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Results tagged “professional photographer” from PPA Today

By Autumn Rice

PhotoVision is a great way for professional photographers to elevate their education with extensive tutorial videos from some of the top photographers in the business!

Aside from the 800+ tutorial videos on almost any topic, PhotoVision also unlocks a free video, each month, for non-subscribers to take advantage of great learning opportunities. This month's videos is "Children's Portrait Garden" with Jamie Hayes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API.

Follow along as Jamie Hayes photographs a young boy in his gorgeous outdoor studio garden. You'll learn a trick for easily posing children's hands in a way that looks natural, and how a remote control camera trigger can benefit you when photographing young children. Jamie will also share with you the reward system he uses with kids to give them incentive to behave and enjoy themselves. From tips to work better with kids to location gear setup, Jamie will walk you through so much that this video is a must-watch for photographer who is into Children Portraiture.

Check out the latest release!


PhotoVision is a valuable online subscription, filled with content that you won't find anywhere else. As a PPA member you have full access for free, but non-members must subscribe. Why wait? Sign-up for PhotoVision, it's $19.99/month. Or better yet, join PPA for only 27.92/month and PhotoVision automatically comes free as part of your PPA membership!

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By Autumn Rice

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It's that time of year again! It's time you use the educational tips & tricks learned during Super 1 Day to Improve Your Business. 

Spring Super 1 Day sessions will be held May 8-22, 2017, and your fellow photographers are ready to teach you the best of what they know! Though our Super 1 Day participants vary in their specialties and locations, they all seem to agree on one thing: Super 1 Day is one of the best and easiest ways to join your peers for an excellent learning experience!

From each class you can expect to at least four things learn: 
  1. Top tier photography education from your peers
  2. Diverse ways to improve your marketing, profits, and the overall success of your business
  3. Tips & tricks to help improve your workflow and time spent on editing
  4. Strategies to improve the end product delivered to your clients

With nearly 250 classes across the country, you're sure to find one that fits your interests. (There are 30 in Texas alone!) So join a class near you!

Super 1 Day classes are very interactive and often give participants the chance to practice what they've learned on site. Before you head off to your class, be sure to check your bag for a few items. You'll need to bring:
  • Camera
  • Note-taking material 
  • Small tablet or laptop 
  • Snacks 
  • Money for lunch 

Online registration for Spring Super 1 Day will open March 2, 2017. Each class will be available for the $99 rate through May 3, 2017. Classes fill up fast, so visit PPA.com/Super1Day to join a class near you!

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By Tristin Vaccaro

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PPA's See The Difference® campaign is a two-pronged online, print, and social media initiative launched as a way to help clients "see the difference" when it comes to evaluating photographers. The knowledge and experience a professional photographer brings to the table is unmatched, and we believe all consumers should realize the true value of hiring a pro. Through the See The Difference® campaign, PPA photographers are provided with FREE sales and marketing tools to assist with justifying their costs, expertise, and quality. 

In addition to these free resources, PPA periodically writes feature articles awakening consumers to see the See The Difference®. Most of the time, these articles are picked up by thousands of print and online news publications. The See The Difference-themed stories are written with the intent of educating consumers on the relevance and value of hiring a professional for their photography needs.

This past fall, See The Difference offered up 4 Tips for Getting Your Best High School Senior Photos. This article makes the consumer dive deep into four tips for capturing the perfect senior portrait and how to snag the perfect photographer for the job. This particular story was picked up by 1,128 online publications and garnered a whopping 74,339,983 online views. Talk about creating more awareness on why a professional photographer makes a difference! Check out some of the many sites that are hosting the whole article: The Daily Times, News USA, Montgomery Herald, and Sea Coast Online

This is just one of the many articles PPA publishes monthly in an ongoing effort to show consumers that professional photographers are worth the investment. Be sure to read up on the See The Difference® campaign and make use of all the sales resources available to PPA members. Not a PPA member? Join today!

