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Results tagged “Photographers Association” from PPA Today

By Bethany Clark

theloop_networking.jpgLoopers know that the best way to find answers to your photography business questions is to ask it on theLoop, PPA's official, members-only social network. The discussions on theLoop are always productive and helpful, so dive right in!

Here's a recent example of a question and the first couple of responses. 

Question: 

Hi, I just opened my photography business a year ago and am looking for good business books. Any recommendations? Thanks!

Answer:
  • Be Your Own Sales Manager: Strategies And Tactics For Managing Your Accounts, Your Territory, And Yourself by Tony Alessandra Ph.D., Jim Cathcart, & John Monoky Ph.D. 
  • Best Business Practices for Photographers (second edition) by John Harrington 
  • The Complete Photography Careers Handbook (second edition) by George Gilbert 
  • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday 
  • Go for No! by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz
  • The Photographer's MBA, Everything You Need to Know for Your Photography Business by Sal Cincotta
  • Start with Why by Simon Sinek 
  • The E-Myth by Michael Gerber 
  • Youtility by Jay Baer 
  • Worth Every Penny by Michael Port 
  • Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port 
  • Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Check in at theLoop.PPA.com to see more tips, discussions, recommendations, and to ask your peers questions you need answered! And find even more Quick Tips from your fellow Loopers here!
By Bethany Clark

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Share your inspiration from the new PPMag.com on Pinterest for your chance to win fabulous prizes:
  • A Loktah 8x8 Signature Flush Mount Albums ($180 value)
  • HCC Wall Display Product (up to $270 value)

Contest Rules:
  1. Create a PPMag.com Inspiration Pinterest Board names "Pmag.com Inspiration" 
  2. Pin images, articles, and content you love from the new PPmag.com
  3. Complete the entry form found at PPmag.com/PinToWin with a link to your board 
  4. Follow Professional Photographer Magazine on Pinterest to see who wins!
  5. Contest ends on 8/10/2016 and one randomly selected winner will be notified by email. 

So pin to your heart's content between July 21, 2016 and August 10, 2016! Get all the details at PPmag.com/PinToWin.

Bethany Clark manages all things social media for PPA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves writing, sewing, travel, yoga, and of course photography.

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This has been a HUGE week for Drones! The FAA finally released their new regulations covering UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) and PPA has read all 600 pages to help YOU better understand how to (legally) incorporate drones into your business. 

You can head over to www.faa.gov/uas/ to get all the latest information, but we've got a summary for you to get you started and answer your most basic questions.

So...You Want to Be a Small Drone Pilot...

To become a pilot you must: 

Be at least 16 years old
Be able to read, speak, write and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person is unable to meet this requirement for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment)
Be in a physical and mental condition to safely operate a small UAS
Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center

How Do I Apply for a Remote Pilot Certificate?

1. Schedule an appointment with a Knowledge Testing Center (there are over 700 locations in the U.S).
2. Pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Test. 
3. Complete FAA Form 8710-13 for a Remote Pilot Certificate.
4. Pass the TSA security background check. You will then receive a confirmation email containing instructions for printing a temporary remote pilot certificate from IACRA (Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application). 
5. Receive a permanent remote pilot certificate via mail once all other FAA-internal processing is complete. 

Once certified, your certification must be easily accessible by the remote pilot during all UAS operations. It is valid for two years, after which you must pass a recurrent knowledge test to renew your certification.


By Bethany Clark

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Today is not only the mid-point in the month, but also an important legislative day - the final day that the U.S. House of Representatives is in session before a six-week summer recess. This means that July 15 has been the preferred deadline to get a copyright small claims bill introduced, and luckily a bill was indeed introduced yesterday. Read all about what this means for the photography community (as well as the bill itself) in today's roundup, along with several other top blog posts from the week of July 11-15, 2016.

THE FIGHT FOR COPYRIGHTS:  PPA was on Capitol Hill this week as Congressman Jeffries (D-NY) and Congressman Marino (R-PA) introduced a bipartisan small claims bill to the House. 

EDUCATION: As a professional photographer, you're probably always on the lookout for photography courses that can help improve your skills as an artist and business owner. If you're a PPA member, you have unlimited access to PhotoVision and PPAedu for free! 

GETTING THE SHOT: Professionals have no qualms about doing whatever it takes to get that peeerfect shot, amiright?

