Welcome to our new blog feature! Our Member Spotlight!!! Stay tuned to get to know our amazing MPPA members over the course of the next several months!
Our first Member Spotlight is Brittany Rae Photography, located in Old Orchard Beach!
Brittany is a wedding and portrait photographer in Southern Maine. She’s incredibly talented and has just opened a natural light studio in her home to provide glamour and boudoir photos for her clients, although her primary focus is on her wedding photography . Check out her work at on her website and take a peek at a few of her outstanding images below.
Brittany joined the MPPA in the Spring of 2009 at the recommendation of MPPA’s past President, Russell Caron. She has been a professional photographer since the fall of 2008, inspired by her father who was a hobbyist. There were always cameras in her home, and Brittany still has buckets of prints and negatives from when she was a child! Currently, she finds herself inspired by the work of Sue Bryce.
“I’ve had a camera as long as I can remember”
When asked what part of her job she loves most, Brittany turned immediately to her wedding clients as the answer. “I love every part of weddings,” she says. The 30 minutes (if she’s lucky) that she gets alone with her clients on a wedding day to create the amazing images that they will want to hang in their home is what drives her on a wedding day. As Brittany puts it, using her notorious sense of humor, “I’m pretty sure I sound like a cross between R2D2 and a monkey when I get them in that perfect light and scene!”
Answering the question “What is on your inspiration wall right now?” she notes what I think we all feel during our busy time of year: “No idea — it’s under a huge pile.” Then she added “Cleaning my house is my inspiration right now. I do some fantasy work with my kids; pictures of them with unicorns, digital fairy wings, etc. I’d love to play a bit more with that”.
Below are more answers to the questions we ask our Spotlight Members!
Q: What has been your favorite moment as a photographer?
A: Hands down it was a wedding a few years ago where the bride’s dad was diagnosed with a terminal disease. His goal was to walk her down the aisle — That’s not my favorite part! The best part was him getting to realize his dream. He walked her down the aisle! There wasn’t a dry eye there. I was all teary, too. I’m pretty sure the hubs was as well.
Q: What photographer would you most like to have lunch with and pick their brain?
A: Is it sad to say I don’t have one! I love meeting and chatting with as many other photographers as possible.
Q: What has been your greatest learning experience?
A: My first wedding! Back in 2003, the day after Christmas, at night, in a dark church. Armed with only my Nikon film camera and a 5 megapixel Nikon Coolpix. I shot that at the request of a friend of the bride… for $50.
Q: How are you different from other photographers?
A: I’m a little nutty. I think my personality sets me apart. I’m not afraid to get dirty, lay on the ground or do anything crazy! I love my adventure sports, so I’m literally up for anything.
Q: What is one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I’m shy and quiet. At least with people I don’t know.
Q: What was your best vacation ever?
A: I have two. The first would be a trip to Germany I took with my husband back when we first met. I bought the tickets for us after we had only been dating for a few months. We went all over the country without any formal plans, which also involved running to catch trains because we translated information wrong. The second was our honeymoon in Costa Rica. We loved it so much we are working on expanding our wedding coverage there and moving there for part of the year.
Q: What is your favorite TV show?
A: I only have Netflix, so….. Dr. Who.
Q: Do you have a favorite lens or piece of equipment?
A: I love my 70-200
Q: Are you a doer or a procrastinator?
A: Both! I procrastinate for a long time and then I can sit and get a ton of work done at once. The motivation has to hit me.
Brittany is an amazing person with a great business sense, and an even greater sense of humor. Next time you see her at our monthly meetings and classes, or even out and about in Old Orchard Beach, stop and say hello!
I have had the privilege over the last 25 years to be able to get up everyday and know that I will be doing something that I love. Photography has given me the opportunity to meet so many people. Some fortunate and many that aren’t. I had a life changing experience because of a catastrophe that occurred back in January of 2010. Port Au Prince, Haiti was devastated by an earthquake that killed more than 300,000 men, women and children. A new journey for me started shortly after that. I made my first trip to Haiti approximately 5 months after this earthquake. Since then I have made 5 more trips. I have tried to document my experiences and tell the story through the lens of my camera. It’s funny, but for me, hiding behind this piece of equipment has given me the courage to do exactly that. Looking from the outside in. I seem a bit uncomfortable eye to eye which I find is not uncommon amongst some photographers that I have spoken to. I’ve never been a world traveler since flying was not my favorite thing to do. But after putting my foot in my mouth and volunteering to make this trip I have never looked back. I can’t imagine denying myself this once in a lifetime opportunity to help get the word out and in some way try and help those that are less fortunate than us. They put me on a plane with a horn to alert the cows to get off the runway. (That’s just not right). To say the least, I’m very comfortable to fly now. I take every chance given to me to continue telling my story.
