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Blue Jean Blues by Laura Mansur, CPP


PRESIDENT'S s, there may come a time when MESSAGE efer a client elsewhere. When you fessional Photographer, you TPPA Summerfest....... knowledgeable, like-minded s your referral source and your refer other pros, they’re doing consumer on the skills.





me to earn my CPP additional tool to help me crowd. It shows hat I'm serious about my ng that I'm a CPP conndent hands."




Magician in Small Space



WELCOME New Members

PPA ATTENTION CPPS Renewing Your Certification


10 Do You Need to Hire Models


MAY MEETING Tracy Page Headshots

30 Print Competition


JUNE MEETING Print Competition



JUNE MEETING Jim Cunningham Art of Compositing

May to June 2017


UPCOMING ARTICLES Backup Pains in Business





STAFF Publisher

Aileen Harding, M.Photog. Cr., CPP

Graphic Design/Layout Theresa Campbell Jeanie Galvanni Proof Readers Karen Butts, M.Photog., Cr., CPP Kevin Falcon, CPP Teri Whittaker, CPP Photographers Booker Shelton, Jr.

And apparently other Guilds are aware of it as well. We just returned from TPPA's Summerfest event. Other Guild leaders were stopping me in the halls asking, “How does Aileen Harding Houston do it? Tell us about your Workshop Series. Tell us M.Photog., Cr, CPP about your Print Competition.” Speakers were asking if they could come and give programs...PPGH is well-known throughout the country as THE Guild to follow. And my answer to all their questions was...“It takes a Village. And we have an incredible Village with the Houston Guild.” I am so incredibly proud to be a part of PPGH. Thank you for all your hard work, for your gifts of time and talent, and most importantly for your positive attitudes and sense of inclusiveness. Our Guild is our members. And our members Rock!! Be sure to check out the upcoming workshops and events in this issue of the Viewfinder. Doc List is returning to help us Create Stunning Composites that Sell the Fake. Nikky LaWell is showing us How to Succeed with a Home Studio and although Teri Whittaker's Flowers to Fine Art Workshop is full, you can always get on the waiting list. Carol Andrews is giving a reprise with her Marketing Mall Crawl, you will leave amazed at all the subtle branding and marketing that you never noticed. The first time I attended her Mall Crawl I came home and completely reworked my price sheet design and all my marketing pieces! Katie Amber is coming from Dallas to share her Tips and Tricks with Newborn Photography and Kevin Falcon is going to help us ramp up our Workflow with Lightroom Basics. There is something for everyone! I'm especially excited about our upcoming meeting programs. I always like to learn from someone who has managed to stay in the business for the long haul. Bill Freeman has run a successful studio for over 30 years. He has agreed to teach us all about his Senior Volume Business. Do you like the idea of making $10,000 + in 2 days? Come listen and learn as Bill walks us through his workflow process. Then in August Suzy Fulton will share how she manages to average $2000+ with her High School Seniors in the small town of Lake Jackson. She'll teach an all day program beginning with consultations and following the entire process from shooting for profit to sales. Suzy is one of the best and savviest senior shooters in the country. I can't wait to learn how she managed to create a booming senior business in just a few short years. PPGH is dedicated to educating photographers, elevating our industry through that education, and creating fellowship with one another. I look forward to seeing you at some of these incredible events.


Editor Theresa Campbell

As the months of May and June wrap up, I realize that my year as President is already halfway over. This year has been so much fun...our Guild is such a gift in my life. I love to watch everyone visiting before the meeting begins. There's so much energy in the room...and laughter...and sharing. This group is awesome.

Aileen Harding, M. Photog. Cr. CPP

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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/Webmaster 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


Nomination Chairman: Tom Hathcock, M.Photog., Cr., CPP, Mitch Daniels, Cr., Alvin Gee, M.Photog., Cr., CPP, Kevin Falcon, CPP, Belinda HigginsStanford, M.Photog., Cr., CPP, Kim Christensen, Karen Butts, M. Photog., CPP, Tony Chicas, Johnny Wilson 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


How exciting to find out that PPGH won the 2017 Pride of Texas Trophy!! This trophy is awarded for Guild participation at the Summerfest event. Volunteer hours, Attendance and Print Competition Participation are all factors in determining the winner. Calculations are averaged in accordance with the total membership of each Guild. We are incredibly proud to be recognized for our contributions and efforts. Congratulations Houston!!!



