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Cliff Mautner’s Plus Class at WPPI 2010

During the WPPI 2010 conference, (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International), I signed up for an additional Plus class with Cliff Mautner. 2 full days with Cliff and 20+ other photographers equates a really inspiring session.

Photography is all about light. Cliff shared with us about the direction of light, and how the quality of light is more important than the quantity of light. He challenges us to quit running for the open shade! Cliff’s style of shooting against the harsh sunlight definitely has more character than soft lighting.

But at the end of the day, his perspective is that great moments are more important than great lighting.

Cliff shared with us a quote by Jay Maisel, “Take a look at what you’re looking at”.

And another… (i can’t remember whose quote this is)…
“What use is having great depth of field if there is not an adequate depth of feeling.”

How true. Here’s Cliff at work, sharing tips with the class.

Our class was divided into teams so that we each get an opportunity to direct the models.

And here are some of the results…

If you’d like to read about my WPPI 2010 experience, read part 1 and part 2 as linked here.

View photos from a Trash the Dress photo shoot I did in Vegas here.

On the road towards Santa Cruz

A few days ago, we started our first day down the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Together with Jenny & Ju, we rented a car for our coastal road trip. The rental of the car costs about RM1,500 for about 5 days. Each driver you register incurs extra cost. I suppose it’s because of insurance coverage. So Ju and Alex were the designated drivers for the trip. Firstly, it’s important to get your orientation right. It takes a while to adjust to driving on the right side of the road. So Ju made some little reminders, just in case…

The coast on the way to Santa Cruz was just beautiful. We had excellent weather even though it was a little chilly with the breeze.

Alex clowning around as usual.

Alex showing off…

According to this sign, not every American knows how to spell properly.

One of our other stops was at this picturesque lighthouse. I can’t recall the name of this lighthouse. It’s so nice that it deserved a vintage treatment. :)

How amazing it would be if I had a bride and groom to photograph here.

The waves in California are huge and intimidating!

The view at Santa Cruz. The weather was a little gloomy when we arrived.

The seagulls here are so bold. They don’t really bother too much with people around. Caught this one stealing someone’s leftover food!

In the States, equality for all is a big thing.

I guess these doggies know where to go to have a good time.

Ten crazy Las Vegas statistics

Since we are arriving in Las Vegas tomorrow to kick off the WPPI conference, I thought of sharing some crazy stats that I found online about the city. Some of them really make you sit back and think…

1. Number of Las Vegas citizens   500,000

2. Year first casino licensed   1931

3. Number of annual Vegas visitors   40,000,000

4. Number of hotel rooms   137,000

5. Number of pillowcases washed at MGM Grand (the hotel & casino that houses WPPI) daily   15,000

6. Annual no. toilet paper rolls used at Bally’s (it’s a 67,000 sq ft. hotel & casino with 2,800 rooms)   1 million

7. Lucky The Clown marquee sign at Circus Circus has 1,232 fluorescent bulbs, 14,498 incandescent bulbs, and 3/4 mile of neon tubing light (no wonder they’re replacing it!)

8. Average number of Vegas weddings per day   300+
9. Cost of Nevada marriage licence   $35.00
10. Average cost of filing for divorce   $450.00

(Seems getting into marriage is always the easy part, but getting out of it is sticky AND expensive! Its no wonder lawyers are richer than priests.)

Stats from: Frugally Vegas

USA, here we come!! And of course, WPPI 2010!

I absolutely love traveling. It is the first genre of photography that captured my heart. I am always excited to see new places, faces and experiencing different cultures. This 24th February, I’ll be leaving Malaysia to travel to the US for a few weeks with my husband Alex.

The main highlight of the trip is the WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) conference in Las Vegas from the 4th till the 11th of March. I can’t wait for this conference. It is such a huge event, with thousands of photographers traveling from all over the world to listen to world-renown photographers on topics such as portraiture, lighting, posing, business, commercial work etc.

I believe in investing money for education, and year after year, the Stories team attends various workshops. In order to improve, I believe I must always have this ‘learning’ attitude, even in years to come. At the end of the day, our clients are the ones who benefit, and if they are happy, we are happy too!

If you are living in the States, I’d love to meet up and get to know you – whether it is for a drink or chat, or if you’d like to have some portraits taken.

Do send me an email through the contact us page and I’ll be in touch with you! I’ll be blogging regularly from the States, so do keep watch over this space!

My first WPPI Accolade of Excellence!

To have won a WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) award means international recognition. It means that your work is amongst the top of the world. This quarter, over 1900 prints were sent in for judging. And I’m so proud to say that many Malaysian photographers have made their mark in the world. Amongst those who have won 1st, 2nd or 3rd prizes in various categories (in recent competitions) – Louis Pang, Jenny Sun, Kenneth Tan, Shen, Edmund Tham… gee did I miss out anyone else?

And those who have garnered Accolades of Excellence in this competition and in the past… Jon Low, Zach Chin, Paul Kong, Andy Chin… These are at the top of my head. This recent quarter was the first time I submitted prints for a competition. I usually don’t like joining competitions because I am rather afraid of failure. But recently, I learnt that doing things like this helps me better myself as a photographer. It helps me be more critical of my work and aspire to improve in the future.

And so I was quite happy to find out today that one of my prints received an Accolade of Excellence from the judges. Of the 6 submissions I entered, I thought that this photo was the strongest and my instincts was right. This was the photo that received an AE.

4 other photos of mine were each 2 points away from receiving an AE. I wish I could hear the judge’s critique on the images though. That would be a great learning curve. Anyhow, I am glad for this experience and for all industry colleagues who have made their mark internationally. I am looking forward to my trip to Las Vegas in March 2010 to attend the WPPI conference and learn from the best in the world.