WPPI.