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Results tagged “Photography Association” from PPA Today

By Sarah Ackerman

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This week we're embracing improvement! Check out our top eleven blogs to help you be more. And, yes! There is a bonus blog this week!

SCAM ALERT: Arm yourself with knowledge against these four scams that seem to be running rampant in the photography industry! The folks at PhotoShelter bring you the top four scams they've seen, including fake photo contests and fake photo assignments! Read on and Be More Protected!

INSPIRATION: If you've ever suffered from a lack of motivation, direction or inspiration, this awesome E-book from Eric Kim will give you the best kick in the pants! Download it in a variety of formats and feel the creativity flow!

FINANCES: If the finances of your business are keeping you up at night, check in with Krista Newbill and our PPA Studio Makeover team! Krista has been focusing on finances for the past month. See what changes she's made and what she's looking to do in the future with this update!

SCIENCE + STORYTELLING: How do you set yourself apart in a world filled with billions of advertising messages? It's not easy, but it can be done! Read up on how to marry the science of marketing with the joy of storytelling from HubSpot. 

We're back with an update on Krista Newbill's Studio Makeover. Check out the previous post on the project overview if you need a refresher, and take a look at Wes Roberts' first update from last month.

Below is an update on what Krista has been doing with her team of PPA mentors, the early progress she's made along with some of the obstacles she's facing. Some of it surely applies to some of you and your business... maybe you can consider applying similar changes to Be More Profitable too?

The Financials

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Krista first came to PPA for help with her business back in 2012. At that time her studio's gross sales were down 21% from 2011 and what was more telling, expenses were up and her bottom line suffered, going down 52% during that time.

In 2013 Krista focused on cutting costs. Her sales that year increased and her bottom line recovered. Then in 2014 the stress of running and paying for a retail location caused Krista to rethink her location. She opted to co-lease a space with another photographer. With sales up 14% and her expenses once again down, Krista was keeping almost 61% of every dollar she grossed. According to PPA's Benchmark, top-preforming retail studios keep about 39% of each dollar, proving that Krista was doing a great job keeping her expenses in check.

As she started planning for 2015, Krista was feeling that she was working too hard, too many hours, and not spending enough quality time with her family. "How long can I keep up this pace?" is a question most business owners ask themselves at some point during their careers. That's why the concept of sustainability is one of the most important things to consider when you're planning each year.

What affects your business sustainability? The number of hours worked, stress levels, income, family life balance, and pretty much anything else that affects you as the business owner. Simply ask yourself, can your business continue on the same track it's currently on with you, as the business owner, doing everything as-is? Sometimes it simply comes down to time (or lack thereof). In the long run, can you realistically continue to put in the hours/week that you are currently spending and be achieving your life goals?

Krista realized that she's too busy and is now looking for ways to work smarter, not harder. Her main product lines include weddings, portraits and headshots. She lives near Nashville and has a very large clientele. Up until 2014, Krista created albums and sold prints to her wedding clients, but she only sold digital files to her portrait clients.

By Lindsey Forson

Commercial use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, continues to be a hot issue on Capitol Hill.

While we anxiously await the FAA's approval on new regulations for small UAS operations, things continue to move forward. Last week, Senator Cory Booker (New Jersey) and Senator John Hoeven (North Dakota) introduced the Commercial UAS Modernization Act (download it here: 265083514-UAS-Modernization-Act-of-2015.pdf) to the U.S. Senate. This legislation has not yet become law and would not replace the forthcoming rule from the FAA, but it could serve in the interim.   

If the Commercial UAS Modernization Act becomes law, it would make it legal to use UAS for commercial purposes within specified regulations. The Act would also accelerate the process of incorporating commercial UAS use into the current framework. If passed, the FAA would be required to act very quickly to establish the knowledge test and certification process for commercial UAS operators.

For an update on the FAA rulemaking process, check out PPA's past coverage of the issue. We will keep you updated on the progress of the Commercial UAS Modernization Act on the Hill!

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator.  She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan. 



By Chris Homer

Another week, another roundup! From business advice to lighting tips, you'll find it all below:
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BUSINESS: Since most photographers are entrepreneurs and small business owners, we know how easy it can be to become overwhelmed with everything involved with running your business. That's why this post from Fast Company is worth a read for all photographers. It lists 7 habits of people who are happy at work. Take a look, these tips are good to keep in mind when running your business! 

