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Happy Friday! Where have you found inspiration around the internet? Here are our 10 favorite photography posts from the world wide web!

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This one will blow your mind and inspire you to do amazing things! We promise. See 25 popular photographers from their early shoots versus today's work. Some of the massive transformations took as little as two years! This is a must read.

DigitalRev TV has a great video out on the 10 biggest pet peeves photography lovers have. It's worth a watch and a giggle!

How do you keep your passion in this crazy industry? PhotographyTalk breaks it down to show you how to keep focused on what you love, while still maintaining a healthy bank account!

We can't say we condone his tactics, but darn it, it worked! See how Marcus Haney became a music photography star by the age of 26, and the less than legal tactics he used to get there. 

Aperture: it's not an all or nothing situation! Matt Granger and the folks at PetaPixel walk you through situations where you might need to expand your thought process. 

Make magic with levitation images! Here are 7 easy tips for making your images fly (pun intended) from Digital Photography School. 

Have you ever read a spam email and thought "Who the heck would send this?!" Well, Christina De Middel decided to create portraits of the spam senders. Check out the great spam emails, along with their portraits of their senders as De Middel imagined them! 

Charity is great! It's a no brainer to give, but when it comes to your taxes, it can make it complicated. Here's a quick guide for your fiscal planning from Intuit! 

Horst P. Horst was the king of fashion photography in the 20th century. Check out some unpublished works before they hit the floor of the Victoria and Albert Museum in September. 

The fine folks at H&H Color Lab bring you some killer marketing tips for local photographers! In 14 easy steps, you can up your business, your referrals and your presence in the local community!

Well there you have it! Our 10 favorite photography posts from around the web! What are your favorite spots to get some photography knowledge and inspiration? Let us know on theLoop
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Here are the 10 photography blogs from May 24 - May 30, 2014 that we hope will inspire you and professional photographers around the web to be more!

Wal-Mart is still making waves on their case against the photographer's widow! Get the Washington Post's take on the situation here. 

Not cool, Jesse Chen, not cool. This software engineer at Facebook posted a tutorial on how to remove those pesky little watermarks from professional photos. The posts have since been taken down, but this read from Fstoppers is worth a look. 

If you find yourself near an active lava flow during your summer adventures, you'll be happy you have these great tips from PetaPixel under your belt! (Plus the example images are pretty awesome.)

How can you spot a newbie? PhotographyTalk has their nine sins of a noob - the last one is our favorite (and even the most seasoned of pros can slip up). 

How to Capture Creative Cold When You're at the End of Your Rope - Literally.
National Geographic photojournalist Jimmy Chin sits down with Chase Jarvis to talk all things photography. Not only is his story inspiring, but the images are fantastic and make you want to hit the road for the nearest mountain to climb or rock to repel. 

To go along with the post about Jimmy Chin, we thought it might be helpful to see how to take a photo from a kayak on your next adventure - and what do you know? Photo Naturalist just happened to write a little blog about it! 

If you're looking to expand your editing repertoire, this is a great article from PDN! We all know and love Photoshop, but what other software can make your images pop? Here are their top 10!

Tis the season for senior portraits! If you're in the market, here are some great ideas, tips and inspiration from Seniors Ignite on how to make the male clients get comfortable in front of the camera. 

New to the world of photographing interior architecture? If you're wanting to expand your product line, the School of Digital Photography has some great need-to-know info that will get you started on the right foot. 

Meteor showers are something else - and capturing them just right can be difficult. Outdoor Photo Gear has their top 10 tips for capturing the perfect image! (When is the next shower in your area? Check them out here!)

There you have it, the favorite blog posts of the week from your PPA team! Don't forget that you can share your own posts, or other stories you have enjoyed, on theLoop

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter. To make those six weeks fly by, check out the top discussions on theLoop from January. Hopefully, some of these discussions will bring some inspiration, education and networking!

After three days of education, your brain can be jam packed with information, ideas and changes you want to make to your business. What will you implement first? 

Want to bust into the world of commercial or food photography, but don't know how? This thread is for you! Get advice on where to start, what to read, and what to avoid. 

Do you love wall portraits? Hate them? They have turned into a polarizing topic amongst portrait photographers. Weigh in with your opinion here!

Your hard drive's getting full. What's your process for storing images of days (and clients) gone by?  Dump them? Spend the money for additional storage? Know your options!

Great models are hard to come by. How do you help them get out there, without throwing them to the wolves? 

When you frame your wall portraits - do you do so with our without glass? Without glass cuts down on glare, but leaves your image open to the elements. What are your options? 


Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members PPA photographers can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? Join today .

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!

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Last week we started our weekly "Be More...Social" series with a piece on just the basics of social media (need a quick refresher?). This week we'll use some of those keywords and dive into what the top platforms are to market your business. We'll cover who are the average users on such platforms and how you can start to effectively engage with them. 

Before we dive in, it's key to remember two things. First, just because a social media site exists, it doesn't mean you need to be on it. Second, if you're new to social media, start off with one or two platforms. You don't need to spread yourself too thin trying to be everywhere at once. 

So where to begin? It's helpful to start by exploring the top sites in terms of reach. Here is a list of the most popular social sites by unique monthly active users (more than 100 million users). Unique monthly active users just means it doesn't matter if a visitor came to a site once or a hundred times, they're only counted once:

  • Facebook: 1.11 billion
  • YouTube: 1 billion
  • Twitter: 550 million 
  • Google+: 343 million
  • LinkedIn: 225 million
  • Instagram: 130 million
It should come as no surprise that Facebook leads the pack, with YouTube in a close second (have you seen how many adorable cat videos there are?!).  Now, just because a site gets millions of users doesn't mean those users are who you need to be focusing your energy on. So who are the average users on the sites? Read on. It's not always who you might think it is!

Facebook
67% of internet users are on Facebook (72% of women, 62% of men). The highest percentage of users falls between 18 - 29 and 30 - 49 years old. Income, education and location don't matter much in the world of Facebook. Facebook is the most used site by the widest range of people.  People share their personal lives, follow brands they love and stay up to date with words, images and even play games (Candy Crush anyone?)

What this means for your studio: Facebook is a great jumping off point to get the word out about your business, regardless of your specialty. Business pages are completely free to set up. Note: set your business up as a page, not as a person. There are a million reasons why...mainly if you set up your business as a person, you have to actively accept people as your friends (there will be a lag between when they want to start seeing your posts and when they actually get to see your content). Plus, you can't advertise as a person, only a business. Finally, Facebook said not to (and you don't want to get on their bad side). 


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