Tuesday Painterly Photo Art
John Chandler, CPP & Teresa Chandler

I first saw some of Chandler’s images while judging for Professional Photographers of America. I was not aware of them at the time bu the imagery stayed with me. When I saw a Facebook post, I tracked down the website and saw more interesting imagery so I asked John if he would share some thoughts and ideas on photographic art.

I turn today’s post over to the Chandlers.

The Start

John and Teresa Chandler established Chandler Studios in 2002. Their concept was to combine John’s skills in Photography with Teresa’s skills in Oil and Pastel painting. This came at the same time Photography, as a profession, was in the “Chrysalis” phase transitioning from film to digital. Their transition was not difficult. The digital revolution kicked their business forward. This is a result of John shooting transparency film underwater for 35 years. For them to get his transparencies into a print market they had to become proficient at slide scanning and preparing the image for printing in a very young, and rapidly advancing world of Photoshop. In the 90’s Teresa had the same challenge with her oil and pastel portraits. John would photograph her portraits with transparency film and she would then color-correct each scan until she was satisfied that it was a near exact copy before printing. This early experience in Photoshop, experience with transparencies and their collective ability to review, correct, prepare and produce a printed image using Photoshop prepared them well for the digital revolution. And all of this had to be done while they were living in Japan!

dabcing with degas © chandler“Dancing with Degas” © Teresa Chandler Accepted into the IPC 2015 Loan Collection.

In this image, Teresa took an image captured in the Studio during a High School Senior’s session. Using both Photoshop and Corel Teresa created this image. Her experience with painting in oils gives her a superior ability to “feel” light and textures needed to make an image like this. Corel gives her capacity to interpret the electronic brushes and then make the strokes necessary for the image to succeed.

The Team

John is the Photographer and Teresa is the finisher, and together they are Chandler Studios. They have been married for 39 years. John is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP).   Both are driven by the annual Print Competitions in their State Affiliate as well as the International Print Competition of PPA. Teresa has had three of her images in the PPA Loan Collection while John has only enjoyed one image in the General Collection. But both are avid competitors, and both are working toward Masters in Photography and Art.

Thoughts on progressing

Education is the KEY TO SUCCESS. This digital world is simply not something that will suddenly dawn on most people. You cannot “Fake it, till you Make it.”   Anyone who wants to move forward in terms of sales, creativity and ability must take the time and resources necessary to get a first class education in Photography. We work in Portraits so most of our education comes from Photographers who are not only at the peak of their career but are also proven teachers. Passion is simply NOT ENOUGH. Passion plus education equals ability.   We learned early in our careers that Passion does not make an artist.  While passion may drive you (and drive you crazy) it does not give you ability. Education and the experience that comes with it will gives the ability to create the images that are driven by passion.

steampunk rockers © chandler studios“Steampunk Rocker” © Teresa Chandler. This composite began in the Studio and then was transformed in the computer by Teresa who used Photoshop to composite and Corel to finish giving the image its texture and contrast.


Can YouTube and Creative Live do this for you? Well, we think that videos can be an element, but not the only element. We feel you need to have “Hands On” kinetic learning to make the leaps needed to compete in today’s fast-changing market(s). Video learning combined with a mentor can be powerful tools needed to improve your ability. There are more workshops available today than ever before so that means that photographers have to choose wisely and ensure the workshop will move them forward and not just be a social event. We recommend a new photographer actively seek a mentor who can recommend workshops for them and guide them. This will certainly save that photographer a significant amount of money. We chose workshops with Joseph and Louise Simone, Richard Sturdivant, Tim Kelly, and most recently John Gladman. These workshops are not inexpensive. We consider them an investment in our Studio. We have also learned that cutting corners is just a waste of money.

Focus on your product.

Focus on what you are wanting to produce and then produce it. Practice your skills daily. If we could say that a hundred times in this short discussion we would. Practice every day! We are in the process of re-branding our efforts in Chandler Studios by developing two new products. One is called Vintage Couture that focuses on retro PINUP. This is our approach to producing a product akin to boudoir (sexy) but still something our client can show their mom!

© john chandlerThis is image was selected to be in the 2015 General Collection. This is titled simply “Oops!” It was produced for a client who loved it.

© john chandler sandlot imageSandlot is our most recent image and shows another product that we are producing for our clients. We call these “Illustrative” Portraits our SANDLOT collection. This product is focused on the youth sector providing our clients a retro look in the Rockwell genre. © John Chandler


So that’s it. We have had a focus on Family Photography but we are now giving that a bit of a twist to give our products just a bit more. We firmly believe that education and professional affiliation is a path to success in this vocation we enjoy so much.

Our website is Chandler-Studios.com Our Vintage Couture can be on our website and at https://www.facebook.com/ChandlerVintagePINUP  Our SANDLOT products are featured on our website and at: https://www.facebook.com/Sandlot-Portraits-1095078590564124

Hope you got as much out of the Chandlers sharing how they are pushing the digital envelope in their business as I have.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob