2020 Digital Symposium

While we are disappointed that we can’t physically congregate together this summer, it doesn’t mean that we can’t still be together. The weekly UPAA Live webcasts have shown us the power of gathering together to serve the common good. While it can’t replace the experience of a normal Symposium, we can still come together to help one another.


We’re excited to announce that the UPAA 2020 Digital Symposium will be co-hosted by Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University from June 15th-19th, 2020. This Digital Symposium is available to all UPAA members, free of charge. We will host a guest speaker each day via Zoom video conferencing and we will also hold a combined Business Meeting and Awards Announcement on Friday. All presentations will start at 11 A.M. MT. at this Zoom link.


We have scheduled the following speakers:

Monday June 15th


11 A.M. MT - Dixie Dixon - Sponsored by Nikon

1 P.M. MT - Peter Hurley - Sponsored by Canon


Tuesday June 16th   


11 A.M. MT - Rod Mar - Sponsored by Roberts Camera

1 P.M. MT - Deanne Fitzmaurice - Sponsored by Think Tank Photo


Wednesday June 17th 


11 A.M. MT - Scott Robert Lim - Sponsored by Sony 

1 P.M. MT - Jonathan Thorpe - Sponsored by Tamron


Thursday June 18th


11 A.M. MT - Alison Conklin - Sponsored by Fujifilm

1 P.M. MT - Caroline Summers - Sponsored by Libris


Friday June 19th


11 A.M. MT - Business Meeting

1 P.M. MT - Awards Ceremony

All Digital Symposium Sessions Zoom Sessions


We’re grateful to our awesome sponsors who were willing to support us by covering the costs of these speakers. We are also planning on doing some special giveaways each day.


Just because we need to be physically distant, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be socially united. We look forward to seeing you digitally in June!




June 15 to June 19, 2020 at:

10 A.M. PT and 12 P.M. PT
11 A.M. MT and 1 P.M. MT
12 P.M. CT and 2 P.M. MT
1 P.M. ET and 3 P.M. ET


You will be staying at the same luxurious accommodations you've been at since mid-March. Feel free to charge yourself whatever you want. Get a comfy chair and your favorite beverage. Sit in said chair at 11 A.M. MT and 1 P.M. MT and click on this Zoom link.


The hosts for the 2020 Digital Symposium are  Jay Drowns and Gabriel Mayberry of Utah Valley University and Jaren Wilkey and Nate Edwards of Brigham Young University.


Dixie Dixon - Sponsored by Nikon

Dixie Dixon has always been inspired by the allure, magic and unique challenge of creating fashion photography. As one of the sixteen original Nikon Ambassadors in the United States, Dixie has spent the last decade bringing creative visions to life for brands, ad agencies, fashion/commercial clients as well as educating others about the latest cutting-edge photography techniques and technology. Texas born-and-bred, she has followed her passion around the world, shooting in locations such as Cannes, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Brazil, Ibiza and Barcelona. Most recently, she released her new book Fashion and Lifestyle Photography.  From finding your vision to building your dream team, this book will provide you with the essential gear and know-how to capture the looks of the media world that leap off the page or screen. 

Dixie brings a wildly positive energy to the set that creates a one-of-a-kind experience for her clients, inspires her dream team of colleagues, and earns the business of some of the most exclusive brands in the world. Her fresh vision has attracted clients such as Disney, Virgin, Advanced Beauty, Florsheim Shoes, Ultherapy, Woodland Worldwide, Inside Edition, Zales, Gaylord Hotels, Spencer Fine Jewelry, G-Technology, Profoto, Eprouvage, Magpul, Billy Jealousy, Nha Khanh, Pipers Perfumery, and Macadamia Professional. Her work has been published in publications such as Rangefinder, PDN, Professional Photographers Magazine, Dapper Magazine, Living Magazine, Beverly Drive Magazine, Nikon World and others.

Peter Hurley -  Sponsored by Canon


Peter Hurley's haphazard way of moving through life has had him cruising the 7 seas on a sailboat while training for the Olympics, thrown him in front of a camera modeling for the likes of Polo and A&F and had him recognized as the premier headshot photographer in the world after having over 30,000 faces 3 feet in front of his lens. His prowess as a lensman fueled his desire to educate and he has spoken at Google, Apple, Microsoft and TEDx on the subject of how to be your most photogenic self. His unique ideas on the subject have propelled his YouTube videos to over 8 million views. Canon took notice and brought Peter under their wing by honoring him as one of their coveted Explorers of Light. 

When he's not taking pictures, Peter spends much of his time educating as the founder of the Headshot Crew, a photographer network that is now home to the largest and most talented group of headshot specialists in the world. Although he never anticipated adding author to his list of accolades, his book, "The Headshot"​, jumped to the bestseller list in photography immediately after it's highly anticipated release. While he still believes that the twists and turns of his life continue to make it a most interesting journey, he couldn't be more grateful to have picked up a camera along the way.  He calls New York City his home where he lives with his beautiful wife and precious twin daughters.

Rod Mar - Sponsored by Roberts Camera

Rod Mar is an acclaimed sports photographer whose career spans 25 years. Rod learned early in his career that for a photograph to make an impact, it must tell a story. That storytelling philosophy infuses all of Mar’s work, which spans a range of sports and clients from the N.F.L, to the Special Olympics. Rod is inspired by a quote he heard from the late Frosty Westering, a small college football coach whom had the pleasure of photographing. “Make the big time where you are”, Westering would always say to this players. This sentence has stuck with Mar ever since, and it’s an approach he brings to every one of his photo assignments.

