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Labor Day is on its way and along with it the unofficial close of summer.

So are you ready for fall?! The colorful foliage, the BEST seasonal brews (inarguable) and of course, FOOTBALL! What's not to love?

And as far as your profession goes, we're not going to let you get soft on us. But how can you push yourself to the next level with less sunshine to work with?
Super Monday is a good start.

On and around October 14, 2013, dozens of studios from coast to coast (and Korea!) will open their doors and offer insights to their fellow photographers (that's you!). Whatever you need help with, there's sure to be a workshop for you. Super Monday will span portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies.

If you're in the California/Nevada area, instructor Laurie Warta, CPP, will bring her passion and expertise to offer a unique, hands-on learning opportunity.

She's heading out to Sparks, Nev., just east of Reno, for a Super Monday Shoot Out on
warta_blog.jpg
 Sunday, Oct. 13. There's no need to worry about being bored in a classroom for this one! Laurie's taking it outside for an on-location, learn-as-you-shoot experience, where she's hoping students will get outside their visual box and try something new. 

"I've wanted to do this for a few years. I love a good challenge, and I love getting inside the heads of other professionals and watching how other photographers do things." 

Warta says there's not usually a lot of 'why' behind the 'what,' but that's the focus here.

"'Why did you pose your subject that way? Why did you use this lighting? Why did you use these settings?' Everyone has a reason for the way they light things, but I want to know why. These are some of the questions we're going to explore. It's about challenging ourselves to expand our thinking."

Here's a glimpse into Laurie's plan for the October 13 program:

You'll meet Laurie at a location (to be confirmed, most likely her daughter's home near Reno), and briefly get to know the other students. You'll discuss the plan for the day and go over your lighting options.

After you get acquainted and gear up, you'll head to the shoot location (stay tuned for details). Waiting for you on site will be models--a senior boy, a senior girl and a couple--and a few props. You'll shoot one model and break for lunch before you photograph the others. Make no mistake, it's more than a simple photo shoot. Like Laurie said--it's a lighting-posing-coaching photography challenge!

Each student will get a turn posing, lighting and shooting the models individually; no shooting over the shoulder allowed! And this is where the props come in. When Laurie decides to throw the prop into the mix, you must somehow incorporate it into your creation with the model. The choices are yours and yours alone, Laurie and the other students will watch and learn as you explain why you're doing what you're doing. Then the roles will switch! 

"It's about taking ingredients and making something that will come out totally different from anyone else. It's amazing what you can do with a chair.

"Our personalities are all different, we communicate differently, but we can all learn from each other. It's all about creating a space for other photographers to learn, learn, learn; it's all about observing, learning and having fun."

If all works according to plan, the class will be setup with CamRanger to send selected images directly to an iPad for each photographer to further explain their tactics and for everyone else to critique the images--right there on site! The instant critiques will be more impactful because you will be able to learn from details you might have missed while being caught in the action, and the group feedback will help you improve right away. 

This class certainly isn't for the faint of heart, nor for the beginner photographer. You must have knowledge of your camera and light and how to control it. You'll need to use your creative vision in a challenging way. But the worst that can happen is you'll get better!
A dedicated photographer, Laurie has deeply loved photography for 35 years, and her focus has only sharpened in recent years. Her passion and enthusiasm for photography comes through while talking about the class. 

"I love teaching and I love photography. With this small, intimate setting, we can do so much more, especially since it's hands-on. The personal benefits are remarkable. It forces me to really know my content and learn more. I have to consider 'What can I bring to expand my horizon?'"

Laurie's not stopping there either. Two days after her Super Monday Shoot Out, she's heading an hour up the road to Kings Beach, Calif., near Lake Tahoe, to teach an additional class. 

In her second class, Laurie will partner with friend and fellow photographer, Danielle Hankinson, for Extreme Lighting at the Lake. In this course, you'll discover how to deal with harsh and challenging lighting situations, such as the beautiful Lake Tahoe area. How do you manage light when it's reflecting so harshly off of the water? You'll practice techniques to manipulate light and create cool and edgy or soft pretty lighting. 

The goal is for you  to leave Laurie and Danielle's class not only a better technical photographer, but a more confident one as well.

"When you know something and when you believe in something, you can be confident. The rest is easy--just shoot."

Head over to the Super Monday page for more information on Laurie's two classes:
Super Monday Shoot Out, in Sparks/Reno, Nevada
Extreme Lighting at the Lake, in Kings Beach,California 

And check out Laurie's website at lauriewartaphotography.com

IMAGE © LAURIE WARTA
chapelo1.jpgAndrea Chapelo, of Chapelo Photography in Lebanon, Ohio, says that the greatest compliment she gets as a high school senior photographer is when she gets a call from a parent thanking them for making their teenager's session so fun and making them feel so confident.

