A Photo Education Supreme: WPPI 2024 Educator Highlights
December 20, 2023
Jyotsna Bhamidipati captured this gorgeous double exposure during the Photo Walk she led at WPPI 2023. Her 2024 Photo Walk will be "Making Editorial Photos from Start to Finish." (Scroll through to see more images featuring photo education opportunities available at WPPI.)
Jyotsna Bhamidipati instructs her Photo Walk participants at WPPI 2023.
Sony ambassador Scott Robert Lim is an engaging, high-energy speaker who is a crowd pleaser.
Photo Walks are a big draw at WPPI. Due to their limited capacity, they typically sell out early.
WPPI, Wedding and Portrait Photographers International is an annual photography conference held at the stunning Mirage Resort in the electric atmosphere of Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2024, WPPI will be from March 3 – 7. There will be over 135 photography educators leading over 140 seminars, talks, and Photo Walks. That’s a lot of photo education!
WPPI’s Educational Offerings
WPPI’s diverse body of speakers represent the top educators in the photo industry. This spring, they’ll converge on WPPI from around the world, offering innovative insights and wide perspectives on all the most pertinent portrait and wedding photography topics of the day. From business to creativity to marketing, there is something for everyone to ignite inspiration, fill in knowledge gaps, and shake up stagnant areas.
Photographers can choose from the following photo education tracks:
- Business and Marketing
- Filmmaking and Video
- Inspiration and Motivation
- Lighting and Posing
- Post-Production and Workflow
- Portrait — Individuals, Group, Family, Maternity, Newborn, Fashion, and Boudoir
Photographers are free to design their own WPPI program, picking and choosing from within tracks for areas where they need help, want to brush up, or want to break new ground.
Offerings include 66+ seminars, 80+ photo walks, 3 Masters Summits, and talks on the WPPI stage on the Show Floor. Additionally, there will be one epic keynote speaker, whose identity is still a mystery to the public. However, Elena S Blair is in the know on the mystery speaker’s identity and said in a recent live online event, “I left the last talk that I saw this person do feeling inspired and invigorated. You are in for a treat.”
With 140 total photo education sessions to pick from, now is the time to go over the agenda and make your choices. You definitely don’t want to put this off till the last minute! Here’s the full agenda and here is the class schedule so you can dig right in and see what sparks your curiosity and what really lights your fire.
Favorite Speakers and Fresh Faces
In this ocean of educational opportunities, you’ll find crowd favorites like Jerry Ghionis with “In Camera Artistry with Any Light or Location,” Lindsay Adler with “Posing Foundations to Flatter Everyone,” Susan Stripling with “Incorporating AI into Your Wedding Photography Life,” and Vanessa Joy with “Mastering Instagram: Pro Tips for Social Media Success.” There are also fresh faces, including couples posing expert Chloe Ramirez, marketing maven Damaly Shepherd, and Kara Marie Trombetta, whose narrative boudoir style is incredibly impactful.
Eye-Popping Photo Walk Offerings
Photo Walks are not just a walk in the park or along the Vegas Strip. These are two-hour time slots where you and a small group of fellow photographers directly interface with a professional instructor in their area of expertise. These sessions are up close and personal. You’ll be able to Q&A during these special boutique photo education experiences so that you can find out if you’re really picking up what they’re laying down as you also take photos for your portfolio.
Some occur in curated outdoor locations on the Mirage hotel grounds. Others happen in “the Playground,” which is a dedicated room full of studio setups. The boudoir photo walks take place in hotel suites.
Here are Elena S Blair’s eye-popping picks from among the 80+ to choose from:
- Cat Ford Coates “Elevate Your Style with Movement in Portrait”
- Gerson Lopes — Capture Editorial and Fashion Portraits with One or Two Lights”
- Teri Hofford — “Empowerment for All Bodies”
- Dan O’Day – Dan O’Day’s title is coming soon. It will surely be a smorgasbord of fascinating techniques that will break you out of your usual ways and inspire you to frame up with fresh eyes.
