Official Publication of the Texas Professional Photographers Association, Inc.
VOLUME 53- #5 Aug/Sept 2018
Bill Hedrick, M.Photog.Cr. 1506 E. Leach St. Kilgore, TX 75662 903-985-1080 Editor@ThePhotographerOnline.com
Steve Kozak, M.Photog.Cr 5323 Fig Tree Lane Grand Prairie, TX 75052 972-601-9070 Steve@tppa.org
Complete Printing & Publishing 1501 W. Panola Carthage, TX 75633 800-964-9521 www.CompletePrinting.com
ON THE COVER “Cajun Queen” was created by Tony Corbell of Muskogee, Oklahoma. The image was “taken right out of the camera,” according to Tony, and demonstrates the importance of “getting it right in the camera” to save time from post-production work. The image scored 82 at TPPA Summerfest 2018 and won a Trophy for Best Photographic Open, Classic Portrait. Tony presented a program at the event and is an instructor at the Texas School of Professional Photography.
Big October Event!
Who Are You?
A Message from TPPA President, Tammy Graham
Your Studio Brand by Gregory Daniel
Event Photography for Pets
Your Educational Experience
Texas School Shoot-Out
ESP: Expression Sells Photographs
Interactive Family Portraits
2018 National Award
Spotlight: Robert Suddarth
See It To Believe It! by Steve Kozak
Create Your Own Market by Margaret Bryant
Getting the Most from It by Tony Corbell
Winners Receive Scholarships by Don Dickson
Timeless Tips from a Master by Don MacGregor
A Natural Look that Sells! by Elizabeth Homan
Trophy Gallery and Highlights by Steve Kozak
TPPA Honors Steve Kozak by Bill Hedrick
THE PHOTOGRAPHER is the official publication of the Texas Professional Photographers Association, Inc. Acceptance of advertising or publishing of press releases does not imply endorsement of any product or service by this association, publisher, or editor. Permission is granted to similar publications of the photographic industry to reprint contents of this publication, provided that the author and this publication are credited as the source. Articles, with or without photographs, are welcomed for review for inclusion. However, the editor reserves the right to refuse publication, or if accepted, the right to edit as necessary. For more information, visit www.ThePhotographerOnline.com. Send all communications, articles, or advertising to: THE PHOTOGRAPHER, 1506 E. Leach St., Kilgore, TX 75662. Phone (903) 985-1080, or Editor@ThePhotographerOnline.com.
2018 TPPA Executive Council President Tammy Graham l
3300 Joyce Drive, Ft. Worth, TX 76116 (817) 300-0780
Vice-President Ross Benton l
iHeartPhotography Expo in October
1876 Nacogdoches Rd., San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 804-1188
Treasurer Marla Horn l
10716 Camelot Dr., Frisco, TX 75035 (972) 567-8613
Secretary Jenny Rhea Eisenhauer l
12218 Old Stage Trail, Austin, TX 78750 (512) 626-3309
Councilman-at-Large Doc List l
6001 W. Parmer Ln., Austin, TX 78727 (512) 924-9248
Councilman-at-Large Cris Duncan l
2402 Slide Rd., Lubbock, TX 79407 (806) 781-2747
Chairman of the Board Trey Homan l
17222 Classen Rd., San Antonio, TX 78247 (210) 497-3809
Executive Director Steve Kozak l
5323 Fig Tree Ln., Grand Prairie, TX 75052 (972) 601-9070
Texas School Director Don Dickson l
1501 West 5th, Plainview, TX 79072 (806) 296-2276
Magazine Editor Bill Hedrick l
y now you may have heard that Texas PPA is hosting a new event this fall. The “I Heart Photography Conference and Expo” will be held October 12-14 at the Grapevine Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. The I Heart Photography Conference features two and a half days of programming for photographers with a wide range of interests. Pro photographers will enjoy an outstanding lineup of programs from marketing and inspiration and from babies to families in our Pro Track of programs designed to address the needs and expand the success of professional photographers. Photographic enthusiasts as well as pros will enjoy our Inspiration Track of classes featuring a variety of programs to foster creativity and inspiration. Program topics include; street photography, photographing night skies, wildlife, landscapes, as well as flower and bird photography. We are also excited about our lineup of “hands-on” Excursions that take place on Friday. These are onlocation events which feature a coach who will help you understand what goes into capturing a dynamic image. Excursions require an additional fee that range from $57 to $89. Excursions offered include a trip to the Fort Worth Zoo with Dennis Kelley, a Real Estate shoot with Ethan Tweedie, Street Photography with Josh Jordan, Drone Photography with Justin Moore, and Food Photography with Malinda Julien. We also have arranged a very special excursion to the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium. This is a very unique event because the stadium does not usually allow cameras with detachable lenses or lenses longer than three inches. They are making an exception for I Heart Photography participants and allow us to photograph inside the stadium with generous access throughout. How cool is that?
One of the things that makes this event a little different than others we have hosted is that it will likely sell out due to the smaller meeting rooms at the Grapevine Convention Center. We are anticipating a complete sell out, so you are encouraged to register early!
Early registration for the conference is $127 and will cut off at 200 registrants. Registration for this super event is now open at www.iheartphotography.org.
1506 E. Leach St., Kilgore, TX 75662 (903) 985-1080
Brad Barton (Grand Prairie), Ross Benton (San Antonio), Cris Duncan (Lubbock), Jenny Rhea Eisenhauer (Austin), Tammy Graham (Fort Worth), Phaneendra Gudapati (Plano), Elizabeth Homan (San Antonio), Trey Homan (San Antonio), Robin Janson (Cypress), Mark McCall (Lubbock), Robert Norwood (Montgomery).
