PPA Today: Search Results

Results tagged “PPA Member Benefits” from PPA Today

By Autumn Rice

Professional Photographer magazine's website is a great source for all educational and inspirational. For example, the article "Wild Thing" explores how photographer Brad Wilson used the widely unpredictable nature of zoo animals to make stunning portraits with his Hasselblad H1. 

In addition to remarkable photographs and plenty of behind-the-photo insights, the new PPmag.com offers contests like the 30 Days of Giveaways promotion and monthly prize drawing.

Enjoy "Wild Thing," and don't forget to enter 30 Days of Giveaways everyday through May 4 for a chance to win a special prize.

Find all this and more on PPmag.com now.

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By Sarah Ackerman

Regulations surrounding drone operations are on the verge of major changes as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to make the integration of drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) top priority. PPA is here to help you understand the changes. 

We've published two resources at PPA.com/Drones to help you navigate the legal mumbo jumbo surrounding the world of professional photography and drone usage. 

This article walks you through current regulations and what to expect once more changes from the FAA come to fruition. Think you're operating legally? Give it a read and make sure. The last things you want are fines or make it more difficult to become certified because you weren't aware of the rules and regulations. 

Choose your own adventure! Answer questions and follow the path to your answer of "Can I legally fly my drone?" Remember that changes are on the way! Just because you may not be able to legally operate a drone now, doesn't mean that will always be the case. New regulations are expected within the next couple of months!

PPA's goal is to keep you legal and informed as these rules change. We're back in Washington, D.C. this week working with legislators on drones and copyright issues. Stay up-to-date at PPA.com/Advocacy and Be More Protected. 

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Sarah Ackerman

As you expand your photography business, you don't know what you don't know. Asking questions on theLoop to expand your knowledge is a great place to start to learn about any area of photography! With 29,000+ PPA members behind you, there's bound to be someone who has been in your shoes and can offer a word of support or advice. 

This month, we're highlighting the thread concerning skyline images, specifically how to reduce the noise in them. Check out what your fellow Loopers had to say and the beautiful images their advice helped create (complete with before and after shots): 

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Jonathan Andreas: Hello! I currently travel for work and aside from my day job I make it a point to get out and shoot skylines when I am in bigger cities. Most of the time I shoot around dusk and during the night. Typically I am shooting with a ISO of 100 and as slow of a shutter as I can with a f/22 (canon 5d mark III, 24-70 f/2.8) I just started using live view and manually focusing as well- I am just looking for some tips for how to reduce my noise during the low light shots as well as some post production tips. Thanks! -Jon 

Thomas Viceconte: Are you using long exposure noise reduction in-camera? Is there a specific reason you're using f/22 for all the images? How are you processing the files in post?

Jonathan Andreas: Thanks for responding Thomas, I did not know there was an option for noise reduction in camera. I will apply that and check it out the results. I have been shooting f/22 just so I could use a long exposer. Are there negatives to using f/22? 

Eugene Lugo: Shooting at F22 will cost you some sharpness due to diffraction. I would suggest using a neutral density filter and a larger aperture if you can do that and still have enough depth of field.

Jonathan Andreas: Got it, I didn't know that. I'll try the larger aperture and look into the filter. I have been using iPhoto to process my images. Once I get home in May, I will be able to use CS6 to process my images.

Leroy Moore: Jonathan, in-camera noise reduction takes two photos. It takes your photo, then closes the shutter and takes another.  So, if you are shooting a 3 minute shot, you lose another 3 minutes while the camera takes a dark frame.  It then subtracts the noise produced in the dark frame from your original image.  It's slower and sometimes works well, depending...  You set this up in your camera's menu system.

Suggestions:  DXO Viewpoint 2 is not very expensive and can be used to correct the optical distortion you are getting. 

Fair noise reduction software includes Lightroom and some techniques with Photoshop.  Topaz labs makes a great and inexpensive de-noising software called DeNoise.

