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Preparing for our presentation with Lindsey Forson, PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator!
PPA CEO, David Trust and Director of Member Value & Experience, Kristen Hartmen review notes.
The Creative Rights Caucus is packed and in full swing!
PPA photographer Jamie Hayes multitasks between capturing new headshots and talking about the issues.
Copyright movers and shakers mingle.
PPA photographer Jamie Hayes in action.
Congresswoman Judy Chu and Congressman Doug Collins speaking to the Creative Rights Caucus
PPA CEO David Trust and Denis Reggie chat before the event.
Behind the scenes of the Creative Rights Caucus
PPA photographers Mary Fisk-Taylor & Jamie Hayes prepare the headshot station.
Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator. She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.
Like every month, PPA is back on Washington to advocate with legislators for your photography rights! Small business owners are often overlooked by the law, but PPA is on the Hill to make sure photographers are accounted for in the upcoming new copyright legislation.
Yesterday, PPA's advocacy team met with Corey Cooke and Joe Hartz who both serve on the Hill as Counsel to the House Small Business Committee.
"We discussed various issues affecting small photography businesses including copyright issues, health care concerns, and drone photography," said Lindsey Forson, PPA's copyright & government affairs coordinator. "This introductory meeting made sure these important people on the Hill know who PPA is and what issues are important to the 28,000+ photographers and small business owners PPA represents. The goal is to forge positive relationships with those looking out for the concerns of small business owners like photographers."
Today's agenda includes meetings with:
"There is a new coordinator in place and we want to establish a relationship with the office and make sure they are thinking about small business copyright issues," said Forson.
To discuss the Copyright review process.
CONTINUE READING FOR UPDATES
James Williams, the Federal Aviation Administration's Chief of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, announced during a panel discussion Monday, May 4, that a final rule on the new regulations for small drone operation will most likely be made within the next 16 months.
Of course 16 months might not sound ideal, as we would like for drone regulations to be improved now. However, the announcement of a time frame is a positive development. Additionally, given the complexity of the FAA as a federal agency and that just last month they received thousands of comments on their proposed regulations, 16 months or less is probably a better than what we could hope for in terms of a timeline. At PPA, we are confident that the new rule will make drone photography a feasible option for professional photographers.
Here is Williams' full statement:
"The standard timeline from the completion of a comment period to federal rule is 16 months. I believe that the FAA will do everything within its power to meet that timeline or beat it. It is a fairly complex rule and there are a lot of comments that have to be resolved, and it will take some time to do it. But it's an administrator-level priority to get this done, and I believe this interest is shared all the way up the chain inside the executive branch. I'm confident it will move forward as fast as humanly possible."
This statement follows last month's progress on new drone regulations. We will continue to keep you up to date as the situation develops!
With PPA, Be More In The Know.
PPA's copyright team is back in Atlanta after spending the past few days in our nation's capital, advocating for the issues that matter most to professional photographers. Catch up on Tuesday and Wednesday's events, and then read the recap below for more details! Things are REALLY moving in the right direction on the copyright front!
By Lindsey Forson
This is an exciting time in the world of copyright policy. We're expecting to see proposed legislation, as early as this legislative session, which could result in the first changes to the Copyright Act in over four decades! This trip was effective in terms of our lobbying efforts and extremely educational in our understanding of what changes might be forthcoming.
One of the highlights of the visit was attending a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee during which Maria Pallante, the Register of the U.S. Copyright Office testified. This was the last hearing of a copyright review process that has been going on for more than two years. In 2013, Pallante was the first to call for the review of Copyright Law and administration. Since then, the Committee has held 20 hearings and heard 100 testimonies on the topic. It was only fitting for Pallante to testify again in the final hearing.
Pallante gave her perspective on what should be the Committee's priorities moving forward. She called for a modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office, addressing concerns with its organizational structure, I.T. capacity, budgeting, and staffing. She also presented items she believes are ready for legislative action. We were most excited to hear that a small claims process for addressing copyright infringements is (finally) on the top of that list. Pallante urged members of the Committee to take action now. Additionally, she presented issues in need of further investigation and analysis such as Section 512 of the Act and mass digitization. You can access her full testimony here.
The rest of our trip focused on lobbying appointments with members of the House Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee will be the group to propose new copyright legislation. We met with several freshman members of Congress who sit on the Committee or their staff members, to introduce them to who PPA is and the issues that are important to us.
PPA is back in Washington advocating for photographers! CEO David Trust, Director of Member Value and Experience, Kristen Hartman and Copyright and Government Affairs Coordinator, Lindsey Forson, are there meeting with staffers and congressmen and women before they attend tomorrow's House Judiciary Committee Hearing.
Look for updates here on this post they report back!
