Summer 2018 Issue of Focus Oregon. Oregon Professional Photographers Association Quarterly Magazine - A PPA Affiliate



Mark Fitzgerald, M. Photog., Cr.




President - Lisa Dillon

M.Photog.Cr., CPP, FP-OR,

PPA Councilor 2013-2021

Vice President - Sam Tarrel

M.Photog.Cr., CPP, FP-OR, CPP Liaison

Immediate Past President - Aaron Hockley

Cr.Photog., FP-OR

Secretary - Bryan Welsh

M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, FP-OR,

PPA Councilor, 2016-2021, CPP Liaison

Treasurer - Aaron Hockley

Cr.Photog., FP-OR

Bylaws, Rules, & Ethics - Bryan Welsh

M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, FP-OR,

PPA Councilor, 2016-2021, CPP Liaison

Connie Mintz

Competition - Rekha Varghese

Education - Raj Sarda


Marketing & Communications - Julie Countryman

Member Value - Nancy Steele


Director at Large - Alexis Dowdle


3 Presidents Message

4 Fees and Licensing

6 Salmon Pin

7 Mentorship

8 Awards Overview

9 Northwest Cup

10 Cobalt Studios PDX

13 5 Tips for Instagram

15 Selling With Emotion

18 Luminate 2018

20 Shooting Manual Focus

22 Mirrorless VS DSLR

23 Cover Photo



Published by the

Oregon Professional Photographers Association

14925 SW Barrows Rd.

Ste. 109 #501

Beaverton, OR 97007

Send editorial queries to:

Lisa Dillon

Magazine Designer: Julie Countryman

Editors: Julie Countryman, Lisa Dillon, Alexis Dowdle

Contributors: Lisa Dillon, Alexis Dowdle, Tracy Page,

Steve Whittaker, and Christine Yodsukar.



Lisa Dillon, President

Another FOCUS: Oregon issue is at hand. We thought we’d spend some magazine real

estate this time around explaining some of the great things about OPPA that people

might not know about, including an overview of two new things we’re rolling out this

year—the Northwest Cup and the Salmon Pin. We are shining a spotlight on our newest

Vendor Partner, Cobalt Studios PDX, a wonderful resource for our members and the

location of Luminate 2018. And speaking of Luminate—hold the phone! There’s a quick

overview of what to expect this year for Luminate—dates, speakers, pre-event classes

and more! And in case you’re wondering what OPPA is doing with Mentorship, there’s an

article that covers the upcoming mentorship speed-dating event at Lagunitas Brewery


We have some guest contributors as well—ASMP President Steve Whittaker shares

some useful information on commercial photography bids and contracts and Christine

Yodsukar gives some useful information on Selling With Emotion in preparation for her

class on July 25th.

If you’re in the market for a new camera or perhaps you’ve been wondering how a

mirrorless camera stacks up against a DLSR, we’ve got an article for you comparing the

two different systems to help you decide what is best for you and your needs.

And last but not least, we’re exploring the world of Instagram—are you using it for your

business? These tips will help you make the most of your time there. I know that I haven’t

been using Instagram to its greatest potential but I’m feeling better equipped to use it


Thanks for taking some time to read through our magazine—and if you’d like to be a part

of our magazine team (or be a contributing writer), email me at president@oregonppa.

org. There’s a Salmon Pin point in it for you!


President, OPPA


Fees and


Rising Above That Downward Spiral

By Steve Whittaker |

Commercial photography has a very different level of pricing and licensing from real

estate, portrait or wedding photography. Each market segment is different and gaining

an understanding of that proper licensing is a key factor.

Unfortunately, too many photographers are undercharging and may not be aware of the

value of their images or the lost revenue stream they could have had.

Those actions create a downward spiral of pricing. By undercutting each other and transferring

their copyright to clients, just to stay competitive, they are on a race to the bottom. Who


Case in point: “real estate” photographers have a specific value

to the residential real estate market. They are licensing only to

the realtor with a very limited usage. When those same “real

estate” rates are applied to the commercial or architectural

photographic markets, too many emerging photographers

are charging a fraction of what they should be and might be

including their intellectual property as part of the contract.

That action allows the realtor to potentially transfer that usage

and let others profit from the photographer’s work such as the

architect, the builder, the owner, etc. When that copyright is

transferred to a client, any future potential income from the

images the photographer created is lost from that revenue

stream and once you have given it away, it’s gone. The same

issue is evident with retail photography such as portrait, event

and wedding photographers crossing over to the commercial



Some clients are not willing to change and

at that point, it’s up to the photographer to

decide what is in their best interest and focus

on finding clients that are willing to pay for the

value we create.

It’s important to create

a higher standard in

our profession. During

tough economic times,

the temptation to

charge below your true

profit margin just to get

the assignment is there.

Downward pressure

is very real. Especially

if the client keeps

demanding more each

time, pays less and the

precedent is set for future expectations.

Learning how to negotiate both fees and terms

that are in your best interest as a commercial

photographer is a key factor in staying in

business. Turning down unreasonable demands

can take courage but it is just part of doing

business. The key factor is finding common

ground where both parties can agree to with

responsible terms and conditions.

