Ok, this is it, I promise! But sersiously - 9 days in Vegas is a LOOONG time. Once Heather and I finished with the AMAZING Anti-Workshop with the Boutwells and the Coopers we left ‘downtown’ Vegas to head to the ’strip’ for the WPPI convention. We were just thrilled to be in a hotel that didn’t back up to the train tracks (that came through blowing the horn at 6am!) and had a shower with hot water, a shower head that was ABOVE our heads and more pressure than a ’sprinkle’!
We had an incredible time at the Anti-Workshop and to be honest - it RUINED WPPI for us - and I mean that in the VERY BEST way and am so glad! We went from an intimate setting broken in to small groups and individual attention to 15,000 attendees at WPPI….to be honest, I was ready to go home before WPPI even began. Well, actually it was probably when we were waiting with the hoards of people to get into the ‘Young Guns’ presention the first night - when I almost got trambled (no, I am NOT kidding) by the people pushing, shoving and running down the aisles of a HUGE ballroom to see the ‘Young Guns’….I mean seriously - you would have thought that we were going to a Rolling Stones concert or something - it was crazy!
The day we got to Paris we totally cheesed out - we got pedicures at the spa, had a ridiculous steak dinner and rented ‘27 Dresses’ which we watched from the comfort of our cushy beds….just what the doctor ordered! We woke refreshed and ready to go on Monday morning.
Thankfully I made a great choice for my first class - I had 2 hours to listen to Anna & Michael Costas talk about finding your niche and they were really fantastic! The are a husband/wife team and they are adorable and really give a great presentation. I really enjoyed listening to them a lot and am so thankful they were my ‘first’ at WPPI. Anna and Michael started photoforthepeople.com - it is a great resource/photo community that I intend to be a part of when possible - if you are a photographer you should check it out!
The last class that I went to was Jerry Ghionis. And it was a GREAT way to end the trip! It was an early 8:30 class, but SO worth getting up for. Jerry is funny, entertaining and incredibly talented guy and his class was really fun and dynamic. He is the KING of taking a lousy setting and, by using his creative eye, making it truly remarkable. I was so enthralled with him that I bought his brand new book, Beautiful, which really is gorgous. He was even kind enough to sign it for me - what a charmer! Jerry had a session with John and Dalisa Cooper on Friday and I can’t WAIT to see their photos - they will be nothing short of incredible, I’m sure! Those lucky ducks!
While I was at WPPI I also spent a few hours at the tradeshow, which is totally huge and overwhelming but I finally got my Shootsac (and said ‘hello’ to Jessica Claire) and saw some beautiful new products out there…but then it was really time to GET OUT of the hotel (gasp!) to check out the other things in Vegas. It was SO nice to get some fresh air and sunshine, even though it was too cold for the pool. Anyhow - I’ve written more than anybody really wants to read now, so here are some pictures….
Flat Stanley accompanied my on our outdoor adventures. First up some DELICIOUS noodles at Noodles in the Bellagio. Many thanks to Evan for the recommendation - we actually ate there 2 afternoons in a row it was so good (and WAY faster than any of the mediocre restaurant and buffets in Paris!)!
My new friend from the Anti-Workshop, Troy, also joined us this afternoon - he took a killer shot of Stanley ‘in the noodles’ that he has and I still have to get!
And the graphic designer in me was busy focusing on the cool design and pattern they had in the restaurant….wierd?? Maybe!
The Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio are just beautiful. Truly a breath of fresh air!
Flat Stanley and the butterflies at the Botanical Garden in the Bellagio…
I have been a fan of Chihuly for many years - since college actually. He is the worlds most amazing glass blower and I have been intrigued by his art. I was lucky enough to see an installation at the Baltimore Museum of Art years ago. For those of you who don’t know who he is, you should check out his site - his work is just beyond beautiful, and if you ever have a chance to see any of his installations - RUN and see it - it’s incredible. Now, if you don’t know anything about this photo below - it is the ceiling in the lobby of the Bellagio. It is magnificent! Chihuly was commissioned by Steve Wynn to “make a ’spectacular’ piece in the lobby of the hotel that would rival the aquarium at the Mirage, and generate more interest.” Chihuly then built an entire 70′ X 30′ ceiling, full-scale, in his studio in Seattle. The finished piece is called FIORI DI COMO and has over 2,000 handblown glass elements.
These umbrella’s are hanging from the ceilings in the Bellagio and I just LOVE them. The color, shape and design are so pretty. I think I am attracted to things like this because of my graphic design background…do you like them too??
As you may already know, I took Stanely with me to ‘Sin City’….of course one can think of all kinds of ‘bad’ stuff for Stanley to do in Vegas, but since it’s for a first grade project I tried to keep it as clean as possible (reserving the bad stuff for my blog! LOL!), so the next few are of Stanley’s advendures in Vegas. First up a cab ride….
A funny guy in a t-shirt….NO this won’t get turned in for the project!
He was so excited to meet the following people….the Roaming Knom
Evil Kneivel (yes, we visited Madam Toussad’s Wax Museum, how wierd is that?!)
And a serenade from Elvis himself….we were seriously cracking ourselves up taking photos of Flat Stanely with all those creepy wax people!
We went to a fancy restuarant called Sensi, at the Bellagio, on our last night there - and yes - this is what people like me do at a fancy restaurant - take pictures of wierd things!
My roomie for the Vegas adventure - Heather Owens
My delightful new friend from the Anti-Workshop, Coralee Penner , all the way from Canada!
The Paris from across the street at the Bellagio
Overall my Vegas experience was fun and very memorable and if I go again I will definitely NOT go for 9 days! I got so much incredible information and inspiration. And made some really great new friends with whom I hope to keep in touch with! When WPPI rolls around next year I’ll be recovered and consider going again….maybe!
Thanks for looking AND listening to me ramble on today!