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By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta is rapidly approaching. As you make preparations for the convention, consider signing up for a pre-convention class to increase your photographic education opportunities!
 
While Imaging USA has a whole host of classes included with your full-access registration covering topics that all photographers can learn from during the convention from January 10-12, there are also additional classes occurring from January 7-9. These pre-convention classes require an additional fee, but the class sizes are limited to smaller groups, meaning you'll get more one-on-one attention from the instructor! 

Pre-convention classes range from multiple day workshops, like PPA's Business Workshop or the Certification Preparation Class, to full day classes on topics like using Lightroom, learning Corel Painter, getting your images ready for the International Photographic Competition, and more! 

Plus, there's also Hands-On pre-convention classes, where you'll go out on a photo shoot with the instructor and practice the skills you are taught with your camera! These classes are shorter, so you can attend multiple classes during the day and get all the hands-on practice you want.
 
Find the complete list of pre-convention classes on the Programs By Day page on imagingusa.org. Make the most of your educational opportunities at Imaging USA and sign up for one today!

Visit imagingusa.org for more information on registering, hotels, travel and more. 


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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Can you believe August is half over?! Where has our summer gone? We hope you've spent yours doing good things, building your business and learning new tips and tricks. To add to that list, here's our top ten blog posts of the week for you!

MOTIVATION: Put an end to being green with envy and put into action a plan that will get you there. Whether it's your perfect session, returning clients or just more revenue, you can do it if you take the first step. See how Rachel Brenke of theLawTog makes it happen.

CONTENT IS KING: High school photographers know more than anyone how important it is to keep active on social media. The problem is, all of that activity can take up a lot of your time. See how you can repurpose that great content with this blog by Nancy Nardi from Seniors Ignite. 

LIGHTING: Many photographers preach the joys of soft lighting, but there's a case to be made for hard light. Join Chris Gampat on an exploration of hard light and the benefits your images will see by using it. 

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS: The contract is signed, the deposit is in, and now your client is making extra demands. Everyone can use a refresher on how to say "no" effectively (and politely). Here's a video from Imaging Resource and Ted Forbes from the Art of Photography that provides an excellent guide on how to say no, but keep your clients happy!

PERSPECTIVE: It's always a goal of a landscape photographer to showcase the expansive space they are trying to capture, but how do you do that effectively? Read this great article from Spencer Cox on Photography Life and discover the six ways to showcase the size and scope of your subjects.

MARKETING 101: Being able to reach your target consumer in an easy and effective manner is extremely important. The fine folks at FStoppers are here to give you three ways to better target your marketing materials to your ideal consumer in this must-read blog post.  

PLANNING: If you've got your eyes set on a great trip to Atlanta in January, you might want to book your hotel sooner than later. Atlanta is a busy convention destination, especially in the winter months and room prices outside of the Imaging USA block can get pricey! Find a roommate and grab a room at one of the four official convention hotels today!

PODCAST: Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP & Gary Hughes, M.Photog.Cr., are back for Photobomb! They talk about all things IPC related, and chat it up with PPAedu and Imaging USA speaker Jen HIlenga, M.Photog.Cr.! This podcast is full of shenanigans and photography, so if you need an entertaining podcast for the car, check them out. 

SHIFT PERSPECTIVE: This is a great article that puts this paradox into perspective: it's not because millions of photos are taken each day that professional photography is declining. It's about the younger generation's thirst to create a proof of our presence on this planet. Take a moment and see what you think about the author's perspective from PhotoShelter.

See How the Indemnification Trust Helped This PPA Photographer
MALPRACTICE PROTECTION: The Indemnification Trust is a mouthful, but it can save your business. Learn what the Trust provides in this video to see where Abbie, a PPA photographer, explains how she was affected and how she was able to get out of a sticky situation. 

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

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

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By Sarah Ackerman

Save yourself the trouble of searching for a good rate - PPA has already done the work and negotiated discounted rates for you during Imaging USA! And there is a variety of options to suit everyone's needs. 

Omni Hotel at CNN Center

Stay attached to the action! Luxurious comfort embraces pure style at the elegant, four-diamond Omni Hotel at CNN Center with views of the spectacular downtown skyline. Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, this hotel is also connected to the Georgia World Congress Center (Imaging USA's home!) by an enclosed walkway, making it the most convenient and incredibly comfortable option; we should add that it's connected to the CNN Center with its large food court and major Atlanta attractions are within a short walking distance. 

