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By Tristin Vaccaro
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At Imaging USA 2017 we're awarding individuals for the outstanding photography work they produced in 2016!  There are dozens of awards to give out over the three-day convention, so join us at these special ceremonies to honor those who made significant contributions to the photography industry. 

Attending these ceremonies is great inspiration for many photographers, as you'll see the best images of the year at the Grand Imaging Awards, and get to see who is honored as the Lifetime Achievement Award Winner at the Award & Degree Ceremony!

January 9 | 6:30-7:30pm
The Grand Imaging Awards are awarded yearly at Imaging USA based on the results of the International Photographic Competition (IPC). Bronze, silver, gold, and platinum medalists are announced, along with the top winners from each of the six photographic categories, as chosen by IPC jurors. The top image from all categories will then earn the overall Grand Imaging Award! 

Following the announcement of the Grand Imaging Award winner, finalist images for the World Photographic Cup will be announced. This is a really big deal because these finalists form Team USA that will go on to compete against countries around the world for the World Photographic Cup! Get a glimpse of these finalists and their images that will go on to compete on the world stage. 

You'll see some great images at the Grand Imaging Awards, so you'll want to attend to soak it all in. You may even find some inspiration for future photography projects!

January 10 | 6:30-7:30pm
At the PPA Award and Degree Ceremony we honor those who have gone above and beyond to set themselves apart in the photographic industry. There are tons of awards to give away at this ceremony for individuals, businesses, and groups alike. Awards include the Directors Award, Imaging Excellence Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Also, those who have taken the extra step to earn a photographic degree will be honored with ribbons and medallions. Degrees include Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman, and Master of Electronic Imaging. Obtaining a degree takes a large amount of commitment and hard work, and we are proud to name those who have shown this passion for photographic excellence.

So while our winners don't walk down the red carpet, there is great honor in being presented with a PPA award or degree. We want to recognize those who make this industry great, and we hope you will join us at Imaging USA in San Antonio, TX, to honor them, too! 

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by James Yates
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You're all set to go to Imaging USA 2017, but you've never been to San Antonio before? Relax. Your PPA Team has scouted out the best attractions and locations and prepared a video guide to all the amazing sights and sounds set to blow your ten-gallon hat off come January. Here's a handy guide of things to consider making time for your trip in January:

  • Start with The Riverwalk, the unique, can't-miss 2.5-mile walkway along the San Antonio River. Take one of the famed Riverboat Tours to see the other side of attractions like the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Arneson River Theater and the Aztec Theatre. The boats pass right by and through several restaurants, making any night out to eat a gorgeous experience. It may sound like a tourist trap, it's not! It's really nice! That's probably why the Riverwalk is Texas' second most popular tourist spot after...
  • The Alamo/The Missions. Remember this? No trip to San Antonio would be complete without visiting the Alamo and the other four Spanish frontier outposts designated as a National Historic Park. 
  • Founded in 1939, La Villita Historic Arts Village is San Antonio's original neighborhood. La Vallita houses over 30 art galleries and shops along with several restaurants. The Arneson River Theater is also there so you can get a better look from off of the boat. 
  • The RiverCenter Mall is also located on the Riverwalk and literally right downstairs from our host hotels. It's a fully functioning mall with all the stores you may need to get your shopping fix ($6 cowboy hats, anyone?) and tons of restaurants including a food court if you want something fast and cheap! 
  • You can experience the largest Mexican mercado in the city for authentic shopping underneath all those iconic, colorful flags at Market Square. 
  • Get the best view of San Antonio from atop the 750 ft-tall Tower of the Americas, built in 1968 for the Hemisfair (World's Fair), which you'll hear a lot about because it was a huge deal for the city. 
  • If you're looking to venture away from the downtown area by car or bus, The San Antonio Botanical Gardens, the San Antonio Aquarium and the San Antonio Zoo offer some of the most beautiful, Texas-sized flora and fauna for the entire family to enjoy. There are also the big theme parks, SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas if you have the need for speed and want to ride the state-of-the-art Iron Rattler or Steel Eel. Other kinds of thrill-seekers may want to check out the Natural Bridge Caverns, named for the 60 foot limestone slab that spans the caverns' entrance.  
You may not be sure what to expect from your trip to San Antonio, but what you'll get is a beautiful city with a lively and bustling downtown area, all easily accessible from the Imaging USA hotels and convention center. We're more certain than ever that January 2017 is going to be AWESOME. 


 

For more info, head over to ImagingUSA.org. Register and take advantage of the Early Bird rates for members by December 8th, OR pick up an Expo Only Pass for only $35 and get access to the trade show, Print Theatre, Drone Zone, IPC Exhibit and Keynote Presentation by Mel Robbins!



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

By Autumn Rice
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Mel Robbins is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers out there and you now have a chance to see her in person. Her life experiences have helped her craft speeches that deliver business-expanding, life-changing, interactive advice to inspire change, challenge thinking and accelerate personal and professional growth. Her book, Stop Saying You're Fine, is a best seller that has been translated into four different languages, and her TEDx Talk "How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over" has over 10 million views across 37 countries. Mel Robbins is a CNN host, commentator and legal analyst, criminal defense attorney, and now she can add Imaging USA Keynote Speaker to her host of talents. 

That's right folks; Mel Robbins is coming to Imaging USA! She will give a keynote presentation on the morning of Sunday, January 8th and follow it up with a book signing directly after in the lobby of the Lira Cockrell Theatre at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. in San Antonio, Texas.

