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2013 PPACH Portrait Awards Winners Announced

Tina Timmons, chairman of the 2013 Celebration of Smile Portrait Awards, has announced the grand-prize winner and category winners of the 2013 contest. To participate, entrants must have donated to the April Celebration of Smiles nationwide fundraiser.

A total of 112 images were entered in the 2013 contest, nearly doubling the number of entries in the last year’s inaugural competition. This year’s contest was judged by Darcey Olson, CPP, Darcey Olson Photography, Rockford, Michigan; Karen Lueck, CPP, A Moment Captured, Troy, Michigan; and Denise Boyce, M.Photog.Cr.,CPP, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The grand-prize winner and the first, second, and third place winners in each category will receive a glass award, and all those recognized will receive a honor certificate.



Patricia van Bergen
Adoring Glances Photography
Boyds, Maryland




1st Place
Jennifer Gomez

All That Jazz Photography
Hillsboro, Oregon


2nd Place
Lili Engelhardt

Lili Engelhardt Photography
Chapel Hill, North Carolina


3rd Place
Patricia van Bergen

Adoring Glances Photography
Boyds, Maryland


Honorable Mention
Lynn Brower

Lynn Marie Photography
Harrisburg, South Dakota


Honorable Mention
Meggan Harper

Harper-Wayne Portrait Studio
Ormond Beach, Florida



1st Place
Patricia van Bergen

Adoring Glances Photography
Boyds, Maryland


2nd Place
Clark Sanders

Clark Sanders Photography
Cherokee Village, Arkansas


3rd Place
Kelly Zimmerman

Cherished Images
Boise, Idaho


Honorable Mention
Kerith Patterson

Visual Girl Photo
North Vancouver, B.C., Canada


Honorable Mention
Megan Twaddle

Broken Glass Photography
Liberty, Illinois



1st Place
Alma Aponte

Metamorphosis Digital Photography Studio
Fitchburg, Massachusetts


2nd Place
Melanie Anderson

Anderson Photographs
Hagerstown, Maryland


3rd Place
Alma Aponte

Metamorphosis Digital Photography Studio
Fitchburg, Massachusetts


Honorable Mention
Stacey Knoebel

Knoebel Portrait Design
Hammond, Wisconsin


Honorable Mention
Megan Twaddle

Broken Glass Photography
Liberty, Illinois



1st Place
Megan Twaddle

Broken Glass Photography
Liberty, Illinois


2nd Place
Pete Rezac

Pete Rezac Photography
Reno, Nevada


3rd Place
Kelly Zimmerman

Cherished Images
Boise, Idaho


Honorable Mention
Larry Lourcey

Lourcey Photography
Plano, Texas


Honorable Mention
Mary Pat Kelley
Photography by Dale
Hagerstown, Maryland



1st Place
Clark Sanders

Clark Sanders Photography
Cherokee Village, Arkansas


2nd Place
Jennifer Gomez

All That Jazz Photography
Hillsboro, Oregon


3rd Place
David Anderson

David Anderson Photography
Annapolis, Maryland


Honorable Mention
Jennifer Gomez

All That Jazz Photography
Hillsboro, Oregon


Honorable Mention
Claire Houser

Claire Terese Photography
Ebensburg, Pennsylvania


2013 Celebration of Smiles Day Raises More Than $48,000 For Operation Smile!

PPA Charities President David Grupa has announced the results of the organization’s annual Celebration of Smiles fundraiser in support of its charitable partner, Operation Smile. Held during April, a total of 79 members raised $48,166 to benefit Operation Smile.

“These funds will go a long way toward meeting our 2012 goal of raising $100,000 for this wonderful organization,” Grupa said. “Because Operation Smile’s medical professionals and support staff volunteer their services, it costs only $240 to provide a simple cleft lip surgery to a child in desperate need. Therefore the funds raised by PPA members so far in 2013 mean that over 200 smiles will be saved.”

