PPA Today: Search Results

Results tagged “photography 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! 

We've (finally) got an update on the Walmart v. Huff case! Brush up on the story below first if you need a refresher. 

Update 7/16:

At a recent case management hearing, the judge set the trial for the trial term beginning April 6, 2015 and ending April 30. This doesn't necessarily mean the case will go to trial April 6, just that the case is set to be tried sometime during that term.  

Read the full story:

Your typical copyright infringement involves one photographer stealing another photographer's images, or reproducing copyrighted images without permission. But in this case, it's the largest retailer in the world bullying a small Arkansas studio.

Walmart and its founding family, the Waltons, have filed suit against Helen Huff, the widow of Arkansas photographer David A. Huff.

Walmart.jpg

David Huff's studio, Bob's Studio of Photography, was founded by his late father, Robert A. Huff, in 1946, and created portraits of the Walton family before the expansion of Walmart grew them into one of the wealthiest families in the world. But now Walmart and the Walton family are demanding that Helen Huff hand over those works.

The complaint states that they (the Waltons) seek to obtain six or more boxes of photos, negatives, and proofs, alleging that over the years, Bob's Studio retained those items "as a courtesy" to Walmart and their family (they didn't). The complaint further states that the Waltons own intellectual property rights to the photos (they don't). The fact is, under federal law, photographers own the copyrights to their own works.

PPA has been working with Huff to support her case and thereby advocate for photographers' copyrights.

"If there were ever a David vs. Goliath situation, this is it" says PPA CEO David Trust. "We simply can't remain idle and allow this to happen--it would set a terrible precedent. In our opinion, this obviously is a violation of copyright law and it is beyond question that Ms. Huff owns the photographs and if the Waltons want the photographs, they should pay for them. PPA as an association stands behind Ms. Huff and supports her case as the rightful owner of these images. We have contacted her lawyers and offered to file an amicus brief* when and if that time comes."

*What's an amicus brief, you ask? It's is a legal opinion or testimony that is volunteered by a "friend of the court" who is not a party to a particular lawsuit but has a strong interest in the case. It is a way to introduce concerns ensuring that the possibly broad legal effects of a court decision will not depend solely on the parties directly involved in the case. 

PPA also advised Huff and her attorney of a separate suit, Natkin v. Winfrey, in which Oprah Winfrey claimed she owned the rights to photos of her created on her set. Since the photographers were hired as independent contractors and had not signed work-for-hire contracts, they owned the full copyrights for the images, and Winfrey's argument was swiftly rejected by the court.

Walmart filed its lawsuit against Helen Huff in state court, but because it is a copyright issue, Huff's defense removed it to federal court. The defense argues in its answer to the Walmart complaint that Huff owns copyrights to all the works her late husband and father-in-law created for the Walton family, and that they worked as independent contractors for the Walton family. In addition, Huff's defense filed a counterclaim of copyright infringement, alleging that in the past Walmart has reproduced and allowed third parties to use Bob's Studio of Photography's copyrighted works. Huff and her attorney are awaiting Walmart's answer.

UPDATED 5/21: Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove issued a statement this afternoon: 

As you can imagine, many of the photos go back many years and commemorate the history, heritage and culture of our company. We believe that some of the photos that Bob's Studio has belong to Walmart. All we want is for the court to make it clear who rightfully owns these photographs. We tried very hard to resolve this without involving the courts. We never wanted the issue to reach this point and we've done everything possible to avoid this. 

PPA always stands for photographers' copyright protection. As such, we will continue to provide information as these cases develop. Check back for updates!

 

 

Helping a friend and veteran leave a legacy

By Penn Hansa

Bruce Roscoe, CPP, orchestrated a portrait session of his best friend, Joe Rowe, that he'll remember for ages. As a photographer who served in the Vietnam War, taught workshops all over the United States and has been named as one of the top photographers in Arizona, Roscoe has had his share of photographic experiences. But this was the only shoot that he could give credit to fate for making it happen. "It could only have been divine intervention to have everything work out the way that it did," Roscoe said. "It was that incredible."

In a way, the photo shoot was 58 years in the making: Roscoe and Rowe have been friends since they were eight years old. "If I didn't see him in 10 years and then I saw him again, it would be just like yesterday," said Roscoe. "Nothing would change."

The origins of their friendship are a little hazy to both. "We probably met after getting in a fight with each other," Roscoe guessed. But they both recall the childhood they spent together on the East Coast. They sailed, surfed and snorkeled together at the beach, and spent hours in the forest climbing and exploring.

"We had it great growing up," Roscoe remembered. "We didn't know how poor we were. We bought a bike and it was Joe's and my bike. So he'd have it for a day, and then I'd ride it for a day, like a family bike."

When they finished high school in 1967, Rowe joined the Marines, and Roscoe decided to postpone college to join the army. The army recruiter asked if he had any special skills, and Roscoe told him that he wanted to be a photographer. It was the first thing that came to mind.

