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By now you've heard--Super Monday is just around the corner, and with that comes nearly 100 classes in cities across the United States (and three in Korea) focused on live, local education. It's your opportunity to earn service merits, network and meet some new friendly faces!

farren_peggy_maternity.jpgThis fall, we are thrilled to offer quite a few seasoned instructors teaching across a wide range of topics including Peggy Farren and her "Maternity Portraiture--Preparation, Selling, Lighting & Posting" and Kevin Floyd, CPP with his two courses "Portrait Retouching with Photoshop" and "Studio Lighting 101: Indoors & Out". These veteran Super Monday pros make learning feel like a day at the beach--which they both could be since they are based along the beautiful shores of Florida.

As volunteer instructors, what keeps them coming back to teach time and time again?

"I had such a great experience the last time," said Peggy. "Many photographers drove from two to three hours away to our workshop. One thing I've learned through running the Understand Photography Training Center is that educated competition is better for the business of photography. We have very few of the bargain basement photographers in this area since most of the new photographers train with us. We teach them how to price correctly and learn the business side of photography as well as the technical and creative side."

floyd_kevin_supermonday2013.jpgKevin, a former board chair at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, knows that it takes special skills to lead in the classroom. "I love to teach, it is a part of me and I feel like it's my duty to give back. Since I was a high school teacher that was graded on how much my students retained, I like to cover how to remember and apply what was shown in class too!"

So, what will be covered in their classes?

In Peggy's maternity class, you'll walk away knowing the right questions to ask in the beginning, poses that flatter and sell, pricing, lighting and with beautiful portfolio images since it is a hands-on workshop!

"Attendees will leave with a new confidence. They'll learn enough lighting and posing to make any pregnant woman beautiful--okay, maybe using a little Photoshop, too. Attendees will have sample pricing plans that they can tailor to their own businesses and earn more money per session," said Peggy. "A maternity session should be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with your client. Learn how to make your client beautiful by proper lighting and posing."

In Kevin's first class on studio lighting, attendees will walk away with the foundational knowledge of five lighting patterns, achieving studio lighting outside with or without lights, capturing a 3D image through highlights and shadows and how everything revolves around 18% gray.

Kevin's second class will focus on Photoshop. Attendees will learn how to wield the mighty power of Photoshop with a restraint.

"We will over how to use Photoshop for retouching, but not over doing it. It still needs to look like your client when you're done. We'll also cover how to analyze what needs to be done and how to use quick fixes for common problems. The class will use problem images students bring in and as a class work on as many as we can!"

With any Super Monday class, you're bound to walk away with endless amounts of new ideas for your art and your business.

"I'm always more inspired when I'm confident in my technical skills. The technical part of photography has never come easy for me, so hands-on practice works as the best learning system for me. I want to inspire the attendees," said Peggy.

Head over to the Super Monday page to find a course chock full of inspiration and networking near you, or check out Peggy's "Maternity Portraiture - Preparation, Selling, Lighting, Posing and Editing" in Naples, or Kevin's "Portrait Retouching with Photoshop or "Studio Lighting 101: Indoors and Out.

And check out Farren's website at naplesportraits.com, and Floyd's at kevinfloyd.com.

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
 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

The first round of Super Monday classes kicks-off tomorrow (we know, it's a Saturday), but it's all about the spirit of learning! In that spirit, Mary Buck, CPP, has doubled down and offered two distinctly different Super Monday sessions in Duluth, GA, to help boost the business of professional photographers by offering unique products and inspiring you to utilize the tools you already have in your arsenal. 

In her first class (that would be Monday, May 13th) Mary will teach "How to Create a Fusion Video Using ProShow Producer." You already use your dSLR to create amazing photos, but why not utilize all of its functionality and create fusion videos? That's Mary's intent. She'll show you how to best utilize ProShow Producer software and help you learn all about the art of storyboarding and creating a shot list. You'll then be able to put those lessons to good use during a hands-on session with a high school model. 

With a strong background in film, Mary has the patience to set up a shot right the first time. She eliminates the need for heavy editing during post-processing, which will help you produce quicker, better videos. Her favorite part of the photography process is creating the image directly in the camera. Defining herself as a classically trained photographer with strong foundational skills in composition, exposure and lighting, she attributes it all to starting her photography journey with film. It is why, she'll tell you herself, she truly believes in getting it right in the camera.

