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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!

Happy Friday! We've pulled together the best of the internet when it comes to photography - check out these articles to have a laugh, get inspired and stay in the know. 

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We love getting a little love from our members, so when Dominique Harmon recounted how she made her journey from being a "mom with a camera" to professional photographer, we just had to share it! 

Being a photographer on assignment for Reuters at the World Cup, while being a once-in-a-lifetime experience, is also pretty limiting. You have to get pictures of the goals, the fouls and everything in between, so where does your creativity get to come in? Reuters Global Editor Russell Boyce shares the project that's giving photographers free reign to capture all the action in Brazil. 

What would you do if a leopard seal put your camera into its mouth? Photographer Paul Nicklen was on assignment for National Geographic in Antarctica documenting leopard seals when one approached him, and nearly ate his camera! But instead of devouring him whole, the seal tried to take care of Nicklen for four days. Watch him retell his unforgettable experience, and see if you could handle the encounter (we couldn't)!

When Andrew Watson wanted to make a film about a man's journey to becoming the most quoted man in the news, it was rejected again and again. Until the New Yorker picked it up and made it go viral. So what does photographer Chase Jarvis get from his interview with Andrew that you can take away? That you really can do anything you put your mind to. 

For most businesses today, an online presence is everything! But then how does one photographer stand out from the next? PetaPixel features photographer Erik Almas, who thinks that going hands on is the key to building a real connection to the customer. Get some inspiration on how to pitch your work. 

Say goodbye to trash the dress pictures - it's all about nature's fury in wedding photos now. Pros of a tornado wedding portrait? An unforgettable image. The cons? Possible danger. Space explores other options for those one-of-a-kind photos.

David Guttenfelder, an Associated Press photographer who was named TIME's Instagram Photographer of the Year in 2013, shed light into the mystery of North Korea when he helped create AP's first bureau in the country. TIME interviews him on his influences, keeping a work-life balance and his success on Instagram. 

Who said photography was an expensive undertaking? Inspiration comes free. Gizmodo's highlighted a few DIY tricks to turn ordinary things about the house into reflectors, cool backgrounds and more! Will you try some of these out? 

As a professional, you've had your fair share of faux pas and missteps, but you know better now! So you'll be able to enjoy Toronto Star photographer Randy Risling's hilarious video "How to Ruin a Wedding" as he points out every wedding photographer's pet peeves. 

There you have it! Our favorite posts from around the net this week. What are your favorite photography blogs? We want to know! Will you let us know on theLoop?

Written by guest blogger Danielle Brooks

If you have ever been to a circus you have run across a professional juggler. The fact that these people can concentrate on three things at the same time amazes me. Typically they have someone add more items to the mix until they are juggling six or seven things simultaneously. 

I am not the most graceful person. I trip going up the stairs, I run into things, and my high heels get stuck in the sidewalk cracks. So the thought of juggling seven things at the same time is intimidating. But this past week I had to juggle more things than I've ever had to... 

Here is what my week looked like:

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Sunday, April 5th: Wedding in the morning. Sports photos for local gymnastics team in the afternoon.

Monday, April 6th to Thursday, April 10th: I was hired to travel with the Admissions Department of my Alma Mater, Flagler College and take photos of their East Coast Tour to welcome newly admitted students. We flew to Baltimore, Virginia Beach and Long Island. 
Friday, April 11th: Sunrise family session on the beach in St. Augustine.

Saturday, April 12th: Sunset wedding in Tampa.

Did I forget to mention that I got food poisoning on my flight home? Also, Sunday the 12th was my 26th birthday. Needless to say, I had to wear several hats that week. I needed to be a wedding photographer, event photographer, family photographer and a sports photographer. 

But through this experience, I was able to pick up a couple tips and tricks that might come in handy for you. 

For starters, I would not have made it through this week of craziness without creating multiple checklists. The equipment I needed for the sports photos was drastically different than what I used for the family shoot on the beach. In order to keep track of everything, I created a list of things I needed to bring. I proactively packed for my events. While I was getting my equipment together, I thought about potential issues I could encounter and packed things that could come in handy. In case my battery died, I had a back up and the charger. In case my backdrop got ripped or needed a quick fix, I had a mini sewing kit handy.

Secondly, I would suggest investing in multiple CF/SD cards. This is kind of a no-brainer. However, I didn't really see the importance of it until recently. Normally all I need is one card while on a job, but while touring with the admissions department, I didn't have the time to upload all of my photos. So they ended up staying on the cards until I got home to edit them. It's also good practice to bring extra memory in the event something goes wrong with the one you are using. 

Another tip is to always maintain composure. Things will go wrong, but your clients don't need to know about any potential problems. Hear me out. If the issue is going to affect the final product, then yes, you should talk with your client about it. But if you let them know about every small glitch it makes you seem less experienced, and invites them to insert their opinions. You are the professional. Maintain your professionalism. 