Tammy Graham TPPA President
To contact any of your PPA Councilors, you may obtain their phone numbers from the TPPA Membership Directory or visit the TPPA website at www.tppa.org Complete financial information on Texas Professional Photographers Association is available to any TPPA member by contacting Steve Kozak, Executive Director, 5323 Fig Tree Ln., Grand Prairie, TX 75052 Steve@tppa.org
If you are not a member of Texas PPA, this is my personal invitation to you to join! Email Steve Kozak, TPPA Executive Director, at Steve@tppa.org or call 972-601-9070.
esa and I have always been concerned with the management of our business as well as the technical side. We learned early on that minding our business was an extremely important factor in staying in business. Over twenty years ago Tom McDonald was our mentor in the establishment of sound business principles that would assist in monitoring and measuring the success of our operation. Much has changed with our profession over the past twenty-five years and being sensitive in recognizing change and being flexible to change are musts for survival. Many years ago, during our long-term goal planning session, Lesa and I recognized our focus of being a general-purpose mom and pop studio needed to change. We determined growth in the twenty-first century would depend on elevating our image to the level of fine art. As a result of our new target, we developed a new business Model and Plan that would transform our studio over the next several years. This involved much energy, determination, brainstorming, staff participation and a process we called â€œbrandingâ€? which is what I would like to cover in this article. THE PHOTOGRAPHER
What makes a brand successful? First, the product must be so distinctive that it is easily recognized. For example, my daughters know exactly what a Tiffany’s box looks like and they can spot Starbucks miles away. Second, it must evoke such strong emotions that viewers wish they had one like it, such as standing out among the rest holding a distinctive blue box adorned with a white ribbon and bow or the feel of being accepted by wearing the newest accepted fashions. But as important as both of these elements are, they are secondary to one main overarching element: public perception of your product. If the public is confused about whom you are and what you stand for, they will not buy your product. Big companies spend big profits to ensure you know who they are. Mercedes represents words like high end, expensive, limited, upper class and luxury. McDonald’s represents words like fast, clean, convenient, consistent and low price. These companies, through extensive marketing, have taught the public how to perceive their product. It is no accident that the consumers have a similar impression of these products. Public perception is an incredibly powerful tool in your arsenal of marketing weapons. Now the only thing you have to do is understand how to put this powerful tool to work for you. The following four steps will help you develop a brand of your own. We will use restaurants to develop our analogy. First, identify your target market and ensure you have a group to promote your product. For example, you may not think a fine French restaurant would be successful in a small town comprised of blue-collar workers. I often hear successful photographers state that “it will work anywhere” when responding to “it will never work in my town.” Before assessing the likelihood of success, you have to take a deeper look to understand what the consumer market looks like in terms of quantity and demographics. Second, develop a survey to find out who they think you are. For example, you may believe you are a fine French restaurant but the public may think you are a cross between a McDonald’s and an Olive Garden. I must add a word of caution; it is very painful to find out what the public really thinks about your product. It is as difficult to build a survey that does not use biased questions to get the results you want. The survey must ask questions like, “You are about to visit a friend that just purchased a product from us and you brought another friend to see the product. When you enter the house and see the product what do you say to your friend? What room are you in? What does it look like?” After reviewing the answers to the surveys, you will quickly see if the ublic perceives your product as you do. Third, focus on the results and develop a business plan that helps you to be who you want to be. Focus on what you love to do and what you do best. For example, if you want to be a fine French restaurant, then you must serve quality food with: spectacular service, rich surroundings, and outrageous prices. Avoid sending out mixed message to the public. Be extremely clear and leave no room for doubt as to who you are. We want our community
to envision what a “Gregory Daniel Mixed Media Portrait” is just by saying the name. Our target is that a Gregory Daniel Mixed Media Portrait is a substantial investment, uniquely designed for their beautiful homes, hand crafted by an artist and creative in nature. These portraits are hanging on prominent walls in homes of the upper class. These clients each have a personalized experience during the planning, creating and selection process of their portraits. Our business plan was revised to ensure these elements were consistently delivered, from the initial marketing of Gregory Daniel Portrait Artist to following up with a client. Fourth, renew the process by asking, asking, asking the public who you are. Take the results and adjust/refine by repeating steps one through three. Never assume you have completed the process! Our goal is to have the market be able to envision a Gregory Daniel Mixed Media Portrait and what it represents without seeing one. Just the name should evoke a consistent response from the public. I believe that developing goals and sound business principles will prove to be a worthwhile investment on your part. Branding is just one of the principles we have used to help us focus on who we are and where we want to take our business. Review how the public sees you through surveys and develop plans to improve your image within the marketplace. The renewal process can act as a catalyst to pump life into your business and streamline your marketing approach.
