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Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13).

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.

Let's Meet...

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Al Audleman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API

Al Audleman is a commercial photographer operating out of St. Petersburg, Florida. A PPA Master Photographer and Photographic Craftsman, he was one of the first PPA-approved Photographic Instructors, PPA Certified for 29 years, and one of the first officially-recognized PPA Certification Instructors.

Professional recognition includes several PPA Loan Collection images, selection to the Kodak Epcot Center Exhibit, Kodak Gallery and Fuji Masterpiece Awards, Florida's "Becker Award for Creative Photography," and the coveted Florida People's Choice Award. Al has also earned the Georgia Fellowship Degree, the Florida Degree of Photographic Excellence, the Florida Degree of Artistic Excellence, the Florida Service Award, and the Florida Education Degree. He was named the Florida Photographer of the Year in 2001 and 2002.

His teaching credentials include CPP Exam Prep and Photoshop classes throughout the nation and internationally. He is known to conduct a fun class on a technical subject, plus he includes lots of stories on how the information applies to the real world. And he tells a lot of jokes! But he is serious because more than 90% of his students normally pass the exam the first time following the class.

Al also has produced a comprehensive Study Guide, "The Road to Certification for Professional Photography," that includes a lengthy glossary of technical terms and a 256-question practice exam.  This is included in your registration as a workbook fee and you will receive the download link to obtain the document as soon as you register for the class. So sign up NOW! Get a head start on the test.

 Speaker Sessions:

Thu, Jan. 11

9:00 am-5:00 pm - CPP Prep Class A

Fri, Jan. 12

9:00 am-5:00 pm - CPP Prep Class A

Sat, Jan. 13

9:00 am-5:00 pm - CPP Prep Class A

Q&A:

What is your life motto? Do it right the first time ... and if not, FIX it!

What was one of the defining moments in your career? When a local adjunct professor/ad agency owner told a student that there were no good commercial photographers in my town and they passed it along to me.

Each photographer has a specialty/genre/niche; how did you discover yours? There was a need in my community for good commercial photography and with my technical background and training in good photographic techniques in the Navy, I said, "Hey, I can do this!"

If you could have a theme song, what would it be? "I Can See Clearly Now," by Johnny Cash.

What would be your advice for photographers who are just starting their career? Pursue the CPP credential because it will give you a solid foundation on which to build the rest of your career - something you won't get any other way. Do this FIRST!

Al Audleman is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is online now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel!

  

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By David Eun

Imaging USA 2018 is almost here and PPA has so much planned for you, including a variety of classes covering as many topics as you can think of!

In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. So, if you're a tech-savvy photographer or one who's seeking to take your photography to - literally - new heights, then the Drone track at Imaging USA is definitely for you!

With this track, you will learn the technology behind drones, proper aerial photography techniques, how to market drone photography to grow your business, and much more! The future of photography will see ever-advancing innovations in technology, and if you want to be a part of that future, the Drone track is here for exactly that.

The classes in the Drone track include: 

Incorporating Drones Into Your Business 
Session Time: January 12, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Stacy Garlington and Randy Braun 

DJI Aerial Photography Academy is an intensive one-day class designed to teach valuable secrets to students who wish to create top quality, compelling, marketable aerial photographs using DJI drones. Expert instructors Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington have come from DJI global headquarters to share their expertise in an upbeat day-long classroom presentation.

Let's Talk Drones 
Session Time: January 13, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Speaker: Manie Kohn Join highly-acclaimed drone pilot Manie Kohn as he discusses the ins and outs of drone photography and how you can ACCELERATE your business in this exciting new industry. Learn how to navigate through the complex drone-licensing landscape and FAA Drone Regulations, while also discovering how you can create extraordinary images. Learn to use many of Manie's own techniques to help you avoid making the cinematic mistakes often made by drone photographers. Explore the fields, the various skill levels, and the overall business of drone photography as Manie shares his experience and craft. 

You can find the classes in the Drone track and other tracks in the Imaging USA schedule. Furthermore, the Imaging USA Expo will also feature a "Drone Zone," which includes vendors and demonstrations regarding all things drone related on the trade show floor. Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!

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Imaging USA 2018 is almost here and PPA has so much planned for you, including a variety of classes covering as many topics as you can think of!

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In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. So, if you've got the "what" down but you're still trying to figure out the "how," or you're just looking for the best ways to go about your photography, check out the Technique track!

With this track, you will learn non-complicated but exceptional techniques that will save you time and still keep clients coming. It includes everything from exclusive photography, to mind-opening business tips and tricks, such that no matter your niche, there's a class for you! 

Some of the classes in this track include:

Lighting A Wedding Day from Start to Finish

Session Time: January 14, 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm

Speaker: Michael Anthony

There is no question that weddings are challenging. However, with the right knowledge, they don't have to be. Like all photography, wedding photography is based on light, and with the right lighting techniques, you can capture beautiful images in any situation. The challenge with lighting in wedding photography is that you have to remain mobile while remaining within a small footprint. In this class, Michael Anthony will show you how to turn any location into a studio and create dynamic photos for all of your couples. You'll learn how to prepare for each wedding day and how to be ready for any scenario that may happen. After this class, you will understand how to create beautifully lit images with minimal equipment. Michael will even discuss with you some of the challenges and tricky lighting situations in which you are bound to find yourself - and how to overcome these! You'll walk away with solid lighting techniques and the confidence to capture amazing images each and every time!

