JPPG President’s Message – Summer 2017

I would like to give a giant “shout out” to our all-volunteer board for doing a great job each month serving our members. And a special ‘shout-out’ to our programs director, Michael Joseph, for his continued work on booking us the BEST nationally recognized speakers! Be sure to let your board members know you appreciate their hard work.

Members of our guild have a real sense of professional pride as they continually strive toward improving their skills and becoming better photographers with an eye toward improving the photography industry, not just by their own work but by their influence on others they come in contact with. I have recently met several budding photographers looking for guidance, answers and sincere help. Most have acknowledged that webinars, seminars and internet research can only bring them so far in their photography career and they ultimately need a mentor to help bring them to the next level. This is where training with like-minded individuals at our meetings helps everyone to advance to that next level.

I too hope I can be the ‘voice of reason’ that can help improve our industry. I was recently contacted by a national real-estate company that contracts photographers to photograph properties throughout the city. They wanted me to set aside 2 days per week for appointments to shoot 40-50 photos of each property and then upload the best 35 images. They require their contractors to have many years of photographic experience, a full-frame sensor camera with a 14-24mm zoom and include all travel expenses. For which they will pay $50 per building but only if the uploaded photos are approved.

My commercial rate on a job like this would start at $2400. My operating costs alone would be $800. So I would have to shoot 8 buildings per day to barely pay my bills (is that even possible given drive times across town?) and 20+ to make any money. Needless to say I was VERY vocal with this vendor in telling them what I thought about their proposal!!! Sadly their pricing IS based on ‘market conditions’ nationally and they ARE able to find monkeys who are willing to work for peanuts. Please educate yourself, your family, your friends and your customers so we can improve our industry so more photographers can make a “living wage” doing what they love to do!

Sincerely,

Dan Harris
Dan Harris, JPPG President

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JPPG President’s Message – April 2017

“Hands-on March” was a big success. First we had a special workshop March 19th with the incredible Hanson Fong from San Francisco. It was a beautiful sunny day in the park and Hanson gave us some great ideas about how to professionally light a portrait session in most any lighting condition. We had live models, several photo stations and lots of photographers helping photographers. Everyone had a good time.

At our March meeting we had 3 hands-on photography stations: portraits, headshots and outdoor constant lights. Many members learned some new ideas and key information that will really help their photography improve and their business grow. Don’t forget to bring your 8×10 prints from those shootouts to enter into our People’s choice competition at April’s meeting. We will still have the standard categories, but also an additional table for the shootout images and the first place winner at the ‘shootout’ table will get a Chili’s gift card! Don’t miss it.

This is what our group is all about: Photographer’s helping photographers! Several people at these events had ‘camera issues’ which we were able to fix. They finally got their equipment to work correctly! Too often ‘online’ instruction, webinars and videos can only teach you up to a certain point. It often takes some actual hands-on help and assistance with a real pro to get you over the final hurdle giving you the critical information you need to turn your study into practical knowledge you can use. We are glad we can all be part of this great group and look forward to everyone’s future success!

Sincerely,

Dan Harris
Dan Harris, JPPG President

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JPPG President’s Message – March 2017

The year is off to a good start. Everyone enjoyed Olis Garber’s program in January. If you want to add some adventure to your photography and get some exceptional images, go with Olis on his next photographic excursion.

February’s meeting was with the internationally recognized Photoshop guru Dave Cross. I’m sure everyone who attended picked up a new tip that will help propel their workflow for years to come.

March is going to be our hands-on, shootout month. Bring your cameras because we will have several opportunities for shooting and learning: On Sunday, March 19th the world renown Canon Explorer of Light Hason Fong will be giving Jacksonville attendees individualized hands-on tips during the day program while we shoot live models and then that same evening will have an instructional presentation. You can attend just one or both classes as your schedule allows. Check our website for the upcoming details.

Our March 28th regular meeting will also be hands-on, so bring your cameras, as we will have three shooting stations with live models and instructors helping you capture headshots and family portraits in both a studio setup and an outdoor night-lit setting. It will be a night of fun and interactive learning. You will get to see and use different lighting setups with your own camera.

