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Results tagged “Techniques for Photographers” from PPA Today

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

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

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


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

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

by James Yates

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We're stuck right smack-dab in the middle of June and it's getting hot out there! Grab a Popsicle, crank up the a/c and take a look at our top blog posts from around the web for the week of June 13. 

PPA Advocacy Team D.C. Updates Parts 1 &
BE MORE ENGAGED: PPA was back on Capitol Hill fighting for a Small Claims Copyright option. Progress has accelerated! Check out the latest details here. 

SPEAK OUT: Have you joined our Action Team? If not, there's no time to waste. Watch this informative video and lend your voice to this historic movement. 

JOIN UP: PPA Member Randy Van Duinen, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, with a plea for all to join the Grassroots Team. 

PASSION V. PAYCHECK: FStoppers has an intriguing op-ed about doing what you love for a living and the reality that some people may thrive with an unrelated day job, pursuing their dreams in their spare time. Is one better than the other? Several links and opinions offered in this thought-provoking read. 

INSIGHT: The Phoblographer with an article on New York-based photographer Aundre Larrow's tips and tricks that could change how you think about portrait photography.


by James Yates

The International Photographic Competition (IPC) is now open. Have you entered your images? IPC gives photographers the opportunity to improve their work through competition and critiques from some of the most noted photographers in the business. Entering the International Photographic Competition has many benefits, including:

Engage with the passionate and supportive photographic competition community 
Improve your best work (Raise your hand if you want to get better!)
Earn the admiration and recognition of your peers
Ultimately improve your business

Your images will be evaluated based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the areas in which you may need improvement. It's an amazing learning experience!

Entering your work in a competition can be scary for first-timers. So, to make it a little easier, here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image is "DENIA" by Jamie Mezquida and is being judged by International Juror James Wyant, M.Photog.Cr..

Take a look back and see how constructive criticism from the judges and application of their feedback can improve your work as a photographer.



We hope this critique will give you a better understanding of what the judges are looking for when scoring your images. Enter your images into the International Photographic Competition today! Registration is open from now until June 22, 2016. Late registration extends to July 7, with an additional fee. Be sure to enter your images by 5 pm EST on June 22 to avoid paying the extra fee! The IPC judging dates are July 31-August 4, 2016 and you can stream it live at Stream.theIPC.org. Be sure to request a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art. Familiarize yourself with the rules for the Photographic Open and Photographic Artist categories today at www.PPA.com/IPC!

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James Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.


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By James Yates

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New York City-based fashion, portrait, and commercial photographer Jeff Rojas saw an opportunity and went for it. He noticed there were plenty of classes and workshops on how to photograph women, but, men? Not so much. Now, Rojas teaches other photographers how to get the best results from male subjects. His less-is-more philosophy, including attention to styling, dealing with men's insecurities (hello, receding hairlines) and the difference between directing and posing have made him internationally renowned at the age of 27. 

Read about Jeff and how he gets the best from his male subjects in, "Manly Pursuits," on the newly redesigned PPmag.com website.

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James Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.
by James Yates
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It's time to alert your non-PPA member friends. Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in spreading the wealth of education that PPA members have at their fingertips! The PPAedu library has a lot to help you sharpen your photography techniques, marketing strategies, sales techniques and business operations. These tutorials and educational videos are available 24/7 at no cost as a benefit to PPA members. Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, you can tap into over a thousand programs to help you Be More! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision, take a look. There's a new website with a slew of new episodes!

For the month of June, the video Photoshop: Retouching for Beauty with PPA Instructor Jen Hillenga, M.Photog.Cr. has been unlocked. In this video, Jen teaches you how to enhance your subject's beauty, using some quick and easy Photoshop tricks. You'll first go through the options you have with Photoshop, like controlling exposure, color, crop and vignette. Then Jen will take you through the steps to use so that you don't go overboard or lose the integrity of your images. Drilling down into specific tools, you will explore vignette creation and blemish removal, using the history brush, adding shadows to naturally enhance, and applying selective blurring techniques for extra effects. In her easy and effective way, Jen breaks this down so that you can take your images from beautiful to breathtaking!

