TPPA: Your Home Away From Home

by Guy T Phillips

When I first started out too few years ago, I had what I thought was a good foundation and a good idea of what was needed to be a professional photographer.  As time rapidly passed, it became evident that, no, I did not.

Thankfully I made at least one good decision, in joining the TPPA.   The friendships I have come to enjoy and the fellowship that I have come to look forward to have made for a great experience that cannot be measured in conventional ways.  It’s as if there is a massive family, scattered all over the Great State of Texas, who will gladly stop what they are doing to help, who will guide you towards your success, and who will become friends who are always just a smile away.  I know that whatever success I can claim, it will be because of the TPPA and the many wonderful members who have enriched my life.

Thanks to the TPPA, I’ve come into my ‘comfort zone’!  As a newbie to the world of ‘Professional Photographer’, my anxiety levels used to be off the charts at times.

“How do I do this?” 

“What’s the best way to do that?” 

Now I know I can depend on the time, talent and treasure that is the TPPA.  Educational opportunities year round, gifted artists with open arms and minds, and resources aplenty have allowed me to rapidly advance my career, isolate and eliminate doubts and fears, and focus on what I do best!

Whether you’re looking to expand your basic skill sets, take your advanced knowledge to another level, participate alongside the best-of-best in image or print competition, or find yourself giving back to the organization through selfless service, the TPPA can be your home away from home!


TPPA: Your Home Away From Home2021-11-03T12:10:33-05:00

Are You Missing Out?

It’s that time of year when a small group of individuals embark on a journey of service and vision for the future.  This group works tirelessly to make sure that photographers who want to succeed have the opportunity to succeed.  They spend hours planning meetings, making phone calls, writing emails and making sure there is money left over in the account.  We call these individuals, “Presidents”.

All across Texas, and at TPPA, Affiliate Presidents do their best to provide an outstanding experience and to help others learn how to create better images, become better business people and to find a network of reliable and trusted friendships.

They do this because they love the profession and they love to give back to the associations that have given them so much. It really is an honor for them to serve and they never loose sight of that.

Now, YOU have to do your part!

How?  By stopping whatever you are doing right now and paying your membership dues and getting involved.  If you are reading this note, you should invest and participate in the activities of your local guild, your state association and PPA.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much you will gain by getting involved.  Just last night, I visited the Dallas PPA to be a part of their “end of year” awards.  Everyone in that room was welcoming, warm and excited to be there.  Even if they were not in the running for a trophy, they cheered and encouraged those who were called to come forward.

Attendees also got to hear a very inspirational message from PPA CEO, David Trust.  This remarkable man is one of those individuals that have so much to share and to teach.  We are lucky to have him fighting for copyright reform for each of us.  His program earned a standing ovation.  I wish you could have heard it.

Texas School Executive Director, Don Dickson was there to add excitement in our anticipation to January 3rd at 11PM.  He also gave away a couple of scholarships.

It was also announced that they would have the one and only Tony Corbell in the house in January.

If you think this note is about the Dallas PPA – It is not!

It is about you.  That’s right, YOU!  What happened in Dallas last night happens all across Texas.  Presidents, officers and committees work hard each month to bring in speakers, hold print evaluations, present trophies, award fellowships, share ideas, network, acknowledge volunteers and to make sure YOU get plugged in.

All you have to do is pay your dues and show up.

If you are not in guild or a member of TPPA and your business is crashing and burning, stop right now and join your local guild and TPPA.

If you are working way too hard and not making the money you should be making, stop right now and join your local guild and TPPA.

If you are lonesome out there with no one who understands how much you want your photography business to work, stop right now and join your local guild and TPPA.

If you think you will never be able to enter print competition or earn your PPA Certification, stop now and join your local guild and TPPA.

If you ARE in a guild and a member of TPPA, make sure you are a participating member and not just standing on the sidelines. Get those monthly meetings and the TPPA events in your calendar and go!

If you are a participating member and attend meetings and events regularly, then let me simply say, “Thank you”. We appreciate you more that you know.

One last thing.  I would like to encourage you to give a nice shout out to your president.  They will appreciate it.

Linda Bauer – Austin
Mark Sykes – Brazos Valley
Rolf Kasper – Dallas
Malinda Julien – Ft. Worth
Cecy Ayala – Heart of Texas (Waco)
Kevin Falcon – Houston
Chrystina Straughn – San Antonio
Dusty Gorman – South Plains
Tammy Graham – 2018 President, Texas PPA

Are You Missing Out?2020-09-01T17:31:56-05:00

What is a Dinosaur Supposed to Do?

By Steve Kozak

It’s simple math, really. Let’s see how you do on the following:
110/5 = ?
110/10 = ?
110/20 = ?

Now, was that really so hard? If you round the answers to a number that corresponds to the nearest f-stop on your lens, then you are ready to create extremely accurate exposures with your portable flash.

Yes, you just learned how to use “guide numbers”.

Guide number/distance = f-stop.

But no more.

I just learned that this timeless, dare I say, “elegant” way of calculating the exposure of a portable flash – without having to use a light meter, has been removed from the test specifications for the CPP exam.

I’m guessing with the proliferation of photographers using TTL and flashes that have become so “easy” for anyone to use if they can put it on the camera facing in the right direction, they will get “acceptable” images. I just never strived for “acceptable”. As a wedding photographer, I hated under-exposed bridal portraits and over exposed groomsmen all because TTL tries to give an “average 18% grey” exposure. That is why in 33 years as professional photographer, I NEVER used TTL.

I tolerated the laughs and teasing I took because I use guide numbers. “Who still uses guide numbers?”, I would often hear. “I guess, photographers who like proper exposure.”, I would quip.

Now, I am not griping about guide numbers being removed from the exam, I am really questioning my own existence. I have taught thousands of photographers how to use a flash in manual mode the same way I learned to use a flash. It always worked. It never failed. Images were never over or under-exposed. All I had to do was quick, easy math.

But now, we are taking guide numbers off the CPP exam.

I once heard, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to hate extinction.”

Do I have to change my teaching because our industry feels guide numbers are no longer relevant? Or do I go the way of the dinosaur and just let them die off with me and keep pressing young photographers to learn the ways of their forefathers?

What should this dinosaur do?

Steve Kozak

What is a Dinosaur Supposed to Do?2020-09-01T17:35:57-05:00
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