Update #1: Tuesday, April 28, 3:48pm
This afternoon, we met with Linda Shim, staffer of California Congresswoman Judy Chu's office. Congresswoman Chu is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and co-chairman of the Creative Rights Caucus. The meeting was productive as we talked about projects we can work on together to spread the word on the Hill about copyright from a small business perspective.
We also met with Austin Smithson of Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert's (also on the House Judiciary Committee) office and talked about the copyright registration process itself. We showed him how this cannot be a one-size-fits-all process, which he was very receptive to. There are many different business models represented among copyright owners and the current approach is not working for everyone.
We are looking forward to two more meetings today before attending the House Judiciary Committee Hearing tomorrow morning where the actual U.S. Copyright Office will present "The Register's Perspective on Copyright Review." We will have three additional meetings after the hearing.
READ PAST THE JUMP FOR MORE UPDATES
If you had any hesitation there, today's free webinar is for you:
Webinar: Are Your Images
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 3-4 pm ET
Lindsey Forson, coordinator, PPA Copyright & Government Affairs Department
Protecting your images isn't something you want to leave to chance. Become more confident about understanding your copyrights and you'll be able to better defend yourself as well as raise awareness with clients and retailers. This is good for the industry and the livelihood of your business!
Consider signing up for the webinar, coinciding with World Copyright Day. Again, it's free and it will help you understand what further steps you can take to protect your business from copyright infringements AND what to do in the annoying case that infringements occur. Sign up to participate! It's a brief but educational webinar and it WILL help you determine if you are doing everything you can to protect your images.
You might feel comfortable with what you are already doing, but the law keeps evolving and you never know what you're missing! Be More Prepared, Be More Protected, Be More Aware... all photographers need (more) copyright protection!
Want to be more involved?
Inform/Train photo retailers in your area. This means those who print photos for consumers,
especially those high volume/low quality retailers. Focus on larger retail chains, where your clients
are most likely to have access to self-printing and scanning services.
It's easy to sign up and participate in the program. As soon as you sign up, we'll send you the "Helpful Tips For Handling Professional Photographs" brochure that you can use as an icebreaker and excuse to visit the photo retailers in your area. It's good to leave some behind for them too.
NOTE: Before you embark on this Copyright Awareness mission, please educate yourself first so you can help retailers understand their responsibilities. It's important to maintain strong relationships with photo retailers, so make sure your conversations are positive and productive!
Q: What is the most important point to get across to printing retailers?
A: When in doubt, never print or reproduce a professionally-created photograph without written consent from the photographer!
This is a great way you can help protect your images, especially since such a critical part of your revenues come from printed work.
Copyright matters. And as always, PPA has your back. This is your chance to get involved.
By Lindsey Forson
April is Copyright Awareness Month at PPA! Why get involved? Because copyright is arguably the most important legal concern for professional photographers. During the course of your career as a pro, it's inevitable that you will have to deal with copyright infringement at some point. To highlight the importance of copyright protection and give you the opportunity to learn the easy way, some PPA photographers have agreed to share their experiences!
In light of a recent issue with a copyright infringement, we had a conversation with PPA member Ross Oscar Knight.
Ross has been a professional photographer since 2004. He takes great care in protecting his images but still faces around 4-5 copyright infringements per year! He has dealt with infringements from clients, retailers, and other photography businesses, along with those frustrating unknown infringers.
Ross stands with PPA in encouraging photographers to protect their images and sees copyright protection as one of the most important aspects of a photography business. For him, there are reasons to protect images beyond the obvious business-related concerns because his images will live on long after his life and the life of his business. "It's no different than a musician writing a song," said Ross. "I'm a photographer, and for me, images are my legacy."
By: Lauren Walters
Have you ever had someone steal your work or discredit you? Don't fret! PPA is here to help! If you hire a lawyer, you'll be spending A LOT OF MONEY in legal fees, but if you are with PPA, most likely we'll be able to protect your work for FREE or, if damages have already been done, for a fraction of that insane legal cost.
PPA photographer, Ross Oscar Knight, specializes in weddings, fine art and corporate events. Ross had a project that received a lot of exposure when it went viral in 2007, thanks in part to the feature on the Oprah Winfrey show. Soon after, people started pulling and using images from his website without his permission. Some were even discrediting his work and cropping out his logo, committing the ultimate copyright infringement. Ross remembered that PPA helps photographers resolve copyright disputes and went for that help. Check out his story and hear more about how PPA helped him resolve this copyright infringement rip-off.
If you are at risk for copyright infringement or simply want to take the right proactive steps, just go to the PPA's Copyright Resources , get your Free Copyright Kit or check out the Be More Business Savvy and Be More Protected.