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By Autumn Rice

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Love is in the air, and we hope you feel it all around the world. In honor of all of the Valentine's Day fun, we want to share the blog posts we love most about the profession you love!

COPYRIGHT:  The issue of copyright infringement is important. So when a photographer thought his work was infringed on by a German ad agency, he took to social media to vent his frustration. But the question arose of whether his work was actually infringed on. Read this article that sheds light on some U.S. copyright law and the difference between infringement and inspiration.

BUSINESS: Tax season is here, and for many photographers that means figuring out what number goes in what box. It's dreadful! Tax rules are expansive, but knowing about a few important ones could make tax time painless for creative professionals. Read the tips in this article!

MARKETING: Looking for marketing tools? See The Difference is a benefit that offers PPA members marketing resources to help their clients understand the value in professional photography. Check out this blog post about See The Differences quizzes that help develop a profile for clients!

TECHNIQUE: The process for shooting beauty videos and beauty portraits is different, but there are some elements that are present in both. Check out some of the tips on lighting, soft focus vignettes, and creating lens flares featured in this article to help both cinematographers and photographers!

EDUCATION: Classroom experiences aren't always our favorite, but how would it be different if your teacher catered the classroom décor to the lesson? That's exactly what photography professor Mark Zimmerman did. See just how he transformed his classroom into a giant camera obscura.

PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE: Digital is the prominent form of photography, but analog is on the rise, and four modern photographers are at the forefront. Although Daniel Zvereff, Anastasia Egonyan, Simon Chetrit, and Lester Jones have their own style of photography, it's all analog film. Check out their work and how their projects turned out. 

PRO TOOLS: While some photographers live by their light meters, others don't value their importance as much. But what would photo sessions be like without them? Read this article about how a recent shoot helped one photographer rediscover the necessity for light meters, and why you should have one too!

INSPIRATION: Felling like you need a littler inspiration? We have just the thing! Check out this conversation with PhotoVision instructor, Anne Geddes as she discusses owning your and defining your work, and the importance of professional photographers.
 
BUSINESS CREATIVITY: Many photographers enjoy the comfort and flexibility of home studios, but building one can get quite expensive. Here's a post that gives a few tips on how to create a home studio that you'll love while on a budget. Check it out!

FLASH BACK: Fashion has evolved over the years, and the photographs that accompany the looks have as well. Watch the evolution of fashion and photography in this exhibit beginning in the 1920s. From Broadway to the most recognizable supermodels, these photos capture every element of the time. Take a look!

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.

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By Tristin Vaccaro

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Through PPAedu, PPA members have over 350 tutorials and educational videos available to them 24/7.  Each month, however, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy. Why? Because we believe in the power of education for all!

This month, the video "Lightroom: Getting Started" with Dave Doeppel, Cr.Photog., CPP, has been unlocked! In this video, Dave walks you through the basics of Adobe Lightroom's editing software.  Dave, who is an Adobe Certified Expert, will cover topics such as general settings and system preferences. This is the first video in an 11-part series, so PPA members also have access to the remaining 10 episodes. Non-members will have access to this video the entire month of February, but PPA members can access this video anytime. Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, PPA members can tap into hundreds of programs to help them Be More! For full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos, join PPA today!

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By Autumn Rice

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Have you visited theLoop lately? 

theLoop is a great way for PPA members to connect, share stories, and give advice about their experiences as professional photographers, as well as stay up-to-date on what's new at PPA. The biggest bonus to interacting on theLoop is that there are no clients! 

Have questions about photography? Post it on theLoop! It's a safe way to answer your most important photography questions from professionals just like you!

If you haven't logged on for a while, here's a recap of some of the discussion tips you've missed. Check it out!

