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PPA Today

By Tristin Vaccaro
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At Imaging USA 2017 we're awarding individuals for the outstanding photography work they produced in 2016!  There are dozens of awards to give out over the three-day convention, so join us at these special ceremonies to honor those who made significant contributions to the photography industry. 

Attending these ceremonies is great inspiration for many photographers, as you'll see the best images of the year at the Grand Imaging Awards, and get to see who is honored as the Lifetime Achievement Award Winner at the Award & Degree Ceremony!

January 9 | 6:30-7:30pm
The Grand Imaging Awards are awarded yearly at Imaging USA based on the results of the International Photographic Competition (IPC). Bronze, silver, gold, and platinum medalists are announced, along with the top winners from each of the six photographic categories, as chosen by IPC jurors. The top image from all categories will then earn the overall Grand Imaging Award! 

Following the announcement of the Grand Imaging Award winner, finalist images for the World Photographic Cup will be announced. This is a really big deal because these finalists form Team USA that will go on to compete against countries around the world for the World Photographic Cup! Get a glimpse of these finalists and their images that will go on to compete on the world stage. 

You'll see some great images at the Grand Imaging Awards, so you'll want to attend to soak it all in. You may even find some inspiration for future photography projects!

January 10 | 6:30-7:30pm
At the PPA Award and Degree Ceremony we honor those who have gone above and beyond to set themselves apart in the photographic industry. There are tons of awards to give away at this ceremony for individuals, businesses, and groups alike. Awards include the Directors Award, Imaging Excellence Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Also, those who have taken the extra step to earn a photographic degree will be honored with ribbons and medallions. Degrees include Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman, and Master of Electronic Imaging. Obtaining a degree takes a large amount of commitment and hard work, and we are proud to name those who have shown this passion for photographic excellence.

So while our winners don't walk down the red carpet, there is great honor in being presented with a PPA award or degree. We want to recognize those who make this industry great, and we hope you will join us at Imaging USA in San Antonio, TX, to honor them, too! 

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By Sidra Safri 

Your PPA Advocacy team is heading to D.C today for a very busy and exciting week, beginning with the Visual Coalition Summit tomorrow. This will give PPA an opportunity to make sure everyone in the Visual Artist Coalition is on the same page for Copyright Small Claims, and talk about a few other things important to Visual Artists.

Wednesday will be the Creative Rights Caucus event. This will give PPA the opportunity to show members on Capitol Hill the importance of Small Claims and the impact it can have on small businesses, especially those in the photography and graphic artists' world. This is also one of the few opportunities to reach the mass amount of staffers and members on Capitol Hill and share your stories. During this briefing, Anne Geddes, Denis Reggie, and Michael Grecco will share their journeys in becoming a photographer, including the education, time and investment they had to make to be where they are today. They will also touch on the importance of a small claims process for copyright protection and how it is necessary to all creative artists.

Following the CRC event we have meetings lined up to help us reinforce the necessity of small claims. These meetings will be attended by PPA and other members of the Visual Coalition. Attending these meetings in a larger number shows the importance and impact a small claims copyright bill will have.

Stay tuned throughout the week for further updates. And be sure to SIGN UP to lend your name and voice in support of our efforts to improve copyright protection for artists. 

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By Autumn Rice

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If you want to do a nice business selling tween portraits, focus your marketing on the kids but your sales on the parents. This advice comes from Audrey Woulard, who's been in the photography industry for 15 years and enjoys a booming business in photographing young teens. Originally a newborn photographer, Audrey challenged the status quo by strategically targeting tweens, a segment many photographers avoid. Now she has an impressive clientele of 98% tweens in her business. 

Read "Audrey Woulard: Striking Gold in the Tween Market" on to see how Audrey found success in an underserved niche.

Audrey will be teaching "Tweens and Teens, The New Genre. How to Capture Images That Sell!" at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio. Registration for her class is still open!

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By Bethany Clark

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The first week of December is bringing some cooler temperatures, but since Imaging USA is right around the corner, things are really heating up at PPA! We can't wait to meet all of you pro photographers January 8-10, 2017, but until then, let's connect over some of these top blog posts from the past week.

IMAGING USA: The countdown to Imaging USA is on! We know in the midst of all the excitement there are a lot of things attendees forget about, so we've come up with some reminder tips just for you! 