Hyatt Regency Atlanta Hotel

The Hyatt Regency is a landmark destination on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. In 2011, the hotel completed a $65 million transformation that renewed its look and feel, but also its dining experience, technology and functionality. Some of the amenities include complimentary internet in guest rooms! The Hyatt Regency is also located within blocks of many downtown restaurants and attractions and Atlanta's metro, MARTA. 

Bonus: while the Hyatt is an easy walk from Imaging USA, as January isn't the warmest month in Atlanta, there will be a courtesy shuttle bus provided to the Georgia World Congress Center for Imaging USA guests!

Holiday Inn Express Atlanta Downtown

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Atlanta Downtown is a 173 guest room property conveniently located within walking distance to Atlanta's best attractions and just blocks from the Georgia World Congress Center. Holiday Inn offers a complimentary full hot breakfast, wireless internet, local calls, and all rooms are equipped with microwave, mini fridge and coffee maker. There also is a business center and fitness center for your personal use at no charge! 

The Glenn Hotel, a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel

Located in Atlanta's Downtown business district, and extremely walkable to the Georgia World Congress Center, the Glenn is an urban boutique hotel. You'll feel fancy schmancy as you stay in this reasonably priced hotel (thank you Imaging USA discounts!) Rooms include complimentary wireless internet access, ample working space and a warm ambiance, business center usage, fitness center, bottled water and coffee each morning. Plus since it's a part of the Marriott family, you can earn points or use them towards your stay.

As you're preparing for your trip, we also wanted to bring to your attention a few scams we've heard about as of late. It has been brought to our attention that there are multiple third parties claiming to represent Imaging USA and offering Exhibitors and Attendees alike "assistance" with hotel bookings. These third parties are aggressively cold-calling and spamming companies whose names appear on ImagingUSA.org. Please be aware, these third parties are not in any way affiliated with Imaging USA and do not give you the best discount, like Imaging USA gets you. Please book your hotel using the links/phone number provided at ImagingUSA.org/Travel/Hotel. PPA is working through the proper channels to put an end to this poaching and apologizes for their deceptive behavior. Here are some of the scams we've heard about that you should be aware of. ImagingUSA.org/Scams.

Visit ImagingUSA.org to book your hotel and register for the conference. We can't wait to see you in Atlanta!

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

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By John Owens


There's a bajillion reasons to go to Imaging USA, but how about a little bonus inspiration?! Renowned motivational speaker and Paralympian Amy Purdy is coming and will give a keynote presentation Sunday morning at 10am. If you haven't already, make sure you register now because you won't want to miss this life-changing session!

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Who's Amy? Amy Purdy is known for overcoming the loss of her legs at age 19 to become a Paralympic bronze medalist in snowboarding. Purdy's spirit and attitude led her to become a New York Times best-selling author, model, TED Talks speaker, and even landed her on the screen with roles in independent film and as a contestant on TV shows like ABC's Dancing with the Stars and CBS' The Amazing Race. While doing all this, she also found time to co-found Adaptive Action Sports, a nonprofit organization which helps those with permanent disabilities to get involved in action sports; and to top it all, she is getting ready to release a clothing line in spring 2016.

Because Amy's program is truly a game changer, no other programs will conflict with her address. Check out her under 10-minute Ted Talk for a preview on what's to come!

Imaging USA 2016 will be held January 10 to 12 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. More than 10,000 professional photographers will spend over three days of everything photography from education to inspiration as well as some photographers-only shopping opportunities.

Imaging USA has also blocked rooms at several nearby hotels for attendees to take advantage of the reduced pricing. This is a coup in itself, because there is another convention downtown Atlanta at the same time as Imaging USA, which is causing local hotel prices to sky-rocket.

There are many different ways to experience Imaging USA, including but not limited to the full conference, a full conference plus pre-conference courses option, parties only, and tradeshow only.

Visit ImagingUSA.org for complete registration information and pricing options. And keep checking back for updates on speakers, classes and event schedules. Each year, Imaging USA helps photographers Be More Inspired, Be More Motivated, Be More Creative and Be More Connected. Consider joining the experience and kick off 2016 right. We hope to see you there!

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

By Chris Homer

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

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

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

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


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.



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Aaaaaand Imaging USA is off!


