Ready for expert guidance at non-profit prices? Then you're ready to team up with our experienced photography/business mentors and staff CPA! Together they will evaluate your business, work with you to develop a plan (financial, marketing and selling), and even provide those nudges and wake-up calls you might need to stay on the right track.
You can choose from a Business Planning Consultation or Quarterly Consultations -- whatever works best for you and best suits the needs of your business. That’s a pretty sweet deal, and it’s only available to PPA members.
Business Planning Consultation
Feel like your business is running you, or just not seeing the results you want? Try a Business Planning consultation and let SMS be your photography business guide.
Set your business up to perform better than ever with this 3-in-1 business planning consultation bundle. In 3 private meetings with a CPA and an expert photography industry mentor, you will get:
- 3 one-on-one hours with our CPA who's helped hundreds of photographers understand their numbers
- 2 hours with an industry mentor who's been there, done that
- A full current-state financial analysis
- Sales/session projections & profitability forecast
- Expense budget
- Sales & marketing assistance
And best of all, you get all of this for only $600 (a $3,200 value)!
Get started by asking SMS if this is right for you.To qualify, your studio must have achieved $20,000 in annual gross revenues and have completed our Business Basics Workshop. You also qualify if your annual gross revenues exceed $50,000.
Register Now! $600 Members
Not a member? Join PPA first
If you want more guidance on the path to success, quarterly consultations are just what the doctor ordered. With quarterly consultations and ongoing reviews of your progress, a dedicated accountant and mentor will provide the support you need to fine-tune your finances, marketing, pricing, and selling strategies.
Plus, you (and other Quarterly Consultation clients) can take part in monthly group phone discussions on pre-determined topics, monitored by our accountant and a business mentor. It’s like a think tank of studios at the same level you are! Just another way SMS helps to be your photography business guide!
All this help, advice and support is yours for $600/quarter.
To qualify for these services, your studio needs to have either completed a Business Planning Consultation or attended our Business Breakthroughs Workshop. PPA’s Studio Management Services adheres to the Code of Professional Conduct of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
CPA, Manager, PPA Studio Management Services
Bridget Jackson is a Certified Public Accountant and the lead advisor with PPA's Studio Management Services. She has worked with small businesses for over fifteen years and has been with PPA for the last seven. Bridget enjoys educating thousands of photographers on the business of photography and working one-on-one with hundreds more to help them understand business concepts that can help them achieve their goals. Whether it is greater profitability, a better work/life balance, creating personal financial security, or questions on taxes and bookkeeping, Bridget is an all-in-one resource for studio management. She’s leveraged her expertise by overseeing the 2008 and 2010 Benchmark Surveys, using the data collected to create tools and resources to aid photographers in implementing the results with their own studios.
Bridget has brought a wealth of financial knowledge and experience to PPA, and has quickly become an industry expert on the financial operation of a photography business. If you have any questions for her about your business, or would like to schedule a one-on-one consultation, you are welcome to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out why so many photographers say they owe their business’s success to the time they’ve spent with Bridget!
Chief Financial Officer, PPA
Scott Kurkian, PPA's Chief Financial Officer, has been with PPA for 20 years and is one of the founders of PPA’s Studio Management Services department and PPA's Financial Benchmark Survey. He has worked with many photography businesses to help them learn and understand the financial aspects of managing a small business and how to use financial analysis to improve profitability.
Carrie Wildes owns Carrie Wildes Photography (based in Tampa, Florida) and operates out of a custom home studio and second location in a shared commercial space. Their team includes six photographers, a studio manager, and graphic designer. You can find Carrie dodging traffic, leaning off ledges, and sometimes even braving the snow to get the money shot. But this all didn’t start until she realized the gift she had while on a mission trip to the Philippines…where she fell in love with photography. In 2007, she and her husband, David, left the frozen tundra of Chicago to start a new and warmer life in Tampa, Florida. Carrie then decided to get off the corporate ladder and build one her own. She graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, is a scuba diver, doesn’t eat beef, and is a social media diva.
Jen Basford is best known for her high school senior portraits and the annual must-see fashion show she puts on for upcoming seniors each spring. She owns a 3,500-square-foot, custom-designed studio in Edmond, OK, and markets to a high-end, fashion-forward boutique clientele. In fact, she has become one of the top senior portrait photographers in the Midwest largely due to her out-of-the-box approach to marketing, social media and client relationships.
Besides Jen's love of fashion, she enjoys posting on Instagram, obsessing over pretty office supplies at russell + hazel, and Sonic's Diet Dr. Peppers. You can find her speaking to local and regional PPA groups, and educating next-level senior photographers through her organization Seniors Ignite.
