By: Lauren Walters
PPA is constantly helping photographers be more successful through the benefits, education, copyright advocacy and more offered with membership! As a nonprofit photography association (and the largest!) that's what we do! PPA photographers use and make the best of their membership in many different ways. What matters is to leverage that pool of resource that PPA pushes forth for photographers. Take a look at these "Behind the Camera" videos. This series shows real photographers and how THEY are putting PPA to work for them. Consider how or how else YOU could be using PPA too.
Atlanta-based photographer Arlene Dicks touches on an issue ANY
photographer fears and eventually faces: Data Loss. What happens when your hard
drive crashes or your memory card malfunctions? Do you have your clients' work
backed up on another device? Are there ways to get the files back?
Data loss, hard drive sudden death, memory card deep water dives and other accidents compromising your photos do directly jeopardize your work and... can be a death sentence for some businesses. Watch the video below to learn how PPA helped Arlene with recovery after such a mishap.
Data loss protection comes with most PPA memberships, head to PPA.com/MyPPA to see if you're covered. If your hard drive crashes, PPA can refer you to specialist to recover damaged or lost files and your deductible should cover you. Oh and if you're clients are threatening to sue because of data loss issues... your PPA membership covers you for that too, but that's in another piece we wrote on malpractice protection. Long story short, if you are not with PPA, consider it and... Be More Protected.
Join PPA today and Be Proactive!
PPA's District Competitions are in full swing and the International Photographic Competition (IPC) is on its way! Entries will be accepted in the beginning of May so make sure you have your images ready.
If you're still on the fence about entering--hop on over and give it a shot! Getting over your fear and entering competition is an incredibly rewarding experience for a photographer--especially when you have your work critiqued by one of our accomplished judges. It's one of the best ways to improve your skills and gain confidence!
If you're wondering what a critique looks like, here's an example! In this video, juror Donna Goodhale, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, explains to Kevin Floyd, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, why his image, Mister Mischief, went into the Loan collection.
Another great way to learn about photographic competition is by live streaming the district competition judging. You'll be able to view the images and hear what the judges take into consideration. The Western district judging airs live this weekend, March 26-28, from Vancouver, Washington! It's free to watch, you don't even have to be a PPA member, just head to Stream.theIPC.org and create an account (no worries, it's free and no credit cards are required!).
Ready to enter your work in a photographic competition to learn and get recognized? Entries for the International Photographic Competition open May 26.
Southeast Photographic Competition Now Open
The Southeast District photographic competition is now open! Ring in spring by getting your images ready for the last district competition of the year. Image submissions will be accepted until April 24. Entered works will be judged May 1-3 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
PPA urges members to enter photographic competition to push themselves to be more, improving their craft and confidence in the process.
"Once photographers get over the initial fear of competition, most keep entering year after year and become better photographers in the process," said Randy McNeilly, PPA's international photographic competition committee chairman. "Even if they don't earn a merit right away, there's so much they can learn. Plus, it's a huge confidence boost, not only for the photographer, but also the client who commissions their work--especially once they start to win awards."
At the district level, images either earn a "merit" or "does not merit" score. Merit images are sealed and move on to the International Photographic Competition (IPC), held each August. Non-merit images may be worked on and re-entered into the IPC that same year. Critiques from a PPA judge can be ordered to give entrants personalized feedback on the reason for the score. Entrants and non-entrants alike can watch the judging live online in January.
The best of the best images will enter the prestigious Loan Collection and be on display at the International Photographic Exhibit during Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. They will also be in a coffee table book published by Marathon Press. For inspiration, PPA produced a video featuring 2014's Loan Collection images to show what the best look like.
PPA's District Competitions and the International Photographic Competition are open to the public. PPA photographers and non-members alike are also encouraged to attend the judging. Photographers who belong to PPA are each assigned to districts based on their studio's geographic location. For full district competition information, visit PPA.com/Competitions.
Northeast and Northcentral District Results Now Online
If you entered the Northeast or Northcentral District competition, results are now up online! Check out the list to see how you and your photography friends fared this year. And when the time comes, don't forget to re-submit to the IPC!
Watch Western District Judging LIVE This Weekend
Judging for the Western District takes place this Thursday through Saturday (March 26-28) in Vancouver, Washington. But you don't have to be there to watch! The judging will be streamed live for anyone curious, whether you're involved in the competition or not. Go to the Western District competition page for a link to the stream.
"PPA is providing these makeovers to provide photographers with real-life accounts of how to be more profitable and to give studio owners actual takeaways they can use in their own businesses," said Angela Kurkian, PPA director of education. "It's an all-encompassing approach looking at sales, marketing, workflow and finances to see if the participants are set up to realistically reach their financial goals. PPA's team of mentors will work with them individually on a monthly basis to help them reach their goals."
The Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) is one of the most prestigious designations a photographer can own, but some photographers seem to think they don't matter. Dave Goldman, a CPP liaison from North Carolina, would argue to the contrary. He's helped hundreds of photographers earn their CPP and grow to become great artists in their field. In the guest blog below, he discusses how becoming a CPP is not a hindrance to your creativity at all, but can enhance your technique in ways you didn't imagine.
Enhance Your Creativity by Becoming a Certified Professional Photographer
By Dave Goldman, Cr.Photog., CPP
At a recent meeting with some local portrait artists, I heard photographers say things like "using ratios are bogus because no one uses them" and "photographic certifications hold no weight with clients" and "customers do not know what they are". These photographers have even gone so far to say that technical certifications are not needed and only hinder creativity by the constraints they make you follow.
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.