Board of Directors


Rex Madden, M. Photog., CPP

Rex’s previous careers as a Soldier and Firefighter Paramedic influence how he photographs; by putting a sense of self and feeling in who or what he photographs.

While in the military and fire service, he provided portrait photography for personnel along with providing event photography for many military units and his local fire department.

He transitioned into professional photography in 2008 when a fellow photographer reviewed his portfolio and invited him to join his company that does sport and event photography.

Rex joined PPA and AZPPA in 2010 to work at bettering his craft and start his own business in photography.

He has always had a desire to provide a service to his country, his community and the people he serves; being a photographer allows him to provide photography services on a personal level that clients will appreciate for years to come.

His work has been published in photography and digital art magazines, websites and is on display throughout the US and the UK.

Rex has a private studio in Queen Creek where he does pet, portrait, product and commission art work when he is not gardening with his wife, taking care of his flock of chickens and two dogs.

Vice President

Julia Acosta, CPP

Julia has lived in Arizona for the past 12 years, she is a mother to five amazing children.  Julia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California Irvine and a Master of Social Work from California State Sacramento.  Julia, worked with the Department of Children and Family Services in Los Angeles for several years as an Emergency Response (ER), Family Maintenance and Reunification (FMnR) social worker.  Photography is a second career for Julia, it is her goal to capture and freeze that perfect moment for every family in their own uniqueness and beauty.

Her interest in the art of photography started as a child, she always found herself making still-life photos in her mind, thinking how she could make it better.  It wasn’t until her children were born, that photography became central in her life.  She wanted to turn her passion and love of photography into a career.  

Julia is a self-taught photographer and has studied diligently to assure that she provide the best  experience and professionalism to her clients.  She has attended numerous conferences to continue her education and deepen her knowledge of photography.

Julia is a member of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) since 2016 as well as a member of her local chapter, Arizona Professional Photographers of America (AzPPA). In addition, she is a member of neighboring state California Professional Photographers of America (CaPPA). She is currently in pursuit of her Certified Professional Photographers (CPP) degree. 

Secretary / Treasurer

Anne Marie Shumate, M. Photog., CPP

Anne Marie Shumate is a Master of Photography and a Certified Professional Photographer from the Professional Photographers of America.  She is also a proud member of the American Society of Photographers (ASP).  Her work has won numerous international awards and has been accepted into the Loan, Showcase, and General Collection of Merit Images with PPA. She has owned Lasting Images Photography for over 17 years. Anne-Marie serves on the board of AZPPA as an Secretary/Treasurer and Co-Education Director. You can view her work at

Past President

David Shields, CPP

David, a native of Arizona and a graduate from Arizona State University (with a BS in Engineering) is relatively new to the field of professional portrait photography. Prior to college, he spent four years in the United States Marine Corps and then enjoyed a career as mechanical engineer.

He joined AzPPA in 2015, the national organization, PPA (Professional Photographers of America), in 2016 and earned his CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) in 2017.

With his prior service in the Marine Corps, a career in engineering, and volunteering with a variety of organizations, David brings a wide range of experience and is excited to both contribute to and give back to AzPPA, while also continuing to learn and expand his photography skills.

Executive Director

Tom Cheswick, Cr.Photog.

Tom is a past president of the Arizona Professional Photographers Association and currently serves as the Executive Director for the AzPPA. He has served as a PPA counselor for three terms and holds the Photographic Craftsman degree from PPA. Tom was presented with the PPA National Award and the Crystal Apple Award for his outstanding service and dedication to the photographic industry. He has earned numerous photography awards including being named twice “Arizona Wedding Photographer of the Year”, receiving two Fuji Masterpiece Awards and a Kodak gallery award.

He and his wife Francine own a highly successful home based studio, photographing mostly professional headshots and high school seniors.  An accomplished retouch artist, Tom offers his services to other professional photographers at MyRetoucher.  Tom also presents fun and exciting photography programs and workshops. For additional information, please visit


John Ellis, M. Photog., M. Artist., CPP

The beginnings of my love for photography began when I was about 10 years old. A friend of my dads, a former WWII combat photographer, came to visit.

They’re reminiscing and showing some of the images he took, and with me later discovering  my dads old albums, the art form  captured my imagination. I was hooked. At first with an 8th grade graduation present; a Kodak 110 Insta-matic; and then High School and College courses, and saving to buy my first ‘real’ camera, these all kept me on track. 

After a lot of self taught portraits for friends and family while earning a living at a variety of different jobs I finally went after my dream and took a job with a National Photography Company where I worked for over 30 years. I accepted a training position where I travelled the country and trained photography of all types and levels. I’ve also taught overseas  in Kosovo (2 years). Some of the photography I’ve trained include, portraits, groups, events and sports. I’ve also coordinated and photographed for national  organizations events on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  

My  commercial business photographed products, weddings and fine art, the latter being what I devote some of my time to currently, selling at Art Festivals around the state. I also volunteer with Arizona Highways Photoscapes.

I have been a member of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) since 1997, having achieved two Degrees; Master of Photography (2014) and Master Artist (2019); as well as Gold Photographer of the Year in 2014.  I am currently working towards my Craftsman Degree. I joined AZPPA  in 2019 because I missed the joy of teaching and sharing and learning more about my passion for the art. The community of photographers here in Arizona has inspired me and rekindled that passion.

My wife, two kids and 4 grandkids have always been a big part of my inspiration and motivation. Laurie and I love being retired and fulfilling our dreams of traveling the country and the world with family and friends.


Andrew Faulds, M. Photog.Cr, CPP

Andrew is an AzPPA past president and own's and operates a portrait studio named Studio 3 Images, where he is co-owner with David Shields.

Andrew has won many awards in his career including AzPPA Photographer Of The Year in 2016, 2017, and 2018, ASP and CPP awards, and representing Team USA in the 2016 Photographic World cup, and has been Diamond photographer of the year 2x in his career.  But, he is most proud of receiving his Master's Degree in Photography where he was honored with having his Dad be his sponsor to put the ribbon around his neck. It was a special moment because his Dad (and Mom) have always support him in photography and this was his way to say thank you.

Photography is about heart, the people and it is all about love. That is why I chose to be a photographer and why I chose to become part of AzPPA. AzPPA has all the qualities I believe make a great photographer and is why I am part of this great organization. 

You can view his work at 


Kalei Harmon, CPP

Kalei Harmon is a Certified Professional Photographer with the Professional Photographers of America.  Kalei serves on the board of AZPPA as Social Media Director. She is also a certified speech-language pathologist which makes her an excellent choice to photograph young children and people with disabilities. She was born and raised in Kailua-Kona, HI, spent 10 years in San Diego and currently resides in Tucson, Arizona. You can view her work at or find her on the Clubhouse app for iOS. 


Rick Jacobi

Married with two children and four grandkids. Originally from Iowa move to Phoenix area in 1986.  Retired dentist and an amateur photographer for the last fourteen years. Been part of Arizona Highways PhotoScapes for the last eleven years as a volunteer helping with

photo-workshops all over the United States and Europe.  By being a photo guide on many workshops with some great photo instructors I have been able to learn and improve my photography.

I enjoy street photography - long exposures -  B&W photography



Herb Stokes

Herb Stokes have been in the school photography for over 27 years and a professional photographer for even longer. He has a bachelor of science in commercial photography with a minor in business administraion from the University of North Alabama and a bachelor of arts in commercial photography from Brooks Institute of Photography.  He has been in the Valley during the past 27 years and has owned Southwest Portraits for the last 15 years.  Southwest Portraits works with 13 area high schools as the mainstream and offers other types of photography as well.