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PPA Today: January 2009 Archives

January 2009 Archives

Dear PPA Member,

I wouldn't hesitate to say that most of us check out a new company or service online before we hire or use them. It just makes sense to see what other customers have experienced, and the Internet makes that much easier. However, the Internet also makes it easier for upset customers to write something in the heat of their anger.

Have you, as a professional photographer, ever found an online negative review about yourself and your services? Such negative comments can hurt both you and your business. And the negativity could simply stem from a misunderstanding! But what can you do about it? That is the focus of this week's Vital Signs.

While we cannot stop such comments/reviews from being made, we will always do our best to help you decide the best way to respond and the best places to go for further assistance. Helping you--with resources and information like this--is part of PPA's reason for being.


Christel Aprigliano
Director of Membership

P.S. Look for next week's article about protecting yourself from online infringements.

There are two changes to the previously published dates for the 2-day SMS Business Basics Workshop. The March 21-22 has been cancelled and a new class in Dallas, TX has been added on August 22-23. The complete current schedule is posted below.

Business Basics Workshop

  • February 21-22 (Atlanta, GA)
  • May 16-17 (Chicago, IL)
  • June 13-14 (California)
  • July 18-19 (Baltimore, MD)
  • August 22-23 (Dallas, TX)
  • November 7-8 (Atlanta, GA)
Go to for complete information.

This spring, you can make a difference in PPA and the photographic profession: elect a representative to PPA's Council. These special volunteers are leaders, both as individuals assisting members and fellow photographers, and as a group making the decisions that guide the association. This kind of member involvement helps set us apart from other national photographic organizations.

PPA's Council is the legislative body of the association that guides and directs PPA programs and policies--very similar to the U.S. House of Representatives. Serving as a PPA Councilor is not an honorary position; it's an important responsibility. Councilors elect members to the Board of Directors, approve Degree recipients and changes to PPA's Charter and Bylaws, represent the concerns and desires of members, communicate programs and directions to members in their state, and more.

(For a complete Councilor job description, log onto

To be considered as a Councilor, you must be a Professional Active, Life, or Retired member of PPA. You must be nominated and agree to carry out the responsibilities of a Councilor if elected. Here are two ways members can be nominated: 

  • Five PPA members (who are Professional Active, Life, or Retired members of PPA) can nominate a qualified member. The nomination must be made in writing and include the signature of the five members making the nomination. 
  • PPA Affiliated organizations may nominate a qualified member. Again, the nomination must be in writing.

Nominations should be sent in writing (faxes are acceptable) to PPA Council Elections, 229 Peachtree St, NE, Suite 2200, Atlanta, GA 30303. (Fax 404-614-6400.) For questions, please contact the Membership Department.

Important Dates

  • PPA must receive nominations no later than May 1, 2009.
  • The election will take place between May 15 and June 15. 
  • Councilors take office on July 1, 2009, for the 2009 - 2012 Council.

Whether you run for election, consider who to nominate, or vote, your decisions will make a difference in PPA and this industry.

Visit for more information.

After hundreds of resumes and numerous interviews, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) welcomes a new Membership Director for its 22,000+ professional photographer members: Christel Aprigliano. She, like PPA itself, is passionate about helping members stay successful.

"Our membership has seen unprecedented growth over the last six years--the kind of growth of which most associations dream. Choosing the right addition to our leadership team is serious business, and we feel very certain that Christel is the right person to help move us forward now," comments David Trust, PPA's CEO.

Aprigliano replaces long-time Membership Director J. Alexander (Al) Hopper. Originally from New England, her upbeat personality and strong willpower led her through varying experiences before coming to PPA. She earned her undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montreal and her graduate degree from the University of Maryland's European Division. This international flavor fed into Aprigliano's employment with several national and international companies, including Nabisco and Equifax. In addition, she gained non-profit experience as the Executive Director of The Villages Chamber of Commerce. Along with her well-tested skills, she had the benefit of working with Hopper as PPA's Member Services Manager.

"PPA has a long, successful history of providing protection, education, and resources for its members. I am excited and honored to be a part of this, and I look forward to helping our members stay successful," says Aprigliano.

