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PPA Today: May 2008 Archives

May 2008 Archives

Dear PPA Member,

It’s not a newsflash that the economy is not strong. We’re all looking for ways to save money, but there are some things that we can’t cut out, especially when it comes to business expenses. You’ve probably heard the old adage, “You have to spend money to make money,” right? The good thing is that as a PPA member, you don’t have to spend as much.

Why not? Member-savings programs and other benefits.

PPA has many business-oriented benefits offered specifically on items that most photographers already use. I know you’ve probably already shipped albums and reprints, but why continue to pay full price when you can get a discounted rate as a PPA member? Are you taking credit card payments? (If not, remember that people are more likely to put larger payments on their credit card, so offering this option can help you increase your sales.) PPA has a member benefit for that, too.

International Competition entries must be received by June 6, 2008 to avoid late fees. For those requiring more time, you may pay the higher entry fee and ship your cases to be received no later than midnight on June 27, 2008. No entries will be accepted after June 27.

Online registration of entries and complete rules are available in the Competitions section of Complete your entry form and pay securely online. At the end of the process, you can print your entry and shipping labels.

Send your entries to: PPA Print Exhibition, 5100 N. 27th, Suite A2-391 Lincoln, NE 68521. Please do not ship any print cases to PPA's Atlanta office.

For rules go to the International Print Competition page on

Dear PPA Member,

We will shortly be in prime time for photographing high school seniors and weddings. Even in a slower economy, there may be times when you need a second hand. Face it, even you can’t be in two places at once. If and when you need a second shooter, take a few minutes to make sure you are protecting yourself and your business.

When would you need a second shooter / assistant / independent contractor? Yes, the legal and payment aspect can be an added pain, but it’s often worth it. Consider the following:

  • Do you need an extra hand for an event (someone to help with lighting, client relations, etc.)?
  • Would you like to offer a different photographic style to your clients? You often need a second photographer to give good traditional and photojournalistic wedding coverage.
  • Do you want to mentor others and help promote the professional photographic industry?
  • Would you like to even the “price playing field”? Student photographers and hobbyists charge significantly less than you pros; and unfortunately, their clients get lower quality images and you lose business. By offering mentoring or independent contractor / assistant positions within your studio, you nudge the amateurs to become more professional while getting the client.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the RECON investigation of CVS.We have reported our findings and are currently waiting on a response to the report we issued to their corporate offices. Overall, CVS stores complied with U.S. Copyright Law. Store clerks prevented RECON Team members from successfully making reproductions. In our report, we did cited the results of a few RECON visits during which copies were made.

The May 2008 RECON mission will investigate Walgreen’s Photo Centers. Please visit your local Walgreen’s store during the next month and help PPA determine their level of copyright compliance.

As a RECON volunteer, PPA is asking you to:

  1. Go to your local Walgreen’s. To find a Walgreeen’s with a photo center near you click here.
  2. Ask them to make a copy of a clearly marked copyrighted print.
  3. If they say no, politely thank them for their time and simply leave. Do not attempt to talk them into copying it. If they do make the copy, be sure to keep the copy and your receipt as proof of the transaction. Also, any information you can provide regarding the staff person who assists you and any other details relating to your visit to the photo center is extremely helpful.

Regardless of the outcome of your visit, please let us know how it goes by sending an e-mail to The deadline for completing this effort is Friday, June 13, 2008.

You may also elect to send a digital file (clearly marked as copyrighted) to your local Walgreen’s via their photo center website.You will need to create an online account with them if you do not already have one.

Once this effort is complete, PPA will share the overall results with RECON members and contact Walgreen’s with the results.

Thank you for your assistance in helping to enforce the rights of all professional photographers.

Meet your customers online


Dear PPA Member,

Technology has forever changed the way we capture and keep images…and customers, too. With Web sites and e-mail, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch. But have you considered expanding your online reach with social networking sites?

To find new clients, you need to go looking where they hang out. Facebook, Myspace and other social networking sites aren’t just for high school seniors. In fact, with 20 million business profiles on LinkedIn, almost 100 million Facebook members, and over 115 million MySpace visitors, it’s guaranteed that you’ll reach someone who doesn’t know you…yet.

Professional Photographer magazine, the official magazine of Professional Photographers of America (PPA), received eight “GAMMA” awards from the Magazine Association of the Southeast (MAGS) on May 6, 2008.