"My parents gave me a Brownie Bullet camera when I was younger, and I loved it," Roscoe said. "I thought I was going to travel and take pictures of kings and queens."

That wasn't quite what he ended up doing. After he went to school in the military to be trained as a combat photographer, his first orders were to go to Alaska.

But it was just a mistake - he was actually supposed to be in Vietnam.

During their service in Vietnam from 1967-68, Roscoe and Rowe never saw each other, and only had vague ideas of where the other was. When they returned, they were changed people. Both suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"It was just different. We had our issues. We never knew what life was going to be like in a warzone. We changed, not for the good or the bad. We just came back as good as we could be," Roscoe said.

For years, Roscoe didn't touch a camera. "I always had a love for photography, but because of the memories I had associated with a camera, I had to be ok with myself before I got back into it," he said.  When he eventually returned to the art, portraiture became his specialty.

"I think why I got into portraiture is because some of the pictures I took overseas and some of the ways people's faces looked told a story. And I thought, Well, you know what - if I can learn how to capture faces in a storytelling way, that's what I need to do. I need to start capturing people and telling a story with their face."

Roscoe ended up in Arizona and joined PPA in 2008. He became a Certified Professional Photographer in 2010, focusing on photographing the elderly.

"There's just so much character in their faces. In young people, you don't have the wrinkles, the character lines, the things that show how much time you've been in this world," Roscoe explained. "For these people who are grandparents, I want to pull a character out of them to leave a legacy for the younger generations."

As they lived their lives on separate American coasts - Roscoe in the west, Rowe in the east - they stayed in touch through their families and the occasional phone call. "Joe's mom was like my mom. I'd find out from her how he was doing, and she would tell him how I was doing," Roscoe said.

And then one day, Roscoe got a call from his friend Joe. Rowe told him he had been diagnosed with lung cancer, which his doctor said had been caused by Agent Orange, one of the herbicides and defoliants the U.S. military used as part of the herbicidal warfare program Operation Ranch Hand. The effects of the spraying affect both the Vietnamese and Americans as terrible remnants from a war that no one wants to remember.

Shortly after hearing the news, Roscoe left for Rhode Island to take Rowe's portrait. It wasn't a question of obligation, just a sense of duty to his friend and those who loved him. "I was trying to create Joe's final image for his family," Roscoe said.

He called the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Wakefield, and they graciously allowed Roscoe to use their hall for a temporary studio. But it left the question of lighting equipment, things that Roscoe couldn't bring from Arizona for the session. So he did an online search for photographers near Providence and came across Chris Garrison's studio. Roscoe emailed him and explained what he was trying to accomplish, and asked to borrow his gear. Without hesitation, Garrison heagreed to share his studio's equipment.

"I didn't know him before this email," Roscoe said. "I asked him why he would let me, a complete stranger, borrow his equipment and he told me, 'You know, Bruce, I've had people help me out when I needed them. I'm just trying to return the favor.'"

Fellow PPA member Roger Salls from Roger Salls Photography, who had attended one of Roscoe's photography workshops, came from Connecticut with a makeup artist to help with the shoot. Roscoe, recognizing the importance of the event, also contacted the Providence Journal for a reporter to cover their story.

Joe Rowe.jpg

The shoot only took a little more than an hour. Rowe arrived and spent an hour with the makeup artist, then Roscoe started doing his job. The Providence Journal sent a reporter, who was also a Vietnam veteran, to interview Rowe. It was as if all the stars had aligned. Everyone who was there that day was there for Rowe and to help create an image that would capture his character. "I felt like a movie star," Rowe said to his friend. "It lifted my spirits, and we had lots of fun."

It was a highly emotional shoot for Roscoe, who realized that this would be the last portrait he would take of his friend. "It is crushing to be losing one of the people you can really talk to without having any problems," he said. "There's not a lot of people you can call your best friend, and Joe is one of mine."

Rowe, who works with PeaceTrees Vietnam to raise money for schools and libraries in Vietnamese villages, asked his friend to help make his last wish come true: to see through the completion of a library in the village of Mo O, close to where Rowe was stationed in the war.

Thinking back on the shoot, Roscoe couldn't believe that it all happened so perfectly. After all, if he didn't have the venue, the lighting, or the assistant and makeup artist, the final image wouldn't have been as meaningful as it is for both him and Rowe. "I find it interesting that you can get photographers from all over the country together, and you can make something happen," he said. "Nobody got any money from it. There wasn't any incentive. They were just doing it to help."

The ties of friendship and kinship, he realized, were stronger than he could have ever imagined.

                                                       

Happy Friday! We've pulled together the best of the internet when it comes to photography - check out these articles to have a laugh, get inspired and stay in the know. 

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We love getting a little love from our members, so when Dominique Harmon recounted how she made her journey from being a "mom with a camera" to professional photographer, we just had to share it! 

Being a photographer on assignment for Reuters at the World Cup, while being a once-in-a-lifetime experience, is also pretty limiting. You have to get pictures of the goals, the fouls and everything in between, so where does your creativity get to come in? Reuters Global Editor Russell Boyce shares the project that's giving photographers free reign to capture all the action in Brazil. 

