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The President’s Message: A Joyous Season

Jenny Eisenhauer
2020 TPPA President

It’s the most wonderful time of year! The hustle and bustle all around us as people prepare for spending time with family and friends over the holidays can be overwhelming. Most photographers are trying to squeeze in just a few more family sessions, planning their own holiday break, or wrapping up their projects to prepare for the new year. But it is also a great time of year for photographers.

Speaking of 2020, what are your plans? Many of the most successful photographers will tell you that having a business plan was their ticket to success. You should be thinking WHEN to have studio specials, usually during your slow time of the year. You should be planning HOW to schedule your sessions so you are not constantly moving lights, backgrounds, and props in during sessions. You should also be evaluating your return on investments of new lights, equipment, and education. You should be focusing on marketing: who are your clients, what do they want, how will you deliver it to them? There is SO MUCH to think about, and yet, all are steps to your success.

The Professional Photographers of America will host Imaging USA in Nashville, Tennessee, January 19-21, 2020. I love being able to see so many familiar faces and meet new friends at this event. This is a great way for me to start the year and to learn some things that I am doing right. It is where I find trends for our industry so I can fine tune areas and goals to address in next year’s business plan.

Texas PPA has an exciting lineup of programs and events for 2020. The concept of “Texas 10 Workshops” has been expanded to include more of them throughout the year. These events are usually small groups where people can soak up information about almost any topic. Each one is an opportunity to put the pedal to the metal. The goal is to learn it, practice it, take it home, and work on it! These TPPA events are wise investments for any photographer. Plus, they are a lot of fun! For more information, go to the Texas PPA website at www.TPPA.org/Events.

The Texas School of Professional Photography is also just around the corner. In fact, registration for this event is coming up on January 3, 2020, at 11:00 pm CST. If you’ve never attended “Texas School,” you have missed out on a week-long event with 36 classes and about 1,000 other photographers. It will literally change your life!

2020 is going to be a great year for Texas PPA and its members. We are excited about some changes for next year’s calendar and new opportunities for our members.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president for this year, I hope to see you at an event, guild meeting, or excursion soon!

All the best,
Jenny Rhea Eisenhauer
TPPA President

The President’s Message: A Joyous Season2020-01-27T19:35:32-06:00

The President’s Message: People Working Together

Ross Benton,
TPPA President 2019

It’s difficult to believe that my time as TPPA President is already drawing to a close!  It’s been an honor to serve as your president. During my time in this position, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some awesome people at TPPA, attend some great events and most importantly make some new friends. I have loved getting to know so many of my fellow photographers across the state of Texas and even beyond.

As my term draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the many experiences and people that have blessed me and I simply want to say in my final letter to you, “Thank you. I couldn’t have done this without you.” Working together, we’ve all become better.

In my career as a photographer, I have the opportunity to travel over a fairly sizable swatch of the state to photograph different things for different clients. Sometimes, a photo shoot is a one-person job. Other times, I need some reinforcement! Thankfully, I have found a group of five photographers who serve as my partners and supporters when I’m asked to photograph a larger event. They will travel to help me as needed and I will travel to help them. Not only do we help each other professionally, we also invest in each other personally. We learn from each other’s successes and failures and we talk with each other about our lives and families. Working together, we have all become better.

In the creation story at the beginning of the Bible, God delights in all He has made. One of the refrains in the opening chapter of Genesis is this: “It was very good” (Genesis 1:31). But when God created the first man Adam, He expressed a concern. “It is not good for the man to be alone,” He said (Genesis 2:18).  So, God made Eve. Why? Because He knew that working together, things go better. At the end of the Bible, there is a man named John who sees a vision of heaven. What does he see? “I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language,” John says (Revelation 7:9). John sees a huge crowd of people! Why? Because he knows that working together, things go better. The story of the Bible, from beginning to end, is the story of people working together.

This fall, we will have the opportunity to work together at the iHeart Photography Conference at the Grapevine Convention Center, October 11-13. If you just need some fresh inspiration and encouragement, there will be something there for you. If you’re a pro but you know you still need to grow, there will also be something there for you. If you’re looking to grow your business and learn some of the latest tricks and tools of our trade, there will be something there for you as well. For more information, and to register, just go to www.iheartphotography.org. I hope to see you there because I know that working together, we can all become better!

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as your president. Even as my role changes, my commitment to our industry – and to you – will not. I count it a privilege to call you my colleagues and my friends.

