Kara Marie On Inspring Confidence


“The majority of my work is in some state of undress.”

Kara Marie is all about inspiring confidence in women, and she’s built her photography business around that passion.

“I guess I finally started believing what I was saying.”

1:40 - A Tale of Two Studios

3:38 - Your Niche is an Extension of Who You Are

7:27 - Why I Do What I Do

9:09 - Empowerment vs Objectification

13:16 - The Difference

18:11 - Strong Network, Small Circle

21:33 - Authenticity

23:46 - Tailoring the Experience

31:48 - Finding Kara

“I just want to see more confident women in this world.”

A photographer for the modern woman, Kara Marie has commanded the camera professionally for over a decade. She has made it her life’s work to advocate female individualism and self-love through her career as a photographer and educator. With impactful black and white photographs as her medium of choice, Kara’s work has celebrated thousands of extraordinary women over the years.

A practical “minimalist”, Kara Marie uses natural light and intentional shadow to honor the female form while simultaneously giving women permission to rejoice in themselves exactly as they are in any given moment. More importantly, Kara believes that a photo shoot should be an uplifting first-class customer service experience that builds confidence before her clients even lay eyes on their images. Her understated, monochromatic style is world-renowned for both its beauty and its honesty in capturing the soul of the woman in front of the camera.

Kara Marie Trombetta is headquartered in Austin, TX where she operates two successful photography studios and is currently in the process of publishing her first book. Beyond the studio, she is the mother of two boys, a wife to her high school sweetheart, an avid traveler, and a food enthusiast.

“I didn’t understand my style until I understood fully who I was.”

Trevor Ray Will Go There


“I’m not old school.”

As a professional photographer, it’s super important to rise above today’s prosumer. In order to make that happen, Trevor Ray isn’t afraid to “go there” (literally).

“I love (social media), but I wish I didn’t have to do it so much.”

1:00 - Background

2:56 - The Club

4:16 - The Market in Austin

4:58 - The Elevator Pitch

6:26 - Style vs the Experience

10:48 - Destination Shoots

12:38 - Sales and Culling

18:30 - The Hardest Part

20:40 - The Right Clientele

25:35 - The Senior Style Guide

27:22 - Finding Trevor Ray

“I don’t want to be overbooked.”

Trevor Ray Thompson is a senior portrait photographer based in Austin, Texas. Trevor Ray is known for his editorial style and capturing authentic expressions from his subjects along with his stunning destination portrait photography work.

IG: @trevoray

FB: facebook.com/trevoray

Twitter: @trevoray

“We need to be around other photographers.”

Craig Stidham On Selling Yourself


“Your “self” should be the number one selling item on your price list.”

Craig Stidham is all about selling yourself, and he implements some great techniques to make that happen.

“I think print is becoming a lost art. It’s nice to see your work big.”

1:11 - Floatin’ Boats

3:09 - Portfolios

6:30 - Selling Yourself

8:41 - Extracting an Experience

15:09 - Pastor Joel

17:08 - Retouching and Self-Reflection

20:11 - The Old vs the New

23:32 - Afraid to Fail

26:03 - Victories

27:58 - Happy Accidents Become Habit

32:10 - The Left Turn

34:53 - The Evolution of Change

36:55 - The New Way

42:07 - Success

49:55 - Finding Craig

“You are the product.”

Craig Stidham is a professional fashion and portrait photographer based in Texas. Craig was photographically born into the fashion world in October 1994 after receiving a formal education in photography. He has been published in several fashion and photography magazines, as well as billboards across the country. After teaching at the college level for more than seven years, it was time to become more creative and break out. In 2010, Craig began teaching workshops, touring the US as a speaker for industry conferences, and published his first book, “Fashion Seniors.” Two years later, his second book, “Dynamic Posing Guide,” sold over 5,000 copies on Amazon in three days, placing it on the retailing giant’s Top 100 Photography Books list. In 2014, Craig was the lead photographer for “Green Bay: A City and Its Team,” a book written by Jim Hurley and commissioned by the NFL Hall of Fame to document and highlight the rich history of the Green Bay Packers. His hard work and signature style have always shown him to be a risk-taker, catching the eye of social media pages Instafashion and Vogue Venezuela, as well as Dish Network’s Fashion TV whose spotlight on both him and his images on display in London thrust him onto the international fashion stage. Craig has an “open house” attitude, always willing to take time for others and answer questions for those who call.

