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

The Viewfinder

  • 19 Dec 2020 7:15 PM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

    It is with great sadness that I am posting to tell you about the passing of Major Arnaud at 3 am this morning. His pancreatic and liver cancers were very advanced.  The family plans to have a Celebration of Life in late January.

    Major was a real asset to the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston.  He was President of PPGH in 2004 and 2008, served as webmaster for many years and made numerous other valuable contributions.   

    We will notify you via email, Members Only Facebook and on this Viewfinder blog when Major’s Celebration of Life is announced and hope many of you will attend.

    Kathy Kinser

    President, PPGH

  • 13 Dec 2020 5:00 PM | Laura Mansur, Cr. Photog., CPP (Administrator)

          The much anticipated year of 2021 is about to begin. I'm sure everyone is ready to close the door on this crazy Covid year and move forward into a hopeful future.  

          Before describing the many events that are planned for our PPGH 2021 year, let's take a moment to congratulate ourselves on the many new things that we have learned in the year 2020. Let's realize that because we are photographers, we are flexible and have learned to adapt to changing situations. After all, how many times did you get to a session and the customer made a change or that silly trigger wasn't working? So how did we adapt to all these changes of social distancing? 

       We learned how to 'zoom'. Under the fabulous leadership of our Covid president , Kathy Kinser, and our 2020 board, we were able to continue with our monthly educational speakers.  During our zoom meetings, we consoled, congratulated, inspired and learned together. On a separate night of each month, our web master, Duane Blocker helped us continue with our print competition. Our members tuned in to hear their critiques and to perfect their images. Consequently, we had many members awarded merits and loans in the International Print Competition (IPC). And here are our winners:

    •  Frances Aileen Harding
    • Teri Whittaker
    • Karen Butts
    • Armando Chacon
    • Michael Reiland
    • Maryanne Keeling
    • Cornell McGhee
    • Sabrina Casas
    • Tara Flannery

    You can see all of their images on 'The International Photographic Competition Gallery' of the web site. 

    And now let's look at the upcoming events for the first quarter of 2021. We have so much to look forward to.

    •    The registration for Texas School is Jan 4 at 11:00 pm.
    •    Imaging USA will be presented virtually beginning with Pre-con classes on Jan. 14
    •   Our January 12th speaker, Nick Tsakaris will give us a virtual presentation on       Lightroom and the updates to Photoshop 2021. Please note, we'll be compensating our Zoom speakers, so it will be necessary to charge our members $10 for access to Zoom presentations. $15 for non-members
    •    We have a head shot social planned at the studio of Leslie Cervantez on February 21. 

           As we click and snap our way into 2021, here's to hoping we have a little normalcy into our lives and need only one planner for the entire year.  Let's forget having to photograph  our clients from a distance, on their porches, and wrapped in hot masks. Let's hope that we can once again see each other's faces in person, and visit our client's in the intimacy of their homes and work spaces. I'm looking forward to seeing our old members, and meeting new members as soon as possible. and , finally let's make 2021 a year of rebirth to our 71 year old organization!

    "Hope," the poet Emily Dickinson wrote, "is the thing with feathers."

    Written by , Laura Mansur Guerra

  • 17 Nov 2020 12:19 PM | Laura Mansur, Cr. Photog., CPP (Administrator)

            Underwater photography can be fun but challenging and it can take a lot of work to create a fabulous work of art. Although the basic technique may be similar, no two sessions are the same. But that's why I love it! Whether it be sports artists, beauty queens, mermaids, designer gowns, families, children in costumes, maternity, or even wedding dresses, each underwater session has its own unique set of circumstances. Many of my clients have seen underwater images before they come in and I will tell them that we can create the look and feel they want but I'm careful to tell them that we cannot create an exact image of one they've seen. One reason is the unpredictability of photographing in the water and the other reason is that I prefer to create a vision of my own. To achieve results that please the client as well as my own artistic vision, I'll make a list of thoughts and ideas ahead ofttimes and well often draw a thumbnail sketch of the concept I'm trying to achieve. Still, there will be elements that are planned as well as others that are unplanned. Again, that is what makes it fun and challenging.

