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Results tagged “photography education” from PPA Today

By Sarah Ackerman

PhotoVision's February release has a wide range of photography topics to help you become a better photographer! In addition to the over 800 videos already available to PPA photographers, we're adding the following in the next few weeks:

Creating Cinemagraphs: Beth Forester, M.Photog., Cr, CPP
Beth Forester shows how to make a cinemagraph, which is a combination of still images with video that creates a fascinating visual. Beth talks about how they can be used as incentives for clients to order packages by including them free of charge. They also work great as social media marketing material.

Couples Posing Part 1: Jen Hillenga, M.Photog. Cr. 
Jen Hillenga photographs a young couple in their hip, open Brooklyn apartment. Jen challenges herself by using no equipment besides her camera to capture gorgeous, slice-of-life couple photos. She talks about how she started her photography business by exclusively shooting in people's homes and how she spun that as a benefit to her clients. She also discusses clothing choices and how she chooses the right coordinating outfits for the right shots.

The Fred Marcus Story: Andy Marcus, M.Photog., Cr. 
Photographer Andy Marcus sits down with PhotoVision correspondent Melanie Anderson to discuss the history of Fred Marcus Studio and what led them to their place of current prestige. Andy talks about the transition from film to digital and how he maintains a film sensibility in the age of digital. He shares how he runs a studio with numerous full time employees and freelancers in a way that maintains a high caliber of consistency.

Portraits of the Groom: Gary Hughes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Gary Hughes photographs a groom in a billiards room. Gary composes masculine, film-noir type images that would be worthy of the Rat Pack's portraits. He utilizes unconventional lighting methods, such as a powerful hand light diffused by an umbrella, that work perfectly for the run-and-gun nature of wedding photography. Gary teaches how to get stylized detail shots that look like they're straight out of a fashion magazine. Gary's thematic groom preparation shots will be sure to inspire creativity in your next wedding shoot.

As a PPA photographer, you have immediate access to 24/7 streaming of PhotoVision and PPAedu content (combined, it's over 1,300 tutorials and videos)! Not a member, join today! Check out the latest from PhotoVision on the newly redesigned website at photovisionvideo.com. Be More Educated!

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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 John Owens

You might have heard, PhotoVision now comes as part of the PPA membership. The benefit gives photographers full access to PhotoVision's entire library of 800+ videos, 24/7 via web streaming. PPA members even get 50% off the DVDs and DVD sets!

And in fact, anyone can currently sample what the amazing educational program has to offer through PhotoVision Exposed, running now through June 30. 

To learn a little bit more about PhotoVision's origins, its mission and goals for the future, we chatted with founder, producer and longtime PPA photographer, Ed Pierce, M.Photog.Cr., CPP.

How did you come up with the idea for PhotoVision?

I had been a photographer for about 20 years prior to PhotoVision, and was pretty actively involved in education for at least 15 of those years. I was one of the earlier people to hit the road speaking and doing photographic education seminars. All education was platform at the time. A photographer would get on stage and present a slideshow. That was considered hands on teaching.

I came up with a concept of going on the road and filming photographers in their studios or on locations they would actually work in. Really it was just to give a truer, more realistic view of how people were conducting their businesses. It was a fly-on-the-wall experience that they couldn't otherwise get. I wanted it to be somewhat unvarnished. In a platform setting, you can pick your very best images and tell the story a little glossed over.

In the beginning, PhotoVision was a one day satellite uplink event called Portrait 2000. It was essentially a real-time Q&A, broadcast by teleconference to 80 venues across the country. We would deliver 1-hour VHS tapes of the recording every month. But it was very expensive to produce and we barely broke even; the last time we actually lost money.  

As a result, I hung up my hat on that and got back into my photography, but continued to receive great reviews from people on the events and tapes. People loved seeing actual working photographers in their real environments. And that's basically from where PhotoVision originated.

How has the video production changed?

Ready for some live and local photography education near you? Super Day is on the way! Make some room during the busy season for a little extra learning on the side. PPA's Super Day workshops will be held May 4-18.

What's Super 1 Day?