This Looper is a wedding photographer who may have lost the files for 6 weddings, her own personal wedding, and other personal files. She wants to know what advice PPA members have to offer.  One Looper said:
 
"You say your original computer died and somewhere in the process, you backed up the data to this external drive. Perhaps it still exists on the drive in the original computer? Might depend on how it "died," but I would be pulling that drive out and looking at it.
Just a thought..."
--Tony

Here's a member who has taken on some new photography projects and needs some advice about expanding the pricing, and how to draft a contract for a vendor. This member advises:
 
"Okay - I am totally going to go out on a limb here and say you really need set some boundaries on that. I made the mistake of getting in over my head with very little Return on Investment in engaging with a boutique. I did it the wrong way of doing product shots of all their inventory consistently. It can be done well, but you need to set boundaries. I prefer to have 1 day events to do it all. For website managing that can get tricky. I usually just provide web-res ready images for them. But I would suggest maybe seeing if Sticky Apps could be an option and charging a consistent monthly fee for it all. :-) Sorry I am not much help as I am working through setting up my boundaries this year."
--Ray

The Print Movement is a great way to get involved with printed products and this Looper has some questions about motivations for clients to purchase prints.

"Touch and feel!  That's huge especially for women--which are the majority purchasers of portraits. A physical product that they can touch, feel, hold (albums, books, wall portraits) increases the perceived value of an item over a JPEG on a disc. Plus you are doing your clients a disservice by making them go out and find a lab to print and then buy a frame etc etc. If they can walk out of my studio with an archival piece of art for their walls, that has value."
--Tara

Imaging USA provided some inspiration for this photographer to venture into glamour and boudoir photography. She has questions about what questions to ask clients and how to price her products. Here's a response:

"Randall is right on track with the type of questions. Many resources for client questionnaires exist (The Boudoir Divas), Boudie Shorts, Molly Marie, Jen Rozenbaum, Christa Meola) just google and you'll find a wide variety of resources. Sue Bryce will tell you she deplores the term boudoir photography, and she isn't doing the common style boudoir most people recognize. She asks her clients a very smart question "How do you envision your photograph" - to paraphrase. What she's asking is what is their dream image - riding on a horse in the park with Victorian apparel or standing in Time Square in a red gown....
Asking the client what they envision and like combined with questions along the lines of what Randall mentioned is a winning combination."
--Mark

As a new member to PPA, this Looper has some questions about how to start a successful photography business. Here's what a Looper had to say:

"What Mark said--plus believe there may be some great videos on this in the PPAedu archives so be sure to check those out. PPA also does a Business Challenge but not sure if you have to already be in business a number of years to do that or not. Determine the type of photography you want to do--sounds like weddings and maybe portraits as well. Then you will want to get down and dirty on determining your pricing. As Mark said it's critical to understand your cost of doing business-how much do you need to make just to keep the doors open, lights on etc."
--Tara

These are just a few of the great posts made on theLoop. Hop on over to theLoop to see other posts and make some of your own! 

Written by PPA Member, Michelle Kaffko of Organic Headshots, Chicago, Illinois
Read more of Michelle's blog at organicheadshots.com/blog/

During the last 9 years working as a headshot photographer I estimate that about 95% of the people I've taken a headshot of have made some kind of self-deprecating comment during the photo session.

Such as:

"I'll try not to break your camera."
"I've got a huge nose- just warning you."
"Try not to get my 18 chins in the photo."
"Well it's a good enough photo for what you've got to work with."

I spend about 5% of a headshot session going over clothing options, 5% adjusting lighting, 20% posing and coaching, and 10% actually snapping the shutter button.  And then 60% telling people they're not as ugly as they say they are.

But I get it.  I completely understand.  Because I hate photos of myself too.  Sometimes I look at a photo of me and think I look like a stunt zombie wearing earrings.  And it wasn't until about year 6 as a headshot photographer that I finally gathered the courage to get in front of the lens and book another photographer to take my own professional headshot.

I love being behind a camera, looking through the lens, and capturing fractions of a second of our short time on earth and sharing that with the world.  I love images, imagery, telling stories through photos, and using a camera to paint the perfect portrait of amazing human beings who deserve dignified images of themselves that say, "look people!  I'm here!  And this is how awesome I am."

