TPPA Summer Events


By Steve Kozak

The COVID-19 virus has impacted our world in ways nobody could ever have imagined and Texas PPA is no exception. However, while others might have thrown up their hands, the officers and staff of TPPA sprung into action to make sure our members would still have access to events and programs that make this association so outstanding while taking steps to ensure the safety of our members and staff.

During the year 2020, a number of events were reconfigured as online events. But 2021 is another story. Although the situation is still somewhat fluid, Texas PPA is committed to not only providing an unsurpassed lineup of fun and educational events, but also to providing them at locations throughout the State of Texas and beyond.

We’re not even halfway through the year and we’ve had programs and workshops on a variety of topics. Photographers working on their PPA Certification have been able to benefit from a workshop on “Preparing for PPA Certification” in April and have attended in-person events on subjects like “The Basics of Headshots” with Gary Hughes. Then, every other month, Guy T Phillips keeps everyone up to date with an online presentation of “What’s New in Lightroom?”

But there is more to come! In June, TPPA President and First Lady, Cris and Deanna Duncan, are hosting a weekend event in Lubbock, Texas, featuring Mark Bryant of Missoula, Montana. This workshop includes on-location shooting and a backyard barbecue, as well as a Sunday excursion to Palo Duro Canyon. For more info, just turn the page.

For anyone looking to escape the Texas heat in August, please join us in Red River, New Mexico. It will be a landscape/nature photographer’s paradise and we’ll ride the historic Cumbres & Toltec Railroad. Again, turn the page for more details.

But that’s not all! In October, plan to attend the iHeart Photo Conference and Trade Show in Grapevine, Texas. Other events are yet to be announced. So check frequently and put those dates on your calendar. Take advantage of everything Texas PPA has to offer.


June 11-12, 2021 – Lubbock, TX  “Light from the Shadows” with Mark Bryant
hosted by Cris & Deanna Duncan
Details at
$179 for TPPA Members, $249 for Non-Members, $274 “Join & Go”

Join one of the country’s premier portrait artist, Mark Bryant, as he leads us on a journey of Light and Shadows.  Everyone from renaissance painters, classical portraitists, today’s composite artists, and the general population snapping with their iPhones need light to share their vision with the world.  Without light we cannot illuminate our subjects and without shadows we cannot define or evoke an emotional response from the viewer.  In this deep-dive workshop, Mark will share the principle tools he uses and his approach to creating stunning portraiture.  His goal in lighting most portraits and especially sports portraits is to capture a full range of specular highlights, long range of midtones graduating into deep robust shadows which define and provide a backdrop for the details.

In this workshop, Mark will share: the concept of Form Fill, why shadows are your friend, lens perspective/camera perspective in relationship with a composite portrait, how to make an emotional statement with composition, and digging deeper into posing techniques.

Mark Bryant spent his early childhood years in Browning, Montana, on the Blackfoot Reservation at the edge of Glacier Park where his parents were missionaries.  In a high school, he met his future wife, Sandra, who was on the yearbook staff.  After they were married, the couple spent a year at Trinity Bible Institute before enrolling the following year at the Ohio Institute of Photography.  After graduation, Mark and Sandra moved back home to Missoula, Montana, and worked for a year at a local studio photographing schools, weddings, and portraits at their studio/park setting.  A year later, they opened their own business and have been in the same commercial location in downtown Missoula for the last 35 years.

The program begins on Friday, June 11 at 1:00 pm and runs until 6:00 pm. Afterwards, at 7:30 pm, join hosts Cris and Deanna Duncan at their place for barbecue with all the trimmings and some fine Texas Hospitality.

On Saturday, the workshop continues as we move to the National Ranching Heritage Center where you will work with Mark to capture images of cowboys and ranchers and more in a setting of authentic period locations on the museum grounds.  Then, at the end of the day, we will mosey back to Cris and Deanna’s for a Mexican dinner on the grounds and an outdoor movie.


Texas PPA Social:  “Palo Duro Canyon & Texas Outdoor Musical”
Sunday, June 13, 2021

In conjunction with Mark Bryant’s workshop in Lubbock, TPPA hits the road for a trip to Palo Duro Canyon.  Bring a friend or the entire family!  Known as “The Grand Canyon of Texas,” Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the country.  Experience the canyon’s rugged beauty and enjoy its colorful history.  Explore the canyon by foot, mountain bike, horse or car.  The park has more than 30 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails.  Camp, geocache, study nature, or bird watch.