Craig is currently sponsored by Bowens USA, Photobiz, and Savage Universal, and his speaking resume includes WPPI, Imaging USA, SYNC Seniors, MDPPA, WTPPA, After Dark, Foto Chaos, Creative Fashion Artist USA, Sandy Puc’s Hands On Tour, and Senior Style Guide’s The Push Conference.

“My success revolves around my family.”

Christina Ramirez On Coming Back to the Light(s)


“It’s hard to not be in your own head all the time.”

Christina Ramirez came back from burnout and tragedy with a new lease on her business mindset and her life.

“It was more than be being in a creative rut. I realized I was burned out.”

1:23 - It’s Been a Year

8:08 - Taking a Break and Grieving

14:12 - A Decision

16:13 - Emily’s Dad

18:58 - Back to the Lights

23:21 - Learning Again

26:52 - The Stigma of Silence

29:57 - Just Play and Give Yourself Some Grace

“I had to every day decide not to go down that rabbit hole.”

Last year I spoke with senior photographer extraordinaire Christina Ramirez about being in a rut. I was struck by her openness and her honesty. It’s one thing to talk about being in a rut after you’re out of it, but Christina was right in the middle of it and she laid it all out there. If you haven’t heard that conversation yet, I’d highly suggest you have a listen before you continue with this one. In any case, we sat down again at PUSH conference in Green Castle, Indiana for an update and, once again, Christina had quite a bit to share. This time, I was double struck. No matter which side of the rut you’re on right now, this one will be good for your soul, my friends.

Christina Ramirez operates a studio in downtown San Antonio, Texas. She left a job in corporate banking for photography 6 years ago and has been specializing in senior portraits for the last 4.5 years. Her love for all things colorful and bold has helped shape the photographic style she is known for yet she’s always seeking ways to grow and evolve and is the first to encourage others to do the same. Christina has a degree in education so teaching photography and mentoring is something she truly enjoys. She has had the honor of speaking at Senior Style Guide’s PUSH conference for 3 years, along with speaking at Conference 12, The Blink Conference and Reset Conference. Christina has been published in Senior Style Guide, Modern Teen Style, ShootProof Blog and has received numerous awards including Hot 100 Senior Photographer 5 years in a row including ICON status the last 3 years. She was recently named “Best Portrait Photographer in San Antonio” by Expertise for her 2nd time. Aside from speaking at photography conferences, mentoring and running her business, Christina is a dreamer, obsessed with self-help books and podcasts, is a travel-lover and married to her best friend.

“I’m getting inspired by things I’ve never been inspired by.”

Amanda Holloway is Driven


“I knew at a very young age what I wanted to be doing.”

Amanda Holloway may be known as one of the queens of business and pricing, but she has some very special reasons for being so driven when it comes to pricing appropriately, making money, and saving well.

“The way I teach (pricing) is completely backwards.”

1:24 - No. 2

3:47 - Criminal Justice

6:38 - Unapologetic

8:59 - An Awesome Kid

10:34 - Reasons to Save

15:38 - Financial Education

19:10 - What to “Worry” About

21:50 - Pay Yourself First

26:34 - Where to Begin?

30:42 - Benefits vs Features

33:41 - “I hope you lose clients.”

37:39 - Amanda’s Education Resources

“You don’t have to do this alone.”

Amanda Holloway is an industry leading and award winning high school senior photographer renowned for her fashion forward photography style with a modern twist showcasing each senior’s unique personality and trend. She is known for her fresh and modern senior portraits that allow her clients to focus on their true beauty while offering a couture senior portrait experience unlike any other. Amanda has earned the respect of her peers around the world and accolades from industry print and web media outlets as well as selling out one of the top senior photography workshops every year.

WEBSITE: www.amandaholloway.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/amandahollowayphotography

INSTAGRAM: @Amanda Holloway, #AmandaHollowayPhotography



“Sit down and do the work.”

Nicki Hufford Figures it Out


“I’ve focused a lot on athletes because that’s what I love.”

Nicki Hufford knows what she’s good at and what she isn’t good at. And when she needs to make something happen, she figures it out.

“I love to build something out of nothing.”

1:29 - Something From Nothing

4:44 - Techniques and Space

7:39 - Why Photography?

