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Dapper by Teri Whittaker, CPP

I can feel the excitement as March draws to a close and April beckons.

CONTENTS PPA Member Articles PPGH Meetings/Events Regional Events Publisher Aileen Harding, M.Photog., CPP Editor Theresa Campbell Graphic Design/Layout Theresa Campbell Jeanie Galvanni

Aileen Harding, M. Photog., Cr. CPP

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APR 2017


Image Competition

Spring is a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. All those great business plans and ideas we got at Imaging have been simmering and now is the time to put them in action. What better time, then, to have the Internationally known Jeffrey Shaw come visit us for our April Meeting. Jeffrey Shaw is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker at creative and business conferences, host of the popular Aileen Harding, M.Photog, CPP. business podcast Creative Warriors, reaching as high as #4 in iTunes, and a featured storyteller on The Moth. For more than 3 decades, Jeffrey has been one of the most sought-after portrait photographers in the U.S., photographing the families of such notables as Tom Seaver, Pat Riley, David Bloom, Stephanie Seymour, and C-Suite executives from Twitter, Anheuser Busch, 3M, as well as Wall Street leaders too many to mention. His portraits have appeared on the Oprah Show, in People Magazine, O Magazine, and others. With a social media following well over 100k and anticipation of his forthcoming book, LINGO, Jeffrey is regarded as a leading voice for the future of entrepreneurship and innovative marketing in a world eager for creative solutions in business. Jeffery Shaw helps all types of creative entrepreneurs, small business owners to find creative solutions to the complex world today of business, marketing, and branding. I'm looking forward to hearing what Jeffrey has to say, and implementing into my ever evolving business. I hope you are too!


To contact your officers or director, just click on their name.

Chairman of the Board Teri Whittaker, CPP

President Aileen Harding, M. Photog., Cr., CPP

Vice-President Kevin Falcon, CPP

Secretary Nikky LaWell, Cr., CPP

Treasurer Kathy Kinser, CPP

Executive Director Belinda Higgins, M. Photog., Cr., CPP

Director - Membership Laura Mansur, CPP

Director Duane Blocker

Director Kat Mack

Director Booker Shelton, Jr.

Audit Chairman: Kim Christensen Blair Haynie, CPP, Lynda Meyer Bylaws Chairman: Tom Hathcock, M.Photog., Cr., CPP Dixie Dobbins, M.Photog., Cr., CPP Alvin Gee, M.Photog., Cr., CPP Clean Up Board Liaison: Teri Whittaker, CPP Communications/Graphic Design Chairman: Alison Carlino, CPP Jessi Marri Becker, Kelli Leaker Ethics Chairman: Dixie Dobbins, M.Photog., Cr., CPP Mindy Harmond, CPP Hallie Keller, CPP Curley Marshall Cr., CPP

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Belinda Higgins, M.Photog., Cr., CPP Fellowship Chairman: Kevin Falcon,CPP Image Competition Board Liaison: Teri Whittaker, CPP Chairman: Vera Brock Sherry Piché, M.Photog, CPP, Blair Haynie, CPP, Duane Blocker, Cat Dybala, M.Photog., M.Artist Librarian Chairman: Curley Marshall, Cr., CPP Booker Shelton, Jr. Membership: Chairman: Laura Mansur, CPP Sandy Buller, CPP, Karen Butts, M. Photog., Cr., CPP, Hallie Keller, CPP Mentor Program /Certification Chairman: Karen Butts, M.Photog., Cr., CPP


Nominating Chairman: Tom Hathcock, M.Photog., Cr., CPP Mitch Daniels, Cr. Photog. Belinda Higgins, M.Photog., Cr., CPP Kevin Falcon, CPP PPGH Workshop Series Board Liaison: Teri Whittaker, CPP Chairman: Teresa Casillas Procedures and Controls Board Liaison: Teri Whittaker, CPP Social Media Board Liaison and Chairman: Kevin Falcon,CPP Telephone Board Liaison: Booker Shelton, Jr. Vera Brock, Rebeca Calzado, Juliana Cedeno, Ursula Chester, Tara Flannery, CPP, Kelli Leaker, Lynda Meyer, Danielle Moore,

Sadiqa Sevier, Booker Shelton, Jr. Web Site Board Liaison: Kevin Falcon, CPP Web Master: Duane Blocker Marvin Labohm Welcoming Board Liaison: Curley Marshall, Cr., CPP Tom Hathcock, M.Photog., Cr., CPP

 y Aileen Harding, M.Photog., Cr., CPP b Families - Life's Greatest Blessings

Kari Douma “Families-Life's Greatest Blessings� by Kari Douma was a huge hit! Kari provided loads of information on how to run a successful studio during the daytime portion, and then proceeded to photograph a family of seven and an additional family of four. The evening portion was full of great info regarding consultations, pre-planning the session to meet the needs of the Client, and various marketing and business generating ideas that have worked for Kari and helped her to grow her business. Teri Whittaker said that she took more notes during this program than any other she's ever attended at PPGH!! Thank you Kari Douma, for an incredible day of education at PPGH.

