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Connecticut Professional Photographers Association

Spotlight News

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  • August 25, 2016 4:35 PM | Marietta St. Onge (Administrator)

    The "Freedom" professional photography charity exhibition opens with a reception Thursday, August 25 @ 6.30-8.30pm at the Golden Thread Gallery at 303 Tunxis Rd, West Hartford.  Appetizers, desserts, wine, beer and live music are offered at the reception then the original art remains on display until Saturday, Sept 10, 2016.

    "We are thrilled by the generosity of our supporters: we hoped for 20 donated artworks but actually installed 64 unique photographic pieces" says Deb Key, one of the 4 exhibition organizers.  100% of all proceeds of sales will be donated to the local Shelter, Interval House, one of 18 operations under the auspices of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV).

    This exhibition is a collaborative venture by members of the Connecticut Professional Photographers Association (CTPPA) and professional peers from across the USA uniting for this shared cause to raise awareness and funds for programs to assist those moving on after experiencing domestic violence.  This network of supportive programs makes a difference in people's lives when they need it most so CTPPA is proud to support CCADV and interval House.  The public is welcome to join us at this celebration of "Freedom" to help others strive for a live free from fear.

  • June 06, 2016 10:10 AM | Marietta St. Onge (Administrator)

    June PPANE News

    All members are invited to enter up to 5 prints in an online competition titled “A Shot in the Dark” before is closes before midnight on June 25.  Entries will be displayed in an online Gallery on PPANE’s website as well as the Sept conference.  Check PPANE’s website or FB page for more details.

    Summer Workshops" are back and continue to grow in popularity.  Rick Hydren’s “Real Estate Photography” Workshop on 25 Jun 2016 has already sold out but you could asked Fred, the Execsec to add you to the waiting list.  

    Only 11 places remain for Steve Sedman ’s “Night Photography & Photo Safari” in Boston, MA on Mon June 27, 2016 at 7:30 PM till…. so register now.

    On Thurs July 7 at 1-4pm in Biddeford, ME Patricia Takacs will present “Getting Published in a Saturated Wedding Market”.  

    Tour the “Blazing Editions” Studio in East Greenwich, RI at 5pm on Fri July 8th to see how fine art printmaking services are created on papers, canvas and metal.

    Steve Beddell will show you how to create beautiful portraits with “Beach Light” on Tues Aug 2 @ 5.30-8pm at New Castle Beach, NH.

    Closer to home, join CT’s own Susan Wacht Goralski and Ralph Rookey for a “Photo Walk-About” in the quaint NE town of Canton on Mon Aug 15 @ 10-2pm. Explore the town’s quaint buildings and the Farmington River.

    PPANE’s September conference will be promoted soon but confirmed speakers include Darty Hines, Jim La Sala, Joel Grimes and Craig La Mere.  Remember to book your hotel room at the Nashua Radisson in NH now for Sept 10-12.

    As always, call or email Fred Stiteler, PPANE’s friendly Exec Sec or contact your CT reps: Director Lisa Cuchara, NEIPP Rep Charleen Larkin or myself.

  • May 17, 2016 8:24 PM | Marietta St. Onge (Administrator)

    Tonight, CTPPA members and guests were treated to an informative and cutting edge seminar on the topic of Hybrid Imaging.  Suzette Allen, Cr. and Jon Yoshinaga, Cr. from Sacramento California flew all the way to the east coast of the United States to spend time with us here in Connecticut.  I would like to take a moment to thank Panasonic/ Lumix and Bay Photo for sponsoring Suzette and Jon.  This was an amazing topic that will give the members present a new product to excite their clients and keep professional photography fresh and exciting.  We never think about adding video to our photography.  I know that I have always shied away from video because I never was able to keep the video from shaking!  But I have no doubt that I can hire someone to make videos that I can incorporate into my photography. 

    This was not your typical posing and lighting seminar.  Suzette took us step by step on how to make a live talking business card.  We randomly chose a member who registered ahead of time for this program and Marisa Baletti-Lavoie was chosen to receive her own "talking business card".  Marisa was notified ahead of time and she was asked to bring sample images which will be included in the live business card.  You can download the "Live Portrait App" at any of the app stores.  If you missed this meeting, please ask anyone who attended how cool this was to learn.  