11:24 - Failing

13:38 - The Socials and Variation

17:29 - Lighting

18:48 - The Two Best Light Stands

21:34 - The Best Ways

23:37 - Things Learned from Sports

25:49 - The Next 5-10

28:49 - Finding Nicki

“Failing gets easier.”

Nicki Hufford has over 10 years of experience and is quickly becoming on of the most sought after senior photographers in the country. She was recently name one of the top 100 senior photographers in the world and was added to the 30 to watch list for senior photography. She has also won many awards and has been featured both at the local and national level.

She grew up in Vienna, Ohio where she followed her first dream of playing softball at the collegiate level. She then married her high school sweet heart, Paul and together they now run Nicki Hufford Photography. They have a beautiful daughter named Maddog (aka Madison) and they are both heavily involved in the world of softball.

“I love learning.”

Dani Diamond Knows What He Wants


“I don’t want to get lost in the education side of photography.”

Dani Diamond is all about efficiency in business so that he can spend more time on the things that matter to him.

“Stop thinking about what you don’t have…what you should upgrade to.”

1:29 - Getting Hurt

3:05 - In All Seriousness

5:03 - Somewhat Provocative

6:24 - A Goals Follow-Up

9:09 - Date Night

10:06 - 20s 30s 40s

12:10 - Unique Challenges

13:57 - Using Instagram

15:13 - Trends

18:37 - Monetizing Platforms

20:53 - Integrity

22:36 - Workflow and Mindset

27:05 - Modesty

32:31 - A Dan McClanahan Story

“I enjoy creating things whether it’s physical or not.”

Dani Diamond has become a household name.  His breathtaking portraits and signature style have taken over all forms of social media, from Facebook to Fstoppers.

Dani grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in Connecticut with his wife, Etty, and works in New York City. He began his journey into photography merely as a hobby after graduating with a degree in business administration.

Dani started shooting landscapes and portraiture and found that people responded fiercely to his portraits, due to the connection Dani was able to create with his camera. Dani grew a fast following on facebook and social media. Dani’s ability to answer, comment and respond to his followers is just one more thing that makes Dani the photographer that he is.

Dani’s gear of choice is his Nikon D800 and his favorite lens the 85 1.4g. He uses the 85 to allow him to be close to his subject but also allow for nice compression and blur. The “blur” is what got Dani interested in portraits in the first place, his curiosity pushed him to find out how he could create that, too. The rest is all in the details, and as Dani delved into the world of photography, he made a new path.

The process of creating such gripping photos comes with something every artist needs. A workstation. Dani’s workstation is like no other, equipped with surround sound to so Dani can work in harmony while retouching. He has created a facebook group for music retouching Epic Remixes For Retouching, where other photographers and editors share their work jams and share retouching secrets.

“I think that your 20s are probably the hardest years of you life.”

Dan McClanahan - Good Photographer/Great Dad


“It’s been fun to figure out that there’s stuff in life that I care about infinitely more than I care about my job.”

Dan McClanahan is one of the best photographers you’ll ever meet. And he’s an even better dad.

“I never understood (families) before I had my own.”

1:33 - The Focal Point

5:04 - The Impact of Kids

6:59 - What Suffers?

9:31 - Hope

13:54 - A Dad and an Entrepreneur

15:59 - Tricks of the Trade and Dad Fans

20:05 - Challenges, Inspiration, and Trends

26:33 - Community

“I wanna be tight with my kids.”

Dan McClanahan became a photographer in 2009 with the goal of creating a fresh alternative to traditional photography in his market. His quest was so successful that his work quickly made waves in the photo industry with multiple Grand Imaging Awards, WPPI awards, magazine features and becoming one of the youngest photographers on record to receive all three photography degrees bestowed by PPA. Dan has given back to the photography community as an educator, teaching numerous times at Imaging USA, SYNC, After Dark Education, PhotoVision and several smaller events. He owns and operates McClanahan Studio with his best friend and beautiful wife, Alex, and splits his time between advertising photography and modern high school senior photography. The couple lives and works in a 12k sq/ft historic building they renovated and share with nine tenants.

Outside of work, Dan is a small town Iowa introvert that loves Jesus, his family, punk rock drumming, and strong coffee.

“I’m constantly in a mindset of wanting to improve.”

