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Results tagged “Photographers Association” from PPA Today

By Chris Homer

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for anyone to watch (not just PPA members!), because PPA believes in the power of education for all. This is one video from PPAedu's library of 300+ tutorials on photography techniques and business best practices available 24/7 with a PPA membership. And with the recent addition of PhotoVision videos, there are even more courses (a total of 1,100!) for PPA photographers to watch on demand at no extra cost. 

This August's unlocked video will be a great help to any photographer looking to improve their posing of high school senior boys. When it comes to a senior photo shoot, it can be a real challenge pleasing both the senior and his parents, as often what they are looking for in their portrait is quite different. This unlocked video is sure to help you figure out poses that will create awesome portraits that will be enjoyed by everyone!

In "Posing Seniors: Getting the Right Look for Boys," Bry Cox, M.Photog.Cr, CPP, shares his posing advice with you through demonstrations with live models. From what poses to use, to how to use props successfully, you'll get a great overview on posing that you can use to create better portraits.
 
If you are already with PPA, log in to watch the video. Non-members can access this video at no cost throughout August at PPA.com/TryEdu. If you want full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision on-demand video programming, join PPA now!


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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

It's Friday, which means it's time for our favorite photography stories from around the web!
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 Check them out below:

STEAM THE IPC: PPA's International Photographic Competition is coming up August 3-6! You'll be able to stream all the judging live at Stream.TheIPC.Org. This year, we've also added a new component to the live streaming - IPC Live! Hosted by PPA photographer Booray Perry, Cr.Photog.CPP, IPC Live will feature interviews with the judges, answers to judging questions and more! In this post on his blog, Booray previews the upcoming stream. Take a look and get excited to watch. You might even want to host a viewing party! (Find the complete streaming schedule here.)

SALES: Sales seem to be the least favorite part of the photography business for many photographers. One reason for that is frustration over clients' objections. Chances are good that you've heard these objections in this post from HubSpot before. Read on and find out how to overcome them!

SOCIAL MEDIA: Do you use Instagram as part of your social media marketing plan? If you do, check out this post from HootSuite on how to write a caption for your Instagram photos to get the most engagement with potential clients!

WEBSITE ADVICE: If your website gets strong traffic, but you get very little inquiries from that traffic, this post from Mountain Side Media is perfect for you. You'll learn tips for turning that web traffic into potential bookings!

SOCIAL MEDIA: Social Media is essential to any successful marketing plan for your photography business. If you're not sure where to start, this post from Mashable is a good jumping-off point. It covers the basics of many of the popular social media platforms and how you can use them to your advantage.
Can you believe it's almost August? Where did the summer go? Before it completely passes you by, check out these top conversations on theLoop! This month saw a lot of tech recommendations and business advice. You never know what you might learn, or who your advice can help!

This is a wonderful thread for anyone who has a struggling business, or has had  hit some hard times and come through like a champ. What are your best ways to attract new customers? What charities do you align yourself with? Pick up some business tips and share your own! 

Negative feedback has been a hot topic recently. What lengths will you go to for customer satisfaction? How much is too much, and is that worth a potential negative review?

If you've ever thought about going into stock photography, this is an excellent discussion. What are the pro and cons to this side of the business? Can folks actually make a living from it? Read on and give your advice!

This is a really interesting, technical read. Have you ever had to match something precisely in Photoshop to what it is in real life? How do you do it? Help a fellow member or pick up a few new tricks of your own!

Have you ever thought about taking on a business roommate? What are your thoughts on a shared studio space? Help this photographer navigate the financially responsible but confusing choice of taking on a fellow renter. 

As a photographer, sometimes it can feel like you're expected to be an expert in everything. If your forte isn't web development, it might be a good choice to leave it to the experts. Check this thread for top notch website builders - or if you have a favorite, submit your own!

Do you have a favorite brand of digital paper? Help a fellow pro out in finding his perfect paper style in this thread!

Do you have any experience in on-field printing? Add your insights on costs, pricing and how it's helped (or hurt) your business in this sports photography thread! 

Email marketing is a key way to engage your customer base. Who do you use as your email service provider? See what platforms win in terms of cost vs features with your fellow photographers!

