Benefits / Resources / Articles
April 17, 2020

Are You Staying Creative and Productive While Stuck at Home? See how these PPA Member Photographers are Staying Inspired on theLoop!

What’s Everyone Doing to Stay Creative Despite Stay at home Orders?


The PPA community has been buzzing with conversation on ways to stay busy and creative while abiding by stay at home orders and social distancing guidelines. Many PPA photographers are using this extra time at home to improve on their current photography skills, learn new techniques, write educational and blog content, capture beautiful nature shots, and even study for the CPP. 

We’ve compiled some of the responses to this popular thread on theLoop for you to use as inspiration and motivation during these challenging times! 

Kevin Spargur: Nature Photography and Improving Skills

Kevin Spargur has been hard at work improving his photography skills online, organizing his home, and capturing rare nature images, right in his own backyard. Spargur may be focused on taking things one day at a time, but he is still finding plenty of great moments for productivity and creative inspiration.

“Today? I'm watching and photographing a pair of ruby-throated hummingbirds build their nest. Last week, I rummaged through my garage, dug out some old technology. rearranged, reorganized my desk, repurposed an older monitor and I now have the dual monitor setup that I've been needing. Next week remains to be seen.”

Spargur has also opted to stay busy during this time by taking advantage of online photography education opportunities:

“Each day, I try to read, attend a webinar, watch a video or do something that helps maintain and improve my skills as a photographer and, hopefully, help me learn how to be a businessman and marketer.”

If you are interested in using this time to improve your craft and become a better entrepreneur, then be sure to take advantage of PPAedu’s unlocked library of educational video content. 


Connie Sanders: Photoshop Painting and District Competitions

Connie Sanders is a CPP photographer who is using her time to enhance her Photoshop skills and spend a little extra time prepping her images for the District Competitions coming up.


“I have been taking Michelle Parsley's online classes in Photoshop painting since September and am loving it. Also, I'm tweaking images for districts and tossing ideas around in my head for future competitions.”


Submitting images for PPA’s district competitions is a fantastic way to get quality feedback on your work, push your creativity and improve on your current technical skills. When you enter the district competitions, you aren’t just in competition with photographers from your district, you’re in competition with yourself. Due to the issues surrounding COVID-19, PPA has decided to push 2020 District and IPC dates. These new dates also mean that if you needed extra time to work on your submissions, you now have that time! District competition registration will now be open through July 16 with Judging taking place Aug. 16-21.


Bob Coates: Presenting Webinars and Volunteering

Bob Coates has also decided to use this time to hone his Photoshop skills while also working to help others become better photographers by hosting his own educational webinars. 

“Presenting some free webinars for photographers via the Facebook Group The Artists Notebook, Delivering Meals on Wheels, Attending webinars, Starting today on using a lot of the resources to learn more Photoshop. I teach Photoshop but there are some areas I can step up my game. Actually, there are lots of techniques I can become better and learn to teach better.”

Using this time to help educate others can be an inspiring way to stay busy (both for you and your participants!). If you’re interested in starting to host your own webinars, take some time to check out this guide to Facebook marketing with Jon Loomer

Invest in your own education as well with this PPAedu video course by Suzette Allen to learn new Photoshop techniques.


Ryan Angel Meza: Creative Portraits and Blog Writing

Ryan Angel Meza has taken full advantage of social distancing guidelines by setting up creative photo shoots in areas that would usually be filled with people. 


“I guess the sliver of silver lining is less foot traffic out in places so took advantage of not feeling guilty in being in other people's way. Decided to finally do that shoot of my son's Halloween costume and made it into his 3rd birthday portrait.”


Meza details the process behind this photo shoot as well as the gear he used in the latest blog post on his website. 

If you’d like to discover more photography blog inspiration, head to the thread “Do You Publish Blog Content?” on theLoop and join the conversation!

Check out Meza’s photography website for more tips on how he continues his photography routine during social distancing guidelines. 


Carrie Harris: Studying for the CPP

Carrie Harris is a portrait photographer based in Illinois who has made the exciting decision to improve her photography skills by studying to become PPA certified! Harris began her photography business with portrait photography in 2010 and hasn’t looked back. 

“Maybe not the most creative, but I've found myself with lots of time to study for the CPP!”

She doesn’t classify her decision to study for the CPP while observing social distancing guidelines as very creative, but with social-distancing guidelines in place, you have so many options available for ways to use your time. Opting to improve your skills and emerge from social isolation as a better photographer is a great way to spend the time you have!

To join Carrie Harris Photography on the CPP journey, declare your candidacy today. Learn more about becoming certified with our online resources. If you’d like to get an even more in-depth look into the CPP, check out this video resource “Why I Got Certified”


Michelle Kaffko: Creative Self-Portraits

Organic Headshots

Michelle Kaffko is a headshot photographer from Organic Headshots, a Chicago-based portrait studio. She and her team decided to have fun with Photoshop, and created a series of creative self-portraits while practicing social distancing.

“My studio's appointment calendar has completely cleared out during the Illinois stay-at-home order, so our photographers went into the studio individually to take self-portraits.”

Kaffko included a link to a detailed blog post from Organic Headshots’ website, which discusses her studio’s process behind the creative self-portraits she includes in her post. Organic Headshots’ self-portrait session is a great example of continuing to “flex your creative muscles” and practice your technical skills while still practicing social distancing. 

There were  lot of responses to Kaffko’s post, asking for advice on creating similar self-portraits to those that the Organic Headshots team put together. If you’d like to learn more about their process and share a creative project you have been working on, join in on the conversation today!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the current creative activities and projects of photographers in the PPA community. Reply to this thread on theLoop to share your own advice and projects and connect with your fellow PPA members. 

It’s no surprise that many professional photographers are using this time to improve their camera skills with online learning. The need to stay productive and creative during this time is why PPA unlocked the education library for a limited time to anyone with a free PPA account.  Don’t miss this chance to learn from experts in your field!