Peer-to-peer education at its very best! For two weeks in May, dozens of studios across the country will invite photographers to join daily workshops featuring portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies. PPA membership is not required to attend a Super 1 Day class! These all-day learning sessions have been created by photographers, for ALL photographers.

Is there a class near me that fits my needs?

Most likely! With 115 classes across the country, you're bound to find a class near you. Just browse through the list to find a workshop you'll enjoy and benefit from. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone! Expand your skills and broaden your professional network with classes like that will help you:

  • Build your business; pricing and marketing strategies
  • Learn lighting patterns, studio & outdoor lighting and equipment
  • Discover and apply techniques for Photoshop® & Lightroom®
  • Find your business niche: seniors, children, boudoir, pets & more


Register online by April 28 and take advantage of the $99 Super Day online registration discount! Starting April 29, registration will only be accepted on-site, space permitting, and will cost $120 per class. 

Oh and remember: These programs help you get closer to your degrees! PPA photographers receive one service merit for each class you attend. 



John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burger
PPAedu has been busy! Not only are new classes on photography techniques and business practices getting released monthly (check out our latest additions with Jeffrey Shaw), but the free class of February is with none other than Imaging USA Super Star, Carrie Wildes. To check out the session "The Wedding Consultation" with Carrie, head to ppa.com/tryedu starting February 1st. 

And if you want to be more business savvy in 2014, but don't have the funds to travel to Atlanta--there is an exciting new thing: PPA Business Basics workshop is now available through live streaming, starting with the March 29-30 program! PPA is so excited to offer LIVE STREAMING for the first time; there is a special double deal...

  • You can go (or get the live stream from home) for just $199 when you register by February 5. That's 30% off for early birds!
  • And you can add a friend... for free! In-person in Atlanta or through live streaming!
What are the perks of live streaming? Let us count the ways...

  1. Save money! No need to spend on hotel, gas or airfare. Who doesn't love saving some money?
  2. Save time! No need to spend time on the drive or at the airport when you live stream!
  3. Ability to replay! Once the workshop wraps, you'll get a link to watch the whole thing again, for free! 
  4. Downloadable worksheets! (Who doesn't love a good worksheet?) You'll get everything the folks who attend the face-to-face get, but in an ecofriendly PDF.  
  5. Learn in your pajamas! For the sweatpants-loving photographers out there, this could be the number one reason to try the Live Stream. A day filled with education in your comfy pants? Yep. You may have just found a little slice of heaven here at PPA.

As a live streaming attendee, you'll still get all of the resources and education as folks in the room. The course will feature:

  • Two days of top-notch advice from two instructors: Bridget Jackson, a CPA with a proven track record of boosting hundreds of studios' profitability and Jeff Dachowski, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, your photographic mentor, an active, successful photographer who knows what it takes to succeed TODAY 
  • Live interactive Q&As 
  • Zero sponsors plugging their product pitches--just tangible business advice (that's the power of the non-profit )

For more information on the new course offerings from PPAedu, head to ppa.com/edu or for information on the live streaming workshops, head to PPA.com/workshops.

We can all use a little extra education to keep on top of our photographic game--but where do you turn for your educational needs? PPAedu of course! PPA started the PPAedu program, and we hope that you'll turn to us for your educational needs. 

PPAedu has over 170 HD videos (and counting) that PPA members and PPAedu subscribers can access on-demand. These videos cover techniques for photographers like lighting, posing and post capture, as well as the business topics sales, finance, marketing and operations. All taught by some of the most accomplished photographers in the industry. It's a complete education program, included for free with your PPA membership! 

What really makes PPAedu stand out is the Assessment. You can answer a brief series of questions in several areas which will give you personalized class recommendations based on where your photography and business skill are now. Find out more about the Assessment in the "Be More Educated: Take the PPAedu Assessment" post. 

As we alluded to earlier, new PPAedu courses are constantly being added. Take a peek at some of our most recently added courses below:

Beth Taubner

Brands are about the marriage of fact and narrative. It's important to convey your special capabilities and traits so that potential customers can easily understand what sets you, your photographs, and your business apart from the competition. Photographers tend to be focused on technical and problem-solving capabilities rather than the emotional content of what makes their brands unique, so learning to operate from a brand perspective can make a real difference in your satisfaction and career.