    Lucky winners of giveaways from Suzette and Jon were:

    Joan Genest....Triple Scoop Music

    Marietta St. Onge...Bay Photo 16 x 24 Thin Bar Gallery Wrap

    David Oliver...Suzette Allen's Instructional video set

  • January 27, 2016 11:42 PM | Marietta St. Onge (Administrator)

  • November 30, 2015 9:00 PM | Anonymous

    On Tuesday, December 1, 2015 PPA Charities will be bringing dozens of the top photographers in the country together to share ideas, promotions and fun info in celebration of #GIVINGTUESDAY and #PPAGIVES.

    If you don't have it yet, get it set up on your mobile device.

    Join us as we energize ourselves leading up to the holidays and raise money to support PPA Charities and their charitable partners like Operation Smile and Dando Amor.



    jamieHAYES   melanieANDERSON   trishGILMORE

    bobCOATES   bertBEHNKE   susanMICHAL

    kayESKRIDGE   trishLOGAN   carlCAYLOR

    jeff&loriPOOLE   treyHOMAN   bethMARSHALL

    bryCOX   rochESHLEMAN   bethFORESTER

    donDICKSON   tinaTIMMONS   cindyBEHNKE

    elizabethHOMAN   michaelTIMMONS   crisDUNCAN

    deannaDUNCAN   alBEHNKE   travisGUGELMAN

    clarkSANDERS   and some surprise guests

    Don't want to wait until #GIVINGTUESDAY to make your donation? Click here to help PPA Charities meet it's 2015 goals.
  • November 29, 2015 8:15 PM | Anonymous
    Early Bird drawings for the $20,000 Dream Studio Sweepstakes are closing soon.  Because our next CTPPA event is held after the grand prize is drawn at IUSA in Atlanta Jan 10-12 any people wanting sweepstakes tickets must contact me directly via cell on 860 796 6244 before Dec 23, when I return the few unsold tickets to PPA.

    What a great way to refresh your studio for the new year and help people in need at the same time.  Good luck.
  • July 28, 2015 10:07 AM | Anonymous

    CT’s own Award Winning Lisa Cuchara of Brea Photos will be offering a ‘Summer Sizzler” workshop on Photoshop Textures on Wednesday Aug 19th 11:30-2:30at her studio in Hamden. Bring your laptop to take advantage of this intermediate level PS class to brush up your masking and layering skills before the school year resumes. Register at

    While you are on the PPANE site remember to book for the PPANE Conference Sept 12-14 to be held in Nashua, NH. Michael and Tina Timmons will share how they developed a profitable business specializing in Art Decor and show how they enhance images to win Awards. The Timmons presented an evening session in CT in May but this is a full day program expanding their material and giving insights into what Judges look for.

    Randy Kerr will speak on Saturday night and Sunday morning, sharing his positive approach to Lighting. He’s a wonderful instructor: just ask Rene Genest, Catherine Maynard or myself because we were all fortunate to take a week long class with Randy and Doug Box at N.E.I.P.P. 2 years ago.

    Canon Explorer of Light Ken Sklute will be presenting his approach to creativity on Sunday afternoon. He will share tools and techniques to go beyond simply capturing the scene in front of you. Instead of seeing him speak in a vast hall to thousands of people at ImagingUSA, you get a more intimate presentation at PPANE. Come and be inspired by his dramatic imagery.

    Woody Walters will be revealing his secrets to Illustrative Portraits during a full day on Monday. Over the years I’ve had instructors rave about his brushes and techniques but never heard him speak in person so this is the perfect chance to learn how he incorporates smoke and lightening into his art.

    As if these inspiring sessions aren’t already enough value for your membership, there are Scholarship Drawings of $250 up to $400, a Trade Show, Cocktails and an Awards Party to kick up your heels. Watch the Challenge Print Competition on Saturday, take a close look at the North East District Print Display on Saturday or book a 15 minute 1:1 Mentoring session with an IPC Judge on Sunday morning.

    As always, book at  See you there.
    - PPANE CT Representative, Deborah Key Mundair

  • June 07, 2015 10:05 AM | Anonymous

    What is a texture? We know texture when we see it, but when we refer to a "Texture" as photographic tool we mean a photograph that is placed on top of another photograph and then "blended" or adjusted to affect how it is portrayed. "Textures" can be just that, photographs of rust, peeling paint, old paper, etc., but they can also be clouds, bokeh, bubbles, water drops, wallpaper, walls, words, old letters, grass, etc. The specific texture that you pick will affect how your photograph underneath looks, but you have additional choices by changing the blending mode for that texture later.