Blogs increase your search engine optimization (SEO) and allow you to have a great way to keep your site fresh with new content. What platforms do you use to manage your blog? WordPress?  Google Blogger? What are the pros and cons? Weigh in here!

If you're running into accounting issues using Studio Cloud and Square, this is an excellent discussion for you! See how fellow PPA photographers work around the hiccups of these two systems. Have any good tips? Join in!

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not part of PPA? It's easy: join today!

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarahs in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.


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It's just a week away so make sure you have plans to tune in. IPC Live will give you behind-the-scenes access to the competition like never before.

And here's your host, Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP, with a quick video preview on the show!


With the judging streaming live alongside the show, you won't miss any of the action. Read our previous blog for details. The full broadcast schedule is below.

Watch at Stream.theIPC.org!

Here is the full schedule (all times are Eastern Standard):

IPC Judging Live Stream

·         Monday, Aug. 3, 8:15am-6pm ET

·         Tuesday, Aug. 4, 12:15-9pm  ET

·         Wednesday, Aug. 5, 9:15am-6pm ET

·         Thursday, Aug. 6, 8:15am-6pm ET

 

IPC Live broadcast hosted by Booray 

·         Monday, Aug. 3, 10am & 2pm ET

·         Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2pm & 5pm ET

·         Wednesday, Aug. 5, 10am & 2pm ET

·         Thursday, Aug. 6, 10am & 2pm ET

 

 

Image Critique: Classy DameBy Megan MitchellWe're less than a week away from the International Photographic Competition judging! The judging will be streamed live, August 3-6, and you can watch it for free at Stream.theIPC.org this event will also be supplemented with IPC Live - interviews and Q+A's hosted by Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP.Can't wait for the IPC action? Get a taste of a juror's mindset by watching this image critique. The juror here is Richard Avalo and he is reviewing  CPP Kelli Svancarek's image "Classy Dame." The image did not merit, but that doesn't mean Kelli got nothing from participating - Richard says it the best when he remarks,  "I personally believe that photographic competition is the best and the fastest way to improve your technique and to hone your skills . . . It's been so instrumental in improving the work that I do."
By Megan Mitchell

We're less than a week away from the International Photographic Competition judging! The judging will be streamed live, August 3-6, and you can watch it for free at Stream.theIPC.org this event will also be supplemented with IPC Live - interviews and Q+A's hosted by Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP.

Can't wait for the IPC action? Get a taste of a juror's mindset by watching this image critique. The juror here is Richard Avalo and he is reviewing  CPP Kelli Svancarek's image "Classy Dame." The image did not merit, but that doesn't mean Kelli got nothing from participating - Richard says it the best when he remarks,  "I personally believe that photographic competition is the best and the fastest way to improve your technique and to hone your skills . . . It's been so instrumental in improving the work that I do."

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Want more on IPC? Look at past critiques and bookmark Stream.theIPC.org so you can tune in this August 3-6. We hope that both this critique and watching the judging and the IPC Live broadcast will inspire you - learn from the juror's comments and work towards creating competition-level images daily! You'll even be able to send in your questions through Stream.theIPC.org or through Twitter by using the hashtag #IPCLive. 

Megan Mitchell is an intern at PPA. Though she attends college in New York, she is originally from Georgia - most everyone she meets up north is shocked and disappointed by her lack of a southern accent. She finds great joy and comfort in copy editing and reading. She loves nothing more than words, but her family and friends take a close second.

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By Chris Homer

If you're looking to improve as a photographer, one of your best opportunities for learning, networking and shopping is Imaging USA 2016, from January 10-12, 2016, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. Registration is now open!

If you've never attended Imaging USA before, you might be wondering what the big deal is. Hosted by PPA, this is the most established professional photography convention out there. Major components of Imaging USA are the three-day Imaging Expo trade show, several all-inclusive parties and presentations by some of the biggest names in the photographic industry and a keynote speaker who is sure to make an impact. Imaging USA's photography and business classes are geared to improve a photographers skills, photographic repertoire and use of technologies. It's a jam-packed three days full of education and fun with thousands of your fellow photographers! The most passionate bunch can even add pre-convention sessions to take their learning experience to the next level.

Go to ImagingUSA.org/REG to check out the different options and pricing for PPA members, PPA Student Members and Non-Members. (Hint: if you're not with PPA, consider the Join & Go option, as it waives your 2016 Imaging USA registration fee!) Be sure to register by December 8, 2015 for the lowest rates! After that date, prices will increase. 

