by Steve Kozak

Expand your knowledge and expertise, make new friends, and have a great time with any number of TPPA Events throughout the year at various locations in and out of Texas. In addition to the world-famous Texas School of Professional Photography and a regional photo conference and expo, iHeart, the Texas Professional Photographers Association has come up with a variety of workshops, roadtrips, and other fun events designed with you in mind. Here are just a few.

See the entire year’s lineup at www.TPPA.org/Events.

Feb. 15 – Austin, TX  “The Dance Photography Experience” hosted by Doc List

Learning lighting and timing when working with dancers is as much art as it is science. Capturing an image of a dancer in flight, while dancing, or even when doing their favorite pose, requires the ability to set the lights and anticipate their movements. In this workshop, you will not only learn these things by listening and watching, you will also learn by doing. A large percentage of time will be spent in guided practice as well as everyone having the opportunity to view and critique each other’s images (lovingly and supportively, of course). Topics include: Creating an enjoyable experience for your subjects, proper composition, lighting and posing, and communicating effectively with your subjects during the session.

Doc List loves photographing people and creating something that never existed before. He spends a lot of time in Photoshop, learning and exploring new ways of doing things. His images have scored very well in competition and he has a passion for creating composites that are exciting and believable.

Saturday, February 15 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
$89 for TPPA Members, $129 for Non-Members, $184 “Join & Go”


Feb. 22 – Houston, TX  “Low Key Lighting” hosted by Cornell McGhee

This workshop is an educational practicum structured to illuminate photographers on the use of low-key lighting to flatter the subject or to convey an intended message. Studio lights, backgrounds, and live models will be available to produce the desired images. Low-key photography is a high contrast method of lighting with a definitive transition from the bright areas of light to the dark areas of shadow. It is best suited for images that are artistic and/or moody. Cornell will demonstrate how to measure light correctly using an integrated light meter and how to evaluate the strength of the light and tone of your backdrop. When you’ve finished, you will have a method that is easily replicated again and again.

As a professional photographer, Cornell’s vision is to create customized boutique artwork for the discerning client. His images are crafted using collaboration, composition, and color to capture the essence of each client. Cornell believes fashion and glamour photographs can be a reality with the everyday person. His photo sessions are filled with fun and laughter, enabling clients to feel at ease with the artistic process.

Saturday, February 22 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
$89 for TPPA Members, $129 for Non-Members, $184 “Join & Go”


March 7 – Grand Prairie, TX  “Quit Using Your Camera on Program!” hosted by Steve Kozak

Once you’ve learned to master your camera, you can create your own vision and develope your own style of photography. Think of it as learning names of the white keys and the black keys on the piano. Knowing which ones to use is how you are able to play your favorite song, or in this case, take a great photograph. Gaining control over your camera also allows you to gain control over exposures. When using the camera set to  “P” or “T” or “A,” the camera has no way to know the photographer’s intent when it comes to exposure and all you can do is “average” the overall scene. The problem with this is that many scenes are simply NOT average… such as scenes that include a sky or an area with a lot of shade. This class is all about gaining confidence and mastering your own camera. Stop guessing and take control!

Steve Kozak is a popular instructor for the Texas School of Professional Photography and is the Executive Director of Texas PPA. He is well-known for his creative style of teaching the fundamentals of photography and his students for a career in professional photography.

Saturday, March 7 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
$89 for TPPA Members, $129 for Non-Members, $184 “Join & Go”


March 8 – Grand Prairie, TX  “Fundamentals of Flash Photography” hosted by Steve Kozak

Images taken with a flash set to eTTL are a shot in the dark! Allowing the camera and flash to make exposure decisions will usually wind up costing you a lot more time trying to fix bad images in post production. Photographers need to have a working understanding of flash photography. So, if your idea of controlling your flash is to use TTL, you are not in control of your exposure. Imagine stepping into any location and knowing exactly how to set your flash for a proper exposure… no chimping… no guessing… only confidence! By controlling your flash and camera in manual mode, you are able to place the perfect amount of light on the subject and obtain complete control of the background as well, learning things about flash that you never knew before. Not only is this helpful in creating outstanding images, it is also valuable if you are working on your CPP.

