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  • Greater Rochester Professional Photographers

    Welcome to the Greater Rochester Professional Photographers official website! We are an organization of like minded professionals dedicated to the advancement of the photographic arts in Upstate New York. We are one of eleven sections of Professional Photographers Society of New York State and we are an affiliate of Professional Photographers of America.

    On this website you will find articles and links designed to help you find professional photographers for all your photographic needs. Whether you are getting married, looking for portrait work or just looking for some great pieces of visual artwork, you will find it here.

    If you are a professional photographer who is interested in networking with other professionals, please join us every 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Flower City Arts Center, 713 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY 14607. Be sure to visit our Facebook Page for more information about our monthly meetings.

    Our meetings begin with a social hour from 6 - 7 pm followed by the main program from 7 - 9 pm. Your first meeting is complimentary - so come check us out!

Luke Photography earns a Merit in International Print Competition

Luke Photography earns a Merit in International Print Competition

In April, Patrick Luke of Luke Photography, a Rochester-based portrait photographer, submitted four prints in the 2010 International Print Competition through the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), and the results of the competition were just finalized.

“A Mischievous Mind” – selected for the 2010 PPA Showcase book
One of the prints, “A Mishchievous Mind”, not only earned a Merit, but was one of less than 150 images that were chosen from the thousands that were entered to be included in the 2010 PPA Showcase book. The PPA Showcase book is published by the PPA every year to present some of the finest images that have been accepted into the PPA’s General Collection.

From Patrick: The image was captured during a portrait session with the 18-month old son of a long-time friend. While I was able to capture so many great images during the entire session, this one captured a split-second look and expression that is timeless, and brought a smile and chuckle to almost all the judges who viewed it.

Judges view all submitted images against 12 elements: Impact, Creativity, Technical Expertise, Composition, Lighting, Style, Print Presentation, Center of Interest, Subject Matter, Color Balance, Technique, and Story Telling. Images that score well in all 12 categories earn print merits. I’m pretty sure that Impact was the highest scoring category for this print.

I was pleased that I was able to attain this honor in only my 2nd print competition. It’s not always easy or comfortable to bear one’s creativity to critique, especially in an international competition against the best photographers in the world. But with results like this, it ends up being very rewarding and enriching.

The What and Why of Photographic Certifications from PPA

[this was taken directly from the Professional Photographers of America website]….

When you become a Professional Photographer, you become one of many other professional photographers who are all aiming for the same business goal: success. Everyone is striving to get their name out there and get more clients through the door. With all of the options people have for photographers, the question then becomes, “How do I stand apart?” One of the answers that many professional photographers give is “certification.”

What Is Certification?
Many industries have certification programs that allow professionals in that industry to show their expertise and give clients a reason to come to them—and photography is no different. The Professional Photographic Certification Commission (PPCC), the leading certifying agency for imaging professionals, is the commission through which you earn your Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation. By becoming a CPP, you are showing both your peers and potential clients that you are serious about your craft and have met a standard of excellence.

“Certification indicates to our clients that we have aspired to a higher level,” explains Marie Curtis, M.Photog., CPP, owner of Curtis Studio in Durham, Conn., and a CPP for 20 years. “It tells them we have learned all we can to successfully handle most of the common photographic projects put before us. It is a benchmark known all over the world, letting clients who expect a certain level of competency know that we can meet or exceed those expectations.”

Dennis Nisbet, CPP, of Nisbet Photography in Riverside, Calif., agrees. “Technological advances have resulted in a huge number of aspiring photographers entering the market and presenting their imaging skills as being professional,” he notes. Nisbet believes that certification can help to separate you from those masses. “Isn’t it time you demonstrated to the public that there is a difference in being a CPP, that you have the skills for your profession, and that you can be held to the same high standards that are expected from other professions?”

How Do I Get Certified?
The certification requirements established by the PPCC were put into place to prove your technical competency in professional photography. It may sound daunting, but John Metcalfe, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, doesn’t want that to discourage you. “The hardest part of the certification process is deciding to do it,” he says.

If you have questions about the certification process or are looking for more information, a great starting point is your state’s Certification Liaison. These individuals are selected by the PPCC and are all CPPs themselves. They have been through the Certified Professional Photographer Certification process and can answer questions about it and the three steps: declaring CPP candidacy, passing the Certification Exam and passing a successful Image Submission Review.