Photography by Booker Shelton and Laura Mansur

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 y Belinda Higgins, M.Photog., Cr., CPP b IS GOOD ENOUGH Really Good Enough? Flipping the channels one Saturday night, I caught a PBS special with Barbra Streisand, telling the story of ‘Being Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough’, from Hallelujah Baby; the 1969 Broadway Musical. I had not heard the song, nor seen the production, but her story and the song struck a nerve in me. Not only did it remind me of the beginning of my career, but it also made me think about our beloved photography industry as it is today. Was ‘being good enough ever really good enough’? On a personal level, looking back, even at the very beginning of my career, no, it wasn’t. Being good enough was never good enough. My story; In 1982, when we were blessed to open our first studio, we had the normal obstacles to overcome, but, I personally felt the pressure of being a woman in a male dominated industry. Don’t get me wrong, I was treated with nothing but respect within the professional circles. And though, our clients ‘loved’ me, they still wanted Richard to be the photographer. He was the ‘man’. No one was used to a woman photographing weddings. No one was used to a woman photographing sports leagues. And this woman was small in size, with an unusual voice…squeaky, as it was described growing up! It did not take me long to figure out that being good enough was not good enough in my world. I had to be better. Now, in 2017, we keep hearing from the general public that everything is 'good enough'. “It’s not as good as you can do, but it’s good enough.” This has made me wonder, as a professional photographer, can we afford to just be good enough? No. I don’t think so. With the photography business being so competitive, being good is simply not good enough. With the advent of online snapshots, free social media platforms, and the ease of carrying a camera ‘in our phone’, the public baseline perception of good photography has lowered. Technology itself seems to be the culprit, making it possible for the average consumer to obtain great images without even understanding how it was done. It is now easier than ever to be technically good. But really, who cares anymore? Being sharp, in focus, and technically brilliant is a given. Everyone can do this.

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Photographer: Terry O'Neill/Hollywood

This has helped blur the line between being amateur and professional. So, what can we do to be better than ‘good enough’? We need to be able to differentiate ourselves from the millions of other photographers also trying to reach our clients. Being great at what you’re good at isn’t simple! But it’s doable. With a determination to push relentlessly for excellence. Be Good. Undeniably good. “Be so good they cannot ignore you.” Steve Martin Adapt to change. It’s happening by the milli-second in our industry. Be ready. Watch for it. Use wisdom, know when it’s time to make the changes. Know your buyers. Our buyers are changing. Almost as quick as our technology. Their needs are not the same as they were pre-digital or even five years ago. Study their tendencies and buying habits. Adapt. Learn, learn, learn. Learn professional posing and lighting techniques. This is now easier than ever. Do not underestimate the value of ‘in person’ education and fellowship.

Sell you. Not your images. Build relationships. Nuff said. Work hard. Create your own luck! It’s not going to happen while you sit at home watching movies. The path to good photography is long and hard. Its hard work and practice. Get out there! Now! Work hard. Practice. Work hard. Practice. Repeat. Google the 10,000 hour rule, read about it. It certainly cannot hurt! Inspire Yourself. Write. Read. Run. Hike. Visit museums. Plant flowers. Play with your grandbabies. Answer your phone. Sounds simple. But most of the other ‘professional photographers’ don’t necessarily have a phone number to call. Be accessible. Service. Knock their socks off with service. Personal service. Under promise, over deliver. Throw in a ‘little treat’. You get the picture…right?

or be forgotten. Celebrate. Celebrate the success of others. Realize everyone’s success is a benchmark of our own journey. There’s much more, of course. But, you see where I’m going. Just keep going…pushing relentlessly for excellence. Don’t settle for ‘good enough’. Belinda Higgins, M. Photog., Cr., CPP

Belinda has been photographing families and children since 1983. Her light hearted, ‘loves everybody’ style enables her to create timeless images her clients cherish. Belinda’s images have been displayed in PPA Loan Collections and Epcot, as well as being featured in PPA, Regional, and Local Magazines. She has received numerous awards including; Kodak Gallery Awards, PPGH Photographer of the Year, Best of Show, etc.. She is most proud of a receiving a perfect print score of 100 from a PPA National Judging! Belinda currently serves as the Executive Director of the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston. Belinda is a Master of Photography, CPP, and Photographic Craftsman


You will find that when you are ‘rubbing elbows’ with other successful photographers (of all levels), it will elevate you quicker than learning on your own. Success comes from continually pursuing learning opportunities.

