Maine Professional Photographers Association
Connect. Learn. Grow.

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  • June 16, 2017 2:03 PM | Jim Walker

     Finally we have some nice weather!  

    Since this month is the deadline for PPA print competition I want to talk a bit about building inspiration and ideas.  I don’t consider myself to be overly creative so when I began in this field I started doing some things that I still do today to help me stay inspired. 

    First of all I try to look everywhere for inspiration….movies, books, magazines.  I take screen shots of the TV, I screen shot images that I love, I take pictures of random designs I see.  I spend time in book stores, and I hoard magazines.  All of these things get me thinking about things I could maybe do….and I store them away for when I see something that makes me inspired.  I use pinterest boards, Old school clippings in 3 ring binders, folders on my computer, and my most favorite of all instagram saves.   

    Another way I stay inspired is by doing “fun” shoots.  I am looking forward to learning about other peoples process behind their “fun” shoots this month with Ray Peeples at his Merit Class on Peaks Island.  For this one he made a dress out of a parachute….it is sure to be an inspirational adventure. 

    Other things going on in July are Thirsty Thursday with Lauren DelVecchio and I.  We are hosting a little round table discussion where you can ask us questions and we will discuss over a beverage.  At this months Thirsty Thursday we will have the opportunity (weather permitting) to photograph the Old Orchard Beach Fireworks as well so bring your tripods!   

    Speaking of after dark activities….Dean Bugaj will be hosting our monthly meeting.  It is going to be on photographing the night sky.  We will start at his studio in Scarborough to go over some basics and then head out for some hands on shooting. 

    Finally, rounding out the month of July, Russ Caron is hosting a small group (first 5 to register) for a class on Adobe Lightroom.  If you don’t use Lightroom but you LOVE taking pictures this class is a MUST.  He will show you his workflow and some quick awesome editing tactics.

    Patty Takacs

  • March 24, 2017 8:43 AM | Crystal Reynolds

    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

  • March 09, 2017 2:33 PM | Crystal Reynolds

    As my year as your President comes to a close I find myself reflecting on all of the pivotal moments that brought me here. And I am so very grateful for the opportunities and experience these past 11 years as a member and 8 years serving on the MPPA Board has brought me. 

    I would like to thank the incredible team of people that make up the Board of Directors and Committees of the MPPA - as well as the members - for your support and your friendships. Without this great association, and each of YOU, I wouldn't be the person or the photographer that I am today. Those of you in the MPPA (and PPANE) are like family to me and you will always hold a special place in my heart. 

    This convention is going to be so much fun and I am so excited! Jordan Brittley will lead a Pre-Con stylized wedding shoot on Thursday. She will then be back on day one of convention to cover Online Marketing along with Kay Eskridge on the Business of Boudoir and Rick Hydren with Real Estate Photography. And don't forget to join us at the end of the day for our St. Patrick's Day party in the hospitality suite! Day two brings us our Image Competition and you won’t want to miss any of the fun to be had in Club 79! Ken Sklute will also share his insights on Pre-visualization. Be sure to say hello and thank you to all of our vendors and sponsors at the Trade Show as well… without their support our convention just wouldn't be the same. Convention wraps up on day three with Kirk Voclain and his Cool Senior Portraits program followed by our annual Awards Banquet. 

    I encourage all of you to make new friends and connections, especially while at convention. I wouldn't have remained active in the MPPA myself and found the many, many friends amongst you without those first few fellow members that included me right away with their warm welcomes. Be a mentor for someone new to the MPPA. Take advantage of the stepping stones and turns in the path that will lead you to the future you. Step out of your comfort zone and volunteer your time on a committee. The MPPA needs all of you! 

    Be inspired and be the inspiration. Make this the year, to make a difference. Thank you. 

    Your President & friend,
    Crystal Reynolds

  • March 06, 2017 3:36 PM | Crystal Reynolds

    Don't miss the deadline to enter in the 2017 MPPA Image Competition! All entries must be uploaded by Friday, March 10th at Midnight. The first 100 entries will be printed for display at Convention courtesy of American Color Imaging. Image judging will be held on March 18, 2017 at the Clarion Portland Hotel. We hope to see you there!

