Ad image

PPA Today

Another week, another roundup! Enjoy this week's top photography stories from around the web below. 

1. FREE See The Difference Marketing Tools!
SEE THE DIFFERENCE:  PPA's See The Difference® Campaign is dedicated to helping PPA photographers show potential clients the value in hiring and paying for a pro over an amateur. With that in mind, here is a host of new resources for PPA members to use in their marketing efforts. From logos to videos, side-by-side image comparisons, customizable brochures, dedicated landing page and tips and FAQs to share with clients, you will find an ever-growing toolbox to help you be more marketable. Check them out!

INSPIRATION:  In this post from PetaPixel, five alternative techniques for processing photos are shared.  Each technique creates some unique results. You may be inspired to try one out!

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: This post is great for any photographer who shoots Orthodox Jewish weddings or is looking to break into this market. The Photoblographer interviews longtime Orthodox Jewish wedding photographer Jocelyn Voo on how she got into this market, as well as advice from what she's learned doing this type of wedding photography.

SEE THE DIFFERENCE/JUST FOR FUN:  Here's a post that will make you laugh, and that you can also share with potential clients to show the importance of hiring a professional photographer. Check out these baby photos gone wrong on Dose. Don't forget that PPA's See The Difference Campaign is here to help PPA members show the value of professional photography. Check out the resources that can help your sales and marketing efforts.

AERIAL DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY: Aerial photography using drones has become a quickly growing market. However, concerns over privacy and airspace continue to pop up. In this post, Fstoppers reports on a bill recently signed into law in California that restricts drones from flying over private property. If you use a drone to do aerial photography, take a look. Even if you don't live in California, legislation's like this may soon be headed your way.

TECHNOLOGY: All photographers know how frustrating it can be to attempt to photograph a building or other still scenes in a busy area with people and traffic moving through your shot. Well, Adobe may soon have a solution to this problem. They've invented a new camera setting called 'Monument Mode' that removes people and other distractions from your shot, in real-time! It's a pretty neat innovation that all photographers will get a kick out off. Check out a sneak preview on PetaPixel.

NEWBORN POSING: Are you new to the newborn photography market and want to avoid the disasters in the previous post? Check out this post from Digital Photography School. You'll get 3 simple posing ideas that will help start you down the right path.

BACKUP PLANS: Are you prepared if something with your business goes south? Check out this helpful blog post from PPA member, Rachel Brenke, providing tips and helpful solutions to avoid conflict in your business. 

IMPROVING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY: As a photographer, you know it's important to keep improving your images. While entering competitions like PPA's International Photographic Competition and getting your images critiqued by the judges is a great way to do this, you can also critique your own images on a daily basis. This quick list from Lightroom Killer Tips provides some good questions to ask yourself about every image you make.

EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY: If you've ever photographed a dance party where they have harsh LED lights on the dance floor, you know how difficult it can be to get a good photograph. This post on Photography Life shares a technique you can use to remove those harsh LED lights and recover your image.

There you have it, our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommitee @

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for STDiff_monthly_push_ppa_footer_650x160_V2.jpg

By Nicole McIntosh

Weddings are one of the most memorable days for the happy couple. It is the only time for all their family to be in the same place and for them to display their love in front of everyone. This is why having the memory of this day is one of their biggest priorities. Most people think that setting up a wedding is hard, but when you compare it to the amount of work it takes for the photographer to capture every moment and manage to fit in with the crowd, it's beyond the ultimate challenge. To achieve the perfect pictures it takes patience, speed, and various other skills to ensure that your client is fully satisfied with your work. The Wedding Track at Imaging USA has the classes you need to perfect your wedding photography skills. These classes will have you on the road to creating the best wedding photographs imaginable.

Here are some of the classes from the 2016 Imaging USA Wedding Track you should attend:

Sunday, January 10

This workshop is for those who want to learn everything about documenting wedding photographs from beginning to end. Damon Tucci will share how you need to prepare, act, and even how you should look. His level of expertise and advice will have you and your wedding clients completely satisfied at the end of every celebration.

Tuesday, January 12

Taking a picture is the easy part when it comes to being a photographer, but being able to tell the story of the moment is the real challenge. And that's where Jerry Ghionis does his thing the best! In this class, he will teach you how to evoke the emotion that will ensure that the story is told in every photograph you take of your clients' special day. This class will leave you better equipped, inspired, entertained, and challenged to take your wedding photos to the next level.

Tuesday, January 12

When it comes to having the perfect image, beautiful lighting and effortless posing make the perfect couple. Rick Ferro will show you that to really master wedding photos, photographers must capture the romantic aspect of the couple which consist of posing the clients in an effortless manner with a beautiful body language and just the right amount of lighting to match. It's just like the perfect marriage.

