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Guerrilla Management Means Spring is Here!

I was so glad to get to Deep Creek for the May Guerrilla Management Class. I've had an unusually heavy travel schedule, so I hadn't been to the lake since last Christmas. That's a record for me, and one that I don't enjoy achieving. Spring was trying to make an appearance, but heavy rains were not helping. Fortunately we did have one really nice day before the class left. I'm so glad, because we had such a great great group there. Very hard workers, with great personalities, and an interesting mix of newer studios and veterans. Really enjoyed our time together, and I look forward to hearing about the great progress I know these photographers will make.

Marathon Marketing Workshop: Chicago

The most recent Marathon Marketing Workshop in Chicago was an interesting mix of veteran photographers seeking to rebrand their studios and newer photographers wanting to get their businesses off to a good start.

One person who didn't get off to a good start was Marathon's Bill Camacho, who shortly after arriving in Chicago was forced to take a cab to the hospital because of a fever and other sudden-onset symptoms. Having worked and traveled with Bill for many years, I knew it would take a lot to send him to a hospital, and the docs there quickly determined that he had somehow contracted an infection that could have been life-threatening if he hadn't acted so quickly. So Bill ended up spending 7 hours being treated with antibiotics through and and an IV's. Trooper that he is, Bill, shown below, was back on his feet in time for the workshop, much to Mark Weber's and my relief and delight! Bill says his ER visit was much like an episode of the television show of the same name. Due to overcrowding, Bill was treated in the hallway along side of several other very colorful (and vocal) patients who were handcuffed to their gurneys, with police in attendance.

My favorite photo from this workshop is of Pam Bredenkamp, St. Louis, MO, who apparently was trying to earn some brownie points from instructor Mark Weber. Pam and Mark, who previously lived in St. Louis, are long-time friends.

After the class, Pam, who also attended my Guerrilla Management Workshop last year, joined with Mark and me and two of her fellow GM Workshop classmates, John Burdick and Jeff Lee, of nearby Hoffman Estates, IL. Bill wisely stayed in bed, but he missed a fun time, and we missed him.

Next stop on the Marketing Workshop schedule is Dallas, TX on June 2 and 3. There are a few seats left in this workshop, so click here for information.

Are You Having One of Those Stressful Days?

If you are . . . I thought you might enjoy seeing the stress-reduction remedy that my Marketing Workshop buddy Mark Weber supplied to me. To make use of it, just follow the directions:


Mother's Day - Part 2: A Most Timely Arrival

Late last night I learned that another beautiful baby arrived just in time for Mother's Day
. . . doing so with especially impeccable timing. She is Akina Marie Wylie, whose mom is Dallas photographer and Studio Management Services client Kimberly Wylie. Here's the story:

Last Tuesday night the hospital where Kim and husband, Mike, expected to deliver later this month was hosting an event to honor a large exhibition of Kim's work that she has donated to the hospital. Naturally, the evening's running joke was that it would be great if she would go into labor after the event, as she could merely walk downstairs to her doctor who happened to be on duty. During the event, Kim experienced a little discomfort, and -- you guessed it -- several hours after the event ended, Kim's water broke, so it was back to the hospital to welcome Akina Marie.

The darling baby was named in honor of Kim's grandmothers. Akina means "spring flower" in Japanese, and Marie is her grandmother's name on her dad's side.

Here are some wonderful images of the family, including adoring and protective big brother, Steel, taken by friend and fellow Dallas-area photographer
Angie Weedon, who I have mentioned before in this blog.

To learn more about Kimberly's "Walls and Halls of Hope" exhibition at the Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas visit her website,
kimberlywylie.com, and go to the "What's New" link.

A Very Special Mother's Day for Renee

I remember exactly what I was doing last Mother's Day: I was teaching a Guerrilla Management Workshop at my Maryland lake house. I had just started this blog about a month earlier, and I asked the most experienced blogger in the class, Carrie Viohl, of Moultrie, GA, to demonstrate to a skeptical class just how easy it is to post information and photos on a blog. She did so by quickly publishing a Mother's Day message to her devoted readers back in Georgia. From that moment on I became a regular reader of Carrie's fascinating blog, which continues to be her studio's primary marketing tool.