  • February 09, 2017 8:54 PM | Crystal Reynolds

    Welcome to the NEW & IMPROVED MPPA WEBSITE! We have been working hard behind the scenes to bring you the very best online experience! New features include a streamlined payment process for event registrations, annual membership dues, and now a MONTHLY payment option for membership dues (yes, you read that right - monthly payments - making it even easier to join the MPPA today!). 

    Some other awesome benefits of our new online system are: A fresh new look, easy registration for monthly events and convention (with special member pricing and free registrations available to our members when they login!), simplified forms and applications, an always up-to-date membership directory, automated email reminders and an at-a-glance view of your membership status and event registrations... and so much more!! It is our goal to make your membership with the MPPA effortless and fun

    Take a moment now to create a unique password for your new membership profile by clicking the login button (top right corner), enter your email address (used on your membership application), and click 'forgot password'. This will generate an email guiding you to choose a new password. Once you login you can update any information on your membership profile at anytime, including a new profile picture! You will also have instant access to our Members Area with exclusive links and resources just for MPPA Members. How cool is that?!

    So go ahead, click around, and let us know what you think! We hope you love it as much as we do! Have questions? Connect with us! We can't wait to hear from you. And don't forget to register for convention, sign up for our upcoming program on Feb 16, and submit your Award & Recognition Points for 2016! 

  • February 09, 2017 11:00 AM | Crystal Reynolds

    It's time to submit your points towards MPPA awards and earn your lobster pin! 

    It's that time of year again … it’s the new year, the temperatures are chilling, and if you are like me, you are taking advantage of being a little slower in January to finally get everything cleaned up, sorted, and ready for the new year. It’s also time for you to reflect upon this past year and determine what you may have accomplished or participated in to earn you points for our MPPA Reward and Recognition Program. Have you attended an MPPA event? Or been a speaker? Or gotten photographic education? Those are all worth points!

    Not sure what the programs is about?  You can find the details and the entry form online here.  This link gives you details about the program and opens up an awesome electronic form that you can fill out and submit online (easy!). Please fill out the form by February 15th. Forms submitted after February 15th will still be accepted for points BUT YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY AWARDS AT CONVENTION because if we don’t know about it by February 15 we won’t be ordering enough awards. 

    Don’t put it off … just take a few minutes to submit your points. We’ve made it easy – with a click you can see all the MPPA events from the past year, so if you were wondering “what did I attend” hopefully this will help refresh your memory. Plus we had sign-in sheets at all events this year, so we can double check and make sure you get credit for attending. It's fun to have a competition with your fellow members and friends to see who can get the most points each year … and see who will be the first to receive a Maine Photographic Excellence Award or the Maine Fellowship Award.  Remember, if you earn 12 points in a calendar year, you’ll get one of our awesome Lobster Pins, so look and see what you may have already earned.
    Earning points is SO EASY!  You get a point for just for being an MPPA member, and one more for each Maine (or other approved) photographic meeting/seminar you attend.  This has been a great year of education (and fellowship), and you can even earn points for attending social events like the summer BBQ! And attendance is just a small part … if you entered print competition … or volunteered on the MPPA Board or Committees … or hosted an event at your studio … more points!  So check out the rules/info and fill out the forms on the website. Lets see if someone can beat Trish Logan who has had an INCREDIBLE amount of points the past 2 years – she needs someone nipping at her heels!
    Any questions?  Contact Claudia Murray at 207-883-9646 or  Good luck, and we hope to see a lot of new award recipients at convention this year.

  • January 15, 2017 7:50 PM | Crystal Reynolds

    Interested in bringing a ‘little something sexy’ to your photography business or have an existing boudoir line you’d like to ramp up? Boudoir photography has become more main stream as portrait businesses have expanded to offer their clients this type of experience.