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

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.


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By Sarah Ackerman

As you expand your photography business, you don't know what you don't know. Asking questions on theLoop to expand your knowledge is a great place to start to learn about any area of photography! With 29,000+ PPA members behind you, there's bound to be someone who has been in your shoes and can offer a word of support or advice.

This month, we're highlighting the thread concerning fast recycle flash or strobes for portable use. Check out what your fellow Loopers had to say:

James Corbett: I shoot mountain biking events and use my Canon Speedlite 580EX II off camera in high speed sync mode with an external battery pack. Perhaps because of the overly dreary day this past Saturday and my position in a stream valley, the typically speedy flash cycle time was impaired. I think because of the need for maximum output every shot. This caused me to miss more than the typical trailing racers.  Any thoughts on options for something small and quick enough to pack into the woods?

John Lee, CPP: What's your budget?  If you want to use multiple speed lights, then you can bring each one to a lower power that'll increase your flash duration.  You can also use the HSS that'll kill the power output and battery life, but you're freezing with your shutter instead of the flash duration.  You're not freezing with your flash duration if there's too much ambient light, by the way.

To eliminate all of this,, I would suggest the elinchrom ELB 400 unit with the Hi-sync flash heads (you'll have to buy a remote for this that'll enable you to use Hi-sync technology though).

You can also use the profoto b2 for its HSS tech (also need a remote).  By spec, it's less power than the Elinchrom though.

The profoto B1 also has the HSS feature and it's 500 w/s.  With the right modifier (profoto magnum) you generally will not have a problem with the ambient light.  Or you can just use the HSS feature along with its remote.  Only drawback with the B1 iss you'll need a "beefy". nightstand for it, especially if you're placing it high and outside.  Definitely need sandbags also. The other 2 options, although a "beefy" nightstand is great, but the flash heads weigh nothing so it's not absolutely required, just sandbags.

by James Yates

Want to enter into a serious photographic competition? Been thinking about entering again or wanting to take the first-time dive? PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) begins accepting entries May 23. It's time to start preparing your images. It's through competition and critiques of your work by professional photographers that you can truly grow and evolve as an artist.

Entering the IPC is one of the best ways to improve your craft, especially if you choose to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's Jurors! You can have your images evaluated and scored based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the areas in which you may need improvement. It's an amazing learning experience!

We know the process can seem intimidating for first-timers, so here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image called "Colors" was created by Jamie Mezquida and is being critiqued by PPA juror Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API.

Take a look and see how entering a photographic competition can improve your own work as a photographer through constructive feedback like you'll hear in this critique.




We hope this critique can help you get a better understanding of what the IPC judges are looking for when scoring your images. Start preparing your images for the International Photographic Competition! Submissions are open May 23-June 22, 2016. Late registration extends until July 7, with an additional fee. The IPC judging dates are July 31-August 4, 2016 and you can stream it live at Stream.theIPC.org. Be sure to request a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art and Be More Prepared.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.
by James Yates

Want to enter into a serious photographic competition? Been thinking about entering again or wanting to take the first-time dive? PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) begins accepting entries May 23. It's time to start preparing your images. It's through competition and critiques of your work by professional photographers that you can truly grow and evolve as an artist.

Entering the IPC is one of the best ways to improve your craft, especially if you choose to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's Jurors! You can have your images evaluated and scored based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the areas in which you may need improvement. It's an amazing learning experience!

We know the process can seem intimidating for first-timers, so here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image called "Cloud Surfing" was created by Heather Cook, M.Photog., and is being critiqued by PPA juror Rod Brown, M.Photog.Cr.

Take a look and see how entering a photographic competition can improve your own work as a photographer through constructive feedback like you'll hear in this critique.



We hope this critique can help you get a better understanding of what the IPC judges are looking for when scoring your images. Start preparing your images for the International Photographic Competition! Submissions are open May 23-June 22, 2016. Late registration extends until July 7, with an additional fee. The IPC judging dates are July 31-August 4, 2016 and you can stream it live at Stream.theIPC.org. Be sure to request a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art and Be More Prepared.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.