"In terms of growing membership, improving customer experience, and visioning for the future, there are people who 'get it' and people who just don't. Christel is definitely one of those people who 'gets it,' which is a pretty rare commodity," added Trust. "I think she'll take us further, faster than we have ever gone before. Ultimately, our members will be the beneficiaries."

Rachel ElkindRachel Elkind

Kelly ReillyKelly Reilly

David SmithDavid Smith

Every day of Imaging USA, Studio Management Services (SMS) awarded invaluable prizes to interested photographers. And with times they way they are, who wouldn't be interested in the help SMS has to offer?

These are the lucky three who took home the business education and consultations that could turn their businesses into incredible profit centers:
  • Rachel Elkind - Rachel Elkind Photography - Brooklyn, NY
    Won a year's worth of Webinars (valued at $1,000 +)

  • Kelly Reilly - Kelly Reilly Photography Studio - Kenai, AK
    Won a one-time consultation and analysis (valued at $550)

  • David Smith - David H. Smith Photography - Phoenix, AZ
    Won a free 3-Day SMS Business Workshop (valued at $949)

SMS, developed by the non-profit PPA to help photographers with business and financial issues, knows the importance of such education. After all, many of their clients have doubled or tripled their sales and net profits. And now those three photographers have a similar chance!

Check out what photographers are saying about SMS:

  • "The best investment we ever made - period." - Ed Zemba, Robert Charles Photography

  • "After the SMS workshop, I literally saw results in my bottom line overnight. And they continue to help us each step of the way." - Rebecca and Michael Zoumberos, Limelight Photography

  • "We recently joined the SMS program and I feel like for the first time, I have a real partner who will assist me with managing the finances and understanding how my business is working...they have given us new perspective as business owners and their partnership has become the best investment we've made in our business and for our peace of mind." - James & Meridith Walters, Photography by Walters

  • "SMS is like our big brother, they watch out for us!" - Jeff Woods, Cr.Photog. & Julia Woods, Cr.Photog.,  Portrait Life

Even with times the way they are, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and its Studio Management Services (SMS) department found a way to help photographers get needed education for better business success and survival. Last month, they awarded two grand prizes for participants in their latest Financial Benchmark Survey: all-inclusive trips for two to Imaging USA, including $1,000 in spending money.

The two sets of lucky photographers--Stephen and Lisa Green of Stephen Green Photography in Oak Park, Ill., and Tori and Jeff Mathias of Studio Mathias in Syracuse, Kan.--were drawn on December 17, 2008, by the SMS staff and Carol Andrews, a PPA Board of Directors member. Previously, these photographers were not able to attend PPA's international educational convention and tradeshow, Imaging USA. Thanks to the all-inclusive prizes, though, these photographers now have easy access to this invaluable event, the world leader in photographic business education.

Want to DOUBLE or TRIPLE your sales and net income? Studio Management Services' (SMS) client studios have experienced that kind of success. Now you can, too. Attend an SMS workshop and walk away with the business methods you need to pave the same path to success.

The Atlanta, Georgia classes will be held at PPA headquarters. Location details for the other courses are being finalized and should be available shortly. Note that the February 3-day class is already sold out.

3-day Business Workshop

  • February 23-25 (Atlanta, GA) SOLD OUT
  • March 23-25 (Atlanta, GA)
  • June 8-10 (Atlanta, GA)
  • August 24-26 (Dallas, TX)
  • November 9-11 (Atlanta, GA)

Business Basics Workshop

  • February 21-22 (Atlanta, GA)
  • March 21-22 (location to be announced)
  • May 16-17 (Chicago, IL)
  • June 13-14 (California)
  • July 18-19 (Baltimore, MD)
  • November 7-8 (Atlanta, GA)

There's still more education to come in January, thanks to our Webinars. This Thursday, Edward Zemba will be presenting "Turnaround: How to turn a struggling photography business into a goldmine," and next week Doug Box will be sharing "Sixty Marketing Ideas in Sixty Minutes". Our complete, current schedule is below.

Are you a Facebook user? If so, come on over and join the PPA and Imaging USA Facebook groups. We would love to see you there.

If you were at Imaging USA in Phoenix and have some great pictures you want to share, upload them to the Imaging USA group. And who knows, you might see yourself in someone else's photos!

