What would you give up to attend WPPI?

I’ve been subscribing to “Rangefinder” a professional photographers magazine, for years. In the magazine every year they advertise for a conference in Vegas with all of the top photographers from all over the world teaching and sharing what they know. To explain it in terms non-photographers might understand…it’s like the Daytona 500 with all the best drivers, however, they teach you how to drive like they do, they have all the newest cars & gadgets and they drive along with you and share ALL of their secrets. Okay, I know they don’t do that at the Daytona 500 but how amazing would that be if they did 🙂 For years I have looked at the advertisements for this conference and told myself that it’s WAY out of my league, I’m not good enough, I’ll never get there.

This year I went to the WPPI Roadshow in Orlando where I learned SO much and I also was given a free ticket to the big WPPI in Las Vegas in February. I was given a ticket to have a dream come true and all I had to do was find a way to get there. I’ve tried to get enough business to pay for my trip and hotel stay, but it seems like there has been some sort of “block” on me. If this has ever happened to you, you know what I mean. I was having a hard time GIVING my services away. Yesterday…I fell on my face and I prayed and I cried and I prayed some more. I gave everything up to GOD! I told him I would sell all of my equipment and stop taking photos if this wasn’t  His plan for me. However, if it was His plan, He was going to have to make it happen, because I had done everything in my power and I failed. I knew that I needed to let go of my pride  and I needed to ask for help.  I humbled myself and I posted on Facebook & twitter that if anyone had extra skymiles lying around or a free room or just extra room at the MGM Grand, that I needed help to get to this conference, if not, I just needed prayer. I posted some of my gear on Craigslist, I was willing to give it all up to go. I’m selling a 28mm 2.8 if you’re interested 😉

Yesterday afternoon I got a response that it was my lucky day from an old friend. I worked with him during the summer at the local golf course when I was in high school. I figured that he had some extra miles that might bring the cost of my flight down. When I called him this morning, I found that I was completely wrong, he was offering me miles for the entire roundtrip!  He even told me to pick flights that were good for me, not just the cheapest ones! He asked that in exchange ,if  I would do a couple of portraits for 2 families that he wanted to bless. I teared up, because I knew it was God that made this happen… prayer works, God hears your prayers, He really does and if you just humble yourself for a moment to realize that you DON’T have it all under control, you would see what HE can do 🙂 I didn’t think I was good enough, I didn’t think I was worthy, but God did 🙂

I still need a hotel room to share for the 3 or 4 days that I’m there, but I trust God will find a way for that, too. I didn’t register for any classes, or private shoots while I’m there, because I didn’t think I’d really ever get there   😦 but there are free seminars and the trade show, so I’ll have plenty to do. This is my chance to learn all that I can to build my business, improve my photography and use this gift for God’s glory. For all of the Professional Photographers that have been going to WPPI for years or that are teaching at WPPI, I hope that you can look back to where you first started and appreciate what you did to get where you are…I know that I do. Oh, if you happen to be at WPPI Friday the 18th through Monday the 21st, come find me… I’ll be the redhead, walking around grinning from ear to ear… so stop and say “hi” I’d love to chat. Thanks Craig…Praise be to God and I’ll see ya’ll in Vegas!!!!!

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