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by James Yates
You didn't miss Imaging USA 2016, did you? Well, just in
case, here on the PPA Today blog you will find exclusive videos from Imaging
USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the video recording of
this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!
Award + Degree Ceremony
Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta
In this video, check out the 2016 Award & Degree Ceremony at Imaging! Congratulations to all the photographers that earned their PPA Degree or got an award, including the Lifetime Achievement Winner, Kenneth L. Whitmire, M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP.
Ken is such an inspiration and his joy is infectious. Watch and learn how a true legend accepts acclaim with grace and gratitude.
And don't even think about missing next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!
Hope you are as inspired and excited for 2016 post-Imaging USA as we are!
This is going to be a great year! And please let us know what photography blogs
or podcasts you follow! Post your favorite on theLoop or email us
links at OnlineContentCommitee@PPA.com
by James Yates
all images © Alex the Photo Guy
I'm trying to stay upbeat but heading home is a bittersweet feeling. Everyone on the floor of the GWCC and Expo today was excited, inspired, and ready to return home with a ton of new friends and weapons in their photography arsenal.
Let me share with you the story of April Ranew, a PPA member of just two years. Last year was her first Imaging USA and she left inspired and determined to make her business a success. In just a couple of months, she used her new knowledge to open her home studio and by the end of the year she had doubled her sales. Now, that's exciting enough but here's where the story gets even better: at this Imaging USA she happened to be in line at a nearby restaurant after the convention one evening. The party in front of her noticed she was alone and invited her to sit with them. It turned out to be several PPA Board Members who wound up sharing their stories and years of experience with her, a "newbie", and forming new friendships. She learned so much and now feels like she's "part of the PPA family". That's what I'm talking about when I say you never know what can and will happen at Imaging USA!
But back to this last, amazing day. The classes today were as fantastic as one would hope for on the last day. Peter Hurley is always a big favorite from attendees. Craig LaMere taught everyone how to have a "badass brand". Ashley Brooke used her social media savvy to inspire attendees to put the personality back in their business. And there were more than a few tears shed at the highly emotional session with Jerry Ghionis, M.Photog.Cr. His session was all about evoking emotion! You didn't expect him not to do that, did you?
The Expo floor was abuzz today as throngs of people bought last-minute tickets for the PPA Charities Dream Studio Giveaway, a complete makeover for one lucky winner, Greg Mooney of Marietta, Georgia, souped up and tricked out with all the latest and greatest products from the expo and valued at an estimated $50,000. Check back in the spring here at PPA Today to see video of Jamie Hayes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API and the PPA Charities Dream Team surprising Greg at his studio and beginning the process of giving it that amazing makeover.
Next up tonight was the Awards and Degree ceremony where PPA honored the professional photographers who set themselves apart in the industry by earning new PPA degrees and awards. There was even the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award given to Ken Whitmire, M.Photog.Cr.FASP. Ken is only the fourteenth recipient of that honor in PPA's nearly 150 year history!
And then...the Closing Party. Imaging USA goers schmoozed with fish, danced with penguins, and snapped pics of beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium. You went, right? If for no other reason than to say "see you next year!" Please tag and share your pictures with #ImagingUSA with all the friends you've made and saw at Imaging USA.
That "last day of camp" feeling is electric in the air today. Let's all get rested and then work hard to implement everything we learned to help our business and art thrive!
If you missed out....DON'T LET IT HAPPEN NEXT YEAR! We're going to be Living La Vida Lone Star in San Antonio, Texas. Not a PPA member? Join now and get your first Imaging experience for FREE! PPA.com/Join
Check out the Recap Video for the final day of Imaging 2016
by James Yates
***all images © Alex the Photo Guy***
***except the dogs at the end. You'll see***
I can't even. I. Cannot. Even.
If you read my previous post, then you know how much the Pre-Convention days here at Imaging USA in Atlanta meant to me as a first-timer. To be able to speak to members, hear their stories, share in their excitement, and make new friends in the process seemed like PPA's coupe de grace.
And then the first official day happened today.
The entryway to the GWCC had a DJ...at 8:00am. I danced to Outkast with Imaging USA attendees at 8:45 this morning! Now THAT is ATL love! I knew there were lots of parties at Imaging but this is ridiculous!
Right off the jump, the 8:00am classes featured amazing speakers like Kristin and Paul Privette and Timothy Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Phtog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, starting everyone's convention off with fun, informative (and full) classes that had me wishing I could stay for the whole thing each time I ducked in to sample them. The faces of the attendees, while they learned pro tips like how Kristin and Paul describe being "obsessed" with your products personally before showing them to your clients, were what you would call "transfixed".
This year, everyone's schedule was cleared so all attention would be paid to our Keynote Speaker, Amy Purdy. You could hear a pin drop as she told her life story and inspired everyone in attendance with her triumphant take on life's struggles. I've had the pleasure of writing up several blog posts about Amy over the past couple of months and I was more than a little "fanning out" over her being here. She did not disappoint, in both inspiration, and generosity of spirit.