SOCIAL MEDIA: We've talked before about the importance of having a presence on social media for your photography business. With everything else on your plate, it can be tough to find time to work on your social media. That's why this post from Forbes is great! Read on for tips on how you can use social media without having it eat up too much time.
NAMING YOUR BUSINESS: If you're just making the transition to full-time professional photographer and need a name for your business, read this post from Name Kitchen first. PPA's own Director of Education and photography studio owner, Angela Kurkian, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, provides some good advice on things to keep in mind when picking a name. 

SALES: Are you struggling with making high-dollar sales for your portraits? This post from the Million Dollar Photographer is right up your alley. Make sure you don't hold any of the attitudes listed in the post about making sales; you may be hurting your bottom line!

LIGHTING: If you need advice on lighting for your wedding photography, don't miss this video featuring past Imaging USA instructor Ryan Brenizer from Fstoppers. He shares his top 5 lighting tips for weddings. 

STUDIO SETUP TIP: This post from Digital Photography School that lighting setups in your studio don't always have to be complicated to be effective. Check out 5 setups using only one light that you can use to get great photographs.
INSPIRATION: The National Geographic Traveler Photo Content is currently underway, and InFocus has a collection of some of the top entries so far. There's some powerful imagery here that just may inspire your own work!

NATURAL LIGHT: If you like to photograph using natural light, check out this interview on the Phoblographer. Photographer Susan Wasinger uses only natural light in her studio, and shares her processes and tips for this style of photographing in the interview. 

PPA COMPETITIONS: PPA Photographer Christine Walsh-Newton, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, is back in the round up this week sharing a recap of her experience at this year's District Photographic Competition. She shares the images she entered, how they scored and how she uses the District Competitions to prepare for PPA's International Photographic Competition. If you're thinking about entering this year's IPC (entries open May 26), check out this post. You'll find some good advice!

TUTORIAL: The newest version of Lightroom was recently released. If you use this software, this tutorial from Light Stalking is worth your time. It goes over how to use the new Panorama, HDR and Filter Brush features of Lightroom 6 step-by-step, as well as explaining what's so impressive about these features and how they can impact your photography.

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.

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.


PPA's Southeast District Competition has come to an end and the results are online. Congratulations to all who earned a seal of approval and will move on to this year's International Photographic Competition (IPC). Don't forget, even if you didn't merit this round, you can still rework your images and enter the IPC!

In addition to earning merits, the top scoring image in each of the 12 judging categories is selected to receive a PPA Southeast District Competition Award.

This year's category winners are:

By John Owens

Another week, another critique for your to Be More Competitive! And further reminder that entering the International Photographic Competition (IPC) is the best way to improve as an artist and photographer.

It can also help boost your profits. How? Better images = happier clients = more money for you!

To make the most of the IPC, we recommend you sign up (it's free) to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's International Jurors, who are themselves accomplished photographers. We understand that if you've never entered the IPC and had your images being critiqued the whole process can seem overwhelming. To ease your anxiety, take a look at an actual critique from last year. Below you'll see Ellen LeRoy's image "Lakeside Love" being reviewed by IPC juror Mark Garber, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. 

Ready to enter the IPC and improve your photography game? It's coming up so soon! Entries for this year's competition open May 26. Take the plunge and Be More Competitive. 


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.

Like every month, PPA is back on Washington to advocate with legislators for your photography rights! Small business owners are often overlooked by the law, but PPA is on the Hill to make sure photographers are accounted for in the upcoming new copyright legislation.

Yesterday, PPA's advocacy team met with Corey Cooke and Joe Hartz who both serve on the Hill as Counsel to the House Small Business Committee. 

"We discussed various issues affecting small photography businesses including copyright issues, health care concerns, and drone photography," said Lindsey Forson, PPA's copyright & government affairs coordinator. "This introductory meeting made sure these important people on the Hill know who PPA is and what issues are important to the 28,000+ photographers and small business owners PPA represents. The goal is to forge positive relationships with those looking out for the concerns of small business owners like photographers."

Today's agenda includes meetings with:

  • The Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

"There is a new coordinator in place and we want to establish a relationship with the office and make sure they are thinking about small business copyright issues," said Forson.

  • The U.S. Copyright Office

To discuss the Copyright review process.