View more of Beth's PPAedu courses.

Lori Nordstrom, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

You know you best. Lori will share a quick way to identify your target market and brand (so simple, you might never think to try it!)

You don't have to break the bank: Lori will walk you through some low- and no-cost marketing ideas to enhance awareness, from creating a customer database to e-marketing, rewards programs and more.

The devil is in the details: Lori will share ideas right and left as she discusses how displays and network marketing can work, which products she has found can increase sales for these particular clients, and the services that create loyalty and repeat business. We're talking VIP programs, charitable events, portrait installations and more.

So join Lori and take your marketing education and idea bank up a notch. After all, it's not just who you know or what you know--it's how you promote it!

For some photographers, creating a price list is like throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. That process, however, leaves you with inaccurate prices and messy walls! So take a smarter approach and watch this video class where instructor Lori Nordstrom walks you through creating a price list that works for you and your business.

A price list that helps you walk clients through what you want them to buy isn't built in a day, but how can you get started? With real-life examples from her own studio, Lori takes you through the process and what to consider.

Whether your motivation is sowing good seeds, creating good Karma or developing good relationships, involvement in charitable organizations is good for the soul...and for your business. But before you over-commit your time and money, develop a plan. In good works, just like good business, there should be method to the madness!

Lucky for you, instructor Lori Nordstrom is here to discuss just that topic: how to make a charitable marketing plan using a few of the 5 W's (and an H). She'll show you how answering the following questions can help you create a special campaign, product line and even a pricing structure for your charitable work:

What can you give of your time and your talents?
Who do you want to share this with - what charity?
What is your product offering?
When do you want to do this?
How do want to do this?

You'll also learn more ways to get creative with your charitable involvement, like partnering with other vendors to expand on the offering. And since nothing happens without publicity, Lori will explain how you can play up the buzz with local media, email, Facebook and blogs. Put it all together and you could be presenting your charity with an oversized check, something you'll love whether you started for fun or business or both!

No matter your professional aspirations, this class is a must-have. After all, you can be the best photographer in town, but if you can't sell your business, does it really matter?

What do you say the first time a prospect calls or contacts you? For real, what do you tell them? What message does your studio convey? Are your clients right for YOU? After Handling the Inquiry, you'll skillfully and expertly answer these questions and more!

View more of Lori's PPAedu courses.

Do you want your photography business' website to appear towards the top of Google search results? Talk about a great boost in visibility for your business! As a photographer you should consider this as a goal for your website, and this is why PPA has been hosting a webinar series to help photographers learn how to tackle SEO. 


If you missed the first three parts of the series, PPA members and PPAedu subscribers can watch the recordings now! We recommend catching up on what you've missed before the live date for "SEO & Social for Photographers: A Match Made in Heaven"


In part 1 of this series, "The Pitfalls of SEO", we cover the basics of SEO and how you can get started, as well as some mistakes to avoid. Meanwhile, part 2 goes over "Leveraging Local" and is all about how to make sure your business ranks in local searches. Part 3, "The True Art of SEO & Online Engagement...for Photographers!", showed you the ways to authentically engage with your audience online, and how this can help increase your rankings in search


We've received rave reviews about this series thus far and hope you too will start leveraging it as a useful learning tool and resource. The instructor, Brett Snyder, is the Director of Search Engine Optimization at Nebo--a web design and interactive marketing agency. Brett is a true expert in the field, and his webinars are packed with tangible SEO techniques and tips that he and PPA developed for photographers. You can also follow Brett on Twitter for advanced SEO updates and tips.


These webinars will give you ideas to create new connections with your audience and how this can boost your search engine rankings while giving your SEO a much needed human factor! PPA members and non-members alike can register to attend part 4, "SEO & Social for Photographers: A Match Made in Heaven." The best part: the live presentation is free and open to anyone, so feel free to share the info with your friends and colleagues!


