* * * To RSVP for this event, visit the Austin PPA Website at http://bit.ly/SFWaob * * *
This month, Austin Professional Photographer's of America (APPA) is hosting Suzy Roberts-Fulton for their monthly meeting. Suzy specializes in senior photography and is the person who effectively took TriCoast's senior business from virtually non-existent to a thriving enterprise. For this meeting, Suzy will be speaking about "Senior Sessions: From Shooting to Selling". You don't need to be a member of the APPA to attend - you can attend as a guest. To find out more about this month's program and to RSVP, visit http://www.austinppa.com.
As I've mentioned before, one of the best local resources for learning about photograpy and making money as a photographer is the Austin Professional Photographers Association (APPA). So, what happens at an APPA meeting that makes it so great? The answer is - a whole bunch of things! First, the meeting starts off with some social time. This is great because members of the APPA are Austin's top photographers who make a living at photography. Everyone is really nice and it's great to be able to see what the top local pros are working on in a casual, relaxed environment. During this social time, the APPA usually has at least one vendor attend - it could be Precision Camera, a local photo lab, an album company - basically a vendor who is very relevant. I like this vendor interaction because it's really hard to evaluate products like prints and albums without seeing them first hand. Also, the vendors usually have quite a variety of products which inspire ideas and sales opportunities. Finally, the vendor reps are really helpful - there's always some details you've wanted to know and this is the perfect environment for talking with the vendor directly. One more thing happens during this social time - a print competition. APPA members bring prints of their latest and greatest work for other APPA members to vote on. One of the big secrets of photography is that the best photographers don't put their best work on-line - they print it for competition. This is one of those rare opportunities to see the best and most recent work from some of Austin's top working photographers.
Next up in the meeting is dinner. Okay, so it's Holiday Inn food but it's generally pretty good. This meal time provides the opportunity to extend the conversations you started during the social time. When dinner is done, the APPA takes about fifteen minutes to cover announcements and organizational business. They also announce the print recipients at this time - so you can see which prints the local pros think are the best.
Most of the meeting time is dedicated to a speaker. These speakers cover a variety of topics yet, in general, these topics fall into two categories - how to make better images and make money at it. For example, let me tell you about the speaker at a meeting earlier this year, Jenny Hollis. Admittedly, before attending this meeting, I had never heard of Jenny Hollis. Well, just Google her and you'll see that she's quite a powerhouse with tons of credits. Jenny spent time covering how she builds amazing sets to get people into her studio. This was great but what was really amazing was the information Jenny shared on an idea she had for making money during her slow time of year. Jenny said that mid-February was absolutely dead in her studio so she cooked up an idea to try to get people into her studio. She explained how she offered 10-minute sessions for $10 using only white seamless paper as a set - and booked $10,000.00 of business in one day! One of the veteran photographers in the audience remarked, "that's the best idea I've heard in 25 years!" This is the type of information you won't find on-line, in books, in seminars or in videos - you have to meet people like Jenny in-person. I'll also add the Jenny was one of the nicest people you'd ever meet - she made it a point to personally introduce herself to each person prior to the meeting, answer every question during her presentation and stay after the meeting was concluded to cover any last questions.
The next APPA meeting is coming up on Monday, Novemer 12, and it should be another great one. As I mentioned above, the APPA is hosting Suzy Roberts-Fulton who will be presenting on "Senior Sessions: From Shooting to Selling". If you shoot - or want to shoot - seniors then you know that TriCoast has been extremely successful in this area and Suzy will share how she helped build this business.
To find out more about this event and to RSVP, visit http://www.austinppa.com. The RSVP deadline is Friday, November 9, so don't delay - hope to see you there!