So what are you waiting for? Imaging USA is the only place to be in January 2017! Go to ImagingUSA.org/Register to take advantage of the Early Bird Rates ($50 off!) before time runs out December 8th! 

See what all the fuss is about: Mel's Ted Talk 
By Tristin Vaccaro
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Whether you want to dust off your cowboy boots or just get out of the studio for a while, there truly are a bajillion reasons to go to Imaging USA

While fun and networking are definitely on the menu, we know the majority of you come to Imaging USA with the hopes of learning new things! That's why the classes, demonstrations, and workshops overflow with methods to improve both your business and photography talents.

Imaging USA instructors want you to leave San Antonio a more equipped photographer, and often provide class takeaways so you know just what you'll learn after attending their class.  So today, we're highlighting a handful of awesome Imaging USA classes, and their equally as awesome takeaways, that are sure to stick with you long after you return home!

Lindsay Adler, Cr.Photog.
January 6 | 9am - 5pm
Learn the techniques that highly acclaimed photographer Lindsay Adler uses in the world of fashion - and apply these skills to your own clients. Be it seniors, boudoir, weddings or more, create extraordinary images so you can blow by your competition and WOW your clients!

Takeaways: 
  1. How to pre-visualize, create a mood board, and plan for stylized fashion and portrait shoots
  2. Fashion lighting tools and techniques that give your portraits that wow factor
  3. Techniques of fashion photography useful to differentiate your work from the competition.

Melanie Anderson, Cr.Photog., CPP
January 7 | 1pm - 5pm
Take volume photography to a whole new level! Go EXTREME as photographer Melanie Anderson shares all her creative techniques and tricks for school and youth sports! Walk away with the knowledge and the ability to achieve 100K+ as THE volume photographer in town! 

Takeaways: 
  1. Marketing to High School and Youth Sports
  2. Securing Sponsorships
  3. Creating Senior Sports Banners

Bradford Rowley
January 9 | 10-11:30am
This class will change your business and your life!  Discover the 10 steps that will explode your sales in 2017. Everything from closing strategies to handling objections, selling to the sophisticated clients, and more - it's all here!  

Takeaways: 
  1. Learn closing strategies for almost every objection
  2. Learn the alternative to hard selling, which is a turn-off to the sophisticated client
  3. Why selling portraits is the best kept secret out there, even among photographers

Barbara Breitsameter, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
January 10 | 10-11:30am
Dog photography is one of the fastest growing niches, and this is your ticket to mastering it all! Learn from Best of the Best as Barbara Breitsameter shares her tips and techniques, her secrets and her skills, her experience and her expertise. Canine family members can be your ticket to a booming business! 

Takeaways: 
  1. Learn the steps for a successful stress-free session for the dog and everyone else
  2. Create artistic dog portraits with technical excellence
  3. Learn how PPA print competitions can take your dog photography to a whole new level 

Gary Box , M.Photog.Cr., CPP
January 10 | 5:15 - 6:30pm
Capture and sell fantastic family portraits! From lighting to marketing techniques, you'll discuss ways to enhance and increase your sales. Capture the image, wow the customer, and improve your profits! 

Takeaways: 
  1. Get more families in your door
  2. Learn better family lighting
  3. Sell family portraits for the wall
And there you have it, just a few of the nearly 100 diverse classes  and thousands of lessons available to you when you attend Imaging USA this January in San Antonio, Texas. If you haven't already, go register for Imaging USA so you too can leave the convention with awesome swag, valuable knowledge, and amazing memories! 

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By Autumn Rice
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Every year, Imaging USA attendees have the opportunity to take advantage of the best hotel deals and locations in the city, and this year is no different! We've blocked off hotel rooms in San Antonio that will save time, provide networking experiences, and save you money on transportation. Plus, you'll be in the heart of all of the action of Imaging USA 2017. But time is running out because these official hotels are almost completely booked! 

Don't panic; there's still some time left to take advantage of these savings, but hurry! If you haven't booked yet, here are your hotel options:

  • San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter (HEADQUARTERS HOTEL) 
  • San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk
  • Hilton Palacio Del Rio
  • Grand Hyatt San Antonio
  • Homewood Suites

To make your hotel booking experience easy and comprehensive, we've created a "one stop shop" reservation system. Through this online system you can make your reservation, and even find a roommate. That's right; you can search through other Imaging USA attendees who are also looking for someone to split the hotel costs with, and share a room. This is also a great way to save!

Imaging USA 2017 will be January 5-10, 2017 in San Antonio, and we want you to be there, without having to break the bank. Take advantage of these hotel savings and find out about more at ImagingUSA.org

Find hotel information on the official Imaging USA Hotels website, and make your reservation for Imaging USA 2017 today! If you have any questions or need help booking your hotel, call 210-207-6734.

See you in San Antonio!

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By Autumn Rice
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Understanding how to market print products to your customers can be difficult for photographers, but PPA wants to help! A Print showcase has been added to the Imaging USA 2017 Expo floor. These comprehensive sales sessions will be held in 30-minute intervals during Expo hours, and will cover everything from sales to marketing, helping photographers show the value of printed photography to their clients. 

The best part is, it's free to Imaging USA attendees with an Expo pass!

So, if Print photography is something you want to incorporate into your business, be sure to make the print exhibit a part of your expo floor plan. In addition to the print exhibit, use the official print resources page to help apply print products to your photography business. 

This Imaging USA will be one you won't want to miss! It's full of first-time exhibitors and showcases that you won't want to miss! Visit ImagingUSA.org to get a full list of the exhibit floor, and plan out your expo route in advance! 

