Spring Newsletter
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Vol. 17   Issue 4


121 Webster Avenue
Stratford, NJ 08084
Phone   609-778-8077
Fax 856-784-6606

John Capone
Cr. Photog., CPP, ASP
Stratford, New Jersey

Associate Director
Gary Lloyd,
Cr. Photog
Gaithersburg, Maryland

Steve Clark
Cr. Photog., CPP, ASP
Laurel, Maryland

Ed Macchione
Galena, Maryland

Secretary / Registrar
Nancy Capone
Stratford, New Jersey


Blast off is only about 6 weeks away, so climb on board and prepare for an out-of-this-world adventure.  Everyone on the MARS team is working to make this year a “must-attend” event, and as the last minute details are ironed out, you can be assured of yet another outstanding experience. Fab instructors? Check. Killer location? Check. Resort hotel accommodations? Check. Yummy food? Check. Ability to win fantastic prizes, scholarships and more? Check. Lot's of great people and a ton of fun? Check. 

EVERYTHING IS INCLUDED IN YOUR TRIP TO MARS! We are the ONLY ALL-INCLUSIVE PPA Affiliate School, and rated #1 by instructors and students alike. Spending a week at MARS is a well deserved “inspirational” journey to invigorate and challenge you to explore a new frontier.  

REGISTER NOW before it's too late.


MARS, the best PPA affiliate school in the country, is looking for people to model for some of the best photographers in the country.

Every year, MARS needs volunteers to model for our instructors and students throughout the school week. It’s an easy job too. All they have to do is come to the Grand Hotel when scheduled, pose for the class, and have a good time doing it.

Not only that, but they will also receive fantastic images of themselves taken by some of the most sought after photographers of today.

If you know anyone, any age, who is interested in modeling for MARS, tell them to let us know by going HERE and filling out the online form.

And they can feel good knowing that they helped others learn because they were

willing to work it for the camera!

you've set your clocks ahead, now set your sights on MARS

Spring is a time to grow and a time for renewal. A time for personal rejuvenation and inspiration. Now is the time to “blossom” by attending MARS, the elite of week-long photographic learning experiences. Now is the time to gain the competitive advantage you need to thrive in this economy. Join us in historic Cape May, New Jersey for world-class instruction, sea-side resort accommodations, amazing food, and a fun-filled week with your peers! All in one great location, all for one great price. EVERYTHING IS INCLUDED IN YOUR TUITION TO MARS, so why not take an all-inclusive educational vacation?

Check out the great lineup of instructors for this year.

Why not learn something new and try something you’ve never done before? Why not explore a new genre or medium? 

  • Michele Celentano - Family Portraits (all levels)

    With her infectious persona, and easy style, the dynamo that is Michele Celentano will explain it all. This is a must attend class for anyone looking to learn the best techniques of posing and lighting to create dynamic family portraits.

  • Tony Corbell - Creative Lighting (advanced)

    This class will make you understand the dynamics of light in creating a portrait like no other. If you are a portrait photographer of any kind, this is a must attend class. This is your chance to learn from the legendary Tony Corbell!      Almost SOLD OUT

  • Rick Ferro - Beyond the Basics (all levels)

    A veteran in the business, the ultra talented Rick Ferro will bring you beyond the essentials to help you create dynamic images. If you are ready to spread your wings and 'take it to the next level', this is definitely the class for you.

  • Marilyn Sholin - Digital  (beginner - intermediate)

    Taking your photography in a different direction, Marilyn Sholin will instruct you on creating painterly images with Corel Painter for fun and profit. This digitally intense class will "channel your inner van Gogh"


  • Tony Sweet - Enviro-Art  (all levels)

    Creating stunning images of naturescapes is always a crowd pleaser. And a week of intense study with Tony Sweet is just the ticket to inspire you to think outside the box. This class will not disappoint. You'll be creating 'art prints' in no time!


  • Damon Tucci - Weddings  (all levels)

    Your wedding photography will never be the same. Damon will get you grooving on making memorable images that will get you jobs. If you want to get tricked out, and become a sought after wedding photographer, this is your class.


  • Pacetti & Tremarco - Photo 101 (beginner)

    This basics class will be geared toward newcomers to photography, or anyone that has a camera, but really isn't sure how to work it, or "just loves to take pictures" and wants to know how to improve their skills,


Participate in the Cape May Shootout
Fun way to challenge yourself and compete against your peers for recognition and prizes.