TECH TALK: Have you got your eye on this camera? Let's talk specs. 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Mel Robbins has worn many hats: criminal defense attorney, entrepreneur, life coach, CNN host... Now she's wearing her 10-gallon hat and joining us in Texas for Imaging USA 2017's Keynote Speech.

TIPS & TRICKS: Check out this handy tutorial on capturing perfect starbursts and sun flares.

IPC: Now that all the entries are in, save the date for August 1-4, 2016 and watch all the IPC action!

STORAGE WARS: Don't let the pile-up of photos and files get you down. Compress.

RIGHTS: What are the rules for taking photos in public places in the UK?

ABOUT FACE: This photo series visits famous landmarks... but doesn't include them in the shots!

TECH TALK: Learn how to use just a DSLR and a few accessories to digitize your negatives!

Bethany Clark manages all things social media for PPA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves writing, sewing, travel, yoga, and of course photography.
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PPA is back on Capitol Hill this week, and we have some updates on the progress of copyright small claims legislation.

Currently, there are two copyright small claims bills being worked on by members of the U.S. House of Representatives - one bill is being produced by Congresswoman Chu (D-CA) and the other by Congressman Jeffries (D-NY).  Due to recent world events, other issues have been at the forefront of Capitol Hill discussions over the past several weeks.  Consequently, the introduction of Congresswoman Chu's (D-CA) small claims legislation has been delayed, but only slightly. This slight delay is not all bad news - the more issues that can be worked out among stakeholders on the front-end, the more likely the legislation will be successful.  

We are pleased to announce that Congressman Jeffries (D-NY) and Congressman Marino (R-PA) introduced a bipartisan small claims bill today. Congresswoman Chu's bill will be introduced when Congress reconvenes after its upcoming six-week recess. The House of Representatives will be on recess from July 15th until September 6th.  PPA continues to give input as this process unfolds, and we continue to work especially closely alongside Congresswoman Chu's office as they finalize legislative language.

After both bills are introduced, PPA will review the legislation and direct members of the Grassroots Action Team to take action. Your first call to action will be to ask your representative to co-sponsor the small claims bill that we believe is most favorable for professional photographers.  This call to action will most likely begin in September.

Let's take advantage of this unexpected little bit of extra time and focus on getting more photographers and visual artists to join the Grassroots Action Team!  We are encouraged by the number of participants so far, but we still have a long way to go.  We need to be prepared to make a very loud statement on Capitol Hill.  Additional delays are always possible - especially during an election year - but that shouldn't stop us from mobilizing now.  Please continue to encourage every photographer, as well as other creators that you know to sign up at PPA.com/Grassroots.  Remember, you do not have to be a PPA member to join - this needs to be an industry-wide effort.

PPA's government affairs team will be attending important, small claims-related meetings on the Hill this week.  Be sure to stay tuned to PPA Today for updates from D.C.! 

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We had a wonderful meeting with the Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, and the Copyright Office's Director of Policy, Karyn Claggett. We thanked the Register for her tireless support for small creators in creating her plans for a modernized copyright office and testifying to Congress as an expert in the policy area. This meeting provided a great opportunity for us to explain the registration-related difficulties photographers face and how that effects their ability to enforce copyright. We were extremely encouraged by listening to some aspects of her vision for registration reforms which include creating a process that is not one-size-fits-all for all classes of creations. In the coming months, we will be working closely with the Office by giving input on much-needed registration improvements. The Copyright Office (at the request of Congress) has produced and published an extensive plan for modernizing their systems and processes. This plan is dependent on the policy and appropriation decisions of Congress, so PPA plans to continue to be involved in the discussion on the Hill.

We also met with a representative of the American Bar Association to discuss the progress of small claims legislation. The ABA has generally been supportive of the ideas. We will continue to be in contact as the copyright review process evolves.

Headed back to Atlanta!


1:30pm: We are pleased to announce that Congressman Jeffries (D-NY) and Congressman Marino (R-PA) introduced a bipartisan small claims bill today. We appreciate Congressman Jeffries' and Congressman Marino's support on this important small business issue. We look forward to reviewing this bill and Congresswoman Chu's bill and working with these offices and others as well as important stakeholders to make copyright small claims a reality. 