Give. Give to your community. Give to other ‘newbies’, sharing tips you’ve learned along the way. Give with an open hand and heart. Network. Get out there and promote yourself. No matter how good you might be behind the camera, if you sit at home you cannot be successful. Invest the time in yourself. Market yourself. There are more ways and opportunities to market yourself than ever before. Use them all. Don’t limit yourself to just one medium. It’s true…promote effectively

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Tara Flannery's Tips & Tricks • Design your own headshot and corporate magazine to email upon booking ( • Dillon Patrick - cinematic headshots • Sue Bryce - 28 Days on Creative Live • Pinterest Boards for Clothing Ideas • Partner with a Hair and MakeUp Artist • Ask your headshot client what colors they use on their website then match their clothing choice in the headshot to their website colors • Use a retouching booklet that demonstrates levels of retouching and get their opinion on it up front • When posing, use a progression of smiles approach - no smile, slight smile, large smile, laughing smile - provides variety

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 y Theresa Campbell b Headshot Boot Camp

Tara Flannery hosted a large group at her beautiful home in the Conroe area. During the training, Tara covered her approach to booking a client, discussing clothing and accessories, studio setup and equipment, lighting ratios for CPP, client interaction, and posing options. Then she brought in a handsome model to demonstrate all that she had just shared with us. Tara showed us several lighting set ups with the model, then we relocated to several areas to practice using natural light and reflectors. After we wrapped up the natural light practice, we all gathered around her computer to watch her retouch images. She provided many helpful tips throughout the process. It was a fantastic training. Tara is a wonderful instructor and talented photographer. I look forward to seeing her more on the training schedule in the near future! Tara Flannery, CPP Tara Flannery is a portrait photographer serving the greater Houston, TX area and is based in The Woodlands and Conroe. Tara specializes in portraits for families, seniors, and tweens as well as headshots and event photography.


 y Theresa Campbell b Laura Mansur's Working with Modifiers

Laura Mansur hosted a fabulous training at her Galleria area studio about working with modifiers. She shared so many different styles of modifiers with those of us in attendance it was hard to remember them all! She showed us how to effectively use a beauty dish, an eyelighter, snoots, grids, strips lights, and a huge soft modifier that made beautiful light. My favorite of all was the use of the grids to create this moody glamour style image of our beautiful model, Amber. For those of you who missed this one and are on the waitlist for her upcoming August training, never fear. Laura is a true expert in experimenting with light and modifiers and she is excited to present more trainings in the future. I, for one, cannot wait for the next one.

Images by Theresa Campbell

New Member: Todd Parker

I have been a photographer since the age of 4, when (in 1969) I blew through an entire film pack of Polaroid film. This was when the cameras were brand new and film packets were very expensive. I got spanked for blowing through all the film, but I was hooked. I spent my early career in sales and management, putting my BBA in Finance to work. Always working on my photography on the side, I decided in 2007 to transition from the white collar world into a career photography. I eagerly joined online forums, attended photographer get-togethers and picked the brain of any full time professional photographer I could find. I became a Certified Professional Photographer in 2011. Since my background was in the professional

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world, I gravitated towards working with businesses for headshots and executive portraits. My understanding of business and how to handle busy executives was a key component to growing this business. I also photographed families, children, pets and events. Slowly, over a decade, my business evolved into primarily a headshot and portrait studio. I am a studio owner and my shooting space is on the north edge of downtown Houston, sharing a property line with the University of Houston Downtown. I am continuing to refine and grow my business through targeted ad campaigns, leveraging satisfied clients for lead referrals and efficient use of social media. I will celebrate my 10th anniversary as a full time studio owner on April 12, 2017. I am not new to PPGH. I was a member back in 2009(ish), but am now finding my way back. I am looking forward to meeting the members of the guild and getting to know everyone better. I also have the need for an occasional assistant for large on-site headshot shoots, so if you’re interested, please let me know!

TEXAS GUILDS When you are traveling around Texas, stop by and visit one of the local affiliate guilds. Click on the links below to find out more about each one. Be sure to tell them you are from PPGH.

LOCAL AFFILIATES Austin · Austin Professional Photographers Association Bryan/College Station · Brazos Valley Professional Photographers Association Dallas · Dallas Professional Photographers Association Ft. Worth · Fort Worth Professional Photographers Association Lubbock · South Plains Professional Photographers Association San Antonio · Professional Photographers of San Antonio Tyler · Professional Photographers Forum of East Texas Waco · Heart of Texas Professional Photographers


Did you know you can enter the PPGH Local Photographic Competition at any level of membership? The image competition held at our monthly PPGH meetings is a great way to hone your skills and get feedback from proven and respected professionals in this industry. These talented individuals volunteer their time to judge images and provide valuable feedback utilizing the 12 elements of a merit image. You can earn merits on a local level and progress your image to the next level of competition to earn recognition and even degrees through the

Professional Photographers of America. All district competitions lead to the annual International Photographic Competition. Visit the links below to learn more about entering competition.

To learn about the guidelines for entering image competition at PPGH meetings visit: Image%20Competition/2015%20PPGH%20 Image%20Comp%20Rules.pdf

Follow along with image judging on the Game Day App, downloadable from Membership is optional but if you join you can search thousands of archival images to see scores and hear audio from the image competitions. It is a terrific resource.

To learn about upcoming competitions throughout the region visit:

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APR 2017 8




First Place Active Pretty in Pink

by Teri Whittaker, CPP

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Second Place Active Dapper by Teri Whittaker, CPP

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April 2017 PPGH Viewfinder  

A publication of the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston

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