What would you do if a leopard seal put your camera into its mouth? Photographer Paul Nicklen was on assignment for National Geographic in Antarctica documenting leopard seals when one approached him, and nearly ate his camera! But instead of devouring him whole, the seal tried to take care of Nicklen for four days. Watch him retell his unforgettable experience, and see if you could handle the encounter (we couldn't)!

When Andrew Watson wanted to make a film about a man's journey to becoming the most quoted man in the news, it was rejected again and again. Until the New Yorker picked it up and made it go viral. So what does photographer Chase Jarvis get from his interview with Andrew that you can take away? That you really can do anything you put your mind to. 

For most businesses today, an online presence is everything! But then how does one photographer stand out from the next? PetaPixel features photographer Erik Almas, who thinks that going hands on is the key to building a real connection to the customer. Get some inspiration on how to pitch your work. 

Say goodbye to trash the dress pictures - it's all about nature's fury in wedding photos now. Pros of a tornado wedding portrait? An unforgettable image. The cons? Possible danger. Space explores other options for those one-of-a-kind photos.

David Guttenfelder, an Associated Press photographer who was named TIME's Instagram Photographer of the Year in 2013, shed light into the mystery of North Korea when he helped create AP's first bureau in the country. TIME interviews him on his influences, keeping a work-life balance and his success on Instagram. 

Who said photography was an expensive undertaking? Inspiration comes free. Gizmodo's highlighted a few DIY tricks to turn ordinary things about the house into reflectors, cool backgrounds and more! Will you try some of these out? 

As a professional, you've had your fair share of faux pas and missteps, but you know better now! So you'll be able to enjoy Toronto Star photographer Randy Risling's hilarious video "How to Ruin a Wedding" as he points out every wedding photographer's pet peeves. 

There you have it! Our favorite posts from around the net this week. What are your favorite photography blogs? We want to know! Will you let us know on theLoop?

Say hello to your newest guest column! It comes to you from none other than Bridget Jackson, resident guru for all things numbers and profitability. Bridget is the manager of PPA Business and also a CPA. She's helped hundreds of photography studios be more profitable and will address some common questions each month. Heed her advice folks--this lady knows her stuff!

What do all entrepreneurs need to know?

By Bridget Jackson, CPA

This is a question I receive frequently, and see it all over the place on other sources of photography advice. Some of it is good, but some, well, you know...

I've read through multiple columns on what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and here I present you an abbreviated list of often-overlooked qualifications. It's not a be-all-end-all list by any means, but these are some takeaways that seem relative in light of the fact that I am a numbers person and a consumer.

1). If you don't know your numbers and how to read them, you've got one foot in the proverbial grave of a failed business.

That might seem harsh, but did you know that according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), only 2/3 of small businesses survive two years? The reason they flop is poor accounting.

Let me take that one step further and say that it's not enough to have your tax return prepared once a year. You have to understand what your numbers mean.

PPA is here to help you understand the principles of sound financial management, and it starts with managerial accounting. PPA provides resources to members to help you implement, understand and manage your business based on these principles. If you are not practicing, I encourage you to follow in the footsteps of what many successful studios have done before you and embrace managerial accounting today.

An added benefit of visiting the Benchmark Resources is participating in the current survey. Not only will you feel an overwhelming sense of community knowing that you contributed to the only industry-wide financial survey, but that you helped shape the results of the survey. PPA will release preliminary numbers at Imaging USA 2015.

2). Company culture drives a successful business

As the boss it is your job to define, provide the resources and participate in the implementation of your company's culture. Businesses that succeed in this area have an increase in overall employee satisfaction and retention.

For those of you who don't have employees; don't feel left out. I have one for you too!

2A). As the sole employee of your studio, you need to be prepared to "take out the trash."

That's right, although you won't have a boss to answer to, you will be left with the potentially unwanted tasks of answering the phones, cleaning, etc. So prepare yourself mentally for these roles. It's up to you to take care of the dirty work too!

3). Know your competition and treat them with respect.

Just because someone is a photographer doesn't mean they are your competition. Continue to evolve yourself as an artist by entering print competitions and by continuing to update your product offerings. Cultivate a professional relationship and level of respect among your peers. Their opinion of you and your business often outweighs others.  As a consumer, negative comments by one entrepreneur about another actually have detrimental effects on the business owner making the comments. One way to rise above is to become an industry expert in your market and lead by example.

Of course, it takes much more than this to create a successful business. But taking these small steps can make a huge difference along the way!

 

 

PPA's CEO David Trust is in Washington D.C. shaking hands and talking photography with legislators to keep things moving toward new copyright law. He's out there in the trenches for you all! Told you we've got your back!

He'll be passing along updates over the next couple of days which we will post here as a sort of semi-live, "PPA on the Copyright Frontlines" diary.

And look for a recap after he returns to HQ here in Atlanta!

Monday, July 7, 1:26 p.m.