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By Chris Homer

With your 3-day All-Access Pass for Imaging USA 2017, you can attend a whole host of
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 great photography classes during the regular days of the convention, January 8 -10, 2017 in San Antonio. These programs are included at no extra cost with your All-Access Pass. But if you're looking for even more photography education opportunities, Imaging USA has you covered with the Pre-Convention classes!

Pre-Con, as most nickname these programs, take place right before Imaging USA, from Thursday through Saturday, January 5-7, 2017. While these classes do require an additional fee to attend, many photographers find the much smaller class size and the ability to get one-on-one attention from the instructors well worth the small add-on cost! 

You'll find a multitude of day-long and half-day classes. Here are two examples: 

Perhaps you're new to the photography business and looking for the education that will make your business successful. In that case, consider signing up for the multi-day Pre-Convention workshops, such as: 

And if you're considering becoming a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), you should take the 3-Day CPP Preparation Class, also a part of Imaging USA's Pre-Convention programming! 

If you're looking for education that's more hands-on, Imaging USA's Pre-Convention classes can help you there, too! The Hands-On class track features 2 hour sessions where you'll actively be using your camera - the perfect opportunity to learn a new technique and practice it! From Lighting and Posing for Children to Cutting Edge Wireless Flash - there's a Hands-On class sure to grab your interest. And since these are short sessions, you can attend multiple Hands-On classes in one day! 

There is A LOT to choose from, but Pre-Convention class sizes are very limited, so sign up today! Head over to ImagingUSA.org/Programs/Sort-By-Day/ and click on the Pre-Convention tab to view the complete Pre-Convention schedule. If you've already registered for Imaging USA 2017, it's easy to add-on some pre-con classes. And if you haven't registered for Imaging USA, what are you waiting for? register now for your Imaging USA All-Access Pass! 


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


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By James Yates
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You love to learn as much as you can about photography. It's important to you, as a working artist, to stay up-to-date with current trends and styles. But you're also a modern person, and might prefer to do your learning online in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Online learning has revolutionized continuing education, and PPA offers over 1000+ videos and tutorials to cover all your online-learning needs. BUT...  

...Don't you sometimes want to get out of your comfort zone and be challenged, in person, to excel as a professional photographer? Whether it's been six months or sixteen years since you took those college classes, you may be surprised at how vital in-person, hands-on learning can be. Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, TX, is here to make sure that, even if it's only for six days in January, you have the chance to push yourself and get away from that computer screen!

Imaging USA's classes are taught by the top photographers in the industry and are geared towards your own personal needs through ten tracks covering everything from Weddings and Portraits to Drones (new this year!) and Sports Photography. You have to leave the glow of your computer screen for just a few days to take advantage of all of these opportunities. So, as you prepare for Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, TX, be sure to take some time to plan ahead which classes you'll want to attend. A full list of sessions is now available online and on the App. 

As if those ten tracks were not enough, there are also several must-attend special events at Imaging USA: from networking parties and the 5K fun run, to charity auctions and drone demos, all the Special Events at Imaging USA will keep you buzzing from sunrise to sundown and are the perfect opportunities to build relationships with your peers. Make sure you add these special events and the opening and closing parties to your schedule of classes! You'd hate to miss those! 

Live product demos, access to revolutionary photography products, and countless networking opportunities can also be found at the Imaging Expo! This three-day, 600+ booth trade show is one of the largest gatherings of pro-photographers and exhibitors in the world! You can also sit in on new, comprehensive PRINT sales training class, meant to take your business to new heights, right on the Expo floor!Your newest photographic discovery will be right at your fingertips... and tangible, NOT just on your keyboard! 

That's not even the end of it! The Hands-On track at Imaging USA is part of the Pre-Convention schedule and takes place Saturday, January 7th. These classes require an additional registration and fee, and offer you a chance to dig deeper and make even more out of your time at the world's oldest and strongest photography convention. During the class, students have the opportunity to get advice and lessons from instructors thanks to more one-on-one time. You will go out on an actual photo shoot and practice with your own camera (which means that bringing your equipment is a must)! Since the classes are hands-on, you will be expected to do more and be an active participant in the workshop. These classes are for those with the strongest desire to get up and learn!

Don't worry: all the amazing online learning you've come to expect from PPA will still be there when you get back from San Antonio. Take some time out for yourself, away from your computer, and get your dose of learning inspiration to kick off 2017! Head to ImagingUSA.org/Register and take advantage of the Early Bird registration price to save $50 now! 

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


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By Autumn Rice
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Although there will be loads of partying and fun at Imaging USA 2017, there is a way you can give back with your work during the convention. There will be specific charity events and initiatives for attendees to participate in. In this blog, the focus is on Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization centered around training and educating professional photographers to produce high quality remembrance portraits for families facing the untimely death of an infant. In order to help families heal, the association provides parents with heirloom photographs and DVDs of their infants free of charge. More than 1,700 photographers have already touched the lives of families in 40 countries through this initiative. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep welcomes any Imaging USA attendee to join the organization and make a lasting impact and contribution to such a personal and sensible cause.