Lori Nordstrom, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, owns a boutique studio specializing in children and family portraits located in the picturesque town of Winterset, Iowa . Lori began her career photographing her own kids in her backyard over 15 years ago, and is now known not only for her simple and sweet portraits of children, but as a leader in the photography industry in the areas of business, marketing and sales. Lori is a PPA approved business instructor and marketing consultant for Studio Management Services. Sharing with other photographers and small business owners is one of the things she most enjoys. In 2009 Lori started Photo Talk Forum, an online community of photographers working together to grow their businesses.
Lori has always had a heart for children and believes in giving back. She has run a successful fundraising campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) for 10 years. Her work for LLS has been featured in magazines and on television and as part of Oprahs Big Give in 2008. In 2011 Lori began her own non-profit organization, Dando Amor which focuses on helping orphaned children in Ecuador. Photographer Travis Gugleman and Lori have been taking groups of photographers to Ecuador to fundraise and work with the children. Lori and Travis hit their goal of raising $100,000 the first year of Dando Amor existence. You can find out more about going to Ecuador or making a donation at www.dandoamor.org
Lori has earned several Kodak Gallery, Fuji Masterpiece, and PPA Loan Collection awards for her images and storybooks. See more of Lori's work at www.nordstromphoto.com.
M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API
Mary Fisk-Taylor has been a member of the Professional Photographers of America since 1999. Along with her business partner, Jamie Hayes, they operate a high-end wedding and portrait business in Richmond, Virginia. Hayes & Fisk the Art of Photography is a home-based studio located on almost one acre of beautiful gardens and they have successfully created one of the most sought after Portrait and Wedding studios in their area.
Mary was named Photographer of the Year in 2007 and has won Best Wedding Album of the Year in Virginia several times. Nationally she has had her albums in the top five. She has won numerous Best in Show awards, Kodak Gallery Awards, Fuji Masterpiece Awards, Loan Collection prints and albums. Mary is also a recipient of the prestigious Virginia Award, which honors photographers for their commitment and dedication to their state association, and the business of professional photography.
M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI,API,A-ASP
Before finding her calling in photography, Ann Monteith taught high school English, college journalism, and was PR director at a local college. Now she’s known as a leading authority on studio business management. Ann serves as a consultant to studios throughout the country, both privately and under the auspices of major industry suppliers. A former chairwoman of the board of the PPA International School of Professional Photography and a past president of PPA, she received the Gerhard Bakker Award for excellence in teaching and the Charles H. “Bud” Haynes Award “for encouraging business awareness and practices.” A widely published author, she and her husband Jim are directors of Countryhouse Studios near Hershey, Pennsylvania, as well as a prestige portraiture business and teaching facility in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.
For 15 years, Beth Forester, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, has operated a boutique portrait studio in the small coal-mining town of Madison, WV. Specializing in senior portraiture, she is known not only for her award-winning images, but also for her creative marketing strategies and business tactics. Recognized as a leader in the photographic and business industry, she has been featured in various magazines, such as Rangefinder, Professional Photographer, Studio Photography & Design and WV Executive.
In fact, Beth has been named West Virginia Photographer of the Year three times (2004, 2006 and 2007) and Mid-East States Photographer of the Year twice (2006 and 2007). Along the way to achieving these titles, Beth has earned 10 Kodak Gallery Awards, 4 Fuji Masterpiece Awards, 13 Loan Collection images and the prestigious PPA AN-NE Award for marketing.
In addition to running a full-time studio, Beth develops and markets her own software line: photoDUDS, a commercially-licensed series of DVD volumes containing graphic design elements, templates and marketing materials created specifically for professional photographers.
Amber McAdoo owns and operates a high-end boutique portrait studio in the small town of Benton, AR, where she specializes in captivating images of high school seniors and families. Along with her image-making skills, she has been recognized for her studio's drastic change from a failing business to a thriving studio. With the help of PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS), she was able to double her prices, cut her session count in half, employ only one part-timer…and still make more money. Then in June 2009, within a matter of two weeks, Amber and her husband, Chancy, adopted a baby girl, Anna Morie. Now, she is in the studio three full days a week and is able to stay at home with Anna the rest of the week. Amber believes it is important to love your life and live it the way you want.
Angela Kurkian has been a member of PPA since 1994. As the owner of Essenza Studio, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, she manages a staff of five, including three photographers. The studio was established in 1999, and Angela and the Essenza team originally became known for their wedding photography. Today, though, the business has grown to include all types of portraits. (Currently, high school senior portraits rival weddings for the amount of business produced.)
In 2007, Angela built her dream studio: a 4,000 sq. ft. building with multiple camera rooms, sales rooms and galleries. And in the midst of an economic downturn, she and the Essenza team have managed to not only survive, but have grown substantially due to the implementation of a new sales system, more efficient production and creative marketing. Angela also earned her Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees through PPA, has been awarded Kodak Gallery awards and Fuji Masterpiece awards, and has had images selected for the PPA Loan Collection.