Written Exam—The comprehensive written exam is comprised of 100 questions covering the technical aspects of photography, including subjects such as exposure, meters, composition, lighting and digital post-production. CPP Certification Exams are held throughout the year across the U.S. and Canada at local, state and regional events for photographers…and, of course, at Imaging USA!

While it may be an exam, Curtis suggests having fun with it. “Find a study partner, join a study group or play Jeopardy to break the monotony of reading and studying.”

Image Submission—An Image Submission Review occurs every two months. It involves submitting 20 images of your client work to be reviewed and approved by a panel of CPP judges. These images should be representative of your style of photography and the work that you produce for your clients. Keep in mind that each image must have a different subject matter.

“The question most get hung up on is what to submit,” Metcalfe notes. “The judges are looking for a candidate’s images to be the practical application of the knowledge used to pass the written exam.” In other words, use the knowledge needed for the exam to create the images for the review. And keep in mind that you want to put your best foot forward. As Curtis points out, even if your photographic style is avant-garde, you want your images to demonstrate that you know the rules of portraiture and have produced an image worthy of your client’s expectations.

Why Certify?
Simply knowing what it takes to become certified is not enough to convince you to do so. You need to know why you should make the effort. You need to know what is in it for you. While the benefits may vary from photographer to photographer, certification offers you the potential to grow—both as a photographer and as a businessperson.

The steps you take to achieve this certification test your knowledge and demonstrate that you have met a standard of excellence. Once your obtain your Certified Professional Photographer designation, you have the ability to use it to prove to your clients (and potential clients) that you are a leader in the industry and have gone above and beyond to prove yourself as a professional photographer.

Gregg Martin, CPP, of Gregg Martin Photographic Design in Columbia, S.C., believes that becoming a CPP helped him stand out from the pack. “Photographers are coming out of the woodwork in every town in America, and being a CPP places you in a much different category than the average photographer,” he explains.

By having CPP after your name (and explaining it to them), you are showing your clients that you are committed not only to your job as photographer, but to the product you deliver as well. And certification can lead to and help you seal the deal with new clients! “Being a CPP has opened doors to numerous corporate jobs, magazine work, sports contracts and several other opportunities in my career,” adds Martin.

Re-Certification
To maintain your CPP designation, you must re-certify every five years. Why? When you first achieve your certification, you have to demonstrate your technical competency and meet a standard of excellence. And in an industry where technology is constantly changing and expectations are continually growing, it is important that you keep up with the changes in order to maintain your skills and continue to expand. This is where re-certification comes into play.

“Once certification is obtained, it is not the end,” says Metcalfe. “Certified Professional Photographers have to continue to educate themselves and share their knowledge with others—continuing the growth and preserving the knowledge.”

By re-certifying, you show the industry and your clients that you are continuing to perfect your craft. Stay active and always look for ways to expand your knowledge—continuing to take classes and gain knowledge through opportunities like Imaging USA, Super Monday and Affiliate events.

One More Reason
By becoming a Certified Professional Photographer, you not only show yourself that you have the skills necessary to excel as a professional photographer, but you also show the industry and your clients that you are serious about what you do. Clients have a multitude of options when it comes to finding a photographer—give them one more reason to come to you.

The next Greater Rochester Professional Photographer study group for the CPP exam is starting soon…. please let one of us know if you would like to get on board. This is an excellent way to improve your skills and get to know your fellow GRPPsters. ~Heather

Focus on a GRPPster: Erin Perrotta

Erin Perrotta is one of the Greater Rochester Professional Photographers newer members and she joined with a flash… by winning our logo design contest! The GRPP logo was severely out of date and Erin was very patient with us as we went through the re-design process. So, here we are with a fancy new logo (and pins too) designed by Erin… a perfect reason to focus on this GRPPster, Erin Perrotta from Perrotta Creative.

Here is the interview with Erin:

Where do you get inspiration?

I have a large, close-knit family, full of creative, talented people.  They are a huge influence on my life.

Growing up, my grandmother earned a reputation for always having the camera on and ready.  We called her “Grandma Flash.”  I didn’t realize until I started out in business, how important what she was doing was.  She was and still is (although she leaves it mostly to me now) preserving those memories for us-not just for herself.  She isn’t a professional photographer- she just loves the history created by those photos. That inspires me to create history for others.