As a photographer you have a skill to capture intimate moments and create life-long memories that only our profession can deliver to these families. You would be bringing so much more than 'just' photographs to these moms and dads in despair. You'd be giving tangible memories that provide a sense of closure to the families of these precious infants. 
You will have two opportunities to learn more about Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and how to get involved while at Imaging USA:

Photographers Giving Back: Remembrance Photography On Becoming a "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" Affiliated Photographer
Saturday, Jan. 7, 6pm-7:30pm  |  Marriott Rivercenter, Salon G, 3rd Floor
Imagine a photo session where each moment truly is a last moment, where there will be no second takes, no do-overs, and where your photography becomes a family's most prized possession. Are you looking for a way to share your craft with your community? We invite you to learn more about becoming an affiliated photographer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. In this session, staff and volunteers will share more about the organization and the details of how you can get involved, and hopefully, inspire you to volunteer and help heal some families around you.

Maximize Your Photography and Strengthen Your Local "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" Volunteer Team
Monday, Jan. 9, 8 -9:30am  |  Convention Center, 007D, River Level  
Interested photographers and current Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep volunteers are invited to attend this session dedicated to growing and strengthening our outreach network across the country.

Remember, the best gift you can give is one that can't be repaid. Be sure to take some time out of your fun-filled Imaging USA experience to hear about how you can help others by using your gift. 

Stay up-to-date with this charity event and more at ImagingUSA.org!

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By James Yates
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PPA's Business Challenge was born nearly one year ago, at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. It was during the Studio Makeover class, dedicated to unveiling the results two studio owners had by implementing PPA's business advice, when Education Director Angela Kurkian began to realize the program could be scaled up. By adding the Challenge as a group on theLoop, all PPA members would have the chance to join and begin their 12-month, step-by-step program to profitability and sustainability for their photography businesses. 

It's been a huge success. There are now nine different Challenge Groups on theLoop, with over 900 members taking advice, implementing changes, sharing wisdom and holding each other accountable as they make the steps toward their studios becoming more financially sound! 

Two new announcements have been made in preparation for the program's anniversary: 1) a class at Imaging USA 2017, and 2) a new join-schedule for upcoming Challenge Groups.

First, instead of offering the challenge each and every month, the groups will be starting during the months of February, March, April, May, August, September, October and November. This means there won't be any new groups forming in December, January, June or July. This will allow more time to dig even deeper in the groups that are currently running and no one has to worry about signing up during the holidays or summer vacation!

Second, Business Challenge mentors Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API and Angela Kurkian, M.Photog.Cr., CPP will be presenting the platform program "4 Things You Need to Know to be Successful"  at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, TX. 

The class will be held on January 8 and  asks the question,  "iI you could make four changes to your business and your way of thinking that would help you be more profitable, add time to your day and move your life in the direction you dream of, would you do it?"  Full of great takeaways and business strategies you can start implementing right away, this class is the perfect introduction to the Business Challenge program, which can help you build your business on a strong foundation in 2017.

If you're not already using the Business Challenge to own your place in the photography industry and be more profitable, what are you waiting for?! Sign up now at PPA.com/Challenge

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


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By James Yates

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Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio is all set to provide three days of workshops, classes and opportunities on the trade show floor to kick off a new year of profitability for you. But, did you know that you can take advantage of more intimate, hands-on classes the day before? 

The Hands-On track at Imaging USA is part of the Pre-Convention schedule and takes place Saturday, January 7th. These classes require an additional registration and fee, but offer you a chance to dig deeper and make even more out of your time at the world's oldest and strongest photography convention. During the class, students have the opportunity to get advice and lessons from instructors thanks to more one-on-one time. You will go out on an actual photo shoot and practice with your own camera (which means that bringing your equipment is a must)! Since the classes are hands-on, you will be expected to do more and be an active participant in the workshop. These classes are for those with the strongest desire to get up and learn!

Hands-on classes are shorter, so you can attend multiple sessions during the day and get all the practice you want. There are three different sessions for each Hands-on program held on Saturday, January 7, 2017, so you can sign up for up to three classes for the day! There are also special pricing offers available for participation in Hands-on sessions. Attend one Hands-on Class for $79, two for $129 or three for $159. Space is limited (max. of 35 participants in each class) for the benefit of students, so classes sell out fast.

Check out this list of Hands-on classes to see which fits you best, and then head over to ImagingUSA.org/Register to sign up now! 

Bree Adams, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

Tomayia Colvin

Daniel K. Davis, M.Photog.

Kay Eskridge, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

Mike Fulton, Cr.Photog.

Joseph Glyda, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP

Andy Gould

Ted Linczak, M.Photog.Cr.

Michael G. Taylor, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., API, F-ASP

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


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By Autumn RiceThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 12440339_10153526507424051_4916281708363042522_o.jpg

Imaging USA is the world's largest pro-photography convention designed to assist photographers in their business endeavors. It's an extremely special event in the photographic arts community! For the 10,000+ professional photographers that attend every year, the event presents the opportunity to develop relationships with peers, gain insight into the latest industry techniques and equipment, and most importantly, have fun while improving your craft. With hundreds of classes, experienced speakers, ceremonies and parties, the IPC Exhibit, and the PPA staff there to guide you, the possibilities are endless at Imaging USA. The best part is it's all about your passion!

For first-timers, all of the buzz surrounding this massive event could be intimidating, but don't be shy; we want to see you there! After attending Imaging USA you'll understand how supportive the photographic arts community is, and that you're not in the business alone.

Check out what these Imaging USA attendees had to say about their experience!

