Prepping for Portrait Masters Conference 2018

Here it is a week before I fly across the country and attend my first multi-day photography conference, the Portrait Masters. While I regularly attend workshops provided by the Maine Professional Photographers Association (MPPA), I always think it’s wise to invest in yourself at least once a year and really get outside of your comfort zone. For me, that is finding new ways to create portraiture.

Sue Bryce is one of the world’s foremost figureheads in the contemporary portraiture space. It’s arguable that she has reignited a surge in the portraiture market with her signature style of capturing astounding connections with her clients and bringing out their true beauty. There is something about this style of photography that speaks to so many women and men. They get the chance to have an heirloom quality portrait hanging in their home that can be a centerpiece of their decor.

As an artist, I find myself continually pulled towards this type of Vanity Fair style photography. As a follower of Sue Bryce Education, her online workshops have been invaluable to my growth. When the chance to register for the annual Portrait Masters conference arose, I didn’t hesitate, even though the price tag was a bit outside of my budget. But with all things, I put it out the Universe to provide and I made it happen.

Who Will Be There?

Next week, I’ll have the chance to work with 500 of the country’s best photographers, learning, laughing, and creating. With workshops from Sue Bryce, Platon, Joyce Tenneson, Zack Arias, Felix Kunze, Richard Israel, Richard Wood, Lola Melani and Parker J Pfister, I’m not sure my head has enough capacity to retain all the awesome info. I liken this event to when I attended the video conference, Masters in Motion in Austin, TX a few years back.

While there will be plenty of time to party and network with everyone, my goal is to understand the various ways other photographers are succeeding with their businesses and rekindle a bit of personal creativity.

After the conference, I’ll be hanging out with the folks from SKILLSET magazine. Writing for them and contributing to such a cool magazine has been a highlight of the past year.

Once I return, there will be a FULL debrief, but for now, the excitement is building minute by minute.

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I’ve written my 2022 Goals, set my intentions and am putting into practice all the things I said I would do. Being selfish for others is at the top of the list.

Generator Ep. 021 – Cat Ford-Coates: Shift Your Focus with a Studio Takeover

In this episode, Maine portrait photographer Matt Stagliano talks with Cat Ford-Coates: photographer, educator, coach, and founder of The Studio Takeover.

Cat has been a powerhouse in the portrait photography world since 2015 and is one of the primary mentors in The Portrait System. She worked closely with Sue Bryce for years, using those methods to build a profitable and sustainable portrait studio in Asheville, NC.

With her own approach built on experience, Cat has taught thousands of students over the years, and has recently created The Studio takeover, a full featured online education platform catering to photographers that want to level up their business. She is a keynote speaker at events like The Portrait Masters and WPPI.

For more information or to see her work, you can find Cat online at, or on social @thestudiotakeover

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