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PRESIDENT Stewart Schulze, Cr, S-PPC (209) 669-6203

1514 N. Elm Street, Escondido, CA 92026 (800) 439-5839



(866) 955-1655

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT Cayce Newman, S-PPC (951) 737-7310

SECRETARY Victoria Wispell, S-PPC (909) 798-0338

TREASURER Robin Swanson, CPA (818) 790-6333

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Tim Meyer, M.Photog., Cr, CPP, API, F-PPC, & S-PPC (805) 933-0464





M.Photog, Cr, CPP, ASP, API,

M.Photog, Cr, CPP, F-PPC, S-PPC


(951) 696-9706


(951) 780-2627

(909) 946-4836

(800) 439-5839





M.Photog., Cr. CPP, ASP, F-PPC

(805) 551-1363

(805) 551-1363

(951) 440-1820

Professional Photographers of California, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)6 trade association of professional photographers, employees, suppliers and others allied to the profession. Professional Photographers of California offers a variety of opportunities and benefits to its’ members and is one of the largest state affiliates of the Professional Photographers of America. Pro Photo West is the official publication of Professional Photographers of California, and is published quarterly for the purpose of keeping members informed of photographic information, news and activities of the state. Subscription is included with member dues, or is available for $26. per year. Articles, with or without photographs, are welcome for review for inclusion in this publication; however the Editor reserves the right to edit and use articles on a space-available basis. Materials will not be returned unless a postage paid envelope is provided. Letters and contributions must include a phone number. Send all communication, articles or advertising to the Editor. Articles appearing in Pro Photo West reflect the opinions of the writer. They do not necessarily represent those of the editor or Professional Photographers of California. Permission to reprint contents of this magazine is granted to similar photographic publications, provided the author, Professional Photographers of California and Pro Photo West are credited as the source. Printed by Marathon Press, Norfolk, Nebraska


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Contents Departments



Member Focus: Mark Brandes


EDITORIAL by Peggy & Steven Roosa


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE by Stewart Schulze

by Peggy Roosa


The Engineered Studio


Adobe LightRoom: Top 10 Features Count Down (Part 2)


Print Competition: There is Life After A 79!”

by Bill Stigman

by Art Suwangsang

by Tim Mathiesen



2010 Student Cover Challenge - Call for Entries!



2010 Pro Photo Expo, Pasadena, Convention Guide

85 THE END by Peggy Roosa


So You Think You Know Bill Thomas


PPC Calendar of Events


West Coast School 2010 Instructor Line-up


Western States Print Competition, Call for Entries

by Peggy Roosa

Cover Image courtesy of Mark Brandes


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From The


“Life Happens” by Peggy & Steven Roosa

“Life Happens”… Sound familiar? Some of you may remember this as a line from John Lennon’s famous song, Beautiful Boy. Or you may recognize this saying from one of our all time favorite movies: Forrest Gump. Yep – We’re here to tell you: Life does happen. The last year and a half has been full of life happenings for us, some of them easier than others.

judges. Their criteria for selection included editorial content, overall appearance, and service to members. This win was the highlight of our year. And then, as so often occurs, life happened again. As most of you probably already know, the Roosa household has experienced its share of health challenges during the second half of the year. Regrettably, our combined health issues left us unable to sit in front of a computer long enough to produce a Fall issue, and left in jeopardy the very issue you now hold in your hands. That’s when our good friend and colleague, Patricia Mathis, stepped forward and offered to help out. As a result, your ProPhotoWest editorial team has recently undergone another significant change.


In my opinion, some of the best happenings included launching the new magazine Web site (www., taking the magazine full color, doubling the page count, more than quadrupling the number of advertisers, and finally having the magazine pay for itself instead of running in the red, as it did for so many years. These happenings helped propel the magazine once again to the number one spot in the nation, earning a score of 99 out of 100 from the 2009 PPA Affiliate Communications

Peggy and I are proud to formally announce the edition of Patricia Mathis, the award-winning Continued Page 54

Dr. Steven Roosa and Peggy Roosa, MS, S-PPC

Co-Editors, Pro Photo West Magazine Steven and Peggy Roosa own Sandstone Photography in Thousand Oaks, CA, specializing in formal portraits and commercial work. Steven is an accomplished photographer, having won numerous awards for his work over the past 30 years, including PPC’s prestigious Photographer of the Year in the Nature category in 2008. In his spare time, he serves as Critique Chairman of the Thousand Oaks local photography SIG, and regularly teaches photography classes to its members. Peggy is an aspiring novelist, and together, they are writing a series of beginning photography books they hope to have published soon. Steven and Peggy belong to several photography societies and organizations, including CIPPA, PPA, WPPI, and PSA. Patricia Mathis owns Reflections by Patricia, a wedding and portrait studio in Camarillo, CA. She is a PPA Master Photographer, Certified Professional Photographer and has been recognized both locally and nationally for her imagery. Patricia also gives workshops on photography and the use of Photoshop to enhance images. She is the current Marketing Chair for PPC. and is active in CIPPA, PPC, PPA, and ASP.

Patricia Mathis M.Photog., CPP, F-PPC, S-PPC Co-Editor, Pro Photo West Magazine

Winter 2010



From The


Social Networking: A Must for Every Photo Business by Stewart Schulze

alliances at the same time.

Stewart Schulze has been hooked on photography ever since the 8th grade. He tells us he was always known as the “picture guy” (especially by the other kids at his favorite summer camp), and was his high school’s yearbook photographer all four years he was in attendance there. Despite a high school counselor’s advice to “never drive a school bus, and never do portrait photography” (obviously, Stewart respected the counselor’s opinion – he’s been driving a school bus for 10 years now), Stewart followed his passion and enrolled in Modesto Junior College’s photography program, where he fell in love with everything he was exposed to (especially the dark room). The year Stewart Schulze had enough requirements to graduate with his associates degree in photography, he experienced a change of heart and decided to enroll in California State University Sacramento to study computers. There he attacked such classes as Fortran and Cobol with the same relish and passion he had his photography. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for Stewart, in the middle of this program, he developed back-related issues that wouldn’t allow him to sit in front of the computer for hours on end. So he enrolled at Brooks Institute and switched his major back to photography, not knowing at the time that the digitalage would eventually bring his beloved computers back into his life for good.


Over the last year or so, I’ve had more and more members ask me about the increasing importance of internet communities. It used to be that all a photographer needed was a Web presence in the form of a Web site to be seen as technologically advanced; as part of the internet age. Not any more. Today, having a mere Web site - while still important - is not enough. Today, successful photographers are using social networking to promote themselves, and their businesses. What exactly is social networking, you may ask? According to, social networking is the clustering of individuals into specific groups around something they have in common, or in which they have an interest. Think of a neighborhood subdivision: One obvious thing the people in a subdivision have in common is they all live in that specific neighborhood. And while social networking is still possible in person, these days it is most popular online. This is because the internet is filled with millions of individuals who are looking to meet other people, to gather and share first-hand information and experiences about any number of topics from golfing to photography, while developing friendships and professional

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While there exists literally hundreds of social networking sites, the three most popular, and the ones every photographer should join and use without fail are MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. Of the big three, MySpace has been around the longest, and tends to be used more by the under 25 crowd. A profile page typically includes a digital photo and in-depth information about personal interests. It’s a way for members to connect with other members, and a chance to chat back and forth via their messenger service, send photos, and tag friends. Facebook is very similar to MySpace, only it tends to appeal to a much broader range of potential customers. It is more likely to have members in their 50’s and 60’s, as well as those just entering High School. Twitter is a slightly different animal. It is more of a text messaging service, without so many pictures. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page, and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Continued Page 21

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Summer/July 2008


Mark Brandes “The God story is bigger than all my work, and it’s only through His grace and vision that I’ve been able to create the work I love to do.”

This page: Photos of Courtney Miller by Steven Roosa, Sandstone Photography


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Celebrate Your Life

This Issue’s Member Focus: Mark Brandes of

Brandes Portraits The day of our interview, Mark and April Brandes invited us to their new Woodland Hills studio to observe a scheduled portrait shoot. We arrived before the clients, and were treated to a tour of the new facilities. The new Brandes studio now consists of an old ranch-style home, with plenty of picturesque spaces for backdrops, such as an elegantly furnished living room with a large picture window, or a well-worn shed next to a wall full of morning glories, or a low running

white picket fence cutting through the back yard. By the time we stepped back into the studio, Bianca and Gigi had arrived with their Mom for their session. As April and Mrs. Lambert made clothing selections, Steven and Mark unloaded Bianca’s harp from the back of the SUV. Once the girls and their instruments were in place, it was fascinating to watch Mark and April in motion. The two of them worked well together. They partnered to make each

shot its absolute best; helping each other to position the girls, and relay the story they wanted told through their subjects’ posture and faces. When the girls’ session was almost over, Peggy and April stepped away to begin their conversation. Mark caught up with them later.

continued on next page Winter 2010



Thank you so much for inviting us into your studio and allowing us to be a part of your photo shoot today, April. If it’s Okay with you, why don’t we start with you telling us a little bit about yourselves? “Mark was a student at Brooks, and I was working for the SoCal PGA when we first met. I just fell in love with Mark right away. Not just him; although he was and still is a wonderful guy…but I think I also fell in love with his creativity. Even though my career at that time was very business Photo courtesy Steven Roosa focused, I always knew I wanted to be involved in the art world. Mark’s such a wonderful artist. He’s been behind a camera since the first grade, when he photographed President Eisenhower.” It’s wonderful how the two of you have been able to balance your career and personal lives for so long. How do you manage to work together all day and still have a relationship to go home to at night? “While it is wonderful, it can also be challenging. I see it as a dual challenge, really. First, we’re both creative people. Creatively, we tend to see things differently. Opinions can collide, especially since we’re both so passionate about what we do. Secondly, it’s hard to come home and not let our work life dominate our home life. We have to mentally shut that door behind us at the end of the day, and talk about other things in our lives. It helps that we have other interests and people in our lives to provide that balance.” 12

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Would you mind sharing a few of those interests? “Mark and I share a very strong spiritual foundation. God has given us so much. We’ve been so blessed. We both believe it is very important to love others, and we do our best to help out whenever we can. Like right now, we’re working with a couple of foster girls whose mother needed a break. We learned of their situation through our church. Through our church, we’ve also been able to become involved in Missionary work throughout the world. It’s such a wonderful opportunity to give back. I’ve gone to Mexico with a bunch of girls from our church’s youth group, and have traveled to Amsterdam to help give dinners to the people in need there. Mark’s been to Russia 7 times on missionary trips. “We also love to cook together. In fact, at our home we have an outdoor pizza oven than Mark built himself. We often invite people over for pizza parties. And we have a granddaughter, who is very special in our lives. She lives in OC, so we opened a gallery down there in Costa Mesa, just so we could be closer to her. In fact, she’s a big part of the reason why we’ve begun scaling back our work over the past several years. To give you an idea of what I mean, did you know that in 2005, we did just over 720 portraits? In one year? Wow! April nods her head. “Yep. It was a lot. But in reality, it was too many. We were both working so much back then…it felt like the business had us by the tails. Creatively, it felt like we were

dying. Something had to give. This year, we’re planning to do around 250 portraits. That’s a much more manageable number. And we’re having so much fun together! Especially with the new direction we’ve taken, with me turning Mark’s images into paintings. I just love it!” Hold on! You’re doing the paintings? But, we thought you were the marketing end of the studio… April smiles. “I am. But I’m also an artist. I attended art school in the early 1980’s. And you probably don’t know this, but years ago, Mark and I founded an art school of our own. We taught illustration, animation and drawing. We had instructors and everything... the works! These days, I’m putting my artistic skills to use here in our very own studio. I was determined not to be just another pixel musher, and I think my art background has helped me in this area. I do have to confess: Learning Painter was a little daunting at first. I’m actually surprised at how quickly I picked it up.” At this point, Mark has finished the photo shoot, and is able to join the conversation. Tell us Mark. How did you prepare or train for your photography career? “I graduated from Brooks in 1979, although I’d been shooting long before then: Most of my life, in fact. At Brooks, I was a commercial illustration major. I did work in the commercial field – for almost 10 years, as a matter of fact. And I was doing weddings on the side, at the same time. Then something happened: The work had lost its meaning for me. Or maybe after all that time, I’d lost my passion for it. Either way, it was time for a change. continued on next page Winter 2010




(” April adds, “ISPA is a small gathering of professionals doing portrait work. Mark actually started it. We’re now in the process of starting a new group of painted portrait professionals. Our intention is to create a back door for photographers and artists to meet and interact, to exchange business advice, etc… ” April - What do you consider your greatest lessons learned in this business? “I can think of three right off the bat. First, don’t ever stop caring about people. You have to do this, sincerely do this, in order to succeed. Photo courtesy Steven Roosa

That’s when I decided to switch to portraits.” “Mark was immediately noticed by the national arena as soon as he made the switch,” April chimes in. “In my opinion, it was his commercial background that gave Mark his edge. I mean, he did things like building a lake in the studio, or building specific props for themed shoots. Back then, few other portrait photographers were doing anything like it. I think it would have been considered a stretch for most.”

