Master's of Photographic Arts - Mark Orenstein, MPA

Craftsman, Master and Service of Photographic Arts are honours bestowed upon its members by the Professional Photographer’s of Canada and denote proven photographic ability and commitment to the association and its constituents. Merit points toward these awards are earned by participating in the PPOC National Image Competition, by working for the association and/or its constituent associations, and by promoting professional photography to the public at large. Returning something to the profession which provides one’s livelihood is a part of the badge of distinction which denotes the holder of MPA, CPA and SPA titles. To earn a MPA award, the member must accumulate 1500 merits. The MPA designation requires much work and dedication to the PPOC and those members earning it are truly master’s in the photographic industry, both in the work that they create but also their dedication to the industry itself. Member and now master photographer Mark Orenstein from Lethbridge, AB was recently presented with his Master of Photographic Arts designation. Congratulations Mark! Mark Orenstein, deJourdan's Photographics Mark Orenstein, deJourdan's Photographics "I am self taught. Photography was a hobby for me starting when I was 6 years old. When I got to high school, I joined the Year Book and spent more time taking photographs than going to class. It was at this time that I got a part time job at a local photography studio / camera store. They started taking me out on weddings and different photo sessions to assist. It grew from there. When I finished high school they hired me on full time. I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on. One of my favorite reads in those days was the PPOC magazine. Mark Greshner wrote an article about photographing editorial style business portraits... That's when I discovered that portrait photography was more than traditional studio work. Freeman Paterson was also an early inspiration. I went to a couple workshops and read all his books. deJourdan's Photographics is a 90 year old photography business. I came to work for the deJourdan Family in 1996 and bought the business from them in 2004. We have 3 areas of business that we focus on - Contract Graduation photography (40%), Carriage Trade portrait work (40%) and Corporate photography (20%). We are a store front commercial business operating in the Downtown core of Lethbridge Alberta. Mark Orenstein, deJourdan's Photographics Mark Orenstein, deJourdan's Photographics Having my MPA is a personal achievement. I have challenged myself to be a better photographer but also to be involved in the association to better the industry as a whole. Photography is my livelihood and it's in every photographer's best interest to see the industry strong and healthy. Service, no matter how small the job, makes a huge difference to all of us. It gets harder to be challenged the longer you are in the industry. Working towards my MPA forced me to stretch - especially in the area of print competition. Strong imagery that is worthy of merit is somewhat of a moving target as styles and trends change. The foundational underpinnings of a good image does not change but putting an exciting and powerful spin on the foundation requires constant improvement in our craft. Mark Orenstein, deJourdan's Photographics The biggest benefit my PPOC membership provides me is social networking. Hands down. Access to a network of my peers throughout Canada is the largest value to being a member of the PPOC for me. I have learned more about photography and business over drinks and dinner than I have in any classroom. Being present at events has given me access to the finest photographers in our country - and they are ALWAYS willing to share with other PPOC members. Mark Orenstein, deJourdan's Photographics My advice to someone considering a photography business is to think about more than photography. Build a business. Have a plan. Seek out advise - lots of it. Meet other photographers, both near and far. And remember, photography is what we do, not who we are." To view more of Mark's work, please visit: deJourdan's Photographics


Congratulations Mark! You are a true artist. It's one thing to have a nice picture taken, it's another to have you capture my kids' personality and soul in a piece of art that we will treasure forever. Your dedication not only to your craft but to our community is a blessing to us all. Thanks for sharing your gifts with Lethbridge and beyond.

Congratulations Mark!! Thank you for the part you have played in capturing our family's most treasured memories! Thank you also for the extra miles you went in photographing and designing a project very close to my heart! Thank you for your generosity and for sharing your gift so freely!