Each year PPGH puts together a nomination committee that selects the next years Officers and Directors. The nominating committee’s slate of Officers and Directors for 2018 is listed below.

Chairman of the Board President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Membership Director Director Director Director

Aileen Harding, M.Photog., Cr., CPP Kevin Falcon, CPP Kim Hartz, M. Photog., Cr. CPP Duane Blocker Kathy Kinser, CPP Laura Mansur, CPP Kat Mack Booker Shelton Blair Haynie, CPP

Nominations will also be taken from the floor at the Sept.19, 2018 Business Meeting of PPGH for any of these positions. The nomination committee for 2017 was: Tom Hathcock, M.Photog., Cr., CPP– Chairman, Past President, Past Executive Director Mitch Daniels, Cr. – Past President, Past Executive Director Kim Christensen, Past President Karen Butts, M.Photog.,CPP – Past Membership Director Tony Chicas- PPGH Active Member Johnny Wilson- PPGH Active Member

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JUL 2017 3

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At only $236/year for $1million in coverage, this is one of the most affordable general liability insurance options out there.

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Don’t be held responsible when Murphy’s Law strikes!


acting as your key light on that boom. There are so many options when using a boom arm. Most importantly, use a light meter in your small studio. ‘Chimping’ is not a good idea when you’re in such a small space because the back of your camera will deceive you. Take it from me, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. The rim lights and that very specific hair light need to be metered. It’s just so tempting to just wing it and hope for the best. You’ll be upset when you’ve blown out the blond hair or you’ve lost detail in some areas. Collapsible backdrops are very suitable for working in a tight spot. They come with a foldable wrinkle free fabric that has a support stand. These are also convenient to fold and take on a location head shot session. And if you’re in a space where the floors are not worth looking at then consider using floor drops. Put two together and it will seem like the size of a large dance floor. I didn’t have a photography studio when I was working on my submissions for CPP. I was taking head shots on location and sometimes not controlling the light to the high standards of the testing process. I realized that controlling the light and showing its direction are crucial to creating a pleasing head shot. So I needed to make a space long enough for the pleasing compression that a long lens gives to the portrait. I decided to use the hallway of our house. It was long enough for me to back up the full length of the house and photograph a full body image with a 135 prime. The

hallway was a little narrow in one area so I had to frame it up very exactly. It was a steep learning curve but I loved that hallway and I learned all its nooks and crannies. I’m realizing that many photographers are converting their dining rooms to become photography studios. The dining room is the least used room of the house so why not find a different function for that space? If the dining room opens up to the living room then that’s bonus space for backing up. Always think about using a lens at least 85 mm and higher in order to get compression and create a beautiful portrait without distortion. There is a story told of Akira Kurasowa, the Japanese film director who was asked about a particularly beautiful scene in one of his movies: “how is it that you came to frame that scene exactly like that?” Kurasowa replied something to the effect that if he had moved his camera one foot to the right a major highway would have been in the shot and if he had moved it one foot to the left an oil refinery would have been in the picture. Therein lies the magic of making a small studio seem much larger. We are magicians and our camera helps us create our magic.