Eric Floberg - The Importance of Intentionality


“I started shooting videos in the seventh grade.”

Eric Floberg has obtained success, in part, by intentionally taking the stairs, so to speak.

“It’s very easy for the client to cry.”

1:41 - “Tyler and Elle”

6:26 - Everybody Gets a “B”

7:32 - Diving In

9:23 - Above and Beyond

11:08 - Organic So Far

13:14 - Connecting with Clients

15:58 - The Importance of Community

20:12 - The Crossroad

23:22 - The Both/And

25:03 - The Intentionality of the Creativity

26:46 - Intentionality

30:15 - It Just Takes One

32:22 - What Matters

34:53 - Time for Family

35:59 - Wisdom and Honor

39:51 - Move

43:15 - Education Resources

“There are plenty of ways you can grow a wedding film making business.”

Eric Floberg is an award winning wedding and portrait photographer/filmmaker based out of Chicago, IL. His first passion is photographing and filming some of the most important and intimate parts of peoples’ lives, but having been a trained educator, he is extremely excited with the opportunity to teach in the wedding photography and filmmaking community at large. Eric also started a Youtube channel in 2018 and continues to regularly produce content related to photography, filmmaking, and general entertainment. He has a wife and two children (with one more on the way) and works out of the studio space Creative Club Chicago on the city’s north side.

“I don’t do any formal marketing at all.”

Allison Tyler Jones - Building Value


“I realized that…the things I need to know are knowable.”

When it comes to building value, there are very few people that know more, and have done more, than Allison Tyler Jones.

“Sometimes it’s not how much money they have, it’s what they value.”

1:38 - Going High

4:42 - Advice from a Friend

8:27 - Knowable Things

10:08 - Business vs Creative

13:55 - Building Value

20:40 - Look Past Your Nose

25:49 - Allison’s “Why”

28:05 - A Strong “Want To”

31:26 - An Alternative to Complaint

33:38 - Responsibility, Experience, and Dad

40:43 - Finding Allison

“Learn as much as you can from the people you see as excellent.”

Allison Tyler Jones spends her days capturing spontaneous portraits of children and their families in her Main Street studio in Mesa, Arizona. Committed to the art of the photographic print, Allison works with her clients and their interior designers to create iconic art pieces and family galleries for their homes.

An author of four photography books, her most recent title, “100% Kid” (Peachpit Press) focuses on photographing rambunctious kids in gorgeous light. Allison owned a retail store for 12 years in a former life and has leveraged that business expertise to create a studio that ranks as one of the nation’s most profitable, according to Professional Photographers of America.

Allison is committed to helping photographers create their own success through her workshops, speaking and as a business mentor. Owning a business is hard, and Allison is excited to share her down-to-earth, practical, take-no-prisoners advice.

“We all have a little bit different “Why”.”

Darty Hines is a Straight Shooter


“I had a really great beginning to my career.”

Tell it like it is to build a solid foundation that can lead to years of success.

“Marketing has changed tremendously.”

1:37- Scaling Back

3:07 - Starting Out

5:58 - Other Than Digital

7:33 - Big Things

10:04 - Advantage of a Smaller Convention

11:45 - The Why

15:18 - An Inevitability

17:18 - The Ideal Size

18:43 - The Future

20:52 - Working Together

25:08 - The Details

“A lot of times you have to experience something to understand it.”

A husband, a father to three amazing girls, a photographer, a social media fanatic, and the owner of SYNC, Darty Hines (PPA Craftsman) keeps very busy. Even with this busy schedule, he is constantly striving to find new and innovative ways for small business owners to succeed. He has been a professional photographer for over 20 years and has worked and consulted with may prestigious photography studios across the Nation. Darty and his wife Michele are also co-owners of the educational conference SYNC. They met during college at Ohio Institute of Photography in Dayton, OH where the chemistry was not just in the darkroom. They married a few years after college graduation, had 3 beautiful daughters and currently reside in Millersburg, Pennsylvania.

Darty’s ‘street smart’ marketing and social media knowledge continues to help photographers and small business owners across the country. His straightforward no-nonsense approach to teaching will help you stand out in an overcrowded market and will empower you to be a uniquely better photographer, marketer and business person.

“We really want to impact the lives of photographers and small business owners.”

