PPA Today: Search Results

Results tagged “photographers association” from PPA Today

At PPA, we're constantly paying attention to the fears and concerns of photographers. One of the worries of professional photographers that we hear consistently is struggling to make those big sales. We hear you! Chances are you became a photographer because you love creating beautiful imagery, not because you wanted to be a salesperson. However, to have a successful business you need to be skilled at both!

Selling your photography doesn't have to be frightening. Many photographers hate the feeling of putting some sort of pressure on their clients to buy packages. That's why this four-part webinar series will help! "Soft Selling with Intense Results" will show you that the uncomfortable high-pressure strategy isn't necessary to make great sales. Soft sales methods focus on using casual, friendly messages to drive sales. Instructor Kristin Privette is very skilled at this and she will share different soft sales methods for photography that have helped her to quadruple (more, actually!) her income within the last five years. Take a look at what you'll learn in each part: 

Soft Selling with Intense Results  - Webinar Series 

August 7, 2014 - 2 pm ET

In this first part, Kristin walks you through the 10-step process she uses to gain five-figure wedding sales. Hear the language they use, the specific steps they take their couples through, and selling techniques that anyone can learn and be comfortable using.

August 21, 2014 - 2 pm ET

In part 2, Kristin's covers the '7 P's of Portrait Selling.' You'll learn how to start selling from the very first time you speak with a potential client in a way that excites them and prepares them for a big purchase. This simple process has proven to bring her average sales higher than where she started.

September 4, 2014 - 2 pm ET

During Part 3, you'll get the specific phrases Kristen uses to encourage upgrades, wall collections, add-ons and big investments. You'll learn how to prepare your brides from the very beginning to upgrade after the wedding. Plus, you'll hear the language you can use to guide your portrait clients toward wall collections and future sessions. She'll also share how she handles the common objections that every photographer gets.

September 18, 2014 - 2 pm ET

In the final part of the series, you'll go through a live ProSelect demo, showing exactly how Kristen would present to a portrait client using this software. From the moment the client walks in the door to writing a four figure check, you'll hear Kristin guiding and exciting her client about wall collections and making a big investment.

If you need help with sales, you won't want to miss this series of webinars! As always, both PPA members and non-members can attend the live webinars for FREE. However, if you want to be able to replay the recordings on demand (along with another 250+ videos on different techniques for photographers and business practices), you'll need to be a PPA member (join right here!) or just subscribe to PPAedu. Sign up today and let PPA help you be more! 
It's Friday, which means it's time for our favorite photography posts of the week! From advice
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 to inspiration, you'll find it all in this collection of posts. Enjoy!

Nobody likes it when it happens, but sooner or later you will have a conflict with one of your clients--be it a copyright violation or another type of contract dispute. This post from The Law Tog gives you 5 quick and easy things you can do to help avoid conflicts with your clients. 

At some point, all photographers are faced with major decisions in their business, like whether to invest in new equipment or tackle a new product line. It can be very stressful! That's why we like this post from Photography Concentrate. It points out that when researching a decision, it's what's right for you that matters, not what's right for everyone. It sounds simple, but check it out. This approach just may make your life easier. 

If you're thinking of revamping your website (if you haven't changed it much in 3+ years, it's time to freshen things up!), check out this guide from Tiffinbox first. It provides some great things to be aware of when hiring a company to build a website for you.

This week, Adobe announced updates to their Creative Cloud, which includes every photographer's friends: Lightroom and Photoshop! PetaPixel compiles the updates in this post and goes over the critical ones. If you use Creative Cloud, you'll want to read up! 

If you shoot infrared photography, check out this tutorial from PhotoFocus. You'll learn how to improve your workflow when processing these images using Lightroom and Photoshop. 

In this post for Fstoppers, Photographer John Schell points out how going outside some of the "standard" photography techniques can help improve your images. Take a read and let us know if you agree with him. 

If you're looking for some inspiration, check out these photos of the Great Wall of China from Trey Ratcliff's Stuck In Customs blog. Better yet, Trey explains how he captured each image! 

Looking for some composition tips to improve your photography? This post from Digital Photography School provides some great tips to think about when preparing to photograph anything! 

Do you add Metadata to your digital images? If you just said, 'Say what!?' you'll want to read up on why you really should and how to do it in this post from Photojojo. 

This post from Reviewed.com is just plain cool! Check out how 6 photographers broke the Guinness World Record for the largest photograph by using a camera obscura technique in an airplane hangar.  

Usually we give you ten posts, but this week we have a bonus for you! The winners of the iPhone Photography Awards have been announced and the images are quite remarkable. Given that they were all taken with iPhones, we could not pass up sharing these inspiring images. 