Just had a great meeting with Gayle Osterberg, Director of Communications for the Library of Congress. She reiterated the importance and popularity of the photography collections at the Library. She also presented some good ideas about how PPA can work more proactively with the Library to help educate Congress about the photographic industry. Gayle is a longtime friend of PPA and industry supporter. It's good to have an ally like her working for PPA members! 

Monday, July 7, 5:50 p.m.

Had a great meeting this afternoon with Jennifer Choudhry, Legislative Director for Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia. Collins is rapidly becoming the voice of Copyright on Capitol Hill and has been very aggressive in promoting and defending creator rights--not just in Georgia but across the country. The fact that PPA headquarters in downtown Atlanta is in such close proximity to Collins' district (about 45 minutes north of Atlanta) is a plus. Look for more news in the future--we have some special plans brewing for the pro-copyright congressman.

Tuesday, July 8, 8:58 a.m.

We have a busy day planned today on Capitol Hill: Five copyright meetings scheduled with members of Congress from Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, California, and North Carolina and a lunch with David Whitney, Chief Counsel for the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. It is very hot here, but will be a great day as PPA works to advance the cause of photographers in Washington D.C. 

[Don't forget you can contact your local legislator too!] 

Tuesday, July 8, 4:42 p.m.

Met with Congressman Howard Coble (R-6th North Carolina) to discuss the House Judiciary copyright review. Mr. Coble is a key player in legislation related to copyright as he is the current Chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Intellectual Property as well as the Co-Chair of the Creative Rights Caucus. David artfully made the case for a balanced view of copyright to ensure that the voices of the small businesses and solo-practitioners in the creative community, such as photographers, are heard.

Chairman Coble and David.jpg

Tuesday, July 8, 5:19 p.m.

David Trust converses with PPA consultant Cindi Tripodi, partner with the Nickles Group, outside of the Capitol after a successful day of Hill meetings.

David Cindi Capitol.jpg


Happy Independence Day! While you're enjoying the holiday, take a look at our 10 favorite
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 posts this week. There's even a few in here to help you with any photography adventures you might get into over the weekend! 

We've certainly got World Cup fever, how about you? Check out these great sports photographs on the Big Picture from some of the goals scored at the World Cup. It's great inspiration for the sports photographers out there. 

If you enjoy practicing street photography, you know that one of the biggest challenges is getting over your timidity of photographing strangers. If you struggle with shyness, this post from the Phoblographer provides some great advice for how you can overcome it! 

With the 4th of July holiday coming up, we're sure you'll be out photographing this weekend. Before you go, check out these tips on improving your photography this summer from Digital Photography School. You may discover some new ideas you hadn't considered before. 

The inverse square law of light is something that all professional photographers should understand. If you're having trouble understanding it, or need a reminder, check out these videos from photographer Karl Taylor, who explains the process in a way all photographers can understand. Knowing how to work with this law will improve your photography!

This week, Apple announced that they will stop all future development of Aperture. That means current Aperture users will want to make the shift to Lightroom, but fear not, Lightroom Killer Tips has made a list of things Aperture users should be aware of when switching to Lightroom. Hopefully, these tips will make your transition painless. 

We always love to share cool ideas and projects with you to help inspire you, and this week we have a great one. PetaPixel features Paris-based artist Sebastien Del Grosso who combines illustration and photography to make some amazing self-portraits. Check it out, it's worth the detour! 

If you create sports portrait composites, you'll want to check out this three-part post on PhotoFocus. Sports composite expert Vanelli walks you through his entire process from picking gear, setting up the studio, posing and lighting. 

Reporter Esther Honig sent 40 photo editors in 25 countries a photo of herself and asked them to "make her look beautiful". The results are a fascinating look at different cultural standards of beauty and how photo editing is influenced by them.

If you're planning on photographing 4th of July fireworks, don't miss USA Today's list of the 10 best fireworks displays in the country! If one of these cities is near you, consider making the trip to get some spectacular images.

If you enjoy nature photography, you've probably been tempted to capture foggy landscape scenes. The Photo Naturalist provides tips for capturing these images with the best results possible. 

There you have it! Our 10 favorite posts from around the net. What are your favorite photography blogs? Let us know on theLoop!
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!

We love hearing stories from our members, and this is one we couldn't resist sharing. And seriously... what's cuter than baby ducks?! 

But before you get your ducks in a row (ha! duck pun!), make sure you read about Georgia photographer Judith Ann's first time using ducklings in a portrait session. Hilarity will ensue!


Baby Ducks Don't Swim...

By: Judith Ann

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When I say baby ducks don't swim, it's partially correct and incorrect at the same time, because they do, they just didn't swim in the conditions I provided for them.

What am I talking about you ask? Let me back up and tell you about the large class I attended by a well-known photographer that taught how to build detailed sets for children. I was particularly interested in the set that included an indoor pond with live baby ducks that swam around at the feet of a child sitting on the end of a pier. I had to try it out myself!

So here's my story...

