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2020 (whole year)  - Image Competition 80+ Score Images


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The Viewfinder

  • 05 Oct 2021 3:55 PM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

    'Colt'-tivating Great Clients

    Workshop Review by Scott Holleman

    This past week, Colt Melrose opened up his Winter Street studio and gave us a great workshop on creating great clients.

    In the morning session, we discussed how to make your personality reflect in your business to attract the right client.   Colt had us create a storyboard of our personality (using giant sheets of paper on his walls!) and gave us quite some time to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses.  (By the way, we were all introverts, which is a plus!)

    Carla, one of Colt’s repeat clients, came in for a mini session so that we could see how he listens and interacts with his clients.   She was fantastic, both in our discussions and as seeing Colt demonstrate his method of solving his client’s problems.  He also displayed how he uses a simple one light system for his clients in studio.  He also took us through an ordering session with Carla, which was helpful.

    During and after lunch, we discussed our takeaways and how to take action in our own business.  He recommended several books that he found useful and Patty won a book as a door prize.

    When Colt offers this workshop again, I’d take it again and would recommend it to any business owner, not just photographers.

  • 05 Oct 2021 9:06 AM | Tara Flannery, M. Photog.,Cr. Photog., CPP (Administrator)

    Did you know that PPGH has a Fellowship Degree Program?

    The PPGH Fellowship Program was designed as a means of rewarding individuals who have given freely of their time and talents in service to their fellow members.  The Fellowship Degree is earned in two phases, each phase requiring the member to earn fifty (50) points, for a total of one hundred (100) points.  To collect these points, a member must fill out the Fellowship application found under "Members Only" on the PPGH website by midnight on November 17, 2021.

                                 TIPS FOR GATHERING FELLOWSHIP POINTS

    For a full breakdown of Fellowship Points, be sure to read the document on the PPGH website under MEMBERS ONLY>Fellowship Information. Want to know how many meetings and workshops you attended for the year? Login to the PPGH website, then click on MY Event Registrations.

    Image Competition- If you were a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place winner, December 2020 through November 2021, these points will count toward your fellowship. 

    Committees – if you served on a committee for at least 6 months, collect a point.  Not on a committee?! Plan to volunteer for one in 2022 for some good times!

    Remember, you get credit for your activity at the state and national level, too. Are you CPP or have you earned a degree recently from PPA? Did you attend Imaging USA? Did you judge for image competition? Have you recruited a new member? All these things count, too! 

    Don't forget you can download a PDF Fellowship form to help you gather your points so you will be ready to submit them in November. The form can be found under Members Only>Forms & Applications> Fellowship tracking Chart.  So, don't wait until the last minute, start your homework now so you will be ready to submit your points. 

    SUBMISSION DEADLINE: The submission deadline is Wednesday, November 17 at midnight, the day after the November meeting. Submission forms will be released and emailed soon!  I would recommend that you start gathering your list now but wait until after the November meeting to submit, so you can be sure and receive credit for attending the last event before the cutoff date.  

    I cannot wait to see who has earned their Associate Fellowship or Full Fellowship Degree for this year! 

  • 29 Sep 2021 11:31 AM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)


    The Reset Conference

    Review by Julia Garza

    The Reset Conference, designed for photographers, was held September 20-22, 2021 in Waco, TX. Whether one is a hobbyist, just launching your business, or running a successful studio, the conference truly benefits photographers of all levels because we all have areas of our business that need a Reset! This year’s conference was packed with fun, inspiration and education from industry experts from all around the country. The Reset Conference is a boutique photography conference, specifically, a getaway focused on providing the business education you need and a creative community you can lean on.

    Each day we started with Keynote speakers and then chose breakout sessions that best fit our needs and interests. On Wednesday we were given the option of adding on specific shootouts on various topics from Styled Still Life, In Home Family & Lifestyle Sessions, Engagement & Elopement Sessions as well as Senior Sessions. The days were packed with learning and building community among the attendees so that we can build that amongst ourselves and support one another after returning home and to the day to day of our businesses. However, even though the conference is over all the instructors have been very generous to offer their follow up and time for any and all questions or reviews we might want of our work after leaving.

    I learned so much from the conference and it was much needed after the last year and half with the COVID shutdowns. I learned about pivoting my business and areas that I can pursue. I was able to take on Macro in ways that I hadn’t explored and Styled Still Life Shoots. These were two areas that I was really interested in. I learned about “leaning into our ideas” and then seeing how many ways you can view them, dissecting your scenes, building relationships with the items in your pictures etc... So many ideas and it was interesting when a class full of students were given the same 3 items and how differently we all created our images. The instructors had lenses there if we wanted to explore using the Lensbaby lenses or needed guidance on styling the image. They were all an open book on what they have learned over the years and the things to look for. I also learned much about working with families in styled but yet real life. It brought back so much joy to be capturing not only the posed family picture but also the interactions of each person as the shoot was progressing and letting them flow as they chose.

    I am so very thankful for the scholarship that I received through PPGH and the extension to use it through this year when COVID shutdown so many things last year. I originally planned to use it for Texas School but was not able to. I highly recommend that anyone looking for a shorter getaway to “Reset” their business and themselves that they attend the next conference. The dates for next year are March 7-9, 2022 and it will be held in Lexington KY.

    Julia Garza

    Photography by Julia

  • 14 Sep 2021 3:55 PM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

    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!

  • 11 Sep 2021 3:30 PM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

    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!

  • 28 Jul 2021 10:28 AM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

    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 PlacePaul Broussard – Heavenly Storm is Brewing


    1st placeDiana Waguespack – Emerging to the Surface

    Tied for 2nd placeStan 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 placeKaren Butts – Her Royal Highness

    Tied for 2nd place - Ann O’Neill Deal – I’m Not a Bully                                    

    Tied for 3rd placeArmando 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!

  • 22 Jul 2021 6:56 PM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

    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

    both cooperated.

    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!

  • 23 Jun 2021 3:38 PM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

    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

    Congratulations to all these winners and to all that entered!

  • 18 Jun 2021 9:34 PM | Theresa Campbell, CPP

    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.


  • 26 May 2021 11:02 AM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

    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.  

    And here is the best of the best!


    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

    Congratulations to all these winners and to all that entered!

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