Carrie Wildes Word of the Year


In 2008, Carrie stepped down off the corporate ladder and began building a business of her own. Her team of Tampa-based photographers quickly took the wedding market by storm, and Carrie has never looked back. She has created her success through consistent branding, building strong relationships and a talent for capturing her clients’ stories. Carrie is as passionate about her industry as she is about business and is devoted to helping other photographers succeed. Since 2013, she’s been a mentor and instructor with PPA, and earned her Craftsman degree and CPP.

Jamie Hayes - Using Products to Set Yourself Apart and Increase Your Bottom Line


Jamie attributes the success of their studio, along with business partner Mary Fisk-Taylor, to
their sound management and business skills combined with their love and passion for photography. His commitment to creating priceless portraits, wedding albums and commercial imagery has earned him an extremely loyal clientele as well as a sterling reputation in the state of Virginia. Their business savvy and creative marketing concepts have enabled them to establish an extremely profitable and fulfilling portrait and wedding gallery. As a PPA Approved Business Instructor and PPA Approved Photographic Instructor, Jamie offers informative and motivational programs to working photographers.

Jamie has participated in several state, regional, national and international conferences giving both full-day and week long classes. As an affiliate PPA juror, he has the pleasure to judge several international print competitions throughout the US. He is a proud member of several professional photography organizations, including: Professional Photographers of America (PPA), Virginia Professional Photographers Association (VPPA), The Society of XXV and the International Society of Portrait Artists.

Jamie has been honored with many awards on both state and national levels. His achievements include the Kodak Gallery Elite Award of Excellence, numerous Kodak Gallery Awards of Excellence, PPA Loan collections, multiple ASP Regional Medallion Awards, SEPPA Distinguished Awards, Best Wedding Albums VPPA, Best of Category, Fuji Masterpiece Awards and the VPPA Photographer (Highest Print Case) several times as well as one of the Top Ten Photographers for the entire state of Virginia. Jamie earned the distinguished honor of ASP Fellow in January of 2018 as the 122nd photographer in the world to earn this degree. Jamie shares his simple lighting concept applying a down to earth and easy formula for lighting any subject indoors or outdoors.


Photographic Craftsmen Degree Master of Photography Degree Imaging Excellence Degree Approved Photographic Instructor Approved Business Instructor Member of The Society of XXV
Scored a perfect 100 in SEPPA competition using film
4 for 4 in PPA Loan Collection (2 wedding albums and 2 prints using film ) Kodak Gallery Elite

Award 1st place
16 Kodak Gallery Awards 14 Fuji Masterpiece Awards
4 VPPA Photographer of the Year Awards 4 ASP State Awards 2 ASP Regional Awards
2 Top 10 PPA Wedding Photographer of the Year Awards 8 PPA Charities Legacy Award PPA Affiliate Juror
PPA Directors Award Recipient
Certification Committee Member
Speaker Selection Committee Member
PPA Charities Dream Studio Giveaway Committee Member PEC Committee Member
VPPA Print Salon Chair

Julia Kelleher On Sales


Portrait Photographer, Julia Kelleher, M. Photog., M.Artist., Cr. CPP, specializes in newborn, child and family portraits out of her boutique, Bend OR, studio. She offers her clients a photographic style that is organic, textural and artistic, and specializes in creating multidimensional art. From her start up studio in Portland, OR 11 years ago, to relocating to the small town of Bend, OR in 2009, she has grown into an almost half-million dollar annual business with 3 employees. Unique marketing efforts, a consistent branding message, and persistent relationship building tripled her client base in just 2 short years, and earned her studio the reputation for being the “newborn & family” photographer in Central Oregon; her successful marketing efforts also defining her as a business expert among other professional artists.

            A 2x PPA Diamond Photographer of the Year, International Platinum, Gold & Silver Medalist, Julia has had 18 prints accepted into the International Loan Collection. Along with marketing, Julia is a master sales and business systems expert. A 13-time Creative Live instructor, WPPI instructor and 7x Imaging USA Platform speaker, she helps photographers world-wide, break into in-person sales, master their “soft-selling” technique, market their art, and create systematized efficiency in their businesses.