 

Maternity Posing & Lighting

Session Time: January 15, 8:00 am - 9:30 am

Speaker: Alli Peck

Maximize the tools of your trade as you learn to create outstanding images. Using live models, Instructor Alli Peck will demonstrate maternity posing at its finest. Learn the poses that showcase your clients' beauty, grace and poise in your maternity sessions.

 

You will also delve into lighting techniques and learn to use both one light and strip lighting to achieve optimum effects. This workshop gives you the skills, but also the confidence, to conduct successful maternity shoots with stunning results!

 

Using Light To Make Every Person Look GORGEOUS!

Session Time: January 16, 8:00 am - 9:30 am

Speaker: Dixie Dixon

In this in-depth talk, Nikon Ambassador Dixie Dixon will share her favorite fashion-lighting techniques and secrets that make all subjects look their best! Dixie will cover lighting styles, types and modifiers that suit different face shapes and skin tones.  From on-the-go quick lighting setups to more in-depth detailed strobe setups, you'll discover how to use all types of light effectively to make every person you shoot look amazing and save a ton of time in post-production.  

 

10 Ways to Create Videos to Help Increase Sales

Session Time: January 16, 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Speaker: Joe Switzer

All too often photographers turn down projects because they involve video production. What would happen, though, if you were suddenly able to say "yes" to those clients? After taking Joe Switzer's course, you will! This class is all about video production made simple for you. Isn't it time you stop turning down the business and learn how to produce videos that people want? Joe will teach you how to use your camera to capture video footage and how to edit it for professional results to both shoot and edit. You will also learn how to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. If you've tried video before (and failed), this is your chance to finally succeed. With Joe in your corner, you will find out how to become a successful video producer, increase your sales, and finally say, "Yes, I can!"

... and more!

You can find the classes in the Technique track and other tracks in the Imaging USA schedule. Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!

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By James Yates
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Imaging USA in Nashville is right around the corner, January 14-16, 2018, but there are a few ways to save money if you get started NOW! These tips will ensure you show up in Tennessee with even more spending money...

1. REGISTER EARLY! Imaging USA is the show for real professional photographers, with hundreds of classes, tons of networking opportunities, a huge photo exhibit, and a giant expo floor. Over 10,000 photographers attend to learn from the industry's best. Aren't registered yet? Register by December 6, 2017 to save $50 with the Early Bird Rate

2. BOOK YOUR HOTEL EARLY! If you're not staying at the host hotels, chances are you'll have to spend some money on a taxi or parking to partake in some of the events. Why bother? Stay at the host hotels and be at the center of it all. They're filling up fast, though, (especially for Pre-Con) so BOOK NOW at our easy, one-stop-shop booking platform. Imaging USA Host Hotels: Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center (HEADQUARTERS HOTEL), Hampton Inns & Suites at Opryland, Hyatt Place Nashville Opryland

3. FIND A ROOMMATE! Get on theLoop, PPA's exclusive social network, to post about and find a roommate. Everything's cheaper when you split the cost. 

4. MAKE AN EXPO GAME PLAN! Create a shopping list of the things you need for your studio in 2018 and grab those items first. The trade show floor is the best place to find exclusive deals from vendors, so save your holiday cash for January 14-16. 

Get ready to enjoy an amazing trip to Music City and rest easy until then, knowing you're saving money!

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James Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.


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By David Eun
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We are just two months away from Imaging USA 2018! This amazing photography convention offers a wide array of classes covering all sorts of topics pertaining to photography!

In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. So, if you are mainly interested in learning the necessary techniques and business strategies needed to be successful in event photography, then the School/Sport/Event track is for you!

Some of the classes available to you in this track include, but are not limited to, the following:

Session Time: January 14, 8-9:30am 

Bryan Blanken and Neal Freed will demonstrate how their business model is transforming school photography in their Washington, DC, market and how easy it is for you to apply it to yours. You will discover how to identify the schools that you want and attain these clients. Learn how to create school portraits that both students and parents will love - and purchase! 

Session Time: January 14, 5-6:15pm

Everyone knows the key clients in volume photography: sports, schools, and daycares. But what lies beyond the packages? Leslie Ann will teach you how she gains traditional volume clients and turns them into hybrid clients - those that photograph like volume and pay like private commissions. Learn how to handle volume with confidence and extreme streamlining, and where to market so that they lead to higher-end volume clients.

Session Time: January 15, 10-11:30am

During this class, Mark will give you a model to maximize your performance, create value, and also prepare your business for change. Mark will take you through your business strategy and how this, combined with shared values and your company's culture, can influence the results you're currently getting. You'll come away from this program understanding what you can do, as a business owner, to shape your staff's behavior and to support your company's goals.

