As A Texas Professional Photographers Association Member
By Guy T. Phillips

As the 2022 TPPA President-Elect, I’m often asked by photographers at all levels and of all genres, “Why should I be a TPPA member?” To me, membership in the Texas Professional Photographers Association is an opportunity to join a “family.” These are people like yourself, with the desire to improve their photography and who are willing to share, to listen, and to grow with you. This could be through a live experience or an online experience, a casual meeting, or a massive event with hundreds of others. Here’s a few examples:

Texas Ten is a set of TPPA’s springtime activities that consist of one and two-day classes and workshops led by members who are volunteering their expertise. Many of these sessions are held in the members’ homes or studios. Attendees can sign up for locations in most of the state’s larger cities or even in more suburban or rural areas. The workshops are low-cost yet informative, with topics from newborns to seniors, to SEO, to software,
and more.

I am fortunate to host “What’s New in Lightroom?” which has become one of the most popular TPPA events. Members of both the TPPA and the PPNM (New Mexico) and I take advantage of Adobe’s every-other-month release of updates to Lightroom to dive deeper into what’s new with each update in a live, Zoom-enabled environment. When you register, you can receive notifications and the Zoom link via email, and you can also submit your own questions in advance for possible coverage during the one-hour segments. Demonstrations vary widely from each session to the next and are always a great way to improve your understanding and skill sets. Plus, there’s always time for Q&A at the end, just in case a new question come to mind.

Texas PPA Image Competition is serious business, with many of the top performers achieving success in nationwide contests after having tested their mettle in the annual competition. Numerous categories allow participants to shine with AI, Portraits, Weddings, Illustrative, Still Life, Wildlife, and more. These are digital entries which are judged by qualified judges from around the country. Winners are rewarded with ribbons, medals, and trophies.

The Texas School of Professional Photography (or “Texas School” as it has come to be known) continues to be the nation’s largest one-of-a-kind experience. Where else can you choose from 30+ instructors, get that instructor for an entire week, attend free parties on and off-site, maybe win one of many valuable giveaways, get fantastic deals at a phenomenal trade show, share quality time after hours with people just like from all over the country (and many from around the world), and truly enjoy a week of fun and intense education? You will make friendships that will last a lifetime, side-by-side with the best-of-the-best.

Summerfest, the TPPA Summer Seminar, returns to Kerrville in 2023! A smaller, more family-oriented event set in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas, Summerfest gives members the chance for a easygoing atmosphere with a set of top-notched workshops to inspire you. After-hours may find members floating along the Guadalupe River, enjoying the charm of small-town Texas shops and restaurants, or just hanging out at the hotel pool catching up with old friends. It’s always a welcoming way to spend a few days in the early summer.

The TPPA Road Trip to Red River takes us away from the summer heat in late July to the high altitude of northern New Mexico for camaraderie, excursions and photo ops, all well-suited for the entire family. There’s no formal itinerary, so tag along with hosts, Steve and Jacqueline Kozak, or head out on your own and meet with us at the end of the day. Maybe you’ll ride the scenic railroad or maybe just head out for river rafting. It’s up to you!

TPPA’s iHeart Photo Conference & Trade Show brings photographers to North Texas in October with 3 days of excursions, classes, photo-walks, and a trade show just in time for early Christmas shopping and more! Grapevine’s Convention Center is the perfect location with three classrooms of presenters going on simultaneously, each one unique and suited for photographers of just about any level.

TPPA 365 is our digital library designed to improve your education at your own pace and from your own home. This members-only site, at tppa365.com, contains a treasure trove of curated videos, images, series like “Secret to Success,” a massive learning library of how-to guides, project ideas, information on Image Competition, Photoshop, and tools to improve your studio experience for your clients. The CPP section is a must-have!

TPPA Degree Program – Want to volunteer? TPPA offers opportunities year-round at every event and recognizes your contributions though the TPPA Associate and Fellowship programs. Those who achieve either goal have demonstrated their willingness to both give back to the photographic community and are who are excelling within Image Competition. Want to lead? Put your name in the hat for consideration for TPPA Leadership!

As a member of TPPA, you’ll also be eligible for discounts on products and services, and you’ll receive this award-winning magazine as well. TPPA is also fortunate to be associated with Guilds across the state for those who want that local experience in between the TPPA events. Abilene, Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, Midland, San Antonio and West Texas are among the best in the country and have their doors open wide for new members every month!

My own experience with TPPA has shown me that there are a lot of good people willing to freely share their time, talent and treasure. It doesn’t matter if you are a heavily-decorated master of your craft or you just bought your first camera. In the Texas Professional Photographers Association, you are family! Find out more when you visit https://tppa.org/ today!

Guy T. Phillips, long-time resident of Highland Village, Texas, is the President-Elect of the Texas Professional Photographers Association. His enthusiasm for sharing his knowledge with others has made him a popular instructor on a variety of topics. Check his website: WhatsThatGuysName.com