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By Aleighia Rouse 

We know you all are already excited about Imaging USA 2017 that will be held in San Antonio, TX on January 8-10, 2017. San Antonio is an amazing city filled with delicious restaurants, and an abundance of rich history. There is a lot to do around the convention center and throughout the downtown area. Don't forget to bring the family, San Antonio is great for all ages and there are so many ways for you to get around. Here are a few of San Antonio's dining and attractions options:

Grab a quick lunch and enjoy the scenic environments around the convention center, Market Café is located in the Main Lobby and El Puente Café in the West Lobby of the convention center. Pop into to either one of these restaurants for a coffee, quick snack or a meal. 

Listed as Texas' number one tourist attractions, the River Walk is one place you want to visit during your time in San Antonio. It sits catty corner to some amazing historical sites and national parks and it is home to a lot of delicious restaurants, from fine dining on a River Boar to take-out. 

The Market Square is one of San Antonio's gems and provides world-famous, authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. This is known as the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico and houses over 100 locally owned shops and stalls. 

The Alamo is dedicated to educating its visitors on the over than 300 years of historical importance of its presence in the Texas nation. It is used to remember those who died in the battle in which Texas fought for freedom in 1835. The Alamo is family friendly and allows opportunities for fun and entertainment. 

This beautiful park was built in 1968 for the World's Fair. In 2001 the River Walk formed an extension of the new Convention Center Expansion and connects to a miniature lagoon on the inside of Hemisfair. Hemisfair Park is in the process of new innovations that will bridge the gap between the past and the future as it binds historic sites and the urbanization of San Antonio. 

This national historic landmark symbolizes some of the last visual remnants of Presidio San Antonio de Béjar. The Spanish Governor's Palace was originally intended for the purpose of residence and working office for those captains of military garrison from the early 1700s through the 1800s, but today it serves as a historic Texas site for some of the earliest Spanish rule. 

The Tower of Americas has the most spectacular view of the Alamo and shows a panoramic view of downtown San Antonio. Located in the heart of downtown, Tower of Americas sits just around from the convention center that Imaging USA is taking place in. Take a moment to enjoy the view and enjoy a meal at the Tower's revolving Chart House Restaurant or pop into their 4D Theater Ride.

Nestled between the Alamo and River Walk, the Institute of Texans Cultures is home to some great exhibits that will inspire, entertain, and educate those who experience them. In association with the Smithsonian Institution the museum is located downtown as part of the University of Texas at San Antonio's Hemisfair campus. 

This is the perfect place for your little ones, at The Doseum they have the opportunity to learn and explore through exciting and transformative fun. This San Antonio Museum is designed for kids to educate themselves through professional development and a fun place to visit during your down time. 

Want to learn more about the Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, head over to ImagingUSA.com!

Aleighia Rouse is a graduating senior at Spelman College and PPA's Marketing and Communications intern. She aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. Aleighia is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice, and with over 6 years of film and photography experience, she can relate to and understand most of the issues faced by PPA photographers.

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by James Yates

You didn't miss Imaging USA 2016, did you? Well, just in case, here on the PPA Today blog you will find exclusive videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

Grand Imaging Awards
Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta

Take a look at the Grand Imaging Awards at Imaging USA 2016! The 2015 Medalists, Diamond Photographers of the Year, and all the Loan Collection artists from the most recent International Photographic Competition (IPC) were honored. You can also see who was crowned champion, earning the Grand Imaging Award!

And don't even think about missing next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!

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by James Yates

You didn't miss Imaging USA 2016, did you? Well, just in case, here on the PPA Today blog you will find exclusive videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

Award + Degree Ceremony
Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta

In this video, check out the 2016 Award & Degree Ceremony at Imaging! Congratulations to all the photographers that earned their PPA Degree or got an award, including the Lifetime Achievement Winner, Kenneth L. Whitmire, M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP.

Ken is such an inspiration and his joy is infectious. Watch and learn how a true legend accepts acclaim with grace and gratitude.

And don't even think about missing next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!

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by James Yates

Learn how to use PRINTS to boost your studio's success! Over the next several days, you will find exclusive videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

PRINT. The Movement: Success Secrets of a Six Figure Studio
Class taught at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta
by Allison Tyler Jones, CPP

In this video, Allison Tyler Jones shares her tips on creating products and using in-person sales strategies that have helped her create a successful and sustainable business. This interactive class was guided by questions from attendees, so watch to learn the answers to some of your biggest business and sales questions.
Be on the lookout for more Imaging USA 2016 videos coming your way next week!
And don't even think about missing out on next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!

