Our next PPMT meeting is January 9, 2024, ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY: WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT, with Susan Ruach



Ever wonder how an abstract photo was made?  Or what it “meant”? Or said to yourself about an abstract photo, “Huh?  I just don’t get it.”  Or maybe you really liked an abstract painting and wondered if you could do something like that with your camera. This program will look at abstract photography and abstract art in general.  We will reflect on the meaning and value of abstract photography.  In case you might want to try creating your own abstract photos for fun, we will also look briefly at some types of abstract photography and ways of making abstract images including realistic abstracts, mining an image, camera movement techniques and digital manipulation.


Susan Ruach is a spiritual seeker, a wife, mother, grandmother and friend who loves to travel. She spent forty-three years working as a minister, mostly in administration, creating programs and working in spiritual formation as a way to continue seeking and to share her learnings with others. She began her photography journey more than 30 years ago as a way to share the beauty she saw on her travels around the world. Now, she sees herself as a lens-based artist (“All of my art starts through the lens of a camera.”)  whose photographic art focuses on abstract, macro and nature images as a way to invite the viewer to deeper reflection.


Susan says, “If I’m not creating, my soul dries up.  A friend once emailed me a stunning image of mountains and a lake.  When I saw it, my whole body relaxed. Some images have the power to change us:  to reduce stress, to inspire us, to teach us, to energize us, to heal us, to be a “thin place” in the Celtic sense and to reconnect us to our souls.“


Photography is currently her best and favorite way of creating, and her favorite images are abstracts.  She believes abstract photography (and abstract art in general) can surprise people and invite them to think and feel differently, to move us to a different place, by bypassing some of the barriers we put up to being in touch with our deepest selves. She makes images to call us to break through the numbness and distraction that our fast-paced, care-less culture often cultivates.


Her art is about inviting herself and others to pause, to breathe, to go beneath the surface, to feel and think more deeply, to wander inside our own souls, to reconnect with our creative energy and to touch the Mystery.


TONIGHT: February 13th PPMT meeting with Speaker Elena Ganusova

Tonight, February 13th

PPMT meeting at Watkins College of Art

2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37228
Directions click here Watkins College of Art
Many thanks again to Watkins College of Art and Film for allowing us to meet in their wonderful facility!

5pm we meet for dinner at Kebabs Gyros & Pita Bar nearby at 2288 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37228.
Great food, right next door to Watkins College of Art!

Here’s the link:     http://www.kebabgyros.com/     

6pm – Elena Ganusova will give a program on Creative Composition in Photoshop

Elena Ganusova will be speaking on

  •     How we see things
  •     Inspiration for creative composition
  •     Texture and frame creation
  •     Basics of an image composition
  •     Tricks and tweaks in image composing

Elena was born and raised in Siberia.  She holds an PhD in microbiology and biophysics and has worked in research labs her entire career.  Elena fell in love with photography as a 6 year old when her father introduced her to the magic of black and white photography.  As her interest in photography grew stronger over the years, Elena decided to study photography at the University of TN in Knoxville and received her first certification there.

Elena is a member of PPA and is the proud creator of five merit images (3 photographic open and 2 master artist), and has achieved 20 service merits.  She is working towards her PPA Craftsman degree.

Elena has also received numerous awards from the Tennessee Professional Photographers Association (TNPPA) including a Top Ten designation for 2017.

Hello Valued Members

Thank you to our members that attended our last meeting.  We elected officers are as follows:

Chairman of the Board:  Donna Butler

President:  Dorma Tabisz

Treasurer:  Sandra Hafford

Executive Secretary:  Michael Gustafson

Member at Large:  Peggy Weatherington

We still need a Vice-President and Secretary.  Please consider filling one of these two spots.  You will only get out of this organization what you are willing to put into it.  We are in a growing year which is so exciting.  These two positions are not very time consuming.  I know we all have busy lives, however it is well worth your time investment.

Who went to Imaging?  Did you attend any presentations or just the trade show?  My personal opinion is that this was one of the best Imaging events of the past few years.  There was much hands on in the presentations and the inspiration was stellar!

Where do you go to get your inspiration?  Do you follow certain photographers?  Do you take online or physical classes?  Do you study art?  Do you read instructional books?  Do you go to workshops?  All of those have their pluses and minuses.  The point of the questions is that we always need to be open to improving our skills and knowledge.

Our February speaker, Elena Ganusova, will provide you with much inspiration.  Her artwork is beyond compare.  One of the benefits of your membership is hearing well qualified, inspirational speakers at our meetings.