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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BizChallenge_blogpost_650x160.jpg103 PPA photographers quietly kicked off the new PPA Business Challenge in February. Since then, two more groups have gotten underway with well over 300 participants at PPA.com/Challenge.

The Business Challenge helps photographers improve their business by building a stronger foundation with a focus on sustainability and profitability. The April group has already experienced two weeks of business-changing assignments, Q&A webinars, inspiration, check-ins, recaps and mark-your-calendar alerts. It's a great way to confidently build your business and not go it alone!

#1 No nonsense business advice
Led by PPA Director of Education Angela Kurkian, this 12-month Business Challenge is THE place to come for small-business help specifically developed for photographers. It is a sound framework to help PPA photographers steer their studios in the right direction. Don't be afraid to take the Challenge! Kurkian explains, "A lot of the things (the participants) are nervous about are things that being a member of PPA will help with (i.e. pricing, marketing, value through certification and becoming better at the craft of photography through photographic competition)."

#2 Peer-to-peer support group & accountability
The Business Challenge was developed to help hold photographers accountable in their attempts to improve their studios. One of the most popular and rewarding components of the Business Challenge in that regard are the questions and answers in the forums, where Kurkian poses questions to the group for an honest, frank discussion among peers. The questions can be complex, or as simple as "What are you afraid of?"

Here are some examples of the candid answers pulled from the group:

Q: What are you afraid of? What stops you from taking action?

"Will people value me?"

"My biggest fear is that I'm going to fail and look like a complete fool for even trying. I worry that my work isn't worth anything, that my peers view me as just another mom with a camera, and that I won't earn their respect; and I worry that I'll never find a client that values my work."

"I worry that maybe I AM talented but I'll let my fears squander it away or that my lack of business acumen will outweigh that talent."

"People will not pay our prices and will go with cheaper alternatives. People do not value our art or our time. My phone will stop ringing. We won't be able to afford/maintain our lifestyle."


But don't get too bogged down in the muck of negativity! Sharing with your peers is a wonderful way to see how alike we all are. Once these obstacles have been identified, it's only a matter of banding together and learning how to stomp it out with knowledge, hard work, and support from
PPA and your peers. We're all in this together!

#3 Safe practice for your own business
PPA is constantly developing new curriculum, offering webinars and advice to inspire and ignite the Business Challenge participants, and pushing them to greater success as artists and business people. You'll even notice Wes Roberts, who completed the Studio Makeover Challenge last year, hanging around the forums and offering great advice as someone who's been through the program.

Check back in a couple weeks, where we see what's going on with April's class one full month in...maybe some of their fears will be alleviated? (Spoiler alert: They will be!) Sign up now for the May class! Over 50 members are already on board! It's your turn to take control over your business and Be More! Sign up for free at PPA.com/Challenge.

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By Chris Homer

PPA is dedicated to delivering photographers the best education available through the over 350 photography course videos available on PPAedu, as well as the 800+ videos on PhotoVision. In addition to these recorded courses, PPA hosts courses that you can attend from your computer LIVE as they happen. Check out what we've got coming up in April below!

April 21, 2016 - 2 ET
Skill Level(s): ALL
FREE for All Photographers

There is a lot of information out there about what is legal and what is not when it comes to drone photography. This webinar will separate fact from fiction concerning current regulations. More exciting is that regulatory changes from the FAA are on the horizon which will make legal business-related use of drones much more achievable. Tune in to find out what you should expect and when you will likely see these changes take effect. At the end of the webinar, there will be a Q&A session with PPA's Manager of Government Affairs who has been in communication with the FAA's UAS Integration Office.

April 26, 2016 - 2 ET
With Andrew "Fundy" Funderburg
Skill Level(s): ALL
FREE for All Photographers

Join the founder of Fundy Software, Andrew "Fundy" Funderburg, as he walks you through how to significantly improve your workflow and maximize your studio profits conducting in-person sales. Design and sell wall art and albums with ease and flexibility, while also ensuring your clients walk away happy.