The day of my sessions, my mail-order ducks arrived at my post office with a morning call from the postmaster telling me to come pick up the little quackers immediately. He said he was not sure what I had ordered but they were screaming their little hearts out and wanted to know how fast I could get there to pick them up.

I returned to my studio baby ducks in hand with a short time before my first child client would arrive. I was totally pumped to get my photography shoot into motion. I had four 8-foot, 2 by 4's nailed together with a piece of pond liner that held the water in with plants, reeds and a pier that jutted out into the water, along with a basket and cane pole for "fishing," which made my set look "pond authentic."

We began the session by putting a three-year-old boy near the edge of the pier with a cane pole in his hand. My assistant was standing by waiting for my order to release the baby ducks onto the pier. I readied my camera for an adorable moment and with the nod of my head the ducks began their march toward the child.

The chaos erupted in a matter of seconds.

The little boy was freaked out by the ducklings heading his way and started whipping the cane pole at them. The first little quacker panicked and jumped into the water with the other five following him off the end of the pier.

As the ducks entered the water, some turned belly-up in reaction to the cold water. Others frantically tried to climb up the plastic reeds to escape the obviously too cold water and the cane pole that had become the boy's weapon as he attempted to save himself. My assistant frantically tried to pull the ducklings out of the water, while I ran to grab some towels and a blow dryer to hopefully help them recover from their unexpected hypothermia. The flurry of activity caused me to point toward the shocked mother and give non-understandable orders to apprehend the weapon and secure her ballistic son.

Miraculously, no ducks were harmed (other than being cold).

So what did I learn from the experience? First off, after you build the set, have playtime and a practice run. Warm the water with an aquarium heater at least 24-hours in advance of your photography session. Allow the child to warm up to the ducks and get to know them before sending them in his/her direction. Buy a dozen ducks and rotate six at a time to give them time for recover.

Oh and pro tip: Ducks by nature love to jump into baskets, so put a basket on one side of the pier so they will cross over and jump into the basket or put them in the basket and allow the child a moment of surprise (or horror) as they open it and find these adorable, fuzzy little quackers greeting them.

Despite the early chaos, by the end of the day I felt like I was a baby duck whisperer and did get some truly great images.

*NOTE: Please make sure you are in compliance with all state and local laws when using live animals during a session.

About Judith Ann:

Judith Ann is originally from Texas but calls Georgia home. A full-time photographer, she owns and operates Judith Ann Photography, with two studio locations. A self-described "photo-storygrapher," she brings her own unique flair and energy to the mix that keeps her clients coming back for more.  Her personal journey into photography has been an eclectic gathering of lifelong experiences from many different artistic mediums, including painting with oils and pastels to set design and handling black tie galas. When she discovered photography over 20 years ago her instincts told her she would make this her lifelong passion and career.  

 

 

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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What to do when your clients don't want you to use their photos online

 

By Mariah Ashley

The conversation was going so well. Jenny, the bride, wove her vision for her wedding day into a photographer's dream before my very ears.

No expense would be spared to get us to her exotic location. Photographs were of the upmost importance to her she explained, so she had taken great care to choose the timing of the day to coincide with the sunset. She had scouted locations for portraits to insure turquoise seas and fuchsia bougainvilleas as our backdrop. Her dress, she promised, would be like nothing I had ever seen. As we spoke, I pictured her gliding across a sandy beach with me, her photographer, clicking away and making her dreams and mine come true.

That's when a rogue wave Jenny's next comment slapped me out of my stupor. "So of course, I am going to need a clause in the contract to protect my privacy," she causally added.

"Huh?" I stammered.

"I don't want any photographs of myself, my family, or my guests on the internet. I don't want to be on your blog or on your website at all."

Oh no! Mayday! Think brain think, I thought as my beautiful sparkling turquoise vision and coinciding bragging rights faded to a fuzzy dull grey. Not knowing what to do I defaulted to my emergency response, "That's an unusual request. Can I think it over and get back to you on that tomorrow?"

When we hung up my initial feeling was of disappointment, which turned into annoyance and then quickly spiraled into indignation. Hadn't she told me she spent hours looking at all the photographs on my blog? Hadn't she said that she knew right away that we were the photographers for her because of our online gallery? It's not fair that she should benefit from viewing all my other clients but not give me the opportunity to attract new clients with images from her wedding. Sure, I want to travel to an exotic location and take beautiful photographs, but if I can't show them to anyone what's the point?

I remembered reading about a similar situation once on another very popular photographer's blog. Someone had written to her for advice on this very subject. Her response was that since her business model was through referral and not paid advertising she attributed most of her bookings to potential clients viewing her online portfolio. For this reason she would feel inclined to refuse the booking if she could not share the photographs on her website and blog. That seemed reasonable to me. Decision made, I would not be accepting this bride's wedding, no matter how dreamy she made it sound.

That night after a veggie stir-fry dinner, I settled on the couch with a glass of wine and an episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. I know, I know. What's a vegan like me doing watching a greasy lipped carnivore like Anthony Bourdain traipse around the world munching on animals? For some reason I find this entertaining and I close my eyes when he meets the critters that are about to become his dinner. It's a paradox. Anyway in this episode Anthony was in Copenhagen talking with a chef about Denmark's Law of Jante.