I find this week's round up particularly inspiring. So get ready to feel good, stay happy and push your business to the next level!

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THE LOST GENERATION: Convincing your clients the need to purchase prints can be an uphill battle. Check out this wonderfully written piece by PPA Treasurer, Rob Behm, M. Photog., Cr, CPP, to see why it's so important and how you can better educate your clients. 

HEALTH: Here's an unpopular topic for many photographers - making time to take care of yourself! Everyone knows they should exercise, but TIME covers why it can harm your work if you don't.  
PERSONAL PROJECTS: Andy Baker of National Geographic clues you in on how to get noticed by potential clients, and why personal projects are so important. Check out the video from Behind the Glass in this great article from FStoppers.  

SKILL SETS: Improve your ability to effectively run a business with this piece from Inc. Even if you're a company of one, this is a great reminder if you ever hire a second shooter or office admin. Or if you're a larger organization, it serves as a great message about supporting, encouraging and taking really good care of your employees. 

DEFINING 'PRO': What makes you a professional photographer? InMyBag talked to five highly respected photographers, including Benjamin Von Wong and Missy Mwac, to get their perspectives. It's an eye opening read!

WATCH YOUR MOUTH: What are common characteristics of successful people? This awesome article by the Review Journal breaks down seven phrases that successful people wouldn't eversay, and (more importantly) why they would never say them.   

LEGISLATION PROGRESS: James Williams of the Federal Aviation Administration made an announcement this week on the status of upcoming drone regulations. Although it's taking a bit longer than we all would like, this is a step in the right direction. 

POST PRODUCTION: Photoshop can be your best friend in post-production, but these guys take it to the next level for some commercial shoots! Check out the time lapse videos on six plus hours of editing. It's amazing what you can do if you have that kind of time and skill.

PROTECTION: This great read from Fstoppers gives you a quick review on how to protect your images, but also talks about how your subjects are covered. Everything from architecture to tattoos could have a copyright. Stay educated on what's fair game and what needs some special permissions. 

HAPPY THOUGHTS: Let's end this week on a positive note! Join Imaging USA speaker Jeffrey Shaw as he chats with Cornell Thomas, author of "Power of Me, Army of One" on all things positive thinking and how it can change your business and your day-to-day life! 

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 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: Lauren Walters

If you're looking to make a bigger profit, PPA's Benchmark Resources are here to help revise your budget. A small change can make a huge difference in your business. In fact, a 1% decrease in your cost of sales and overhead expenses can save you as much as $50,000 by the end of the year.

For a retail studio, overhead expenses should estimate to about 40% and cost of sales at about 25%. Keep in mind that your profit depends upon the amount of sales for that fiscal year. For example, you need about $143,000 in sales to earn a $50,000 profit. Make sure to use PPA's Square One tool to see the change 1% makes to your bottom line.

The video below stresses the importance of creating a strategic budget and sticking to it! Watch and learn more about how to keep your sales and expenses in line with your new 1% budget.

For more information, visit PPA.com/Benchmark. Be More Profitable.

By Chris Homer

By now, you've heard us say this before, but we'll say it again: Entering your work into a photographic competition like PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) is one of the best ways you can improve as an artist. Having your work judged and listening to the critique can help you improve your images in ways you probably have not have considered before.

To make the most of the IPC, we recommend signing up to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's International Jurors, who are themselves accomplished photographers. We understand that if you've never entered the IPC and had your images critiqued the whole process can seem overwhelming! To ease your anxiety, take a look at an actual critique from last year's IPC. Below you'll see Matthew Kauffmann's image "Medic" critiqued by PPA juror Mark Garber, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. 

Ready to enter the IPC and improve your skills? Entries for this year's competition open May 26!

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.


By Robert Behm M.Photog., Cr., CPP
PPA Treasurer

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Tomorrow they may very well be gone. The treasured memories, the smile moments, the passing opportunities for a quick shot of everyday life with those we love. That vacation to the Theme park or National park or worse yet, a rare family get-together and the only shot was one taken with a cell phone camera.

As professional photographers we know the value of what we do, and hopefully we all take the proper steps to insure that our client images are properly backed up and stored safely and securely. Certainly we value every image we create... right?