You can find that information at seminars and

on-line through professional photographic

associations such as PPA or ASMP -

American Society of Media Photographers:

Pricing software such

as Cradoc software,

fotoQuote: www.




or books such as

Best Practices for

Photographers by John

Harrington: https://

Steve is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, moved to the Portland area

in 2013 and covers local, regional and national assignments. His assignments

cover everything from aerials, life style, and interior spaces to illuminating the

exterior surfaces and interior space of buildings for dramatic dusk images.

His clients include architects, interior designers, advertising agencies, graphic

designers, construction, hospitality, editorial and corporate direct clients.

Steve is currently President of ASMP Oregon, served two terms as an ASMP

National Director and is a past President of the ASMP Northern California

Chapter. He encourages both emerging and practicing photographers to get

involved as advocates in promoting best practices in business and in advocacy

to further the interests in professional photography.


Salmon Pin

By Lisa Dillon, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, FP-OR

Hello OPPA members! We have an exciting new program for everyone called the OPPA Salmon Pin.

What is the Salmon Pin, you ask? Well, it’s a representation of your participation in OPPA events

and competitions in a single year. To earn a Salmon Pin, you’d need to acquire 12 Salmon Pin Units

in one calendar year. You can earn these units for attending paid workshops and classes, entering

competition, and volunteer service. In fact, you’ll need at least one unit in each area to qualify. To

track your Salmon Pin Units, you’ll click here to download your Salmon Pin Passport. Bring this to any

and all OPPA events to get a stamp or a sticker for participating and helping out. Any workshops,

competitions or volunteer service you rendered this calendar year (even back to January) is eligible

for inclusion. Bring your passport to a meeting and I’ll personally fill it up for you based on your

activity. At the end of the year—before November 15th—you’ll need to apply for your Salmon Pin.

Applications will be reviewed and pins will be distributed at the Member Appreciation Banquet in


So how do you get Volunteer Service units? There’s LOTS of opportunity for that. Here are some of

the things you can do—but this list is not exhaustive—any service you render may qualify. If you have

questions, talk with a board member to find out.

• Formal set up/tear down NWP

• Committee Service

• Board Service

• Temp. Committee Service

• Speaker Host

• Gift Bag Coordinator

• Luminate Volunteer

• Mentorship or Student Participation

• Class Instructor

• Magazine Article Writing

• New Member Packet Mailing

• Above and Beyond Recognition

You may be wondering what Above and Beyond Recognition is. That’s when a board member

recognizes that an OPPA member has made an extraordinary contribution to the running of OPPA

and deserves extra recognition for that. It may or may not be granted in any given year but the

opportunity is there for the taking.

I hope to be one of the inaugural Salmon Pin recipients. I’ve already printed out my Salmon Pin

Passport and I’m filling it up! Get busy and get your 12 units so you can stand with me at the banquet!

Remember, OPPA is what *you* make of it—so make it great while you earn your OPPA Salmon Pin.



It’s a Member Benefit!

Hey OPPA members—did you know that our Mentorship Program is a benefit

of membership in our awesome organization? We are kicking it off this year with

an awesome social event at the Lagunitas Community Room in Portland! Come

on out for pizza and beer and sit down with different mentors who are eager to

meet you. This will be a speed-dating-style event that gives you the opportunity

to interview different mentors in short intervals, and spend the rest of the time

socializing with your peers

and colleagues while

enjoying delicious pizza and

Lagunitas beer! If you’ve

wanted to the opportunity

to learn from the best in

the industry, now is your

chance! Our mentorship

event is shaping up to be

a fantastic time. You’ll have

the opportunity to sit down

in person with some of the

best photographers the

Northwest has to offer, and

if you hit it off, you’ll get a

3-month mentorship with

them to soak up as much

knowledge as you can!

Remember, tickets are $5

for pre-registration but if

you wait, it’s $10 at the door

(so don’t wait!). AND your admission price includes pizza and your first drink.

Each beer after that is $5. Click here to register now and we’ll see you on the

22nd. We are very excited to host this event and look forward to seeing you at

Lagunitas on July 22 from 5-8pm!

Note: While you don't need to attend the

mentorship speed-dating event to participate

in the mentorship program, preference will be

given to those who attend for match-ups with

their desired mentor.


Awards Overview

By Lisa Dillon, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, FP-OR

In October, we will begin taking applications for two very special awards named for beloved

past members of our parent organizations, PMPA, PPO as well as OPPA. If you know someone

who fits the bill on either of these awards, keep your eyes peeled for the email that announces

when applications are open.

These awards are given annually at our Member Appreciation and Awards Banquet. One of these

awards honors someone who exemplifies the spirit of our organization and the other honors a

member who exemplifies the spirit of mentoring. Both of these awards recognize a member who

truly gives back to the community. You can nominate yourself or someone else for these awards.

Jerry Auker was passionate about providing photography services to the Muscular Dystrophy

Association. For at least 7 years, he photographed all the children and their counselors at the

MDA Camp they attended and provided prints of the images he captured on the last night of

camp. He used his photography to bless the lives of others. The Jerry Auker Community Service

Award is presented to the member deemed to have contributed the most significant amount of

photography related value (services or physical assets) to community service during the year.

