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By: Lauren Walters
Have you ever had someone steal your work or discredit you? Don't fret! PPA is here to help! If you hire a lawyer, you'll be spending A LOT OF MONEY in legal fees, but if you are with PPA, most likely we'll be able to protect your work for FREE or, if damages have already been done, for a fraction of that insane legal cost.
PPA photographer, Ross Oscar Knight, specializes in weddings, fine art and corporate events. Ross had a project that received a lot of exposure when it went viral in 2007, thanks in part to the feature on the Oprah Winfrey show. Soon after, people started pulling and using images from his website without his permission. Some were even discrediting his work and cropping out his logo, committing the ultimate copyright infringement. Ross remembered that PPA helps photographers resolve copyright disputes and went for that help. Check out his story and hear more about how PPA helped him resolve this copyright infringement rip-off.
If you are at risk for copyright infringement or simply want to take the right proactive steps, just go to the PPA's Copyright Resources , get your Free Copyright Kit or check out the Be More Business Savvy and Be More Protected.
By: Lauren Walters
PPA CEO David Trust was in DC the past two days advocating for photographers like you! He and PPA's copyright team in D.C., the Nickles Group, had a series of meetings with Representatives of Arizona, California, Georgia, Missouri, Utah and Wyoming and Senators from Los Angeles and Oklahoma who all have a say on the FAA's proposed rules for regulating the use of drones in the United States. The proposed rules are awaiting approval and are now in a 60-day comment period, during which PPA is working diligently to pull together comments for submission.
The revised proposal indicates good progress for Photographers. The FAA proposes and approves the rules on drones; those rules are not legislation and do not require congressional approval. Currently, the said rules categorize drones into three physical size groups. PPA is mainly concerned with regulation pertaining to small and micro drones. A small drone is classified as 55lbs or lighter, and a micro drone is 4.4lbs or lighter.
The FAA's proposed rules would require professional photographers wanting to use small drones (less than 55 lbs) to take an aeronautical skills test and obtain a permit and renew that license every two years. There would also be a one-time registration fee of $150. With 560 testing sites, finding a testing center should be easy. PPA believes the proposed rules for small drones to be a major step in the right direction as they eliminate the current requirement that commercial drone users hold an actual pilot's license.
The proposed rules for micro-drones (4.4 lbs or less) are even more favorable as they require no skills test. Photographers wanting to use micro-drones in their business would have to register and self-certify that they understand the FAA's aeronautical information manual.
We are still months away before the rules are finalized, yet solid progresses are being made in the direction of photographers. Want to weigh in? Please visit the discussion on theLoop about drones, it's a dynamic one!
Drones are the hot topic at the moment, but Trust also had discussions on copyright reform and the Next Great Copyright Act, which are still under development.
By John Owens
Amidst all the classes, tradeshow deals, football, parties and networking at Imaging USA was a healthy dose of charitable giving. PPA Charities, the philanthropic arm of PPA, flexed their veritable muscle as donations rolled in through a series of events and a certain special drawing.
Events included the PPA Charities "Boots and Bling" Celebration, which featured a silent and live auction. On day one, more than 100 attendees braved the Nashville cold for the first ever PPA Charities 5K Fun Run. And things culminated on the last day with PPA Charities' Dream Studio Giveaway, where one lucky winner walked away with a life-changing prize.
Imaging USA attendees were clearly feeling generous. "Boots and Bling" raised over $25,000, with the aid of a massive photo book donated by 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Peter Lik, M.Photog. Valued at $4,500, the limited edition piece auctioned for $7,000 alone. The Sunday morning 5K raised an additional $7,000+ and Tuesday's Dream Studio Giveaway brought in massive ticket sales right up until the drawing, totaling a whopping $50,000.
By: Lauren Walters
Are you getting back into the swing of things after Imaging? Put those ideas to work! ...After you check out our top blogs for the week.
OSCAR WORTHY: After dying in a Chicago nursing home, a woman leaves behind her hidden collection of photographs. Celebrating her life, this article delves into the story behind her Oscar nominated photos. The full documentary is available in some movie theaters and on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube.
EMOTIONAL COST: Traveling to a different country for original images is normal, but would you put yourself in danger to obtain that shot? This photojournalist thinks so. Take a look at her photos and judge for yourself.
MAKING YOUR MARK: This documentary features photography of African-Americans making history. Appreciate the difference these photos made and learn about the filmmaker's intent to showcase the evolution of professional photography!
BRANDING: How do multi-talented photographers brand their work? Instead of keeping up with 2 or 3 separate brands for each talent such as a writer, photographer and painter, just keep up with one; your personal brand!
PORTFOLIO HELP: When putting together a portfolio, your included pieces need to showcase a diverse range of skills and professionalism. Follow this short checklist to see if your portfolio work best represents you as a professional photographer.
INDUSTRY: Photographers were thrown a curve ball when the digital technology evolved. After this struggle, a few photographers were left in the dust because everyone with a smart phone considers themselves a photographer. With this new found struggle, what's a fair price range for professional photography?