Having worked for many years as a professional photographer, Angela understands the demands of this type of work while focusing on creating a balanced life. As she says: "It can be so easy to get caught up in the work because it's something I love, but I never want to lose sight of what is most important. I want to help photographers develop strategies to build financially sound businesses that will also cultivate and feed their artistic natures."
Edward and Robert Francis Zemba are the dynamic duo owners of Robert Charles Photography. They lead a group of professionals creating photographic artwork throughout New England and beyond. Edward, the businessman of the team, has focused on strategic planning and market execution. Through years of studying with many photographic greats, he has identified and put into practice some of the most effective ways to grow a photography studio.
According to Scott Kurkian, CFO of PPA, the Zemba family and their staff turned Robert Charles Photography into one of the most profitable businesses of its kind in the country. More importantly, this was done while holding on to the style of photography they are most passionate about.
Before opening a photography studio, Allison, armed with a BFA in Graphic Design and Photography, worked for several nationally recognized advertising agencies. She garnered multiple design and photography awards and was published in PRINT magazine, a prestigious design magazine.
In 2004, Allison and her husband Jeff, also a graphic designer, opened Allison Rodgers Photography (their work was featured on the April 2008 cover of Professional Photographer). They have doubled their sales each year and are regarded as one of the most profitable studios in the U.S., due to their design skills, marketing strategies, and client relationships. In addition, they are active in charity-based projects, enhancing the commitment to their community and customer base.
In high school, Jeff quickly fell in love with photography. After pursuing every class related to photography, he attended the Hallmark Institute of Photography. He has been photographing weddings all over New England, the Caribbean and the inter-mountain west since 1992. And in 2003, Jeff and his wife, Carolle, opened their studio in Manchester and have seen meteoric growth since opening. They have a loyal following of children and family clients, a buzz in the wedding industry, and a growing number of commercial portrait clients.
Jeff is a busy man, and his work has been featured in Seacoast Bride, a New Hampshire Bride, Woman Engineer, Woman’s World and Rolling Stone. He has nine images in the PPA Loan Collection, nine Kodak Gallery awards, two Fuji Masterpiece awards, 13 Court of Honors, and an ASP Regional Medallion. Jeff is also active in PPA’s Studio Management Services and contributes monthly to Professional Photographer magazine (his prosperous studio was featured in the July 2008 issue, too). In addition, he is a PPA Approved Juror, a Certification Judge for the Professional Photographic Certification Committee and a Vatican Approved Photographer. Jeff is a Certified Professional Photographer and has attained his Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees from PPA. He even serves as president for the New Hampshire Professional Photographers Association (NHPPA).
Portrait Photographer Julia Kelleher specializes in newborn and family portraits out of her boutique Bend OR, studio. She offers her clients a photographic style that is timeless, textural and artistic, and specializes in newborn and family portraiture, specifically focusing on relationship images. Since moving her studio Jewel Images Portrait Design from Portland, OR to Bend, OR in 2009, it has grown from running her entire business solely, to now operating with 2 employees and thriving despite a slow economy. Julia has earned a PPA International Silver Medalist, Gold Level Photographer of the Year and several Kodak Gallery and PPA Loan Collection awards for her images. She is also a PPA Master Photographer and Photographic Craftsman. Picking up her first 35mm film camera at age 14, she put it down after college to pursue a love of broadcast journalism, and spent over a decade traveling the country anchoring the news and covering general assignment stories for all three television networks. After working Portland, OR's ABC affiliate for 6 years as an on-air anchor/reporter, she left television news to pursue photography full-time. Her experience with the news industry, and expertise in media relations and public communications have given her the speaking skills to and communication techniques to help other photographers understand their clients, and improve their businesses.
Julia's teaching experience stretches worldwide for Time Exposure's ProSelect software, and she also is featured as one of a handful of instructors for the world renowned professional photographer’s video series Photovision. Also an Imaging USA and PPA affiliate school instructor, Julia excels at topics from lighting and posing newborn relationship portraiture, to marketing, in-person sales and media relations. She coaches photographers is client workflow and business systems management, and offers private mentoring in both newborn photography and sales training.
Allison Tyler Jones travels the world teaching photography and business workshops and is the author of three published photography books with a fourth on the way. For 12 years, she owned and operated one of the nation's leading scrapbook retail stores - Memory Lane in Mesa, Arizona. She's now at the helm of Allison Tyler Jones Photography Inc., a boutique portrait studio in historic downtown Mesa that ranks as one of PPA's Top Performing Studios. Allison specializes in portraits of families and children for both retail and commercial clients and loves to make people laugh. Owning a business is hard, and Allison is excited to share her down-to-earth, practical, take-no-prisoners advice. For more about Allison, go to www.atjphoto.com.