Secondly, you must understand the balance sheet. If you don’t, take a course that will teach you. And thirdly, be willing to be mentored, no matter how old you are, or how long you’ve been in business. New ideas come from all sorts of places, and no one ever has all the answers, no matter how old you are.”

What a wonderful segway, Mark. Please…tell us about the awards you've won. “In the early 1990s, I received my PPA Craftsmen and Masters Degree. I was one of two national winners of the Kodak DreamMaker award. I have created many PPA Loan Prints, and my portrait “The Tango Begins” graces the opening page of the 2004 PPA Loan Collection Book. In 1998, I was asked to join the Cameracraftsmen of America, an elite organization of 40 of the finest international photographers, and from that group was formed the International Society of Portrait Artists 14

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continued on page 66

Summer 2009



©2008 Tyler Stableford, Canon Explorer of Light

© 2009 Canon U.S.A., Inc. Canon, EOS and DIGIC are registered trademarks of Canon Inc. in the United States. IMAGEANYWARE is a trademark of Canon. All rights reserved.

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The Engineered Studio

by Willam Stigman


here are many small studios out there, and all the photographers who own one undoubtedly know the problems associated with limited space and low ceilings. For years, I worked two jobs, one of them being a professional photographer. My wife, with the help of a parttime assistant, managed the studio while I was away. As I was (and still am) the only photographer on staff, studio time is premium time. Out of necessity, I had to learn to be ultra efficient, utilizing as little labor as possible to set up and change backgrounds and sets. I strongly believe this efficiency and speed not only provides my clients with the perception of professionalism, but also leaves more time for interpersonal communications.

Keep in mind; mine is a home-based business. I can’t afford for any of the modifications made to the studio to negatively impact my home when it comes time to sell. My home must still be a home, with a finished look and great resale value. My goal has always been to ensure all projects undertaken for the studio business will bring back or increase my resale value; otherwise, I’ve hurt my bottom line in the process…and who among us can afford to do that? Everything I have done to my studio, when completed or removed, still has a home-decor finish.

In this article, I would like to share with you some of the techniques I have successfully used to engineer my home-based studio for maximum efficiency of space and speed. Here are some specs to help you visual my set-up: I have a 17 x 30 foot living room that I have converted into a camera room. This room has an eight foot ceiling. My first year in business, I had to set-up all my backgrounds by hand. Ask anyone who has ever done this all by themselves, and they’ll tell you: It’s a time-consuming job. I also wanted to be able to photograph 4 to 5, five-outfit seniors, within a 3 to 4 hour time span. Accomplishing this requires speedy set changes, and dove tailing clients.

I addressed this issue by installing a recessed box in the ceiling. When it finally does come time to sell my house, my plan is to simply install light fixtures and a cover over the box, letting it blend in as part of the decor. This box can take on any shape and size, depending on the size of the room and pitch of the rafters. The key is to ensure the recessed box fits between the ceiling joists. What’s a ceiling joist? It’s the part of the structure that keeps the walls from spreading apart, and the ceiling from falling in. In older homes, the frame structure is on what is called “16-inch centers”. That means you will find a stud or ceiling joist every 16”. This is also called cut-and-stack


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With this in mind, let me share with you how I solved what is quite possibly the worst problem for a homebased studio: 8 foot ceilings.

construction. Today’s contractors use trusses. Trusses have a higher load capability, and are engineered for your area based on climate. Trusses are on 24” centers. So, before you decide to undertake this project yourself, I encourage you to find out what you have in your home: Ceiling joists? Or trusses? Bottom line: The idea is to build a box that will fit between the ceiling joists. Because mine needed to accommodate multiple 10’ rollers, I made it 126” long x 24” deep x 12” high. This may seem large at first, but believe me - it fits perfectly in my 17’ x 30’ room. My box holds 6 rollers; however in older homes with 16” centers, you may have to design a box to fit 4 or 5 rollers. You can also cut the length of the box to fit 8’ rollers, which will then fit in smaller rooms, or rooms with shallower-pitched roof lines.

Because I did not want my recessed box against the wall due to props and other considerations, I moved it away from the wall by the width of one ceiling joist. I then cut a hole in the sheetrock, and built the framework needed to hold the box. This frame goes around the outside of the box, above the sheetrock. First, I nailed (screws are Okay too) the sheetrock to the frame. I then built the box out of 3/4” external plywood. Next, I performed a trial fit to insure the box will snuggly fit in its final location. At one end, I installed an electrical junction box to provide power for when I go to install those lights mentioned earlier. I mounted the electrical junction-box on one end of the wooden box, and then ran switched electrical power in the attic to the final location of the electrical junction-box. During installation of the wooden box, I pulled the electrical wire into the junction-box, and tightened the

Bill Stigman has enjoyed photography since high school and in the 80’s he sold stock images. In 1990, along with his wife, he opened Mystic Images and they grew like gangbusters. Over the years Bill has taken countless classes and produced dozens of nationally exhibited images. Their studio converted to digital in 1999, and was one of the first in the valley to do so. They haven’t looked back since. In 2003 the Stigmans remodeled their studio, expanding and adding several outdoor sets. They’re better equipped than ever before to create that perfect image. Bill has been creating images for over 30 years, and sees things a little differently than other photographers. Using the interplay between highlight and shadow, he can take a common location and create an awardwinning portrait. Bill loves creating portraits that show the emotional bond between people. With all the emotional content of a wedding day, he is in his element! In 1996, Bill became the second Certified Professional Photographer in Stanislaus County; there are currently only five. He is the main photographer at his studio, Mystic Images; all promotional images that you may see are created by Bill. Bill takes pride in the fact that his studio does not subcontract out any of its jobs, but creates everything first-hand. In fact, they have grown to the point they have added an assistant; however they are still a family operated studio. Most of their client’s contact with Mystic Images will be with Bill’s wife, Loretta or Bill. Bill also designed and created his studio’s Website. To visit Bill’s studio, online, just go to

Continued Page 68

Winter 2010



A word about


Cleaning Out the “Stuff” by Paul Speaker

I Paul Speaker, CPP, F-PPC, S-PPC

Convention Chair, Professional Photographers of Ca

After graduating from Brooks Institute, Paul began his professional photography career as an industrial photographer and color printer with General Dynamics, then moved to Lifetouch, before jumping at the opportunity to “go digital” at Photo Art Industries, a full service portrait studio in Chino. In 2005, Paul submitted his first competition prints beyond the affiliate level, and won the People’s Choice Award for “Flower Girl” at the PPC Convention. In 2006, he had prints merit at PPA, and won PPA’s Showcase book. For the 2007 PPA convention, he had his first Loan Collection print hung. His print “Wireless Activity” was selected the People’s Choice at PPC’s 2008 Convention, where he was a recipient of the new PPA Certified Competition Award, one of two California photographers to be so recognized at both the state and regional level. Paul was recognized by his peers in 2005 as the Outstanding Portrait Photographer and overall Photographer of the Year by the Inland Empire Professional Photographers and Videographers. The Professional Photographers of California also presented Paul with their highest medal for volunteerism, the Evans-Kingham Award. In addition, Paul has earned the PPC Fellowship Award for his accepted entries in the State Print Competition, and the PPC Service Award with three bars for his many years of service to the state association and the annual state convention. In addition to memberships in IEPPV, PPC, and PPA, he is also a member of ASP, WPPI, and NAPP.


‘m going to digress from my usual exhortations to get involved in the many PPC activities, like the recently completed Northern Symposium (very successful, by the way), the annual ProPhoto Expo and Conference and Western States Print Competition in Pasadena (coming up this next February), West Coast School (every June), the California Sunday educational events every September, and the availability of local affiliates located throughout California, from Redding to San Diego. Instead, I’m going to encourage you to explore the PPC website at, and proceed to a topic I’d like to discuss because it’s been such a major part of my life these past few months.


taught piano and organ lessons up until three days before she died. Now, she wasn’t a photographer, but her situation was probably common to that which many of us may be in: We’re getting older with each passing year, and if we haven’t lost a parent we will. And what will happen to their “stuff” on their passing? Or to our “stuff” in the event of our early demise? Think of the accumulation of things we consider valuable: The mementos of our travels, experiences, relationships, etc, the remnants of projects which might include yard projects, perhaps a kitchen remodel or the renovation of our studio, all the things with which we surround ourselves, particularly if we’ve lived in one house for more than 10 years--we accumulate things, lots of things, with the passing of time. The question is, what are we doing to make it easier for those who have to dispose of our “stuff” in the event of our passing?

o you know what will happen to YOUR “stuff”??

From the get-go, I must state that I am no lawyer, so what follows is based on personal experience, and should not be considered professional legal advice. By the time you finish this article, though, you may want to consult with your accountant and a lawyer to determine the most appropriate course of action for your situation. As many of you know, my mother passed away this January. (Fresh expressions of condolences aren’t necessary). She lived a rich and full life, for 90 years and 5 months, and

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As I’m writing this, I’m hearing the news of PPC member Ted Sirlin’s passing. He set up his business in Sacramento just after WWII, meaning he’s had over 60 years to accumulate “stuff”. Now I believe, like you probably do, that he has a lot of valuable “stuff”, but the Continued Page 20 question is, valuable to


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whom? On a personal level, I hope he had a will, as my mother had. I also hope he had established a trust to ensure the smooth transition of his affairs to his successors, and for the seamless continuation of his studio operations. My mother had a trust, but it wasn’t as updated as it could have been. Although you expect to keep your financial arrangements private, you may wish to have someone else on the signature card, so your successor/trustee won’t have to wait 6 weeks in the state of California before they can gain access to your bank accounts and safe deposit box. This becomes an issue because the funeral arrangements for the disposal of your remains can’t or won’t wait six weeks while your trustee (you did establish a trust, remember?) waits to


gain access to your bank accounts and the documents you have in your safe deposit box. So, my first recommendation is to have a lawyer draw up a will for you. And, for your spouse or significant other, as well. Then, spring for the additional cost of setting up a trust. This step alone could save your heirs considerable grief and expense, because you essentially bypass the probate process. It’s possible to do some of this work yourself, but in the end, you should have a lawyer check it for accuracy and legal niceties, so it will be uncontested when it is exercised. If you have an accountant handle your financials, you should probably include his input, as well. Some additional forms to consider

