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The Conference Issue Featuring articles from speakers, including: Creating Environmental Portraits Are Photographer Websites Still Relevant? The Future of Pricing Photography Lighting, Video, and more!

contents 4 Message from the Chair 6

Are Photography Websites Still RelEvant?

Karyn Lee discusses the relevance of photographer websites and how your website is your brand ambassdor.

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10 International Photography Conference & Expo

Chelsea Jones dives into the incredible value in this conference when it comes to the variety, excellence, and volume of education, networking, and practical opportunities available for the attendees.

16 Creating Environmental Portraits with meaning JB Sallee shares 5 tips that have been key in his success with environmental portraits.

21 The Future of Pricing Photography

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Melissa Welsh on how the digital revolution has changed how photographers price thier work.

25 Lighting page 25

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Greg Blue discusses how changing the way you think about lighting can take your photography to an incredible new level.

28 stop worrying (and learn to love Video)

Sébastien Lavallée on how video is becoming more relevant on social media.

31 Canadian Imaging 2018 preview

What to look forward to at this year’s conference. Schedule, speakers, and more!

39 My PPOC page 28

40 Concept to Cover



GALLERIE is the premier magazine for professional photographers across Canada. Each issue features award-winning images, editorial information, technical and feature articles, advertising, and member services. All photographers are welcome to view the digital versions on our website. Gallerie is published three times annually; February (on-line issue) June/July (print and on-line) October (on-line issue) SUBSCRIPTION All PPOC members receive the printed issue directly to their doorstep. On-line issues are available to all photographers. To be added to our email mailing list please contact the PPOC office ( indicating your province of residence. Additional printed copies of Gallerie are $6.95, plus postage. Please contact the the PPOC Office. SUBMISSIONS Articles and member stories are welcome, please submit them to the editor for consideration. ADVERTISING One single advertising package will secure your ad space in all three issues for the year. Double Page Spread


Full Page Outside Back Cover $1375/year Full Page Inside Cover


Advertising Supplement


Full Page


Half Page


Quarter Page


PPOC Trade members receive a 20% discount. To reserve your ad, contact the advertising manager.


Bruce Allen Hendricks, MPA p: 204-227-9447 e:


Melissa Woodward, CPA



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message from the chair

7 REASONS TO GO TO CANADIAN IMAGING 2018 It’s hard to imagine it’s only a few short weeks until our annual Conference in BC. When I first joined in 2001 I had only been to the Regional one the year prior. I showed up to that first convention scared to death, with my little Olympus 2020, 2 megapixel digital camera thinking it would be a good conversation piece to break the ice, it was a big hit! I knew nobody, but wanted to take my career to the next level. I immediately felt welcomed and here I am, the actual CHAIR of PPOC 17 years later, still friends with many of the people from my first Conference in 2000. Fast forward to 2018. These days education and information can be obtained so easily from our fingertips. Between YouTube, online classes, webinars, podcasts, forums and blogs, why bother to invest your time and expense to travel somewhere to a conference? Here are my top 6 reasons. 1. HOLIDAY. You take a break from the daily work routine and essentially are on a little educational holiday where you won’t be editing while half listening to an online video where chances are you are not 100% engaged, taking notes, or sitting next to someone whispering ‘wow, that’s so cool!’. Simply getting ‘out of the office’ is good for your mental health and opens your mind to truly learning and enjoying yourself at the same time. You leave full of inspiration and ideas. I never feel like that after half listening to webinars alone in my office. Tip: Turn off your phone and pay attention to the presenter! 2. SHOP. Hands on opportunities to check out the latest and greatest in equipment and products and to talk to our suppliers in real life. I love this part as it is social and fun plus living in PEI we don’t enjoy the same opportunities as in a big city. Tip: Wear comfy shoes! 3. CONNECTION. You break out of your comfort zone at live events without hiding behind your screen. Big hugs to friends you haven’t seen for a while, making small talk and meeting new friends at coffee breaks, or having deep conversations at the bar with like-minded people are wonderful things you would never experience staring at a screen. I love the energy I get from making new friends, laughing and sharing in the same room.

Louise Vessey, MPA, SPA, F/ PPOC Atlantic, PPOC National Chair 4. FOCUS. Programs and events at conferences have been carefully chosen and culled, creating much needed focus for us in a world where there is SO much overwhelming, confusing, and sometimes just bad information coming at us from every direction! Tip: Take notes and then actual refer to them! 5. ENERGY! I don’t feel energized and totally pumped from sitting alone in my office watching a video and then carrying on with the laundry or daily life grind. Being in a room with like-minded, passionate, energetic, amazing people lifts my spirits like nothing else plus I don’t have to do laundry or cook meals! Tip: Wear loose pants! 6. TRAVEL. Over the years I have attended Nationals in Quebec, MontTremblanc, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Halifax, and now Vancouver. It’s fun to visit cat cafes all over the country :) Seriously, I love having a vacation surrounding a conference and exploring new places. Tip: Bring your proper camera! 7. CELEBRATE! A big part of the PPOC is the opportunities available to us to be able to grow as skilled photographers and to work toward and reach goals. Goals to obtain CPA, MPA, SPA designations, goals to earn photographic awards and more. Then the fun of sharing our achievements and prestige with everyone, especially our clients. We can celebrate and congratulate and support our friends in person with hugs and high fives. I love the energy during Awards night! Tip: Dress formal!


Canadian Imaging Conference & Expo

MAY 4 - 9, 2018 in Richmond, BC! For more information, please visit:

photo by: Kaylee Greer

photo by: JB Sallee

photo by: Nikki Harrison

photo by: Dave Brosha

Speaker Lineup: JB Sallee, Nikki Harrison, Dave Brosha, Kaylee Greer and more..!