By the time you're done with the class and the hands-on session, Mary hopes you'll have "a new creative skill to add to your product lines to help you stand out from other photographers." As any photographer knows, an advantage on the competition is necessary in the current state of the photographic industry. 

"The biggest challenge my business faces are from the over-saturation of photographers and the inconsistency in pricing structures within the industry," said Mary. "To overcome these challenges it is important to offer the best customer service on the planet and to provide something different that other photographers are not offering." In her class, you will get plenty of tips and strategies to accomplish just that. 

If it tickles your fancy to learn more about the portrait side of the business, Mary's second class might be more your speed  - "The ABCs (Art, Business & Charm) of a Portrait Photography Business" will take place on Wednesday, May 15th. 

Wayne Miller PhotographyWayne Miller, Cr. Photog., CPP of Wayne Miller Photography in Clayton, California is offering two exciting Super Monday courses this May: HDR (High Dynamic Range) Hands-On Workshop and Dynamic Lighting with Studio Strobes and Speedlights

"I started on my photographic journey as a kid and fell in love with creating images after my first roll of 120 came back from the lab. I have been in photography for over 20 years and started in business doing portraits 6 years ago," Miller said. "I enjoy sharing my experience with others and helping them to become better at the craft. We all have something to give back to others as they also teach us to grow."

Miller's first Super Monday class on Saturday, May 11th will focus on high dynamic range (HDR) photography which has been an interest of his for the past five years. It is meant to provide a hands-on experience and technical knowledge of HDR and how to add that extra oomph to your images "My first HDR images were captured in Halfmoon Bay in 2008. We were going to do some aerial photography of the San Francisco Bay area and the fog socked in as far as the eye can see. We flew down to Halfmoon Bay for breakfast and afterwards I tried some HDR at the fishing docks. Funny thing happened I captured an image there that got a PPA merit on my first PPA IPC competition. So I have been hooked ever since." 

Wayne Miller Photography

Miller says his favorite part of the process is "combining people and HDR to create dynamic images that you couldn't get otherwise. I love getting it right in camera and then taking it up a notch in post processing. HDR photography allows you to capture images that the eye can see but the dSLR camera cannot in one image. Our eyes can see 10-15 stops of light and the best high end dSLR can only capture 4-6 stops of light in a single image. HDR brackets exposures of 3 to 5 (or more images) at 1-2 stops difference giving you a range of 6-12 stops (or more).  You combine in software to give you an image that would otherwise have blown out highlights and no details in the shadows."

Challenging himself regularly is how Miller continues to push himself to new, unique places with his work. 

"Working with people is fun and a challenge too. I like the challenge to come up with something that hasn't been done before and trying to make it work," he said. "It's a challenge trying to stay above the ordinary in my photography, when ok is good enough for others it is not for me. You just have to keep reinventing yourself and your images."

Wayne Miller Photography

Miller considers his biggest accomplishment as a photographer "Growing as a person and in my photography, becoming a Craftsman, and soon to becoming a Master Photographer. I joined PPA in November 2007, become Certified in 2008, and earned my Craftsman degree in January of 2011. I enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge so becoming a Craftsman was a personal goal for me. I love doing presentations, speaking to groups and instructing workshops.  Doing a presentation requires that you know more about the subject to present it and answer questions. So for me it pushes me to become knowledgeable in the craft."

Miller's passion for photography is contagious and his knowledge of HDR is expansive. If you have any interest in learning more about this growing field, this is a must-have class! If HDR isn't your style, Wayne is a brilliant instructor and is also offering a second class, Dynamic Lighting with Studio Strobes and Speedlights that will take place on Saturday, May 18th. 

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.

Volunteer to share your knowledge and earn two speaking merits toward a PPA degree--be a Super Monday Instructor next spring! The deadline to sign up for teaching at the May 17, 2010 program is November 12, 2009. Click here to sign up now, or for more information.
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.

Last chance to participate in the April Super Monday program!
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 December 1, 2008 for inclusion in the April 20, 2009 program. Be a Super Monday Instructor.

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.


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