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Connecticut Professional Photographers Association

Spotlight News

  • 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

  • March 09, 2015 8:13 PM | Marietta St. Onge (Administrator)

    Join us Friday for the start of the CTPPA's 66th Annual Convention.  We are back at the Hartford/Windsor Marriott Airport in Windsor CT.  Friday March 13, 2015 is the beginning of what will be a great time!  Please consider staying for the whole convention!  As a Member of CTPPA, there is no extra fee to attend.  So make sure that you get the most of what will be a great weekend of learning, networking and just plain fun!

    Friday March 13, 2015

    Analog Film Walk 11:00 am (limited 6-8 spots available)

    Join CTPPA Member and Director Peter Dylag, for what he refers to "Hell's Camera"!  Dust off your old 35mm film camera and go on a walk with a group of celluloid fans.  CTPPA will provide a roll of 27 count 35mm film, so make your frames count!  Meet in the front lobby of the hotel and depending on the weather you will either work outside with a scenic creative landscape theme or indoors with a commercial product theme.  After you expose your 27 frames, we will develop the film and hold a critique session during the dinner hour.  (Don't have a 35mm but still want to play?  Let us know and we'll find one for you!!) 

    Lunch on your own 12:00 pm-1:00 pm

    Tony Corbell presents "Between Light and Shadow" (Part 1) 1:00pm sponsored by MAC Group

    Understanding and controlling light quality is at the core of all of Tony’s presentations. Attendees will take a look at some of Tony’s most effective and successful pictures and learn how to see a unique perspective and not be afraid to push the limits of their experience and talents.

     Tony has been a photographer, an educator, and an author. His photographic works have been featured in publications throughout the world. While he has worked for some of the most discerning clients in the world, he is most proud of being acknowledged and included in more than twenty-five photographic books by other photographers. Tony has photographed three U.S. presidents, The Millennium Summit Meeting of World Leaders at the United Nations, sports celebrities, almost 800 brides and grooms, and a handful of NASA astronauts. He is currently featured on and as well as and alongside the world’s leading photographers, instructors and authors. He is also a featured artist at in a segment called In Celebration of the Black and White Print.

    Opening Reception/Welcome Back Party 4:30pm

    Pre-Registration is required 10.00 fee.  (We will accept payment at the door, however a late fee may apply)

    It's time to celebrate coming back together, making new friends, greeting old friends and welcom our new members.  Lynn Damon, M.Photog, Cr. and our past president has put 

    together a fun time complete with two new signature drinks that will be featured the whole weekend.  Feeling a little "salty"?  Try our "Dirty Shooter"!  Feeling a little sweet?  Try our 'Blackberry Black & White"!!  Sample the popcorn bar and Lynn has some sweet entertainment planned!

    Dinner is on your own but only until 6:30 because that's when Joey Jones presents his program "The Theory of Evolution" 

    Over the course of my twenty years in business, I have seen photographers come and go. Some make it for while and bail out, while others never really get off the ground. Yet others seem to keep getting better year after year. Why? It’s evolution.

    “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”      Charles Darwin

    Let’s take a quick, satirical yet serious look at why some businesses succeed while others fail.

    Joey began working professionally in 1995, photographing weddings. He opened his portrait studio, Exposures. in 1999 specializing in high school seniors and editorial portraits. Joey has served as a mentor with SPA (senior portrait artists), Seniors Ignite and also on the Board of Directors of the CPPA in the early 2000's. He has also served as an Adjunct Faculty member at Naugatuck Valley College. Recently, Joey was featured in a film by Director Gorman Bechard, “Broken Side of Time”.

    As a member of  his town’s School - Business Partnership, he is a regular speaker at career days and performance advisory panels sponsored by the Board of Education. Over the last ten years, he has mentored over forty students entering careers in photography and graphic design and considers his to be a teaching studio. April marks his 20th  year with the PPA. 