Remember, these courses are open to ALL photographers to attend live, so register today! If you want to access the recordings of these courses and the full PPAedu library of 350+ videos as well as the 800+ streaming courses on PhotoVision, you'll need to be a PPA member. Join PPA today!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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By Sarah Ackerman

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in the power of education for all (it's normally reserved only for PPA members)! The PPAedu library has a lot to help you sharpen your photography techniques, marketing strategies, sales techniques and business operations. These tutorials and educational videos are available 24/7 to PPA members.  Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, as a PPA member, you can tap into over hundreds of programs to help you Be More! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision (PPA's newest member benefit), take a look, there's a new website with a slew of new episodes!

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For the month of April, the video "Soft Selling with Intense Results" with Kristin Privette has been unlocked.  It's available for anyone who wants to learn how use a simplified system of soft selling techniques to generate significant results!  In this video, Kristin works through her 10-step process for wedding sales. Learn the language, the specific steps they take their couples through and the selling techniques that anyone can learn and be comfortable using. 

If you're a member of PPA, just log in to watch the video anytime. Non-members will have access to this video this month only at PPA.com/TryEdu. For full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos, join PPA today!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By James Yates

You already have the art of photography down, but is your business where you'd like it to be? If you find yourself wanting to learn how to boost your bottom line, the new PPA Business Challenge is for you! The Business Challenge provides photography business owners with the information and tools they need to develop the foundation for a more profitable business over the course of one year. Not only do they receive the tools required to make changes to their business, but also step-by-step instruction and support from PPA mentors as they implement these changes.

We all know that photographers are entrepreneurs, small business owners with a passion for their craft. We also know that many photographers open their studios as artists, more often than not, not having gone to business school, nor carrying a finance background. It is part of PPA's mission, as a nonprofit, to help our members understand and implement the basic business principles needed to maintain a sustainable studio. The Business Challenge is meant to be a fun, interactive way for PPA members to integrate as much business acumen as they can in one year's time. There is work involved, as this "challenge" is meant for photographers who are serious about wanting to take their business to the next level. Participants will have tasks to complete and the opportunity to be active members of accountability groups and peer-to-peer mentoring. "PPA's business advice is based on years of experience and successful business mentoring," says Angela Kurkian, Director of Education at PPA. "The new Business Challenge will help our members be more business-confident. It will help them think and strategize as a savvy business person."

Kurkian began brainstorming the concept of the Business Challenge over two years ago and 01-16-ppa-imagingusa-sun-9251__large.jpgan earlier form of the program debuted as the "Studio Makeover Challenge" at this year's Imaging USA in Atlanta. When she started noticing the average photographer needed business help, Kurkian knew it would be a difficult road for many members but she asks everyone keep one question in mind: 'How does change feel?'

"This is going to be a big change for these artists, and change is difficult. But when you decide to create change, change occurs all around you." Two small business owners/photographers (Krista Newbill, Wes Roberts) were chosen to go through a year-long business boot-camp with some of the best studio owners in the industry as their mentors.

Throughout 2015, the two participating studios' strengths and weaknesses were evaluated, their definitions of success were taken into account, and their top five goals for the year were contemplated. From this, five leading photographers including Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr.,CPP, ABI, API, Dave Doeppel, CPP, Ashley Brooke, Greg Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP and Kristin Privette, who all run successful studios, called and consulted with the participants all year, coaching them on implementing new steps for their businesses. These steps included setting new sales goals, creating appropriate pricing strategies and outlining a marketing plan, among others. "Your business doesn't have to look like any one way or one thing," Kurkian says. "That's why we wanted to show different examples of how these businesses can maintain their unique identity while still implementing changes that will increase their profits and make them sustainable. The program was a success and we decided the next phase for this project would be to expand it to all 29,000 of our members."

PPA's Business Challenge is free to PPA members (Not a member? Consider joining today!). The Challenge includes tools to understand and develop the foundations of a profitable business with:

•    A month-by-month, step-by-step support system
•    Answers to the most vital business questions
•    A personalized success and business plans
•    Lists and guidelines to help prioritize
•    Inspiration and help to stay focused
•    A framework to avoid getting overwhelmed
•    Accountability partners with other photographers with the same challenges

Want to join the Challenge? Sign up today at PPA.com/Challenge any time. When you join, you'll be put into a Challenge Group beginning on the first day of the following month. Then, for the next 12 months, you'll work on your personalized success path. Not only will you receive the tools required to make changes to your business, but also step-by-step instructions and support as you implement these changes. These smaller sized groups create a community of peers for you to share and mentor with as you go through the same program together.