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at this time are the various forms of Power of Attorney, which designate specific people to act or make decisions in your name, in the event you are indisposed and unable to act in your own behalf. So, back to my Mom. As the trustee of her trust, one of the first things I had to do was get her house appraised. This established a base value for the property I inherited. Since my intent was to sell the house, the taxable liability of the trust will be based on the money received from the sale of the property, less expenses incurred, including getting it ready to sell, and the actual cost of selling it. The next thing you’ll need is a tax ID Continued Page 22

President’s Message: Dare to Succeed For all three, the biggest challenge is setting up a friend base. I usually tell folks to start with classmates, neighbors, folks from their hometown, people in their local affiliate, and of course PPC. Once you have that base, others will come along. The goal is to send out posts to your group, pushing them towards whatever you want them to know about. Once you have your personal page, you should setup a page for your business, and then your friends can become your fans. Whenever you put something new

up on your site, you should send your friends and fans a notification, telling them to go and take a look. It’s a great way to connect with folks all over the country, as well as your local customer base. Best of all, you can make updates as often as you like, even in the middle of the night, or while standing in line from your iPhone. Using any or all of the Big 3 will keep your work fresh in the minds of your customers, and your name on the tip of their tongues. What else can provide such quick and

cont’d from pg 8

easy access to your customer base, without costing you an arm-anda-leg? And Oh… Did I forget to mention? Joining and becoming a member is absolutely free. Still think your business can get by with just the traditional Web site? Hopefully after reading this, you’ll think again. Your future could depend on it. -Stewart Schulze

Winter 2010



number, which you get from the IRS. Now, it’s possible to pay a lawyer to do this for you, and you should expect to pay several hundreds of dollars for this service. However, you can do it yourself for free, by going to the IRS website, finding the heading on the left side of their home page that refers to acquiring a tax ID number and filling in the questionnaire that ensues. The true clue is, if you are a trustee of a trust, do NOT ever use the words ‘Trustee’ and ‘Executor’ interchangeably, nor should you consider ‘Trust’ and ‘Estate’ to be synonymous. When you finish answering the questions, you will be issued a tax ID number on the spot, which you’ll need when you open up a bank account to handle the income of the trust, and to pay bills. In addition, this is the number (not your Social Security Number) you will use to file the tax return of the trust. This way, you won’t be personally liable for an apparent sudden increase of taxable income.

the services of a realtor, who will prepare a market plan for your parent’s house. In our case, we determined that there was about 30 years of deferred maintenance that needed to be done. In addition, in order to make my mother’s house competitive in the neighborhood, we elected to remodel the kitchen with all new cabinets and appliances, to upgrade the master bathroom, and to paint the house, inside and out. Eventually, the house is ready, the stager brings in all new furniture and accessories, and the Realtor begins holding Open House weekends, gets the MLS Realtors to caravan through, and generates interest in the property from potential buyers.

Eventually, the will is read to the heirs, the terms of the trust are executed, the heirs pick over your “stuff”, selecting what they consider valuable, and the residue is organized for an Estate Sale, which is a high class yard sale, only everything is inside. Anything that’s left over is either donated to charity, or tossed into a dumpster.

When you are establishing your will and trust, part of the peace of mind you will gain will actually come from the fact that you are a member of Professional Photographers of California. What really makes PPC so special is the affiliate structure at the local level. When you have a health emergency, if you are a member of a local affiliate, those members will come to your aid, keeping your appointments, photographing your sittings, preparing your files for delivery to your lab and eventually delivering the prints to your clients, if necessary. Just ask PPC members Doug Jirsa or Frank Peele, or any of the scores of photographers who have had emergencies where they couldn’t conduct business as usual for a few weeks---within hours of their hospitalization, members of their local affiliates volunteered to meet their schedules, until they could resume their duties. This is the value of belonging to PPC and to a PPC affiliate. And this same support is evidenced when the life of one of our members is prematurely cut short.

Meanwhile, as trustee, you will secure

So, what have I learned from this

There are several books available at Borders or Barnes and Noble which explain all the ins and outs of being a trustee or executor, and I highly recommend reading one or two, if not for immediate use, then, as a guide for how you should organize your own affairs to make it easier for those who have to deal with your “stuff” when the time comes.


| Professional Photographers of California

experience? First, we need to anticipate the eventual need for a will and a trust, and we need to cause these documents to be created. Second, we need to seriously begin to divest ourselves of much of the “stuff” that our heirs will probably throw into a dumpster. Third, we need to enjoy life to the fullest, every moment, every day---and as photographers, and members of PPC, we have a profession which gives us the ability to capture the beauty of the world and its special moments that others will treasure well beyond our own lifetime. That’s it for me this issue. I’ll see you at the annual ProPhoto Expo and Conference and Western States Print Competition in Pasadena!

Don’t miss out!!! Please update your email so you can stay up to date on current news and events! TO update your member profile info, simply visit www, and go to the “members only” section and update your personal information. or email the PPC office at for questions or concerns, contact the PPC office at 1-800-439-5839

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Adobe LightRoom: Top Ten Features

Count Down

(Part 2 of 2)

by Art Suwangsang Photo by Dea Meyer

Over the past two years, a growing number of digital shooters have quickly come to love LightRoom. While many swear by it, others are just beginning to enter the adoption phase. This article is meant to give all users, regardless of experience level, a glimpse into this amazing program’s astonishing power, from speeding up workflow to quickly and easily applying creative adjustments to images. The following are the second half of my Top 10 list of features that, I believe, can best enhance the way wedding and portrait photographers deal with their images. - Art

Feature Number 5: Round Trip Workflow. For those times when you absolutely must use PhotoShop, Round Trip Workflow is a quick and easy way to send an image to Photoshop, save it, and then have it come back into LightRoom – all without the hassle of going through the Save-As dialog. Utilizing Round Trip Workflow will also help minimize file loss, and help keep your digital assets organize. 1. Select the image to be edited in PhotoShop. 2. From the menu, select Photo > Edit In > Photoshop CS4 (can also get this option by right clicking on the file) (Fig 17). 3. The images will automatically launch in Photoshop CS4, either as a PSD or TIFF (depending on your LightRoom preferences set up under the External Editor tab). 4. Once you are finished with PhotoShop, just save and close the file. Your PSD or TIFF file will now magically reappear back in LightRoom, right next to (and in the same file) where the original RAW file Continued Page 56


| Professional Photographers of California

Fig17: To utilize Round Trip Workflow, simply select Photo>“Edit in Adobe Photoshop” or by right-clicking on the file.

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| 25 www.pickpic.comSummer 2009 866.778.7050

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IEPPV is the Riverside area’s only true professional photography group, serving the San Diego/South Riverside County areas. PPSDC meets at 7pm on the second Tuesday of every month, at the Holiday Inn at 3805 Murphy Canyon Road. The group consists of around 80 friendly members, who welcome visitors with enthusiasm.


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invaluable to our planning. No “regular” Board business is discussed; it’s a time for evaluating, brainstorming and dreaming! Part of the day is spent carefully reviewing our Membership Survey results. Additionally, we emphasize fellowship and friendship! Our theme for this year is “With A Little Help From My Friends.” We offer an Open House each year in January. This year, there were about 150 people in attendance, and we received 26 new members that night alone! It is part of our organizational culture to help one another. We view ourselves not as competitors, but as colleagues. Finally, as with any organization, the key to success is leadership. Our Board Members are deeply committed to IEPPV, and it shows. We are constantly looking for new leaders to assume a Board position or a host of other positions. It has been my honor to be a member of IEPPV, and to be currently serving as President. My business has dramatically improved over the years because of my association with IEPPV. We are looking forward to an even brighter future!

- Jack Bohlka

Winter 2010

| 27

Print Competition...

There is Life After a 79!

Print competition has been part of my professional life for over 40 years. I continually ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” and “What’s in it for me?” Over the last 40 years, I think that I have come up with several answers, some good and others…. well… Can you remember your first entry? Can you remember the emotions? The memories may be feelings of either rejection or elation.

Do not get caught in the trap of thinking that you are competing against your fellow members. You are competing against yourself. There are no limits on the awards you can earn. Think of print competition as trying to improve on every image that you submit. Will you be rewarded each entry? Probably not, but you will grow in your ability to create images worthy of the effort, and your photography will improve.

Print competition is emotional, subjective, frustrating, and any other adjective that fits for this complex process. It may sound as if I have negative feelings for print competition; however, that is as far from the truth as it can be. Print competition has given me an opportunity to grow, it inspires my creativity and it challenges me to continue to improve. I have been a PPA Master for 33 years and I am still very eager to enter and compete.

What is a Merit Print?

Why enter print competition?

12 Elements of the Merit Print

The following list includes some of the most common reasons: 1. To improve your photography 2. To generate additional marketing opportunities from your successes 3. To gain confidence in your ability as a photographer and artist 4. To improve your professional self-image 5. To earn awards, degrees and recognition

Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image


| Professional Photographers of California

The foundation of the merit print is the 12 Elements, established by the Photographic Exhibition Committee (PEC) of the Professional Photographers of America, Inc. This list was prepared not only for the judging process, but also as an aid in the preparation of images for competition. The 12 Elements are presented below in order of importance.

for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.

Creativity is the original, fresh, and external

expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.

Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print. Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker. Lighting—the use and control of light—refers to

how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.

Tim Mathiesen of

Tim Mathiesen has worked four decades in the photographic business. His experience ranges from operating his own photography studio to marketing management positions at leading photographic companies on both coasts. He is the owner of, a company that specializes panoramic images for the fine art market and consulting services for studios and color labs. Mr. Mathiesen is a recognized expert in panoramic and commercial photography. His website,, showcases his panoramic images from around the world. He has appeared on speaking platforms in the United States and several foreign countries. He is highly sought after to consult and discuss digital transition for professional photographers and corporations implementing a digital workflow into their operations.

Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a

creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.

Print Presentation affects an image by giving it

He is the past president of the School Photographers Association of California. Tim is also past president of the American Society of Photographers (ASP). He also served as president of the California and Orange County (CA) chapters of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Tim is past chairman of the Photographic Exhibition Committee for the Professional Photographers of America. His many honors include the ASP Fellowship, ASP Gold Medallion Award, PPA Master of Photography, PPA National Award, the Kodak Gallery and Gallery Elite Award, Fuji Masterpiece Award, and many print competition awards from local to international associations. Mr. Mathiesen’s works are also displayed in the International Photography Hall of Fame, in Oklahoma City, OK and EPCOT at Disney World. Tim graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1970. Mr. Mathiesen has a bachelor's degree with honors from Brooks Institute of Photography, of Santa Barbara, Calif. He was also awarded an honorary Masters of Science degree from Brooks Institute in 1994. Tim Mathiesen 28702 Charreadas Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 949-201-6652

Continued on next page Winter 2010



There is Life After a 79! a finished look. The mats and borders used should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.

Center of Interest is the point or points on the

image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.

cont’d from pg


The 12 elements can be of help in the selection

of images that are best suited for judging. When preparing the prints and choosing which effects or print enhancements will be included, the 12 Elements will guide you to be sure that your images will measure up during the judging. The 12 Elements are your road map. Follow that map. Judges use the 12 Elements to help with their scoring process. If an image does not have impact (#1 on the list), the print may not score a merit, regardless of the other qualities present in the image. The list is posted at each judging so that the judges can refer to it as necessary. A merit print is one that stands out from the others filling your files. A merit print is one that people will remember when walking through a print exhibit. Scoring

Patricia Mathis - PPA Loan Collection

Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.

Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect. Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.

Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image. 30

| Professional Photographers of California

The scoring system is easy to understand. At local, state and regional judgings, the numerical system is used. The scoring range is from 100 to 0. The score of 80 is the benchmark used to determine whether or not the image is a merit image. For those of you who have not yet entered a print competition, a merit print is one that is awarded a point toward your PPA Masters degree. This Jody Host - PPA Loan Collection only happens at the PPA International judging, but at the other levels of competition, the 80 score makes your images eligible for local awards and trophies. Many associations give ribbons for prints scoring an 80 or higher.