Are Photography W Websites Still Relevant?

ith so many different social media outlets, from Facebook to Instagram, a lot of photographers are choosing to abandon the idea of traditional websites, and rely entirely on their preferred social media platform. Cultivating your perfect feed can be time consuming, and in all that, website updates fall by the wayside - and every photographer wonders to themselves, “do I really need a website?�

By Karyn Lee, MPA

The answer, simply, is yes. Your website is your brand ambassador, first and foremost. A social media feed is limited to one standard format, a one-size-fits-all


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solution in a diverse and expansive field like photography. Having a professional website ensures that your potential clients are interacting with the best version of your business. The first and probably most important reason to maintain a website is that not all your potential clients may be using the same social media platform you are - meaning you’re missing a large segment of your target audience. While social media is great for spreading word-of-mouth recommendations, most people still fall back to the default “Google Search,” and a good website can put you near the top of the search results.  What’s more, a lot of social media platforms don’t allow you to post your images in high quality - it automatically scales them for fast loading - meaning that you lose control over how detailed your galleries can be. The whole purpose of placing images online is to promote your work - and showcasing it with the best possible quality just makes sense. Besides just showcasing your images, a website can also help you as a photographer demonstrate

your expertise. Most photographers specialize in one subject matter or another - and having a website with a blog allows you to have written content alongside your images that explain your processes, and gives confidence to your potential clients that besides creating great images, you can advise them on how you can assist them in putting their best foot forward.

with Photoshop. These are all points that are very hard to communicate through social media feeds. Web design used to be complicated and something that required a professional to assist you with. With the advent of “WYSIWYG” editors and free open-source content management systems, many photographers are able to easily manage their own sites.

The last benefit that a website provides is the ability to sell your work. While many photographers are turning to stock sites, there is a great possibility to sell your work directly.

A website for your photography business is essential - and probably not as complex as you think!

The foundation of a good-looking, functional website isn’t just something to keep in mind for visual design. A lot of photographers will opt for a flashy site, but something basic and simple to navigate should be your top priority. Even fancy flash sites can take a long time to load, and this is critical - if your site doesn’t load fast enough, your clients may wander away. Clients are looking for you to let them know what types of photography you’re shooting, what makes you different from your competitors, where you operate from, and what your skills are

Join Karyn Lee at Canadian Imaging, where she’ll be discussing SEO for photographers, along with an early riser on the principals of good website design. Learn how to optimize all your content to get the most out of your website, and get found on Google!



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International P h oto g r ap h y Conference & E x p o

Words By Chelsea Weiman-Jones, CPA Photos by Sébastien Lavallée, MPA


he International Photography Conference and Expo (IPCE) hosted by the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) was an invaluable opportunity for learning, networking, and inspiration with a group of fellow talented photographers. We all share the common passion and goal of improving the industry and ourselves through the art and business of photography. Here are just a few of the highlights from the 2017 IPCE.

Unbeatable Educational Opportunities and Community The hallmark of the IPCE was the fantastic educational presentations available from early in the mornings until late in the evenings. The speakers are incredibly talented and revered artists in the photography industry with exceptional experience in their craft. Despite not being a morning person and having to adjust to a new time zone,


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the topics and speakers motivated me to get out of bed and attend the Early Riser sessions. The dynamic speakers made it easy to stay awake and engaged through their live demonstrations. Joe McNally was a great example of this in his sessions on creative portrait lighting and speed lights; despite the early morning, he quickly had the large group in fits of laughter with his charisma and humour. Drake Busath’s down-to-earth presentation on group and family portraits was a one-stop shop for how to execute classic portraits. From marketing, posing, and pricing, to lighting, composition, and managing small children, he utilized his decades of experience to inspire and guide us with his tales of the trade. Tracie Maglosky executed a fabulous presentation that provided invaluable information for running a successful photography business and maximizing sales, all while doing a demo of a maternity photo shoot. All of the presenters’ openness and willingness to share information was admirable and beneficial; no one seemed protective of their knowledge or afraid to share information with the

other photographers. It was a great example of how photographers can lift each other up to improve our industry as a whole. A few new PPOC members stated to me that they had been to high-profile photography conferences in the past where openness to sharing information was not as apparent. The speakers and attendees at the conference do not feel like competitors; they are part of a community.

Photographers Helping Photographers; Networking and Having Fun With the courage to share your work and seek to improve your craft, the PPOC community also contributed to executing the live Accreditation, image critique, portfolio review, as well as offering informal critiquing and ideasharing during the conference. Through the IPCE, there were ample opportunities to share your work with some of the best photographers in the country and receive their honest, and beneficial critique of your work. This face-toface interaction over a portfolio or image is one great way to improve one’s photography through listening to different perspectives and identifying areas for improvement. As we are an active bunch on social media, the IPCE was a great opportunity to put faces to the names of the


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people I had been conversing with, or following their art, on Facebook and Instagram. Conversations could take place in person over a meal, in playing with the new toys at the tradeshow, or during a photo walk. Just because I went straight to bed after the last session of the day does not mean you have to! Let me assure you there was a lot of fun to be had after the sessions; the Social Evening, Hospitality Suite, and Banquet hosted a variety of great music, food and drinks as well as good company. If your idea of a conference involves late nights and lots of laughs, the IPCE had that covered too.

History and Hockey As a history junkie and someone who has spent her life living in Western Canada, the conference setting in Ottawa, ON was an incredible opportunity to photograph and experience sites that are important to our Canadian heritage. Venturing out into Ottawa around the Rideau Canal and Parliament Hill was a surreal experience – and watching the NHL playoffs with a margarita in hand at the Byward Market wasn’t a bad time either.