Attending the class with Carrie and her husband, Phil, was friend and employee Renee Truett. So I was astounded by the Mother's Day email I just received from Carrie, letting me know that Renee had become a new mom (five weeks early) just in time for Mother's Day! Carrie was honored to document the 12-hour labor which she described as watching Renee "transform into a mother right in front of our eyes." She wove the narrative into a YouTube video, which you can see by clicking on
Carrie's Mother's Day blog entry.

Congratulations to mom and dad, and welcome to the world . . . little Bailey Alan Truett!

New York Adventure

I've never been much for formal ceremonies, and I always feel a bit uncomfortable about receiving awards. But I was truly thrilled when I learned that the PPA Board of Directors had nominated me to receive a leadership award from the International Photographic Council, a non-governmental organization of the United Nations. Since Jim really hates cities, I asked my daughter, Julie, to accompany me to the awards luncheon at UN Headquarters last Thursday. Since getting from Annville to New York is quite a chore, we decided to take the train, which was a stress-free way to travel and gave us time to get caught up on family news.

It's been years since I've ridden a train, so I got a kick out of the fact that the Lancaster, PA train station has remained decidedly low tech in its approach to collecting parking fees. At least the price was right!

The train was really a welcome change from the stress of airline travel, and it was a beautiful, sunny day for a trip.

Our hotel was just off Times Square, and I was intrigued by the room's unusual headboards, so I asked Julie to pose in front of one. Julie, who is an interior designer, thought the bed profile was a bit low, but otherwise she approved. So if you have any large-scale moldings lying around you have just what you need to decorate that spare room at home! The picture lights worked surprisingly well as reading lights.

After getting settled, Julie and I headed out for dinner. We passed by the gorgeous FDNY guys hanging out at Engine Company 54, and like a typical tourist, I couldn't resist taking a photo.

Nearby was a sobering 9-11 tribute to the fallen members of Battalion 9, which included Engine Companies 23, 40 and 54, and Ladder Companies 35 and 4.

After a quick walk around the Times Square area, we called it an evening.

The Awards Luncheon took place in the UN Delegate's Dining Room, which enjoys this spectacular view.

I was delighted to catch up with one of my all-time favorite Fuji friends, Tom Curley, at the luncheon.

After the awards presentation, it was official photo time. The group includes, from left, front row: Keynote Speaker Hiro Sakai, President and CEO, Fujifilm U.S.A., Inc.; Marty Lavor, WHNPA; James Chung, President, IPC; myself, PPA; George Fulton, APA; Judy Herrman, ASMP;Alice Miller, VP, IPC; and George Davis, PSPA. Not picture was Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Rainer Schmidt, Executive Director, German Photoindustrie-Verband e.V.

In their remarks, each of the award recipients mentioned how much the families of volunteers must sacrifice when a parent or a spouse is involved in organization leadership. How true! That's why it was especially nice to have Julie attend this event with me. Having her take the time away from her job and family made the entire trip very special.

Thanks to Fuji's Brandon Remler for forwarding his great images of the UN event. Thanks also to the PPA Board for making this very memorable two days possible. So now . . . it's back to the real world!


The Eyes of Texas: Texas School 2008

I don't know who has the most fun at the Texas School . . . the students or the instructors. If you've been there, you know what I talking about. If you haven't, then promise yourself that you'll attend in 2009. The Texas School is simply not to be missed!

This was my 5th year as an instructor and my second consecutive year of having the privilege of sharing the class with master instructors Beverly and Tim Walden. Here are Bev and Tim, flanked by our class wranglers Becky Peterman and Steve Darilek. When I arrived on Wednesday to take over the class from the Waldens, they told me that this was one of the best classes they had taught, and they were right! Also they commented on how lucky we were to have Becky and Steve as wranglers. Again, they were right on: Becky and Steve were always one step ahead of me, which is such a great teaching situation. Steve, in fact, was honored as the hardest working Wangler at the final-night celebration. A much deserved honor!

It's quite a feat to have nearly 1,000 photographers in one location. As usual, it was like Old Home Week to see so many friends. And the timing was perfect for several honey-mooning couples. Making their first school appearances were Mr. and Mrs. Joe Glyda (below left) and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Romaguera. Congratulations to these great couples!

