Every year at WPPI, it always seems like there is SO much to do & we’re not sure how we’re going to get it all done…and then it’s like we blink our eyes, and it’s over! It’s a lot like a wedding that way! :) This year at WPPI was maybe our most jam-packed schedule ever. There was actually a day where we had to schedule in walking to places because every minute was accounted for! Crazy! But when it was packed full of getting to do such amazing things- things that even a few years ago, we never would have thought we’d ever get to do with our little business in the HUGE pond that is WPPI – then it was definitely worth it!
One of the biggest things of the trip of course was our Platform talk. The room that we were in was the kind of room that echoes back at you….I think it fit something like 1000 people! Yikes! It was so intimidating. So to see it so full of amazing photographers when our time came around was both a huge relief and a huge honor!
This year’s talk definitely had something different about it from the ones we’ve given in the past. For starters, I had SO much I wanted to get through and not as much time as normal to get through it. So I had to move fast. Then on top of that, when I got up there I realized that our laptop clock was still set on East Coast time, so I was trying to do math the whole time to figure out how much time I actually had left! Yikes! That’s not hard to do in just normal conversation, but it gets a whole lot more stressful when you’re doing it on stage! So I was moving fast and making adjustments on the fly to make sure we hit everything we wanted to, and all the while trying to make sure no one realized anything was happening. It was SO stressful! To the point that when I walked off the stage at the end, I felt like I had totally bombed it! :) And as someone who has been doing this for a while now and who can be a real perfectionist (hey, admitting it is the first step!) when it comes to giving talks, that’s just the worst feeling!
But then all these people in the room started coming up and sharing their stories with me too, complete with lots of hugs and tears. And we were there that night with that line of people until they kicked us out. And then I got to go back to the room and read the Instagram posts…there were so many amazing ones about heart changes and what really matters. And it was such a great reminder that the world doesn’t need any of us to be perfect. Polished and over-practiced will never change lives. It’s not how good we make ourselves look, but whether we are looking into the eyes of people and saying “You got this…you are doing just fine. And hey, I’ve been there too.”
When we prayed with our friends before going on stage, I told them that I didn’t have it all together. But that I was just hoping that those places where I fell short would be “gaps for God”….that in those moments when I didn’t have the words, He always would. And that He would use those blank spaces to light up that room. To set people on fire. And to show them that they’re not alone…we’re all in this together.
Because if that can happen….then even our most unpolished, imperfect days can still be counted as a win.
The wonderful Jordan Demos gave me the most incredible introduction…and he even found a way to work in Bon Jovi! :)
And here are some of my favorite Instagrams from the trip! Huge thanks to Katelyn James for grabbing this picture of me before they opened the doors…that room was scary!
Pray it out!
Besides our Platform, we also had the chance to speak at the Profoto booth, the Showit booth & the Two Bright Lights booth!
We also got to film a live episode of SPTV! It was the craziest thing! We were just talking about one of our favorite brides on the show & just as the words came out of my mouth….she walked by!! How crazy is that?? Irena is starting as a wedding photographer herself & she was at WPPI to attend some classes….so right there on the spot, we brought her on the show! It was a highlight of the whole trip!
It was SO awesome to see our new website (thanks to the amazing Jen Olmstead) take up a whole wall at the Showit booth!!
This crew! There was lots of shenanigans! And having them all there to laugh with and cheer with and serve with made this one of our favorite WPPI’s ever!
Stay tuned tomorrow as we introduce you to the winner of our year of mentoring….and tell you all about the crazy way we announced it! :)