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If you've never seen or heard the great Tim Walden speak, you are in for a huge (and inspiring) treat! In the next few days, you will find several videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the first video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

PRINT. The Movement: Being A Print Artist
Class taught at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta
By Tim Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP

In this program, you'll be part of a conversation on the importance of printing in photography and the role it plays in positioning you uniquely and making "the crowded market" a subjective argument. You will hear how to be a "Print Artist" in your community and how that can raise the value of your imagery and of you as an artist.

Be on the lookout for another PRINT. The Movement video coming your way tomorrow!
And don't even think about missing out on next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!

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By Aleighia Rouse

The month brings many loving and historical holidays and it also supplies new information on helpful and exciting happenings going on within the photography community.  Here are our top 10 blog posts of the week!

RIGHTS AND REGULATIONS: PPA's government affairs team has hit the New Year running, running for your rights as photographer, that is! This year will bring great happenings for professional photographers that own small business copyrights. The three primary priorities and most vital copyright concerns have been (1) creation of a small claims option for copyright enforcement; (2) modifications to copyright registration process to improve participation and functionality; and (3) modernization of the United States copyright office. 

IPC 2016: If you are thinking of entering the 2016 International Photographic Competition here is a informative article on the recent changes in the judging process. Don't be the one photographer left out of the loop and check out this article by Christine Walsh- Newton, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. 

COMPETITIVE EDGE: Learn an interesting perspective on new competition in the photography industry, a terrific podcast by international award winning photographer and PPA member Ben Hartley. He focuses on why being in a cluttered market can be a good thing and how to get out a scarcity mindset for the success of your photography business. 

IUSA 2016: If you missed this year's Imaging USA in Atlanta, you missed out on some incredible new experiences in photography and great inspiration from our keynote speaker. Check out this post and amazed by the splendor and magnificence that is Amy Purdy. 

AESTHETICS: Personal style is so important to have when owning your own photography business. It is your signature, what you will be known for. In this article by the Exposure School, learn how to adapt and define your personal style as a professional photographer and "unleash your inner creativity." 

MARKETING WISELY: One of the big keys to having a successful photography business is making sure you take in consideration the concerns, needs, and wants of your clientele. Check out this article to find ways to promote your business and great techniques on approaching your marketing plan for your photography business.

PRO TIPS: Are you having trouble showing people the difference it can make by hiring you as a professional photographer? Here are some helpful approaches to use from PPA member Jeff Rojas on how to capture the potential clientele your business needs. 

CONNECT: As a professional photographer you know that you have to pull the best out of your subject and make them feel so comfortable that they don't know the lens is even in front of them. Check out this article by Fstoppers and learn how to break the barrier between you and your subject. 

PHOTOVISION: This month PhotoVision has released a wide variety of videos with many different topics to help you become better photographers. Remember that as a PPA member you have access to over 800 videos from PhotoVision, head on over to their recently redesigned website!

ZENSPIRATION: It can be difficult to separate your work life from your personal life, thanks to a few new TED talks it just got a little easier. Learn a few tips on how to develop a balance between your work environment and your personal life. 

There you have it, our Weekly Roundup of our top 10 blog post! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommitee @ PPA.com.

Aleighia Rouse is a graduating senior at Spelman College and PPA's Marketing and Communications intern. She aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. Aleighia is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice, and with over 6 years of film and photography experience, she can relate to and understand most of the issues faced by PPA photographers.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 980791_10153524820929051_3053145740937398337_o.jpgImaging USA 2016 was a resounding success all around and one of the most noteworthy takeaways was the keynote speech by Amy Purdy. Even those who were unfamiliar with Amy and her inspiring story found themselves blown away by her larger-than-life personality and charm. Now we want you to experience it too!
Paralympic medalist/motivational speaker/New York Times best-selling author/Adaptive Action Sports co-founder/Amazing Race and Dancing With The Stars runner-up Amy Purdy gave the inspirational keynote presentation to thousands of photographers on the first morning of Imaging USA 2016. A lot of photographers work alone and can be discouraged when trying to "make it". Amy offered a fresh perspective and showed everyone that it's all a matter of putting your heart and soul into something bigger than yourself. She shared her triumphant tale of overcoming the loss of her legs to go places she never thought she could. From nearly losing her life to being able to buy feet to match her favorite shoes, Amy's story is both thought-provoking and uplifting. Get some motivation and take your business to new heights by checking out the recording from her speech!

Want more info on Amy? Check out our previous blog posts to get more of her amazing life story.

by James Yates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by James Yates

all images © Alex the Photo Guy


I'm trying to stay upbeat but heading home is a bittersweet feeling. Everyone on the floor of the GWCC and Expo today was excited, inspired, and ready to return home with a ton of new friends and weapons in their photography arsenal. 

