President’s message: A busy and wonderful time

© Gregory Daniel Portraits and Kyla Renee Paintings

The holidays are my busiest time of year both in the studio and personally. Somehow, I always get it all done—the orders for clients, the framing, the shopping for holiday presents for everyone, and the decorating. It’s a time of year I refer to as barely organized chaos. There might be a day or two (or even five) that I feel stressed, but for the most part, I truly enjoy it.

Back in the old days, we had to order wall portraits by the first of December to have them ready for holiday delivery. Now even last-minute clients get their orders because pro labs can turn them around in just a few days or even overnight. I am very thankful for that because it enables me to say yes to last-minute clients.

Some more of the things I’m grateful for this year:

My family and my PPA family. My family has been extremely supportive this year given the duties and travel I’ve taken on as PPA president. FaceTime calls let me see my grandchildren even while traveling. And I’ll admit that I make my husband, Tony, put my dog Zeeva on FaceTime as well.

My PPA family is always there for me, too, even more so this year. The PPA Board of Directors and staff are my photography family. We enjoy and respect each other. Like siblings, we don’t always agree on everything right away, but we end up supporting each other in the end just as families so often do. I appreciate that PPA committee members and volunteers give up time to ensure that members have the best association, great education, the integrity of image competition, enhanced skills, and sound ethics guidelines.

New friends. The friends I’ve made across this country and around the world have inspired me and pushed me to be the best I can be. This year I’ve traveled to several countries and many state affiliates, where I’ve made great new friends. We may speak different languages, but we can all bond over the language of photography.

My clients. Without them, my career would just be a hobby. Of course, I’m grateful for the income and the opportunity to be an independent entrepreneur, but I also get to meet incredible, inspiring people. Each new client has a story to share. Each returning client gives me an opportunity to watch their family grow and build a long-term relationship. I’m thankful even for high-maintenance clients. Problems really are just opportunities to do things differently and grow.

There are little things that I am very thankful for as well:

  • Good & Plenty: my all-time favorite candy.
  • Though I dislike exercise, I’m thankful I can still run so I can work off the Good & Plenty.
  • Autofocus lenses.
  • Movies and TV for comedy and down time.
  • Art museums

And so much more.

But I am most thankful for you, PPA members who are out there every day working to be the best you can be. You are here because you understand what it takes to be both a great image-maker and a business person.

Have a holiday season full of success, happiness, and good health.  

Audrey Wancket is the owner of Wancket Studios in Spring Grove, Illinois.