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Danny Swartz - PPA General Collection

Affiliate Scoring System Exceptional Superior Excellent Deserving of a Merit Deserving of a Review Above Average Average Acceptable Below Exhibition Standards

100-95 94-90 89-85 84-80 79-78 77-76 75-74 73-70 69-0

Automatic Review 81-78 Merit Print 80 and above At the local, state and regional levels, 5 judges and 1 alternate are used. Each judge has an electronic scoring paddle, and the system averages each judging to provide an average score. If the print scores an average of 78 or 79, the image will be reviewed again to be sure that the judges have another chance to consider the print. The average score will determine whether or not the image is eligible for additional awards. If a juror feels that the average score is not representative, the juror may challenge the score. The challenging juror starts the Continued on page 62 Winter 2010



From The


Quickbooks for the Professional Photographer “Lesson #6: Custom Invoices”

by Robin Swanson


Robin Swanson is a professional photographer and CPA (Certified Public Accountant) who realized her accounting and business skills could be combined with her photography skills to create a successful photography business. Robin has always loved photography, and several years ago decided to become a professional photographer. She is a member of San Fernando Valley Professional Photographers (SFVPP), Professional Photographers of California (PPC), and Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and attends every photography convention, seminar, and class that she can fit into her already busy schedule.

When I first set-up my business in QuickBooks, I quickly learned that I wasn’t satisfied with the standard, supplied templates that come with the program. For instance, the standard Service Invoice looked plain and boring. In addition, it did not show payments that had been made on an invoice. No problem…one of my favorite QuickBooks functions is the ability to create custom forms. Each form you use in QuickBooks has its own layout (its own arrangement of fields and columns for entering information). If the layout of a particular form doesn’t meet your

needs, you can create your own custom layout and use your version instead of the QuickBooks Version. The forms you can customize in QuickBooks are:  Invoice  Sales Receipt  Credit Memo  Statement  Purchase Order  Estimate  Sales Order (QuickBooks Premier and Higher editions only) There are two ways to customize a form. The first way is to use the “Basic Customization” window; the second way is to use “Designer

Robin photographs anything that gets in front of her camera – from people to pets to cars to nature, events, car shows, dog shows, graduations and school events. Robin’s great rapport with adults, children, and even pets creates an environment conducive to capturing beautiful images. Several of Robin’s photographs have earned merits in regional print competitions and in PPA’s International Print Competition. Robin has easily adapted her business and accounting skills to her growing photography business. During these past few years she learned a lot about photography from her peers, but also noticed that some of them could benefit from her accounting and business knowledge. As a Certified QuickBooks Professional Advisor, Robin is helping other professional photographers use QuickBooks software to accurately account for their finances. In March 2007, Robin made her first QuickBooks presentation to Gold Coast Professional Photographers Association.

Continued Page 60


| Professional Photographers of California



CALL FOR COLLEGIATE ENTRIES PPC 2nd Annual Northern California Conference / Pro Photo Expo, in San Francisco, August 2010. 2011 students


Winter 2010



Pro Photo Expo San Francisco August 12-15, 2010

be there!!

• •

• •

• • • •

Pro Photo Expo - Discounted registration to both annual Pro Photo Expos, held in Pasadena and San Francisco each year. These are undoubtedly the best conventions and trade shows on the West Coast. The Pasadena Expo includes five days of programs, events, trade show, social gatherings and almost 1,000 award-winning images on display to inspire you. Educational Opportunities at West Coast School and CA Sundays - One of the finest photographic schools in the nation, West Coast School is held annually at the beautiful campus of the University of San Diego, and includes five days of education with some of the nation’s top educators. This is a chance to receive cutting edge information, re-charge your creative juices, network with other photographers, and pick the brains of all instructors in an atmosphere of learning, social events, and incredible architecture. California Sundays are held in the fall accross the state and are great 1-day workshops put on by talented PPC Members who recognized for their individual skills and willing to give of their time. Quarterly Publication - The award winning Pro Photo West magazine mailed to members every quarter is full of business, computer technology, photographic equipment, technique-related, and “how-to” articles from top educators, photographers and PPC members. Annual Print Competition - The best way to improve your craft is by competing in the Annual Print Competition. Your images will be judged and critiqued by experienced Professional Photographers of America (PPA) qualified judges. Many different award categories exist. Professional Photographer of California’s Photographer of the Year is a highly respected award. To win this, a photographer must have the highest case score of all entered prints! Also awarded are: Fuji Masterpiece Award, Kodak Gallery Award, Canon Par Excellence Award and Judge’s Choice, along with Best of Category. Insurance and Merchant Services Programs - Many types of insurance programs for health, disability, equipment and liability are available. Also offered is a Merchant Services provider for your credit card processing. These benefits are a priority for the Board of Professional Photographers of California. Keep watch in the Members-Only section of the PPC Web site as new benefits are added regularly. Business and Arts Degree - A Business and Arts degree. Previous education can be used to start off this degree. Find a Photographer Referral Program - Prospective clients can access our Membership Directory to Find a Photographer in any area of the state. Searches can be sorted by many different criteria. Being listed here lends instant credibility, casting members as professionals with integrity, ethical practices, creativity, and the passion and drive required to produce exactly what each prospective client wants. Reasonable Membership Dues - Our membership dues are some of the lowest in the nation. Monthly payment plans are available via the PPC Web site. Aspiring and Student Memberships available (limited terms, must join local affiliate; see below or PPC Web site for more details).

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and join today!

Join PPC TODAY!! Just visit click on “sign up now!” or call 800.439.5839

So, You Think You Know

Bill Thomas?

Just Call Him “Mr. Convention” Most of us know him as the man behind the Pasadena convention and trade show for many years, and now the Pasadena and San Francisco trade shows; the cheery, smiling face keeping everything on track, and moving at just the right pace. But what do you really know about Bill Thomas, PPC’s Trade Show Manager? Thanks so much for agreeing to do this, Bill. Why don’t you start by telling us how you first became interested in photography?

States, so he wasn’t really interested in doing anything dangerous. He was interested in getting out as much as he could, to see the countryside. So, he made me his driver, and we spent every weekend out shooting pictures. I also got the chance to do a lot of aerial photography while flying with the Army pilots. Now that was really fun!

A dark a Quonset Hut....

“Back in those days, we were doing our own film development. As you can imagine, we had to build our own dark room. It was a Quonset Hut (round shaped building), built with whatever we could scrounge up. We made it light-tight with lots of coats of thick paint to cover up the nail holes and seams.

“Well, it was right after I graduated from high school. I in Korea.... couldn’t get into college, so I enlisted in the U.S. Army, and during war time.... chose photography as my career, even though I hadn’t taken a “My primary camera back then was single picture in my entire life. I Hmmmm..... a 4x5 Speed Graphic. If you’ve was sent to the Fort Monmouth never seen one before, it was a School of Photography in New common camera used by the press. Jersey. It was a 16-week course I also had a 70mm combat camera for combat photographers. I for maneuvers, and all the Leicas I could ever want, held that title for 3 years. My first professional image with lots of lenses. Just to give you an idea, there were was taken when I was just 18 years old. I loved that two photographers in the company, and we each had job. First, I was sent to Japan, then 30 days after that, 2 Leicas. All we had to do was ask, and we got just to Korea. I was 18 miles away from the demilitarized about anything we wanted…other than a decent sink. zone for 20 months, doing mainly public relationsIt was cast iron. You can just imagine the problems type work, and occasionally some portraits. Luckily that caused us. Cast iron and water are not the best for me, it was a year after the fighting had stopped. combination for a photography lab.” What a great experience that turned out to be!” Really? Sounds kind of dangerous to us.

You say you did this for three years?

“Nah…it was a blast. The company commander was due to be discharged when he got back to the

“Yep. It was great too, as long as I didn’t have to interact too much with the non-commissioned officers.


| Professional Photographers of California

I didn’t like them much. They generally did well in combat, but they were awful to work with. I did my best to stay in the darkroom and field, and away from them.”

Sounds like there’s a story there… Bill chuckles. “To be honest, I got in trouble with them more than once.” Do tell. “Well, you see, my hat and the Speed Graphic camera didn’t work well together. Wearing that darn hat made it almost impossible to use the camera. However, we weren’t allowed to leave the barracks without the hat. So anyway, this one day, I was on my way to take a picture of a visiting general, when I was cited for not wearing my hat. The sargent ordered me to go back to get it, but I didn’t. I would have been late for my appointment with the general. When I got back, there was a note for me to see the commanding officer.”

(especially after Korea). A private girls school close by had a bunch of cottages for rent, so me and two other guys in my class rented one cottage together. It was fairly close to school. I worked at the Harbor Restaurant at the end of pier, parking cars in the evening. And let me tell you, these were fancy cars. On weekends, whenever I could, I would drive home to see family and friends. Right after I returned to the States from Korea, I spent a month on leave at home in Riverside. While still home, my friends invited me to go bowling and brought a friend along. That friend – Marscia – and I have been together ever since.” You married her? “I sure did. In fact, our 48th Anniversary was this year. As it turned out, we had gone to junior high and high school together, but never met. We even graduated the same year, and didn’t know it. She was attending the University of California, Santa Barbara at the time studying to be a teacher. We got married during my last year at Brooks. When I graduated, I got several job offers in Los Angeles, but we decided to move back to Riverside instead. We’ve been here ever since.” Have you always been in business for yourself?

Oh no! What happened? “Let’s just say I lost all the stripes on my arm that day.” Yikes! What’d you do after Korea, Bill? “After my discharge, I attended Riverside City College for 1 year. That’s when I finally decided I really liked photography and wanted to do it for a living. So I transferred to Brooks Institute of Photography, and stayed there until I graduated. Back then, Brooks had only one campus in Montecito, so I had to move to Santa Barbara, which of course wasn’t so bad Winter 2010



cont. from page 33

You Think You Know Bill Thomas “Sadly, no. The first 10 years of my career I worked for other photographers. I often had more expertise than they did, was paid poorly, and never got to do what I was trained to do. Then I found out the same photographer who photographed our wedding was looking to set up a pro lab. We joined together, and had a good business for five years. I ran the lab during the week and photographed weddings on the weekend, and he did studio portrait work and ran the business. It all changed when I got a call one Sunday morning that the studio and lab were on fire. I was able to save some negative files but all equipment and the building were a total loss.” No! What happened? “The appliance store next door and been doing some wiring the day before and something went wrong in the night. To this day, I can still tell you the exact date and time of that phone call. It was 7:00am on January 12, 1972.” What’d you do then? “Well, I had a family to feed, so I borrowed some money from the bank and purchased another photography business in town that was for sale. But first I took my wife and kids on a 10 day vacation…you know…just to get some perspective on things. We drove up to Oregon, and played in


the snow. When we came back, I was in business again. Only this time, I was in it all by myself. “It was a slow start, but in the long

run, we did just fine. The worse time…by far, the scariest…was during the recession of the late ‘70’s. I saw two other studios in my area go bankrupt during that time, each owing thousands of dollars. I learned from that – saw that they had specialized, and then watched their customer base dry up with the recession. After that, I went after anything that walked through the door. I paid most of my monthly overhead doing immigration and passport photos. I also did some commercial photography, mostly for local mobile home and recreational vehicle manufacturers, construction progress reports, and architectural renderings. And during all this time, we were still doing lots of portraits and weddings.” Do you have a favorite job type?

| Professional Photographers of California

“Not necessarily my favorite job type, but dance school photos were always one of the jobs I enjoyed most. The week before their annual production, we would do individual portraits and group photos. The kids were so cute! Over the next 21 years, I would watch that business grow from 70 to more than 1100 students. Believe me when I tell you it was tough doing 4 different poses of 1100 kids in just 2 days. I would stand behind the camera from 8am-11pm. It was so worth it though, bringing in a ton of other business throughout the rest of the year.” That’s a lot of hours! How did you manage to balance your career and family life? “After our children came along, my wife stopped teaching and went to work with me in our business. The studio was over 3500 square feet in size, so it was easy enough to setup a room in the back for the boys. When they got old enough, they would take off and explore the town. And I did my best to stay involved in their lives. We were in Indian Guides together, and 4-H – I actually got a job photographing the animals at the county fair just so I could be there with my kids.” Pig photography? That’s a new one for us. Bill chuckles. “Yep. Over 300 large pigs were entered into the Riverside

County Farmers Fair each year. I would setup with food and water and a stack of hay as a background. Then each kid would walk in with their pig and pose for the shot. The pigs were always so funny…and the kids mostly clueless. The next day would be the same routine all over again, only with 500 sheep, then steers. I’d be there the entire week. All photos were delivered on the last day of the Fair. Eventually I became a 4-H Leader. In fact, I started their photography program.” So, is it safe to assume your children know a thing or two about photography? “Oh yes. Both boys are good photographers, but I talked them into going into different directions career-wise. I mean…I was always working weekends, shooting weddings. I couldn’t be with them on the weekends. I always felt like I missed out on a lot. My youngest son majored in music, playing the trombone, but switched to criminal justice, and is a sheriff deputy today. His wife is a school teacher, a talented musician, and shares the love of music with her family. My oldest son is a landscape architect, as is his wife, and both specialize in water conservation and watershed protection. His wife is also a talented pianist.” What a talented family you have there Bill! We can hear him grinning through the phone. “We’ve always been into music. My wife majored education and minored in music, and I sang in a barbershop chorus and quartet for almost 10 years.”

