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Results tagged “techniques for photographers” from PPA Today

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy (not just PPA photographers), because PPA believes in the power of education for all! This is just one of the over 300 videos in the PPAedu library on photography techniques and business best practices. These tutorials are available 24/7 for PPA photographers! Plus, as a PPA photographer you have access to the over 800 videos from PhotoVision on demand. That's over 1,100 videos available anytime, anywhere!

In this month's free video, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, walks you through how to set up "Simple Posing and Lighting Family Portrait Month." These tips lend themselves to be easily incorporated into any situation where you're trying to host multiple sessions in a single day and eliminate post process time! 

What is Family Portrait Month? This annual event is put on by PPA Charities to benefit their charitable partners, as well as elevate the business images of participating studios! For more information, visit ppacharities.com.

If you're a PPA member, log in to watch the video. Non-members can access the video during June at PPA.com/TryEdu. If you want full access to all the PPAedu courses and PhotoVision streaming videos, join PPA now! 

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarahs in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.
By Chris Homer

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for anyone to watch (not just PPA members!), because PPA believes in the power of education for all. This is one video from PPAedu's library of 300+ tutorials on photography techniques and business best practices available 24/7 with a PPA membership. And with the recent addition of PhotoVision videos, there are even more courses (a total of 1,100!) for PPA photographers to watch on demand at no extra cost. 

This August's unlocked video will be a great help to any photographer looking to improve their posing of high school senior boys. When it comes to a senior photo shoot, it can be a real challenge pleasing both the senior and his parents, as often what they are looking for in their portrait is quite different. This unlocked video is sure to help you figure out poses that will create awesome portraits that will be enjoyed by everyone!

In "Posing Seniors: Getting the Right Look for Boys," Bry Cox, M.Photog.Cr, CPP, shares his posing advice with you through demonstrations with live models. From what poses to use, to how to use props successfully, you'll get a great overview on posing that you can use to create better portraits.
 
If you are already with PPA, log in to watch the video. Non-members can access this video at no cost throughout August at PPA.com/TryEdu. If you want full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision on-demand video programming, join PPA now!


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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By Chris Homer

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for anyone to watch (not just PPA photographers!), because PPA believes in the power of education for all. PPAedu is a library of 300+ video tutorials on photography techniques and business best practices available for PPA members 24/7 as part of their membership. And with the recent addition of PhotoVision, there are even more courses (a total of 1,100!) for PPA photographers to watch on demand at no extra cost. 

July's unlocked video is great for photographers looking to improve their marketing. One aspect of strong marketing is having a consistent brand for your photography business. If you're not sure where to start building your brand, July's video is a perfect place to start. 

In "Bring Out Your Brand," PPA's CEO and marketing pro David Trust takes you through the intricacies of what makes a brand and how you can build yours!

If you're with PPA, log in to watch the video. Non-members can access this video throughout July at PPA.com/TryEdu. If you want full access to all the PPAedu + PhotoVision on-demand videos, join PPA now!


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.



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By Chris Homer

Have you ever thought about becoming a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) or earning a PPA degree? These official marks of recognition will help you be more in-demand as they mean more than just being able to add a string of letters to the end of your name. Becoming a CPP or earning a degree is a great way to show your potential clients that you are a true professional photographer committed to constantly improving your craft - which means they can trust you to consistently create great imagery for them! 

The next webinar on this topic is FREE! On June 9 at 2 pm EST Christine Walsh-Newton, M.Photog.Cr., CPP,  goes over each step of the process in an online session called: "Certification, Competition, and Credentials: The Course for Continued Success". Christine will walk you through certification, photographic competition and degree programs and how they make a big difference in attaining various career and personal goals. Christine also de-mystifies each process and presents them in understandable terms so that you may incorporate one or more of them into your own goals.

It's a good way to get the low-down on PPA's Certification as well as the Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman and Artist degrees, what it takes to add each of them to your resume and how they will help you become a better photographer. Prepare to be inspired and... amused!

Speaking of photographic competition, PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) is currently accepting entries, so if you're thinking of entering IPC this summer, this webinar couldn't come at a better time! 

