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PPA Today: November 2008 Archives

November 2008 Archives

Dear PPA Member,

"Thank you," two small but powerful words...our mothers were right all along. Saying thank you in a personal way to your customers, marketing partners, and vendors can help you develop, enhance, and strengthen the personal relationships that a good business is built upon. 

At PPA, we say "thank you" to the hundreds of volunteers that make a nonprofit, member-owned association like PPA possible. PPA Councilors, the Boards of our affiliated organizations around the world, teachers, speakers, and all you hard-working individuals--together you help make PPA more than a magazine, a tradeshow, or a list of discounts. PPA isn't a company; it is a professional association of photographers working together. Our bottom line isn't profits; it is a better life for our members. 

Of course, we must also say "thanks" to you, photographers who are serious about your profession and dedicated to improving your photographic ability, growing your business, and helping lift the profession. You are the foundation of PPA, and we say, "Thank YOU."

Al Hopper
Director of Membership

Read this week's Vital Signs article: Expressing Gratitude and Meaning It

Join Sandy "Sam" Puc' as she covers all aspects of creating, executing, and marketing a successful program that covers children from 18 months to young teens. Visit to find a location near you.

PPA Print Competition Mentor Program
PPA's Photographic Exhibition Committee is offering FREE consultations with PPA Juror/Mentors at Imaging USA. Take this opportunity to get personal evaluations of your images. Due to the extreme popularity of these mentor sessions, a limited number of appointments will be available and must be scheduled in advance. Visit the Print Exhibit page on for details.

Expand your network and volunteer to share your knowledge at Super Monday, one of PPA's most successful education initiatives. Proceeds from Super Monday support PPA's educational programs, and instructors earn two speaking merits toward a PPA degree. Submit your application online by December 1, 2008 to participate in the Spring '09 program.

Only $19.95 for the last Webinar of 2008

December 8: Income Tax Strategies with Scott Kurkian
The last Webinar of 2008 can help you cut your taxes--and we've cut its price, just for you! For only $19.95 (exclusively for members), you can learn simple strategies that could reduce your 2008 taxes by thousands of dollars. Take advantage of this chance now, and you will be smiling April 15, 2009.

Topics covered: Types of legal entities, How different entities are taxed, Advantages and disadvantages of each entity, Sec. 179 deduction, Salary vs. Distribution allocation, Year- End tax planning, and Retirement planning. Click here to register or for more information.

Like you, I get a copy of Professional Photographer magazine in the mail. Over this past weekend, I sat down to read it and was totally amazed. This issue should be required reading for any professional photographer. If you have not already devoured it, get up from your computer and go find it. I'm not kidding.

The November edition is absolutely filled with information and ideas about how you can make your business just a little--or a lot--better. Following the same vein, we pulled out a special article from the upcoming December magazine for this week's Vital Signs. It focuses in on one of the common business and tax questions we are asked: Should a business be set up as an S-corporation?

Building the right foundation for your business will pay dividends for you in the future...and it can save you in taxes. Through Vital Signs, Professional Photographer magazine, and the many other PPA educational opportunities, we will help you build a strong foundation that weathers the economic storms of business.  After all, we're YOUR nonprofit association. Our business is your business.

Al Hopper
Director of Membership

We are excited to announce an addition to our already stellar pre-convention class line-up at Imaging USA. Arrive early and spend a day with Tamara Lackey and Jesh de Rox as they break down their "client experience workflow." Details are below. Visit for complete information or to register. See you in Phoenix!

Derox_jesh Lackey_tamara

The Client Experience Workflow: Connection, Capture & Post Processing
with Tamara Lackey and Jesh de Rox
Friday, January 9, 2009 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Registration Price: $129.00
Sponsored by: Buckeye & Simply Canvas   

Whether you photograph weddings, portraits or editorial assignments, Jesh de Rox and Tamara Lackey will give you an inside look into the workflow of creating amazing client experiences.

  • Connecting with subjects in ways that elicit authentic expression, inviting powerfully genuine relationships and building valuable word-of-mouth referral networks.
  • Practicing proven techniques for capturing subjects artfully and attractively, giving you details on specific techniques that can enhance your ability to shoot anywhere, at any time.
  • Taking post-processing skills to an artistic level, enhancing your ability to provide your clients with a service and experience they can't get anywhere else.
Interested in having your work critiqued by a legendary photographer?