We barely had time to think before the Board of Directors cut the ribbon to the Imaging Expo floor and, in an instant, PANDEMONIUM. It was like a Black Friday sale without the trampling and shoving (photographers are a classy and respectful bunch). Seriously, if you have never seen the Imaging Expo, it truly is like the Mall of America for photographers. Everything and anything you need for your business is there, from the latest trends to perennial favorites.
I interviewed tons of people on the Expo floor and around the conference today and found a special bond with other first-timers. Our eyes would meet in a look of "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?!".
The evening classes were awesome too and I was able to catch an entire class on the amazing Studio Makeovers. Here's the deal: two studio owners, both members of PPA, were chosen to partner up with five PPA mentors, the best in the business, to completely overhaul the finances of their business. The class was a group interview and presentation as we were walked through their process and how their year went. It was a real-life experiment in the question, "How does change feel?" Here's a hint: both studios became increasingly financially successful. I'll devote an entire blog post to just this class when my head stops spinning from everything else I saw today but seriously, with mentors as strong as Ashley Brooke, Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, Dave Doeppel, CPP, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, and Kristin Privette, CPP (yes, her again!), you can imagine how insanely informative and packed with info the class was.
As Angela Kurkian, PPA's Director of Education, put it, "When you decide to create change, change occurs all around you."
I'm inspired, I'm moved, I'm exhausted, I'm ready for more. I have to finish writing this so I can hop over to the Opening Party where I hope to dance with a few superheroes and flappers until all the fun starts again tomorrow!
^^^my favorite attendees, Louis and Annabella, © Judy Reinford^^^
Check out our amazing Recap Video for a whirlwind glance at all that went down
See you all tomorrow at Imaging USA! Don't forget to share and tag your photos on social media with #ImagingUSA
And if you've missed out, be sure to join PPA and go to next year's Imaging USA in San Antonio for FREE! PPA.com/Join
by James Yates
***all images © Alex the Photo Guy***
Imaging USA 2016 doesn't officially start until tomorrow but you sure wouldn't know it from the tons of people already enjoying Pre Convention classes!
I'm James Yates, PPA's Communications Specialist and one of the newbies on the PPA staff, having only started working with PPA two months ago. I had certainly heard the hype: "Imaging is the most fun you'll have all year!" "You won't believe how happy and friendly everyone is!" and "Get ready for the ride of your life." Aside from that nervous, "up the rollercoaster"-feeling in my stomach, I set out Thursday morning ready to receive whatever Imaging goodness came my way...
...and boy, did it! THIS IS AMAZING! Seriously, the convention and expo officially start tomorrow but it already feels like the greatest photography party on earth up in here! The Georgia World Congress Center has been painted red-and-white by PPA and I got to snap some pics and take in everything there is to do during the Pre Convention courses. Here's a Pro Tip for next time....GO TO PRE CONVENTION!
by James Yates
Because sometimes being an internationally recognized symbol for overcoming adversity just isn't enough and some of you wondered where the connection is, we have been spending the past several weeks helping you get to know Amy Purdy. You'll quickly understand why we're so excited to have her be part of Imaging USA 2016!
Be sure to go back and read our last super-sized post taking a look at Amy's noteworthy television appearances, Then find out about Amy's amazing 2nd place finish on ABC's Dancing with the Stars or check out our post about Amy's non-profit, Adaptive Action Sports.
Imaging USA 2016 is HERE and Amy will be with us, Sunday, January 10 at 10am! You'll be with us, right? By now you really don't need any more info to know how amazing Amy is (HELLO! She's a Bronze Medal- winning Olympic athlete!), but we've saved some clips for you just to get you even more excited.
First up, in 2011, Amy gained international notoriety through her TED talk. This was long before she started working as a motivational speaker and was a huge success, being viewed worldwide nearly 1.2 million times. Consider this clip about drawing inspiration from life's obstacles a preview for what's to come on January 10th! (She'll be inaugurating a whole new presentation for us at Imaging USA!)
Did you know Amy was featured by ESPN as one of their Impact 25, a list of the greatest women athletes for 2015? Her interview is intimate and inspiring and you can read it here:
Of course, a year before her fame-making appearance on Dancing With the Stars, Amy first proved herself to be a superstar by winning the Bronze Medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics. Host network NBC included Amy in this documentary profile, How to Raise an Olympian, sponsored by P&G.
Finally, if you haven't already, grab yourself a copy of Amy's memoir, On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life. Copies will be available before and after her talk because she's doing a book signing right after her keynote speech! We know you're as excited as we are now to meet and be inspired by Imaging USA's 2016 Keynote speaker, the amazing Amy Purdy.
See you there! If you, for some insane reason, haven't registered for Imaging USA 2016 yet, do so here. But hurry! It's THIS weekend!