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The President’s Message: It Was The Best of Times…The Worst of Times

Jenny Eisenhauer
2020 TPPA President

Sophia Lane, a past Texas School instructor, posted on her Facebook page this week, “What has been the best thing AND the worst thing for you since the start of COVID?” For me, the best was the fact that the family now eats at home. Sure, I could say I love to cook and we eat near gourmet meals (or did at first when we could find meat to buy at the store) or maybe that we enjoyed saving money from not grabbing quick meals while racing from one event to another. Honestly though, it is sometimes overwhelming to know that two teenage boys are expecting to NOT be hungry at the end of the day, and I prefer that they not mow through six boxes of Lucky Charms each day. But we are together, at home, and sometimes they cook for me. Life can be pretty darn amazing.

So, if the worst part of this “2020 Pandemic” could also be the best part of the pandemic, how are you managing? Have you taken time to refocus, rework, and possibly change your business model in these changing times? Have you used this time to update, revamp, or catch up? Did you find yourself keeping the computer off and spending time with family, cleaning, and making improvements on your home and studio?

My hope for you is that you are not just surviving, but thriving. 2020 may be the year of the pandemic but it may also be the year of the family. More people have purchased bikes, gone camping, spent time at the lake, started home improvement projects together, learned to play an instrument, gone on day trips, and spent more time with their family than probably ever before. May we as storytellers be ready to etch these moments for all time. May we be mentally prepared to do our best for our clients. May our skills be sharp, our equipment be dusted off, and our batteries be charged.

I have come to hate the word “pivot.” Seeming overused in these changing times, it doesn’t do justice in my mind to our industries business owners. Some have planned for such a time as this. Others have been imaginative with how to boost sales online. Many have lost weddings, events, and volume business as people just can’t be together. Whatever your situation, now is a great time to reach out to your TPPA fellow members and ask questions, find solutions and make adjustments to your business to prepare for the future.

Wishing you joy and peace as we all do our best to navigate these trying times.

All the best,
Jenny Rhea Eisenhauer
TPPA President

The President’s Message: It Was The Best of Times…The Worst of Times2020-09-01T17:16:01-05:00

The President’s Message: I Don’t Know My Name

Jenny Eisenhauer
2020 TPPA President

I was sitting on the couch recently with one of my kids while perusing YouTube Videos and we stumbled across the “America’s Got Talent” audition with Grace VanderWaal. You may have seen it by now… the little girl with the Ukulele who sings “I Don’t Know My Name.” It is a song with a story of trying to find your way. In some way, we as photographers are much like this young woman, trying to ride the trends and find the very popular wave that will take us THERE.

The song is beautiful and the truth behind the reality is that sometimes it takes awhile to find ourselves when we hang that “OPEN” sign on our photography business door. Heck, many businesses find they need to revamp, reinvent, or check their trajectory even if they are a solid company. Your story as a photographer may change through the years but holding true to your goals, even if they change, will give you a sense of purpose and plan through it all.

If the words above strike a chord with you in any way, please consider attending the Texas School of Professional Photography coming up Sunday, August 30 through Friday, September 4, 2020. More than 1,000 photographers will call this place home for the week and it truly is a coming home for many of us. Whether last year was your first year or this is your 50th year, there is such a sense of camaraderie, enjoyment of learning, awe of understanding, expanse of knowledge, intensity of sharing, and outpouring of support. But the best part is the welcoming of the first timers!

If you know me, you know my heart for Texas School. This year feels like a coming of age for me because it is my 21st year to attend the school. My Texas School friends have seen me graduate from college, get married, have kids, and make some of the best memories. Texas School friends have also seen me open a business, review my business plan, and we’ve had too many conversations to count about marketing, volume photography, and “what if I did this…”

I didn’t know my name the first few years of my photography business. Many thanks to those of you who have helped me find my way.

In addition to the Texas School of Professional Photography, Texas PPA has many other great events coming up including workshops, day trips, and even a three day event in New Mexico. Please check our website at www.TPPA.org for events that are happening in your area. We have a new calendar with all new events!

See you soon at the best little photography school in Texas, TEXAS SCHOOL!  I would love to meet you there, so please catch me and introduce yourself.

All the best,
Jenny Rhea Eisenhauer
TPPA President

The President’s Message: I Don’t Know My Name2020-09-01T17:14:51-05:00

The President’s Message: This Too Shall Pass

Jenny Eisenhauer
2020 TPPA President

Photography businesses have already conquered a tumultuous change. We’ve overcome a decline in what our perceived value is as an industry and have seen newcomers climb into the market with little training or investment and be successful. In response, we have revamped and refocused. Each one of us has already overcome so much.