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My studio is a small rectangular space. I’m located on an upper floor of a bank building with an attorney, an architect and a beauty salon (just two chairs) down the hall from me. Their spaces are comparable to mine and they make those spaces work for their needs. And that is what this article will be about, how to be a magician and optimize a small photography studio space. My job as a professional photographer is to be a magician in this small space, to make it look bigger than it really is. The challenge is the hair light, the rim lights and that large soft box that hits the ceiling. If only I could have three more feet lengthwise. Please can I raise the ceiling two more feet to fit a hair light. The most common complaint of a small studio owner is the low ceilings. I recently attended The Texas School for Professional Photographers in Addison, TX and Jamie Hayes and Mary Fisk Taylor were my instructors. Their studio is a converted house and they’ve conquered the low ceiling lighting problem. The secret, and this is just between us photogs, is to bounce the light off the ceiling. Take two light stands with strobes and silver reflectors attached and position them way up high in the corner of the room. Point them towards each other and magically the light will bounce off the ceiling and rim the hair and shoulders of your subjects. It’s really as easy as that. The best part of this set up is that your subject can be placed close to the backdrop and there will be no hard shadow produced on your backdrop from the key light. It’s a brilliant solution and it’s their idea. I’m just the messenger. The second way of conquering that low ceiling dilemma is using a boom arm on your light stand. Securely attach your soft box to the boom arm and it will allow you to photograph under your strobe or speedlite without interference from the light stand. You can have your hair light on the boom arm or you can have your beauty dish

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Living Legacy

Armando Chacon by Booker Shelton

If there is an opportunity to be found, Past President and Lifetime Member Armando Chacon knows how to take advantage of it. A multitude of opportunities have led him to many awards and achievements in the Professional Photographer's Guild of Houston (PPGH) and beyond. Chacon moved from Cuba to the United States back in April 1967. He has lived in the United States for 50 years. His photography career began when his dad gave him a 35mm camera as a child. His first unofficial assignment was a wedding for a family member in Spain. At the time he used a Konica 35-120mm camera. Shortly after, people came to really appreciate his work so he began doing photography on a part time basis in New Jersey. After working in New Jersey for awhile, he moved to Texas where he held various jobs from driving for construction companies to working in factories. During this time, he took a short hiatus from his photography work. However, that did not stop his passion for photography. In the early 1990s, he returned to photography work. Chacon expressed he really like using his Hasselblad camera. As film was dying out with the emergence of digital photography, he purchased a Nikon digital camera. In 1993, during the early stages of digital imagery, Chacon began working on computers with photography. He was one of the first to do so during that time period, which eventually led to his involvement with the guild. Chacon’s friend, Kevin Polanski, introduced him to the guild and Chacon didn’t waste any time getting involved. He began assisting with props and helping out wherever he could. Eventually, he became a board member, then president of the guild in 1998. Over the years Chacon’s work transcended to a master level which earned him multiple awards. Despite his success, Chacon continues to remain humble throughout the process. He stated, “Be humble in what you


do. Be yourself and don’t be selfish. Always be willing to help others.” When asked about his greatest achievement Chacon claimed he hasn’t achieved that yet. “No matter what level I achieve, there’s always room for improvement,” he stated. He stressed you have to be open minded and evolve through the years, especially with print competition. For many who are new to print competition or anyone who hasn’t achieved the level they desired Chacon said “It’s not about the score, it’s what the print means to you.” Of course learning the elements of print competition is important also. Today, Chacon isn’t afraid to take chances and explore with his photography work. His willingness to embrace the digital era has spilled over into helping others as well. When not working in his studio, he spends time traveling with his lovely wife, Michelle, as well as being with his family. He has three children and five grandchildren. If there is a party or a social gathering, you’re sure to find Chacon on the dance floor displaying his smooth Latin moves. If anyone is trying to emulate his success, he concluded with these words, “Always help in the guild and contribute. Be open minded and willing to share information with others, as well taking constructive criticism.” Of course, this also includes consistently perfecting your craft.

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ATTENTION ALL CPPs by Aileen Harding, M.Photog., Cr., CPP

Did you know that you need a certain number of educational merits to maintain your CPP status? Don't forget to take advantage of all the PPA Merited Programs offered this year! You've worked hard for your CPP. Don't let it slip away... FROM PPA.COM

Keep your certification valid! Every three years from your original designation date you'll need to recertify. But don't worry; it's not like going to the DMV to renew your license. To keep your CPP valid, all you need to do is acquire 15 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). How? It's easy!



Once you've achieved the CPP designation, you will need to recertify every three years. CPPs eligible for recertification will receive three notices on the year they are due to recertify, two via email and one via mail. 

