My tough-as-nails schedule often keeps me tethered to my studio until the wee hours of the morning. My social life (or lack thereof) has seriously taken a hit due to the demands of being a serious creative and entrepreneur.

WPPI’s convention in Vegas seamlessly blends my joint passion for hard work and hard partying (finally, I can get out!)—I don’t care if it sounds cliché, it’s 100-percent true. The whole affair is teeming with photographers just crazy enough to throw every ounce of their passion into growing their business. WPPI is where like minds can join forces to collaborate, inspire one another and, yes, talk shop over a stiff martini with two olives. In fact, it’s our inalienable right.

Below, scope out all the highlights of my planned itinerary at WPPI 2012, with highlights including my Platform Class on savvy use of social media, two days of judging, a special TWiT Photo Episode, and plenty of free evenings for indulgence in my aforementioned elixir of choice. Business and pleasure, if you’re doing it right, always join forces.

Many of WPPI’s Platform Classes are going to fill up quickly.  I encourage you to act fast! Register via Pre-Board here.

FRIDAY Feb. 17: Hello, Vegas

I’m leaving my man behind this WPPI go-round and instead heading toward Sin City with my best friend and fellow photographer Melissa Slater. We’re sharing a suite at MGM’s Signature Towers (a WPPI hotel hot-spot), where we scored a sweet deal on a suite through booking.com, with rates that are often better than even a normal room, it’s a no brainer.

SATURDAY Feb. 18: Hello, Judges

I’ll be hunkered down from 8.30 a.m.-5.30 p.m. on the third floor of the MGM Grand Conference Center, where I belong to the WPPI 16×20 Print and Album Competition panel of five judges, all expert photographers from a diverse range of fields. Our process is open to the public, and I invite you to attend—whether or not you are entered. Why? Listening to a group of seasoned experts deconstructing an image in a highly focused, meaningful way is incredibly illuminating and instructive for the evolution of your own work.

SUNDAY Feb. 19: Hello, Students

I’m particularly excited to teach an Epson-sponsored Platform Class from 12.00pm-2.00pm. It’s called “Carpe Diem through Social Media” and it’s all about maximizing exposure for your art and your business with smart, savvy social-media application. Learn how to rise above white-noise chatter and meaningfully engage with a targeted audience to achieve substantial, lasting results. I’ll also share my strategy for capitalizing on photo-sharing communities like 500px and Flickr, while ensuring your copyrights stay in-check. Plus, there will be door prizes aplenty, from my favorite companies such as Lowepro, Datacolor, NIK Software, and Triple Scoop Music. PS: Sunday is also my second day of judging—I’ll just be sneaking away to teach my class and heading right back into the fray.

MONDAY Feb. 20: Hello, Strangers

I’ll spend my day off wandering the vast halls of WPPI. If you see me, flag me down and say hello. I’d love to meet and/or catch-up with you!

TUESDAY Feb. 21: Hello, TWiT Photo

By day, I wander; by night, specifically at 6.00pm at the Skyloft, I’m moderating a WPPI-exclusive TWiT Photo panel discussion with eight notable photographers, including heavy hitters Jeremy Cowart, Skip Cohen, Greg Gibson, Lindsey Adler, Sue Bryce, Jerry Ghionis, Tamara Lackey, and Dane Sanders. Our discussion will be broadcast on TWiT Photo the next week and subsequently available for free download on iTunes. Joy! (And, perhaps, a martini nightcap.)

Can’t wait to see all of you there!


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