When I have a conversation with other photographers about the PPOC, generally the comments boil down to “what’s in it for me?” I’m going to tell you now 🙂
This past 2 weeks has been full of amazing changes for me. The Professional Photographers of Canada just held their annual conference in Ottawa, and I was thrilled to be able to join all of my peers at likely the best photography event I’ve ever attended. I know that when I speak about the PPOC, many people question what it stands for. I find myself explaining it often, but I have a new description to add. Comradery. There is a huge feeling of this when I am among a group so large, of people who have a common goal. We exist partly to help in “raising the general standard of photographic craftsmanship”. (quoted from our PPOC code of ethics). There are no “adolescent type cliques”, there is only a feeling of welcomeness.
My four days there were filled with learning from industry leaders such as Joe McNally, Drake Busath, David Williams (who made that incredible image of me laughing!!) , Joel Grimes, and Tracie Maglosky. It doesn’t matter how seasoned you are, we can all learn something from our speakers!! There was a two day Trade Show where you can connect with your favorite vendors and find new ones too. So much better to be able to see and feel products in person! I Connected with old friends and made several new ones. As usual, at least one night was filled with too much wine consumption but the memories made are unforgettable. And then there’s the Awards Banquet. This is always a very lavish affair. A delicious four course meal awaits us all. Up next is the awards. The recipients are always dressed to the nines, and when they walk through the crowd to receive their awards, their own excitement seems to fill the entire room.
I wish I had taken photos of at least one of the recipients as she found her way through the crowd. She had a look of almost shock, disbelief. I know exactly how she felt, because I was there last year. Pure humbleness. I didn’t get to take that walk this time, but those who did, deserved it immensely. Such an amazing honor to be nominated for Best In Class in the Fine Art category!!! Very tough competition!! I did however get these accolades during print competition (which I’ve been dying to share but wanted to wait for the ribbons 🙂 )
Judges Choice, Loan Collection, Excellence:
Dedicated professionals. Unity. Strong national identity. These are some words from the “About” section on the PPOC website. When attending the conference, you feel it. You see it. You ARE it.
Lastly, I just wanted to share a few words from one of our newest Ontario members, Melissa Roy.
“I just wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone in the PPOC and those that helped organize the International Photo Conference – Congrès International de la Photo. It was my first conference and my first event with the PPOC after almost a year membership.
I have been on the fence as to the “value” of the membership and as to whether or not it was worth it to renew. I am generally a very shy person when it comes to meeting new people – but for the most part, everyone at this conference was so kind and outgoing, I am less fearful to attend future events and I see the value of a network that can help me grow in this industry.
I am thankful for the learning opportunities that were provided by the speakers, and for all of the people whom I spoke to that are so willing to offer a hand on pushing forward with becoming a better photographer, and (hopefully) getting my accreditation(s).
Well done everyone. I look forward to what the year ahead as a member of PPOC has to offer me, and I will be sure to put myself out there a little bit more”
As you know, I am not much of a prop user. I prefer to focus mostly on my subject, without the use of too many eye catching items scattered in the scene. This buggy, I had to have. I purchased this prop about 2 years ago at a little market here in town. Even though the price was quite steep, I knew it was worth the investment. A bouncing baby boy in a 1930’s carriage made by Heywood-Wakefield. A beautiful prop for the most cherished infant portraits.
Baby “L” is the son of an antique lover. So how fitting would it be to use this for his 6 month session! It really does look like it was taken way back in the 30s!
I had this sweet little bunch into the studio just a few weeks ago. How cute are those little boys??? I know they will love seeing these images up on their walls, and you know what they say, a child who regularly sees pictures of himself feels more loved, valued and accepted. And well, it’s about time this family updated their family portraits!! When baby isn’t a baby anymore, it’s time folks!!! 🙂
Ideally I’d love to see my clients in once a year when the kids are small. . . so many changes when they’re little, it’s great to get everyone in front of the camera to see those changes!! Think about that for awhile.. . . what would you have to give up in your daily life to be able to make a yearly portrait possible? And I’m not talking about 20 pictures. Who needs 20 pictures? I’m talking about ONE PERFECT SHOT. When you think about all of the things you habitually purchase during the day/week/month that you could actually live without, you’d be surprised what that adds up to. Think of your kids and how much these pictures will mean to them when they really need them most. xoxo
Miss A was like a quick breeze through the studio the night she came in to do her grad session. A busy girl’s got things to do, no photo session is gonna slow her down! 🙂 We got some great shots, of a gorgeous girl and a gorgeous dress.