Tuesday, January 12

Sometimes the chaos of filming a group photo can steer people away from wanting to participate in all that wedding photography has to offer. You must master the technical aspects of a group photograph to really capture the wedding party in a way that will be a much cherished memory. Justine Ungaro will share with you the process she takes in creating the perfect group portrait including evoking expressions, emotion, and drama from the people in the photos.

There it is! The Wedding Track offers classes that can help you develop so many of your photographic skills. Imaging USA 2016 has something for everyone! Join us in Atlanta, January 10-12, 2016! Register today at

Nicole McIntosh is one of PPA's Marketing and Communications Interns, yay! Nicole is known for her vibrant smile and the one to laugh even if the sky is falling. A sophomore at Spelman College, she hopes that working with PPA will give her the tools she needs to start her own non-profit organization one day.

Imaging USA: Register Now

Are you looking for that one thing to help you stand out among all the other photographers out there? Show your clients and prospects that you're backed by a well-established and trustworthy association by adding a PPA logo to your website.

There are two logos to choose from and both are available in full color, black, or white. They even include transparent backgrounds so that they will look professional on your website. And if you're a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), you can go to the "I'm a CPP" page under "Certification" and download your CPP logo. 

Check out this short video below to see why logos can make a difference in the branding of your website:

Learn more about See the Difference® resources here. See The Difference® resources are free to PPA photographers, so don't be left out! Learn more at

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for STDiff_monthly_push_ppa_footer_650x160_V2.jpg
By Aleighia Rouse 

PPA's Studio Makeovers (see an overview below) are in full effect and the lucky participating studios are seeing great results thus far. We chatted with Krista Newbill via Skype to check on where her business is and what she has gained and learned from putting this month's new alternatives into action. 

This video is a great blueprint for you photo geniuses out there that want to work on improving your sales, product placement and overall organization of your office. You can see the perspective of her company below.

About PPA's Studio Makeovers:

At the beginning of 2015, PPA began working with Krista Newbill from Murfreesboro, TN and Wes Roberts of Smith Station, AL, in all areas of their business giving them the chance at a total "makeover". Every part of their business was analyzed from business models, branding, and pricing to marketing, sales strategy, workflow efficiency and overall profitability, ultimately to help boost their profit. They were each measured based on the tools, information and resources set by PPA's Benchmark! Check out a full project overview here

We encourage all to follow Wes and Krista's progress, challenges, and changes here on the blog. Their learning curve and watching the strategies and business tactics they discuss can be very helpful; hopefully, it will also inspire you to take your business to the next level. Watch the webinar updates and track the progress of these two studio makeovers!

Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of the film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and one of PPA's Marketing and Communications interns, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. 

Thumbnail image for STDiff_monthly_push_ppa_footer_650x160_V2.jpg
By Aleighia Rouse 

If you weren't actively on theLoop last week then you missed a great conversation with Imaging USA 2016 speakers Steve Kozak, M.Photog. Cr., CPP, API and Doug Box, M.Photog. Cr., CPP. Steve and Doug will be teaching the pre-convention class "The Secrets to Success When Turning Pro." These gentlemen took on this great task of AMA (Ask Me Anything), where other photographers can write in questions and get them answered by the pros such as Doug and Steve, and they presented excellent advice for their fellow photographers. 
Here are some of our favorite highlights of Doug and Steve's discussion:

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for AMA_1200x1200_Steve_Kozak.jpg
On keeping it simple and relevant in the industry:

Thumbnail image for AMA_1200x1200_Final_Doug_Box.jpg
Steve: Being the minimalist that I am, I do much of this type of work by simply bouncing my speedlight off of a wall or ceiling.  I also bring an umbrella stand adapter ($30) and use a 40in white umbrella with my speedlight.  Quick.  Simple.  Inexpensive.  VERY effective.  One could get two of these set ups and make a ton of money doing in-home portraits that look like studio lighting was used... One thing about it, studio lights may be the one piece of photographic equipment that can make you money.  Cameras and lenses don't really make you money...but studio lights open up a world of opportunity to take jobs that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to take.  They pay for themselves very quickly.

On giving advice to younger self when first was starting as a pro:

Doug: I would tell me (1.) Get a mentor, someone who knows what they are doing and listen to them! (2.) Realize everyone is not my client, let some clients go. (3.) Keep your costs under control, don't waste money. (4.) Learn to sell! A good sales program is as important as good photography. 5. This is not for my younger self, but for today's photographers - Don't spend too much time on Photoshop, unless you charge for your time on the computer!

We hope that was helpful. Did you like what you read from them? Read more about Doug and Steve and their Imaging USA 2016 classes here

Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of the film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and one of PPA's Marketing and Communications intern, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. 


