2017 President for the Oregon Professional Photographers Association

Last Thursday was the annual banquet for the Oregon Professional Photographers Association, and I was honored to accept the gavel as the incoming President for 2017.

OPPA Presidents Aaron Hockley (2017) and Bryan Welsh (2016)
pictured with Bryan Welsh, 2016 OPPA President. Image by Andie Petkus Photo

I’ve been involved with OPPA (and a predecessor organization) for several years and have found it to be a very supportive group that helps its members produce better images and become better businesspeople. I look forward to the coming year, leading our board of directors as we serve our existing members and spread the word about OPPA to the greater photography community in the area. I feel like we have great momentum with an increasingly-active membership, and we’re positioned well to help photographers create and sell the value of professional photography as our industry continues to evolve.

We have a (well-earned, I think) reputation as one of the premier affiliates of the Professional Photographers of America, and I have a fantastic board of directors who are working to make 2017 OPPA’s best year yet. If you’re curious about who we are or want to know more about what we do, check out the website or drop me an email.

Oregon Professional Photographers Association

And to answer the most common FAQ: Yes, I (still) live in Washington, but like many things in the Portland metro area, OPPA welcomes members from neighboring areas whose goals and interests align with that of our group. We have quite a few members in Southwest Washington.

Home from Atlanta and Imaging USA

Like 11,000 of my photographer colleagues, I was in Atlanta last week for Imaging USA, the annual conference of the Professional Photographers of America.

Imaging USA Atlanta

Imaging USA is a huge event, featuring a huge tradeshow, three days of educational classes, and a variety of social and networking opportunities for all varieties of professional photographers. I was able to meet quite a few interesting photographers, chat with some of my favorite photography vendors, and learn from experts in posing, editing, and lighting.

This year I had a bit of a dual personality at Imaging USA; in addition to being there to learn personally for my photography business, I was also there representing the Oregon Professional Photographers Association. As the 2016 Vice President, I had the opportunity to attend PPA affiliate leadership meetings where I could swap notes with other state and local leaders from around the country. It was a good opportunity to hear what’s working elsewhere, what challenges some are having, and to build relationships to help strengthen the industry for serious photographers.

But it wasn’t all business: there was plenty of fun to be had as well. I led a small group to check out one of Atlanta’s craft breweries, ran into some old friends at the opening party, and got to hang out with a good crowd from Oregon for a group photo and lunch:

OPPA at Imaging USA

Aaron Hockley awarded the OPPA President’s Award

As we move into 2015, I’m pleased to announce something that happened at the end of 2014.

As many folks know, I’m on the board of directors for the Oregon Professional Photographers Association. In mid-December I was announced as the recipient of the President’s Award for 2014, one of the highest honors presented by the organization.

The OPPA President’s Award is presented annually to an active member of the organization whose dedication and service benefits the organization, while being of service to the community and a photographer ambassador to the public.

Oregon Professional Photographers Association President's Award
OPPA 2014 President Mark Fitzgerald with President’s Award recipient Aaron Hockley

In a region brimming with photographers, I’m honored to have been presented this award and I look forward to another year of living photography. The Oregon Professional Photographers Association is a fantastic group filled with smart, creative individuals, and I can’t wait to continue working with the OPPA membership to provide fellowship, education, and development for photographers in our area.

photo by Andie Petkus