Photographers from around the world just made their annual spring trip out to Las Vegas for the WPPI Convention – and so I did, too. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been speaking at this convention for five years already – what on earth?!! And this year was set up to be a very interesting one – given the impact of some rather excellent online photography training, a lot of people wondered what turnout would really be like, but it was another packed show with about 12,000 people and all kinds of buzz. Turns out that as much as people love additional options for education, they really crave an opportunity to all come together. The photography community is huge and still rather tight-knit. I am grateful to my sponsors for making this possible! Huge thanks to WHCC, Artsy Couture, and Animoto – and also a big shout out to Kelby Training for providing some killer behind-the-scenes video footage to share in my new program. I had a lot of fun speaking in their booth while at the expo. ALSO – my favorite gear shop, Adorama, who disbursed nearly $1000 in cash giveaways between all the speaking engagements and my creativeLIVE appearance (more on that in the next post!) and yet STILL wish to give away another $100 in cash towards product here. How to win? Pretty easy. This post is a combination of my work and my life – of the work I love and the family I love, too. I know that I’m not alone in constantly trying to bring all that together in the most positive way possible. I’d love to know from you: what’s one thing you do to help make life and work all come together more smoothly? We’re going to pick one comment randomly – so it doesn’t matter terribly WHAT you say, good or blah – but sharing what works for you only helps all of us. The winning commenter will get $100 cash to spend however you’d like at Adorama! So – VEGAS! Sunday started bright and early, and I had great fun as a guest speaker at Roy Ashen’s talk about how TripleScoop Music has filled an incredible niche, bringing together independent music artists and photographers, cinematographers and more with royalty-free licensing (if you haven’t heard, they’ve recently teamed up with Animoto, and the music selection for creating videos there is now out of control). I was one of many cool guests, and it was a relaxed, fun talk: WPPI_Platform_2013025 My Platform talk was only about an hour later. I walked in to this closed room and, as usual when I’m presenting to a big room, my heart skipped a beat. Always looks like an awful lot of chairs before they let people come in, and there’s two of those rows, gulp: IMG_1440 And then it started. Remember those chairs? They fill up – if you see yourself here, hi and thank you so much for coming! And big thanks to Maggie Wendel and Sarah Coppola for grabbing these images: WPPI Tamara Lackey Las Vegas My program kicked off with the lovely Mindy Gledhill singing with her beautiful, buttercream voice (accompanied by the fabulous Ali Handal!), to a video of my latest work, which was a pretty melty experience: WPPI Mindy Gledhill Ali Handel Tamara Lackey WPPI 2013 Las Vegas Tamara Lackey WPPI 2013 Las Vegas Tamara Lackey This was also the first time I officially spoke on behalf of Nikon, and I was lucky enough to do so more than once. This was spectacular for a few reasons: 1.) I love the gear 2.) I was way impressed with all the people I met at Nikon 3.) I didn’t fall off the stage once. Huge thanks to Mike Corrado, Maggie Wendel and Sarah Coppola for shooting these images AND sharing them with me: Nikon Tamara Lackey WPPI Las Vegas Nikon Tamara Lackey WPPI Las Vegas Nikon Tamara Lackey WPPI Las Vegas Speaking of Nikon, MANY of the photographs I shot were with my hybrid DSLR/point & shoot, the Nikon 1 J3. I shot a LOT more than I normally do at this event (and, basically, everywhere else I went) simply because of the ease of carrying and using it. It’s not a large, bulky DSLR, which is all I want for professional shoots, but not what I want to carry around everywhere with me, and it’s got way more technical sharpness, adapability, and flash capability than an iPhone camera, which is what I’d resorted to using instead. I’m a big fan of this powerful little thing. I also loved being included in Nikon’s Gallery Wall at WPPI – I had the great fortune of photographing this gorgeous little girl at the What If Conference in the Dominican Republic a couple months ago (heads up – there’s another one this summmer in Bali): Nikon Tamara Lackey WPPI Las Vegas     I could keep adding photos here, since I was lucky enough to get a ton of fun social images from the week, too – but you can see lots more on my facebook album if you want! After the week wrapped, my family flew in, and we celebrated some R & R in Vegas, all shot with the Nikon 1 J3 (no, I’m not being paid any kickback to share that – just love the camera that much), including the black & whites below. Here are my girls expressing their shock and dismay at the all-male review. We all feel so badly that these poor men lost their shirts somewhere: DSC_0406 The pool at The Signature has a cold pool and a pool-sized warm pool, so the kids just kept taking turns between the two: DSC_0270 First time in my life I enjoyed Circus Circus – we all really had a surprisingly fun time here: DSC_0446 DSC_0455 DSC_0466 DSC_0465 Sophie’s biggest takeaway on Las Vegas? It just looks like it’s all been bedazzled! Yeah, that’s about right. DSC_0373 Caleb is not in this image because large furry people frighten him. He was hiding behind a large trash can behind me. Can’t really say that I blame him. DSC_0673 … especially since this is what happened after the kids hopped up: mickey mouse minnie mouse las vegas Lots of hugs the whole time: DSC_0569 A huge highlight from the week? Meeting Tony Robbins and his lovely wife. Such a BIG treat. Tony Robbins But the life of the party, without a doubt, was my son’s Vegas Party Hat: DSC_0658 DSC_0332 Las Vegas Tamara Lackey DSC_0662 And that was Vegas! Leave your comment below to get your $100 cash from Adorama – whether it’s a tiny little shift in your thinking or a huge change in your lifestyle, I’m interested to hear. We all are. Really look forward to hearing from you!!