Boom! We did it again. Don't forget to share your own favorite posts over on theLoop. See you next Friday!
It's Friday the 13th! YIKES! Here are our 10 favorite photography blog posts from June 9-13. In
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 this week's round-up, you'll find some egregious errors to either laugh at or learn from (or both!), helpful tips and of course just some flat-out beautiful imagery. Enjoy!

You might have heard about a little soccer tournament starting this week? The World Cup debuted yesterday and Brazil is... ready? We'll see as the next couple weeks go on, but here are some images of the country in the days leading to the opening kickoff.

The hubble is back! We're suckers for basically anything space photography, but seriously just check out this time lapse. Too cool!

We certainly don't advocate for the use of flames with your wedding or portrait sessions (seriously, we really don't, just like we'd always advise people against any situation where you'd put yourself or your clients at risk!), but having said that, these images sure are pretty remarkable to look at! Check out this brave Oregon couple's wedding photos as wildfires raged on behind them.

In a project to celebrate National Geographic's 125th anniversary, the magazine put their photographers in front of the camera to talk about why they do what they do. The resulting video is a powerful piece on the passion that motivates these photographers. Perhaps you all can relate. P.S., we're not saying they got the idea from our Faces of PPA campaign, but hey, we're fans either way!

OK, seriously NatGeo?! THIS is totally the Faces of PPA campaign. We've started a movement! BRING BACK THE SELF PORTRAIT. Oh yeah, and check these out, they're pretty cool.

After a beach session, photographer Heather Swanner spotted a proposal down the shore and snapped a couple photos. After she got home, she regretted not getting the couple's contact information so she took to Facebook to try and get in touch, and the power of social media brought them their photos. Take a look! 

We're talking super old, like 1995 old. The first DSLR's! Boy have we ever come a long way.

Hey, the help you'll get from the Student Photographic Society is plenty but these are good equipment and business tips too. Take a look!

Up and at em! If we have any early birds out there, you'll appreciate this collection of photographers catching the worm. Maybe it will inspire you snooze button pounders to get up and get out there!

Greek photographer Vassilis Tangoulis created this series of breathtaking landscapes using lengthy exposures. Pretty remarkable stuff!

And that's that! We did it again. Don't forget to share your own favorite posts over on theLoop. See you next Friday!
Here are our 10 favorite photography blog posts from the first week of June. In this week's
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 round-up, you'll find some egregious errors to either laugh at or learn from (or both!), helpful tips and of course just some flat-out beautiful imagery. Enjoy!

Ellen Seidler of Vox Indie penned a blog for the Copyright Alliance this week on her opinion on Google's response time for DMCA notices on its Blogger-hosted sites. Google thinks it's been doing a great job of streamlining its responses, but according to Seidler, it isn't. Have a read in case you ever come across your content illegally posted to someone else's blog! It's a little long, but very informative!

One day, bridal parties will figure out that docks aren't meant to hold 20 people at a time. Lucky for us, today isn't that day! Watch this group take the plunge. A couple crafty bridesmaids actually manage to escape!

You've got rules and contracts and stuff, but how do you get your clients to actually abide by them? Psychology for Photographers tackles how to lay down the law. It might come down to presentation (and properly setting up expectations)!

Photographer Steve McCurry posted to his blog a collection of harrowing images from a visit to Afghanistan. The images show pain and suffering but also beauty and hope. Take a break from your daily routine and take a look.

The cool thing about exhibits predicting the future of the world is that eventually, you get to look back on them and see how they did! This collection of photographs from the World's Fair, hosted in New York City in 1964, shows just that, particularly those from the Futurama exhibit. Think they nailed it?

That's unconfirmed, of course, but we're going to give Lee Thompson credit for it anyway, and definitely credit for being one gnarly dude. The photographer, and co-founder of The Flash Pack, was in Brazil shooting preparations for this month's World Cup, and somehow found himself with permission to not only photograph, but climb to the top of Christ the Redeemer. Read about his experience and see the results!

25 years ago this Wednesday, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) violently cleared Beijing's Tiananmen Square of protesters, ending a six-week demonstration that had called for democracy and widespread political reform. While Chinese censors have blocked Internet access to terms like "never forget" in an effort to silence talk of the anniversary, the photos remain. Take a look.

Have you seen these?! They look like GIFs, but they are actually portraits created by photographer Romain Laurent. And not created through an app! Photojojo tracked him down and asked for his secrets. Check them out!

We had you at that headline, didn't we? National Geographic photographer Peter Essick traveled through the Ansel Adams Wilderness to capture images in Adams' style. See the beautiful results!

Don't you wish you had a lens like the Hubbel? I mean it'd be hard to carry around and all, but I bet you've never imagined creating a composite image of thousands of galaxies! Well NASA did just that, so be jealous. Take a look.

