Professional Photographers of Western Michigan is an affiliate organization of the Professional Photographers of America, also known as the PPA. Our members (generally speaking) reside in the western region of Michigan.
Monthly Meetings - A variety of programs of great value and interest to photographers are scheduled throughout the year. Regular meetings are held monthly, usually in the evening on the third Monday of each month. Most are held in the Grand Rapids area, though a few per year may be scheduled in other cities in the region. A couple times each year we plan special full-day programs, usually on Mondays, which feature top notch, nationally known speakers. These full-day programs usually cost a little extra to attend.
James Gerritsen Memorial Library - PPWM members have exclusive access to an ever growing library of educational materials, including books, video, and audio tapes by some of the best in our business. Items may be checked out for a month at a time for only one dollar per item.
Studio Tours - Photographers are always curious to see how each other operate and what clever and resourceful ideas they might be able to incorporate into their own studio. PPWM tries to schedule at least one meeting per year in a member's studio.
Print Competitions and Critiques - A great way to learn and improve our photography! We have an annual critique in October, a formal print competition in January, and in the spring, a senior portrait competition judged by high school seniors.
Photographer of the Year Program - This program recognizes the PPWM member who achieves the highest score totals in our various print competitions throughout the year. The title not only provides additional incentive to participate in the competitions, but also gives members an opportunity to receive some good, positive, free publicity in local media.
Trade Contacts - We have many supporting Allied Members; photo labs, frame suppliers, photo equipment suppliers, and artists. It is nice for PPWM to have their support and it is a benefit to our members to be able to make contact with various reps on a regular basis.
Newsletter - We publish a monthly newsletter to keep our members up to date with what is going on. Free classified advertising space is available to members for finding and selling used equipment.
Friends - Have a problem related to your photography business? Need someone to bounce ideas off of who understands the business of photography? Wonder who to recommend a bride to see when you are already booked on her wedding day? Or would you like some forty plus photographers to know who you are in case a bride calls for a date they are booked? We are not competitors. We are friends!
Social Activities - Anytime we get together is a time for social exchange, but we do schedule at least two events designed mainly for fun and relaxation: Our Annual PPWM Family Picnic and the Annual Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony. Also, most of our meetings begin with dinner (optional) which provides a nice time for socializing and exchange of ideas.