But if you want to sell large copies of these great photos, your best noise reduction that can be had is by DXO Optics Pro labs.  It also converts raw files and is a stand-alone program.  The Prime de-noising algorithms of this software are currently the best available at removing noise, but leaving detail.  I am not sure, but I think buying the bigger program may come with the Viewpoint software included.

Have fun shooting...

Jonathan Andreas: Leroy, I appreciate the feedback, I'll take a look at the programs. For future photographs do you think the neutral density filter is the way to go? Thanks!

Kevin OConnell: I shoot mostly all long exposure and paint with light. I would suggest you try shooting different f-stops as well. See how more brilliant the light is at say f13. You will see a difference in the two scapes. Also find the sweet spot of your lens for optimum detail. Very easy to do with tutorials on youtube. You probably already know to shoot during the Blue hour for the best looking skyline shots, if not try that as well. 

Tim Gray: Another thing to consider is the higher aperture numbers create the nice star-burst flare effects from direct lights (ex: the streetlights on the bridge). The trade-off is that your lens provides sharper focus and less edge distortions at the middle f-stops (f/8 - f/13).

As for the noise reduction, are you shooting RAW or JPEG? If you are shooting in RAW, then noise reduction is not applied in camera. I have not done comparisons shooting RAW with long exposure NR setting but my guess is that would only be applied for JPEG. Has anyone else tested this for RAW images?

Thomas Viceconte: You're welcome, Jonathan. In addition to all the excellent recommendations from others, you can try applying the digital lens optimizer (DLO) in Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software that comes with your camera. You can download the software from the Canon web site. DLO reduces lens aberrations and diffraction. It would be interesting to see what it does with the images that you posted. If I apply DLO to an image in DPP, I set the sharpness/unsharp mask to 0 before using DLO and make no other adjustments in DPP. I then export the file as a 16 bit TIFF and process the file in Lightroom/Photoshop. It's not needed for every image, but if you're using the extremes of a lens, it might help improve the image quality. I used this process on the attached image that I took handheld at ISO 1600. It's not perfect, but if you look in the dark areas of the image I think the noise is minimal.

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Jonathan Andreas: I attached the before and after canon photo professional, just from tweaking it really quick it is a huge difference! 

What would you add to this conversation? Chime in on theLoop or ask your own question! If you're thinking it, chances are so are your peers! Not a PPA  member, join today at ppa.com/join and access the thriving community of theLoop.



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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Sarah Ackerman

Second quarter is off to a roaring start! Are you still on track with your business and creative goals for the year? Take a moment to check in on theLoop for some education and inspiration from your fellow photographers!

Drones are all the rage, but did you know if you're using it for more than just hobbyist use, it's probably illegal? Take a moment and catch up with the current FAA recommendations and PPA's take on them.

Are you in the market of senior photography? What are your favorite and most profitable products? Whether you have years of experience or you're just looking to expand into this market, this is a great read!

If you're a photographer on the go, portable backdrops give you a great way to take your studio on the move! But with so many options, where should you invest your money? See what your fellow Loopers had to say!

As a new business owner, there are a lot of questions that pop up and getting advice from experts is always great. But do you need to consult a lawyer and pay pricey fees before you get started? Weigh in to help this new business owner out!

First, no need to apologize for asking questions on theLoop! That's what it's there for! In this thread, help your fellow photographer on common questions on flash. 

Location photography means needing to have the majority of your resources at your fingertips. What hardware and software do you consider must-haves in this situation? Weigh in on this thread!

Most photographers are comfortable printing their work to a reasonable size, but billboards? That's a new animal! Help this photographer with what size image she'll need to make it happen!

Calling all search engine optimization (SEO) pros! If you redo your website, does it undo all of your past SEO? Demystify the world of Google and other search engines in this active thread!

When photographing outdoors, you're battling a pretty powerful light source with the sun. What are some great lights to combat the sun? 

Remember to check out theLoop, a safe and protected online community where PPA members can discuss a range of photography topics. Not a PPA member? Join here!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Aleighia Rouse

Looking for some inspiration to bring to your next session? Look no further than PhotoVision! This amazing PPA resource has released even more photography courses to add to their ever-growing collection. They are continuing to inspire photographers just like you while also providing the information you need to improve to improve your skills and techniques! Here are PhotoVision's newest photography tutorials, giving you the solutions you need. Check out the latest releases below. 