By Sarah Ackerman

Even with the most rigorous data backup routines, the best malware protection and general computer care, things can slip through the cracks. Drives will eventually go bad, data will one day be just gone. Poof!

Don't fret! With PPA's Indemnification Trust (PPA's Trust), you're protected from the massive expenses associated with data recovery. You just pay a small deductible. Listen to Amber's story of how she used PPA's Trust to pick up the pieces after her iMac started to experience issues... Data recovery is very stressful and can be costly. Be More Protected!



And that's just the recovery part...Think about adding the potential contractual implications if you actually end up losing your images.. Trust covers you for that and more! It protects you against anything that could be considered your responsibility - such as equipment malfunction or an unsatisfied client (have you met the infamous bridezilla?) Only photographers who belong to PPA can be covered by the Indemnification Trust, so join today! Most people do at some point run into a legal issue with a client in their business life, so don't risk it; you'll be thankful you joined. Learn more about PPA's Indemnification Trust here. 


It's finally the time of year where a burst of warm colors are just right outside your door. Just to start your October off right here are the top 10 favorite blog post of the week. Sit back, relax, and soak in all the delightfulness and education these blogs have to offer.

COPYRIGHT: PPA is a huge advocate on copyright issues. Watch as David Trust and Congressman Collins sit down and discuss several topics related to the issue of copyrights. See what to expect in legislation for photographer's copyright issues.

BE DISTINCTIVE: Doing something different and innovative is what makes you stand out in the photography world. This article from MCP Actions gives you an example of just that, implementing flour into creative photo sessions. Not only is it different but it adds a new found attitude to your pictures.

INSPIRATION: This generation is responsible for taking not only some of the best photos but the most photos of our time, yet we still manage to have the least printed photographs. This article published by Scene Magazine in Michigan for the September 2015 issue addresses the importance of portraits and why they have such a great impact on people's lives.

CREATIVE UPLIFT: Online forms are crucial for small photography businesses because they allow them to easily collect information from their clients. The Law Tog features this blog posts about how now there are tools to create forms without the need of a professional coder, this meaning that form pages can be used for so much more to build your business.

MARKETING: Zenologue lays out how Twitter can change your marketing game in just a 140 characters. Read about the pros and cons, how to master the "social" aspect of social media and ways you can optimize your profile to represent your business the best.

YES TO PPA: The PhotoTellers podcast features the current President of PPA, Michael Timmons. He addresses the key reasons why professional photographers should consider membership with PPA hitting on the issues of insurance and education and discussing Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta.

TIPS: Digital Photography School gives you the go to guide of how you as a professional photographer can travel the world with just one camera bag at hand. This blog offers a detailed list of everything you will need and everything you can leave, and it explains why.

ADVICE: The world of photography has begun to explore all the possibilities drones have to offer. Although it's very tempting to just walk outside and just let it fly, it's important that you understand the responsibilities that come with flying drones. PetaPixel wrote this blog to present a list of all the things you need to know. 

QUICK FIX: One day you may show up to a shoot after a long week and realize that your TTL flash is missing. Although it's very easy to panic because your so use to more modern technology, sometimes you have to just think back to the older days and remember that TTL (Through The Lens) has not always existed. This post from the Strobist will tell you just how to get your pictures right as if the TTL flash never existed.

PORTRAITS: Capturing the perfect portrait requires creativity, an eye for detail, and the tools to ensure your client looks their best. Photojojo features this blog that gives you all the tips you need to take the best portraits ever for your clients.

There you have it, our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommitee @

By Aleighia Rouse

Fall has arrived and before you begin to buy those scarves and Halloween candy, here are the top blog posts from theLoop in September! As the new season began so did some amazing conversations on theLoop. It is always nice to learn more and get advice on things you never considered.  

Running a business is hard enough, but finding ways to market your business can be even harder. Help this PPA photographer find out how to find a professional marketer to hire. 

Have you ever wondered how to light a water birth? You are not alone. Lighting actually has a crucial part in this process. If you have any more tips about water birth photography, contribute to the conversation. 

Fluffy has black fur. Do you use a black background for a more classic feel or a white background to contrast the composition? Here are some great responses to help when positioning our furry friends on white and/or black backgrounds. 

Are you having to go through hurdles just to set up your CF card reader? Here are some great tips on how to find alternative ways to set it up. 

It can be difficult to pose same sex portraits because you do not want your client to look uncomfortable. Here are some great tips on how to pose same sex clients in photos for major events or ceremonies. 

Snap! You got the shot, composed perfectly and you know it was a winner in lighting. But wait, it's blurry, every photographer's greatest fear. Here are a few tips to help when focusing and getting a lower miss rate. 