Steve Kozak is a popular instructor for the Texas School of Professional Photography and is the Executive Director of Texas PPA. He is well-known for his creative style of teaching the fundamentals of photography and his students for a career in professional photography.

Sunday, March 8 from 9:30 am to 9:00 pm
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
$89 for TPPA Members, $129 for Non-Members, $184 “Join & Go”


March 15 – High Island, TX  “Birds on the Brain” hosted by Aileen Harding

Enjoy a fun afternoon with award-winning bird photographer, Aileen Harding, beginning with lunch on your own at Lercy’s in Winnie, Texas, for an educational lunch about location, lighting, composition, behavior, and technique for photographing birds. Then, you’ll be off to one of the top 10 Birding Locations in the country. The Smith Oaks Rookery on High Island has four large decks directly across from the Rookery. Roseate Spoonbills, Snowy Egrets, White Herons, Tri-Colored Herons, and Neotropic Cormorants are present at the Rookery. They’ll be busy mating and nest building, so you will see them at their very best.

You will also be responsible for an $8 day fee for the Rookery (or a $30 season pass, if you prefer). Be sure to bring a tripod and a long lens (minimum 400mm is recommended).

Aileen Harding’s workshop will cover how to find the best locations, bird behavior, exposure, composition, photographing birds in flight, and techniques she uses for print competition images. Birds are her favorite subjects. This is one workshop you’ll not want to miss!

Sunday, March 15 from 12:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
$89 for TPPA Members, $129 for Non-Members, $184 “Join & Go”


March 20 – Cypress, TX  “Photographing Newborns… A to Z” hosted by Alison Montgomery

When it comes to newborn photography, you’ll never run out of clients! This is great news for you photographers who want to try out different types of photography or make a little money from your existing photography. It’s one thing to photograph landscapes or pose adults who take instruction, but working with something as fragile and unpredictable as a newborn baby can bring out the anxiety in even the most seasoned photographer. In this workshop you will learn how to style and prep for sessions, what to do when the family arrives, and how to create beautiful images of them. Alison will talk you through the poses and demonstrate her workflow. You will also learn and practice four basic wraps to use in all your sessions. After lunch, you will receive great tips on editing and how Alison presents images to the client for the upsell.

Topics covered during this informative workshop include: instructions to mom prior to the session, creative marketing ideas, working with what you have no matter what size, how to get more bookings in that first year, and unique product offerings for the upsell.

Friday, March 20 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
$89 for TPPA Members, $129 for Non-Members, $184 “Join & Go”


March 21-22 – Grand Prairie, TX  “Two Day CPP Study Class” hosted by Steve Kozak

Join Steve Kozak for an exciting two-day prep class to help you prepare for taking the “Certified Professional Photographer” exam. Steve is not only a “PPA Approved CPP Instructor”, he is also the author of the “Preparing for PPA Certification” study guide.  This live class takes you step by step through the curriculum as presented in the CPP Test Specifications as presented by PPA and will help you gain confidence in your knowledge of the concepts and your ability to take the exam with a whole new outlook. Registration for this class also includes a $30 savings on an instant download of Steve’s “Preparing for PPA Certification” Study Guide (optional). Purchase of the study guide also includes a two-year Premium Membership to PassTheCPP.com with access to seven practice exams that can be taken online.

Steve’s relaxed teaching style helps you absorb the material without making you feel overwhelmed. His conversational approach to teaching the concepts have made him a popular instructor and speaker.