Part 4, "SEO & Social for Photographers: A Match Made in Heaven," will take place November 19 at 2 p.m. ET. This time, Brett will show help you understand the relationship between SEO and social media and how to tie your social activity back to your website.


If you're ready to dive in to SEO, this series is the perfect place to help you figure things out and take your online presence efforts to the next level! Register online now, all it takes is filling out a quick, basic registration form! PPA members and PPAedu subscribers can also replay the first three parts of this series online: 


Replay Part 1 

Replay Part 2

Replay Part 3 


Don't forget to check PPAedu's webinar schedule and mark your calendars for the upcoming parts 5 and 6 as well!


Not a PPA member? You can register for this webinar and watch it live for free. All you need to do is create a basic account on PPA.com and you'll be able to register. To replay it, watch the entire series, or access any other on-demand PPAedu courses, simply join now orsubscribe to PPAedu. You'll get full access to over 170 HD videos on the latest business and creative techniques for photographers! 


Where do you turn for photographic education? No matter how long you've been in the photography business, you can always continue to improve your technique and business skills! That's why PPA started the PPAedu program, and we hope that you'll turn to us for your educational needs. 

PPAedu has over 170 videos (and counting) that PPA members and PPAedu subscribers can access on-demand. These videos cover techniques for photographers like lighting, posing and post capture, as well as the business topics sales, finance, marketing and operations. All taught by some of the most accomplished photographers in the industry. It's a complete education program, included for free with your PPA membership! 

What really makes PPAedu stand out is the Assessment. You can answer a brief series of questions in several areas which will give you personalized class recommendations based on where your photography and business skill are now. Find out more about the Assessment in the "Be More Educated: Take the PPAedu Assessment" post. 

As we alluded to earlier, new PPAedu courses are constantly being added. Take a peek at some of our most recently added courses below:

Richard Sturdevant, M.Photog.MEI.Cr.

Elements of a Composite
A composite is about bringing disconnected pieces together and connecting them. The finished image looks effortless, but a lot goes into the process. Richard Sturdevant shares his expertise as he guides you, step-by-step, through the elements of a composite. Watch a clip from the video, or sign-in to watch the complete video.

Eddie Tapp, M.Photog.MEI.Cr., API

Understanding Color Management
In this very detailed class, Eddie Tapp discusses the concept of color management, how you can understand it and better yet, how you can master it!

Labor Day is on its way and along with it the unofficial close of summer.

So are you ready for fall?! The colorful foliage, the BEST seasonal brews (inarguable) and of course, FOOTBALL! What's not to love?

And as far as your profession goes, we're not going to let you get soft on us. But how can you push yourself to the next level with less sunshine to work with?
Super Monday is a good start.

On and around October 14, 2013, dozens of studios from coast to coast (and Korea!) will open their doors and offer insights to their fellow photographers (that's you!). Whatever you need help with, there's sure to be a workshop for you. Super Monday will span portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies.

If you're in the California/Nevada area, instructor Laurie Warta, CPP, will bring her passion and expertise to offer a unique, hands-on learning opportunity.

She's heading out to Sparks, Nev., just east of Reno, for a Super Monday Shoot Out on
 Sunday, Oct. 13. There's no need to worry about being bored in a classroom for this one! Laurie's taking it outside for an on-location, learn-as-you-shoot experience, where she's hoping students will get outside their visual box and try something new. 

"I've wanted to do this for a few years. I love a good challenge, and I love getting inside the heads of other professionals and watching how other photographers do things." 

Warta says there's not usually a lot of 'why' behind the 'what,' but that's the focus here.

"'Why did you pose your subject that way? Why did you use this lighting? Why did you use these settings?' Everyone has a reason for the way they light things, but I want to know why. These are some of the questions we're going to explore. It's about challenging ourselves to expand our thinking."

Here's a glimpse into Laurie's plan for the October 13 program:

You'll meet Laurie at a location (to be confirmed, most likely her daughter's home near Reno), and briefly get to know the other students. You'll discuss the plan for the day and go over your lighting options.