This conversation is not a new one, yet I do not see or hear much change happening out there in terms of protecting people's personal images. Digital photography has changed the way we approach photography, and for the consumer it has made it more convenient. However that seems to have devalued photography. We already have a generation of young people who do recognize the moment or opportunity for a great photo but then have no after thought of what to do with it other than post it to a social media site thinking that somehow it immortalizes the image. Sadly photography has become disposable to the majority of our youngest generations.

I am the first professional photographer in my family, however I was engrained with the idea that photographs are treasures from a very early age. My paternal grandmother had a second generation Brownie camera and made photographs on paper from a very early age. She continued with other film cameras throughout her life and always made albums with analogue metadata carefully printed on the back of each image. Later in life she became interested in painting and was a pioneer in hand colorizing black and white prints with oil paint before the invention of color film. My Dad had a part time job as a darkroom assistant at a local portrait studio in the small town he grew up in. He too became enamored with the print and how it told the story of our lives together.

By Mariah Ashley

De-cluttering Your Message

I've been avoiding my bedroom lately. I only go in there at night. I don't turn on the light and just kind of hop from the door into bed. I definitely DO NOT look around. I'm afraid if I do I might see something really horrible. Something embarrassing. I'm ashamed of...

My closet!

I've been meaning to spring clean my closet for a while now; I just haven't been able to get motivated to do it. I sort of started, which yielded a bag of donation clothes but I never finished the job. I left it, door open, shoes spilling out onto the floor. It's been that way for weeks.

I thought, I'll just get rid of everything that isn't totally me. The problem is, I'm not sure exactly what that means. Is me a black pencil skirt or a ruffled bohemian blouse? Cause I've got both... Gah! Who am I? What do I like? How am I perceived? Classic or Artsy? Fun or Functional?

It was time to call in an expert, a straight shooter, someone who thinks my feelings are of no consequence--my 13-year-old daughter.

"What about this one?" I asked holding up a plaid shirt dress.

"Are you kidding? Frump Town."

"Ohhh-kaaay how about this shirt?" I ventured, showing her a turquoise and gold leopard print tank top. (I swear, it wasn't as ugly as it sounds).

"It looks like something a tacky granny would wear. And what is this material? It feels greasy." She replies tossing it in disgust.

James Williams, the Federal Aviation Administration's Chief of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, announced during a panel discussion Monday, May 4, that a final rule on the new regulations for small drone operation will most likely be made within the next 16 months. 

Of course 16 months might not sound ideal, as we would like for drone regulations to be improved now. However, the announcement of a time frame is a positive development. Additionally, given the complexity of the FAA as a federal agency and that just last month they received thousands of comments on their proposed regulations, 16 months or less is probably a better than what we could hope for in terms of a timeline. At PPA, we are confident that the new rule will make drone photography a feasible option for professional photographers.

Here is Williams' full statement:

"The standard timeline from the completion of a comment period to federal rule is 16 months. I believe that the FAA will do everything within its power to meet that timeline or beat it. It is a fairly complex rule and there are a lot of comments that have to be resolved, and it will take some time to do it. But it's an administrator-level priority to get this done, and I believe this interest is shared all the way up the chain inside the executive branch. I'm confident it will move forward as fast as humanly possible."

This statement follows last month's progress on new drone regulations. We will continue to keep you up to date as the situation develops!

With PPA, Be More In The Know.

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Liability Insurance can be purchased as an add-on to coverage included in PPA membership


PPA and partner Lockton Affinity, LLC, have reduced liability insurance rates for PPA photographers from $289 a year down to $236.

"This new rate is a huge deal for PPA photographers," said Kristen Hartman, PPA director of member value and experience. "It makes our liability insurance one of the most affordable out there for small businesses. We recommend all of our members get this extra coverage. In fact, many venues will require that photographers have it."

PPA's general liability policy is there for photographers in case a client or anyone is injured or if any property is damaged while on a shoot. In these instances--the photographer could be held responsible for damages and that means thousands of dollars in reparation or worse, legal battles. Some examples include if a client trips over a light and injures their arm, or the photographer backs up too far a knocks over a vase. That's where the liability insurance comes in.

"If something bad happens and the photographer is held responsible, it could be financially crippling," said Hartman. "This insurance is another way PPA protects photographers. Liability insurance is a great thing to have in your back pocket, as bad things do happen.