Saturday & Sunday, March 21-22, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
$129 for TPPA Members, $159 for Non-Members, $224 “Join & Go”


March 28 – San Antonio, TX  “TPPA Annual Image Competition” hosted by Texas PPA

You are invited to attend the TPPA Annual Image Judging and to watch it live!  It all takes place at the Double Tree San Antonio Airport on March 28. The purpose of this competition is to allow photographers to enter photographic images to be judged against a Standard of Excellence and to assist the entrants in preparation for PPA District or International Photographic Competition. Through this competition, TPPA members are also eligible for awards and TPPA Points that count toward the Associate and Full Fellowship Degrees within TPPA.

There will be two IPC caliber stations for judging digital entries, each including monitors, a dedicated computer and software to run the competition, and the ability to project the images being judged onto a big screen for the audience to see.  Winning an award in Texas is a big deal and one you can be proud of. We encourage you to start preparing now to enter your images in the Annual TPPA Photographic Competition in San Antonio on March 28.

Saturday, March 28 at 9:00 am
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
– No Charge to Attend This Event –


March 28 – San Antonio, TX  “San Antonio Studio Crawl” hosted by Elizabeth Homan, Hayward Gaude & Ross Benton

Join us on a grand tour of some of the most successful studios in San Antonio. The San Antonio Studio Crawl is your opportunity to see the studios of Trey and Elizabeth Homan, Ross Benton and two others (to be announced). This tour gets you behind the scenes and inside the minds of the owners as they share how they utilized the space they have and their thoughts behind the way they have set it up for success.

Remember, the TPPA Annual Photographic Competition begins at 9am, so you will have a lot of time to enjoy watching the live competition at the Double Tree San Antonio Airport.  The tour will depart the Double Tree around  2pm with a break for dinner and continue until completed. Coming in from out of town?  Book your room at the Double Tree using the link on the TPPA website for a nice discount.

Saturday, March 28 at 2:00 pm
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
– No Charge to Attend This Event –


March 29 – San Antonio, TX  “Leadership Training” hosted by Steve Kozak

Are you currently serving on the leadership team for your affiliate? Are you a member of an affiliate looking to take on a future leadership role in a local guild or even TPPA? Then this is the program for you. Join TPPA Executive Director and PPA Board Member, Steve Kozak as he shares some of the insights and education that are practiced with the PPA Board of Directors and the TPPA Executive Council.

All officers and elected board members from each of the guilds in Texas and beyond are encouraged to attend this important training opportunity.  Those who are considering future leadership roles in a local guild or even TPPA are also encouraged to attend.

This workshop is open to any member of a local guild, Texas PPA or PPA. Steve Kozak has taught for 20 years at the Texas School of Professional Photography and is one of the most informative and inspiring instructors on the speaking circuit. So make plans to attend and be prepared to learn and have tons of fun.

Sunday, March 29 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
$29 for TPPA Members, $39 for Non-Members, $124 “Join & Go”


June 21-23 – Red River, NM  “Explore Enchanted Northern New Mexico”
                               hosted by Steve & Jacqueline Kozak and Alison Carlino

Part workshop, part photo walk, and part vacation, this trip promises to be an experience of fun for photographers and their families. Red River is a mountain town located in the lush Carson National Forest about 30 minutes north of Taos. 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.

Sunday – 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. After dinner, everyone will visit the Wild Rivers Scenic Area for some “edgy” photographs and stay up late for some night sky photography with the help of Alison Carlino.

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

Tuesday – 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. The train arrives in Osier, CO, where you will enjoy a wonderful lunch with all the trimmings before boarding the train on to Chama where a bus which will take us back to Antonito (see TPPA website for ticket prices).

We will be headquartered at the Lifts West Condominium Hotel in downtown Red River.  Lifts West offers a wide range of lodging options.  We have arranged a nice discount on rental rates when you call 575-754-2778 and use the code, TPPA (discounted rates not available with online booking).

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, June 21-23
Details at www.TPPA.org/events
$149 for TPPA Members, $199 for Non-Members, $244 “Join & Go”