Photographer Profile

My name is Melissa Howell and I specialize in custom portrait design for your home. You can visit my official photography website at to view more of my work and to contact me to set up a consultation.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hanging out with superstars

I just got back from an incredible week at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International conference in Las Vegas. All the best photographers in the world come and give seminars on everything from photographic technique to business and marketing plans. I was so excited to go, because my two most favorite photographers in the world were giving classes, and it was my goal to meet them and get a picture with each of them. The first was Audrey Woulard. She uses all natural light like me, and just seeing what she does helps me to feel confident that I can get the same kind of results using only the available light around me. Well, when I got to her class (20 minutes early) the room was already overflowing. I squeezed in and stood up by the wall in the back along with loads of other people. Audrey started early because she was informed that the fire marshall was coming to kick everybody out who didn't have a seat. Sure enough, that's what happened, and I thought my dream of meeting Audrey was about to die. But then, these two sweet girls asked if I wanted to share a chair with them. The scooted over so I could sit on the very edge of a chair, and I was saved! We became instant friends. They are Melissa Jackson and Traci Turchin, and they are both absolutely fabulous photographers. I'm not just saying that, either. Go check out their websites! Melissa is based out of Mesa, AZ, so all my Arizona friends, you should book her! Traci is based out of Colorado Springs and does families, weddings, and seniors. She will come up to Denver, and since I don't do weddings or seniors, I highly recommend her. And, because of them, I have this lovely picture:

That's me with Audrey Woulard! I feel so special!

That night, we got to go to a special free concert by Blues Traveler. I remember that I really liked a song of theirs in college, and if you all know how I feel about free things, you can easily surmise that I went to the concert. However, if you also know how I feel about extremely loud things, you can easily surmise that I left the concert early. Plus, they didn't play the one song that I knew :( But here is a groovy picture I took:

I must say that the highlight of the trip was meeting my all-time and long-loved favorite photographer, Vicki Taufer. Her work is absolutely the most beautiful I have ever seen, and she is the bar to which I am striving to raise myself. Her husband is her partner and takes care of the business end of things. I had talked to him on the phone probably two years ago when I was ordering something from them. While I was waiting in line for pizza one day at the conference, I noticed I was standing behind him. I tapped him on the shoulder and introduced myself. He said he remembered my name. I told him I would love to meet his wife, and he told me he would introduce me to her at her class the next day. After her class, her husband (Jed) was busy with other attendees, so I went up and waited my turn and introduced myself. I said, "I met Jed standing in line for pizza yesterday," and Vicki said, "Oh, you're the one I'm supposed to meet!" They were both so great to me, and I got my picture with both of them!

The conference was fantastic and I learned so much and had a wonderful time. And now that I'm home, maybe I can finally get some sleep!


Aly said...

I'm drooling! I would give my right arm to meet Audrey! I'm sooo jealous!

Stephen Baird said...

beautiful work. love your photography.