"It's important to note that liability insurance is not what most photographers currently think they have. It's different than home owners insurance, business insurance, or even equipment insurance, but it is much needed protection, especially for event photographers."

Lockton Affinity, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockton Companies (the world's largest privately held insurance brokerage firm) and is dedicated exclusively to the administration of insurance programs for associations, franchises, professional organizations and other affinity groups. Lockton Affinity designed for PPA a unique insurance program to meet the insurance needs of PPA photographers.

PPA's general liability insurance covers PPA photographers for up to $1 million per occurrence with a $2 million aggregate limit. For more information visit PPA.LocktonAffinity.com/BusinessLiability.htm.


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PPA's copyright team is back in Atlanta after spending the past few days in our nation's capital, advocating for the issues that matter most to professional photographers. Catch up on Tuesday and Wednesday's events, and then read the recap below for more details! Things are REALLY moving in the right direction on the copyright front!

By Lindsey Forson

This is an exciting time in the world of copyright policy. We're expecting to see proposed legislation, as early as this legislative session, which could result in the first changes to the Copyright Act in over four decades! This trip was effective in terms of our lobbying efforts and extremely educational in our understanding of what changes might be forthcoming.

One of the highlights of the visit was attending a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee during which Maria Pallante, the Register of the U.S. Copyright Office testified. This was the last hearing of a copyright review process that has been going on for more than two years. In 2013, Pallante was the first to call for the review of Copyright Law and administration. Since then, the Committee has held 20 hearings and heard 100 testimonies on the topic. It was only fitting for Pallante to testify again in the final hearing.

Pallante gave her perspective on what should be the Committee's priorities moving forward. She called for a modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office, addressing concerns with its organizational structure, I.T. capacity, budgeting, and staffing. She also presented items she believes are ready for legislative action. We were most excited to hear that a small claims process for addressing copyright infringements is (finally) on the top of that list. Pallante urged members of the Committee to take action now. Additionally, she presented issues in need of further investigation and analysis such as Section 512 of the Act and mass digitization. You can access her full testimony here.

The rest of our trip focused on lobbying appointments with members of the House Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee will be the group to propose new copyright legislation. We met with several freshman members of Congress who sit on the Committee or their staff members, to introduce them to who PPA is and the issues that are important to us.

By Chris Homer

We're back again with our favorite blog posts of the week! From branding to safety, we cover
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 a wide range of topics this week. Check them out below:

BRANDING: If you're a wedding photographer, one of the best ways you can set yourself apart from the competition is by creating a consistent brand in your photography. If you have multiple photographers in your business, or are thinking of hiring additional photographers, read this post from WeddingWire first! It covers some good points on how to make sure your employees represent your brand.

BUSINESS: Do you have a physical studio location? If you're thinking about opening one or have recently opened one, the Million Dollar Photographer covers 9 pitfalls you'll want to avoid when opening a studio!

MOBILE WEBSITES: We covered this in last week's roundup, but it's so important that we think it's worth sharing another post on the topic! Google has changed their search algorithm so that sites with mobile friendly versions rank higher than those without. Fstoppers has a great post on what these changes mean, and also provides a tool to rate how mobile friendly your site is!

SALES: Did you recently turn pro and have trouble making sales? Here are five quick tips to consider increasing your sales from Craftsy.

TUTORIAL: If you shoot long exposures, check out this post from Digital Photography School. You'll get some quick tips you can use to make stunning long exposure images.

DATA LOSS: PetaPixel breaks the news about a wedding photographer in Spain that was forced to repay his wedding clients over $8,000 for losing their photos. Don't let this happen to you! Did you know PPA's Indemnification Trust can help protect you in situations like this?

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS: Here's one for the sports photographers out there. Advancing Your Photography has a video featuring tips from top sports photographer John Todd. You'll get advice on how to draw emotion from your subjects and the different composition angles to get the best sports images.

INSPIRATION: We don't suggest abandoning your professional camera, but this post from Photography Monthly is a nice reminder of what a professional photographer can create with a simpler consumer camera. Check out the images photographer Meagan Blazier was able to create with an old Canon point-and-shoot.

SAFETY: PPA photographer Brian Mullins shares a harrowing story on PetaPixel. While photographing a wedding, Brian's hand was badly burned by a sparkler during the bride and groom's exit. It's a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings while out on a job, as you don't want to go through what Brian did! We're glad that Brian's OK and back to photographing now! 

