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PPA Today

Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13).

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.

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Let's Meet...
Joe Craig, Cr.Photog.
Web: joecraig.com

A portraitist of international acclaim, Joe Craig has worked to establish a number of global brands. His instinctive talent and magnetic charisma keep him in high demand as artist and lecturer on four continents. With a career spanning 45 years, Joe's narrative-filled captures radiate mystery, project drama, and are steeped with truth. As he dared to invent a singular style, Joe Craig confronted existing paradigms and fashioned an approach that expresses the power of photography. His in-your-face black & whites are provocative and ageless - the iconic prints made to stand the test of time - the stories within to be shared generation to generation. Joe's life work has become photography as philosophy - a philosophy that stands at the very heart of the Soulmarks Foundation. 

Speaker Sessions
Sunday, January 14, 8:00 am - 9:30 am: Changing the World, One Face at a Time 

Joe Craig is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018. Register now at ImagingUSA.org/Register!


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By Chris Homer

Here's an early Christmas present for you - our top photography stories from around the web!
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Take a minute to look these over; you never know what you might learn!

COPYRIGHT SMALL CLAIMS: PPA has long campaigned for a change in photography copyright law. Check out this photographer's copyright infringement story on the PPA Today Blog to see why a change in copyright law is needed! And if you're ready to join in the copyright fight, visit PPA.com/SmallClaims to learn how you can contact your congressperson about new legislation that would improve copyright protection for photographers. 

BUSINESS: Have you noticed the trend of advertisements using well known photographers to sell a product, both photography related and not? This post on PetaPixel examines some of these ads and products. Take a look! It's an interesting read about a trend you might want to pay attention to!

CREATIVITY: Do you feel stuck in a rut with your photography? If so, check out this video! Australian wedding photographer Joshua Mikhaeil shares his tips for creativity and building your own style. It's an inspiring video for any photographer!

DRONE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: Do you want to start incorporating drone photography into your wedding shoots? If so, take a look at this post from Fstoppers. It shares good tips to get you started using a drone as part of your wedding photography. And don't forget to check out PPA.com/Drones for more info on using a drone!

PHOTOGRAPHY PODCASTS: If you're looking for an easy way to continue your photography education and gain new insights, consider checking out some photography podcasts! This post from Fstoppers shares some of their favorite photography podcasts and why you should be listening to them.
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Imaging USA 2018 is almost here and PPA has so much planned for you, including a variety of classes covering as many topics as you can think of!

In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. So, if you're a tech-savvy photographer or one who's seeking to take your photography to - literally - new heights, then the Drone track at Imaging USA is definitely for you!

With this track, you will learn the technology behind drones, proper aerial photography techniques, how to market drone photography to grow your business, and much more! The future of photography will see ever-advancing innovations in technology, and if you want to be a part of that future, the Drone track is here for exactly that.

The classes in the Drone track include: 

Session Time: January 12, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Stacy Garlington and Randy Braun 

DJI Aerial Photography Academy is an intensive one-day class designed to teach valuable secrets to students who wish to create top quality, compelling, marketable aerial photographs using DJI drones. Expert instructors Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington have come from DJI global headquarters to share their expertise in an upbeat day-long classroom presentation.

Session Time: January 13, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Speaker: Manie Kohn Join highly-acclaimed drone pilot Manie Kohn as he discusses the ins and outs of drone photography and how you can ACCELERATE your business in this exciting new industry. Learn how to navigate through the complex drone-licensing landscape and FAA Drone Regulations, while also discovering how you can create extraordinary images. Learn to use many of Manie's own techniques to help you avoid making the cinematic mistakes often made by drone photographers. Explore the fields, the various skill levels, and the overall business of drone photography as Manie shares his experience and craft. 

You can find the classes in the Drone track and other tracks in the Imaging USA schedule. Furthermore, the Imaging USA Expo will also feature a "Drone Zone," which includes vendors and demonstrations regarding all things drone related on the trade show floor.

Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!

