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By: Lauren Walters
PPA is constantly helping photographers be more successful through the benefits, education, copyright advocacy and more offered with membership! As a nonprofit photography association (and the largest!) that's what we do! PPA photographers use and make the best of their membership in many different ways. What matters is to leverage that pool of resource that PPA pushes forth for photographers. Take a look at these "Behind the Camera" videos. This series shows real photographers and how THEY are putting PPA to work for them. Consider how or how else YOU could be using PPA too.
Atlanta-based photographer Arlene Dicks touches on an issue ANY
photographer fears and eventually faces: Data Loss. What happens when your hard
drive crashes or your memory card malfunctions? Do you have your clients' work
backed up on another device? Are there ways to get the files back?
Data loss, hard drive sudden death, memory card deep water dives and other accidents compromising your photos do directly jeopardize your work and... can be a death sentence for some businesses. Watch the video below to learn how PPA helped Arlene with recovery after such a mishap.
Data loss protection comes with most PPA memberships, head to PPA.com/MyPPA to see if you're covered. If your hard drive crashes, PPA can refer you to specialist to recover damaged or lost files and your deductible should cover you. Oh and if you're clients are threatening to sue because of data loss issues... your PPA membership covers you for that too, but that's in another piece we wrote on malpractice protection. Long story short, if you are not with PPA, consider it and... Be More Protected.
Join PPA today and Be Proactive!
Prom season is coming up! For a photographer, prom can be a tricky setting to work in - not to mention the formality of the portraits. So how do you survive a prom photo session? Read up on these tips from theLoop! Don't wait; it's just around the corner.
1. Make sure you communicate with the coordinator often to ensure you both are on the same page. You will want to discuss backgrounds, props, times, etc. Prior to the prom, drop off advertisements for the school to distribute to the students including prepayment information, brochures, samples, etc. This will let students know of your services, pre-pay, or ask questions. Also, bring extras to the event.
2. Arrive early to allow plenty of time to set up. Odds are the venue won't have all the supplies you need like a nearby wall outlet. Bring extension cords, pens, paperclips, a stapler, change, and a secure place to store money. If you can, bring along an assistant to help process the paperwork and payments. Make sure to let your assistant know the image number for each couple, so he/she can write it on their paperwork. High school is full of awkward moments, which may make for awkward photos. If possible, bring sample photos of poses.
3. Make sure to clarify for each shot if the participating students are just friends or are a romantic couple. It's not uncommon to see a few same-sex couples come up for photos. Some of the time, they are just friends, but others may be an actual couple. If it is a same sex couple, pose them just as you would a heterosexual couple. This can be a sensitive subject, but if you're open and accepting about it, the students are much more comfortable. Considering you're a professional, it is most appropriate to keep your personal beliefs to yourself when on the job.
4. It is important to have a reasonable turnaround time. It shouldn't take more than a few weeks max to get back to photos returned to the school. Notify the school and students of your estimated turnaround time ensuring your quality work.
Thank you to Crystal Prahl at Forever Me Photography for your contributions on theLoop. Have any further tips or opinion about prom photography? Check out the thread on theLoop.
By: Lauren Walters
How do you compete with amateur photographers? You have good resources at PPA to help! The See The Difference consumer-focused campaign aims at showing consumers "the difference" when evaluating photographers...and realize the importance of hiring a pro like you. It may seem hard to differentiate yourself, but you can stand out from the crowd by putting the tools and resources PPA developed for its members to work for you. This See The Difference toolbox can show your clients the difference it makes when hiring a PPA photographer. If you are with PPA, you can download videos, logos, customizable brochures, and other marketing materials to educate your clients. It's marketing help and sales pitch that support YOU as PPA photographers.
The video below is a reminder that when it comes to weddings, the day happens so quickly that you barely remember all the details. A PPA photographer not only stays focused, but captures the emotion - not just the composition. (If you do not photograph weddings, no worries: there are more videos for other specialties on the See The Difference Resource page!)
Watch this video then consider sharing it with your wedding clients so they can see why they should hire a PPA photographer like you!
There are a lot more videos on the See The Difference Resources page including some showing the importance of hiring professional Family and High School Senior photographers. If you're a PPA photographer, grab the embed codes for your own website today. There are other resources you can download/embed/use and share to spread the work and make a more compelling case for your professional status:
Go ahead, show the difference hiring a professional photographer makes. Remember: the more photographers spread the word, the more successful and more powerful the "See The Difference" message becomes, which benefits ALL professional photographers!