The annual Celebration of Smiles Day campaign provides consumers with the opportunity to receive a mini-session and a 5×7 professional portrait in exchange for a donation to Operation Smile of only $24; therefore, for every 10 sessions photographed by a participating studio, another smile can be saved by the volunteer staff of Operation Smile.

In 2014 PPA Charities will advertise Saturday, April 5 as the official Celebration of Smiles date, but studios can hold their events on any other date or dates in April for their convenience.

Top donors for the 2013 campaign are Ryan & Erica Manthey, Pure 7 Studios, Miramar Beach, FL, who contributed $6,131. Last year Pure 7 Studio also was the campaign’s top performer with a donation of $3,813.

In addition to the Mantheys, the Top Tier donors, who contributed $500 or more, are:

Larry Lourcey Lourcey Photography Plano TX $3,950
Monica Cowles Monica Cowles Photography Aberdeen WA $3,203
Pete Rezac Pete Rezac Photography Reno NV $2,060
Mariah Ashley Snap! Wedding Rumford RI $2,013
Vicky Hultman Seasons Photography Rice Lake WI $1,869
Claire Houser Claire Terese Photography Ebensburg PA $1,597
Melanie Anderson Anderson Photographs Hagerstown MD $1,400
Virginia Freire Virginia L. S. Freire Brooklyn NY $1,325
Matthew Andrews Matthew Andrews Photography Covington KY $983
Clark Sanders Clark Sanders Photography Cherokee Village AR $960
Wendy Waddell Wendy Waddell Photography Petaluma CA $960
Meggan Harper Harper-Wayne Portrait Studio Ormond Beach FL $947
Rachel Schrock Torchlight Photography Cleveland TN $824
Dan Thornton Thornton Photography Godfrey IL $730
Patricia Van Bergen Adoring Glances Photography Boyds MD $730
Lili Englehardt Vibrance Photography Chapel Hill NC $722
David Anderson David Anderson Photography Annapolis MD $720
Chanel Apsey Your Reflection, My Style Photography Bloomington IL $720
Jeff Kaiser Kaiser Custom Images Chesapeake VA $633
Constance Bergstedt Resonant Images Roseville MN $508
Lynn Brower Lynn Marie Photography Harrisburg SD $500

In addition to the studios listed above, the studios shown below attained the honor of being designated as an “Operation Smile Studio” for having donated at least $240 dollars, the amount needed to fund a single surgery through Operation Smile. Those individuals and studios are:

Allyson Hurley Allyson Hurley Photography Bedminster NJ
Julie Hipkins Originations Photography Frederick MD
Elizabeth Homan Artistic Images San Antonio TX
Stacey Knoebel Knoebel Portrait Design Hammond WI
Rosalinda Luna Rosalinda Luna Photography San Jose CA
Connie Meyers Connie’s Studio of Photography Nisswa MN
Christina Novak Amazingly Graceful Photography King George VA
Kerith Paterson Visual Girl Photo North Vancouver, BC CANADA
Cindy Sherman Cindy Sherman Photography Boise ID
Heather Fine Elusive Image Photography Blaine MN
Heather Lussier Heather Lussier Photography Los Altos CA
Kelly Zimmerman Cherished Images Boise ID
Autumn Branscome Autumn Branscome Photography Princeton WV
Damien Silveira Mikien Photography Roswell GA
Megan Twaddle Broken Glass Photography Liberty IL
Susan Anderson A Forget Me Not Moment Greensboro NC
Alma Aponte Metamorphosis Digital Photography Fitchburg MA
Mary Pat Kelley Photography by Dale Hagerstown MD
Jennifer Gomez All That Jazz Photography Hillsboro OR
Bert Behnke Behnke Photographers Mokena IL
Zaida Parkes Parkes Photography Stratford CT
Tanya Boggs Tanya Boggs Photography Charleston SC
Carol Brown Brown’s Country Store Benton AR
Danielle DeVito Danielle DeVito Photography Bronxville NY
Cecilia Lysne Behl’s Photography Grand Forks ND
Dan Pulver Guys and Dolls Photography Mt. Pleasant MI
Jasa Wolfrey Sweet Scene Photography Stafford VA
David Grupa David Grupa Portrait Maplewood MN
Kevin Baker Baker Photography Baldwinsville NY
Lew Everling Muse Photo Design Cedar Falls IA
Sarah Hinchey Sarah Hinchey Photography Hingham MA
Britney Kirby-Fullgraf Belvedere Studio Lakeland FL
Mark Mason Mason Photography Duluth GA
Christina Parker Christina Parker Photography Calgary, Alberta CANADA
Tina Petta-Pelletier Uniquely Yours Photography Waterbury CT
LeAnne Schmidt Photog Frog Portrait Studio South Saint Paul MN
Ed Sharp Ed Sharp Photography Greenwich NY
Jill Welch Jill Welch Photography Cataula GA
Jason Williams Snapshots Photographic Salisbury NC
Beth Zak BZak Photography Florissant MO