Gary Box - The Conglomerate

Gary Box in 1st Grade

Gary Box in 1st Grade

“I learned that there was a higher level of customer than I could ever perceive coming from very humble, modest beginnings.”

Gary Box is all about the fundamentals but he also knows that sometimes you gotta break rules. He just focuses on how to do that well.

“I believe in never overselling someone nor underselling them.”

1:06 - Humble Beginnings

6:46 - Opportunity

8:43 - Fundamentals Then and Now

14:00 - How Do You Know?

16:19 - The Core

21:19 - What is Lacking?

25:43 - 50/50

29:07 - Most Proud Of

31:10 - Learning From Mistakes

34:25 - Finding Gary’s Stuff

“I am a conglomerate of all these amazing sources put together.”

Gary Box has been a full time professional photographer for 30 years in Sapulpa OK, near Tulsa. Gary has run the scope of different business models from higher volume (1100 sessions a year) to medium volume and now lower volume (200 sessions a year) higher dollar. Currently averaging over $3000 on seniors

Gary has dedicated a great deal of time helping photographers grow their businesses and better their craft over the past 25 years. From lighting to sales, he wants to see how he can help you grow.

“If you are not actively marketing and promoting your business, you are dying.”

Dan Frievalt Has a Mantra


“Maybe even looking back at my life, I’ve always kinda looked at things a little bit different and done things a little different.”

Dan Frievalt is always striving to be different and better.

“I’m always trying to see what’s coming next.”

1:22 - What’s in a Name?

3:10 - Green Bay

5:59 - Different About Being Different

8:55 - Droppin’ Names

13:54 - Rules of Compositing

16:01 - The Plan B’s

19:32 - Efficiency

22:20 - What’s Next and What’s Different Now

25:50 - Two More

“A lot of times, the vision is so much more clear than the technical ability.”

Dan Frievalt M.Photog, M.Artist, CR. is a photographer that enjoys blending creative light with graphic design to create artistic images that evoke drama and tell a story. Dan’s formal education includes an Associate degree in Marketing Communications and has worked as a Graphic Artist for 12 years before changing his career path to photography in 2005. “I always enjoyed photography but ever since digital capture I have found a new voice in creating images by combining my design background with my eye for photography.” Dan has earned many awards including the Canon Par Excellence Award, Fuji Masterpiece Award, ASP State Elite awards, PPA Platinum, Gold and Silver awards, Image Excellence Award and several Kodak Gallery Awards. Dan has also been honored to have his images published in several magazines including the cover of Professional Photographer.

Due to the high demand for Dan to share his photography knowledge, he provides in-person education around the country for several state and national photography conventions including Imaging USA, SYNC (Senior Youth National Conference), After Dark Education, SPI (Senior Portrait International) and Texas School for Professional Photographers. To help educate even a larger, global audience, Dan also presents Masterclass Programs via webinar platforms and runs Seniors Unlocked providing many photography products while still actively running a full-time photography studio specializing in High School Seniors.

“I have a short attention span.”

Abbie Miller - It’s Been a Journey


“I realized that I couldn’t be a stay-at-home Mom if there were no kids staying at home with me.”

Sometimes being told not to do something is just what we need.

“My first year in business, I think I cried myself to sleep every night.”

1:28 - Who is Abbie Miller?

3:54 - Milwaukee

5:14 - The Long Process

7:44 - The Need to Do Things

9:06 - Realizing the Dream

10:43 - 40

12:59 - The Hardest Part

16:28 - The Birthday Party and Bullying

20:08 - People Should Be Nice

23:30 - 2-7

25:25 - A Fantastic Technique

28:35 - Giving Advice

31:15 - The Milestone

33:28 - The Gateway Drug

36:06 - Finding Abbie

“I’ve always had issues with (bullying).”

Abbie Miller is the owner/operator of Stories Framed Photography based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Stories Framed specializes in seniors, families and business portraits with personality to give a storytelling feel. The studio has won the 2019 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Best of Greater Milwaukee Top Choice Award” and the 2017 Shepherd Express “Best of Milwaukee Award.” Miller is a Certified Professional Photographer and dedicated reader, writer, mom and wife.

“I’m so glad that I’ve listened to advice.”

Carl Caylor - Refined Creativity


“Maybe it’s not just about learning how to use your camera.”

Refined Creativity might require becoming less refined in general.

“(Our industry) is new again. It’s evolving.”