Gregory Daniel M. Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, Titusville, Florida - A nationally recognized husband and wife duo who create exquisite portraits, Greg and Lesa Daniel are also masters in sharing their knowledge and experience. They make it look so easy, but you will learn their secret is behind the scenes’ preparation and planning that result in timeless original portraits and a highly successful business. Greg and his wife Lesa Daniel are internationally recognized for their artistry. Though he is one of the most awarded photographers in the United States, Greg has the utmost privilege of living out his passion every day alongside Lesa in operating their portrait photography galleries in both Indialantic and Titusville, Florida. He has achieved both the title of Master of Photography and The American Society of Photographers Fellowship. In addition, Greg is was one of the youngest members to be inducted into the prestigious Cameracraftsmen of America in 1991, proud founding member of the International Society of Portrait Artists (ISPA) and on the Board of Directors for Professional Photographers of America. Aug/Sept 2018
Stadium Photo by Scott Kelby
Do you LOVE Photography? We thought so! That is why you need to be at the I Heart Photography Conference & Expo October 12-14 at the Grapevine Convention Center.
The I Heart Photography Conference & Expo is open to all photographers. It will inspire and motivate you with... 6 Exciting Hands-On Excursions, plus 18 Outstanding Programs, plus A Two-Day Trade Show Expo Brought to you by... Texas Professional Photographers Association Society of Novice and Professional Photographers Arlington Camera, H&H Color Lab, and our generous sponsors.
The I Heart Photography Conference features three days of programming for photographers of all skill levels and with a wide range of interests. Pro photographers will enjoy an outstanding lineup of programs from marketing and inspiration and from babies to families in our Pro Track of programs designed to address the needs and expand the success of professional photographers. Photographic enthusiasts and pro’s alike will enjoy our Inspiration Track of classes featuring a variety of programs to foster creativity and inspiration. Just take one look at the schedule of classes and you will be impressed. In addition to the regular conference programs, we have a lineup of “hands-on” Excursions that take place on Friday. Bring your camera and be prepared to work side by side with a coach who will guide you through the process of creating outstanding images. Excursions in the DFW area include photographing in the Fort Worth Zoo and at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Registration for the conference is $127 (includes everything except excursions)
Registration is now open at www.iheartphotography.org.
Registration is now open at www.iheartphotography.org.
Bring your camera gear and shoot with photographers who are experts in their field. Destinations include Cowboys ATT Stadium, Fort Worth Zoo, and other locations to be announced. EXTRA FEE for these excursions.
These exciting and informative programs are INCLUDED in your registration. Attend any or all of them, NO EXTRA CHARGE!
Birds - Aileen Harding
Wildlife - Joe McDonald
Nightscapes - JT Blenker
Street People - Josh Jordon Volume - Phyllis Kuykendall
Passion - Brad Barton
Workflow - Rob Hull
Flowers - Teri Whittaker
Landscapes - Cris Duncan
Marketing - Dwayne Lee
Seniors - Dawn Muncy
Lighting - Alison Carlino
Composites - Jason Ulsrud
The Basics - Ross Benton
Stadium Photo by Scott Kelby
Architecture - Ethan Tweedie Modifyers - Guy T. Phillips
Destinations - Joe McDonald
Newborns - Cecy Ayala
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (Check for updates at: www.iheartphotography.org)
Friday, October 12 - Extra Fee for Excursions only. All-Conventions are INCLUDED in registration! 8:00 am Registration Desk Opens 9:30 am EXCURSION – AT&T Stadium Photo Shoot 9:30 am EXCURSION – Welcome to the Jungle of Wildlife Photography 9:30 am EXCURSION – On-Location Architectural Shooting Tricks & Techniques for Magazine Quality Images 9:30 am EXCURSION – Play With Your Food! 9:30 am EXCURSION – The Art of Street Photography 9:30 am EXCURSION – Airborne Over Texas 2:00 pm ALL CONVENTION PROGRAM – Back to Basics presented by Ross Benton – CHENIN BLANC 2:00 pm ALL CONVENTION PROGRAM – Lighting & Posing presented by Alison Carlino – CHAMPANEL Saturday, October 13 - All of these programs are INCLUDED in registration! 8:00 am Registration Desk Opens 8:30 am Bird Photography 101 presented by Frances “Aileen” Harding- CHENIN BLANC 8:30 am Volume Photography: You Can Do It! presented by Phyllis Kuykendall – CHAMPANEL 10:00 am Trade Show Opens 10:30 am Essentials of Wildlife Photography presented by Joe McDonald – CHENIN BLANC 10:30 am Find Your Sword presented by Brad Barton – CHAMPANEL Noon Break 1:30 pm High Octane Digital Workflow presented by Rob Hull – CHAMPANEL 1:30 pm Nightscapes, Astrophotograph and the Milky Way presented by J.T. Blenker – CHENIN BLANC 3:00 pm Registration Desk Closes 4:00 pm Trade Show Closes 4:00 pm The Art of Street Photography presented by Josh Jordan – CHENIN BLANC 4:00 pm Architectural Photography Post-Production... Bland to Beautiful presented by Ethan Tweedie – CHAMPANEL 5:30 pm Programs End Sunday, October 14 - All of these programs are INCLUDED in registration! 8:00 am Registration Desk Opens 8:30 am Getting Started with Light Modifiers presented by Guy T. Phillips – CHENIN BLANC 8:30 am Guerrilla Marketing for the Professional Photographer presented by Dwayne Lee – CHAMPANEL 10:30 am Great Adventures and Great Destinations presented by Joe McDonald – CHENIN BLANC 10:30 am Seniors Start to Finish presented by Dawn Muncy – Sponsored by H&H Color Lab – CHAMPANEL 11:00 am Trade Show Opens Noon Break 1:30 pm “SNAP” 1:30 pm “TPPA Membership Meeting” 2:00 pm From Flowers to Fine Art presented by Teri Whittaker – CHAMPANEL 2:00 pm Photographing Newborns presented by Cecy Ayala – CHENIN BLANC 2:30 pm Registration Desk Closes 4:00 pm Trade Show Closes 4:00 pm Let it Shine! Unlocking the Natural Beauty of Landscapes presented by Cris Duncan – CHENIN BLANC 4:00 pm Composite Photography Made Easy presented by Jason Ulsrud – CHAMPANEL 5:30 pm Conference Ends
hen photographers start photographing pets, whether as an addon to an existing portrait business or starting out photographing only pets, they might approach pet photography like a regular portrait business, except that their subjects have fur. Yes, there are similarities in photographing dogs and two year old children, but the marketing part is somewhat different. Let’s start out with the fact that dogs don’t “have events.” That is, unlike people, you are rarely going to photograph a dog at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and a year, like you might with a human baby plan. You are also not going to photograph a dog as a high school senior, or at an engagement or wedding. We, as photographers and the U.S. culture in general, have marked these milestones in human lives as opportunities to photograph the event and create memories. Dogs don’t have these kinds of events in their lives and they live a much shorter span of time. The culture doesn’t currently exist that creates the need to have a pet photographed on a regular basis. So what do we do? In some ways a pet photographer is like a human wedding photographer in that they are more dependent on referrals from existing clients than from repeat business. Yes, there will always be a certain segment of your clientele that will come back every year, but for the most part, repeat clients usually come back every 6 to 8 years. It’s when they get a new dog. Certainly there are referral strategies we can use to get new clients from the existing clients, and every business should be using those. But there needs to be more that we can do to bring repeat clients through the door more frequently.