But if you ever point a camera at me, I will punch you in the neck.
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Written by guest blogger Danielle Brooks

Last night my husband, Rich, and I were lying around reading when he suddenly asked, "Do you know what you're wearing?" 

"To what?" I replied.

"To Imaging USA. It's less than 10 days away now. Do you know what the weather will be like? How about what classes you're going to take? Do you have a plan for the expo floor?"

"Well I have a general idea but I want to be open."

"If you want to make the most of your time there, you've got to figure these things out, Danielle." 

Crap. I knew my husband was right. The time had come to make some definitive decisions. I have been so caught up in the holidays and business that I haven't stopped to plan my course of action, let alone pack. I needed to decide on what to wear, courses to take, and what my plan for the expo floor was going to be.

Last time, I came to the conclusion I needed to take courses related to lighting and posing. But how will I choose when a lighting or posing class is offered at the same time? What about clothing? Will this Florida girl need to bring a coat? I immediately put down my book and did a quick search for "weather in Phoenix." I found that Phoenix is bipolar in that it will be in the 70s during the day, but low 40s at night. How am I to dress for that? 

One of my biggest dilemmas in preparing for IUSA was deciding what to wear. I want to be fashionable, yet comfortable. Professional, but not over dressed. And any outfit I pack needs to be potentially ready for a night on the town with new friends. 

With those guidelines there is a very slim margin of clothes I can bring. I settled on a nice pair of jeans, several three-quarter length sleeved polo shirts, and of course my IUSA15 shirt. I can wear my jeans more than once, and the shirts will help keep me warm in a potentially chilly expo center, yet cool enough to be out and about in Phoenix during the day. Of course tennis shoes are a must. 

But what about the parties? Do people dress up for those? I decided I would make time after I tour the expo floor to go back to my hotel room to change into something a little more fancy. This would allow me to regroup and write down any thoughts about the day. Since it will be cooling off in the evening, I'm packing a nice coat to go along with my outfit. 

Now that my clothes were packed, I started making a game plan for the classes I wanted to take. I methodically went down the list of classes with my husband and decided which ones would be the most beneficial. If two classes I want to take are offered at the same time I checked to see if similar class is being offered at another time. That way I could have the best of both worlds. I seriously love the Imaging USA app. If you don't have it, do yourself a favor and download it. You won't regret your decision. I love that you can star which vendors are a must see and it highlights where they are on the expo floor. You can also select your classes and it will show up on a calendar so you don't loose track of where you're supposed to be. 

Last on the list was planning my strategy for the expo floor. I came up with a list of items I will need going into the New Year. My focus will be on packaging and offering print products to my clients. I was able to use my IUSA app to star the companies that I was interested in learning more about. My first day at the expo will be spent focusing on my needs. That way, I can enjoy focusing on my wants later in the week. I was also able to sign up for the IUSA Alumni Program. They pair off newbies, like myself, with veterans of IUSA. I was paired up with an Imaging USA veteran who will be able to walk with me through the expo floor on my first day. I'm sure he will have a bunch of great tips for talking with vendors to get the best deals. 

Now that most of my plans are set, all I have to do is wait to put them in motion. What's your IUSA plan? If you have any tips or tricks for me, please feel free to share in the comments! Until then, IUSA here we come!

Hello faithful readers! Welcome to our latest blog series, What's a Pro? with Johnny O (that's me!).

If you recall, back in May Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer ruffled a few feathers when she said: 

"...there's no such thing as Flickr Pro, because today, with cameras as pervasive as they are, there is no such thing really as professional photographers, when there's everything is professional photographers [sic]. Certainly there is varying levels of skills, but we didn't want to have a Flickr Pro anymore, we wanted everyone to have professional quality photos, space, and sharing."

Oops! Her goof caused quite the backlash in the photography community, but it also got us to thinking... What is a professional photographer? Just someone who gets paid to take pictures? Or is it something more?

In this series, we'll chat about what exactly makes a professional photographer... professional. It's a pretty easy job for me, because for the most part, I'm going to let you pros do the talking.