"Had such a great time at Imaging USA! My brain is so stuffed with new information, it's gonna take at least a day or two to decompress. Feeling incredibly inspired by all the great speakers and can't wait to bring fresh new technique and perspective to the studio." - @dnsachs

"We also met Sue Bryce. She is so inspiring. We learned so much from her and she had us laughing and crying. If ever there were a speaker to evoke emotion, she definitely hit the nail on the head. Imaging USA was such a spectacular learning experience and I can't wait to go again next year." - @playtimeportraits

"Leaving my first Imaging USA. I am leaving here a different photographer, different businessman, and different person. Thank you PPA!" - @cloverboy42

"All I can say is, you guys know how to throw an event. My second Imaging experience, but my first to be able to go to classes. I'm inspired, I'm flying high!! Thank you so much! GREAT speakers! My friends and I are already planning for San Antonio!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!" - @DebiTaylorAllen 

"My first visit to Imaging USA at Georgia World Congress Center was spectacular!  It's scary to think how I almost missed this great opportunity to learn and network with other photographers.  Thank goodness passes were still available for the EXPO which is the only event I was able to attend... but will certainly plan next year for all 3 to 5 days. And of course I brought my camera to capture some of the highlights." - Robin Lori

Reading about all of the events, opportunities, and fun at Imaging USA doesn't compare to getting a first-hand experience for yourself. You have to see it to believe it! Imaging USA 2017 will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX from January 8-10, 2017. Head over to ImagingUSA.org to register for Imaging USA 2017, check out some of the classes you can attend, and plan your trip to San Antonio. Join us on this non-stop train of pro-photography fun! We can't wait to see you in January! 

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By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2017 is right around the corner, January 8 - 10, or January 5-10 if you are
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 coming early for Pre-Con classes, in San Antonio! There are a lot of great reasons to attend, such as tons of educational opportunities, special events, the tradeshow and more. But one of the biggest reasons to attend Imaging USA is the chance to develop and nurture a quality network with your fellow professional photographers, speakers, potential mentors and a lot of photography vendors! 

During Imaging USA, you'll be surrounded by more than 10,000 pros that are as passionate as you about photography, so get those business cards ready! You never know who you'll meet that can help you with your business and along in your photographic career. 

You'll have the opportunity to hang out with other photographers at events like the Welcome and Closing Parties, the PPA Charities Celebration, the 5K fun run, around the Imaging Expo tradeshow and at the International Photographic Exhibit, all while checking out gear and taking a look at thousands of amazing images. Plus, if you come to Imaging USA early and attend a pre-convention class you'll have more time to chat with the instructor and other attendees in small groups before the huge crowd arrives January 8! There are several other special networking opportunities you won't want to miss:

PPA New Member Meet & Greet
Sat. 1/7, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
If you're a new PPA Member, this is your chance to meet all your fellow new members! Make some new friends and develop a support network of other photographers. 

IPC Mentor Sessions
Sun. 1/8, 11:30 AM - 5:00 PM  |  Mon. 1/9, 11:30 AM - 5:00 PM  |  Tue. 1/10, 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM
What makes a photograph award-winning material? What does a judge look for in a PPA photography competition? Here's your chance to learn all that. PPA-approved jurors will sit down with you in 15 minute sessions and look at your images, to give suggestions on creating images for competition. If you chose to go, you'll be asked to bring your images on a Laptop, tablet or physical prints (no phones). And while it's free, it will sell out fast, so sign up for your session right here: ImagingUSA.org/IPCmentor

Coach's Corner
Mon. 1/9, 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM  |  Tue. 1/10, 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Want help hitting a home run in the school, sports or event market? Meet with a professional coach at Imaging USA for some short one-on-one mini-sessions. Ask your questions and get advice on your portfolio, business and more. Don't wait too long to register, the Coach's Corner will be in high demand! Sign up here.
By Tristin Vaccaro
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At Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, there will be a whole class track dedicated to commercial photography to help you improve your talents and learn something new. These sessions are taught by experienced photographers who want to share their knowledge with you. While the Pre-Con courses are offered at an extra fee, attending one (or a few) is a great way to sharpen your skills, practice different techniques, and make the most of your time in San Antonio!

Here's a list of the commercial track sessions that you can join: 

Joseph Glyda, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP

January 5-6, 9am-11am | 1pm-3pm | 4pm-6pm

Joe will demonstrate lighting techniques for difficult surfaces such as metal and glass and you'll learn proper angles for product shots. Joe will discuss photographing multiple items and combining them in post-production. This class will be packed with tips and techniques that Joe has been using in the commercial field of photography for years. You will have the opportunity to get hands on in this learning process, working directly with the products. This class will inspire your creativity and provide you with a new set of tools to approach your everyday challenges and goals in this industry.

To reap even fuller benefits this class at Imaging USA, consider watching Joe Glyda's programs on PPAedu: 6 online programs are ready for you to enjoy and best of all, they are free to PPA members. Get you even more bang for your buck at Imaging USA and get a sharp learning edge!


(Pre-Con) San Antonio Architectural Photo Safari

Randy Van Duinen, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP

January 7, 9am-5pm

Delve into the incredible world of architectural photography! Begin in the classroom where you'll discuss technique, lighting and the elements of a great image as well as the camera and computer gear you'll need to capture the right photos. Then, head out on location to put it all to work as you spend some time in beautiful San Antonio. Return to the classroom for post-production and workflow as Randy shows you how to polish and refine your images so they're client-ready. You'll discuss the business ins and outs of architectural photography, including how to gain more assignments. No one knows architectural photography quite like Randy Van Duinen so take advantage as you learn from the best!

If you belong to PPA, you can also get ready to get the most out of Randy Van Duinen's class by watching his PPAedu programs ahead of Imaging USA (you'll find six of them on PPAedu!) and take in even more learning from this master architecture photographer. 


