After Barry and I got back from Texas Professional Photographer’s Association Summer Seminar in Kerrville… I reflected back to 8 years ago when Barry and I first started Captivated Images…
There are lots of complaints from “Professional” photographers about these “mom’s with a camera” that charge $150 for 16 hours of work and give their “clients” a CD with images. I was once that “mom with a camera” and I was actually shooting and GIVING AWAY all of my images to friends and family because I loved photography. I never EVER thought I could actually make a living as a “professional photographer” but here I am and I am no longer a “mom with a camera”!
The BIG difference is that I chose to GET EDUCATED and get involved with PPA (Professional Photographers of America)! Between Barry and I we have spent over $80,000 over the past 8 years in our education that has been provided by The PPA. Barry and I have both become Certified Professional Photographers (which was one of the most difficult but REWARDING experiences I’ve done). Becoming CERTIFIED has made me such a better photographer. Going to Texas School every year, attending seminars, conventions, workshops, getting involved with our local guild (South Plains PPA), etc. has made me a better photographer. I am more confident and actually KNOW my camera and my flash and understand what everything does and why it does what it does. Therefore, we are able to create amazing images for our clients. I know LIGHTING (which is HUGE), I know how to create a specific look that I want just by changing settings and am CONFIDENT in how it will turn out.
Barry and I are so close to receiving our Masters Degree. We both received our Craftsman Degree this past year and that it is just mind blowing that we’ve come so far and couldn’t have done it without the EDUCATION that the PPA provides for us and the opportunity to grow and become a better photographer year after year.
I encourage each and every “mom with a camera” out there to do what you love BUT educate yourselves. Start with joining your local guild (ours is South Plains PPA). South Plains PPA has some incredible speakers that come each month and it’s only $60 a year! Join the Professional Photographers Association, join the Texas Professional Photographers Association. Go to Texas School and learn from the best photographers in the country.
It’s rewarding to be acknowledged as Texas Photographer of the Year for the 2nd year in a row and the awards are amazing to receive as you can’t receive a better “pat on the back” for a job well done, but the best part about participating in Print Competition is that we continue to get better and better and better… Even if you don’t merit, (which I started out not meriting at all and now I’m going 4 for 4)… I learn what I need to work on and keep submitting images!
I will never be as good as I want to be, but I will definitely continue to participate in EVERY single thing that PPA has to offer! Thank you PPA for making me a better photographer and for making me want to become the best I can be but most of all, thank you for allowing us to make a good living doing something we love.