Sunday, March 1, 2009

PPAM - Always striving to be better!

WOW! Gail and I had a GREAT time at PPAM last weekend. For those of you who do not know what PPAM is, it is the “Professional Photographers Association of Massachusetts.” The conference was a four day photo fest in that left us inspired, overloaded, educated, entertained, overwhelmed, humbled and broke (just kidding, but you can't help but to buy stuff at these conferences!) We found areas that we need to improve and also had some of our own little victories.

Most of all, we made a lot of new friends...too many to list!

We jump started our first PPAM convention with a great portrait presentation with Master Photographer Don Chick. We made many notes to try and put to use in our own studio set-up. Thanks Don!

Here we are with Rene and Joan Genest. A husband and wife team whom we identified with immediately. They did a live baby/child portrait session--Gail and I could not stop laughing at how their professional relationship paralleled ours. They were truly inspiring to us and we learned a lot of great techniques from them. So thanks to the two of you as well!

We also met Tracey Budabin from Sucessware. Photo courtesy of JB (Thank you JB!)

Poor Tracy--we literally had our own private “husband and wife photographers with kids” counseling session right there at her expo table!

Tracy, I personally want to thank you for giving my wife some hope! We will be starting to work with Successware as soon as we get it!

Dan Doke had us up early on Saturday, though it was worth it. Once again showing us that he can go to any venue we have worked at before and find an even better perspective then we did! Damn you Doke! = ) Keeps us on our toes though.

Mike Fulton from TriCoast Photography had to be one of my personal favorites.
He was the final speaker at PPAM and I did not know he was going to show off the new Radio Poppers! I have been a fan of the poppers from V1 and I think I was the only one in the room who had taken delivery on the newest Px units so it was awesome to be able to talk to Mike about them! I nearly leapt out of my seat with excitement. Gail thought I looked like I was a kid at Disney Land.

I can’t tell you how wireless TTL has changed our workflow and it was the GREATEST thing to have Mike out there talking about it. I am hoping to get Mike into our studio sometime to run some hands on workshop as well.

Gail and I had entered some of our work to be judged. I had no idea what to expect and I was blown away at the spectacle of it all. It was like an Olympic judging panel all lined up in front of a rotating neutral gray cube under calibrated lights each with their own electronic scoring pad! They were allowed to debate each piece too as they felt necessary.
All our entries were scored in the high seventies on a scale of 100. A couple even were seen a second time for possible upgrade to a merit which would be an 80 or better. And, one of my prints actually was considered "Deserving of Merit" with a score of 80. I was so pumped. On the same note, Gail entered two electronic albums for judging and both were seen twice for possible merit! The bummer is she just missed it on BOTH! We learned the difference between client albums and competition albums. The fact that she came so close showing client albums was excellant. She's is going to tighten the albums up for competition and present them at PPANE in September.

We would not have entered at all if it was not for Nancy Green. When we showed up at her studio to drop off our submissions on the final day of entries (classic "George and Gail" I might add), she showed us how a comp print is typically presented.
Horrified at how we had "mounted" ours, I was ready to take my home again and wait until next year! She quickly talked me down and told us to enter them anyway. So quite literally, I owe my first 80 to her, "Thank you Nancy!" Nancy took the creative theme category this year for her depiction of “Security.” Nice job Nancy! A total sweet heart made even better by the fact that she gives GREAT hugs and loves to PARTY!

Here she is in PARTY mode as a matter of fact! She might just kill me for this one = )

Jeff and Karen Baker hung out with us too. Jeff, Gail and I were running around securing seats for each other at all the seminars. We had it down by the end!

After the awards were all gone (thanks to Jennifer Hudson and Paula Swift) and the sessions over, as fried as we were, it was a bummer when the conference came to a close...though it was a relief to have this babysitting NIGHTMARE over with!

As great of a time as we had with our new family at PPAM, nothing can touch cuddling up with ours = )


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