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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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Thanksgiving is next week and we've got a lot to be thankful for at PPA... about 30,000 reasons to be more exact. While you prepare for the holiday (and spending some time with your favorite family) check out our top blog posts on the web this week!

COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY: PPA understands the importance of teaching photographers how to run a profitable business and now FStoppers tutorial videos are switching things up from concentrating on the artistic process over to the business side of photography. Watch the new video, "Making Real Money".

COPYRIGHT: PPA is back at it again...and YOUR small-claims copyright bill is on the line! Catch up on all the updates as we meet with more representatives from the U.S. House and spread the good word of H.R. 3945 to those who have the power to change things. 

RESPECT: What does it mean to be an "ethical landscape photographer"? Spencer Cox explains the idea on PetaPixel, revealing the respect for nature required during the shoot...and the post-production process too. 

CHARITY: PPA Charities is gearing up for its annual "Giving Tuesday" fundraiser. From 10am-11pm (EST) on Tuesday, November 29th, they will have 15-minute mini-programs from some of the biggest names in the industry, streaming on PPA Charities' Facebook page via Facebook Live. In return, they'll be providing a link for you to donate to PPA Charities to help support their charitable efforts. (Last year we raised over $11,000 in a single day!)

EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY:  "Getting great light in an event setting whether inside or outside is a tough shoot. You have to understand exposure, people are moving sometimes erratically, ambient light is moving over your subjects randomly, and you still have to create sellable imagery." Dallas photographer JT Blenker gives you the tips on how to overcome these obstacles. 

PORTFOLIO: Your online portfolio is an important way to advertise yourself to new clients and show them what you've got. Aside from PPA's See The Difference® materials, how else do you market yourself? This post from PetaPixel helps you figure out your online calling card with strategies for image optimization, resizing, compression and more. 

INDUSTRY: Kodak lost $46 million in Q3 of 2017 and is laying off hundreds of employees. DP Review has the story, which includes the company's optimistic outlook on their fourth quarter. Remember, we have the power to keep print alive! Join the Print Movement now! 

PROTECTION: The holiday-sales season is here and OpenForum has this article about how to protect your studio's bottom line by following their e-commerce fraud prevention tips. Stay safe with these methods of identity protection so you can have a peaceful (and profitable) season! 

SHOP: Remind your clients that Small-Business Saturday is around the corner! This post-Thanksgiving tradition, as many seek out local mom-and-pop businesses for a portion of their holiday-shopping spending. American Express has a bunch of downloadable content you can use to promote and display your studio's participation in this year's Small-Business Saturday! And this is a great opportunity to remind your clients that shopping locally (with you) makes a difference all-year round!

PRINT: If you're looking to create images that are worthy of printing and selling to your clients to cherish forever, PPA Today has some pointers to keep in mind. From planning to technique, if you're wondering how to sell prints to your clients, PPA has you covered. 

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.


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By Chris Homer

Have you visited theLoop recently? As an exclusive, PPA member-only forum, theLoop is a
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 great place for members to connect with each other, share information/advice, get image feedback, and overall - a place to go if you need help. Become a member so you can "stay in the loop," and if you already are, then head over to theLoop to see what everyone's buzzing about. 

Lots of great discussions have been happening, so here are a few of the top posts from the first half of November. Check them out, provide some feedback, and perhaps even learn something new!

A member is looking for advice on preferred in-person sales programs, as well as advice for how to upsell products to clients that live out of town. Check it out and see if you can help!

In this discussion, a photographer asks for advice on how to price a digital file for a corporate client. If you've got any experience with this scenario, share it here! 

This Looper wonders if any photographers have experience teaching photography techniques to others, and what they charge for this type of consulting. If you're looking to become a photography educator, this is a good discussion for you!

This photographer is asking for advice on the best lens to use for photographing a gymnastics meet. Take a look if you're thinking about taking a job like this - there's plenty of good advice!

And there you have 'em, the top posts from theLoop! Remember to check out theLoop frequently as new discussions are posted daily. It's a great way to catch up with fellow PPA members! Not a PPA member? Join today!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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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 Bethany Clark

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Do you have a goal to earn your CPP? Imaging USA is an excellent place to learn more about the program, its benefits, and dive deep into it! 

The Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) program assures others of a photographer's technical knowledge, experience, and continuance to develop new skills and techniques. It is a declaration of your professional competence. 

Being a CPP is like quality assurance because certification is a credential consumers and businesses understand. More importantly, it provides you with a tool for telling the world--and all those potential clients--why they should call you rather than a competitor down the street.

So if you plan to become a CPP, here are some options while you're at Imaging USA 2018:

Imaging USA offers a three-day intensive prep class during Pre-Con that covers all the technical topics on the exam. This class isn't for the faint of heart - it's an in-depth study of the technical side of photography, almost equivalent to a semester of college! You'll work hard and study hard, but you'll also walk away a more polished, knowledgeable, confident professional. And a prep class like this will give you a lot of confidence when it comes time to take the exam. 

Topics covered in the prep class include:

  • The Inverse Square Law, Filter Factors, Bellows Factor
  • Lenses and Filters
  • Color Theory and H&D Curves
  • Lighting Ratios, Corrective Lighting and Posing, Depth of Field, Angle of View
  • The Zone System (and how it helps you understand the digital histogram)
  • Difference between a Bit, a Byte and Bit Depth
  • And much more

After you've taken the prep class, you can choose to take the CPP exam at Imaging USA, too, while the information is fresh in your mind!

Nervous about the CPP Image Submission? Do you want to have more confidence and control of your images? Do you just want to understand light more? If you answered yes to any of those questions than this class is for you. This one-day pre-con class takes an in-depth look at the process of submitting your images for CPP, and provides you with techniques to create images that benefit your craft and your business.

The image submission prep class will:

  • Review the criteria and guidelines for submitting images
  • Provide tips on how to build your image submission portfolio
  • Explain how to analyze images and understand how they are created
  • Explore portrait lighting patterns and ratios (with live demonstrations!)
  • Provide useful insight on the judging process
  • Give you confident understanding of light
  • Demonstrate how posing, color, key, composition, and lighting all work together for successful images
  • And much more!

The CPP Exam:
When taking your CPP exam, you'll have the option to test in person or online. And you will have the opportunity to do so while at Imaging USA on Sun-Tues, January 14-16, 2018 from 1 pm - 3 pm! You must declare your candidacy in order to sit for the exam. And if you have already declared your candidacy, make sure to register for the exam by Monday, January 8, 2018.

If you're already a CPP:
All this talk about becoming a CPP; what if you already are one? Well, current CPPs are invited to refresh, relax, and recharge in the Certification lounge, exclusive for Certified Professional Photographers and Certified Drone Photographers! The Certification lounge will feature charging stations, light refreshments, and a place to chat with your fellow Certifieds. Stop by and relax awhile!

So now you know how to dive deep into the world of CPP at Imaging USA! Register for a pre-con prep class today, declare your candidacy, and take your exam, all while kicking your 2018 off with the energy, excitement, and information at Imaging USA

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By Bethany Clark

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Five years ago, Jeff Roffman held his first Santa Day at his Atlanta photography studio. It was a modest event with about 15 sessions. Almost every kid cried.

But unbeknownst to him, that event turned out to be a hit and created a ravenous client base for more photography sessions with Santa. After adding many more props, features, and even a cookie decorating station, this seasonal event brings the North Pole to the middle of Georgia - producing a big boost to Roffman's bottom line.

"We're not just selling the photography; we're selling the experience," says Roffman. "This is a judgment-free zone where kids can be kids. If a kid has a meltdown on Santa's lap, that's OK. The parents can all share a laugh and not be embarrassed. We are all parents here, and we're in this together."

Read more about this merry project at '"Disastrous" Santa Sessions A Hit With Clients' on PPmag.com. 

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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.

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Let's Meet...

Ross Benton, Cr.Photog.

Web: studiobenton.com

Ross' recipe for business is as unique as his photography. Known for his weddings, his market rapidly expanded into the family and senior markets. His studio has created wall portraits to fill homes since 2008.