A colloquial term used in Denmark, Sweden, and most Nordic countries, Jante describes a condescending attitude toward individuality and success. The term refers to a mentality that de-emphasizes individual effort and places all emphasis on the collective, while discouraging those who stand out as achievers. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Jante)

This all sounds decidedly un-American doesn't it? Well that's because it is. It goes against everything we have ever been taught about business never mind life in 'Merica. But let's consider this: Denmark is consistently ranked one of the happiest places to live in the world. In fact of the top five happiest places to live, Nordic countries take up all five spots. The United States doesn't even make the list. (http://unsdsn.org/resources/publications/world-happiness-report-2013/)

Please, don't anyone take this the wrong way I'm as patriotic as the next girl. My favorite song of all time? America the Beautiful. Let's move on.

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Maybe just maybe there's something to this "thinking of others before ourselves" jazz and not believing the "I'm all that and a bag of potato chips" philosophy.

The next day I called Jenny and told her I would be thrilled to be her photographer and would happily include a clause in our contract to protect her privacy. I told her the clause would include the use of any identifying photographs of her, her family or her wedding guests. However, I asked that detail photos such as the dress, flowers, reception, atmosphere and scenery photos would be fair game for me to use. She asked to include in the clause any identifying photos of the outside of the property that belonged to her parents and I agreed. We had a deal.

This is when I started "Gettin' Jante Wit It" (gratuitous Will Smith reference). If Jante deemphasizes the individual and emphasizes the collective then I would pump up my collectives, mainly the wedding planners, band and videographers traveling with us to the wedding from Boston. We had never worked with these particular wedding planners before and surely if we could make them look good it would mean some nice referrals for us in the future.

At the wedding we made sure to take as many photos of our fellow vendors that showcased their hard work and efforts as possible including photos of them working over the course of the weekend. We even got creative with some photos that showed the bride and groom but didn't reveal their identities. When we were finished we had more than enough images to put together an effective blog post to help our vendor friends strut their stuff.

If we had turned down this wedding because it didn't afford us the opportunity to brag about ourselves we would have missed out on the chance to do some serious networking with vendors who could potentially give us some excellent referrals (never mind some excellent rum punch). The restraints that our bride Jenny put on us forced us to think outside the box in the way we use our blog for marketing. As it turns out, with blogging and marketing there is more than one way to skin a cat an onion. (Skinning a cat is a sticky prospect best left to Anthony Bourdain, I'll stick with onions).

To see how we pulled off a "faceless" blog post check out our post here: http://www.snapweddings.com/blog/dominican-republic-destination-wedding-photographers/


About the author:

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Mariah Ashley is co-owner of Snap! Photography in Rhode Island. She is blonde, loves to bake fruit pies, wears flip flops way past the summer season, should have been born in the 50s, paints and writes when the mood strikes her, is mother to Jacques and Vianne, vacations on Block Island, is vegan, never has proper or stylish outerwear, fears frogs and toads but loves turtles, has really skinny legs, personal Style- Bohemian Chic, wants to own a VW van,  grew up on a cranberry farm and is happiest when snorkeling is happiest when sipping a rum punch under a palm tree.

 


 

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.

with Bridget Jackson, CPA and PPA Business manager

In April, Bridget brought you some pretty great last-minute tax tips. Hopefully that gave you a chance to give your finances a good, stern look. Did you like what you saw? Even in the most successful businesses, you can find ways to boost profitability. 

That's where Bridget's column comes in handy! Here are 8 helpful tips to increase your profit margins:

  1. Mix it up. Increasing sales and cutting costs is on everyone's mind. Most people think that in order to grow sales you have to increase prices. That's certainly one way, but you can also offer add-on services and products that complement your current offerings, in turn increasing your sales average. Also, to cut costs see what processes you can automate or outsource. 
  2. Separate yourself from your competition. Find ways to differentiate yourself. Whether it's entering print competitions to refine your craft or finding ways to increase your social media presence or maybe it's becoming known for working with a specific charity. Be mindful that YOU are the differentiator in your business.   
  3. Streamline overhead costs. Workflow tracking and assessment needs to be done regularly to assure maximum productivity and to identify inefficiencies. Unfortunately tracking productivity is often overlooked but it's a great way to identify opportunities to reduce costs.
  4. Rent killing your business? Explore options for co-leasing a space with a like-minded business, whether that business is photography related or they attract a similar clientele. There has been also an increase in the number of owners that have brought their business in-home. Bottom line, if paying rent is sucking up your profits, find an alternative. 
  5. Keep them coming back. It is easier and less expensive to keep current clients coming back than it is to gain a new client. Consider a referral program to incentivize referrals. Also evaluate your client touch points and create new ways to take your customer service to a whole new level of hospitality.
  6. Selling every step of the way. Selling begins with your first point of contact. Your sales strategy should be clearly defined. Anyone in the studio who comes in contact with a client is a sales person and needs to understand the businesses' unique sales strategy as well as be well-versed on all of the session and product offerings.
  7. Make it easy to buy. Keep it simple, simple, simple from the client experience to the product offerings to collecting payments. Remember the ordering appointment is not a viewing appointment. Consider incentivizing your clients to make their purchase at the ordering appointment. You can also set up a session fee structure that includes a print credit or allow for payment plans to make it easier for your client to make larger purchases.  
  8. Understand your cash flow challenges. Due to the cyclical nature of most photography businesses, consider promotional offerings during off-peak times, perhaps ones with charitable connections. Not only can they generate some cash flow when it's much needed but these promotions can also increase your presence in your market. Build reserves during peak season to help smooth those months when cash flow is challenged. This way you can avoid using credit cards and incurring high interest expense charges. 