Apply for the Milt Techner Scholarship
This is a fully paid tuition scholarship for the following year of MARS. Applications will no longer be accepted at the school, so you must apply online by April 1.
NOTE - in order to qualify, you must attend the school the year the award is presented.
Other restrictions and eligibility apply.


Offer some help with Models

MARS is always looking for people to model for some of the instructors that are teaching at the school.

Every year, MARS needs volunteers to model for our instructors and students throughout the school week. It’s an easy job too. All they have to do is come to the Grand Hotel when scheduled, pose for the class, and have a good time doing it.

Not only that, but they will also receive fantastic images of themselves taken by some of the best and most sought after photographers in the country today.

If you know anyone, any age, who is interested in modeling for MARS, tell them to let us know by filling out the online MODEL APPLICATION form

And they can feel good knowing that they helped others learn because they were willing to work it for the camera!

FREE to all full-week registrants

Only $59 each to anyone not registered for the school-week
8 am - 11 am
11 am - 2 pm

Things to know about MARS

Attending any new event can be overwhelming because you don't know what to expect. MARS staff, assistants and veterans are there to help you. But you can prepare yourself by doing the following.

  • Read the information about your class and any other info about the school online at the school website.
  • Take time to read about Cape May and the surrounding area.
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Registrar or the Director for helpful information.

Veteran Alumni
Welcome back!
Dear friends, you are like an extended family. You return to MARS for a myriad of reasons, because it all works for you. We appreciate your loyalty and look forward to seeing you again!

One of the best reasons to attend MARS is the immersion environment with other photographers and artists. The rewarding experience at MARS is to hang out with each other! Because MARS is an intimate learning experience making new friends is easy. There might be a mentor sitting right next to you in class, or at lunch or dinner. After the school, stay connected via email or on the MARS Facebook page.

SPONSOR ALERT - you're the big winner

MARS has a lot of great sponsors, and all of them help make the school the best. By attending MARS programs, and subscribing to our newsletter and social outlets, you become the big winner.

Our friends at Spider Holster have just released some new gear including a Lens Collar Plate and Utility Pouch!  Visit for more, and use coupon code   MARS   for 20% off your entire purchase.
And, if you attend MARS 2018, not only will you be able to try out equipment with our loaner program, but you may be the lucky winner of a great Spider product.

The amazing people at TAMRON will once again be on-site to loan out their great lenses for attendees to try. And, if that's not enough, they have donated an amazing product for us to give away at the school. The only way to get this is to attend in May, but let's just say, it might be worth the price of admission : )



From the school's inception, MARS Scholarships were, and continue to be, a major part of our goal of the continuing education of professional photographers in our region and around the world.

This year, MARS is proud to have offered nearly $20,000 in Scholarships. To date, 13 eligible candidates have been awarded with a total of just over $7000. We wish more people would take advantage of the many grants the school offers.

There are still a couple of Solidarity Scholarships we would like to award to VPPA, DPPA, and PPSGW. To be eligible, the person from that state organization must be a current member of the organization, a first-time student to MARS, and not already registered for the school.

And, for any officer or Board member of a regional affiliate, MARS offers Co-Sponsored State matching scholarships above and beyond Solidarity. If a state organization agrees to allocate between $200 and $350 for a group member's education, MARS will provide matching funds! The recipient can then receive a scholarship to MARS for between $400 - $700! 

There is nothing better than a great education and MARS is dedicated to helping individuals achieve their goals.