Part of bringing them back is educating them on why they need to come back more often than every six years. A dog changes very little in appearance from year to year compared to the changes in a human. You need to create reasons for them to come back. After all, it was probably a photographer who invented the idea of a high school journey not being complete without getting a senior portrait. And a man and woman can certainly become engaged without having an engagement portrait done. I’m sure it was partly photographers who created that need for engagement photography. It was DeBeers that created the need for spending big bucks on diamond engagements rings back in the 1939. The need to spend lots of money on diamonds didn’t exist before that. We can do the same for pets. Since the culture hasn’t created the events or the need for pet photography yet, we pet photographers need to create our own. Let’s start by finding out why people come to you. We’ll look at reasons other than a referral from a friend. Is their dog ill? Did they just get a new dog? Are they frustrated with their inability to take pictures of their own dog who just happens to have black fur? There are many reasons. You need to know why people are looking and what prompted them to look at that moment. Then what? Take those ideas and start creating “events” of your own, or create products available for a limited time. They become the reasons for clients to come to you more frequently. You might do a pet version of themed, limited edition mini sessions. Do something other than your regular style. Don’t include people in the mini sessions because that gives the owner a reason to come back to book a regular session. Charge a price that is commensurate with your regular
usually talk to our human clients about dying, but we need to appropriately and sensitively discuss it with our pet clients.
session pricing. Do them only a couple of times a year, or during your slow times. Partner with a pet charity. Frankly I look at the mini sessions as not just a way to bring new and old clients through the door, but also an opportunity for me to try out new things to keep me creatively fueled. Don’t think that the sales from these mini sessions will be “mini orders” either. I regularly have $2,000 and $3,000+ orders from these mini sessions! I also have a client who has attended most every mini session the past three years with the idea of doing an album of all of the mini sessions... a product I hadn’t thought much about until she suggested it! I have clients who come back every year for me to create very custom Christmas and holiday cards for them. Some have been coming back to me for 10 years or more. These are not “plug an image into a template” kind of cards. These are creative cards that tell a story. Over the years as dogs come and go, these cards tell their family’s story. Again, I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t profitable, and it gets returning clients in the door another time. I realize not everyone wants to devote the time to coming up with creative ideas for client holiday cards. But take the basic idea of creating events or timely products and find something that works for you. Build on what you found out when you asked your clients about the timing of their inquiry.
One way to plant some seeds is when you are first showing your regular product samples, you show your products to memorialize a dog (I am assuming that the dog is healthy at this point.) It could be special jewelry, a special matted photo on an easel, a box to keep the dog’s collar or other keepsakes, or something else you create. The point is to introduce it early and plant the seeds for when it is needed later. Sometimes the willingness of a photographer to sensitively discuss a pet’s future makes all of the difference in the choice to return. Pet owners usually regard their pets as children. Their “children” don’t usually have reasons to celebrate the times of their lives. It’s up to you to create reasons to memorialize those moments with photography.
Margaret Bryant is an award winning photographer who specializes in photographing dogs and their people. Her style is simple, original and authentic and often shows the humor and whimsy of dogs. She shares her knowledge with others with speaking, teaching, private coaching and writing.