All the best,
Ross Benton
TPPA President

The President’s Message: People Working Together2019-11-19T10:42:20-06:00

The President’s Message: It’s All About “Family”

Ross Benton,
TPPA President 2019

One of the things I love to do over summer holidays is go to the lake. The water is cool, the sun is bright, the food is fabulous, and the people are precious. I always go to the lake with my family where we meet my “family.”

Here’s what I mean.

I’m a proud husband to Brandyce and a father to two. They are my family. But when we go to the lake, we’re not only together as a family, we also spend time with people who are “like family.” These are people with whom I can share my joys, my hurts, my fears, and my secrets. My family is a great blessing to me – but so are the people who are “like family” to me. The same thing is true for the people of my church. I’ve fostered many close and abiding friendships there and know that I’m surrounded by people who not only share in faith, but also care for me – deeply.

The New Testament often describes the Church as a “family of faith” (e.g., Galatians 6:10). Part of what made the Church so attractive in its early days was how it looked like a loving, caring family. A second century historian named Tertullian said of these people, “See how they love one another!”

Like the Church is a family of faith, our industry is a family of photographers. We are here for each other. One of the reasons I count it such an honor to be president of the TPPA is that our mission revolves around supporting not only the practice of photography, but the people who are photographers. As much as the art of our craft matters, how we relate to each other and care for each other matters even more.

To that end, I hope to see you at our iHeart Photo Conference & Expo, October 11-13, in Grapevine, Texas. In addition to sessions on photography, we will have excursions for photographers where you will be able to get to know others better and develop and deepen friendships that can expand your professional family. I also want to “thank you” for helping make our Summerfest seminar such a success. Our image competition featured over 560 entries! Thanks for all your participation and support. Hopefully, you were able to gain and glean some takeaways from Summerfest to better serve your clients this fall.

I’m looking forward to what this fall has in store. Thanks for walking with me in this journey. It’s been a great one so far!

All the best,
Ross Benton
TPPA President

The President’s Message: It’s All About “Family”2019-11-19T10:47:27-06:00

The Dance Photography Experience

Saturday, February 15
10am to 5pm

The Dance Photography Experience
Hosted by Doc List

Learning lighting and timing when working with dancers is as much art as science. Capturing an image of a dancer in flight, or while dancing, or even when doing their favorite pose requires the ability to set the lights and anticipate their movements.

In this workshop, you will not only learn these things by listening and watching, but you will also learn by doing. A large percentage of the time will be spent in guided practice, as well as all of us having the opportunity to view and critique each other’s images (lovingly and supportively, of course).

* Be able to explain lighting for dancers
* Be able to anticipate a dancer’s movements to get the best shot
* Have the ability to communicate effectively with dancers while photographing them
* Create an enjoyable experience for your subjects
* Have the ability to properly compose your images

TPPA Member Registration – $89
Non-Member Registration – $129
“Join and Go” Registration – $184



8711 Burnet Road, Suite B-38,
Austin, TX 78757

Meet TPPA Member, Doc List
I love photographing people, and I love creating something that never existed before. I spend a LOT of time in Photoshop, learning and playing and exploring new ways of doing things. I have entered composites in competition, and gotten a merit or two along the way. Mostly, though, I have a passion for creating composites that are believable.

The Dance Photography Experience2019-11-07T10:07:47-06:00

The “Texas 10” Workshops

The “Texas 10” is a series of photographic workshops that will be held throughout the state between late February and late March.

Workshops are taught by volunteer TPPA Members who are willing to share and promote the success of all photographers throughout Texas (and beyond).

These one-day workshops are offered locally to photographers of all skill levels. You do not have to be a member of TPPA to register for Texas 10 workshops.

Because many of the workshops are hosted in the photographer’s own studio, most of the workshops have a very limited capacity which also ensures everyone has an opportunity to work with the instructor and to ask questions.

Take one workshop or take them all! Secure your spot today in any of the Texas 10 workshops.

The “Texas 10” workshops are proud to be a part of the PPA Continuing Education System. PPA Members attending “Texas 10” workshops will earn one education merit for each workshop completed. PPA members earn merits to apply towards various degrees from PPA including the PPA Masters Degree and the PPA Craftsman Degree. To learn more about all of the benefits of PPA including the merits and degrees program, visit PPA.com.