1:20 - The Slide Tray Carrier

5:17 - Perception and Evolution

8:31 - Enjoy the Moment

10:48 - Taking Time

12:23 - The Enemy

15:32 - Likes

17:45 - Working Smarter, Not Harder

19:05 - Darton, Fred, and Scotty

27:15 - Ben Shirk and Dan McClanahan

“As silly as it sounds, I wanna become less refined.”

Carl Caylor is a down-to-Earth, portrait photographer and photographic instructor. He has been professionally involved in the field of photography for over 25 years. Carl is a Kodak Alaris Mentor. He is PPA Certified, a Master Photographer and a Craftsman with Professional Photographers of America. He is an International Affiliated Photographic Judge and has won numerous national awards for his photography, including 29 PPA Loan Collections and several Kodak Gallery and Fuji Masterpiece Awards. He has shared his passion with photographers coast to coast in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Korea.

Carl is the author of the book, “Portraiture Unplugged” A Guide to Natural Light Portraits, but he will discuss work with natural light, artificial light and a combination of the two. Carl is one of the most sought after instructors in the country because of his “Hands-On” coaching approach.

“Give yourself time.”

Marci and Christy - The Big Stuff


“We never fight or argue.”

It’s easy to say “don’t sweat the small stuff”, but what about The Big Stuff?

“I love teenagers…they’re our future.”

1:23 - The Lone Wolf and the Singer

6:17 - Working Together

11:43 - Splitting Credit and a Plug

14:22 - Youth

16:05 - Reasons for Seniors

17:03 - Energy

18:27 - What’s the Why?

21:54 - A Hard Year

24:34 - An Amazing, Awesome Thing

32:49 - The Future

34:01 - Where to Find Marci and Christy

“There is no light switch. YOU are the light switch.”

Marci and Christy are an artistic, Indiana, coffee-drinkin, healthy-eating obsessed, creative mom and daughter team who love creating…. Not just creating beautiful images, but creating epic sets on their very own studio backlot, otherwise known as “Disneyland for photographers” and a highly sought after senior portrait experience! They specialize in photographing seniors, with the occasional family session, or even a wedding or two a year. Their passion to is create connections and inspire confidence, and a healthy lifestyle, and help everyone see their own beauty!

“I was constantly making excuses for myself.”

Kay Eskridge - My Heart Before My Eyes


“I think this is the beginning of a new wave.”

Kay Eskridge is one of the good guys. She lifts up and supports a segment of the population that is dealing with things we never imagined when we were growing up.

“I kinda feel like we’ve been given a gift.”

1:36 - Ice Cream at Night

3:31 - Why Tweens?

7:32 - A Cruel Joke

10:40 - Mom’s Words

12:44 - A Marginalized Segment

15:58 - Peer to Peer

20:58 - The Practical Piece

27:13 - Customer Care

28:14 - Some History

31:47 - Word Choices

33:49 - A Personal Reason

38:11 - Evangelizing for Tweens

43:13 - An Intro at the End

46:13 - Finding Kay

“Everything is starting earlier.”

Combining her passion for photography and her love of people, Kay Eskridge’s studio, Images by Kay & Co. has earned a sterling reputation for high-quality lifestyle portraiture. Kay and her team take great pride in not only the imagery they create but also the high level of customer service they provide. Specializing as a lifestyle portrait artist, Kay’s clientele has come to rely on her to capture images from all of life’s special events, from maternity to newborns, tots to ‘tweens’, High School Seniors to summer family vacations and even intimate images captured through the CelebrateSexy division of her studio. Her focus on relationships, creative approach to portraiture, unique perspective on customer service and clear vision about business has provided her with much success doing something she loves. Kay is a member and Past President of the Arizona Professional Photography Association, she is a PPA Certified Master, Photographic Craftsman and holds numerous awards, including the Arizona Photographer of the Year, Kodak Gallery Elite Awards, Fuji Masterpiece Awards,  Phoenix Portrait Photographer of the Year, Arizona Illustrative Photographer of the Year and the PPA National Award.

“I’ve weathered the storms.”

Dave Junion - Play Happy


“I have used film extensively.”

You’ve never met anyone like Dave Junion.

“I have the ability to define what I want to create.”