The webinar is free to both PPA members and non-members to stream live, so sign up today. If you want to access the recorded version of this webinar (and more than 1,100 other PPAedu classes and PhotoVision videos), you've got to be with PPA. So join today! And don't forget to enter your images in the IPC!


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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By Chris Homer

Have you ever wanted to host a photography workshop? Well, if you have, your chance is here: Consider applying to be an instructor for PPA's Super 1 Day photography workshops this fall. It's a great chance to give back to the photography community by sharing your knowledge. 

What does your class need to be about? Anything photography or photography business related! In the past, instructors have taught classes featuring portrait and wedding photography techniques, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies - so if you've got some special insight into a particular photography technique or business practice Super 1 Day is a great chance to bring fellow photographers into your studio, broaden your network or your reach and help raise the bar in the industry by sharing your knowledge. 

Better yet, if you're working towards earning a PPA degree, you'll get 2 speaking merits for hosting a Super 1 Day class. You can even earn some extra cash - Photographic Craftsman and Master Photographer instructors receive $50 per student after the 7th paid attendee.

The dates for the upcoming Super 1 Day are October 5-19, and you can host your class anytime during this range. Check out the FAQs for more information.

Super 1 Day instructor applications are due by June 29, so go ahead, Be More Adventurous and apply today!

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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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By Chris Homer

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for anyone to watch (not just PPA photographers!), because we believe in the power of education for all at PPA. PPAedu is a library of 300+ videos full of advice on photography techniques and business practices available for PPA members 24/7 as part of their membership! And with the recent addition of PhotoVision, there are even more courses (a total of 1,100!) for PPA photographers to stream on demand at no cost. 

This month's unlocked video is perfect for photographers thinking about entering the International Photographic Competition (IPC) - especially if you've never entered a professional photographic competition before! 

The idea of having your images judged can seem intimidating. Don't fret! June's unlocked (yes, it's free!) video will help remove some of that fear: "Photographic Competition: How Images Are Judged".

In the video, Michael Timmons, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, F-ASP., covers the technical aspects of entering the competition (file size, calibration, etc.). He also explains how images are actually scored by the judges at IPC. From start to finish, you'll get a complete view of how the IPC works.

If you're a PPA member, log in to watch the video. Non-members can access the video during June at PPA.com/TryEdu. If you want full access to all the PPAedu courses and PhotoVision streaming videos, join PPA now! 

And don't forget that the IPC is currently accepting entries (through June 25 to avoid a late fee). We hope Michael Timmons' course will inspire you to Be More Creative and enter now!


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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By Chris Homer

PPA's Super 1 Day Photography Workshops are returning May 4 - 18, 2015. During this time, dozens of studios across the country will invite attendees to join daily workshops featuring portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies. It's a chance you won't want to miss--a full day of photography education brought to you by fellow professional photographers.

This year, there's more than 100 workshops being offered on various techniques for photographers and business practices, so there's bound to be something that interests you... and hopefully not far from you! Online registration is open until April 28, 2015 for $99 per class. Make sure to register by that date, because after the 28th registration will be on-site only (at the class and space permitting) for $120 per class. So register early, allow the instructors to organize their groups properly with an advance headcount and save some good money! 

If you need more incentives besides the great photography education, keep in mind that PPA members that attend Super 1 Day classes will receive one service merit towards their degree for each class they attend. Plus, you also get the Bonus Pack, with offers and discounts from top photographic companies that will help you save more! 

Be More Inspired. Find a class near you today, and remember to register by April 28, 2015 for the lowest price! 


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 



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By Chris Homer

PPA photographers have photography and business learning opportunities, educational programs and best practices through PPAedu and PhotoVision at their fingertips. But there are also a bunch of live webinars coming up in April and May, and these are OPEN TO ALL photographers, no PPA membership required! Check them out below:

April 16, 2015 - 2 pm EST
With Ashley Brooke
Skill Level(s): ALL

The first webinar in the Studio Makeover series is here! This year PPA is working with two lucky studios in all areas of their business, to give them a total "makeover". Follow their progress, challenges and changes. Updates will be posted right here on the blog and you will be able to watch monthly webinar updates to track this year-long process. It's a series worth paying attention to, as there will be strategies and business tactics you can apply to your business too.

