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Whimsical Wisps - © Alison Lapzcuk

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

May 2020 E Blast ALBERTA by Robert Skoye

Message from the Chair – Susie O’Connor

Hello PPOC friends. 

It’s only the end of April as I sit down to write my May message from the chair. 

A crazy shift has happened in the last month that feels like a year or maybe 10. There is still a lot of uncertainty but there’s good news and horizon. As of today the government has rolled out a plan to re-open our province.  It is very exciting for us to get back to work, earning an income to support our families. Of course by the time you’re reading this it will already be two weeks later and the world will have changed again. My fingers are crossed that the changes in the next few weeks and months to come are positive and as photographers we are recognized as necessary to businesses, families and individuals as we fulfill their needs this summer. 

Our hearts are with our friends in Fort McMurray right now as the go through their recovery phase. 

We’re Albertans and we’re all in this together, whether it’s a global pandemic or provincial flooding. 

We will come out on top. 



Susie O’Connor, MPA


Message from Past Chair – Jen Gwynn

I thought I would continue with my theme of wellness. There is very little in the literature on the psychological effects we are experiencing now, while we are quarantined on such a big scale. The last pandemic of this degree was in 1918 with the Spanish Flu. A hundred and two years ago we didn't have the rigorous scientific processes that we have now, so we have little to go on that can meaningfully help us right now. Our understanding of mental health and wellness is very different now than back then too.

Countries and communities have been preparing for a pandemic like this, but they are going off of projections and models. Scientific knowledge of how people experience quarantine during a pandemic has been intermittent with lesser pandemics, but is also now being conducted with this one. It takes years to develop a trusted body of research in an area. I would like to offer validation that this is a new-to-us phenomenon on this scale, and can be experienced in a wide range of different ways.

So what do we do to help ourselves while quarantined? We need to find psychological tools and resources that work for us. We need to be mindful of our thoughts (positive or negative), and reach out to supports if necessary. Mindfulness practices, as well as helping others are found to be particularly helpful in ongoing stressful situations like this one (Di Giuseppe, et al, 2020). Boredom and frustration need to be avoided where possible (Brooks, et al, 2020). Wellness may be impacted for longer than the quarantine exists as we try to get back to our normal routine (Brooks, et al, 2020), so turning these interventions into long-term habits would be a good idea.

One thing we do know about what we are experiencing, is that we will get through this together. Find opportunities during this time. In what ways can you grow or move forward in a time that seems to be standing still? Does your business plan need updating? Have you been wanting time to tweak your branding, or add new items in your service menu? Get ready for the reopening of your business.

This will end. Things will get better; it always does. Avoid boredom, be mindful of your emotions, find ways to help others under the stay-at-home guidelines, and start practicing mindfulness.

Brooks, S., Webster, R., Smith, L, Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N. & Rubin, G. (2020). The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet. 395. Pgs 912-920.

Di Giuseppe, M., Gemignani, A., & Conversano, C. (2020). Psychological resources against the traumatic experience of Covid-19. Clinical Neuropsychiatry. (17)2, Pg. 85-87.


Jen Gwynn, BN, RN, MPA  


Message from the Alberta National Director – Chris Thombs

As I write this  I don’t know where we will be when you read this. As I now have had to scrap my original message as things are changing once again. So I am going to keep it really simple and general.

I know some like me have closed down our photography businesses, and moved out of our brick and mortar studios. Others are finding work to keep them busy.

If you are working please ensure you educate your self and your clients about the health protocols. There is an old saying from my previous life, “know harm, no harm”, so be diligent and safe please. 

While I wait for the all clear I am preparing for the next phase of my business. I am also making time to be creative. Because of course this is why we are in this business to begin with. 

Come join us on Instagram, follow @create_unite, and join in the weekly challenge. Or find inspiration and create your own projects.

Thank you doing your bit to #FlattenTheCurve and hope you all are continuing to #FlatteningTheCurve. Thank you all for chipping in. 

Be Well

Chris TT Thombs CD, MPA, SPA
PPOC National Director (Alberta)
National Mentorship Chair

P.S. Also know we have voted at the National Board to give every one three months of relief for their dues, and we are planning future events in the new environment we are living in.