615-947-7282 or dtabisz@mac.com


February 13th   “Creative Composition in Photoshop”
6 pm at Watkins College of Art and Film
Join us at 5pm for dinner next door at Kebabs Gyros & Pita Bar,  2288 Rosa L Parks Blvd


PPMT 2017 Board of Directors

Donna Butler – Chairman and Immediate Past President
Dorma Tabisz   –  President
Sandra Hafford – Treasurer
Peggy Weatherington – Member at Large
Michael Gustafson – Executive Secretary

If you are new to us:
We invite you to join us. First time visitors are free!

Join the Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee today.
Go to ppmtonline.com and fill in the form for membership.
Your payment can be made online.

Follow us on facebook – click here

PPMT Board Meeting-Saturday, December 2, 2017


For all PPMT Members,

Our next board meeting is tomorrow, Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 10am at the 100 Oaks Panera located at 2534 Powell Ave, Nashville, TN 37204. The event details are posted on the PPMT website calendar and our blog.

All PPMT members are invited and encouraged to attend.

This is a very important meeting as we discuss details about our organization for 2018.

I have attached the agenda for our board meeting.  Please PRINT it out and bring it with you.

Again, we will meet at 10am at the 100 Oaks Panera. The meeting should last no more than 2 hours.

As always, bring your ideas and suggestions to the meeting for discussion.


See you tomorrow!  I look forward to a productive meeting.

Donna Butler, PPMT President

PPMT 2017 Annual Holiday Dinner

Annual PPMT Holiday Dinner
Hermitage House Smorgasbord

3131 Lebanon Pike
Nashville TN 37214,

Tue Dec 12 2017, 6:00pm

The cost is $17 per person

(The restaurant requires that everyone pay whether they eat or not)

Guests are welcome


Be sure to wear your beautiful Christmas sweater
your beautifully ugly Christmas sweater.


Bring an ornament for the ornament exchange
(not more than a $10 value)


There will be lots of good food and a great time to get to know each other


Lots of cool door prizes!

Fun! Fun! Fun

Join the Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee today.
Go to ppmtonline.com and fill in the form for membership.
Your payment can be made online.

PPMT Summer Picnic Potluck-June, 2017

Food, Fellowship and Fun!  What could be better?

You’re invited to our PPMT Summer Picnic on June 13th at 4pm at Two Rivers Park, 3150 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37214

Bring a dish and join the fun!

For details, visit the PPMT website calendar


You must RSVP and let us know what you will bring.

RSVP and potluck sign up here

This is an “open” event and you may bring family members or a guest. We look forward to seeing you there!

You don’t want to miss our next monthly meeting with Genna Sellers on July 11, 2017.   Genna Sellers will be sharing her enthusiasm for food photography including some of the tips and tricks that will take your imagery to the next level. Visit our website calendar for more information.

If you would like to become a PPMT member click HERE.  We’d love to have you join us!

Announcing PPMT’s April Peers’ Choice Competition Winner-Dorma Tabisz

Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee

is pleased to announce the winner of this month’s Peers’ Choice Competition: award-winning photographer from Franklin, TN, Dorma Tabisz. 

This month’s winning image was selected by votes cast by PPMT’s top professional photographers.

Congratulations to Dorma and thank you to all those who participated.  Our next Peers’ Choice Competition will be held at our May 9th monthly meeting.


In her own words, Dorma shares the story behind her winning image, “Ruffle My Feathers”…

“Ruffle My Feathers is an art piece created from an image taken at Brookgreen Gardens near Murrells Inlet, SC.  My original image is just the beginning of my process in which I used several Photoshop techniques to achieve my final look.  The background is from my texture collection.  The bird is processed using the oil paint filter in Photoshop.  Using masks and the mixture brush enabled me to clean up the birds edges and lengthen the feathers over the texture.  It was very important to diminish the harsh highlights from the afternoon sun and enhance the shadows around the body of the bird to give it dimension.

I have been a photographer for about 16 years now.  I chose to begin my business a few years after that.  I prefer the artsy side of photography, however I also photograph families, high school seniors, professional headshots, and am an assistant wedding photographer.  I have been a member of PPA for over 12 years now, and joined TNPPA 10 years ago this summer.  I have served as President of our PPMT organization and am a past president of TNPPA.  I was awarded my PPA Masters of Photography degree in 2015.  I wear that ribbon and my state degrees (Tennessee Certified Degree and Tennessee Service Degree) proudly.  I am most proud of achieving the 3rd place award in the International Kodak Award competition.  I never would have believed someone if they had told me that I would achieve any of these distinctions.  I could not have done it without the support of my local PPA affiliate (PPMT), my state PPA affiliate (TNPPA), and PPA.  The education received has been exemplary.  The friendships are priceless!!”