With seven gold awards and one silver award in a competition that recognizes editorial and design excellence in magazine publishing, Professional Photographer continues to shine. Of special note is their first place in General Excellence, awarded to the magazine with the best overall packaging, content selection, writing, and reporting, as well as design and illustration.

For 100 years, Professional Photographer has striven to help readers excel in the photographic industry through innovative reporting on the artistic, business, and technological sides of photography. And the magazine seems to have personified that excellence with the its GAMMA Awards.



  • General Excellence
  • Best Series: “Celebrating 100 Years of Professional Photographer” (Dec. 2007)
  • Best Feature: “Hair of the Dog: Pet photography” by Stephanie Boozer (July 2007)
  • Best Profile: “Life in Balance” Gregory Heisler profile by Jeff Kent (Jan. 2007)
  • Best Service Journalism: Marketing   to Women package (May 2007) – “Soft Power” by Lorna Gentry & “What Women   Want” by Ann Monteith
  • Best Cover: Jan. 2007 – Photography by Gregory Heisler
  • Best Photography: “Destination: Weddings” – Photography by Susan Stripling (March 2007)

Dear PPA Member,

Professional photographers aren’t the only ones touched with economic concerns. Your customers are, too. But their concerns often become your own. For instance, it may be a sign of the times that more wedding couples are trying to limit expenses and cancel contracts. Remember, though, that PPA can help.

According to Heather Lebow from Howe & Hutton (they handle Indemnification Trust claims for PPA), there has been a sharp increase in photography wedding contract cancellations. Many brides and grooms, despite having signed contracts stating non-refundable fees, are demanding full refunds. What can you do if you get the dreaded cancellation call?

craft_dennis.jpgAs I have the opportunity to speak with photographers around the country, many have shared how diverse the high school senior photography market is in different regions of the country. And it amazes me how that market has changed over the years since I have been in business. The studio I purchased in 1979 was just starting to offer color photography (it was still second to hand-colored portraits), and environmental portraits were just starting to gain in popularity.

One of the first seminars I attended was a presentation on high school senior photography by Wah Lui from Seattle. He started the transition that led to a total makeover of our senior photography market.  There were many other photographers in that transition, but the two that have influenced me the most are Gary Jentoft and Larry Peters.

I am not only inspired by the photographers that crossed my path in the early years; I am also inspired by those who are up and coming. For instance, I had the opportunity to photograph Chris Cox, my son's best friend, while he was home visiting last summer. An aspiring photographer who has won awards in a New York student competition, Chris and I spent a few hours creating images that reflected his personality.

Today I see many new faces who still push the creative envelope, not only with their photographic style, but also by embracing the changing technology. The young, creative talent of students like Chris is an inspiration. I am excited to see what transformations await us in the coming years. This is what makes the industry so great: There isn't a standard that we must follow. We don't just create a likeness of our subjects; we have the ability to create unique images that say something about those we meet on this journey called photography.

May your journey this month allow you to cross paths with someone that will inspire you.

Friends Met Along the Way
Three of my early mentors were not photographers. They started out as individuals helping me be successful in business, but they became dear friends in the process. To each of these people I owe a big thank you.

After purchasing the studio, my first contact was my Burrell Colour Imaging Lab's rep. Bob Clark walked into my studio early on and kept pushing the need to get involved with photographic organizations and learn more. He must have wondered more than once if I would make it in this business! But his persistence led me to PPA, my state organization PPM, and the local Triangle affiliate.

Evelyn Lageman was our studio consultant in the late 80's. She came to our studio at least twice to help us learn how to run a photographic business, training the staff where we were struggling. She was a master of dealing with people--while kind and gentle, she accomplished all of her session goals.

Then, at one of my first Michigan conventions, I met a frame salesman, Brian Runnels with Culver Art and Frame in Ohio. Over the years our friendship grew beyond the photographic industry. Brian would plan his studio stops around Marshall, so we could meet for dinner. He became close to our children. And he always had an encouraging word or listening ear as I worked my way through a challenge. 

Bob and Brian have since passed away, but I will always treasure the friendship and lessons they shared with me. None of the three taught me a thing about photography, but all taught me about the importance of relationships. Cherish the relationships that come into your life, they truly are a blessing.

Dennis Craft, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, F-ASP
2008-2009 PPA President

image copyright Rod Gleason

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2008 is the previous archive.

June 2008 is the next archive.

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

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