The Bob & Arlene Welsh Mentorship Award is presented to the member deemed to have

contributed the most significant amount of time and willingness to mentor others in their

photography during the year. Bob was well known as a teacher and mentor to young and aspiring

photographers throughout his professional life, passing that legacy down to his children, one of

whom is an OPPA board member, Bryan Welsh. It was important to the whole Welsh family to

give back and be part of something greater than themselves.

In addition to these special awards, OPPA offers an award to the Member of the Year. This

award recognizes a member who is active in providing service to OPPA through teaching or

participating on committees, who attends workshops and enters competitions. Only non-board

members are eligible to receive this award.

For years, OPPA has presented image competition awards based in entries in the Members

Only competitions (Photographer of the Year and Division Awards—Best Portrait Photographer,

Best Illustrative/Commercial Photographer, Best Landscape/Nature Photographer) and also on

the Annual Open Image Competition (Best Portrait, Best Landscape/Nature, Best Illustrative/

Commercial, Best Black and White, Best Color, etc.). But this year, we are adding five new awards

called the “Elements Awards” to the Annual Open Image Competition. These awards

celebrate five of the twelve elements of a merit image: Impact , Composition, Creativity,

Technical Excellence, and Storytelling. These images will be awarded to five different images

that score an 80 or above in the Open Competition. Judges will we looking specifically at

how the images embody these elements and will choose the one that best exemplifies each of

these characteristics. I hope you’re as excited about these new awards as I am! We will have the

opportunity to reward images that might not otherwise be recognized for their fulfillment of a

single aspect of the twelve elements.


Northwest Cup

By Lisa Dillon, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, FP-OR

You’ve all heard of the World Photographic Cup, right? Just last month, Team USA won

the WPC when the judging occurred in Australia. Well, here in the Pacific Northwest,

we thought that a little friendly competition sounded fun so in the spirit of regional

camaraderie (and state pride!), OPPA has joined forces with the Professional Photographers

of Washington (PPW) and the Professional Photographers of Idaho (PPId) to participate

in an Image Competition called the Northwest Photographic Cup. Each state will select a

team of images/participants to represent that state in the competition. OPPA will use the

3 highest-scoring images in each category as our state’s slate of entries. All 27 images (9

from each state) will be judged as part of the November Annual Open Image Competition

at Luminate. The judging panel consists of jurors from outside Oregon, Washington and

Idaho for maximum fairness.

Besides bragging rights, there are prizes to be won! At the end of the competition,

each state’s images will be tallied and the highest aggregate score will be the Winning

State. The maker of the highest scoring image in each of the three categories will receive

a lapel pin and a check for $75. Second and third place in each category will also be

announced and awarded a ribbon. The single image with the highest score will be the

Individual Winner of the NW Photographic Cup and will receive an additional $200 in

prize money and a lapel pin. Prize money has been generously donated by one of our

OPPA Sponsors, Howard Burkholz of Allstate Insurance.

What does this mean for you? Well, it means that anyone who enters the Members-Only

images competition in the 3 categories (Portrait, Commercial/Illustrative, Landscape/

Nature) is eligible for selection. It also means that if you think you have what it takes

to be one of the top three, you MUST enter one of our Members-Only competitions—

there’s one in June and the last one in September. We will also consider images that were

entered in the March competition for inclusion in the NWC.

As always, images will be judged using the Twelve Elements of a Merit Image and using

the same scoring system as in place at IPC. Get your images ready and go forth and




Cobalt Studios


By Lisa Dillon, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, FP-OR

It was already a sunny 75 degrees on Saturday

morning when I met up with Sam Tarrel to

tour Cobalt Studios PDX on SE Clinton Street

in Portland. We were met at the cobalt blue

door (see what they did there?) by owners

Bill Linn and his wife Tammy. Bill has shoulderlength

hair and sported bare feet (to protect

the floor of the cyc wall) and was hustling to

prepare the studio for an upcoming hip-hop

artist shoot that afternoon. He ushered us

into the small but nicely appointed lobby. The

lobby is the scene for rotating artist displays

but was between displays when we visited.

Cobalt Studios PDX is a full-service, rentalonly

studio in the inner SE area, just over the

Ross Island Bridge, off Division. What makes Cobalt Studios unique is the level of service and the

tremendous bang you get for your rental buck. The space is divided up into three main areas for

shooting. Upstairs there is a boudoir

space complete with a lovely bed and

night stands, and a flexible newborn

area with dozens of props and

blankets to choose from as well as

a variety of backdrops and surfaces

to shoot on. Also included in the

upstairs area is a 6’ wide FOBA Dibre

shooting table for doing product

photography. When you rent the

product photography studio area,

the three Rotolight NEO 2 LED lights

come as part of the package giving

you continuous light with adjustable

color temperature from 3150K to



Located under the boudoir studio

is the spacious and well-equipped

dressing room. For added security,

the closet is large enough to change

clothes in giving any occupant a

double layer of protection from prying

eyes or accidental walk-ins. Inside the

closet, you’ll find an assortment of

fancy dresses and outfits from prior

shoots that are available for use.

