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Results tagged “See The Difference” from PPA Today

By Lisa Sharer

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We've all had that same thought...portraits? Maybe after I lose 10...20...30 pounds. You are your own worst critic, and it can hurt you in ways that you're not even thinking about. Specifically, when it comes to getting your photo made.

Maybe it's true. Maybe you have put on more weight than you would like to admit. But don't miss important parts of your life because of it! A lot of people get a little uncomfortable in front of the camera, but that doesn't mean you should forgo ever capturing the precious moments of your life. Many times we forget that people love us - for us. Your parents, your spouse, your children are not thinking about a number on the scale. They are thinking about capturing moments that will last a lifetime.

Don't miss mom and daughter photos through her entire childhood, because you don't want people to see you. Don't miss that once-in-a-lifetime portrait of a generational family because you think your arms look too big. Just remember that those near and dear to you love you and want to remember you the way you are. No matter how big or how small.

You can keep waiting until that moment when you've lost those last 5 pounds, but does that mean you missed an entire graduation or a newborn's first photos or dad's retirement? It's time to love yourself and to capture life with those around you. While you still have the time.

So, once you've convinced yourself to take the plunge, how do you get past the nervous feeling of being in front of a camera? You hire a professional photographer. PPA photographers are skilled craftsmen that know all about the nature of a client's comfort. They know that we are not all models and that it takes some understanding and direction to make their clients look their best. They even know some tricks of the trade to help you feel and look like the best you.

Photographers who are members of Professional Photographers of America (PPA - a nonprofit that has been developing professional photographers' talent for almost 150 years) will work with you to find the best clothing to suit your figure. They'll find the perfect locations to accentuate your best qualities. They'll know how to pose you and use lighting techniques on you so you get the most flattering portraits. A PPA photographer will do whatever it takes to make sure you are comfortable and that you get the best possible, quality photographs.

And it turns out when you receive those final photos, no one is looking at how fat or thin you are. They're looking at your beautiful face and your bright, shining smile. They're looking at this capture of a beautiful moment in a time of your life and that feeling will last forever. That's exactly what a professional photographer is looking to bring out in your photos: the you that everyone loves.

If or when you're ready to get those photos made, you can find an entire list of PPA photographers near you at FindAPhotographer.com. No matter the occasion, there is a professional photographer looking to help bring your moments to life in a way that you can cherish forever. So, forget those last few pounds, and find the perfect fit for you and your family. Time to find a photographer and get these portraits done!

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About the author:
Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.
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By Lisa Sharer

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It's happened to all of us. Probably more than once. Someone asks you what your rate is, and when they hear it, they are appalled. You start to feel a little flush. You start to think, maybe I went too high. You start to want to back into the nearest bush.

We're here to tell you to kick that bush to the curb! Part of becoming a professional photographer starts with confidence. If every photographer folds, then no one gets paid. By demanding a solid rate, you're not only helping yourself, you're helping all the photographers that come after you.

Here's a recent, completely real, interaction that we applaud:

A photographer is out and about taking pictures. He is approached by a gentleman who notices him:

Gentleman: You take pictures? 

Photographer: Yes

Gentleman: How much do you charge?

Photographer: It really depends on what you want.

Gentleman: Just walking around downtown with you taking pictures of me.

Photographer: My portrait sessions start at $$.

Gentleman: (Laughs) Oh, come on, man.

Photographer: (Without hesitation) This is my full-time job, and I'm really good at it. Here's my card. Check out my portfolio, and let me know if you're interested.

If you believe in yourself, your clients will believe in you. Set your prices, stick by them, and above all, do NOT be embarrassed by them. Remember that you spend many hours--collective portions of your life--perfecting your craft and building a business. You have every right to charge fairly for your service, and you should never be ashamed of it.

"Listen up photographers. Know what you're worth. State it with conviction. Know when to bend, but know that bending should be the exception. There will be clients that will see your worth and pay your fee." -Aaron Coury, Photographer.

If you would like more help on how to sell yourself and your service, check out PPA's See The Difference® resources. PPA members have access to a plethora of sales and marketing tools to assist in promotion and in-person sales. If you're not a member, you should join today!