     At 7:30 pm Tyler Stableford presents his program " Capturing The Dramatic Moment: The Convergence of Motion, Beauty and Light sponsored by Canon.

    Join Canon Explorer of Light Tyler Stableford for an Unforgettable Multimedia Presentation

    Photographer and director Tyler Stableford has earned a worldwide clientele for his work. At the heart of his ethos, Tyler crafts impactful stories for print and motion campaigns. 

    Tyler’s work has won numerous awards from the Art Directors’ Club, Communication Arts, AdWeek, the AME awards and many others. His award-winning short films have screened at film festivals around the globe. Tyler is one of Canon’s prestigious Explorers of Light, and Men's Journal named him "One of the Seven World's Greatest Adventure Photographers.”

    Tyler’s passion for storytelling extends beyond commercial work—he volunteers to shoot at least one week per year for nonprofits. His website is

    And as usual our Friday night ends with our famous Hospitality Room where you can fill your belly and quench not only your thirst for drinks but for fun and conversation.  This years hospitality chair, Jill Davenport, has organized a world classic Chili Cook-off!  Polish up your Pitch (Setback) skills as Nancy Holowitz is eager to play.  Finally try to get some sleep so that we can start all over again on Saturday Morning.

  • January 03, 2015 10:15 AM | Deleted user

    Deadline to submit points is February 1, 2015.

    Okay, I know most of you didn’t follow my suggestion to print out a blank form from last year and keep track of your points as you earned them. I realized that I am older and more forgetful than some of you, so I am happy that you have such good memories.

    So, get busy now, fill out the form, and submit it to me, so I can have a nice presentation at our awards ceremony at the convention.  There are at least 4 people who are very close to the first level, and one or two close to their next level! You CAN get there from here! All you need to do is declare your points and get them to me!

    All of us who are members get at least one point for that, and if you go to the convention, a point for that, so it will take you a while (12 years) but you can get there with a minimum of work. HOWEVER, if you get involved, work on committees for even an hour, you can corral more points and reach each plateau more quickly.

    If you have any questions, email me and I will be glad to sort it out. If you are interested in being the Fellowship Chair, I will gladly help you through that. Great committee for getting your feet wet, easy to handle for a first timer. Just Do It!

    Marie Curtis

  • January 01, 2015 11:16 AM | Deleted user

    PPANE is starting the new year with a burst of energy, starting on Jan 24 with an afternoon program in Nashua NH to help you improve your chances at Image Competition. Experienced judges and award winners Steve Bedell, Ed Pedi and Ella Carlson will explain the 12 elements that can make your photography score better. Each attendee can submit up to 5 digital images by Jan 18 if they want feedback prior to submitting to a lab or competition. Set yourself apart from the masses and impress your clients by entering PPA and approved Affiliate competitions.

    If you haven’t already registered for NEIPP (held Mar 29 - April 2 in Hyannis, MA) you need to check out the list of speakers who have been enticed to share their expertise during these fun-filled, friendly 5 day and 2 day programs. Book your class and hotel now to ensure you don’t miss out on your preferred choice of session.

    February - April is always a busy time with all six NE States offering their Conventions. Check out the amazing array of speakers coming to our region. If you’ve been to PPANE you will probably already know many people in the various states who will make you feel welcome. Expect more of the popular “Summer Sizzlers” too.

    As always, call Fred on 603-868-2970 or email him at or register online via the PPANE site. Remember, membership renewals were due on Nov 2014 but you can join at any time to get the benefit of discounted rates for the seminars plus the Annual Convention is included in your fee (Mark Sept 12-14 2015 in your calendar now). With new President Lorraine Bedell at the helm 2015 is the time to invest in yourself because “Education makes the difference”.

    The next Board Meeting will be Sunday Jan 11th so please let me know if you need any matters raised. Also, here is advance notice that the position of CT Trustee will become vacant soon. Interviews will be held at NEIPP and approved candidates will be endorsed by PPANE so think about how you can become more involved. It’s a great way to contribute to the profession.