The main part of the studio is broken

up into two sections. From the door,

if you turn to the left, you’ll see the

natural light stage with a bead-board

wall and simulated paned windows for natural

(or faux-natural) light use. When the weather is

warm, the garage door can be lifted to give you

true natural light but when it is dark or raining,

you can simulate window light with a beauty dish

behind the window wall. There is also a claw-foot

tub available for use there (or anywhere in the

main studio area). A rolling wall with corrugated

tin on one side and graffiti on the other side can

be moved to various locations around the space.

Directly in front of the door is a reclaimed wood

wall with mirrors, lights and adjustable beauty

salon chairs for use by hair and makeup artists.

But the best part is that the entire beauty bar

can be disassembled quickly to allow use of

the reclaimed wood wall behind the mirrors.

Everything in this space does double (or triple!)


Off to the right is

the largest part of

the studio—there’s

a massive 20’ wide x

16’ deep x 13’ high

pure white infinity

cyc (cyclorama) wall,

multiple bays with

seamless paper and a

bay with a 14’ wide matte black backdrop option.

There is also a mobile green screen option. The

space is huge—you can comfortably use a 200mm

lens in the space without having to hug the back

wall. There are V flats, booms, reflectors, free

WiFi and a tethering dock and external monitor

(Mac only). The spacious main studio offers 360

degrees of shooting possibility. It is so large, in

fact, that recently one photographer wheeled a

race car through the garage door and onto the

white cyc wall space for photographing. There is

also a stair case in the corner that is suitable for

shooting. The mezzanine office area allows you a

different vantage for shooting from as well.

Bill enthusiastically showed off his space,

describing how everything is movable and

changeable so that the space can be easily

customized for each customer. What makes

Cobalt Studios so unique, he tells me, is the level

of service you get for

your rental dollars. He

invites first time renters

to come in early—

either days before the

session or on the day

of the session to learn

how to use the space

and to get familiar with


Cobalt Studios


the lights. There are lots of lights available for

use as well as triggers and modifiers and gels

of all sorts. Or you can bring your own gear if

you’d prefer or use natural light. There is always

someone on-hand during rental hours (and the

rental hours are almost around the clock) and at

the end of your session they clean up after you!

Not many rental studios give you that level of


Coming most recently from a background in

advertising and public relations, Bill cut his

teeth on photojournalism in the SF Bay area

in the 80s. His first love is and always will be

black and white storytelling photojournalism.

Bill’s eyes sparkled as he regaled us with stories

of his salad days in San Francisco shooting for

the AP and San Jose Mercury News, among

other news outlets. He sequed from that

into marketing/PR/advertising and spent the

majority of his work life doing that until he sold

his business in 2017. He said he woke up on

December 27th, 2017 and said to his wife “I

want to build a rental photography studio in

Portland.” And thus, Cobalt was born. Bill and Tammy like to give back to the photography

industry as well and open their studio at no charge to nonprofit photography organizations

like OPPA and local meetup groups and camera clubs. They are giving us the studio for two

full days in November to host our Luminate event at no charge!

At the end of our tour, Enkay 47, a hip hop artist from Salem, came in for his publicity session.

It was fun to talk with him and learn about his music and his plans for the future. And as a good

host should, Bill and Tammy began getting things set up for the upcoming shoot. We said our

goodbyes and walked out into the blinding sun and promise of a beautiful Saturday, excited

about all the possibilities before us, both individually and for OPPA, now that we know we

have a resource like Cobalt Studios PDX right in our own backyard.

As a vendor partner, Bill is offering OPPA members a discount code for a free hour of rental

at Cobalt Studios PDX. Watch your OPPA email for that code and specific details on how to

use it.


Cobalt Studios PDX is located at

1030 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202


Instagram Tips

for Photographers

By Alexis Dowdle

Guy Kawasaki, a marketing specialist and Silicon Valley venture capitalist said this

of social media, “A large social media presence is important because it’s one of

the last ways to conduct cost-effective marketing. Everything else involves buying

eyeballs and ears. Social media enables a small business to earn eyeballs and ears.”

As a relatively new photographer I realized that I needed to understand social media

and more specifically Instagram and how other photographers use Instagram to build

their businesses and brands. What sets their accounts apart from others and how do

these things contribute to their success? I was able to ascertain 5 things I could borrow

from these photographers that made their accounts stand out.

1. Create a Consistent Look

The accounts that were organized, polished, and consistent were the ones that

stood out. In order to create this consistent look you need to ask yourself, “What

is my aesthetic?” “What colors do I like and want to feature in my work?” “What

filters or presets can I use to achieve this consistency?” Many photographers will

also use planning apps such as Planoly or Unum in order to see in advance what

photos will look good next to one another in Instagram’s grid system.


2. Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a powerful marketing tool. According to, “Hashtags

make your content discoverable and put you in front of users you may have never

successfully targeted.” It can also help you target more of the type of business you

want. For example if you are a wedding photographer based in the Northwest and you

want to travel. You might use hashtags such as #destinationweddingphotographer

or #californiaweddingphotographer or #portlandweddingphotographer, etc. This

lets other users to find you and lets them know you are open for travel to certain



3. Post Regularly

The really successful accounts create and post content consistently. Many photographers

will plan when to post photos, captions, and hashtags in advance. This helps you to gain

new followers, and allow those who have been following you to get to know you. Then

once you’ve created a following people will tag and repost your content.

4. Follow and You Shall Be Followed

If you follow accounts that you love and that inspire you, you will be followed in return.