The “Texas 10” Workshops2019-10-23T09:13:56-05:00

Low Key Lighting Workshop

Houston – February 22, 2020
10:00am – 5:00pm

Low Key Lighting
Hosted by Cornell McGhee

This workshop is an educational practicum structured to illuminate photographers on the use of low-key lighting to flatter the subject or to convey an intended message. Studio lights, backgrounds, and live models will be available to produce the desired images.

Low-key photography is a high contrast method of lighting meaning there is a definitive transition from the bright areas of light to the dark areas of shadow. What is Low Key? The image contains a higher proportion of dark tones than light tones.

Low key lighting is best suited for images that are artistic and/or moody. Examples of which are black and white images, studio portraits, and sensuous subject. Given this structure, lighting equipment such as studio strobes are ideal.

The basic rules are as follows (although other may use different approaches).
• Measure on light at a time with other turned off and proceed logically.
• Use an integrated light meter and point it at the light, from the subject position.
• Consider both the strength of the light and the tone of your backdrop. An under lit white backdrop can be made to look dark grey and conversely a massively lit black background can be quite light. Consider just what tone that you wish the backdrop to be reproduced and any vignette used to flatter the subject.
• Base your camera aperture on a reading taken with all lights firing. The aperture controls the amount of flash reaching the sensor, the shutter speed determines how much effect that the ambient light is going to have.
• Once you have got it all together, make notes so that you can repeat what you have done.

TPPA Member Registration – $89
Non-Member Registration – $129
“Join TPPA and Go” Registration – $184



Houston, TX

Meet TPPA Member, Cornell McGhee:

Cornell is a professional photographer based in the greater Houston, Texas area. His vision is to create customized boutique artwork for the discerning client. His images are crafted using collaboration, composition, and color to capture the essence of each client.

He believes fashion and glamour photographs a reality with the everyday person. His photo sessions are filled with fun and laughter which enables clients to feel at ease with the artistic process.

Cornell is a veteran of the US Army and currently works as a program administrator in a local school district.

Graduate of the University of Texas, US Army Command and General Staff College, and the University of Houston-Clear Lake.


Low Key Lighting Workshop2020-01-08T12:38:32-06:00

Quit Using Your Camera on Program!

DFW – March 7 

“Quit Using Your Camera on Program!”
Time: Sat. 9:30am – 4:30pm

TPPA invites you to join Steve Kozak for two outstanding photography classes on March 7 and 8.

Steve will present, “Quit Using Your Camera on Program!” on Saturday and “Fundamentals of Flash Photography” on Sunday.

These classes will help you get the most out of your camera and your flash by learning to use both in manual mode.  This is a weekend that you don’t want to miss.

You can register for the classes separately or bundle them together and SAVE.

The cost for TPPA Members is only $158 for both classes! You save $20!

Quit Using Your Camera on Program!

Quit Using Your Camera on Program is Steve’s all-time, most popular class as it has helped thousands of photographers gain the upper hand in operating their camera. Once you learn to master your camera, you can create your vision and develop your own style.

This is why Steve begins with teaching the fundamentals – F-stops and Shutter Speeds. Think of it as learning the names of the white keys and the black keys on the piano. Knowing which ones to use is how you are able to play your favorite song – or in this case, take a great photo.

Gaining control over your camera also allows you to gain control over exposures. When using the camera set to “P”, “T” or “A”, the camera has no way to know the photographer’s intent when it comes to exposure. All it can do is average the overall scene.

The problem is, many scenes are simply not “average” – scenes that include a sky or an area with a lot of shade, for example.

This class is all about gaining confidence and mastery over your camera. Quit guessing and take control!

Class: “Quit Using Your Camera On Program”
When: Saturday, 9:30am-4:30pm

TPPA Member Registration – $89
Non-Member Registration – $129
“Join and Go” Registration – $184
Bundle “Quit Using Your Camera on Program!” with “Fundamentals of Flash” for $158 (Includes two Merits!)

Quit Using Your Camera on Program!2020-01-06T16:00:34-06:00

Fundamentals of Flash Photography

DFW – March 8

“Fundamentals of Flash Photography”
Time: Sunday, 9:30am – 9pm

TPPA invites you to join Steve Kozak for two outstanding photography classes on March 7 and 8.

Steve will present, “Quit Using Your Camera on Program!” on Saturday and “Fundamentals of Flash Photography” on Sunday.

These classes will help you get the most out of your camera and your flash by learning to use both in manual mode. This is a weekend that you don’t want to miss.

You can register for the classes separately or bundle them together and SAVE.

The cost for TPPA Members is only $158 for both classes! You save $20!