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Record numbers of photography pros are piling into the Gaylord Opryland. We're already nearing 11,000 with 2 more days to go! We've got photographers from China, Sri Lanka, Italy, France Korea, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Germany, Belgium, and more plus the good ol' US of A. New Orleans, Mississauga, Vancouver, Albuquerque, Chicago, Hollywood and a solid turnout from the locals here in Nashville. 


Wherever you came from you brought your energy. It's contagious! There's a great vibe going on in here, and we can't thank you all enough for coming and creating it. Have you mastered getting around?








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!

1.       5 Tips for Successfully Marketing Yourself at an Industry Trade Show

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!

2.       Why Sports Illustrated Laid Off All of its Photographers

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?

3.       Joshua Kane: Running a Destination Wedding Photography Business

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.

4.       Pixels to Paint: Mixing Photography and Printmaking Yields Beautiful Results

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.

5.       India Through a Lens: The Nation Embraces Photography as Art

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.

6.       Study Finds that Professionally Captured Photos Are More Memorable Than Amateur Ones

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.

7.       Johnson Publishing to Sell Historic Photo Archive

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.

8.       Street Photography: It All Comes Down to Editing

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!

9.       Photographer Suing Nike Over the Origins of the Famous Jordan "Jumpman" Logo

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?

10.   Photographer Captures Enchanting Landscapes Inspired by The Brothers Grimm

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!

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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:


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.

By: Lauren Walters 

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This week, take a stand as a photographer. Sign a petition or commend those who give back. Check out the top ten blog posts from this week.

PUBLISHING: Do you walk through book stores scrutinizing book cover photography? Maybe you could do it better? Join a stock agency to get your work out in the world! Read more to find out what it takes to sign with a stock agency.

CONVENTIONS: Learn how to prep for conventions like Imaging USA. Which preconvention events pique your interest? Read this "must see" list of events for Imaging USA. Get ready, the fun starts next week! 

GRIEF PHOTOGRAPHY: After diagnosed with a severe heart condition before birth, the parents of this child turned to a non-profit organization "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep".  The experience for both the parents and photographer was an emotional one. However, the portraits helped the parents cope and aided the healing process. 

TUTORIAL: Shooting on a sunny day? Perfect your photos by capturing all the tones in your shot. This blog explains how to punch up your photography using dramatic range.

PHOTOGRAPHY FEES: In Fairfax County Park, authorities enforced a $100 fee for commercial photography back in 2011. Why? The park was overrun with publicity due to weddings and other commercial photography. Will they finally reconsider?

PETITION: Are you using a left-handed camera made for a right-handed photographer? Well, you just might be in luck! Sign the petition on Change.org petition to request that Canon designs a left-handed camera.

COMPOSITION: If you're off to a coast anytime soon, these quick tips from Digital Photography School will help you make the most of any seascape photographs. Learn the rules, and learn when to break them here!

DECISION TIME: In business (and in life) we all get caught up in the process of making decisions. Imaging USA speaker Jeffrey Shaw is back on his podcast with Brian Whetten and they are here to guide you through the process of finding big wins in your decision process. Your weekend can always use a little more inspiration!

EDUCATION: What should we be learning as photographers? The question is: are we learning it? Read about the parallels drawn from music to photography education. 

PROFESSIONAL vs. AMATEUR: Educate your potential clients with PPA's #PhotoFails video. Showcase simple mistakes that can ruin their experience with an inexperienced photographer.  

Tune in for next week's Round Up! If you have a blog you want us to check out, let us know on theLoop!

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By Chris Homer

A third generation photographer, Luke Edmonson has the craft in his blood! He's been a
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 professional photographer for nearly 20 years, starting out in commercial photography and then teaming up with his father in 2003 to create Edmonson Weddings. We chatted with Luke about defining style, his career as a photographer, what inspires him and more. Here's the recap of the interview:

1. What would you say is the biggest difficulty people usually face in defining their style?
The biggest difficulty in finding a style is finding your own voice and doing the work to discover who you are and what you want to say. It's not simply a matter of the type of photography you like or admire. It's not simply your ability to execute what you want when creating your imagery. You have to know the "Why" behind what you are communicating.

It's about understanding and knowingly pursue what is behind your vision when you are capturing a moment, your subjects, how you light, direct or pose them. So, an artistic style, at its very core, requires introspection. Something that as individuals many of us do not want to do. It requires you to become still...to be quiet...to reflect with intent.

