SDPPA Spring Seminar & Print Competition Results

The South Dakota Professional Photographers Association hosted the annual SDPPA Spring Seminar convention in Sioux Falls at the Holiday Inn City Centre. SDPPA members enjoyed learning throughout the weekend by attending workshops and entering images into the print competition. LMP-1001  LMP-1002

Pierre Stephenson, M.Photog, Cr. CPP, who owns and operates Pierre’s Portrait Art Company in Madison, WI, presented several workshops throughout the 2-day seminar. On Sunday, SDPPA members learned about the foundations for posing and low light photography. Later that evening, they headed out to the banks of the Sioux River to practice capturing low-light images, using techniques learned in class.

The highlight of the seminar was on Monday, when members experienced underwater photography first hand. Before diving in, Pierre gave a demonstration about set up, safety, and gear. Then everyone headed to the pool for some hands on experience. Here are several images captured underwater by Mary Sweeney-Gengler, using her own underwater gear for the first time.



Print Competition Results

Photographers from around the state entered images into SDPPA’s first all-digital print competition. Entries of the competition are evaluated and scored against a standard of excellence using the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. While the competition did not qualify a member for merits, it was an  educational experience for all who submitted entries. Those who entered images and attending the print judging received comments and scores from judge, Elaine Steen of Britton, SD.  Here are the winners:

Highest Scoring Entry in Portraits A Dying Breed by Jeanne Hanson

A Grand Fog Rolling In

Highest Scoring Entry in Illustrative | A Grand Fog Rolling In by Julie Prairie

Highest Scoring Entry in Wedding Category | Elegance Redefined by Nathan Robertson

1st Time Entry Award | Leading With Beauty And Spirit by Valerie Meinerts

Thank you to everyone who attended. Our next workshop will be held on May 11th, with Jessica Edwards who will discuss Seniors & Pricing. More information coming soon – we hope  you will join us!


Monday, January 12th

Holiday Inn City Centre, Downtown Sioux Falls, SD

2:00 – 5:00PM & 5:30 – 8:30PM | Photographic Competition

Up your game at the next photographic competition!

When entering a photo competition, you walk away with a broader knowledge of the art of photography. The ability to continually better your work, and the opportunity to provide your clients with the best possible product is the core of PPA’s competition.

We will talk about the basics, but we will also talk equipment, lighting, exposure, and composition essential to make sure that your images come across as real and that you grow and improve your future work.

Dan Francis - ImageDan Francis (Fargo, North Dakota) is a Certified Master Professional Photographer. He is also a college photography and Photoshop instructor. He is a simple man who loves making photographs and spending time with his family. He is fortunate to be able to spend a good amount of time on personal projects, traveling and collaborating with great local photographers. Dan was born and raised in Fargo, ND. Dan’s work has been seen around the world through his website and published work. After six years working at a photography studio, Dan left and has now owned his own business, located downtown Fargo since 2008. When he’s not writing about himself in the third person, Dan likes to play tennis, roller blade, and run.

He specializes in Fine-Art Photography, and Photo Restoration.

Please join us for this unique and exiting program!

SDPPA Members: FREE!

Non-Members: $25


{Studios Connect} November Meeting

Monday, November 10th
Holiday Inn City Centre, Downtown Sioux Falls, SD

2:00 – 5:00PM – SENIORS – pricing, model program, etc
5:30 – 8:30PM – Newborn Program: social marketing, promos, workflow


Master the art of increasing your business while maintaining your creative edge… with time to spare! We all know being a one person studio can be absolutely exhausting, especially during busy season. want to keep your sanity and even have a few days off? It can be done!

Headshot Christina Kjar Hanson, M.Photo., CPP, owns and operates Christina Kjar Photography, a boutique studio located in a historic bank building in small town Holstein, Iowa. Although she shoots a little bit of everything, she specializes in senior portraits and weddings.

With over 10 years of studio experience, Christina combines her art background with her love of photography to create unique and captivating images. She also loves the business side of the studio and is constantly developing new marketing campaigns to keep ahead of her competition. In the past 2 years, her newborn program has taken off and her business continues to grow each year.

Since 2003, Christina has won numerous awards on state, district, and international levels. In 2014, Christina received her Master of Photography from PPA. Her awards include 2 Fuji Masterpiece awards, 2 Bronze Photographer of the Year awards through PPA, and many others. She has been in the Top 10 photographers for Iowa and has been a contributing designer for Jens Fabulous Stuff. Christina also currently serves on the board of directors for the Professional Photographers of Iowa.

Christina’s program is divided into 5 key sections that have helped her business continue to grow each and every year. She will share with you:

  1. Marketing campaigns for seniors
  2. What modern brides want – more than just a CD
  3. The newborn program that builds a client for life
  4. Selling: Packaging your “a la carte” items and getting add on sales
  5. Workflow and time management

Please join us for this unique and exciting program.

SDPPA Members – FREE!
Non-Members: $25


{Studios Connect} September Meeting

Sunday, September 7th

5:00 p.m. –  7:30 p.m. | Family Portrait Sessions & Picnic in the Park

Are you looking for an opportunity to have your family portraits captured this year? Would you like the opportunity to meet other photographers and their families?

Come to the September Studios Connect meeting and have your family photographed by one of the current SDPPA board members. You will receive photographer’s choice of the best files with printing release. This is a great time to plan for your Christmas card photos!

Don’t want to bring your family? Have a new profile picture taken instead.

The evening will also include a fried chicken picnic supper hosted by the SDPPA – all you need to do is bring your family.


The meeting will be held at Wall Lake at the Lyon’s Lodge picnic shelter.

To help us plan for food and portrait sessions, please RSVP the following information by Friday, September 5th on our Facebook page or to Julie Prairie at

  • Number of individuals eating
  • Number of individuals being photographed
  • Age of children (if applicable)

Do you like a good deal?

Everyone loves a good deal. The SDPPA will be offering a ONE TIME special on membership at this month’s meeting.

  • Purchase your 2015 all-inclusive SDPPA membership for $200.00 and we’ll include your entry for the 2014 Fall Tech Day.
  • Current SDPPA all-inclusive members can renew their all-inclusive membership for $150.00.
  • That’s a $50.00 savings!

Memberships must be purchased during the meeting – no phone or online orders allowed.


{Studios Connect} May Meeting

Monday, May 12th

5 p.m. – 6 p.m. | Social Hour (Brown Bag Supper)
6 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Meeting

GetFresh_SCLooking for some new fun ideas for your studio this season?

Is it time for some Spring Cleaning at your Studio?

Our May Studios Connect meeting is just for you! Join us as we take a look at some fun new ideas to freshen up your backgrounds, props and product samples.

Kristy Moran, a local specialty finishes painter, will be doing a painted background demonstration. Come see her wonderful work as she gives ideas on how to create something new and beautiful to use in your studio this year.

Studio Sample Sharing

Please bring a jump drive with images or examples of any homemade backdrops you have made at your studio. We’d also love to see your album or other unique product samples. If possible please label the items with what print lab you have used and what type of cover/paper.

Want to be part of the presentation?

If you would like to do a DIY backdrop demonstration please contact Julie Prairie at 605.359.6640 or

Studio De-stash Sale

There will be a backdrop/prop sale. Please bring your items and come ready to get some new fun things for your studio.


The meeting will be held at Holiday Inn City Centre in the Cascade Room in Downtown Sioux Falls on Monday May 12th. Social hour from 5-6 pm with the meeting from 6-8 pm.