D. Sampras Photography

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PSW has a special place in my heart =)

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A few weeks ago I got to attend the annual Photoshop World Conference in Las Vegas. It’s run by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals and I have to say they throw quite a shindig! Even though I spent my vacation taking classes and listening to keynote speakers I have to say I had the time of my life! I didn’t get out onto the strip much and while some may consider that a crime in Vegas I am totally OK with it. I cant even begin to tell you how much I learned and how awesome it was to meet some of the greats in my field.

This event really brings together all sorts of people from all different areas of the country (maybe even the world?) and for three days puts us all on the same level. Of course, not professionally, but socially. We all gather for a common interest and spend the weekend learning from each other. Instead of hoarding our ideas and being selfish with our skills we feed off each other and offer a helping hand.

So let me offer up what I learned at my first Photoshop World (PSW)

1.) The NAPP guys are really cool. As far as celebrities go, these guys are up there in our field and the best part is, they’re normal guys and they act like it too. I was invited to go out for burgers at In and Out Burger with them like we were long time buddies. I spent the night chowing down and talkin photo with them til almost 2 am…I felt so VIP =)

2.) You will not learn anything at Midnight Madness and it will be totally worth it. I didn’t believe them (whoever they are) when they said it but it’s true. We spent the night acting like crazies and eating food while Vanelli asked everyone what size shirt they wanted (they were all one size of course..) Corey has no sense of personal space, Matt is, unfortunately, rather good with a nerf gun, Terry has an app for that, there was a bucket of unmentionables that someone had to stick their hand in, and apparently the contestants were being incubated. Needless to say,it was awesome to wind down and just enjoy yourself, and if you looked stupid doing it, don’t worry, everyone else did too.

3.) The big names in the biz, like I said, the celebrities in this field, are walkin around like animals on the loose.(Maybe thats a bad example since they aren’t actually acting like animals..)  At any given time you could grab Joe McNally, Scott Bourne, you name it and have a conversation about anything from the weather to how to run a photo business. Like I mentioned before, these guys aren’t selfish with their tips and tricks. They know what it’s like to be out there and getting started. They are ready and willing to offer you some help as long as you ask for it. I think that is one of the reasons they are all so successful, they are always willing to pass on their passion. They believe that the only way for a field to flourish is to spread the joy!

4.) The Expo is like NERD HEAVEN. I was like a kid in a candy store. I stared open mouthed for a good long time while doing a slow walk across that glorious red carpet. (I also imagine this is how I would react if I walked into the B&H Store in NY…one day people…one day…) I perused the book section, I watched live demos, I PLAYED with TOYS! hehe There were freebies, sales (I picked up a lensbaby), and even more classes in the live studios.

5.)The classes are more important than you will ever realize and that workbook is like gold. I packed my schedule full of classes for every hour of each day. There is nothing like being taught in person. We are visual people, these classes indulge that side of us =) And since theres no possible way to cram all those classes in, you can always learn the rest from the encyclopedia sized workbook you get. That thing was actually so big I had to take it out of my luggage cause it put me over the fifty pound limit!

6.) The experience is worth every penny. I made great connections, learned more than I could even process in those three days and made some great friends. I got the VIP experience that every person gets and I can’t wait to go back.

In short, block out a long weekend and plan yourself a nice lil vaca to the next PSW location and have a digital media party in your hotel room cause it will be one of the best experiences you will ever have. That, I can promise you.

Now, for a mini photo journey through the weekend.

My b-e-a-utiful hotel room


I got to meet Dean, runner up from VH1’s “The Shot”, he was workin at the Expo


The head honcho, Scott Kelby


My new PSW bestie Kenani


My Fave- The Raining Trees at the Bellagio


Midnight Madness Goodness


Mmm..In and Out Burger. I love this pic. I think we confused everyone in the place when twenty or so people with giant cameras walked in and started takin pics of each other and their food.


We got free tickets to the tattoo convention next door which made for some great photo ops…everyone was real cool about it since they thought we were press =)


Nice guy, but if I saw him on the streets of Chicago I might be a tad scared.




I dont care if you dont like tattoos, you have to admit this is art. It takes some serious talent to do this stuff.


And my fave from the tattoo show…love this pic.

(same girl as above,this was on her side)


Hope to see you all there next year! Feel free to pull me aside and say hi and if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email at dina@dsamprasphotography.com ! Happy shooting!



Written by dsamprasphoto

October 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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