You can find these classes in the School/ Sport/ Event track on the Imaging USA schedule under General Sessions. Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!

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By David Eun
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Imaging USA 2018 feels as if it lies just beyond arm's reach, and we hope you're excited because we certainly are! While pre-conference jitters steadily soar through the roof, we are happy to announce PPA's November Giveaway!

This month's theme? "Giving thanks" for friendship because friends are awesome!

This month's giveaway will reward multiple registered attendees who have purchased the Buddy Pass for January's Imaging USA conference. The two prizes you could win are either an Amazon or Starbucks Gift Card! So, be sure to follow Imaging USA's social media pages to find out if you're one of the lucky winners!

Buddy Passes are currently available at $319. Buddy Passes +1 are available at $439. So, if you and a friend are planning to attend IUSA2018 but haven't registered yet, consider purchasing a Buddy Pass to save those extra dollars!

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Imaging USA 2018 is almost here and PPA has so much planned for you, including a variety of classes covering as many topics as you can think of!

In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. So, if you are mainly interested in learning the necessary techniques and business strategies needed to be successful in wedding photography, the Wedding track is for you!

With these classes, you will learn how to creatively capture the essence of an individual and increase your sales while you're at it. You will get tips on adventure weddings, lighting and much more. 

The Wedding classes include:

Session Time: Sunday, Jan. 14, 8:00 am 

This class will rock your world! It's time to put on your seat belts and take a deep breath as you challenge yourself and your talent! Experience photography on a whole new level - one where your heartbeat goes up with excitement and your couples go home with epic stories and amazing photos to share. During this class, explore the high-adrenaline, fast-paced world of adventure wedding photography. You will discuss how to direct and pose your couples in any location. Discuss wilderness and safety do's and don'ts and learn how to pack your equipment for your on-the-go adventure. Instructor Charleton Churchill even teaches branding and marketing so you can promote this new genre of wedding photography. Whether you're on the highest mountain or in someone's backyard, this presentation is one you won't want to miss. Be inspired by the images, videos, and stories you'll hear and walk away ready to lead your couples on an experience they'll talk about for years to come.  This course is not for the faint of heart, so leave your inhibitions behind and come ready to soar!

Session Time: Sunday, Jan. 14, 5:00 pm  

There is no question that weddings are challenging. However, with the right knowledge, they don't have to be. Like all photography, wedding photography is based on light, and with the right lighting techniques, you can capture beautiful images in any situation. The challenge with lighting in wedding photography is that you have to remain mobile while remaining within a small footprint. In this class, Michael Anthony will show you how to turn any location into a studio and create dynamic photos for all of your couples. You'll learn how to prepare for each wedding day and how to be ready for any scenario that may happen. After this class, you will understand how to create beautifully-lit images with minimal equipment. Michael will even discuss some of the challenges and tricky lighting situations in which you are bound to find yourself - and how to overcome these! You'll walk away with solid lighting techniques and the confidence to capture amazing images each and every time!

Speaker: Jerry Ghionis
Session Time: Tuesday, Jan. 16, 8:00 am with 

More and more wedding photographers have stopped providing a physical product for their clients. In a world of jpegs and digital results, this course takes you back to the art of creating one-of-a-kind printed wedding albums that clients will treasure. Jerry Ghionis has a compelling way to show you the importance of education so that everyone - both you and your clients alike - can understand the legacy that a printed wedding album becomes. Take this class! It will help you see how to overcome sales objectives and persuade your clients to step away from just "getting the CD." Jerry Ghionis has won more wedding album awards than any other photographer, and he shares what inspires him and how he creates his masterpieces. Learn how to do it the way he does; learn how he turns his clients buying a printed wedding album into a no-brainer!

You can find these classes in the Wedding track on the Imaging USA schedule. Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!

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Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of the best in photography learning, networking and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13).

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is spending the fall and winter highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.


Let's Meet...Josh Hudson


Josh is the son of 34-year, internationally-recognized master photographer, and educator Bruce Hudson.   Josh literally grew up around the photography business and entrepreneurship. He was born in 1982 just three months after his dad Bruce and his late mom Sue Hudson started Hudson's Photography in the Fairwood neighborhood of Renton, WA. Together the two of them created one of the most profitable photography businesses in the country focusing on high-end weddings, high-school seniors, and large, family-portrait wall-d├ęcor sales. Eventually, Josh would follow in his mom's footsteps and manage the business, although not willingly at first!

With a degree in Political Science from Washington State University, Josh's path was heading straight towards law school. During the interim from undergraduate school, Josh worked at the studio. This interim job quickly turned into a passion for the photography business and marketing... and has since never left!

Now, Josh manages the day-to-day operations and the marketing at his family's studio, Hudson's Portrait Design in Tukwila. He was also instrumental in creating new, highly effective niche brands for the business with high-school seniors, commercial photography and video, and Hudson's Photo Workshops photography classes, which have now brought over 4,000 students through their studio doors in just five years' time.