                   There is something about photographing underwater that makes me feel free whether I'm on the bottom of the pool or floating on top of the water. My artistic vision is clear, and I see images fly through my mind. After the session I download the RAW images to Lightroom and do a quick color correction and a few adjustments, then I bring the image into Photoshop where I create the art. It's magic for me to photograph and then create the image and watch it come to life. The best reward is when the client receives the image and just love it and has something to cherish always as was the case in my image, "My Baby Girl My Love". This was her third(and last) baby and she wanted something special to remember this time in their lives. 

           I traditionally photograph  everything in the water, although sometimes I need an element that I cannot  put into the pool, such as a brick wall.  I used the brick wall in  my image 'Resistance', (this image went Loan at Imaging 2019). I do have a story in mind when I am creating whether it be for myself or a client. This image was created for Fashion Designer Alantude (Alan Gonzales) and hug in his 2018 fall fashion show. His vision for fashion was coming  out fo the darkness and rain into the light of a new time (as Houston was recovering from hurricane Harvey). I photographed some elements/objects, the chains, black birds, silver fabric, and tree branches. Then I combined these objects with the models in Alan's fall designs to create the piece "Resistance" showing the struggle the had been and the striving for new and to be let free. This image received awards at PPGH, TPPA and went Loan for Imaging USA 2019. I can say it is one of my favorite pieces I've created and I hope you enjoy my work. If you have an interest in Underwater Photographic Art, please let me know. 

    It's Where the Magic Begins!

  • 14 Oct 2020 4:14 PM | Laura Mansur, Cr. Photog., CPP (Administrator)

    Did you know that PPGH has a Fellowship 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.  In order to collect these points, a member must fill out the Fellowship application found under "Members Only" on the PPGH website by midnight on the Monday following the November monthly meeting. 

                                 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. Hopefully, you have been documenting your Fellowship  points throughout the year, but if life has gotten in the way, here are a few tips to help you compile your points. Want to know how many meetings and workshops you attended for the year? Login to the PPGH then click on MY Event RegistrationsM. You will discover a nice, neat list of everything you attended. How easy is that!

    Image Competition- If you were a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place winner, January 2020 through November 2020, you received a ribbon and these point will count toward your Full Fellowship for which 10 ribbons are required.  If you scored an 80 or above then that counts as a regular point, but may not be used for the 10 required points for Full Fellowship. Don't forget about any image competition awards that you may have received for the 2019 competition year.  Those points will be calculated in 2020 since you received the award (s) in December 2019. 

     Now, you should all know what committees you are on, because you have been working so hard and having so much fun! Remember, you have to serve on a committee for at least 6 months to collect a point. What , you are not on a committee?! Plan to volunteer for one in 2021 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 PP? Did you attend Imaging USA in Nashville? Did you judge for image competition? Have you recruited a new member? All of 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>Fellowship Information> Download Form Button> Fellowship tracking Chart.  So, don't wait until the last minute, start your homework now so you will be ready after the November meeting to submit your points. 

    SUBMISSION: The submission deadline is Monday, November 23 at Midnight, one week after the November regular meeting. 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 Fellowship or Full Fellowship for the 2020 year. 

    Laura Mansur Guerra

    Vice President, PPGH

  • 28 Sep 2020 7:39 PM | Theresa Campbell, CPP

    Tara Flannery’s full-day workshop, Photographing and Editing the Corporate Headshot, was packed with information AND action.

    In the morning session, Tara provided participants with the full rundown from how to market to headshot clients, to coaching them on what to wear, to the most efficient equipment for in-studio or on location headshots. Tara led a very interactive class where attendees learned abundant tips and tricks about Lightroom, preparing images for client use, pricing, websites, and even equipment. We discussed the benefits of using hair and make-up artists and/or providing suggestions to clients who might wish to seek them out on their own before the shoot.

    In the afternoon, Tara presented three separate photographic approaches: in-studio flash, natural window light, and outdoors with flash. We had four lovely models of all ages and each attendee was free to capture images from each of the setups. From the photos we all captured, you would never know that rain from a tropical storm was coming down right behind the models.


