What an amazing convention. Holy smokes I am so excited about the NEW MPPA!! While we haven’t re-branded yet — we have gotten a whole lot more At-Track-tive! The MPPA wants to provide a diverse education base for our Maine photographers….so we created track programs to help you easily identify the classes you want to go to. Wedding, Portrait, Landscape, Commercial, and Business. The business classes are often applicable to any type of photographer. What they don’t tell you when you become a photographer is you will spend 20% of your time with a camera and 80% of your time trying to make money!
Staying viable and standing out in a saturated market is probably the number one battle photographers have. My goal for the MPPA is to help people find their unique market niche and be able to make a living doing what they love. I tried to diversify offering more hands on shooting and lighting classes as well as just being able to get out and enjoy what Maine has to offer. Many photographers got into photography for their love of landscapes and it will be so fun to incorporate more landscape photography into our calendar. I am really looking forward to taking a trip to Monhegan Island with fellow photographers.
In the wedding world here in Maine we often get together just to have drinks and chat about life and the state of the industry. I am bringing that to the MPPA with our Thirsty Thursday’s series and little round table discussions about particular marketing topics such as social media or the client experience. Community is about helping each other — and we forget everyone has something to offer. We all have tried different tips and tricks and sharing them with others is a powerful and fulfilling thing. It is so important to look at the industry with the understanding that there is plenty of work to go around we just have to identify our little corner of the market.
This summer we have a photo walk planned that will be a headshots day….what that means is we all just photograph each other and share our images. It is really fun; you get a variety of images from a variety of photographers while working on your own skills. We also will be doing a few artist walks where we can challenge each other to try and create the best image from the walk. Best image will be determined by an out of state judge. Finally, we have a few concept shooting days planned where you will be led through the creative process and can shoot after the instructor demos their approach. These full day classes will be PPA merit classes. If you want to learn more about what that means please join me on April 9th for my Maine Mentors program when I demystify the PPA and the MPPA. As soon as I return from my international trip I will be sending along more information about Merit classes, MPPA and degree programs.
There are still some tentative programs but for the most part our calendar is planned until March 2018. I am looking forward to January 2018 which will be dedicated to learning post processing, and the “Season of Love” month in February of 2018. Upcoming programming includes the Maine Mentors series taught by seasoned Maine photographers on a variety of topics. Don’t miss Trish Logan teaching a PPA merit 90 day business jump-start class called Money Mondays.
Having been to education and workshops all over the world I hope to bring top notch education and content to the MPPA. I challenge everyone to have an open mind, and make your photography dreams a reality this year by setting goals and working with others to figure out how to achieve them.
My vision is for Maine to offer cutting edge programs that will set us apart from other organizations and bring people in. When people come in; it is our responsibility to make them feel welcome, safe, and build relationships with them. Community is the strongest most important thing in a creative industry. Two heads are better than one and you cannot create in a vacuum. You never know why you will meet the people you meet, you never know who will be your next best friend, or who will have the most influence on your life. So open your heart, your mind, and your lives to each other. Know that this is a safe place to share your ideas and dreams. Even though some days it feels like there will never be enough business—there really is plenty to go around. Don’t be afraid that someone will steal your dreams—go out and make them. Find a buddy and make a plan to start down one path that will take you to another path—that will lead you somewhere you probably could not have even dreamt you would end up. This is the power of being an entrepreneur and the power of being in this community.
Patricia Takacs, M. Photog.
MPPA President 2017-2018