Be sure to educate your client or potential client about coming to you when they get a new dog, especially if it is a puppy. Photographing the puppy with an object of known size is a “must”, since later they will forget how small the puppy really was. Some pet photographers have found success with doing a “Baby Plan” with a puppy. Try these ideas or come up with your own. The hardest part about educating your clients is talking about photographing a dog that is gravely ill. You need to be sensitive in telling people to come to you after the dog has been diagnosed, but before he/she looks sick. Start early and plant seeds while the dog is still well and vibrant. You need to have a plan for photographing gravely ill dogs on short notice. You also need to have products that directly address remembering a dog who has died. We photographers don’t
So, you’ve signed up for a workshop. You have blocked yourself out of the studio and have packed all of the necessary clothing, equipment and notebooks. There are a few things to be mindful of before leaving for your trip to a workshop or school. First, if you are a full-time working professional photographer, much of what you will learn may be in small nuggets of great information gleaned from what may lie below the surface of the techniques being taught or shown. Much of what you may see and hear, you may already know. What I mean by that is that this is an association of professionals. While we don’t know everything, we know a lot and we are kidding ourselves if we think we will learn something new and earthshaking all day, everyday during a workshop. Sometimes workshops or schools can be a refresher course, sometimes an inspiration, but almost always necessary. Workshops help us in ways we may not recognize at first. While teaching a class in Texas recently, I was illustrating a technique of painting with light. One of my students made the comment, just loud enough for me too hear, that this wasn’t a very good use of our time and that he’d never have a use for this technique. Another student overheard and explained that he had learned the same technique years before and felt the same way, only to be surprised by a higher end client who asked if he could photograph a nice night time shot of his company’s airplane. By remembering the techniques, he was able to pull off the job quickly and efficiently without a lot of testing in front of the client. You may not always see the value of the illustrated lessons but, mark my words, someday you’ll use the information. Never say never. Go to your school or workshop with the right attitude. Don’t go in with the idea of sitting in the back row with your arms folded thinking, “Okay, teach me something.” In fact, start out by getting involved, getting to know the instructor and spending time with the group. Jump up and grab a light stand if the instructor needs an extra hand.
GET INVOLVED and STAY INVOLVED. Eat together with fellow students, discuss the day’s offerings and you’ll soon feel part of the community. That feeling will stay with you long after the school has ended, and you are back to the daily work in your business. Most of what I have learned in our industry has come from one on one discussions with other photographers, instructors, often while eating, riding in an elevator or sitting around together after class. It’s all part of the experience and I hope you will invest your time wisely and get the most from your efforts.
Tony Corbell has been teaching lighting concepts, theories, and techniques for over twenty-five years and has spoken to over over 40,000 photographers throughout the world on the topic of light control. His numerous youtube videos have topped well over one million views. He is an instructor at the Texas School of Professional Photography and most recently spoke at TPPA Summerfest 2018. You can learn more about Tony Corbell at www. corbellworkshops. com and www. corbellphotographics.com.
any of you have already been a part of photographic conventions, possibly photographic schools, workshops, or seminars. Clearly, most of the tools of our craft are gained while attending these types of events. I can’t recall too many successful photographers who have embarked on a career without attending conferences, conventions, workshops and seminars. Unlike any other professional career choices, photographers tend to go into business before learning the subtle details of their craft. Many other countries around the world require much more schooling and testing before photographers can go into business for themselves than here in the United States. Some western European countries require an advanced degree, a residency and internship styled program and a test which resembles the BAR exam. Anyone with a camera can go into business as a photographer in the United States.
Each winner receives a full scholarship to Texas School 2019. Thanks to Panasonic and Arlington Camera for sponsoring this event.
Cristie Reddehase of Spring, Texas
Jean Wall of Carrollton, Texas
Jeff Eatley of Lafayette, Louisiana
To support this approach, look back at the famous portraits done by Karsh. Photographers around the world look at those images with respect for the story conveyed, the posing and lighting. As you study his images, you do not see big default grins. Can you imagine the image of Churchill with a big toothy grin. It simply would not convey the “bulldog” of the English parliament during WW11. Facial Views: This is the classic and MOST common approach. When we look at a face, we need to look at the shape of the face in soft expressions and full smiles. As we look at this lady, we see a very attractive woman. When we look more closely (with a professional eye), we see the eyes are different sizes, the cheek and jawline are not symmetrical and her gentle smile is diagonal. We must explore the other views of the face to define her best attributes and view of the face. In a case where one eye is larger than the other, one solution is to turn the head where the larger eye is further away from the camera.
hink like a customer… when you see a photo you are in, what do you do? You look at yourself. You analyze what you look like. That is simply human nature. That is also what our clients do. So, what is the message here?
It is EXPRESSION. We can go to great lengths to plan composition, lighting and all manner of things but purchasing desire always comes down to expression and the emotion that evokes. Ultimately it is what the client is paying for. The most successful photographers in our industry understand this. They do not just “take pictures or spray and pray”. They actually analyze their subjects and explore the views of their faces and what kind of expression is the most flattering. They also consider what kind of expression conveys the purpose of the portrait. Exploring expressions that are not default smiles opens an amazing opportunity of actually connecting with the subject and conveying their personality.
Profile Left and Right: Commonly, profiles are the most dramatic in low key situations. Is a profile the most flattering view for most? It can be but one has to look closely at the shape of the face (nose, cheeks, forehead and flow of the hair) to see if it works. Not everyone has a flattering profile, but when photographing a profile image, it is always best to use short lighting. Two-Thirds View: Now let’s look at a two thirds view (turning the head to the left or right and often called a three quarters view). This view, as seen on the following page, is used in every session as it tends to create an oval perception of the clients face. THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Note the differences in these two images. The first (top) image has a foundation for the head to rest on. The second (bottom) image conveys a bobble head on unbalanced shoulders. This kind of detail is important. A key concept to consider is the direction of light as it relates to the flow of the hair. Too often, when there is a clear sense of the “flow” of the hair, photographers bring the main light in from the opposing direction. You often see conflicting shadows being cast by the hair and a visual “conflict” with the direction of the main light and the hair. Now lets take this one step further. In the above image (right), the face has a beautiful oval look. HER right eye is still a little bigger but very flattering.