How did you know you were “successful”?

I knew I was “successful” because I loved doing it!  But as a businesswoman and as an artist, I’m just getting started.

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

In five years I want to have a solid reputation and brand so I can focus more energy on my creativity as a photographer.

How did you get into photography?

I have no solid memory of the moment that drew me to photography.  It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed.

But what got my business going was again due to my family.  My Aunt was getting married.  She asked me if I would be her photographer.  I said “Sure! Why not?” jokingly, assuming she wasn’t serious.

Apparently, she wasn’t kidding.  And so I did it, I loved it, and I still love it.

Do you have any formal education?

I graduated from Canisius College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media Arts, and a Minor in Fine Arts in 2004.  My primary focus there had been graphic design, though I did take several photography classes towards my minor.  Since I’ve started it has been my goal to merge the two worlds of design and photography together to form my own unique business.

What has been your greatest achievement?

So far my greatest achievement has been in making the decision to put myself out there as a photographer.  It was a huge decision for me to make.  So in taking those first steps, I feel I’ve achieved something: the first step in a life long journey.

How do you stay fresh and creative?

By occasionally stepping away from my camera and computer. I feel that if you live and enjoy the world around you, you will be able to capture it better.

What do you wish you knew when you began?

I wish I had known more about business, contracts, pricing, and all things non-creative that make a business work.

Best day on the job?

The first time I got a hug from a client at the end of a wedding day.

3 favorite non-photo hobbies?

I love to read when time allows.

I love to play softball.  If there are any takers on a GRPP softball team, sign me up!

I love to travel, eat well and drink good wine… can that count as one hobby?

Best piece of software?

I’m pretty fond of all things Adobe-InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator to be more specific.  I enjoy using all of them together to create all kinds of things, from editing photos, to designing albums and wedding invitations for my clients.

What is the best business tip you have been given?

Be yourself. Let your clients know who you are, so they will show you who they are in your work.

BookSmart Studio – Nik Software Workshop – July 10, 2010

BookSmart Studio – Nik Software Workshop – July 10, 2010

Learn about Nik Software’s latest photo enhancement plug-ins and filters for Photoshop, Aperture and Lightroom with former Nik Software Product Specialist, Sean Dyroff.
Sean worked for Nik Software for several years and played a major role in the development of every current major Nik Software plug-in including Dfine 2.0, Viveza 2, Color Efex Pro 3.0, Silver Efex Pro, and Sharpener Pro 3.0. He also created many of the educational materials related to the plug-ins while traveling the country to teach photographers about the newest releases of the plug-ins and how the integrate into different photographic workflows.

Nik_Horizontal_CMYK Nik Software Workshop - July 10,  2010

Nik Software Workshop Topics

• Dfine 2.0— A thorough look at how to reduce noise and maintain photographic detail
• Viveza 2.0—Using Color Control Points to make enhancements and adjustments in no time
• Advanced Viveza 2.0—Using Control Point Groups to control several areas at once
• Color Efex Pro 3.0—Getting the most out of all 52 filters in the Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete Edition to bring the most out of your images
• Silver Efex Pro—The ins and outs of Silver Efex Pro – everything you could ever want to know about Silver Efex Pro and more… from the guy that wrote the product
• Sharpener Pro 3.0—Sharpening your images for print, web or the lab
• The Entire Workflow—Putting it all together, Sean will go over how and when to incorporate the plug-ins together to edit an image from start to finish

Cost for Workshop

$125/person for the 5-hour workshop

Date of the Workshop

July 10th  2010
10am – 4pm (1 hour for lunch)

Registration for Workshop

Please register for the workshop here: Register for Nik Software Workshop

Michelle Macirella at the Image City Gallery

Greater Rochester Professional Photographers Member, Michelle Macirella, is one of five featured Photographers at the Image City Gallery’s Summer Quintet Exhibition, beginning June 16, 2010.

Summer Quintet

Close to Home – Matthias Boettrich
Curves – Daniel P. Crozet
In the Moment Michelle Macirella
Waterscapes – Martin Nott
PotPourri – John C. Solberg

with Steve Tryon in the East Gallery

June 16 – July 11, 2010

Artists’ Reception
Friday, 5 – 8:30 pm, June 18

First Friday Gallery Night is 6 – 9 pm, July 2

A r c h i v e s