To recertify, a payment of *$100 is required along with 15 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). These credits are for face to face education that a CPP has attended as a student and can be combined with CEUs earned for teaching or speaking at seminars, workshops and events. To learn how to how to earn credits or if you're not sure how many CEUs you have under your belt, please review the information below. 

Here's the point structure for CEUs earned for attending face to face education as a student: • 5 units = Teaching or speaking at any PPA affiliated seminar/workshop lasting 3 or more days • 3 units = Teaching or speaking at any PPA affiliated seminar/workshop lasting 2 or more days • 1 unit = Teaching or speaking at any PPA affiliated seminar/workshop lasting 1 day or less

*The $100 recertification fee is waived if you attend Imaging USA three years in a row. A max of 5 CEUs for teaching or speaking at any PPA affiliated seminar/workshop may be used toward the 15 CEUs required for Recertification. International CPPs will receive eight CEUs for attending their national convention of at least three days. You can submit your cumulative CEUs online by filling out the Recertification Education Unit Tracking Form on the PPA website. Once your form has been processed you will receive an email about the status of your recertification. If your recertification is accepted, you will receive your recertification packet and certificate in the mail within three to four weeks. The CEU system involved in the CPP recertification process encourages you to continue your photography education and raise the bar in the photographic industry.


If you can't meet the Education Requirements, you can always take the CPP Exam again. You can take the exam in-person or online. Unfortunately, if you are unable to fulfill one of the recertification requirements (15 CEUs or pass the CPP Exam) within your recertification period, your certification will be canceled. You will need to reapply as a candidate and complete the candidacy requirements to re-obtain your credential.

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WHAT MAKES YOU MORE CONNECTED? When busy season strikes, there may come a time when a photographer has to refer a client elsewhere. When you become a Certiied Professional Photographer, you join a network of reliable, knowledgeable, like-minded individuals. This network is your referral source and your referral base. When CPPs refer other pros, they’re doing their part to educate the consumer on the importance of technical skills.Â NEW MEMBERS

It was important for me to earn my CPP because it was an additional tool to help me stand out from the crowd. It shows prospective clients that I'm serious about my business and knowing that I'm a CPP helps my clients feel conndent that they're in good hands." Maggie Wendel, CPP PPA Member since 2010

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A paying client is not the time to refine your skills. So, do you have to hire models to practice that new lighting technique? If not, how do you find your models? No, you can combine your innate need to give back to the community with using your talent to bless someone that could not afford their own photographer. I have found the following to be growth opportunities: 1. Your model will not be the perfect size or have the clearest complexion but isn’t this the real world? 2. Your model will not be the “cheerleader” or “football star” bursting with confidence but perhaps someone who has never been the center of attention. This is your chance to help someone else shine. 3. Your model will not have the perfect outfits, but with posing, lighting and good communication skills you can help their inner beauty emerge and improve their confidence in front of the camera. Scarves, wraps, or hats you have available may be a welcome addition to the images. 4. Your model may be a “senior adult” who thinks no one really listens to them anymore. 5. Your models may be a military family who feels unappreciated and lonely. 6. Your models may be a family with special needs children. This list of models is only limited by your imagination and compassion when relating to others in your community.


Just look around in your everyday world for someone that may need a lift. I found my first “models” to be children that had one or both parents in prison. This particular group has monthly activities but three larger activities a year. I photograph the families three time a year and print on site for their personal record and a print to give to the incarcerated person. Even though I do not do volume photography or print on site any other time, this process is best for this group. Little things like taking the time to pose the family is important. I treat these families no different than paying clients. I approached two of my friends to help me organize the families and print the photos. We always have a great time on these photo days. The rewards we receive are worth more than the dollars from other clients. Recently, I gifted two seniors with sessions, prints, and digital files. Both seniors were in high school and in addition, working for necessities in their life. The se-

