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Results tagged “techniques for photographers” from PPA Today

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!

Mark the Date! On October 7, 2014, at 2 p.m. world-renowned portrait photographer, Jeff Lubin,

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 M.Photog.Cr., will present a FREE live webinar, Finding Your Missing Pieces for Profitability in Photography, during which he will review actual studios and provide tangible methods through which they can be more successful. And guess what? Yours could be one of them!

Looking to upgrade your offerings? Improve your lighting capacity? EARN MORE MONEY?! Then get involved.

If you are interested in having your studio featured in the webinar, please complete these questions and forward them to lubin.jeff@gmail.com!

  1. How long have you been a professional photographer?
  2. Do you consider yourself new, proficient or advanced?
  3. Do you have an additional source of income beyond photography (another job, savings, working partner, etc.)?
  4. How would you categorize your business (portraits, weddings, commercial)?
  5. Which styles of photography are most appealing to you?
  6. Do you have trouble making your overhead most months?
  7. What has been your most successful form of income from your studio?
  8. Have you noticed big changes in your business recently, and what do you attribute that to?
  9. How do most of your clients view you? (top pro, new photographer, etc.)
  10. What do you think is your biggest weakness that you need to overcome?
  11. What would you like to focus on changing this year?
  12. In which areas would you like to learn most?
  13. Would you prefer a one, two or three day workshop?
  14. Which camera system do you use?    
  15. What type of lighting equipment do you own?
  16. If you don't currently do studio lighting, would you be interested in learning?  
  17. Do you have a studio and if so, is it commercial or in your home?
  18. What are your goals in photography for your future?

From October 6 to 20, fall Super 1 Day classes will take place all over the globe on every photography

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 skill and strategy you can imagine.

PPA will offer members and non-members alike the opportunity to attend a litany of daily workshops ranging from a class on working with strobe & speed lighting units in California to newborn photography in Daegu-city Korea.

All of the classes are taught by professional photographers and are tailored just for you. There are dozens of different courses offered at a variety of different times and dates, so finding one that fits your busy schedule is a piece of cake.

These events offer both up-and-coming photographers and seasoned veterans the chance to learn from one another and also the chance to network and grow their local market. At just $99 if you book online ($120 in person), the day-long classes are an awesome value. And if you're thinking of joining PPA, this is a perfect opportunity to see what we're all about. If you're already a member you'll receive one service merit for attending each class-- a crucial step towards attaining certifications/degrees.

And also another step forward to BE MORE!

Head to PPA.com/super1day to find a class near you.

 

At PPA, we're constantly paying attention to the fears and concerns of photographers. One of the worries of professional photographers that we hear consistently is struggling to make those big sales. We hear you! Chances are you became a photographer because you love creating beautiful imagery, not because you wanted to be a salesperson. However, to have a successful business you need to be skilled at both!

Selling your photography doesn't have to be frightening. Many photographers hate the feeling

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 of putting some sort of pressure on their clients to buy packages. That's why this four-part webinar series will help! "Soft Selling with Intense Results" will show you that the uncomfortable high-pressure strategy isn't necessary to make great sales. Soft sales methods focus on using casual, friendly messages to drive sales. Instructor Kristin Privette is very skilled at this and she will share different soft sales methods for photography that have helped her to quadruple (more, actually!) her income within the last five years. Take a look at what you'll learn in each part:

Soft Selling with Intense Results--Webinar Series

Part 1: Soft Sales System for Weddings (view recording)
In this first part, Kristin walks you through the 10-step process she uses to gain five-figure wedding sales. Hear the language they use, the specific steps they take their couples through, and selling techniques that anyone can learn and be comfortable using.

Part 2: 7 P's of Portrait Selling (view recording)
In part 2, Kristin's covers the '7 P's of Portrait Selling.' You'll learn how to start selling from the very first time you speak with a potential client in a way that excites them and prepares them for a big purchase. This simple process has proven to bring her average sales higher than where she started.

Part 3: Your Arsenal of Answers & Increases (view recording)
During Part 3, you'll get the specific phrases Kristin uses to encourage upgrades, wall collections, add-ons and big investments. You'll learn how to prepare your brides from the very beginning to upgrade after the wedding. Plus, you'll hear the language you can use to guide your portrait clients toward wall collections and future sessions. She'll also share how she handles the common objections that every photographer gets.

Part 4: Live ProSelect Demo
September 18, 2014 - 2 pm ET
In the final part of the series, you'll go through a live ProSelect demo, showing exactly how Kristin would present to a portrait client using this software. From the moment the client walks in the door to writing a four figure check, you'll hear Kristin guiding and exciting her client about wall collections and making a big investment.

If you need help with sales, you won't want to miss this series of webinars! As always, both PPA members and non-members can attend the live webinars for FREE. However, if you want to be able to replay the recordings on demand (along with another 250+ videos on different techniques for photographers and business practices), you'll need to be a PPA member (join right here!) or just subscribe to PPAedu. Sign up today and let PPA help you be more!

In today's photography world, it seems like everyone knows a "photographer". But, much like owning a knife doesn't make you a chef, owning a DSLR doesn't make you a professional photographer. So, how do you explain to potential clients the difference between your work and that of Uncle Phil's down the street? One easy way you can set yourself apart from the competition is by becoming a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP). 