Let me share with you the story of April Ranew, a PPA member of just two years. Last year was her first Imaging USA and she left inspired and determined to make her business a success. In just a couple of months, she used her new knowledge to open her home studio and by the end of the year she had doubled her sales. Now, that's exciting enough but here's where the story gets even better: at this Imaging USA she happened to be in line at a nearby restaurant after the convention one evening. The party in front of her noticed she was alone and invited her to sit with them. It turned out to be several PPA Board Members who wound up sharing their stories and years of experience with her, a "newbie", and forming new friendships. She learned so much and now feels like she's "part of the PPA family". That's what I'm talking about when I say you never know what can and will happen at Imaging USA! 


But back to this last, amazing day. The classes today were as fantastic as one would hope for on the last day. Peter Hurley is always a big favorite from attendees. Craig LaMere taught everyone how to have a "badass brand". Ashley Brooke used her social media savvy to inspire attendees to put the personality back in their business. And there were more than a few tears shed at the highly emotional session with Jerry Ghionis, M.Photog.Cr. His session was all about evoking emotion! You didn't expect him not to do that, did you? 


The Expo floor was abuzz today as throngs of people bought last-minute tickets for the PPA Charities Dream Studio Giveaway, a complete makeover for one lucky winner, Greg Mooney of Marietta, Georgia, souped up and tricked out with all the latest and greatest products from the expo and valued at an estimated $50,000. Check back in the spring here at PPA Today to see video of Jamie Hayes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API and the PPA Charities Dream Team surprising Greg at his studio and beginning the process of giving it that amazing makeover. 


Next up tonight was the Awards and Degree ceremony where PPA honored the professional photographers who set themselves apart in the industry by earning new PPA degrees and awards. There was even the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award given to Ken Whitmire, M.Photog.Cr.FASP. Ken is only the fourteenth recipient of that honor in PPA's nearly 150 year history!

And then...the Closing Party. Imaging USA goers schmoozed with fish, danced with penguins, and snapped pics of beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium. You went, right? If for no other reason than to say "see you next year!" Please tag and share your pictures with #ImagingUSA with all the friends you've made and saw at Imaging USA. 


That "last day of camp" feeling is electric in the air today. Let's all get rested and then work hard to implement everything we learned to help our business and art thrive! 

If you missed out....DON'T LET IT HAPPEN NEXT YEAR! We're going to be Living La Vida Lone Star in San Antonio, Texas. Not a PPA member? Join now and get your first Imaging experience for FREE! PPA.com/Join

Check out the Recap Video for the final day of Imaging 2016

by James Yates

***all images © Alex the Photo Guy***

***except the dogs at the end. You'll see***

I can't even. I. Cannot. Even. 

If you read my previous post, then you know how much the Pre-Convention days here at Imaging USA in Atlanta meant to me as a first-timer. To be able to speak to members, hear their stories, share in their excitement, and make new friends in the process seemed like PPA's coupe de grace. 

And then the first official day happened today.

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The entryway to the GWCC had a DJ...at 8:00am. I danced to Outkast with Imaging USA attendees at 8:45 this morning! Now THAT is ATL love! I knew there were lots of parties at Imaging but this is ridiculous! 

Right off the jump, the 8:00am classes featured amazing speakers like Kristin and Paul Privette and Timothy Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Phtog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, starting everyone's convention off with fun, informative (and full) classes that had me wishing I could stay for the whole thing each time I ducked in to sample them. The faces of the attendees, while they learned pro tips like how Kristin and Paul describe being "obsessed" with your products personally before showing them to your clients, were what you would call "transfixed". 


This year, everyone's schedule was cleared so all attention would be paid to our Keynote Speaker, Amy Purdy. You could hear a pin drop as she told her life story and inspired everyone in attendance with her triumphant take on life's struggles. I've had the pleasure of writing up several blog posts about Amy over the past couple of months and I was more than a little "fanning out" over her being here. She did not disappoint, in both inspiration, and generosity of spirit. 


We barely had time to think before the Board of Directors cut the ribbon to the Imaging Expo floor and, in an instant, PANDEMONIUM. It was like a Black Friday sale without the trampling and shoving (photographers are a classy and respectful bunch). Seriously, if you have never seen the Imaging Expo, it truly is like the Mall of America for photographers. Everything and anything you need for your business is there, from the latest trends to perennial favorites. 

I interviewed tons of people on the Expo floor and around the conference today and found a special bond with other first-timers. Our eyes would meet in a look of "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?!". 