As a much sought-after speaker, Josh has spoken to professional photography and business groups in nearly all 50 states and Canada on behalf of industry leaders like H&H Color Lab, Marathon Press, Animoto, and many others. He was also a monthly columnist for shootsmarter.com, a frequent speaker for New York Times best-selling author Sarah Petty's small business marketing web summits, is a co-founder of this educational website mystudiomentor.com, and co-producer for the popular web series, Photo Entrepreneur TV.

Josh Hudson's session at Imaging USA is on Monday, January 15, 5 - 6:15 pm: Selling with Projection: Putting Your Kids through College with IN- PERSON SALES 

Q&A with Josh Hudson:
What is your life motto? True Success is Found Outside Your Comfort Zone - Sue Hudson (Mom)
Why do you love photography? I'm a business guy first. I love the margins that we have! But seriously, I love how fun the business is! People call you excited, it's not like you are a plumber or a used-car salesman--But also being able to create something that is seen as a work of art that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
If you could have a theme song, what would it be? 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
What would be your advice for photographers who are just starting? Don't give away digital files or spend a year doing free sessions to build your portfolio. And for god's sake, sell with IPS Projection!
What was one of the defining moments of your career? Being to work with my dad every day and carry on my mom's legacy
How often do you yourself get in front of the camera? Pretty often with teaching and speaking, but we also have a family portrait taken every year
How did you discover your niche? We have several; ours were created by following the money! Our more profitable one is our Hudson's Photo Workshops, we teach photo classes to consumers, it's been great for marketing and $$$.
What was your experience like with your very first client, and what did you learn from it? Bruce has been in business for 35 years; that was a LONG time ago! And I honestly can't remember the first client I interacted with. 

Josh Hudson is just one of the many amazing photographers you'll get to meet, hear, and learn from at this upcoming Imaging USA! Registration is open online now, so save some money and take advantage of the Early Bird discounts for your passes...and your hotel!


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By Karen & Lonnie Bentley 
Strawberry Hill Photography
Bremen, GA

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That's me, the "other photographer" as I am now lovingly yet jokingly called.

Professional Photographer- it's a title that I (Karen) dreamed of since I was a young teenager in the mid 90's. A lot transpired to get me safely into my 26th year of life, but for the sake of time, we will start with the facts.  I was a mom of two small children, married to Lonnie, a factory worker who labored on a rotating shift, and the kids and I rarely got to spend time with him. I'm not gonna lie, we struggled...Lord did we struggle,  but in late 2006 I  finally had the courage to take the leap by starting my own photography business. My first studio originated in an old storage building on our property-(oh how I cringe about it now but it was a starting point!)  and things have been slowly yet steadily progressing since then, but this blog isn't about all of that.

A few years went by and my little business was actually a  smooth sailing success, but as a mom, I was sinking. I was overwhelmed, I was overworked, I was burnt out, and my home life was a disaster. My husband and I fought a lot, especially when I came home from a long day of sessions and he'd say "oh gosh, whatever...all you do is click a button". (yes, insert the world's biggest angry photographer emoji right here!) Don't get too mad at my husband Lonnie, he didn't know any better and bless it, he was so tired all the time. One thing I could tell you at that time was that he had absolutely NO interest in photography. In his own words, he was a "grunt laborer" and that was just how his life was.

I don't remember where I heard about Imaging USA the first time.  All I remember was that it was coming to Atlanta (which is only an hour drive from my town), in January 2013 and that I was really excited to learn new things.  Driving in Atlanta is simply not something I can do sanely, so I begged Lonnie to come with me. "Think of it as a mini getaway for us," I said.  He finally agreed. 

I remember being so amazed at how many photographers were at this convention- and how everything was so HUGE to me that year. (Imaging USA 2013):

10312.jpgHere we are at the Social Box booth in the expo that year- poor Lonnie still had no idea what was about to happen to him at this point. 


Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything

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 photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13). Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is going to spend the next several months highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.

Let's Meet... 

David Hilton, Cr.Photog.

Web: StrategicVisionOnline.com

Facebook: HiltonDavidA 

David Hilton is an expert in building businesses, guiding owners to higher profits and greater freedom. He is also the author of two books on entrepreneurship -- SPARK, Taking Your Business from Struggle to Significance and The Ultimate Success Secret (co-authored with Dan Kennedy). As president of Hilton Photography, a business that he recently sold, David successfully grew and managed multiple studio locations. He also recruited, hired and trained over 500 people and developed his company to operate profitably without his day-to-day involvement. Today, he shares his entrepreneurial experience with other photographers so that they can learn from his mistakes and successes. David holds several graduate and post-graduate degrees in Business and Education, including a Masters from Rochester Institute of Technology. David's membership in PPA of Massachusetts, including his former role as President of that association, coupled with his business education and acumen make him the perfect role model for aspiring photographers and studio owners. 

Speaker Sessions:

Sun, Jan. 14

 5:15 pm- 6:30 pm- Fundamentals of the Million Dollar Studio 

Q&A: 

What was one of the defining moments in your career? Meeting my early mentor, Wah Lui, 38 years ago and discovering that photography could be a true business that could generate true wealth (much greater than a million dollars) changed my life and business - grateful always for this. 