The Homeless Gallery When he was not presenting an early riser or main program, David Anthony Williams was tirelessly photographing and printing brilliant portraits of the attendees on the spot for a charitable donation. Watching him work was such a treat as he intuitively and uniquely posed each subject in the same setting and utilized his mirrorless Fuji GFX to capture each of us. He demonstrated that the variety that can be achieved with monochrome square portraits is limitless. The Homeless Gallery was named in reference to a time in communist Europe when artists would secretly meet to create and display


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their art, often on floors and walls, to be removed without a trace by dawn; this was the transient “Homeless Gallery” as the art did not have a home. This project raised well over $2000.00 for the CK animal rescue, and provided the attendees with a 13x19 portrait of themselves that acted as a great memento of the IPCE.

Inspiration and Improvement Attending the banquet was perhaps the most inspiring event of the entire conference for me. Watching the images that were accepted into the PPOC National Salon projected on the large screen during the banquet filled me with admiration, determination, and awe. I was filled with a sense of pride in my organization as I viewed these breathtaking images. I happily cheered on those photographers who were awarded designations and awards for their images and service to the organization. Perseverance, hard work, and talent should be rewarded. Of the photographers receiving the most prestigious awards, I noted a common theme when they briefly spoke at the podium; these highly celebrated, successful, experienced photographers were not yet satisfied. They were successful because they were not complacent in their craft, and still set goals to challenge themselves and improve their art despite their undeniable expertise. As many of us in the audience aspired to reach our own goals and perhaps experience a fraction of the success they had in their own careers, those artists maintained their ambition and were already aspiring to reach the next level. On top of their commercial success, these amazing photographers are humble, approachable, and always willing to help out other photographers and the organization. This handful of the best photography talents in Canada continues to inspire us to keep improving and challenging ourselves

in our own quests for photographic greatness. The incredible value in this conference is unbeatable when it comes to the variety, excellence, and volume of education, networking, and practical opportunities available for the attendees. I found I was often torn between which of the concurrent sessions I wished to attend since they were all relevant and interesting. I returned home after the conference exhausted from the jam-packed days. I was inspired by the people I met and the brilliant art I viewed. I have new ideas, new goals for my business, and new friends that I will continue to communicate with until I can see them at the next conference. I also arrived home with an empty wallet, which is usually the case after the tradeshow. I have already purchased my registration for next year’s PPOC hosted conference in Richmond, British Columbia from May 4 to 9, 2018. For those who were able to attend the Hospitality Suite and still wake up in time for the Early Riser Programs, please tell me; what is your secret?

Chelsea is the owner of Vitality Images Photography in Edmonton, AB. She loves photographing people and animals. Chelsea has been an Accredited member with PPOC since 2013. When she is not behind the camera, she is an Occupational Therapist for the Canadian Armed Forces. She is also involved in a number of projects with animal rescue organizations and animal assisted therapeutic interventions.


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FUSION 2018 The Craft Behind the Image

Saturday, May 5th, 2018 River Rock Casino Resort Richmond, BC

Fusion 2018 is a full day of speakers, on-stage demos and an Industry Expo. Hear talks on travel photography, portraits, lighting, printing your own images, and more. The Industry Expo will run from 10AM to 5PM with displays and demos of the latest equipment. Held in conjunction with Canadian Imaging 2018. Attend two events in one! We look forward to seeing you in B.C.

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T ips for C reating E nvironmental P ortriats W ith M e a n i n g ! Words & Photos By JB Sallee 16 

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ne of my favorite types of photography is on location and/or destination environmental portrait sessions. The challenge of making something amazing for our clients has always pushed me to think outside the box with not only composition but with dramatic off-camera lighting as well.  Traveling with strobes can be a challenge sometimes but I have found a way to pack everything I need into one checked bag and one carryon.  The real work is making sure I am prepared to make art for my client that has trusted me in traveling for their destination wedding or session.  Here are a few tips that have always been key in our success with environmental portraits.  




Plan on a full scout day for new (out of town) locations. Some of our best inspiration comes from just being away from our office and personal lives.  Whenever we get a chance to photograph a destination wedding or session we always get excited because we get to see and photograph new things.  My wife and I always joke that a date night for us is the day before a destination wedding or session when we get to feed off of each other’s joy of scouting out something new and fresh!  We recommend scouting during the same time that the shoot will be so you can see where the light and shadows will fall at that same time the next day. 


Overwhelm your client with not only beautiful scenics but also with a variety of natural poses and multiple lighting techniques. Everyone loves a scene of a beautiful sunset, just imagine how much more your clients will love a photograph on their wall of that sunset with them in the shot with a perfect


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balance of light cast upon them. One of our jokes when we see an amazing location is “It is just missing a bride with a long flowing veil!”  We LOVE the challenge of incorporating our clients into artwork.      


Ask your client to bring something sentimental for the outdoor session. We have found the best way to help tell a story in our clients’ imagery is to simply ask them “Is there something special that you would like to include in this session?”  Maybe a special token of love for a bridal session.  Perhaps a scarf, ring or letter.  For a family session we ask what special activities they might do on a weekend.  A picnic in the park, riding bikes or roasting s’mores by the campfire.  For maternity sessions we have asked clients to bring a special fabric that was once worn by a loved one or a classic car of a father that has recently passed. The making of these images was particularly special to us because we had worked with this family in the past for a wedding and we knew that the bride’s father had recently passed.  The bride was heartbroken that her father would not get to meet her baby, so we suggested that they bring his old car to the session and we would find a way to incorporate him into the shot.  The challenge to incorporate a vehicle into a maternity session was overwhelming at first but we knew we could not fail our past bride.  This forced us to get creative and push

us to get creative and push our limits to deliver something soft and endearing and also something bold and dramatic. The results were rewarding and truly heartwarming to us as artists.  We lovingly titled these images… “Coming Attraction” & “Grandpa’s Legacy.”      


