Emerald Holding, Inc. announced the acquisition of Sue Bryce Education, a member-based portrait photography education platform; and its affiliate, The Portrait Masters, an online photo education destination and conference created by Sue Bryce and Digital Product Studio.

As part of the business agreement, all four of the prior owners — Sue Bryce, Aaron Andersen, Craig Swanson and George Varanakis — will remain committed to the future growth and success of Sue Bryce Education and The Portrait Masters by partnering as consultants to operate and integrate the businesses with Emerald.

Sue Bryce on-set teaching a class for Sue Bryce Education (SBE) members. Photo courtesy of Sue Bryce Education.

The acquisition grows Emerald’s reach in the photography market by adding two leading e-learning platforms and a high-touch conference and event to its existing photography brands. These Emerald brands include PhotoPlus, the largest photography and imaging event in North America, and Rangefinder + WPPI, the daily content hub and annual event for portrait and wedding photographers.

Thoughts on the acquisition

“We are excited to welcome Sue Bryce Education and The Portrait Masters to the Photo Group at Emerald,” said Arlene Evans, Content Director. “Together we will continue to offer our communities the highest level of education, as well as dynamic conferences and trade shows to give photographers a place to network and maintain relationships. I am looking forward to working with Sue, George and their entire team.”

The founders of Sue Bryce Education and The Portrait Masters: Aaron Andersen, George Varanakis, Bryce and Craig Swanson. Photo courtesy of Sue Bryce Education.

Sue Bryce Education provides its members a concise and comprehensive program for building a profitable and sustainable portrait photography business, and a supportive community of creators, led by Sue Bryce, a celebrated portrait photographer and educator. The Portrait Masters e-learning platform offers ala carte courses from leading photography educators, while The Portrait Masters Conference brings the Sue Bryce Education and Portrait Masters audiences together for an intimate and exclusive annual conference and event.

“I am delighted to join forces with Emerald and to work with the people and brands that supported my growth as an educator and business leader,” said Bryce. “Some of my first teaching experiences were at WPPI. It is exciting to come full circle and partner with Emerald to grow the businesses for the benefit of the Sue Bryce Education and Portrait Masters community.”

New opportunities

“The team behind Sue Bryce Education and The Portrait Masters have done amazing work building engaged communities of passionate creators. The addition of these brands to our photography portfolio will create exciting, new opportunities for our communities and allow us to work with our clients in building effective brand stories throughout the year. This is a significant step in our growth as a year-round, holistic solution platform for our advertisers, exhibitors and our community of creators,” said Joseph Kowalsky, Show Director for Emerald’s Photo Group.

“Since we began these businesses, we have talked frequently about the potential of collaborating with Emerald’s photo brands to expand our reach, enrich the experiences of our community of photographers, and develop exciting new sponsorship and advertising solutions for our customers. We look forward to turning that potential into reality through our partnership with Emerald,” said George Varanakis, the co-founder of Sue Bryce Education and The Portrait Masters.