Ross and his wife of ten years not only run the studio together, but spend time leading functions, events and studies at their church. When not at church, you will find the Benton family cooking, entertaining, and boating at the lake. It is this laid-back, approachable style that creates a relaxed environment for his clients, which you will also find flowing over into the classroom. Many students have said his programs are not only easy to follow, but also chock-full of time-saving, money-making tips.

Speaker Sessions:

Thu, Jan. 11

9:00am- 5:00pm- The Secrets to Success When Turning Pro 

Fri, Jan. 12

9:00am- 5:00pm- The Secrets to Success When Turning Pro 

 

Q&A:

What is your life motto? Give and Give in Abundance and God will provide!

Why do you love photography? As a photographer, we are able to capture the most important moments in our clients' lives.  We are invited to cherish, celebrate and capture life!

Each photographer has a specialty/genre/ niche; how did you discover yours?

Starting my career in college, I chased the professional-sports business and enjoyed having a good time learning photojournalism while traveling.  Luckily, I was still in college and figured out I need to educate myself in business and added a minor in marketing.  From there, I followed the business.  My niche now evolves with my market.  My studio has continued to evolve for the past ten years into what it is today.

What was one of the defining moments in your career? The moment in college when my Photography-101 professor approached me and said I should consider entering his degree program.

What would be your advice for photographers who are just starting their career?

Get a business degree and do continued education in your local area on marketing and sales.  Photography is an artistic craft created by you.  Learn and grow in your photography through your local, state and national PPA associations, but never stop learning marketing and sales.

If you could have a theme song, what would it be? I just want to dance with you - George Strait

Ross Benton 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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It's Copyright GO TIME! With HB 3945 currently being worked on in the U.S. House of Representatives, we're farther along than ever in our mission to (finally) bring small-claims copyright protection to photographers like you. In order to join this fight for artists' rights, you need to Be More Informed and PPA will help with that!

Not sure what copyright benefits come with your PPA membership? Not sure if you are doing everything you can to protect your images from infringement? And what is the deal with Copyright Small Claims? Great news! All these questions and plenty more will be answered during tomorrow's informational copyright webinar.

This webinar is FREE and open to all TOMORROW ONLY, so register now and tune in, November 14, 2017, at 3:00 pm ET. 

Oh, and if you're a member of PPA you'll be able to replay this and any PPA webinar at your leisure and however many times you wish (videos uploaded about two weeks after original webinar date)! Block your calendar and join the fight for artists' rights! 

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By Chris Homer

PPA's District Photographic Competitions will begin accepting entries this winter through early
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 spring, depending on your district. Go ahead and start getting your competition images ready!

Entering your local district competition is one of the best ways to push yourself to be more. You'll learn where you stand--how your photography matches up with your peers. You'll learn about the 12 elements of a merit image, and start incorporating them into your daily photography. You'll learn what it takes to create a merit image, and if you stick with it, work your way up to the Loan Collection.

If you're ready to enter and improve your skills, visit PPA.com/Districts to find out which competition you should enter. From there, you can find the entry deadlines, judging dates and rules for each District competition. Be sure to read the rules carefully! 

So find your district and start getting those images ready and take the plunge to improve as a photographer by entering your District Photographic Competition!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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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.

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Let's Meet...
Hannah Marie 

As an artist, Hannah is motivated to make the world a brighter place, to share her craft with those who have something or someone to cherish. She is motivated by the knowledge that she can be a blessing to someone's day, week, or month - to capture a moment in their lives she knows they will hold dear, and by the calling to share the beauty witnessed in this world, every day. Most of all, Hannah is motivated by the passion felt when creating a beautiful image, and even more so when holding the finished work in her hands!

Speaker Sessions:
Tuesday January 16

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? When driving, I often imagine how much safer the roads would be if everyone drove with the attitude of "let's work together to ensure we all get home safely." We'd extend a little more grace to one another, acknowledging that we're all just people trying to get home to our loved ones! I believe we are who we are regardless of where we are. If we all worked together on the roads and experienced less "me first" mentality there, I expect that would translate to all areas of life.

Why do you love photography? Throughout my life, I've had different "theme prayers" for different seasons. In my youth, my consistent prayer was that God would help me to see others (and myself) the way He sees them; to see the world through His eyes, with His love and His compassion. I believe He's answered that longing (as much as any human can see through His eyes) and I love that I can turn around and show others the beauty and uniqueness God sees in them.