Go ahead, register today and see how attending Imaging USA can help you Be More Business-Savvy! Find all the details on classes, special events, hotels and more at ImagingUSA.org.


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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 John Owens

I think we can unanimously agree that summer is going by way too fast. But when you have a few minutes off from your busy schedule, take a break for a little inspiration from this week's best photography blog posts--hopefully with a refreshing drink in your hand!

1. #IPClive Is Around The Corner, Don't Miss It!

BEHIND THE COMPETITION: The International Photographic Competition judging is once again streaming live this August 3-6. New to the live streaming of judging is IPC Live, a twice daily broadcast hosted by Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP! You'll get into the IPC action with interactive interviews and discussions. Get together with your photography friends and host a viewing party! Don't forget to post a photo and tag #IPClive! We'll keep sharing your photos and posts. Last but not least, check out the blog for the full schedule and bookmark this link for a quick access to IPC Live starting Monday 8/3: Stream.theIPC.org. Oh, and it's free to all, PPA members and non-members alike!

 

2. Are You Busy, or Profitable?

KEY DIFFERENCE: Busy and profitable - you might think the two go hand in hand, but do they really? This post from Million Dollar Photographer Bradford Rowley explores how more work doesn't necessarily mean more money! He gives you 8 tips on how to maximize your profits.

3. Here's a Little Brand Therapy 101

BRANDING: This post from photographer Ellen Petty is all about finding your unique identity. How will you stand out from the pack? She poses several questions for you to ask yourself and in the end, you might have a better direction for where you want your studio to go!

4. New Health Care Benefit for Photographers

TELEMEDICINE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: Here's a new potential solution for those costly routine doctor's visits: telemedicine from Call a Doctor Plus! PPA photographers now have access to exclusive low pricing on the service at just $8.95/month (that's over 65% off)! It's yet another perk of being with PPA! Read all about it and subscribe to save some time and money.

By Rachel Noto

Though the deadline for submissions to the 2015 International Photographic Competition (IPC) has already passed, it's never too late to think about improving your skills for next year's competition.
 
If you've entered your work into this year's competition and have requested a critique, here's an example of what you'll be getting back! This is a critique of the image "Dark Queen" by Kelli Svancarek, CPP by Jeff Dachowski, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. This image was both accepted for merit and the prestigious Loan Collection, so watching the critique of this image can be a particularly helpful learning experience for anyone seeking their degreecertification and hoping that their images will do similarly well in this year's competition!   



Hopefully seeing this critique will help you to see what IPC judges look for and encourage you to enter your images in the next IPC! 

You can watch this year's judging in person at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA from August 3 - 6 to see many more critiques like this one. If you can't make it down to Lawrenceville, you can also stream the judging from the comfort of your own home at Stream.theIPC.org. Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP, will also be hosting a live broadcast twice a day during which he will sit down with judges and talk with them about some of the challenges they face in judging and what they look for in the image. Get the complete schedule for the judging live streaming and IPC Live here!

Form a viewing party, attend live, or watch online and see how the IPC can help you to Be More Confident as a photographer!

Rachel Noto is one of the summer interns wandering around the labyrinthine offices of PPA, enthusiastically taking pictures of her cat, and occasionally getting a little writing and design done. An Atlanta native, she's learned to embrace the feeling of getting lost every now and then, though she now spends most of the year in the gridded city of Savannah, Georgia, where she attends the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has a passion for food, cute animals, and communication in all of its forms.

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By Chris Homer 

While entries for this year's International Photographic Competition (IPC) are closed, it's never too early to start thinking about entering the 2016 competition!

If you've never entered the IPC before, you really should consider participating. Simply put, entering images into the IPC is the best way to improve your technique as a photographer! This educational opportunity gets even better if you choose to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's jurors - who are accomplished photographers who have achieved success in the IPC, so they'll be able to give you feedback on how to improve to make your images merit worthy!

For the first-timer, we know the idea of having your work judged can be intimidating, so take a look at an actual critique from a past IPC below. This is Lois Stanfield's, M.Artist., CPP, image "Windswept" being critiqued by Jon Allyn, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, F-ASP. 




