The Best Kept Secret of TPPA – For Members Only
by Steve Kozak
The Texas Professional Photographers Association is a non-profit organization for all professional photographers and serious enthusiasts who are looking for opportunities to do more with their photography. For those wanting to learn more about cameras, exposure and lighting, TPPA has just the thing for you! It is called the TPPA365 Digital Library and it is for members only.
Regardless of your skill level or degree of interest in photography, this library contains a wealth of knowledge in the form of videos, study guides, YouTube links, downloadable forms and price lists, and practically anything else you might want relating to your photography and/or your business. It might just be one of the best kept secrets of Texas PPA.
Video Links – Enjoy full-length videos and video clips covering a variety of topics and techniques. If you want to understand your camera better, the first step is to “Quit Using Your Camera on Program!” This is just one informative video from one of Steve Kozak’s workshops. Others include “Photographing People Outdoors” and “The Fundamentals of Flash Photography.” For those who want to know more about studio lighting, there is a two part series on “Fundamentals of Studio Lighting” by TPPA’s own Steve Kozak.
But there is much more including videos on Sports Photography that include posing for baseball, basketball, soccer and more, for various age groups by Randy Pollard. There are even videos on “Photoshop 101” for anyone getting their feet wet with Photoshop. As photographers add to this collection, it becomes even more diversified.
Image Makers – Have you ever admired someone’s photography and wished you could know a little more about them and their work? Image Makers features photographers from across the TPPA Membership and beyond. Get inside the heart and mind of some of the most innovative and creative photographers and artists and the images they create. You will be spell-bound listening to Dennis Kelley, of San Antonio, discuss his work doing street portraits.
Bird lovers will find great tips on how to photograph birds and how to create award-winning images of them from Aileen Harding. If you are interested in aviation, you’ll not want to miss Andy Lay’s video on travel photography and airplanes. Then, travel the country with award-winning landscape photographer, Doug Bennett, as he discusses his breathtaking landscape images and how “Dynamic Symmetry” can help photographers connect with the viewer.
Secrets to Success – TPPA’s mission is to help photographers grow their businesses and improve their photography and members are good about sharing tips and techniques with other members. Featured guests share ideas and insights that you can start using right away. Image competition is one of the very best ways to improve your photography. Brad Barton walks you through some of the most common excuses people use to avoid Image Competition and how to overcome them with “Image Competition: What Are You Afraid Of?”
But, even if you tried Image Competition and it didn’t turn out as you had hoped, there is a video on “So, You Bombed at Image Competition? What to do Next!” that includes great advice and tips from photographers like Rick Avalos, Allison Watkins, and Daniel Fermaint, who share their own insights into how to get back in the game. Try it and it will change your life.
Guy T Phillips, one of the leading experts on Adobe Lightroom has been providing TPPA members with a series of programs on “What’s New in Lightroom” and they are available to you in this section as well. Of course, Steve Kozak’s video on “Light Meters 101” will demonstrate how understanding the use of your in-camera meter to obtain proper exposures is so important in achieving superior photography. The list of available resources for becoming successful also includes selections by Cris & Deanna Duncan, Elizabeth & Trey Homan, Kibbee Walton, and Jonathan & Lindsay Betz.
Learning Library – For those who want to study at their own pace, the Learning Library features articles from The Photographer Magazine and other sources as well as other tutorials and videos. Learn about the “Sunny 16 Rule,” and view guides for suggested exposures for a variety of unusual lighting conditions. Then print them out and keep a copy in your camera bag. Discover what makes the difference between an average photographer and a good photographer. Learn about digital sensors and why size matters. If you’re looking for the perfect background, learn the 5-D’s of what makes a great one. Other tips include photographing fireworks, holiday lighting tips, perfect exposures with flash and a quick look at how you can achieve different results with studio lighting. Vendors have much to offer as well. Long time TPPA supporter, Arlington Camera, offers a variety of photo tips on improving the quality of your photographs and improving your skills.
Camera Coaching – This self-study provides a series of lessons and projects to help you gain control of your camera and start using manual mode. It begins with a series of camera coaching lessons for you to study, one a week, over several weeks. These lessons will have exercises and quizzes for you to complete for your own study. Once you’ve completed the first six lessons, there is a series of project assignments to help you put the information you’ve learned to use. Lesson topics include: F-Stops, Shutter Speeds, Depth of Field, Controlling Motion, Controlling Exposure, and the Sunny 16 Rule. Follow-up project topics include: Getting Started with Manual, Shutter Speeds, Depth of Field, and Photographic Open.
Projects – This section provides you with interesting project and studies to help you get more out of your photography. Challenge yourself and dive right into projects on Architecture, Finding Better Backgrounds, Photographing Flowers, Creating Silhouettes, and more. You’ll learn how to look past the literal and start seeing in abstract as you learn to look at the world around you a little differently. Steve Kozak shares his own thoughts and insights that are designed to make your images the best they can be. You’ll also discover how to find the right lighting and how to alter lighting conditions for getting perfect results. You’ll never get bored!
Image Competition – Once you’ve made up your mind to get serious about Image Competition, you’ll want to go right to the source… the 2021 Image Competition Guide Book. This brand new, 36 page, book explains photographic competition from the guild level all the way to the World Photographic Cup and everything in between! It covers rules, the judging process, insights from top competitors, and more. You’ll learn all about the process and the awards from State, District, and IPC competitions. There are also downloadable mats and judge’s video critiques of images available for your viewing. No excuses now!
Studio Forms – Why try to invent something when someone else has already done it and perfected it? In this section of TPPA365 Digital Library, you will find a variety of logos, price lists, and forms that you can download and edit for your own use. These include Client Information Cards, Consultation Cards, Customer Logs, Daily Sales Registers, Wedding Day Detail Forms, and Studio Policies & Liability Release forms. You can download price lists donated by other photographers and adapt them for your own use. Again, this is available only to TPPA members.
To access these resources, go to TPPA.org and click on the “Members Only” tab and sign in. If you are not a TPPA member, this is just one more reason to join NOW!