JUST FOR FUN: Here's a fun photo collection to end this week's round up from 121 Clicks. Check out the images of photographers at work trying to get the perfect photo. They range from funny to cringe-inducing levels of danger.

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

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.


Copyright is arguably the most important legal concern for professional photographers. With a photography career, it is inevitable that you will have to deal with copyright infringements at some point. The following are real infringement stories from PPA photographers. These situations could happen to you, so read up and be sure you're prepared!                                                                                                                   
"I didn't know I couldn't reproduce the images."

PPA member Denise Watrous found an envelope of her photographs backstage at the event she was working. She noticed the photos were taken during a former job but they had been printed by a major chain retailer. Denise reached out to both the young lady in the photograph and the retailer about their infringement. The woman was apologetic and claimed she didn't know she could not reproduce the images. Turns out, Denise was able to maintain a good relationship with the consumer while taking steps to educate and ensure she would not repeat another infringement.

However, the retailer was not so apologetic and was quick to blame the consumer - this is when Denise called PPA. We discussed the situation and gave her some information on retailers' responsibility to follow copyright law. Denise held the retailer accountable - it is their responsibility not to print or reproduce a professionally-created photograph without written permission from the photographer, even if the consumer tells them otherwise! Denise was able to negotiate with the retailer's attorney herself to reach an agreement and get a payout. 

Denise's situation with this retailer inspired her to get involved in PPA's photo retailer awareness campaign for Copyright Awareness Month. Members can sign up to receive educational brochures to distribute to local photo retailers while discussing photographic copyright. This is just one more way to protect your images. If you would like to get involved, sign-up on the Copyright Awareness page on PPA.com!

Lessons Learned:

  • Stand up for yourself - it pays off! And you don't always need an attorney to do so.
  • Keep copyright conversations with you clients educational. It will help you keep and gain customers.
  • Educating clients and local retailers is crucial to protecting your images. Sometimes infringers don't know any better, but their ignorance can harm your business.

Even Celebrities Can Infringe On You

In this case, the PPA photographer must remain anonymous, as the situation is ongoing. This photographer took a collection of photographs at an event which they later posted in an online gallery in which one of the photos pictured a prominent celebrity. They shared the photo with a family member but did not give permission for it to be distributed, printed or posted. The photo then found its way onto the celebrity's social media pages.

Next, the photo was picked up by major publications, and when we say major, we mean major!  The photographer grew distraught as they thought about the amount of money they lost due to the lack of a photo credit. This member called PPA and has kept us updated on the situation. They are working with an attorney to try and recoup the lost payments.

For Your Consideration:

  • Inform/educate your clients! Make sure they understand you own the copyright, and that they have no right to print, post, or copy them without your consent.
  • Register your photos with the U.S. Copyright Office before you share them, especially photos that would be particularly vulnerable to infringements. This will help if you ever find yourself in a copyright legal case and affects the amount you can seek in damages. 
  • Mark your images as copyrighted before posting them. If anything, it will clearly show people that this image belongs to you. Remember that your images do not have to be registered for you to mark them. Example: © 2015. PPA (include your contact information for further visibility.)
Watermark your images with your logo or another visual cue before posting or sharing them. Again, it will clearly show the images belong to you.

Take extra care in explaining your clients what copyright is and how easily they can infringe without meaning it. Here are a few things you can do:


PPA is back in Washington advocating for photographers! CEO David Trust, Director of Member Value and Experience, Kristen Hartman and Copyright and Government Affairs Coordinator, Lindsey Forson, are there meeting with staffers and congressmen and women before they attend tomorrow's House Judiciary Committee Hearing.

Look for updates here on this post they report back! 

Update #1: Tuesday, April 28, 3:48pm

This afternoon, we met with Linda Shim, staffer of California Congresswoman Judy Chu's office. Congresswoman Chu is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and co-chairman of the Creative Rights Caucus. The meeting was productive as we talked about projects we can work on together to spread the word on the Hill about copyright from a small business perspective. 

We also met with Austin Smithson of Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert's (also on the House Judiciary Committee) office and talked about the copyright registration process itself. We showed him how this cannot be a one-size-fits-all process, which he was very receptive to. There are many different business models represented among copyright owners and the current approach is not working for everyone. 