Once you have found the environmental landscape you would like to shoot, have chosen an object or creative pose to give the portrait meaning, then it’s time to pull it together. We will often use a wide angle lens for these portraits.  We will expose the shot for 2/3 stops below what the background reading is.  We then will pose the subject into a composition we like, then add our strobes to make them pop out of the environment.  The slightly underexposed background with the addition of the subjects plus the dramatic lighting creates images that wow our clients every time.


Finishing the process is important. Have a product available to make these special memories keepsakes for your clients.  We feel like it is such a disservice to just hand over a disk of images to them.  In 15 years of photographing professionally, we have made a name for ourselves by not offering just a collection of digital images.  We provide them complimentary

with products ordered. We are known as a “product based studio” that takes meaningful images and then takes them to the next level with our signature photofinishing.  Our clients keep coming back to us year after year to receive that same level of finish each and every time.  You don’t need a storefront studio to sell art to your clients, you just need the confidence to tell your client, “you deserve more than just digital images, let me show you what I can make for you!”  

JB SALLEE and his wife DeEtte are based in Dallas, TX. Together they own and operate Sallee Photography (www.SalleePhotography. com), the most award winning wedding studio in Texas. Since 2002, JB & DeEtte have worked as an effective team and have traveled the globe photographing weddings and portrait sessions. Recently, the couple have taken a short break from speaking and sharing to welcome their third daughter into the world and they strive to raise three outstanding little humans. Join JB at Canadian Imaging where he will focus on the Business side of photography, crafting the entire client experience from start to finish!



T he F u t u re of P ricing Photography

By Melissa Welsh, CPA


or decades, wedding and portrait photographers have made money by charging a session fee right off the bat and then by selling multiple copies of photographs created from that session. If you photographed a wedding, besides the proof album and highlight album, you might sell an 8x10 portrait to both sets of parents and perhaps four of the same 5x7s for each set of grandparents. The standard for setting your prices was to mark-up your costs by 4. This worked for many generations of photographers who built sustainable, longterm businesses.

didn’t know what to do. We hadn’t been around long enough to feel like established pros with a tried-and-true business model. But we also weren’t ready to start giving away our files...because we believed they were truly valuable. Clients were asking for digital files, and we all wanted happy clients...but when we used that 4-times-cost formula to figure out a price for them, it was useless.

It was the formula I was given early in my career. I used it...but not without question. According to that formula, my prices would be the same as my competition, regardless of how much more, or less, experience they had than me (assuming we were selling the same products). This never really sat well with me, but I used it anyway...and like many others I never felt confident about my prices.

As you can imagine, this inspired some bigger questions about pricing. You would hear things like “the value isn’t in the paper” which was understood to mean that clients weren’t buying the paper print - they were buying the image on the paper. It was our talent they were paying for. But yet, we were determining our prices based on the cost of our goods. What about our education? Isn’t that worth something? What about the classes and seminars we attend each year, or our years of experience? Shouldn’t the value of our work increase as we improve?

Then came the digital revolution. Times were changing, and clients didn’t want to share images via the wallet photo anymore - they wanted the digital file. The established pros treated digital files like negatives, not giving them away at any cost, while the newer generation were giving them away like candy. Many of us were stuck in the middle...and

The cost of a digital file is 0. And 0 x 4 is….0.

It was clear what was happening in the industry. There was an entire established generation of photographers who were relying on their traditional business model. Then you had the



new generation of photographers who had been learning from each other on-line. They were selling digital files; lots of them without a business strategy or a sustainable pricing formula. The digital age of photography has changed the definition of what it means to be a photographer. Before digital, photographers captured images by “editing” prior to pressing the shutter. Few pros actually processed and printed their own images (this was all done by professional labs), and they didn’t need advanced software training or website expertise. Today, photographers take hundreds or thousands of photos at each session or wedding, and then sit for countless hours processing them on their computers. A professional camera setup used to last a career. Now, our digital SLRs, laptops, websites, and software are all obsolete within a few years. Simply put: our product had been devalued while our overhead has been magnified. It is no wonder that many photographers who “go pro” are now out of business and that so many seasoned pros abandoned their careers, lamenting the passing of photography’s “golden age”. What we needed was a new method of pricing our photography. A method of pricing based on intellectual property, not a vendor’s retail price x 4. A method that was simple and consistent, regardless of the type of photography provided. And we needed new business practices to keep up with the changing times.

Making Sense of Pricing Photography I want to introduce to you a revolutionary method of pricing. In this method, the factors considered are your time, your cost of goods sold (COGS) AND your intellectual property (IP). The method works for stock, assignments, corporate, fine art, weddings, portraits...everything!

TIME + COGS + IP = Sale Price Your TIME is associated with your hourly billing rate which you get from your Cost of Doing Business. And your COST OF GOODS SOLD (COGS) are determined by your vendors. Your INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP) is determined by your experience in the industry and the size of the file you are selling, which is calculated using the Pixelcents Formula.


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The Pixelcents Formula looks like this:

Px length x CPPx = $ Where Px length is the longest side of the file or printed image in pixels, CPPx is the cents per pixel rate the photographer assigns and $ is the price. The best part is that the Pixelcents formula works when placing a value on a printed image or a digital file - we are no longer dependent on a hard cost.

How the Cents Per Pixel Rate Works You need to assign yourself a minimum CENTS PER PIXEL RATE to use when deciding what to charge a client for your photograph. Typically, a casual shooter with low overhead and minimal experience would charge less than that the full-time working specialist with a large studio. For clients’ personal use, your Cents per Pixel Rate will be determined by your experience in the industry. For commercial use, the only difference is that a cents-per-pixel range and average is used, depending what type of client wants to use the photo. The range and averages come from data collected from photography pricing resources from around the world. In the sidebar, you can see an example of what an Emerging Pro, Working Pro & Specialist might charge using the different CPPx rates for licensing low and high-res files to their portrait clients. Keep in mind, these suggested rates are just valuing the photographers intellectual property. Their TIME and COGS would needed to added if necessary. See the definitions of photographer categories below. Photographer Categories: Emerging: Typically 5 years or less experience in the industry. Still working on developing their style and finding their niche. (suggested CPPx rate of 1 to 4) Working Pro: 5 years+ experience in the industry, running a part-time or full-time business with overhead costs (insurance, association dues etc.) (suggested CPPx rate of 5 to 10) Specialist: Recognized as an expert in their field of work. (suggested CPPx rate of 11+)

What this method does is give any amateur, student, or emerging pro a baseline to start from. If someone is interested in purchasing their photograph, they know they can start at one cents-per-pixel and move their way up the scale as they develop their craft and gain experience.