When I was shooting the sports photos, I had to get 40+ people in front of a backdrop. Not everyone fit in the small space I had to work with. I knew I could Photoshop the backdrop in behind some of the girls that were just on the edge of the backdrop. It wasn't the best situation to be in, but I made the best of it.

Lastly, it's important to remember your audience. My game plan was different for each type of session I did. For the weddings, I was in go mode. I had a lot of photos to take of the bride, groom and family, and a short amount of time to take them in. For the family session, I could take my time composing the shot, but I had to make a fool of myself to get the one year old to smile. For the sports and event photos, I had to balance between go mode and taking time to make sure I stayed organized with paperwork. 

For you more experienced photographers out there, these tips might seem kind of basic. But for those of you who are still fairly new, I hope some of these will help you out in the future. What have you all learned in your years of photographing multiple events? How did you deal with the stress and stay organized? 

It should be no surprise that February flew by. Fast. Didn't have a chance to check in on theLoop this month? We'll we've got the top five discussions right here! Check them out, chime in and see where you fall in these popular topics:

Are you contemplating switching lighting systems? It can be a challenging and mind -boggling task! Weigh in to see what the best fit is for you and your fellow photogs. 

Do business cards make a difference? What designs work well and what designs might drive potential clients away? See if your cards are helping or hurting your business here

Sometimes Google doesn't even have the right answer. Talk turkey with F-stops and DOF while using an 85mm. 

Do you work with large groups in the out of doors? Discuss how to use fill light to correct those spots where the natural light falls short here!

This is always a hot topic. What do you do when a client asks for digital files? What are some good alternatives? What's some key language to use to drive your point home? Get in on this topic that impacts almost every photographer here. 

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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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 .

It's Friday, which means it's time for an update on some of the great photography content we've found around the web! Here are five posts from the week of January 19, 2014 (they might have a theme...you know that awesome conference that happened last week? Yep. It was that cool!):

A first timer's perspective:
James Lout came to Arizona both a PPA and an Imaging USA newbie. Read about meeting his photographic idols and all of his experiences here.

Video blog:
You may have heard, Kenny Rogers was at Imaging USA! He accepted his honorary masters of photography, presented a Q&A with John Sexton (Imaging USA speaker) and was gracious enough to do some press. Check out the press room interview here!

Phoenix: Through Imaging USA's eyes:
Did you Instragram all over Phoenix? Check if your pics made the Downtown Phoenix Journal blog here! They did a compilation of their fav photos, plucked from the social web. 

Escape from Wisconsin:
Ellie and Emily escaped the frozen tundra of Waupun, Wisconsin to head to Phoenix. See how they experienced the show and some of the great images they captured while taking advantage of their new surroundings! 

Live from the Expo Floor:
The fine folks over at B&H made the rounds, talking to folks on the Imaging Expo floor. Check out what they discovered in their video blogs here

And for more behind the scenes content, video wrap ups and photos, visit facebook.com/imagingusa! We'll be uploading more content throughout the week, so check back often! 
In a short 72 hours Imaging USA will kick off with 10,000 of your closest pro-photographer friends! How can you get in on the conversation and connect with other attendees? Let us count the ways...

#IUSA14: This is our official hashtag! Use it to tag all of your content across all of your social media! We'll be sharing your stuff as the show goes on, because who better to tell the story than you, the attendees?

Facebook: Like Imaging USA on Facebook to see behind the scenes content, share your own images and stories from the event! This content will also be broadcast on the various Social Monitors around the Expo and registration. We will be closely monitoring Facebook during show hours, so if you have questions and can't find an Imaging USA orange shirt, feel free to send us a message and we'll respond ASAP! Remember to check in to Imaging USA from Facebook places! 

Twitter: We'll be live tweeting the whole show! Tips, tricks, announcements and more - follow @imagingusa or our official hashtag (#IUSA14) to get all the great access. This information will also be broadcast on our Social Monitors - the more you tweet, the more famous you'll be! If you can't find an orange shirt and have a question, feel free to tweet it at us too! We'll do our best to keep responses under 140 characters.

Instagram: It's a photography conference, so you better believe we're on Instagram, snapping photos! Same rules apply from Twitter - follow us @imagingusa or #IUSA14 to get photos from command central, the parties and maybe a few candid shots with Kenny Rogers!

FourSquare: Want to be the Mayor of Imaging USA? Check in on FourSquare! Connect with other attendees and find neighborhood deals for lunch, dinner or post-show fun!

theLoop: Join in on the conversation on the Imaging USA community on theLoop! Find last minute roommates, friends or session buddies. 

The Imaging USA App: Head to Imagingusa.org/app to download the app. Once you've registered for the conference, you should receive an email from Imaging USA 2014 with your login credentials--these are different from your standard PPA information. If you can't find it, just call our Member Care line at 800-786-6277 and they'll get you sorted out. Log in, create a profile and start searching for members with similar interests! Send messages, schedule meet ups, and connect face to face! (Check out our handy app videos to get all the details!) (LINK)

So there you have it! We can't wait to see how you experience Imaging USA 2014! Get packing & we'll see you in Phoenix!



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