INSPIRATION: The best architecture photos of the year are here, and they're stunning. 

INTERESTING: What do penguins, crocodiles, and flamingos have in common? They are all featured in this striking gallery of animals from around the globe. 

CAPITOL HILL: Your PPA Advocacy team will be in Washington D.C. next week to join the Creative Rights Caucus for a "lunch and learn" event, to be held on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 12pm. 

WORLDWIDE: As elaborate as traditional Indian wedding ceremonies are, you can imagine the bounty of available shots for typical wedding photographer, and the profession is gaining popularity in India. 

TIPS & TRICKS: After all of your planning, did you miss the golden hour moment on the day of your photo shoot? Fear not. Take a peek at these tips and create golden hour on demand. 

IMAGING USA: Mel Robbins is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers out there, and you'll have a chance to see her in person! As the keynote speaker at Imaging USA, she'll definitely get you super motivated in 2017!

SWIM WITH THE FISHES: Maybe Ariel had it right. Under the sea is where it's wetter - and better! Check out some of this amazing underwater photography.  
HISTORIC: Old images of a past England have been collected for the first time in a new book. Take a peek into the past! 

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at

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By Bethany Clark

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PPA members know that the best way to find answers to your photography business questions is to ask it on theLoop, PPA's official, members-only social network. The discussions on theLoop are always productive and helpful, so dive right in!

Here's a recent example of a question and the first couple of responses.

Q: If you had to give a fellow photographer (new or seasoned) one piece of advice... what would it be? I'm not talking about the typical "be true to yourself" answers here. I mean the real, nitty gritty, tough love kind of advice. 

It would have to be two pieces. 
  1. It's not about you. It's about the client. The minute the focus shifts to your accomplishments, image quality, etc., you break the rule. Everything you do needs to be 100% client centered. If it isn't, you need to find another profession.
  2. For the fine art photographer - look at last year's work. If it looks pretty good to you, then you aren't making any progress. You should strive to be a better photographer this year than you were last year. And this will continue until you can't hold a camera up to your eye any longer.
Is that enough "tough love" for you?
--Gene L.


There are only 3 things that matter:
  1. Vision (without it, your path follows no course)
  2. Passion (without it, you have no power on which to draw)
  3. Action (without it, your idea is just a daydream)
Eliminate any one of them, and you will fail. Have all three, and you're unstoppable.
--Pascal D.

To succeed at this, to make photography put food on your table and a roof over your head, you have to be a business person first, a photographer second. For those of us who came at this profession because it was fun, because it involved smelly chemicals and magic in dark places, that's a hard lesson to learn. I'm still learning. That's the other thing, you'd better never stop learning, growing, changing. I watched my friend Ken Whitmire, who died tragically last weekend at 86, taking notes and asking questions and continuing to learn right up to the end.
--Mark T.

I'd offer two pieces of advice.
  1. Find your niche: figure out what kind of photography you love and that you can sell to others and go for it.
  2. Every purchase needs to be justified: You're in a business as a pro photographer. If a piece of gear can't help you make a profit, don't buy it.
--Ned L.

Check in at theLoop to see more responses, and ask your own questions for peer-to-peer discussion and support!

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By Autumn Rice

The countdown to Imaging USA is on, and 2017's convention in San Antonio is 36 days away! By now you should've registered for your all-access pass at the early bird rate, booked your stay at an official Imaging USA hotel, and registered for all of your pre-convention class sessions. Your trip is almost complete. You're just missing one more from your PPA Team! 

We know in the midst of all the excitement there are a lot of things attendees forget about, so we've come up with some reminder tips just for you! From remembering to meet new people, to visiting the trade show, and even washing your hands, this video covers all of the important tips to remember for the upcoming trip to San Antonio!

Check it out!

Stay tuned for more tips from the PPA staff, and visit to jump-start your year with the best photography conference in the country!

See you there!

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By Tristin Vaccaro

People buy from people they trust. And trust comes with your name, your brand and the word of mouth. Through PPA you have access to a series of marketing tools, all centered around reinforcing your professional credibility. Use them to help your clients realize the commitment to excellence you made when you joined PPA! This week we're zero-ing on the See The Difference®'s customizable brochures.