And that's that! We did it again. Don't forget to share your own favorite posts over on theLoop. See you next Friday!
As we move toward summer, here are the top discussions that took place on theLoop during the month of May. Take a look - you never know what might help you keep growing your business this summer! 

It's a piece of advice that photographers starting out often hear - take lots of photos and delete most of them. The thought is that deleting these photos helps you to spot errors and continually improve. Photographers debate the merit of the approach in this discussion. Join in!

Whether you include print prices for your photography on your website or not, you'll want to check this post out. PPA photographers share advantages and disadvantages of putting your prices online. If you're thinking of doing it, read this post first!

Do you pay for advertising on Google and/or Bing? Read this post before you spend (or keep spending) your dollars! PPA photographers share Search Engine Optimization tactics that can have great results, and cost you nothing. If you are doing paid advertising, members that also do it share some things you'll want to be aware of. 

If you've ever wanted to learn how to light using hot shoe flashes off camera, this is the discussion for you! PPA photographers share different techniques they've used successfully to light using this method. Check out this discussion to participate or learn something.

Did you know that there's probably a local PPA affiliate organization in your state? If you didn't, check out this thread to see what you might be missing out on by not being part of your local chapter! 

Don't forget, theLoop is YOUR safe and secure online community where PPA members can discuss various photography topics! You don't belong to PPA? Don't be left out! It's so easy to join, do it today!

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On Monday, May 26, entries will open for the 2014 International Photographic Competition
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 (IPC). PPA members that have entered the competition before know that not only can IPC help you earn merits toward your PPA degree; it can also help improve your photography business! 

While having your work judged can be intimidating, especially if it's your first time entering, we get tons of positive feedback on how entering IPC has made entrants better photographers. From keeping you inspired by seeing other IPC entries to being able to charge higher prices if you earn an award, there are many great reasons to enter IPC. Check out 10 of the ways competition can help your business here. 

As you're preparing your images for entry (digital or physical prints), it's important to keep in mind the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. These are the standards by which all photographs in the IPC are judged. By adhering to these standards, you are more likely to earn a high score so you can get those merits towards your degree. Practicing these elements will also help keep your photography at its best! 
 
If you're new to the IPC, or just need a refresher on the 12 Elements, check out our PPAedu video series on the topic with IPC judge Michael Timmons. In part one, Michael covers the elements Impact, Creativity, Style and Composition.  Part two covers Print Presentation, Center Of Interest, Lighting and Subject Matter and part three focuses on  the last 4 elements; Color Balance, Technical Excellence, Technique and Storytelling. You've got to be a PPA member to watch these videos, so join today! 

Once you've reviewed the 12 Elements and are ready to enter, you can read the rules and register for the competition at PPA.com/IPC. Here, you'll also find video tutorials covering topics like choosing the correct category for your images, setting profiles and calibration, entering albums and more. Make sure to review these videos before you enter your images to ensure that you are doing everything correctly! Oh, and if you're planning on mailing in physical prints, you can find a list of approved print cases for shipping to the competition. 

Be sure to enter by June 26 to avoid late fees! Entries will be accepted until July 10, but after June 26, an additional fee is required. 

Once you enter, watch the judging live in-person or streaming online
As we mentioned earlier, entering the IPC is a great way to improve your images and your business as a whole. However, the score you receive won't include all those great judges' comments about your work. You might be surprised by some of the things the judges pick up on!

So, to get the most out of IPC, you'll want to be present while your image is being judged so that you can absorb all of the judges' comments and ideas, and use these to continue to improve your photography. You'll also learn some great lessons while watching others' work being judged, and you may be inspired as well!

Judging will take place August 3 - 7 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA. Judging is open to the public, so we encourage you to attend and watch  the judging live. Can't make it to Georgia for the judging? No worries, we've got you covered there too! For the first time ever, all of the judging will be streamed live on PPA.com, so you can still watch from the comfort of your couch. Remember, watching the judging is the best way to learn at IPC, so we hope to see you there, in person or virtually. Stay tuned for more details about the streaming as we get closer to the judging. 

In the meantime, start getting those images ready and enter the IPC beginning May 26! 
In today's photography world, it seems like everyone knows a "photographer". But, much like owning a knife doesn't make you a chef, owning a DSLR doesn't make you a professional photographer. So, how do you explain to potential clients the difference between your work and that of Uncle Phil's down the street? One easy way you can set yourself apart from the competition is by becoming a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP). 

PPA started the CPP program to assure consumers that a certified photographer is an experienced professional with the knowledge to create, consistently, the best images possible. Becoming a CPP takes several steps on a photographer's part. First, you must take (and pass!) a written exam that covers the photography techniques used by pros. Finally, you must submit a portfolio of your images to a panel of judges, showing that you can indeed apply all of the techniques covered by the exam. Once you've passed both steps, you'll earn your CPP designation! You'll need to re-certify every 3 years, a process that is by design meant to ensure that CPP holders are always at the top of their craft. Learn more about the steps to becoming a CPP here.