With the nature of business changing as rapidly as it is, it's no wonder we consider Social Media our Business BFF. Having grown up in the photography industry, Ashley Brooke knows first-hand what works best and what doesn't! During this webinar, Ashley Brooke will share her tips and tricks for social media and branding, discovered in large part thanks to building a business from the ground up.

April 23, 2015 - 3 pm EST
With Lindsey Forson, PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator
Skill Level(s): ALL

Copyright infringement is an important and often complicated issue for professional photographers. This webinar will help you understand what your intellectual property rights are as a photographer, how to protect your images from copyright infringements, and what to do when infringements occur. Join us on World Copyright Day for this webinar, free and open to ALL photographers to help you be more in control of your copyright and be more protected!

April 28, 2015 - 2 pm EST
With Clay Eads
Skill Level(s): ALL

This is a two-part series on outsourcing. In part I, Clay Eads will provide an in-depth look at the process and benefits of outsourcing your post-production workflow. You'll learn when it makes sense to outsource so that you're maximizing your time and finances! Clay will also cover what to expect when working with an editor during the outsourcing process. If you feel overwhelmed with all the tasks you need to accomplish, outsourcing may be a solution for you, so learn the basics during this webinar.
By Chris Homer

At PPA, one of our goals is to constantly provide benefits that help photographers Be More
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 as business owners and as artists. With that in mind, we're excited to introduce the newest benefit of being with the largest and strongest photography association - PhotoVision! 

PhotoVision is a premier online library of cinematic HD videos where photographers can learn, be inspired and find solutions from some of the biggest names in the industry. Now that PhotoVision is a part of PPA, members can stream more than 800 videos for FREE! Or if you're more of the DVD type (some of us really like to hold onto DVDs), if you're with PPA you'll also receive 50% off the PhotoVision DVDs. When adding PhotoVision to the existing PPAedu videos, you now have more than 1,100 educational videos at your fingertips to help you work on photography technique and develop your business and business skills... all INCLUDED with your PPA membership! 

Below you'll find previews for the 2015 PhotoVision releases. There's certain to be something for every photographer! Learn all about this new benefit at PPA.com/PhotoVision. Remember, you've got to be with PPA to get the free streaming, but you can also get a PhotoVision-only subscription. It's your choice... Join today




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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 

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By: Lauren Walters

 

Prom season is coming up! For a photographer, prom can be a tricky setting to work in - not to mention the formality of the portraits. So how do you survive a prom photo session? Read up on these tips from theLoop! Don't wait; it's just around the corner.

 

1.     Make sure you communicate with the coordinator often to ensure you both are on the same page. You will want to discuss backgrounds, props, times, etc. Prior to the prom, drop off advertisements for the school to distribute to the students including prepayment information, brochures, samples, etc. This will let students know of your services, pre-pay, or ask questions. Also, bring extras to the event.

 

2.     Arrive early to allow plenty of time to set up. Odds are the venue won't have all the supplies you need like a nearby wall outlet. Bring extension cords, pens, paperclips, a stapler, change, and a secure place to store money. If you can, bring along an assistant to help process the paperwork and payments. Make sure to let your assistant know the image number for each couple, so he/she can write it on their paperwork. High school is full of awkward moments, which may make for awkward photos. If possible, bring sample photos of poses.

 

3.     Make sure to clarify for each shot if the participating students are just friends or are a romantic couple. It's not uncommon to see a few same-sex couples come up for photos. Some of the time, they are just friends, but others may be an actual couple. If it is a same sex couple, pose them just as you would a heterosexual couple. This can be a sensitive subject, but if you're open and accepting about it, the students are much more comfortable. Considering you're a professional, it is most appropriate to keep your personal beliefs to yourself when on the job.

 

4.     It is important to have a reasonable turnaround time. It shouldn't take more than a few weeks max to get back to photos returned to the school. Notify the school and students of your estimated turnaround time ensuring your quality work.

Thank you to Crystal Prahl at Forever Me Photography for your contributions on theLoop. Have any further tips or opinion about prom photography? Check out the thread on theLoop.