The Anne Geddes Portfolio Review Contest, sponsored by Epson America, has just been announced. Sign up at to win the chance at a one-on-one portfolio review with legendary photographer Anne Geddes at Imaging USA 2009.

New York Times best-selling author and photographer Geddes will be speaking at IUSA (, being held January 11 to 13 in Phoenix.

To enter the contest, you'll be asked for a link to an online portfolio containing 10 or more of your images. In addition to artistic and technical excellence, your body of work should include a majority of portraits or images featuring people.

Epson America will choose randomly 300 Web sites from the total pool of qualified entrants. Once 300 finalists have been drawn, image collections will be judged based on both technical and artistic merit. Judges are seeking images that exhibit proficiency in professional photographic lighting, composition and portrayal of subject matter.

Go to to enter today.
Did you know? is now offering PPA members exclusive discounts on their total workflow solutions.

PPA Members enjoy:

  • Complimentary print credit of $35 (with & their professional print lab, CollagesColor)
  • 50% off your first press-printed book
  • 35% off your first album sample
To take advantage of this offer, please have your PPA member number ready, and call at (877) 638-7468.

Since 1999, has been working with pro photographers to provide a total workflow solution. Today, is partnered with over 10,000 pro photographers and is the premier online posting, printing, and marketing service in the industry. They enable pro photographers to offer their clients customized, e-commerce websites, high-end products such as albums and proof books, DVD slideshow presentations, and professionally printed images. With, you can sell your images online and market your studio to even more.

Last chance to participate in the April Super Monday program!
Volunteer to share your knowledge at one of PPA's most successful educational initiatives. Proceeds from Super Monday support PPA's education programs, and instructors earn two speaking merits toward a PPA degree. Submit your form by December 1, 2008 for inclusion in the April 20, 2009 program. Be a Super Monday Instructor.

What is Super Monday?
Super Monday is PPA's peer-led education program. Each spring and fall, professional photographers volunteer to instruct their fellow photographers. Topics include: posing & lighting, workflow, Photoshop, weddings, senior portraits, business, marketing, and more. Proceeds from the program support PPA's non-profit education, copyright, and advocacy initiatives.

Drytac®, a manufacturer and distributor of mounting and finishing products worldwide, has just made it easier for its customers to make more environmentally friendly choices for their signage and graphics.

With the publication of its new price list that was mailed out to customers in the United States this September, Drytac®  is marking the products that are environmentally friendly with its Green Umbrella logo.

Dear PPA Member,

I'm a guy...and hearing the words "we need to talk" is scary. But I've learned through the years that communicating with photographers, letting them know more about PPA and all the things that we can do for them is a great way to develop a relationship (the same goes for you, your clients, and potential clients). And relationships are one of the most important keys to growing your business.

Communicating (and creating these relationships) is what blogging is all about. Last week's message started our conversation about blogging and how to use it in your business. This week's message gets deeper into the subject and can help you get started with your own blog.

Blogging, talking, communicating...whatever term we use, it is important for your customers and your potential clients to view you as a friend and their personal photographer. It can help grow your reputation and your business. And helping photographers grow their business with resources like this--even in the toughest times--is why PPA is here. 

Al Hopper
Director of Membership

Every day there are horror stories of children harmed by adults they trust...but sport and event photographers have work with and around kids of all ages. To help photographers in such sensitive situations, the Society of Sport & Event Photographers (SEP) announces a new program: SEP Strictest Code of Ethics.

It's crucial to sport & event photographers' livelihoods that their clients know they are someone they can truly trust. The SEP Strictest Code of Ethics, developed exclusively for SEP members, will help prove themselves as the safest choice. This program requires participants to pass a criminal background check and pledge to follow the new Code of Ethics (see the code at

Once photographers complete the steps, they will receive a certificate with the SEP Strictest Code of Ethics seal of approval. They will also have that seal of approval added to their profile in SEP's Find-a-Photographer search engine and be able to use the seal in their marketing materials, including their Web sites.