SOFTWARE: How long have you been using Adobe Photoshop? The software has been helping photographers plunge into the digital age of photography for the past 25 years. What does Adobe hold for the future?
ETHICS: Baby Amari's life was lost 30 minutes after birth due to medical complications. Photographer Faith Massey's photos of Amari were stolen a month after they were taken, but returned shortly thereafter?
There you have it ladies and gents, our top blogs selection for the week! If you have any suggestions for our next round, please contact us on the Loop.
Professional photographers received good news over the weekend as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released new guidelines that would seem to pave the way for widespread legal use of small drones in the U.S. While the details are far from complete, the proposal would seem to open the door for professional photographers to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) as an additional offering for their clients. However, that door is not open just yet.
PPA has been working directly with the FAA and key Capitol Hill staff to bring about this very change - urging the FAA to loosen restrictions on some of the more basic uses for UAS, commonly referred to as drones. If approved, the newly released rules would allow legal use of unmanned aircraft by specific businesses including filmmakers, farmers, smokestack inspectors and some photographers.
"It is going to be a while before our members can start to use drones as a regular part of their work," says PPA's CEO David Trust. "But these new rules clearly reflect that the FAA was listening to our concerns, and we applaud them for taking this step sooner than later."
The FAA's full proposed rules can be read here. The summary of provisions on pages 10-12 highlights the basics of the proposed regulations.
There are many operational limitations in the new regulations; however the four below are important to highlight:
1. Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg)
2. Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the operator or visual observer
3. Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons not directly involved in the operation.
4. Daylight-only operations (official sunrise to official 11 sunset, local time).
There are also several operator responsibilities to keep in mind:
1. Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center.
2. Be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration.
3. Obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating (like existing pilot airman certificates, never expires).12
4. Pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months
"The proposed test has yet to be created," says Trust. "Once it is, we'll do all we can to help our members access the information and compile their applications." Sources in Washington D.C. indicate that creating the test could take months.
And there could be even more positive news on the horizon for PPA members as the FAA has agreed to look at more relaxed regulations for micro-drones, a class of unmanned aircraft weighing less than 4.4 lbs. That is significant to photographers since many are already using these smaller drones outside of their business.
PPA will be back on Capitol Hill next week for more meetings on both unmanned aircraft and copyright issues. "As pleased as we are about the proposed rules for UAS, we might be even more pleased with the discussion about micro-drones," says Trust. "I suspect they may even have more day-to-day application for our members. Hopefully we can find out more about those rules next week."
Judging will be streamed live March 26-29
The Western District competition is now open! It's the perfect excuse to spend a day inside and avoid the cold. Or if it's nice and warm where you are: A.) Jealous! and B). Get your images ready anyway! Image submissions will be accepted until March 18. Your entered works will be judged March 26-28 in Vancouver, Washington.
PPA urges members to enter photographic competition to push yourselves to be more. You'll improve your craft and confidence in the process.
"Once photographers get over the initial fear of competition, most keep entering year after year and become better photographers in the process," said Randy McNeilly, PPA's photographic exhibition committee chairman. "Even if they don't earn a merit right away, there's so much they can learn. Plus, it's a huge confidence boost, not only for the photographer, but also the client who commissions their work--especially once they start to win awards."
At the district level, images either earn a "merit" or "does not merit" score. Merit images are sealed and move on to the International Photographic Competition (IPC), held each August. Non-merit images may be worked on and re-entered into the IPC that same year. Critiques from a PPA judge can be ordered to give entrants personalized feedback on the reason for the score. Entrants and non-entrants alike can watch the judging live online in January.
"The live stream was hugely successful at the International Photographic Competition in August so we're taking it to all of PPA's district competitions," said McNeilly. "This helps debunk some myths about the judging process and shows photographers how much they can learn by attending or ordering their critiques."
The best of the best images will enter the prestigious Loan Collection and be on display at the International Photographic Exhibit during Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. They will also be in a coffee table book published by Marathon Press. For inspiration, PPA produced a video featuring 2014's Loan Collection images to show what the best look like.
PPA's District Competitions and the International Photographic Competition are open to the public. PPA photographers and non-members alike are also encouraged to attend the judging. Photographers who belong to PPA are each assigned to districts based on their studio's geographic location. For full district competition information, visit PPA.com/Competitions. To learn more about PPA's membership benefits or to join, visit PPA.com/Join.
By Mariah Ashley
This is one of my all-time favorite quotes: "Such a pleasant thought, if you improve overall conditions everyone can sail happily into the sunset".
It's an idea I try to set my moral compass to and a philosophy I practice in my business. When I recognize this quality in others I want to latch onto them because lately it seems most people practice the "every man for himself" motto and would sooner see you walk the plank than steer your own ship.
...except at Imaging USA. There, everyone is raising the tide. Unfortunately, it's not possible to latch onto 11,000 people, not even if you're a Kraken (mythical sea beast with many arms). Still, I wish I could give every special person I talked to a big old slimy tentacle hug. I guess I'll have to settle for squeezing them with my words instead.
But before things get awkward, let's consider ships.
