Top 5 Differences Attending WPPI 2019 to 2020


Looking at the community of filmmakers, you can see their bonds and the love they have to make great films for their couples. They’re open to new ideas and conversing with their fellow filmmakers about how to grow. It’s evident that everyone has their own unique ‘why’ about what drives them.

Josh Ramos

The value you provide is the value you get in return. Go beyond just the product you offer and think about how you can change your clients’ lives for the better.

Turner Blatchley

It was great to see the judges wanting to educate and grow the industry. They took a lot of pride in helping filmmakers of all skill levels strive to be better artists. It was all about growth for the filmmaker and for the community as a whole.

Yvonne Fujimoto

For as long as I’d been in the wedding filmmaking industry, I’d always heard of WPPI but for some reason never took the time to research the conference, much less attend. Unexpectedly, something changed in me last year and I finally decided to break free of our editing cave and venture into the world beyond. WPPI 2019 marked the first time in three years that I attended a conference since In[Focus] ended in 2016, and the experience didn’t disappoint.

The feelings of community and comradery overwhelmed me and I left with a reinvigorated sense of purpose and connectedness to the filmmakers Archaius serves. Check out our first blog post ever where Ryan and I recap our Top 5 Takeaways.

Since WPPI 2019, I’ve attended a handful of other workshops and conferences throughout the country, each with their own unique flavor and sense of identity. Attending WPPI 2020 was my first instance of returning to a conference and the experience between the two years was profound! Read on for my Top 5 Differences Attending WPPI 2019 to 2020.


At Archaius, we pride ourselves on our team members’ relationships and the company culture they foster within the office. However, as a post-house it’s important to stay connected to the relevancy of the work we’re creating. Maintaining view of the big picture we play in this industry and in the lives of our filmmaking partners is integral to the passion required in our line of producing creative work. I’ve found that there’s no better way to fuel this sense of purpose than to meet people in real life and form tangible, offline friendships with everyone within our industry.

I’ve always valued that my team not only see the light guiding our company’s mission, but to participate first hand in the community that we serve. This year, I was proud to bring my Account Manager, Turner, and two of our Editing Supervisors, Yvonne and Josh with me to WPPI. While Turner had accompanied me to Vision Quest last October, WPPI 2020 was the first time Yvonne and Josh were able to meet the wedding filmmaking community outside of our small team.

Josh joined the Archaius team back in 2017 and has experienced a ton of change and growth within our four walls (although he’s seen those walls change 3 times as we’ve moved offices). His experience at WPPI was an eye-opener when it came to bringing a breath of reality to the work he’s been doing over the last few years:


It warmed my heart to see my two team members welcomed into the fold with open arms as we met up with friends I’d made over the last year. I’m grateful to have had the chance to bring them to Vegas and I’m excited to introduce more of the Archaius Family to the wedding world outside the bullpen!

 Photo by the amazing  Cass O’Neil

Photo by the amazing Cass O’Neil


Another big change for us this year is the fact that we weren’t only attending WPPI, but we were teaching! Talk about the value of connectedness within our industry, I have several friendships that I’d formed over 2019 to thank for this opportunity: George Bucur, Amber & Garrette Baird, and of course, Jordan Bunch. All extremely accomplished filmmakers in their own right, these four friends are also dedicated members of the WPPI video community – each with an impressive number of teaching credentials under their belts. I can’t thank them enough for their love and support for my team and me, their confidence in our abilities was a huge contributor to our chance to take the stage.

On the first day of the conference, Turner and I taught the Platform Class Everything You Need to Know to Add Video Into Your Wedding Photography Business. Click the link for our presentation plus some awesome promos from our friends in the industry!

Presenting at WPPI was exhilarating! Not only was it our largest class to-date, it was also an extremely rewarding and deep topic that we enjoyed speaking on for the first time. As the tools and technology of our trade become more and more powerful and affordable, there’s been concern of over-saturation and devaluation of filmmaking services. With our class topic, we were given the unique opportunity to educate and shape the perception of what it takes to truly create a viable filmmaking brand that adds value to the industry — and doesn’t contribute to over-saturation.

Turner and I asked our photographer students a series of intentionally-structured questions in order to guide them to their own conclusions about adding video to their businesses:

  1. Why are they adding video?
  2. Who do they need on their team?
  3. How will they do the work?
  4. What will they offer clients?
  5. When will they be ready?

Competition is an important element for any business community to thrive and grow. We hope that by asking tough questions and posing real-world challenges, that any photographers pursuing video after attending our class will contribute to our industry in a meaningful and impactful way. An influx of new artists will inevitably challenge the status quo and force us all to continually be better, define what makes us different, and raise the value for the couples we all serve.

 Photo by the amazing  Cass O’Neil

Photo by the amazing Cass O’Neil


A huge part of any conference or workshop is the social component that happens before, between (and mostly) after the classes. WPPI 2020 was no different — in fact, this element was definitively the highlight of my experience!