    PS. If you haven’t renewed your CTPPA membership yet, do it now and check another item of your “New Year Resolution” list

    - Deb Key Mundair

  • November 05, 2014 9:20 AM | Deleted user

    On Sunday Nov 2 2014 new PPANE President Lorraine Beddell officially assumed the mantle of leadership after an energetic Presidency by Ed Pedi.  During Ed’s term many new programs were implemented (including the “Summer Sizzler” and “Safari” days) while membership grew and N.E.I.P.P. attendance swelled by 50%.  Lorraine will continue many of these initiatives while adding her own stamp to the year ahead. 

    Ann Monteith’s “Get Down to Business” workshop on Nov 3 + 4 was an intensive and detailed 2 day presentation focussing on the true costs of running a viable photography business in these changing times.  Thanks to the support of PPA and long-term PPANE sponsor Marathon Press, Ann candidly shared her personal experiences and insights acquired by running 3 distinct businesses and acting as President for PPA.  She outlined a multitude of challenges affecting our industry then offered concrete measures to earn a fair living by offering services, products and heirloom images that will be valued now and for future generations.  

    Whether you are experienced or new to the profession you will gain many direct non-nonsense ideas to apply to achieve a more balanced bank account and work-life balance.  I was one of the 26 attendees at this PPA endorsed school and will certainly be applying many of the clear principles as I refresh my offerings for the year ahead.  Thanks to Candace Pratt Stiteler for suggesting this program be hosted in our region.  If you weren’t lucky enough to attend in the Boston area, Ann offers these programs across the country several times every year.  Check PPA or Ann’s website for details of the next program.  You will gain so much more than a Merit.  

    As we move towards the peak holiday season for many photographers, don’t forget to register for N.E.IP.P. in Hyannis, MA next Mar 29-Aril 2 2015.  With attendance growing significantly places are filling fast.  If an experienced professional such as Ann Monteith considers the value of such learning experiences is something that can refine or expand her repertoire of skills you won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to learn either.  Call Executive Secretary, Fred Stitler, on 603 868 2970 or via email at  Register now.  See you at the Cape next Spring.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Deborah Key Mundair

  • August 30, 2014 10:10 AM | Deleted user

    In May, PPANE hosted the Northeast District Print Competition.  Congratulations to the 31 members who competed and earned 76 “blues”. 

    In a new series of short “Summer Sizzlers” each state in the PPANE region hosted a 2 hour seminar in June. 22 people attended the 6 events that covered a range of topics. CT’s own Tom Hurlbert ran a wonderful evening on June 10th at his intriguing home and studio while sharing the evolution of his personal fascination long exposure photography since student days to his current work. “Painting with Light” was great fun and offered a chance to explore a new technique in the company of friends. The fresh home made oatmeal cookies were a bonus.

    At a “Summer Safari” in North Andover, MA on June 30th, 44 people attended a full day hands-on workshop.  One of the 3 sessions was presented by CT’s dynamic duo, Joan and Rene Genest, who generously shared their successful approach to photographing families and children.

    The 113th Annual PPANE Conference returns again in Nashua, NH this Sept 6-8. If you have already received your glossy program you will know that you can’t miss the experience of learning directly from Barbara Ellison, Madonna Lovett Repeta, David Mayheu, Gary Hughes, Clay Blackmore and  Richard Sturdevant. You will also have the chance to see the Northeast District print display, get great gear at the Trade Show, enjoy the hospitality, see friends (old and new), kick up your heels at the Awards Party and try your luck to win a cool high tech prize or a scholarship towards NEIPP 2015. 


    Further down the track, Ann Monteith with be presenting her valuable "Get Down to Business" class at the Hilton Boston in Wolverham, MA on 3 + 4 Nov as part of PPA’s Continuing Education program. Every PPA member who attends receives a merit.  