The Peers’ Choice Competition is presented by the Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee (PPMT), Middle Tennessee’s official trade association of professional photographers and local affiliate for the Professional Photographers of America.

Click HERE to learn more about PPMT’s Peers’ Choice Competition.

To view all of this month’s Peers’ Choice Competition entries visit our online gallery 

SOMETHING NEW: PPMT Peers’ Choice Competition (April 11, 2017)


We have something new and exciting going on!  Our Peers’ Choice Competition will be held at our monthly meetings from now on (with the exception of select events or programs).

It’s a way to challenge members to compete and improve their photography.  The ultimate goal is to reward a member as PPMT “Photographer of the Year” for achievement and excellence in photography.  We will be featuring the winning entries on the blog every month.

We are also discussing ideas for expanding the “Photographer of the Year” program to include other avenues of excellence such as service, providing content for the website, etc. This is in the works, however, but we are starting with the monthly Peers’ Choice Competition.  And, I want to give a BIG thank you to Dorma Tabizs for heading this program up.

So get those images printed to compete at our next meeting, April 11th, 2017.  You must provide an accompanying digital file of your image by uploading at the link at the bottom of this email or on portable storage media at the meeting.

Details can be found at our website under the events tab.  (Please follow the submission guidelines).


How it works:

At each of our monthly meetings, PPMT members at any paid membership level can submit up to two 8 x 10 or 8×12 prints for judging and voting by their peers in the PPMT’s Peers’ Choice Competition with an entry fee of $3.oo per image.  Any paid member may compete and place; however, competitors in the Student and Aspiring membership levels are not eligible for the “Photographer of the Year” award and do not receive reward points. There are no set categories or restrictions on subject matter or genres at this time.  PPMT members vote by secret ballot on the images and the highest scores win.  Those who win are awarded points toward PPMT’s “Photographer of the Year”, if eligible.  The winner each month receives 2 points towards “PPMT Photographer of the Year” and a door prize.  Points earned from the votes cast by PPMT members are accumulated during the course of each year. The eligible photographer who earns the highest annual point total is awarded the prestigious PPMT Peers’ Choice Competitions “Photographer of the Year”.  All award-winning images in our Peers’ Choice Competitions are published in gallery showcase on our website. Each month’s winner and “Photographer of the Year” will be featured on our website blog.


Required Guidelines for Submitting Images:

Make sure you follow all the submission guidelines so your print is eligible to receive votes for the Peer’s Choice monthly competition and “Photographer of the Year” awards.

  • Prints can only be submitted by PPMT members at any membership level (all members may vote in the competition).
  • Prints must be accompanied by a $3 entry fee per print (paid at the meeting).
  • Each print must be un-mounted but may be placed in a protective sleeve.
  • Entrant must have captured and created the original exposure.
  • Entries must not violate copyright rules.
  • The longest edge of the print must be no shorter than 8 inches and no longer than 12 inches.
  • Print entries should not have any markings that identify the photographer.
  • Prints will be accepted between 6:00pm and 7:00pm at the meeting site. (voting will take place during the meeting).
  • Prints must be accompanied by a digital image file submitted prior to 7:00pm. (There are two ways to submit digital files).
    • Entries will not be accepted without a digital copy provided in advance of the competition (for online exhibit and publishing purposes).
    • Digital images may either be submitted via the upload link on this page or in-person on a disposable, portable digital media storage.
    • Digital images must have the following specifications:
      • jpeg in sRGB
      • 2000 pixels on the longest side
      • Less than 2 MB in file size
      • Filename structured as such: FirstName_LastName_ImageTitle. (Example: Bob_Jones_SeeSpotRun.jpeg)
    • Accompanying digital image file submissions (not print entries) may have a small, unobtrusive watermark identifying the photographer or the photographer’s studio. NOTE: Print entries with any markings that identify the photographer will not be accepted.
    • In case of a “tie”, the winning entry will be voted on and determined by the PPMT board of directors.

Upload April 2017 Images Here



PPMT Board Meeting April 6, 2017

Hi Everyone,

Our next board meeting is Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 6pm at the 100 Oaks Panera. All PPMT members are invited and encouraged to attend.

We will meet at 6pm at the 100 Oaks Panera. We can eat and fellowship for about 30 minutes before actually starting the meeting.

As always, bring your ideas and suggestions to the meeting for discussion.

See you Thursday, April 6th. I look forward to a productive meeting.