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Beth Forester, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Join Beth as she discusses lighting technique and what she does every time to create that perfect studio lighting.  

Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API 
Running your own business can bring with it unexpected challenges and sometimes you just need advice from another professional.   Check out this episode for great business advice, whether you are a newcomer or seasoned professional. 

Parker Pfister, Cr.Photog. 
Parker offers pure inspiration in this episode.  Using a large format camera and then taking us into his darkroom, Parker is truly at home and you're inspired to think more like an artist. This is all about "creating the image" and purposefully making photographs. 

Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API 
Jamie Hayes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API
We love studio tours! Come along as we journey through these well-thought-out spaces.  Learn some great outdoor photography tips to take with you on your next session even if you don't own a garden studio.  Listen in to hear how to create the ultimate experience for your client. 

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Get your younger clients to break out of their shell with a change in scenery. In this episode we follow Iconik Studio as they do a high fashion shoot for a little girl. Create a new experience for your young client every time and learn how to keep them engaged throughout the entire session. 

Find any of these videos relating to your specialty? Well, this is just the beginning. Head on over to PhotoVisionVideo.com and explore the range of videos offered! Right now, you can use promo code PPA49 and get an entire year of access to PhotoVision for only $49.  And when you become a PPA member you can get 50% off DVDs, so consider joining PPA today, here, or sign up for your own PhotoVision Subscription.  


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Aleighia Rouse is a graduating senior at Spelman College and PPA's Marketing and Communications intern. She aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. Aleighia is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice, and with over 6 years of film and photography experience, she can relate to and understand most of the issues faced by PPA photographers.


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by Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Capitol_Copyright_Blog.jpg

Copyright protection is vital to professional photographers. It is what preserves the value of your creations and, without it, a photography business could be very difficult to maintain. Many people think of copyright as something that only really affects rich and famous, Hollywood creators. But we know better!

We know that, more than anything else, copyright is a small business issue.  PPA works year-round to spread this message and to fight for vital improvements to America's copyright system. In honor of April's World Copyright Day, we have gone the extra mile this month - but we need your help!

What is PPA doing?

As always, we are advocating on Capitol Hill for copyright improvements that are essential to professional photographers. At the center of our advocacy is the creation of a copyright small claims option for infringement claims.  We are also sending the message to the public that copyright protects small businesses across the country, and therefore, respecting copyright law is essential to our economy. PPA circulates copyright-related press releases to the media and welcomes copyright-related inquiries from consumers and photo retailers. Through this process, we provide resources which educate the public on copyright law and connect consumers with copyright owners of images they wish to have reproduced.

What's new?

Just this month, PPA launched our new Copyright Infringement Help Tool - an interactive resource available to PPA members 24/7 to help you deal with the unauthorized uses of your work. We released a Copyright FAQ section on the website which gives you simple answers to your most common copyright questions. Also launched this month is a new website, CopyrightDefense.com, which provides resources to policy-makers and other interested parties related to top advocacy priorities for the visual arts community. On this website you will find a video entitled, "Who is the Copyright Holder Next Door?" The video provides compelling insight into copyright as a small business issue.





How can you help?

The most important thing you can do is protect your own copyright. Begin with your PPA Copyright Kit to reinforce your copyright knowledge. Be sure to educate your clients about copyright and how it relates to the products they purchase. Keep up with PPA's advocacy efforts at PPA.com/Advocacy, and be sure your voice is heard when the time is right. In honor of World Copyright Day, take it a step or two further! Have a conversation about how copyright protects your business with at least one friend, family member, or person you come in contact with. Share PPA's new video with your social media networks with your own copyright story or personal message.

Copyright protection is important today and every day. PPA's voice is 29,000 strong - so let's work together to create awareness!  And don't forget to take advantage of your PPA copyright resources which can all be accessed at PPA.com/Copyright.


Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!
By Sarah Ackerman

The International Photographic Competition (IPC) opens in just over a month. Are your images ready? IPC offers photographers a chance to get objective critiques of their work and areas where they excel, as well as areas that could use some improvement. Photographers who compete get to cash in on the following benefits: 

Engage with the passionate and supportive photographic competition community
Improve upon their finest work 
Earn recognition and admiration from their peers
...And as a result, improve their business

Just ask Randy Van Duinen, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP. Watch as he discusses how he got involved with photography, PPA and competitions. 


IPC entries open May 23. Familiarize yourself with the rules for the Photographic Open and Photographic Artist categories today and Be More Competitive in 2016!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Sarah Ackerman

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Not only is Professional Photographer magazine's new website offering 30 Days of Giveaways (get in on those if you haven't already!), but it also boasts a new gallery of phenomenal work by talented photographers. The article "Flight of Fancy" by Amanda Arnold highlights the innovative and exceptionally creative composites of Matthias Jung's Surreal Houses series, for example. 

In this series, Matthias creates floating houses over beautiful natural landscapes. Can't picture it? Don't fret, the new website has a beautiful gallery highlighting some of Matthias' finest work. Check it out! 

And while you're there, enter the 30 Days of Giveaways! From free licenses from top software companies to great gift cards to some of your favorite labs! Get in before they're gone!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 

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by James Yates21738677.jpg

PPA members are totally PAWsome! Many of you have dived, heart first, into the pawsitively wonderful world of pet photography. In order to support our fur-friendly photogs, PPA added pet photography to its list of specialties in its See The Difference campaign.
See The Difference is PPA's online, print and social media awareness campaign that aims to help consumers "see the difference" when evaluating photographers... and realize the importance of hiring a pro. The campaign also gives PPA photographers FREE marketing tools to help with their sales processes and justify their costs, quality, and expertise.

As part of See The Difference, PPA periodically writes feature stories that are picked up by 1,000s of national and regional online and print news organizations with the explicit goal of teaching consumers the value of choosing a professional for their photography needs.
 
With the help of PPA pet photographers Kristin Adams, Barbara Brady-Smith, Barbara Breitsameyer, Mary Anne Broderick, Margaret Bryant, Julie Clegg and Kim Hartz, PPA wrote a See The Difference feature story called 7 Keys to a Pawfect Pet Session. The story was picked up by 1,084 online publications with a combined online audience of over 50 million. Photos from these talented photographers were used to illustrate the story and further hone the importance of using professional photography. Check out the whole story from some of the many sites that are hosting the article: the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Gate, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Orlando Sentinel.
 
Inside you'll find great info on these seven tips for consumers along with some awesome photos like the one above ©Bryant Dog Photography!:
 
1. Hire a photographer who specializes in pet photography.
2. Plan for patience.
3. The puppy/kitten window is as small as they are...start planning ASAP!
4. Try to capture every stage of your pet's life.
5. Plan the session to fit your pet's schedule.
6. An illuminated solution...the right light makes all the difference.
7. It's all in the eyes!

This is only one of 12 stories that PPA will push out each month in an effort to show consumers that professional photographers are worth the investment.
 
Want your photos considered for stories like these? Fill out this form today and we'll contact you if your images are selected!

James.JPGJames 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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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BizChallenge_blogpost_650x160.jpg103 PPA photographers quietly kicked off the new PPA Business Challenge in February. Since then, two more groups have gotten underway with well over 300 participants at PPA.com/Challenge.

The Business Challenge helps photographers improve their business by building a stronger foundation with a focus on sustainability and profitability. The April group has already experienced two weeks of business-changing assignments, Q&A webinars, inspiration, check-ins, recaps and mark-your-calendar alerts. It's a great way to confidently build your business and not go it alone!

#1 No nonsense business advice
Led by PPA Director of Education Angela Kurkian, this 12-month Business Challenge is THE place to come for small-business help specifically developed for photographers. It is a sound framework to help PPA photographers steer their studios in the right direction. Don't be afraid to take the Challenge! Kurkian explains, "A lot of the things (the participants) are nervous about are things that being a member of PPA will help with (i.e. pricing, marketing, value through certification and becoming better at the craft of photography through photographic competition)."