I like this quote from Katherine Anne Porter, Pulitzer Prize winning author, who says succinctly "You do not create a style. You work, and develop yourself, and your style is an examination from your own being."

Let's examine that for a minute...

a. You don't create a style? Then what is all this talk about "finding your style" or "creating your style" that you hear bantered about? Perhaps it's just marketing speak to make it more palpable to the audience who is listening. Who wants to hear about work when the world sells us on the premise of "easy, fast and simple"? But don't for a second betray yourself to think that discovering something is easy. Especially when it involves learning about yourself. What is it that you bring to each photo shoot that shapes the direction of the imagery you capture?

b. You work and develop yourself? Yep, it's a never-ending process of growth periods, plateaus, and sometimes darker times. When things get stagnant, it's up to you to make the changes necessary to break through. When you are on top of the world it's about fighting complacency. None of us ever have it all truly figured out. However, with growth and development, some challenges as a photographer that may have taken hours to solve visually can be solved in mere minutes, once you've had that proverbial light-bulb moment.

c. Your style is an examination from your own being? Like most of us, you probably became a photographer when you fell in love with it. Perhaps, it was because of its immediacy. Perhaps it was because of how it made your feel when people complimented your early eye. But now that you have been in it for longer, what keeps you in the field? What drives you to create? When you look back on your work, what patterns and tendencies do you see? How have you transitioned from WHAT you see when you shoot but HOW you see, think and feel when you shoot? Have you had to persevere and overcome challenges in your photography? Your fingerprint is firmly implanted on every image you create. I encourage you to study it and understand it!

If you want to become a better photographer, it starts with becoming a better person. How can you pour out your life into others if there are areas in your own life that are holding you back from doing just that?
By Sarah Ackerman

Get to know hometown favorite, Russ Harrington before you hit the road to Imaging USA! Russ is an accomplished photographer, specializing in celebrity and musician clientele (we hear Nashville is a pretty awesome spot for that sort of thing). 

What made you want to get into photography? 
Our family always took pictures, so when I got my first 110 Kodak for Christmas, it was on!

What should people expect to take away from your class?
I'm going to show tons of photos! People will get to see different lighting ideas, how to work a location and what all goes into a celebrity shoot. Things they may not have thought of like renting RV's for the glam teams, working with assistants and what not. 

What is your favorite part of a photo shoot?
When the [music] artist gets on set and you do that first test. It all comes together at that point. You finally see how the light looks on your artist and not your assistants, you see the wardrobe you've picked for the setup. If it's a big shoot, we've built sets, pre-lit them and have wondered how the artist will fit in the vibe or world you've created. Sometimes, we might have 10 setups that we're doing that day. No matter what, I still get that cool feeling when I see the first shot pop up on the Mac.

 What do you enjoy about shooting with musicians?
I am, in general, a music fan. So getting to know them, photographing them and then being able to see your images represent them is a very special thing. Musicians just have a cool vibe, you want to capture that. You want to capture images that they love and that their fans love. Granted, some would rather be far away from a photo shoot, but they know it's one of those things they have to do. In the music industry, fresh images are a must. The bonus is they are generally more creative than the average client. Artists and celebrities are pros, they move like models and I just love shooting them.

 How did you get into the celebrity/musician market?
I photographed models for years so it was a natural progression. Fashion is all about the angles, the lighting, the location and wardrobe, and that's basically celebrity photography. I started showing my model portfolio to Christian Music Labels at first and started to shoot a ton of those. My big break was an editorial shoot with Trisha Yearwood, which I'll go into during my presentation. 

 What has been your favorite photo shoot of all time?
There's not a "favorite" necessarily, but I've had a lot of cool memories and images that I love every time I see them. I do have to say when Loretta Lynn calls you her photographer, that's pretty dang special. Brian Setzer is one of my favorites for sure, rockabilly singer and master guitar player from the Stray Cats. I could photograph him every day - he's just cool! I also got to do a big gig in LA for Dr. Pepper and Chelsea Handler. It was awesome, but I had butterflies for sure. 

What's the biggest mistake you made when you were just starting out?
You have to remember, I started shooting professionally in 1983. I've done some dumb things, but every year I tried to get better and make more money than the previous year. At one point I made a joke about an artist's hair that was pretty amazing and said "If I could afford a toupee like that, I'd be all over it!" Well, what do you know - it was a toupee. Whoops!