For professional photographers in the high school senior market, your ability to give them this confidence is crucial to your business. That's why during Super Monday on May 13, Andrea will teach you some posing and lighting techniques that can create a great senior session in her "Posing and Lighting Seniors" class in Lebanon, Ohio

Why Seniors?

Chapelo says that she grew up with a camera in her hand and was always taking photographs of her family and friends.

After serving in the Air Force, Chapelo decided to use her GI Bill to pursue her love of photography and begin her business.

Chapelo has been in business for nine years now, and during that time she's become known in her area for her senior photography.

Part of her decision to specialize in this area was her ability to relate well to this age group,chapelo2.jpg as she has two high school-aged children of her own. However, it goes beyond just relating well to her clients.

"I love photographing that age because they are excited about their session and they inspire me with their excitement," Chapelo explained.

For Chapelo, the biggest challenge she feels that she faces is staying organized. To overcome this, she recently hired an office manager.

"I think in business we have to recognize our weak points and either overcome them or bring someone in to take care of that part of the business for you. I can't overcome it so I will bring in reinforcements." Chapelo said.

Sharing Knowledge With You

If you're in need of help with senior posing and lighting, don't miss Chapelo's "Posing & Lighting For Seniors" Super Monday class in Lebanon, Ohio on May 13.

During the class, you'll cover all the basics of senior lighting and posing for both in the studio and on location.

chapelo3.jpg"Photographers who come to the course will leave with a good understanding of basic studio and location lighting and also the importance of posing your seniors so they can feel confident and excited about their session," Chapelo said of her class.

So, if this class sounds like what you need, register for Super Monday today!

Read more about Andrea Chapelo at www.chapelophotography.com

View more Super Monday classes in other locations.

Super Monday is an educational program, sponsored by PPA, every spring and fall. These day-long, interactive workshops are conducted in locations around the country, allowing PPA members to earn merits for sharing their craft and enabling all photographers to learn new skills and develop professional networking contacts.


ALL IMAGES © CHAPELO PHOTOGRAPHY

Working hard, but have little to show for it? PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS) business workshops have helped hundreds of studios, just like yours, gain control of their businesses and become financially stronger and more profitable. And one is coming to Atlanta--with a little something extra--March 12-14!

Our Business Breakthroughs Workshop can help you keep more money and take control. It's all in learning to manage your finances, price right, attract new clients and increase sales average per session to reach the "elusive" next level. The most amazing thing?  This workshop includes a private consultation with an SMS mentor and PPA accountant...meaning you'll walk away with actionable business and marketing goals AND a custom financial plan.

But this Atlanta class also features a special segment you won't get at any other Business Breakthroughs Workshop. Jen Basford of 3 Girls Photography is joining us for a day, meaning you'll be able to glean extra tips on senior sales and marketing specifics!

So, if you specialize in senior portraits (or want to) and have been thinking about gaining control of your studio with a Business Breakthroughs Workshop, this is the class you can't miss. All class sizes are limited, so register now before your spot is gone!

Graham Wilson's Vision Photography was almost out of business in 2003. Thanks to a revamped incentive program and a few years of help from PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS), they grossed $1.1 million in 2008.

Just two years after Todd and Jamie Reichman posted a 12-month loss, they were able to pay salaries to themselves and their employee and finance a $33,000 studio renovation...solely with their 2008 net profits.

After the SMS workshop, we literally saw results in our bottom line overnight. And they continue to help us each step of the way. - Rebecca &  Michael Zoumberos, Limelight Photography

If those aren't success stories, what are? Be inspired by these stories in May's Professional Photographer. And don't miss the "Ask the Experts" column, where the SMS team answers questions about specialty marketing, payroll services, and generating more cash flow for your business.

JOIN AN UPCOMING WORKSHOP
This year, we're taking our SMS Workshops on the road, as well as hosting them at PPA headquarters in Atlanta. Space is limited so register today! Contact us at sms@ppa.com, or call 888-851-0405 to register and learn more.

Share Your Knowledge, Earn Merits
Volunteer to share your knowledge at one of PPA's most successful educational initiatives. Proceeds from Super Monday support PPA's education programs, and instructors earn two speaking merits toward a PPA degree. Submit your form by May 8 for inclusion in the October 26, 2009 program. Be a Super Monday Instructor--click here.

What is Super Monday?
Super Monday is PPA's peer-led education program. Each spring and fall, professional photographers volunteer to instruct their fellow photographers. Topics include: posing & lighting, workflow, Photoshop, weddings, senior portraits, business, marketing, and more. Proceeds from the program support PPA's non-profit education, copyright, and advocacy initiatives.

Want to attend a Super Monday class?

Sign up for an April course and help your business, technical, and/or artistic skills grow.


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