I am excited to announce that I’ve been named president of the region’s trade organization for professional photographers once again. This organization is known as the Professional Photographers of East Tennessee (PPETN), an affiliate of the Professional Photographers of America, the oldest and largest trade organization in the world. It is also affiliated with the state’s professional trade organization, Tennessee Professional Photographer’s Association. PPETN is blessed to have national speakers coming through all the time. Some of the best and most giving photographers throughout the area are active members. As the president, I hope to help build the professional photography community by helping established and budding Tennessee photographers with their businesses. This organization has been instrumental in building my photography business, and I feel it is important to pay it forward.

Incredibly, some of the biggest names in the industry come through our city, giving excellent information-packed presentations as well as demonstrations. They visit the professional trade organizations throughout Tennessee, and we recently added Huntsville, Alabama, to the circuit. Tennessee photographers get to learn the most innovative ways to create scroll-stopping images and creative ways to serve our clients more effectively. These are often entirely new techniques used by photographers outside out area. Even better, it gives us opportunities to build relationships with the best in the industry as they are often very giving people. I made it a point in 2021 to reach out to them, asking for advice about my business. I attribute this not only to helping me survive this past year but also to my business thriving.

Being a part of PPETN, you also get to build relationships with local and regional photographers. Having a local community of photographers is invaluable to my clients if I have equipment failures or can’t make it to a shoot. If I accidentally dropped both my cameras, I could easily have a table full of replacements in no time through my relationships built in PPETN. Not many people will let you borrow a camera as they are so expensive. However, it is common in tight communities like this one. If I get sick or cannot make it to a shoot, I have a list of Tennessee photographers that could cover for me in a pinch. I know the quality of their photography as well as how they act around clients.

As the president, I will help support budding local Tennessee photographers’ businesses as well as those that are already established. New photographers are always a blessing. They usually know everything about the hottest and most cutting-edge equipment and software. The established photographers have the wisdom for running a photography business and everything it entails. This mix of experience combines with a great accepting community that supports one another.

If you know a professional photographer that could use some support or are one yourself, please reach out. I’d love to help in any way I can.