What's the best part about being a Nashville photographer?
This is my town! I grew up here, I met my wife here, we raised our boys here, and now to see what's happening with how popular Nashville is getting is crazy. We've put our loft on Airbnb.com and its awesome meeting folks from around the world that want to visit.

Country? Or... country?
I love the twang, I love a steel guitar, I love bluegrass, I love Jack White, I love Keb' Mo'. I just love music.

Join Russ for his class "Music & Celebrity Portraits" on Monday, February 2nd from 10 - 11:30 AM and discover how to manage the workflow when dealing with people in the spotlight. 

If you haven't registered for Imaging USA yet, there's still time! Head to ImagingUSA.org/Register today - we can't wait to see you in Nashville!

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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

Itching for news in the world of photography? Here are our top ten blog posts for this week. From tips and tutorials to adventure and high art, this week's top ten is a creative cluster.

 

1.       Imaging USA: The Next Stage of Your Photography Career Begins Here!

EVENT: Become more knowledgeable, connected, and confident by attending Imaging USA. This convention hosted by PPA takes place on Sunday, Feb. 1 - Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Nashville, Tennessee. Read this article to find out about all the benefits it has to offer. Come join the fun at Imaging USA!

 

2.       The Consequences of Working for Free

BUSINESS: Relating the life of a photographer to a life of a circus performer, this blog shares a few concepts of working the circus life that seem all too familiar to us photographers. There is no publicity value in working for free. North America has a silly belief system that work should not be enjoyable, therefore we should only be paid if there isn't enjoyment. But, don't sell your skills for free just yet! Value your work and yourself as a professional. 

3.       How to Make Artistic Multiple Exposures In-camera and in Photoshop

TUTORIAL: Interested in expanding your portfolio with creative pieces? Try a multiple exposure piece! From abstract to artistic portraits, regardless of the medium, this tutorial covers it all when it comes to multiple exposures. Have fun experimenting!

4.       How I Learned to Stop Taking Photographs and Start Making Photographs

PARADIGM SHIFT: Going from taking photos to making art can be a huge step. A common struggle among learning photographers can be focusing on a shallow depth of field. As soon as you start to learn that photography is a story telling device is when you start "making" photos instead of "taking" them.

5.       Why Photographers Aren't Artists

ARTISTS vs. PROFESSIONALS: As a photographer, do you consider yourself an artist? This blog distinguishes creative individuals as craftsmen, artists, professionals and finally entrepreneurs. Furthermore, this blog explains that true artistic geniuses such as Beethoven no longer exist. Instead of artists, we've become professionals.

 

6.       Help Unravel a Gordon Parks Southern Mystery

HISTORY: They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The featured photograph dates back to 1956 in an Atlanta airport. Relations of race and gender are assumed through this intimate photograph. Although, the details of this photo still remain a mystery today.

7.       Help, I Am Being Sued for Nearly $500,000 by a Model I Photographed

COPYRIGHT PROTECTION: After signing a release, participating in the shoot and getting paid, a model decides to sue the photographer for the photos getting stolen. The model signed a release allowing her photos to be used as stock, but they got stolen off her personal Facebook page after posting them herself. You won't believe where the images wound up!

8.       Gotham 7.5K A Rare High Altitude Night Flight Above NYC

AERIAL, BY NIGHT: "Gotham From Above" was shot from a helicopter 7,500 feet above the ground of New York. Capturing aerial photographs can be quite a challenge; helicopters vibrate, so the photographer had to use a relatively high shutter speed. This project showcases the scale of New York City.

 

9.       Photographer armed with just a SWORD braves threat of wolves and -50C in Siberia to snap awe-inspiring Northern Lights images

-50C AURORA BOREALIS: Into the Siberian wilderness, a Russian photographer ventured to capture images of the Northern Lights. Because of temperatures (as low as -50C), the photographer designed a coat to protect his camera. We applaud this photographer for braving such harsh conditions for the sake of art. Take a look at the results!

 

10.   Stunning Photos of Acrobatic Dancer Leap and Twirl Amid Dynamic Clouds of Powder

COMMERCIAL VS. FINE ART: Check out this high art marketing campaign. An acrobat dances in a cloud of powdered milk to create the most stunning photography designed to sell creamer. Did this approach make you crave creamer?