Sign up today to begin your Challenge Group on April 1st and Be More Business Savvy!

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by James Yates

PPA's Northcentral District Photographic Competition judging is happening this weekend and the Southwest District judging will take place the first of April. While entries for these competitions are now closed, you can watch the live stream of each and witness the judging online as it happens!

If you missed your District's Photographic Competition, but want to still enter in a serious photographic competition, PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) begins accepting entries May 23. It's never too early to start preparing your images!

Entering a District competition or the IPC is one of the best ways to improve your craft, especially if you choose to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's Jurors! You can have your images evaluated and scored based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. You'll receive an actual recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you the components of YOUR image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the areas in which you may need improvement. It's an amazing learning experience!

We know the process can seem intimidating for first-timers, so here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image called "Cappuccino for Three" was created by Debra Klawetter, CPP, and is being critiqued by PPA juror Tina Timmons, M.Photog.Cr., CPP.

Take a look and see how entering a photographic competition can improve your own work as a photographer through constructive feedback like you'll hear in this critique.


We hope this critique can help you get a better understanding of what the IPC judges are looking for when scoring your images. Learn more about when and where the District competitions are held here and then head to Stream.theIPC.org to watch live streams of the District competitions and also start preparing your images for the International Photographic Competition! Be sure to request a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art and Be More Prepared.

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By James Yates
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We're all getting ready to "spring" our clocks forward this weekend (unless you're one of the lucky folks who lives in a Daylight Savings Time-less zone!) but don't let that make you miss a single hour of great photography reading. Here are our top blog posts we've found for you from the week of March 5-11.

Thumbtack Study Predicts 2016's Biggest Wedding Trends
BUSINESS TRENDS: Thumbtack, an online service that connects consumers with skilled professionals, released their first annual Thumbtack 2016 Wedding Trends Report. Wedding photographers should definitely check out the stats...turns out the average couple will spend 20% more on weddings this year!

Why Your Professional Business Headshot is Important
PEP TALK: "Your Headshot is Your Face to the World" is just one of the several key points Imaging USA speaker Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP makes in this post. Learn why YOU need a business headshot and share the information with your clients.

Backup-Peace-of-Mind
PRO TIP: Great piece by Tony Corbell, Cr.Photog., API on the importance of image and file backup and a how-to with Time Machine if you use a Mac.

Photography Tip: How To Restore Pictures Deleted From a Memory Card
DON'T PANIC: Ever accidentally deleted or erased files on your camera's memory card? Here's a refresher by Photography Talk on how to restore images deleted from SD cards using both free or purchased software.

5 Legal Mistakes Photographers Make and How To Avoid Them
STAY LEGAL: Digital Camera World wants to make sure you're operating above board and has published this article to help. We see photographers asking questions about these common issues every single day on social media!

5 Ways to Use Cinemagraphs in Digital Marketing Campaigns
TRENDS: Cinemagraphs are becoming a tool for marketing purposes at studios around the country. Here's a cool list of ways to use them effectively.

Six Photography Mistakes You May Not Realize You're Making
HELPFUL REMINDERS: Fstoppers helps out this week with a great article on common mistakes photographers make and how to fix them. Check it out because some of these might not be that obvious to you!

The Darkest Material on Earth is Now Even Darker
SCIENCE OF LIGHT: PetaPixel on the amazing darker dark being developed. It's really exciting stuff on light reflection and how it applies to modern photographic principles.

2016 Underwater Photographer of the Year Winners
UNDER THE SEA: We know you underwater photographers out there are gearing up for the warmer weather to arrive! Here's a recap of award-winning underwater photographs and how they were captured.

The Photography Industry Today
REAL TALK: PPA photographer Christie Kline, M.Photog.Cr., CPP has a Facebook Live video on the importance of live education and challenging yourself with photographic competitions.