Once you've earned your certification, it's time to start marketing it to possible customers! Keep in mind these 3 points when marketing your CPP designation:

1. Image & Advertising Edge

The fact that you are a CPP is an immediate huge trust indicator for clients and potential clients alike. By showing that you are certified on all of your advertising, you are telling them that they can rely on you to consistently produce high-quality images. 

As Gregg Martin, CPP, says, "Photographers are coming out of the woodwork in every town in America, and being a CPP places you in a much different category than the average photographer. Being a CPP has opened doors to numerous corporate jobs, magazine work, sports contracts and several other opportunities in my career. It makes that instant difference between a hobbyist (even good ones) and a pro. And in a split second only."

2. Pricing Justification

As you know, the digital era has made it easier for inexperienced and fly-by-night photographers to enter the industry. Often, they undercut the profession by charging extremely low rates. Your CPP designation helps clients justify your higher asking prices. After all, don't they want the best photos possible for once-in-a-lifetime events like weddings and graduations? The inexperienced guy may be cheaper, but they'll get what they pay for when it comes to quality of images!

3. Peer Validation

Make sure your clients know that your certification is granted to you by Professional Photographers of America. It is the world's largest non-profit association for professional photographers and that alone is added credibility for your work. Before you can get certified, or even renew your certification, other photographers who have also earned the designation review your skills via the exam and the image submission. That process shows that you are knowledgeable and dedicated to your craft. And the fact that you must re-certify every 3 years shows that you are keeping up with the latest skills and techniques in photography. That should help put clients' minds at ease when hiring you. 

4. Boost Your Confidence

Once you've earned your certification, you should be proud of what you've accomplished! After all, you are now one of the few Certified Professional Photographers, meaning that you can be confident that your work is top-notch. This confidence will come through when you are speaking with clients and help put them at ease with hiring you. 

There you have it! We hope that the edge you can gain over the competition has inspired you to become a CPP. Just remember, you've got to be a PPA member to earn your certification. Join today! 

Watch this video for more on the CPP program, and you can read all about it at ppa.com/cpp.

Here are the 10 photography blogs from April 20 - 25, 2014, that we hope will inspire you and
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 professional photographers around the internet to be more!

Nobody likes hearing about a photo copyright violation, but it's important to be aware of all the same! After photographing the band Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at a live show for a publication, photographer Rohan Anderson was surprised to find the band using one of his images on Facebook without his permission. Even more surprising, the band started bullying him online when he requested that the photo be removed! Check out Rohan's blog to read the full nightmarish saga, how he resolved the violation and how the photography community helped him through the process.

The Phoblographer heard about the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus copyright ruckus as well this week, and that inspired them to interview Rolling Stone photographer Nicole Fara Silver about how to deal with bands using your images without permission. If you do this type of photography, you'll want to check her advice out!

This video of a photography workshop from 1961 on Fstoppers made us laugh, and it's a great look at some photography history. Any long-time PPA members out there remember taking a workshop like this one? 

April 22 was Earth Day and in honor of the event The Big Picture put together a series of photos from Earth Day events around the world, as well as photos of distressed environments. There's definitely some powerful photography in this series! 

In Focus gives us another impactful photo series this week. Check out these amazing images of squatters living in an unfinished high-rise building in Venezuela. It's yet another example of how photography can makes us see the world in a new way. 

As a photographer, you probably have taken hundreds of photos that didn't make the cut in the final product you delivered to your client. Digital Photography School points out why you shouldn't just get rid of these images, and why it's worth to go through them every now and then. There are more opportunities with these images than you thought! 

Do you use lens filters in your photography? If you do, Photography Life points out some issues to be aware of when choosing filters in this post. 

All wedding photographers would probably like to speed up their post-production time and deliver images to their clients faster. Virtual Photography Studio points out 3 simple things you can keep in mind while shooting a wedding that can help speed the process up. 

In golf, the 'Yips' are an apparent loss of fine motor skills without explanation, making the game impossible to play. Believe it or not, this same phenomenon can happen to photographers as well and affect the quality of your photos. One photographer explains how he noticed the problem, and overcame it, in this post for The Online Photographer. 

SmugMugFilms interviewed acclaimed commercial advertising photographer (and Imaging USA speaker/PPAedu instructor) Joel Grimes about his creative process. If you're in need of inspiration, this short video is sure to stir up some ideas.

