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Oh hi there, October! When did you get here?! If you've been running around like crazy, here's our top 10 favorite blog posts from this week you might enjoy. 

NEW BENEFIT FOR PPA MEMBERS: Very, very Low Credit Card Processing Fees
Exciting news! PPA has partnered with Bank of America to help you keep more money in your pocket by offering crazy low credit card processing fees, only for PPA photographers. These new rates are locked in and are so low, they could literally save you thousands (hundreds for sure, thousands most likely!). Read up on this one! This can be an easy way to help you be more profitable right away!


WOW-WORTHY PHOTOS: The folks at Photography Talk get you in a wintery mood with these 20 beautiful images from the Antarctica! You might want to grab a cup of tea first-- it's about to get chilly.


NEW PHOTOGRAPHY LAUGHS: This blog from Missy Mwac was too much fun not to share. We understand we all have to start somewhere, but these 10 stereotypes are pretty darn accurate. Which one did you fall into when you first started? 


MENTAL HEALTH: How do you handle it when you're overwhelmed? It's a feeling that ironically enough can halt all productivity and cause even the most efficient and creative photographers to spin in circles. Jeffrey Shaw, Cr.Photog. has some interesting ways to combat this phenomenon. Check them out here on Huffington Post! 


PUSHING BOUNDRIES: Some people always have to push it to the limits, and for that, we thank them. DJI's Eric Cheng recently went to Iceland to capture the eruption of a volcano. As he arrived, he captured a variety of beautiful wide angle shots, but he wanted more. Despite not being able to get within a mile of the mountain, he still managed to melt the face off his drone mounted GoPro! You have to see these amazing images and videos:


LEGAL TOOLS: Photographers can always use a little help in the legal department, and that's where the Law Tog, Rachel Brenke steps in. She's compiled a list of free resources to help you through every step of the sales process! Check them out here and be more protected!


LEARNING CURVE: Want to learn how to master some easy curve adjustments in Photoshop? The Digital Photography School has just the answers for you! Check out their fantastic tutorial here.

COMMON SENSE: It should be common sense, but it's nice to have a refresher every once in a while. To quote Moose Peterson, wildlife photographer extraordinaire, "No image is worth sacrificing the welfare of the subject!" It's easy to forget sometimes, in the effort to capture the perfect shot, but check out this article from PetaPixel for a sobering reminder. 


BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE: The fine folks over at Digital Photography School understand most people like cute, fluffy creatures. You can even love taking images of those cute, fluffy animals, but does that mean you should open up a business doing it? Here are their five things to consider before you open up shop.


MUSIC TO MOVE YOU: How do you rock out in your studio while you're editing? Photo Jojo has their top songs that will definitely inspire sweet dance moves and hopefully some creative work too!


There it is! Your top 10 photography blog posts from around the web this week. What photography blogs have you been enjoying? Let us know on theLoop!

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For photographers with businesses new and old, the Benchmark Survey has been proven to help their businesses. Don't believe us? You heard from June's winner, Heather Sams, CPP, who started her own studio seven years ago. Now, meet A. Michael Fletcher, CPP, of Figge Photography in Newport Beach, California. His family's studio dates back to 1946.

"We're a family of photographers," Fletcher said. "Two master photographers founded our studio, and though we lapsed as members for a spell, we rejoined PPA in 2008 and are so thankful that we did!"

PPA's Benchmark Survey is the industry's only complete financial snapshot and has been helping businesses get a better idea of where they stand and how they can improve their bottom line. Survey participants get a free side-by-side comparison of the results to their financial data. Plus, participants are automatically entered in the monthly giveaway for great prizes. This month, Fletcher won a $500 American Express gift card.

"The Benchmark Survey allows us to measure our success, ferret out our shortcomings and focus on creating solutions, not just for us but everyone who is a PPA member," Fletcher said. "We're proud to be included in this year's survey, and we can't wait for the results!"

Want to better your business and have a chance at winning August's prize - a $500 gift card to B&H? Go to PPA.com/Benchmark and participate!

Spring has sprung! The birds are singing, flowers are blooming and these discussions are hopping on theLoop! Here are the top discussions happening on our safe and secure online community:

If you had a time machine and could go back and tell yourself one thing as you began your journey into professional photography, what would it be? This is a great conversation for veterans and newbies alike!

Are you into commercial photography? Talk tech and debate between Lightroom 5 or Creative Suite 6 for software! 

How much are you worth? Not how much do you charge per session, or how much you have in the bank--but how much are you (the photographer, owner, operator, visionary) of your business worth? Learn how to come up with an answer here.

This is always a popular question! We all have limited resources--so how do you use them effectively in your marketing? Google AdWords? LinkedIn? Facebook? There are an overwhelming amount of options! See what your fellow photographers are doing successfully here.

For all of you Do-It-Yourselfers out there! Save some big bucks by performing your own sensor cleanings, but be sure to read the whole thread. There are some horror stories of DIY gone wrong. Weigh in with your personal stories of successes and failures (there's no judgment here!) 

If you ever have clients that refuse to order at an ordering session--this thread is for you! How do you deal with customers that just don't want to purchase in the studio and only want to do it online? Join the conversation (and learn a few tricks in the process) here!

Sometimes it's nice to not worry about all of the equipment and just focus on the subject matter. Do you have a favorite point and shoot? What do you use it for? Get back to your photography roots with this great thread! 

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? It's easy: join today!
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