INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Meet Your Executive Team
8 10 Gadget Girl
California Business & Arts Degree
2020 PPC State Image Competition
Professional Photographers of California
Meet your Affiliates
18 California Worshops 20
Bucket List -
22 Meet your Affiliates
2019 WCS - Tha’s A Wrap!
www.prophotoca.com Summer 2019
A Message From the Editor
This Summer 2019 is our 4 th issue of Pro Photo West Magazine since we brought it back for you. I cannot
believe it has been a whole year!!!!
First of all, let me thank all of you - for participating, proofing, viewing, reading and sharing. Without you, this
would not have happended. On that note, we still need your help. We are always looking for articles. It doesn’t
necessarily have to be photography related, How about a great recipe, or a quick photo hack? Send them in! We
will have all the publishing information on the PPC website in the very near future. If you have any questions
please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that you can earn PPC Service Merits if your article is published? How cool is that! If you have an
article that you would like to submit, send it to email@example.com.
Ok, so now it is time to get down to business. Here it is…this will be our last issue where advertising by any
vendor will be complimentary. Starting with our November first issue, we have set in place new advertising rates
for Pro Photo West Magazine.
Two Page Spread
These rates are per year and include ad placement in 4 issues per year. The advertiser must supply the ad(s) for
the year. Pro Photo West does not design advertisements. The advertiser may choose to run the same ad or
change per magazine issue. Ads must be submitted by the following ad deadlines and submitted to
October 1 for the November 1 issue
January 1 for the February 1 issue
April 1 for the May 1 issue
July 1 for the August 1 issue
I want to thank all of you who have participated in one way or another! With out you, this could not have been
ON THE COVER
Paul taken by Tim Meyer at West Coast School of Photography. Paul was one of the wonderful models at WCS. While
teaching his class, Tim took full advantage of Paul in his authentic western wear.
A Huge Thank You to Our Sponsors!
Your Support is Greatly Appreciated!
Pete Rezac, M.Photog.Cr, CPP,
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Jim Trapp, M.Photog.Cr, CPP
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
Diane Costello, M.Photog.Cr, CPP
Professional Photographers of California, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)6
trade association of professional photographers, employees, suppliers
and others allied to the profession. Professional Photographers of
California offers a variety of opportunities and benefits to its Members and
is one of the largest state affiliates of Professional Photographers of
America. Pro Photo West is the official publication of Professional
Photographers of California and is published quarterly for the purpose of
keeping Members informed of photographic information, news and
activities of the state. Subscription is included with Member dues.
Articles, with or without photographs, are welcome for review for inclusion
in this publication; however the Editor reserves the right to edit and use
articles on a space-available basis. Materials will not be returned unless a
postage paid envelope is provided. Letters and contributions must include
name, email and phone number. Send all communication, articles or
advertising to the Editor. Articles appearing in Pro Photo West reflect the
opinions of the writer. They do not necessarily represent those of the
Editor or Professional Photographers of California. Permission to reprint
contents of this magazine is granted to similar photographic publications,
provided the author, Professional Photographers of California and Pro
Photo West are credited as the source.
Tim Meyer, MFA, MA, M.Photog.Cr,
Robin Swanson, M.Photog.Cr, CPP,
F-PPC, S-PPC, CPA, CGMA
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Marcy Dugan, M.Photog.Cr, CPP, M-
PPC, F-PPC, S-PPC
Mel Carll, S-PPC
WEST COAST SCHOOL
David LaNeve, CPP
Professional Photographers of California
www.prophotoca.com Summer 2019 9
Greetings readers who are about to enjoy this
latest issue of ProPhoto West Magazine! I
hope this finds you all having a great summer
and getting ready for the busy fall season!
Thank you for taking time to enjoy our
magazine and hope the content provides you
some useful information and visual enjoyment!
by Robin Hilton Swanson
Are Your Smart Devices In Peril?
Let me tell you a little story about what recently happened to me and how you can learn from my
misfortune (I’m always happy to help).