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By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2018 in Nashville is right around the corner, January 14-16. Your 3-day All-Access Pass to Imaging USA gets you into tons of incredible photography classes, but if
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 you're looking for even more opportunities, you have some nifty options!  

Start exploring Pre-Convention programs! They are held on the front-end of Imaging USA and range from multi-day workshops to half-day and all-day classes on topics like post-processing workflow, fashion portraiture, the certification process, the business of senior photography, and more!

If you're wondering about entering in the International Photographic Competition, or have questions about what images to select, sign up for The Photo Competition Mentor Program. You'll learn what makes an image award-winning material and what the PPA judges look for in competition. PPA-approved jurors will sit down with you in 15 minute sessions and look at your images, to give suggestions on creating images for competition.

During pre-con you can also learn about an amazing volunteering organization that makes a heartfelt contribution for families going through incredibly painful times. "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" photographers capture portraits for families who have a terminally ill child, creating photos that will be cherished by the family forever. Learn how you can get involved during this pre-con program. 

Finally, on Saturday, check out PPA Charities' 20th Anniversary at the Roaring 20s Casino Night! VIP & Awards Reception from 6:30-8pm ($100/person); General Admission 8-10pm (only $25/person). PPA Charities will also host the Super Hero 5K Fun Run on Sunday morning at 6:15am!

Don't forget, with your All-Access Pass you'll be getting:

  • Acclaimed keynote speaker Ryan Estis on how to "Adapt and Thrive" with today's modern client.
  • Parties that will rock your socks off
  • An enormous Expo (80,000+ square feet!) filled with tons of new products and deals
  • The International Photographic Competition exhibit with well over 3,000 images and the World Photographic Cup's image showcase! This is the largest photography exhibit out there!
  • The Drone Zone--all you need to know about getting started in drone photography
  • A dedicated theater to learn how to sell PRINTED WORKS
  • Award shows and degree presentations

And so much more! So enhance your All-Access Pass with extra programming at pre-con, and we'll see you soon at Imaging USA!


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.


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By Lisa Sharer

In 30 or 40 years, how will you remember the most important moments of your life? It's a question that the print industry is asking during this technological age. According to a nationwide survey conducted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA), consumers are printing significantly less than the generations before them.

In some homes, photo albums do not exist. For some people, printing photos is not even on their radar. People are leaving everything in the cloud, and assuming their coveted images will be safe forever there. But if there's anything we know, it's that technology has the potential to crash, delete images and possibly even wipe files off the face of the earth.

This infographic illustrates the very scary truth about consumers' relationship with printing photography products. While we would like to believe that everything will be fine on a computer or in the cloud, we can never really be sure. Even if they are safe, are consumers planning to share their family photos from a desktop? Will people walk into each other's homes and bypass blank walls to head directly to the computer?

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Tangible, visible, printed images are the only thing that can really tell the story of our most precious moments. Generally speaking, don't you see children more fascinated by the family photos throughout the home folders on a computer screen? And as adults, will they wonder why their parents aren't proudly displaying their special moments? Will that one photo make as much of an impact to the newlyweds that choose only to share via their social media?

These are all valid concerns, and they start with the photographer. As photography professionals, it is our obligation to give the full scope of a photo session, including the printed works that follow. This infographic shows the awe-inducing effects of the technological age as well as the importance of bringing home a printed image that will let the subjects beam with love and pride, and that they will be able to share with generations to come.

To learn more about The Print Movement and how printing can help reinforce the photographic industry, visit PRINTmovement.org. You'll find an array of statistics, valuable information, as well as resources to help you sell print products from your own studio. It's time to start the (re)evolution of print!

Editor's note: This post was originally published September 2017. It has been updated for relevance and precision.

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About the author:
Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.
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Imaging USA is almost here and PPA has so much planned for you, including a variety of classes covering as many topics as you can think of!

In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. 

So, if you've got the "what" down but you're still trying to figure out the "how," or you're just looking for the best ways to go about your photography, check out the School, Sport, and Event track!

