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2020 (whole year) - Image Competition 80+ Score Images
Review by Shelley England
Portrait Lighting That Sells
A PPA Class taught by Sonia Ahmad
Sonia Ahmad taught the most amazing lighting class to fellow PPGH members over the weekend.
We all learned so much about lighting and different ways to compose light while Sonia taught us with unending energy. So organized, Sonia gave us each a card with a printed diagram of the lighting set up we were learning to take notes on and refer to later. This will be a handy tool for all of us to have.
After giving us a tour of her amazing studio, Sonia started out by teaching us 3 different variations of One light set-ups: One light with a screen and negative fill, One light, High Key and One Light dramatic umbrella without fill. Class members took turns being the models for Sonia as she shot synced and we could see on a screen what it looked like. She also talked about equipment, light meters and stands and we all went home with a list of wants.
Next, Sonia went on to teach us 3 different Two light set-ups: Dramatic Umbrella and Rim light, Umbrella with bare bulb and reflector and Beauty Dishes with grids and a reflector. She also showed us her different methods of controlling light with scrims and barn doors.
Our last set of lighting scenarios was Three Light set-ups and the most fun! Sonia showed us at least 5 possibilities for lighting our clients with 3 Lights using gels, barn doors, rim lights, beauty dishes and my favorite: water spray! Sonia had a model come for this shoot and everyone practiced shooting these shots. The final scenario was the water spray. Barry Hanlon and I got to stand opposite each other by lights with barn doors angled behind the model and spray water into the light while Sonia shot.
We did this without getting the model wet! She talked about different lighting her clients have wanted for head shots, senior portraits and general portraits.
Sonia ended the day with showing us several Actions and editing tricks she uses in PhotoShop. This was so useful because we all know there are a zillion ways to do the same thing in PS! She went over converting to smart objects, combining exposures, liquify tools, blemish removal, hair clean up, dodge and burn, adding eyelashes and sharpening. I think the most useful was her editing skin tones using frequency separation.. This ended our super jam-packed day of learning! I know I learned lots and would take this class again! Learning is growing and Sonia Ahmad is a wonderful teacher ~ and yes, lighting does sell! It sets you apart from the others!
YOU HAD ME AT WOOF!
Creating engaging dog portraits
Megan Murray, CPP
By Joan Reynolds
I recently had the extreme pleasure of attending this fantastic workshop taught by Megan Murray. During the full day workshop Megan discussed a variety of topics including creating styles & inspiration, interpreting dog behavior & body language, and techniques for getting priceless expressions. She also emphasized the importance of capturing a variety of images and developing a shot list. Oh, and of course, we talked about dog-related business stuff.
At three times during the day, models of varying sizes and breeds visited the class. Megan worked with the models to demonstrate the concepts we were learning. Three of the images captured by Megan are included to illustrate her ability to capture the essence of Man’s Best Friend. We then had the opportunity to pose and photograph the models along with their owners.
Megan is a superb instructor! It’s clear she is highly skilled and a master of her craft. Her engaging personality made the class fun, interactive and very inspiring. We were left wanting more and I’d look forward to another opportunity to continue to learn to create engaging dog portraits. I can’t recommend Megan’s class highly enough!
We saw 34 great images last night during our July Image Competition!
A big thank you to our judges: Teri Whittaker, Francie Stonestreet Baltazzar, Armando Chacon, Ken Martin, Karen Butts
And here is the best of the best!
1st Place – Paul Broussard – Heavenly Storm is Brewing
1st place – Diana Waguespack – Emerging to the Surface
Tied for 2nd place – Stan Matzke – Morning on the Beach
Tied for 2nd place - Michael Reiland – Man of Integrity
Tied for 1st place - Karen Butts – Pure Innocence
Tied for 1st place - Karen Butts – Engaging Glance
Tied for 2nd place - Karen Butts – Her Royal Highness
Tied for 2nd place - Ann O’Neill Deal – I’m Not a Bully
Tied for 3rd place - Armando Chacon – Lord Hear My Prayer
Tied for 3rd place - Ann O’Neill Deal – Is That Your Final Answer?
Congratulations to all these winners and to all that entered!
Texas School 2021 - The Artist Within by Shelly England
Kimberly Smith is such a talented artist and was an inspiration to all in her
class at Texas School 2021. The week flew by and was so much fun each day.
There were 3 of us from the Houston Guild in her class.
Our main project was photograph then paint a scene. We had 2 adorable
models: Emmaline, Jenny Eisenhauers 2 year old baby girl and the cutest
fluffy puppy that was our wrangler, Ken Hatley’s dog. The shoot was fun and
From there, Kimberly showed us her process and inspirational ideas for
editing and painting the photo of the baby and puppy.
I learned so many things in Photoshop that I didn’t know before. It’s the
little things that make it all fun. We always started in layers and made 2
copies of the background like a hamburger. There are many different ways
that artists paint, even in Photoshop. Kimberly is a no frills painter - no
special pen, brushes, etc. She uses what is available in Photoshop with a
couple of additions from Topaz. We took the picture of the baby and puppy
section by section and learned tips and tricks such as extending a dress to
the floor, adding a pink bow, adding sleeves to a sleeveless dress and painting
eyes to name a few things. She showed us how to add flowers and place them
and also how to add a headband. All the details make the art come to life.
We got the picture painted as far as we could, then Kimberly showed us how
she mats her own prints and how to make a torn edge mat. It was a perfect
ending to a week of learning that I thoroughly enjoyed! If given the chance, I
would take this class again in a heartbeat! This was my first Texas School
class and I look forward to many more!