You can earn cold-hard cash. It's easy. Read how.
  • All previous students at MARS are members of the MARS Alumni and eligible for this Rewards Program.
  • Attendance at the MARS 2018 session is required of Alumni Sponsors to be eligible for cash back rewards. (Some restrictions apply, see below.)
  • Each Alumnus who is responsible for recruiting a First-Timer to the MARS 2018 session will be deemed a Sponsor and will qualify for a $100 Reward for each First-Timer recruited.
  • To qualify, the Alumni Recruiter will be responsible for having the First-Timer contact the Registrar at . They must register and identify themselves as First-Timers sponsored by an Alumni Recruiter. The Alumni Recruiter MUST BE MENTIONED BY NAME. No exceptions.
  • If the recruiters name is not mentioned to the registrar or noted on the registration form, NO REWARD WILL BE GIVEN. A reward will be given to ONLY ONE person. Mentioning multiple people does not qualify.
  • This Rewards offer will conclude when the first 20 sponsored First-Timers are recruited and registered for MARS 2018 session.
  • An individual Alumni Sponsor may earn a maximum of FOURTEEN $100 rewards per year. The Alumni Rewards program is not to be combined with any other discount, special or rebate, and is not available to MARS Scholarship recipients of any kind, including MARS Assistants  NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Reward money will be presented to qualifying MARS Alumni Sponsors of First-Timers at the 2018 MARS session in Cape May.
DEADLINE: The MARS Alumni Rewards Program for 2018 expires on   April 21, 2018.

QUESTIONS? Contact  Nancy



No need to worry about where you are going to stay or making reservations, because the hotel room is INCLUDED in your tuition! You'll stay at the sea-side resort Grand Hotel, located directly across from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

No need to worry about where to eat, because your meals are INCLUDED in your tuition!
MARS provides restaurant fare, not cheap cafeteria food. The food is amazing, both in quality and quantity. A wide variety of offerings are served at each meal, including vegetarian.

No need to worry about having fun because all the parties are INCLUDED!

Look at this list of EVERYTHING that is included in one low price:

  • More than 30 hours with the instructor of your choice  (worth the price with this alone)
  • Your hotel room (double occupancy) at a seaside resort, including all taxes and service charges
  • Your meals, including all taxes and gratuities (the food is amazing)
  • FREE Early-Bird mini-programs on Sunday
  • Opening night "Blast-Off Reception"- HH, Dinner, Keynote Address
  • Grand finale themed "Wrap Party" - HH, Dinner, Dancing, Awards, PRIZES
  • Special school-wide sessions and lectures by other instructors
  • "Talking shop" with instructors & photographers from across the country
  • Photo ops at incredible locations all around the city
  • 2 Service Merits for PPA members
  • 5 CEUs for PPA members
  • MARS Certificate of achievement
  • Commemorative group photo
  • Commemorative T-Shirt
  • Morning coffee station
  • PRIZES during the week
  • Super friendly atmosphere
  • And a whole lot of fun!

SUNDAY   May 6

  • Meet & Greet fellow students and the finest instructors in the business during an informal Happy Hour and Dinner.
  • Then, start the week off right with a keynote address by CANON Explorer Michele Celentano.
  • Chance to win prizes

What about events the rest of the week?

participate in the Cape May Challenge.
REGISTER NOW and you can get recognized and win prizes.

TUESDAY MORNING capture a beautiful sunrise during a school-wide program with guest instructor, Rick Ferro.
WEDNESDAY MORNING attend the Alumni Breakfast. -- a great sit down meal, an hour long program by the legendary Tony Corbell, plus the chance to win a $500 Scholarship to MARS 2019.
THURSDAY NIGHT join in the fun at our legendary Wrap Party themed Banquet!  Amazing smorgasbord, DJ, dancing, video recap of the week, awards, prizes, and some surprises!
MARS is a PPA Affiliate School.

Anyone that is a current member of PPA will receive 2 merits for completing the course, which can go toward PPA degrees, along with 5 CEU credits that can be applied toward your Certification Degree

Not a member yet? No problem. You can sign up at the school and still be eligible to receive the merits.

AND....... MARS will once again be a testing site for the PPA Certification Exam. So if you've studied and are ready to earn your stripes,

MARS will proctor the certification exam on Sunday, May 6, at 10 AM at the Grand Hotel, Cape May, NJ, just prior to the start of the weeklong event.

HERE to register for the exam.

Need more information?  Contact MARS Trustee and exam proctor,
Ed Macchione.
Have a question?

We field a lot of questions during the year, so now is your opportunity to ask MARS any question about the school, the instructors, the location, or ANYTHING photography related!  Our Master Photographer staff will gladly answer your questions directly, but we'll also publish them in the upcoming newsletters for everyone else to take advantage of.  Send your inquiries to QUESTIONS@MARSSCHOOL.COM

sunrise on the beach directly in front of the Grand Hotel, Cape May, NJ

Our Super Sponsors

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