    Changing the blending modes alters the way that particular texture interacts with the photograph underneath. Join Lisa Cuchara as she shows you how to edit some of your photographs to give them a different feel by applying textures to them. Textures can add a mood or a feel to an image; making the photograph softer, warmer, grungier, older, etc.

    In this intermediate workshop (assumes knowledge of layers and masks) Lisa will show you how to collect your own textures, how to use textures, how to remove textures from part of an image, how to remove color from a texture and change the color of the texture and how to prevent the texture from affecting of the photograph below while leaving the color.

    Bring your computer, with Photoshop CS6 or CC installed. Participants should have a working knowledge of basic Photoshop, and of basic layers and masking. Files and notes will be provided.

    August 19, 2015. 11:30am-2:30pm in Hamden, CT.

    View the event details and register on the PPANE website.

  • March 11, 2015 10:28 AM | Marietta St. Onge (Administrator)

    Here it is the final day of our convention and you don't want to miss this day!  Jam packed with everything you need to know about your business!

    Make sure you visit our vendors and tag sale in the main speakers room.  

    9:00am Jan Sexson, CPP & Greg Geiger, Cr. CPP present "I Never Take A Good Picture!"

    We’ve all heard that phrase from clients who have had a lot of bad snapshots taken by friends or even had poor quality and unflattering portraits taken by a “professional” photographer who wasn’t educated and experienced in portraiture.   Portraiture is a specialty that requires different education than events, though knowing lighting and posing for quality portraiture can also be a huge benefit when photographing weddings and events. 

    Here’s your chance to learn how to take a flattering portrait of your client, regardless of age, weight, crooked nose or that one eye that is smaller than the other. 

    Our program will cover the basics of:

    • The initial phone consultation including finding out how the portrait will be used, what your clients’ needs are, and advising them on clothing, hair, and make-up. 
    • Greeting the client and putting them at ease
    • Analyzing the face for the best posing and lighting
    • Determining the best lighting for the purpose the portrait will be used (business, model, gift for      family, etc.).   Set the right mood for that purpose with lighting
    • Best light modifiers for the type of portrait needed by client
    • Best posing for different faces and body types.
    • Helping your client relax so you can capture their unique personality
    • Posing and lighting for male and female clients.

    Every client is unique and “cookie cutter” photography is not going to give your client what he or she deserves.  Make your client feel special and look great.  It’s not just about giving your client a good picture.  Give then a great portrait and an enjoyable experience!

    10:00am Rachel Brenke the Lawtog presents: "Leveraging Your Photography Blogging & Marketing Legally" sponsored by Miller's Lab

    Rachel Brenke, TheLawTog, is a barred attorney and business consultant who has coached thousands of photographers through the legal and business ropes of running a business. She will present tangible blog strategies and actionable take aways that each attendee will be able to implement in their photography business for success. With a flair of legal information, attendees will be set up for success in marketing and legalities.

    Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, photographer and business consultant for photographers. She is currently helping creative industry professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.   She has been featured on Creative LIVE and at national conferences such as WPPI and Seniors Ignite.

    See more:

    12:00-1:00 Lunch on your own.  Visit the Hotel's River City Grille where they have put together a special lunch buffet for CTPPA

    1:00pm Tommy Martin presents..."3 Steps To Financial Freedom"

    This program is not just about getting more money. It’s also about achieving greater freedom, greater sense of wealth, greater abundance. That’s what we really want and what we’re really after. And along the way, having the financial freedom: the ability to do what we want, when we want, where we want and with whom we want – at the level of richness we want.

    And, when I say richness I don’t just mean money, I mean JOY. I mean HAPPINESS.

    In this session we will:

    • Explore the 7 key areas of wealth (they’re not what you think).
    • Learn how to create our own money machine (makes money while you sleep).
    • Introduce the power of compounding interest and asset allocation.
    • Learn how to get to the first stage: Financial Security.
    • Understand where you are financially today.

    Join Tommy and, together, work towards that first goal of Financial Security: Not having to work and having your food, housing, cars and basic entertainment taken care of. 

    2:30pm Bobby Carlsen presents..."The Psychology of a Great Portrait Sale" sponsored by H & H Lab

    4:30pm Sandro Miller presents...The Importance of Long-term Projects & Series

    Sandro Miller is a both a fine art and commercial photographer. He has photographed national advertising campaigns for clients including: Allstate Insurance, American Express, Dove, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Nike, and the US Army.

