Before I am a photographer, I am a daughter, a sister, an auntie, a friend. Maybe that's why I cry during every father daughter dance. I laugh at every toast. I well up when an Officiant pronounces a couple husband and wife. I buzz with joy chasing children around the playground. I feel awe when a newborn's tiny hand clutches my pinky finger. I draw from the emotions I have experienced through my own life's most precious moments to know when and how to capture those of others, and I usually can't help feeling overwhelmed myself! The emotional rush I feel when I'm behind the camera is what makes me love what I do. The joy I bring others through photography is what makes me do what I love.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Vegas, Baby!

I spent the past week in Vegas at the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) Annual Convention. It was an absolutely amazing time, full of friends, networking, learning, and discovery!

My friend
Sarah Hodzic and I flew out to Vegas last Saturday. We met up with the fabulous and amazing Alex and started the week off right with a fun dinner I planned (with the help of my uber fabulous studio manager, Mandy) at Ah Sin at the Paris Hotel with 20 or so fellow photographers. It was a great way to start off the week - delicious food and fabulous friends!

A few photos from Saturday night...
The amazing and gorgeous
Alex Abercrombie...

My new friend and uber fabulous photog, Jonathan Rubin

On Sunday I had the great pleasure of attending Dane Sanders' FastTrack Photographer Founders workshop. Dane is an amazing wedding photographer, teacher, friend, and, above all, a caring and generous person. It was truly a joy to spend the day with him and the rest of my new Founders friends! For the photographers reading, if you haven't heard of Dane's newest tool - the pDNA - identifying your photographer DNA - you absolutely must check it out.

photo of Dane by Sarah

The rest of the week was full of fun with friends, new and old. After a fun cocktail party sponsored by my lab (and life saver) Pictage, we headed to the Bludomain party on Monday night. Okay, enough talking, right? On to more pictures! They're worth a 1000 words, after all...

Alex is so fun to hang out with! I am so lucky to have her as a friend!!

Another fun pic of fabulous Jonathan....

I love this picture Sarah took of me when we were sitting by the pool at Paris.

Shawn Reeder is one of the most amazing photographers and people I have ever met. If you ever need inspiration, just check out his landscape and rock climbing photos. Truly inspiring.

The always fun Sarah!

This picture just cracks me up!!

Another new friend, the lovely and talented Christine ...

On Thursday, my new friends Chelsea and Jayce took Sarah and I out to Red Rock Canyon for picnic, rock climbing, and of course lots of photography! Shawn joined us on his way home too.

Can you believe the gorgeousness of this place??
I feel so lucky that we got to include this in our trip to Vegas!

Chelsea and Jayce and their adorable puppy Bella!

Jayce is on top of the world!

Sarah too!

And of course Shawn...

Whenever I do these personal/vacation posts, everyone says I don't put up any pictures of myself... so I snagged a couple of images from Sarah's blog...

Me, Sarah, Shawn, and
David Jay at the tradeshow.... DJ, aside from being a fabulous photographer, is a wonderful teacher and giver. He continually gives back to the photographic community and encourages sharing and friendship between photographers instead of competition. Thanks DJ!

I love this image Sarah took of me outside the tradeshow.

Shawn, Sarah and I...

And a fun self-portrait of me, Shawn, Alex, Sarah, and Christine...

Okay, so sorry for the super long post... If you read this far, you are a trooper! Thank you to everyone who came up and said hello to me - it's so fun to meet everyone in real life (instead of just the virtual world!). Such a fun trip!

Stay tuned... coming up in the next few days is the sneak peek of Jodie and Steve's engagement session today in Annapolis.


w i l j a x said...


truly some outstanding images here!

looks like you guys had a blast and strengthened some wonderful bonds. good for y'all! I have to admit I'm a little jealous I didn't get out there to meet all of you--such great energy and creativity--

--maybe soon


THE assistant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
|| davidjay || said...

Great seeing you! :)

Karen Mikols said...


Fun times! I'm SO THERE at WPPI next year!

Can't wait to hang!

Armin de Fiesta said...

It was way cool hangin' with y'all in Vegas!

Krista Guenin Photography said...

It was great meeting you Jessica! Thanks again for planning dinner on Saturday!!

shawnreeder said...

Ah, so much fun Jess!!!! It was so great to hang with all you and these images are sooo fun!! Thanks for sharing!

Chelsea Nicole said...

Jayse and I had such a blast with you guys at Red Rock! It's great seeing all the photos - Definitely good times!!

Can't wait to see you again for PartnerCon LA this September! And if you guys are still up for it, we'll have to start planning our little camping trip to Mt Charleston for next years WPPI. ;)

Sarah Hodzic said...

Hey Jess, LOVE the photos!
Some of them are pretty darn hilarious!!!!

So great rooming with you, and you know that I am so grateful to you for everything!


Lisa Stein said...

Looks like you all had a blast! So cool you got to meet and hang out and have fun and even rock climb!

Tell me how Dane Sanders pDNA helped. I checked it out, but not ready to drop $20 on a link.


Susan Solo said...

GREAT images from Vegas, Jess! (There's one up there of Sarah that is just stunning!) I'm so going to hang out with you guys there next year. It looks like you had a blast.

Kimberly Reed said...

Jess- it looks like you had an amazing time! Sorry I missed year?

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