A couple of weeks ago (and two days before I was to leave for Oregon) I dropped my iPad. Now, I’ve
dropped my iPad a few times and never had any damage. Not this time! The ironic thing is that I only
dropped it about 20” (I was showing a picture to my granddaughter). The problem was that it fell onto a
hard floor and struck the corner. I wasn’t even worried until I picked it up and turned it over and this is
what I saw…
UGH! I was devastated! Believe it or not, the iPad still worked; unfortunately, I couldn’t see anything in the
upper right quadrant of the screen and there was the minor problem of bloody fingers when I touched/
swiped the screen.
OK…I’m a “glass half full” kind of girl and I thought “No problem. I’ll just take it to the Authorized Apple
Repair store in my town that has repaired my iPhone screen several times.” I immediately called the store
(still thinking I could get it fixed before I left town in 2 days). That is when my “glass half full” began to leak.
The technician told me that it would cost $600.00 to repair and that I had to pay 50% before they could
even order the part. Yikes! Well, even though it was a lot of money, it was still cheaper than buying a new
Summer 2019 11
one (a top of the line 1TB iPad Pro with both data and wi-fi … you can do the math). Fortunately, before I
had a chance to go to the store and pay the deposit, a friend asked me if I had purchased AppleCare. I
answered “Yes! I always purchase AppleCare.” As it turned out, this was a REALLY GOOD THING
because what I didn’t realize is that AppleCare covers accidental damage. I took my shattered iPad to the
closest Apple Store where they instantly confirmed I had AppleCare (by running the serial number). The
“Apple Genius” took one look at my iPad and declared “Oh yeah…that screen is really shattered and the
aluminum chassis is also bent. We can’t fix it so we’ll just give you a new one”. Then, much to my
amazement, with no red tape or claims forms, I received a brand new iPad with exactly the same
specifications as my broken one. The total cost to me was $49.00 (which was the deductible on my
AppleCare). The frosting on the cake came when he also helped me restore my new iPad from the Cloud
backup I had made prior to going to the Apple Store. He also helped me erase all the data off my old iPad.
YAHOO! Thirty minutes after arriving at the
Apple Store I walked out with a brand new
iPad that was a clone of my broken one
(minus the damage).
So, what lessons did I learn from this
LESSON 1 - PROTECT YOUR DEVICES
The truth is, if my iPad was in a more
protective case, it probably would have
survived the fall. This holds true for all
tablets and smart phones. Get a case that
is going to absorb shock and protect the
corners of your device. That being said…
expensive is not always the best! I had an
official Apple Smart Keyboard Folio
($199.00). It was very slick and worked
seamlessly with the iPad Pro. The problem
was that the iPad attached to the folio
magnetically, therefore, when I tipped my
iPad backwards to show my Granddaughter
a picture, it detached from the case and fell to the floor. Also, there was no place to store my Apple Pencil.
Although the Apple Pencil attaches to the iPad magnetically (where it also charges), it easily falls off
making it prone to loss or damage. Before I left the Apple Store, I purchased a Logitech Slim Folio Pro
Case with Integrated Bluetooth Keyboard ($129.95). This Keyboard Folio is exactly what I needed. It
securely holds and protects my iPad; has a really nice backlit keyboard with the added bonus of a full row
of iOS shortcut keys; and last but not least, it has a place to store my Apple Pencil.
In retrospect, I could have avoided a lot of expense and inconvenience if I had taken the following things
into account when selecting cases for my smart devices:
CONSIDER THIS WHEN SELECTING A TABLET OR SMARTPHONE CASE:
a. Will the case absorb shock in case of a fall?
b. Does the case completely protect the corners with shock absorbing material?
c. Does your device also require protection from spills or water? Some smartphone & tablet
cases are waterproof.
d. Does your screen require additional protection from scratches and chips? (Consider buying
a case with an included screen protector)
a. Consider the ease/difficulty of opening and closing the case as well as
ease/difficulty of inserting and removing your device from the case.
b. Do you require a keyboard? Get a case that does double duty…Protects
and provides a keyboard.
c. Do you need the smart device to be detachable from the keyboard? Make
sure that your device is still protected when detached from the keyboard.
d. If you have an iPad Pro, make sure there is an open space in the case to
charge your Apple Pencil.
e. Check out the different keyboard layouts. If possible, type on the
keyboard to test for feel and spacing.
a. How much weight does it add to your device?
b. How much bulk does it add to your device?
c. Is the case aesthetically pleasing to you?