    To wrap up the action-packed day, Tara provided a hands-on demonstration of how she retouches her images for final delivery to the client. Lastly, she shared suggestions for proofing on site and pricing. I’m certain that everyone who attended would agree it was a most productive workshop. You won’t want to miss the chance to learn from Tara when she presents this workshop in the future.

    Special thanks to Thersa Couch for the use of her lovely new studio space and covered breezeway that made outdoors photography possible on a rainy afternoon.

  • 21 Sep 2020 10:14 AM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

    I am pleased to announce that The Membership elected the slate as presented by the Nominating Committee and that the Bylaws Revisions were adopted by the membership.  I’m sure that 2021 will be another great year at PPGH with this board listed below. 

    President                                      Laura Mansur

    Vice President                              Tara Flannery

    Secretary                                      Alison Montgomery

    Treasurer                                     Joan Reynolds

    Membership Director                 Cornell McGhee

    Director At Large                       Theresa Campbell

    Director At Large                       Michael Crawley

    Director At Large                       Maryanne Keeling

    Thank you for the support you continue to show for PPGH even in these difficult times. 

    I hope to see you at Print Competition via Zoom on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

    Kathy Kinser


  • 24 Jun 2020 10:02 AM | Duane Blocker, CPP (Administrator)

    PPGH: June 2020 Print Competition Scores


    1st place - The Peacock's Perch - Maryanne Keeling

    2nd place - Pink Rose - Alison Montgomery

    3rd place - Rise Bagby - Patrick Bertolino


    1st - Caroline - Karen Butts

    2nd - I'd Rather Play Ball! - Karen Butts

  • 18 Jun 2020 7:51 PM | Theresa Campbell, CPP

    The PPGH annual elections will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at our annual Business Meeting. 

    The Nominating Committee met June 18, 2020. The Nominating Committee Members were Alvin Gee, Karen Butts, Laura Mansur, Kim Christensen, Mitch Daniels, and Teri Whittaker (chair).

    The Nominating Committee received information regarding the candidate for each office to see that the nominees met the requirements of that office and that each candidate is willing to serve in the capacity for which they are being nominated. After careful consideration, the Nominating Committee has chosen for the 2021 slate of Officers and Directors, the following Professional Active Members who they believe will diligently and timely perform the duties of that office as required by the PPGH bylaws.

    The following slate of PPGH Officers and Directors for 2021 is:


     PPGH Member

    Chairman of the Board

     Kathy Kinser, CPP


     Laura Mansur, Cr. Photog.,CPP

    Vice President

     Tara Flannery, CPP


     Alison Montgomery, Cr.Photog., CPP


     Joan Reynolds

    Membership Director

     Cornell McGhee, CPP

    Director at Large

     Theresa Campbell, CPP

    Director at Large

     Michael Crawley

    Director at Large

     Maryanne Keeling, M.Photog., CPP

    Nominations will be accepted from the floor for all positions except Chairman of the Board.

    Only Professional Active Members and Lifetime Members may vote. Voting may be done in person OR online. An email will be sent when online voting becomes available.

    Please plan to attend the annual meeting! We look forward to seeing you.

  • 15 Jun 2020 9:33 PM | Theresa Campbell, CPP

    After being delayed thanks to COVID, Cornell held his workshop on high and low key lighting for us. Bringing in a make-up artist and five models, he started going over various lighting diagrams and results. Particularly interesting was the discussion of using these techniques for clients versus for print competition to gain merits.

    We photographed the models taking turns between a high key and low key setups. A few did some existing light and mixing natural/existing light in the hallway. Everybody shared and learned and Cornell was very informative with his knowledge.


  • 15 Jun 2020 9:26 PM | Theresa Campbell, CPP

    Laura’s workshop on lighting and modifiers was an absolute blast! She started with a single hard light, replicating hard shadows from sunlight, and we worked into softer light and some low key lighting. Being a smaller group (four of us), we all had ample time to photograph and Laura made us figure out how we wanted to light our subject. Between the hard light of a beauty dish, various soft boxes, and the soft light of a 86” umbrella, it was great to experiment and Laura taught about light falloff, the inverse square rule, and seeing how shadows fall on our subject. Many thanks to Ashley for being a patient model for us.

    If you haven’t taken Laura’s class, jump on it next time because it fills up quickly!

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