The evening classes were awesome too and I was able to catch an entire class on the amazing Studio Makeovers. Here's the deal: two studio owners, both members of PPA, were chosen to partner up with five PPA mentors, the best in the business, to completely overhaul the finances of their business. The class was a group interview and presentation as we were walked through their process and how their year went. It was a real-life experiment in the question, "How does change feel?" Here's a hint: both studios became increasingly financially successful. I'll devote an entire blog post to just this class when my head stops spinning from everything else I saw today but seriously, with mentors as strong as Ashley Brooke, Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, Dave Doeppel, CPP, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, and Kristin Privette, CPP (yes, her again!), you can imagine how insanely informative and packed with info the class was. 

As Angela Kurkian, PPA's Director of Education, put it, "When you decide to create change, change occurs all around you." 

I'm inspired, I'm moved, I'm exhausted, I'm ready for more. I have to finish writing this so I can hop over to the Opening Party where I hope to dance with a few superheroes and flappers until all the fun starts again tomorrow! 


^^^my favorite attendees, Louis and Annabella, © Judy Reinford^^^

Check out our amazing Recap Video for a whirlwind glance at all that went down

See you all tomorrow at Imaging USA! Don't forget to share and tag your photos on social media with #ImagingUSA

And if you've missed out, be sure to join PPA and go to next year's Imaging USA in San Antonio for FREE! PPA.com/Join

by James Yates

***all images © Alex the Photo Guy***


Imaging USA 2016 doesn't officially start until tomorrow but you sure wouldn't know it from the tons of people already enjoying Pre Convention classes! 

I'm James Yates, PPA's Communications Specialist and one of the newbies on the PPA staff, having only started working with PPA two months ago. I had certainly heard the hype: "Imaging is the most fun you'll have all year!" "You won't believe how happy and friendly everyone is!" and "Get ready for the ride of your life." Aside from that nervous, "up the rollercoaster"-feeling in my stomach, I set out Thursday morning ready to receive whatever Imaging goodness came my way...

...and boy, did it! THIS IS AMAZING! Seriously, the convention and expo officially start tomorrow but it already feels like the greatest photography party on earth up in here! The Georgia World Congress Center has been painted red-and-white by PPA and I got to snap some pics and take in everything there is to do during the Pre Convention courses. Here's a Pro Tip for next time....GO TO PRE CONVENTION! 



by James Yates

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Because sometimes being an internationally recognized symbol for overcoming adversity just isn't enough and some of you wondered where the connection is, we have been spending the past several weeks helping you get to know Amy Purdy. You'll quickly understand why we're so excited to have her be part of Imaging USA 2016!

Be sure to go back and read our last super-sized post taking a look at Amy's noteworthy television appearances, Then find out about Amy's amazing 2nd place finish on ABC's Dancing with the Stars or check out our post about Amy's non-profit, Adaptive Action Sports

Imaging USA 2016 is HERE and Amy will be with us, Sunday, January 10 at 10am! You'll be with us, right? By now you really don't need any more info to know how amazing Amy is (HELLO! She's a Bronze Medal- winning Olympic athlete!), but we've saved some clips for you just to get you even more excited.  

First up, in 2011, Amy gained international notoriety through her TED talk. This was long before she started working as a motivational speaker and was a huge success, being viewed worldwide nearly 1.2 million times. Consider this clip about drawing inspiration from life's obstacles a preview for what's to come on January 10th! (She'll be inaugurating a whole new presentation for us at Imaging USA!)

Did you know Amy was featured by ESPN as one of their Impact 25, a list of the greatest women athletes for 2015? Her interview is intimate and inspiring and you can read it here

Of course, a year before her fame-making appearance on Dancing With the Stars, Amy first proved herself to be a superstar by winning the Bronze Medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics. Host network NBC included Amy in this documentary profile, How to Raise an Olympian, sponsored by P&G.

Finally, if you haven't already, grab yourself a copy of Amy's memoir, On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life. Copies will be available before and after her talk because she's doing a book signing right after her keynote speech! We know you're as excited as we are now to meet and be inspired by Imaging USA's 2016 Keynote speaker, the amazing Amy Purdy.

See you there! If you, for some insane reason, haven't registered for Imaging USA 2016 yet, do so here. But hurry! It's THIS weekend! 

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By James Yates

PPA Charity 5K 215-(c)-randy-taylor.JPG2016's Imaging USA convention in Atlanta features several celebrations and programs brought to you by PPA Charities. A fully functioning philanthropic arm of Professional Photographers of America (PPA), PPA Charities' mission is to "allow PPA to become a force for positive change in our society and to make a difference in the lives of others." PPA Charities chooses partners in the philanthropic community to help reach their giving goals.

