Melissa Jill
In March I'm heading to Vegas for WPPI - the largest convention and trade show in the world for professional photographers. I believe this will be my 8th trip to WPPI and I have to say it's gotten better every time.

I will be speaking on Wednesday, March 9th, from 3:00-4:30pm on Building a Successful Associate Photographer Program. I will share the story of how I started my business 13 years ago, never dreaming that I would bring on other photographers to shoot for my brand, but how all of the elements came together to clearly point me in that direction six years ago. I now have five associate photographers on my team. Last year, in addition to the 8 weddings I photographed, they shot a total of 34 weddings for Melissa Jill Photography. They are super-talented and I am blessed to not only have them on my team, but to call each of them friends.
Melissa Jill Photography Associate Team
During my 90-minute talk, I will share not only my story, but three elements I believe a photographer needs to have in place in order to consider bringing associate photographers into their business, three keys to success, what to look for in an associate photographer, and the nuts and bolts of how we structure our program to make it work on a practical level. I always try to be an open book when I am teaching so I plan to share everything from profit, to our pay structure, to how we resolve issues when they arise.

I would love to see you there and I hope you stop by and say hi afterwards if you attend! To reserve your spot, click here!

And if it's your first time going to WPPI, here are some tips I've learned over the years:

1. Pace yourself. It's overwhelming. There's SO much to do and so many choices. You can't possibly do it all. Pick your speakers wisely and then prioritize the trade show and networking. To me those are the strong points of WPPI.

2. Go into the trade show with goals in mind. What are your goals for this year? To start offering albums? Go in and make a bee-line for the album company booths. Make a few goals and stick to them.

3. Quality over quantity. With 10,000 photographers in attendance, networking can be overwhelming. Instead of trying to meet as many people as possible and attend all the parties, try to invest in a few key relationships. Meeting new people is great but developing quality relationships is better.

4. If you are staying with roommates, bring earplugs. Snoring is guaranteed.

----------> AND ShootDotEdit put together an AMAZING Show Guide with helpful info on speakers, parties & trade show vendors to check out. Download it here for free and it will help you plan and make the most out of your conference experience!
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