We are looking forward to two more meetings today before attending the House Judiciary Committee Hearing tomorrow morning where the actual U.S. Copyright Office will present "The Register's Perspective on Copyright Review." We will have three additional meetings after the hearing.


By: Lauren Walters

Accidents happen -sometimes you may drop your camera or break a lens on the job. But what happens next? You have to pay out of pocket to fix or replace your gear and ultimately return to work. What if you didn't have to rely on your own savings account as an insurance policy? PPA can protect your photo gear with PhotoCare Equipment Insurance.

Why PhotoCare? Other insurance companies offer insurance policies that may fit your budget, but this one was crated for PPA, specifically to fit photographers' needs. Instead of going to a one-stop-shop general insurance company, PhotoCare Equipment Insurance will give you peace of mind; it's been created for photographers like you.

All PPA photographers receive up to $15,000 of equipment coverage as part of their membership--They just have to activate it (it's free) and PPA pays the insurance premiums! Best of all, it covers loss or damage of your professional equipment due to fire, theft or damage.

Don't risk your business or facing big out-of-pocket expenses. In the professional world it's not a matter of if but when, because things will happen! So if you're already with PPA, make sure you have activated your PhotoCare Equipment Insurance! To do so, go to My PPA and activate your equipment insurance!

Not yet a member? Join now and Be More Protected. It's that plain simple.


By Chris Homer

It's Friday, so you know what that means. You guessed it - time for our weekly rundown of
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 our favorite photography blogs from around the web. Enjoy them below!
WORKING ABROAD: If you ever do photo shoots in foreign countries, you'll want to pay attention to this post. PetaPixel reports on 13 American photographers who were thrown out of Indonesia for not having the proper permits for a photo shoot. Moral of this story? We can't expect clients to respect our copyrights but flagrantly break other laws.

COMPETITION IMAGES: PPA Photographer and PPAedu instructor Christine Walsh-Newton, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, has started a great new series on her blog. As a way to show the value of photo competitions, Christine examines different self-portrait entries that other photographers have entered in the International Photographic Competition (IPC). This week, she breaks down PPA Photographer Christie Kline's, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, "Soul Salvation" self-portrait entry. You'll learn all about how the image was created, and maybe draw some inspiration. Want to hear more on photo competition? Don't miss her "Certification, Competition, and Credentials: The Course for Continued Success" webinar on June 9! This live webinar will be free for anyone to watch; PPA members have the advantage to be able to replay it later at their convenience.

TUTORIAL: If you do HDR photography, you won't want to miss this tutorial from PhotoFocus. You will find tips on using the HDR tool which is now part of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. It just may improve your workflow!

INSPIRATION: In this interview on Fstoppers, Fashion Photographer Dana Pennington discusses breaking into the fashion photography industry as well as overcoming the challenges of moving from a mid-sized market in Denver to the huge market of Los Angeles. It's a great read for both fashion photographers and anyone that's struggling with moving to a new market! 

LIGHTING TIPS: If you do Macro Photography (close-up images) or have been thinking about getting in to the market, check out this post from Digital Photography School. It provides some quick tips for properly lighting these images that may come in use on you next shoot. 

EARTH DAY/JUST FOR FUN: April 22 was the 45th annual Earth Day. To celebrate, The Atlantic put up a great photo series of environmental images from throughout the years. Check it out, there may be something here to inspire you. 

BUSINESS: We're sure that headline grabbed your attention! While reading this post from the Online Photographer won't necessarily make you a millionaire, it does cover good points on something all photographers (especially those just starting out) struggle with - giving away your work for free! If you've ever done this before, read up! Working for free may not be the best marketing strategy out there. 

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY: Here's a great post for the landscape photographers out there. Photofocus has compiled a list of 10 quick tips you can use to make your landscape images have more impact.

BUSINESS: You may have heard that Google has updated their search algorithm so that sites with mobile friendly pages rank higher than those without mobile friendly pages. If you're confused by what this means for your website, PhotoShelter has provided a great guide on the changes, as well as how you can check to make sure you are mobile friendly. 

BUSINESS: If you're thinking about making the transition from part-time to full-time photographer, read this post from Digital Photography School first! It provides some good things to think about before making the leap into full-time professional.

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.

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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