Emerald Strengthens Photography Market Portfolio Through Acquisition of Sue Bryce Education and The Portrait Masters

NEW YORK, NY. (April 5, 2021) — Emerald Holding, Inc. today 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. Sue Bryce Education and The Portrait Masters offer photographers online and in-person learning and community, inspiring them to grow creatively and build successful businesses as photographers. 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.

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.

Arlene Evans, Content Director for Emerald’s Photo Group, said, “We are excited to welcome Sue Bryce Education and The Portrait Masters to the Photo Group at Emerald. 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.”

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.

Sue Bryce, said, “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. Some of my first teaching experiences were at WPPI, and 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.”

“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.

George Varanakis, co-founder of Sue Bryce Education and The Portrait Masters, said, “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.”

In connection with the transaction, Sue Bryce Education and The Portrait Masters were advised by Joe Randall of JJ & GR, Inc.


About Emerald

Emerald is a leader in building dynamic, market-driven business-to-business platforms that integrate live events with a broad array of industry insights, digital tools, and data-focused solutions to create uniquely rich experiences. As true partners, we at Emerald strive to build our customers’ businesses by creating opportunities that inspire, amaze, and deliver breakthrough results. With over 140 events each year, our teams are creators and connectors who are thoroughly immersed in the industries we serve and committed to supporting the communities in which we operate. For more information, please visit http//

About Sue Bryce Education

Sue Bryce Education (SBE) is a membership-based online learning platform whose community of thousands of international photographers are building profitable and sustainable photography businesses. Courses in the SBE library draw on the signature techniques of portrait photographer and educator Sue Bryce, and focus on specific business and creative topics, from how to pose a person with a certain body type to how to create marketing materials to attract more clients—and everything in-between. Through clear, focused education and an encouraging community, members get concrete answers, pinpoint explanations, exact instructions and step-by-step guides for achieving their photography and business goals.

About The Portrait Masters

Co-founded by Sue Bryce, renowned portrait photographer and educator, The Portrait Masters offers the most comprehensive selection of online classes, presented by some of the world’s most successful photographers and teachers, including Lara Jade, Felix Kunze, Michele Celentano, Pratik Naik and Kara Marie. The Portrait Masters Conference + Expo is an intimate, annual event that offers attendees hands-on learning from an all-star cast of photography instructors; an opportunity to network with photography industry leaders and peers in a fun, supportive environment; and the chance to explore the latest technology from leading manufacturers of photography products.

Media Contact:

Beth Cowperthwaite

VP, Communications, Emerald | 203.606.6243

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