by Steve Kozak

Time flies when you are having fun! Serving as the TPPA President has been an honor and a blast. Our slate of TPPA Officers did a great job of putting TPPA on track for a successful future. I believe TPPA is destined and poised for “greatness.”

Frankly, I feel like that is what each and every TPPA Member should be doing as well…preparing for greatness. “So, what does that look like?” you ask. Here are my two cents worth on how to prepare for “greatness.”

Get Certified. It is the first step in creating confidence in your knowledge and abilities in the craft. Register for Gary and Kathy Meek’s class at Texas School and knock this out. You can do it.

Start entering Photographic Competition. Quit making excuses. Not only will you learn a ton during the process, you will also have a blast when you get over the “hump” and start succeeding. Take the TPPA Photographic Competition Boot Camp at Summerfest, or better yet, start working now on your four images to enter at the Annual Photographic Competition at Summerfest next June. You have eight months to prepare.

Get involved in TPPA Events. Go to Texas School, Summerfest, PhotoGenesis and take a Texas 10 class. These tools are in place to help you become the photographer you really want to be. Think of TPPA as something of a “gym” for your career. Just like joining a gym, you will not see any results if you don’t utilize the tools that we have in place for you.

Once you have reached a certain level of success, it is time to give back and share what you have learned with others. TPPA is always looking for speakers for our events and we often look to our own membership first. However, I can’t tell you how disappointing it is when opportunity comes knocking and folks are not prepared.

If you really want to be a speaker, get your act together…literally. Get a good, professional headshot done. No selfies. No abstract foolishness. Get a great headshot. Also get your bio written and your program descriptions. Start building your program now. Test the waters by teaching a Texas 10 workshop or a “Walk-up” Workshop at next year’s Photogenesis. Be proactive and prepared when TPPA comes knocking.

Volunteer. Our events would not be the success they are without volunteers who serve as Wranglers, committee members, picnic hosts, speaker hosts and convention chairmen. TPPA is a member-run organization and it would not function without those who give above and beyond. Make time to serve your TPPA.

I know Trey Homan will be a terrific President for TPPA and will lead the charge throughout next year as we all continue to prepare for “greatness.”

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