Frequently Asked Questions
Member Benefits and Services
Categories of Membership
Categories are available for business owners, employees, as well as aspiring professionals and students enrolled full time in photography programs. There is also our Corporate membership category for persons and firms who provide products and services to the industry. Some benefits listed are at no additional charge to members and the remaining benefits (such as seminars/workshops) are always available at the lowest price for PPGBA members.
Regular meetings are generally held on the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. (except December). Each meeting features outstanding speakers who come to PPGBA from all over the world to bring new ideas, fresh perspectives, and a wealth of information about their photographic specialties – from portraiture to commercial photography, fine art to wedding photography.
Want to learn more about what industry suppliers and manufacturers have to offer? The finest major product and service providers in northern California are members of PPGBA. PPGBA also hosts special social events so members can build professional contacts, form friendships, kick back and have FUN!
Four Nights Workshops
Four Nights workshops feature visits to local photographers who present their personal approach towards their particular specialty of photography.
At most monthly meetings, members have an opportunity to have images evaluated and critiqued by a panel of jurors. Award ribbons are presented to those who score above certain levels. Entrants qualify for year-end trophy and “Photographer of the Year” competitions. This is an effective way to develop and refine a personal style and is also an opportunity to earn recognition that can be used to publicize your business within your community.
PPGBA also offers many volunteer opportunities, where members can serve their profession while building their organizational and management skills.
A listing of PPGBA members and a gallery of members’ images can be found on the association website. Professional Active members may also use PPGBA’s logo on on their marketing materials for increased credibility and consumer awareness.
Full-day seminars are offered during the year to give more extensive exposure to a speaker or topic. Many of these programs feature hands-on exercises and/or live demonstrations with models.
The monthly Bulletin newsletter, recognized by PPA as an award-winning association newsletter, includes articles on events, techniques, business ideas, and industry news.
PPGBA also publishes an annual membership directory – this is an excellent resource for referrals and other information about local colleagues.
The association’s web site contains listings and details about PPGBA activities and events.
PPGBA is one of the largest local affiliates of the Professional Photographers of America, an international association of more than 20,000 members. Membership in PPA is optional and separate from PPGBA and the two organizations are independently managed and governed. Through its “merit and degree program,” PPA also supports a nationwide network of speakers on photographic topics. PPGBA’s 1978 president (and honorary life member) Bill Martinelli was president of PPA in 1996.
Through various scholarship programs, PPGBA offers opportunities for association members to attend our workshops at no cost.
Special Benefits for Corporate Membership
Part of the nationwide Professional Photographers of America Affiliated Schools network, the Golden Gate School photographic workshop program is recognized as one of the foremost providers of professional photography seminars in the U.S. Founded by PPGBA in 1984, GGS offers a selection of well-known instructors who present an intensive learning experience, often with hands-on activities. The school is committed to helping students to increase their artistic, technical, and business skills. The team of experienced association volunteers who organize and operate the school are dedicated to providing affordable, quality education for all career levels.