WPPI 2018: Everything You Need to Know

wppi 2018 everything you need to know

Every year, wedding photographers and portrait photographers from around the world gather at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) conference and tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada. WPPI 2018 is fast approaching, and we are providing a comprehensive guide so you can make the most of the tradeshow and convention.

WPPI is one of the most popular and successful photography tradeshows available. It is also a one-stop shop to get all of your photography tips and education while meeting with vendors and networking with fellow photographers. If you’re still considering, read through this guide to help you determine if it will be a valuable addition to your business this year. And, if you’re already going to WPPI 2018, this will give you a great overview of what is available!

bride and groom landscape

Image by Danny Dong Photography

The WPPI 2018 Details

This year, WPPI will be held at the end of February. Here are the specific dates:

    • Live Judging for WPPI Print Competition: February 24-25, 2018
    • WPPI Conference: February 25-28, 2018
    • WPPI Expo and Tradeshow: February 26-28, 2018

WPPI 2018 will be held at Mandalay Bay Resort (which we’ll go into below). For more information and to register with WPPI, click here.

If you would like a free tradeshow pass OR 15% off classes, compliments of ShootDotEdit, click here.

New WPPI 2018 Venue Location

For many years, the WPPI expo was held at the MGM Grand. Last year, WPPI 2017 was moved to the Las Vegas Convention Center. For many attendees, moving the conference off the Vegas strip caused it to lose a lot of its charm and fun.

The good news is that WPPI 2018 will be moved back to the Las Vegas strip, located in the gorgeous Mandalay Bay Resort. Mandalay Bay is one of the largest resorts and casinos in Las Vegas, and the move will allow WPPI to be able to go back to having the tradeshow, conference, expo, and print competition in one location.

Mandalay Bay features over 20 different dining options, 14 lounges and clubs, a Cirque du Soleil show, an aquarium, and a House of Blues! So, needless to say, there will be plenty of different areas to hang out and network.

On the tradeshow side, Mandalay Bay has over 81,000 square feet of expo space available for WPPI 2018 to use!

Photographers will love having the entire WPPI 2018 show in one location. Perhaps one of the best things about WPPI is running into fellow friends as you go between classes, or in the evenings while out enjoying a meal or drink. Some of that was lost at the Convention Center because everything was so spread out. That feeling should return at Mandalay Bay.

Photographers can stay at the Mandalay Bay if they prefer. Other nearby hotels include Luxor, which is the next hotel north on the strip, and Excalibur, which is the following hotel. Both are a short walk or cab ride away.

WPPI 2018 Expo and Tradeshow

This year, the WPPI 2018 Expo will be held on Monday, February 26th through Wednesday, February 28th.

The tradeshow is a wonderful place to see all the latest trends in the wedding photography industry. It’s also a great place to have in-depth conversations and personal demos with companies you are thinking about using.

We will be at the tradeshow, and we would love to meet you! The ShootDotEdit booth will be located at #563, and we’ll be hanging out to talk all about our photo editing services. If you’re interested in getting help with your wedding photography edit work this year, WPPI is a great place to stop by and talk with us one-on-one.

Beyond that, there are tons of other fantastic vendors that will also have booths, giving you the opportunity to talk about a lot more than just wedding photo editing. Make sure to block out a couple of hours (minimum) to walk the tradeshow floor and soak it all in.

This year, the WPPI expo will be February 26th-February 28th.

WPPI 2018 Print Competition

While it’s too late to enter this year’s WPPI print competition, showing up during the tradeshow to watch the judging is something you should consider adding to your list.

Every year, master photographers from all over the world are selected to judge the top prints that were submitted to the WPPI print competition. And, WPPI attendees are welcome to attend the judging, getting to sit and listen as the top photographers share and debate over the merits of each photograph, and how to improve.