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nior girl was overweight and was thrilled to be asked to “model”. We did a clothing suggestion consult but kept it pretty open due to wardrobe constraints. We talked about what she wanted in a session and I honored her requests. A friend of hers came to assist me. The three of us had a few hours of fun and my “model” was the center of attention. I did process the images first so that she would look her best. Did I learn anything during the session? Yes, I learned that it is so rewarding to see someone smile with confidence in your body. She started off very self-conscious and reticent but blossomed during the session. My other “model” senior boy has a father in prison but was attending high school and working nights at Walmart. This is the first boy I have seen so excited to be photographed in his graduation gown. Usually, that’s a “mom thing” but not this time. He also was very proud to be photographed with his mom and little brother. Mom and little brother assisted me this time. We had a great time during the session. One of his favorites was throwing his graduation cap up and catching it. We don’t always realize the little things that can mean so much to hurting families. I have another “model” senior boy who will be graduating in 2018. He was so excited when I saw him at the spring meeting, looking forward to his senior session. I do include the available family in these sessions but the focus is entirely on the senior and the family photograph is a bonus. We can incorporate things we want to practice or try into these sessions but the main focus should be on what our “models’ want to focus on in this stage of their life. Both seniors wanted on-location so that’s what we did. I asked first if they had a location in mind and when neither of them did not have any particular spot, I asked for specifics of things they liked to do and types of photography they preferred. Try to get to know these models while you are discussing location and clothing options. But like other clients, do not be surprised when the clothes are inappropriate. Just smile and do your best with what is available.


Search out educational opportunities through our guild and TPPA. Then after some courses and hands-on practice you may think you’re ready to book clients. Before booking a client find a way to get some practical experience. If you want to photograph dogs, start donating time to a local shelter. That would give you some exposure and experience working with unfamiliar dogs. You may find out that pet photography is not your cup of tea, but better to find out now, rather than booking clients and having a pet session where everyone ends up frustrated.

Photography by Laura Mansur (Kari Douma)

Challenge yourself to really open your eyes and see the people around you and their needs. Feed your passion for photography while meeting a need in your community. These may very well end up being some of your most satisfying sessions.

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WELCOME: Lora Koleva

My name is Lora Koleva and I am the proud owner of Forever Boudoir Photography in Sugar Land. I opened my studio right after I graduated from the Art Institute of Houston, and have been fortunate enough to work in a field that I love every day. I enjoy being able to work with clients of all different backgrounds and have the opportunity to help women feel empowered and beautiful every day. My love of photography really began at a young age. My parents always had cameras in the house and any time we would go out as a family they would always take photos, and I was always intrigued by the old family photos that we had lying around the house. It was fascinating to me how photography could capture these important moments in time. I knew I wanted to pursue photography as a career in high school. I was definitely that artistic kid that was always in art class, and was walking the halls taking photos for the yearbook or journalism classes. I always had fun doing something creative and I wanted to build a career on that. Before I graduated high school I was fortunate enough to go to a pre college film photography program in New York at Pratt University. It was one of the best experiences of my life and it really helped cement my love of photography and convinced me to take the leap into getting a degree in the field. Learning about film photography was extremely helpful to me not only in regards to learning the basics about lighting, development, retouching practices, and other essential tools for great photography but it also gave me a spark of creativity and showed me what I can really do with photography.

I went on to study photography at The Art Institute of Houston where I was able to really try a multitude of different photography niches and really figure out what I wanted to pursue within the field. It was truly a blessing and I was able to find other likeminded artists and career professionals that helped to build my skills and network and really become a part of the photographic community. My time at the Art Institute also helped me realize that I wanted to be a business owner. Having the opportunity to talk to professors and career professionals that had owned their own studio for years really helped me realize that it would be a great opportunity not only to further my skills but to also bring my love of photography to clients. My education at the Art Institute also helped me find my love of fine art nude photography and boudoir, I always enjoyed portraiture and commercial photography, but fine art photography really helped me bring out my creative side and I wanted to bring that into my boudoir work as well. I really wanted to focus my talent on becoming a better boudoir photographer and really capturing the beauty of each and every client.

WELCOME: Scott Holleman The photography bug bit me when my family moved to Mexico City for a year and I took a little Kodak 126 camera everywhere. Back in 2000, I started doing photography full time, mainly with weddings and family portraits. Doing all my work on location, that is still

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my main focus, but I want to expand my portfolio and knowledge. Photography is a constant learning art and I love the challenge it provides. I knew of the guild and PPA years ago, but recently joined because as much as technology advances, there’s a great thing about learning and sharing that a webinar just can’t provide. Already it’s been a great resource, met some great people, and I look forward to being a part of the guild for many years.