By: Lauren Walters
PPA CEO David Trust was in DC the past two days advocating for photographers like you! He and PPA's copyright team in D.C., the Nickles Group, had a series of meetings with Representatives of Arizona, California, Georgia, Missouri, Utah and Wyoming and Senators from Los Angeles and Oklahoma who all have a say on the FAA's proposed rules for regulating the use of drones in the United States. The proposed rules are awaiting approval and are now in a 60-day comment period, during which PPA is working diligently to pull together comments for submission.
The revised proposal indicates good progress for Photographers. The FAA proposes and approves the rules on drones; those rules are not legislation and do not require congressional approval. Currently, the said rules categorize drones into three physical size groups. PPA is mainly concerned with regulation pertaining to small and micro drones. A small drone is classified as 55lbs or lighter, and a micro drone is 4.4lbs or lighter.
The FAA's proposed rules would require professional photographers wanting to use small drones (less than 55 lbs) to take an aeronautical skills test and obtain a permit and renew that license every two years. There would also be a one-time registration fee of $150. With 560 testing sites, finding a testing center should be easy. PPA believes the proposed rules for small drones to be a major step in the right direction as they eliminate the current requirement that commercial drone users hold an actual pilot's license.
The proposed rules for micro-drones (4.4 lbs or less) are even more favorable as they require no skills test. Photographers wanting to use micro-drones in their business would have to register and self-certify that they understand the FAA's aeronautical information manual.
We are still months away before the rules are finalized, yet solid progresses are being made in the direction of photographers. Want to weigh in? Please visit the discussion on theLoop about drones, it's a dynamic one!
Drones are the hot topic at the moment, but Trust also had discussions on copyright reform and the Next Great Copyright Act, which are still under development.
By: Lauren Walters
Ready to take the plunge into Imaging USA? First, stay up to date with what's happening in the world of photography. Read our top ten favorite blog posts and use them as conversation starters at the convention!
PERSONAL BRAND: Headed to Imaging USA next week? Get a head start! Learn how to market yourself successfully for when you're walking around at the Expo. The first step is to plan, plan, and plan again!
LAYOFFS: For a magazine so heavily reliant on its high-quality images, we were surprised to learn that Sports Illustrated laid off their entire staff of six photographers. A cut of photographers of this scale hasn't happened since The Chicago Sun-Times cut their 28-staffed photographers in 2013. Is history repeating itself?
DESTINATION PHOTOGRAPHER: PPA photographer Joshua Kane gets paid to travel the world and photograph destination weddings. Although Joshua is living the dream, it's not always a vacation. Read about the challenges and benefits of a destination photography business.
MIXED MEDIA: How would a printmaker involve photography in their process? After mixing digital and print mediums, a hybrid medium was born. Check out a lithographer's approach to digital photography.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: India has always been rich in imagery, but not so involved in the art of photography. After their first photography festival four years ago in New Deli, India has become more present in the photography scene. Check out breath-taking images showcasing the exotic Indian lifestyle.
DUH! (THANKFULLY): According to the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), people can distinguish a professional from an amateur photographer. The researcher who conducted this study used special equipment to record the subject's eye movements when exposed to photographs. Check out other conclusions they drew from this experiment.
ARCHIVES: Hoping to raise funds, the publisher of Ebony magazine is selling their entire photo archive. This collection dates back to 1945 including historic and award-winning photography. Find out more about this collection.
EDITING: As a street photographer, you can shoot anytime, anywhere! Where the structured schedule is lacking, the photographer picks up the slack when it comes to editing. Why would one have to heavily edit street photography? Read more to find out!
COPYRIGHT: Learn about Nike's "jumpman" logo legend. Was there a photograph behind this genius design for inspiration? If so, does the photographer deserve to be compensated?
INSPIRATION: We all know those beloved fairytales from our childhood. How about capturing the landscapes that inspired the original Grimm's fairy tales?
Check back with us next week for more top blogs. Any interesting blogs you'd like us to check out, let us know on theLoop!
By: Lauren Walters
Itching for news in the world of photography? Here are our top ten blog posts for this week. From tips and tutorials to adventure and high art, this week's top ten is a creative cluster.
EVENT: Become more knowledgeable, connected, and confident by attending Imaging USA. This convention hosted by PPA takes place on Sunday, Feb. 1 - Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Nashville, Tennessee. Read this article to find out about all the benefits it has to offer. Come join the fun at Imaging USA!
Relating the life of a photographer to a life of a circus performer, this blog
shares a few concepts of working the circus life that seem all too familiar to
us photographers. There is no publicity value in working for free. North
America has a silly belief system that work should not be enjoyable, therefore
we should only be paid if there isn't enjoyment. But, don't sell your skills
for free just yet! Value your work and yourself as a professional.