PPGH Image Competition Results June 22, 2021
Thank you to our judges last night: Aaron Hockley, Karen Klawetter, Maryanne Keeling & Ann O'Neill-Deal for their commitment to giving back to the photographic community. All the judges spent time after the competition answering questions from participants on how their images could be improved. What wonderful images we saw last night during our Image Competition! And here is the best of the best!
1st place – Diana Waguespack – I Am Yours
2nd place – Stan Matzke – This Just In
3rd place – Stan Matzke – The Catch
1st place – Ann O’Neill Deal – Resistance is Futile
2nd place - Ann O’Neill Deal – Frowning Gives You
3rd place - Ann O’Neill Deal - On Edge
Saturday June 12, Michael Crawley taught us about making historical pictures. His love of this comes from his love of history in general. He also participates in several reenactment groups that dress in character and recreate battles of the Civil War or whatever time period they are reenacting.
Michael shared his knowledge of do’s and don’t’s for creating an authentic looking portrait. The success is in all the little details matching the time period you are trying to recreate. For example, if you were doing a 50’s Dr. Pepper advertisement picture, you would not use a can of Dr. Pepper. It helps to research the period or picture style you are trying to recreate. Hair style, make-up style and clothing style are also important. The wrong earrings can ruin a picture.
Michael also taught us about how they use guns, gun safety and some pointers if you are around people with guns. In his Civil War reenactments, guns and cannons are just a few of the things used to make a life like battlefield.
Michael had 3 models come and we took pictures of them. Two of them were in Civil War dress and one was a W.W.II Nurse. He showed us how he tells them what he is doing and how to pose with their weapon or accents (First-Aid Kit). He showed us back drops that he uses and a roll up floor that looks like wood.
After we took the pictures, Michael showed us how to edit them using Nik filters. This was very interesting to me as I had never used Nik. I especially liked learning about the Wet Plate Effect that makes the photos look like they were developed this way on glass. I love old pictures so this class was a fantastic learning experience. I highly recommend you go back in time and join Michael when if he teaches this class again - you will learn lots.
Thank you to our judges: lvan Domazet, Bryan Welsh, & Kim Kuhlman. They had some great comments and ways to make the images even better. Ivan offered to review images you are thinking about entering at the IPC level because he is not judging IPC this year. Our members are creating wonderful images.
1st place – Alison Montgomery – Slumber in the Garden
2nd place – Diana Waguespack – Save me a dance at the Masquerade Ball
3rd place – Alison Montgomery – Our Heart
1st place – Ann O’Neill Deal – The Diva
2nd place - Ann O’Neill Deal – A Conspicuous Canine
What great images we saw last night during our Image Competition! And here is the best of the best!
1st place – Tara Flannery – The Morning Blues
2nd place – Diana Waguespack – Always in My Dreams
3rd place – Tara Flannery – Hope Comes in Spring
1st place – Ann O’Neill Deal – Okay, Where’s the Cookie?
2nd place - Ann O’Neill Deal – Peek-A-Boo!
3rd place - Ann O’Neill Deal - This is My Smile
Megan Murray’s all day workshop “Business Bootcamp” was chock full of great information. She started the day by discussing the importance of setting goals for your business and checking in on them to see where you are and how it is going, either monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. She shared about SMART Goals and talked about how important it is to not always set goals that are easily attainable, we need to think bigger and work towards bigger goals in order to grow our businesses. Then having a little celebration when we do accomplish a goal even if it is just going out to dinner or buying something you wanted.
She also covered pricing strategies, the different types of packages, creating a good strong client workflow and tweaking it when you see that something isn’t working well. We covered the in person sales flow as well as how to raise your average sales through different strategies such as:
Marketing was another area discussed and the importance and ways to bring in new clients, Leads and return clients. Branding, SEO, Blogging and Community Marketing are all ways of doing this. Creating a Marketing calendar to help you is a great way to see what you are doing and to keep up with and plan your events or advertising.
This workshop was very informative and really got you thinking and planning for the future, I highly recommend her workshop and I just really enjoyed everyone in the class and all of their input and participation.
Review by Alison Montgomery
Thersa Couch’s full-day workshop, Smart Goals for 2021, was very informative and inspiring. The participants completed specific personal and professional plans and goals for the future using the SMART system.
The morning session covered the importance of a clear vision and goal setting and how it affects a business. Participants were encouraged to dream big when planning and goal setting to push themselves to achieve more by broadening their current scope of thinking. Some realized that plans were more attainable than they previously believed when thinking outside of the box. Everyone was encouraged to look back on 2020 to identify what worked, what did not and how that can advice us now while setting goals for 2021.
The afternoon session covered how to be SMART when setting goals. Participants worked on defining their own purpose and mission in life. After analyzing the past year and thinking through possible goals for the future, participants worked to set realistic intentions and SMART goals. Goals discussed included Print Competitions and attaining a CPP certification. Both personal and professional goals were set that would guide the participants to success in 2021.
Next participants were shown how to help keep goals on track. Thersa discussed different ways to be held accountable for goals as well as how to find help and support. Some methods discussed including books, coaches, groups, partners, white board, vision board, and goal setting web apps. Thersa showed us how she uses the web app Asana for her goals.
It was wonderful to have goals reviewed, critiqued, and expanded on by Thersa. Some participants had invaluable expertise in different areas and because it was such an interactive class they were able to share that with the other participants. The participants were very open and supportive of each other’s goals which made it a pleasure to be in the workshop. The participants finished this workshop with realistic concrete SMART goals and knowledge on how to stay motivated and find support to reach their goals in the future.
Review by Patty Okelberry
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