Russ Harrington

January 9, 5pm-6:15pm

For over 25 years, Russ Harrington has been THE photographer for country music's biggest stars in the U.S. In an everyday session, he has a very narrow timeframe to photograph a world-famous personality, including sets, makeup, wardrobe and location. Yet, every shot is unique, dramatic and powerful. Spend some time with Russ at Imaging USA and discover how he does what he does - and how you can too! Learn how your choice and use of lighting sources can define your distinct style. Delve into and really understand the nuances of strobes, ambient light, softboxes and more. During this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Russ shares his secrets, lighting techniques and tips. You'll witness the impact that various sources can have and, best of all, how to do it yourself. Enjoy Russ' expertise, his lighthearted style and his experience as he teaches you to do what he does - in your own way.

 


Ian Spanier

January 10, 8am-9:30am

Photography isn't just about taking pictures, it's about telling a story - and to tell a great story, you must understand the principles of light. As important as the backdrop, setting or the subjects themselves, great lighting makes for great stories. In this course, you'll explore images that exemplify this idea and learn how to capture photos that tell the story you want to share. The class is meant for Ian to walk you through some of photographs, explain why and how he chose to light his subjects and explore the effects of each decision. The group will discuss the important aspects of good lighting including equipment, budgets and even time constraints. Go beyond good photos - tell a great story! This class will help you do just that.


Randy Van Duinen, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP

January 10, 10am-11:30am

Architectural photography isn't like everything else. It takes a different perspective and vision to capture stunning images and breath-taking buildings. In this class, Randy Duinen shows you how to bring your architectural skills to a completely new level. Explore the differences in lighting residential and commercial buildings, and discuss the equipment you need to do both. Discuss how to shoot both interiors and exteriors, and the aspects that make the shot. Take advantage of Randy's insight and expertise as you discuss working with and marketing to this client base and discover how to earn more and more assignments. From the basics of lighting to Lightroom and Photoshop post-processing, it's all in here. Learn from one of the world's best!'

If you've planned to take Randy's Pre-Con class, you know that you are in it for a treat. If you can't make it to his Pre-Con program, THIS is a must-attend session for any architecture-inclined photographer. To get a better idea of what you'll be in for OR to get more learning from this master photographers, watch Randy Van Duinen's class on PPAedu programs ahead of Imaging USA; you'll find six online classes, free to PPA members!


So as you begin to create your Imaging USA 2017 schedule, be sure to pencil in some of these great sessions. They're just one of the bajillion reasons to attend Imaging USA this January!

Check out ImagingUSA.org/Programs to register for these commercial photography classes and explore more available tracks at Imaging USA 2017!


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By Chris Homer

Are you looking for ideas to improve your sports photography? There's a special opportunity for sports photographers to receive mentoring from top pros at Imaging USA 2017!

On Monday, January 9 and Tuesday, January 10 from 10:45 - 11:45 AM sports photography mentoring sessions will be available at the Imaging USA Coach's Corner. In these one-on-one ten minute sessions, you'll have an opportunity to ask your questions and get advice on images, business and more. Space is very limited and you must sign up for a session ahead of Imaging USA. Visit ImagingUSA.org/Coachs-Corner to sign up for your session. 

Make sure you've registered for Imaging USA by December 7 to save $50 on your all-access pass with the early bird discount! We hope to see you in San Antonio! 


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

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by James Yates

Imaging USA in San Antonio is right around the corner, January 8-10, 2017, but there are a few ways to save money if you get started NOW! Here is a list of tips to put in place and ensure that you show up in Texas with even more spending money...

1. REGISTER EARLY! Aren't registered yet? Imaging USA is the world's strongest and longest-standing professional-photography convention, with hundreds of classes, tons of networking opportunities, a huge photo exhibit, and a giant expo floor. Over 10,000 photographers attend to be taught by the industry's best. Register by December 8, 2016 to save $50 with the Early Bird Rate! 

2. BOOK YOUR HOTEL EARLY! If you're not staying at the host hotels, chances are good you'll have to spend some money on a taxi or parking to come over for some of the events. Why bother? Stay at the host hotels and be at the center of it all. They're filling up fast, though (especially for Pre-Con) so BOOK NOW at our easy, one-stop-shop booking platform.

Imaging USA Host Hotels
•  San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter (HEADQUARTERS HOTEL)
•  San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk
•  Hilton Palacio Del Rio
•  Grand Hyatt San Antonio

3. FIND A ROOMMATE! Get on theLoop, PPA's exclusive social network, to post about and find a roommate. Everything's cheaper when you split the cost. 

4. MAKE AN EXPO GAME PLAN! Create a shopping list of the things you need for your studio in 2017 and grab those items first. The trade show floor is the best place to find exclusive deals from vendors, so save your holiday cash for January 8-10. 

Get ready to enjoy an amazing trip to San Antonio and rest easy until then knowing you're saving money! 


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



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Students! Are you really serious about photography? Be a Student Volunteer at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, January 8-10!

Want to become immersed in professional photography, and meet and network with 10,000+ professional photographers and industry specialists? You can do that, for FREE, as an Imaging USA Student Volunteer!

Share your time and enjoy:

  • Free lodging for four days and nights in San Antonio, Texas
  • Networking with 10,000+ top photographers
  • Photographic seminars with some of the most successful and renowned photographers
  • 600+ booth trade show and thousands of award-winning images at the International Photographic Exhibit
  • An exclusive student program and portfolio review
  • Lots of memories and fun! 