By Autumn Rice

PPA photographers are a diverse group of people who begin as friends, but ultimately become family. Through connecting with one another and sharing experiences, they provide a support that contradicts the thought of being in business alone. PPA's YouTube video series, Behind The Camera, features professional photographers who share their trials and tribulations, and their relationship within the PPA community. Today, Trish Logan pitches in. 

None of these interviews are scripted or paid for. These are real photographers, members of PPA, who value and share the power of their PPA community. 

In this video Trish Logan shares the value of See The Difference resources, and how they increase the credibility of her business with her clients.


Help your photography friends and share this video. The power of being involved and deeply connected goes beyond professional development. It's a support system no one should be left without. You can also view a full playlist of the Behind The Camera Video series on PPA's YouTube channel and learn more about See The Difference here.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2016. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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As photographers, your specialty is beautiful imagery. Your time and energy is spent with your clients. Your focus is the final product. Unfortunately, none of that matters if you don't have the clients lined up in the first place. So, how do you track down the people out there who are looking for a photographer, and how do you get them to choose you? Marketing. Here's a brief rundown on the basics.

Target Audience

Are you a wedding photographer? Then you need future brides to see you. Are you a family portrait photographer? Then you need moms to see you. First thing is first, identify your target demographic. Who in your area will have the means to purchase the services you offer? Once you've determined that, create a persona of the perfect client. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal  client based off their presumed demographics, cultural identity, motivations, and behaviors. For example, meet Elizabeth. Elizabeth just got engaged, she's likely between 21 and 28 years of age, she's just out of college and starting a career, and she is completely overwhelmed by planning a wedding. Now you know who you're marketing to, and what you can offer to make her life better.

Marketing Strategy

Before you go Facebooking, or snatching up ads in your local paper, create a plan. This will help you to prepare, establish goals, and measure your success. That part is key, otherwise you won't know what works and what doesn't.

Step 1. Define your goal. Do you want more clients? Are you looking to increase your average sale per client? Will you be promoting a special product or service or perhaps working with a charity? Decide what is most important to your business at this time and then you can focus your message.

Step 2. Decide what outlets your potential clients focus on the most. This will likely take some testing. You may think it's Facebook, but maybe it's Instagram. Either way, make sure you put time into developing these platforms so that they look professional and approachable. Go with your gut, and then see how you're performing.

Step 3. Content strategy. Once you've decided where you're going to market your photography services, then you'll need to start creating content to be visible, credible, and trigger leads. Make an outline of a strategy that can help you create relevant content you need for those platforms.

Step 4. Set a marketing budget. Rather than throwing money at an issue, you need to carefully plan out how you'll be investing every penny. Set a budget to keep your financial contributions within an affordable range.

Step 5. Measure your success. By testing and analyzing, you can figure out what is giving you the best results. Check in on your original goal, and see how close or far you are from success.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine. So, basically getting your website as close to the top of a Google search as you can. You will attract more online visitors by making sure your SEO ranks higher than other photographers in your area. Better SEO equals more clients. So make sure your site is easy to use, looks great on mobile devices, and contains content that is relatable and engaging. Most photographers try optimizing for the highest Google results in general, but they forget that most potential client do local searches, meaning that you will get a bigger bang for your SEO bucks if you optimize for local searches.

Content Creation

You need to create content for your site and your marketing outlets. Whether it's writing, an image, or even video, you'll need to create content that is engaging and attracts your target audience. Many photographers find that including a blog on their site is a great way to engage potential clients. You have an amazing advantage over other small businesses in the sense that you have a professional camera that can take high-res videos. Even if you chose to produce a small iPhone-made video, you have a mastery of lighting that will surpass most hand-made videos, so play with it!

Having regular content can encourage more site traffic and great nuggets of info. For social posts, depending on your choice of outlets, you'll want to create a schedule so that you are regularly producing content that will catch the eye of your buyer persona.

ROI - Website Analytics

Once you've started putting yourself and your business out there, you'll want to see what's working and what's not so that you maximize your ROI (return on investment). Put that money to good use! A great free tool is Google Analytics. Here you can see where your traffic is coming from, what demographic is looking at your site, how long they spend on the site, and so much more. This is where you'll really understand which platform is working the best for you. This way, you can focus your efforts on things that are working, and spend less time focusing on things that aren't working.