#2 Peer-to-peer support group & accountability
The Business Challenge was developed to help hold photographers accountable in their attempts to improve their studios. One of the most popular and rewarding components of the Business Challenge in that regard are the questions and answers in the forums, where Kurkian poses questions to the group for an honest, frank discussion among peers. The questions can be complex, or as simple as "What are you afraid of?"

Here are some examples of the candid answers pulled from the group:

Q: What are you afraid of? What stops you from taking action?

"Will people value me?"

"My biggest fear is that I'm going to fail and look like a complete fool for even trying. I worry that my work isn't worth anything, that my peers view me as just another mom with a camera, and that I won't earn their respect; and I worry that I'll never find a client that values my work."

"I worry that maybe I AM talented but I'll let my fears squander it away or that my lack of business acumen will outweigh that talent."

"People will not pay our prices and will go with cheaper alternatives. People do not value our art or our time. My phone will stop ringing. We won't be able to afford/maintain our lifestyle."


But don't get too bogged down in the muck of negativity! Sharing with your peers is a wonderful way to see how alike we all are. Once these obstacles have been identified, it's only a matter of banding together and learning how to stomp it out with knowledge, hard work, and support from
PPA and your peers. We're all in this together!

#3 Safe practice for your own business
PPA is constantly developing new curriculum, offering webinars and advice to inspire and ignite the Business Challenge participants, and pushing them to greater success as artists and business people. You'll even notice Wes Roberts, who completed the Studio Makeover Challenge last year, hanging around the forums and offering great advice as someone who's been through the program.

Check back in a couple weeks, where we see what's going on with April's class one full month in...maybe some of their fears will be alleviated? (Spoiler alert: They will be!) Sign up now for the May class! Over 50 members are already on board! It's your turn to take control over your business and Be More! Sign up for free at PPA.com/Challenge.

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By Sarah Ackerman

Drone photography has been a hot topic for some time! What are the rules and regulations of drone use? Can you use it legally for commercial purposes? What are the best kinds of drones to buy for when it eventually becomes legal? Etc. 

In order to better inform PPA photographers, and to keep them legal and ahead of the game, we created a Drone Photography community on theLoop, PPA's  unique, exclusive online community for members. By posting vetted articles, answering your specific questions and keeping you up-to-date on rules and regulations, we're excited to keep PPA photographers legal and ahead of the curve!

Consider joining the Drone Photography community today if you want to learn more about this rapidly evolving field of photography! Regulatory changes could be happening as early as next month!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 

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By Sarah Ackerman

In the ever-changing world of photography, we know that everyone has questions. And what better place to get those questions answered than on theLoop? Today we're highlighting a conversation about wedding attire. It sounds pretty simple, but as you gaze into your closet, what's really the appropriate dress for the occasion? We can generally rule out a poofy white dress (can't outshine your clients!), but there's a huge range between that and shorts and a t-shirt. 

Here's what your fellow Loopers had to say:

Kevin Thomas: "Hi Everyone, What do y'all wear when shooting a wedding?  I'm torn between: my roots - looking like banker: conservative suit and tie, white shirt and a traditional photographer - black suit, black tie, black shirt. Am I over-thinking this?"

Mark Harrington, CPP: "I always wear black because I was taught you want to blend into the background of the video or guest photos. I don't usually wear a jacket, rather a black dress shirt, slacks and a conservative tie. My logo is embroidered on my shirt in a dark grey above the pocket. This separates me from the guests and helps when navigating behind the curtains at the venue."

Randy Frum:  "Same for me. Black dress shirt/tie/pants. I usually blend right in with the wait staff. Lol."

Marketing your business just got a little easier with new consumer quizzes that you can link to from your website. 

No matter your specialty PPA offers a quiz for it!