1:29 - Photoshop Beta

3:55 - Work Backwards

5:13 - Passion and the Ability to Define

8:22 - A Hard Year

15:21 - Mr. Dan McClanahan

17:01 - Alyssa Monks

18:15 - Make People Happy

23:36 - Nikki Harrison

25:23 - Victoria

27:49 - The Martens

28:30 - Greatest Fear

33:16 - Robert Frost

35:05 - One More

“You have fun, work backwards, and put together the whole path.”

Dave’s bio:

4th grade - 1st place Shriner’s Bike Skills Rodeo

Dropped out of college twice.

Have had a studio since 1982.

1979 to about 1997 - The interesting years we do not talk about.

Now – Just trying to build a better boat.

“I do what I do. I believe in myself and I try and make people happy.”

Dan Rowe - Beyond Emulation


“There’s so much repetition of the same thing, over and over and over.”

Dan Rowe thinks people should move beyond emulation.

“I think I just have a unique perspective.”

1:16 Down-home Dan

4:05 Interesting Commentary

9:21 Take a Different Path

13:09 Getting Stuck in Styling

18:14 Not An Activist

22:52 Tables Turned

24:25 The Brass Tacks

28:33 Dumb Luck and a Wrap Up

“I think my style has evolved because I didn’t follow a given path.”

Dan Rowe is the photographer and owener of Rowe Portrait Studios in Oakland City, IN. The studio is a small, yet successful studio and in the 12 years that the business has existed, Rowe Portrait Studios has offered just about every single type of photography for clients. Volume schools and leagues, weddings, seniors, families, children, and newborn, boudoir and events all are on the list of offered services. Through the studio’s evolution though we have come to a focus on family needs, with seniors, family sessions and children being the main offerings.

Dan is an accomplished photographer most known for creative lighting and posing used in his senior work. Twice a winner of WPPI’s former IPC bi-annual senior image competition and a Cr. Photog. degree holder as recognized by the Professional Photographers of America. In the years it was an active conference, Dan was an integral team member of After Dark Education a photography experience/conference that molded many of today’s most successful portrait artists. Dan is still creating exceptional work and was recently awarded the Photographer of the Year Award at the Seniors and Youth National Convention (SYNC) in Destin FL. Dan’s past and education give him a less artful, more analytical approach to solving problems that may arise while working as a photographer and the feedback received from this unique approach has been overwhelmingly positive by attendees in Dan’s classes across the US.

“I really care about the people I know.”

Miyo Strong is Fierce


“Nothing is a linear path up.”

Miyo Strong has seen a series of changes and shifts throughout her 23 year career as a photographer that have contributed to an enviable strength and a formidable will.

“Fitness has always been a huge happy spot and coping mechanism for me.”

1:39 A Rambling Compliment

4:23 Whose Assistant Are You?

6:11 The Last 23 Years

8:45 Martial Arts

12:15 Being Better Thru Jiu Jitsu

15:47 Becoming Specialized

18:54 Creating a Safe Space

21:46 It’s Not Your Fault

24:15 A Realization

“I can give my attention fully when I have been taken care of.”

Miyo Strong is a third generation photographer who has been in the portrait business for over 23 years. Earning both her Masters and Craftsman before she turned 30 from PPA she focuses mostly on families and corporate photography now. She is a mother of 3 and active Jiu Jitsu competitor. Miyo teaches women’s self defense seminars, strength and conditioning classes as well as shoots part time. You can find her on IG @miyostrong and @utahjitsmama

“Painful conversations/painful experiences, lead to breakthroughs.”

Ben Shirk - Work Hard, Play Hard


“I’ve learned over the years that she’s usually right so just go with whatever she says.”

Ben Shirk might be one of the hardest working creatives out there. But he has reasons to do so. He works hard, so he can play hard…with his wife, Sara, and their three children.

“For a lot of years, I was making zero money.”

1:09 Sara

3:17 The Beginning

5:04 The Road to Profitability

8:36 Composites

9:27 The Builder

11:47 The Wrestler

15:23 Inspiration

16:45 Work Hard, Play Hard

21:36 Family First

23:07 The McClanahans

25:39 What’s Your Next Goal?

27:36 Finding the Shirks

“My mindset is that if I’m going to charge this much, I have to produce images that are worth it.”