The following (right) is what we see in many images today… turning the head too far and losing the beautiful oval and the connection with the viewer. This distorts the beauty of the face and you end up photographing a “cheek” rather than the beauty of the person. As we turn the head, this young women loses the elegant oval to her face seen in the proper two thirds views.
Eye Direction: Another consideration is eye direction (below). In the above situations, we see the eyes pointing in the same direction as the nose. In fashion photography you often see the eyes drifting away from the camera point of view. This is done on purpose as fashion photographers want you to pay attention to the clothes and hair (not fall in love with the model). In portrait photography, we want to make a connection with the subject which means we must make a connection with the eyes. The only time we should break this rule of the eyes pointing in the same direction as the nose is if you bring the eyes back to the camera or you want to show an emotion of disinterest (lacking engagement with the viewer). In a situation like that you have to have a purpose. If there is no connection with the person, you get a different message. That is rare in portrait photography. THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Gentle Expressions: Look closely at these two images (upper right). Both are good and potential sellers. The smile will be embraced by mom and grandma but look closely at the gentle smile in the right pose. It is timeless and you see the innocence of a child. A serious professional also understands the subtle difference in expressions and takes the time to share his / her perception to the client. Consider these images (above). They are simple business portraits yet one is head and shoulders better than the other. Physically there is very little difference. Clearly the right image is the more flattering portrait… the face, mouth and eyes are relaxed yet she is smiling. Expressions that are gentle and often “non-toothy” tend to stand the test of time and also convey more personality and “soul.” I am NOT suggesting to avoid smiles. I am encouraging exploring non toothy grins for your resource of image captures. A key to successfully selling this approach is to make the client aware of what you are doing and why. You do not want the objection of “he isn’t smiling” to overshadow the impact of gentler expressions. Always handle objections BEFORE the client brings them up. It may seem daunting to explore facial views and expressions during a session but in reality it really is not difficult if you have taken the time in advance to manage your posing and lighting issues. Once that is done, you simply talk to the client and keep a careful eye on their expressions. Then the KEY… as the artist, make a decision of what look is the best and convey your enthusiasm to the client.
Don MacGregor is from Vancouver, BC, and taught a class on “Lifestyle Environmental Portraiture” at Texas School ‘18. His class covered composition and posing for individuals and groups, environmental light control, designing portraits for wall decor, sales, and much more. To learn more about Don MacGregor and his work, go to www. MacGregorStudios.com.
So, how do I get clients to interact... naturally? It depends on the age of the children. Children under the age of 10 or so are easier to work with. You just have to do something like... picking a leaf off a tree and looking at it, or picking a flower and counting the petals (or picking off the petals). You can read a book, build a sandcastle, feed the birds or ducks. Those things are pretty easy and universal to do in many situations. Most people still need to be told what to do and are looking for guidance from me. Therefore, I still pose the clients in a way that looks great and flatters the subject. Once that is accomplished, I tell them what they are going to be doing while in that pose. A good “pre-portrait” consultation is the key to making it all work. During that consultation, I introduce this style to the clients. We talk about things that might have special meaning to that particular family such as reading a favorite book, playing an instrument, playing catch or other kinds of sports, fishing, having a tea party or picnic. Each family is different and that is what makes these types of portraits so interesting to me. I would much rather create a story-telling portrait than, as Don MacGregor says, a “roadmap of the face.”
Creating interactive portraits of families with older or adult children can be more challenging. For example, a family with older teenage children or grown children are not usually going to all read a book together or smell a flower together. This is where a family activity will really come in handy... perhaps a photograph of them on their ski boat or posed around their swimming pool. Having a family engaged in an activity that they all enjoy will make their expressions more realistic and they will enjoy the session more. One image I often create is that of the family walking together and holding hands. They feel really silly doing it, but they all start really laughing and the expressions are usually priceless. I also create many images in a session where the subjects are looking at something that is off in the distance. These types of images also sell well because the client can still get a good view of their faces, but they are not staring back at themselves on the wall. This is a good step for the “traditional” client that you are trying to break away from the norm and move into something a little different. Our studio has now taken interactive portraiture another step and have added them to our “Collector’s Series” portraits. From Easter and Santa portraits to other specials such as Fall Fairies, I now create storytelling images of each session. Not only are clients purchasing wall portraits of these images, they are also purchasing albums that capture all of the images from the session. These sessions are 20-30 minutes long and include both the traditional (looking at the camera) images as well as interactive images. These Collector’s Series portraits also serve as an introduction to our studio for new clients. What better way could you ask to introduce them to my interactive portrait style? In today’s market, it is extremely important to separate yourself from all of the other photographers in your area. At our studio, we have done this by creating a piece of art for my clients to display on their walls that tells their own story. This is not only fulfilling for myself as a portrait artist, but also as a wife and mother who values the storytelling portraits of my own family.
t the various seminars I have given, I am often asked, “How do you create those interactive portraits? ...How are you getting them to purchase interactive portraiture instead of the traditional, smiling (and looking at the camera) pose? What do you say to the clients to get them to do this so naturally?” Although not every session is exactly alike, there are some basic techniques I’ve learned over the years that work well for me. My introduction to interactive portraiture began several years ago when I took a Texas School class taught by Canadian Don MacGregor. It was a “life changing” experience. I had been in the photography business for about four years and was still searching for my own “style.” While studying under Don, I soon realized how valuable family portraits were to my clients, especially when they capture the family in a truly natural way. I immediately went back to my studio and started adding some interactive portraits to each session. At first, I didn’t have a lot of samples on my walls to display this interactive style, so clients didn’t purchase them. But as soon as I got an image that I thought was a great example, I printed it in 30x40 and displayed it where it could be seen as soon as you walked through the door. As soon as I did that, I started selling them. It was like magic!
