We are a FAMILY, your biggest cheerleaders! As a non-profit organization for professional photographers, our greatest passion is dreaming of ways to help you grow a profitable, passionate, and authentic business. You wanna know what else lights us up? Making people feel, own, and celebrate their enough-ness and feel less alone… because sometimes this journey can get a little lonely, which is why community over competition is super important to our vision. We want to be that permission-granter in your life that whispers, “You really can do this.”
Are you new to the profession? Have you been a photographer 30+ years? That’s cool. Our membership consists of photographers from all backgrounds and experience levels; from those just starting out in their photographic careers to well-seasoned Master Photographers. Although a majority of our members are wedding and portrait photographers, our membership also represents newborn, illustrative, artists, landscape, architectural and commercial photography.
Come hang with us, have some laughs, sit back and relax while advancing your photographic imaging as an art and a profession.
Hey, guys! My name is Chris Garner, and I’m the current President of PPNC.
Whether you’re visiting our website for the first time, or if you’ve been a member since color film was a new-fangled thing, I want to welcome you here and tell you a little bit about my journey with this organization.
When I started professional photography in May of 2000, I was lucky enough to have a dad who knew the value of professional trade associations such as the Professional Photographers of North Carolina. His advice to me was to invest the first money I made into a trip to the PPNC Convention (now known as Carolina Photo Expo), and to use that investment to create relationships with other photographers. In doing so, not only have I created life-long friendships, but I have also created a solid base of mentors and peers that I can openly share information with, bounce ideas off of, and trust to tell me when I’m getting ready to screw up.
So what makes PPNC different? What makes PPNC worth it? To me, its simple and obvious, and it is three distinct reasons. The first reason sounds ridiculously cliché, but in all honesty, it’s a sense of family – and it completely supports the other two reasons, which are fun and competitiveness.
PPNC truly is like a big, slightly-dysfunctional, crazy, passionate North Carolina family. I won’t name any names, but we have the wise grandfathers, the crafty little sisters, the super-sweet-spoil-you-to-death aunts, the serious fathers, the big brothers you always look up to, the drunk uncles, the mothers who look like they’re all prim and proper but really like to party hard… I could go on.
So you can imagine that with all this diversity, we have tons of FUN! Whether its dancing, dining, learning, sharing, drinking or confiding…we are out to do all of this while having a great time. Also like any family, we are extremely competitive. We are always trying to one-up each other and earn some sort of bragging rights. And you know what this does? It makes you better. It pushes you to be your best, and your business and photography will reflect this.
Participation is key. Wallflowers will learn a few things here and there, but if you really get in here and get your hands dirty with us – socializing, volunteering, teaching - the rewards will be immeasurable.
To put it in a nutshell, if my dad hadn’t insisted that I be a part of PPNC, I honestly – with my whole heart – believe that I wouldn’t have lasted in this industry. Now I’m almost 20 years in with a staff of myself and two other full-time photographers and a handful of part-time photographers, with a business that sustains my family and their families. We’re continuing to grow, but – most importantly – we’re having fun doing it. We do what we love, so we don’t really work. And I owe a large part of the success to PPNC.
Glad you are here and we are looking forward to meeting you!