Once a year, photographers from all over the world flock over to WPPI in Las Vegas. This is our equivalent of Christmas and birthdays all rolled into one. Not only do we get to play around with cool gear, explore new products, go to classes, and hang out with old and new friends, but we also get to take a break and re-charge from it all. Well, this year, I decided to go deeper into the rabbit hole, and attend an extension of WPPI of sorts- The Photo Field Trip. Only it’s not an extension of WPPI at all, even though it has conveniently been scheduled within days after WPPI ends and within the same general geographic area.
Comparing The Field Trip to WPPI does not do it justice. This is simply something else. This is about exploring yourself, your photography and the reasons behind pursuing photography as a career. A melting pot of technical classes, portfolio and brand reviews, making friends for life, and exploring and sharing of knowledge. I am not quite sure that I can put into words what the Photo Field Trip truly is, but I can say that this has been the best business and personal decision I have made in a very long time. I needed it, on so many levels, without being aware of it until I got there.
It may look like we did a lot of hiking (we did), a lot of playing around (we did), and a lot of experimenting with ideas that made our hearts sing (we did), and not a lot of classroom learning (which we didn’t). It’s because the Field Trip is all about the in between moments. It’s about when you sit next to someone you admire at breakfast time, and chat about how they go about creating that black magic image (I was a very sad panda to discover that no black magic was involved). It’s about when you hike up a mountain chatting to random strangers along the way, only to discover you have been following their work for years, wondering how they create the beauty they do. It’s all about when you make friends with people from all around the world and share ideas and push yourself to become so much better within your chosen craft.
So for any photographers out there on the fence on whether this is something for you- if you can make it work, do take the plunge and go, as scary as it might be. As for now, here are some of the images I did take while there (I will be honest, and admit that for once in my life, I put my camera down and immersed myself into the weird thing that the Field Trip truly is, so the selection of images is a bit limited, but hopefully it manages to somewhat convey the craziness that this experience truly was).