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PPOC AB Convention #LightMATTERS – Jackie Standing


LightMATTERS 2020

Alberta Light Matters Conference is going VIRTUAL

October 23rd-25th


In light of the growing concerns around COVID-19, the difficult decision has been made to cancel the in-person component of the LightMATTERS Education Event this year. The health and safety of members, speakers and everyone who helps in contributing to the success of LightMATTERS Education Event is always top priority. However, there are still plans to replace the in-person event with a virtual conference, complete with the same quality speakers and education value, all accessible from the comfort of your own home.  More details to follow in the months ahead! 


Congratulations to Best in Class Winners and Designation Recipients


Best in Class Fashion

Katherine Calnan


Best in Class Conceptual Illustration

Jenny Gwynn MPA


Best in Class Group Portrait

Cheryl Webb


Best in Class Child Portrait

Ammara Sadiq


Best in Class Newborn

Cassandra Jones


Craftsman of Photographic Arts - CPA

Melanie Cervo

Gerald David

Craig Sallenbach

Cheryl Webb


Master of Photographic Arts - MPA

Gerald David

Iris Jackson

Jeff Noon

Tanya Sedore


MPA 1st Bar

Chelsea Jones


3rd bar

Allan Bailey

Darwin Mulligan

Jill Shantz


Service of Photographic Arts - SPA

Chris Thombs


Getting to Know You - Kim Berlie

Hey Alberta Members!! You are missing a great opportunity to connect with PPOC colleagues throughout the Province by letting them know more about your photography business and interests. 


Us the following link to fill out the Profile survey and we could feature your business in our monthly news e-blasts. We alternate between the three branches on a monthly basis.  This highlight features a headshot and an image that means a lot to you as well as your pertinent contact info.


Please take the time to let us get to know you better.




News from the Membership Chair – Marlene Palamarek


Stay safe and healthy, and continue to put the internet to good use in your downtime when you can! Don’t forget to join and watch the Facebook Alberta Members Only group as well as the various newsletters to stay informed



Say Hi to our newest Alberta Members


Hari Singh - South branch

Justyna Marino - North Branch

Kaitlin Roth - Central Branch

Carlin Doeksen – North Branch


Branch Member Representatives

Mark Hughes – North Branch

Ken Parnell – Central Branch

Craig Sallenbach – South Branch




Mentorship – Chris Thombs


All Future Proteges and Mentors.


Being part of a Mentorship and Protege relationship is normally the start of something beautiful. Either in the creating new friendships, and/or the rise of photographic excellence. 


Mentors are an excellent source for Proteges to prepare for Accreditation as well as Image Competition (formally Salon). 


Mentors and Proteges learn from each other, as sometimes the proteges will help refresh the Mentors world view and expand it. 


Also with Mentors get to know the organization and the website better because they are not only sharing their experiences, they are also ready to find out answers to help their proteges. 


So with all of these advantages to being part of the program, join up and grow.


Proteges wanting guidance 


A Mentor must;


1) Have three years of membership or two years with PPOC Board experience.

2) Be accredited

3) Have strong organizational skills

4) Have strong leadership skills

5) Be results driven,

6) And accountable.


To be a Mentor 


If you have any questions please use mentorship@ppoc.ca to ask them as they will not get lost on Facebook or the other social media platforms






Are you familiar with this incredible educational opportunity that's delivered directly to your screen? If not, you're missing out! This used to be brought to you the 3rd Wednesday of each month but with the changes due to COVID-19 the schedule is ramping up. 


Gerry David hosts PPOClive, a digital webinar meeting for members from across the country.  The meeting includes time to socialize and get acquainted with your fellow members, as well as a one-hour educational program.  Here's what's on tap (topics and presenters are tentative):



May 20 - 6 pm Mountain Time - Bruce Hendricks - Lighting part Deux




 The programs begin at 6 pm MDT unless otherwise noted and use Go-To-Meeting Software.  If you're interested in taking part, email Gerry directly at webinars@ppoc.ca and he'll ensure you're receiving the meeting links.  


If you're in a rural area and find it difficult to attend functions and meet your fellow members in person, this is a fantastic way to grow your peer group.  If you have a topic you'd be interested in learning more about, or if you have an idea or technique you'd like to share as an instructor at a PPOClive session, please contact Gerry directly.