Are you and the children still close? “Oh yes. One lives right around the corner – our 2 grandkids are over here all the time. The other son bought our home, and they are living here with us. We’re all very excited to know there will be another grandbaby to enjoy in March.” Congratulations! What else do you like to do for fun? “My wife and I have partnered with a writer, the wife of a good friend of ours, to create children’s photo-history books. We’ve already completed and published “The Road to Brodie”. Our second book, “The Monarch Butterfly Grove” was just published. That’s what I do when I’m not working on setting up the next ProPhoto Expo convention, or golfing, or playing with my grandkids. I can’t imagine not staying active. I believe it keeps me young at heart.”

working in my own lab. Well, today I see folks doing the exact same thing, only their lab is their computer and the digital file is their negative. “Oh, and marketing!” he quickly adds. “That’s the other big challenge! Unfortunately, not too many photographers have a lot of expertise in marketing.” Was there ever a time you considered leaving photography? “Not really. I’ve been at this for more than 50 years, and no matter what obstacles have been thrown my way, I’ve always been able to get back up and win. Even the time I lost my business in the fire. Even during the 10 years the IRS terrorized us - by the time that was over, three IRS agents had been fired. Through it all, I never seriously considered leaving photography.”

In your opinion Bill, what’s the most challenging part of photography today? “To me, it’s everything that goes along with creating digital photos. I tell you…it’s a monster, especially for us old folks. It took me 26 years to realize that if I had used a good professional lab, I would have had a lot more time to myself, and more time to be a photographer. Of course, I figured this out at midnight one night, Continued on next page Winter 2010



You don’t reap the benefits any other way. There are no trade secrets out there that have not been tried by someone before you. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge. “The last piece of advice I’d give them would be this: just because you have a good paying job outside of your photography business doesn’t mean you have to give away your work! That not only dimishes the value of your own work, but it hurts all of us who depend on this business as our only income.” And lastly Bill, what does PPC mean to you?

What do you consider your greatest lessons learned in the photography business? “If I had the chance to do it over again, I would take every business and marketing class I could get my hands on. It was really hard to see my work hanging on the wall with another photographer’s name on it. But I knew I wasn’t ready to break off onto my own. I wasted several years of my life due to my lack of business knowledge. “The other lesson I’ve learned is that you’ve got to treat people the way you want to be treated. I had so many bosses treat me so badly…I learned from that. I’m proud to say I’ve had employees work with me for 15 years – families need flexibility.”

“To me, PPC means great people, and good friends. To me, PPC has been an integral part of one long and exciting adventure. I just love it. I truly do. I joined my affiliate back in the 1960’s, and then PPC in the early 1970’s, and I’ve never looked back. I always loved the convention… maybe that’s why I got involved with it. I was lucky to meet such fine people. I’ve always had good experiences with PPC’s speakers and teachers. Let me tell you - there’s no better way to meet and work with the very best in the world. I’m always so proud to know I’m on a first name basis with so many of these folks. Even after all these years, it’s just thrilling!” “Nothing else in my career has been more rewarding.”

What advice would you give to beginning professional photographers just starting out? “Attend a reputable photography school with a good business program. Go to Photography conventions for classes. If you didn’t or can’t, then take all the night and extension business courses you can. And if you can get a job doing sales while you’re still in school – do it. Sales skills are so important in this business. “I’d also tell them to join their local Chamber of Commerce, along with their local affiliate, and of course, PPC, and PPA. And that to get any value out of these organizations, they have to get involved.


| Professional Photographers of California

Thanks so much, Bill. – Peggy Roosa

ot .. I’m mn ... I’ ressed. ed... d e s tres not st t stress ot s m ’I m n sed... I’ .. I’m no . s e e r st ss d stre not

Winter 2010



From The


Continued from page 7

owner and principal of Reflections by Patricia, to the ProPhotoWest editorial team. Many of you may already know Patricia from her extensive involvement with West Coast Schools, and PPC's marketing and print competition efforts. As a ProPhotoWest editor, Patricia will be responsible for the graphic design and layout of the magazine. She will also regularly assist with this column, and from time-to-time write articles based on her extensive knowledge of print competition and the photography industry in general. As this new editorial team looks forward to the New Year, we know that even more of life’s happenings are undoubtedly in store for us. This time we say, “Bring it on.” We are now three strong, and collectively ready for whatever life decides to throw our way. For as we all know, life does happen.

Help needed PPC Marketing Department is looking for a few good voluteers! If you are interested in helping with marketing efforts, contact

Patricia Mathis 951.440.1820

THe latest edition of your prophotowest magazine is now available for worldwide viewing!! 54

| Professional Photographers of California

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Adobe Lightroom: Top 10 part 2 of 2 (cont’d from page 24)

resides. To re-edit a LightRoom-saved Layered PSD or Tiff image in PhotoShop … 1. Select the PSD or TIFF image to be edited in PhotoShop. 2. Select the “Photo” menu > Edit In > Photoshop CS4 (Fig 17). 3. A service dialog will pop up with the following editing options (Fig. 18): a. Edit a Copy with LightRoom Adjustments - any adjustments made to the Layered PSD or TIFF in LightRoom will be applied to a new flatten PSD file that will open in Photoshop. b. Edit a Copy - this option will flatten the original PSD or TIFF; however, any adjustments made to the file in LightRoom will not be applied. c. Edit Original (the most commonly used and easiest (choice) - with this option, the original layered PSD or TIFF will open in PhotoShop “as-is” while retaining all associated Layers. Note – If you select option A or B, it is a good idea to check the “Stack with Original” option at the bottom of the dialog; this option will ensure the new PSD or TIFF is saved right next to the original RAW as a stack. 4. Once an option is selected, click on “Edit” to open the image in Photoshop. 5. When finished editing, simply save and close the file. It will automatically return to Continued on page 72


| Professional Photographers of California

Fig18: The Dialog Box that will appear to re-edit a file in Adobe Photoshop

Fig19: A close up of the Hue, Saturation, Luminance Panel found on the right panel of the Development Module.

Fig20: Adjustments comparison between the before and after of removing the color cast in her gown

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| Professional Photographers of California

Crafted to a Higher Standard

Quickbooks: Lesson #6 “Custom Invoices”

con’t from

Page 32

Layout”. Because a professional looking invoice is so important, we’ll use the invoice form to demonstrate. BASIC CUSTOMIZATION Basic Customization is a quick and easy way to get your invoice to meet most of your requirements. In this method, you begin with a pre-designed template. You then just start checking off things you want to do (use logo, change font, etc.). To enter this mode: 1. Click on the “Create Invoice” Button; then, from the template dropdown menu, choose the invoice template that you want to customize (you can see an example of each template by clicking the “Print Preview” button for each template); then click the “Customize” button at the top of the window. This will open the “Basic Customization” window. 2. Start choosing options you would like to customize. a. The “Use Logo” check box allows you to choose a logo to add to your invoice. (Keep in mind that if you are in the Basic Customization mode, you can only insert a square logo. If you need/want to insert a different size/shape logo, you will need to use “Designer Layout” which we will cover later in this article.) b. Apply a Color Scheme: You can apply a color scheme by selecting a color in the “Select Color Scheme” drop down box and the clicking the “Apply Color Scheme” button. The color schemes you can select are: Black, Gray, Maroon, Green, Blue, and Beige. When you select on of these color schemes, it applies the selected color to all lines and fonts on the form. c. Change Fonts: You can change fonts for the: Title, Company Name, Company Address, Labels, Data, Subtotals label, and Total label. Simply choose which font you want to change (in the “Change Font For:” box) and the click on the “Change Font” button. This will open the Font window where you can change the font, font style, size, color, and add effects (Strikeout and Underline). d. Print Status Stamp: By clicking this box, you control whether you want a status stamp to print on your invoice (e.g. PAID, PENDING, RECEIVED, etc.) e. Company & Transaction Information: At the Basic Customization window, you can choose to add additional company and transaction information by clicking the check boxes. By default, the Company Name and Company Address are already checked. You can also add: Phone number, E-mail Address, Web-site address, and Fax Number. The program gets this information from the Company Information you entered during the set-up process. If you did not add this information during set-up, you can still add it by selecting Company>Company Information from the Company tab on the menu bar.


| Professional Photographers of California

i. Check the checkbox for any additional Company & Transaction information that you want to add to your invoice. Click on the “Update Information” button. The selected information will be added to the form. The problem is that it adds the selected fields to the bottom of the form where they need to be repositioned using the “Layout Designer” which I will cover later in the article”. 3. Customizing fields on forms: You can further customize your invoice template by setting formatting options and changing how fields display. This is where you would add fields such as “Payments/Credits”, “Sales Tax, and “Balance Due”. To customize fields on a template: a. Click the Additional Customization button at the bottom of the window. QuickBooks displays the Additional Customization window, which uses multiple tabs to display several sets of formatting options. Each area of the form is represented by a tab. To display the available formatting options, click the tab for the area of the form you want to change. QuickBooks shows you a preview of the invoice as you make selections on the tabs. • The Header tab is currently selected. The Header tab is where you select which fields you want to appear onscreen, on paper, both, or neither. You can specify your own title (label) for each field. You can enter a new title by highlighting the current title text and typing your new one. If you want to track information about a particular invoice, but don’t want your customer to see this information, select the Screen checkbox and clear the Print checkbox. • The Footer tab is where you can add items to the bottom of the invoice (Balance Due, Payments/ Creits, etc.). • The Columns tab is where you decide which columns you would like to show (i.e. Quantity, Description, etc.)

Once you have added and deleted all the items you want on your invoice, you might find that some of the items need to be moved around or resized. This is when you want to click on the Layout Designer Button.