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10:00am: We are at the US Chamber of Commerce for our first meeting of the day. Here we will pitch the idea of copyright small claims to the chamber, explaining why it is such an important small business issue. We hope to have their support on this issue as the process unfolds.



By Chris Homer

As a professional photographer, you're probably always on the lookout for photography courses that can help improve your skills as an artist and business owner. Well, if you're a PPA member, your PhotoVision member benefit is a great way to stay on top of all the latest photography tips!

PhotoVision provides 800+ photography tutorials on techniques, inspiration and best business practices that you can stream on demand! The best part - it's included for FREE with your PPA membership! If you're a PPA member, all you have to do is log-in to the PhotoVision site with your PPA account info, and then you can begin streaming all of the great photography courses. And don't forget about the videos on PPAedu as well. When you add those in you have access to a learning library of more than 1,100 videos, all for free! 

Check out the PhotoVision course "Bride at the Ready" below:



Join PPA today and get access to the PhotoVision and PPAedu videos so you'll always have access to great photography tutorials! If you're already a member, start streaming and learning through PhotoVision and PPAedu - we think you'll find them to be comprehensive resources for all your education needs. 


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout 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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4:30pm: We're walking from our meeting with Zach Whiting in the office of Congressman Steve King (R-IA) to the office of Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) for our next meeting. Our meeting with Zach was great. He seemed very interested in our message and asked great questions about how to create an effective small claims process for small-business creators. We brought him up to speed on the forthcoming bills. He is looking forward to reviewing the legislation. Hopefully, the Congressman will choose to get involved with this issue as the copyright review enters the legislative phase. 
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3:30pm: Good meeting with Congressman Cohen's(D-TN) staff. We brought them up to speed on the progress of small claims legislation. They were very receptive of our message and plan to connect with the offices sponsoring these bills and review the language. We are asking all of these offices to consider co-sponsoring small claims legislation upon introduction.

We have are headed into our last two (back-to-back) meetings with Congressman Steve King's (R-IA) office and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren's (D-CA) office. 


2:45pm: As always, we had a very productive meeting with Linda Shim, Congresswoman Chu's (D-CA) Chief of Staff. We are working through final details of the bills. At this point, we are facilitating discussions on smaller, technical details between congressional offices and stakeholders. Linda is working closely with the copyright office and counsel to finalize legislative language. We expect that Congresswoman Chu's bill will be introduced in early September when Congress reconvenes from the upcoming recess (which starts this weekend).

10:15am: 
PPA is back in our nation's capital for the last week of the House's current session before their recess. There is a LOT happening with our top priority: a Small Claims Copyright bill. We hope the bill is introduced this week (rather than being held until the next session in September). Stay tuned here as we will update the blog throughout today and tomorrow with all the latest news on this front. 








Keynote Speaker: Mel Robbins
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Mel Robbins has worn many hats: criminal defense attorney, entrepreneur, life coach, CNN host...Now she's wearing her 10-gallon hat and joining us in Texas for Imaging USA 2017's Keynote Speech. Mel has picked up valuable life-lessons from her experiences and crafted a dynamic way to share them with an audience. She's the author of Stop Saying You're Fine and has a top-viewed TedTalk, "How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over". Mel's going to jumpstart Imaging USA 2017 in her signature, pants-kicking way Sunday morning, January 8, in San Antonio.  


Other Imaging USA Speakers Include:
 

By James Yates

PPA photographers are a very diverse group of people, but one common thread is their passion for the support that their peers provide. PPA's YouTube video series, Behind The Camera, features professional photographers who share their trials and tribulations, and their relationship with their PPA community. Today it's Trish Logan, Cr.Photog, who pitches in!

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

The world of professional photography spreads far and wide, which makes it easy to feel that you have to "go at it alone". PPA's goal is to link professional photographers together, providing a support system and business backbone that helps photographers grow, sustainably. 

In the video below, Trish talks about how she became interested in photography and why she loves shooting portraits, as well as the important role PPA's See The Difference® campaign plays in showing her clients why they should choose her over cheaper, hobbyist photographers.



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

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 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. Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for pvblogfooter0716.jpg
By James Yates
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Did you enjoy your short week? PPA Today did, but we're gearing up for an action-packed mid-July with potential copyright legislation forthcoming, brand-new drone regulations and more...good thing the days are longer! As you prepare for your own mid-summer dreams, take a minute to look over our top blog posts from the week of July 4-8, 2016. 