Bridget Jackson is the manager of PPA Business and also a CPA. She's helped hundreds of photography studios be more profitable and will address some common questions each month. Heed her advice folks--this lady knows her stuff!

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Here are our 10 favorite photography blog posts from the first full week of May.  In this week's round-up, you'll find some egregious errors to either laugh at or learn from (heck, or both!), helpful tips and of course just some flat-out beautiful imagery. Enjoy!

1). Oh No! Someone Stole Photos from the Person Who Runs Photo Stealers

That's not an error. Someone stole photos from the site that shames people for stealing photos. Like, seriously. Hopefully you don't see anything of yours on there that looks familiar, but better check!

2). The 13 Best Wedding Photos from Exotic Destinations

Destination weddings make for remarkable backdrops. We're jealous of anyone who has the budget to just go to these places, let alone spend the bucks to bring a talented photographer along! Take a look at this gallery of envy.

3). 7 Simple Photography Hacks

We love these! Photographer Leo Rosas put together this video of some clever tricks he uses. If you've been looking for easy ways to add artsy elements to your shooting or even create a moving timelapse, check these out!

4). Photographer Finds Beauty in Truth or Consequences

Have you heard of Spaceport America? It's the world's first purpose-built spaceport for commercial passengers, and it's set for its inaugural launch later this year (for just $250,000 a ticket, you could go on a sub-orbital flight too!). The spaceport is located just outside a town called Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Reuters photographer Lucy Nicholson got to check out this little slice of America. Take a look!

5). Get the Testimonials You're After With 3 Simple Questions

Jenika over at Psychology for Photographers dishes out all kinds of advice, but we dig this post in particular. If you're tired of digging through Facebook comments and emails for some testimonials to use in your marketing, you need to read this post and test out Jenika's ideas. Bring in those rave reviews faster!

6). Socks for your Tripod

There's one thing you're probably forgetting that you need in your camera bag. Tripod socks? Sure... we'll bite. For the slightly OCD photographer who wants to keep their sticks (look at us using industry slang!) clean, try out this easy cheat to keep your gear fresh.

7). World War I Photos

Take a trip back in time with these breathtaking photos taken during World War I. The black and white always seems to make the harrowing effects of war more haunting, but there's even an early experimentation with color photography in this collection. Can you imagine lugging around the camera equipment of the times during a battle?

8). Ultra long Exposures on your iPhone

For your "behind-the-scenes" needs, iPhone cameras are great and all, but one area they lack is long exposure functionality. Well, not anymore. There's an app for that! Check out the latest from Interealtime, the NightCap Pro.

9). The 10 Rules of Street Photography

Think you can just step out on the street and take pictures? Well, you can, per se, but expert street photographer Blake Andrews is here to give you 10 "rules" to live by when you're shooting guerrilla style. It's our kind of list! Very tongue-in-cheek and with a cardinal rule of have fun!

10). A Day in the Boots of a Timelapse Photographer

It's hard to call this an "average day," but for timelapse photographer, Joe Schat, of Roadtrippers, that's exactly what it is. Jealous is an understatement!

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.

 

UPDATED IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE!

Keith Howe had his follow-up PET scan last week, and it's the first image in his whole career to score a 0. That's right; they got the "all clear"! The Howes could not be happier.

Says Keith: "I've been lucky enough to score a perfect 100 in print competition and that felt awesome, but this zero feels even better!"

You can read their story in full below.


If you don't remember longtime members Keith and Holly Howe's story from a post we published around Christmas, it's worth the read. At the time, Keith was entering an aggressive treatment program for his cancer. But thanks in no small part to their positive attitudes and familial support system made through PPA, the Howe's are positively moving forward.

Their story picks up generally right where we left it--with Keith heading back to the hospital for more treatment. Although this time, it's for the final week of his final cycle. That's because the Howe's are on the verge of the ultimate good news: all clear.

 

Naturally, Keith is the star patient of the Nebraska Medical Center. 

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"They keep throwing stuff at him and he keeps bouncing back," said Holly. "No matter what they do to him, he takes it in stride."