- Petronella Lugemwa “Step by Step Posing Techniques for Authentic Portraits”
- Andre Brown “Studio Lighting Basics: Fundamentals for Stunning Portraits”
- Jasmin Jade “Empowering Portraiture: Mastering Women’s Posing Through Body Language”
- Martina Warenfeldt “Unlock Your Creative Potential: A Quirky and Artistic Fine Art Session on Location”
- Kiamarie Lambert “Stop Being Shy and Start Posing Your Subjects Better”
Photo Walks require the purchase of additional tickets ($149 each). They are amazing, and there are always attendees who regret missing out on them. Don’t be one of them. They are available for all pass types, and you can sign up for as many as you want. Because they have limited capacity, they always sell out fast. Make sure you’re not one of those latecomers who lament what they’re missing. Get in there now and book your picks!
Even More Photo Education Opportunities
A WPPI Conference Pass includes access to all seminars and bite-sized talks on the WPPI Stage on the Show Floor. The Masters Summits – The Lighting Masters, The Wedding Masters and The Latin Masters (Spanish language summit) happen one day before the main conference begins and require the purchase of an additional ticket ($149). Attendees must choose just one from among the summits, which are day-long events each featuring five headline presenters.
Additionally, this year, The Portrait Masters Conference will be heading off the WPPI conference week. Those who purchase a pass to The Portrait Masters Conference ($799) will receive:
- 6 Main Stage Speakers
- 15+ Exclusive Shooting Bays
- 1 Dedicated Space in the Wellness Center
- 2 Nights of exclusive TPS parties – The Silent Disco & The Karaoke Party
- Access to the Full WPPI Conference and Show
- Access to WPPI Platinum VIP Passport Experience
The WPPI Platinum Pass gets you into an exclusive cocktail party with speakers as well as image critiques, one-on-one mentoring sessions to build your brand, entrance to all evening parties (which sometimes reach capacity), and fast pass entrance for select seminars. With fast pass (offered for the first time this year), attendees can get into seminars ahead of any long lines to make sure they get into popular workshops that could fill up and get choice seats.
With The Portrait Masters Conference joining with WPPI this year, photographers on a budget no longer need to choose just one conference. You can do both together and save a ton of money.
Stay in the Know and Be Featured
The WPPI community is often likened to Spring Break or Sleepaway Camp for Photographers because it is so intensive and fun. In addition to everything highlighted above, attendees also can network and make lifelong friends with educators, vendors, and fellow attendees.
On the Show Floor, in addition to trying out new gear, attendees can make personal contacts with the vendor teams who make their businesses successful. At parties, they can connect in informal, fun-filled settings. Elena S Blair says, “I have made some of the most impactful connections in my life that have changed the trajectory of my art and business at the parties, so they are a big and important part of the conference.”
WPPI is incredible. But don’t take my word for it. The best place to catch the flavor of WPPI is on the WPPI Instagram. And, if you attended in the past, WPPI wants to feature you there. Simply tag @WPPIEvents in your posts and stories and share highlight reels showcasing your favorite summits, vendors, events, or activities, or share a testimonial about why you love WPPI and why you’re excited for this year’s events. When you do, you’ll get entered for a WPPI giveaway. Prizes include:
- 1 Grand Prize Winner: Guest on an Upcoming WPPI LIVE
- 1 Winner: Free ticket to WPPI and Free Hotel Stay
- 2 Winners: Featured on the WPPI Stage
- 10+ Winners: Free Conference Pass
Also, be sure to sign up for the WPPI email list and to the WPPI Community Forum, so you don’t miss out on news as it comes out. You’ll also find links there to all the livestream events and a message board where you can interact with fellow members of the WPPI professional community as they share their excitement about the premiere photography industry conference coming up in just a few short months.