Who has been one of your biggest artistic influences? Wah Lui, Al Gilbert, Donald Jack, Arnold Newman, Philip Charis, Paul Skipworh, Don Blair, and more. There have been so many that have guided me to the success I have enjoyed - I'm so grateful :) 

What would be your advice for photographers who are just starting their career? 1) Find your style (one that your ideal client will want) - then master that style; 2) Learn and master projection sales; 3) Learn and master lead generation, relationship based marketing; and 4) Have a team (can be part-time) to help you build. You can still earn an amazing living in portrait art photography! A "professional" doctor, lawyer, college professor, engineer, or CEO - has invested years in education and apprenticeship to get where they are - can you say the same? The good news is that if you are willing to make the same investment in time and effort, you can have an income similar to theirs! :) 

David Hilton is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is online now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel!

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by Mayo Lawal

It's the last week in October, which means Imaging USA 2018 is almost here! As you prepare, don't miss out on the chance to win the Imaging USA giveaway prize for this week:  one of three (3) $100 gift cards to B&H Photo!

Here's how you enter:

1) Watch this and comment below which "Reason" you're most looking forward to: #251, #114, #611, or #1004.

2) Then share it!

Three winners will be picked this Friday, 10/27/17, and they'll be mailed their crisp $100 gift card, which they can put towards the gear that they've been eyeing all year! Enter today, and be sure to register at ImagingUSA.org/Register!

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By David Eun

We are less than 3 months away from 2018's Imaging USA! As we inch closer to photography's biggest annual convention and trade show, PPA is happy to announce another free giveaway prize for our members!

QUICK HINTS: It's one we've never done before, and this could very well make your day if you enjoy collecting memorabilia.

This week's prizes are Imaging USA 2018 Nashville Pins! The pin's design consists of the Music City's widely recognized guitar handle with "NASHVILLE" running vertically down next to it. In order to win this week's giveaway, let us know in the comment section here where you'll be traveling to Imaging USA from! Furthest location wins!

Leave a comment to win the Imaging USA Nashville Pin, register for Imaging USA 2018 and we'll see you in January!

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Imaging USA 2018 is almost here and PPA has so much planned for you, including a variety of classes covering as many topics as you can think of!

In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. So, if you are mainly interested in learning the necessary techniques and business strategies needed to be successful in portrait photography, the Portrait track is for you! 

With this track, you will learn how to creatively capture the essence of an individual and increase your sales while you're at it. You will get tips on workflow, client management, posing and lighting. Furthermore, you'll learn how tweaks in your process can relate to a big bump in your bottom line!

Some of the classes in this track include:

The Art of Portraiture

Speakers: Louise Simone, M.Photog.Cr., AP, and  Joseph Simone, M.Photog.Cr., API,F-ASP

Session Time: January 15, 10:00 am - 11:30 am

The art of portraiture is changing. With the use of cell phones and software programs, Facebook and more, capturing good images has become a hobby for many. So, how do you, as a professional photographer, distinguish yourself from everyone else? How do you develop strong artistic portraiture technique? This is where this class comes in! Joseph and Louise Simone will show you how to create unique lifestyle portraits and how to expertly use light, composition and design rules. This program is designed to help you discover how to expand your portfolio and offerings, as well as how to incorporate fine art painting into your photography skill set. The Simones will share intelligent marketing and client education and explain how to promote your skills, expertise, and services, especially as a fine art photographer. Reconnect with your craft and set yourself apart from the rest with timeless portraits and your very own signature style. This is your opportunity to learn from legends of classic portraiture!  

 

 

Psychology of High-End Sales
Speaker: Bry Cox, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

Session Time: January 16, 8:00 am - 9:30 am

Do your customers complain about price? Do they want everything digital? Do they buy the least amount possible or change your packages? When it's all said and done, do you feel underpaid and undervalued? In today's modern world, so many photographers avoid the sales process and just settle for small orders. This is a high-energy, info-packed class, where Bry Cox will share the secrets to higher sales and teaches you to strive for more!

Discover how to better price your work, how to confidently present your pricing and how to work with clients on varying price points. You'll learn how to overcome objections and sell on value, not dollar amounts. No fancy software or tricks needed as you master the psychology of presentation, pricing and sales. Put these techniques into practice and you'll attract better clients and separate yourself as an extraordinary artist, well worth the prices paid.

 

How to Convert High Volume Clients Into High Dollar Clients

Speaker: Matthew Kemmetmueller

Session Time: January 16, 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

In this class, Matthew Kemmetmueller shares how he actively pursues and attempts to convert ALL of his clients from high-volume jobs into traditional custom photography clients. In this program, you will explore the importance and positive impact of bookings, while learning how to fill your calendar through direct mailings to your existing customers. Matthew will help you delve on pricing and explore how the right price points can guide your clients to the averages you want, without you becoming that high-pressure sales person. The success of past attendees of Matthew's program has proven that through marketing, solid pricing and shooting tactics, you can take a $35,000 volume job and turn it into $60,000 in gross revenue for your studio. Most importantly, you can do it with the character and professionalism of which you'll be proud. Come to this program to take your high-volume business to new profitability heights!

