FROM THE CUBICLE
Back to WPPI, Back to School
PHOTO © PE TER HURLE Y
By Jason Groupp
The wedding photographer and
WPPI Director of Education and
Membership is also known for
his extensive bowtie collection.
It’s pretty busy here at the WPPI headquarters as we continue gathering speaker proposals for next year’s show (February 27 to March 6, 2014). As an
educator I remember thinking it was crazy having to
come up with ideas for classes eight months in advance,
but now I understand there’s a lot that goes into building a large program like WPPI. You’ve heard me talk
about changing things up since I was hired, and now
I’m finally getting the opportunity to work on those innovations for WPPI 2014.
I have made the message loud and clear to our
speakers that I want next year to be about solid fundamental and “meat and potato” takeaways. So what
will be different?
Let’s start with my good friend Travis
Gadsby, who has been running a successful studio for many years. Gadsby specializes in fun, creative shoots and delivers
a unique experience to his clients. Here’s
some things he suggests for keeping your
business momentum going during the
• Round up some well connected and
respected upcoming seniors. (Girls will
typically make better spokesmodels
1Longer classes. Personally, I love the 90-minute platform format we currently have—done right, I
think a lot can be conveyed in that time frame. That
said, many of the speakers requested longer classes
so they could “dig in” a bit more. You asked for it; you
got it. Classes will still run in 90-minute segments,
but look for two-part 90-minute classes with a break
in between. I’m excited about this because I think it’ll
work great for our short attention spans.
• Implement a senior model program that
incentivizes the models to do your word-of-mouth advertising for you.
• Plan some wild shoots [like the one
below; see pg. 92 for details] with your
senior models in order to get a buzz
going on Facebook and among their
4 A different angle on the Master Classes. What exactly? Ah, you’ll have to wait and see! As most of you know, my past years in the industry were more focused on weddings, so I don’t have a lot of experience in the portrait world. Which is why, with this being the Back to School issue, I decided to ask a few friends of mine to give me some tips on how they gear up for the back-to-school season.
PHOTO © TRAVIS GADSBY
2 Hands-on opportunities. I hate to promise some- thing I may not be able to deliver, but darn it, I’m
going to figure it out! Not sure how yet, but we’re working on some ideas for hands-on programs. Stay tuned.
3 Saturday night program featuring Jerry Ghionis. If you missed last year’s program, don’t miss this
one. “What Would Jerry Do” had the crowd on its feet
in a standing ovation as he live-demoed his lighting and
posing techniques using audience members! Next year
is sure to amaze.