 


This is just one of many tools available to PPA photographers as part of the See The Difference consumer awareness marketing campaign. The See The Difference toolkit includes shareable videos, customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages, consumer tips & FAQs, and the Find-A-Photographer search tool. Use one or all of these tools and show your clients and prospects that you are worth investing in. 

Check out more See The Difference marketing resources offered to PPA members here. Not a PPA member? Join Today!


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By Sarah Ackerman

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Professional Photographer magazine's website is showing a brand new face to the world! Between the regularly refreshed content and the 30 days of giveaways, there's no reason not to check back daily to learn and win!

And because April includes Copyright Awareness Day on the 23rd, we felt it was fitting to merge the beautiful new PPMag.com and copyright education by highlighting "10 Tips: Protect Your Copyright" by Amanda Arnold. 

Check out the article on PPMag.com to ensure you're protecting your work and your business. And while you're there, enter for today's amazing giveaway!


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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Sarah Ackerman

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in the power of education for all (it's normally reserved only for PPA members)! The PPAedu library has a lot to help you sharpen your photography techniques, marketing strategies, sales techniques and business operations. These tutorials and educational videos are available 24/7 to PPA members.  Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, as a PPA member, you can tap into over hundreds of programs to help you Be More! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision (PPA's newest member benefit), take a look, there's a new website with a slew of new episodes!

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For the month of April, the video "Soft Selling with Intense Results" with Kristin Privette has been unlocked.  It's available for anyone who wants to learn how use a simplified system of soft selling techniques to generate significant results!  In this video, Kristin works through her 10-step process for wedding sales. Learn the language, the specific steps they take their couples through and the selling techniques that anyone can learn and be comfortable using. 

If you're a member of PPA, just log in to watch the video anytime. Non-members will have access to this video this month only at PPA.com/TryEdu. For full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos, join PPA today!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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Place Settings? Brides? Grooms? What is left? A photographer, that's what! You want a professional wedding photographer that uses their artistry and technique to make you look your best and bring your vision to life. Don't trust your memories to just anyone!  

In March, PPA ran consumer ads on theknot.com to show brides the benefits of hiring a professional wedding photographer. Brides had the opportunity to find out what their wedding photos say about their personality by taking a fun quiz and also got tips on planning their wedding photos like a pro. This video was also shown on theknot.com to show real-life horror stories from brides who did not hire a professional photographer.

See The Difference® is an online, print, and social media consumer awareness campaign that also provides PPA members with FREE marketing toolkits to help them with their sales and marketing efforts. PPA photographers get FREE access to shareable videos, custom brochures, dedicated landing pages, logos, side-by-side comparisons and consumer tips/FAQs. The purpose of See The Difference is to reshape the consumer's perception of professional photography and equip professional photographers like you with marketing resources to explain your pricing, the quality of your work, and your expertise.

Find out more about how the See The Difference toolkit can help you show your clients and prospects that you're worth investing in.

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By James Yates

You already have the art of photography down, but is your business where you'd like it to be? If you find yourself wanting to learn how to boost your bottom line, the new PPA Business Challenge is for you! The Business Challenge provides photography business owners with the information and tools they need to develop the foundation for a more profitable business over the course of one year. Not only do they receive the tools required to make changes to their business, but also step-by-step instruction and support from PPA mentors as they implement these changes.

We all know that photographers are entrepreneurs, small business owners with a passion for their craft. We also know that many photographers open their studios as artists, more often than not, not having gone to business school, nor carrying a finance background. It is part of PPA's mission, as a nonprofit, to help our members understand and implement the basic business principles needed to maintain a sustainable studio. The Business Challenge is meant to be a fun, interactive way for PPA members to integrate as much business acumen as they can in one year's time. There is work involved, as this "challenge" is meant for photographers who are serious about wanting to take their business to the next level. Participants will have tasks to complete and the opportunity to be active members of accountability groups and peer-to-peer mentoring. "PPA's business advice is based on years of experience and successful business mentoring," says Angela Kurkian, Director of Education at PPA. "The new Business Challenge will help our members be more business-confident. It will help them think and strategize as a savvy business person."