Currently the team photographer for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, Rod also shoots for editorial and commercial clients worldwide including Sports Illustrated, ESPN, The Player’s Tribune, NBC Sports, Major League Soccer and others. He counts the Special Olympics as one of his all-time favorite events to photograph.He has photographed every major sporting event in the United States as well as numerous Olympic Games. After developing his craft over two decades as a photojournalist at the Seattle Times, he embarked on a freelance career in 2009 and has not looked back.

Rod works at the forefront of social networking, and as team photographer for the Seattle Seahawks, he provides a continuous stream of compelling images through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that engage fans while expanding virally. A recent photo garnered well-over 50,000 “likes” on Facebook in a 24-hour period. He maintains the popular “Eye on the Hawks” photoblog on the seahawks.com website, where he documents the team from behind-the-scenes in the locker room to the playing field, team charters and everything in-between. A recent photoblog entry garnered nearly a half-million views. Rod is a popular lecturer and workshop leader and has taught at seminars all over the United States and in Canada.He has won many awards for his work, including first place in the prestigious Pictures of the Year International competition.

Deanne Fitzmaurice - Sponsored by Think Tank Photo


Deanne Fitzmaurice is a Pulitzer Prize winning documentary photographer and filmmaker. This San Francisco-based photographer is most known for her unique ability to go behind the scenes to discover and convey personal and intimate stories through images. Fitzmaurice, a Nikon Ambassador, represents a wide variety of publications, including creating content for National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and many other respected outlets. In addition to her editorial work, she often collaborates with nonprofits and foundations and is a highly decorated storyteller. Deanne has won awards from many prestigious photographic competitions including American Photography and Pictures of the Year. She is a regular lecturer and instructor at respected institutions including Stanford University Continuing Studies where she teaches Visual Storytelling. She began her career as a staff photographer at the San Francisco Chronicle and is now represented by National Geographic Image Collection. She and her husband Kurt Rogers are co-founders of Think Tank Photo.

Scott Robert Lim- Sponsored by Sony

Internationally acclaimed master photographer, Scott Robert Lim, was awarded the prestigious 2009 Kodak Award. He also has earned his Photographic Craftsman degree from PPA, the world’s largest professional photography organization and is considered a leader in education. To his credit, he has more than 70 international awards of excellence and has been selected as World’s Top Ten Wedding Photographers, Top 10 Most Influential Photographers and Top 100 Most Socially Influential Photographers. His work has been published in books and magazines, distributed to millions of readers internationally, and has taught and mentored many professional photographers around the world. Scott is a popular international wedding photographer and speaker with an exciting and inspirational style.

Jonathan Thorpe - Sponsored by Tamron

Jonathan Thorpe is a cinematic photographer whose technical ability to light and direct a story rings true in the images he produces. His approach drums emotion, yet maintains a level of verisimilitude in the form of "Hyper Realistic" portraiture. Since switching to photography in 2008 from a profession in optometry, Jonathan shoots full-time nationally and locally near his home in Washington D.C. He is currently a Tamron Image Master, an Interfit Platinum Creative Pro, a Holdfast Gear Ambassador and is represented by Wonderful Machine in Philadelphia. Alongside his photography, Jonathan teaches and lectures around the world helping other photographers grow confident in their careers and forays into photography.

Alison Conklin - Sponsored by Fujifilm

Award-winning editorial, portrait and wedding photographer Alison Conklin’s work can be found in magazines, books, and private collections across the globe. Her images have appeared on the cover of Martha Stewart’s Weddings, Brides, The Knot, Rue, Style Me Pretty, Philadelphia Wedding Magazine, and more. Her commissions include events in Bermuda, Germany, Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Mexico. She has also shot weddings and important moments for families and couples across the US. Her book credits include The Brown Betty Dessert Cookbook; The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style for Lilliana Vasquez; Dallas Shaw’s The Way She Wears It; and The Tasting Pennsylvania Cookbook by Carrie Havranek. In addition, Alison took first place in PDN's Top Knot Candid category in 2012; was first place winner in PDN’s Top Knot’s Wedding Day category in 2015; and won first place in Rangefinder’s 2016 wedding photography contest in its Destination Weddings category. Known for her candid, bright, and poignant shots, Alison loves to show off local color and shoots primarily in the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, and New York.  Alison was named a Fujifilm X-Photographer in 2019.

Caroline Summers - Sponsored by Libris

Caroline began her profession in photography over thirty years ago as a photographic stringer for United Press International while attending college. In 1991, she began photographing for Associated Press, covering national news and sporting events throughout the southeast United States. In addition to her wire service affiliations, her work has appeared in such publications as Country Weekly magazine, Glamour magazine, and USA Today. Having also worked extensively as a tournament photographer for the Bruno's Memorial Classic Senior PGA Golf Tournament and the photographer for Business Alabama magazine, she also served as the campus photographer and Director of Photographic Services for Samford University for twenty-two years. She was elected to two terms on the board of UPAA and served as Corporate Relations chair.

She received her BA in Communication, majoring  in Photojournalism, from the University of Alabama and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Beeson Divinity School.

Caroline currently divides her time between a full time Strategic Account Manager position specializing in higher ed with PhotoShelter, her amazing family and a healthy amount of freelance photography.


Free for all members of the UPAA. No registration required.
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