    Finally, remember to mark your calendars for NEIPP because it wont be long before March 29 - April 2 rolls around. Book now for a week of memorable instruction in Hyannis, MA.   

    See you in Nashua next week.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Deborah Key Mundair

  • April 03, 2014 10:42 AM | Deleted user
    As part of his tour to support and learn the best of each State Affiliate, PPANE President Ed Pedi was pleased to attend CT's recent Convention in March.  I am currently submitting this report from N.E.I.P.P. in Hyannis where the weather may be bleak but the welcome is always warm.  Attendance is up 50% on last year but it still retains it's boutique charm.  With fellow CTPPA's Rene Genest (our Trustee) and Catherine Maynard, we are refining lighting techniques in a practical week-long session with well-known Texan instructors, Doug Box and Randy Kerr.

    May 20th and 21st brings the Northeast District Competitions in Nashua, NH so remember to submit your digital prints between April 7 - May 12. If you are quick, you can register for a 30 minute 1:1 critique with a juror in the "Mentor Booth". Only 24 places are available on the morning of Tuesday 20th so email Lorraine Beddell now at to reserve your place.

    June will bring "Summer Sizzler" series of one day events across the 6 states, including Tom Hurlbut's "Painting with Light" session (date still TBD). An interactive session of practical workshops will be held on Monday June 30 at the castle-like property at Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center in MA. CT's own Rene & Joan Genest will demonstrate how to photograph families and children. Other sessions will feature Weddings by Steve Sedman then Seniors by Mark O'Connell and Susan White. After summer, remember to save the date for Sept 6-8 when PPANE's Annual Conference returns to NH. Top billing includes Clay Blackmore, Richard Sturdevant and Gary Hughes just to name a few. PPANE is active so plan to be part of "Exceptional Excellence without Exception".

    Respectfully submitted by Deb Key
  • March 06, 2014 10:28 AM | Deleted user

    If you want an Educational Retreat with high calibre speakers in an intimate setting that makes you feel like family, a few registrations are still available for N.E.I.P.P. (New England Institute of Professional Photography), now in its 53rd year. Classes start Sunday Mar 30 and run until Thursday April 3. Offering 6 full week classes and 6 2-day workshops, there is plenty of choice to cater for every level of experience. If you haven’t been to Hyannis, MA this is the perfect time of year to visit off-season while it’s quiet and also gain educational merit points for attendance since it’s a PPA Affiliate School. Act quickly because it’s filling fast and is already 50% bigger than last year’s conference. Details available at or email

    2014 PPA Northeast District Photographic Competition will be hosted by NH with public viewing on Tuesday May 20 + Wednesday 21. If you enjoy the challenge of entering CT State Print Competitions or seeing what other photographers create, this event is the next logical step in the tier of PPA Competitions. Please join us at the Radisson Hotel, 11 Tara Blvd, Nashua, NH, 02062 during 9am-6pm both days.  Check out PPA Competition links for more details on how to enter or

    Also as a special bonus, PPANE members should step up to the Mentor Booth on Tuesday 20th if you pre-register quickly. In a 30 minute 1:1 session with a PPA Affiliate Juror you gain gain personal, invaluable feedback on how to improve your images. Regardless of whether you enter the Print Competition or not, you are welcome to bring your iPad, laptop or prints. Make sure you book quickly with Lorraine Beddell because once these time slots are allocated, the opportunity has gone.

    Following the success of the “Vineyard Vignettes”, PPANE will be hosting a one day interactive hands-on seminar demonstrating how to light and pose for a variety of scenarios. The event will be held on Monday June 30 at Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center in North Andover, MA. Featuring 3 speakers/teams, it will be a practical day demonstrating how to work effectively with children/family, seniors and weddings. More details to follow soon but I hear a little whisper that 2 of CT’s finest will be sharing their expertise! Stay tuned for more...