We hope seeing a critique has encouraged you to enter the IPC in the future! You can also attend this year's judging live August 3 - 6, 2015 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA and hear the judges' comments on each image. 

And remember, you can stream the judging from your computer at Stream.theIPC.org. In addition to a live stream of the judging this year, twice-a-day you will be able to watch a live broadcast hosted by PPA member Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP. In IPC Live, Booray and his guests will answer judging questions and go over some of the image reviews and challenges that will be happening during judging. Get the complete schedule for the judging live streaming  and IPC Live here. 

Form a viewing party, attend live, or watch online and see how the IPC helps you to Be More Confident as a photographer! 


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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 Megan Mitchell

It's never too late to strengthen the foundation of your business. Whether you're just getting started or have been working as a photographer for years, it's important to understand and implement proven strategies for a successful business. That's why PPA is hosting its Business Retreat August 29-30 at the PPA headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

PPA's Business Retreat is an educational workshop specifically designed for professional photographers. You'll learn how to build a strong foundation for your business so you can increase profitability and define your own success. Understanding those building blocks such as recommended benchmarks, strategic sales planning, profitable pricing and brand management are critical for you to move forward in your business. This isn't a cut-and-dry, one size fits all workshop. You'll do more than just learn the basics - you'll begin to put together a plan for YOUR studio by evaluating your studio, your strengths, your ideal clients and their needs and the competitive landscape. 

The workshop will be taught by PPA business mentors Kristin and Paul Privette, a wife and husband team who own their own wedding and portrait studio, Footstone Photography. They know what it takes to grow your business from the ground up and are super excited to share this knowledge with you!

Officially, class is held from 9am to 6pm both days, but Kristin and Paul want this to be a life changing event for you so they're making time in the evenings for getting together as a group, giving attendees the opportunity for some open and authentic conversation as well as personalized attention. This is a unique opportunity and PPA photographers who attend the workshop will also receive 2 service merits.

Register now (before July 29) to get the early bird rate of $199 (and bring someone else from your studio for FREE)! This workshop is only open to PPA members, so if you're not a member, you can sign up today!

Megan Mitchell is an intern at PPA. Though she attends college in New York, she is originally from Georgia - most everyone she meets up north is shocked and disappointed by her lack of a southern accent. She finds great joy and comfort in copy editing and reading. She loves nothing more than words, but her family and friends take a close second.

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By John Owens

What if I told you that you could completely immerse yourself in surround via a photograph. A complete 360 degree panorama experience created by a single digital image. You wouldn't believe it, would you?

Well this PPA and Atlanta-based photographer, Fabio Musio, came up with a way to do just that and he is now one of the very few who know how to make it happen. Hopefully his story will inspire you to try something new!

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Fabio, a former engineer and self-proclaimed salesman, janitor and CEO, creates virtual tours through his imagery. The tours could be of a building, a concert venue, a park, a car dealership... even space! His photography hasn't taken him out of the atmosphere yet, but (beyond) the sky is the limit.

Originally from Torino, Italy, Fabio moved to the U.S. in 2007 and worked as an avionics system designer. For a few years, he worked 6-7 days a week and was doing nothing with his downtime, so he decided he needed a hobby--an expensive one so he would be forced to do it. Guess what he chose?

He left his job and created his company in January 2012, 100-DC immersive marketing agency, and now has national clients like Google, Red Bull and Expedia or local ones like Atlanta's Fox Theatre or Stone Mountain Park.

He was looking for something on the cutting edge of photography, not wanting to stick to traditional boundaries of the media. He discovered 360 degree digital tours and found his calling. The process involved taking hundreds to thousands of images per scene, then carefully stitching them together to create a single, panoramic high-res image. It takes time, patience and a steady hand. He claims his image of downtown Atlanta taken from a helipad is the largest of the city in existence. He plans to return to the same location to try to enter in the top 10 largest images in the world. 

He first started out as a hobbyist, not seeing it as a future career opportunity. "It's taken a lot of time to transition to a full-time business" he said. "I didn't realize how tough it is to be a professional photographer and I think a lot of people underestimate their skills and offer their photography for next to nothing. But I decided early on that I wasn't going to do that."

For the second consecutive year, the International Photographic Competition (IPC) judging will be streamed live, August 3-6 on Stream.theIPC.org. This year will also feature the new IPC Live, which will have live interviews and Q+A's to supplement the judging stream. 