Marketing is using a panoramic application of finding your potential clients and converting them to actual clients. There's so much more in-depth information out there that can help you create and manage a marketing plan. However, with this overview, you can get a good start on making that a reality.

If you need a few materials to help you, PPA offers the marketing tools for its members as part of the See The Difference campaign. These can help you easily create professional brochures, add landing pages to your site, give you shareable content, and more. Once you have your marketing plan, these tools will help you get the jump start you need.

There are plenty of tools to help you be more marketable. You can do this! Login to your account today to get started: PPA.com


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Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.


By Chris Homer

See The Difference® is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign paid for by PPA that is designed to help professional photographers educate their (potential) clients on why hiring (and paying for) a pro over an amateur photographer is a good thing. See The Difference was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers and those who are members of PPA get FREE marketing tools to help in this sense. These photographers' marketing tools include customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips, FAQs, and quizzes.

One of the See The Difference resources PPA members have access to are consumer tips & FAQ pages that can be shared with your potential customers. There are tips and question pages for wedding, senior, family and pet photography specialties! Easy-to-use consumer tips and frequently asked questions (FAQs) will help your clients and prospects understand what to look for when evaluating photographers and give them tips on working with photographers to take beautiful photos. Add a Tips and/or FAQs button to your website or Facebook page!

If you are a PPA member, download one of the buttons for your website and link to the See The Difference consumer tips or FAQ page of your choice! Remember, it is only by exposing consumers to professional grade work and explaining the value inherent to your work and services that people will learn to see the difference and understand the worth in professional photography. 

For even more See The Difference resources, visit PPA.com/SalesTools. Just know that you've got to be a PPA member to access these resources, so join PPA today if you haven't already! It's economical and it gets you way more perks and benefits than it will cost you. Consider joining today!


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About 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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By Chris Homer

See The Difference® is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign paid for by PPA that is designed to help professional photographers educate their (potential) clients on why hiring (and paying for) a pro over an amateur photographer is a good thing. See The Difference was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers and those who are members of PPA get FREE marketing tools to help in this sense. These photographers' marketing tools include customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips, FAQs, and quizzes.

One of the See The Difference resources PPA members have access to are dedicated landing pages that can be shared with your potential customers. These specialized landing pages each showcase wedding, family, senior and pet photography, while highlighting the benefits inherent in hiring a professional photographer. You can use these pages to: 

  • Stand out from your competition
  • Help clients learn the value of professional work
  • Proudly marketing yourself as a pro
  • Show you belong to and are backed by a well-known professional organization

If you are a PPA member, download one of the buttons for your website and link to the See The Difference landing page of your choice! Remember, it is only by exposing consumers to professional grade work and explaining the value inherent to your work and services that people will learn to see the difference and understand the worth in professional photography. 

For even more See The Difference resources, visit PPA.com/SalesTools. Just know that you've got to be a PPA member to access these resources, so join PPA today if you haven't already! It's economical and it gets you way more perks and benefits than it will cost you. It's time. Consider joining today!


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About 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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By Chris Homer

PPA's See The Difference® campaign is dedicated to helping PPA members show potential clients the value of hiring a professional photographer over a hobbyist or an amateur. To help photographers educate their clients, PPA continues to provide a whole host of resources, including downloadable videos that you can add to your website if you are with PPA. 

That's right! PPA photographers now have access to almost a dozen videos; some generic in scope to target any client, and some that showcase specific photography specialties, such as wedding, family, high school seniors and pets. These messaging videos are designed to appeal to consumers' emotions by showing them real clients who share their stories and talk about why it's so important to hire (and pay for) a professional photographer.

Find out why you should add one of these videos to your website below:




If you're a PPA member, grab the video for your needs and put it on your website or blog today! Be sure to check out the other See The Difference resources as well. There you will find customizable brochures, See The Difference logos, and side-by-side comparisons that can all help educate your clients. The more photographers we have share this kind of message, the stronger the stance of professional photographers, so start using the resources now. Remember that you've got to be a PPA member to access these resources, so join today!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpg
About 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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By Aleighia Rouse 

Cheers to us (and you)!

Our See The Difference consumer videos were recently honored as a Silver Winner at the 36th Annual Telly Awards. Silver is the highest honor the Telly's dish out, so this is a big deal! 