Best Practices For Digital Files Now that you know how to figure out the price of your photographic prints and files, here are the best practices when selling digital files: 1. Restrict the file size – (Don’t give away the farm – create a digital product line based on your business model)

5. Value your Files Appropriately – Use the Pixel Cents Formula (Px Length x CPPx = $) to figure out how to assign a dollar value to your digital files. The photography industry has seen some major changes in the past 15 years. There is no question we need to update our business practices, strategies and pricing models to adapt and stay relevant. The Pixelcents method of pricing is a way forward. It is simple, consistent and will build confidence for the next generation of photographers, so they can be compensated fairly for their work. If we can get behind the idea of intellectual property based pricing, then we can ensure the photography industry continues to be a rewarding and sustainable way to make a living.

2. Use an Image Release Form – Indicate the terms of use in a signed release form (just like we’ve been doing in the commercial industry) 3. Watermark or Printmark the files – Always make sure your name is attached to the front of the image (not just in the meta data). 4. Communicate the value to your clients – Here’s an example: Our digital file collections are one of the most precious items we sell. Once the files are released to you, you are able to share these photos with an unlimited number of people, forever. If you have purchased a print-ready file, you are able to print copies for all of the people in your life whenever you need. As with all of our products, these images grow more valuable as time passes. Please make sure to backup your files.



(a.k.a. Insta-

(a.k.a. 4x6 or

gram file 1080 1800 px) px) Emerging Pro (2 CPPx)







Established Pro (5 CPPx) Specialist (11 CPPx)

Melissa Welsh is a National Award-Winning Photographer, Author and Tech Entrepreneur based on Vancouver Island, Canada. She studied photography in London, Ontario, and has since built a career in lifestyle, portrait and wedding photography. Her company, Pixelcents is dedicated to positive change in the photography industry and has helped photographers in 22 countries around the world improve their incomes. She is a fun, free-spirited individual with a deep love for adventure. Her work can be found in

private collections around the world as well as in regional, national and international publications. Join Melissa at Canadian Imaging where she will speak about how she took her wedding business to a whole new level by leveraging her strengths and competing with the value of her work not her pricing!



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by Greg Blue


hen I studied photography in the early 1980’s, lighting was taught in a very formulaic way. “Put a soft box on your light, place it here, and it’s called Butterfly lighting.” We knew what that looked like, but we didn’t know why. We were never taught the fundamentals of lighting theory, which meant we could only ever repeat what we were shown. This created two major problems – 1) we were not very capable at refining or problem solving our light, and 2) our work all looked the same because we all used the same formula. It wasn’t until I left college that I was lucky enough to find a teacher named Dean Collins, who changed the way I looked at lighting. He felt the same frustration I felt, but he actually did something about it by studying the physics of how lighting works in the image-making process, and bringing it down to laymen’s terms so we could all

understand. His method of teaching is every bit as applicable to today’s digital world as it was to the film world of the 1980s. Light is light – it hasn’t changed much in the last 13.5 billion years. This knowledge changed everything for me as a photographer, and it is now standard teaching in most photography schools. I stopped looking at lighting in terms of technique, and started looking at it in terms of solutions. In other words, I did not simply try to apply a particular lighting technique to an image. Instead, I found myself scrutinizing the subject and coming up with a lighting plan that I felt would best capture the unique aspects of the subject and convey the mood and feel I was seeking. So when I shoot a portrait, I always try to meet the subject well ahead and use my iPhone to take a quick straight-on and profile shot of their face. That way I can spend some time staring at their face to figure out how I want to light it.

For example, I recently shot a fulllength portrait of a First Nations woman, and I wanted a large light source, so I used a 7-foot Octabank. She had beautiful skin, and I loved the overall lighting, but I felt we were losing the natural glow of her skin. I could have fixed that in Photoshop, but instead I chose to place a smaller 18-inch beauty dish with a sock on it in front of my Octabank. This created a hot spot on the larger light, and that created a very controlled glow on her skin without changing my lighting. Another photographer on set said “I’ve never seen that technique.” That’s because it wasn’t a technique – it was a solution. I had never done that before, because there was no need for me to do so. In another recent product shot, I started off using my studio strobes, but ended up using the flashlight on my iPhone shone through an acrylic ice cube to create the lighting I wanted. Understanding lighting theory makes



you a very capable problem solver. With all of the self-educated photographers and lighting tutorials online now (many of them superb), it worries me that new photographers are largely reverting to learning lighting by technique again. There seems to be an overall desire to find quick answers and easy-to-follow formulas for lighting – who can blame them? But such formulas are what lead to epic fads and trends, where we see huge numbers of photographers essentially copying each other’s style. This makes it very difficult for photographers to create distance and separation from each other’s images. And that often has a brutal impact on photographic fees. When photographers cannot differentiate from each other based on artistic vision, philosophy and execution, they often have no choice but to compete based on price. Understanding deep lighting theory is not too difficult, but it does take