LAYOUT DESIGNER Once you click on the “Layout Designer” button, if you have started with an existing template (as we did above), a window will come up telling you that you should make a copy of the template. Click on “Make a Copy” and then continue. 1. Find the items that you added in the previous steps that need to be repositioned or resized. (i.e. Phone #, E-mail, etc.). a. Each item has two parts, the label and the field. Click on one, then hold down the Shift key and click on the other part. You will have both selected, now you can drag them to wherever you want them to be on the form. b. You can resize these elements but you have to do them one piece at a time. con’t on page

Winter 2010




There is Life After a 79! discussion, followed by comments from each of the other judges, with the challenging juror having the final rebuttal. The image is then scored again, with result becoming the final score. In my opinion, the most discouraging score one can receive is a 79. I cannot say how often I have seen that score. At every level of competition, a 79 rears its ugly head. In all of my years as a PPA judge, I have never given a score of 79 to a print. I do not know what a 79 image looks like. During the judge’s training school, prospective jurors are cautioned about hanging onto the 79. As jury chairman, I review and evaluate each judge’s performance at the end of each judging. If I have a juror that uses the 79 too often, I will talk to the judge and review the scoring range.

cont’d from pg


one year. PPA Masters Degree The goal of most members who enter print competition is the PPA Master of Photography degree. There are two ways to earn the M.Photog. degree, and one must accumulate a total of 25 merits in each case. 1. Twenty-five (25) exhibition merits – All merits are earned from print competition. If you decide to go this route, it will take at least four years to accumulate 25 merits, since only eight exhibition merits may be earned per year. To earn eight exhibition merits in one year, all four submitted prints (the maximum allowed) must be accepted into the Loan Collection. Getting four prints into the Loan Collection in any given year is very rare.

At the International Judging, held once a year, the judges use the yes/no method of scoring. During 2. Thirteen (13) exhibition this judging, the primary job merits and 12 service merits of the judges is to determine – This is the path chosen whether or not the print is by most who are working of merit quality rather than towards the Master of to assign a specific score. Photography degree. The Charlie Laumann PPA Loan Collection There are six judges on the service merits can come panel and they have a judging from earned merits as a paddle that has a 2- position speaker, judging at state switch so that they give a “yes” or “no” score. If print competitions, teaching at a PPA sponsored school there is a tie (3 yes and 3 no), an automatic challenge (such as West Coast School), or writing a published happens. If there is still a tie after the challenge (same article in The Professional Photographer magazine. procedure as explained above), the jury chairman will PPA’s website has a more complete schedule of merits. break the tie. A Look Back and A Look Forward Prints that receive a “yes” will receive one merit and be accepted in the PPA General Exhibit. Upon completion For those of you who, like me, have been entering prints of the judging, each print receiving a “yes” will be over a number of years will remember, the process judged again for the Loan Collection. Prints accepted would typically begin by sorting through negatives into the Loan Collection will be awarded an additional or transparencies, in order to determine the initial merit. A maximum of eight merits can be earned in selection. We would then send the negatives to the lab Continued on next page


| Professional Photographers of California

other print enhancements are yours. If you are printing your images, you have complete control. With digital imaging, we are able to make decisions and changes and see the results immediately. Electronic Imaging – Digital Images The use of electronic tools and effects when creating your images Tim Mathiesen - PPA Loan Collection is becoming a very hot topic. We are seeing more finished images that for proofs, and decide what had to be done to the image have many layers that were not part of the original to finalize the image for printing. We would prepare a capture. Even terminology has changed with the list of instructions for printing and mounting, and send advance of digital imaging. We are going through a everything to the lab. We often crossed our fingers period where technology is changing so fast, we can that all the instructions would be followed. Opening hardly keep up. Our cameras, software, computers and that box with the finished prints was the first step in the accessories are being improved so quickly that it is hard emotional rollercoaster. from a financial position to stay current. With each improvement, more tools are available. However, with Today we peruse digital files that contain hundreds, if all the new tools, our challenge is to make sure that we not thousands of images, and many could be considered use them professionally and creatively. for competition. One editing suggestion that works for me to streamline as you go. In other words, after How are these images judged? Into which categories each shoot, I will go through and separate images are these images entered? Should these images be that I would like to review for competition prints. I judged separately? These questions and several others make a file for the year (e.g., “Print Comp 2009”) and are being discussed as this article is being written. drop images in for future evaluation. This makes the When PPA established the Master of Electronic final selection process much easier. If you are using Imaging degree, it was for Videographers. When the Lightroom or ACDC you can tag the images and review first still images that included digital enhancement were them in any order you desire. One last reminder that being entered in we all need: Always backup your files. competition, the PEC committee At this point, we use the 12 Elements to evaluate our decided to create images. Remember the first element: Impact. But a set of rules to do not forget the rest. One very important element is govern the entries Composition. Sometimes composition is left out of and judging of the equation. Impact is important, but without good said entries. The composition, Impact will suffer. All the elements work still entries were together and they only enhance the image’s potential judged on the use for success. I would suggest downloading the list from of digital tools and You can print out this list and keep in if determined by your production area for reference. qualified jurors, they might be Now, we can prepare all of our images prior to sending awarded a merit. them to the lab. All post production work is under If the judges Yogi Patel - PPA Loan Collection your control. The choices of backgrounds, effects and determined the Continued on page 82

Winter 2010



whatever the heck I want to write about.... a word about

Saving Time with Photoshop’s Crop Tool by Michael Collins

Have you ever wondered about how to make your crop straight when you have lines that go at an angle, or when you have a keystoning effect on your image? There are many options on the Crop tool to help make your life easier.

Michael Collins, P/BA, F-PPC, S-PPC Chairman, Professional Photographers of California

Michael began his professional career in 1997.

The first thing to do is hit the letter “C” which is the keyboard shortcut for the Crop tool. This saves time searching with the mouse for your toolbar. Time is one of the things that photographers need most these days…so let’s save as much of it as we can.

He has been active in the Professional Photographers of California, West Coast Schools and the Gold Coast Professional Photographers Association. He is currently the president of GCPPA (for the fifth time), and was on the board of directors of WCS for three years. Michael was a police officer for the City of Lompoc for 26 years, and he retired in February of 2006. He specializes in portrait photography. Michael’s main focus is photographing high school seniors. Being 100% digital means more creativity, and working in Photoshop has become more and more fun, challenging, and rewarding.

Let’s start with a simple 5x7” crop. If you look at the figure below, you’ll see you can just type in the aspect ratio that you are looking for, along with the resolution, and then click and drag your mouse over the image. Doing so magically crops

Michael feels that by volunteering for PPC, he is giving back to the people that helped him become the photographer he is today. “My work has improved so much because of West Coast School and the Convention.” “Joining PPC was the best thing I ever did. Volunteering for PPC was even better and I learn more being a volunteer than just sitting in classes.”  “Sharing knowledge and mentoring is what PPC is all about.”


a 5x7” for you. If you are like me and decide after the fact that your image should have been a 7x5” because it is a horizontal photograph, then simply hit the magic “Oops” key (Ctrl Z” on the PC, or “Alt Z” on the Mac) and undo your last step. Now, click on the double arrow looking icon in figure C (the official name

| Professional Photographers of California

is Swaps Height and Width Icon) between the Width and Height boxes (CS3 or above) to toggle your height and width, and (again) save you time. Now you can crop to a horizontal format. Of course, you can always click and drag the Crop tool where you want, and then rotate to a horizontal crop, but this takes additional work (and time).

When setting your size with the Crop tool, you do not have to use even sizes, such a 5.0 or 8.0. You can always use decimal places to get the exact size you are looking for. When setting your resolution, make sure you are set to Pixels-per-Inch whenever working in inches. If using metric measurements, use the drop down menu on the resolution to change the resolution to Pixels-per-CM. (I rarely work with centimeters, as I print in inches with my lab, but your lab may be different,). If you want to print a 20.32 x 25.40 centimeter image instead of an 8x10 inch, you are more than welcome to. (That took time for me to compute). If you just want to crop without a format, just click on the button next to the resolution that says, “Clear” and that will clear all settings. I know, I know: That was almost too easy, but it is faster than clicking in the Width box, then hitting Delete and so on (thereby saving… let’s hear you say it…Time!) Wanna save even more time?? Try this: To the left of the Width box is the Tool Preset. Photoshop comes with Presets preloaded for you. Just click on either the

down arrow in that box, or click on the tool in that box, and a drop down menu magically appears. (fig. D) Let’s say, for example, you would like to change from the 5x7” we just used, to an 8x10” crop. Click on the Tool Preset box, and Viola! Your list of presets appears. Click on the Crop 8 inch x 10 inch 300 ppi, and it fills in the width and height, as well as the resolution for you. Wow! Talk about saving time…

If you decide to rotate your crop, you can do that by placing the cursor just outside one corner of the crop (before finalizing it), and see a rounded dual arrow appear. This allows you to click and drag in any direction. You can even spin the crop in circles if you are so inclined (but that wastes precious time. However, please note: You will have spare time to waste when you use all of the keyboard shortcuts available to you).

You’ve probably noticed that when you crop images in PhotoShop, the outside cropped area becomes shaded. This makes it easier for you to see what you are doing. You can lighten or darken the shading by clicking on the shield, color, and opacity in the top tool bar.

One last, lesser know feature of the Crop tool is the use of perspective. When trying to ensure a structure is plumb with the side of your image, or the ground, simply click in the Perspective box. Once clicked, you can drag one corner of the crop (again before finalizing it) and drag in the direction that you want to add or subtract. Once you use the Perspective box, make sure you set it back to normal before using the Crop tool again, otherwise you will be stuck in Perspective, (which can cost you hours trying to figure out why the dang program is messing up…Like, I have NEVER done that).

Sometimes by darkening or lightening it, you will find it easier to see the cropping before you complete it.

Once you are ready, there are a variety of ways to finalize your crop. The first and easiest is to hit the Enter key. Wow, that was easy! Or, if you feel like finding the little check mark on the top tool bar, you can click on that instead. Or, if you have a lot of spare time on your hands, you can go to Edit, then click on the word “Crop”. It’s all your call. As for me? I like the quick and easy way myself. - Michael Collins


of events January 10-12, 2010

PPA’s Imaging USA, Nashville TN

February 3-4, 2010

Western States PPA Regional Print Competition

February 5-8, 2010

Pro Photo Expo - See pages 34-47 for details

February 5, 2010

PPC Quarterly Board and General Meeting at 4:40 pm at the Pasadena Pro Photo Expo. All members are encouraged to attend

April 18-19, 2010 July 2010

PPC Quarterly Board Meeting, Sacramento, CA (hotel TBD)

October 17-21, 2009

PPC Quarterly Board Meeting - Watch the next issue for details

PPC Quarterly Board Meeting/ 4-day retreat in King’s Canyon National Park, Montecito Lodge (PPC Members and families only) Watch for emails giving registration info. Make sure the PPC office has your correct email address!!