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By Sarah Ackerman

With more and more advanced technology, the art of skin retouching has become extremely refined. As we all know, out with the old, in with the new! Gaussian blur and high pass retouching are now passé. 

To help you out in March, PPAedu is offering for free to all photographers "Skin Retouching" with Joel Grimes, Cr.Photog. In this class, you'll learn frequency separation in Photoshop, foundation, high texture later and the lasso tool! Grab the video now, it's free on www.PPA.com/edu through the end of March!

PPAedu is the online education platform for PPA photographers. There you'll find more than 300 videos on both photography technique and business practices to help you grow your studio, be more profitable and  inspired!

You will also find nifty tool that allows you to build your very own custom-fit learning program based on your level of proficiency in your photography technique and your business skills. And the best part of all is that as you watch more and more PPAedu classes, you'll be able adjust that program so that it evolves with you as you continue to grow in photography!
 
Give it a try! Use it as a refresher course or learn something new. PPAedu is included with the PPA membership, so watch Joel Grimes's program for free today or become a PPA member to access the entire video library. Try it now for free! Go ahead and dive in! It's your time to be more inspired.


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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.
By Sarah Ackerman

Your educational opportunities are endless at PPA! Here's an update on what to expect from PPAedu's live webinars and workshops in the upcoming months. Good learning opportunities ahead...Mark your calendars!

Remember: PPAedu's live webinars are FREE to anyone (PPA members and non-members alike). PPA photographers also get 24/7 access with free on-demand replays + all that is on PPAedu's platform!

Here are the upcoming live webinars:

March 3, 2 pm ET
Marketers tell you to be different in order to succeed - but what does that really mean? Join Angela Pointon on an exploration of differentiation and common pitfalls of marketing your business.
 
March 12, 2 pm ET
Whether it's simply adding a pet to the family portrait or exploring pet photography as a new line of business, this webinar with Angela Lawson is a great jumping off point! Go beyond the technical aspects and learn how to get comfortable with some of our four-legged friends!

March 17, 2 pm ET
Explore the world of headshots for actors and talent! These aren't your standard corporate portraits - Tracy will show you the requirements for different types of headshots, things you should do (and avoid) and industry lingo! 

March 31, 2 pm ET
Stir up your senses when creating captivating portraits! Francie is here to help you create impactful images by finding the emotion with your subjects. It's a must-watch for any portrait photographer!
 
Make sure to follow PPA on Facebook and stay tuned into PPAedu's events calendar for the latest.


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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

By: Lauren Walters

Itching for news in the world of photography? Here are our top ten blog posts for this week. From tips and tutorials to adventure and high art, this week's top ten is a creative cluster.

 

1.       Imaging USA: The Next Stage of Your Photography Career Begins Here!

EVENT: Become more knowledgeable, connected, and confident by attending Imaging USA. This convention hosted by PPA takes place on Sunday, Feb. 1 - Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Nashville, Tennessee. Read this article to find out about all the benefits it has to offer. Come join the fun at Imaging USA!

 

2.       The Consequences of Working for Free

BUSINESS: Relating the life of a photographer to a life of a circus performer, this blog shares a few concepts of working the circus life that seem all too familiar to us photographers. There is no publicity value in working for free. North America has a silly belief system that work should not be enjoyable, therefore we should only be paid if there isn't enjoyment. But, don't sell your skills for free just yet! Value your work and yourself as a professional. 

3.       How to Make Artistic Multiple Exposures In-camera and in Photoshop

TUTORIAL: Interested in expanding your portfolio with creative pieces? Try a multiple exposure piece! From abstract to artistic portraits, regardless of the medium, this tutorial covers it all when it comes to multiple exposures. Have fun experimenting!

4.       How I Learned to Stop Taking Photographs and Start Making Photographs

PARADIGM SHIFT: Going from taking photos to making art can be a huge step. A common struggle among learning photographers can be focusing on a shallow depth of field. As soon as you start to learn that photography is a story telling device is when you start "making" photos instead of "taking" them.