Clients will follow you, you will follow them and that cycle continues. This goes along

with engaging with those who follow you. Tag people, respond to comments, reply

to messages, ask questions, and so on. This will solidify your following and show your

clients especially, that they are a priority.

5. Post Only the Type of Work That You Want More Of

I learned this while listening to an Instagram live (often a live Q&A or free education

session) put on by a photographer whose work I admire. This photographer has 24.4

thousand followers. She said “Only post the type of work that you want more of.” This

advice is key to building your brand and attracting the kind of business and clients that

you are most interested in and that fuels your creative fire.

I hope this helps you in your endeavors to build your businesses and not just buy, but “earn

those eyeballs and ears.”


Selling With


How I Built My $4100 Portrait Session Sales Average

By Christine Yodsukar

titled my article with my portrait

I session sales average to grab

your attention. I want you to see

that number and get excited.

I also want you to know that as

much as I like to refer to myself

as a unicorn, when it comes to

having great sales numbers, I

am in fact one of many. There

are many photographers in our

industry selling pieces of art

to their clients and being paid

thousands of dollars for it.

I never would have believed me

though. Back in January of 2016, I

had a one month old newborn and

I shut down my luxury wedding

photography business to open a Portrait

Studio that focuses on getting amazing

artwork in my clients lives. I had never sold

artwork to a portrait client before, so you

can imagine that I would never dream of

averaging $4100 per session. It is possible,

and I want you to know that you can do it

too. I want everyone to have a killer sales

average. I want my 1 on 1 photography

coaching clients on the east coast to have

an amazing sales average, and I want

the photographer with a studio down

the street from me to have a killer sales

average. By reading this article, you’ll be

one step closer to reaching that goal, and

if you come to my Half Day Workshop with

OPPA in July, you’ll have all of the tools

and strategies I use with my clients. Even if

your current sales average is zero, you can

start the very next day.

As you read, my sales average used to

be zero. When my husband and business

partner Rich and I had our son in December

2015, we realized our business was

changed, because we were changed. The


Selling With


extremely long life-span of wedding clients,

along with the stresses of serving the luxury

wedding client was weighing on our souls.

We both enjoyed our video and commercial

production so much more because of the

relaxed nature of working with our clients in

controlled environments, and this led me to

decide to stop taking weddings and open a

Portrait Studio at the drop

of a hat. Was this insane?

Yes. Was it necessary for our

happiness? Also, yes.

I spent months learning

sales. I read some of my

favorite books during this

time, like Never Split the

Difference by Chris Voss and

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by

Gary Vaynerchuck, and I also

studied both in person and

online with Steve Saporito.

He teaches sales specifically

for photographers, and I was

able to take a lot from his

methods and meld it with my

techniques and strategies as

I developed them.

My first sale was also a huge

lesson for me. In the end,

the total sale was just shy of

$15,000. I didn’t even photograph anything

for it. What I did do, however, had a much

bigger impact on the final sale. I served my

client. I listened to him. I gave him what he

wanted. All too often, we as photographers

try to photograph what we want; the epic

skies, the three-light setups. Those things

are amazing and beautiful, but are they what

are meaningful to our clients? They aren’t

meaningful to mine, and I used to spend a lot

of time setting up those lights and paying my

editor for sky replacements. So what did my

client want? He wanted to honor his father.

This particular client called because he

wanted someone to photograph the stunning

murals his father had painted in each of the

children’s rooms growing up. These murals

were intricate floor to ceiling frescos that

mean the world to these now adult children,

and the home was about to be torn down,

taking the father’s art with it. Despite my

fear of doing this for the

first time, I told my client

that we would not only

photograph his treasured

art, but that we would

create stunning custom

artwork that he could hang

in his home, and then pass

onto his children someday.

He loved this idea, and

the first time I quoted him

(or anyone) $1500 for a

single piece of art, I nearly

passed out saying it. There

was a long pause. And then

he responded, “OK.” That

‘OK’ gave me permission

to move past the numbers

and simply serve him the

way I knew how.

Following that phone call,

we hired a photographer

local to him to photograph

the murals, and then we prepared the photos

for the Design Consultation. As my husband

Rich and I sat at our computer during the

Virtual Design Consultation we watched the

client add piece after piece of art. After

the total came to just under $10,000 (the

remaining $5,000 was sold days later via

another Virtual Design Consultation), and the

client once again said the infamous, “OK”,

Rich and I closed the chat window, turned to

one another with our jaws on the floor, high

fived, and said, “We can do this!”


What is it that I learned from this $15,000

session that I didn’t even shoot? It’s not

about me, it’s about them. These murals

mean so much to this client that he wanted

to fill his home with them and make sure he

had something to pass onto his children in

memory of their grandfather. These murals

mean so much to this client because they

embody his father. These murals mean so

much to this client that he paused the demo

and sale on the house until he could get

them photographed and printed (yes, he

waited until the artwork was printed before

he allowed the demo crew in). They mean so

much to him that he invested in them.

People invest in things that bring value into

their lives. This session was such a huge

lesson to me because the value was already

built in. I didn’t have to do the work beforehand

of rekindling a relationship or reminding

them why they wake up each morning. All

I had to do was provide a tangible way for

them to celebrate what they already valued.

