PPARI Newsletter March/April 2017

In This Issue

Message from the President


2017 PPARI Convention Highlights

Upcoming Programs: Brandi Morgan and Ella Carlson!

PPA Super 1 Day Events

Sales by Don MacGregor

Our Sponsors


Message from the President, Jackie Nelson

Thank you to each of you that took the time to welcome me as PPARI’s new president. I come into this position with many ideas, and thoughts on how and where we can go as a group.  We are a group of diversified, ambitious artists. Together I’m confident we can take the association from where we are right now, and as my Nana would have said, “put some jazz into it!”

I’m looking forward to helping this association. We need to stay on the map; we need to utilize social media, and the web. We need to reach out with personal invitations to individuals that need the education we offer. There are many, many points and things I’d like to touch on. But I promised my fans, my president’s messages would be short, sweet and to the point!

Thanks for a great convention! Thank you to our sponsors, and thank you to our members. Rest assured the entire board is working on setting the rest of the 2017 education calendar. Please plan to join us on April 12th at my studio starting at 7:00. See the flier for further details.



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The PPARI web site gets a facelift! 

Check out our fresh new web site: www.ppari.org

Thank you Bailey Fox for your hard work!

Hunts Offers Free Tamron Rentals!

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2017 PPARI Convention Highlights

What an amazing convention we had! Saturday (our free day) featured Ella Carlson’s New Features in Photoshop and Stephen Sedman’s How to Stay Relevant in Today’s Changing Wedding Market. Sunday’s full day program featured Don MacGregor’s Environmental Portraiture. Don also submitted a great Sales article for this newsletter! We would like to thank our vendors for supporting us and bringing so many wonderful products for everyone to check out and purchase: Hunts Photo and Video, Printmakers, Inc, and ACI.

Image Competition

We would like to thank our Jury Chairman, Steve Bedell, and our image competition judges: Nylora Bruleigh, Ella Putney Carlson, and Stephen Sedman.

And the winners are…

Best of Show: Winter Solstice by Gary Thibeault, and

Master Court Illustration: Winter Solstice by Gary Thibeault, and

CPP: Winter Solstice by Gary Thibeault

Court Non Master Portrait: Charlotte by Dianna Solimeo

Master Court Portrait: Lily by Gary Thibeault

Master Court Commercial: Jazzy Jack & Jill by Gary Thibeault

Court Non Master Commercial: Gun Shy by Jackie Nelson

Court Non Master Illustration: Windswept by Al Weems, and

Judges Award: Windswept by Al Weems

Master Court Conceptual: Band Brothers by Diane Miller

Judges Award: End of Days by Al Weems

Judges Award: Seeking Shelter by Diane Miller

Judges Award: Princess by Diane Miller

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Upcoming Programs: Brandi Morgan and Ella Carlson!

April Program:

East Coast Capture's Brandi Morgan is coming to PPARI to teach posing and family photography!


June Program:

Ella Carlson comes back to PPARI for a full-day photoshop program!

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Super 1 Day Events

Rumford, RI
How We Made an ‘Extra’ $40K a Year Selling Albums BEFORE the Wedding! with Trish Gilmore
Register Now!

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by Don MacGregor

Why do some photographers have sales that seem unbelievable and others barely make the industry average of far less than one thousand dollars.

We can argue that some photographers simply produce better photographs and have better marketing and business skills.

The real answer lies in our ability to create a unique experience with our efforts.

Ken Whitmire shared the following years ago and it is the foundation of our studios attitude and the mantra that allows our studio (and others) to create significant sales.

Is the price too high or the purchasing desire not high enough?

When we want something badly enough, we find a way to buy it whether it be a new pair of shoes, a purse, a putter and there is never a doubt when we want a new lens or tripod, we always find a way to buy it.

Our goal in portraiture is to create the same kind of desire for the images we create such that people MUST have the portraits.

Highly successful photographers all incorporate … and sell the concept of … EMOTIONAL SYMBOLS in their portraits.

What are Emotional Symbols?