Now is a trying time, no doubt. Even as I write this, we are still in free fall. By the time you read it, I can’t even make an educated guess as to what will be going on in the world. Even so, there are truths that have been proved over time.

“There is no try, do.” (Yoda)  This is no time for us to sit back on our haunches. What we would have given a year ago to have one week in our home with or without family, possibly uninterrupted. Do not sit back. Catch up! Spend time with family, relax, and sleep. Use your time purposefully to clean out the studio, plan, and create. Plan. Prepare for the flood of clients. I do believe the wave that is coming will be spectacular.

“Prior proper planning prevents poor performance,” Gary Snead, my cousin, said early and often. Can you sit down and honestly evaluate your business?  Interview your family. What are their priorities and goals and how does that affect your business? Look at your time spent “working.” Look at your expenses and look at your costs. Research new ideas, new labs, new products, new clients, business models, and marketing ideas. Follow your dreams down the rabbit trail to imagine where changes might take you. This time could change your life! Make changes to increase your value, your profits, your time at home with family. As for the future, plan your success now and watch it unfold as you work toward your goals.

“If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” (Lee Iacocca)  I moved about as slow as a sloth when I was a kid. My mom said I had two modes: slow and slower. I have no idea why, even now. But if you know me, you know this has changed over time. You can change how you use your time as well. You can learn how to be more productive, to narrow your focus, and move faster toward goals. You can attack your plans with gusto and confidence, knowing where it might take you. The investment is real and the rewards can be tremendous.

“Help” anyone who has ever lived. We all need help at some point. My favorite thing about TPPA, beyond great educational opportunities and fantastic events, is the fact that I make friends here. Even more so, I have known some of these friends so long that I would consider them family. They have called me on the carpet. They have seen through any facade.  They have called to check on me. They have showed up to help second shoot or photograph beside me. TPPA is my village. These are my people.

The Texas School of Professional Photography is an incredible opportunity to have your empty cup filled, strength renewed, and creativity fueled. Don Dickson has been able to move the dates and keep your hotel arrangements. Most instructors have responded that they are all in.  Won’t you join us for an incredible and memorable year? Those new dates are August 30 thru September 4, 2020, in Addison, Texas. Pre-con classes will be on Saturday, August 29. Register online at www.TexasSchool.org.

During this time, I hope you will reach out to your village if you need help. Photographers are not alone. All small businesses are vulnerable and no man is an island in our efforts to move through this. Our strength comes from learning from each other, growing together, and rising together. An incredible opportunity is before us. Society is being brought back to core values of kindness, relationships and doing good.  Let us be prepared to capture these beautiful new relationships, these precious moments.

May we stay ever hopeful,
Jenny Rhea Eisenhauer
TPPA President

The President’s Message: This Too Shall Pass2020-07-13T19:30:39-05:00

The President’s Message: A New Year 2020: What Are Your Plans?

2020 TPPA President
Jenny Eisenhauer

Let’s talk about where you are going this year and how you will get there. Do you know? Do you have a plan? If not, it is past time to prepare a business plan.

First, write down your goals and what you have to do to get there. Then transfer all of this to your calendar. While doing this, go to www.TPPA.org/Events and check out all of the classes available throughout the year including Texas School, especially the ones that include business planning. Many photographers will agree that business planning is essential and will get you to where you want to go faster.

Many of these TPPA Events are smaller groups with varied skill levels where you can ask questions and network with other photographers in your area. The Texas School facebook page is hopping with instructor posts, people looking for roommates, and what to pack for a great week. Be sure to check out the party theme as well. It’s going to be a great year, so make plans to attend Texas School in Addison, Texas, April 26 – May 1, 2020.

Now that the New Year is in full swing and Imaging USA is over, I will take some time to call all of those clients who have told me, “Hey, I am going to call you soon to set up a session.” It is surprising how many families come back for a reorder after so many compliments from their holiday cards or family portraits. For me, this is a great time to check in with clients.

There are so many great opportunities to learn about photography in the next few months! The Texas Professional Photographers Association is committed to providing you with a wide variety of learning opportunities throughout the year at locations in and out of the State of Texas and there are some major changes for this year that promise to be exciting. So, start filling up that calendar and make TPPA a major part of your photographic experience.

