President’s Message-December 2016



President’s Message

By Dana Lunden, FSA, FED


Pay It Forward

This time of the year usually brings out the best and also the worst in people. Bear with me as I explain. Having been a law enforcement officer for about 26 years (until I retired in 2010,) I had the opportunity to deal with people in a variety of situations. Most of the time these situations were not because little Johnny got straight A’s on his report card, rather he had received less than satisfactory grades and punched holes in the walls of his home when he and his parents fought. Or a number of other calls where these folks would have preferred I had not been called.

The holidays, not only Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years, but basically all of them when families get together to celebrate, are a disaster waiting to happen for many families. Now one would think that a person would be happy to see a relative he or she hadn’t seen in a while, catch up on family news or whatever. But, you see, after all that happens, which may take 15 or 20 minutes (yes, there was a little bit of sarcasm in my typing) people start to wear on each other. They remember what was said or done the last time they were together. Slowly the anger and resentment builds. Once the boiling point is reached, well, you know what happens next. Arguments, fights, domestic altercations and worse occur and lo and behold, here come the patrol cars.

Yes, I have seen people at their absolute worst. And I have seen people at their best. I’ve been in a restaurant more than once and witnessed a patron pay for the meals of an older couple, the husband obviously a veteran and the look on their faces when the server told them “Thank you for your service and your meals were taken care of,” well, it was pretty emotional. What a wonderful thing to see and also do for someone else who isn’t expecting it and has no idea who their benefactor was!

Sometimes we may go to a restaurant and get great service; the server did his or her job very well and therefore we tip them very well. What if the orders were wrong, the service wasn’t great and it’s obvious that the server wasn’t having a great day. We don’t know what is going on in that server’s life. Instead of making their day worse by leaving them a small tip or even worse, none at all, what if we genuinely offer them a thank you, wish them a great day and leave them a fantastic tip?! That may make the difference between them being able to buy food for their table, help to pay their electric bill or buy their child’s school lunch. We have no way of knowing how much good it will do for that person. If it brings a smile to their face, that is worth it.

As people, we have the ability to change the way we “see” things, either in a positive light or in a negative fashion. As photographers, we have a unique ability to “see” people in a way a lot of others don’t or can’t see. Many people in this world cannot afford the services of a professional photographer to capture and record the way their families look at a precise moment in time. Or, when their children are confirmed or they score their first goal or base hit.

No matter what kind of event it is, life event, sports event, graduation, whatever, we as professional photographers have a unique ability to capture a myriad of events in peoples’ lives and make a real difference. Making a difference in peoples’ lives can be in a variety of ways. Maybe we can offer our services by volunteering at our church, that is a great start! How about volunteering our services at Hospice to provide a portrait of a loved one for the family or to cancer patients or for veterans? I’m sure if we brainstorm enough we can come up with a lengthy list of people in need who would appreciate a professionally created portrait. As members of the Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee, we can not only make a difference in others’ lives but also our own by using our talents, knowledge, experience, expertise and God-given vision to do something good for someone else without expecting or accepting payment. 

That is known as paying it forward.


Don’t forget, annual membership renewals are due on January 1, 2017! Visit to renew online

PPMT December Meeting and Christmas Holiday Celebration

Join us for our December PPMT meeting and Christmas Holiday Celebration on Tuesday, December 13th, 7:15 pm at The Row, 110 Lyle Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203. Our guest speaker is Dorma Tabisz. Our grand prize drawing for eligible PPMT members is an Alien Bee “Digi Bee” flash unit.*
The Row’s website is:
Guests and family members are invited. You are welcome to purchase your own meal. Entree prices range from $10-$20. And, here’s a link to the menu:

Click here to become a PPMT member.
*Guests and family members are not eligible for door prizes or the grand prize drawing.


PPMT President’s Message-November 2016

President’s Message

by Dana Lunden, FSA, FED


It’s that time of the year again. We all look forward to the holidays, some of us with great anticipation, others with great trepidation. What if my only camera breaks at this shoot coming up and I don’t have a back-up available? What if my computer crashes and I lose files? What if? What if??


