PPOC National Director of the Board - Ken Frazer

Over the next few weeks, we'd like to introduce you to the people working behind the scenes to keep the PPOC running and moving forward; your PPOC executive board members. We will start with the Director of the Board, Ken Frazer from Brandon, MB. "I began my photography career by apprenticing. I shot weddings when I was 16 in my home town of Swan River, MB. I bought the studio when I was 19. I am self taught with continual upgrades from PPA school courses, workshops, 5 day schools, seminars and conventions. I've been in the industry full time for 40 years - yikes I sound old! Our primary focus now is family and child portraiture - telling the story of life through our images. We do a sprinkling of most other things but these categories make up 80% of our work. We move from our Brandon studio which is in a century home, to operate a satellite studio location full time in the summer months at Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park (just an hour's drive from Brandon). Virtually all of our work is outdoor environmental at this location and all the shooting is in the early morning or evening light. In theory, we can shoot in the morning, do a sales session, then go sailing for a while and shoot in the evening. In practice the sailing doesn't happen as much as it should. During the past four winters we also have started photographing families in the Puerto Vallarta area of Mexico during the month and a half we spend there to shorten our brutal Manitoba winter. We have gotten the art of packing down to a fine art. The statement, "our art is not fulfilled until it is in print form" - Tim Walden, describes our passion for printmaking of the highest quality. We have spent a great deal of time perfecting techniques that allow us to create prints that stand out from the crowd. We happen to print our own, but anyone can work on their image files with their lab to create final prints that are outstanding instead of average. The gap between us and the crowd is what keeps us in business. I am not sure if I can identify one person who inspires me, but in photography, I am inspired by strong, simple images with an emotional connection you can almost touch rather than trendy styles that are the "plastic fruit" of art. I also do believe that the camera sees both ways. I am inspired by people who show humility and kindness to others instead of arrogance and negative comparisons, whether they are a photographer or not. I am inspired by someone who knows who they are and is confident and happy with that. I think the Chairman of the board should be a leader who pushes people to stretch and be the best they can be on the board. I think it is important to have the confidence of the members of the association so they know their team of leaders is working hard to improve the association and move it forward in its attitude and services for the benefit of all members - not like some old boy's club. PPOC, like all associations, will always be a "work in progress" and that is OK, as long as we continually show improvement. The Chairman also has to be ready to "do the right thing" even when it may be unpopular - surprising how often this pops up. This job is very consuming. I find I am thinking about PPOC and how to improve the member experience all of the time, just as we all think of improving our client experience at our studio. There could be years where the President or Chair maintains the status quo, but the last few years have been times of far reaching change that will have consequences for many years to come. Our association has to embrace the kind of radical change that all of us have had to go through in our individual businesses in the past few years. This translates into taking on some of the bigger issues and working with our board to move the ball forward on them. A week for me will have dozens and dozens and dozens of emails along with many phone calls. All of us on the board have to work at our specific area so that promises made at the board room table become a reality. At the three face to face meetings our board holds each year, I have to run the meeting, try to diplomatically keep things on topic and keep things moving. At our meetings, there is in fact a limit on how much time you can take to express your views and repeating yourself is not acceptable. I sound like a tyrant but I strive for a very democratic experience and encourage everyone to express their views before we come to a decision. We have a great board that makes the job easy! Cam Coclough was kind enough to do a portrait of Eileen and I at the Banff national convention: PPOC National Convention, Ken Frazer The Lukie family image represents a happiness and authenticity of a family interacting in a very real way. Every one of these lake sessions has a family story that is unique and special. PPOC National Board Member, Ken Frazer The family on the beach in Mexico shows a stage in which the kids are full of questions and life! It is truly a pleasure to be part of this experience. PPOC National Board Member, Ken Frazer The Puerto Vallarta downtown image is an illustrative interpretation of the vibrance and life of the busy markets of Mexico. It is enjoyable to sometimes push and bend reality to come up with this kind of image. PPOC National Board Member, Ken Frazer The image named Spruces represents the peace and tranquility of Clear Lake." PPOC National Board Member, Ken Frazer To view more of Ken's work, please visit: Frazer Studio of Photography