5.       Why Photographers Aren't Artists

ARTISTS vs. PROFESSIONALS: As a photographer, do you consider yourself an artist? This blog distinguishes creative individuals as craftsmen, artists, professionals and finally entrepreneurs. Furthermore, this blog explains that true artistic geniuses such as Beethoven no longer exist. Instead of artists, we've become professionals.

 

6.       Help Unravel a Gordon Parks Southern Mystery

HISTORY: They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The featured photograph dates back to 1956 in an Atlanta airport. Relations of race and gender are assumed through this intimate photograph. Although, the details of this photo still remain a mystery today.

7.       Help, I Am Being Sued for Nearly $500,000 by a Model I Photographed

COPYRIGHT PROTECTION: After signing a release, participating in the shoot and getting paid, a model decides to sue the photographer for the photos getting stolen. The model signed a release allowing her photos to be used as stock, but they got stolen off her personal Facebook page after posting them herself. You won't believe where the images wound up!

8.       Gotham 7.5K A Rare High Altitude Night Flight Above NYC

AERIAL, BY NIGHT: "Gotham From Above" was shot from a helicopter 7,500 feet above the ground of New York. Capturing aerial photographs can be quite a challenge; helicopters vibrate, so the photographer had to use a relatively high shutter speed. This project showcases the scale of New York City.

 

9.       Photographer armed with just a SWORD braves threat of wolves and -50C in Siberia to snap awe-inspiring Northern Lights images

-50C AURORA BOREALIS: Into the Siberian wilderness, a Russian photographer ventured to capture images of the Northern Lights. Because of temperatures (as low as -50C), the photographer designed a coat to protect his camera. We applaud this photographer for braving such harsh conditions for the sake of art. Take a look at the results!

 

10.   Stunning Photos of Acrobatic Dancer Leap and Twirl Amid Dynamic Clouds of Powder

COMMERCIAL VS. FINE ART: Check out this high art marketing campaign. An acrobat dances in a cloud of powdered milk to create the most stunning photography designed to sell creamer. Did this approach make you crave creamer?

 

Enjoy this week's blog posts? Check back next week for more excitement! If you have a blog you want us to check out, let us know on theLoop!

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By Chris Homer

The portrait photographers out there would agree that there's a huge difference between posing
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 and lighting women and men. Try to find a woman who genuinely never cringes before seeing herself in photos, and you understand your challenge as the photographer.

To help you out, in January PPAedu is offering for free to all photographers "Lighting and Posing Women"! In this class by Jen Hillenga, M.Photog.Cr, you'll see posing and lighting techniques that will ensure your female clients fall in love with their photos! Grab the video now, it's free on PPAedu through the end of January!

PPAedu is the online education platform for PPA photographers. There you'll find more than 300 videos on both photography technique and business practices to help you grow your studio, be more profitable and be more inspired!

You will also find a quick and easy self-assessment tool that allows you to build your own custom-fit learning program. And the best part of all is that as you take more and more PPAedu classes, you'll be able adjust that program so that it evolves with you as you continue to grow in photography!
 
Give it a try! This is a way for photographers to find videos on areas of photography where you could use a refresher course or learn something new. PPAedu comes as part of the PPA membership, so join today to access the 300+ video library. Try it now for free! Go ahead and dive in! It's your time to be more inspired.


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 


By Chris Homer

We're back at it again with our favorite photography posts of the week. Take a look and seeblogroundup_1212.jpg what you can use to improve your photography business. And forget the naysayers, photography is anything but dead. Check these out:

1. The Portrait Era is Over!
INSPIRATION: How many times have you heard another photographer complain that people no longer want wall portraits, just digital files? Well, this post from the Million Dollar Photographer points out how that simply isn't true! If you've had this feeling before, check it out and see why you shouldn't give up on these timeless products.

2. Peter Lik Sets World Record

PHOTOGRAPHY GOOD NEWS: Imaging USA keynote speaker Peter Lik has set a world-record for selling the most-expensive photograph ever. His image "Phantom" sold for an astounding $6.5 million! Be sure to head over to Peter's blog to see the image. You can also see him speak in person in Nashville! Peter will host a special program at Imaging USA 2015 where he'll share stories from his remarkable career. Plus, you'll be able to browse an exhibit of his work during the Imaging Expo.