    Sandro's editorial work has been featured in The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, Time, Forbes, Wired, Communication Arts, New York Magazine, and ESPN Magazine. Sandro has seven books to his credit and his work has been exhibited worldwide.

    Sandro has contributed his talents to charitable organizations by creating campaigns soliciting contributions for such organizations as the American Heart Association, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Milwaukee, Arts for Life, Dance for Life and AIDS Chicago. At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in July 2011, Sandro was acknowledged with a Saatchi & Saatchi Best New Director Award for his short video 'Butterflies' featuring John Malkovich. For the past five years, in juried competition within the industry, Sandro has been voted one of the top 200 advertising photographers in the world.

    In 2013 and 2014 Sandro re-created 41 photographs paying homage to the world’s greatest photographers in a project titled Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich, Homage to Photographic Masters", using John Malkovich as the subject in each image. On November 2, 2014, in Carnegie Hall, the Lucie Foundation honored Sandro with the “International Photographer of the Year Award” for his achievements in photography.

    6:30pm Closing Remarks by your New CTPPA Board

    7:00pm Join us in the bar for some casual networking!

  • March 10, 2015 4:09 PM | Marietta St. Onge (Administrator)
    8:00am CTPPA will provide coffee and tea in the hospitality suite.

    8:00am Breakfast on your own - The hotel will provide a special breakfast buffet for us.  Please visit them for a good breakfast to get you through the day!

    This year we are trying a few different things!  Our Vendors will be located in the main speaker room.  Please make sure that you visit with them.  You have the opportunity to get some really great deals.  Remember, they are small businesses like we are.  If you need something please contact them.  Mike Bard at EP Levine is waiting to hear from you.  Contact him at and don't forget about our tag sale.  Do you have some things to get rid off?  Well, your trash is someone else treasure!  Contact Matthew Lin for info at

    We also have a few programs that overlap a little.  We would love to have all our members stay at the whole convention.  This way if you don't do weddings, there is a portrait program for you to watch and so on.

    Scholarships will be awarded at all programs on Saturday.

    9:00am Alex & Dan McClanahan "How to Rock Weddings" sponsored by Miller's

    Dan and Alex will walk you through a complete wedding day and show you how they direct and light each section of the day to make it look perfect despite such obstacles as rain, ugly churches, dark receptions and an array of other hindrances. They will share how they work together as complimentary shooters to create a cohesive story that is emotionally gripping, laugh-out-loud fun, and inclusive of every important detail. Lastly they will give you tips for album design—the ultimate medium for showcasing your wedding work!

     Dan and Alex will cover:

    ·  art direction to create a compelling story

    ·  go-to shots for each part of the wedding day

    ·  lighting techniques for tricky scenarios

    ·  utilizing two shooters for efficiency and variety

    ·  album design tips

    ·  Their wildly popular Photo Booth formula

    *Visit the vendors in our main speaker room*

    10:30am Mitch & Shalem Kitter present..."Concept to Creation: Steps to create your next conceptual photo shoot" sponsored by Miller's Lab

    Concept To Creation, 10 easy steps to your next conceptual shoot. Internationally published photographers Mitch Kitter and Shalem Mathew will guide you thru their creative process for their conceptual and fashion photoshoots. From inspiration, to story boarding, to producing the finished image, you’ll be able to take these steps home and apply them right away.

    Mitch Kitter is a conceptual and fine art photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska. All of Mitch’s work – both personal and client-based – is inspired by music, politics, and current events, and he has become highly sought after for his talent in the creative arena.

    Mitch’s images have been published both nationally and internationally, and he has received numerous photographic awards and accolades for his work both in the U.S. and overseas. Kitter also photographs high school seniors, and is the Creative Team Lead Mastermind for Seniors Ignite.

    Shalem is one of Alaska’s foremost fashion photographers. While carving out a market in a place where fashion is hard to come by, he is regularly published in both national and international trade magazines for his conceptual fashion photography. Shalem has been commissioned by brands such as Sam Villa, L’Oréal Paris USA, and Cosmo Girl Magazine. Though the heart of Shalem’s business is weddings and portrait photography, he tries to infuse his love of fashion into each of his sessions.

    Along with his partner, Mitch Kitter, Shalem operates Treft.Punkt Creative Studio in the heart of Downtown Anchorage.

    12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch on your own - The River City Grill at the Hotel will offer a special buffet for our members. 

    1:00pm-1:15pm Annual Meeting - Join us at the annual meeting to hear about the association that you belong to.  

