Thursday, March 31, 2011

PPAM Convention 2011

Gail and I had a ball once again at this past weekend's PPAM Convention for 2011. Great seminars to keep our minds motivated and our business strategies sharp.

We live such crazy and fragmented lives with our business, it is nice to stop and breathe. Getting together with other Photogs living the same kind of crazy is a real comfort. As always, print comp is another highlight for us. Nothing hones your composition, lighting, and photography skills like print competition! Just think of the most critical judges of your work just looking for something to pick apart. And though there is always some discouragement at first when a print you love doesn't "go blue", but once you get past that and get the chance really listen to what was said and then to engage the judges afterward one on one, you can really start to look at your work though a whole new light. Again, this has challenged Gail and I to look at things differently and our work gets better and better. This year I pretty much nailed the order in which my prints would score (lowest to highest) before they were judged.

Here I am am in front of my "Ethereal Twins", Ally and Emma from the Westford Academy Theater Arts Program. It was my highest scoring comp print yet with an 85. It was crazy how well the judges were able read into this. Thanks to the both of you for letting me steal that time with you right before a dress rehearsal!

"Hayley's Hobby" stirred up a lot of talk with the judges. Though getting a few scores above 80 it fell just shy at 79. A little bit of tweaking will get this higher at regional I am sure of it! That said…this landed my second judges choice award in two years! Thanks to Hayley (from Tyngsboro High School's Theater program) for being such a great model (in the middle of her Senior session) and to Chris down at Millworks Hot Rod for once again stopping whatever he is working on at a moment's notice to allow us to use his garage to flavor our work.

At the Trade Show, Gail and I stopped in to see our good friend Kathy at the Ava Art booth. She had two of our prints framed for her display. Unfortunately the one on the left I can not show yet as the customer can not be allowed to see it before the unveiling at her house. Those boys on the right look oddly familiar =).

The Awards night is always fun. It is nice to have the freedom to cut loose just a little every once and a while. This year the theme was “Oscar Night” .

Gail felt that since she did not land any blue ribbons this year in comp that she would be one! This dress was perfect for the occasion and she looked stunning. Big thanks to Tracy for all hooking us up with all the great pictures!

After a couple of drinks, even the stage props weren’t safe! We would never get the chance to go to these events if it wasn’t for our friends and family that watch over our most prized "possessions." A BIG thanks to Nonno and Grandma, Grampy, Maureen, Tina, Laurie and Roland who helped us make it all work!

Seems like the past three years Gail and I have found inspiration from other great couples in the business and this year was no different. On our final day , Gail and I chaired for Sarah and Kent Smith's "Growing a Great Senior Business" which ran all day. They run a very successful photography studio out of Ohio. Thanks to Kent and Sarah for fielding our barrage of questions! = ). Our Senior season is approaching rapidly and we need all the advice we can get.

On to PPANE!