Last week I wrote about my wild and crazy idea to get up in front of thousands of people at the WPPI conference in Las Vegas last February and how that helped me accomplish my goal of meeting a whole slew of new people while I was there. But meeting people was only part of what I REALLY wanted to accomplish... I also wanted people to actually remember me (don't we all?), and given that I have one of the harder names to learn/pronounce/spell, I wanted to come up with a memorable business card to hand out to facilitate that process. The cards I typically carry are letterpress  - they definitely make an impression (so thick! so pretty!), but I like to keep those for my clients  :D, so with the help of my super-talented graphic designer Anna Thompson, I came up with these:

Business Cards for Conferences

Now, it just so happened that Moo - the company that printed these cards for me - had a booth at the WPPI tradeshow, so I stopped by to chat and give them one of my cards for a drawing they were conducting. The guy I gave it to looked, and then looked again and asked whether he could hang on to that one, then a couple of weeks later I got an email from Moo saying they wanted to feature my new cards for their newsletter and put it in their online inspiration gallery... and now you can see the awesome writeup right here! Such an honor!!!

As you may recall, though, networking wasn't the ONLY goal I had for WPPI... I also wanted to tap the brains of some of the amazing speakers and instructors who were there. I can't begin to list all that I learned - I attended 10 2-hour seminars in all - but one quick, easy tip I picked up had a direct impact on me just a couple of weeks later.

I'm part of a photography group here in Raleigh called the WPS (the Wedding Photographic Society)... it's an amazing resource filled with some of the best photographers in the area (and a growing national and international presence), and throughout the year they host several contests and competitions. One of those competitions is PortraitPalooza, wherein each participating photographer has ten minutes to produce a publication-worthy bridal portrait with a model in a local wedding venue. It's all in fun, of course, but they put on quite the show, with local makeup artists, hair stylists, florists and bridal salons contributing their time and talent to the event, and at the end, the portraits are judged and the winner is awarded a cash prize.

I went into that competition a week after WPPI, all excited and inspired by the amazing talent I'd seen and learned from during my time there. Specifically, I wanted to step outside my usual comfort zone and create a dramatic, fashion-inspired image in the vein of those demonstrated by Jerry Ghionis in his workshop entitled "In-camera Artistry". He must have repeated "face toward the light, body toward the shadow" 30 times in two hours, so with those words in mind, I created and submitted the following two images:PortraitPalooza First Place Winner 2012PortraitPalooza 2nd Place 2012A couple of weeks ago, the winners were announced, and I can't begin to tell you how honored I was that my images placed first AND second... the only time that's ever happened in the history of the competition :D (If you're interested, the full writeup and all of the winning images can be found here.)

Aaaaaaand wow: that's (more than) enough about me! I had two amazing shoots this weekend that I can't wait to share... watch for sneak peeks from a beautiful middle-of-the-night home birth and a fun, at-home family session later this week!

xox,

annemie

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