I ran into so many friends at the "Country Store" trade show evening. Here's Ron Nichols demonstrating ProSelect and his fantastic RND Retouching Palette . . .

. . . Marathon's Mark Weber dispensing marketing wisdom (I'm thrilled to have Mark as my teaching partner at Marathon's Strategic Marketing Workshops) . . .

. . . the remarkable Janice Wendt demonstrating the remarkable NIK Filters (one of my favorite workflow tools) . . .

. . . Bert Behnke taking care of business for PPA Charities . . .

. . . Tracy Harris Budabin and Judy Grann demonstrating SuccessWare . . .

. . . the divine and always smiling Helen Yancy . . .

. . . buddies Bob Horne and Carol Andrews (teaching with the newly married Joe Glyda) . . .

. . . former PPA President Bob Lloyd and wife Edna (instructing the workflow class I need to take) . . .

. . . my favorite former saloon stylist (now photographer) Quinn Hancock, with PPA President Dennis Craft and Past PPA President Helen Yancy . . .

. . . buddies Sarah Petty (instructing with PPA CFO Scott Kurkian) with the new Mrs. Kurkian , Angela Talentino (see Angela's wonderful photography in her book with Delores Mize,
I Know I Am Loved) . . .

. . . "Fun Bunch" instructors Larry Killian and Vicki and Jed Taufer . . .

. . . and speaking of instructors, here's the 2008 instructor class photo.

As usual, the final night get-together was great fun . . . thousands of dollars worth of door prizes, freebies for those who could snag them, and the incomparable, hilarious Texas School video, produced by the video class. All this, and good food too!

If you missed out on the fun, fellowship and great learning, then write this New Year's resolution on your January 2009 calendar: Log on to the Texas School website on January 3 at 11:00 P.M. to sign up for the class of your choice. Don't be late, because some classes really do fill up within minutes. Until then . . . congratulations and a thousand thank-yous to the great Texas School staff, headed by Don Dixon, for another FABULOUS school!

Speaking of Don (the guy in charge, with the microphone above), check back in a few days when I have time to post some photos and a story about Don's "new look." No more time now, as I'm off to New York City tomorrow. I promise that it will be worth a look.

Melissa & René Tirado's Chic Urban Space

I suppose the reason I love to see studio designs that are urban, contemporary or industrial in style is because each of my studios has been very traditional; it's great fun to see modern, innovative spaces. So I was eager to see the new Boston-area studio of Melissa and René Tirado. After operating out of their home for the past eight years (first from a living room then from a larger house with a separate client entrance), the Tirados moved into their Peabody, Massachusetts space last November. The timing was perfect to show off René and Melissa's great portrait and wedding photography, as their studio was named "Best of Boston 2007" by Boston magazine. Here's a fashionable image of the couple by Australian wedding ace Jerry Ghionis.

The studio is located in an old mill complex in Peabody Square. Built in 1884, the facility was originally a leather-finishing business. According to Melissa, the building had been badly neglected over the years, but the current owner has completed restored the complex, which also houses several other local businesses, including a custom furniture-making company, a cable TV station and a gourmet kitchen.

The stylish facility features gorgeous 20-foot wood ceilings and beams throughout, which really catch your eye when you walk in the door.

Here's another view of the front of the studio looking toward the back. The reception area is in the foreground; and the meeting area is just behind it. Further behind is the viewing area. All workstations are located behind the half wall to the left, and the shooting area is behind the floor-to-celiling drapes.

From the back, here's a view looking toward the front of the space.

From this view of the meeting table, you can view the customizable shooting area and "portrait wall."

Here's another view of the camera space, which is so flexible that the Tirados can use it as a workout center with a personal trainer!

Here's a look at the studio's new state-of-the art theater setup created especially for viewing sessions.

Finally, here's the Tirado's "portrait wall," featuring examples from the studio's new "Inspire Guide," a book they have created especially for clients. It contains pages of ideas and inspirations on how to turn images into art for the home and office.

So cheers to Melissa and René Tirado: May you enjoy many years of creativity and prosperity in your gorgeous new studio!

To view the Tirado's photography, log on to their website at www.tiradophotography.com.