So how do we translate this into our family

and couples sessions? We find the value, and

we photograph that.

Finding the value in our clients lives takes a

great deal of skill and experience. You need

to be intentional and also open to anything

at the same time. You need to listen without

influencing while simultaneously guiding.

You need to be empathetic, but you also

need to remain the leader. In order to

provide the kind of value that changes our

clients lives, you need to understand what

they want and what they need, and give that

to them. This is how you sell with emotion,

and this is how I built my Portrait Session

sales average to $4100. I focus on each and

every client and what they need most. I know

how I can provide that value and I give them

the opportunity to invest in it. The reason

I believe they invest the amount they do is

because they aren’t investing in me at all,

they are investing in themselves and what

matters most to them.

You can learn how I take my clients through my

Portrait Experience, as well as my thoughts

on opening yourself up to accepting large

amounts of money in my Half Day Workshop

with OPPA on July 25th at ProPhoto in

Portland, Oregon. You will walk away not

only ready to change your clients lives, but

with tangible steps and strategies to do so. I

hope to see you there, and I hope this article

has given you excitement that you can do

this too.

Christine Yodsukar hails from Boston and currently splits her work/live/play time between

Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, and the rest of the world. Along with her husband

and business partner, she took her photography business from $100 weddings to a six

figure income in just three years. You can see her frequently on WEtv, and Photography

magazines like Rangefinder and Shutter as a wedding and portrait photography expert.

She is passionate about teaching others to grow their businesses so they too can live their

happiest life.


Let There Be Light—LUMINATE 2018

Is your photography business all you want it to be? Are clients pounding down your door?

Are you satisfied with the level of work you are producing? Do you want to stretch yourself

and expand your abilities as a photographer? Then LUMINATE is the place for you! What?

You’ve never heard of Luminate? Luminate is Oregon’s premier photographic competition

and education event and it will be held at Cobalt Studios PDX on SE Clinton Street on

November 10-11.

Running a business is a complex! There are a many moving parts with dozens of internal

and external factors that affect each part. LUMINATE can help. With the guidance from

nationally recognized speakers Bob Coates, M.Photog. Cr, CPP and Tracy Page, M. Photog,

Cr. CPP you can learn new skills and ideas to make your business sing. Classes are held

Sunday, November 11, 2018.

Bob’s class is called “Personal Projects—Why, How and How to Make

Money by Doing Them,” and he describes it this way: You got into

photography because you liked it. Enjoyed the challenge of creating

new images… Then you turned it into a business and photography

wasn’t quite as much fun anymore. Marketing, sales, building websites,

printing, framing, retouching started to suck the joy right out of your

life. Personal Projects can get you juiced again and help your business

too! Bob will show you how he used these ideas to make photography

fun again and earn money while you are at it. This is a program of

creative ideas and techniques along with simple business marketing.

They go hand in hand to help put your business back on track to the

joy you first felt before you turned photography into a business.


Tracy’s class is called “The Secret Guide to the Entertainment

Headshot.” The Entertainment Industry in Portland is growing—more

and more shows are choosing to film and do business in Oregon which

means more and more actors are swelling our ranks and the one thing

they all need is a killer headshot. Tracy can guide you through the

vagaries of the Entertainment Headshot with her class. She describes

her class this way: You know you can nail a corporate headshot but

why are entertainment headshots such an unknown beast? Tracy will

teach you the secrets of what the industry expects for an actor or

entertainer for their most important marketing piece, their calling card,

their headshot. She’ll discuss how to find the right light, background,

posing and communication with the client as well as delivery of files.

November 10-11th

These two class are only half of Luminate—the

other half is the November Annual Open Image

Competition which takes place before the

classes! This is the big mack daddy competition

in Oregon and this year we are adding

something new—the Northwest Cup! If you’ve

been to our annual Member Appreciation and

Awards Banquet held each December, you’ve

seen the presentation of trophies for Best

Portrait, Best Black and White, Best Illustrative

Image, etc. These awards are selected from

the entries at the November Open Image

Competition. If you’ve been playing the game

all year, you’ve submitted your images to the

Members Only competitions and have curated

your best—top scoring—images to send to the

Open. Or perhaps you’ve decided to create

new images for the Open—that works too! And

remember that you can enter images that have

merited at IPC as well, as long as it was from

the current year (2018). There will be a full day

of judging on Saturday the 10th followed by a

celebration in the evening where we reveal the

Northwest Cup winners (and cash recipients!).

game. In this class, you’ll learn to better

understand Image Competition from the

judge’s side of the equation—learn how

scoring works, how to apply the 12 Elements

in critiquing an image, learn judging etiquette

and how to verbally critique an image in this

full-day judging class. You’ll learn how to

evaluate your own images (as well as others’

images) using the PPA Image Competition

standards. You’ll also learn what is new in the

process and better understand the IPCC rules

changes for the upcoming competition season.

Even if you aren’t interested in entering OPPA’s

Juror Development Program, this class will

help you with your own competition journey. It

will be held on Friday, November 9th at Cobalt


So mark your calendars now—we’ve got a

great line up and a great slate of classes for

you to become a better photographer, better

competitor and better business person. There’s

nothing else like it in Oregon! I’ll see you there.