Your photography degree is a big deal. Show it off to make it work for you! “ PPA’s degree program has gotten

me recognized in my community as a true professional in the industry. Earning recognition through awards and degrees has been a true asset to my success in the photography business.

Gregory Finney M.Photog., CPP

PPA’s merit & degree program is one of the largest in the industry…and its only purpose is to help you be more! Master of Photography, Master Artist and Photographic Craftsman are all designations you can be proud to earn.

Only a small fraction of professional photographers have earned these prestigious degrees. Stand apart from the pack. You can become one of those few. Begin your journey to photography excellence with PPA.

Learn more & get started at:


Headshots Training at May Meeting

MAY 2017

Tracy Page

Photography by Booker Shelton

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Jim Cunningham The Art of Compositing June Meeting PPGH was honored to have Jim Cunningham come to Houston and share his expertise on “The Art of Compositing” at our monthly general meeting on June 20th. Jim was one of our judges at our monthly image competition. After competition, he taught us how to obtain good, clean extractions and gave us a few pointers on how to blend images for believable composites.

JUNE 2017

Then 16 creative students studied with Jim for three days to find their “Artist Within” as he taught them how to paint images with Corel Painter. The class was a huge success and everyone completed the class inspired to go home and create art.

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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 these links to learn more about entering competition.


COMPETITION To learn about the guidelines for entering image competition at PPGH meetings visit: PPGH%20Image%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:




Did you know you can enter the PPGH Local Photographic Competition at any level of membership?






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.


Austin Professional Photographers Association


Brazos Valley Professional Photographers Association


Dallas Professional Photographers Association


Fort Worth Professional Photographers Association


South Plains Professional Photographers Association


Professional Photographers of San Antonio


Professional Photographers Forum of East Texas


Heart of Texas Professional Photographers



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First Place

Sacred Moment by Francie Baltazar-Stonestreet, M.Photog., Cr., CPP



Second Place

Sphere of Hope by Karen Butts, M.Photog., Cr., CPP



Third Place

Simple Elegance by Karen Butts, M.Photog., Cr., CPP



First Place

Beauty in Decline by Teri Whittaker, CPP



Second Place

Blue Jean Blues by Laura Mansur, CPP



First Place

Family Dinner by Aileen Harding, M.Photog., Cr., CPP



Second Place

Scarlett Victoria by Karen Butts, M.Photog., Cr., CPP



Third Place

Music of My Soul by Armando Chacon, M.Photog., Cr.


Focus by Theresa Campbell


First Place Tie



First Place Tie

Love's First Step by Maryanne Keeling



Second Place

Keep Your Eye On It by Laura Mansur, CPP



Third Place

Florentine Sunset by Maryanne Keeling



Wow, what an informative class this was! Aileen Harding showed us a fresh way of looking at our work. When choosing print competition images, instead of looking for images that a client will buy, we need to look with the eyes of the judges. This is a much more technical aspect of looking at our prints, and Aileen gave us many examples such as good lighting, the 12 elements of print competition, the way hands are posed, etc. She also pointed out the resources on PPA’s website available to PPA members. PPA’s website has videos and documents on how judging is done, the 12 elements of print competition, etc. Aileen also referred us to to watch recordings or live views of actual print competitions. I found it interesting that some of the outstanding merit images that Aileen entered also meant a lot to her personally and were things she wanted to capture as “forever memories” such as the flowers given to her by her daughter. If you know Aileen, you probably know she is a “dog person” and her merit lab puppy images exude puppy cuteness.