By: Lauren Walters
Have a case of the judging jitters? If you've entered a photographic competition such as IPC, you know how intimidating the process can be, but that fear is far exceeded by its reward.
The IPC is proven to benefit photographers' technique and assure their credence. But if you've never entered, you might wonder: How does the judging process work? Competitions are a great way to improve your work by getting pointers via critiques from accomplished photographers such as international juror Jeff Dachowski, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. Once you get a hang of the process, you'll be more confident to enter your work into a competition yourself!
Below Jeff Dachowski critiques "Framed Classic" by Mark Bowers, M.Photog. in the Artist category for IPC. Watch how one's work is analyzed and see how the exercise can help you continue to perfect your craft. Once you get a hang of the process, you'll be more confident to enter your work into a competition yourself!
By: Lauren Walters
Have you ever had someone steal your work or discredit you? Don't fret! PPA is here to help! If you hire a lawyer, you'll be spending A LOT OF MONEY in legal fees, but if you are with PPA, most likely we'll be able to protect your work for FREE or, if damages have already been done, for a fraction of that insane legal cost.
PPA photographer, Ross Oscar Knight, specializes in weddings, fine art and corporate events. Ross had a project that received a lot of exposure when it went viral in 2007, thanks in part to the feature on the Oprah Winfrey show. Soon after, people started pulling and using images from his website without his permission. Some were even discrediting his work and cropping out his logo, committing the ultimate copyright infringement. Ross remembered that PPA helps photographers resolve copyright disputes and went for that help. Check out his story and hear more about how PPA helped him resolve this copyright infringement rip-off.
If you are at risk for copyright infringement or simply want to take the right proactive steps, just go to the PPA's Copyright Resources , get your Free Copyright Kit or check out the Be More Business Savvy and Be More Protected.
By: Lauren Walters
PPA CEO David Trust was in DC the past two days advocating for photographers like you! He and PPA's copyright team in D.C., the Nickles Group, had a series of meetings with Representatives of Arizona, California, Georgia, Missouri, Utah and Wyoming and Senators from Los Angeles and Oklahoma who all have a say on the FAA's proposed rules for regulating the use of drones in the United States. The proposed rules are awaiting approval and are now in a 60-day comment period, during which PPA is working diligently to pull together comments for submission.
The revised proposal indicates good progress for Photographers. The FAA proposes and approves the rules on drones; those rules are not legislation and do not require congressional approval. Currently, the said rules categorize drones into three physical size groups. PPA is mainly concerned with regulation pertaining to small and micro drones. A small drone is classified as 55lbs or lighter, and a micro drone is 4.4lbs or lighter.
The FAA's proposed rules would require professional photographers wanting to use small drones (less than 55 lbs) to take an aeronautical skills test and obtain a permit and renew that license every two years. There would also be a one-time registration fee of $150. With 560 testing sites, finding a testing center should be easy. PPA believes the proposed rules for small drones to be a major step in the right direction as they eliminate the current requirement that commercial drone users hold an actual pilot's license.
The proposed rules for micro-drones (4.4 lbs or less) are even more favorable as they require no skills test. Photographers wanting to use micro-drones in their business would have to register and self-certify that they understand the FAA's aeronautical information manual.
We are still months away before the rules are finalized, yet solid progresses are being made in the direction of photographers. Want to weigh in? Please visit the discussion on theLoop about drones, it's a dynamic one!
Drones are the hot topic at the moment, but Trust also had discussions on copyright reform and the Next Great Copyright Act, which are still under development.
By: Lauren Walters
Are you getting back into the swing of things after Imaging? Put those ideas to work! ...After you check out our top blogs for the week.
OSCAR WORTHY: After dying in a Chicago nursing home, a woman leaves behind her hidden collection of photographs. Celebrating her life, this article delves into the story behind her Oscar nominated photos. The full documentary is available in some movie theaters and on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube.
EMOTIONAL COST: Traveling to a different country for original images is normal, but would you put yourself in danger to obtain that shot? This photojournalist thinks so. Take a look at her photos and judge for yourself.
MAKING YOUR MARK: This documentary features photography of African-Americans making history. Appreciate the difference these photos made and learn about the filmmaker's intent to showcase the evolution of professional photography!
BRANDING: How do multi-talented photographers brand their work? Instead of keeping up with 2 or 3 separate brands for each talent such as a writer, photographer and painter, just keep up with one; your personal brand!