There you have it, the favorite blog posts of the week from your PPA team! Don't forget that you can share your own posts, or other stories you have enjoyed, on theLoop.
Here are the 10 photography blogs from April 13 - 18, 2014, that we hope will inspire you and
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professional photographers around the internet to be more! 

Did you see the cover of Sports Illustrated this month? It's a giant Boston Strong group shot (3,000 people!) to commemorate a year since the marathon bombing. And guess who was behind the camera?! Imaging USA speaker Gregory Heisler! If you thought wrangling a family of five was tough, you need to see this behind-the-scenes video.

Getting an image or project to go viral can be a real boon to your business. It can also get you... nothing. California photographer, Mike Kelley, unfortunately knows a thing or two about that. Read his cautionary tale on posting your images to social without any form of protection.

Have you posted one of those silly Buzzfeed lists to your social media pages with an "OMG this is SO true!" Admit it, you have. Well, if you're a wedding photographer, we've got one here for you. Check this one out on the many emotions of wedding photography.
 
Approximately one out of six people in the world live on a dollar a day. Photographer Renée C. Byer traveled through four continents capturing what life is like under extreme poverty. The stunning images are a heartfelt reality check for most of us living in "first world" countries. 

We're suckers for a good time lapse. And we can say for certain we haven''t seen one quite like this! Get your smiles ready and be prepared for a good heart-string tug. Kids... they grow up so darn fast! (Especially in fast forward.)

Good luck finding this one on Amazon Prime. This week, one lucky husband and wife team drove a pretty special package across the country--a friggin T. Rex! National Geographic takes us along as "The Nation's T. Rex" is transported from Montana to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. It's as simple as wrapping it and putting it in a box, really... but it's a 38-foot, 66-million-year-old fossil. You won't see the full dinosaur on display until 2019 so check this video out while you can!

Did you see the lunar eclipse this week? It was all over social media! If you didn't, these photographers did. Discovery News compiled some of the best photos from the rare event. Check 'em out!

This one touches on a real hot-button issue. You'll be hard-pressed to find more passionate and protective animal lovers than pit bull owners. One photographer decided to put their passion on display and bring them together to raise awareness with his Not a Bully portrait campaign. Read on to learn the story and view some of the portraits!

Ever encounter questions about why you can't photograph for free? Photography Talks came up with a pretty cool list of reasons. Take a look and see if you agree!

Slate delivers this collection of group portraits from photographer Neal Slavin, who's been doing this for, well, a while. There's some really beautiful, really funny, and really weird pictures posted in there. Take a look!

There you have it, the favorite blog posts of the week from your PPA team! Don't forget that you can share your own posts, or other stories you have enjoyed, on theLoop.
Here are the 10 photography blogs from April 6 - 11, 2014, that we hope will inspire you and professional photographers around the internet to be more!

Do you use your DSLR's preset shooting modes? You'll want to read this post. Photography Talk examines DSLR preset shooting modes and the danger of relying on them too heavily.

You've probably heard about it this week: the Heartbleed bug is an error in internet security that was recently discovered. The bad news? Hackers could exploit this flaw to gain access to your personal information through many websites you may use daily. The good news? Mashable has developed a guide that will show you how to protect yourself from this abuse. (Oh, and don't worry about your PPA.com account being hacked, our security is up to date, so your data on theLoop, My PPA and your PPA profile is all safe and sound!)

Have you been wanting to get into the pet photography market? This podcast from Improve Photography can be a great starting point for you as you enter the market. It provides not only technical tips, but some business tips as well!

This is a great post for those of you in need of inspiration. The Phoblographer goes behind-the-scenes of Australian photographer Alexia Sinclair's "A Frozen Tale" photo shoot that took place in an old European castle. There are a lot of cool ideas here, including a shooting diagram! 

Is there anything more annoying than capturing a blurry image when you've got everything else right? This post from Digital Photography School will show you how to choose the correct Autofocus mode and help you avoid this problem. 

Occasionally, you'll get a bride and groom that just don't want to follow your instructions. They just don't get that you've done this before and that there's a process for a reason. This short post from Virtual Photography Studio provides a great tip for how to overcome this challenge. 

Did you know that Lightroom launched their mobile version of the software for tablets and other mobile devices? If you're curious about what Lightroom Mobile is capable of, be sure to check out this post from Lightroom Killer Tips. You might be surprised how much of your workflow can be taken care of from an iPad!

Shoot video and trying to capture movement? These videos on PhotoFocus will show how to do just that. Learn how to use a camera slider to capture fluid movement and create some really interesting shots! 

Do you struggle with color management, or maybe just need a refresher? Check out this step-by-step color management tutorial (complete with examples) from FStoppers. These techniques can help add impact to your photography. 

There's a lunar eclipse coming up on April 14/15 (date might vary depending on where you live) that nature photographers out there will love to photograph. The PhotoNaturalist provides some tips for photographing the eclipse so you can get the best photographs possible. 