After you get acquainted and gear up, you'll head to the shoot location (stay tuned for details). Waiting for you on site will be models--a senior boy, a senior girl and a couple--and a few props. You'll shoot one model and break for lunch before you photograph the others. Make no mistake, it's more than a simple photo shoot. Like Laurie said--it's a lighting-posing-coaching photography challenge!

Each student will get a turn posing, lighting and shooting the models individually; no shooting over the shoulder allowed! And this is where the props come in. When Laurie decides to throw the prop into the mix, you must somehow incorporate it into your creation with the model. The choices are yours and yours alone, Laurie and the other students will watch and learn as you explain why you're doing what you're doing. Then the roles will switch! 

"It's about taking ingredients and making something that will come out totally different from anyone else. It's amazing what you can do with a chair.

"Our personalities are all different, we communicate differently, but we can all learn from each other. It's all about creating a space for other photographers to learn, learn, learn; it's all about observing, learning and having fun."

If all works according to plan, the class will be setup with CamRanger to send selected images directly to an iPad for each photographer to further explain their tactics and for everyone else to critique the images--right there on site! The instant critiques will be more impactful because you will be able to learn from details you might have missed while being caught in the action, and the group feedback will help you improve right away. 

This class certainly isn't for the faint of heart, nor for the beginner photographer. You must have knowledge of your camera and light and how to control it. You'll need to use your creative vision in a challenging way. But the worst that can happen is you'll get better!
A dedicated photographer, Laurie has deeply loved photography for 35 years, and her focus has only sharpened in recent years. Her passion and enthusiasm for photography comes through while talking about the class. 

"I love teaching and I love photography. With this small, intimate setting, we can do so much more, especially since it's hands-on. The personal benefits are remarkable. It forces me to really know my content and learn more. I have to consider 'What can I bring to expand my horizon?'"

Laurie's not stopping there either. Two days after her Super Monday Shoot Out, she's heading an hour up the road to Kings Beach, Calif., near Lake Tahoe, to teach an additional class. 

In her second class, Laurie will partner with friend and fellow photographer, Danielle Hankinson, for Extreme Lighting at the Lake. In this course, you'll discover how to deal with harsh and challenging lighting situations, such as the beautiful Lake Tahoe area. How do you manage light when it's reflecting so harshly off of the water? You'll practice techniques to manipulate light and create cool and edgy or soft pretty lighting. 

The goal is for you  to leave Laurie and Danielle's class not only a better technical photographer, but a more confident one as well.

"When you know something and when you believe in something, you can be confident. The rest is easy--just shoot."

Head over to the Super Monday page for more information on Laurie's two classes:
Super Monday Shoot Out, in Sparks/Reno, Nevada
Extreme Lighting at the Lake, in Kings Beach,California 

And check out Laurie's website at lauriewartaphotography.com

Imagine there was an educational program built just to you. It had everything you needed on both the skill and business of photography. It was completely online and available to you 24/7. There was no pressure involved--your personalized curriculum was there for you whenever you needed it, as many times as you wanted. And somehow, some way, it was free.

Does it sound too good to be true? It's not. That's PPAedu! And guess what? It's completely free for PPA members (Professional Active).

That's because PPAedu is PPA's newest membership benefit. 

With PPAedu, you get a personalized, online education platform that provides you with a full buffet of resources suited to your needs. Each program delivers great information clearly outlined with key takeaways to help you hone your craft and strengthen your business immediately.

PPAedu offers 8 categories (4 business + 4 creative) to tailor a program that suits your business growth. How do we do that? We provide these customized recommendations thanks to the self-assessment tool.  

Through a series of business and photo technique questions PPAedu first determines your skill levels in a variety of areas important to photographic and financial success (e.g. lighting, post capture, and business operations). Then, based on your answers, PPAedu pulls from its library of online courses to build your customized plan, available to you through online videos and webinars and available 24/7 to any PPA member. As you get better (and you will!) PPAedu will adjust this plan based on your learning progress, so after taking several courses, you can reassess any specific area of interest to get a new set of recommendations. With over 150+ HD videos, you won't run out of content any time soon!
PPAedu's Self-Assessment Tool is THE place to gauge your business and photographic skills at your own pace. The questions in the assessment span photographic and business topics and are designed to deliver personalized curriculum to fit your specific needs, skills, interests and business profile. After the initial assessment, you can choose to re-assess all or select topics, at any time, and receive a new set of recommendations.