 

Enjoy this week's blog posts? Check back next week for more excitement! If you have a blog you want us to check out, let us know on theLoop!

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By: Lauren Walters

           

Thom Rouse began his career in 1994. He now splits his time as a portrait and commercial photographer. With two diverse sides to his career, Thom has mastered the art of photography. In the following interview, he tells us about himself as an artist.

 

What is your definition of "fine art"?

 

I wouldn't dare try to define art! My thought is that if you have a personal experience with literature, music, a painting or a photograph, then it must be art. We don't really need to define it, agree on it, or consult a critic to decide what it means. If we have an experience with it, positive or negative, I think it must be art.

 

Who are some of the artists who inspire you?

 

There are many artists who inspire me and the list changes daily. Among those near the top of my list are Salvador Dali, Gustave Klimt and Tintoretto. Among photographers, I'd include Steichen, Julia Margaret Cameron, Gordon Parks and Irving Penn. As soon as I start a list, I can think of 30 more I should have added.

 

Why do you teach classes for other photographers?

 

        It sounds trite, but I like to teach because I learn so much from it. It pushes me to think and evaluate the things I think I know about my process and my craft. While teaching, I often have some self-revelation about my own image making and I always learn from other photographers, usually from the newest newbie in the room.

 

You've had over 50 images go Loan - what do you enjoy most about photographic competitions?

 

        My reasons for entering competition have changed over time. When I started, I was solely trying to make the judges happy and earn merits towards a degree. Once I earned my degrees, I tried to make and enter images that I liked the most and were unique to me. At that point, I stopped looking for what I thought would achieve the highest scores. If we're not learning from competition, I see no reason to compete. We all need to present our work and receive feedback; it's a part of our ongoing creative process. No matter where we are in our careers, photographic competitions guarantee to make us better image makers. The more we enter competition, the more we have to work at stretching ourselves. It pushes us to take chances and do work that advances our vision; not just entering images that will earn more merits.

 

What makes photography such a versatile medium of expression?

 

        It's great to be a photographer: a time when the medium has become more versatile than ever! I started later in life at 40 years old, but the 20 year span of my career has encompassed the transition from film to digital capture. As much as I loved the traditional darkroom, I came alive with digital post production. During that time it has become an entirely new medium that encompasses painting, compositing and extensive possibilities for post-capture manipulation. The technology has created endless opportunities, yet we have to remind ourselves that we still create images with our eyes, hearts and minds. That's what makes photography truly versatile.

 

Do you pursue any other creative endeavors?

 

        Sadly, I do not. I gave up music 30 plus years ago; although, I'm greatly inspired by other media. I fantasize projects in other media, but I've never acted on it.

 

What is your favorite image you've captured?

 

        I have several favorites because they were influenced by very personal experiences that captured, expressed and expanded those experiences. I think the best and most impactful work is done when it's grounded in your personal experience.

 

Who should take your class at Imaging USA?

 

I think that photographers in any genre and at any experience level will find something of value in my program. I'll be making the case for spending time on fine art and how fine art will translate into added success in commercial and portrait work. Creating and displaying fine art expands your reputation as an artist, and will contribute to both your image making skills and to your bottom line.

 

What are the top 3 things people should take away from your class?

 

1. Pursuing personal fine art will keep you fresh, alive and vibrant as an image maker.

2. These days everyone is a photographer - being recognized as an artist elevates your status and recognition in the market.

3. Fine Art translates into skills and styles that let you create work like no one else in your market.

 

Elvis, Johnny Cash, or Jack White?

This is trick question that should be answered with "all of the above". I know that Elvis and Johnny Cash have influenced nearly everyone that's followed, but my first choice for listening right now would be Jack White!

This must be a based on Nashville connections; otherwise I'd be voting "none of the above" and writing in Miles Davis!

Come listen to Thom speak at Imaging USA in Nashville, TN. He will conduct a course called "The Case for Fine Art" on February 1, 2015. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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By: Lauren Walters

Let's get to know one of our speakers who will be at Imaging USA in Nashville, Tennessee. JulieAnne Jonker has her master of photography and photographic craftsman degrees from PPA and is also a certified professional photographer (CPP). In the following interview, she sheds some light on her career as a photographer. 

Who's your class for?