time and practice. Once it becomes second nature, it will set your creativity free – when you look at another photographer’s image, you will be able to almost instantly problem solve the lighting used. But of far more importance is the ability to visualize an original image in your head and know exactly how to light it. And for the 50% of the time when something in your initial lighting set-up is not quite right, or your client wants to make a change, you’ll be able to problem solve the lighting minus the sense of panic. I believe our opinions as photographers are equally as important as our actual work – especially in the commercial market, where photographers are often hired based on their philosophy and approach. I have strong opinions about lighting that very much drive my style and visual execution of my photography. When lighting an image, I first try to rely on the physics of light to shape the light on my subject. When physics alone won’t cut it, I’ll use a

modifier, and when a modifier can’t solve the problem, I’ll use Photoshop – but only as a last resort. I use Photoshop all the time in my work, but I try to keep it to a minimum and I strive to make it absolutely invisible in my images (at least most of them). Photoshop is a wonderful tool, but there’s a danger in its powerful capabilities. You can easily overdo it. Lighting is the cake, and Photoshop is the icing – if you have a poorly baked cake, slopping 3-inches of icing on it isn’t going to rescue it. Understanding how to light from both a stylistic and problem solving approach means there will be much less retouching necessary on the final image. Light is the medium in which we work as photographers! Understanding how it works and how to manipulate it will take your photography to an incredible new level.

Greg Blue is a 30+ year veteran commercial photographer working out of Vancouver. He works primarily with large scale advertising accounts, but also regularly shoots product and portraiture work. His imagery has won numerous national and international awards, such as the Lotus & Applied Arts Magazine Awards in Canada, The One Show Awards in New York and The Cannes Lion Awards in France – not to mention 2017 PPOC Commercial POY! Join Greg at Canadian Imaging for his fullday workshop where he will be giving a crash course on the most critical aspects of deep lighting theory – in one morning, participants will learn the theory that drives every lighting technique available to us. And it’s not about the brand of equipment you use.


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with Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Watch the film at Canon is a registered trademark of Canon Inc. © 2017 Canon Canada Inc .

W h y Y o u S h o u ld St o p W o r r yi n g ( A nd L earn T o L ove V ideo )

by Sébastien Lavallée, MPA


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he importance of video in our everyday social media life does not go unnoticed: a LOT of information is now shared with this medium. It takes only a third of the time to watch a two minute video than it will take you to read a text with the same information, and you’ll remember that information more easily. More big brands have put together in house video teams in an effort to maximize transparency and authenticity. It’s currently one of the best ways to reach and create your own little community of potential clients. The tough part is finding the right content to produce and share. Don’t try to get that elusive viral success or to try to push your business too much. It will get boring fast and you’ll never get the level of reach you’re looking for. Just keep it simple, true to your brand and what you believe in. There’s a good chance that, if you really enjoy talking about something, or if you really like one specific activity, your clients do too. They chose you BECAUSE they find similarities between you and themselves. You can make educational videos, behind the scenes, vlogs, answer FAQ from clients, anything you want without « forcing it ». For example, I’m not the kind of person who shares a lot of personal information on social media, therefore it would not be a good idea to start vlogging. It’s just not something that seems natural for my specific case. What about your business? Make sure that everything is linked to what you do in some way. If you talk about what you do, make sure the link to your website is visible and easy to find. You can even add links to other content on the same topic. Let’s say you’re a newborn photographer and you produce a video

about safety tips when shooting babies. You could add a link to a blog post with behind the scenes photos and a gallery with your best work. You’re a commercial photographer? You could show the whole process of a product shoot with all the trials and errors, showing the final result at the end. You could also reach outside your field of expertise. You like coffee and you travel a lot? Why not dedicate a whole series of videos to reviewing different coffee shops. You like movies? You could give your own critique of the movies you saw. Anything is possible and you can even do several series at once with different content for each of them. Further, there’s no need to buy fancy equipment. If you have a smartphone, you can shoot and edit directly in camera. There are also accessories especially designed for phones, like stands and microphones, that don’t cost too much. You don’t feel like learning to edit? Just do a live streaming once in a while (on Facebook or YouTube, wherever your followers base is) where you could answer questions or explain something specific.

The most important thing is to have fun while doing it. Try something, even at the risk of failing. Worst case scenario is you’ll just delete the video and start over another day.

Sébastien Lavallée likes to relay a story of photographic interaction. To be able to transmit, by his work, emotion, attitude and the stories of those he is recording, Sébastien enjoys the creative aspects of videography because it unites his creative spirit with the desire to ensure every minor detail is brought together to create a seamless finished product for his clients. Join Sébastien’s Early Riser program at Canadian Imaging where he will teach you how to avoid the most common mistakes photographers make when starting in video.



We’ll be at the Canadian Imaging Conference & Expo Tradeshow in Richmond, BC!

Visit us at booths 14 & 15 on May 6th & 7th

It’s been a labour of love, our brand new website is polished, and ready for you. Browse the brand new eStore, track your orders and catch up on our blog. Visit!

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fter our 2017 National conference, the organizing team spent a lot of time gathering member feedback to allow us to make Canadian Imaging 2018 the best National conference yet. We heard more business, more fine art, and more variety of speakers! You asked and we listened!

creative barriers with fine art portraits by Nikki Harrison, incredible landscape and fine art imagery from Dave Brosha, and a class unlike anything else you have taken with Joan Terry! Joan is going to stretch your creative senses with a class on artistry and composition!  If improving your fine art skills or increasing your artistry is a goal of yours, you will not want to miss these classes!

This year we are launching a business round-table discussion with Karyn Lee, Melissa Welsh and Rebecca Coleman. This discussion will focus on improving your website and SEO, how to work smarter - not harder, and tips and tricks for successful social media marketing.  Our goal is for you to walk away with the knowledge needed to build a stronger business that means you work less, have more time for family, while maintaining your standard of living!

Greg Blue will be giving a crash course on the most critical aspects of deep lighting theory. Greg believes firmly in getting it right in camera, and hands-on learning!  You will be given some complex lighting problems and will work within small groups to find solutions to the problems!

