Frequently Asked Questions

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I’m not sure if I want to join, can I attend as a guest?

PPGBA does welcome guests at most of its events. It’s a great way to sample what PPGBA has to offer. General monthly meetings are free to members, and typically $25 for non-members. You can attend meetings as many times as you wish as a non-member, but if you join – any monthly guest fees may be credited towards dues if redeemed within 90 days.

I already have or I am thinking about going into photography on a part time basis. Is PPGBA the right place for me?

Yes. Many of our current members joined while still working full time at such diverse jobs as bank teller, domestic goddess, network installer, investment banker, and dot com programmer. PPGBA has helped or is helping these people become the photographers they want to be.

Do I need to submit a portfolio in order to join PPGBA?

You do not have to show your work ever to anyone at PPGBA. But, we do have many experienced members who love to look at others images and suggest constructive ideas on how they can improve their work. And, we have a monthly Image competition designed to help members advance their artistic and technical abilities. Members may enter one print each time and the judges’ comments can be very helpful. If you’re nervous about entering, watch a few competitions before entering a print to see how the process works. Competition entries are anonymous (so you don’t have to be embarrassed if your work doesn’t score high) until the monthly winners in each category are announced. Remember, no one starts out producing perfect work. Our seasoned veterans often like to tell how poorly their first print did in competition! Part of PPGBA’s mission is to help every member grow!

Do I need references or must I be interviewed in order to join PPGBA?

No, PPGBA welcomes everyone who is interested in becoming a better photographer. We believe we have a membership category to fit anyone at any level of his or her career – whether an emerging photographer or an established pro.

Will I learn how to be a better photographer?

In addition to our image competitions, PPGBA offers educational opportunities for members at all levels. Our speakers are nationally and internationally known working photographers who provide training on weddings, studio portraits, Photoshop/digital technique, commercial/advertising, and more. (Programs other than general meetings are available for an additional fee; however PPGBA members always get the lowest registration price available.)

I have been in business for more than five years. Am I too advanced for PPGBA?

We have members at all levels, from masters who teach photography around the world to people just thinking about going into photography. We have classes and lectures aimed at all levels. We often call upon our more experienced members to share what they have learned. Knowledge is power and getting to know other photographers in the area will help you and your business.

Do I need to have a business location in order to join?

No. Many of our members work out of their homes or on location. Our members also include owners of storefront studios throughout the Bay Area. If you wish to be an active member and you sell photographs however, you must have a California resale number in order to join PPGBA. (We also have other categories for aspiring and full-time students.)

Do I need to own any particular photographic equipment?

No – but PPGBA is a great networking resource to discover the best equipment on the market. A diverse group of photographers attend our meetings and workshops, so you will always be able to find someone to give you advice on selecting the right equipment. And, our corporate members are a great source for just about anything you would want to buy.

How is PPGBA different than a photo club?

At PPGBA you get all the camaraderie of a club, coupled with our goal of helping our members learn how to produce pictures that please themselves and their clients. And, we address the important business issues of sales, marketing and management. The emphasis is on learning and sharing – from our lecturers as well as from each other.