What would be your advice for photographers who are just starting their career? 1) Spend time studying different business structures to find one that you're excited about. 2) Have the courage to photograph what you love most. It will show in your work and you'll find success more quickly. In mentor sessions, I can often tell the photographer what they're most passionate about shooting because that work stands out against the rest they produce. 3) Enter print competitions or at the very least sit in on the judging. It is the fastest way to grow as an artist.

What are some unmarked items on your bucket list? Be hired to photograph the children of the British royal family.

How often do you yourself get in front of the camera? I like to be in front of the camera every year so I can remember what it feels like. Being on the other side of the equation reminds me of the importance of guiding my clients through every step. For example, I never do a styling consult with myself, so on the day of my shoot I'm ripping through my closet trying to sort out what to wear!

What was your experience like with your very *first* client AND what did you learn from it? My very first client was a "newborn" session at two months old because he had been born prematurely. At that time, I was shoot-and-burn but surprised my clients by allowing them to select their favorite image to be printed as an 8x10. When the mother told me which image they had selected, I was surprised - it didn't even make my top 10 and in fact, I'd almost not even included it! The lesson: clients have totally different criteria for what makes an image their favorite.

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

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By Sidra Safri

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It's Veteran's Day and you probably want to go out into the November sunshine and get some great shots of the celebrations taking place all across the nation. If you're in our nation's capitol however...stop right there. We've posted about this before, but it just keeps happening!... remember Washington D.C. is always a NO-DRONE ZONE. Meaning that, no matter what time of the year it is, you cannot fly a drone in the D.C. airspace. 

If an individual is caught flying a drone, not only will they have to deal with buying a new drone, but will also be subject to fines up to $1,500 and other criminal penalties. 

Bottom line: don't fly your drone anywhere near D.C!




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The copyright system in the United States, while not perfect, has worked well for many creators in the higher-income industries. The harsh reality is, however, that copyright in America does not work at all for small-business creators. The vast majority of creators have very little protection under the law because, without a massive income or corporate support, they have no real option for enforcement - and what good are rights when you can't actually enforce them?

Andrew is the perfect example of the small-business creator. He provides for his family by operating a small photography business through which he provides families in his community a product that will be cherished for generations to come. Andrew photographed an event for a local restaurateur and licensed images to the restaurant for specific marketing purposes. 

The restaurant's PR firm distributed one of Andrew's images to a culinary magazine. The magazine then used the photo as the cover image of a monthly issue without Andrew's permission and without mention of either Andrew or his client. Andrew contacted the publisher and sent an invoice for an appropriate licensing fee. He was ignored. Andrew then had a cease and desist letter sent to the publisher on his behalf from his photographic association. Still, he received no response. 

Andrew is now facing an impossible decision. He can hire an attorney and pursue this further, or choose to let it go altogether. Due to principle, Andrew does not want to let it go, but at this point, he's afraid he would actually have to sue the infringer to get any response or payment. Andrew estimates the value of this infringement at $2,500 which he feels is far too low to justify a lawsuit in federal court. 

"It's a shame they will probably just get away with this," Andrew said. "Not facing any consequences just reinforces the behavior." Andrew believes the lack of copyright enforcement options available to small creators like him is the reason businesses and publications choose to infringe rather than secure proper licensing. 

"Some sort of a small claims process is the only way creators like me will ever be able to get paid for infringing uses of their work," Andrew said.

That small-claims process is on its way! With the introduction of HR 3942, small-business creators have a chance to finally have their cases heard. Stay up-to-date on the fight for artists' rights at PPA.com/Copyright and JOIN THE FIGHT at PPA.com/SmallClaims!

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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 Bthany Clark

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PPAedu gives you 24/7 access to over 350 HD tutorial videos designed to educate you on all things photography and business. With new videos added every month, you are sure to find a video that fits you. It's comes FREE as one of the many great resources that come with being a member of PPA. 