IPC Live will be hosted by Florida wedding photographer and past Imaging USA speaker, Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP! You might recognize Booray from The Photobomb Podcast. You'll get the IPC action with interactive interviews and discussions. You'll even be able to ask questions as you watch the program that will broadcast twice daily.

The live stream allows competitors to follow along with the judging in real time and let prospective competitors check out the process! When watching the stream, you will never have to wonder how IPC images are judged ever again. For those considering the competition, this behind the scenes look is an excellent opportunity to learn what the judges are looking for and remove any apprehension you might have to enter. 

And if you entered, you might get to see your own image be judged! Gather your friends to watch and root together.

All you have to do is go to Stream.theIPC.org, sign in on your computer* with your PPA account or simply register with your email if you're not a PPA photographer - it's free either way! Once you're signed in, you can select which judging room you'd like to watch (portrait, illustrative and event and non-event album). Don't worry, you can switch between rooms at any time. 

You'll hear the judges comment and critique on images live, as well as decide scores! It's an enlightening inside look at the process - like a supercharged version of the critiques we share on the blog each week. 

Ready to watch? Well, you'll have to wait until August 3-6, so save the dates and bookmark Stream.theIPC.org!

Here is the full schedule (all times are Eastern Standard):

IPC Judging Live Stream
  • Monday, Aug. 3, 8:15am-6pm ET
  • Tuesday, Aug. 4, 12:15-9pm  ET
  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 9:15am-6pm ET
  • Thursday, Aug. 6, 8:15am-6pm ET
  IPC Live broadcast hosted by Booray 
  • Monday, Aug. 3, 10am & 2pm ET
  • Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2pm & 5pm ET
  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 10am & 2pm ET
  • Thursday, Aug. 6, 10am & 2pm ET

Tune in and Be More Inspired!

*Audio is not enabled on mobile devices. For full audio and video, please watch on your computer.

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By Sarah Ackerman

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Summer is in full swing! Grab your tablet and catch up on what's buzzing in the photography industry with our top ten blog posts of the week. Enjoy!

SCAM ALERT: Unfortunately scams have become a regular feature in our weekly round ups. Here's an old favorite that's been making a recent come back! Get the details from the Better Business Bureau. 

GRAB BAG: Have you ever thought about what tools you already have around the house that can help you in your photographic endeavors? See what gear Don Komarechka keeps in his camera bag that can come in handy in a variety of situations. 

SALES: Many portrait photographers sell printed pieces based on their clients' space and where those images could end up being displayed. See why the Million Dollar Photographer goes against this rational and sells the portrait simply based on the portrait, and how that's translated in to some major bucks!

TECHNICAL TOOLS: We all know histograms are extremely important to creating an impactful image, but most photographers don't understand them as well as they could. Read this awesome tutorial from Cambridge in Colour to deepen your knowledge of these helpful guys. 

TRESPASSING: It's great to see the photography community is trying to change the perception of photographing on railroad tracks, but it's also great to see the actual railroad company is discouraging it as well! Watch the video from Union Pacific and feel free to share it on your social accounts to educate your clients as well!

PROTECTION: If your camera allows you to add copyright EXIF metadata to your photos, take the time and do it! It could help you recover your gear if it goes missing, which was the case for one photographer in Australia. Read on about this great case of super sleuthing from PetaPixel and be more protected. 

CHILDS PLAY: Bring in the kiddos for this fun shoot! Use this tutorial to create great kid images using multiple exposures - of course this also works for other jobs, but why not bring the youngsters in since they're off of school?  

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: If you're interested in improving your action shots, this is an excellent article for you! Autumn Lockwood at Picture Correct goes over the seven key tips to keep in mind when trying to better your skills in capturing movement. 

SUCCESS: Go behind the scenes to see how Michael Gowin grew his headshot business to the point where he earned a feature in Professional Photographer magazine. Learn what he values in a business, what unique things he brings to his local market and see what might apply to you.

BUSINESS: Booray Perry and Gary Hughes are back in the round up talking with Rob Moorman about how to only take the jobs that keep your business on track for where you're trying to go. Take a moment, enjoy the entertainment and see if you subscribe to the same philosophies. 

There you have it - our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee (at) PPA (dot) com.