Grow Your Business with This Guide

In essence, attending the judging of the WPPI print competition is a class in and of itself. You will learn the qualities and attributes that make an image stand out, while also learning what to pay attention to and what to avoid. And, you’ll see some amazing wedding and portrait photographs.

This year, WPPI print competition judging will be February 24th-February 25th.

WPPI 2018 Convention and Classes

For many, the 4+ days of educational classes are the highlight of WPPI. If you are looking to pick up more wedding photography tips, attending Platform and Master classes while at WPPI 2018 will be important for you.

World-class speakers from around the globe teach classes throughout the conference. Many times, the class sizes are extremely intimate, allowing you to ask questions and interact with the educators. Either way, the teachers are available at the end of their classes to talk with you one-on-one.

At ShootDotEdit, we are privileged to work with some of the best wedding photography businesses and photographers in the world. And, we love to support their efforts to educate and help the industry grow. Here is a list of our recommended speakers that you can’t miss this year at WPPI 2018:

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Roberto Valenzuela

Title: A Powerful Approach to Becoming a Master Visual Storyteller
Time: Monday 2/26 8:30am
Overview: There is a huge difference between taking photos of an event and strategically photographing moments that are interconnected and tell an incredible story. Your camera can become more than just a photo-taking device; it is a tool to offering your clients photographs that hold deeper meaning. In this platform class, Roberto Valenzuela, author of his new book WEDDING STORYTELLER Vol. 1, will teach you his storytelling approach to reach people’s hearts through emotionally-charged storytelling techniques.


vanessa joy headshot

Vanessa Joy

Title: The Keys to High-End Weddings
Time: Sunday 2/25 12:00pm
Overview: The Keys to High-End Weddings is a blueprint for boutique wedding studios. In this class, you’ll find out exactly what Vanessa does to book $9,000-$18,000 weddings, and how she’s created successful packages and pricing to turn a profit. Understand the psychology and math behind booking your top packages to create value for your clients. Learn exactly how to create a sustainable high-end business model that leaves your clients beyond happy and knowing that you were worth every penny.


Title: Weddings Have You on a Tight Timeline? No Problem
Time: Monday 2/26 4:00pm
Overview: Wedding photographers know they rarely get the optimal amount of time for photographing the bride and groom. Every little bit of “late” the day of, takes away time from the job the photographer still needs to get done. Get ready to stop worrying, stop thinking, and start shooting in crazy situations! Learn how to pose your couples to get the most out of whatever time you’re given on a wedding day. Discover tricks to varying poses, angles, and crops all without wasting a second and still giving your clients a variety of images. Bring your gear to have a chance to apply what you’ve learned and try speed posing for yourself!


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Jared Platt

Title: Take Control of Your Photography with Adobe Lightroom
Time: Monday 2/26 8:30am
Overview: Congratulations, you just captured the “decisive moment” or made an awarding portrait, but capturing the image is only the beginning. There’s a lot more to do! If you’re a seasoned professional, you feel this strain every day. If you are new to the business of photography, you will come to understand this daunting reality very soon. Fortunately for you, Adobe Lightroom and the Creative Cloud just got even better at making your life easier and Jared Platt will show you how to harness the power of Lightroom and the Creative Cloud to secure, organize, edit and share your images with absolute ease.