With this track, you will learn non-complicated but exceptional techniques that will save you time and still keep clients coming. It includes everything from exclusive photography, to mind-opening business tips and tricks, such that no matter your niche, there's a class for you! 

Some of the classes in this track include:

Session Time: January 14, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Speakers: Neal Freed and Bryan Blanken
Discover how high-volume school photography can change your world! Bryan Blanken and Neal Freed will demonstrate how their business model is transforming school photography in their Washington, DC market and how easy it is for you to apply it to yours. You will discover how to identify the schools that you want and attain these clients. Learn how to create school portraits that both students and parents will love - and purchase! These two are serious photographers and business people who have replaced their wedding business and grown their school photography business to record levels by generating sales at twice the national average. This is your opportunity to do what they do! From sales and management to marketing and market share, you will walk away with specific action items to help you attain, grow and sustain your school photography business.

Session Time: January 16, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Speaker: Rose Coleman and Nancy Emmerich
Come see this dynamic program where Nancy Emmerich and Rose Coleman will teach you how to photograph cheerleaders. They know the art of making money with this specific sport that is unlike traditional sports and pre-paid packages. Learn lighting, posing, and creating ways to flatter your clients and sell products. Talk specifics of what you will need to work fast and still maintain a high average. Come see why you should be photographing cheerleaders!

Session Time: January 14, 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
Speaker: Leslie Ann Kitten
Everyone knows the key clients in volume photography: sports, schools, and daycares.  But what lies beyond the packages? Leslie Ann will teach you how she gains traditional volume clients and turns them into hybrid clients - those that photograph like volume and pay like private commissions. Learn how to handle volume with confidence and extreme streamlining, and where to market so that they lead to higher-end volume clients.  

Session Time: January 15, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Speaker: Jetawn Spivey
There is a hidden power in the simplicity of volume photography. Jetawn Spivey, a 28-year veteran of the volume portraiture business, comes to Imaging USA to guide you through why volume photography can be such a great direction for your business and how to create a successful, money-making program. You'll learn how to create seasonal programs that will help you, and how to avoid the traditional downturns. But you will also learn how to redefine the perception of volume photography by creating valuable portraits, not just pictures. Jetawn will also walk you through his post-production workflow and image management so you can consistently produce high-quality work. It doesn't have to be complicated to work and make you successful. Jetawn Spivey will show you why and how in this Volume Portraiture class!

Session Time: January 15, 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Speaker: Mark Schoenrock
The School Picture Business seems to be getting more challenging and the path to profitability more difficult. Business owners are asking themselves if it's possible to improve results and at the same time prepare for change. Has your studio -and have you- done what's necessary to survive and thrive? If any of this causes you concern, then this is the program for you!  During this class, Mark will give you a model to maximize your performance, create value, and also prepare your business for change. Mark will take you through your business strategy and how this, combined with shared values and your company's culture, can influence the results you're currently getting. You'll come way from this program understanding what you can do as a business owner to shape your staff's behavior and to support your company's goals. Mark's systems solutions and his concept of operational consistency can improve your studio's performance and efficiency. This session is not just about school photography but about setting your own path to success while creating an experience and a value proposition of which you and your team can be proud.

Session Time: January 16, 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Speaker: Eric Miller
This is not a class about lighting, camera settings, or posing techniques. Rather, Eric Miller is here to show you everything you need to run a successful Sports Photo Day. You'll discuss the all-important element of communication and how to work with your leagues leading up to and on the day of the event. You will learn the how to organize and prepare essential elements for running a successful Photo Day. You'll explore how to lay out your set up so you can expertly and efficiently run through all your teams and individuals. These Sports Photo days can be a hectic and chaotic experience, leaving everyone frustrated and exhausted. With Eric, you'll learn how to rise above the rest and how to create an experience that will have your sports leagues coming back season after season.

... and more!

You can find the classes in the School, Sport, and Event track and other tracks in the Imaging USA schedule. Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!

