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Vegas Part 5 of 5 : WPPI Wrap-up

posted by Kelly

Well to wrap up our trip and explain a little more about how we spent our time in Vegas, let me take you through some of the highlights. (Some photos courtesy of Emblem Photography)

Yes we did a lot of this.

Me capturing my man

Getting our camera's set for desert shoot

Our cameras were always “at the ready” but we weren’t getting paid to take pictures so we did leave them in the room and just enjoy.

We did a pinch of this.

Playing the slots

Playing the slots

We gambled a whole $20.00 in the quarter slot machines. Yup, we live wildly people…money is no object, therefore we can easily part with it. Seriously, I could never be a gambler. Once we were down $6.50 we decided to cash in and walk away with our $13.50. I wanted dinner more than I wanted to see my money slip away quarter by quarter.

We easily walked close to 5 miles per day. I have NEVER been in a hotel as big as the MGM Grand. Let’s just say a hotel that has three Starbucks in it, a stadium, Cirque de Soliel performs there, a convention center, close to 30 restaurants, of course more casinos than I can count, OH and a live lion… try to remember EVERYTHING you need before leaving your hotel room. There is no running up to grab something you forgot.

Our hotel, the MGM Grand

Of course the MGM Grand would have a real lion. Why not, it is Vegas!

We never stopped doing this.

Lots and lots of laughter with friends

Lots of laughs! We hung out with some of the most amazing people with fantastic senses of humor. We have already declared our love for Christy and Dustin Heigh, Emblem Photography….but just one more shout out. We have such a soft spot in our hearts for these two. They encourage us, listen to our highs and pray us through the low spots. This trip would not be the joy it was without them.


Ryan’s brother drove over from LA to hang out with us for a few days. Bonus!

We walked down the strip at night to take in the lights and see some of the other hotels. If you ever go to Vegas you MUST go to the Bellagio and watch the fountain/light show! So fantastic. The end scene in Oceans 11 takes place where we are standing. Here Dan is conducting the fountains.

Dan commanding the fountains at the Bellagio

The Bellagio is beautiful.

Beautiful Bellagio

Vegas Strip

Dustin took this shot, I love it! They have bridges above the main streets so you can walk across and avoid traffic. This shot reminds me of how overwhelming it felt to be in Vegas the first night. It is a very unique place.

Vegas Strip

We were mainly there for two reasons, to attend the WPPI tradeshow and meet some amazing photographers in the business.

The tradeshow was great! We went with a game plan to research album and proofing companies that could meet our growing need. It’s time we outsource all our post production with the exception of editing and album layout. You should see some of the albums available! After touching, inspecting, smelling, rubbing and ALMOST licking these covers (I can not believe how soft and buttery some of the leather ones were!) We came home with some solid choices in hand. Things will be changing with Kellan this year and we couldn’t be happier.

I got to do a little accessory shopping which was super fun for me. I picked up a great GoBee hip clutch for all my odds and ends while shooting. I am NOTORIOUS for losing lens caps amongst other things. This bag is FABULOUSLY comfortable, the leather is so ridiculously soft. I will admit it is just like a fanny pack, but the cool version of the fanny pack (Is there such a thing?)

My other splurge was on a new lens bag, the ever popular ShootSac. Hey, what can I say, the tradeshow had some great discounts so I had to cash in. I have been putting up with my clunky camera bag for years now, it was time I splurged a little on some stylish and lightweight accessories….SCORE!

We met so many photographers while we were there, others we just saw in the crowd and gave the courteous head nod. We hung out with our good friend and fellow photog, Amy Martin a lot! She is currently in Charlotte, NC but moving back to the Burg soon….we are thrilled to have her back here and think the world of her work. She is photographing Ryan’s brother, Joe, wedding the end of this month.

Friend and fellow photographer, Amy Martin

We went out for coffee with our favorite husband/wife team better known as, Mary and Justin Marantz, from Connecticut. I double heart, triple stampy, no erasey love these two. They are the real deal, genuine, fun, and just the coolest to hang out with. I only wish we lived closer. Mary is my girl, humor wise, and they both have a huge heart for the less fortunate and have founded The Portrait House which supports Habitat for Humanity. They really took the time to understand Kellan Studios and where our hearts are in this crazy industry. Very blessed to call them friends.


Another photographer that we could not get enough of is the ultra adorable and sweet, Punam Bean out of NYC. I seriously wanted to fold her up and put her in my pocket.
Ryan has had a major photog crush on her forever and got me hooked several months ago. We ran into her at the tradeshow and talked and talked and talked and talked. We ran into her later that day with her husband, Andy, which sparked another slew of conversations about music. Ryan is a major music connoisseur and Andy is one of the fabulous duo of the Two Man Gentleman Band. They will be coming through Richmond in April and we are hoping to go hang out with them. Punam is so unbelievably passionate about her work and clients. She is infectious to be around. We are so glad that we met her and can call on her.


So as you can see, we had a great time! We met amazing people, saw some incredible products, came back inspired and ready to make 2009 the most successful and creative year yet!

5 Responses

Last but not least: Vegas Part V of V…the wrap up! at Filtering Life says:

March 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm

[…] last post on Vegas in my “mini blogging” series is up on Kellan site. All the details of how we spent our time and MONEY (whoever said Vegas was cheap is […]

Dan says:

March 5, 2009 at 1:24 am

I may have just “arrived”

Rachel says:

March 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Can I be in your cool club? I don’t know that I can actually take pictures worth a crap, but by god I will try if I can hang with you!!!

Love the pics and it looks like you had a WONDERFUL time…You were so close to us..Yet so far.

Dustin says:

March 10, 2009 at 10:53 am

Waaaaaaah! We miss you. Vegas seems like SO long ago already. We need to Skype soon.

Beauty Salons says:

August 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I must admit this post is very wonderful . Thanks once again for the push!

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