    2014 PPANE Conference runs Saturday Sept 6 - Monday 8th inclusive in Nashua, NH at the Radisson. The program starts Saturday night with David Maheu and Madonna Lovett Repeta addressing “Set design and client styling” then Sunday is a free day until 5.30pm. Start the day early with “Nerd Wars” (Gary Hughes will demystify Social media thanks to WHCC’s sponsorship) before a popular Tradeshow then Clay Blackmore’s “Pose it, Light it, Love it”..... and it’s free.  Who wouldn’t love Canon’s generosity for sponsoring that session with this “Explorer of LIght”? Sunday night’s Awards Party is a firm fixture on the program then cure the Monday Blues with a full day as Richard Sturdevant reveals his secrets to “Portraits and Compositing” - Turning the Ordinary into Extraordinary, thanks to support from BWC Printmakers.
  • March 05, 2014 7:59 PM | Deleted user
    NEIPP Report

    With the hiring of Candace Stitler as the Executive Director, the enrollment for NEIPP 2014 has increased over last year’s enrollment. As of Monday we have over 80 students registered to attend. We’re had to cancel Ken Sklute because of enrollment and Darton Drake because of health reasons. All the other instructors have enough students to run the class and there are a few openings left for last minute sign-ups.

    Next year (2015) will be my last year as the CT Trustee. If you know of anyone who is interested in the educational side of photography and would like to be part of this great school, please have them contact me or submit a resume to the NEIPP Executive Director.

    Respectfully submitted,


    Rene Genest, M.Photog.,Cr
    CT Trustee to NEIPP
  • January 20, 2014 8:59 PM | Deleted user

    Every photographer I know always glows about Imaging USA whenever they speak about it. I've heard so many "OH, you should go's".  And this year I did. In fact, I've just returned from several days in Phoenix where this year's Imaging USA (IUSA) took place.

    It was a jammed packed three days at IUSA in Phoenix with too many courses to count available to choose from. There was the Photoshop Track, the Portrait Track, the lighting track, and more. My first day there I saw Julie Klassmeyer, Gregory Daniels, Ben Von Wong and Kimberly Smith. I had seen Julie before at Kansas City After Dark. I like her style and her tips and tricks with babies and young children. Gregory was a last minute replacement for Darton Drake. He was unknown to me. His images are outstanding (he does a lot of beach photography) and his high energy was refreshing.! His fantasy images knock me out! I had only recently started following him when I stumbled upon a video of an incredible portrait session he created for Nicole, a woman with stage four cancer who had little time left and had never had her portrait taken. Amazing, amazing work! My last seminar of the day was with Kimberly Smith, another photographer who was unfamiliar to me. A senior photographer, she spoke  from the heart. She has an uncanny knack for seeing great photographic opportunities everywhere she looks. She is also a song writer/singer. Her song about sisters is hauntingly beautiful.

    Photographer Julie Klassmeyer talks about how to go with the flow during toddler sessions.

    Charismatic Photographer, Ben Von Wong, taking questions after his seminar on the Passion of Photography.

    In the middle of this were five hours of browsing the trade show, perusing the exhibition gallery where I was able to view both of my IPC accepted images (one Loan/one General), and I was fortunate enough to have  a dozen of my prints critiqued by ASP BOD member, Dennis Hammon. As if that wasn't plenty for one day, let's just toss in the PPA Welcome Party!

    One of the nice surprises of that first day was running into four fellow CTPPA members: Joan & Rene Genest, Matt Lin, and Deb Key Mundair. It was also impossible to sit in a seminar, or in the Loan or General Collection viewing area without conversations springing up with photographers from around the country and the world. I spoke with so many nice people, all with such positive energy and enthusiasm. It soon became apparent through discussions with others that attending IUSA for the first time AND having a print go Loan the first time entering the IPC was not a common occurrence.  Hearty words of congratulations were appreciatively received  from many folks during my time at Imaging.