Any photographer, really. It's about inspiration as much as what it takes to get your photography studio to the next level. I'll help you direct your business based on your definition of yourself as an artist

What are the top 3 takeaways from your class?

At the end of my class, you will be able to understand 3 things: 

1. Who you are as an artist

2. What direction you want to take your studio in 2015

3. How you can operate a low-volume, high-end studio in this economy

Define your style as a photographer in 5 words.

My style reflected in my photography is vintage, ethereal, classical, compelling and timeless.

What makes your portrait style so unique?

The influences that I continually derive from the fine art world shine through my work and define my photography style.

What is your favorite medium of expression besides photography?

Outside photography, there are two outlets I use to express myself: painting and sculpting.

What was your proudest photographic moment?

Being invited and voted into the Camera Craftsmen of America has to be my proudest moment as a photographer.

What is one marketing mistake many photographers make when they are first starting out?

Inexperienced photographers tend to compete on price, and price only, to get their foot in the door, but that presents them as cheap studios with too many sales and specials. 

What do you want to be known for?

As an artist I'd like to be known for creating timeless pieces.

Elvis, Johnny Cash, or Jack White?

Definitely, Jimi Hendrix.

JulieAnne has had a long streak of success. Learn from her at Imaging USA in Nashville! You'll have two opportunities to hear her speak: on the business panel "5 Golden Nuggets" and in her solo-class called "The Portrait as an Art Form"

If you haven't registered for Imaging USA, you can do so now at ImagingUSA.org/Register! We can't wait to see you in Nashville! 

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By Chris Homer

February is approaching quickly, which means it's almost time for Imaging USA 2015 in Nashville! To help you make the most of the conference, the Imaging USA mobile app is now available for free download. This app will allow you to create your own schedule, find and network with other attendees, stay up-to-date on conference updates and specials through social media, participate in the game to win daily prizes and much more! 

Make the most of the app when you get to Nashville! Take a minute to watch the quick tutorial videos below. You'll learn how to use the exhibitor, speaker, schedule and mapping features of the app, where you can post to social media and find important information, how to build your own agenda and how the game works (there are prizes for top ranked attendees each day!).

Exhibitors, Speakers, Schedule, Mapping


News, Information, Social


My Event


Networking


Game

By Sarah Ackerman

This year at Imaging USA you will find a completely new thing... the Merit Café. There you'll find a series of short seminars, from Sunday to Tuesday, by the International Photographic Exhibit. These sessions are geared to getting you familiar with and better prepared for future photographic competitions ! This These 30-minute short format sessions are restricted to first come, first serve for seating. Get there early and soak up all of the knowledge you can from these amazing International Photographic Competition (IPC) experts! Questions will be more than welcome, so ask away!

Here's what's on tap:

Sunday, February 1
1pm "Using Titles [of your images] to Your Advantage" - Larry Lourcey
1:30pm "The Road to Becoming a [Image Competition]Judge"- Kimberly Smith
2:30pm "The Judging Process: How an Image Becomes a Merit" - Donna Goodhale
3pm "Print Presentation" - Carl Caylor
6:30pm "Becoming a Master Photographer" - Gabriel Alonso
7pm "What the Heck is the Artist Category?" - Doran Wilson

Monday, February 2
1pm "Using Titles to Your Advantage" - Larry Lourcey
1:30pm "The Road to Becoming a Judge" - Kimberly Smith
2:30pm "The Judging Process: How a Print Becomes a Merit" - Donna Goodhale
3pm "Print Presentation" - Carl Caylor
6:30pm "Recognizing Impact in Your Images" - Ryan Brown
7pm "12 Elements of a Merit Image" - Jeff Dachowski

Tuesday, February 3
11:30am "What the Heck is the Artist Category" - Doran Wilson
12:00pm "12 Elements of a Merit Image" - Jeff Dachowski
1:00pm "Becoming a Master Photographer" - Gabriel Alonso
1:30pm "Recognizing Impact in Your Images" - Ryan Brown

Please note: schedule subject to change. Follow @ImagingUSA on Facebook and Twitter for last minute show changes or download the Imaging USA mobile App!

PPA's District Competitions will be underway shortly after Imaging USA, so use this valuable opportunity to ask all of the questions that are causing road blocks to your future with photographic competitions. 