It was a combo grad/family session. This was such a fun one for me to photograph. First of all, there’s just something about a boy in a kilt. Add to that, he looks a little bit like JFK junior except blond. And he loves his family and he loves the outdoors. As I drove up the road, I see a makeshift tent set up. No zippers, nothing fancy like that, just a line and a tarp. Oh, and a bed inside. Fun. Makes me wish my kids had grown up on a farm. So many more possibilities for growth with farm life. (as I see it anyway) As I move further into the yard I see a couple fancy chickens and a rooster. And a cat. All farms need a cat. And cows. Beautiful cows! Train tracks visible right there, lots of outbuildings, and in the center of this beautiful yard is this gorgeous garden with a beautiful arbor that the family had built. Stunning spot for family photos! The love this family has for eachother was so touching. Grandpa was there for photos too, and he reminded me of my own daddy. His love for his daughter and her family was very evident. It truly was a joy to witness these moments with this family. xoxo
So today I’m going to share some shots I did one beautiful, windy day in September. I was hired by a guy who wanted his big boy toy ( an ACA (American Champion Aircraft) “Denali Scout”) photographed with a beautiful model, and Mandy was definitely the perfect choice. Check out her fb page HERE The plan was to gift his very good friend (THE Bob Hannah of all people!!!) an amazing collection of shots from this photo shoot. I just received this image of Bob holding his gift, a 20×30 Metal Print. The Metal makes the colors on these images POP! 🙂 So very cool, and what guy DOESN’T have pictures of sexy women in his garage? And this one happens to be made by me. I’m honored.
Last month was the annual PPOC National Salon competition, where photographers from all over Canada submit their work to be inspected, scrutinized, magnified, critiqued, you name it, by a panel of qualified judges. Each of these judges must have a minimum of Craftsman of Photographic Arts (my next goal within the PPOC) and have been trained as jurors, to be able to review the submissions. To be accepted into the Salon exhibition is no easy task, and often makes me sick to my stomach to even think of entering. . . but it’s the critique from the judges that we’re hungry for. . .
So onto the judging, we are lucky to be able to stream it live over the weekend as they are judging. I entered the maximum four images. This was the only one that made it in, scoring an “Accepted”. I was fine with that, and stopped watching once all of my images had been judged. It is also possible for an image to be re scored, and it wasn’t until I received my email a week later that I found out it had indeed been re-scored, to a Merit!! I was shocked and elated. Phew!! This takes away the disappointment of the other three not hanging in the show.
Fast forward a month. .National Convention (this year being held in Calgary) was just this past week. I was excited and nervous, having never attended I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, (I’m STILL excited as I type this) my image received a Best In Class at the award ceremonies!! I think I was still in shock from winning a prize of $500 towards anything PPOC related, just moments before. . . at this point I am looking forward to attending the 2017 National Convention in Ottawa. 🙂
As for the story of “Take Good Care of my Baby”. . . this bride and groom were my first wedding clients of 2016. . the love, tenderness, and warmth of the ceremony is all I can remember, January’s bitter cold is well overshadowed by the moments I witnessed on this day. As the bride was escorted down the aisle, I got into position to capture the usual kiss a bride gives her daddy, but before the groom takes her hand, her father pulls him in close, and BAM! Perfection captured!! I knew exactly what to title this image as soon as I saw the moment unfolding in front of me. I am also a little surprised it was not blurry. . . I get very teary eyed at most every wedding I shoot at this particular moment!! To be honest, there were quite a few PJ moments I considered entering, but I could only enter one, so glad I chose this one. 🙂
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This family was such a hoot to work with. The kids were awesome and really made my job easy. The purpose of the session was a new family wall print and some sports themed portraits of the kids, one of whom was graduating. Having professional images done of your grad is a great way to remember them before their new world takes over. . . and it may be the last time you get any photographs done before they are married, so it really is a good idea! 🙂
One beautiful, sunny morning last May, I met THE lovely Tammy at Aspen Beach to do a shoot. It was a fantastic experience working with someone who is so creative herself. Please head over to her blog http://www.volerra.com for a peek at what this amazing gal is up to!