Kurkian began brainstorming the concept of the Business Challenge over two years ago and 01-16-ppa-imagingusa-sun-9251__large.jpgan earlier form of the program debuted as the "Studio Makeover Challenge" at this year's Imaging USA in Atlanta. When she started noticing the average photographer needed business help, Kurkian knew it would be a difficult road for many members but she asks everyone keep one question in mind: 'How does change feel?'

"This is going to be a big change for these artists, and change is difficult. But when you decide to create change, change occurs all around you." Two small business owners/photographers (Krista Newbill, Wes Roberts) were chosen to go through a year-long business boot-camp with some of the best studio owners in the industry as their mentors.

Throughout 2015, the two participating studios' strengths and weaknesses were evaluated, their definitions of success were taken into account, and their top five goals for the year were contemplated. From this, five leading photographers including Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr.,CPP, ABI, API, Dave Doeppel, CPP, Ashley Brooke, Greg Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP and Kristin Privette, who all run successful studios, called and consulted with the participants all year, coaching them on implementing new steps for their businesses. These steps included setting new sales goals, creating appropriate pricing strategies and outlining a marketing plan, among others. "Your business doesn't have to look like any one way or one thing," Kurkian says. "That's why we wanted to show different examples of how these businesses can maintain their unique identity while still implementing changes that will increase their profits and make them sustainable. The program was a success and we decided the next phase for this project would be to expand it to all 29,000 of our members."

PPA's Business Challenge is free to PPA members (Not a member? Consider joining today!). The Challenge includes tools to understand and develop the foundations of a profitable business with:

•    A month-by-month, step-by-step support system
•    Answers to the most vital business questions
•    A personalized success and business plans
•    Lists and guidelines to help prioritize
•    Inspiration and help to stay focused
•    A framework to avoid getting overwhelmed
•    Accountability partners with other photographers with the same challenges

Want to join the Challenge? Sign up today at PPA.com/Challenge any time. When you join, you'll be put into a Challenge Group beginning on the first day of the following month. Then, for the next 12 months, you'll work on your personalized success path. Not only will you receive the tools required to make changes to your business, but also step-by-step instructions and support as you implement these changes. These smaller sized groups create a community of peers for you to share and mentor with as you go through the same program together.

Sign up today to begin your Challenge Group on April 1st and Be More Business Savvy!

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By James Yates
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See The Difference is PPA's online, print and social media awareness campaign that aims to help consumers "see the difference" when evaluating photographers ... and realize the importance of hiring a pro. The campaign is designed to give PPA photographers FREE marketing tools to help with their sales process and justify their costs, quality, and expertise.

As part of See The Difference, PPA periodically writes feature stories that are picked up by 1000s of national and regional online and print news organizations with the explicit goal of teaching consumers the value of choosing a professional for their photography needs.
 
Most recently, See The Difference provided 5 Tips to Ensure You Get Romantic Wedding Photos. The story was picked up by 1,059 online publications with a combined online audience of 57,978,514. Photos from PPA photographers were used to illustrate the story and further hone the importance of using professional photography. Check out the whole story from some of the many sites that are hosting the article: Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, The Baltimore Sun, and the Houston Chronicle.
 
Inside you'll find great info on these five tips for consumers along with some awesome photographic examples, like the one above © Ace Photography, provided by PPA photographers:
 
1. Let yourself be vulnerable

2. Don't risk putting your memories in the hands of amateurs

3. Put together a detailed shot list

4. Be daring

5. Be there for the magic hour

This is only one of 12 stories that PPA will push out each month in a proactive effort to show consumers that professional photographers are worth the investment.
 
Want your photos considered for stories like these? Fill out this form today and we'll contact you if your images are selected!

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By James Yates

With so many helpful videos to choose from, why wouldn't anyone want to be a part of PhotoVision? PhotoVision is a photography learning website that provides 24/7 online tutorials, founded by PPA photographer Ed Pierce, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. The PhotoVision series provides a range of educational information from some of the biggest names in the professional photography industry. From helpful tips to processes that photographers can use when considering every element of their business, these videos have it all. They range from helpful information in green screen techniques to constructing a social media and digital marketing plan and so much more. The best news? PhotoVisionVideo is available at no cost to PPA members!
 