    Day two, I followed the Photoshop track. Jared Platt rocks as a presenter. Not only does he know PhotoShop inside and out, but his presentation style is interesting and entertaining. Post-Production Speed in Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC was followed by Quick Photoshop Fixes for Common Problems with Dave Cross. there anyone out there who doesn't know who Dave Cross is?  Besides being a tremendous PS guru, he is famous for his classy black & white oxford style shoes. The last seminar of the day, Lightroom & Photoshop- New Techniques for a Winning Workflow, was spent with Julianne Kost. OMG! This is a woman not to be missed - EVER! She is off-the-charts knowledgeable. Her delivery style is quick yet filled with humor. Her own photography is beautiful and this woman gives one thousand percent  and then some! By day's end, my brain was feeling more than a little full.

    PhotoShop expert, Jared Platt, speaking about post-production speed.

    In addition to the seminars available, there was the large trade show and the exhibition of the Loan and General Collection images. Hours were spent wandering around each, soaking up as much as I could. The images on exhibit were just breath-taking and inspiring!  Also on the agenda were the Grand Imaging Awards (GIAs) and for the first time ever, the World Cup of Photography took place with the USA just barely eeking out a win over Australia by just one point!  Being in a room of such highly talented photographers and seeing their work projected was inspiring. Congratulations to all the countries who participated in the World Cup event!


    Afterward, Deb Key Mundair and I rendezvoused with CTPPA late arriver Paulette Mertes  and her friend Rita Hoover, for a South Western dinner out. It was a great evening of spicy food and photography conversations.

    I followed up with another of Julianne's PhotoShop seminars on day three the subsequent morning. I have to admit that about three quarters of the way in, I thought my head would explode from all of the information she was passing along to us in rapid fire speed! Thankfully, her videos are available on the Adobe site to cement what she was teaching. Julianne is an amazing presenter and totally revered in the Adobe realm. If you ever get the chance to see her, don't pass it up!

    The final seminar I attended was the perfect note for me to end on:  Brooke Shaden. I've been a fan of hers for quite some time. This woman is so incredibly creative it is scary. Along her photographic journey, she has come to a place of high self confidence, creating images from deep within, and insulated in her firm belief  that because she creates for herself, it does not matter what others think of her work. Her work is dark, which she readily admits. But it comes from a place so pure within her that you can't help but be mesmerized by it and by her process. A live photo shoot/ demonstration was given and Brooke finished up with walking us through how she processes her images.

    Photographer extraordinaire, Brooke Shaden, takes to the floor to explain the live shoot she is about to create.

    That last evening, I met up with Deb to watch the PPA Award & Degree Ceremony. It was a surprise to see our own CTPPA Harvey Goldsteing be presented with an award. And later we watched with pride as Paulette receive her Master's Degree. Afterwards, Deb, Paulette, Rita and I attended the IUSA Closing Party together. We ended up talking for hours with Master Photographer, Thom Rouse, who will be speaking and judging at our CTPPA annual state convention in March. So deep in conversation were we that we never noticed the banquet room had emptied out and we were the last ones left! We literally closed down the IUSA!

    CTPPA's Harvey Goldstein receives his award from PPA President, Ralph Romaguera.

    CTPPA's Paulette Mertes receives her Masters Degree from best friend, Rita Hoover, and is congratulated by

    PPA President, Ralph Romaguera. 

    Imaging USA 2014 turned out to be a great time with wonderful memories. The days were full and flew by. The photographers attending were positive and fun to converse with, the trade show was really  quite good with loads of fun things happening, and the PPA Loan & General Collection images were outstanding and inspiring. And yes, there was the opening and closing parties, but in reality it is not the parties but the connections (old and new) and all of the positive energy that makes Imaging USA a great convention to attend. I believe I may be hooked.....I am already thinking about Nashville in 2015! should go!

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