About East Coast School

One of the oldest affiliate schools in the country

Image by Gary & Kim Evans

Four Days of In-Depth Learning with the Country's Best Photographers

Small classes = big learning

East Coast School is 4 days of comprehensive in-depth learning with a photographer who’s an expert in their field.  Attendees sign up the instructor of their choice on a first come first serve basis.  Classes are small and often fill quickly so don’t wait.

By spending four days in a small group environment, you’re instructor is able to dive deeper and provide more information on any given topic.  You’ll leave having a gathered a wealth of knowledge in a single subject rather than bits and pieces from multiple 90 minute classes that just skim the materials

A brief history of East Coast School

Dating back over 65 years, East Coast School was initially titled PPNC Summer School and was held June 24-26, 1957.  Spearheaded by past Presidents and members Homer Ball, Tim  Hord, Ed Simmons, and Zeno Spence, the first event was held at the Johnson Motor Lodge in Southern Pines, North Carolina.  The original event consisted of two courses, a three day portrait painting course taught by Zeno Spence and an all day pricing workshop led by Ed Simmons and Tim Hord.  A few weeks later Tim Hord taught a three day retouching course as well.

The following year past president Burnie Batchelor began negotiations with what is now NC State University to offer PPNC Summer Short Course through their extension division.  In 1959 PPA council agreed to award merits to attendees in what appears to have spawned the first PPA Affiliate School System.  In the following years the school was ran through NC States extension program and was held at the Mckimmon Center.

Due to budge cuts in 1993 NC State decided to dismantle the program.  At the time PPNC did not have the funds needed to support the school so Rex Truell, Director at was in charge of future East Coast School and along with passionate members Phil Aull, Dean Craddock, Rick Alexander, Rick Gibbons and possibly others, fronted the seed money needed in order to keep the school going.  In 1995 the first Board of Directors independent of PPNC was formed consisting of Rex Truell, Loretta Bird, Phil Aull, Mark Barnett, Janet Boschker, Jan Homan, Cindy Smith, and Ken Tart.  The name East Coast School was formed and over the years has become the East Coast School that we know today.

History by Cassie Stone

A note from the director

I’d like to thank the PPNC Board of directors for the trust that they have in me to fill such large shoes.  My goal is the keep the history of East Coast School alive and well by bringing in the top photographers in the country each year to help our attendees succeed.  It will not always be easy, COVID has definitely made things hard but I promise to do everything in my power to make our events as safe and fun as possible.  Please feel free to contact me at any time with suggestions and ideas!

Jeff Poole M.Photog.CR