SUMMER TRAVEL: Building rapport with a client is crucial. Inc.com has a list of podcasts you can listen to on those summer drives that will give you the content you need to chat up anyone (including the kids!)

ADVOCACY: Professional Photographer has a fantastic article on how and why you should join the Grassroots Action Team. Get inspired and fired up to make your voice heard soon, when a small claims copyright bill is introduced in the House. 

EDUCATION: PPA's Director of Education penned an open letter about the Business Challenge.  A must-read for members weighing their business education options. 

BONDING: One of the most important aspects of being a photographer is being comfortable and outgoing around your clients. FStoppers made our list again with 8 tips on how to do rapport-building right. 

CREATIVITY: Prepare ahead of time and give your clients something truly unique! Popular Photography on how to prepare a stylized wedding shoot. 

WATCH THIS: Want a tutorial on lighting? Popular Photography has a video on grids, strips, diffusers, and every other soft box mod you can imagine.  

INSIDER INFO: On this episode of the Photobomb Photography Podcast, Booray and Gary discuss streaming services, managing client expectations, and the intricacies of PPA's International Photographic Competition. 

PATRIOTISM: The Daily Signal spoke with PPA to get information on this article about copyright law in the U.S. Do your duty as an American artist and check it out! 

IMAGING USA: PPA's Events Team was recently in San Antonio, scouting locations and preparing for January's Imaging USA convention and expo. They came back with a list of amazing destinations to add to your "I want to go to there" list.  

ANTI-THEFT: The editorial board of the Star Telegram gets it: they've written this article to encourage their readers NOT to lift Facebook photos that aren't their own. 

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

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James 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.
By Bethany Clark

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in spreading the wealth of education that PPA members have at their fingertips! The PPAedu library is full of tools to help you sharpen your photography techniques, marketing strategies, sales techniques, and business operations. These tutorials and educational videos are available 24/7 at no cost, as a benefit to PPA members. Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, you can tap into close to a thousand programs to help you Be More! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision, take a look. There's a new website with a slew of new episodes!

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For the month of July, the full video "Inspiration: Emphasizing the Creative Process" with PPA Instructor Joel Grimes Cr.Photog. has been unlocked. In this video, Joel first takes you down an interesting path, discussing how art and artists are often defined. Rather than focusing on terms like "genius" and "brilliant," Joel emphasizes the hard work, motivation and passion that go into creating something worthwhile. Examine and explore the many ways an artist can express ideas, so that your work truly is a manifestation of you. You'll also discuss the concept of the final product - how what you produce is ultimately subject to someone else's opinion and expectation, and how beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder. After all, perception really is reality.

If you already belong to PPA, just log in anytime to watch the video. This video is unlocked for non-members, this month only, at PPA.com/TryEdu. For full access to PPAedu and PhotoVision programs, join PPA today!


Bethany Clark manages all things social media for PPA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves writing, sewing, travel, yoga, and of course photography.

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How and Why the Business Challenge started.
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In 2015, PPA had an idea for a case study. A group of five photography mentors and I took on the challenge of working with two studio owners to help them transform their businesses. We not only wanted to help these two entrepreneurs, we also wanted to learn from them by documenting the challenges they faced, the changes they underwent and how both they and their businesses thrived. The "Studio Makeover" was initiated and our goal was to take all the information we were using to help our makeover participants and bring it to PPA members to learn from as well. 

We did this through the entire year of 2015 with live webinars, blog posts and even personal video updates. Then, at Imaging USA 2016, all eight of us took the stage and revealed each studio's final numbers, shared their biggest "a-ha" moments and discussed their transformation from both a business and personal perspective.  

Leading up to Imaging USA, as I was putting together the program for the rest of the team, I had my own "a-ha" moment. We were about to share some extraordinary moments and information as both studios made amazing leaps forward...but we didn't have anything in place for the attendees who might want to do their own "studio makeover." 

Well, I shouldn't say we didn't have anything because PPA has a plethora of educational tools available to members: the Benchmark Study, PPAedu's online education platform with more than 350 video classes, PhotoVision with over 800 episodes, Square One, downloads, Professional Photographer magazine, specialty courses for CPP and IPC, etc. As you can see, we have quite a lot of knowledge to offer and perhaps that works against us a bit. It can be a little overwhelming. Which brings me to my point...we didn't have anything/anyone tying it all together, giving it to photographers in an order that could easily be digested, and helping you as you needed it. 