Hoping you have had a great start to 2020!

All the best,
Jenny Rhea Eisenhauer
TPPA President

The President’s Message: A New Year 2020: What Are Your Plans?2020-06-08T01:38:19-05:00

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 Season2020-09-01T17:17:53-05:00

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 Together2020-09-01T17:19:18-05:00

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”2020-09-01T17:20:24-05:00

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

TPPA Annual Image Competition

The TPPA Annual Image Competition
March 26-27, 2021
9:oo AM

TPPA will will be hosting its Annual Image Competition online in 2021:

  • Spectators are invited to watch the competition live online
  • The deadline to enter the competition is March 24 at 7:00PM

The purpose of this competition is to allow photographers to enter photographic images to be judged against a Standard of Excellence and to assist the entrants in preparation for PPA District or International Photographic Competition.

You are invited to watch the judging as it takes place, live online.

TPPA has made some BIG changes for 2021, so stay tuned for details.

The 12 Elements of a Merit Image (For more information, go to www.ppa.com/ipc.) will be used in accessing each image and applying a final score.

Through this competition, TPPA members are also eligible for awards and TPPA Points that count toward the Associate and Full Fellowship Degrees within TPPA.

TPPA believes in the value of photographic competition to help build stronger artists and more profitable members. We take pride in using only Approved Jurors from IPCC and those who have attended the judging school at IPC who are working to become approved jurors. This makes the TPPA Photographic Competition a tough competition. Yet, it gives you the best feedback we can deliver on your images before you submit them onto district and IPC competitions.

Winning an award in Texas is a big deal and one you can be proud of. We encourage you to start preparing now to enter your images in the Annual TPPA Photographic Competition.

Check out BIG changes in the Annual TPPA Photographic Competition by clicking here!

TPPA Annual Image Competition2020-10-15T16:43:31-05:00

Two-Day CPP Study Class

Two-Day CPP Study Class

San Marcos – September 11-12
Friday, 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday, 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM

We would like to see you get certified and we are going to help you!

Join Steve Kozak for an exciting two-day prep class to help you prepare for taking the “Certified Professional Photographer” exam. Steve is not only a “PPA Approved CPP Instructor”, he is also the author of the “Preparing for PPA Certification” study guide.

This live class takes you step by step through the curriculum as presented in the CPP Test Specifications as presented by PPA.

Steve’s relaxed teaching style helps you absorb the material without making you feel overwhelmed. His conversational approach to teaching the concepts have made him a popular instructor and speaker.

This two-day prep class will help you gain confidence in your knowledge of the concepts and your ability to take on the exam with a whole new outlook.

Registration for the class includes two full days of review over the material with plenty of time for asking questions and clarification.

TPPA Member Registration – $129
Non-Member Registration – $159
“Join and Go” Registration – $224

Registration for this class also includes a $30 savings on an instant download of Steve’s, “Preparing for PPA Certification” Study Guide.  The guide is optional and not required for registration for the class.

CPP WB 1-29-16 Edit.pub

This study guide addresses each of the topics covered on the CPP Test Specifications provided by PPA. It is written in easy to understand language that feels more conversational – not technical.

The guide is created in color and is filled with illustrations and images to support the process of learning the material and preparing for the test.

The book is available for immediate download in full resolution so that you can print it yourself or simply download it to your computer, iPad, tablet or smart phone.

Purchase of the study guide also includes a two-year Premium Membership to PassTheCPP.com with access to seven practice exams that can be taken online. Tests include an “overall” test featuring questions from the entire set of test specifications as well as individual tests from each of the six separate topics.

The cost for the instant download of the book and the Premium Membership to PassTheCPP.com which includes 7 practice tests and over 9 hours of study videos is only $69 with the discount code.

The discount code and exact location of the class will be provided in your confirmation email upon registration.

San Marcos, TX – September 11-12
Two-Day CPP Study Class

Mineral Wells, TX – October 24
“Click or Treat” with Brad Barton

Walks Across Texas – December 5-7
Holiday Lighting Photo Walk

Addison – April 24, 2021
Texas School Precon Classes

Addison – April 25-30, 2021
Texas School of Professional Photography

Uncertain, TX – May 17, 2021
TPPA Excursion to Caddo Lake

Red River, NM – August 1-3, 2021
TPPA Road Trip to Northern New Mexico

Grapevine – October 15-17, 2021
I Heart Photography Conference and Expo

Two-Day CPP Study Class2020-06-09T13:52:53-05:00
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