I was fortunate enough to win the Diamond Photographer of the Year award in Nashville, TN (2014). I thought my night was over and was getting to leave the awards show when another announcement was being made. So I figured I would hang around to see what was being shown. What came up on the screen was the introduction to the World Photographic Cup Awards. Never knew it existed but was curious about what exactly it is.
Here is a brief description:
The World Photographic Cup is a not-for-profit organization founded as a cooperative effort by the European Photographer (FEP) and the The Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Its singular goal is to unite photographers in a spirit of friendship and cooperation. The WPC governing committee is made up of photographers from across Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Slovakia and the United States.
I learned that one of my images “Eyes On Haiti” was selected to represent the United States. I was overwhelmed to learn this. My image was on it’s way to Montpellier, France to compete with all of these other countries. After a few months the voting was over. The United States took top honors. My image reached the rank of Finalist in the category: reportage.
I’m proud to receive this honor, but I’m more proud that I was able to put my traveling fears aside and let my love for photography lead the way.
“Beyond the art of photography, You set a huge example of what it is like to do work that addresses the humanitarian crisis others live through on a daily basis. Giving back is what it is all about”. – Elliot Moscowitz (PPGNY)
“I think you have relayed the perfect message and sentiment that expresses the admiration we in PPGNY feel for Jim’s artistry and compassion. His PPA Magazine cover is stunning, and the fact that is but one of so many inspiring images, is even more remarkable. We are all fortunate to have him as a colleague and I am personally fortunate to have him as a friend as well”. – Paul Bernstein (PPGNY)
“no one has ever become poor by giving” – Anne Frank
“when words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” – Ansel Adams
“let us not forget the unique profession that we are blessed to be part of”……we have the ability to bring a story to life….we can make people think….we can make people laugh…we can make people cry…we can Inspire… – Jim LaSala
Jim LaSala was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and currently resides in Flemington, NJ. He opened “Strike A Pose Photography Studio” in 1990 specializing in Fine Art Photography, Portraiture and Electronic Imaging. Jim is presently managing partner for “Xact Studios” in Hillsborough, NJ.
Call for Entries!
$250 First Prize, and a chance to have your work seen by hundreds of people, with a potential for print sales, are the reasons to enter the Maine Professional Photographers Association Scholarship Committee’s heART of Photography juried show.
Started as a fundraiser for the scholarships we award annually, winners will exhibit 12 framed prints, in 20 inch format, to be shown at 2 -3 venues in the Fall and Winter of 2015, and 2016.
The first exhibit will be at Brunswick’s prestigious Frontier. A second venue will be announced later this year. For more details, official rules, and to enter please click here. Entries must be received by July 22,2015!
Welcome to the MPPA June Wrap-up Newsletter
As MPPA President, I hope to bring my theme of “Together We Learn – Together We Grow” to our members. The Board’s Mission this year is to give our members access to wonderful programming, guide you toward degrees if you wish to pursue them and bring you access to the most amazing speakers and photographers in our industry.
I truly believe that we can grow & excel… If we are given the right information & inspiration. ~ Trish Logan
I believe this so much so, that I have reached out to photographers; nation-wide and asked them to share with us and help us learn and grow.
Many are award winning national names, some are beginners as you may be, or once were, each contributor was willing to generously share thoughts, encourage, guide; Or just plain tell the truth about this crazy – ever changing industry we love.
SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOU AS A MEMBER?
I am thrilled to announce the MPPA “Celebrity Corner”. This new section may be a guest blog, article or helpful hint from some of the best photographers in the business. It’s a place for us to learn, be encouraged, educated or just gather inspiration. All of the contributors are award winning photographers willing to share and inspire. Each Celebrity guest is from a different region and many different states.
Please join me and welcome them for their willingness to share and help us GROW.
They too believe “Together We Learn – Together We Grow.”
I hope you enjoy their work as much as I do.
Our Contributors are TOP SECRET!
So keep reading the newsletters and the blog; you never know who will be sharing next.
On behalf of myself & the MPPA Board of Directors, we can’t thank you enough for being part of our MPPA TEAM!
Wow it’s been a crazy couple of weeks since convention.
The new board has met and we are all very hard at work planning the year ahead. I couldn’t be happier with everyone’s energy and enthusiasm to bring you the very best in events and programming.
We hope to try some new meeting formats and really believe our members will like what they see. Be on the lookout for updates and information in the coming weeks and months.
Our goal this year is to really bring wonderful programs to help you learn and grow financially, professionally and personally within your business and as professionals. Whether you wish to add more income to an existing studio or pursue education and degrees. We are here to help!