Texas School Staff and Students Raise $20,930 for PPACH; Surpass $100,000 Mark

safariscreensnapz036-copyDuring this year’s April 28-May 13 Texas School session, generous students and instructors, as well as the Texas School Trustees, chose to support PPA Charities by challenging each other to give as much as they could to support the philanthropic arm of PPA, whose partner is Operation Smile, the international medical charity that repairs cleft lips and cleft palettes of needy children around the world. Their combined efforts, netted PPACH a contribution of $25,000 bringing the total of donations made by Texas School students, instructors and trustees, over a five-year period, to $113,070!

The top “Challenge” donation of $1,905 was made by attendees of the class taught by Lori Nordstrom, and the following classes donated $1,000 or more: Greg and Lesa Daniel, David and Luke Edmondson, Kay Eskridge, Hanson Fong, Mike Fulton and Cody Clinton, Elizabeth and Trey Homan, Gary and Kathy Meek,

How It All Got Started . . .

Texas School is the largest of all PPA Affiliate Schools in the country, and this year the week-long event drew over 1,000 students from throughout the U.S. and abroad. The tradition of PPA Charities fundraising at Texas School began spontaneously in 2008, when a few instructors, who were familiar with PPACH’s support Operation Smile, encouraged their class members to donate. This effort culminated at the Thursday evening all-school party when school director Don Dixon offered to shave his head if the donation could grow to $5000. It did, and Don lost his hair!

In 2009, Texas School instructors encouraged their classes to buy as many smiles as they could by playing an Operation Smile video so that students could learn how this organization’s incredible volunteers can perform life-changing surgery for a desperately needy child for only $240. Jed and Vicki Taufer’s class alone donated an amazing $7,300 for individual contributions and auctions of merchandise and private classes by Jed and Vicki. Their donation, along with those from other classes, along with an impromptu auction of donated vendor items, resulted in a $17,000 contribution to Operation Smile!

Since then, donating to PPA Charities and Operation Smiles has become a tradition at Texas School. The 2014 edition of Texas School will be held in Dallas on April 27 – May 2. For information on Texas School, click here.

2013 Celebration of Smiles Portrait Awards Open on May 1

As 2013 Celebration of Smiles donations are coming in, it’s time for participants to decide which images to enter in the 2013 Portrait Awards competition. A Grand Prize winner will be selected, and trophies will be given to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in each category. To view all of last year’s winners, click here.

Celebration of Smiles 2013 Portrait Awards Rules
Opening Date: May 1
Closing Date: May 15

Entry Eligibility
All Celebration of Smiles Day participants who made a monetary donation from their
promotions are eligible to enter images in the following categories:

  • Baby
    ▪ Child
    ▪ Teen
    ▪ Adult
    ▪ Pet

Entry Fees
Those donating $240 or more will be allowed to enter up to four images at no
charge. Additional images fee of $10 per entry apply. Multiple photographers from a studio
may enter.