Winter 2010



Member Focus with

continued from pg 14

Mark Brandes

Mark – now the same question to you. What do you consider your greatest lessons learned in this business? “I too have three lessons to share. “First, remember every morning that you wake up unemployed! Unless something is done to market or promote you business on a weekly basis, there will be no business to speak of in a year. “My second lesson is this: Over the years, I have been guilty of looking over the fence to another place. If I was doing 250 portraits per year, I thought it would be great to do 350 portraits per year. When I hit over 700 portraits a year, I thought how nice it would be to do only 200! I am finally learning to focus on the number of sittings that’s best for me, and my lifestyle desires (about 200). I’m working to make the average sale on that 200 to be what I need it to be for my desired income.” “Lastly, lesson number three is this: You can’t do everything in your business, and you shouldn’t try. Find your strength, and maximize the use of that strength. Surround yourself by others whose strengths balance out your weaknesses, and empower them.” And now our last question for the both of you. What advice would you give to young photographers just starting out? April, you go first. “Learn the basics,” she answers without hesitation. “Don’t assume that just because you own a digital camera that you are going to have a long career. Don’t let pricing be the determining factor in your success.” Then after a second’s pause, she adds, “And lastly, stop copying each other. So many photographer’s work looks like the next one these days. Find what you are good at, and perfect that. Be different: Original. Be yourself.” Your turn Mark.


| Professional Photographers of California

“I have to reiterate the importance of April’s last comment. Take a long hard look at what you are most passionate about in your photography work, and make a pact with yourself that you will primarily focus on ONLY THAT style of work. Then look at what the competition is doing in your desired market area, and figure out whether your area of passion will look sufficiently different than the competition. If your work won’t look different, then find another market area that will support your vision. “Don’t try to just undercut another photographer’s prices to get business in your door. You will regret it in the long run. Take on the challenge of connecting with people who want you because you are the only artist who can do the look they want. “And lastly: Be careful what you wish for. Remember, the grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence.” I don’t think we could have said it any better ourselves. - Peggy Roosa

Winter 2010



The Engineered Studio grip. I folded the wire up into the junction-box, and secured the cover plate. This power will be used only when it comes time to sell my home and I convert the recessed box into a light box. Lastly, I gave the box a finished look by trimming it out. Inside, I’ve mounted 6 individual, low profile, 10’ electrically controlled rollers from the Denny Manufacturing Company: Two are vertical on the front and back walls of the box, with 2 more secured to the top. I installed a 1” spacer behind each of the topside rollers to stagger them, and ensure adequate clearance. I then mounted two backgrounds on each roller by starting each background 180 degrees from each other on the roller. I wired up the controller to my favorite location on the wall, and Viola! I now have a full 8 feet of vertical background in an eight foot ceiling room. This puts the rollers above the ceiling and gives me a full 8’ of background height, all with push button control. When I am ready to convert back into homestyle living space, I will simply remove the rollers, and install a set of light fixtures complete with a cover. My cover will most likely consist of a framework that holds plastic opaque plates, although I’ve decided to wait on the final cover design until the time comes to actually install it. That way, I can be certain it will be “in style”. A word of caution: Please be sure to measure your room, and find out the direction of the ceiling joists before doing anything. Plan where you want the box. Now comes the hard part: Before making any purchases or cuts, you must calculate the pitch of the roof, and the distance between the top plate and the rafters at the ends of the box. This will tell you how tall your box can be. Once certain that you actually can fit a box into the attic space, make a sketch with all the measurements, and write down your materials list. Then recalculate, and measure again. Sleep on it before doing anything, because once you start this project, there is NO turning back. I measured 3 times, and when I went to set the box into place, I still had to notch the top edge of the box at the rafters about 1.5”. 68

| Professional Photographers of California

con’t from page 17

I got lucky, and did not have to move any wiring or overhead services such as ducting, plumbing; however your home may be different, so please check and double-check. If you have a contractor or carpenter-friend in your area, I strongly encourage you to consult with him/her before doing anything. I love my new system, and can’t believe I ever worked without it. I now can change backgrounds with a simple push of a button, and by fully rotating each roller before lowering, I can switch between backgrounds on that roller, giving me a total of twelve 10’ backgrounds, while consuming only 24” of valuable space. Later on, I added three 12’ supper rollers between the box and the wall, giving me a total of 18 large, low key backgrounds on this end of the studio; all on push button rollers.

Want to use smaller background? I’ve done that too, only on a different system. In the mid-80’s I used a heavily modified vertical blind track. These days, Ontrax Systems railing was used as a part of my upgrade. The track is the width of the studio, and is mounted to a ceiling joist. I currently have 18 frames, with expansion to 25 frames. With 2 backgrounds mounted on each frame, that’s 36 smaller backgrounds that I can easily pull into place. These backgrounds pack against the side of the wall, where I can pull them out and rotated in either direction to expose to the camera’s viewfinder either one of the two backgrounds. Frames can be made of a single wooden dowel, or even plastic PVC pipe. Both can be suspended on chain. Having access to 54 backgrounds that I can quickly and easily change out in less than 20 seconds provides me (a one man show) with a level of variety, speed, and professionalism, I know my clients have come to appreciate. I also supplement my background with other props, sets, and a bay window, designed around these backgrounds. Want another time saving time? We create by appointment only, so having already discussed with the client their wishes and desires, I have a concept of where to begin. I then set up the most complicated set prior to the client’s arrival in the studio. Having that pre-setup, plus being able to quickly and easily change backgrounds at will, means I can create 20 or 30 completely different looks in as many minutes. Wouldn’t you like to be able to do the same?

- Bill Stigman

Winter 2010




| Professional Photographers of California

Adobe Lightroom: Top 10 part 2 of 2 (cont’d from page 56)

LightRoom. Feature Number 4: HSL – Hue Saturation Luminance Slider. The Hue Saturation Luminance panel is located within the Development Module on the Right Panel (Fig. 19). This tool’s advantage is the ability to target a specific color and either change its hue, saturation, or luminance; or perform all 3 in combination at the same time. Here are a few ways this tool can be used with weddings and portraiture. The image in Fig. 20 was taken in an open shade area, which is known for its soft lighting qualities. One common draw back however, is that the color temperature in open shade is much higher in comparison to those areas in direct sun light. This causes most of the white bridal gown to take on a blue cast (commonly caused by the florescent in the fabric, used to give the dress its sheen). Before Hue Saturation Luminance, getting ride of this color cast would require using Curves and Masks in Photoshop. Now it can be done quickly in LightRoom, and better yet, right on the RAW file. 1. Start by selecting the image(s) needing this blue color caste eliminated. 2. Click on the Hue Saturation Luminance panel on the right panel of the Development Module (Fig. 19). 3. Click on Saturation, directly under the Panel Name. 4. Now click on the Targeted Adjustment Tool located in the top left-hand corner of the panel (Fig. 19). 5. Move the Targeted Adjustment Tool over the blue area of the dress (Fig. 21). 6. Click and hold, moving the mouse downward until the unwanted blue in the dress is gone.


| Professional Photographers of California

Fig21:The Targeted Adjustment Tool as it is moved over the blue area of the dress

Fig22: The before and after of a portrait enhanced by using the Saturation and Luminance tool

Please note that if this image had a blue sky in the background, that this adjustment would de-saturate the blue sky too (this is still a global adjustment tool). The finished result is seen in (Fig. 20): Before and after. Now what do you think would happen if the opposite effect is desired? Take a look at Fig 22. This particular image could use more pop in the sky, and a brighter skin tone. Here are the steps to make this happen:

1. Click on the Hue Saturation Luminance Panel in the Development Module (Fig 19). 2. Click on Luminance, right under the panel name. 3. Click on the Targeted Adjustment Tool located in the top left- hand corner of the panel (Fig 19). 4. Move the Targeted Adjustment Tool over the blue sky area of the image. 5. Click and hold, moving the mouse downward to decrease the saturation in the sky according to taste.

Fig23: Up close view of the Groom showing the placement of the Luminance tool over his forehead to brighten the skin tone

Now to adjust the skin tone using the Luminance Adjustment: 1. Click on Luminance right Under the HSL Panel Name. 2. Click on the Targeted Adjustment Tool located in the top left- hand corner of the panel (Fig. 19). 3. Move the Targeted Adjustment Tool over the area of the groom’s forehead (Fig 23). 4. Click and hold, then move the mouse upward to increase the luminance value of the skin, being careful not to push this too far (otherwise, you will make the other people’s skin begin to look strange). Since all of the groomsmen facial skin tone fall under the same color range, thus this single adjustment will cause everyone’s skin to pop too! The final image can be seen in Fig 22: Before and after. Feature Number 3: Using Gray Scale Mixer for an Effective Black and White Image. A proper, full-tonal black and white image speaks to the quality of the photograph. While an image may easily be converted into a black and white by applying a grayscale treatment, the result is generally less than amazing (i.e., leaving the skin tones generally muddy, and many times darker than other tones in the image). To make a black and white image pop, we can now use the Grayscale Mixer to adjust the tonal luminance in the image. For comparative purpose, when analog printing of black and white, changing the grayscale mixer is similar to printing with a multi-contrast gel (to achieve to desirer tonality and tonal range in an image). In this case, let’s take the previous image of the walking Groomsmen. If this image was turned into black and white simply using grayscale, it would look very muddy (Fig 24). This image would benefit from a couple of tonal adjustments - two in this particular case. First, the skin is too muddy, and needs more luminance or “pop”. Second, the sky should be darkened so it doesn’t compete with the skin tone, giving the image a dramatic look.

Fig24: A view of the Graduated Filter tool right after application; the dot is the center of the tool, in this case the gradient, and the two outer lines denotes the edges of the gradient.

Fig25: The Grayscale Mix Targeted Adjustment Tool

Winter 2010



To do this, start with a color image, then, 1. Select the Grayscale panel in the Development module; this will automatically turn the image into grayscale (Fig 25). 2.Click on the Targeted Adjustment Tool on the top left corner of the panel. The first adjustment will be made to the skin’s tone, to brighten it. 1.Move the Targeted Adjustment Tool over the cheek or forehead area of the groom (Fig 26). 2.Click and hold, then move the mouse upward to increase the luminance of the skin tone; brighten it to taste.

Fig26: Targeted Adjustment Tool being placed of the forehead to brighten the skin tone

The second adjustment will be made in the sky area to darken it. 1.Move the Targeted Adjustment Tool over the area of the sky. 2.Click and hold, then move the mouse downward to decrease the luminance of the blue sky, which corresponds to the blue channel. Be extra careful when doing these types of adjustments to large areas, like the sky, for there exists an increased risk of edge banding and posterization. The finished result can be seen in Fig 22. Feature Number 2: Development Module Preset. There are numerous presets out there for LightRoom available via download from the Internet. While many of these are free, many are not. Creating your own unique preset to suit your workflow is not difficult, but there are some tricks to properly creating a good and usable one. Let’s learn how. To create a preset, you need to break down into steps the effect you are trying to achieve. For instance, let’s say you like the black-and-white look from Tip Number 3 (Fig 24) and want to create a preset so you can apply the same adjustments on other images, any time you want. To start: 1. On left panel of the Development Module, look for the Preset Panel, then click on the plus sign to create a new preset (Fig 27). The New Develop Preset Service dialog will pop up (Fig 28). 2. Give the preset a name. In this case, you named it, “Dramatic B&W for Skin Tone”.

Fig27: Preset Panel with the plus sign shown, to create a new preset

You’ll find under the Setting section many adjustments options to select from. At this point, the adjustments or treatments applied to an image are identified. In this case the Treatment (Grayscale) and the Grayscale Mix treatments were applied. 3. Check the Treatment (Grayscale) and the Grayscale Mix box, and leave all other boxes unchecked (Fig 28). Note: To combine several different effects together, simply select them from here. For instance, to add a lens vignette to your “Dramatic B&W for Skin Tone” present, just select the Vignettes Box. Keep in mind that it is a good idea to keep your presets simple – don’t combine more than 3 or 4 adjustments together. Continued Page 78


| Professional Photographers of California

PPC’s Own Adobe LightRoom Guru “East is East and West is West...” and the two have met and melded successfully in Art Suwansang. Born in New York City, Art spent part of his formative years being educated in Thailand, returning to the United States to finish his education in Southern California. Growing up in two cultures has given Art the added dimension of opening up to choices and seeing through multiple perspectives. This duality has repeated itself in his choice of careers, giving him great insight and knowledge in the digital revolution, and high proficiency in the world of artistic expression. Originally majoring in Computer Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona, Art could not deny the calling of his muse and eventually left Cal Poly to pursue his true passion – photography. However, while at Cal Poly, Art was busy taking a leadership position on campus in student government and was elected a Senator, representing the Engineering Department, for two terms. Besides being steeped in the academic and political sides of the digital world, Art began his first entrepreneurial enterprise in computer servicing from which he has recently retired in order to give 500% of his time and energy to Wedding 64. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Brooks Institute, Art Suwansang has become an award winning, international photographer and lecturer. With a diverse background in photography that includes portraiture, events, commercial and architecture, Art’s enthusiasm for wedding photography has given him his true métier. Building Wedding 64 from the ground up has been a labor of love, and a unique opportunity to share his excitement for the visual image, intimately, with the bride, groom and their entourage every time they relive that special moment through their collection of pictures. “As a wedding photographer, I get to see the literal translation of the words “love” and “passion” in the bride’s and groom’s emotional and physical connection – their new “raison d’ être”. This has made me realize that there is more to what I do than just “passionately” take images. What makes wedding imagery so important isn’t just taking great pictures, it’s that the images I capture document the histories of individuals, moments that may happen once in a lifetime for only fractions of a second.” With a strong background in computer technology, and staying abreast of the latest innovations that continue to enhance the final product, Art is committed to bring that knowledge and experience to the photography field as a teacher and lecturer. His workshops and presentations are always full, and in demand both in the United States and abroad. His professional affiliations include membership in the Professional Photographers of California, Wedding and Portrait Photographers International, and Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers United Kingdom; three of the international associations that have made use of his teaching talents. Added to these successes, Art was recently awarded the Wedding Photojournalist of Year from the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers United Kingdom. Art Suwansang’s work has been represented in two gallery shows and has been featured in several publications.


