Founded in 1950, the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston has grown to become one of the largest guilds in the United States. Houston Professional Photographers Guild of Houston is an Affiliate of the Professional Photographers of America is one of the most active guilds in the country. With over 150 members its purpose is to create an atmosphere in which members may associate and learn from one another and stay current with trends in the industry.
Our members realize the importance of being an active part of the association. It is by being active that the greatest learning experience begins. The Houston organization strives to place all members based upon the level of achievement in their areas of particular interest. PPGH comprises professional portrait, wedding, videographers, corporate, industrial, advertising, and commercial photographers as well as electronic image makers and photographic artists, students, and individual firms servicing the photographic industry. Members are assessed annual dues according to the specific membership category in which they belong. All members are required to subscribe to our code of ethics and standards.
This web site is offered as a service to keep our members informed of all the Guild's activities and as a public resource for contacting our members. Here you will find a complete membership directory, reprinted excerpts of our organization's monthly News The E-Snapshot, a calendar of the year's events, a listing of our members who are qualified speakers, descriptions of our upcoming meetings and seminars, Online Classifieds and links to other photography related sites.
Our regularly scheduled meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month. We want to meet you! We invite any photographer to come to their first meeting free of charge in order to come and meet the guild. Be sure to check where the current monthly meeting location is on our PPGH website. http://ppgh.org/calendar
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the world’s largest nonprofit association for professional photographers, with 24,000 members in 54 countries. This association seeks to increase its members’ business savvy as well as broaden their creative scope, advancing careers by providing all the tools for success...as they have since 1869.
Through the Viewfinder by Mark A. Woods, CPPFrom an archive of PPGH materials, I found the following articles in our Guild's First Annual Directory, The Viewfinder in 1952. As our association grew, The Viewfinder transformed from an annual directory into a newsletter with news of members and meeting announcements that was printed on a full double page and mailed monthly. By the middle of the1950's, articles and photographs were added. Some highlights from this premiere issue which captured my attention were 46 Active members listed (including Odin Clay, Harper Leiper, Kaye Marvins, Jack Stiles and Jack Thompson; all of whom are still members) photos from the first annual Guild Family Picnic, Board of Officers and a 1-Year birthday cake, member dues were $10 annually, and our earliest advertisers: Photocolor of Houston and Southwestern Camera. Periodically we will share with you more of the fascinating stories from our founders.
"The Guild Is Formed" (from Page 1 of the Directory)
There has long been a need for an organization of and for photographers in Houston. Twenty years ago an organization was formed, but soon failed. About three years ago three men, all local photographers, advanced the cause of three different types of organizations. The first wanted a union, strong and controlling. The second advocated a price-fixing organization with power to enforce. The third just wanted photographers to get together. The two came by to see the third and there was a meeting. Meeting followed meeting before there was a semblance of a meeting of minds but gradually as other photographers were asked to the informal gatherings old ideas were tempered and new ideas were brought out. Before one criticises the thoughts or plans of any of the organizers remember the credit for the guild today lies with them, not us.Finally, in September 1950 at one of the informal meetings it was decided to form a group and hold an official meeting and then see the result. A dinner meeting was called for October 11 at 7:30 pm at the Ben Milam Hotel and 30 photographers answered the call. The group had no name, no organization and the minutes show a wide divergence of opinion of what they expected to accomplish but 30 photographers were there and they realized the need for organizing. Mr Joseph Demic acted as chairman of the meeting and his first act was to call for "Frank expressions of opinion from all present concerning the formation of an association." Following are excerpts from the comments he received in answer and recorded by Mrs. Ursula Maurer who later became the organization's first secretary. ....we need price control....I believe in advertising and the group can do this....we need fellowship....the purpose of the assembly is to promote fellowship....photographers should be willing to help one another....I disagree, we are competitors....If the group served no other purpose than to promote unity among photographers it would be worthwhile and would eliminate much unfair competition....we must improve darkroom work....we should get together and thrash out our problems....photographers are the only group not organized....Fellowship is O.K. but let it go at that....Get the organization started and make it work. And so on in accord and in discord. However, following the comments it was moved that "the assembly organize an Association, the name of which shall be determined later." The motion carried and the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston was created. Not in name for that did not come until the next meeting, but a temporary chairman, Joe Demic, was appointed and a steering committee named including Henry Stern and Don Perrine representing the portrait field and Allan Woodallen and Gene Farren representing the commercial men. Paul Gittings was named "advisor to the group" and a membership committee included Bill Glass, chairman; Bernard Mott, R. F. Banzer, Howard Parsley and Joseph Maurer. Mrs. Joy Litterst was appointed Temporary Treasurer and Mrs. Maurer as Temporary Secretary. It was decided to hold monthly meetings on the third Monday of each month and the first meeting adjourned. A constitution and name was adopted at the November meeting and the organization was well on its way. Permanent officers were elected at the January meeting including Allan Woodallen, president; Joseph Demic, vice-president; Board of Directors representing commercial: Gene Farren and Don Perrine; and Henry Stern and Glenn Chalmers representing portrait studio owners. Dues were established, membership drives conducted and the permanent organization we have today was in operation.
President's Message (From page 5, by Henry Stern, President)
I would like to address a few words briefly to photographers outside the Houston Area regarding what a local association can do for you. We are proud of our photographers association here, not boastfully, just plain proud when we realize the many good things our association has done for us just because we had sense enough to band together and work with each other instead of, as quite often happens, against each other. Meeting monthly at dinner throughout the year many fine friendships have developed, problems and technical knowledge have been freely exchanged and discussed. Guest speakers, quite often outside the photographic profession, are a regular part of our monthly meetings. Local unfairness to photographers from whatever source, can now be met by the full force of an active local association, whereas a few short years ago, we each stood alone bearing our resentment alone. There are many fine local photographers associations throughout the country, many of them older, larger and more active than ours. But the point is there are not enough. There should be many more. The local association is the "grass roots" of the State, Regional, and National associations. The strength of unity is well known to all of us, the will to put this principal into action is up to you. Do it now. It's good business.