This learning opportunity is too great to turn down, especially since the newest lineup of tutorials, sponsored by Profoto, features tips and coaching from none other than Tony Corbell, Cr. Photog., API! Check out the newest videos form this amazing lighting master. They are part of a series called TAKING CONTROL:

There will come a time when a photographer may not have access to a window light source during a shoot. Mimicking window light in the studio can result in a beautiful, large, and soft yet directional source. This tutorial will leave you feeling confident and ready for the challenge as Tony walks you through different placements of light-shaping tools, and how subtle shifts in light directions make all of the difference in portraiture.

And there are more videos from Tony Corbell in this 'Taking Control' series, so bookmark these, make time in your agenda to watch them, and learn lighting techniques from the oh-so-talented Tony Corbell:


About Tony Corbell:
Tony is a true living legend in his industry, for his photographic talent his commitment to training and education! His Basic Studio Lighting book has become the basis for numerous photographic college lighting courses and he has been a photographer, photographic educator, and an author his entire adult life, and he has written articles in nearly every major photographic magazine in the U.S., Japan, the U.K., and China. Tony has photographed three U.S. presidents, The Millennium Summit Meeting of World Leaders at the United Nations, countless sports celebrities, almost 800 brides and grooms, and a handful of NASA astronauts. He is currently featured on PPAedu, KelbyOne, Epson and Creativelive and his YouTube videos have surpassed one million views as he explains lighting techniques to photographers throughout the world. 

Visit PPA.com/PPAedu to learn more and see how you can start your to take your photography and business to the next level!


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By Bethany Clark

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Professional Photographer magazine has a great giveaway prize this month: a Sigma lens valued at $899! 

This state-of-the-art Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens is designed for full-frame cameras, though it can also be used with APS-C sensors. It features a hypersonic motor and inner focusing system, and is available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, and Sony A-Mount.

Enter to win at PPmag.com/Win by November 30th, 2017. And remember, there's a giveaway every month on Professional Photographer magazine's website, so be sure to bookmark it and enter each month!

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By Chris Homer

PPA's Certified Professional Photographer program (CPP) is one of the best ways to separate yourself from the competition and improve your skills as a photographer. If you doubt that's true or still think 'CPP isn't for me' - here's something to challenge your mind!

The video below shows 5 common myths about the CPP program and why every professional photographer should become a CPP. Take a look and learn why you need to consider participating!


Ready to get started on the path to become certified? Visit PPA.com/CPP for all the details on how to begin!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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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-décor 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 David Eun

Anyone who's been hired to be a wedding photographer knows it's one of the most stressful gigs, period. Well, Dunja Djudjic provides us a parody video making light of the issues wedding photographers face when guests become photographers, too.

We've all been there: You just took the best photo ever. But, you can't decide which Instagram filter to use, so you end up scrolling back and forth for 15 minutes. Check out this article by Stefan Pettersson to see how the biggest IG users pick their filters.

The title says it all: If you're new to the photography game and are looking for tools to help you develop your images, you should take a look at this free video from Photoshop Training Channel on Adobe's newest Lightroom CC app.

Even the most imaginative minds hit a creative slump. Sometimes, we believe the answer is to consider as many ideas as possible to reinvigorate ourselves. Alex Cooke discusses how the answer could actually lie in narrowing our ideas.

Simplicity can lead to some of the most wonderful images people have ever seen. However, whenever people want to keep things nice and simple, it's imperative to not make the images too simple. Tihomir Lazarov discusses more in detail.

Documentaries possess the power to not only convey rich information to the public but also move hearts to take action. So, if you're looking to enhance your documentary photography skills, take a look at this article by Scott Choucino.

Being a small business owner can be stressful. You have bills to pay, you have clients to make happy - The list goes on. Pat Kiernan at CNBC wants to help, so if you're part of a small business here are 5 blunders you should avoid at all costs.

The market is flooded with competition, and getting your name out to your audience is vital to ensuring you even survive. Jack Alexander delves into the importance of creative professionals having and maintaining a quality website.

People pursue photography for many reasons. But, what happens, when you forget why you became a photographer? Jeff Carpenter discusses his story of regaining his passion for photography and his advice for those going through similar struggles.

Photographers are masters of stills, and sometimes they believe that's all they need to know to be successful. COOPH argues otherwise. Will Nicholls discusses his top 8 reasons why photographers should add videography to their arsenal.

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.

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