las vegas photographer wppi 1 LAS VEGAS TO MN: BACK FROM WPPI 2013

las vegas photographer wppi 5 LAS VEGAS TO MN: BACK FROM WPPI 2013

Destination Wedding Photographer 3 LAS VEGAS TO MN: BACK FROM WPPI 2013

 Above: Me 32 floors up. On the balcony. Oh the things we do for a cool shot! (heights are scary).

I didn’t grow up knowing or even thinking about becoming a photographer. Never once crossed my mind. That was not the plan. You know, “the plan.”  Those things you plan out. Those things you decide on and think you are meant to do. Then, life happens and it leaves you someplace else.

Dana Johnson-Wedding Photographer.

God lead me down this path that I had no intention of being lead down. But as He moves me forward I feel more and more everyday that this is exactly what I was meant to do. Its like when you look at your husband or wife and each day you love them more and more. That’s me with Wedding Photography. And of course my hubby too. : )

The reason I’m sharing this little prelude with you is because I can’t tell you what an experience it has been becoming a photographer. Going from tears, frustration and wanting to completely just give up, to being ready to take on the largest wedding + portrait photography conference with 15,000 photographers. This might not sound scary to you. If you’re a photographer and you have gone to this your first year as a photographer, I commence you for that! For me, it was frightening and intimidating. To me, going to WPPI was a huge step forward. It was a way for me to confirm to myself that this is real. This is what I do. I want to own my business and not have my business own me. I want to grow and become better for my clients and not just take pictures, but truly serve my clients and others. Well, 3 years later. WPPI. I feel so blessed to be apart of the wedding photography industry.

As you all know, I headed to Las Vegas last week to experience for the first time WPPI. Ill say this, Im dead tired and it was overwhelming. But I took some great classes, meet some wonderful photographers I can now call friends, and learned more about myself, who I am as a photographer + who I am as a business owner. Its almost not real that this is where I am today.

These are my highlights:

–Making new + encouraging friendships
–Meeting a few photographers that I have looked up to who have not only succeeded well in their business, but they make it their goal to help other photographers + encourage them.
- Dane Sanders
- Melissa Jil
–Doing a styled Les Miserable wedding shoot (watch for a post from this inspiring shoot!)

Did a little site seeing–

las vegas photographer wppi 4 LAS VEGAS TO MN: BACK FROM WPPI 2013

The water show at the Bellagio.

I took many classes, many notes, and gained lots of ideas on how to better my business, photography skills and customer service. But after all this talk about how to be more successful, I ended my week with a class from Mary + Jason Marantz called the Bottomline.

This class was suppose to be about pricing and sales. But so much more came from it that that. What is success really? At the end of our lives, what will we have to stand before God with? Our many accomplishments and successes? Or the way we loved people and made a difference in their lives?

Mary used a quote from one of my favorite people:
“Doing the right thing usually IS good business sense.” – Taylor Swift

So the bottomline? Being a semi-famous photographer with lots of facebook likes? Or, making a living out of your profession + making time for people and making a difference in the lives you come in contact with? You tell me. : )

(Seriously, tell me your thoughts in the comments! Thanks!)


Love, Dana

  • Leah

    Love it. You are SO on the right track, Dana. And your work is amazing besides. Keep being you!