LESSON 2 - PROTECT YOUR DEVICES WITH A PROTECTION PLAN
Lucky me…I had AppleCare. This experience made me wonder, what other plans are out there for other
devices? As it turns out, there are a plethora of choices. Some are specific to a brand; i.e.
AppleCare for Apple devices; Device Protection for Pixels for Google devices; Moto Care for Motorola
devices; and Samsung Protection Plus for Samsung devices. Most of these plans are available at the
time of purchase. In addition, there are third-party Insurer Warranty Plans; i.e. SquareTrade, Mobile
Rhino, ProtectCell, GoCare, etc. These days, most retailers like Apple, Target, Best Buy, etc. will offer
some sort of protection/warranty plan when you buy tech devices. Before you say “NO”, find out how long
you have to make this decision. Usually you will have at least 30 days to make up your mind.
THINGS TO ASK/LOOK FOR WHEN COMPARING PROTECTION PLANS:
1. What is the term of the plan; One year, two years, etc.
2. When does the plan begin; Immediately or when the original manufacturer’s
3. What is the cost of the plan? Is it a one-time cost or is it a monthly charge?
4. How many and what type of devices are covered?
5. What does the plan cover?
a. Accidental damage (spills and drops)
b. Theft or loss
c. Mechanical damage
6. Does the plan include Tech Support?
7. Is there a deductible?
8. How easy/convenient is the claims process?
9. What is the turnaround time for repair or replacement?
10.Is there a claim limit?
a. How many times per plan period can you submit a claim?
b. Is there a dollar limit?
11. Eligibility window? How long do you have (after buying your device) to purchase
a protection plan?
12.Does the plan provide a new replacement device in case it is not repairable? If
so… Is the replacement a NEW device or a REFURBISHED device?
AND FINALLY…READ THE SMALL PRINT! (That is where they put the “other restrictions” clauses.)
IN CONCLUSION: Do yourself a favor! When you are investing those BIG BUCKS in smart phones
and tablets, spend a few more dollars to protect your new devices with a good case and a protection/
California Business & Arts Degree
Larry Skibiski, CPP, M-PPC
The Photographic Business & Arts Degree was established by the
Professional Photographers of California to encourage its members to
continue their professional education and to recognize those members
who have satisfied the requirements for the degree.
The degree program promotes success in the photographic profession
through a greater knowledge of both the technical and artistic aspects
of the photographic process, as well as the principles of marketing and
The degree is intended as an incentive for members of Professional
Photographers of California to pursue the education needed to
become successful in the business of professional photography.
Many of our members have completed the requirements and received
their degree and here is how you can too.
Successful completion of 300 hours of accredited education distributed
in the following three areas is required for the degree:
100 hours of Art (may including photographic printing,
transparency or negative enhancement, black & white or color
lab theory and/or practice, electronic imaging, etc.)
100 hours of Business (includes marketing, business
management, computers, public relations, business law,
accounting, economics, etc.)
100 hours of Camera (lighting, posing, etc.)
These courses can be taken at a professional photography school,
Degrees & Awards
community, state, or private college or university. Proof of the completion of these courses will be
accepted from PPC accredited courses with an accreditation form, copy of a PPA Merit Certificate
issued by the school, or a transcript from a college or university. Each applicants education is
individually evaluated by the Business and Arts Degree Committee for accuracy with hours credited
according to past practice.
HOW TO GET STARTED
A one-time application fee of $50 is required to apply for the Business and Arts Degree. Degree
applicants must be current members of PPC. Once an applicant has completed the requirements for the
degree, they will be awarded a certificate and medallion at the next annual PPC awards ceremony. For
each 100 hours of approved education a person completes beyond the initial requirements for the
degree, they will be awarded a “bar” to add to the ribbon. There are no continued fees beyond the initial
For more information and to receive an application, please email Larry Skibiski at
Summer 2019 19
BUCKET LIST - A PHOTO ESSAY
By John Grusd, M.Photog, M-PPC
There are always those “Bucket List” images that, given the opportunity, I have to attempt. They are the
iconic images that we’ve all seen and there are thousands of examples from thousands of photographers.