            Julia picked up her first Nikon 35mm SLR film camera at age 14. Putting it down after college to pursue her masters degree in broadcast journalism at the esteemed Syracuse University-Newhouse School of Public Communications, she spent over a decade traveling the country covering general assignment stories and anchoring for all three television networks. After working Portland, OR’s (top 25 U.S market) ABC affiliate as an on-air anchor/reporter, she left television news to pursue photography full-time. Her experience with the news industry, and expertise in media relations and public communications have given her techniques to help other photographers understand their clients, and improve their businesses.

Julia Kelleher, M.Photog., M.Artist., Cr., CPP

Dixie Dixon On Exploding, Meditation, Intentional Positivity, and the Power of Procrastination


Dixie Dixon has always been inspired by the allure, magic and unique challenge of creating fashion photography. As one of the sixteen original Nikon Ambassadors in the United States, Dixie has spent the last decade bringing creative visions to life and educating others about the latest cutting-edge photography techniques and technology.

Texas born-and-bred, she has followed her passion around the world, shooting in locations such as such as Cannes, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Brazil, Ibiza and Barcelona. Most recently, she released her new book "Fashion and Lifestyle Photography”.  From finding your vision to building your dream team, this book will provide you with the essential gear and know-how to capture the looks of the media world that leap off the page or screen. 

Dixie brings a wildly positive energy to the set that creates a one-of-a-kind experience for her clients, inspires her dream team of colleagues, and earns the business of some of the most exclusive brands in the world.

Her fresh vision has attracted clients such as Disney, Virgin, Advanced Beauty, Florsheim Shoes, Ultherapy, Woodland Worldwide, Inside Edition, Gaylord Hotels, Spencer Fine Jewelry, G-Technology, Profoto, Eprouvage, MAC Group, Magpul, Billy Jealousy, Nha Khanh, Pipers Perfumery, and Macadamia Professional. Her work has been published in publications such as Rangefinder, PDN, Professional Photographers Magazine, Dapper Magazine, Living Magazine, Beverly Drive Magazine, Nikon World and others. 

The Role of Personal Photography Projects for Professionals


Named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” Julieanne Kost is the Product Evangelist Director at Adobe Systems, responsible for fostering relationships with customers through meaningful and inspirational Photoshop and Lightroom instruction. As a highly sought-after speaker for the industry-standard Digital Imaging franchise, she devises and presents motivating and educational training sessions, sharing original techniques and tutorials worldwide — via live events,, and blog ( She is also the author of “Passenger Seat—Creating a Photographic Project from Conception Through Execution in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom” and “Window Seat — The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking”, an accomplished photographer and fine artist, and creator and host of the popular Photoshop CC Essential Training, Lightroom & Photoshop Workflows, Photoshop Automation Techniques, and the Art of Photoshop Compositing for LinkedIn Learning |

Kost is well-known for her unique approach to instruction, infusing practical tips and tricks with an equal amount of humor and creativity that keeps audiences entertained and engaged. She often serves as a guest lecturer at distinguished photography workshops, industry events, and leading educational institutions around the world. She’s a contributing columnist and author for a variety of print and online publications and has created over 500 instructional videos as the host of Adobe’s “The Complete Picture” featuring Lightroom and Photoshop, serves as producer and instructor of the “Lightroom Getting Started” and “What’s New in Lightroom,” training courses, as well as the “Revitalize your Workflow with Lightroom” seminar on CreativeLive.

Images That Speak

Tim Walden, along with his wife, Beverly, have been professional photographers and educators in the photography industry for over three decades. Their motto is "Do less. Do it better than anyone else."

Years ago, the Waldens created one of the best known styles of black and white portraiture that is now recognized around the world. Named "Relationships" with the tagline "Images That Speak" for the stories their portraits told, it is still at the core of their active portrait studio and in great demand from their clientele.

Get to know Tim and Bev better at and visit for mentorships, private coaching, and education.


How to Build a Business as a Pet Photographer


Kim Hartz is a photographer, entrepreneur, consultant, mentor, speaker, and loving mother to two humans and two fur babies. She is an intimate photographer foe babies, both with and without fur, and she works diligently to capture her clients’ little ones as seen through their eyes. Having successfully been in business since 2010, Kim spends her time behind the camera as well as in front of other photographers, helping them find their niche. She is a sought-after speaker and offers one-on-one business coaching, photography mentoring, workshops and online programs.