These brochures were designed with you- and your photography studio- in mind. They help you convey your technical skills, artistry, and professionalism.  

Crafting a brochure unique to you is easy. There are six downloadable brochure templates to choose from: wedding, family, high school senior, newborn, pet, and Certified Professional Photographer. Once you download your chosen template, simply insert your studio information and even your own images. It's as simple as that! All that's left to do is print your brochures to distribute to clients or display in your studio. 

Start using the marketing tools that are available and free to you from PPA. As a member, you have access to a variety of advertising templates; They are here to help you promote you and/or your studio and the resources provided are easily customizable and really drive home the idea that hiring a professional photographer (like you!) is the only way to go.

These brochures are just one of the many resources available to you as a PPA member. Take advantage of these brochures and other resources and allow your clients to "See The Difference" today!

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By Autumn Rice

The streets of San Antonio will soon be filled with clicks and flashes. Photographers from all over the world will be pouring into the city for Imaging USA 2017. Although many of you have been to the convention several times before, many will be enjoying the Imaging USA experience for the first time, or even returning after a hiatus. No matter your personal situation, navigating this massive convention and all it has to offer can be pretty overwhelming, so we thought we'd gather a few tips from your fellow photographer friends like Christine Walsh-Newton to help you crack the code to maximize your Imaging USA experience. From planning, to what to wear, and where to go, these tips will definitely make it easier for you to enjoy every minute of your Imaging USA experience!

Check them out!

1. Register early. Registering early for Imaging USA helps you save on registration fees, hotel stays, and it provides you access to all pre-con classes before they fill up (because they will fill up!). You'll also have more time to plan your trip to San Antonio. The Early Bird Rate is still in effect until December 8, so do it now!

2. Download the app. The Imaging USA app is up and allows you to create your own custom schedule of classes you are interested in seeing. You can also merge the schedule on your smartphone to keep track of every event you want to attend throughout the day.

3. Check the weather. Packing can get to be a lot of pressure and knowing what to pack is slightly confusing, so to ease some of the burden of figuring out what to pack, check the weather. Checking the 10-day weather forecast can help narrow your packing options.

4. Pack Smart. Don't wait until the last minute to pack, and don't pack what you don't need. Over packing can make your traveling experience a nightmare and increase costs. So, be sure to pack mandatory outfits for each event and a comfy pair of shoes for walking, and leave the unnecessary items at home. Oh, and pack an extra bag... because you might be bringing home extra goodies with you!

5. Bring Your Camera. Yes! This is a photographic convention, so bringing your camera is a must. Between hands-on classes with models and lots of on-camera assignments and with the models at some of the parties (hint-hint), you'll have some camera fun... guaranteed! Plus, who doesn't love to share the fun and excitement and on social media? Just remember to use the hashtag #ImagingUSA.

Take these tips and make your trip to Imaging USA the best it can be. Visit to register, book hotels, and plan each day of your convention visit! 

See you in January! 

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by James Yates
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You're all set to go to Imaging USA 2017, but you've never been to San Antonio before? Relax. Your PPA Team has scouted out the best attractions and locations and prepared a video guide to all the amazing sights and sounds set to blow your ten-gallon hat off come January. Here's a handy guide of things to consider making time for your trip in January:

