There are not many experiences we can truly describe as “epic,” but #wppi2016 was without a doubt just that.
With show attendance this year at an all time high, the halls of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas overflowed with energy and love. From the small, intimate PLUS classes to the pulsing beats of Hakkasan, each day was a celebration of blockbuster proportions and culminated with our highly-anticipated awards ceremony in front of a packed house! The energy you guys brought this year was amazing and we cannot thank you enough!
There’s so much that goes into WPPI and the contributions made each year by you guys is what makes our week in the Nevada desert so special. On behalf of our entire staff, we want to thank you for your enormous contributions:
The Educators – All 248 of you! You guys helped to welcome a new group of photographers into our beloved industry with open arms. From the wide-eyed newbies to the weary veterans, you breathed new life into our souls and inspired us to reach new heights. You lit up the MGM Grand with your smiles, and gave us the confidence to beat that fear inside you. Whether it be the ever-evolving feat of becoming the master of light, or learning how to lasso the perfect mask in Photoshop, you served your students by giving it all you had live and in-person like no other experience that can be found anywhere else.
Jerry + Melissa Ghionis — I’ve thanked them so many times, but it never seems enough. Jerry’s selfless quest to make this competition the best in the world is a joy to be part of—thank you. Melissa, there are few people in the world who have the grace and diligence you have. Your dedication to making Print Comp and the awards the best they can be, not to mention reading the list of over 130 names of those who made Associate of WPPI at the ceremony and making each name as important as the one before, was magical. I’m still in awe of how you mastered the names of entrants from countless countries! It’s that attention to detail that makes you both so special.
Print Handlers and Proctors — Some of you worked 15-hour days, and dang it, not one of you complained! Your eyes were bloodshot, your feet on fire, yet you persevered! I cannot thank you enough! Seriously amazing!
Judges — Your passion is unparalleled! Where else can you find a judging crew like this in the world? Nowhere but WPPI. Some of you have been doing it for years, and your dedication is commendable!
Our Vendors — It goes without saying that your support means the world to us, and we couldn’t do it without you. That said, I am so impressed at the dedication so many of you have in helping to elevate and uplift our industry. All of you work tirelessly on your brands, but at the core you’re all artists. You breathe the energy into our trade show floor, and you gave it all you had this year. Thank you for being such great partners!
Joe Switzer’s Filmmaking Class — Once again, you guys rocked it with a unique film that encapsulates the WPPI experience. It brings me such joy seeing your proud faces on stage to debut the film. I love watching the bonds you guys form over the week. Keep up the hard work! Click here to check out the full WPPI Highlight film.
The WPPI Faithful — What can I say? We gathered, we laughed, we cried, we embraced, and we grew. It was epic. I humbly thank you for being part of the pilgrimage we call WPPI.