The Importance of Printing


Mary Fisk-Taylor has been a member of the Professional Photographers of America since 1998. Along with her business partner, Jamie Hayes, they operate a high-end portrait and wedding business in Richmond, Virginia. Hayes & Fisk Photography is a home-based studio located on almost one acre of beautiful gardens and they have successfully created one of the most sought after Portrait and Wedding studios in their area.

In 2009 Mary developed the concept of a fresh and fun new studio in the Richmond area. With the help of her family, most importantly her mom and sister, Real Life Studios was opened in Midlothian, Virginia. Real Life Studios is best known for their high school senior portraits. Real Life also has an entire Event and School division which gives the studio constant and steady revenue of new clients and income year round.

Mary was very pleased and honored to have received her Master of Photography, Craftsmen of Photography and Certification of Professional Photography in just three short years. This was quite an accomplishment for her both personally and professionally. Mary was named Photographer of the Year in 2007 and has won Best Wedding Album of the Year in Virginia several times. Nationally she has had her albums in the top five. She has won numerous Best in Show awards, Kodak Gallery Awards, Fuji Masterpiece Awards, Loan Collection prints and album and a Grand Imaging Award finalist. Mary is also a recipient of the prestigious Virginia Award, which honors photographers for their commitment and dedication to their state association, and the business of professional photography. And, in 2012 she was awarded the PPA Charities Legacy Award for her work and dedication to the philanthropic arm of PPA. In

2014 Mary was awarded the Charles H. (Bud) Haynes Award for her distinguished service to PPA and its members and for encouraging business awareness and practices in the field of professional image-making. And in 2015 Mary was honored to receive the National Award from the Southeastern Professional Photographers Association for her commitment and dedication to Professional Photography.

Mary’s pursuit for knowledge, learning and education has always been a priority. From the time she was nominated the “Kindergarten Valedictorian” she has excelled academically. Always at the top of her class through High School, College and Graduate School she has excelled and loved learning. She has degrees from both University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University. It was only natural for her to pursue educating others as part of her career. Mary joined the PPA Business Instructor program back in 1999 when it began. She has enjoyed lecturing all over the world and sharing with other photographers as well as serving as a PPA Studio Management Services Mentor as well as an International Juror for PPA.

Mary is of course most proud of her two beautiful children, Alexandra and Jackson. Her husband, Daryl, and she enjoys the flexibility and joy that owning a profitable photography studio has allowed their family. Mary currently serves on the PPA Board of Directors, is a proud member of the Society of XXV, and is a past President of the PPA Board of Charities. She is extremely active with Operation Smile International and has served as a staff photographer for several events and missions. In 2006 Mary was named one of Virginia’s Top 40 under 40 for her leadership in the community, volunteer and charity work and her business savvy.

Nate Peterson - The Grand Experience

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As a child, Nate Peterson was constantly doodling, never knowing this artistic talent would shape his career path. Formally trained in graphic design and visual communications, Nate then added photography to the mix and with the introduction of the digital camera, fell in love with the craft.
Since then, he’s been on a life-changing, nation-wide crash course, training with the leaders of the industry through PPA and state and local affiliates, WPPI, After Dark Education, and more, with the goal of becoming the premiere portrait artist in his area. Nate’s career has skyrocketed and with that, the expansion of his studio's personalized services, professional abilities and boutique product options.

Today, NP Design & Photography specializes in contemporary high school Senior portraits, sentimental family portraits, commercial product photography and edgy sports images, based on the belief that a portrait is an artistic expression of its subject. The studio is known for creating the “Grand Experience” in which high school seniors are treated to an all-inclusive session experience bundled with a custom designed album as the base package.  Outside of his studio, Nate strives to help others find their photographic paths and stays active as a member of the American Society of Photographers, the Twin Cities PPA where he serves as a 2017 Board Vice President, the Wisconsin PPA and the Iowa PPA

Nate, and his wife, Teresa, live in a newly remodeled portion of their commercial studio building, reverse engineering the “home-studio" to the “studio-home.”  The studio is in New Richmond, WI and serves clientele from the surrounding area, including the Twin Cities metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN.

Matt Hodgman - Overcoming the Hurdles of IPS


Matthew Hodgman, a professional photographer of going on 23 years, started doing in person sales, (I.P.S.) in late 2004 and has never looked back. Making the change to being more involved with clients through the consultation, session planning, sales and final installation of the products has been and continues to be the right choice. Not only from a business perspective but a personal one too. But enough about that, is it time to talk about cars or golden retrievers yet?

