WPPI in Vegas- An Experience Not To Be Missed By Any Photographer

Hello bloggers…


Today I want to share with you some tips and experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to accumulate after going to WPPI every year since I started my career as a photographer.  The Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) puts on a must-go-to convention for its members every year in Las Vegas.   It’s the event every photographer looks forward to and it’s the event you don’t want to miss regardless of your level of photography expertise.  Here are some tips I’ve acquired throughout the years that you may find helpful when visiting Sin City.


First, don’t miss it!  It’s an investment in your future and continued education.  You can go to Vegas.com’s Travel Deals page and take advantage of some savings there to make the trip less of a financial burden.  Nevertheless, any dollar spent will most certainly come back in the form of knowledge or connections made through the countless networking opportunities during the show days.  Try to stay as close as humanly possible to the classes and trade show area.  It’s a great advantage to be able to go to your room and drop off some gear you just bought, or even freshen up before your next networking engagement.


It is physically impossible to see everything and listen to every speaker.  As a previous speaker, attendee, and major procrastinator, it is best to familiarize yourself with the speakers and master classes BEFORE the morning the show starts.  Use the WPPI app to fill up your day in visual way so you can see where you need to be and where you have a few gaps for some networking, fun, or even a little gambling–after all you are in Las Vegas.


Despite the early rise necessary for some classes, every single year my wife and I and staff, dine with friends we only see during WPPI or even escape at least one of the nights for some night fun.  We try to pick something new every year.  If you don’t know what to do or are overwhelmed with the choices, check out Vegas.com’s Deal Page for things to do.


One you actually manage to get up, my number one morning suggestion for people is to find a way to get some breakfast away from the crowd.  Thousands and thousands of people all looking for breakfast at the same time will make you either A: be late for your first class or B: late and “hangry” after leaving the line late and without breakfast.  Get creative and plan ahead.  Trust me on this one.


Wear something smart.  The convention space is pumping cold air to cool 13000 people.  Sometimes you go to a platform with 2000 attendees and sometimes you go to a small room with 200 souls all exhaling hot CO2.  Wear smart layers that you can take off and it’s not a heavy piece to carry once walking around the convention floor.


While walking around, don’t miss the awards exhibit.  That’s the greatest source of inspiration in the entire convention in my opinion.


You are most definitely going to feel inspired there.  Knowing this fact, schedule a shoot during your down time, shoot something you’ve never shot before.  Tell your clients in social media that you’re going to be there and maybe they want to shoot something.  Below are a few examples of a few shoots I’ve done there while visiting WPPI.  Enjoy, learn lots and share your knowledge with others.



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Giovan — LLS Boy of the year – a true fighter

As a single mother, cancer was the last thing Gio’s mother had planned for; facing the reality of taking care of a sick child while juggling financial responsibilities with no outside help.  The pain of knowing your child is suffering but having to leave him behind to work part time and try to make ends meet, just barely.


 “I will take you back one year ago to Dec 31, 2014 when our family was preparing for a New Year’s’ Eve dinner.  Giovan, my 15 year old son, began complaining of stomach pain. I took him to Baptist Hospital and in less than 24 hours our lives significantly changed forever. He underwent numerous and rigorous tests. Gio was diagnosed with Burkitt’s non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on January 1, 2015. He was hospitalized for 3 months receiving a very aggressive course of chemotherapy accompanied by more ongoing tests.

 From one day to another one a doctor came in to the hospital room and plain out told me my 15 years old son has cancer, just like that “YOUR SON HAS CANCER” My life was never the same.” – Laura

 Today, Gio is cancer free and he’s this year’s Boy of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He looks forward to getting back into playing sports like he used to.




We would like to make Gio feel special for a day and we need your help to do so.  Please click on the link below to support this effort.

GoFundMe (click here to donate)


Mairen Bello — LLS Girl of the Year — a true inspiration!

 In any culture there is a highly anticipated moment when a girl is officially expected to become a young lady–usually a moment between 12-15 years of age. There is always a glamorous photoshoot planned that captures the beauty of her age.


Mairen Bello’s 15th year of life was VERY different than that of the average Miami girl. Just 7 months before she officially turned 15 Mairen was hospitalized for a kidney infection. Two days later she returned to the ER and the tumultuous storm that is cancer took over her life and that of her family’s

On July 30th, 2015 Mairen began treatment for Lymphoma non Hodgkin’s Burkitt’s phase 4. She decided to donate her hair before eventually losing it (which she did) but couldn’t help to feel saddened by the fact that she wouldn’t be able to take her 15s pictures without it. Mairen was blessed by the company of her siblings and parents while in the hospital but, like any girl, sad that she missed the chance of her photoshoot. After 3 months of intensive treatment, Marien was declared cancer free, and she is this year’s Girl of The Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  

Marien has ended her 15th year having experienced life in a way that most of us pray to never endure ourselves and one of her dreams is to take her 15 pictures in the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC with big red balloons.  How beautiful would it be to come together and give a girl the special celebration she so much deserves, the commemoration of a year where she truly proved to be a strong, brave and beautiful young woman.  

Alain Martinez Photography Studio would like to donate our services and grant Mairen her wish–to celebrate Mairen’s valor and beauty by treating her to a special quinceañera photoshoot in New York City. Her family has been inundated with co-pays and deductibles and without your help this wish CANNOT come true. Any amount raised will be strictly used for her trip expenses and the rest donated to her family to continue this battle.




“Taking my photos would be the final point in this phase of my life where I learned to be brave and have faith and trust that God would have a future full of life for me.” – Mairen



I’m counting on your help to make this girl’s dream a reality.  Please click on the link below to donate towards making her dream come true.  

GoFundMe (Click here to donate)