Title: What Second Shooters and Assistants Need to Know: Bringing Value to an Established Brand
Time: Wednesday 2/28 3:00pm
Room: South Pacific AB
Overview: So you want to be a second shooter or an assistant for an established photographer? There is no better way to learn than to be an assistant or a second photographer for an established photographer in your area. Whether you get paid or you are assisting for the experience, you will gain valuable insight into working with a client and develop essential skills that will improve your photography as you build your own style and brand. But there are many things you need to know before you approach an established photographer and ask for their trust and even more, you need to know once they have invited you to work with them on a job. Join Bob and Dawn Davis and Jared Platt as they host a panel discussion with their surprise guests and discuss everything you need to know about working with well-established photographers as a second shooter or as an assistant. Learn how to approach photographers you admire, learn the rules of the road, the dos and don’ts on the job, and most importantly, how to provide value to their brand and how to get the most out of your experience as a seconds photographer or assistant. Anyone who wants to shoot with an established photographer or already does needs to attend this panel discussion. This class will help you get in the door and ensure that you keep getting invited back! This class is the springboard you need. Surprise Guests: Bob, Dawn, and Jared have invited a few of the best wedding and portrait photographers in the industry to join them in a panel discussion. Each of them established a valuable photography brand and are eager to help you understand how to approach photographers just like them, how to get the first job, how to act on the job, how to add value to the brand you are working for and how to get value beyond your paycheck for that job. Don’t miss what these photographers have to say.


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Ben Hartley

Title: “I Need More Clients” – The Ultimate Playbook on Getting Booked
Time: Tuesday 2/27 1:00pm
Overview: Learn the EXACT client-getting strategies Ben Hartley used to grow his wedding photography business to over $450,000 per year in less than three years. Having a consistent stream of photography leads is so much more than just being able to do what you love every day. When you have an abundance of people wanting your service, two amazing things start to happen: You can increase your prices (and gain more financial freedom), and you can choose who you want to work with (no more saying yes to pushy problem clients because you need the money).


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Jacquelynn Buck

Title: What Women Want: Posing and Lighting your way to Boudoir Beautiful for EVERY Body
Time: Sunday, 2/25 at 10:30am
Overview: Boudoir is for EVERY body, and in this dynamic posing and lighting Master Class, Jacquelynn will teach you everything she knows about using shadows and light to shape shift women into their most beautiful, and confident selves. Jacquelynn will discuss studio light, natural light and unconventional light, and how all of these affect and change how she poses women. And speaking of posing, this class will also include Jacquelynn’s Top 10 Most Popular Poses along with the tips and tricks she uses for women of every shape and size to bring them to boudoir beautiful. A posing guide will be handed out at the end of the class for your reference and to help implement what you learned immediately. Jacquelynn knows what women want in a boudoir session and after you attend this class, you will too!


Title: How to Work with Real Couples to get Natural Results
Time: Monday 2/26 8:30am
Overview: It would be fabulous if we all had model couples as clients, ones who knew how to stand, pose, and interact with one another. But the reality is, real couples aren’t models. And helping couples interact genuinely and naturally can be challenging. In this fast-paced photowalk, Jacquelynn will reveal her approach to posing and lighting couples that can be used for both engagement sessions and weddings. You’ll also learn how to coach couples, helping them interact for a more candid result.



Danny and Julia Dong

Title: Secrets to the Success of the High-End Wedding Market
Time: Wednesday 2/28 10:30am
Overview: How is today’s wedding photography market? If you are a full-time wedding photographer and take your career seriously, then you know how competitive the market is. In this presentation, Danny and Julia Dong will share their experience and in-depth analysis on the key to success in the high-end wedding photography business. In this presentation, they will share how they identify their own strength and unique style, how they identify the right market segment to their target customer, and how they learn to manage a timeline on the wedding day to deal with top wedding planners and high-demand brides. All their stories and real experiences will both inspire and entertain you.



WPPI is one of the most unique gatherings in the wedding photography industry. It gathers all the industry’s vendors and companies into one location, while also providing amazing education from top class photographers from around the world.

For many photographers that attend, though, the experience goes beyond the education, networking, and business opportunities. Connecting with fellow wedding and portrait photographers is often remembered as the most memorable (and beneficial) aspect.

There is so much you can learn from your fellow photographers, and gathering together in the same place, with the same focus, yields amazing growth. Beyond that, between all the parties and impromptu hangouts and coffee sessions, you’ll have a blast doing it.

We hope to see you at WPPI 2018! If you come, don’t forget to stop by our booth (#563) and say hi – we would love to meet you!

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