    With an emphasis on posing and lighting to flatter women of all ages, shapes and sizes attendees will be able to see different size models side by side in a variety of positions that will showcase simple movements to insure comfort and confidence. You’ll learn how to work with all types of lighting sources and how to use different types of furniture to create poses that give variety to the session.

    You’ll learn how to balance a family friendly business with the Art of Boudoir, how to place appropriate value on what you offer, how to market this exciting photography trend, how to create unique product lines and what sales techniques can be used to make them successful. You’ll learn how to communicate with your clients insuring a wonderful experience and what poses will make any woman feel comfortable while using a variety of lighting techniques during the hands-on session. This class will give you the knowledge, tools and confidence you’ll need to provide an experience your clients won’t be able to stop talking about.

    Register for the 2017 MPPA Convention today!

    See more of Kay’s work here: Kay Eskridge

  • January 13, 2017 3:51 PM | Crystal Reynolds

    Rick Hydren will be talking about Real Estate Photography.  It will cover business overview, marketing, business strategies, pricing, image making, processing techniques, and image presentation options. 

    Rick started working at local newspapers when he was in high school in the late sixties. Graduated from Mass Art in the early seventies and went into advertising. After twenty years as an art director he had many regional and national awards to his name in print, TV and design.

    As his mastery of digital photography grew so has the many services he offers. Real estate photography, business portraits, product photography, portraiture and video production completes the diverse services he has been providing and equally diverse cliental.

    His approach to marketing is pretty standard. He thinks about the main benefit to the consumer. The unique selling points. Who is the target audience, and how best to reach them.

    Register for Rick’s class here: MPPA Convention

    See more of Rick’s work here: Rick Hydren



  • January 11, 2017 3:45 PM | Crystal Reynolds

    Ten things to know about the business of photography:

    1. Learn your camera.  Know how to shoot in manual mode.  Learn all you can about lighting.  While you are learning be diverse…learn how to use natural light as well as studio lighting.
    2. Referrals are essential.  Inspire your clients to want to send their friends to you.  Set up a referral program.
    3. Focus on you–look outside the industry for inspiration–and do not compare yourself to others.
    4. Know the numbers–this is a business not a hobby.
    5. Build your market–and focus on them.
    6. Market–use social media to share content.
    7. Mentor with other photographers.
    8. Continuing Education is key to remaining viable in an ever changing industry.
    9. Photography is 80% business and 20% creating images.
    10. Stay true to who you are–and build your business around that.
  • January 09, 2017 3:07 PM | Crystal Reynolds

    Ken Sklute has been honored as one of Canon’s Explorers of Light, a designation shared by only 42 top photographers worldwide. Ken has enjoyed a diverse career photographing people, professional sports, architecture, weddings and landscapes. Ken spends much of his time photographing, teaching and lecturing both Nationally and Internationally.

    Ken Sklute began his photographic career capturing 200 mph race cars in New York at an early age. He soon moved into the wedding and portrait industry working for a volume wedding studio for three years before moving into working for different independently owned studios.

    Ken bought his first studio in 1983 in New York working at the finer locations throughout the New York metropolitan area. He chose to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona in 1996 in order to be out in the landscape of the beautiful desert Southwest and to enjoy the Phoenix wedding market.

    During Ken’s 41 year professional photography career he has accomplished the title of “Photographer of the Year” in 32 out of 41 years in the states of New York, Arizona and California. In addition, Ken has been awarded 14 Kodak Gallery Awards, the Kodak Gallery Elite award, WPPI Grand Award for Weddings and 15 Fuji Masterpiece awards, amongst many other awards. Ken is proud to be or have been a Kodak Mentor, an Epson Mentor, an Adobe Influencer, a Delkin ImageMaker, a Datacolor Expert and a NIK Friends with Vision member.

    Some of Ken’s clients have been the National Hot Rod Association, U.S. Army, Sports Illustrated, Oakley, Associated Press, National Dragster, Epson, Kodak, Newsday, as well as most of the photographic industry trade magazines. 

    Register to see Ken Sklute here: MPPA Convention

    See more of Ken’s work on his website here: Ken Sklute



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