PPA started the CPP program to assure consumers that a certified photographer is an experienced professional with the knowledge to create, consistently, the best images possible. Becoming a CPP takes several steps on a photographer's part. First, you must take (and pass!) a written exam that covers the photography techniques used by pros. Finally, you must submit a portfolio of your images to a panel of judges, showing that you can indeed apply all of the techniques covered by the exam. Once you've passed both steps, you'll earn your CPP designation! You'll need to re-certify every 3 years, a process that is by design meant to ensure that CPP holders are always at the top of their craft. Learn more about the steps to becoming a CPP here.

Once you've earned your certification, it's time to start marketing it to possible customers! Keep in mind these 3 points when marketing your CPP designation:

1. Image & Advertising Edge

The fact that you are a CPP is an immediate huge trust indicator for clients and potential clients alike. By showing that you are certified on all of your advertising, you are telling them that they can rely on you to consistently produce high-quality images. 

As Gregg Martin, CPP, says, "Photographers are coming out of the woodwork in every town in America, and being a CPP places you in a much different category than the average photographer. Being a CPP has opened doors to numerous corporate jobs, magazine work, sports contracts and several other opportunities in my career. It makes that instant difference between a hobbyist (even good ones) and a pro. And in a split second only."

2. Pricing Justification

As you know, the digital era has made it easier for inexperienced and fly-by-night photographers to enter the industry. Often, they undercut the profession by charging extremely low rates. Your CPP designation helps clients justify your higher asking prices. After all, don't they want the best photos possible for once-in-a-lifetime events like weddings and graduations? The inexperienced guy may be cheaper, but they'll get what they pay for when it comes to quality of images!

3. Peer Validation

Make sure your clients know that your certification is granted to you by Professional Photographers of America. It is the world's largest non-profit association for professional photographers and that alone is added credibility for your work. Before you can get certified, or even renew your certification, other photographers who have also earned the designation review your skills via the exam and the image submission. That process shows that you are knowledgeable and dedicated to your craft. And the fact that you must re-certify every 3 years shows that you are keeping up with the latest skills and techniques in photography. That should help put clients' minds at ease when hiring you. 

4. Boost Your Confidence

Once you've earned your certification, you should be proud of what you've accomplished! After all, you are now one of the few Certified Professional Photographers, meaning that you can be confident that your work is top-notch. This confidence will come through when you are speaking with clients and help put them at ease with hiring you. 

There you have it! We hope that the edge you can gain over the competition has inspired you to become a CPP. Just remember, you've got to be a PPA member to earn your certification. Join today! 

Watch this video for more on the CPP program, and you can read all about it at ppa.com/cpp.

If you're looking for a great live, in-person learning experience, consider a Super 1 Day photography workshop in your area! PPAedu helps photographers be more through live programming and classes, as well as a comprehensive (and ever-growing) video library on techniques for photographers and business practices.

During Super 1 Day (formerly known as Super Monday), photography studios from coast to coast and a few internationally (we're looking at you Turkey, Korea and Mexico), will open their doors to host classes on a variety of photography techniques and business practices. Whatever you need help with, there's sure to be a workshop to help you be more. Super 1 Day programs will span portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies.

In the past, these workshops were all held on one day. But we're changing  things up this year. There are going to be more than 110 classes, all to be held on multiple days between May 5 - 19, 2014 to give you an opportunity to find a workshop that fits best with your schedule. 

Beginning March 5th, PPA members and non-members alike will be able to browse the list of workshops and register for the one of their choice for $99. Be sure to register by April 30th to get the lowest price. Starting May 1, registration goes up to $120 and will only be processed on-location and space permitting. So sign up by or before the end of April to be able to register online while keeping money in your pocket!

After signing up, you will get the Bonus Pack (electronic gift goodie bag) with deals and discounts from several photographic companies. PPA members will also receive one service merit for each class. Great learning opportunity, merits towards a PPA degree AND a bunch of discount coupons? Sounds like a deal to us! 

Super 1 Day participants vary in their specialties and locations, but they all seem to agree on one thing: Super 1 Day is one of the best and easiest ways to mingle with your photography friends while experiencing excellent learning! 

Find out for yourself! Visit the Super 1 Day page on PPA's website, starting March 5th, locate the workshops taking place in your area and register for the class of your choice. 
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PPAedu strives to give photographers the best educational courses on photography techniques and business practices. Many members have already started exploring PPA's online education platform, watching videos and building a personalized program of business and photography courses. And that's just the tip of the iceberg: in addition to the on-demand programming, PPAedu offers live webinars and workshops! PP''s got several live webinars coming up in December and January, read on for all the details:

Live Webinars:

In December and January, we'll be covering a wide-range of topics including marketing, SEO and health insurance reform. You can watch these webinars from your own computer (or tablet!) and have an opportunity to ask questions. Better yet, if you're not a PPA member, you can get a taste of PPAedu by attending any live webinar for free. PPA members can access all recordings of the classes, but if you aren't a member, this is a great opportunity to learn a thing or two, on us (and maybe down the road you'll finally see why 26,500 photographers chose to operate with PPA)! So here's the upcoming schedule of live and (free!) webinars, open to all:

December 12, 2013 - 2 pm ET
With Angela Pointon

Do you have a great studio but need a little help marketing yourself? Pennsylvania photographer and marketing expert, Angela Pointon, will walk you through how to set up a marketing plan for your business. She'll discuss the elements of a killer marketing plan, how to build a plan and how to stick to the plan.
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