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theLoop is a great place for members to connect with each other, share information/advice, get image feedback, and overall - a place to go if you need help. Become a member so you can "stay in the loop," and if you already are, then head over to theLoop to see what everyone's buzzing about. 

Lots of great discussions have been happening, so here are a few of the top posts from the front-half of December. Check them out, provide some feedback, and perhaps even learn something new!

Ask Me Anything is back on theLoop in December and it's become quite popular! Check out the latest, with Imaging USA-speaker Bry Cox scheduled to answer YOUR questions this Friday, December 15th!

Fascinating conversation here, sparked by a recent shooting death of a photographer. Have you ever been stopped from taking photos or had your work blocked by authorities? Chime in here. 

If a photographer messes up, how much does that reflect on the entire industry? A spirited discussion here on the public's perception of the photographic industry and what part you play in all of it. 

This Looper's friend hired a subpar wedding photographer. He's trying to touch up and fix their amateurish photos and it hits him...how many professionals go through this? The answers lead to lots of great discussion in this thread. 

And there you have 'em, the top posts from theLoop! Remember to check out theLoop frequently as new discussions are posted daily. It's a great way to catch up with fellow PPA members! Not a PPA member? Join today!

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by Mayo Lawal

If you are wondering why tens of thousands of photographers attend Imaging USA every year, you probably haven't checked out the more than 100 sessions and speakers on all photography topics, lined up for you in Nashville, January 14-16. 

Just to show you a tip of the iceberg, Imaging USA will feature:

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Market like a boss...with an "A-Game" strategy

Build a personal brand that matters

A new approach to school photography that can transform your studio

Taking your drone images higher

Lighting a wedding day from start to finish

SEO for photographers

Maternity posing and lighting

The Power of Print

What's new in Lightroom

Psychology of high-end sales

These are just taste of what's in store for you with your All-Access Pass registration. In addition to the education sessions, there's also:

Acclaimed keynote speaker Ryan Estis on how to "Adapt and Thrive" with today's modern client.

Parties that will rock your socks off

An enormous Expo (80,000+ square feet!) filled with tons of new products and deals

International Photographic Competition exhibit with well over 3,000 images! This is the largest photography exhibit out there!

The Drone Zone--all you need to know about getting started in drone photography

A dedicated theater to learn how to sell PRINTED WORKS

Award shows and degree presentations

And so much more! So, don't miss this incredible opportunity for professional growth, and to connect with like-minded professionals from all over the globe! Head on to Imagingusa.org and register today.


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By Chris Homer

It's dirty work, and there's nothing to smile about. Such is portrait-making truth for Pete Rezac,
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 M.Photog.Cr., CPP, whose black-and-white fine art images of children follow a recipe: Get them dirty, tell them not to smile, and aim for authenticity. "That word 'authentic' resonates in everything I do," says the Reno, Nevada-based photographer.

Read all about Pete's child portraiture in "Authentic Child Portraiture, Dirt and All" on PPmag.com. Pete will also be sharing his knowledge at Imaging USA 2018, during his "Black-and-White Children's Character Portraits" session. Register for Imaging USA today!


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.


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by Mayo Lawal

We are just a few weeks away from Imaging USA 2018! Can't wait? Well, here's something that may get you even more excited:  this week's Imaging USA giveaway prize is a "Music City Backstage Pass!"

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This pass (valued at $1000) is good for admission for 2 people into 20+ Nashville attractions that you can enjoy during Imaging USA 2018 and beyond! You and one guest get free (or reduced-price) entry to places like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, the Adventure Science Center, the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, and much more.

If you've already registered for Imaging USA, this pass is sure to make your time in Nashville even more exciting and fun. The best part is that it doesn't expire until December 2018, so if you don't get to see everything while you're in town for #ImagingUSA, you have ample time to visit Nashville again!

Find out how you can increase your chances of winning today! The winner will be announced this Friday December 15, 2017 at 12 noon ET.  

Not registered yet? Head over to ImagingUSA.org/Register today. See you in Nashville!

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