Need some convincing on why to join PPA, consider subscribing separately to PhotoVision! Every month, PhotoVision unlocks a FREE video available for everyone to stream. We're so sure you'll love it and gain insight from it that you'll want to come back for many, many more.
 
This month's free video:

Simplified Studio Lighting

Featuring Ed Pierce & Lori Nordstrom




In this video, Ed Pierce and Lori Nordstrom hold a senior photography session in Lori's spacious studio. They discuss the benefits of continuous lighting and clarify how to set a proper white balance in order to cut down on post-production correcting. Ed also shows how to use common studio equipment in unusual and beneficial ways. 


Check out PhotoVIsion today! Just one more way PPA is helping you Be More Informed!


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By Aleighia Rouse

Now that February has come to its end, March has opened up to us with wide arms and new opportunities to learn about the awesome things happening within photography. Here are our top 10 blog posts of the week!

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SAVINGS PERKS: Get the latest on PPA's super low credit card processing rates and test your current rate against our exclusive pricing for free. PPA is taking one more step to make sure that their members Be More Profitable! We have teamed up with Bank of America's Merchant Services to offer discounted rates on credit card processing. You have nothing to lose but potential savings!

PRICE BREAKDOWN: Having trouble trying to price your products and different services you offer? Jen Basford, Cr.Photog. from Seniors Ignite is here to the rescue with two approaches to use when calculating value versus cost of your actual products. She suggests that photographers should assess their prices on costs alone or choose to base their prices on the value alone. 

PRO LENS: Are you having trouble lighting a subject with glasses? Trying to avoid glare just got a lot easier. Check out this article by Rogue Photographic Design and learn some tips to enhance the subject's glasses and prevent the glare from distracting the real aesthetic of the photo.  

MORE PERSPECTIVE: A photography session can go by so fast that you may forget the most important things that need to be considering during the process. Learn some new and helpful photography tactics to take in your back pocket during your next photo session. 

BUSINESS HELP: Charging your clients can be an even more complicated situation than actually justifying you pricing. This New Year not only brings in New Year's resolutions but also new price solutions. Check out this article by PPA member Rosh Sillars and learn some effective and informative approaches to use when pricing you clients in 2016. 

CREATIVITY: This question has been the topic of discussion for many professional photographers for many years. This article provides a technical, creative and informative way to understanding and learning the artistry and fundamentals that go into being a photographer.  
MARKETING PERSPECTIVE: As a professional photographer you understand that marketing your business is the key to getting potential clients and maintaining the clients you already have. In this article PPA member Jeff Rojas interviews photographer Miguel Quiles on how to market your business in an easy way that keep your clients continually invested throughout the year.

AESTHETIC: Looking for a little inspiration or a challenge to bring your photography to life? Consider trying a surrealist approach. In this article by The Phoblographer learn about the  26-year multimedia photographer Ronny Garcia who uses a mesmerizing visual aesthetic in his photographs to capture his viewer every time. 

PORTRAITS: If you are just starting out in portrait photography there are a few things to keep in mind before you start booking those sessions and making those sales. In this article learn some easy and helpful pointers on beginning to expand your photographic skills in the area of portrait photography.

OWNER TIPS: Running a photography business is an intricate process that can sometimes be very stressful. Sprouting Photography is here to rescue with a great podcast highlighting the benefits of being an entrepreneur, how to set realistic goals for your business, how to break bad habits, and how to schedule "me" time in while running a successful business.  

THE PHOTOGRAPHER: There is a fine line between a photographer and a business owner, or so you may think. In this article learn to blend the two and arrive at a prosperous and successful business. 

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

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Aleighia Rouse is a graduating senior at Spelman College and PPA's Marketing and Communications intern. She aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. Aleighia is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice, and with over 6 years of film and photography experience, she can relate to and understand most of the issues faced by PPA photographers.

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