Thoughts, post WPPI 2011

I have been dragging my butt writing a new blogpost, while still basking in the post-WPPI glow that one gets after a week-long immersion in everything photography. After this yearly sabbatical, I had to jump right into work and catch up on editing, scheduling shoots, taxes (ugh) and relearning my children’s names (joke). But finally, here are my thoughts.

I have been going to WPPI for the past five years and it’s really starting to feel like family. I’ve reconnected with random friends I’ve made on airport shuttles, workshops and master classes, always happy to hear updates about their work, where they are in life and what they’ve learned as well. It’s a great circle of sharing, learning and teaching. I remember being the newbie and not knowing whose platform presentations to attend, or where the parties are. Still don’t know where they are? Turn to Twitter, it’s amazing what technology can do.

This year marked my first to join the WPPI 16X20 contests. I prompted to do so, after watching my friend’s facebook feed and see him prepare his prints. I rushed and edited a few prints and submitted mine two days before the deadline. Dang, no – I didn’t win any accolades but seeing the winners on display firmed my resolve to do better next year. Congratulations to my friends Chung Li and Ricky Wong who made good this year, and my new-found Australian friend (and I believe a superstar in the making) Dan O’Day whose work is so amazingly fresh and new. Another new favorite for me this year is Susan Stripling. I had seen her name before in photographer circles but seeing her photos up close was awesome. Her work was simply breath-taking.

On the speaking circuit, I became a fan of Bobbi + Mike, a hubby-wife team based out of the midwest – so super cute and bouncy and friggin talented, I just wanted to bundle them up and pack them in my suitcase.  I finally saw Me Ra Koh speak at the Sony booth, very inspiring, with lots of no nonsense advice about family and child portraiture.. Listening to Jerry Ghionis, of course, was just amazing. So amazing in fact, I handed over some of my hard earned cash in his booth, buying products so I can be JUST LIKE HIM one day. Here’s my Facebook WPPI gallery.

The big highlight of the trip was attending Jesh de Rox’s {life as an artform} workshop. I’ve never learned so much about myself in such a short span, it’s crazy. It’s like artist bootcamp in a way. Makes me want to be a better person to be a better photographer. And of course, the bonds I forged with the wonderful people in the workshop are invaluable – life long friendships for sure.  I will never forget the different Houses of Mind and will be a frequent visitor. Hello, Katya! 🙂

Upon my return from WPPI, I was happy to attend the awards ceremony of the California Academy of Science, where I received two awards! The first was for the Nightlife category and the second was the People’s Choice award for Family Life. I am super psyched because one of the prizes was a free website and five years of hosting from Livebooks! I’ve been wanting one so bad so I can change up the website. It was such a great homecoming gift.  But more than that, some of my friends came out to hang with me at Cal Academy and watched the award ceremony. We celebrated in the food court with pasta and Boylan Soda. Good times!

I am so thankful, and blessed.

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