My takeaway from Aileen’s sharing is to look within my own work and find images that have personal meaning to me. That may be a good starting point for my next merit subject matter. But do not think that Aileen only shared the edited images, she also shared her straight-out-of-camera images. This helped us to see what needed to be improved in the image for it to receive a merit. After explaining and demonstrating what it takes to get a merit print, Aileen held a mock print judging. She projected an image and then asked for three scores from class participants and their reasoning behind those scores. This exercise not only improved our eyes as observers but put us in the judge’s position of having to make a decision on an image without the attachment we form to our own work. But most of all, Aileen encouraged us to try print competition. She talked about how it is a journey and we grow at our own pace along the way, improving our photography skills as we enter and receive feedback from judges. Aileen also spoke about it being a subjective opinion and how even when our particular image is critiqued, we need to remember why we loved that image.


In the month of April, Michael Martinez gave the PPGH members a workshop called: ‘What are you truly worth?’. Upon arriving at the workshop, we first walked into his shaded garden featuring different posing areas. The garden is composed of a bench, some columns, rose bushes, flowering areas, and a gate. He even has a really huge umbrella that softly diffuses the harsh Texas sunshine. Michael divided his presentation into three segments: determine your value, pricing for profit and utilizing in-person sales. He believes in showing his value for each piece of artwork that he creates. From the first engagement with his customer, he establishes his brand. The logo, the colors of his envelopes, his pricing, and his web site are all in sync and work to convey the style of his artwork. He believes that it is his job to respectfully and gently lead his customer to do what he wants. He is the artist and after understanding his customer’s needs, as far as the space and location of the artwork in their home, he directs them to the appropriate size. Michael has always conducted done in-person sales because he began his business before the internet.

30 JUL 2017 Fonts: Aparajita and Mistral


When thinking about these in-person sales, he advised us to start by determining our bottom line. What is the minimum amount that someone could walk out of our studio with a finished product? He employs some helpful tips in order to nudge the customer toward an order. For example, in order to discourage his customer from buying the 11 x 14 print size, he prices it the same as the 16 x 20 print, and his 5 x 7s are the same price as the 8 x 10s. He does approximately 150 family sessions per year. Michael spoke about using the right brain verses the left brain for our photography. In general, photographers are right brained and sometimes get our feelings hurt. Change is uncomfortable for us. Establish your brand and stay strong to that. Don’t let your customer establish what your brand is. It was a truly inspiring and educational workshop given by Michael Martinez.

ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY by Booker Shelton, Jr. If anyone is considering branching into another genre, in their photography then architectural photography is definitely worth a look.


On April 20th, the Professional Photographer’s Guild of Houston (PPGH) continued it’s workshop series Architectural Photography hosted by Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) Robert Brayton. In this all day workshop Brayton explained his techniques and philosophies that have proven successful for him over the past several years. Real estate photography is more than just showing up to a property and just shooting photos. Knowing what time of day and what angles to shoot from are key elements in producing solid images. When shooting he strongly recommends shooting in RAW to get the maximum amount of detail in each image. Brayton says his goal is to “tell the story of a home that compels buyers to see themselves in it and want to visit it today.” Brayton explained his methodology regarding real estate and architectural photography. Some of these ideas included walking through the entire property, shooting front exterior front and last, setup and shooting interiors, as well taking photos of the neighborhood. Having a 24mm lens or longer was strongly recommended. Like any other area of photography Brayton stated, “We are paid to make our customers money and solve their problems.” When doing architectural photography using HDR bracketing is often used to get an even display of lighting in the photo. While pricing is important, having a strong profile is just as important in getting the right client. The portfolio should have one outstanding photo, have a “money shot” photo (this is the selling photo) and other photos that link each together with major spacing. When editing he suggested using Lightroom and Photoshop.

Brayton concluded with “know that you are part of a team and your job is to build a portfolio for potential buyers. Although photography in the Houston real estate market can be challenging it can be used as a spring board into architectural photography.”

THE VIEWFINDER Fonts: Aparajita and Mistral

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PPGH WORKSHOP SERIES 35 JUL 2017 Fonts: Aparajita and Mistral


PPGH WORKSHOP SERIES 37 JUL 2017 Fonts: Aparajita and Mistral


PPGH WORKSHOP SERIES 41 JUL 2017 Fonts: Aparajita and Mistral


PPGH Viewfinder July 2017  

A Publication of the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston

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