Ben Shirk is an internationally award winning professional photographer. Growing up in a log cabin near a small farming community of Wilton Iowa he spent his days exploring the woods, swimming in rivers and developing his imagination. Today his stunning images are known worldwide for the creativity and depth of storytelling. Ben currently holds many International, National Photography Titles with a record eight top finishes at the World Photographic Cup Competition including three first place metals. He operates a thriving studio out of that same small farming community that he was raised in. His work attracts clients from across the world, creating dynamic images of athletes, children and families.

“Before I even had a camera, I was working in Photoshop.”

Christina Kjar Hanson - Making It Happen


“I can’t draw from just my area, so I have to really branch out.”

Christina Kjar Hanson is a one-woman-show. As a result, there’s only one person she needs to rely on to make things happen. And it has worked wonderfully.

“I feel proud that I can still be making it on my own.”

1:11 The Run-Down

3:16 The Nutshell

4:58 Becoming More Niched

7:33 Competition

8:37 What Does Success Look Like?

12:37 Family Life

13:59 Pricing and Expenses

16:07 Lavender Lou and Seniors

18:11 Learning More to Educate

19:54 Products

21:03 Where From Here?

“I’m kind of a control freak. I’d just rather do it by myself.”

Since 2003, Christina has won numerous awards on state, district, & international levels. In 2014, Christina received her Master of Photography from PPA. In 2012 she received the Don Knop Award, given to the top wedding entry at the Professional Photographers of Iowa convention. Other awards include 2 Fuji Masterpiece awards, 2 Bronze Photographer of the Year awards through PPA, & many others. She has been in the Top 10 photographers for Iowa numerous times & served as President for the Professional Photographers of Iowa in 2016-2017. Christina also travels to various state conventions to speak to other photographers in the professional industry.

“I’m learning more to educate my clients.”

Aaron and Liz Vovk - The Fighters


“We’re high school sweethearts.”

A healthy self-image is more important than ever. In a time of social media facades, it can be difficult to cope with the tendency to feel inadequate or unattractive in general. Aaron and Elizabeth Vovk are boudoir photographers in the Minneapolis area who have taken it upon themselves to help everybody feel comfortable with who they are…no matter what that looks like.

“We just really want to support women and positive body image.”

1:23 Fighting

5:05 The Why and How of Boudoir

8:16 A Little History

9:40 Styles and Nerves

10:51 Sales

12:17 For the Girls

15:48 Discernment and Getting Started

19:16 Unique Challenges

20:57 A Very Scheduled Life

23:50 Best Part of Working With…

25:18 Off Days

27:34 Finding the Vovks

“Our goal in life is to make everybody feel comfortable with who they are.”

Aaron and Elizabeth have been married for 18 years. They have 5 children, 1 boy and 4 girls. They started Noahs Ark Photography 11 years ago as a Wedding, Senior and Newborn studio. After discovering and falling in love with Boudoir Photography they started their 4 Girls Glamour brand to separate Boudoir from the other brand. Their business naturally turned into boudoir exclusive about 5 years ago. When they are not photographing and building there business they are busy homeschooling the 4 girls. Aaron and Elizabeth also enjoy travel to new destinations and trying new foods.

“We have a very scheduled life.”

Gary Hughes - The Mess Behind the Curtain


“The world has moved on in so many ways.”

Gary Hughes talks about what most others haven’t.

“The greatest thing we can do for ourselves and for our children is teach people to think critically.”

1:36 Gary’s Problem

4:45 Generations

6:06 Avatars, Archetypes, and Absurdity

8:53 Mental Health

11:46 A Recent Experience

14:14 Seven Out of Seven

18:23 The Build-up

20:46 The First Step

22:32 Man on Fire

27:08 Some Questions

“We should be more careful about what we put inside our brains.”

As the child of photographer parents it would have been natural for Gary to step right in to the family business, but he had to go out and try pretty much everything else before finding his way back to photography. In the 13 years since picking up a camera he has earned local and national awards including 3 Gold Medals and an Imaging Excellence Award from the International Photographic Competition and a Fuji Masterpiece Award. His work has been featured in Professional Photographer Magazine, Shutter Magazine, Professional Image Maker and he has published multiple articles on photography for the Huffington Post as well as an educational book, “Photographing Headshots”. He lives and works in Orlando, FL with his partner and wife, Julie and their children.

“The thing that would help the most, is the thing that nobody’s doing.”