Imaging USA is always the kick-off to a great year of giving and this year's charity events are no exception. It all begins Saturday, Jan. 9 at 8pm with the Cooking it Up with PPA Charities party at the Georgia World Congress Center. It's a great place to meet and mingle with other philanthropic photographers. Yearly donations are presented to Operation Smile and Dando Amor, the newest recipient of the prestigious Legacy Award will be announced and the whole party is sponsored by White House Custom Color.
Don't party too hard because the next morning, Sunday, Jan. 10 at 7am is the Super Hero for Smiles 5k Fun Run around downtown Atlanta! It's a fundraiser for Operation Smile, an international medical charity that has provided more than 220,000 free surgical procedures to children and young adults from over 60 countries born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.

After the run, kick off those shoes and donate them and other gently used shoes to Dando Amor's "Shoes for Love" shoe drive! Dando Amor helps orphans in South America and Africa escape poverty through education and self-sufficiency training. They collect gently used shoes of all kinds to give to the shoeless and also help teach the unemployed how to run a small business selling repurposed shoes.

Stop by the PPA Charities booth #1551 to see the Dream Studio and buy raffle tickets for Tuesday, Jan. 12th's Dream Studio Giveaway, where one lucky winner's photography studio is overhauled with $20,000 worth of photographic equipment, products, software, lab credits and more. 

Be sure to allow plenty of time in your Imaging USA 2016 schedule to party with your philanthropic peers and help artists give back to the community with PPA Charities! 

By James Yates

PPA's theLoop online community has been on a roll lately, hosting Imaging USA 2016 speakers for Ask Me Anything sessions. This week, we were privileged to have Terri Eddington, M.Photog., CPP, sit and answer your questions for our final AMA before Imaging USA 2016!


Terri is a 3-time recipient of the International Photographer of the Year Award as well as PPA's highest honor of Diamond photographer; her elegant style and talent in wedding and boudoir photography has truly set her apart in the industry. Terri also devotes her time and energy to furthering her industry as the rising President of PPA Louisiana.

At Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta, Terri will be teaching the class "High Impact Lighting Made 'Easy'", January 11, 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM. In this amazing workshop, Terri demystifies everything that is difficult, complicated and cumbersome about lighting. Using her unique gift of simplifying this all-important concept, she'll show you fun and easy-to-understand setups that will deliver stunning images for your clients!
Terri's easy-going approach and sparkly personality are infectious. Right at the start of our AMA session, she told the audience, "Go ahead ask me anything...I will answer with a 'TNT' response! Does that mean 'Powerful'? From me, no! 'TNT' means 'Terri Not Technical' LOL! If you like an easy approach and simple explanation...then I'm you girl!"

Thanks, Terri! We know there are both new and evolving photographers who appreciate "easy" and "simple"! Here are some highlights from her AMA:
What's Your Inspiration and Your Favorite Personal Photo?

My inspiration? "People". I love to photograph people. Any kind, any style and even anywhere! Years ago in painting or art class when I could choose to draw or paint anything, I would choose people! I was told that was the hardest - but not to me. It was my passion. I did not know that many years later I would be photographing people but I never get tired of it. It is always exciting to see the many faces and personalities before me. And I have the privilege to capture them all! 
What is my favorite photography ever? Really? I mean, really? That is impossible to say! But I can say, when I capture the soul of a person, there is nothing like it. When their inner beauty shines through their eyes we are no longer just photographers but artists!
Is your creativity for an image fully realized before the capture or in post-production?
There are so many ways to approach photography to where there is not a true right or wrong. I can just say from my personal experience I have done a little of both. I do try to have a "game plan" when I shoot. I like to know location, time of day (if outside), the personality or taste of the client to know what to work towards during a shoot. If shooting in the studio I try to have the type of props and style of lighting ready that will work for the client. These are things I do for my everyday clients. A lot of times these clients have a need for normal/regular shots. What I do try to do is at the end of the shoot I like to be creative and do a little something different. We just have fun! A lot of times it will be their favorite but it was nothing they originally asked for. This allows me to stay creative and also gives them something that maybe no one else has. 
Now, on a stylized shoot I do plan more ahead of time. I try to have a theme, look and style ready. But again during the shoot something might hit me and I go for it. It's either the look someone has or their personality that comes thru and may lead me in a different direction. No matter how tired I am at the beginning of a shoot, once we get started I am "in the zone". I don't get in a hurry when I shoot. I love to create so I make sure I schedule in the time. 
That being said I would say that I don't fully realize everything I am going to do before a shoot but it does help to plan a little.
How do you approach High Key Lighting?

I really don't shoot a traditional high key. As far as a high key look on the subject themselves, I shoot normal lighting ratios and then lighten in Photoshop. This allows me to be in control of how much I want to lighten the subject and also to keep good detail and depth in the eyes, etc. I do sometimes shoot to have the background a white high key look by putting a one-to-two stop higher light on the background than the subject as long as the light on the back of the subject (reflecting from the background) is not brighter than the main light.
We hope you found Terri's advice helpful! And remember to catch her live at Imaging USA in Atlanta! Sign up today at ImagingUSA.org/Registration.