It is already difficult enough to discuss pricing with a client, but what makes it worse is when you mistakenly charge them on a feature they did not order. Check out these fellow photographers' advice to solving this problem. 

School pictures and employee pictures have to be the most time consuming jobs that a photographer can deal with, and estimating the timeframe can be even trickier. Do you have any ways of answering this question? Contribute to the conversation. 

Glasses are difficult to position to avoid glare and other problems within the eye frame of the portrait. But there are solutions to this problem and they come from your very own PPA peers. 

Do you have questions about SEO, domains and subdomains, as far as your photography website goes? Well, here are some answers!

Remember to check out theLoop, a safe and protected online community where PPA members can discuss a range of photography topics. Not a PPA member, join here!

Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of the film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and one of PPA's Marketing and Communications interns, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around.

Here are easy-to-use and FREE marketing tools to help you show your clients and prospects why they should hire you, a pro, instead of a family member or friend.


Nothing builds credibility better than watching a professional in action! Now you have a dozen videos to choose from, just pick the one that best fits the story you want to tell - and upload it to your website, play it on a monitor in your studio or share it on your social pages!  Videos showcase wedding, family, senior and pet photography and are designed to appeal to consumers' emotions by showing real clients sharing their stories about why it was so important to hire a professional photographer. Select Your Video


Show your clients and prospects that you're backed by a well-established and trustworthy association by adding a PPA logo to your website.  You have 2 logos to choose from and if you're a CPP, you can upload a CPP logo. Watch this video to find out how easy it is


Show your clients and prospects the difference between your photography and an amateur's with side-by-side comparisons. We have designed template for you to use.  All you have to do is insert your own photos, then make an amateur version of the same photo and write a brief description to explain the differences between the two photos.  Add your comparisons to your website or frame and display them where your customers can see why they should hire a pro like you!  Select Your Side-by-Side Comparison Template


Being a PPA photographer comes with a lot of perks as you already know, but it just got better with customizable brochures. There are four brochure templates for you to choose from - wedding, family, senior, and Certified Professional Photographer (CPPs only). All you have to do is download the template that matches your specialty, then insert your own images and studio information and print them to display in your studio or hand out at trade shows and expos.  Select Your Customizable Brochure


Did you know you can now link a dedicated landing page from your website that showcases your specialty?  There are 4 landing pages to choose from - wedding, family, senior and pet. Each landing page highlights the importance and advantages of hiring a pro and includes a video, consumer tips and FAQs, quiz, and a Find-A-Photographer search tool.   All you have to do is select one of the "Why Hire A Pro" or "See The Difference" buttons that PPA has designed for you, upload it to your website, then link it to your landing page. Select Your Landing Page. 


We now have nearly a dozen consumer tips and FAQs that will help your clients and prospects understand what to look for when evaluating photographers and give them tips on taking great photos.  All you have to do is select one of the "Tips" or "FAQs" buttons that PPA has designed for you, upload it to your website, then link it to one of the Tips or FAQs .  Select Your Tip or FAQ

The See The Difference® resources are free to PPA members, so don't be left out! To become a member, go to

By Sarah Ackerman

Starting October 1, 2015 there will be major changes coming to your credit card terminal. In order to cut down on the amount of credit card fraud happening around the globe, major credit card companies are moving to a chip that will make transactions more secure than ever. This new chip, the EMV (that's short for EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa) chip will move the liability from the issuing institution (the credit card companies) to the merchants (you, as a business owner) for counterfeit fraud losses when chip cards are used. Here's what this means in simpler terms: if a client experiences credit card fraud and your terminal isn't up to snuff (meaning it doesn't process transaction with cards with a chip), you will be held financially responsible for the fraudulent charge. Yikes!

But you avoid being stuck in a pickle by simply upgrading your terminal. The processing machine you use to swipe your clients' credit cards. All new terminals should be able to accept EMV chip enabled cards. In the rare case fraud occurs in this situation, you'll be covered! If you're still using old swipe methods however, you'll be held liable. So with the total of credit card fraud in the U.S. topping $8.6 billion, that could impact your business in a big way. Be More Protected!

We know this is a lot of information, so Kristen Hartman, PPA's Member Value & Experience Director, conducted a webinar with Bank of America Merchant Services to walk you through all of the changes that will be coming your way. This webinar will address not only the EMV chip, the new law requiring terminal changes across the country, but it will also give you some background information on Interchange rates, what they are, and how they affect the processing costs passed on to you. Don't miss it, it's useful information!

After you watch this webinar, consider contacting your current credit card processor companies in order to explore your options to be properly equipped and protected. 

Thumbnail image for SarahA-2763.jpg
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.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for CADR_monthly_push_ppa_today_blog_ad_650x160_2.jpg

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Live Chat is closed