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Member Spotlight - Joe Campanellie - PPA Today

Member Spotlight - Joe Campanellie

campanellie_head.jpgJoe Campanellie, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, has been involved with photography in some capacity since 1973 when he went to work for his father (also a photographer) after college as a darkroom printer. He says that his father always made sure he had the "tools and knowledge" he needed to succeed as a photographer.

"I got into the art of photography quite by accident when a friend of mine bought a camera and set up a darkroom in a closet. I was hooked from the very beginning by watching my first print develop in a tray," Campanellie remembers.

But it wasn't until 1995 that Campanellie went to working full time at the studio he runs with his wife Mary Jean, Campanellie's Signature Portraits in Damascus, Md., which specializes in children and family portraits. Then, they opened a second location in Bethesda, Md., in 2002.  

campanellie1.jpg"I have found this type of work very rewarding," Campanellie explains. "Having twins and an older daughter, I understand first-hand how important these images are to parents. Photographing a newborn baby, watching them take their first steps, and being able to be part of a family's history as they grow up is pretty special. It's very satisfying to have families put their trust in you to create these memories and make you part of their lives over the years."

Challenges & Rewards
While Campanellie's studio continues to succeed, he says that the business challenges he faces are no different than any other photographers' in the current economic climate.

"We have to be more proactive in our marketing than ever before. No longer can we complacently sit and do the same things over and over again. We have to find ways to continually force ourselves out of our comfort zone," Campanellie stresses. "We have to work a lot harder at what we do to separate ourselves and our work, and it's now necessary to explore all the avenues of the social network to get ourselves in front of potential clients."

campanellie2.jpgCampanellie also says that 2009 was one of his most challenging and rewarding years as a photographer.

"When my dad passed away in July, I came to realize what an incredible influence he had on my own career and my photographic talents. That all came to fruition for me at this year's Imaging USA when I received a Diamond Photographer of the Year Award, an Imaging Excellence Award, the ASP Gold Medallion and my ASP Fellowship Degree. I would say that was a pretty special way to honor the memory of my dad," he notes.

Vital to Success
While many years of experience have helped Campanellie succeed, he also points out that PPA has been vital to his success.

"PPA opened many doors that otherwise would not have opened for me as a photographer and instructor," he says. "I feel very strongly that as we gain experience and recognition in our careers, it is important for us to accept responsibility and move from a position as a student to that of a mentor and teacher. PPA's very existence relies on the principle of 'pay it forward.'"

campanellie3.jpgCampanellie also gives a nod to the degree and certification programs that have helped him gain recognition among his peers and clients, and he feels that the PPA webinars and forums are another valuable educational source.

"There is such a wealth of experience and expertise that can be tapped into from the comfort of your favorite chair," he says.

Along with PPA's resources, Campanellie holds the annual Imaging USA convention as his favorite experience as a member. As he concludes, "It's so much fun to catch up with friends from all over the country and become versed in all the latest technology and trends in marketing. It's through these friendships and PPA-sponsored seminars that I have found the education and the opportunities to develop my own photographic style over the years."

Joe Campanellie, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, is the only photographer in Maryland who holds both the Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees from Professional Photographers of America and is also a Fellow of the American Society of Photographers.. He has also earned numerous honors, including twenty five Kodak Gallery Awards for Photographic and Technical Excellence, two Kodak Elite Awards for Photographic and Technical Excellence and eleven Fuji Masterpiece Awards. During state competitions, Campanellie has won 25 Best in Show awards and 18 Photographer of the Year awards. He has been Image Maker of the Year in Maryland for the past six years and in Pennsylvania for the past five. He was also the president of the Maryland Professional Photographer's Association in 2000 and 2001.

Learn more about Joe here.


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on February 19, 2010 6:05 PM.

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