For the first time ever, OPPA will be hosting

2 pre-event classes. The first is by renowned

landscape photographers Doug and Laura

Bennet. They hail from Colorado and have

much to share in the realm of landscape/fine

art photography. During the class, Doug and

Laura will share elements of photographic

craft and technique essential to landscape

photography and to making high quality large

landscape prints for high-end sales and for PPA

Competition entries. Doug will share techniques

to make your imagery communicate more, as

well as explore the unconscious psychological

factors that make for appealing landscape


The second pre-event class is by our own Bryan

Welsh and Lisa Dillon. It is called “Think Like a

Competition Judge” and it is for people who

are interested in becoming competition jurors

or who simply want to up their competition

Bob Coates


Shooting in

Manual Focus

for Complete Control

By Tracy Page, M. Photog, Cr. CPP

made the statement once that I had picked

I up an autofocus lens and suddenly did not

know what to do. I focused and composed

and the camera re-focused! What the

heck? It’s supposed to stay at where I put

it! Quite honestly I have now been shooting

completely on manual focus for the better

part of two years and I’m not sure I ever want

to go another way. The complete control

that I have creatively has made a substantial

difference in my work and workflow.

At this point, I am betting the majority of

you are mentally shaking your heads and

thinking, “nope, it’s not for me.” “Too much

work,” or “my eyesight would never allow

me to do that.” I am going to tell you the

secrets of how easy this is and hope that you

will try the world beyond auto-focus.

First let’s discuss some pros and cons. On

the auto-focus side, I found that more often

than not, I would focus on the eyelash

instead of the actual eye, making my images

an almost there shot. To remedy this, I was in

the habit of shooting at least three of every

image and hope that one of them would

be completely focused. I don’t do that any

longer. I am focused. Period. So that may

leave you thinking, “OK so you are focused,

but you can’t be fast and you probably

miss the moment.” No. I anticipate my

moments with how I have my camera set. If

I am shooting a toddler for example that is

moving around a little, I increase my depth

of field. Instead of missing moments, I find

that I take my time and better compose my

shots and then when I am in post, I have less

waste – both of images to go through and

my valuable time.

And then you might be tackling that thought

that your eyesight is not good enough to

manually focus each shot. First of all, until the

last maybe 15 or 20 years, that was how we

all worked. Our camera focus was manual.

And we captured beautiful images. You have


to let that go. And second, there are some wonderful tricks

of the trade with our newer camera systems that we didn’t

have when we were manually focusing 15 or 20 years ago.

So your camera is capable, and does actually, tell you when

your image is focused whether you are shooting on auto or

manually. Depending on the make/model of your camera,

in Nikon it is the two lower left and on Canon it is on the

lower right, you can check the focus. There is an indicator

light to tell you when you are focused within the focus style

you have chosen. I like to use spot focus and move my focus

point around just as I would if I were using an auto-focus

lens. When my focus point is indeed in focus, my camera

tells me. Once you get used to seeing that little point, it is

second nature to use it. This double-checks my eyes.

The second part of this equation is that I’m using lenses

that are designed to be manually focused. The Zeiss Milvus

and Otus line of lenses have very easy to grip and buttery

smooth focus rings and the focus is very easy to see through

the lens.

The result is that more of my images are in focus than when using autofocus and they are better

composed. My assistant spends less time culling images and I spend less time in post. The very

pleasant surprise for me was the boost in creativity that I experienced once I took complete control

of the images.

Tracy Page is one of the top headshot and portrait photographers in the Southeast for talent. She

specializes in working with actors, both children and adults, and has been recognized by LA based

acting coach Chambers Stevens as “one of the top headshot photographers for kids and teens

in Atlanta.” She is one of the preferred vendors for headshots for the best Southeastern agencies

including names like J. Pervis Talent, Houghton Talent, The People Store, Atlanta Models & Talent and

East Coast Talent. Her clients are repped by LA agents and managers such as Burstein & Co., CESD,

Carson Adler and Abrams. Among her clients are celebrities such as The Walking Dead’s Chandler

Riggs. She has clients had clients in hit network and cable TV shows and on Broadway.

Tracy is a graduate of The University of Georgia where she studied Fine Art, Advertising and Graphic

Design and is active with the Professional Photographers of America where she serves on several

committees and is recognized as a Craftsmen Photographer and a Certified Professional Photographer.

She has won multiple awards including the 2017 Best Portrait for the Southeastern Professional

Photographers Association. She proudly serves as an Ambassador for Zeiss Camera Lenses.



vs. DSLR

By Alexis Dowdle

Several months ago, OPPA was fortunate to have a man named Morgan Stonegrether

come and speak at OPPA’s monthly event “A Night with the Pros.” His topic was “How

to Become an Instagram Pro” but of all the great things he said, what stuck out to me the

most that night was “Your best camera is the one you have with you.” He then went on

to show us some stunning photographs that he took for the “Come See Turkey” tourism

event on his iPhone 4. This illustrated a point that as photographers we all know to be

true—that a camera does not a photographer make. Later in that same presentation he

said “Be prepared to be lucky.”

