I am an active member of all of these professional photography associations
Working and learning with these associations is essential for my photography business, and to keep my skills current and exceptional
The Estes Park Wedding Association is an esteemed association bringing successful wedding professionals in Estes Park together to advance EP’s booming wedding industry. Estes Park is located outside the eastern entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park and is busy year-round with weddings at the stunning wedding venues in town, as well as in the park. This association is very selective and I am proud to be a member as well as a Board Member actively work in the mountains with my clients.
I am indeed a Fearless Photographer and enjoy being a part of this revered group of photographers. Not a lot of people outside the wedding photography industry understand the weight and importance of a Fearless Photography Award. This association was created to celebrate outstanding wedding photography internationally and the competition is inspiring. There are so many photographers in this industry who go through the motions to make their money… none of them are Fearless. To get a Fearless award is the equivalent of a Grammy for music or Oscar for movies. Check out some of the work on their website to see why it represents the best of the best.
The International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers is a group that I am very proud to be a member of. This international group is difficult to be accepted into. To be accepted you have to submit actual galleries of weddings delivered and the review aims to make a directory of only the best wedding photography professionals in the world.
FlashMasters was created by photographers in the wedding industry who honor the skill of using off-camera flash on a wedding day. In 2023 I won my first award from them for a photograph I took on an engagement session in Northern Colorado. This Silver Award was a great honor and completed an intense period of about 7 years actively learning to use off camera lighting quickly, creatively and efficiently at weddings. Then in the very next contest with them I won two awards for two photographs taken at weddings. I’m very proud of these awards!
As with EPWA, WPJA or the Wedding Photojournalist Association, is an association that you need to apply and be accepted to. This group puts an emphasis on a photojournalistic approach to the wedding day. When clients talk to me about preferring “candids” and “just recording the day”, that is photojournalism. While I may highlight some of my more dramatic photographs, the heart of my job is photojournalism. The couple photos are the cover of your wedding book, but most of the content of the book is photojournalism. I was proud to be accepted into this association in the beginning of 2022 and a year later, in 2023 I crossed into the top 100 photographers in the world!
PPA or Professional Photographers of America is a group that I have been associated with for many years. This group provides help and resources for professional photographers in every aspect of the industry.
WPPI or Wedding & Portrait Photographers International is a highly regarded and expansive group of people that come together in Las Vegas once a year to learn, grow, network and get drunk together. I have been a part of WPPI for four years and attended the convention in 2020 & 2023. Attending helped me to rapidly advance my lighting skills working directly with some of my favorite photographers on Photowalks, and to take business classes with successful photographers.
KelbyOne, which used to be called NAPP or National Association of Photoshop Professionals is the group I have belonged to the longest. This is an educational group that started out entirely as Photoshop education (which I’ve been working professionally in since it’s inception) and then branched out to teaching every aspect of photography as well as Photoshop. I have attended their conferences for years keeping my skills in photography software as well as photography fresh and up-to-date. I also teach Photoshop and Lightroom now and rely on this group to keep up to date with all the new developments in software, cameras and photo technology in general.
I found SLR Lounge Workshops‘ classes so valuable that in 2019 I paid for a lifetime membership with them. To this day I constantly turn to their video training for educating myself on all aspects of the industry and the expansive skills that are needed to not only take great photographs, but also run a great photography business.
Nikon Professional Services was created to support Nikon professionals and their urgent needs for expedited repairs, loaner cameras or lenses while the equipment is in for repair, camera sensor cleanings, to get the latest equipment before it goes on market, and other top-tier services. To be a member of NPS you need to have a qualifying amount of Nikon professional level equipment which I surpassed a long time ago.
I still have a storefront on The Knot and Wedding Wire… My Storefront but unfortunately the business practices of the The Knot and Wedding Wire, known to Vendors as the collective, Wedding Pro are horrible and I would recommend all couples to stay off of there. Not only in how they treat vendors, but also they allow people to pay to get rid of bad reviews, etc. So I will be phasing them out of my business completely. Here’s an article about it if you are interested in learning more.