Keith had a repeat PET scan after the fourth round of chemo and the cancer is almost all gone. Since then he has undergone another round and a half. On April 8, Keith spent his final week in the hospital. He is finally done with chemo. His medical team all made very positive comments about his prognosis and the oncologists are optimistic the Howes will receive the "all clear" when Keith gets his final PET scan May 12.  

From here on it's just re-checking the scans every three months and getting his feet back under him--quite literally. Keith will soon begin physical therapy to regain some lost balance and mobility. He can walk and drive, but some of his nerve endings just don't fire the muscles like they used to.

"It's kind of like stringing new telephone lines," said Keith. "I'm feeling pretty good overall, but I still can't do those quick movements I need to be able to do, especially during a family portrait session." 

Keith does some computer work. He's even back behind the camera a little bit helping out with a session a day.

"It's great to see clients still coming and the phone ringing," he said, with a laugh. "It's looking like I still have a photography business here."


A big part of Keith's recovery has been played by fellow photographers and PPA members.

As a PPA-approved juror for the International Photographic Competition, Keith has been actively involved in mentoring photographers who enter competition images for years. And despite cancer and chemo, this year was no different. In fact, Keith was even more active than usual.

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Competitors sent their files and Keith would take a look from his hospital bed and talk them through things over the phone. He'd browse print competition pages on Facebook and give his advice. He was still out there lending a helping hand.

One of those he's helped is Michelle Parsley, M.Photog.M.Artist., CPP, of Woodbury, Tenn. Michelle was one of the women (referenced in the December story) who asked Keith to be her sponsor at the Award & Degree ceremony at Imaging USA. Michelle shared in Keith's regret that he wasn't able to be there to walk her across the stage, but she made sure his presence was felt nonetheless.

"I know without his input I would not have walked for those degrees this year," said Parsley, who received her master of photography and master artist degrees this year in Phoenix. "So I had them announce his name as my sponsor even though he couldn't be there."

Keith and Michelle first "met" in 2011 when Michelle posted her images in a PPA forum looking for answers as to why they did not merit. Keith responded with his advice and offered his advice anytime she needed it.

"There's no telling how many times he's helped me," she said. "He's so good at identifying where you are in your artistic journey and talking to you in a way that makes you want to do better. He's encouraging on one hand, but on the other he's not blowing sunshine. He's been really good at telling me, 'This is what you've got to do to accomplish your goal.'" 

"Even this year I could send him prints and he could still give a heck of a print critique. He always had time to critique, no matter how he was feeling. And it's not just me; he does it for so many people. His advice was just what I needed. The funny thing is, I've never ever even met Keith in person."

It's one of many such connections Keith and Holly have made through PPA.

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"What other industry could I possibly have that kind of connection in? It's crazy when I stop to think about it. I live in the middle of nowhere Tennessee. To have someone as talented and willing to give their time from Nebraska, I've never even been to Nebraska, it blows my mind."

Keith also received daily support and encouragement from good friend and PPAedu instructor, Jeff Dachowski, M.Photog.Cr., CPP,--yet another friend made through PPA.

"It's amazing how people can rally around and help you," said Keith.

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Photographers in Nebraska have come and stepped in for recent sessions. A couple women from Wyoming came out to photograph their annual big dance school earlier this month. A photographer from Virginia helped with a recent shoot. Photographers in Florida have raised their cameras and offered support if needed. It all started through PPA.

"We know without a doubt that his amazing reaction (or should I say lack of reaction) to the extremely intensive chemo is because of his continuing positive attitude," said Holly. "And we also know we could never have sustained that positive outlook without the amazing outpouring of support we have received from our photography family.

"We still don't know what the future will hold as far as our business--whether Keith will bounce back enough to handle the physical demands of photographing a diva high school senior or a hyperactive two year old, but we are in a good place emotionally and financially because of our friends. We know we will be okay no matter what."


So... What's next?

Physical therapy! Lots of it.

Keith will get to work on bringing up his energy and regaining his balance.

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"I want to be photographing high school seniors again," he said. "We also have a wedding to shoot in July for a woman who's been a client forever. She said she couldn't go elsewhere, it'd be like cheating on her spouse."

Keith and Holly also have a pretty big wedding to attend coming up.

"Our oldest son is getting married in California in May," said Holly. "From the moment he got engaged he has wanted his future in-laws' dog as his ring bearer, but wasn't sure what to do with the dog during the reception.

"Well, Keith was talking with a friend of ours and fellow PPA member who lives out in the area about possible venues and asked on a whim if she knew anyone that could watch a dog. It just so happened that she fosters dogs and would be happy to.

"They were amazed that we knew someone, who fosters shelter dogs, no less, that lives so close by. We weren't because we have friends EVERYWHERE. That's how PPA works."

Keith's original recovery goal was to be well enough to attend the wedding, but now he's thinking more. He's on target to be there in a California meadow under lofty redwoods for the ceremony, then dance at the reception in an apple orchard as the sun dips into the Pacific.

It might make for some good pictures.

 

 

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
blog_roundup_graphic.jpg
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 RenĂ©e 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.


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