Think, “Tunnel View” in Yosemite, sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, sunset at Horseshoe Bend on
the Colorado River or in this case, the view through Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park.
You’re usually shoulder to shoulder with other photographers and you’re really just imitating the works of
others who photographed there before you. It’s hardly a solitary or unique endeavor. “So why bother?”, you
There are several reasons, really. Among them are that it’s fun and you still have to make it happen! It
becomes a sort of congenial affair among like-minded artists. We joke around, tell stories and give each other
tips while we wait (in this case) for the sun to rise. You have to be prepared for the challenge when the
moment (and the light) is right and there is a satisfying sense of accomplishment if (When!) you get a good
The main reason, at least for me, is that I always learn something. Copying the idea, in this case, is a great
way to learn. You have to put yourself in the mindset of those who came before. Creative considerations have
to be made. Technical adjustments still have to be completed on the fly by you. The conditions are never the
same and it’s not just Paint-by-Numbers. You can learn a lot! And in the end, you always put a little bit of
yourself into the final piece.
On this morning, the anticipated sunrise happened, disappointingly, behind a layer of clouds. People began to
pack up and leave. By waiting awhile longer however, there was a “second” sunrise as the sun peeked above
the offending clouds. I adjusted the height of the camera so that just a sliver of the sky would be visible
between the tops of the clouds and the bottom of the arch. It was all over in a matter of seconds. I probably
won’t return very soon to replicate this particular image but I’m extremely happy I was there for this one!
All Photographs © 2018 John Grusd Photography. All Rights Reserved.
A F F I L I A T E S H I G H L I G H T S
AVPP - All Valley Professional Photographers
CIPPA - Channel Islands Professional Photographers
GCPPA - Gold Coast Professional Photographers
IEPPV - Inland Empire Professional Photographers
PPLAC - Professional Photographers of Los Angeles County
PPOC - Professional Photographers of Orange County
PPSDC - Professional Photographers of San Diego County
PPSV - Professional Photographers of Sacramento Valley
HPP - Hispanic Professional Photographers
PPSCV - Professional Photographers of Santa Clara Valley
Professional Photographers of California
www.prophotoca.com Spring 2019 25
THE RACE IS ON
Above: Tim Mathiesen
”Gold Cup Winner”
It’s Photographic Image Competition!
The 2020 PPC State Photographic Image Competition will be held
Friday, October 11, 2019
VFW Hall, 2784 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95817
Registration opens September 1, 2019
Deadline to register and upload your images: Monday, October 7 at 9am Pacific Time.
Registration is open to anyone. Awards to PPC members only. Entry limit is 10 images.
For details: https://ppconline.com/membership/education/image-competition/
Follow us on Facebook for updates! https://www.facebook.com/ProfessionalPhotographersofCalifornia/
Previous Page: Larry Skibiski
“I’ve Got This”
Robin Swanson, CPA, CGMA
Many photographers are at a point where they need to decide whether they
should treat their photography income as a hobby or take the plunge and treat
it as a legitimate business. The three main considerations are:
1. How much income does your photography business generate?
2. What expenses do you incur in generating that income?
3. Are you engaging in the activity with the intention of making a profit?
IF IT IS A BUSINESS
In general, taxpayers may deduct ordinary and necessary expenses for
conducting a trade or business. An ordinary expense is an expense that is
common and accepted in the taxpayer’s trade or business. A necessary
expense is one that is appropriate for the business. Generally, an activity
qualifies as a business if it is carried on with the reasonable expectation of
earning a profit.
In order to make this determination, taxpayers should consider the following
• Does the time and effort put into the activity indicate an intention to make
• Does the taxpayer depend on income from the activity?
• If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s
control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?
• Has the taxpayer changed methods of operation to improve profitability?
• Does the taxpayer or his/her advisors have the knowledge needed to carry
on the activity as a successful business?