And we didn't just throw these videos together with a random narrator or presenter. We've got some of the industry's finest dishing out their secrets to success. They volunteered their time to be PPAedu instructors and help you BE MORE! You'll learn lighting techniques, business strategies, marketing tactics and so much more. Again--whatever you need, we've got it!

PPAedu also includes live webinars. However, don't fret if you miss one, they'll all be available 24/7 with the rest of the videos after they air. It's like a built-in DVR! You can view the PPAedu live webinar schedule here

Last but not least, new videos will be added every month. This comes as part of your PPA membership (Professional Active). That's right! PPAedu puts a personalized education program (a $600/year value!) at members' fingertips, 24/7, at no extra cost. 

Need any more convincing to dive in? Just take a look at some of these early reviews:

"I am sending a big thanks to PPA for the new PPAedu.  PPAedu totally rocks with HD quality and great audio."
- Jerry Watson, CPP

"There is no service I've ever even heard of that gives you a survey, builds a list of your weaknesses and strengths and then delivers dynamic video training content. This is simple but unheard of in the photography industry. And it's free for PPA members. The survey and content has one goal in mind, making me a better professional photographer. WOW!"
- Mark Treen

"I know this sounds like a PPAEdu add but I am really just so excited that PPA has provided this for us just for being members.  You could almost go there knowing next to nothing except how to turn on the camera and PPAEdu will teach you the rest."
- Jason Grass

"PPAedu is an amazing resource. I have been watching videos in a bunch of the different categories and finding them very helpful. Even if it is something that I have learned before it's a great way to brush up on everything."
- Lauren Lambeth

And we're just getting started! The best photographers never stop learning, so give PPAedu a try and BE MORE!

*What's that you say? You're not a PPA Member? No problem! Try a three-month subscription to access all the PPAedu programming. A one-time fee of $150 puts all of PPAedu's online courses at the tip of your fingers!  
The first round of Super Monday classes kicks-off tomorrow (we know, it's a Saturday), but it's all about the spirit of learning! In that spirit, Mary Buck, CPP, has doubled down and offered two distinctly different Super Monday sessions in Duluth, GA, to help boost the business of professional photographers by offering unique products and inspiring you to utilize the tools you already have in your arsenal. 

In her first class (that would be Monday, May 13th) Mary will teach "How to Create a Fusion Video Using ProShow Producer." You already use your dSLR to create amazing photos, but why not utilize all of its functionality and create fusion videos? That's Mary's intent. She'll show you how to best utilize ProShow Producer software and help you learn all about the art of storyboarding and creating a shot list. You'll then be able to put those lessons to good use during a hands-on session with a high school model. 

With a strong background in film, Mary has the patience to set up a shot right the first time. She eliminates the need for heavy editing during post-processing, which will help you produce quicker, better videos. Her favorite part of the photography process is creating the image directly in the camera. Defining herself as a classically trained photographer with strong foundational skills in composition, exposure and lighting, she attributes it all to starting her photography journey with film. It is why, she'll tell you herself, she truly believes in getting it right in the camera.

By the time you're done with the class and the hands-on session, Mary hopes you'll have "a new creative skill to add to your product lines to help you stand out from other photographers." As any photographer knows, an advantage on the competition is necessary in the current state of the photographic industry. 

"The biggest challenge my business faces are from the over-saturation of photographers and the inconsistency in pricing structures within the industry," said Mary. "To overcome these challenges it is important to offer the best customer service on the planet and to provide something different that other photographers are not offering." In her class, you will get plenty of tips and strategies to accomplish just that. 

If it tickles your fancy to learn more about the portrait side of the business, Mary's second class might be more your speed  - "The ABCs (Art, Business & Charm) of a Portrait Photography Business" will take place on Wednesday, May 15th. 


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