3. How I Shot a Time-Lapse of a Large Thunderstorm Rolling Through Sydney
KNOW-HOW: If you shoot storm photography, you won't want to miss this post on PetaPixel. Photographer Matthew Vandeputte explains how he created a time-lapse of a super storm moving through Sydney, Australia. He details everything from camera set-up to post-production. Check it out!

4. Dramatic Lighting | Tips from Hollywood
LIGHTING: Do you want to create more dramatic lighting in your images? PhotoFocus recently spoke with a Hollywood photographer on creating dramatic light and recorded the conversation. You'll find some amazing lighting tips here!

5. Funny Business: 25 Portraits of the Funniest People On the Planet
INSPIRATION: Fstoppers has a collection of creative photos from Seth Olenick of various comedians-- from Zach Galifianakis to Jane Lynch and more. Take a look and get inspired for future portrait sessions.

6. 6 Tips for Photographing Dogs in Action
PET PHOTOGRAPHY: If you're thinking of getting into the pet photography market, or if you want to create better shots of dogs running and playing, check out this post from Digital Photography School. Fast track your pet photography skills with some quick tips for how to get those great (and furry) action shots!

7. From Above - Astronaut Photography with Don Petit
FOR FUN: As a professional photographer, you've probably photographed in tons of crazy places. Something tells us that you've never shot in outer space though! This video interview from SmugMug Films, featuring astronaut/photographer Don Petit, talks about the challenges of photographing in outer space. It's a fascinating watch.

8. Lightroom Retouching Tip: Fixing Hotspots
RETOUCHING: If you've struggled with 'hotspots' - shiny areas on your portrait subject's face - this post might have a solution for you. Lightroom Killer Tips has provided a video tutorial on how you can remove these troublesome spots.

9. 20 Creative Photography Tumblr Blogs You Should Follow
CREATIVITY: As a photographer, you're probably always looking for new sources of inspiration. That's why we loved this post on Digital Photo Buzz. You'll find a list of great photography blogs to follow (in addition to this one of course) to keep your creativity flowing!

10. Infographic: 36 Ways to Make Money as a Photographer
MONEY-MAKING TIPS: Feeling stuck in a rut? Take a look at this infographic from Photography Concentrate to remind you of all the ways you can make money as a photographer. The post also looks at some of the emerging photography markets you might want to dive into!

There you have it, our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs do you enjoy? Let us know on theLoop.


  ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 


Taking great photographs is just one part of running a successful photography business. You
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 also need to be able to sell those images! That process starts with the consultation with your client before a single photo is taken.

In December, PPAedu is offering "The Portrait Consultation" with Allison Rodgers, CPP for free to all photographers. Allison will help you understand why the consultation is important and how it helps you and your client. So, if you're looking for tips to make your pre-shoot consultations as strong as possible, grab the video today!

Through PPAedu, the online education platform for PPA photographers, you'll find more than 250 videos on both photography technique and business practices to help you grow your studio, be more profitable and be more inspired!

You will also find a quick and easy to use self-assessment tool that will allow you to build a custom-fit learning program. And the best part of all is that as you take more and more classes, you'll be able adjust your program so that you can continue to grow in photography! 

Give it a try! This is a way for photographers to find videos on areas of photography where you could use a refresher course or learn something new. PPAedu is included as part of your PPA membership, so join today to access all the videos. Or, subscribe to PPAedu without becoming a member... you won't get all the membership benefits, but you'll get access to the complete customizable PPAedu library! Go ahead and dive in! It's your time to shine. 
By Bridget Jackson, CPA, PPA Business manager

Have you ever read something and thought to yourself, I could have written that! Today is that day for me. In fact, the entire article could have been my quotes.

The article was 7 Ways to Help Ensure Your Business Succeeds by Donald Todrin. He points out business fundamentals have not changed, but new strategies are required in light of the changing economic conditions. The information is poignant when applied to photography business owners, so I decided to do just that! Here are his seven ways to succeed in business tweaked for what I believe to be strategies for the photography industry.  

