Sunday, April 4, 2010
The Importance of Belonging to Professional Associations!!
If you are a consumer, I highly reccomend that you ask any Photographer you may be cosidering using if they belong to any Professional Associations ie. PPof Oregon, Or PPof America, Or both, Members make photography their lives, their careers, not just a weekend hobby. They are experienced, educated and they listen to you. If quality and trust and artistry are important to you, hire a true professional who has the same passion that you do!
Is the photographer going to be around. If you have a problem with a print or an album will they be there to make things right. When we opened our Studio 26yrs. ago, there were at least 4 other Studios, in our area, today there is only one of those Studios and during that time 5 or 6 others have tried it and of those only one is still in Business. We have been serving our clients all these years and have been photographing the second generation of clients for a few years now. The family portrait shown here is the Sloy Family I photographed their wedding 23yrs ago and have had the priviledge of now photographing the two older daughters senior portraits. Association Members adhere to a code of ethics which is a criteria of membership:
As an affiliate of the Professional Photographers of America Inc., the Professional Photographers of Oregon accepts the Code of Ethics as outlined by that body: therefore as a requirement for admission to and retention of membership and participation in this Association, each member and participant shall agree to:
•Strive at all times to upgrade and improve knowledge and skill of professional photography, marketing and related areas.
•In all dealings with users of photography and the general public, each member and participant of this Association shall:
•Strive to present all photographic services in surroundings and in a manner which reflects the highest levels of professionalism;
•Deal with all users of photography and the general public with honesty and integrity;
•Not use any marketing or competitive practice which violates any Federal Trade Commission, or other Federal or State Regulatory Agency Rule or Regulation, or Federal or State Statute or any decision of any Federal or State Court; and
•Strive at all times to produce photography and photographic Service in accordance with the highest levels of professionalism.
•In all dealings with fellow professional photographers, students and others who aspire to be professional photographers each member and participant of this Association shall share the knowledge and skill of professional photography.
•All members of this Association shall support efforts for and assist in the education of all interested persons and the general public in the art and science of professional photography.
•Members are required to be of honorable character and reputation; Members are required to refrain from conduct injurious to the organization or its purposes.
If you are a Professional and are not a member of a Professional Association I strongly recommend it. If you are an aspiring photographer or a novice I cannot recommend it enough.
I got my first Slr camera in 1979,right before Suzi and I and the Kids went on our first vacation to Hawaii. On the plane over I read the manual from cover to cover and took photos of my wife and children on the beach and at a lua at sunset. After I got the Film( yes I said the "F" word Film) back from the lab(drugstore) I realized I had a lot to learn so I took some classes at MHCC, I am so thankful for that first instructor (i think his name is Chuck) because you could not take the class if your camera did not have a Manual Mode, For some of you that is the M on the dial on top, He had us put our cameras on M and we learned f-stops and shutter speeds and depth of field. We also took a field trip to Je'Taime Photography where I was fortunate enough to meet Sandi Poutala, who became my mentor and encouraged me to join the PPof Or. and the PPof America. The absolute best advice I ever got. I then started a 30 year journey to today. The first two to three years I spent every available time that I had assisting Sandi at weddings and assignments on location. Each time I did a practice session, I would take the 4x5's to her and she would critique them, thankfully she was totally honest and told me what I needed to hear not what I wanted to hear!( if your work is not up to professional standards,and your family and friends are lavishing praise on you,then find someone whose work you admire and get some honest critique).I even took vacation time to attend workshops in Seattle ,Santa Barbara,Las Vegas,(my wife is so awesome and understanding), I knew right away that my work was not at a level to be charging anyone for it!! So I continued to learn and went to conventions and I entered Prints in State and National Competitions. Try entering some images in compettion and allow you work to be judged by Professional Accredited Judges and be brave enough to sit in the room and listen to what they have to say it will be the best learning experience you will ever get. Finally after 3yrs of entering prints I got some print scores in the excellant level and one of the judges gave one of my prints a 94. Remember there are five judges at the state level and they average the five scores so the average was not that high but it was a good score. Later that day I was in the elevator with Sandi and a fellow photographer asked her if she had taken the image of the girl on the grey horse on the beach that scored so well and she said no but that one of her students had and introduced me to the gentleman. At that point I realized my work was finally at a level that I could charge for it!
Since then I have continued to attend seminars workshops and conventions, Suzi and I have attended workshops in;Washington,Oregon,California,Illinois,Ohio,Florida,Hawaii and Italy. What a great way to learn and see great places and meet awesome people!
I will talk more about the great teachers in future blogs and I want you all to know that most of the ideas I will talk about I learned from some exceptional people. This June the PPof Oregon is holding their Summer Camp Workshop at the Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville. I along with 5 other very talented photographers will be teaching on various topics. Go to http://www.pporegon.com and click on events for more details.