How we deal with the “what if’s” depends a lot upon our way of thinking, our training, our business practices, who we associate with (yes, seriously!) and how prepared we are, among other things. First, how do you look at that glass- half full or half empty? If we always doubt ourselves, doubt that we will do a good job at those family portraits we have scheduled tomorrow, doubt our abilities, whatever, then we have some realigning to do in our thinking.  Remember, positive attracts positive, negative attracts negative. Stay with me here, as the things I have mentioned all interact with each other.


If you are first starting out in photography and have the passion and the drive to make it your life’s work, then there’s a good chance you can succeed. You have to get educated in the science and the art of photography. You must have a working knowledge of such things as lighting, the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed and how to adjust them to get the specific effect you want or else you’ll just put the camera’s settings on “P for Professional” and hope for the best. There is a time and a place for “P” and when you are first learning, that is not the time to set the camera on “P.” You need to have a general knowledge of the ISO, aperture and shutter speed, as well as some of the accepted “rules” before you can go out and successfully break those rules.


Once you have that knowledge,  when a potential job comes your way, you will have the confidence that  you can fulfill the requirements of the job and get paid. So where do you acquire this knowledge? Lots of places. Many community colleges have non credit courses that teach the nuts and bolts of photography. Do a search on your computer for such courses. Go to your local camera store and talk to the people who work there. Speaking of your local camera store, that is a great place to start building relationships with those people who can help you. They are only too willing to help you in your quest for knowledge. Since many of them if not most are photographers themselves, they will be a great resource since they were once in your shoes. So take courses, go to seminars, hang with other photographers, volunteer to take sports photos at your local high school, join professional photography organizations, like the Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee (, the Tennessee Professional Photographers Association and PPA, the Professional Photographers of America. They are all great resources.


PPA conducts seminars on business practices; this is important: you might be the most gifted photographer in the world but if you don’t get the word out, market yourself and your business and discipline yourself to work on a schedule, you won’t stay in  business very long. Also, who you hang out with affects you more than you may think.

Eagles soar with other eagles, they don’t hang with turkeys. Hang around with and learn from other photographers. If you can, do an internship with a pro, learn all you can except for the bad or unproductive habits then move on.


Finally, preparation is paramount. No matter what it is, if you are not prepared, it will show. So, how much of a burning desire do you have to be a professional photographer? It is not an easy job. It is not all glamorous. But, if that is what you want, the only thing stopping you is you. No one can beat us up as well as we can. So decide what it is that you want; if that is to be a professional photographer, then go get it. One of the professional organizations locally you can go to for help is the Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee,


Remember, what you become is up to you, no one else.

Dana Lunden, President PPMT

Welcome to our new website and blog!

After a couple of months of planning, we are delighted to announce the launch of our new PPMT website.  We also have a new domain and email address.  The new url for our website is:  We have an SSL certificate which means this is a secure and trusted website where all transactions, logins and data transmission through our site are encrypted and safe.  SSL Certificates protect our members’ sensitive information such as credit card information, usernames, passwords etc. 

Our new email address is

We wanted a fresh new look and a more functional website to communicate with and better serve our members and community of professional photographers, to improve member benefits, to encourage our organization’s growth, to elevate the businesses and photography of our local professional photographers and to make joining PPMT an easier process.  With a clean, fresh, more modern design, our website is easier to navigate and members can join and renew online through our membership management system.

Here are some of the features of the new PPMT website:

  1. Improved functionality and navigation
  2. Easy account and profile management
  3. Online member/photographer directory
  4. Newsletter archives and signup form
  5. Facebook feed and follow button
  6. Upcoming events list and calendar
  7. Sponsor page
  8. Member-only content
  9. PPMT Blog
  10. Member Testimonials

We hope you like the fresh new look to our website and the improved navigation that will allow you to find the information you need.

We are continuing to update our website with new and useful information about our organization, so please check back frequently for updates.

We value your opinion!

Please comment below or contact us  to let us know what you think of our new website – all comments and feedback are welcome. Please also let us know if you cannot find something or would like to make any suggestions for new information or topics.

Many thanks for your ongoing support and we look forward to hearing from you!