There you have it, the favorite blog posts of the week from your PPA team! Don't forget that you can share your own posts, or other stories you have enjoyed, on theLoop.
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Here are the 10 photography blogs from March 16 - 21, 2014, that we hope will inspire our photography friends to be more!

Many wedding photographers are forced to photograph around friends and family with camera phones (or worse, tablets?!), often getting in the way of the images for which they were commissioned. Photographer Corey Ann shares with the Huffington Post why she requests that her clients ask friends and family to not take photos during the big event. If you've ever faced this problem, this is a great post to share with potential clients to back-up your request for no camera phones at a wedding.

Here at PPA, we know that photographers are always looking for ways to improve their photography technique. That's why we were excited by this PetaPixel news that Nikon has launched a 15 part instructional video series on topics ranging from lighting to family portraiture. One of the photographers in the series in PPA's own Tamara Lackey, who will discuss family and portrait photography. There's something for every photographer in this series! 

If you're interested in getting involved in commercial photography, or are already in the industry and want some advice from a seasoned pro, don't miss this opportunity from FStoppers! Experienced commercial photographer Douglas Sonders has been answering questions from photographers all week that are worth a read. If you've got a question of your own, don't be shy. Sonders says he'll try to answer all questions submitted by Midnight on March 24. 

Looking to speed up your workflow in Lightroom? This list of keyboard shortcuts from Photofocus may be a great help! To the point, this blog is sure to be bookmarked by many!

Looking for a little inspiration? This post from DIY Photography has some amazing photos! Check out the photos of the world's largest beehive in Nepal being harvested for honey from travel photographer Andrew Newey. That's a lot of bees!

Do you shoot RAW? If you don't know what that is and how it can impact your workflow, you'll want to check out this instructional video from Photography Concentrate. 

If you're still new to the photography industry (or just want to avoid some duh-moments!), check out this post from Digital Photography School. They cover 10 simple things you can quickly do to help improve your output. 

Here's a unique technique for photographers that you may not have considered before! Canon Blogger shows you how you can create a black background using flash, and why you'd want to. It may sound counter-intuitive, but check it out... it really works! 

Have you tried out timelapse photography yet? If you've ever been curious how to do it, this tutorial on Planet 5d will get you started. Photographer Dustin Farrell gives you a behind the scenes look of how he creates night sky timelapses. 

Last but not least, we end the roundup with some inspiration and beautiful landscape imagery. The Photo Argus has collected an awesome array of city skyline photos sure to get your creativity going. Enjoy!

There you have it, our favorite blog posts of the week! Don't forget that you can share your own posts, or others that you have enjoyed, on theLoop
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As a PPA member, you're using some of the benefits the membership brings you and could probably leverage it a lot more. You know the value of belonging to this photography association. In fact, you probably have some photographer friends who don't belong to PPA and could use a little help with their business. 

Why are you a PPA member? People have very different reasons to join and belong to this group, but who better than existing members to get the word out? That's why PPA has developed a reward program, called the Member-2-Member Campaign, to compensate PPA members that refer fellow photographers to PPA. 

Whether the photographers in your network are new to the industry or veteran pros, we hope you will encourage them to belong to PPA! Here's how the program works: for each photographer you refer to PPA, you'll earn a $25 Visa Gift Card! The photographer you refer will also get a free all-access pass to Imaging USA 2015. Pretty good, right? Well, it gets even better:  

After 3 photographers you've referred join PPA, you'll get a $75 Visa Gift Card ($25x3) AND an all-access pass to Imaging USA 2015 (that's a $179 value!). That means that you get $75 in cash and save $179. Additionally, the friends you referred all get a free all-access Imaging USA 2015 pass. It's a win-win!

If 6 or more photographers you refer join PPA, you'll get a $150 Visa Gift Card ($25x6), plus an all-access pass to Imaging USA ($179 value), and a FREE year of PPA membership ($323 value!). Each friend still gets their all-access Imaging USA 2015 pass. You cash in $150 and save $502! Plain simple!

There's only one rule to earn the rewards: the photographers you refer must not have been a PPA member within the past year. That's it! 

Ready to start getting your photography friends to belong to PPA with you? Simply share with your friends how PPA has helped you (think PhotoCare Equipment insurance, PPAedu videos, networking opportunities, copyright guidance, inspiration, etc.). We've even put together recruitment materials to make it easier for you to discuss PPA with your friends. Heck, the free Imaging USA pass may be motivation enough! That's a $179 savings alone!

The campaign will run through December 31, 2014. Just be sure that your friends add your name as "Referring Member" on the top of the application form so you'll get credit for bringing them in. 