Admittedly, I felt a bit outside the group when attending WPPI in 2019. I could see the genuine smiles and hugs throughout the video clique and I knew my three years hiding in our office lessened my inclusion. With post-production houses still a relatively new player in the wedding filmmaking community, I also worried my presence was perceived with skepticism. I didn’t go with any sales intentions, I genuinely sought that feeling of purpose and community I’d had back in 2016. Throughout that trip however, I started to feel the walls come down and my embrace within the group was truly fulfilling in the end.

This time, when I reconnected with friends I’d made the previous year, our relationships felt as though they’d grown ten-fold since the last time we were together. Since video is still the minority at WPPI — a primarily photographer-oriented conference — our tribe mentality was off the charts. Everywhere you turned, conversations were being had about how to bolster one another up and out of our challenges. Business practices, marketing strategies, sparking creativity, and achieving work-life balance were just a few of the deep and intense conversations that I was witness to during our short stay together.

One friend that I have to sincerely thank for capturing our time together is Cass O’Neil. Her beautiful photographs (featured in this article) bring back a flood of emotions that inevitably bring a smile to the faces of everyone who got to experience our time in Vegas.

If you haven’t attended a conference or workshop yet, I can’t recommend it enough. And not only that, I would encourage you to continue to attend events over time. The friendships I’ve formed through my attendance have bolstered me up through tough times, led to creatively-fulfilling projects, and kept me engaged in my company’s mission day-in and day-out. Plus, there’s exponential return on these relationships by continuing to attend year after year. If you haven’t been persuaded by speakers or class content, don’t disregard the benefits the social interactions can have in your life and business.


In our time connecting with filmmakers outside of classes, it quickly became evident that for all of them, making films was more than just a job.

In this industry, we all have the distinct honor of immortalizing one of the most important days in people’s lives. While the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities associated with running a small business and creating art may obscure this truth, it’s important to be continually reminded of it. On this topic, one of the most profound sessions Turner and I attended was from Ben Hartley from Six Figure Photography.

Ben’s class had the unassuming title of “How to Sell on Value Without Competing on Price.” Little did we realize how incredibly applicable this messaging was to not only our team, but the wedding filmmaking community as a whole. Ben got deep. Real deep. And right away too! He introduced and explored the abundance blueprint — how the stories we tell ourselves contribute to the value we bring, which feeds our self-worth, and how this self-worth can fuel a life of abundance. By focusing on filling our clients’ lives with abundance, everyone in the wedding photography and filmmaking community can contribute to their own self-actualization and fulfillment.

I think Turner summed up our takeaway best:


So much of Ben’s presentation echoed through the conversations and interactions we experienced outside of WPPI’s classes. It was undeniable how much our filmmaking peers cared for and treasured their place in couples’ lives.

 Photo by the amazing  Cass O’Neil

Photo by the amazing Cass O’Neil


An element of the event that Ryan and I missed last year was the judging, and boy am I thankful to have made it this time!

The small room for the live judging sessions continued to fill up until there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. Attendees started to stand in the back and sit in-between the aisles for a chance to hear what the judges had to say about the films being showcased. The crowd was an incredibly powerful statement as to the interest and support that filmmaking has for inclusion in the WPPI community. Hopefully this trend will continue into 2021 with even more classes, exhibitors, and opportunities tailored toward wedding filmmakers.

To me, viewing wedding videos in such a large group was akin to watching art house films in a movie theater. There’s a certain power that comes from the collective experience an audience has and I’m grateful to have felt that at the judging this year. While our team is used to watching films one-on-one with Supervisors during the internal review process, it was an invigorating exercise to hear the judges give their opinions in front of everyone in attendance.

As an Editing Supervisor who is used to critiquing work in-house, Yvonne especially appreciated the judging portion of the conference:


One thing that was evident throughout the judging was the support and encouragement the judges brought to their critique of each film. Community has always been at the forefront of the workshops I’ve attended, but open review and constructive criticism is an activity not many conferences can offer. Hearing the panel’s thoughts on what they valued in our industry’s offerings was empowering and I feel everyone left eager to try something new on their next shoot or edit, whether their film was critiqued or not.

The culmination of the judging of course resulted in winners and I’d be remiss not to mention the amazingly talented filmmakers who won this year!

The Grand Filmmaking Award + 1st place Wedding Film: Je t’aime | France Wedding Film

Best Commercial Short Film: Houson is Home

Aaron Tharpe – 31 Films

 Drawing and photo by the amazing  Cass O’Neil

Drawing and photo by the amazing Cass O’Neil

Overall, I’m so thankful I had the chance to attend WPPI for the second year in a row. I’m now realizing just how important it is to stay involved in our industry outside of the projects we’re working on or filmmakers we’re collaborating with. As wedding filmmaking continues to grow in popularity among couples getting married, it’s vital that our community come together in order to strengthen one another, grow our skill sets, and challenge the value we can bring to people’s lives.

I hope to see you at WPPI next year!