By: Lauren Walters
From time to time, PPA photographers get overlooked in comparison to inexperienced or hobbyist photographers. Some of the reasoning includes pricing, product types, delivery timelines, and other factors. But all professional photographers contribute to educating customers on the difference it makes between hiring a professional versus an amateur. PPA's See The Difference Resources are here to help bridge that gap and facilitate that conversation and conversion. You will find a dozen of videos, online advertising, downloadable brochures, and more, that you can use to show prospective clients why investing in a professional photographer is not only worth it, but should be a no brainer.
Below is one of these new See The Difference tools. It is a video that targets family and portrait clients, explaining in non-salesy way and in less than 3 minutes, why professional photographers are exponentially better at capturing a family's personality and how and why they make a difference (versus inexperienced or hobbyist photographers that is).
You'll see real clients and real stories, where each family explains how their relationship and connection with their photographer made such a difference. Watch and see if you agree or relate!
There are more videos where this one came from! You are all welcome to share these videos and if you are a PPA photographer, you can even embed them on your website (just log when you get to the See The Difference resources page)! Help yourself out by sharing these videos with (prospective) customers! It's only by having as many of us share this message that this campaign will resonate and become a real tool for all professional photographers. So watch and share on!
By: Lauren Walters
Ready to take the plunge into Imaging USA? First, stay up to date with what's happening in the world of photography. Read our top ten favorite blog posts and use them as conversation starters at the convention!
PERSONAL BRAND: Headed to Imaging USA next week? Get a head start! Learn how to market yourself successfully for when you're walking around at the Expo. The first step is to plan, plan, and plan again!
LAYOFFS: For a magazine so heavily reliant on its high-quality images, we were surprised to learn that Sports Illustrated laid off their entire staff of six photographers. A cut of photographers of this scale hasn't happened since The Chicago Sun-Times cut their 28-staffed photographers in 2013. Is history repeating itself?
DESTINATION PHOTOGRAPHER: PPA photographer Joshua Kane gets paid to travel the world and photograph destination weddings. Although Joshua is living the dream, it's not always a vacation. Read about the challenges and benefits of a destination photography business.
MIXED MEDIA: How would a printmaker involve photography in their process? After mixing digital and print mediums, a hybrid medium was born. Check out a lithographer's approach to digital photography.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: India has always been rich in imagery, but not so involved in the art of photography. After their first photography festival four years ago in New Deli, India has become more present in the photography scene. Check out breath-taking images showcasing the exotic Indian lifestyle.
DUH! (THANKFULLY): According to the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), people can distinguish a professional from an amateur photographer. The researcher who conducted this study used special equipment to record the subject's eye movements when exposed to photographs. Check out other conclusions they drew from this experiment.
ARCHIVES: Hoping to raise funds, the publisher of Ebony magazine is selling their entire photo archive. This collection dates back to 1945 including historic and award-winning photography. Find out more about this collection.
EDITING: As a street photographer, you can shoot anytime, anywhere! Where the structured schedule is lacking, the photographer picks up the slack when it comes to editing. Why would one have to heavily edit street photography? Read more to find out!
COPYRIGHT: Learn about Nike's "jumpman" logo legend. Was there a photograph behind this genius design for inspiration? If so, does the photographer deserve to be compensated?
INSPIRATION: We all know those beloved fairytales from our childhood. How about capturing the landscapes that inspired the original Grimm's fairy tales?
Check back with us next week for more top blogs. Any interesting blogs you'd like us to check out, let us know on theLoop!
By John Owens
Back in the fall, PPA launched the second annual PPA Kickstart Scholarship. Our four lucky PPA members are already in Nashville for their pre-convention classes--completely on the house! The winners were given the opportunity to choose between a full-day of hands on classes or a two-day Studio Management Services workshop.
We chatted with each of our winners last month, and their excitement was evident. Each will be attending their first Imaging USA. Here are some highlights from the conversations:
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 Sarah's 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.
By Mariah Ashley
I'm sitting here in Massachusetts with a blizzard bearing down on my house and all I can think is, This better not mess up my plans to go to Imaging USA in Nashville on Friday!
It's colder than a frosted frog here so in the spirit of Nashville, I'm passing the time researching country and western idioms. What I've discovered is that we're pretty boring here in New England, at least in terms of color phrases. You know, one of the best things you can do when visiting a new place is to learn some local lingo. I've included a bunch in this post so that you can fit in too. You're welcome.
Anyway... What a difference two years can make! It was just two years ago that I tried to fake a flu to get out of the trip to Atlanta for my first Imaging USA. My business had two speeds at that time: slow and stop. Yep, my crick had run dry. True story. I had $79 in my bank account. Coming up with enough money each week to make payroll was like trying to put socks on a rooster.
I couldn't see mustering the energy, let alone the money to make the trip. Fortunately for me, my business partner Trish is as bright as a new penny and saw right through my lame faux-flu. She insisted I get on the plane. Never in my wildest imagination (and trust me it gets crazy as a bed bug in there) did I imagine how much that trip would change my life. When we arrived in Atlanta we were desperate--desperate for inspiration, desperate for answers. We had nothing to lose so we went with open minds and empty pockets and found everything we were looking for.