1) Have a written plan that should include the following:
 a. A financial plan detailing how many sessions you plan to conduct at a certain sales average, an estimate of how much it will take to produce your products (cost of sales), and an estimate of what your fixed expenses will be.
 b. A source of initial financing until the business is self-sufficient. On average, per the SBA, it takes some businesses 3-5 years until they are sustainably self-sufficient. Knowing this, if you plan to use your personal resources, go at it fully understanding that it will take time to replenish.
 c. A sales plan to achieve your sales average goal. The plan should include a strategy and a price list set up to achieve the goal.
 d. A marketing plan to attract the amount of sessions you need to satisfy your financial plan. The plan should identify your ideal paying client and the appropriate strategy to attract such defined target clientele. Also develop your marketing calendar, detailing the tools to be used, when to use them, and how you will measure your results. (PPA's Square One tool is a great place to start developing your plan.)
 e. Detailed workflow from the initial phone call to the delivery of the products. Outlining each step of your process doesn't only help identify the time required for each session, but it will also help you define outsourcing/employee opportunities.

2) Don't marry your plan. Even the best laid-out plans can eventually go awry. Think of it this way; it's not necessarily the plan that is important, but what we learn from the planning process and how it shapes and guides our future actions.

3) Keep your ego in check and listen to others. The photography industry is unique in some ways in that there are plenty of mentors out there to help guide you. Find one whose business is a reflection of what YOU would like your business to be. Look past the "flashy stuff" towards finding a mentor who is dedicated to their craft and their photography business.

4) Keep track of everything, and manage your numbers. In order to be successful, it is imperative as a studio that you know how many sessions you need to hold in order to reach your goals. The results of this analysis can tell you if your sales and marketing plans are working. It's that plain simple. And if they are not working, it may be time to reassess. PPA has made it easy for you to evaluate your numbers. Just go check the online tools, Square One in particular, that will help you establish the basis of managerial accounting.

5) Delegate and avoid micromanaging. This is where your detailed workflow (see 1e) comes into play. It is important for you to remember that you don't have to do everything. In the beginning, it might make sense, but as your business grows, carve out specific outsourcing opportunities using your detailed workflow. The photography business tends to be seasonal so keep that in mind as well when you are creating your plan. If you find yourself needing help year round, then it is time to take the steps needed to hire on an additional employee.

6) Use the internet! Social media is one marketing tool that is inexpensive but vitally important to building your business. It takes time and effort but if you schedule it ahead of time and take advantage of off-season opportunities to pre-post, it will become easier.  More importantly, it is pertinent that you do it consistently in order to be effective. Look outside of our industry to see how profitable companies take advantage of free marketing tools.

7) Reinvent your business. Seriously. If you don't like what your numbers are telling you, make a change. Of course, map out your change, but always remember that it is ok to take calculated risks. It's not about what you gross, but what you keep in our pockets. Assess your business from a different perspective. Ask yourself what your competitive advantage is. What niche could you carve out of your competitive market, and how could you provide better customer service to elevate your value? Discounting brings down your market's perception of your value so instead of playing the pricing war, exceed your clients' expectations by delivering more!

You have made a conscious choice to be a photographer, one that requires time and money. Always give yourself the best chance to succeed in this ever-changing profession. Knowledge is power--and as an entrepreneur, you are on an endless path to discover what you don't know. This is what PPA is here for: to help you be more profitable by continuing to learn about the photography business!

jacksonbridget_blog.jpgAbout the author:
Bridget Jackson is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and PPA Business manager. Over the years, Bridget has helped hundreds of photography studios become more profitable. 
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By Sarah Ackerman

We can all use a little extra education to stay on top of our photographic game--but where do you turn for your photography and business learning needs? PPAedu of course! PPA started this customizable program, and we hope that you'll use it in your professional development never-ending journey. 

PPAedu has over 250 HD videos that PPA members and PPAedu subscribers can access 24/7. These videos cover 8 categories - four to help with photography technique: essentials, lighting, posing, and post-capture; and four to help you with on business side: sales, finance, marketing and operations. All PPAedu classes are taught by some of the most accomplished photographers in the industry. It's a completely customizable education program, included for free with your PPA membership! All you have to do is answer a series of short questions and the system will crunch the best series of videos for you to watch, based on your answers. You can update that program at any time or come back to it when you want. It's like having a program that grows with you... because you can get new recommendations and we add new videos in the mix each month!