Everyone learns differently, some prefer to learn by reading, some by watching and some by doing. Most people learn and retain information better if they have a good mix. Over the years some of my best learning moments were unexpectedly not from the lecture but often from another classmate or while attempting to implement a concept. We hope March’s inter-active, shoot-out programs will help you learn additional skills to help you with your future success.

Let us know how JPPG can best serve you!

Sincerely,

Dan Harris
Dan Harris, JPPG President

JPPG President’s Message – January 2017

Wow! Where has the time gone! 2017 has arrived! It’s the time to reflect, evaluate and set new goals for the New Year. We have had some great programs and FUN learning experiences this past year and look forward to even better ones this next!

Your JPPG board is committed to helping you make this year BETTER than the last! We have put together some exciting programs, activities and hands-on learning experiences to help you bring your photography skills to the next level!

In life, there are lots of setbacks, roadblocks and mishaps that can prevent you from achieving your goals. Make a commitment this year to NOT let those things hold you back or distract you from ultimately achieving your goals. Don’t be so busy sawing that you forget to sharpen the saw! Break out of your comfort zone! Set aside the time this year to attend EVERY JPPG meeting and be open to learning from new and unexpected sources.

Remember we are here to help each other find success! Let us know how we can best help you.

Sincerely,

Dan Harris
Dan Harris, JPPG President

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JPPG President’s Message – November 2016

We had a lot of great participation in our annual salon at October’s meeting. We really have some exceptionally talented photographers in our group! The judges shared some good pointers and gave everyone in attendance some insights on how to develop their eye for improving their own photography. That’s what our guild is all about.

We had a great hands-on seminar at Walter Jones park on Sunday October 30th. Everyone brought their camera and had some good one-on-one time with instructors and models and were able to get their questions answered and test some new shooting options. It’s great to learn and grow among friends and instructors who have real-world practical experience and really know their stuff. I was very happy to see our group being very well behaved, following the rules of the park and making an extended effort to leave it cleaner than we found it! Take only photos, leave only footprints!

Don’t forget to sign up for our Holiday Party December 8th. There will be lots of great awards, recognition and lots of prizes, it will be fun for everyone! Remember we are here for each other and happy to help!

Sincerely,

Dan Harris
Dan Harris, JPPG President

JPPG President’s Message – October 2016

We had a great meeting with Portrait Designers; Gregory Daniel and his wife Lesa. They gave us some exceptional information about their high-end portrait studio and some pointers on how to lift our sales by becoming providers of Fine Art. If you get a chance to take one of their classes, don’t miss it. It will be a real turning point in your career.

I hope everyone survived (Matthew) -the storm- and are back on their feet again. Many weddings & photography events had to be cancelled. It’s comforting to know you are a member of a group that can help you in times of emergency. Be sure to make good friends and contacts with your fellow members so if you have a photography issue you can reach out and get the help and support you need.

We are coming upon the busy photography season, remember your fellow guild members as referrals for your overflow work or for some ‘joint ventures’ that can help you learn ‘hands-on’. A few ‘reminders’ and ‘words-to-remember’ during the next few months: ‘Busy’ doesn’t mean ‘profitable’, stay focused and don’t let the bombardment of $50 mini-sessions on your Facebook feed deter you from your smart business plan!

Also, beware of scams, if it is too good to be true… you know. Also, establish strict payment and refund policies so you don’t get caught in a rip-off scheme. Please hold true to your established business policies and practices. There is a reason you put those in writing and have your customer sign them. It doesn’t do your business or the industry any good if you break your own ‘rules’.

Sincerely,

Dan Harris
Dan Harris, JPPG President

JPPG President’s Message – September 2016

We got some good information from Booray Perry at last month’s meeting. He showed us how to make quick decisions at each photo session for getting the best photos under any circumstance.

When he arrives at a location he assesses what setup is going to work the best: (from easiest to hardest) 1. Natural Light, 2. Bounced Flash, or 3. Off-Camera Flash. Then each step he uses to determine his camera settings. It was a very thought-provoking analysis of what goes on in the mind of a professional photographer.

The ‘business’ of photography isn’t the same as the ‘hobby’ of photography. Programs like this cause me to reflect back when I was a ‘Natural Light’ photographer (because I had no other options in my ‘toolbox’) and I was working to turn my hobby into a real business.

Sometimes I miss the days when I was only photographing what I wanted to, how I wanted to, and with little concern for the money part of it. In business (even when you work for yourself) you don’t always get to do just what you want, in the way you want.