  • Entries will be judged by a three-judge panel.
    ▪ 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 2 honorable mentions will be chosen in each category.
    ▪ 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall winners will be chosen.
    ▪ Winners will be announced in June.


  • A trophy will be given to the first place overall.
    ▪ Trophies will be given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each category.

Entry Procedure

  • A link will be provided for uploading images.
    ▪ You will be asked to complete an entry form and pay fee if applicable.
    ▪ mages must be submitted as .jpg and sized as 8×10 at 300dpi.
    ▪ Files must be named as follows: Photographer’s first and last name_category_unique number.
    ▪ Example: JohnSmith_baby_01

You are responsible for obtaining a model release for each entry. When completing the entry
form, you will be asked to agree with the following statement:

The entrant has obtained and has access to all necessary releases (model or
property) and agrees to hold PPA Charities and PPA harmless against all claims
and liabilities arising out of PPA Charities’ and/or PPA’s display, publication and
promotion or other use of each image submitted to PPA Charities.

Beth Forester Pledges 1% of Sales of Her “Baby’s First Year” Plan


PPA Charities will benefit when you purchase Beth Forester’s “PURE” Baby’s First Year Plan! PhotoDUDS’ Beth Forester has pledged to donate 1% of this product’s sales to PPA Charities, with a minimum of $500 pledged.

This proven business plan Is available to you in fully customizable templates, with all the professional designing and copywriting complete and ready for you to launch your very own successful Baby’s First Year Program.

This comprehensive turnkey set has all the materials you need to educate your clients about what you expect and what to wear for each of their sessions. Plus, it has a complete pricing plan with promotional materials for many of the most popular products purchased throughout the year.

To learn more or to order, contact Beth at 304/369.1443 or

PPA Member Allyson Hurley’s Two Passions Merge for Celebration of Smiles Day Fundraiser

In an interesting convergence of professional skills, one of the participants in Celebration of Smiles Day 2013 is Dr. Allyson Hurley, who is both a Certified Professional Photographer and a cosmetic dentist who is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry and an Accredited Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Hurley’s family dental practice is located in Bedminster, NJ. She is being joined in her April 20 event at the Bedminster Library by Tony Koebli of Images by J and A Photography in nearby Clark, NJ.

Allyson’s long-standing interest in photography accelerated when she wasn’t satisfied with average “before and after” shots, which she knew she would need when pursuing her accreditation by the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Tony became her mentor ,and through his tutoring, she earned her Certified Professional Photographer status from PPA. In addition to his studio work, Tony enjoys going on location to do environmental photography for seniors, engagements sessions, weddings and families. He has earned multiple awards at the regional, state and international level in PPA. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and mentors other photographers.

Repeatedly named by her peers as among “Top New Jersey Dentists” by NJ Monthly magazine, Allyson believes that Celebration of Smiles Day is a perfect charitable cause for her to support as a dentist-photographer because it helps to fund the work of Operation Smile. While she thoroughly enjoys her genera dentistry practice, she has a special passion for changing lives by repairing fractured front teeth on young people and restoring smiles on older patients. She is the only woman in New Jersey to earn accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.


The image shown here is typical of the patient photography Allyson as created for her business website, The site also hosts some examples of her nature photography, which you can see at this link. Allyson presently is working on a photo book to be titled The Power of Flowers.

