It’s that time again! Thousands of wedding and portrait photographers are packing their bags, booking their flights, and gassing up their cars for a trip into the desert to mingle with fellow photography professionals, learn a few tricks or two, and shop around for partners and vendors.

WPPI has tons to offer amateurs, professionals, and even hobbyists. So much, in fact, that it’s easy to be distracted, sidetracked, or simply overwhelmed. Here are a few quick tips to help you navigate WPPI 2010 and get the most out of your experience.

3 Tips to Get the Most Out of WPPI 2010

1) Split up for the platform speakers When it comes to platform speakers, the content presented can be invaluable or even career-changing. On the opposite end, many of the speeches are a true test of the strength of your morning coffee and attention span. By going with others, splitting up, and sharing notes over meals, you can mitigate the risk of wasting that time slot and increase the amount of information you receive each day. There are many golden bits of information that are given, but you will need to divide and conquer to gather them all up.

2) Set Goals and Priorities in the trade show and if possible split up assignments. If you simply wander around the trade show, you can get caught up in a conversation and lose half the day. Without goals and priorities, you can also see a million great ideas and products but forget them the second you leave Las Vegas and get back to the pile of work you have waiting for you back home. With so many vendors and potential partners in one room, it’s important to prioritize. For example, are you looking for a new album maker? What qualities are you specifically looking for? With all the competition in one room, you can literally compare their products side by side and come up with the best fit for your studio.

We typically run with a crew of 4 to WPPI so our approach is to split up. Each person is given an assignment, like albums for instance. That person would then focus on gathering information, testing samples, and taking notes. Each night after sifting through all the junk, we each present the top three products or solutions for our respective assignments.

3) Approach the industry leaders. There are very few industries in this world in which the innovators and leaders of the industry are so accessible. After each lecture, almost every one of the top wedding and portrait photographers are available to chat. It’s really a matter of having the courage to approach them, ask the right questions, and even ask if you can assist or second shoot for them. It was after a platform lecture that I was able to find my first mentor John Solano, whom I owe much of my success as a wedding photographer.

We hope this short article helps you out in one way or another. On SLR Lounge we love to share the notes that we take during the platform speakers. Although we weren’t able to get them all up on the site, you can check out a few from last years lectures here. Also, we’ll be sure to share more notes this year as well so stay tuned. If you would like to contribute your own notes to SLR Lounge, we would love to feature you on our site.

For more information on WPPI and all it has to offer, check out their official site