  • Start with The Riverwalk, the unique, can't-miss 2.5-mile walkway along the San Antonio River. Take one of the famed Riverboat Tours to see the other side of attractions like the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Arneson River Theater and the Aztec Theatre. The boats pass right by and through several restaurants, making any night out to eat a gorgeous experience. It may sound like a tourist trap, it's not! It's really nice! That's probably why the Riverwalk is Texas' second most popular tourist spot after...
  • The Alamo/The Missions. Remember this? No trip to San Antonio would be complete without visiting the Alamo and the other four Spanish frontier outposts designated as a National Historic Park. 
  • Founded in 1939, La Villita Historic Arts Village is San Antonio's original neighborhood. La Vallita houses over 30 art galleries and shops along with several restaurants. The Arneson River Theater is also there so you can get a better look from off of the boat. 
  • The RiverCenter Mall is also located on the Riverwalk and literally right downstairs from our host hotels. It's a fully functioning mall with all the stores you may need to get your shopping fix ($6 cowboy hats, anyone?) and tons of restaurants including a food court if you want something fast and cheap! 
  • You can experience the largest Mexican mercado in the city for authentic shopping underneath all those iconic, colorful flags at Market Square. 
  • Get the best view of San Antonio from atop the 750 ft-tall Tower of the Americas, built in 1968 for the Hemisfair (World's Fair), which you'll hear a lot about because it was a huge deal for the city. 
  • If you're looking to venture away from the downtown area by car or bus, The San Antonio Botanical Gardens, the San Antonio Aquarium and the San Antonio Zoo offer some of the most beautiful, Texas-sized flora and fauna for the entire family to enjoy. There are also the big theme parks, SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas if you have the need for speed and want to ride the state-of-the-art Iron Rattler or Steel Eel. Other kinds of thrill-seekers may want to check out the Natural Bridge Caverns, named for the 60 foot limestone slab that spans the caverns' entrance.  
You may not be sure what to expect from your trip to San Antonio, but what you'll get is a beautiful city with a lively and bustling downtown area, all easily accessible from the Imaging USA hotels and convention center. We're more certain than ever that January 2017 is going to be AWESOME. 


For more info, head over to Register and take advantage of the Early Bird rates for members by December 8th, OR pick up an Expo Only Pass for only $35 and get access to the trade show, Print Theatre, Drone Zone, IPC Exhibit and Keynote Presentation by Mel Robbins!

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James Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.

by James Yates

Your PPA Advocacy team will be in Washington D.C. next week to join the Creative Rights Caucus for a "lunch and learn" event to be held on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 12pm. 

"The Art of Photography: Behind the Lens" will be a chance for House members to gather and learn about the importance of modernizing and strengthening copyright protection for small business creators. Creative Rights Caucus co-chairs, Representatives Judy Chu and Doug Collins, will present panelists giving their stories of how they established themselves, their current challenges with infringement and the lack of remedy for photographers who are infringed upon, highlighting the need for a small claims process within the current U.S. copyright system. 

The panel will be moderated by PPA CEO, David Trust, and will include: 

Anne Geddes - renowned photographer known for capturing the purity and innocence of children, Anne became successful in 1992 when she first published a greeting card collection in New Zealand, eventually leading to calendars which would be sold internationally. She specializes in capturing the beauty, purity, and vulnerability of children, while emphasizing that each child must be "protected, nurtured, and loved". She is responsible for the photographs of children dressed up as various flora and fauna that are seen worldwide. Anne has dealt with international copyright infringement on various levels, therefore understanding how important a small claims process is to photographers. 

Michael Grecco - internationally renowned celebrity portrait and commercial photographer, Michael is a multiple-award-winning industry leader best known for his iconic celebrity portraits and visionary magazine covers, editorials, and advertising spreads for NBC/Universal, GA, Pfizer, HBO, Kodak, ABC, IBM, Yahoo!, ESPN, and more. His distinguished work is regularly featured in prestigious galleries such as Louis Stern, G.Ray Hawkins, Stephen Cohen and Fahey Klein. Michael understands the impact an image can have on society and believes it is important to give credit where credit is due, which can be insured through a small claims process.

Denis Reggie - hailed by Town & Country as "The Great Wedding Photographer of Our Day", Denis got his start as a student at Tulane University, where he took photographs for the yearbook and local newspaper. From there he made his jump to wedding photography, when he realized how posed and unnatural many wedding photos tended to look. As his popularity grew, he had the opportunity to photograph various Kennedy Family weddings, among other Hollywood stars. Denis understands the hard work and skill it takes to capture the true beauty in a photograph, and believes that all photographers, big and small, should be given their credit. Without receiving his rightful credit, Denis would not be where he is today, and therefore is an avid advocate for small claims.

At the end of the event, the professional panelists will help House members discover how to take the "perfect selfie" It's expected to be a fun, yet informative and important, meeting on the Hill.

This event has been planned in accordance to House and Senate Gift Rules by the Creative Rights Caucus in partnership with American Photographic Artists (APA), American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), National Press Photographers of America (NPPA), Photographic Licensing Universal System (PLUS) and Professional Photographers of America (PPA).

To learn more about PPA's efforts to fight for better copyrights, head to and don't forget to join to add your name to the list of supporters. 

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