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WPPI and CreativeLive 2014

Well, I made it through yet another photography conference alive! Although, usually by weeks end I feel anything less than alive. Ha! Talk about a whirlwind of activity!

It began for me the week before WPPI, with the most amazing houseguests. My photographer friends Max & Jen came to stay for awhile so they could get some desert shooting in before the madness began. Of course I ended up with a whammy of a migraine. But I was grateful it happened BEFORE the actual conference, and not during.

Then on Sunday we had our Sexy Soirée Boudoir Posing Class & Shootout Workshop. What an absolute blast that was! Although, I learned a few lessons from that experience, as I always do. This years lesson, was never use a nightclub for the setting again. While it was surely beautiful as a Moroccan backdrop, it was a bit, oh how should I say this? Sticky? But the most difficult part was having only 30 minutes to set up 4 lighting stations along with a bed and projector etc. Tear down was crazy rushed too. But, we were still able to teach our message and put it into practice for our attendees during the shootout.

Here are a few quotes from some of our attendees so far:

"My experience was fantastic. Stacie and her team were so organized and helpful. The location had some great areas full of interesting backdrops to use. The models were beautiful and very cooperative. Their outfits were gorgeous. Stacie's classroom portion gave wonderful information on posing and we were then able to implement her tips in the shooting portion. PERFECT! Overall, I came away feeling like I learned a few things and, more importantly, feeling INSPIRED! Thank you!!"

"My biggest a-ha moment was when Stacie talked about adding "energy" to the poses. Most other photographers talk about finding the emotion and I've never heard anyone say "add energy". As we shot, I learned that adding energy creates the emotion from the model and I LOVE that advice. Can't wait to use it in my sessions this week!"

"Your team is freaking amazing!!! You all work together so well and I was VERY impressed with the teamwork. From Shana, your beautiful spokesmodel to Kat who is not only amazing with makeup but who can clearly run a very organized ship, to the videographer and Joe who helps with all the technical stuff -- you guys are ALL amazing. And of course, Stacie is a rock star!"

"Stacie's workshops are always well-prepared, fun and full of tips I can use everyday. Her energy and that of her team is contagious and they really work to ensure the success of everyone who attends. Attendees can expect to be busy learning with lots of shooting, and the opportunity to make new friends with a common passion. I definitely look forward to the next one."

We have grand plans already for the next one, so be sure to keep an eye out. This years was only announced with a months advance notice and it sold out. So , be sure to get in early on the next one!

A huge thank you to everyone who made it out to our event! We loved spending the day with you and hope we helped you to take your boudoir posing to the next level!

stacie frazier, haute shots, posing class

The next day was spent in a dream world at creativelive Modern Women's Portraiture. I am a huge proponent for all things creativelive. They offer such real educational value for photographers on a daily basis...for FREE! But this time I was able to watch sitting from the second row in the live studio audience!

modern women's portraiture las vegasI came in on no more than 2 hours of sleep...completely exhausted. (No, I'm not sleeping in the photo above. LOL. I was trying to be invisible while Russ was nearby with a microphone! Eeeks!) But, let me tell you, when Sue Bryce started talking, she woke me right up! I have long been smitten by Sue's portrait work, and her teachings for photographers. But I didn't expect that I would be hearing her so deeply speaking to my own soul during this, that it was quite a wake up call to do some serious soul searching of my own. Instead of hearing how she markets to women, I was suddenly the woman being marketed to...as a woman, not a photographer. I was both amazed and deeply ashamed. Let me explain why.

I am a boudoir photographer. I cater solely to women. I empower my clients to be the most confident and beautiful women they can possibly be. Yet, who is empowering me? I should be doing this on my own, right? Certainly my career working with these amazing women fills me with a confidence like no other. Yet, something curious had been happening throughout the week leading up to this day. I watched as all of my photography friends took turns photographing one another. It filled me with a certain kind of envy. Envy because I was so afraid to get in front of anyone's camera. For one thing, I am not certain anyone would or could bring out in me what I so enjoy bringing out of my clients. But on the other hand, I just don't like what I see in myself these days. It's quite a rude awakening really. Aging just sucks.

But, it's much more than just the external effects of aging. It's the ever-changing question of, "Who am I?" Who am I at this very moment? Who was I of moments past? And who am I becoming. This has always been a question I have struggled with. I grew up with a single Mom, who, in an effort to improve our lot in life, moved us around quite often. The longest duration at a single school for me was 2 years. So, as you can imagine, the question of "Who am I?" became more of the "Do I fit in?" and "will people accept me" variation. And, while I have matured into knowing that fitting in isn't whats important any longer, I still look at myself wondering who the heck I have become at times. Who am I?

And then I heard Sue say this, "I don’t care how much weight you’ve put on or if you feel like crap or have a bad hairdo. Your weight is the least interesting thing about you, and so is your age. So stop. Stop with all the 'no don’t photograph me'. Just be loud and proud...get in there. And one day, somebody will be looking at photos of you whether its in 2 years or in 30 yrs when you’re a old lady, and they will celebrate your life.”

My life is worth celebrating. I am worth celebrating. Right now, dammit. Not when it's too late! Yet, I find myself wanting to be invisible. How is this possible? I know how to bring it out of my clients. Why can't I trust someone to bring it out of me? This has to change, and soon. Thank you Sue for enlightening me to this ridiculous issue of mine. And thank you for reminding me that I need to stop allowing others to make me feel guilty for creating the kind of life I want to be living! It's MY life after all.

Side note, I ran into her at a party later that night. She has the most sparkly eyes imaginable! Consider me smitten!

The party in question was a special event of the week for me. It was the Shutter Magazine Writer's party. I had just been announced as a contributor just days prior. What an awesome group to be working with! I am so honored. Go sign up for Shutter magazine so you can be filled with inspiration and know-how on all things photography related. Here is my recent article. You must sign up to read the full article.

boudoir spokesmodel article

Aside from all of that, I was able to hang out with great friends from all over the country. And, I enjoyed every single second of it! Love to everyone I was fortunate to spend some time with!

Running on fumes the entire week while haunted by Sue's words at creativelive left me an emotional mess. WPPI is normally a week for reflection with my business. But, it looks like I have some personal work to do now!

"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

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About stacie

Stacie is the owner and photographer of Haute Shots. She resides in Las Vegas, NV. She LOVES hearing from you all on her blog so be sure to comment!

One Response to "WPPI and CreativeLive 2014"

  • Carolyn Clarke
    March 10, 2014 - 6:19 pm Reply

    Oh Stacie,
    I can SO relate to the message of your writing, in more than one way. (By the way, it was a total treat to meet you, fellow Association of International Boudoir Photographers friend.)

    I, too, am smitten with Sue Bryce and have learned much from her over the last few years of Creative Live study. Sue is very generous with her offerings and I have sponged it all up happily. Fortunate you for getting to share with her at the Shutter Magazine party.

    Having met you in person and seeing how lovely you are, as I knew you would be through a year of shared AIBP membership, it seems surreal that YOU would struggle with “being visible”… and yet I understand too. I’ve seen myself age so quickly in these past two years and wonder if I am worthy of care and attention, unlike in my past. Sue’s message was a powerful one for me also.

    I admire you as a photographer and I like you as a personable woman too. Take Sue’s suggestion and get yourself before a competent camera to capture the beauty that you are in this current moment. It will undoubtedly serve as valuable self-therapy… as almost all photo shoots are. I, personally, find you to be a lovely beauty. SO glad I had the opportunity to meet you.

    Warmly, Carolyn
    Carolyn Clarke Photography

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