Memories of Joyous Times: We all have memories of a special time or event in our lives. Recreating that memory (perhaps in a modern version) requires some planning but creates a powerful purchasing desire. Years ago a client shared that his favourite memory of his (now adult) daughters were picnics in a local park. We designed an adult version of that picnic (wine and cheese instead of soda and peanut butter and jam sandwiches). Do you think it was difficult to sell that memory (for professional compensation)?

Physical things: Incorporating items dear to a family like antique cars, musical instruments, pets and homes all make the portrait much more desirable to the client. Recently the husband of a family kept pulling his sleeve up to show off his Rolex watch (I had talked about the value of jewelry that had significance). That watch was a gift from his father just before his passing and was a powerful link to the memory of his dad.

Special Places: We all have memories of places we have been or events attended at unique places. Think of where we got engaged or perhaps a special memory of a holiday with the family. Each and every time we look at portraits that convey those memories we get goose bumps. A client of ours owns a property in Whistler (ski resort). Their kids and grandchildren all have spent many holidays and retreats at the mountain chalet. We had to make the portrait there. It was a full day session to drive there, shoot and return. However, the sales easily compensated our time and more importantly… we created a very special image and the pride that my assistant and I have is … well it’s hard to explain in words.

Activities: Think for a moment of the great times you have had camping, skiing or walking your dog. The list goes on and on. Adding an image with an activity that relates to your clients lifestyle builds powerful purchasing desire. One of our clients spends a lot of time sailing… with his family. While on their boat they are a family. They all work together to trim the sails and all the sailing things that are part of cruising. We chose to create their portrait on their boat. Again it was a long day but amazing images, memories and SALES. Do you think they only wanted an 8×10 or a CD of their boat under sail?

During the portrait consultation, explore open ended questions that are based on the above concepts. At MacGregor Studios we simply ask the questions using scripts (drafted and practiced sets of words). “Mrs Jones, if we could make this portrait in any location, perhaps a special place you and your family have fond memories of … where would that be”. “Mrs Jones, it’s so important to add special details into your portrait. Little things like jewelry are surprisingly important (perhaps a gift from your 25th anniversary), perhaps things the kids have embraced as they have grown up. What comes to your mind? Seeing these treasures in your portrait make it far more than just a picture. The portrait becomes a story of your family and the joy you all share”.

It is amazing to listen to our clients tell us stories of activities, special places and such. Those are the memories they have of their families and children. Our next step is to design a unique image, convey that “vision” during the consultation and quite simply watch the clients excitement grow and grow. We are creating purchasing desire. Once you have that value… the price really becomes a minor issue.

Once you have your concept, you must non-aggressively remind the client of how special “emotional symbols” are. During all the contacts along the way, remind the client of those symbols and the joy they will bring over the years. For example, “Mrs Jones, how fun it is to see your kids involved in the activities you and your husband have inspired them to pursue, that is a heck of a memory”.

Keep in mind that YOU must believe in the value of the addition of emotional symbols and convey your enthusiasm whenever possible and DO IT HONESTLY. “Mrs. Jones, I am so pleased that we are creating this portrait, I just know that as the kids get older and want the keys to the car instead of a walk in the park … you and your husband will look at this portrait every day and relive the fun times with the kids”.

Emotional Symbols, on their own are not going to change your sales. However, if you incorporate them in your portraits and enthusiastically build a dialogue (at every opportunity) with your clients about the joy of the those details, you will see a marked increase in your sales.

That is a WIN WIN for all.

Image 1

Physical things. As you add physical things into your images you also build purchasing desire. It is still a portrait of this young gal but it also defines her passion.


Memories of joyous times. This little family lives in TX. No snow. In fact the two boys had never seen snow when they came to Canada. This vacation was so very special to them. It captures the everything a family feels when in a special place.


Image 3

Special Places. This family has a strong bond with a heritage property in their family. Summers, Christmas’s have always been a special time.


Activities. This little family bonds when they do something together. A single mom enjoying quality time with her boys.

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Our Sponsors

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