BONUS ARTICLES: There was so much great content this week, we couldn't help but share not one, but two bonus articles for your reading pleasure!

Google Trains an AI to Geotag a Photo Just by Looking at the Pixels
ROBOT OVERLORDS: Overview of Google's use of Artificial Intelligence to Geo-Locate where photos are taken using pixel info. Really interesting since this is what will be integrated into more and more social media sites in the coming years.

Americana Photographer Captures the Laid-Back Cool of California and Its People
INSPIRATION: Sometimes it takes an outsider to really see the beauty in the mundane. Creative Boom has this piece up about a UK photographer, Garrod Kirkwood, who traveled to America recently and took the opportunity to document his experience and the people he met. "The resulting series, aptly named Americana, follows his quintessential style - all soft muted colors, simplicity and laid-back cool - capturing the heart of America's Golden State."


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

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By James Yates

With so many helpful videos to choose from, why wouldn't anyone want to be a part of PhotoVision? PhotoVision is a photography learning website that provides 24/7 online tutorials, founded by PPA photographer Ed Pierce, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. The PhotoVision series provides a range of educational information from some of the biggest names in the professional photography industry. From helpful tips to processes that photographers can use when considering every element of their business, these videos have it all. They range from helpful information in green screen techniques to constructing a social media and digital marketing plan and so much more. The best news? PhotoVisionVideo is available at no cost to PPA members!
 
Need some convincing on why to join PPA, consider subscribing separately to PhotoVision! Every month, PhotoVision unlocks a FREE video available for everyone to stream. We're so sure you'll love it and gain insight from it that you'll want to come back for many, many more.
 
This month's free video:

Simplified Studio Lighting

Featuring Ed Pierce & Lori Nordstrom




In this video, Ed Pierce and Lori Nordstrom hold a senior photography session in Lori's spacious studio. They discuss the benefits of continuous lighting and clarify how to set a proper white balance in order to cut down on post-production correcting. Ed also shows how to use common studio equipment in unusual and beneficial ways. 


Check out PhotoVIsion today! Just one more way PPA is helping you Be More Informed!


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by James Yates

Registration has opened TODAY for PPA's Super 1 Day Photography Workshops! The workshops are scheduled to take place between May 9 and May 23, 2016. For those two weeks, hundreds of studios across the country will hold day-long workshops covering every topic from portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, to digital retouching and workflow and sales and marketing strategies. The workshops comprise a full day of photography education for professional photographers.Super1Day_1200x1200.jpg

In Scottsdale, Arizona, they can learn lighting and posing from Andrew Faulds, M.Photog., CPP and Ryan Higgins, CPP. In Alexandria, Virginia, attendees can experience a complete location senior portrait session with Kelly Schneider, CPP. Do you live closer to Owensboro, Kentucky? Master Photographers Kate and Jason Higdon will be there to go over their "Social Capital" theory on how to network with clients.

Super 1 Day aims to strengthen the photographic and business skills of professional photographers. Classes are taught by photographers who host seminars in their studios (or other locations), with the proceeds going to support PPA educational projects.

Classes are expected to be a full day, so that CEU merits can be awarded to both attendees and instructors. You have three easy ways to register:
•    ONLINE: Register online for only $99 between March 2, 2016 and May 3, 2016.
•    BY PHONE: Call your PPA Customer Service team at 1-800-786-6277 to register by phone until May 3, 2016.
•    ONSITE: All registrations after May 3, 2016 must be completed onsite and in-person for $120. Please contact the instructor prior to attending to ensure there is space available.

PPA will send confirmation letters with class information to all pre-registered attendees. Not a PPA photographer? Don't fret! All photographers are encouraged to attend.
 
To get all the latest info on Super 1 Day, head on over to PPA.com/Super1Day.

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By Sarah Ackerman

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in the power of education for all (it's normally reserved only for PPA members)! The PPAedu library has a lot to help you sharpen your photography techniques, marketing strategies, sales techniques and business operations. These tutorials and educational videos are available 24/7 to PPA members.  Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, as  a PPA member, you can tap into over 1,000 online programs to help you Be More! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision (PPA's newest member benefit), take a look, there's a brand new website with a lot of new episodes!