So the idea for the Business Challenge was born.

Literally, right before Imaging USA, at our busiest time of the year, I was asking other departments to help me implement a brand new concept. And everyone here jumped in to help make it a reality, so that by Imaging USA itself we were able to let people know they could sign up for their very own studio makeover through PPA's Business Challenge. (Huge thank you's to our Marketing, Membership and I.T. teams for all of their hard work.)

I had an idea. I had the recently completed PPA Business Guide to use as an outline. I had the Square One tool to share. I had amazing friends and mentors who were willing to be part of this project. I had (and have) a strong desire to help photographers as entrepreneurs learn how to build profitable and sustainable businesses so they can live their dream. That was it. 

I didn't have a long syllabus. I didn't have a very exact plan for how to execute all of it. I was still learning how best to use theLoop platform as our means of communication. But I knew that if I waited to put it all together first, things would be missing anyway. You would be missing. All that I've learned from you, each and every group, would not have happened. And your questions and ideas and support are the actions that propel the Business Challenge forward.

PPA's Business Challenge is, by design, a living thing. 

No two groups are alike. The February 2016 group is very different from the June 2016 group. The curriculum, while similar, is not identical because conversations sway the topics and move them in a variety of directions. Questions are asked and answered. Friendships are born. Mentors are invited who generously share their experience and knowledge. While the foundation of knowledge of the Business Challenge is all the same, and it is scalable to a large group, the unique experience of each group is shaped by those who are involved.

I've written in a few different places that it's important to show up and be present in the conversations that take place in this 12-month program. It was not intended to simply be a place where information and assignments are posted. It can be, if that's what you want, but I want to give you so much more. I want you to feel part of something bigger; I want to give you accountability; I want you to meet and be inspired by some of the smartest people out there; I want to give you the opportunity to share your knowledge; I want you to remember why YOU are doing all this hard work in the first place; and I want you to build a body of knowledge that will propel you so much further.


I'm so glad you're here,
Angela


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Angela Kurkian is PPA's Director of Education







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By Chris Homer

Be sure to enter your images to the International Photographic Competition (IPC) by July 7 by 5pm EST! July 7 will be your last chance to enter this year's IPC!

If you've never entered the IPC before, you'll be surprised to learn that past entrants say entering the competition is one of the best ways to improve your skills as a photographer. That's because images are judged by PPA jurors based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. The 12 Elements define what makes an excellent, professional image, so learning how to create while keeping these elements in mind is sure to help you improve as a photographer! And remember, if you aren't continuously improving your skills - you're falling behind other photographers! 

The feedback you can get on the images you enter to the IPC becomes even more valuable if you choose to order critiques on your entries. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. Check out a critique from last year's competition. 

Once you've entered your images, make plans to attend the judging July 31- August 4, 2016 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA. Judging is open to the public and free to attend, so come and adsorb all the judges' comments on the entries - you never know what you might learn! And if you can't attend the judging in-person, you can also stream it all online via Stream.theIPC.org

So, get those images entered by July 7 by 5pm EST and see first-hand how entering the IPC can help your photography! Enter today and see how competition can help you Be More Skillful!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout 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 James Yates
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You're all set to go to Imaging USA 2017, but you've never been to San Antonio before? Relax. Your PPA Team was just there, scouting out the best attractions and locations and preparing enough photography-convention-awesomeness to blow your ten-gallon hat off come January. 

In addition to shooting a guide to the newly remodeled Convention Center (which you'll see at a later date), we took a look at some of the best San Antonio has to offer. Here's a handy guide of things to consider making time for your trip in January:

Start with The Riverwalk, the unique, can't-miss 2.5-mile walkway along the San Antonio River. Take one of the famed Riverboat Tours to see the other side of attractions like the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Arneson River Theater and the Aztec Theatre. The boats pass right by and through several restaurants, making any night out to eat a gorgeous experience. It may sound like a tourist trap, it's not! It's really nice! That's probably why the Riverwalk is Texas' second most popular tourist spot after...The Alamo/The Missions. Remember this? No trip to San Antonio would be complete without visiting the Alamo and the other four Spanish frontier outposts designated as a National Historic Park. Founded in 1939, La Villita Historic Arts Village is San Antonio's original neighborhood. La Vallita houses over 30 art galleries and shops along with several restaurants. The Arneson River Theater is also there so you can get a better look from off of the boat. The RiverCenter Mall is also located on the Riverwalk and literally right downstairs from our host hotels. It's a fully functioning mall with all the stores you may need to get your shopping fix ($6 cowboy hats, anyone?) and tons of restaurants including a food court if you want something fast and cheap! You can experience the largest Mexican mercado in the city for authentic shopping underneath all those iconic, colorful flags at Market Square. Get the best view of San Antonio from atop the 750 ft-tall Tower of the Americas, built in 1968 for the Hemisfair (World's Fair), which you'll hear a lot about because it was a huge deal for the city. 

If you're looking to venture away from the downtown area by car or bus, The San Antonio Botanical Gardens, the San Antonio Aquarium and the San Antonio Zoo offer some of the most beautiful, Texas-sized flora and fauna for the entire family to enjoy. There are also the big theme parks, SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas if you have the need for speed and want to ride the state-of-the-art Iron Rattler or Steel Eel. Other kinds of thrill-seekers may want to check out the Natural Bridge Caverns, named for the 60 foot limestone slab that spans the caverns' entrance.  

We weren't sure what to expect from our planning trip to San Antonio, but what we got was a beautiful city with a lively and bustling downtown area, all easily accessible from the Imaging USA hotels and convention center. We're more certain than ever that January 2017 is going to be AWESOME. 

For more info, head over to ImagingUSA.org/about-san-antonio. If you haven't registered yet for Imaging USA 2017, be sure to head over to ImagingUSA.org/Register and take advantage of the Early Bird rates! And don't forget Pre-Con classes run from January 5- 7!


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James 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.

By James Yates
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Loopers know that the best way to find answers to your photography business questions is to ask it on theLoop, PPA's official, members-only social network. The discussions on theLoop are always productive and helpful, so dive right in!

Here's a recent example of a question and the first couple of responses. 

Q: Is the use of a UV filter standard? If so, which do I need and what is a good brand to purchase?
--Andre R.

Andre,
You are going to get a lot of opinions on this.
Some for and some against using a UV filter, and then on which one to buy.
I'll just tell you my experience and you can decide for yourself. There is a belief that the more you spend on one the better it will be. 
I use them. I have had at least 6 incidents where I've dropped or bumped a lens (no lens hood attached), and the filter was trashed. But the lens was fine. Two incidents where I did not have a filter on the lens but I did have a lens hood - and the lens hood was destroyed, leaving the lens intact. I have had one incident where the integrated lens hood on a 14-24 zoom, a lens that does not lend itself to a convenient filter arrangement, did not save the lens and the front element was trashed.
There is an article that you might find helpful if you decide to use the filter.
www.lenstip.com/113.4-article-UV_filters_test_Description_of_the_results_and_summary.html
The cheaper filters have non-metal mounts, where the more costly ones use brass. At one point in the past when lens barrels were made of metal, I would prefer to have a filter that was made of brass. These days, many lenses have hard plastic filter threads, which in the past have cross threaded when using metal filters. I have yet to have that happen with the non-metal filter mounts.
-Eugene L.

Andre,
The argument for and against UV filters (like Eugene says) is as follows:
Fact 1: Every UV filter will degrade your image (even the most expensive ones).
Fact 2: Every UV filter will protect the front element of your lens (even the cheapest filters).
The decision you have to make is, in my opinion, if negligible degradation of the image with a good UV filter is worth the protection it offers your equipment. 
Every one of my lenses has a UV filter on the constantly. When I worked full time in an indoor photo studio, none of my lenses had UV filters. 
I'm with Eugene on this one. I'd rather have a protected lens, then a lens with a damaged front element, because the degradation of your image with a shattered front element is definitely noticeable.
I like B+W filters. They are made by Schneider one of the best optical manufactures in the world. While you're checking out filters, they make an amazing Circular Polarizing filter, which is the second filter I'd buy. For the UV filter, just buy the largest lens diameter you have (77mm or similar) and get a bunch of Step-up rings to make it fit on the different lenses.
-Pascal D.

Check in at theLoop.PPA.com to see more responses and ask your own questions for peer-to-peer discussion and support!