 

... and more!

 

You can find the classes in the Portrait track and other tracks in the Imaging USA schedule. Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!

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By David Eun 

Seeing as how PPA loves all things photography, let's be utterly frank: Who could say no to a free gadget to add to their equipment collection? 

PPA's back at it again with another social giveaway! However, we included a small twist this week, as the giveaway prize will be kept secret until this Friday (10/13). We know - It's rather cruel of us, but the anonymity was too difficult to resist. In case you're wondering how to win this secret prize, all you have to do is leave an answer in the comment section to this question: 

"Who has been your biggest photography inspiration, and why?" 

So leave a comment and enter a chance to win a free photography gadget! (It'll be awesome, we promise!)

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Introducing our new Guest Blogger column! PPA Today will now publish a weekly story by an Imaging USA attendee, sharing their experience and giving you some pointers. To kick things off, we're republishing this piece by Mariah Ashley 

**originally published February 11, 2015; 

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes: "Such a pleasant thought, if you improve overall conditions everyone can sail happily into the sunset".

It's an idea I try to set my moral compass to and a philosophy I practice in my business. When I recognize this quality in others I want to latch onto them because lately it seems most people practice the "every man for himself" motto and would sooner see you walk the plank than steer your own ship.

...except at Imaging USA. There, everyone is raising the tide. Unfortunately, it's not possible to latch onto 11,000 people, not even if you're a Kraken (mythical sea beast with many arms). Still, I wish I could give every special person I talked to a big old slimy tentacle hug. I guess I'll have to settle for squeezing them with my words instead.

But before things get awkward, let's consider ships.

If your business were a ship what kind of vessel would it be?

A cruise ship, big and solid chugging along smoothly?

A classy vintage sailboat effortlessly shuttling beautiful people from one sundrenched Mediterranean island to the next?

A hardworking lobster boat, a little messy and a little stinky and filled with salty characters?

A leaky little rowboat adrift in a sea of questions looking for a safe harbor? (Me too).

I met people at Imaging who were sailing and bailing all of these kinds of ships. PPA is the 
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tide rising under us all. I'm so proud to know such a positive, cheery, and enthusiastic crew. Team PPA, easily identified by their bright orange shirts; registering, directing, tweeting, photographing, interviewing, organizing, and helping in a million other ways all the guests on the big festive Imaging USA party boat.

A particularly perceptive PPA team member asked me how my first Imaging differed from my current experience. It's funny thinking back to that convention just three years ago. I didn't know anyone at all. I felt like the new kid in school, the lame-o at the lunch table all alone. What a difference a few years can make.

Imaging feels like a family reunion now. It's not because I am so outgoing and that I easily made friends. I'm actually more like a nervous weirdo. But you'd have to be a Kraken (misunderstood mythical sea creature) not to make friends at Imaging. Team PPA is so open, so encouraging, so willing to go the extra mile, and so darn nice. Making friends with the crew that first year is what kept us on course. Plus, it's nice to know we have a place at the cool kids table. If you didn't get a chance to acquaint yourself with Team PPA this year make it your mission to do it at the next Imaging, join the reunion!

Another difference--the first time I went to Imaging I didn't speak to other photographers (nervous weirdo, remember?). Two years later I found myself chatting it up left and right. Talking with random attendees from all over the country renewed my faith in our industry. Photographers are good people, people! Not only are they creative and interesting but they are curious and kind as well. They want to know where you are from, what you shoot and how you are doing.

They are quick with encouragement and insight. They want to share how they got their photograph in the Loan Collection, where they found the perfect album, and where the shortest lines for coffee are in the morning. I'm so glad I came out of my shell and took the time to chat with fellow photographers. We photographers can be solitary creatures 360 days a year, why not be more social the other five? If it was your first Imaging and you felt a little hermit crab-ish, then shed that shell at Imaging USA 2016.

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The first and second time I went to Imaging I sat in the audience of many lectures listening to the great advice of the speakers. This time I had the perspective of being behind the podium looking out at the crowd and you know what I discovered? Of all the people at Imaging the speakers are the most selfish! We get the most out of it. Knowing that your message is reaching and helping people is like crack (not Kraken, that's an ominous sea creature).

Honestly my sails have never felt quite so full. I felt I had a small part in the tide rising and was so proud to see it release some of my beached buddies. I've been in that leaky row boat too, though I've recently graduated to a semi stable canoe. I want to share my canoe with others now, but not so many that I tip (just kidding). I want to see all of the hard working passionate people I met succeed. You deserve it!

Lady I talked to next to the post-it note clad Imaging USA Idea Wall, tying for her CPP: I hope you passed and got your certification!

Girl that borrowed money for the convention pass and slept in her car because she couldn't afford a hotel but knew Imaging would give her the answers she needed: I hope you got them!

Tall dude who told me he felt he had been given permission to express his true personality: Be you! Be tall and let that big personality shine through in your business!

Lady who told me she had decided to quit photography on Friday but felt inspired now to keep trying: Don't give up! I know you can do it!