• Has the taxpayer made a profit in similar activities in the past?
• Does the activity make a profit in some years?
• Can the taxpayer expect to make a profit in the future from the
appreciation of assets used in the activity?
The IRS presumes that an activity is carried on for profit if it makes a profit
during at least three of the last five tax years, including the current year.
IF IT IS A HOBBY
Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) you could deduct Hobby expenses
up to the amount of income. This deduction was taken on Schedule A of your
personal income tax return (1040) as a miscellaneous itemized expense
subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income (AGI) deduction. THIS IS NO
LONGER THE CASE! Beginning in tax year 2018 and going forward to 2025,
the TCJA eliminated the miscellaneous itemized expense deduction from
Schedule A thereby eliminating the ability to deduct hobby expenses.
What does that mean for you? If your business is considered a hobby, then
you must report the gross income from the activity on your tax return but you
can no longer deduct the expenses you incurred in generating that income!
In conclusion, take a long, hard look at your photography business. Think about
the above considerations and how they relate to your situation. Just
remember, if you are charging for your services then chances are that some of
your clients may be treating your services as an expense on their tax returns.
So, whether you report the income as a business or as a hobby…make sure
that you report it!
Variations On Portrait Lighting
Tim Meyer, MFA, MA, M.Photog.Cr, CPP,
There are many approaches to portrait lighting. A very common contemporary technique
is called hatchet light. Normally this consists of a key light coming from the front of the
subject and two lights coming from behind creating accent lights on the sides of the face
and/or body. (See Figure 1.) This
technique seems like a new idea to
many, however, photographically
its roots can be traced to Edward
Steichen who used it extensively in
the early 1900's. Today, examples
of this lighting style can be found
in today's celebrity, beauty, sports,
and high school senior
photography, just to name a few.
In one of the advanced portrait
classes at Brooks, Power of the
Portrait, students are given the
assignment to take common portrait lighting
techniques and find and execute interesting, creative
variations on them. Included are some examples from
recent student work from this class.
Brooks student, William Navarro, produced the image
in Figure 2. By removing the key light from the
foreground of the image, while maintaining the hatchet
lighting coming from the sides, he created a theatrical,
mysterious interpretation of his subject. This lighting
technique can often be seen in current theater
productions or in cinematography. The famous image
by Arnold Newman, taken in 1963 of Nazi industrialist,
Alfried Krupp, used this technique which illustrated a
fearsome, demonic character.
In Figure 3, Dito Jati moved the edge lights forward on
the subject. Each light alone produced a split lighting
pattern on the face. Both lights combined produced a
lighting style that looks amazingly close to a
traditional frontal lighting style. Both lights are, however, coming from 90 degrees on
either side of the subject. There is a familiarity to the look, but this novel use of
lights results in a very different character than the normal frontal approach. Although
I have seen this style in contemporary
photographs, it appears to be a relatively
underutilized variation. (As a note, in this
particular image, Dito also added colored
edge lights and background lights.)
Nicole Copeland‐Perez created the final
image. (See Figure 4.) This was
accomplished by moving the lights even
farther forward and flagging the body from
the light. What remains is the light hitting
only the mask of the face and not much of
the body. Since the light comes from both
sides of the subject, it is relatively easy to
protect the body from the light. This has
similar properties of the previously
mentioned hauntingly different frontal light
seen in Figure 3. Because it hits only the
face, it has an element of uniqueness.
Normally a light that hits only the
face would be harsher and more
specular, this style has a look all
its own. I have rarely seen this
technique used historically or in
modern photographs. (Nicole also
added a hair light and a flare
element to the portrait.)
These four portraits are just a
few examples of the many
variations of portrait lighting
available to the photographic
artist. Sometimes slight
variations on a theme can create
dramatically different results.
Summer 2019 31
That’s A Wrap!
What a great year! We can’t wait for next year! 2020 is going to be even bigger and better with a few new plans in the
works! In the mean time, check out some of our favorite faces that make this a wonderful week-long school for
Being among people who share the passion
of photography, who care about others, and
want to keep learning new concepts and skills
to continue to improve, is both inspiring and
Summer 2019 35