Fundamentals of Flash Photography

Images taken with a flash set to eTTL are a shot in the dark!

Allowing the camera and flash to make exposure decisions will usually wind up costing you a lot more time trying to fix bad images.

Photographers need to have a working understanding of flash photography. If your idea of controlling your flash is to use TTL, then you are simply not in control of your exposure.

Imagine stepping into any location and knowing exactly how to set your flash for a proper exposure.  No chimping, no guessing…only confidence!

By controlling your flash and camera in manual mode, you are able to place the perfect amount of light on the subject and get complete control of the background!

You will learn a ton about flash that you never knew.  Not only will this help you create outstanding images, but it will also help you if you are working on your CPP.

Class: “Fundamentals of Flash Photography”
When: Sunday, 9:30am-4:30pm

TPPA Member Registration – $89
Non-Member Registration – $129
“Join and Go” Registration – $184
Bundle “Fundamentals of Flash” with “Quit Using Your Camera on Program!” for $158 (Includes two Merits!)

Fundamentals of Flash Photography2019-11-07T10:12:49-06:00

Birds on the Brain

High Island
Sunday, March 15
12:30pm to 7pm


Birds on the Brain
Hosted by Aileen Harding

Learn how to photograph birds for Print Competition.

We’ll meet at the Original Lercy’s in Winnie for an educational lunch where we’ll learn all about location, lighting, composition, behavior and technique in Bird Photography.

Then we’ll head to one of the top 10 Birding Locations in the country! The Smith Oaks Rookery on High Island has four large decks directly across from the Rookery. Roseate Spoonbills, Snowy Egrets, White Herons, Tri-Colored Herons and Neotropic Cormorants are present at the Rookery.

They’ll be busy with the mating and nest building season. See them at their very best…the breeding plumage is gorgeous!!

You will be responsible for lunch at Lercy’s if you choose to eat, as well as an $8 day fee, or a $30 fee for a season pass payable in cash at the Kiosk before entering the Rookery. Be sure to bring a Tripod and a long lens. (minimum 400mm recommended.)

This workshop will cover:

* Where to Go…How To Find The Best Locations
* Bird Behavior…Anticipating the Shot
* Exposure Compensation… How and Why?
* Birds in Flight
* Have the ability to properly compose your images
* Techniques for Print Competition

TPPA Member Registration – $89
Non-Member Registration – $129
“Join and Go” Registration – $184


High Island, TX
Lercy’s, Texas 124,
Winnie, Tx
and Smith Oaks Sanctuary
2205 Old Mexico Rd,
High Island, Tx, 77623

Meet TPPA Member, Aileen Harding
When I look through the lens of the camera, I see so much more. Becoming aware of the light, the composition, and the tone of the world around me from a photographer’s point of view has opened up a world of beauty and possibility that thrills me. And birds are my absolute favorite! Watching their mating dance, how they greet one another at the nest, all their interactions, makes me realize how human like their behavior can be. When I slow down and study the birds, listening to their song and the wind in the marsh grass, there is peace. I can’t imagine ever putting my camera away…

Birds on the Brain2020-01-14T15:34:42-06:00

Photographing Newborns A to Z

Cypress, Texas
March 20th
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Newborns A to Z
Hosted by Alison Montgomery

In this workshop you will learn how I style and prep for my sessions, what to do when the family arrives and you will be able to photograph the poses. I will talk you thru the poses as I do them and show you my workflow. We will also do some wrapping and you will get to practice 4 basic wraps to use in all your sessions.

After lunch I will show how I cull and edit my images and discuss how I present them to the client for the upsell. We will spend some time talking about Marketing and finish with a Q & A session.

Workshop participants will learn:

  • Instructing Mom prior to session to have the best session
  • Creative Marketing Ideas
  • Working with the you have no matter what size
  • Things to do for getting more bookings in the first year
  • Unique product offerings for the upsell.

TPPA Member Registration – $89
Non-Member Registration – $129
“Join and Go” Registration – $184



15119 Waverly Canyon Ct

Cypress, Tx 77429

Meet TPPA Member, Alison Montgomery

I am Mom to 2 amazing young men, Joshua Aaron and Caleb Joseph and wife of 29 years to the love of my life David. I am so in love with my new babies, my 2 Yorkie’s. Kaylee 10 and Charlie a rescue. In my spare time of which there is way to little, I love spending time with my boys, reading and taking cruises.

Photographing Newborns A to Z2019-11-07T10:15:01-06:00