Even ‘rock-stars’ have to push through the daily grind on the road between gigs! Nothing in life worth attaining is easy, nor is it as fun as it looks on the internet!

My hope for our members is to find the proper balance and discover their ‘state of bliss’ where they can enjoy their job and make a good living doing what they enjoy! Everyone at JPPG is here to help you on your journey, let us know how we can best support you.

Sincerely,

Dan Harris
Dan Harris, JPPG President

JPPG President’s Message – August 2016

Our most recent speaker, (and past president) Kevin Floyd gave us a photography/ business tip every 15 seconds for 105 minutes! That’s over 400 tips. Everyone left with something they could use. As Kevin mentioned, when a speaker can give you a lifetime of their learning and knowledge in a program, it becomes the best information you will ever get. I am pleased to see our members happy to share, working together and remaining open to learning, that’s what insures our industry’s success.

Can we talk politics? The good news and the bad: We have 100 more days of political bashings and advertising bombardments! Are we at the point yet of avoiding phone calls, TV ads and unfriending our friends? Sadly it’s human nature to passionately argue that what we believe, feel and think is right. Sometimes our ‘passion’ tramples our humanity. There’s an understanding among comedian’s in the ‘stand-up’ community that when you tell a political joke you make half the audience mad at you! Is that the goal? Will that serve you well in the future? Are you offending half of your customers, friends and fellow photographers?

We as photographers also have our own hot buttons. Are you ever tempted sometimes to just blast someone online for being so stupid? (I remember a time when I arrogantly pretended like I knew it all but really I was just trying to make up for knowing so little.) Let’s make a difference during the next 100 days by being ‘kind instead of right’. Support and love each other, appreciate your differences and celebrate the common ground we share!

Sincerely,

Dan Harris
Dan Harris, JPPG President

JPPG President’s Message – July 2016

We had an exceptional response to Megan DiPiero’s program last month. She gave us some great pointer’s on how to turn a $100 inquiry into a $3,000 sale! She is very talented and doing very well in our industry. It’s great to have speakers who share their successes with our group. If you missed it, you can hear her program at PPA IMAGING Jan 8-10 in San Antonio.

Unique insights, like Megan shared with us, are often difficult to find, even on the ‘all knowing’ internet. Google search has become the ‘go to’ for most everything. When you attempt to drink the ‘murky water’ from the internet firehose, you too often get led off topic or get soaking wet.

Google’s search system is ‘supposed’ to help you find exactly what you are looking for, sadly it is really just showing you ‘what’s most popular’. If you use the ‘most popular’ answers to guide your photography career, you may not be able to find the success you seek.

As a Guild of striving professionals, we seek to use our network of members and our industry connections to find the best instructors with the most pertinent information. We filter the information given to our members much differently than Google does. Popularity (or the most likes) doesn’t always equate to success. We are glad you are part of our exclusive family of insiders who will help guide you to success.

Sincerely,

Dan Harris
Dan Harris, JPPG President

JPPG President’s Message – June 2016

We have had some great programs recently! Everyone loved last month’s program by the budding comedian- Gary Hughes, both his regular meeting program and mini-seminar were very educational and fun! We hope he will return soon!

Mini seminars are almost over (and won’t be back on a large scale until 2018) they have been a phenomenal success in helping everyone get ‘up-to-speed’ on today’s best practices towards increased professionalism.

We have been very pleased to see all the guests and visitors who have been coming out to share in the joy (and pain) of photography. Everyone’s photography journey is different, each person’s goals, talents and abilities are unique. Every member of our guild will define their success differently. It’s really cool to be part of a group where we can share our successes and failures and come away with reassurance, support and new ideas to help us on our journey.

Photographer’s helping photographer’s, that’s what it’s all about! IF you choose NOT to help your fellow photographer, you probably won’t be able to find many customers since today most EVERYONE is a photographer (we are all only at different levels). My studio gets its best business from people who have tried it themselves and learned that many times it’s better to pay a professional.

When was the last time you paid another photographer? (a living wage, real money –not trade, or discounted prices) Support the industry you hope will one day support you! May everyone find the success they seek.

Sincerely,

Dan Harris
Dan Harris, JPPG President