For the month of March, the video "Romantic Posing in an Architectural Setting" with Hanson Fong, M.Photog.Cr., has been unlocked.  It's available for anyone who wants to learn how  to marry the beauty of your surroundings with the beauty of your wedding couple.  Hanson discusses the lighting, lens and camera equipment needed, and then he goes into detailed posing techniques for your bride. You'll learn how to position her, both individually and with her groom for the most flattering shots.

Hanson focuses on the variety of photos you want to create -- changing the lighting, lens, camera angle, position and posing.   Only 10 minutes of your time will add to your skill set, teaching you how to expertly and efficiently capture beautiful memories.  

If you're a member of PPA, just log in to watch the video anytime. Non-members will have access to this video this month only at PPA.com/TryEdu. For full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos, join PPA today!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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You never know who you may meet or what fun you might have on theLoop, PPA's online community reserved just for our members. Discuss, ask, learn, network...theLoop is there to strengthen your business by leveraging the power of community!Thumbnail image for theloop_128.jpg

Valentine's Day recently came and went and lots of people got engaged, which got us thinking: what are some quick tips on bringing out the big L.O.V.E in couples during engagement sessions? We put the question out on theLoop and here are a few things we learned from you, our valued members...

"I look for the moments right before the kiss, and in between, the way they look at each other and interact. I want portraits of the relationship not the act. A sure sell is one looking at the camera with the smallest hint of a smile and the other gazing at them... I will often say "I need to check light in this new location just relax a minute", and I get some of my best shots when they think I am not shooting. I also see how they really are as a couple in that moment."-- Joanne Fabian, Photographer/Owner, J Gray Fabian Photography, Souderton, PA

"I prefer to reserve the questions about their life and relationships for during the session because I can get lots of great shots with spontaneous reactions when they answer my questions, together... It's always a little harder in the beginning to get them to relax with each other and with me so I do a lot more talking in the beginning of a session to get them to feel more comfortable... Just remember that these couples are in love, we don't need to ask them to act it! It's just a matter of making them comfortable with you and the love will show!"--- Orita Issartel, Orita Issartel Photography, PPA member from Miami, FL

"I usually ask them to kiss and smile, kiss and smile. The more they do it, the more they begin to giggle together and relax, and I get some great body language in their images this way. It helps that I also tell a lot of corny jokes and have the couple laughing with me for the majority of their session!... I always save the more serious poses for the end of the session. By then, the lighting is more dramatic and the couple is comfortable enough with me to do whatever I ask of them. These are some of my favorite images, where they are focused on their love and each other, and I can get a more dramatic shot. This one ends up being ordered as a large print almost every time!"--- Melissa Brewer, Wedding Photographer and PPA member from Columbia, SC

"I like to set couples up and then ask them to tell me about the first time they met, now look at each other and remember how you felt then. It creates more of a moment to capture instead of just a look."--- Elizabeth Kilgour, Echt Photography, PPA member from Calgary AB

Be sure to stay "engaged" (get it?) in theLoop all year long and don't be shy: ask questions! It's only through sharing with your peers and gaining feedback that you can grow as an artist. www.theLoop.ppa.com



by James Yates

As we turn the corner on January and what was an amazing Imaging USA month here at PPA, let's take a look at some of the best blog posts from Jan. 25-29, 2016. From the secrets of creative people to Imaging USA highlights and wrap-ups, there's something for everyone! Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Weekly_Top_Ten_Excited.jpg

1. Imaging USA 2016, Imaging USA 2016 Review, & Imaging USA Fresh Look
IMAGING TOURS: Ann-Marie Ford has a great set of pics from Imaging up on her AM blog. Brian Striegler Photography recapped all three days of Imaging in great detail. Judith Chauvette took tons of model shots from Imaging USA and posted them to her Fresh Look blog. If you missed out this year, look through these and be very jealous. Then, mark your calendar to join us for Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, January 8-10!