Elizabeth Homan, of San Antonio, is an award-winning portrait artist widely known for her distinctive yet traditional style of portraiture of families and children. She and her husband, Trey, are instructors at the Texas School of Professional Photography.
Today, I am known for my interactive style and I spend about 40% of each session creating these types of portraits. I have many clients who still want the traditional style, but my clients come to me because they see a difference in my work, even if they don’t know what it is they are actually liking about it. I love creating these images and I love seeing them grace the walls of my clients’ homes. In about 90% of the family portraits displayed in my studio, the subjects are not looking at the camera. Along with the studio displays, I also display interactive images in my marketing pieces and create some of these images for every client.
DRONE GROUP PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBERT SUDDARTH
Summerfest Just Keeps Getting Better! by
ccording to the comments and posts to social media, Summerfest 2018 was a hit with attendees. We heard from a number of our speakers that they have never seen anything like TPPA Summerfest! What makes Summerfest so special is that it blends the educational opportunities of a photographic conference with a vacation retreat for the entire family. With photographers, vendors, families, and kids, we saw close to 250 enjoy this yearâ€™s Summerfest on the shores of Lake Conroe at the La Torretta Resort. Day one of Summerfest was our annual TPPA Photographic Competition. This year, we broke a record for recent years with 510 entries for our judges to evaluate. TPPA ensures the results are representative of District and IPC results by using only judges from PPAâ€™s International Print Competition and jurors who are in training. Interestingly enough, almost 1/3 of our attendees took advantage of the Image Competition Boot Camp led by Mark McCall. This one-day workshop was structured to help those who want to begin entering images in the competition and those who want a higher degree of success. By gaining a better understanding of the judging process and how to prepare images, participants increase their chances of getting a good score. We heard nothing but high praises from those who enlisted in our boot camp. We also enjoyed a VIP class from Tony Corbell on setting yourself apart from the competition. Sunday night kicked off with a free picnic meal for all attendees and their family at the TPPA Lakeside Villa sponsored by our vendors. Thanks to Color Inc. Pro Lab for sponsoring the Sunday night picnic. Monday launched with two programs which included Teri Whittaker on photographing flowers and Diana Waguespack doing an outstanding underwater fashion portraits class in the pool at La Torretta, plus an exciting program on drones by Justin Moore. Special thanks to Bill and Angela Porter of Arlington Camera for their help in outfitting attendees for their underwater shooting. Monday continued with important program on marketing from Gary Hughes and Gary and Kathy Meek teaching a full-day class for those preparing for the PPA Certification. The afternoon program was all about the task of running a successful business. PPA President, Stephen Thetford opened up with his presentation on closing the gap between photographers and consumers. The afternoon continued with a live sales presentation by Don Dickson and a great conversation from Deanna Duncan. Doc List facilitated ongoing discussion in a small group format to foster ideas for creative solutions. The evening closed with our huge fish fry out at McDade Park. Thanks to White House Custom Colour for sponsoring the fish fry! Tuesday began with the tee off for the annual TPPA Golf Scramble. Three teams of golfers competed for glory and prizes while enjoying a day on the beautiful and challenging course at La Torretta. The morning continued with a class from Mandy Corbell on excellent retouching methods and Doug Bennett on landscape photography. The afternoon programs included Karen Butts on composition and color and Ralph Romaguera on getting into volume. Tuesday evening closed with the Awards Presentation. This was a time to honor and reward the hard work of TPPA members who entered photographic competition. We also presented the TPPA Star Volunteer Awards for a number of volunteers who served at least three hours at Summerfest. Wednesday closed with a motivational program from Nate Peterson on photographing seniors. His program really drove home the point that photographers need to sell the experience as well as photographs. We have already started planning a bigger and better Summerfest for June 30 through July 3, 2019. Save those dates!