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Winter 2010



Quickbooks: Lesson #6

“Custom Invoices”

i. Click on the item to select it. Move your cursor over the edge until it turns into arrows. Click and drag to resize. c. You can reposition each element by either clicking and dragging using your mouse; or, you can use the arrow keys to make more refined movements. Now that you are in “Layout Designer”, you can do all sorts of fun stuff. By clicking on the “Add” button at the top of the window, you can add: •

A Text Box: Click Add>Text Box. The Text Box Properties window will open. Type the text that you want to add, then choose a font, color, justification, border and background. Click OK and your new text box will be added to your invoice. Click and drag to position. You can also change the size as described above. • A Data Field: Click Add>Data Field. The “Add Data Field” window will open. There is a whole list of data fields you can add (names with check marks next to them have already been added to the form). Once again, after the data field has been added to the form, you can move it and/or resize it. • An Image: This is where you can add a logo of any size or shape (or any other image you would like to appear on your form.) Click Add>Image. The “Select Image” window will

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open. Navigate to the image/logo you want to add and click “open”. Once the image is on your form, you can move and/ or resize it. At any time, you can click on the “Undo” button at the top of the Layout Designer window to go back to a previous state. Once you have finished with your changes, click “OK:. That will put you back in the Basic Customization window. Click “OK” again and you’re done. You can now print any/all of your invoices on the new form (even invoices that you have already printed). Just select the new template in the Template drop down menu and print. I’ve covered most of the main points to customizing forms. The best way to learn is to just start playing with it. Pick any one of the supplied templates, make a copy of it, and start customizing. On the previous page is an example of an invoice that I customized. I began with the standard “Service” invoice; I deleted the company name and then added my logo which includes my name and motto. I added some fields and removed others, then went into “Layout Designer” to move things around, resize, and line stuff up. I think you’ll agree…I ended up with a “Super” Invoice! - Robin Swanson

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| Professional Photographers of California

Summer 2009



Adobe Lightroom: Top 10 part 2 of 2 (cont’d from page 74)

4. Click on Create. Your new preset “Dramatic B&W for Skin tone” now appears in the User Presets folder the Preset Panel (Fig 29). 5. To apply this preset to another image, simply select the image, then click on the preset name to apply it, and viola! You are done!

Feature Number 1: Virtual Copy. In my opinion, this is by far the best feature in LightRoom, especially for the Wedding and Portrait photographer. What exactly is Virtual Copy? It is the ability to apply multiple treatments to a single RAW image. For instance, let’s say you like the original look of a particular wedding image, but you also want to create other versions of the same image (maybe de-saturated color, saturated color, black and white infrared and sepia). LightRoom’s Virtual Copy feature allows you to apply each of the treatments above, without having to duplicate the RAW file multiple times, or having to deal with increased storage issues. Here’s how you do it. 1. Highlight the image. 2. Go to the menu Photo > Create Virtual Copy Short cut key MAC – Command + Apostrophe (‘) WIN – Control + Apostrophe (‘) 3. Boom! You are done! Now you will see two of the same image side by side in your filmstrip (Fig 30). You can now work on the Virtual Copy just as you would any other image. 4. To create additional Virtual Copies, or make a Virtual Copy of a Virtual Copy, just repeat step 2. 5. A folded corner on the bottom left of a thumbnail image in the Filmstrip or on the Grid is your sign that the image is a Virtual Copy (Fig 31). That’s it!


| Professional Photographers of California

Fig28: Showing the Develop Preset Box with the Treatment (Grayscale) Button Checked.

Fig29: Setting Section, showing you what treatments have been applied to the image

These are the 10 tips that I believe makes LightRoom a great program, designed specifically for the way Wedding and Portrait photographers work! However, please keep in mind that there is so much more to this powerful and flexible program. I strongly encourage you to use these tips as a springboard to experiment and explore, as you seek new heights for business and your craft.

Fig30: Demonstrating a successfully created virtual copy

Fig31: The flag in the lower left corner of the image shows you it is a virtual copy

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Winter 2010



Don’t Foget to Log Your Service Merits!

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Winter 2010



There is Life After a 79! image to be of extraordinary quality, they were given an additional merit and placed in the PPA Loan Collection. In recent years, more and more images that have extensive electronic enhancement are being entered in the traditional Photographic Open category. The number of entries in the Electronic Imaging category has seen a significant drop in entries. At this year’s PPA judging the EC category had lowest number of

cont’d from pg


keeping the rules of competition current. Over the next few years, there will be many changes in the entry and judging procedures. The first major changes will begin in 2011, as the regions change and

Tim Mathiesen - PPA Loan Collection

the actual method of image entries are updated and put into place. More information will be forthcoming regarding these changes. They will be significant!

Tim Mathiesen - PPA Loan Collection

images since the category was established. Why? I do not have the answer, but I would suspect that the use of digital enhancement is being looked at as just another tool in the tool box. I have asked several members how they determine which category they will enter. Most say that the Photographic Open category judges on photographic content, not on use of digital enhancement. This is not quite accurate, as the jurors do evaluate all images on all aspects of the photograph. We, as judges, cannot let technical problems pass unnoticed. The responsibility of the juror is to use the 12 Elements as a guide to be sure that nothing is overlooked. Part of the discussion revolves around the question of fairness. “Is it fair” to allow extreme enhanced images to be entered in the Photographic Open category? Should there be a separate category? These questions are being evaluated by PEC. This committee has the responsibility of 82

| Professional Photographers of California

Areas of Concern and Final Print Preparation The final decision of the selection of the image is your job! How you present that image is also your responsibility. A few points that you must be aware of in terms of digital enhancement are as follows: 1. Be very careful with sharpening. It is very easy to over sharpen an image. Some cameras do a better job of sharpening than others. It is up to you to determine which process to apply. 2. Any effect that you apply must compliment the image, not overpower it. When you apply an effect, look at it and see if you see the effect or the image first. If the effect too strong, the image becomes weak and the print will not pass the judges. 3. If you are retouching a face, the retouching must be smooth, but not so smooth that key features of the face are removed. Taking the character lines from a face takes the personality away. Do not make the eyes so white that they do not look real. The eye color should be natural, not vivid. The catch lights need to

compliment, not compete. 4. The judges have just a few seconds to formulate an opinion, so do not overpower them with too much. Remember IMPACT is the first element. When preparing your print for presentation, the following suggestions may be helpful: 1. Use a lightweight mounting board such as Gatorboard. Do not use foam core boards. Foam core dents very easily and does not hold up under the stress of handling during the many judgings that the print may endure. If a print is entered in a regional competition, receives a PPA Seal of Approval (must score an 80 or higher at the regional level to get the Seal) and then is sent on to the PPA International judging, that print can be handled as many a 40+ times. It is impossible to guarantee that the print will not be damaged. 2. Use a glossy laminate. The laminate will protect the print more than spray. Under the very strong, harsh lights used in print competition, a print with a gloss laminate will hold the detail and color. Use of a matte or luster laminate/spray will flatten the contrast, color saturation and impact. 3. You have spent a lot on each image. When it comes to the shipping case, spend some more. After seeing some of the cases sent in over the years, I am surprised that the prints made it to judging in one piece (and some do not arrive undamaged). Depending on how your prints are made, you can spend upwards to $1000 for four competition prints. Think of a sturdy case as insurance. The case that I use was purchased from the PPA website. It is reenforced with steel corners and plywood sides. I have been using it for almost 10 years and have not yet had a damaged print. Finally‌ We have discussed several critical parts of the process of print competition. Whether or not you are participating at the local, state, regional or international levels, the preparation is the same. Each time you place an image in front of the judges, you are asking them to critique and pass judgment on your image. This process is nerve racking, especially if the remarks are not in your favor. Remember that the judges do not know whose image they are

commenting on (or shouldn’t). We are asking each of them to give their observations so that an objective score is recorded. Will you agree with the scores? Probably not all the time. But you will learn that even through the downside of judging, you can learn and grow. One last item that is very important, but not covered in the 12 Elements: Titles! Titles are important because the judges hear the title before they see each image. The title will be their first impression and will set an expectation for what is to be presented. Each person is unique, but I have a difficult time making up titles. Why are titles important? I will often ask others to give me ideas. Sometimes being the creator of an image makes it difficult to remain objective about how it is perceived by others. Keep your titles simple, and avoid foreign phrases. Remember that someone else will be doing the reading and may not be able to read a difficult title. Try not to use an overused title. One that comes to mind is Field of Dreams. As you all may have concluded by now, print competition is complicated and potentially emotional, yet it should be lots of fun. The results are probably the most satisfying part of competition. The ability to promote your winning images to your clients is

Tim Mathiesen - PPA General Collection

publicity you cannot buy. Your confidence will grow and your photography will continue to improve. Maybe some day you will be that judge and share in another’s successes. Good luck! I would like to thank those who contributed images for this article. These images represent the PPA General Exhibit and Loan Collection from recent years. Winter 2010



at long last, we come to...

THE END is a regular feature of Pro Photo West Magazine, designed specifically to feature our members’ work. If you have an image you believe signifies “the end”, please send a high-resolution jpg file, along with a short descriptive email, for consideration to editors@


e loved this image from the moment Patricia shared it with us.

There’s just something about the sight of this groom embracing his new bride, while still clutching a universal icon representing bachelorhood, especially since he is surrounded by all the things representing the beginning of a new married life: The white dress and gold wedding band; the

The End

flowers and fancy linens; and although not shown here, (we have to assume) even the Groom’s families and friends. Is our Groom suffering from the proverbial ‘cold feet’? Already longing for his days of old? Or could this be his way of saying good-bye to the life he knew before? Steven, Patricia and I considered those questions, and ultimately decided against them. Maybe it’s the Romantic trapped inside each of us that spoke loudest, but in the end, we decided this out-of-place Guinness is more like the tattered old security blanket our Groom once grasped as a young child. This bottle is meant to provide comfort and security as he faces the unknown promise of a new life.

As most of us have recently experienced first-hand, facing the future can be scary for anyone…even with your best friend or spouse by your side. Having family and friends around for support is critical in times like these. For the lucky photographers holding this magazine, their family and friends includes fellow PPC members; those individuals who best understand the situations being faced in these uncertain times. Family and friends, who, not unlike this Groom’s Guinness bottle, can help make taking those steps forward a little easier. We ask you to keep these thoughts in mind as you face the uncertainty of your New Year. Until next time - Your editors, Steven, Peggy and Patricia

Winter 2010



Pro Photo West - Winter 2010  

Pro Photo West Winter 2010

Pro Photo West - Winter 2010  

Pro Photo West Winter 2010