Robert Stolpe has been a professional photographer for 17 years and his career resume is chock-full of amazing things. He has a BS in Chemistry and began his career in the technical field, focusing on product development, quality control and manufacturing systems. While photography was always a passion, his friends jokingly suggested he "not quit his day job," so he listened to them for years. He remained an avid hobbyist until corporate downsizing struck and that's when he knew it was time to move on.
His love of photography first appeared when he was a teen. Robert wanted to take pictures at a rock concert for the sole purpose of bringing them home to show his mom. Perhaps that's why he has spent much of his photographic career creating images of musicians!
But beyond a photographer, Robert is a philanthropist. His goals revolve around how he can help and teach others. He is extremely proud to be the advisory board president of his local Boys & Girls Club. He is also an advocate for our industry, encouraging an active and participatory local and state affiliate and national PPA membership. He also counsels other photographers on the value of becoming a Certified Professional Photographer and is committed to spreading the word about PPA's amazing Student Photographic Society membership.
"I am excited about attending Florida School to gain a better understanding of what the school has to offer so I can continue promoting it to other aspiring photographers," says Robert. "I am also looking forward to the week-long education on environmental portraiture to get new ideas and improve my skills, which will please my clients and further my business."
We are proud to have Robert as a PPA member and can't wait to see what he does with his Florida School experience!
Darla Sharp, CPP has been a professional photographer for over 20 years and is as passionate about photography today as she was when she first began.
She remembers falling head-over-heels in love with photography the first time she developed her own roll of film in a dark room over 24 years ago. Darla grew up in a family of artists, but instead of choosing a paint brush she chose a camera. That excitement she first had, watching her image almost magically appear in the darkroom, has never gone away.
"I still get a rush at every opportunity to click that shutter. However, it's the long lasting satisfaction of knowing I have captured a moment that will be treasured for a lifetime that keeps me coming back for more."
Darla specializes in fine art portraiture, newborn, children and lifestyle photography. Her philosophy is reminiscent of this week's blog entry from Mariah (don't miss that!).
On her Facebook page, Darla writes: "Waiting for the perfect hair, perfect weight, perfect clothes to have your portrait taken? You're beautiful just the way you are. So let us pamper and pose you and make some memories now." It's this unique way of approaching her subjects and their essence that drives her work and keeps her inspired.
Darla is excited about the upcoming Florida school classes, where there is a solid focus on technique and skill. She recognizes that fads come and go, but even after all these years, she continually works on improving her skills to provide the highest caliber of work for her clients. She mentioned to us that one of the upcoming courses she is the most excited about is "Creative Arts in Portraiture".
"My dream photography assignment is to travel the world photographing everyday people in their ordinary surroundings. For me, nothing shows the beauty of a landscape more than the people that inhabit it," Darla says.
Congratulations to Darla and we hope that you have an inspiring week at Florida School!