Find the recruitment materials and referral application on the Member-2-Member Campaign page. Get out there and invite your fellow photographers to Be More by joining PPA! 
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At PPA, we're always striving to help you be more as a professional photographer. There's many ways we do this, but just one of those ways is offering PPA members deals and discounts on products you use in your photography business! 

PPA members already get unbelievable discounts on products and services that they use on a daily basis, but occasionally PPA negotiates something extra special with top photo companies. We call these Extreme Deals. Extreme Deals are short-term discounts and offers, only for PPA members. This March, we've got an extreme deal for PPA members on Accucolor albums. 

Here's the offer: Get one 10x10, 15 side/30 page album and two 8x8, 15 side/30 page albums with the "Elite Collection" or "Leatherette" cover material for only $300! Plus save 50% off any album upgrade options. 

Sounds pretty good, right? Just be sure to log-in to the member only Extreme Deal page by March 31 to get all the information on how to take advantage of this deal. 

Of course, being a PPA member gets you access to more than just the Extreme Deals and other discounts. You'll also get full access to PPAedu, our collection of live workshops and webinars and on-demand videos on various techniques for photographers and business practices. You can even take the PPAedu Assessment to get recommendations for the courses you should attend or watch to help you be more as a photographer!  

Along with PPAedu, members can also access theLoop, our online community just for PPA members! Here, you can discuss various topics that impact the photography business, all without fear of having potential customers see what you've been posting. 

These are just a few of the benefits of PPA membership. Browse the benefits section to see even more perks of joining our photography association. And remember, to access the Extreme Deal, PPAedu or theLoop you've got to be a PPA member, so join today!
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Take a look at some of the members we've featured in our Faces of PPA campaign in the video below. You can read all about these members and why they've joined PPA on the Faces of PPA Gallery. Want to be part of this campaign? Submit your information now! 

Here at PPA, we're devoted to always helping you be more as a professional photographer. With that in mind, here are 10 photography blogs from the week of January 26, 2014 that we think will help inspire and educate you. 

Skip Cohen University examines the relationship between gear and your work. Just because you have great gear it doesn't necessarily translate to great images, and in this post Skip provides tips for when and why you should consider buying new gear. >>

A great post for anyone who recently turned pro. New pro Rob Hackett shares with Digital Photography School the lessons he learned his first year as a full-time photographer. >>

It looks like the iPhone camera may be soon be getting an upgrade. PetaPixel breaks the news on Apple's patent for removable iPhone camera lenses, complete with proposed designs. It's an interesting bit of news for any photographer! >>

Here's a post sure to generate some discussion! Brandsmash compiles a list of the 30 most influential wedding and portrait photographers, including a few PPA members! What do you think of their choices? >>

Photographer Trevor Daley shares an insightful piece on looking after your health when you are on the road photographing weddings in this post for Fstoppers. >>

DIY Photography discusses the importance of being able to capture an image with the correct exposure in-camera and not always relying on Photoshop fixes in post-processing. They also share some tips for capturing the correct exposure. >>

If you've ever wondered about when to use Black & White for an image, you'll want to check out this quick, easy tip from PhotoFocus. >>

Looking for easy posing ideas for newborn photography? This post from Photography Concentrate provides some quick and easy poses you can set up using a newborn and their parents! >>

If you've ever been curious about the inner-workings of your camera, this is a fun post. LensRentals deconstructs a Sony A7R for PetaPixel and points out the various features. It's certainly a new way to look at a camera! >>

This video from SmugMugFilms covers Jessica Ambats, an air-to-air photographer (meaning she takes photos of planes from planes) and instrument-rated pilot based in Santa Monica. It's a unique, exciting brand of photography as you'll see in the video. >>

There you have it, our favorite blog posts of the week! Don't forget that you can share your own blog posts, or others that you have enjoyed, on theLoop. 
Check out some photos from #IUSA14 below, including the opening party, Imaging Expo trade show, classes, World Photographic Cup, the Kenny Rogers Q & A and more. We'll have many more photos to share, so be sure to check imagingusa.org for the 2014 photo gallery (coming soon) and our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for more photos! Thanks to Alex the Photo Guy for providing images. 

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Happy New Year! As you begin another year in your photography business, here are some of the top discussions on theLoop from December. Hopefully, some of these discussions will bring some inspiration for 2014!

PPA members share their photography, business and personal goals for 2014. Chime in and see what your peers are striving for this year. 

Long-time pros talk about how things used to be done before digital photography, and what techniques they miss from this age. 

PPA members discuss different hard drives they use and why they prefer them. If you're in the market for a hard drive, this is a discussion you won't want to miss. 

Imaging USA is right around the corner, and this discussion is all about first-timers attending Imaging USA and what they are looking forward to! Dive in and network with some fellow photographers before the conference. 