By James Yates
Can you believe Imaging USA 2016 is only 2.5 WEEKS away?! PPA Today is going to make sure you have all your i's dotted and t's crossed before your big trip and we figured now may be a good time to go over...transportation.


Imaging USA 2016 will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) in the heart of downtown Atlanta. PPA is super-excited that Imaging USA is in our hometown this year! If you've never been or it's been a while, downtown Atlanta got a face-lift. Right next to the GWCC you'll find Centennial Olympic Park and the CNN Center, the new SkyView Ferris Wheel, the World of Coca-Cola, the new College Football Hall of Fame, the new Civil Rights Museum, and of course, the amazing Georgia Aquarium...home of the 2016 Imaging USA closing party!

If you're flying to Atlanta...take MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) from Hartsfield-Jackson airport to the GWCC, Omni or Glenn Hotels. It's only $2.50 and a straight line there!

1. Enter MARTA Airport station adjacent to baggage claim.
2. Board northbound train (Red or Gold) toward Five Points Station.
3. Get off at Five Points and follow signage to westbound train platform.
4. Board westbound train (Green or Blue) travel one stop to Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center.
5. Follow signage to street level, walk one block northwest toward Georgia World Congress Center.

If you're heading to the Hyatt Regency, Sheraton Hotel or other downtown Atlanta properties, continue on the Red or Gold line past Five Points Station, and get off at Peachtree Center. From there you'll find signage directing you to your respective hotels. 

If you're driving to Atlanta...save a lot of money and pre-purchase parking for Imaging USA. That's 50% off the regular convention parking price at $10 per day - no overnight parking permitted. 

1. Just click on the GWCC Online Parking Permits button here to go to the main parking permits page.       
2. From there you will click on the "Purchase Event Parking Permits" button.
3. On the Select Event page, click on Georgia World Congress Center.                                                                           
4. Look for Imaging USA among the January events.
5. Continue to pre-purchase a parking permit for IUSA.

If you're also staying at a hotel downtown, you will have access to everything you need for the week with just a short walk. There are also several ways to get around if you want to spend some time exploring our beautiful city or if you're staying at a hotel a little farther away. 
Take Marta! It's Smarta! Go to itsmarta.com and/or check out this helpful video.

Atlanta also has Uber, Lyft and taxi services available. 

Wanting to go check out more cool Atlanta spots like the Martin Luther King Center or the Sweet Auburn district? You might want to take a ride on Atlanta's new streetcar!  The streetcar will take you all the way from Centennial Olympic Park to the King Historic District, 12 stops along the way, for only $1 a ride with the quick purchase of a free Breeze card (the same card you will use to ride Marta). 

No matter how you want to get around, Atlanta is ready to wow you at Imaging USA 2016

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By James Yates

Because sometimes being an internationally recognized symbol for overcoming adversity just isn't enough and some of you wondered where the connection is, we have been spending the past several weeks helping you get to know Amy Purdy. You'll quickly understand why we're so excited to have her be part of Imaging USA 2016!

Each week you'll see a highlight on Amy, and how the inspiration and insight she provides make perfect sense for this year's convention! Be sure to go back and read last week's post and find out about Amy's amazing 2nd place finish on ABC's Dancing with the Stars or check out our post about Amy's non-profit, Adaptive Action Sports. This week, your Amy Purdy round-up is super-sized for your holiday week perusal and will be taking a look at the rest of Amy's noteworthy television appearances, especially her stint on The Amazing Race and her meet-cute with future husband, Daniel Gale.

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One year after losing her legs, Amy placed third in a snowboarding competition. In 2003, after proving herself as an unstoppable athlete, Amy was chosen as spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. This job opportunity moved her to San Diego where, soon after, she began picking up work as a model and actress.

As soon as Amy got out into the modeling world, she was recognized for her fierce determination and unbeatable attitude...not to mention her looks and ability to affix props to her legs! She was cast in a Madonna video and, when the Material Girl caught Amy strutting around on her prosthetics in the background, she demanded Amy be a featured performer and placed front and center in the "American Life" video. The video, while Amy's big modeling breakthrough, was pulled from television and banned. You can find it with just a little searching (it's the one with the military-runway theme).

Element skateboards and clothing company signed Amy to design and model a line of clothes and snowboards for them. They were a huge success and, once Amy took off on Dancing with the Stars, Element made the collection a permanent part of their line.