Isn't it comforting to know that we are all in the same leaky boat? We have the ability to throw each other a life line. Toss it when you can! Imaging USA has done that for us over and over again. If it did for you too, make it your pleasure and your addiction to return the favor.

I cannot imagine what Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta will bring, but one thing's for sure, the tide is already a lot higher, let's keep it rising all year.

 
About the author:
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Mariah Ashley is co-owner of Snap! Photography in Rhode Island. She is blonde, loves to bake fruit pies, wears flip flops way past the summer season, should have been born in the 50s, paints and writes when the mood strikes her, is mother to Jacques and Vianne, vacations on Block Island, is vegan, never has proper or stylish outerwear, fears frogs and toads but loves turtles, has really skinny legs, personal Style- Bohemian Chic, wants to own a VW van,  grew up on a cranberry farm and is happiest when snorkeling is happiest when sipping a rum punch under a palm tree.




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By David Eun 

Want to win this fantastic and super-stylish Imaging USA 2018 T-Shirt? All it takes is one comment on the Facebook post! 

If you've never been to Imaging USA before, here are a few things to expect: Countless photography classes, workshops, parties, and tons of motivation... not to mention an 80,000 sq. ft. trade show full of everything photography-related! And what better way to enjoy it than with your Nashville Imaging USA T-Shirt!

Five winners will get the fabulous shirt to take to Nashville with them!

Let us know in the comments the number 1 thing you're looking forward to experiencing at Imaging USA! (Feel free to use emojis, if you communicate better in that language; we're fluent.)

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Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13).
Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is going to spend the next several months highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.

Let's Meet...
Mark Schoenrock
Web: photoplusgroup.com 
Facebook: Professional School and Sports Photographers International - PSPI

Mark Schoenrock spent over 25 years with Lifetouch, Inc., a giant within the school photography industry. During his tenure, he served in a variety of roles within the company including Vice President of Human Resources for the school, portrait studio and church businesses as well as Vice President of Photography for the school business. As VP of School Photography, Mark oversaw a wide range of responsibilities, including photographic operations and training and the photo program development and implementation. He was instrumental in repositioning photography as a competitive differentiator for the company and made a strong impact in an ever-changing industry. Mark oversaw the start-up of the Portrait Studios training and development along with customer service functions. He also led the Marketing department, Research & Development department, and a production facility. Within his Lifetouch career, if it had to do with photography or the photography business, Mark Schoenrock did it! Today, he serves as the Managing Director for PSPI, Professional School and Sports Photographers International, and consults with companies large and small.

Speaker Sessions:
Mon, Jan. 15

Q&A: 
What is your life motto?Past performance indicates future performance under similar circumstances. What was your first concert? Opening act: The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Main Act: Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. An unreal experience!

 If you could have a theme song, what would it be? When I'm in a jazz mood, it's Miles Davis' "So What." For rock, it's Steely Dan's "My Old School," and country; George Strait's "It Just Comes Natural." 

Who has been one of your biggest artistic influences? Photographically- Don Emmerich, Tony Corbell and Tony Cilento, Painters- Salvador Dali, Caravaggio (his treatment of light is amazing) and Miro. 

Mark Schoenrock is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is online now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel! 

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Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of the best in photography learning, networking and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13).

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is going to spend the next several months highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.

Let's Meet... 
Kristi Elias, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr 
Instagram: ksephotography

Master Photographer and California Photographer of the Year, Kristi Elias has been an artist all of her life. In 1998, she earned her degree from Brooks Institute of Photography, and has worked as a professional photographer and gallery represented artist ever since. 

Kristi owns a portrait studio and art gallery in Long Beach, CA, and specializes in studio, location, and underwater photography. Her portraits are known for their distinctive, dramatic style and her strong use of a chiaroscuro color palette. This unique style and vision has brought her to the forefront of the photography world, and she's been featured on NBC News, in museums, art galleries, billboards, storefront window displays, magazine covers, and ads, as well as in numerous industry publications like Professional Photographer and Rangefinder Magazine. 

Kristi has earned numerous awards and international recognition, including multiple Photographer of the Year Medallions, the Canon Par Excellence award, multiple PPA Loan Collection images, and over 70 WPPI Merit Awards.

She's extremely involved in her industry as a member of the American Society of Photographers, Professional Photographers of California, and PPA, where she serves as a Council Member. Kristi believes in giving back and helping to grow the photography industry, achieving this through her roles as photographic mentor, teacher, author, and image competition judge. 

Kristi is now speaking and sharing her success with other photographers across the United States, giving back to the profession that has given her so much. 

Speaker Session
Thursday, January 11 9:00am-5:00pm: The Fine Art of Portraiture 

Q&A: 
What do you most value in your life? Humor. 
What did you want to be as a kid when you grew up? Artist and Olympic Athlete.
What was your first concert? Backstreet Boys.
Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke. 

Kristi Elias is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is online now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel!

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Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13).

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is going to spend the next several months highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.

Let's Meet...