Sports photographers share their techniques for swim team group and individual photos. There's a lot covered here, from posing to lighting. 

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? Join today.
It's Friday, which means it's time for an update on some of the great photography content we've found around the web! We hope these blog posts will help inspire you and help you sharpen your photography techniques and business practices. 

Here are ten posts from the week of December 15, 2013:

Photographer Has Blower Confiscated by TSA Because it 'Could Fly Like a Missile'
Here's a post from PetaPixel that will make you laugh, but it's also worth paying attention to for flying with your gear. Check it out.

How Photography Gels Are Made
This video from DIY Photography gives a behind the scenes look at how photographic gels are created. It's an interesting new perspective on a piece of photography equipment you may use regularly. Watch the video.

Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits: Studio Lighting 
A great post for the portrait photographers out there! Fstoppers provides lighting advice for creating great portraits. Read the advice.

Tips to Protect your Gear in Harsh Weather Conditions 
If you shoot outdoors during the winter, this post is for you. Digital Photography School provides tips for keeping your equipment in good working condition in harsh elements. Check out the tips.

How to Email Photographs in Lightroom
Here's some good advice for Lightroom users to help improve your workflow. Photography Life shows you how you can email images from within Lightroom, instead of exporting them first. Read the post.

Without Reservation: A Recommended Gear List 
If you're new to the photography business, you may want to check out this list from Strobist. From Cameras to Lighting Systems, Strobist shares their recommendations for professional photography gear. Read the list.

Shooting From a Moving Car -- A First Look 
This post from PhotoFocus looks at a type of photography you may never have considered: hyperlapse, the shooting of a timelapse from a moving vehicle. Photographer Richard Harrington shares how he built a unique hands-free system for capturing this type of photography. Check it out.

7 Things Yousuf Karsh Can Teach You About Photography 
Photography Concentrate spoke to famed portrait artist Yousuf Karsh about his 67 year long career and what he's learned. The lessons he shares can inspire those stuck in a rut. Read the interview.

2013 Year In Pictures 
This post from the Boston Globe's photography blog will be fascinating to photojournalists and those looking for inspiration alike. They share some of the top news images of the year. Check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Infographic: A Timeline Of The 100 Most Important Cameras Ever Made
Fast Company's Timeline of the 100 Most Important Cameras Ever Made is an awesome look at photography history that all photographers should find interesting. Do you agree with their choices? Check out the timeline. 

There you have it! Happy reading and we hope that you find some inspiration. Don't forget that members can access PPA's social network theLoop to share photography ideas as well.

When you think of Kenny Rogers, chances are you think of his long and impressive career as
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a country musician. But did you know that Kenny is also an accomplished photographer? In fact, he'll be at Imaging USA in Phoenix this January to host a Q&A about his work as a photographer and to receive an Honorary Master of Photography degree!

On January 14, Kenny's "Places I've Been, Things I've Seen" Q&A will be held from 5 to 6 pm (you just need an expo pass, which you can get for free here, or your full conference badge). Kenny Rogers will share some of his favorite images as well as take your questions about his work during this exclusive session. If you want to read more about his photography, check out the "Kenny Rogers Storymaker: The Entertainer Earns Acclaim for his Images" feature story from the December 2013 issue of Professional Photographer magazine. 

Kenny brings a lot of passion for photography, so you won't want to miss his special guest presentation! Plus a lot of his work will be on display for our viewing pleasure.

Along with this memorable Q&A, there are other special events happening at Imaging USA you won't want to miss! After long days of learning and product browsing, the opening and closing parties are there for you to celebrate with your fellow photographers. You'll also have opportunities to receive critiques on your work and mentoring from successful pros with PPAedu Business Mentors and the Coach's Corner, AND you can view ALL the Loan Collection images from PPA's International Photographic Competition and the World Photographic Cup Images at the International Photographic Exhibit. 

Two more places you'll also want to be at: (1) the Grand Imaging Awards, where the top images from the International Photographic Competition will be announced, and (2) the Award & Degree Ceremony, where we'll honor professional photography and the individuals who set themselves apart in the industry by earning PPA degrees and awards. There are even special events just for Certified Professional Photographers and new PPA members! Find all the details for these events on the Imaging USA Event Highlights page. 

Of course, these special events at Imaging USA are just part of the overall conference. There's also the full line up of photography courses to help your business and your craft, and the Imaging Expo (that's the trade show), where you'll be able to check out, touch and demo all the latest photography products! 

It's all included with an Imaging USA full-access pass. So, register for Imaging USA now! If you register by December 31, you'll also be entered to win an all-expense paid trip to Imaging USA 2015 in Nashville, TN. See you in Phoenix! 

Read more about Imaging USA:


Image © Jay Fletcher


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