    1:15pm  Tony Corbell presents "Between Light and Shadow" Part 2 sponsored by MAC Group

    Tony Corbell will illustrate all types of lighting and its tools in depth.  Lighting tools include studio strobes and light shapers.  Lighting applications include additive, subtractive, reflective and transmission.  Tony always spends time discussing Light Quality as well as Light Quantity and showing how Light Direction plays a significant role in the resulting mood of an image.

    2:30pm Kevin Jairaj & Alycia Alvarez present.  "Rings to Rattles" sponsored by WHCC

    By combining their award winning talents and business knowledge, Kevin Jairaj and Alycia Alvarez are thrilled to offer the ultimate hands-on seminar for photographers, entitled, "Rings to Rattles".  Learn how Kevin and Alycia create their award winning images, including some of their lighting setups, posing techniques, studio workflow and marketing. Unlike other seminars, "Rings to Rattles" will focus not only on one specific genre of photography, but rather, on the entire spectrum. 

    Kevin Jairaj is an Internationally Award Winning Fashion and Portrait Photographer and Educator based in Dallas, Texas.  He uses dramatic lighting and posing techniques to achieve breathtaking results and create unique, spectacular photos that leave his clients in awe. 

     In just a few short years, Kevin has not only become one of the most sought after photographers in the USA, but also worldwide. He has been commissioned to do photoshoots, weddings, and events in London, Hawaii, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, Mexico, Jamaica, Anguilla, and Aruba in addition to the work he shoots in Texas and the rest of the USA. Kevin is also a favorite among the celebrity crowd and has shot weddings and events for many musicians, actors, and famous athletes.

    With over 13 years in the industry and studios in both Dallas, TX and Tampa, FL, Alycia is an Internationally ward winning portrait photographer, who specializes in babies and children.  Alycia's objective with each person she photographs is to create an image that will reveal something truly unique about the individual...sharing a little bit of "who" they are, instead of just "what" they looked like by capturing their true and genuine personality.  She enjoys traveling all over the country sharing with and educating other photographers.

    In addition, Alycia’s work can be seen in many publications, including Rangefinder, the cover of Professional Photographer and a feature spread in the book,  Professional Children’s Portrait Photography.  Alycia is also a WPPI associate and has been on the WPPI Competition awards judging panel for several years.

    ** Because we don't have a lot of time for dinner, the hotel will be selling wraps and sandwiches at the Starbucks kiosk from 5-6pm.**

    5:45pm  John Stanmeyer presents " Decade...ten years of stories with National Geographic"

    John is a photojournalist and humanist dedicated to social and political issues that define our times.

    Over the last decade, John has worked nearly exclusively with National Geographic magazine, producing over 12 stories for the magazine and resulting in 7 covers. Between 1998 and 2008, John was a contract photographer for Time magazine, during which time he photographed the war in Afghanistan, the fight for independence in East Timor, the fall of Suharto in Indonesia, and other significant world news events. His years with Time resulted in 18 covers of the magazine.  He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the prestigious Robert Capa award (Overseas Press Club), Magazine Photographer of the Year (POYi), and numerous World Press, Picture of the Year and NPPA awards. In 2008, his National Geographic cover story on global malaria received the National Magazine Award.

    In 2012 was nominated for an Emmy with the VII documentary film series, Starved for Attention and in 2014 was the recipient of the World Press Photo award for his photograph, Signal.  John has published a number of books including Island of the Spirits, a journalistic/anthropologic look at Balinese culture documented during the five years he lived on the island. His latest book, a VII Photo Agency collaboration titled Questions Without Answers (Phaidon), was released in 2012, chronically the last 30 years of social conflict and change around the world.

    In 2013, John opened Stanmeyer Gallery & Shaker Dam Coffeehouse in West Stockbridge, Mass, combining photography and education around his passion for brilliant coffee, wrapping the two around ethically procured, human rights-based direct trade coffee with the socials issues represented in his photographs.

    Stanmeyer lives on a farm with two dogs and many fireflies over summer in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.

    7:45pm All Convention Group Photo and Past Presidents Photo

    8:00pm Awards Reception - Please join us for this celebration of print awards and service awards as well as the swearing in of our new board for the year 201-2016.  This function is business casual/semi formal and is complimentary for members.  We do require pre-registration so please head over to the event list and register so we make sure we have enough food.  Scholarships will be awarded.

    11:00pm Hospitality Suite

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