Many of us, myself included, see the summer as the start of family and senior portrait season. I'm sure that those in the wedding markets are well into their season and school photographers are getting ready to start a new year. While each of us may have a slightly different business module, we all find it necessary to continually promote and define our businesses. If we stop and rest on our past accomplishments or fail to stay aggressive in the promotion of our unique products, the market will pass us by.
The business of photography is much different than I have ever known it to be. That being said, I find this challenge one I'm looking forward to. I see great potential for growth, but our success will depend on how we approach this new market. We have to be willing to learn!
PPA has always been blessed with teachers who show us how to build and run successful businesses, and I have had the privilege of studying with many. One of my very first seminars was with Charles Lewis, a man who has been teaching marketing and sales techniques for over twenty years. John Hartman, who has been on the cutting edge of marketing for years, also taught me a lot. And where do we go to hear from many such fine instructors? Imaging USA.
When I look at Imaging USA in Phoenix, Ariz., and its list of speakers, I know we are committed to helping members grow their businesses. It is never too late to plan for Phoenix...let's grow our businesses together.
Friends Met Along the Way
A couple months ago, I spent a week with about 70 of my closest friends during PPA's International Print Competition in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Photographic Exhibition Committee (PEC) works to maintain the quality of our print competition. From rules and regional judgings to maintaining the judges' list and being aware of where the competition needs to be in the future, it's a huge job with very little thanks. I just want to say, "Congratulations, PEC. Great job."
When I think of all the great friends I have met in this industry, some of those closest to me are involved in print competition. This year, I was there as one of the instructors for the Judges Workshop, but I was able to see and renew friendships with judges I usually only see at Imaging USA. There were 43 judges this year, and I count each as a friend. I wish I could list all of them, but space doesn't allow.
In addition, there are dedicated volunteers who come each year to work the print rooms and critique areas, move prints, and work the judging stations. Without them, the judging would never happen. So thanks to each one of you who gave of your time and worked so hard to keep our print competition's reputation as one of the best in the world.
Another group in Daytona Beach was made up of the students that Helen Yancy and I had the privilege to teach. Attending this class is one of the requirements to become an Affiliate Juror, and this year we had 17 students. Members take this class for a number of reasons, but this year, all had the goal of becoming an Affiliate Juror. I knew some from my years in PPA, but I also made a number of new friends that week. Thanks to each of the students for a great week and many memories, and I wish each success in their journey to become an Affiliate Juror.
To everyone in Daytona: thanks for a great week. It doesn't get any better than this!
Dennis Craft, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, F-ASP
2008-2009 PPA President
image copyright Rod Gleason