All PPA Affiliate organizations' publications--whether in print or online--are produced by fellow members who help you stay connected and informed, while running their own businesses. It's hard make sure they enter the 2009 Affiliate Communications Competition and earn merits for their service!

Entry forms are available at the Competitions page on, and it is free to enter. Entries must be received at PPA no later than Friday, February 27, 2009. If you have additional questions, please contact PPA at (800) 339-5451, ext. 226, or e-mail

All PPA Affiliate editors and webmasters are invited to participate in this competition, which encourages excellence in affiliate publications and recognizes the individuals who spend their time and energy editing, designing, and maintaining them. Enter and get free, valuable advice for improvement. Plus, you'll earn an achievement merit if your entry is accepted into the competition and an additional merit if you win!

You don't have to take my word for it, just ask any of the nearly 8,000 people that joined us in Phoenix last week. But if you missed it, you are not completely out of luck. We have got news and video from the event posted at Here are a few of my favorite clips:

Dear PPA Member,

Whew...we made it through another great Imaging USA! The education, the parties, the eye-boggling Imaging EXPO, the special Anne Geddes presentation...words can't describe the experience.

Anne Geddes at Imaging USAIf you weren't able to join us (or if you couldn't be in five places at once!), we've got the perfect solution for you--check out the IUSA TV blog for video clips, images, and more. We posted live to the blog during the event, and we'll keep these posts up so you can catch up or reminisce. You can travel through the whole event with a click of your mouse!

This is also your Vital Signs message for the week: visit . Why? You'll catch hot product reviews with Professional Photographer's Senior Editor Joan Sherwood and photographer Joe Farace, exclusive interviews (including an interview with Anne Geddes), overviews and thoughts from some buzz-worthy classes and instructors, and more.

And before we go and rest our feet, we want to extend a heartfelt thanks to you for making Imaging USA and PPA possible. It was a pleasure to meet new members and reconnect with old friends at Imaging USA. Photographers like you make this association the best place to be in the industry--in any industry.

Go ahead and mark your calendars now for next year's best photography convention and tradeshow: Imaging USA in Nashville, January 10-12, 2010.

We'll see you there!

David Trust,
Chief Executive Officer
Professional Photographers of America

We value your opinion! If you attended classes at Imaging USA, please take a moment to complete our program evaluation surveys. Your feedback is our guide to improving Imaging USA.

Take our surveys:'ve made it through the first week of a brand-new year! Hopefully, each day is looking brighter than the last. Call us optimistic, but we know the economy will turn around. Now is the time to dig in and examine, refine, and reinvent your business, so you'll come out ahead of your competition.

And while you're in the midst of such refining, you don't want anything keeping you at a standstill. That's why you need to be on the lookout for potential threats like e-mail scams, the focus of this week's Vital Signs. We've pulled together some red flags to watch for and some steps to help you karate-chop your way through the scams you may find.

On another note, don't forget that Imaging USA, our national educational convention (and Imaging EXPO tradeshow), is in just a few days (January 11-13). If you're committed to improving your business and your art, you'll find everything you need at Imaging USA to emerge from these tough times even stronger. After all, that's what PPA is here to help you do.

We hope to see you in Phoenix for the best in photographic and business education and fun!

David Trust,
Chief Executive Officer
Professional Photographers of America

P.S. If you can't join us at Imaging USA, be sure to check out daily coverage of the show at You'll see exclusive interviews with the hottest photographers, find out what classes are generating the most buzz, and see what products and services are getting the most attention in the Imaging EXPO. Watch for your daily e-mail that will link you with the day's stories.

Attending Imaging USA 2009 in Phoenix? You have a special opportunity to submit a question for Anne Geddes to consider answering during her Monday night program! Send your question(s) no later than Friday, January 9 to

We're still looking for a few people to work as print handlers for set up and take down of the International Print Exhibit at Imaging USA 2009 in Phoenix. If you are interested, please contact PEC Administrator Jim Dingwell at

  • Set-up: Saturday, January 10, 1pm-5pm
  • Take-down: Tuesday January 13, 2pm-5pm

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2008 is the previous archive.

February 2009 is the next archive.

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

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