2. Copyright: PPA Helps You Be More Informed, Be More Prepared, and Be More Involved!
©ACTION NEEDED: PPA's Lindsey Forson educates us on all the latest developments in U.S. Copyright Law. PPA has been advocating tirelessly for changes to the law that will protect small business, high-volume photographers. Check out how you can get involved as soon as legislation makes it to the floor of Congress.

3. Six Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People
CREATIVITY BOOST: Inc.com studies some of history's greatest creative minds and came up with this eye-opening list of daily habits they have in common. These six strategies have the power to change the way you think about creativity.

4. A Beginner's Guide to Working with Flash Off-Camera
LIGHTING HOW-TO GUIDE: In this tutorial, Digital Photography School shows you the quick and easy steps to shooting portraits using off-camera speedlights. From gear and setting up to step-by-step lighting, this Beginner's Guide is a must-read if you're working with off-camera flash.

5. Eight Ways to Separate Yourself From the Competition
BUSINESS HACKING: Rosh Sillars wants to help you get noticed and earn what you're worth. His eight steps aim to add value to what you do. Stepping outside of your bubble, engaging with worldwide cultures and trends and sending unique thank-you cards are just some of his tips for standing out from your competition.   

6. Time Lapse Imaging USA Trade Show Opening
TIME LAPSE TELLS A STORY: Check out this delightful footage from Successful-Photographer.com from the floor of the Georgia World Congress Center. See all the first-day madness from the bottom of the escalator when the Expo doors finally opened! 

7. Adulting with Randy Van Duinen
IMAGING RECAP: PhotoBomb guys Booray and Gary interview Randy Van Duinen for a three-part Imaging Recap podcast. Check out this second show, which is all about Randy's history and tips on how he makes a living with architectural photography.

8. Closing the Loop: Photographer Susan Michal
LEAD & INSPIRE: Read or listen to the amazing life story of Susan Michal, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, courtesy of WJCT, Florida. Learn how her music background combined with her passion and talent for photography and led her all the way to the Chairmanship of PPA.

9. Capturing the Female Form with Master Photographer Sue Bryce
IMAGING USA FAVORITE: RollingOut.com gives a play-by-play of one of the most popular classes at Imaging USA 2016: Sue Bryce. Find out why the packed audience was so excited to learn from one of the fashion world's greatest photographers.

10. Imaging USA 2016 Was Incredible!
EXPO VIDEO: Broadcast Pro Photo takes you on their journey of what made Imaging USA so special. Check out their iMovie video tour of the Expo floor and feel like you're really there. 

Hope you are as inspired and excited for 2016 post-Imaging USA as we are! This is going to be a great year! And please let us know what photography blogs or podcasts you follow! Post your favorite on theLoop or email us links at OnlineContentCommitee@PPA.com 
Thank you!


By Sarah Ackerman

If this is the year you want to Be More Creative, start pulling together your images for PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC)! 

The IPC is dedicated to helping photographers be more creative and more artistic in their photographic pursuits. You'll be able to build on your best work, elevating the quality of your craft  for both your personal projects and paid jobs alike, but more importantly, you'll elevate the quality of your output for your clients. Through this competition, photographers who are also PPA members are eligible to achieve PPA exhibition merits toward their Master of Photography degree.

Why participate in this photographic competition? 
•  Take your finest work to the next level
•  Earn recognition from your peers
•  Engage and learn from an incredibly passionate and supportive community
•  ...As a result, improve your craft and photography business!

Sounds like a win, win! Check out why thousands of photographers participate each year, directly from them right here.

Are you wondering what judges will be looking for in the images? It's a thorough process where they'll compare your work against PPA's official 12 Elements of a Merit Image. In the past weeks, we've posted real critiques from past IPC entries. These images range from different styles of photography and different subject matter to varying levels of success in photographic competition. You can even see critiques from images that made it all of the way to PPA's prestigious Loan Collection! Watch these critiques and use them to get over the fear of participating. This is truly a supportive community and the judges give you specific examples of what you've done well and areas you could improve in the critique process.

Read the IPC rules today and see how you can push yourself to Be More Creative in 2016! Submissions open May 23, 2016.

Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 

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