While we are not organizing activities on an “official” level, we do know that there will be folks camping on Saturday and Sunday night. Some plan to do some night sky photography and some will get up early to capture a sunrise over the canyon.  Still, others will do some serious hiking while some will enjoy a leisurely drive through the park.  Anyone camping can choose from campsites with water and electricity, tent sites, equestrian sites, backpack camping areas, and even “glamping.”  There are also hotels in nearby Canyon or Amarillo.

Then, cap off the night with a chuck wagon dinner and a ticket to the musical, “Texas.”  This family-friendly show is set against an authentic tapestry of history and the show’s fictional characters bring to life the stories, struggles and triumphs of the settlers of the Texas Panhandle in the 1800’s.  Song and dance abound – and a generous helping of good ol’ Texas humor, too – with spellbinding lighting, special effects and fireworks. TPPA is securing tickets for the dinner and the show so that we can sit together.  Order your tickets online at


August 2-4, 2021 – Red River, NM  “Explore Enchanted Northern New Mexico”
hosted by Steve & Jacqueline Kozak
Details at
$149 for TPPA Members, $199 for Non-Members, $244 “Join & Go”

Part workshop, part photo walk and part vacation, this trip promises to be an experience of fun for photographers and families.  TPPA has partnered with the Professional Photographers Association of New Mexico to bring you this very special event.  Red River is a mountain town located in the lush Carson National Forest about 30 minutes north of Taos.  The summer temps are glorious and the location is perfect for any number of day trips for exploring the history and scenic beauty of New Mexico.  Our itinerary is full of opportunities to photograph in this diverse region.  From mountain forest to desert landscapes and from exploring historic Taos on foot to high mountain vistas by train, this adventure has more than enough to keep you photographing at every turn.

Monday – We will spend most of the day in and around Red River photographing the sights around town. You will find beautiful images of the flowers, humming birds, architecture and the river.  We will also gather nearby for some natural light portrait tips and a short program to help you get more out of your camera. Time permitting, we will also photograph the beautiful Palisades and tour the Vietnam War Memorial.  After dinner, we will visit the Wild Rivers Scenic Area for some edgy photographs (pun intended).

Tuesday – We will make a short drive over to Taos to experience the Taos Pueblo.  The multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years.  You will also see the San Geronimo Chapel which was completed in 1850.  Enjoy a little shopping or getting a tasty treat at any of the quaint little shops located in the Pueblo.

Adult admission: $16 per person
Students (11 and up, includes college with ID): $14 per person
Children (10 and under): Free

Then, it is off to downtown Taos for lunch and a walking tour for photographs of its beautiful architecture.  We will also take a short drive to the Rio Grand Gorge Bridge and visit the historic San Francisco De Asis Church.

Wednesday – We get up bright and early for a drive to Antonito where we will board the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad.  This memorable trip takes you through a diverse landscape with some of the most beautiful views of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.  Once on the train, you can make your way to the open air car and photograph from either side of the train.  You will enjoy listening to the docents explain the history and the stories of the landscapes.  The train arrives in Osier, Colorado, where you will enjoy a wonderful lunch with all the trimmings plus dessert, before you board the train to complete the trip to Chama.  After arriving in Chama, we will board a bus which will take us back to Antonito.  This is such a wonderful experience and will be fun for the entire family.  There are a variety of trips and options to choose from.  Our group trip will be Trip #2 – Antonito to Chama by train and return to Antonito by motor coach. This event is from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.

Lodging Details – We will be headquartered at the Lifts West Condominium Hotel in downtown Red River.  Lifts West offers a wide range of lodging options from hotel rooms to three bedroom condos with full kitchens.  We have arranged a nice discount on rental rates when you call 575-754-2778 and use the code: TPPA.  These discounted rates are not available with online booking.  You must call in to secure your reservation and these rates (or you may also elect to find lodging on your own).

Type of Room / Discounted TPPA Rate
Hotel Room                    $67/night plus tax
1 Bedroom Condo      $117/night plus tax
2 Bedroom Condo      $150/night plus tax
3 Bedroom Condo      $170/night plus tax