Already a muse for Madonna, Amy next worked in the pop music world with Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx as a model for his book, This Is Gonna Hurt. She posed with giant ice picks as her legs in these unforgettable photos.

Continue Reading after the jump for Amy and Daniel's love story...





Becoming a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) can open more doors for your career than you could even imagine, for a professional photographer to receive their CPP is an achievement and recognizable mark of excellence. At Imaging USA 2016, 15 CPP's will be presenting essential information in the business, inspiration and technique tracks. 

Here are a few of the classes being offered by Certified Professional Photographers:

Francie Baltazar Stonestreet, Cr.Photog, CPP
Bree Adams, CPP
Landon Day, CPP
Dave Goldman, Cr.Photog., CPP
The Game Changer: Become a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP)
Sunday, January 10
5:00 - 6:15 pm
Want to learn how to take your work and professional recognition to a new level? Want to differentiate your studio from others? Want to understand what it takes to earn your CPP? In this program you will learn from successful wedding, baby, maternity, sports, headshot and senior photographers how they earned their CPP and how it impacted their work and their businesses.  Join us in this program as we reveal our successes and failures and how CPP was the ultimate game changer in their businesses.

Dave Stock, Cr.Photog., CPP.
New Approaches for New Challenges
Sunday, January 10
6:45 - 8:00 pm
In this class Dave will be discussing the mark of youth sports photography and how to break the mold of parents taking photos of their children on the field or the court. He will talk about four key areas to maintain a successful business in volume sports- provide high quality products, conduct efficient photo days, provide superior customer service, and have a great team.

Timothy Walden, M.Photog.Hon.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP
Images that Speak
Monday, January 11
10:00 - 11:30 am
Tim will highlight the four cornerstones of any great image- lighting, posing, composition and emotion- and how each of these fit together to create the iconic Walden portrait. The typical Walden portrait combines relationship style and fine art study to explore emotion and discover one's own style and brand.

Terri Eddington, M.Photog., CPP
High Impact Lighting Made Easy
Monday, January 11
5:00 - 6:15 pm
This class will be an amazing experience. Terri will make the concepts of photography that seem the most difficult the easiest to understand. Through this class you will learn everything about lighting, like how to master strobes and off camera flash.

Arthur Levi Rainville, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API
Dégagé Portraiture - The Art of Unconstrained Creating
Tuesday, January 12
10:00 - 11:30 am
In Arthur's class he introduces a new style of photography which takes the conformities of this old-school portraiture and lets them loose. He will discuss non-posed posing and interview techniques to use with your clients to help you create the most beautiful images.

Are you considering getting your Certified Professional Photographers? Learn from PPA members that have already earned theirs. Gain techniques and helpful information to tackle the CPP exam like a champ! Have you gotten your Imaging USA passes yet?

JOY_7309-1.JPGAleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and one of PPA's Marketing and Communications interns, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. 

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This fall, PPA launched its third annual PPA Kickstart Scholarship. PPA granted four lucky winners the opportunity to attend free pre-convention classes at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. They had the chance to choose between a full day of hands-on classes or a two-day business workshop.

All of the winners are very excited about this amazing opportunity, and two of these four PPA photographers will be attending Imaging USA for the first time. We introduce to you the 2015 scholarship winners and some highlights from conversations following their winnings:

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Erik Vicino
Reenfoque Photography, Mexico
Member of PPA since 2014

"Imaging USA will help me be more by just being there. I can't even imagine the vibe of the place, the people that are there and the fact that everyone that will be there has a story and something in common with me. Anything and everything that happens during Imaging USA will undoubtedly change my life and my studio. "

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Monica Alden
Monica Alden Photography, Mundelein, Illinois
Joined PPA in January

"I am hoping that by taking a pre-convention class I will learn enough helpful tips to make my studio the best in my residing area. That's my goal for 2016."

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Lori R McCoy, CPP
Bella Vita Photography, Hamilton, Ohio
Member of PPA since 2008

"The best part about winning this scholarship is that I would not have had the extra money to take a pre-convention class, so thanks to the PPA scholarship, now I can take an in-depth class that will help me take my photography business to the next level!"

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Matthew L Noll
Matthew Designs, Revenna, Ohio
Member of PPA since 2014

"The biggest thing I am hoping to take away from Imaging USA is learning about new information through the Hands-On classes. That will be an amazing opportunity for me to learn next to a master photographer. After that are the courses, I've already bookmarked the ones I'm going to attend and researched all about the speakers I want to see. Lastly, I'm looking forward to speaking with the vendors and learning about the new equipment and techniques."

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By Sarah Ackerman

Imaging USA is better when it's shared with friends! Whether you're bringing your buddies with you or looking to make new connections on site (and let's be honest, everyone should be looking to network) here are your best ways to stay engaged leading up to and during the convention! 