If you participated in our Faces of PPA campaign (and MANY of you have), you saw we asked, "What's a Professional Photographer to you?" And we're going to share some of your responses here. 

Have some thoughts on the topic? Want to be a part of the series? Place your thoughts in the comment section below or contact me, John Owens, communications specialist, at jowens@ppa.com. 

So what's a pro? The answer--we hope to find--is you. 

Heather Chinn, M.Photog.Cr., owns and operates her portrait studio, Heather the Painter, in Fort Mill, S.C. Heather is THE name to know in the world of painting (and she'll be speaking at Imaging USA!), and works for clients all over the world. As a Corel Training Partner and Corel Painter Master as well as a PPA Master Artist photographer, Heather pulls from years of well-rounded experience to form her opinion.

"To me, a professional photographer is an artist that can see a unique story in a split second in everyday life. They can then capture that moment with all of the creative elements (composition, lighting, exposure, color harmony, balance, design, etc.) in place as if it were second nature."

Eva Creel, hailing from Kaiserslautern, Germany, is a self-proclaimed photography addict. Her eponymous studio offers photography "underwater, above and somewhere in between." Eva considers herself an artist first and professional second, and offered an example on why a mix of both is important. 

"Want to light the fire under a photo group's proverbial bottoms? Ask them what a professional photographer is and stand back as the thread explodes! To me, ya gotta make money honey if you want to be considered a professional. However money does not mean quality. 

"For example many people can charge you to fix your car but that doesn't mean they are going to do a good job. You will most likely get what you pay for. If the mechanic does a bad job does that mean he's not a professional? Does he/she have a license and a registered business? Can they tell the difference between a carburetor and an alternator? We have a good idea of who a professional is when it comes to taking care of our car needs, so why don't we have a clear understanding of who a professional is when it comes to taking our portrait?"

Michigan photographer Jennifer Praniewicz, CPP, owner of Jenuine Creations, LLC, breathes creating a slice in time for history and placement. Her work has been featured in international magazines, yet she gets a greater sense of satisfaction from clients who have fun on a shoot with her and then love their images.

"A professional photographer is one that respects the foundation, heritage and lineage of those who made the industry in days gone by. In so doing, they are continually honing their skills and craft, reaching for the next level of excellence. 

"They strike a delicate balance between reaching their clients' goals, dreams and desires while growing and maintaining a business. They run a business and do not denigrate the industry by giving their time or product away unless for a legitimate charity. They utilize all the components of great photography, including lighting, posing, composition, etc. and don't settle for trendy, over-exposed and characterless photography."

So as you can see, there are some strong feelings on the topic! Now, do your clients need any help to See The Difference? We've got marketing resources just for that.

So what's a professional photographer to you? Let us know in the comments. 

See you in a couple weeks!

-Johnny O
Since you're close to wrapping up your social media experience with our Be More Social series, we wanted to leave you with 10 examples where social media failed. Since the companies below made some pretty terrible missteps that you can avoid, we're turning them into some valuable learning experiences. Let's dive in!

1. Avoid making light of national tragedies. CelebBoutique (an online retailer) saw that #Aurora was trending on July 20, and posted this less than sensitive tweet. According to the company, their PR department didn't read up on why #Aurora was trending. Always do your research! If you're using a hashtag that's trending, but you don't normally associate with (like the one below), make sure you're well aware of what conversation you're getting into. 

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2. We can't say it enough - always check if you're utilizing a trending hashtag. Entenmann's Bakery posted this tweet during the Casey Anthony trial. They're tweet was "innocent" enough, but the timing was downright terrible. (Note:  At least they tweeted an apology quickly. If you find yourself in a similar situation, own it. Apologize publicly and quickly, it'll save face in the long run!)
 
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3. Even international brands aren't immune from poor PR. Check out this ill-timed tweet from fashion brand Kenneth Cole. Whether it's home or abroad, it's generally in poor taste to latch on to a trending hashtag associated with war, violence and riots. Even if you think you're clients would get the joke, take the high road.

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