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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarahs in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

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By John Owens

 

It's already been a few weeks since our last update from Krista Newbill and her adventure with PPA's Studio Makeover. This time Wes Roberts checks in with a quick, not even 2-minute update on his progress.

 

In this video blog (or Vlog for you web lingo-savvy readers), Wes shares what he learned from working with PPA mentor and Adobe Certified Expert, David Doeppel. From their conversation, Wes says he will be making some changes to his workflow! See if any of the strategies apply to you--it will only take a minute!

 

About PPA's Studio Makeovers:

This year PPA is working with two lucky studios in all areas of their business, to give them a total "makeover". Every facet of their businesses will be scrutinized to help them be more profitable. The makeover will touch on and improve their business model, branding, pricing, marketing, sales strategy, workflow efficiency and overall profitability--all based on the tools, information and resources set by PPA's Benchmark!

Follow these two studios' progress, challenges and changes. Updates will be posted right here on the blog and you will be able to watch monthly webinar updates to track this year-long process. It's a series worth paying attention to, as there will be strategies and business tactics you can apply to your business too.

 

You can get a refresher with the project overview and take a look at the most recent update on Krista's makeover. Some of the advice they're receiving may very well apply to your business! Another update on Krista's progress is coming soon as well as more from Wes Roberts. This adventure is supposed to make both Krista's and Wes's studios Be More Profitable. So stay tuned for the next update on PPA's two Studio Makeovers!

 

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John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burger.


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By Megan Mitchell

Your chance to compete in this year's International Photographic Competition (IPC) is almost gone! Entries close after 11:59 pm (EST) on July 10, and if you miss this deadline, you'll have to wait another year before you can have this opportunity to improve your photography again! 

The concept of the IPC is pretty simple. You send in your image(s) (make sure you check out the guidelines so you do it correctly), and a panel of jurors judge it. If your image meets the 12 Elements of a Merit Image, you will earn a merit toward your Master of Photography degree

Unlike standard photography competitions, the IPC allows you to learn directly from the work you submit: if you want to know exactly why your image merited or not so you can target what to improve, you can choose to receive a critique from one of the jurors. It's a neutral and objective critique, from a trained juror, just for your image, done in order to help you in the future.

You will also be able to stream online the entirety of judging live and see the process, the images being challenged and the jurors explaining their viewpoints. Don't miss it! And in case you were wondering, yes, watching the live streaming is free! Just hop on Stream.theIPC.org from August 3-6.  

In the meantime, here's a critique of an image from last year's IPC so you can see that they're really not anything to worry about! Donna Goodhale, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, critiques Suzanne Siler's image, "Heading Home." This image was not accepted in to the Loan or General Collections, which makes it an excellent opportunity to see how the judges aren't there to rip your work apart but rather to offer suggestions on how your image could be improved.

 

So there you have it! Choose an image (you can submit up to 4 per case!), send it off according to the submission guidelines, select to receive a critique and you'll be on your way to becoming an even better photographer! Enter the IPC today and Be More Creative. 

Megan Mitchell is an intern at PPA. Though she attends college in New York, she is originally from Georgia - most everyone she meets up north is shocked and disappointed by her lack of a southern accent. She finds great joy and comfort in copy editing and reading. She loves nothing more than words, but her family and friends take a close second.

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By Chris Homer

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for anyone to watch (not just PPA photographers!), because PPA believes in the power of education for all. PPAedu is a library of 300+ video tutorials on photography techniques and business best practices available for PPA members 24/7 as part of their membership. And with the recent addition of PhotoVision, there are even more courses (a total of 1,100!) for PPA photographers to watch on demand at no extra cost. 

July's unlocked video is great for photographers looking to improve their marketing. One aspect of strong marketing is having a consistent brand for your photography business. If you're not sure where to start building your brand, July's video is a perfect place to start. 

In "Bring Out Your Brand," PPA's CEO and marketing pro David Trust takes you through the intricacies of what makes a brand and how you can build yours!

If you're with PPA, log in to watch the video. Non-members can access this video throughout July at PPA.com/TryEdu. If you want full access to all the PPAedu + PhotoVision on-demand videos, join PPA now!


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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 Megan Mitchell
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Surprise! Our weekly roundup of our favorite blog posts is a day early! Sending best wishes for a happy and safe independence day weekend celebration!

