So it seems like I’ve been trying to get to this every day since we got home but we’ve been so over-run with to-do’s that there’s been no time! Finally, over two weeks later, here’s a little more about our trip! Sean and I don’t own a point and shoot camera and it’s kind of cumbersome to carry around those big SLRs sometimes so I must confess that we took very few photos while we were gone. That said, this blog is brought to you with a little (ok a lot!) of help from our friends! :)

Convention week is so much fun! We’re like kids at Christmas time! We get so excited just thinking about it and we’re already itching to go next year! We started off the week this year, as you know, as the models for a shoot out on the Vegas strip. It’s really wild for us to be on that side of the camera. It’s giving up complete control and if you’ve seen our post-processing workflow, then I think you know that we like having control of creative endeavors! :) Our dear friend Mary Claire Crow – – was one of the photographers who came out to shoot with us. We love Mary! She is an amazing person and a wonderful photographer. In a world where everyone throws around the buzz word of photojournalism without really knowing what that means or representing it well in their work, Mary is a true photojournalist. That said, photojournalism was not the objective for the day so have a look at these pretty cool non-photojournalistic shots from Mary! :)

The Venetian was not so friendly about pictures as the rest of the strip so they ran us off the property – but not before we sneaked past the guards and got this!

That was Sunday, Monday the highlight of the day was to hit the massive Tradeshow in Bally’s, looking for some way cool new products for you guys. We’re super excited about some of the things we found. You’ll have to come visit in the coming months if you want to see more! :)

Tuesday was all about the seminars during the day and the parties throughout the night. First we hit the Bahama Breeze for the convention party and then it was over to the Mandolay Bay resort for Becker’s annual B-Party! At least 200 photographers crammed into one suite! Craziness! We met some awesome people and had a great time. The big hit of the night was Dane Sander’s photobooth! I am proud to say that all of us girl broke the record for the evening with 10 of us sandwiched into that tiny little booth! :) Yes, the B-party is all about cramming into tight places! Here’s one of our attempts – 8 girls total in this one:

Wednesday – after staying up until 4am talking with the Wiebners, we were up for morning seminars and then out for the desert shoot. What is a desert shoot you ask? It’s about 300 of us standing the in the cold desert wind (doesn’t sound right but it’s true!) to watch the infamous John Michael Cooper and David Beckstead do their thing. Personally, we positioned ourselves behind Joel Wiebner (of Joel and Rita, the Wiebners), making him the windbreak for about 4 of us. As you can see from their blog, dear Joel is quite the large man! :) Rita said we could jack some of their photos to illustrate but you should check out their blog if you want to see more!

It was so great getting to hang out with Joel and Rita! They are so much fun and we’ve become fast friends!

Here’s another from some more of our new best buds – Eric and Brooke Lagstein of {be} creative photography – :

Somewhere along the way – I don’t even remember what day now, we went out for another shoot – this time with our cameras and the lovely Valeisha, fellow photographer, as our model.

Thursday – we were all over the place! Seminars, scrambling to wrap everything up and saying goodbye to old and new friends, and then off to a great dinner at PF Changs with a great group of photography couples! Rita put this together for us and she did a great job corralling everyone! Once again, jacked photos of the Wiebner’s below:

The fabulous Wiebner’s

Fellow Tennesseans Garrett and Joy Nudd from Chattanooga. We had to fly all the way to Vegas to meet and I’m so glad we ran into them! They are such a great couple! :)

The photography ninjas – Dave and Quin. They’re the ones who took our photos back in November and it was so good to see them again! You will never meet sweeter people!

This is Sean for you…

and as Rita put it, we’re bringin’ sexy back!

There were many others but I didn’t want to run away with their whole blog so once again, check out those Wiebners for more cool pix! The Lagsteins, Benners, Holritzs, and Keisers all joined in the fun as well and it was great seeing you guys!

In an amazing feat, Joel managed to get all 16 of us in one photo by holding a point and shoot at arms length – great job Joel! We are impressed! :)

So that, and so much more, was our trip to Vegas! Obviously after all of that non-stop craziness in a time zone two hours away, we were totally sleep deprived and it took about a week to catch up but it was worth it! We so enjoyed meeting every single one of you that we ran into out there! Keep in touch and see you next year! Most importantly, big thanks to all you fabulous photographers who supplied the images for our lil’ ol’ blog! :)

– Mel

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