President’s Theme Trophy - “Class of 2018”
Best Non-Event Album by a Master
“Yin & Yang”
Best Photographic Open - General Exhibit Distinguished Image - Photographic Open of Group
Best Non-Event Album - General Exhibit
“Puppy Love Vol. One”
Best Photographic Open of Wedding or Social Event
“Defying the Odds”
Best Photographic Open - Classic Portrait
“Cajun Queen” Tony Corbell
Best Illustrative Open - Commercial
Best Illustrative Open - Sport or Event
Best Illustrative Open - Wildlife
“An Old Soul”
Best Illustrative Open - Aerial
“They Fell Together” Robert Norwood
Best Photographic Open of a Group
Best Photographic Open of a Child
“Ladies in Waiting”
Best Photographic Open of a Woman Sunset Award from LexJet
“Color Me Softly” Phaneendra Gudapati
Best MA General Collection
Best Illustrative Open - Architecture
“Stairway to Heaven”
“Center of Attention”
Best Event Album by a Master
Best Illustrative Open - General Exhibit Distinguished Image - Illustrative Open, Fine Art Judges Choice Ribbon
“Game On” Jason Ulsrud
Best Illustrative Open - Fine Art
“With Head Bowed Down” Teri Whittaker
“Two Worlds, One Love” Best Entry by a Student
“The Storm Has Just Begun” Stephanie Kewish
Best Photographic Open of a Man Best Photographic Open by a Master ASP State Elite & CPP Award Judges Choice Ribbon & Best of Show
“The Conquistador” Brooke Kasper
Fuji Masterpiece Award
“Master Craftsman” Andrea Schuler
Best Photographic Open of an Animal
Best Illustrative Open - Scenic Judges Choice Ribbon
“Paint Me Like One of Your French Girls”
Best MA by a Master Artist
“Deep Sea Encounter” Brad Barton
Best Illustrative Open by a Master Distinguished Image - Illustrative Open, Scenic
Best Master Artist Restoration
Best First Time Entry
“Parliamentary View” Maryanne Keeling
“In the Beginning”
“All in a Day’s Work”
“Empty Promises” Dennis Kelley
“Yeah, She Likes Me”
“Blondes Do Have More Fun”
“Cocktail Party Gone Awry”
“God’s Evening Light”
“Beauty Awaits at the Gate”
“Understated Elegance” Teri Whittaker
“Be Free Mon Amour”
“A Classic Beauty”
“A Glorious New Beginning” “Stoney E. Bunting”
“Ready for Action”
“No Sacrifice Too Great”
“Right Where I Belong”
“He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”
“Journey’s End” Dan Ferguson
“This is Our House”
“Bound by Privilege”
“Feeling a Little Crabby” Tina Caron
by Bill Hedrick
PHOTO BY JENN BEENE
he National Award is presented each year to an individual who has proven their dedication to the profession by years of service and commitment. The inscription on the award simply states “For Meritorious Contributions to Professional Photography.” This year’s award was presented at Summerfest ‘18 and the recipient of the National Award from Texas was Steve Kozak of Grand Prairie, Texas. Most of us know Steve as the guy behind the scenes who never sleeps. It seems that every minute of his day is devoted to Texas PPA. He is the driving force for all that takes place for our members and is always there to give a helping hand or a word of encouragement. He has been a professional photographer for over 38 years, first setting up shop in Nacogdoches, Texas, after graduating from Stephen F. Austin University. In 1995, Steve moved his business to Grapevine, Texas, and eventually ended up in Grand Prairie, Texas, the present headquarters of Texas PPA. In 1998, Steve caught the attention of Don Dickson, Director of the Texas School of Professional Photography, and has been a regular instructor there ever since. However, he has taught at other affiliate schools throughout the United States and Canada. Education is his calling and Steve takes that responsibility quite seriously. His articles have been published in several regional and international magazines including this one and his inspiring and informative instructional videos and CD tutorials have been widely distributed throughout the country. At one time, he even hosted his very own photography based television show. After going through the ranks of Texas PPA officers and serving as the association’s President in 2016, Steve was hired as the Texas PPA
Executive Director in 2017 and hit the ground running. Under his leadership, the association has reaffirmed its place as the number one state affiliate of PPA in the nation and continues to grow. Presenting the National Award to Steve Kozak was last year’s recipient, Mark McCall, of Lubbock, Texas. As is the tradition with Texas PPA and others, the audience is given a series of hints as to who is the recipient. But it didn’t take everyone long to realize exactly who it would be. Before Mark was well into the list of accolades, all eyes were turned to the table where Steve was seated. It was an extremely emotional moment for him and everyone else in the room as Mark read several testimonials from members whose lives were touched by this friend and educator. But perhaps one of the more moving testimonials came from McCall himself who told how, at a time of personal crisis, it was Steve Kozak who recognized something was wrong and called Mark to tell him that “everything was going to be OK.” The conversation lasted for some six hours. These are the things that make lasting impressions on others and I can tell you that Steve Kozak has touched my life as well, offering words of encouragement when things looked hopeless. It is the true meaning of friendship. So, it is with great pride that the Texas Professional Photographers Association honors Steve Kozak with this coveted award to express our love and gratitude for someone who loves this profession and has dedicated his life to it. For what he has done and for the things he has planned for the future of this association, we are grateful and blessed to have him in a position of leadership. Congratulations, Steve Kozak, for all that you do! Aug/Sept 2018
“Moonlit Demise” was created by Robert Suddarth, of Lubbock, Texas. The ship used in the image was a model built from scratch by Robert’s mentor from art school, Frank Cheatham, who passed away about 16 years ago. Over the years, the ship took on a character of its own with age and parts of the masts breaking. “I’ve studied the ship through the years, knowing I wanted to create an image that would make him proud,” he explains. In creating the image, Robert set it up on a simple table and draped an Old Masters backdrop behind the ship to give the look of a night sky. A Flood software filter positioned at the bottom of the image provided the water and was manipulated to match the rest of the scene. The moon was a stock image and, for a final touch, Robert selectively added fog with several different fog brushes in Photoshop. The image won a trophy at Summerfest ‘18 Image Competition for Best Illustrative by a Master as well as a Distinguished Image Ribbon in the Illustrative Open for a Scenic.
"Who Are You" by Gregory Daniel, "Interactive Family Portraits" by Elizabeth Homan, "ESP: Expression Sells Portraits" by Don MacGregor, "Cre...
Published on Aug 10, 2018
"Who Are You" by Gregory Daniel, "Interactive Family Portraits" by Elizabeth Homan, "ESP: Expression Sells Portraits" by Don MacGregor, "Cre...