PORTFOLIO HELP: When putting together a portfolio, your included pieces need to showcase a diverse range of skills and professionalism. Follow this short checklist to see if your portfolio work best represents you as a professional photographer.
INDUSTRY: Photographers were thrown a curve ball when the digital technology evolved. After this struggle, a few photographers were left in the dust because everyone with a smart phone considers themselves a photographer. With this new found struggle, what's a fair price range for professional photography?
SOFTWARE: How long have you been using Adobe Photoshop? The software has been helping photographers plunge into the digital age of photography for the past 25 years. What does Adobe hold for the future?
ETHICS: Baby Amari's life was lost 30 minutes after birth due to medical complications. Photographer Faith Massey's photos of Amari were stolen a month after they were taken, but returned shortly thereafter?
There you have it ladies and gents, our top blogs selection for the week! If you have any suggestions for our next round, please contact us on the Loop.
By: Lauren Walters
From time to time, PPA photographers get overlooked in comparison to inexperienced or hobbyist photographers. Some of the reasoning includes pricing, product types, delivery timelines, and other factors. But all professional photographers contribute to educating customers on the difference it makes between hiring a professional versus an amateur. PPA's See The Difference Resources are here to help bridge that gap and facilitate that conversation and conversion. You will find a dozen of videos, online advertising, downloadable brochures, and more, that you can use to show prospective clients why investing in a professional photographer is not only worth it, but should be a no brainer.
Below is one of these new See The Difference tools. It is a video that targets family and portrait clients, explaining in non-salesy way and in less than 3 minutes, why professional photographers are exponentially better at capturing a family's personality and how and why they make a difference (versus inexperienced or hobbyist photographers that is).
You'll see real clients and real stories, where each family explains how their relationship and connection with their photographer made such a difference. Watch and see if you agree or relate!
There are more videos where this one came from! You are all welcome to share these videos and if you are a PPA photographer, you can even embed them on your website (just log when you get to the See The Difference resources page)! Help yourself out by sharing these videos with (prospective) customers! It's only by having as many of us share this message that this campaign will resonate and become a real tool for all professional photographers. So watch and share on!
By: Lauren Walters
Ready to take the plunge into Imaging USA? First, stay up to date with what's happening in the world of photography. Read our top ten favorite blog posts and use them as conversation starters at the convention!
PERSONAL BRAND: Headed to Imaging USA next week? Get a head start! Learn how to market yourself successfully for when you're walking around at the Expo. The first step is to plan, plan, and plan again!
LAYOFFS: For a magazine so heavily reliant on its high-quality images, we were surprised to learn that Sports Illustrated laid off their entire staff of six photographers. A cut of photographers of this scale hasn't happened since The Chicago Sun-Times cut their 28-staffed photographers in 2013. Is history repeating itself?
DESTINATION PHOTOGRAPHER: PPA photographer Joshua Kane gets paid to travel the world and photograph destination weddings. Although Joshua is living the dream, it's not always a vacation. Read about the challenges and benefits of a destination photography business.
MIXED MEDIA: How would a printmaker involve photography in their process? After mixing digital and print mediums, a hybrid medium was born. Check out a lithographer's approach to digital photography.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: India has always been rich in imagery, but not so involved in the art of photography. After their first photography festival four years ago in New Deli, India has become more present in the photography scene. Check out breath-taking images showcasing the exotic Indian lifestyle.
DUH! (THANKFULLY): According to the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), people can distinguish a professional from an amateur photographer. The researcher who conducted this study used special equipment to record the subject's eye movements when exposed to photographs. Check out other conclusions they drew from this experiment.
ARCHIVES: Hoping to raise funds, the publisher of Ebony magazine is selling their entire photo archive. This collection dates back to 1945 including historic and award-winning photography. Find out more about this collection.
EDITING: As a street photographer, you can shoot anytime, anywhere! Where the structured schedule is lacking, the photographer picks up the slack when it comes to editing. Why would one have to heavily edit street photography? Read more to find out!
COPYRIGHT: Learn about Nike's "jumpman" logo legend. Was there a photograph behind this genius design for inspiration? If so, does the photographer deserve to be compensated?
INSPIRATION: We all know those beloved fairytales from our childhood. How about capturing the landscapes that inspired the original Grimm's fairy tales?
Check back with us next week for more top blogs. Any interesting blogs you'd like us to check out, let us know on theLoop!
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.