In a world of uncertainty, SEP photographers can validate their professionalism with this new, voluntary program. For more information on the SEP Strictest Code of Ethics, please visit

(CNN) -- Photographer David DeJonge plans to capture a vanishing bit of history Tuesday on a trip to Arlington National Cemetery near Washington.

There he hopes to photograph 107-year-old Frank Buckles -- one of the few men still alive who fought in World War I. Buckles will lay a wreath at the grave of Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, who led U.S. forces in Europe in World War I.

The visit comes 90 years to the day after the end of World War I, an occasion that led to Veteran's Day in the United States and Armistice Day in other nations.

For DeJonge, it's a poignant reminder that time is running out in his quest to find and photograph the few surviving veterans of the war, which raged from 1914 to 1918.

"In my view, America has missed the boat in documenting this part of history," said DeJonge, a portrait photographer from Zeeland, Michigan. "It was such a pivotal moment in global history."

He has raced the clock for the last two years to photograph the dwindling number of surviving World War I veterans, a mission he embraces with a keen appreciation for the ticking clock: Eight of 12 veterans he has photographed in the last two years are now dead.

View images and the complete story here:

Dear PPA Member,

Studios that are doing well even in this difficulty economy tell us that taking care of their customers and establishing a personal relationship with them (and with prospective customers) makes a huge difference in their business. One of the best ways to communicate and develop that personal relationship is through blogging.

OK, it took me a while to get excited about blogging, but it makes sense when you consider who your clients and likely clients are. People (often women) looking for a portrait or wedding photographer, or other photographer, are going to do so via Web sites. They know what blogging is, and they will utilize it. And you can capitalize on their background, making yourself even more personable via information on a blog. Read more in this weeks article, "Blogging: What's the Big Deal?"

We know you work hard to take care of your customers, just like PPA works hard to take care of photographers.

Al Hopper
Director of Membership

P.S. Have you created your user profile yet at the new It is easy, free, and opens the door to massive amounts of members-only content, including previous editions of Vital Signs. Take advantage of everything available to help you be successful. That is why PPA is here.

hopper_al_2007.jpgProfessional Photographers of America today announced the resignation of long-time Director of Membership, J. Alexander (Al) Hopper, effective December 31, 2008. Hopper says he made the decision to leave PPA after fourteen years in order to pursue personal goals.

"I've been fortunate to work at PPA with superior volunteer leaders and the world's finest association staff. It has been a real privilege, and I will always cherish the friendships I have made," says Hopper. "I now need to pay attention to some personal obligations and take advantage of some new opportunities."

The winners of the 2008 Professional Photographer Cover Photo Contest have been announced.

©Heather Smith

First prize was awarded to Heather Smith of Smith Photo Design in Cumming, Ga. Smith's image will be featured on the cover of the November issue, and in a story inside the issue.

"The image is pure simplicity. And simplicity works on a cover," said contest guest judge Helen Yancy, M.Photog.M.Artist.MEI.Cr.Hon.M.Photog., CPP, API, F-ASP.

The contest drew more than 50,000 entries from photographers around the world. Those who placed or received honorable mention did so against high odds.

The Second Place award went to Heather Leed; Third Place: Marie Labbancz; Fourth Place: Jennifer Fields, and Fifth Place: Laura Wootan.

Honorable Mentions were awarded to Ritz Blanco Rivera, Carrie Sandoval, Rebecca Worple, Kristen Beinke, Andrew Nock, Matt Nicolosi, Dena Strban, David Sacks, Paul Van Hoy II, Carla Nelms, Lindsay Docherty, Bryan Cox, Julie Klaasmeyer, Tania Quintanilla, Desiree Elting, Laura Siebert, Michelle Moore and Ross Bothwell.

The image entries created by this year's winners and honorable mentions can be viewed at this online gallery on our Web site: Also, look for the contest article featured in the November issue of Professional Photographer.

The submission period for the 2009 Professional Photographer Cover Contest will open March 1, 2009 and close March 31. For details about next year's competition, please visit in 2009.

To view the 2008 winners' gallery online, go to

About this Archive

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

October 2008 is the previous archive.

December 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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