We are also bringing back Colin Sprake. Colin has been teaching entrepreneurs for years on how to remove the biggest challenge in running your business, yourself!  Colin will help to motivate you to take the steps you need to build a successful business.   Dave Brosha, one of Canada’s most successful landscape photographers, will dive into the business of selling your fine art photography for money. Kaylee Greer and Nikki Harrison will share how creating niche businesses have been the secret to their successes!  Robert Bray is going to help you fine-tune your sales process, and JB Sallee is going to share his mistakes and his successes in building one of Dallas’ most successful photography studios!   Beyond business learning, we are going to knock down

In addition to all of these, we wanted to expand your skills beyond traditional studio photography with video and drone photography. Sébastien Lavallée will be teaching classes on video with the intent that you will be able to create your own marketing videos after the conference!  Yifei Zhao will be teaching the ins and outs of drone photography; she will explain what you need to do to legally operate a drone for photography in Canada. If you enjoy smaller more hands-on learning, you can choose to add one of our workshops to your conference registration.  Stephanie Robin, one of the leading newborn portrait instructors in Canada, will share with you the tips and tricks to get that perfect newborn portrait.  Nikki Harrison will share with you her tips for creating eternal fine art portraits and how she has made a business out of just that!  JB Sallee will spend the day sharing how he creates incredible, storytelling environmental portraits that will make you stand out from your competition!   WINTER 2018  GALLERIE MAGAZINE 



Canadian Imaging Conference & Expo

MAY 4 - 9, 2018 in Richmond, BC! For more information, please visit: You can also enjoy the sites of Vancouver on a photo walk with local photographer Brian K. Smith! Brian will take you to popular destinations around Vancouver and share with you his experience and knowledge.  

clinic is perfect for those new to judging or those wanting to freshen up on their judging skills.

Conference attendees will tell you that the very best part of a conference is not the speakers or the learning, but This year we are bringing back the portfolio reviews to our the chance to network with other photographers who run National conference! If you register for the full conference, businesses in markets similar to your own.  Are you trying you will be able to receive a free portfolio review done by to launch a marketing campaign without success?  Are Master photographers and some of our speakers!  This you having trouble posing hands or you can’t get your photo by: Nikki Harrison photo by: Kaylee Greer year, in addition to a traditional photography portfolio review, monitor calibrated perfectly?  Our networking events we are offering reviews on your website and branding by allow you to chat with other photographers and discuss industry experts! both the challenges and successes you have had in your business.  We offer you chances to network with We will once again be hosting a trade show and expo.  Join photographers from across this country at our fun night our industry’s vendors to see what new gear is coming featuring live music, and during our nightly hospitality suite. out, get your hands on photography lab products and get your questions answered. How can you get high speed We will also be celebrating some of Canada’s best imagery sync to work?  What is matte versus linen finish on your as we crown this year’s Photographers of the Year, as prints?  What options are available in albums?  These well as recognize the newest recipients of our prestigious vendors support your business and this is your chance to designations.  This is your chance to ask how an awardmeet the people behind the name you see on a website! winning image is created and to meet the makers behind those images! We will also once again be hosting a print critique from photo by: Dave Brosha photo by: the JB Sallee images in our National image salon. A panel of Master You have spoken and we have designed for you a judges will review the images in person with you or you can conference that will increase your business skills, stretch simply watch, listen and learn what the judges feel makes your creativity, all while building your technical skills a great image! Our Accreditation judging is also taking too!  You cannot match the in-person learning experience as place at the conference so you can watch as judges review you get instant feedback to your questions! portfolios of 10 images in a wide variety of subjects including portrait, fine art and commercial work. For the first time Join us and get inspired in Richmond, May 4-9th, 2018. ever, we are holding a two-day judging clinic. This clinic For registration information, please click here: http:// is by invitation only and requires attendees to hold their Craftsman of Photographic Arts to be eligible to attend. This

Speaker Lineup: JB Sallee, Nikki Harrison, Dave Brosha, Kaylee Greer and more..!


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Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) is a diversified group of creative artists dedicated to the highest standards in professional imaging. We welcome photographers of all genres to join our community of dedicated professionals. PPOC offers photographers a way to rise to professional status. Educational opportunities, networking, direct member benefits and the ability to earn awards and designations will assist in your potential for growth and economic improvement. Did you know you can become a member of Canada’s oldest and most recognized professional photography association for as little as $25 monthly (plus tax)? Observer membership will entitle you to discounted pricing on educational events, access to a peer network upon whose knowledge you can draw, preferred rates with many of our industry partners, critiques of your imagery, and will open the door for you to submit for Accreditation in your chosen photographic field(s). You can even sign up for a Mentor to help you get the most out of your PPOC membership! Once you’ve achieved your Accreditation, you’ll be able to upgrade to full ‘PPOC Accredited Photographer’ membership status, and will be listed on our ‘Search for a Photographer’ feature on our website. You can promote yourself using the PPOC Logo and will also be eligible to vie for prestigious awards in National Image Competition, and to work toward earning the designations of Craftsman of Photographic Arts (CPA), Master of Photographic Arts (MPA), and Service of Photographic Arts (SPA). Are you ready to take your photographic career to the next level? Become recognized as a member of PPOC, stand out from the crowd, and take advantage of the benefits of membership! Create an Observer membership profile by following the links to join at, and activate that membership with payment in full online, or by contacting us by phone at (888) 643-PPOC (7762) to set up a convenient monthly payment plan using your VISA or MasterCard. Apply TODAY! Contact 1-888-643-PPOC (7762) Phone: 519-537-2555 Mailing address: 209 Light St. Woodstock, ON N4S 6H6 Canada