This month you'll find a free sample of this awesome program with Steve Kozak, CPP and a class on the "Fundamentals of Flash". 

In this video, Steve once takes a technical topic (flash lighting) and breaks it down so it's easy to understand and even better, easy to use! After all, all the techniques in the world won't matter if you can put them into practice.

Watch it and you'll learn the benefits of using your flash in manual mode. There's some math behind it all, but Steve will walk you through it, so you'll be able to make good, informed decisions on using your flash. 

Great photography may look impulsive, subjective and purely creative, but any great art is based on fundamentals. This class gives you the tools and knowledge you need to have greater control and creativity, while making it look easy!

Check out Steve's class for free, here (only this month!): ppa.com/tryedu 

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs with Witless Protection around the Atlanta area and at Dad's Garage Theatre Company. When she's not tweeting/instagramming/facebooking all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

You've got a pumpkin spice latte in one hand and a folder full of images you need to review in the other. People walk with their hands in their pockets; everyone talks fantasy football and Halloween. It's then you realize that fall has arrived, and with it, the responsibility of making sure your business is in in order for the New Year! Breathe that crisp, cool autumn air deeply, and fret not because PPA has your back.

This fall we have several upcoming educational opportunities for members to take advantage of. Here is a rundown of some of our free, live-learning events that can help you maximize your business and start the New Year off right:

Free webinars!

Finding Your Missing Pieces for Profitability in Photography
October 7, 2014 - 2 pm ET
With Jeff Lubin, M.Photog.Cr.

New Member Orientation
October 8, 2014 - 2 pm ET

How to Create a Profitable Pet Photography Business
October 21, 2014 - 2 pm ET
With Kim Hartz, CPP

The Origin of Style
October 23, 2014 - 2 pm ET
With Thom Rouse, M.Photog.MEI.Cr., CPP, F-ASP

Income Tax Strategies
November 13, 2014 - 2 pm ET
With Bridget Jackson, CPA, PPA Business Consultant

Creating Your Social Media Plan
November 18, 2014 - 2 pm ET
With John Pyle

In addition to our webinars, don't forget that Super 1 Day Photo Workshops start next week! For two weeks (10/6-10/20), dozens of studios will open their doors and host classes on a vast array of subjects, from posing and lighting to effective business practices. Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity to learn from some of the best photographers in the world!

PPA closes out its "school year" with the final CPP Prep Class and Business Workshop of 2014. There's still time to register for both and end your year with a bang.

Business Basics Workshop
November 15-16, 2014 in Atlanta

In this two day business workshop for portrait and senior photographers, Jen Basford, Cr.Photog., gives hands on advice on how evaluate your business strengths, develop a profitable pricing structure and use proven marketing ideas to bring more clients to your door.

Upcoming Certification Prep Classes
November 3-5, 2014 in Atlanta

Thinking about taking the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) exam? We're offering this class to help you pass the exam and learn tons of additional information about the how to effectively run a photography business.

Dr. Lynda Falkenstein, the Niche Doctor, is joining us September 23 to help you distinguish yourlynda_ppaeduinstructor.png business from the rest of the pack in her webinar--Claim Your Niche: Nine Steps to a World-Class Business in Any Economy. This exclusive (and free!) introduction to Lynda's Nine-Step Process is guaranteed to help you build your business successfully through even the worst economic downturn. This is a rare opportunity to get valuable information on everything from marketing to sales tactics.

Here at PPA we realize that while you love the art of photography and the process of taking beautiful pictures, and there are probably certain aspects of your business that you do not enjoy. The selling and marketing process, the uncertainty in discovering your niche as a photographer--the list goes on. This webinar is here to tell you that everything is going to be okay! We feel that the best way to learn is by doing and the only thing we can do is confront those doubts and formulate a practical solution to our problems. Take the next step today and register for this impactful class!

Take control of your business with Lynda and improve your bottom line, for free, on September 23 at 2 PM (ET). Register Now!



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