Central Branch


AI emerging role in photography with Aaron Hockly

June 8th


Social Meetup format To be Determined

July date and time TBD


Composite Work with Ric Matkowski

August date and time TBD


Photo Contest Theme for Meetings

May – Young and Old


Central Branch Board
Central Branch Chair:  Ric Matkowski

Vice Chair:  Jacquie Matechuk

Past Chair:  Peter Gold

Sec/Treas:  Stephanie Bunch

Directors at Large:  Gerry David & Shelley Vandervelde

Membership Chair:  Ken Parnell

Education Advisor:  Mark Laurie

Communication Chair:  Katherine Calnan

Accreditation Advisors:  Mark Laurie, Shelley Vandervelde, Linda Senychych

Photo Contests: Tracy Hope

Social Director:  Open position



North Branch


Styling and Shoot Out with Fox and Gem Photography

Saturday May 23rd, 2020 6:00pm

Location / Online TBD



North Branch Board

North Branch Chair: Chelsea Jones

Vice Chair: VACANT

Treasurer/Secretary: Theresa Bradley

Social Chair: Chris Thombs

Communications Chair: Bromley Chamberlain

Education Chair: Tamara Taylor

Membership Chair: Mark Hughs

Director at Large: Jake Bradley

COMMUNITY LIAISONS: Grande Prairie: Stephen Mah - skmah@telusplanet.net




South Branch


Painting with Photoshop with Gerry David

June 10th 6:30pm ONLINE

Links will be sent out closer to the date


Staying Connected While Staying Home

Hello Friends! 
Starting in MAY- South Branch is hosting a weekly south branch casual chat each Monday morning at 10am for anyone available to log in.  It will be short and sweet and just a way to stay connected, share ideas and see how everyone is doing while we are all staying home. A great opportunity to give each other encouragement and support over these next upcoming weeks as we pivot our lives and businesses.  Hope to see you there! 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 934 1992 3510
Password: 057782


South Branch Board

South Branch Chair: Jackie Standing

Vice Chair: Melanie Cervo

Treasurer/Secretary: Craig Sallenbach

Communications Chair: Megan Groenenboom

Membership Portfolio: Craig Sallenbach


South Branch Board and Portfolio

Volunteer positions available within the South Branch.  Please let Jackie Standing know if you would be interested in volunteering and earning merits

 Social Media Update – Craig Sallenbach

Always looking to do what we can to promote our members and bring meaningful content.  If there is anything you would like to be promoted to the public though the Facebook PPOC AB Public page or the Instagram account don’t hesitate to let me know at Photo@Fused-Elements.com

Please remember to Like and Follow the posts at

Facebook PPOC Alberta Public Page - https://www.facebook.com/PPOC.Alberta.Public/

Instagram Alberta Public - https://www.instagram.com/ppoc_ab/


Regional Board Members 2020


Susie O’Connor: Chair – susie@imagesstudios.com

Chelsea Jones: Vice Chair – ppoc@vitalityimages.ca

Chris Thombs: National Director – ppoc@onestepbeyond.ca

Tanya Sedore: Secretary/Treasurer - tanya@tsedore.com

Jenn Gwynn: Past Chair & Task List - imajenphoto@yahoo.ca


Branch Chairs

Chelsea Jones: North Branch Chair – ppoc@vitalityimages.ca 

Ric Matkowski: Central Branch Chair - images.by.ric@gmail.com

Jackie Standing: South Branch Chair & Convention Chair  jackie@standoutphotography.ca


Directors at Large

Allan Bailey: Director/Merit Chair – allan@baileyphotographic.ca

Craig Sallenbach: Director/Social Media Chair/Comms – photo@fused-elements.com

Marlene Palamarek: Director/Membership Chair - marlene.palamarek@gmail.com

Gerry David: Director/Image Competition Chair - geraldpdavid@me.com



Craig Sallenbach: Communications – photo@fused-elements.com

Craig Sallenbach: Social Media Chair – photo@fused-elements.com

Allan Bailey: Merit Chair – allan@baileyphotographic.ca

Gerry David: Image Competition Chair - geraldpdavid@me.com

Robert Skoye: Website – robert.skoye@gmail.com

Kim Berlie: Best of Alberta Display – kimberliephoto@gmail.com

Jackie Standing: Convention Chair  jackie@standoutphotography.ca

Chelsea Jones: Magazine – ppoc@vitalityimages.ca


Need Merits?  Volunteers Needed!

Various positions are available at the Regional and/or the Branch level please contact the Regional or Branch contacts https://www.ppoc.ca/regions/ab/ppoc-ab_contacts.php

Susie O’Connor or Chris Thombs – Alberta

Chelsea Jones – North Branch

Ric Matkowski – Central Branch

Jackie Standing – South Branch



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