If you haven't registered for Imaging USA, you can do so now at ImagingUSA.org/Register! We can't wait to see you in Nashville! 

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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.


Are you still on the fence on attending Imaging USA? Don't just take our word on why it's so great, listen to why Sharma Ferrugia decided to attend and what she got out of it.
 

In addition to networking with over 10,000 of fellow photographers, exploring 600+ tradeshow booths and learning from some of the industry's best photographers, you also get to know you're starting 2015 off on the best foot possible! With Imaging USA, you're building your education for your business, inspiring your creativity and networking so you'll have the best support system possible when it comes to any challenges you face throughout the year. 

Registration is still open at ImagingUSA.org/Register. Remember, hotels are filling up fast! As a matter of fact, the Gaylord Opryland, the headquarter hotel, is 99% sold out! (This is not a marketing push, this is a fact). So here's a quick list of nearby properties. And as always, head over to theLoop to make new friends before you arrive, find a roommate or just ask any questions that might come up in your planning process!


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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.

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By Sarah Ackerman

Prem Mukherjee - Imaging USA 2015 instructor and current PPAedu instructor stopped by theLoop this week for an AMA (Ask Me Anything). 

Prem is a wedding and portrait photographer from the great state of Michigan. After getting his degree in mechanical engineering, he spent the first 10 years of his career in corporate America before transitioning into running his studio full time. 

Prem puts the business into all sides of his photography studio - and that's clear in his AMA. By creating efficient systems and quick turnaround times, he is able to maximize profits!

Here are a few of our favorite moments with Prem: 

On what inspires him before a shoot (as a huge fan of social media, this struck a chord with me):
We primarily use Pinterest for inspiration before a shoot. It's quick and easy to use and seems to consist mostly of high quality professional photos as opposed to doing a Google image search.

On turnaround time:
First, I should put a disclaimer and say that we do not do a super-fast turnaround for all clients. Most clients of ours are local and we do the shoot one day and typically schedule the order session the next day they are available - which is sometimes the day after, sometimes a week after. For the clients that are really busy or for anyone coming from out of town...those are the times we do everything on the same day.
We usually do the shoot from 10am -11am, have them go grab lunch and come back at 1:30pm-2:00pm. By then everything is edited and the ProSelect gallery is made, and I've had time to eat lunch myself. 

On creating efficient systems:
For weddings, I cull things down quickly, do minor Lightroom adjustments for color, contrast, exposure to all the keepers, and then Photoshop the best 30 pics and then it's done.
For portraits we usually cull it down to about 40 shots and do full touchups including everything from skin softening to liquefy if needed.
People typically spend more when they are fully edited and look awesome! For the full portrait retouching, I use some various actions that allow me to do full retouching in 1-1.5 minutes per image so it doesn't take all that much time to get the work done.

Don't forget to stop by for Prem's class at Imaging USA! His class "Easy Techniques to Triple Your Dollars Per Hour" will take place on Monday, February 2. Register now if you haven't already done so! Registration information for Imaging USA is available at ImaginUSA.org/Register.

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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.

Have you heard? Peter Lik is coming to Imaging USA. Yes, that's Peter Lik, M.Photog., world-renowned landscape photographer, multi upon multi-million dollar print seller and host of From The Edge with Peter Lik, which aired for one season on The Weather Channel and asked the question, "How far are you willing to go to get the perfect shot?"

Peter will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award Tuesday night at PPA's Award & Degree ceremony. He will also, for the first time ever, open up to a crowd of photographers and share his experience and insider's view to his showbiz-size operation. This high-energy Aussie definitely has some stories to tell so make sure you don't miss An Evening with Peter Lik, Monday at 8 p.m.

And if you're wondering what a multi-million dollar print looks like, some of Peter Lik's amazing (and supersized) work will be on display next to the International Photographic Exhibit. See what all the buzz is about Sunday-Monday, 8am - 8pm and Tuesday, 8am - 3:30pm.

Peter recently sat down with PPA president, Susan Michal, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, to share his excitement for Imaging USA. Take a look!


Rooms for Imaging USA are filling up fast. In fact, as we are publishing this post Opryland is already at 80% capacity! So don't miss your chance to stay at the center of it all.  

Register for Imaging USA and reserve your room today. Don't forget, if it's your first year with PPA your registration is free and for everyone else, early bird registration saves you $50 through December 31stSee you in Nashville!


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

 



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