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New this year: 

  • Saturday pizza dinner and food card for meals
  • Compete to win a one-year professional active PPA membership
  • Earn cash, prizes, and a ticket to the closing night party for outstanding performance

Fill out an application at PPA.com/StudentVolunteer. If you have any questions call 800-786-6277 or email csc@ppa.com.



By Tristin Vaccaro 

Imaging USA 2017 is right around the corner and we want to help you get San Antonio ready! Here are four handy videos with ideas and tips to get you as prepared as possible!

  • Get an overview of all the exciting things Imaging USA 2017 has to offer.
  • See all of the best San Antonio attractions and sights that await you.
  • Our staff will also give you some tips on how to make the best of Imaging USA.
  • And there's even a video with tips for first-time Imaging USA attendees to help you enjoy the experience from the moment you arrive. 
There is a bajillion reasons to go to Imaging USA. Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, all at @ImagingUSA.

For more information on Imaging USA or to see these videos and more, visit ImagingUSA.org/videos.

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Are you looking to take in some live demonstrations at Imaging USA? The Demo Class Track is guaranteed to give you a jolt of inspiration as you witness live demonstrations by top instructors. 

As you prepare for the world's largest pro-photography convention, keep these Demo Track classes in mind to catapult your business!


Take a behind-the-scenes look at the creation process from legend Tim Kelly. Experience a live demo as you discuss compositional dynamics and explore the challenges of posing techniques. Tim teaches you how to flatter a face, light your subject and create the right composition for amazing images. Composition, posing, lighting - it's all in here! Learn from the best!

Lighting With Conviction
Scott Detweiler
January 8
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Known as the only lighting course you will ever need, this class teaches how to create the look you envision and see in your mind. Stop worrying about what modifier you need and how many lights are required. Don't stress about how far away the subject is from the light and what you need to adjust. The answers to these and many more questions are at your fingertips. Learn how to think with light and capture the results you want. Scott Detweiler delivers an info-packed yet easily understood workshop that makes this one of his most popular subjects. This is a crowd you'll definitely want to join!

The Fine Art Composite Portrait
Mark Bryant, M.Photog., M.Artist.Cr.
January 8
6:45 PM - 8:00 PM

This class is about more than just taking good pictures. It's about the art, science and skill behind composite portraiture. You'll study the elements of lighting and discover how to use, manipulate and apply principles to achieve expert lighting. Discuss perspective and learn how to use your talent and your equipment for great shots. Then, delve into details like posing and props so that you bring detail and emotion into your portraits. Lastly, Instructor Mark Bryant walks you through the all-important postproduction processes. Explore color harmony, masking, sharpening and more as you learn how to bring all your hard work together for a fine art masterpiece!

Seniors... Think Differently...
Dan Rowe
January 8
6:45 PM - 8:00 PM

It seems every studio in town does senior portraits. This is your opportunity to learn how to do them better! Learn these simple, but effective ways to change it up as you explore lighting and posing techniques that are NOT what everyone else is doing. You'll even delve into some marketing techniques that will attract and keep new customers. Dan and Adrienne Rowe know senior photography and have built a career on not only doing it differently but doing it better. Learn how they do it and how you can too!


Boudoir photography isn't just about pictures. It's about finding your own confidence and courage and instilling the same in your clients. In this class, you'll delve into the power of this genre and how you can help change the lives of your clients as they discover their own power and beauty. Jen Rozenbaum finds inspiration from other powerful women, and uses this to help you grow your skills and your courage. As a photographer, you have the power to not only create an image of your client but to help define how they see themselves!

Lightapalooza!
John Hartman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, A-ASP,EA-ASP
January 9
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Discover what these cutting edge lighting techniques can do for your creativity, your talent and your business! John Hartman teaches you how to not only enhance your style but also how to separate yourself from your competitors. Cover topics like multiple-flash burst imagery for fast moving subjects, overpowering ambient light to create subject separation, and how to use light painting to create stunning images - and that's not all! Not only will you learn the concepts but explore how to add and incorporate them into your own distinctive style. Techniques, toolsets and implementation - it's all here, delivered in Hartman's unique, expert and engaging style.

Maternity Inspiration and Beyond
Dani Miller
January 9
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

This class isn't just about taking maternity photos; it's about creating timeless classics that mothers will treasure for years to come. Dani Miller shares her innovative, creative ideas for setups that will make memories, not just photos. You'll explore both natural light and studio lighting in action and learn posing techniques that inspire awesome images. Delve into how to build that bond between you and your client and how to cultivate that relationship for future sessions. It's not just about one client session, it's not just about a photograph - it's a complete artistic experience that Dani creates and delivers for her clients! Listen, learn and then do it yourself!

Beyond The Speed Light...New Sources, New Look, New Light
Russ Harrington
January 9
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

For over 25 years, Russ Harrington has been THE Photographer for Country Music's biggest stars. In an everyday session, he has a very narrow timeframe to photograph a world-famous personality, including sets, makeup, wardrobe and location. Yet every shot is unique, dramatic and powerful. Spend some time with Russ and discover how he does what he does - and how you can too! Learn how your choice and use of lighting sources can define your distinct style. Delve into and really understand the nuances of strobes, ambient light, softboxes and more. During this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Russ shares his secrets, lighting techniques and tips. You'll witness the impact that various sources can have and best of all, how to do it yourself. Enjoy Russ' expertise, his lighthearted style and his experience as he teaches you to do what he does - in your own way.

