Yeater earns national recognition for portraits
Lora Yeater, owner of Memories By Lora Yeater in Alma, is no stranger to the spotlight. A two-time West Virginia Photographer of the Year, she has earned numerous awards in in her field and the respect of many. And, after the Professional Photographers of America Convention held in San Antonio, Texas January 16-18, she can add one more to her ever-expanding list of prestigious accolades.
Yeater, who was planning at attend the convention to receive her Master of Photography Degree, was surprised when she was awarded a third place trophy in the portrait division. “They called to make sure I was coming,” she commented. “But they wouldn’t tell me why. I didn’t know until the ceremony that I had finished third in the nation.”
She received a crystal trophy in honor of her achievement.
PPA is the world’s largest nonprofit association for professional photographers, with more than 20,000 members in 54 countries. This association has sought to increase its members’ business savvy as well as broaden their creative scope since 1880, advancing careers by providing all the tools for success.
Yeater also placed well at the Mideast States Regional Affiliated Print Competition in Dayton, Ohio last March, where brought home a second place finish overall and scored 100 points for one of her prints. “That’s very rare,” she remarked.
Memories By Lora was born in the basement of Yeater’s home out of a love for photographing her children. But soon with her growing business and the tight working environment, she discovered a need to expand. In 2009, she had a studio built and equipped it with everything she needed, including a virtual background. Every year, she adds new things just to keep it fresh.
While many well-established photographers battle the the effects of a falling economy, Yeater is fast becoming a rising star in the industry. Her work speaks volumes for her talent and passion for her craft, but the fact that she has accomplished such lofty goals in only four years of business and three years of competition is what caught the attention of high-end photographers across the country who are now looking to Yeater as an example for excellence. “They are excited to see a business like mine thrive in such a rural area,” Yeater said.
Aside from earning awards and the respect of her colleagues, Yeater’s accomplishments have also landed her speaking engagements nationwide.
Her other awards include 2008 and 2010 West Virginia Photographer of the Year awards, Top 10 Mideast Regional award, Professional Photographers of America award, National Photographer of the Year award, Kodak Gallery award, MES-Fuji Masterpiece award for her portrait entitled ” Angels for a Moment,” and the National Top Ten Baby Album award. She has also been nationally published six times since she started her business.
Yeater thanks her husband Kevin and their children, Kylee and Brock, and their extended families for their encouragement.
She is also grateful for the support of the community. “I really appreciate all of the support that I have received from the community over the past few years,” she said.