Remember to check out our website, look under the members tab, and explore the many benefits available to you through the MPPA.
Take a few moments to read your newsletters and be on the lookout for eblasts, too. I encourage you to participate in our programming, bring and refer your friends because: “Together we learn ~ Together we grow!”
I look forward to seeing you all at our next program on June 18th. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 207-739-2805 if you have any questions or I can be of any assistance.
Did you know that you have a voice not only with your Maine Board but also regionally and nationally? The MPPA has member representatives at the New England Institute of Professional Photography (NEIPP), The Professional Photographers of New England (PPANE) and at the PPA National Level. We are staying in touch to keep you in touch with your state, region and national industry changes and news.
The following members are proud to represent you:
PPANE Board Members: Director: Trish Logan | Maine Rep.: Crystal Reynolds
NEIPP Maine Trustee: Trish Logan
PPA CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) Liaison: Jeff Morris
PPA Council Member & PPA Charities Ambassador: Trish Logan
Please contact any of us for more information on NEIPP Scholarship Opportunities, to learn how to earn your CPP, or for ways you can participate in PPA Charity events. It’s a great way to bring business to your studio and contribute to fantastic causes.
JOIN US FOR PIZZA & A PROGRAM!
Mark will cover:
– Some of his competition images and describe the way he sees, photographs, and processes.
– Demonstrate techniques like panning both moving and stationary subjects, making stitched panoramas, HDR processing, and long exposures
– Demostrate refining the composition.
– Challenge members to do “personal” work with examples of his own varied interests.
Location: Stockhouse Restaurant, 506 Main Street, Westbrook, ME
Date: Thursday, June 18
Time: 6-9 PM
Enjoy dinner with old friends and new at our program on June 18th at the Stockhouse Restaurant.
Program admission is FREE to MPPA members and first time guests.
If you would like to be part of the pizza party dinner, please register online (below). Dinner includes, pizza, soda and two FREE raffle tickets for a chance to win our Door Prize valued at $100. The cost for dinner is $12 (or you may order on your own from the menu). Any proceeds benefit the MPPA Speaker Fund.
Hope to see you there!
The Mentor Mission
“The goal of the mentor program is to build and facilitate the connections between mentors
and members as well as those between members for the benefit of all.”
I truly believe that the greatest thing you can receive from the MPPA is quality relationships with other photographers. It is a network of professionals who work together to succeed in making a living in photography. Each member is your teacher, your student and over time, your friend. We support each other in any way we can because the only competition your really have is within ourselves. Can you be a better photographer, can you deliver a quality image to your client and most important, can you make a living at it?
Here is how it works
This program is for new members first. If you are not a new member and there is room in the class you are welcome to attend. Classes may be limited and work on a first come, first serve basis. The goal is to have every new member in each class. You MUST sign up with each mentor to have a spot held for you in their class. Simply email the instructor. We hope we can accommodate every new member, but it is not guaranteed. There is no fee to attend!!
Why this works
This works because of you and our talented Mentors. Each one of the mentors came to the MPPA with a dream of photography. They are helping you because they want to give back for all that they have received from the MPPA. The mentors are not paid!!! In fact they are giving up very valuable time. They are people who want to see you succeed and as a member of the MPPA.
Bob Akers – MPPA Mentor Program Chairman
Sunday, May 17, 2015 | 12 PM – 3 PM
Branding, Expanding & Social Media
207-739-2805 | email@example.com
Photography by Trish Logan, 66 Paris St., Norway, ME
Class limit: 12 people
How to start out new or rebrand your current business
Review your branding with and make up dates and changes to be more effective
How to differentiate yourself from the competition with products and services
The face you show the world & how to add more value to your brand
How to produce loyal customers that will return time after time
Find clients and staff that believe in your vision and want to tell the world
How to use social media in your marketing
Creating a plan for your professional growth
Making a 1yr, 3yr & 5yr and even a 10yr plan for your company
How to set realistic attainable goals for growth
Monday, May 25, 2015 | 5 PM – 9 PM
The Power of Off-Camera Flash
207-251-2739 | firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Penny Lane, Kennebunk, ME
Class limit: 12 people
High School Seniors want portraits that make them look cool, different and get them comments like “Amazing”. So unless you can do a better job than their; Teacher, Mom , BFF or any other random person with a “nice camera” Why would they pay you real money. The answer is, they cannot do off camera flash!!! Period!!!
It takes years to figure out good lighting and how it works. Unless!!! Unless, you have someone who can explain it simply and teach you to do it on the spot.
No matter how good or how bad your camera is, Good Lighting won’t magically happen. This class will start with the basics of light patterns and posing. Natural light and up to 3 off camera flashes will be explained and demonstrated thoroughly. Bring your ”I pad” or cell phone because I will be broadcasting every shot I take with a wireless tether. You will see exactly how each light set up looks and each pose works, directly from the camera to your device!!!
Monday, June 1, 2015 | 5 PM – 9 PM
Beginner Lightroom & Photoshop
207-357-9219 | email@example.com
Photo Finish, 550 Center Street, #9007 Auburn Mall, Auburn, ME
Class limit: 12 people
This class will consist of, file management, a beginner level of importing images into Lightroom, basic adjustments, and enhancements, and presets. Exporting options, importing into photoshop and basic retouching, cropping and enhancements to export and be ready to send off to the lab for printing.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 | 6 PM – 8:30 PM
Setting Up Your Business
Russell & Liz Caron
207-233-4050 | firstname.lastname@example.org
North Dam Mill, 2 Main St., Biddeford ME
Meet at 5:45PM in the building lobby near Perk Coffee Bar
Class limit: 12 people
Home-based or storefront?
Continuous Self Improvement
Backup equipment, files
The #1 mistake of most new photographers
How much to charge?
The time study…how much did you make in that one hour
I am very honored and excited to serve as the new President for the MPPA. I want to welcome our new members and thank those of you who renewed your membership for another year!
When I look back at how I became a member, I have to smile and shake my head at how it all came to be and acknowledge how it changed my business and gave me a career I love.
Not so long ago, I was invited/encouraged (heck I was pushed) into checking out the MPPA by a friend and past President. It was the year convention was held in Freeport. He told me if nothing else, that I HAD to come to watch print competition.
I reluctantly agreed, telling him that I could only stay for an hour or so. I couldn’t really see myself as a member of the MPPA, I wasn’t ready to become a full time professional photographer, didn’t feel that being a member was something I needed, and couldn’t picture myself as a professional at that level. I was a beginner, a hobbyist, a newbie to the industry. I was making progress and getting known without joining MPPA, or even PPA, but I went and watched.
My plan was to sit for just a bit and then hit all the great outlets in Freeport. As I sat and I watched, it became clear to me that the judging was like none I had seen before in camera clubs, at fairs, or other contests I entered. This was actually educational, informative and highlighted quality photography like I had not seen before.
The idea of leaving was quickly replaced with the need to stay, to watch, to learn, to grow as a photographer and dare I say it? A professional. I remember sitting, watching riveted by the judging, eagerly anticipating the next image rotation.
They broke for lunch, I stayed. I chatted with strangers who made me feel comfortable and welcome. I watched the print competetion to the very last print. At the end of the day, I never did get my shopping spree in. I spent my mad money, not on clothing or home décor; I spent it on my future. Instead of walking out the door to shop, what I did instead was walk through a door that I had no idea existed.
Meeting everyone that day gave me a vision, eventually a path and then goals. I have had so many people encourage and mentor me since joining and I have done the same for others. Joining the MPPA opened avenues I had no idea were even there. It has led me to join not only the MPPA Board but also serve on Regional Boards and the PPA National Council as well. My business has grown and I get to work at a job I love every day. It has given me life-long friends, and made it possible for me to travel to more than 13 states in the last few years as I pursue my photographic goals.
So the million dollar question: Why join and why rejoin year after year? I get asked that a lot. The answer is easy!
In a world of instant information and free education, MPPA gives us several things that YouTube videos and online education can’t. It gives everyone of us the chance to learn and connect face-to-face with experienced photographers who have stayed the course and survived this ever changing industry. It gives experienced professionals a chance to meet new enthusiastic members that are the future of our industry. The meeting of minds and exchange of ideas can’t be replaced by online chats, videos or podcasts.
The ability to call a friend to assist with a job, help with pricing or a special project, to have the opportunity to try out equipment or gear with a friend can’t be found online.
Ask anyone that attends a workshop or convention; 85% of what we learn is gained over lunch with friends, or in the halls outside those presentation rooms.
The internet can’t refer you for a job or mentor you. It doesn’t connect with you on a personal level. In a world where Facebook friends abound, I prefer actual contact with my mentors, peers and protégés.
I am proud to be an MPPA member and look forward to serving as your President, and I know our Board is as enthusiastic and excited as I am. Call us, reach out to us, volunteer and become involved. We would love to have your help and welcome your ideas. (Find contact info for all Board Members here)
Remember: Together we learn; together we grow.
No one person is smarter or stronger than all of us together!
MPPA President, 2015-2016
PPA is also hosting “Are Your Images Protected?” – a FREE webinar at 3 PM (EST) TODAY. Register here & Be More Protected!