Simple Techniques for Posing People in Groups of 2 to 100...
Michele Celentano , Cr.Photog., CPP
January 9
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Whether you're working with a group of 2 or 100, posing is a key to any portrait's success. And while posing a group of people puts fear in most photographers, Michele is here to show you how it's done! If you work with weddings, families, corporate events, teams or schools, this class will give you the insight and the ability to pose all groups of all sizes, easily and efficiently for amazing images! Stop stressing as Michele demonstrates her techniques, live on stage. Learn how to make people look younger, thinner and other characteristics that will wow your clients. You'll discover how to identify various body shapes and sizes and put them together for poses that work. Your best images start with you and what you create in the camera - walk away with new ideas you can use immediately!

Note: If you want to be included in the live demonstration, wear a black shirt.

Stylized Family and Children Photography
Kia Bondurant, M.Photog.Cr.
January 10
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Come and experience the style and skills that Kia Bondurant brings to her family and children portraiture. From providing creative sets and concepts, wardrobe ideas and innovative products, Kia does it like no other, and her clients love her for it! Take a glimpse into what you can really do for your business as Kia shares her style, her concepts, her innovation and yes, her competitive advantage.

Photographing Architecture - Taking Your Images to the Next Level!
Randy Van Duinen, M.Photog., M.Artist.Cr., CPP
January 10
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Architectural photography isn't like everything else. It takes a different perspective and vision to capture stunning images and breath-taking buildings. In this class, Randy Duinen shows you how to bring your architectural skills to a completely new level. Explore the differences in lighting residential and commercial buildings, and discuss the equipment you need to do both. Discuss how to shoot both interiors and exteriors, and the aspects that make the shot. Take advantage of Randy's insight and expertise as you discuss working with and marketing to this client base and discover how to earn more and more assignments. From the basics of lighting to Lightroom and Photoshop post-processing, it's all in here. Learn from one of the world's best!

Simple and Creative Ways to Work with Children
Alicia Adamopoulos
January 10
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Little humans, aka children, can often present more challenges than any other subject! They say big things come in small packages and children's portraiture is no different! In this course, learn from photographer Alicia Adamopoulos, who not only knows photography but she knows kids! Throughout her career, she's learned many easy methods for engaging her younger clients - as well as their parents - to present award-winning, creative images. She'll share how she prepares for a session, the tools she uses and the little tweaks and tips that can be the difference between a delight and a disaster!

Headshots 360
Jim Ferrara, M.Photog., CPP
January 10
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

For this class at Imaging USA, Jim developed a whole new platform for shooting headshots from the ground up! Shooting within a rather small space, Jim will demonstrate how you can get multiple looks with a three-light set up moving just one light- keeping the model within his or her footprint. The 360 is derived from the camera revolving 360 degrees around the person, while your main lights remain static. With adjusting the output power on each light, and other slight variations, the differences between each look can be as dramatic as you like. This class will be all demonstrated via live demo, and it will be Jim's debut with Headshots 360!

On-The-Go Lighting
Daniel Doke, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
January 10
5:15 PM - 6:30 PM

Learn the lighting technique that Wedding Photographer Extraordinaire, Dan Doke, uses in his portraits and events. Dan's expertise lies not just in his photography but in his desire to take his work to the next level. He's always thinking five steps ahead and in this class, he shares that process and his techniques with you! He'll demonstrate his lighting techniques for on-the-go weddings and portraits; he'll share his tool kit of lighting sources as you discover how he creates the dramatic, one-of-a-kind images his clients crave. In a live demonstration, see how he quickly poses and lights a couple under any time constraint. Discover how to be three dimensional and incorporate texture, drama and contrast. Learn how to make your images come alive - and all this can happen through easy light setups, both in the studio and on location. Create images that make you stand out from your competition!

Getting, Creating and Selling Families
Gary Box, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Pam Box, M.Photog.Cr.
January 10
5:15 PM - 6:30 PM

Family photography can be one of your most sustainable and profitable segments - easier and more profitable than even senior portraits! Discover what Gary and Pamela Box do to create amazing shoots - everything from their lighting and shooting techniques to how to convert it all into incredible sales. Learn how to capitalize on senior shoots and turn them into family orders. Discuss marketing techniques that get more families through your door. You'll even explore techniques for selling wall portraits that your clients will love. Capture the image, wow the customer, increase your sales - this is the way!

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PPA photographers are a philanthropic bunch and PPA Charities is always looking to partner with charities around the world to help improve the lives of impoverished people. In the tradition of their other popular Imaging USA events like the 5K Run and the Shoe Drive, PPA Charities is announcing a new charity partnership for Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio: Cameras for Kibera.

Cameras for Kibera is an off-shoot of the non-profit charity Carolina for Kibera. Established in 2001, Carolina for Kibera (CFK) is an international, nongovernmental organization based in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. CFK is a program of the Center for Global Initiatives and a major affiliated entity of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The goal for Cameras for Kibera is to try and get ahold of as many working cameras as possible (with charger, battery and memory card) and ensure they are safely delivered to Kenya.   
Cameras will initially be sent to Carolina for Kibera's USA office in North Carolina. They will arrange safe transportation to Kenya. From there, a partnership has been set up between Carolina for Kibera and the Art Kids Foundation program "A Girl's First Camera"

Be sure to bring your old camera to Imaging USA and it may wind up in the hands of a girl in Kibera, Kenya, giving her the tool to begin her love for photography. Who knows, you may just see her at Imaging USA one day in the near future!

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