Certainly having the proper equipment for the job is part of those preparations. About six

months ago I was ready to prepare to be lucky by upgrading my own equipment. When

I went into Pro Photo Supply, I told the salesman I wanted to look at a Canon 5D Mark

III and a Canon 5D Mark IV—both very solid, full-frame, DSLR cameras. He let me look

at those and then said, “What about this?” He proceeded to put a Sony A7rII in front

of me and explained that this was a mirrorless camera. The question today isn’t “Which

DSLR should I buy? ”it’s “Should I buy a DSLR or a mirrorless camera?” For the purpose

of this article I will be using the Sony alpha series since that’s the one I was considering

in my own use. I want to give a brief overview of what a mirrorless camera is and how it is

different from a DSLR camera.

So what does mirrorless mean? I’ll let Gannon Burgett of Digital Trends explain it rather

butcher the excellent explanation I received from the Pro Photo salesman. “The mirror

in a DSLR reflects the light up to the optical viewfinder. In a mirrorless camera, there is

no optical viewfinder. Instead, the imaging sensor is exposed to light at all times, giving

you a digital preview of your image either on the LCD screen or an electronic viewfinder

(EVF).” How are these cameras different besides for the obvious?

Electronic Viewfinder vs. Optical Viewfinder

In the Optical viewfinder you are viewing the scene in front of you, in the Electronic

Viewfinder you are viewing a screen that shows exactly what the image will look like

before you take it.


PRO: No more taking a picture in order to “test the light”

CON: This takes a while to get used to. It is a little disorienting at first,

but you can get used to it.

Because there is no mirror, this allows the camera to be significantly smaller than a DSLR.

In fact, when the Sony a7rII was put in front of me, I was struck by how small it was and

felt the need to verify that this was indeed a full frame professional camera. Up to that

point I had subscribed to the ideology that a bigger camera=a better camera. This is no

longer true.



This used to be a major issue with mirrorless cameras. According to Imaging, the Sony

a7rii “is rated for 340 shots per charge when using the LCD monitor and 290 shots when using the

electronic viewfinder.” Improvements have been made in the latest Sony a7riii whose battery is quoted

to have “approximately 2.2 times the capacity of its predecessor.” By contrast, on the Canon 5D Mark

III, the lithium ion rechargeable battery is good for “approximately 950 shots.” So this may make

people pause.

Lenses and Accessories

This is an area where the DSLR is the clear winner. DSLRs have been around for longer than mirrorless

cameras and as a result there are more lenses and accessories to choose from. Furthermore, you can

purchase DSLR lenses and accessories for less than the mirrorless equivalent. However, the mirrorless

camera lenses and accessories are catching up slowly but surely.


If 4K video is important to you, the mirrorless camera is for you. If you are fine with 1080p then a DSLR

is more than capable.


In general, the newest mirrorless cameras have a few features that

DSLR cameras do not. Features such as focus peaking, continuous

eye tracking, and silent shooting to name a few.

The verdict? OPPA board member, Bryan Welsh said it well when he

said, “I have both a mirrorless and DSLR kit and think its all about

using the correct tool for the job.” I ultimately had to choose one

or the other and I chose to go with a mirrorless camera. I bought

the Sony A7rIII. It came down to size and features for me. After all

my research, I also decided that mirrorless seemed like the future.

OPPA member Derrik Ollar, in a Facebook discussion on this very

topic, stated “In the last few years Sony has been growing into

the 500 pound gorilla of the camera industry. As a Canon shooter

personally for over three decades, I can say that unless Canon starts

playing the dynamic range game better, they will be the next victim

of Sony.” I didn’t even get into dynamic range in this article which

leads me to say, if you are in the market, continue to prepare to

be lucky by doing more research. There is a lot more to learn on

the subject. In an article on the subject of mirrorless vs. DSLR on, Phil Hall posed this question, “Since 2008 when the

first mirrorless camera came out...have mirrorless cameras done

enough to be genuine DSLR rivals or, more to the point, are they

already better?” It’s up to you to decide. For me the answer was


Alexis Dowdle is an emerging photographer who is passionate about wedding and milk

bath photography, and being a mom. She is currently on the board of directors as the

Director at Large aka the go-to gal for whatever needs to be done.



Many thanks to our sponsors for their support of OPPA

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to see our exclusive members only offers.

Not a member? JOIN TODAY!


Rise and Shine

Portland’s scenic cityscape is most often seen and photographed from the east with

the Willamette River in the foreground. For this shot I wanted to shoot it from the

west to show a more atypical view from with the foothills of the Cascade mountains

in the background and Mt Tabor, an extinct volcano rising in the middle ground. My

goal was to shoot this at sunrise as the city was waking up for a workday. I had to wait

for just the right morning with just the right sunrise. There aren’t many places to get

this view due to trees and shrubs along Vista Drive so I ended up sticking my lens

through the gate of a private residence to get this open view. This is a three-shot HDR

image shot on a Canon 5D Mii and processed in Photomatix Pro and Lightroom.

Mark Fitzgerald, M.Photog., Cr.







OPPA Mentorship Event





Quarterly Image Competition

Selling With Emotion

How I Built My $4100 Portrait

Session Sales Average





Photoshop - Retouching and

Color Grading Techniques

OPPA Summer Social





The Fine Art of Printing

Video for Photographers





Inside the Competition Workflow


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