WPPI 2016 Essential Reads

In the words of WPPI director Jason Groupp, the 2016 show and conference was epic! With attendance at an all-time high, more photographers than ever before were able to walk the expo halls and hone their craft in photo walks, presentations and classes. Photographers from all over the world also gathered in Las Vegas to share their expertise with attendees while exhibitors came armed and ready with the latest gear to excite and delight the wedding photography and portraiture world. 

If you weren’t able to see everything at the show, don’t fret! Our team scoured the show floor to bring you a recap of the latest trends in techniques, styles and gear. Don’t miss the May issue of Rangefinder for an even more in-depth report.

PermaJet Presents its Latest Award-Winning Fine-Art Papers

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With a full range of smooth and textured fine-art inkjet papers and canvases on display at this year’s WPPI conference, PermaJet, maker of the world’s most advanced fine-art inkjet media range, saw its newest products enthusiastically received. Since introducing its first exceptional range of papers fifteen years ago, PermaJet has refined its line of products even further—following 18 months of exhaustive market research—in order to better serve the photography markets, pro and amateur alike. The new line of products showcased and demonstrated at the conference promises photographers some of the highest Dmax ratings in the world thanks to an unmatchable combination of superior coating and optimum ink technology. In addition, the PermaJet Titanium Lustre 280gsm was voted best paper of 2015 at The Societies Trade Awards, the third such prestigious win for the brand. PermaJet products are competitively priced throughout the product range.

Watch Now: Bambi Cantrell Shares Insight on the Art of the Album

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Album Epoca, maker of the elegant wedding albums, has a superb ambassador in award-winning photographer and WPPI veteran Bambi Cantrell. Cantrell, who regularly judges WPPI’s 16×20 Print, Album and Filmmaking competition, is one of the most sought-after professionals in the world thanks to her legendary ability to tell evocative, emotional stories. In a new video with Album Epoca, an album brand that offers a broad selection of colors, materials and formats—including customized albums designed to meet any client’s precise specifications—she shares some of her most valued ideas and suggestions for creating distinctive, beautiful wedding albums for couples to treasure long into the future. Cantrell demonstrates methods of capturing every nuance—down to the smallest detail—as she documents the wedding day, sharing the tricks and techniques of her specialized craft. Watch the video and prepare to be inspired.

Zenfolio Celebrates 10 Years

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This year’s WPPI conference marked the ten-year anniversary of Zenfolio, the Silicon Valley-headquartered online platform for superlative photography-hosting websites. Wedding and portrait photographers have notoriously hectic jobs, and Zenfolio exists to make their lives easier and profits higher.

“We provide great collaboration tools, and a streamlined process for client proofing, digital delivery, and online shopping,” explains director of marketing Nataly Huff. “The post-session marketing tools—such as triggered emails, coupon codes, bundled packages—are specifically aimed at photographers with clients and help make every session more profitable.” And all of Zenfolio’s tools come with simple templates and automation options to customize a photographer’s business, she adds.

Having played a vital role in helping more than 100,000 professional photographers around the globe see their small businesses bloom, this first decade has been one of monumental success for Zenfolio.

“These days,” Huff says, ”many WPPI attendees are already using Zenfolio, so users often just stop by the booth to just say thank you.”

Emerging Styles

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California-based photographer Cheryl Walsh, who won the First Place Grand Award in the Creative category with her Illustrative photo “The Ascension of Salacia,” (left) says that now more than ever, there’s no inequity between a photography directly out of camera and one that has been composited or artistically altered in post-production. “Saying, ‘If you get it right in camera then you don’t need Photoshop,’ is so 2013!” Walsh says. “In my mind, young people like Renée Robyn, Lara Jade and Brooke Shaden sharing their first images on social media really opened a new door to digitally experimenting, fearlessly, with storytelling in a beautiful image.”

Also on our radar is Vicky Papas-Vergara, who won this year’s very first Bill Hurter Excellence Award, honoring the photographer who achieved the highest four scoring entries in Print Comp. Papas-Vergara’s work (right), which she says she styles from scratch, took first, second and third in the Beauty/Boudoir Portrait category and first and second in the Fashion Creative category. Look out for more on Papas-Vergara in our July/August Posing Issue within the special Boudoir section.

The Power of Print (POP)

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“We are not a digital generation, we’re a now generation,” Sue Bryce said during her keynote presentation. Just because people want to see proofs of their session now doesn’t mean they want digital, she stressed. Stressing the importance of the power of print, Bryce uses a “Reveal Wall” of tangible prints, not an online gallery, to show clients their proofs. In that moment, Bryce says, “you reveal to them who they are.” It’s a powerful experience for both client and photographer. It’s also an experience that draws them to pay for prints.

WPPI’s Power of Print presentations also offered an opportunity for attendees to get intimate lessons on boosting print sales. Presenters Joe and Mirta Barnet, a California-based wedding photography duo, consider the sale of tangibles starting with the first client meeting. “We include albums in all of our packages,” Mirta says, and she also thinks about up selling from the get-go by asking the couple how much retouching they want not only for themselves, but f or the parents as well. Too much or too little retouching on Mom or Dad can deter additional print sales, she advises.

Tamron’s Latest Lens: An 85mm with Image Stabilization
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Tamron’s newest lens—the SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD—made its American debut at WPPI with live-shoot demonstrations in the booth and a tremendously positive reception. Compact, even with Tamron’s VC (Vibration Compensation) system, it offers excellent portability and is the only 85mm F/1.8 for full-frame DSLR cameras to feature image stabilization. The VC system provides users 3.5 extra stops, making for absolute flexibility when handholding in low-light situations. Another great appeal is the excellent bokeh produced by this lens, a feature desired by all portrait photographers using this focal length. Designed for all current high-pixel density DSLRs, the lens promises users exceptional image quality, with fluorine coating and a moisture-resistant construction, allowing photographers to shoot with confidence even in terrible weather. At $749, Tamron’s 85mm 1.8 VC is fairly priced, with the competition in its class reaching up to $1,700.

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