Thomas Dodd


Thomas Dodd is an Atlanta-based visual artist and photographer who has developed what he calls "painterly photo montage." In this method, he uses editing software and crafts elaborately textured pieces that have a very organic and decidedly non-digital look to them. His work often has mythic and quasi-religious themes, paying homage to Old Master art traditions while also drawing from psychological archetypes. Resembling paintings, his pieces are entirely photographic in nature, fusing many images into a cohesive whole, and he has had numerous exhibitions around the world.

Thomas' exhibition schedule has included Poland, Germany, Romania, New York City, Mexico City, Orlando, San Antonio, Seattle, Washington, DC, Atlanta and is continually growing. His photographs have been featured in many magazines, on book and album covers and he frequently teaches workshops and webinars on photo-editing and marketing for artists. Ironically, Thomas was best known as a musician and harpist in the 1990s and did not start his visual artistry until 2005. Today, his images are basically a visual equivalent of the music he composed, and the results continue to astound and amaze.

Speaker Sessions:

Sun, Jan. 14: 6:45-8pm: The Painterly Photo

Q&A:

What is your life motto? "You are never defeated as long as you can get back up again." Inspired by this eternally-optimistic dude: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690
What was your first concert? Bruce Springsteen in 1976 (Born to Run tour) which completely spoiled me- I thought that from then on all concerts would last 3 and a half hours long and have 4 or 5 encores... Quickly found out that wasn't the case at all.
What would be your advice for photographers who are just starting their career? The most important thing that you should do as an artist is enjoy what you do. Every step of the journey. It doesn't matter what you do. Don't do things for money. Do them because you love them and then the money will come.

Thomas Dodd is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is online now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel!


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by James Yates
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Are you looking to take in some live demonstrations at Imaging USA? The Demo classes are guaranteed to give you a jolt of inspiration as you witness top instructors working live, in front of you. 

As you prepare for the world's largest pro-photography convention, keep these Demo classes in mind to catapult your business!

Sunday, January 14th, 2018: 

8-9:30am: 5-minute Photography - Booray Perry Cr.Photog., CPP (sponsored by Miller's Professional Imaging)
In any circumstance, in any setting, a good photographer should be able to capture a great portrait. Yet on-location shoots can make even the most talented professionals panic. Never fear! Booray Perry provides you with a step-by-step system that will eliminate the stress and worry of on-location photo-shoots and give you the confidence you need. Learn how to assess your location and determine which path to follow to achieve great images. This class will help you explore what to do when using natural light, bounce flash, or off-camera light. Booray will also conduct a demo to show you what he does and how he reacts each time a new element changes his image. You'll discover how to work through them and produce a final, award-winning result. Whether you shoot weddings, Seniors, events, or portraits, you will learn how to work faster and smarter, on-location and under pressure, for results that will wow!    

5-6:15pm: Pro-tween-ographer: How to become 'THE' Photographer Tweens Choose - Kay Eskridge M.Photog.Cr., CPP (sponsored by Kodak Alaris) 
Do you want to plan, advertise, and implement portrait experiences that will bring in year-round cash flow? Do you want to feel good about what you do as a professional photographer? Do you want to give your clients something to rave about? If you answered "Yes" to any or all of these questions, this is the program for you! Today's social media has changed how young people deal with self-image, especially girls in their tweens (ages 9-12). During this program, you'll learn how to embrace this demographic and position yourself as the Tween Choice in your community. Kay will cover different types of marketing approaches, various portrait programs to offer for this specific niche, and the psychology needed to ensure a successful portrait experience. You will learn how to successfully manage a pre-portrait consultation and then get a live demo, showing the appropriate lighting and posing for this age range. Discover how to stay true to your craft and your clients. After this program, you'll be equipped to make your tweens and their parents happy, while producing portraits that everyone will love.  

6:45-8pm: The Painterly Photo - Thomas Dodd 
In this demonstration, acclaimed photographer and digital artist Thomas Dodd will show you the methods and techniques he uses to get his signature "painterly" look. Thomas will share his philosophy and how this artistic effect is not achieved solely in the editing process but rather how it begins even before the photograph is taken with important components like model and wardrobe selection, lighting techniques, and backdrop choices. Thomas has his own way to make you discover how intentional pre-shoot planning and a steady diet of classic art can contribute to the images you will create. Thomas will also show you how to manipulate color and light in a way that mimics painting of the Old Masters. In this program, you will learn Photoshop editing techniques and tips that will give your images that perfect embellishment, creating an artistic masterpiece. Thomas will even show you some of his finishing techniques, including how to add actual paint -and other materials- on top of the printed pixels. From initial planning to the actual painting and final touches, this class is a must as it will help you transform your photos from images to art!

Monday, January 15th, 2018: 

8-9:30am: Maternity Posing & Lighting - Alli Peck
Maximize the tools of your trade as you learn to create outstanding images. Using live models, Instructor Alli Peck will demonstrate maternity posing at its finest. Learn the poses that showcase your clients' beauty, grace and poise in your maternity sessions. You will also delve into lighting techniques and learn to use both one light and strip lighting to achieve optimum effects. This workshop gives you the skills, but also the confidence, to conduct successful maternity shoots with stunning results!




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