TELL YOUR STORY: As a professional photographer trying to set yourself apart, you need to connect with your clients. That's why you need stories on your website and as a photographer, you have many places to add them - tell your story and tell the stories of the photographs you take. 

TOUCH UP: Wondering how you can enhance your firework images? Here's one way from the folks at Killer Lightroom Tips!

HONOR CODE: You want to be respectful when photographing the American flag in portraiture, so read up on the U.S. Flag Code - the LawTog makes it easy to understand!

STATE OF THE UNION: Have you heard? The White House has lifted its ban on photography during tours! National Geographic sent a team of photographers on one of the first photo-friendly tours. Check it out!

HEALTH: Here are some stretches you should do during your long editing sessions at the computer - your body is an important asset to your business, so take care of it!

Call a Doctor Plus, the latest membership benefit from PPA, can save photographers both time and money when they're not feeling well or have health questions. For a modest monthly fee, PPA members can simply pick up the phone or log on to a website to get answers, assistance, and even prescriptions.

Call a Doctor Plus is a health and wellness telemedicine program that provides patients with effective, immediate access to medical goods and services. There are no copays, deductibles or per-call charges. Photographers who are members of PPA get service for an exclusive low monthly subscription.

Call a Doctor Plus provides 24/7 access to U.S. certified physicians who can diagnose and prescribe over the phone or through an online chat. Prescriptions are sent directly to the patient's local pharmacy, and records are sent to their primary physician. The benefit covers up to five dependents at no extra cost.

One member who's already used the service gives it a thumbs-up. "I requested a consultation online and was called by a doctor within 5-10 minutes," she said. "After providing a brief description of my symptoms, I was diagnosed with an acute upper respiratory infection. The doctor sent a prescription to my local pharmacy, and I had the medicine in hand less than an hour after I called."

Read more about the service at PPA.com/CADR+CADR_monthly_push_ppa_today_ad_650x160.jpg

 

By Chris Homer

We hope you've been enjoying success throughout June. Check out these top conversations on theLoop and join in! You never know what you might learn, or who your advice can help!

Have you ever exhibited your work at a summer festival? If you have, share your advice in this thread. If you're thinking about selling your work at a festival, there's lots of good advice to consider as well!

One member brought an interesting problem to theLoop in June. A client asked him to sign a contract guaranteeing that images of her family would not appear on his website or social media. Would you sign this contract? See what other members have to say!

Do you need advice for adding accent light to the background of a portrait? This thread is for you! Read members' suggestions for lighting set-ups.

Most photographers carry multiple cameras while out on an assignment. In this thread, one member asks what's the best solution for carrying multiple cameras so you can easily switch between them. Members provide all sorts of great ideas, so if you've struggled with this, check it out!

Do you shoot jewelry commercial photography assignments? If you do, this thread provides some good tips for capturing all the details.

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? It's easy: join 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 John Owens


Greetings photography community! Hope you've all had a wonderful start to summer. To cap things off, here are our favorite 10 blog posts from the week. Dig in!


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1. Have or Want To Open Your Own Studio? Read This

STUDIO ADVICE: This post from Million Dollar Photographer shares common pitfalls that you'll want to avoid if you have or are considering opening your own studio. Author Bradford Rowley offers 9 things to keep out of your studio space. Take a look around and see if they apply to you!

2. Why Compete? Photographers Weigh In

BE MORE INVOLVED: First, some good news: The deadline for submissions to the International Photographic Competition (IPC) has been extended to July 10! Why should you enter? We asked photographers just that on theLoop. Check out their responses in this post. Hopefully they inspire you to compete too!

3. People Skills? Yeah, You Need Those Too

NEGLECTED NECESSITIES: Here's a trick of the trade that's not often talked about but generally assumed we all have: people skills. The word 'skill' is there for a reason--it's a talent! This post discusses their importance and asks three insightful questions for you to consider. Take a look!

4. Skin Retouching: What To Do (And What Not To Do)

POST-PRODUCTION: Here's a post from Lindsay Adler, all about skin retouching. (did you know she's speaking at Imaging USA in 2016?!). I this post, she discusses five things that ruin skin in your photos. Are you guilt of any of these photography sins? Lindsay tells you how to fix them.



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