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A few years ago I closed my children and family portrait studio in order to pursue my lifelong dream of being a fine art photographer in the collector gallery market.  For the last few years I have been haphazardly working on images without much direction or purpose.

A few months ago,  I decided that I need to get more focused and have a plan.  As a member of the Professional Photographers of America (“PPA”), I began with their website.

STARTING OUT

First, I explored Photovision which has lots of videos that cover all aspects of the photograph and business.  I found several videos that helped me find some passion and focus.  Anne Geddes has two (2) great videos – Creating with Purpose & Meaning and Y0u as an Artist.  These videos and many others really focused me on what I want to create as my art.  These videos really got me thinking about my process of creating art.

GETTING INVOLVED

Next, I explored Image Competition and even entered some images in Western District Print Competition.  To really push myself, I have begun studying for the Certified Professional Photographer.  This program is designed to help me take my photographic technical skills and creativity to new and higher levels.  To confess, my images did not score very well at the Western States Competition and it has really gotten me thinking about my process and how to step out of my comfort zone both technically and creatively.

FINDING COMMUNITY

My favorite part of the PPA website is a community called theLoop.  TheLoop is a place for photographers to chat, share ideas and worries, and discuss sensitive topics like customer service, demanding clients and more.  Here is found a group of professional photographers who are striving to be the best they can be.  So many great ideas and advice that is helping me put the pieces of my plan together and a group to hold me accountable to my plan so I can achieve my goals.  I really enjoy the connections I am making through this community.  Each person is inspiring me to think beyond my limits.

My take away from writing this blog the need for a community to inspire to reach my goals with education, advice, and support.

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