my ppoc

By Chelsea Jones


met Chris Thombs by chance on a Canadian Armed Forces military base where we both worked at the time. He is the owner and creator of, One Step Beyond; a photography company that I followed and admired (and still do). At the time, I was an Observer member of the PPOC and still quite new to the world of professional photography. I gained courage to tell Chris that I was a fellow member of the PPOC, and a fan of his work. He got this sudden spark in his eyes and immediately started talking about photography and the PPOC. He showed genuine interest in where I was at in my craft, and what my goals were. There was zero judgement, just an enthusiasm for photography and to help others in the industry. He had total faith in the PPOC, and encouraged me to become more involved. The conversation was a total revelation for me, and sparked my journey as a professional photographer and member of the PPOC. Chris was willing to act as a mentor and was open to meeting up to provide constructive criticism of my images. He also taught me how to use Lightroom, which revolutionized my post processing skills. I was happy to be a member of the PPOC, but Chris gave me the nudge I needed to volunteer and put myself out there for Accreditations and competitions. When Chris learned I was passionate about Military Life photography, he made the arrangements for me to attend part of a military training course. For a civilian, this is a really unique opportunity. It may have been cold outside, but it was worth it; not only did I get Accreditation worthy images, but I was able to gain some context and appreciation for what our Canadian Armed Forces members have to endure and learn to serve the Canadian public both domestically and abroad. Even though I had worked on a military base for a few years, I never had the privilege of seeing and understanding the unique skill sets and knowledge these soldiers needed for their work. As a result I was successful in attaining a Military Life Accreditation; more important was the perspective I gained from the experience.

In October 2017, I had ankle surgery and could not drive. Chris made sure I was at the Light Matters 2017 Conference by driving me from Edmonton to the conference in Calgary; I was a bit of a mess with my crutches and he helped me with managing my bags too! Chris continues to act as a mentor; his work is inspiring, and his willingness to volunteer and work for the PPOC and other photographers is admirable. I know I can trust him for honest feedback on my images. As a result of the willingness of other PPOC members, like Chris, to help out others, my photography has improved by leaps and bounds. This is just one example of how PPOC members have been there for each other. My goal for the future is that I can share my passion for photography and act as a resource and mentor to others who are just starting their journey as a professional photographer.

Chelsea is the owner of Vitality Images Photography in Edmonton, AB. She loves photographing people and animals. Chelsea has been an Accredited member with the PPOC since 2013. When she is not behind the camera, she is an Occupational Therapist for the Canadian Armed Forces.





Original photo of my neighbors taken trough my window.

I removed the distracting things around the subjects.



Photo taken on Christmas Eve night in front of my daughter’s house after a snow storm.


Subjects added. I applied the falling snow flakes with the filter: Dave’s Photoshop Snow Overlays from Ukandu Templates.

After having enhanced the photo with: Nik Detail Extractor and Nik Glamour Glow. The moon was made with Photoshop: Filter-Render-Lens flare. Colored blue and vignetted with Photoshop.


All the photos that I used for this montage were taken with a Canon Power Shot ELPH 120 IS. This image of Marc’s scored a merit in the 2017 PPOC Salon.

concept to cover Marc has been a PPOC member

digital tools have totally transformed the products

for the last 35 years. He won the

they offer to their customers.

title of “Portrait Photographer of the Year” in Quebec in

Marc thinks that it is now important to enhance

2003, 2007 and 2014 and he

each photo to win prizes during the Accreditation

was named “PPOC Portrait

submission and the PPOC competition. Just a

Photographer of the Year” in

good photo is not enough. We must see beyond

Canada in 2007 and 2014. In

the image. This new technology has allowed

2017 Marc received his 7th

their daughter, Jessica, to develop a new

PPOC Masters Bar.

discipline: digital painting. Last year, Jessica’s biographical digital paintings caught the attention

aphe Émér

tre Photogr

MPA, Maî Marc Bailey,


ite (Quebec)

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In 2002, the studio took

of Discovery Channel’s program “How it’s Made”.

the digital turn. Marc can

This episode was aired last December across

now enhance his photos

Canada. Soon it will air in the USA and in 180

to levels that were impossible before and pushes the boundaries of creativity. The new

other countries in 35 languages.

For those who find inspiration everywhere, who switch between stills and video without missing a beat, who want the look only a full-frame D-SLR can achieve and who love sharing their shots, the D750 is the tool to unleash your artistry. With features inspired by D4S and D810, the D750 brings dazzling image quality, cinematic video capabilities and pro-inspired handling in a nimble design with a tilting Vari-angle LCD and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.

Thinking of new lighting?

Think head first. Choosing world-renowned Elinchrom is smart, heads-up thinking. Especially since the BRX 500 Ws quiet fan-cooled flash head is packed with professional features, including built-in Skyport Receiver that (with optional transmitter) allows you to trigger and adjust both the head and modelling light wirelessly, as well as set groupings when working with multiple heads. • Variable power down to 31Ws • Fast recycling times at 115V (1.45 sec at full power / 0.34 sec at lowest power) • Action-stopping flash durations of 1/1558 sec • Recognizes AC power source from 90-260VAC, allowing its use anywhere in the world

Kit includes: • 2 BRX 500 multi-voltage (90-260VAC)

Two Heads are better than One!

500Ws monolights • EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus

Elinchrom’s BRX 500/500 Softbox To Go Set

• 2 Portalite softboxes – one rectangular,

This 2-light lighting kit is a favourite with location photographers, and for good reason. It’s a versatile kit that provides wireless control and is ideal for anyone starting a serious business in portrait or product photography desiring more control over the subject.

• Translucent deflector


one octagonal • 2 light stands with carrying bag and durable tube case for the lights

The Visual Technology People


2018 Winter Edition PPOC Gallerie Magazine (English)  

The official magazine of the Professional Photographers of Canada

2018 Winter Edition PPOC Gallerie Magazine (English)  

The official magazine of the Professional Photographers of Canada