Meredith Wilcke Uses Her Good Fortune and Creativity to Benefit PPA Charities

PPA member Meredith Wilcke, owner of Wilcke Photography in Winter Park, FL, has decided to turn her good fortune into an opportunity to support PPA Charities. She has pledged to donate 50% of her profits from her beautiful images of Tuscany and the Amalfi coast to PPA Charities. Here’s how Meredith explains the motivation behind her generosity:

“Operation Smile is near and dear to me because before I chose to get my BA in Portraiture from Brooks Institute, I was studying at Iowa State University for Speech-Language Pathology. Cleft lip and cleft palate were among the topics I learned about in detail. Even though Speech Language Pathology was a great subject, I found myself falling in love with photography. I listened to my heart and after receiving my degree at Iowa State, I went to Brooks to start over and graduated in 2004. I have always wanted to be able to give back, and when I went to the PPA Charities talk last year at IUSA, I knew I found where I wanted to go with this.

“The next part of this story is that my father decided to make one of my dreams come true last year. He took me to Italy and paid for the whole trip. He let me buy him a Royal with cheese at McDonalds, otherwise, I didn’t spend a penny. We spent eight days touring Tuscany and the Amalfi coast — a trip of a lifetime. For Christmas I gave my father ten canvas wraps of images from our trip that now live in my parents’ kitchen. He told me it was one of the best gifts he’s ever received. I’m glad he’s happy with that, but I would like to honor my father and his generosity by being able to use my talent to pay it forward to help support people who need a change in their lives so desperately.”

You can view the lovely images Meredith is offering to the public through her studio website at this link, and you’ll see how Meredith is offering to preview their image choices on their own walls using her ProSelect software. See Meredith’s portrait work at

safariscreensnapz016 safariscreensnapz015

Congratulations Jason and Ania!


Congratulations to Jason Williams, Snapshots Photography, Salisbury, North Carolina, who was the big winner of the amazing Imaging USA Speakers Basket raffle held at PPA’s annual IUSA convention in Atlanta in January. Valued at over $8,000, these educational items were donated by speakers at IUSA 2012.


Congratulations also to Ania Mikolajewski, who was the lucky winner of an opportunity to document an Operation Smile Mission. Ania’s name was drawn from all those who donated $240 or more in support of Operation Smile in 2012.

Ania, who is a Certified Professional Photographer, is the owner of Denver-area Ania Mikol Photography. Last year she participated in PPA Charities’ first Celebration of Smiles promotion.

PPA Charities Celebration and Gala Auction Provide a Great Start for IUSA in Atlanta



Once again PPA Charities’ Celebration Gala and Auction, held this year on January 19, proved to be a great kickoff for PPA’s Imaging USA convention in Atlanta. PPA members from around the country packed the convention hotel ballroom ready to have a good time, bid on great auction bargains, and celebrate PPA Charities’ 2012 fundraising efforts on behalf of its charitable partner Operation Smile. On hand for the check presentation ceremony with members of the PPA Board of Directors and PPA Charities Trustees was Dr. Bill Magee, who, together with his wife, Kathy, founded Operation Smile. Dr. Magee, shown holding the check at left, was accompanied by his sister-in-law, Beth Marshall, director of Operation Smile’s Southeast Region and Senior Executive Advisor for Latin America, shown holding the check at right.

The $70,000 check means that PPA members have now contributed over $570,000 to Operation Smile, which translates into saving some 2.385 smiles of children around the world.

IUSA to Feature Celebration of Smiles Panel

britney.small david_small meggan_small ann_small clark_small tina_small

Learn how your studio can benefit from participating in PPA Charities’ 2013 Celebration of Smiles Day scheduled for April 6, 2013. This panel presentation will feature organizers and top donors of the 2012 Smiles Day promotion. They’ll highlight the strategies that helped to make their events successful and reveal how their businesses benefited by standing together with photographers throughout the country to raise funds that support the work of Operation Smile and earn recognition through the promotion’s Portrait Awards contest. Panelists will include Meggan Harper (Florida), Clark Sanders (Arkansas) David Grupa (Minnesota) and Tina Timmons (Michigan); moderators will be Ann Monteith (Pennsylvania) and Britney Fullgraf (Florida), co-chairs of the 2013 event.