The videos, made for PPA by Radiant3, a video production company in Atlanta, earned the Telly's highest honor in the Online Commercial Campaign, Promotional/Branding category. Winners were chosen from nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, with big names like Dell, AT&T, Disney, Coke and more alongside PPA. 

These award-winning videos feature real people sharing their stories about why it's so important to hire pro and also feature real PPA photographers capturing clients' unique personalities and beauty. There are 6 videos that showcase wedding, family, senior and pet photography. PPA photographers can add these award-winning videos to their websites to show clients and prospects the difference professional photographers make. 

Watch PPA's See The Difference videos here

Want to know more about the See The Difference marketing tools? Consider joining PPA at PPA.com/Join.


What are the Telly Awards?
The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world. 

A prestigious judging panel of over 500 accomplished industry professionals, each a past winner of a Silver Telly and a member of The Silver Telly Council, judged the competition, upholding the historical standard of excellence that Telly represents. The Silver Council evaluated entries to recognize distinction in creative work - entries do not compete against each other - rather entries are judged against a high standard of merit. Less than 10% of entries are chosen as winners of the Silver Telly.  


Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of the film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and our Marketing and Communications intern, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around.  
Editor's Note: Renowned Photographer Anne Geddes AnneGeddes_headshot1.jpg

We are very excited to share with you that PPA has teamed up with world-renowned photographer and PPA lifetime member Anne Geddes. Anne is adding her voice to PPA's See The Difference campaigns and will help all of us showcase the value of professional photography to prospects and clients. 
Over this last decade, point-and-shoot high-end technology and other forms of non-professional photography have muddied our industry, lowering the bar and the mass' perception of what is acceptable in terms of quality and professional service.

At PPA we have been working on developing the See The Difference campaign to (1) provide PPA photographers with sales tools and arguments to stand out from the ocean of photographers, and (2) to get consumers to grasp the difference and worth professional photographers make and why the investment should be a no brainer. 

Who's Anne Geddes?

"Only" one of the most famous child and newborn photographers ever! Her career highlights include an Oprah-featured coffee table book "Down in the Garden" that rose to become a New York Times Best Seller, a series of greeting cards sold internationally, a best-selling annual calendar now in the 25th continuous edition, and an extensive, acclaimed photography series and collection of books featuring third-world children facing extreme health problems and needs as part of her various roles as a global ambassador, advocate and volunteer for the United Nations and March of Dimes. 

Anne sent over the short blog post below, reflecting on her career and sharing her excitement to now  being even more involved with PPA.

How PPA (And Others) Helped Shape My Career and Can Help Shape Yours
By Anne Geddes

Many of you might not know this, but I didn't pick up a camera until I was 25 years old. I grew up in the far north of Australia and in the small country schools I attended there were no photography courses. But I've always loved the concept of being able to capture forever, a single moment in time (isn't that why we're all photographers?) and I was particularly drawn to images of people. 

In my teens and early 20s I subscribed to Life magazine when it was in its heyday, and marveled at the way complete stories could be told purely with the use of imagery. I began my career as many others do, photographing families (and in particular, children) on location in their homes and gardens, but it wasn't until I first walked in to a photographic studio that my personal style began to take shape. My 10 years of private portrait commissions were invaluable, as by trial and error, I gradually learned how differently children react at various ages. 
By Chris Homer 

At PPA, we often hear that one of the biggest challenges facing professional photographers is the amount of competition out there from amateurs. It's important to educate your clients on the difference between a pro and an amateur, and why your likelihood of being happy with the results is so much higher if you hire a PPA photographer! 

PPA has a bunch of resources to help you  educate your clients. This high school seniors video is one of the latest additions to a library of resources PPA photographers can access to help market themselves and help clients and prospects alike to see the difference hiring a PPA photographer makes.  

In this video, real high school seniors explain what they are looking for in senior portraits and how hiring a professional photographer gave them great photographs. The video might help you win over parents that are unwilling to pay your rates!

That's right, when talking to prospective clients who are looking for options that go above what you'd expect from traditional high school year-book portraits, use this video; it will help you out. 


While you're at it, check out other See the Difference resources and videos. There are even instructions on how to embed the videos on your website! If you are a PPA photographer, log in and you can simply grab these videos and use them to help with your marketing!

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About 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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