Interested in expanding your portfolio with creative pieces? Try a multiple
exposure piece! From abstract to artistic portraits, regardless of the medium,
this tutorial covers it all when it comes to multiple exposures. Have fun
SHIFT: Going from taking photos to making art can be a huge step. A common
struggle among learning photographers can be focusing on a shallow depth of
field. As soon as you start to learn that photography is a story telling device
is when you start "making" photos instead of "taking" them.
ARTISTS vs. PROFESSIONALS: As a photographer, do you consider yourself an artist? This blog distinguishes creative individuals as craftsmen, artists, professionals and finally entrepreneurs. Furthermore, this blog explains that true artistic geniuses such as Beethoven no longer exist. Instead of artists, we've become professionals.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The featured photograph dates
back to 1956 in an Atlanta airport. Relations of race and gender are assumed
through this intimate photograph. Although, the details of this photo still
remain a mystery today.
PROTECTION: After signing a release, participating in the shoot and getting
paid, a model decides to sue the photographer for the photos getting stolen.
The model signed a release allowing her photos to be used as stock, but they
got stolen off her personal Facebook page after posting them herself. You won't
believe where the images wound up!
AERIAL, BY NIGHT: "Gotham From Above" was shot from a helicopter 7,500 feet above the ground of New York. Capturing aerial photographs can be quite a challenge; helicopters vibrate, so the photographer had to use a relatively high shutter speed. This project showcases the scale of New York City.
-50C AURORA BOREALIS: Into the Siberian wilderness, a Russian photographer ventured to capture images of the Northern Lights. Because of temperatures (as low as -50C), the photographer designed a coat to protect his camera. We applaud this photographer for braving such harsh conditions for the sake of art. Take a look at the results!
COMMERCIAL VS. FINE ART: Check out this high art marketing campaign. An acrobat dances in a cloud of powdered milk to create the most stunning photography designed to sell creamer. Did this approach make you crave creamer?
Enjoy this week's blog posts? Check back next
week for more excitement! If you have a blog you want us to check out, let us
know on theLoop!
Happy New Year! Catch up on the new blog posts of 2015 (thus far!).
Take a look at the newly released statistics about employed professional
photographers in 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated about 54,830
professional photographers were employed in the US in 2013, excluding self-employed photographers
(which from our stand point significantly skews the data, but that's why
there's the Benchmark). Also, a few of the top cities for employed photographers are Los
Angeles, Orlando, New York, Atlanta, and Chicago. Can you believe that
Washington D.C. has the highest average annual pay for professional
Climbing the 3,000-foot El Cap is hard enough, but capturing the action is
quite the challenge. National Geographic photographer and filmmaker Corey Rich
attempts to capture rock climbers Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell scale El
Cap. Read more about the struggle and similarities between the photographers
and the climbers.
Developing a file structure can keep your work easily accessible. In Adobe
Lightroom, you can use their built-in template if you like. The author of this
blog uses a similar structure. Renaming your photos can be helpful when you've
been shooting for multiple days with multiple cameras.
GROWTH: Consider some of the following tips to feel refreshed for the New
Year: Calibrate your monitor, install a new hard drive, re-print some new
studio samples, implement email filters, restock office supplies, and check
your credit card statements. Continue reading this blog for more ways to relax
and start fresh in 2015! Well, of course, all of that is on top of coming to Imaging USA!
TO: Is your studio mobile? Learn how to effectively pack your supplies on
the go! Every photographer carries different supplies and in varying
quantities. No matter the variance, one will need a rolling storage bin that is
padded on the inside such as a Stanley mobile tool box from Home Depot. Bungee
cords and a rolling cart are also used for efficient transportation.
VIBES: Do unfortunate events leave you feeling unproductive? Next time you
have a bad day, don't throw in the towel. As creative people, photographers
have the gift of capturing emotion. Channel your negative energy into a
DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE: As a photographer, running a business can be difficult when you're being pulled toward creative endeavors. Try setting a time limit to your sessions, and plan out your creativity. Most importantly, learn to say no to yourself and others by making financially sound choices. Get this advice and more from the Law Tog!
OWLS: Love to shoot at night? Learn how to sharpen your focus! Most cameras
use contrast detection to focus; aim for an area of high contrast. Instead of
focusing on the midpoint of the frame, focus on the edge of the frame to regain
COPYRIGHT: Violation of the First Amendment has led to photographers being wrongly accused. Because of this conundrum, a state of Texas representative brought the Ansel Adams Act to light intending to reinstate the First Amendment. On January 2, 2015 Congress was confronted with the Ansel Adams Act outlining the need for clarity for photographer's rights.
TECHNICALLY SOUND: Make the most out of Lightroom for those significant details. The described method entails intentional overexposure of the photos. This overexposure picks up the shadows and details making your blacks blacker.
Enjoy the new blog posts of 2015! Have specific blogs or topics in mind that you'd like us to feature? Tell us on theLoop.