Join the Imaging USA community on theLoop and start interacting with your fellow attendees before you even arrive in Atlanta! Anyone in this community is registered for the event, so no need to worry about any stranger dangers. Make new friends, find a roommate and more!

Social Media 
First things first, when posting about Imaging USA, be sure to use the official hashtag of the convention, #ImagingUSA. By doing so, your posts will be highlighted on the TweetWalls in the classrooms before the sessions start and we'll be reposting some on the Imaging USA social platforms! Also, we always have fun giveaways happening on all of the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram pages, so like, tweet and share your posts and pictures to get in on the goods!

Be sure to like and follow Imaging USA on Facebook for contests, deals, show announcements and so much more! Upload photos and tag #ImagingUSA and @ImagingUSA when you receive your orange packet or if you have any questions! 

Follow Imaging USA on Twitter! We'll be highlighting speakers, announcing Expo speakers and sharing your stories as you experience the convention! There's also a list of all the Speaker's Twitter handles listed here so you can find them all in one handy spot! 

Its photography, so of course Imaging USA is on Instagram! Follow up and get behind the scenes images of what's happening before and during the conference. Tag your images with @ImagingUSA to get reposted in the official feed! And with the rest of the social platforms, be sure to use #ImagingUSA for a feature on the TweetWall!

Download the Imaging USA app at ImagingUSA.org/App and get connected! Turn on the Networking Feature of the app and search for fellow attendees by name, specialty or keyword. Be sure to update your schedule in your profile and you'll be able to schedule meetings with your new found photography friends! Just tap the icon of two people shaking hands and you can coordinate a meeting.

Also, if you have any questions or concerns about the event, feel free to reach out through any of these platforms and our social media team will answer you lickity-split! 

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

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By Sarah Ackerman

Last week Imaging USA Speaker Lindsay Adler hosted a two day Ask Me Anything! 

Lindsay is widely known for her fashion photography that gives her lookbooks, ad campaigns and clients a clean, bold, graphic look that is uniquely her own. But her passion doesn't stop there. Her love of teaching brings her to Imaging USA where she will teach "Fashion Lighting Techniques to WOW Your Portrait Clients". In her program, you can learn how to bring the fashion world to your portrait clients in your own way. 

Here are some of our favorite moments from Lindsay's Ask Me Anything. 

On getting a big break:
Ahhh... the big break. You know. I think that is totally a myth. I never had a big break... I've had a long break (back breaking work!). I've just been working bit by bit to improve connections and become a better photographer. Basically I lived in upstate New York and did online networking with other beginning makeup artists and wardrobe stylists who lived in NYC. I would travel to NYC and put together shoots. Then with these better images, I would work to approach better/more talented artists and keep building and growing. What is great is when they get a contact from a magazine or celebrity, they share it with me-- because we are a team!

On post processing:
To begin with I did ALL of my own processing work during my first four years as a fashion photographer. I didn't have the money to outsource retouching at all, plus I wanted to add my own 'style' to it. Basically I watched a lot of YouTube to be honest and made friends with photography students taking classes and asked them for their top tips! Now that I have a style for retouching, when I outsource they know to match the look and feel that I like. Just to give you an idea, the retouchers I hire range from $35 an image to $225 depending on what they are working on. Right now I outsource about 60% of my retouching simply because I'm too busy and it's worth the cost!

On the three most important things in becoming an artist:
1. Discovering your creative process: Sounds weird but honestly I never considered myself an artist. Forever really... I considered myself more of a photo technician. A nerd. A tech person. So that was how I approached photography. That's even how I approached creativity. When I came up with a creative idea, I created a formula - How did I get to this idea? How can I repeat that process for success? Finally when I realized I was creative, it was because I knew the steps I needed to create to come up with new ideas. 

2. Don't always try to please others: Sure, as portrait photographers we want to make other people happy. But when you are so worried what all the other photographers or artists or people in your town think ALL THE TIME, it is paralyzing. You can't create or try anything different because you are afraid of what they think. 

3. Experiment all the time: We all get so comfortable. We find our favorite lighting, our favorite poses, our favorite approaches to photography... and then we stick there. We don't move. I use 'my favorite' gear, lighting, poses, etc. in order to make sure I get a good shot. Once I got a decent shot, I try something different that might miserably fail. But that 'failure' is okay because I already have a decent shot using my usual techniques and I may have the opportunity to learn and discover something incredible with that experimentation!

We hope you found Lindsay's advice helpful! And remember to catch her live at Imaging USA in Atlanta! Early bird pricing ends December 17, so save $50 and sign up today at ImagingUSA.org/Registration.

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

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