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James 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.
by James Yates
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It's now been six months since the inaugural class of PPA's Business Challenge started on theLoop. Since then a new group has started each month and those participating are making changes that will affect their businesses and their lives as they continue their entrepreneurial journey.  

One of the first things Challenge participants are tasked to do is define their personal idea of success and then create a sales and session projection using the online tool, Square One. It helps point every small business owner in the right direction and kicks off your Challenge-year with a firm understanding of what you need to accomplish in the upcoming months. Here are just a few comments pulled from the Discussion Threads on how things are going for our current participants:

"I did the square one projections for my business.  Wow.  I had to go thru it a few times and it was eye opening.  Not charging enough!!!  This was so helpful... "
Kim B. 


"Just realized I misunderstood net income.  This changes things...  YIKES.  Now I'm getting that crazy scared feeling in the pit of my stomach... This is such a huge kick in the rear.  I did a few breakdowns - with and without (a physical) studio.  (End goal is to have a studio space of my very own, so I wanted to see what needed to be done.)"
Later...
"Happy to report that I finished my projections yesterday.  I did one for a home based studio and one for a retail space.  I figured that my goal would be to aim for the retail space numbers since I want to end up with a studio.  If I fall short and hit my home based numbers, that's ok - just means I landed among the stars, right?  I'd be happy with either number right now, as long as eventually I get to the retail numbers!  :)...And now that I've done my a la carte pricing, I'm seeing clearly how that will help me reach the projection numbers.  It's all starting to come together in my brain." 
Karen C.

"I just used the square one tool, and it really gives me a starting goal for what I need to do.  So far I am working well towards my goals and getting the sales per session mark.  I just need to do more sessions. More sessions will come from more marketing and better time management." 
Jennifer J.

By Chris Homer

Seeking a hearty niche to claim as her own, Alison Miniter, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, turned to the lovers of classic cars. With loads of personal experience attending car shows because of her car-loving husband, Miniter saw an opportunity to provide custom photography to a new audience. 

Learn how Miniter has made a name and a niche in "Driving Sales" on PPMag.com.


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout 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

Last week, we broke the news that the long-awaited FAA regulations relating to Unmanned
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 Aircraft Systems (UAS) weighing less than 55 pounds were announced! With the new regulations, if you want to use a small drone in your photography business you must be certified by the FAA. Here are some more details on becoming certified!

According to the new FAA rules, the estimated out-of-pocket cost for an individual to become certified as a remote pilot with a small UAS rating is $150. This will cover the testing fee.

The required aeronautical knowledge test will cover the following subject areas:

- Regulations applicable to small UAS operations

- Airspace classification and operating requirements, maintenance and inspection procedures, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation

- Official sources of weather and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance

- Small UAS loading and performance

- Emergency procedures

- Crew resource management

- Radio communication procedures

- Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft

- Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol

- Aeronautical decision-making and judgment

- Airport operations.

You'll be able to take the test at more than 700 FAA-approved testing centers. Get more information from the FAA on certification here

And don't forget you can learn even more about the new FAA regulations for drones during PPA's "It's Legal To Use Drones in My Business, Now What?" webinar on July 12 at 2pm ET.

ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout 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

As we count down the days to fireworks and hotdogs, take a minute to check out the top
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 photography blog posts for the week of June 20! 

DRONES/UAS NEWS: The FAA has just announced new regulations regarding the operation of drones that will allow photographers to offer this type of photography to their clients, provided you meet some requirements. Check out the news on the PPA blog!

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRACTS: Contracts can be a tricky thing, especially when dealing with a 'work-for-hire' situation. In this post on Photo District News, lawyers review several editorial photography contracts and break down what some of that confusing language means. You may be surprised! This is a must read for all photographers.

BUSINESS TIPS: If you've ever experienced hard drive failure, you know how stressful it can be to lose all of your images. Help avoid this problem by creating a USB Recovery Drive. Photofocus breaks down the steps in this post. And if hard drive failure still happens to you, don't forget about your PPA member benefit with DriveSavers

TUTORIAL: Whether or not you shoot cityscapes at night, this post from Digital Photography School provides a good tutorial of how to use Luminosity Masks in Photoshop and the results you can get by using them!

BACK TO THE BASICS: Do you understand how the histogram display on the back of your DSLR works and what it can tell you about a photograph you just took? Take a look at these exercises from Picture Correct that will help you understand the histogram! 



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