Brooke Shaden - On Growth and Going Dark

Brooke explores the darkness and light in people, and her work looks at that juxtaposition. As a self-portrait artist, she photographs herself and becomes the characters of dreams inspired by a childhood of intense imagination and fear. Being the creator and the actor, Brooke controls her darkness and confronts those fears. 

After studying films for years in college, she realized her love of storytelling was universal. She started photography then in 2008, excited to create in solitude and take on character roles herself. Brooke works from a place of theme, often gravitating toward death and rebirth or beauty and decay. 

Ultimately, her process is more discovery than creation. She follows her curiosity into the unknown to see whom her characters might become. Brooke believes the greatest gift an artist has is the ability to channel fears, hopes and experience into a representation of one's potential. 

While her images come from a personal place of exploration, the goal in creating is not only to satisfy herself; her greatest wish is to show others a part of themselves. Art is a mirror for the creator and the observer . 

Brooke's passion is storytelling, and her life is engulfed in it. From creating self-portraits and writing to international adventures and motivational speeches, she wants to live a thousand lives in one. She keeps her curiosity burning to live a truly interesting story. 

Self Description: Intensely anxious, powerful little creative soul. 

Favorite Memory: Flying into the sky before she lost her wings at the age of 5. 

Greatest Achievement: Starting The Light Space, a photography school for survivors of human trafficking in India and now Thailand. 

Greatest Fear: Whales. 

Favorite BookDune by Frank Herbert.

Kari Campbell - A Fresh Perspective


Kari Campbell is a story teller at heart.  She has been telling others’ stories for 20 years, first as a broadcast journalist and now as an interior decorator.  Kari Campbell Interiors specializes in helping clients create spaces within their homes where they can relax and create meaningful memories.  She passionately believes your home should tell the story of who you are and what you love.  Kari is a wife, mom and creative entrepreneur based in Minneapolis. 

Vicki Taufer - Relationship Marketing


Jed and Vicki Taufer have been involved in the photography industry for almost 20 years. They co-founded their studio, V Gallery, in Morton, IL in 1998. With a focus on artistic portraiture, Vicki specializes in photographing people, pets, and commercial shoots. V Gallery has been everything from a small home based studio, to a large storefront with multiple employees, and everything in between. Vicki has a passion for people. Her journey with a camera has taken her and Jed around the world. They have been recognized internationally through their teaching, awards, and publications. Vicki’s goal is a healthy work/life balance.  At work, she focuses on photography, marketing, and sales. Jed’s focus is technology, workflow, and educating other photographers. Over the last several years, Jed and Vicki have also had the opportunity to work for their favorite lab, White House Custom Colour.

photo credit: Indra Leonardi

Kevin Kubota - Ethical Storytelling Through Photography

American Photo Magazine named Kevin Kubota one of the "Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World". His photos have been featured on the covers and within the pages of countless popular magazines and photography books. Kevin has been a featured presenter for Nikon and Adobe, and his work with the Nikon digital camera earned him a spot as a Nikon "Legend Behind the Lens".

Kubota is an internationally recognized speaker, having presented for every major photographic convention in the USA. He created the popular "Digital Photography Bootcamp®" workshop which has been running successfully since 2002. He authored the book under the same name, now in it's second edition, published by Amherst Media. Kevin shares over 2 decades of commercial and portrait lighting experience in his latest book, The Lighting Notebook, published by Wiley. The companion iApp, is available in the iTunes store.

Kubota Image Tools products have won multiple Hot One Awards as well as the Readers Choice Award. Kevin was personally awarded the 2009 Monte Zucker Memorial Humanitarian Award for social service through photography.

Julia Woods - When Your Spouse Resents Your Business

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Julia's journey to becoming a relationship coach has been a winding one. As a portrait and wedding photographer, she built a thriving business and an internationally recognized brand. After twenty years of growth and success, she found herself at the highest levels of her industry but exhausted by stress and conflict with the people that mattered most. She turned her focus to growing her relationship with herself and others and found a life she never knew was possible. It was truly a Beautiful Outcome! Through this transformation, she discovered the power of character growth and the ability to triumph in conflict. She also discovered her passion: to stand with other creatives as they find their path to thriving in life and work.