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PPA Today: February 2009 Archives

February 2009 Archives

We will be installing new hardware on Saturday, February 28. Work is scheduled to begin at 8am EST and should be completed by noon EST.  During this time, access to online profiles, event registration, merit reports and other web functions that are tied to our Atlanta servers will be interrupted. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

If you're an employer, there are numerous things you have to keep track of, from payroll and ethics to your customer's overall satisfaction...and the dreaded taxes.

Yes, taxes play a huge roll in all our lives. And as an employer, you have to ensure that you're handling not only your own taxes correctly, but also your employees'. If that wasn't difficult enough, don't forget that there are different tax requirements for independent contractors!

This week, we've compiled a list of tax filing requirements for both employees and independent contractors. While not as entertaining as learning a new posing technique, this information is vital to keep your business running smoothly and legally! After all, you shouldn't be spending all your time trying to figure out the maze of taxes. Your time is better spent marketing, photographing, selling, and improving your skills--all the things that can help your business weather rough situations.

PPA is here to give you the protection, education, and resources (like this) to do just that.

Cheers,

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Membership

Adobe is delighted to offer PPA members special pricing on Adobe software. Order February 9, 2009, through March 2, 2009, in order to save 20% on all Adobe products in the North American online Adobe Store.

Here are important facts about this exciting discount:

  • Offer good through March 2, 2009
  • All products sold in the Adobe Store are eligible for the discount, even the CS4 introductory prices that expire on February 28
  • The 20% discount will be applied to one order per member
  • The discount can only be used one time per member
  • Third-party products such as training and plug-ins that are sold through in the Adobe Store are eligible.
  • Only one use per member

Login to the Extreme Deals page on ppa.com for your discount code.

drytac_boards.jpg

Drytac has added the first edge finishing machine specifically designed to work with a heat-sensitive foam display boards to its product line.

The DES-4Foam utilizes precise pressure and cutting mechanisms, along with Drytac's proprietary Edge Secure™ adhesive, to apply PVC and ABS edging on boards like Gatorfoam®, Sintra® /Forex, Kappaboard, X-Board and Ecoboard®.

Compatible with boards ranging in thicknesses from 3/16" (5mm) to 1 ¾" (45mm), the system decreases the need to inventory multiple boards with different foam core types or face material colors and allows the increased use of environmentally friendly recycled boards.

Edging can be applied to blank boards as well boards direct-printed on flatbed printers and boards with images already mounted and laminated.  According to Drytac, the edge finishing tape will be available in a variety of colors, including red, blue, black and chrome.

Drytac plans to demonstrate the DES-4  at both the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) tradeshow to be held March 3-5 in Las Vegas, NV and at the International Sign Association (ISA) show to be held April 15-18 also in Las Vegas, NV.

drytac2.jpgAbout Drytac
Drytac is a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of mounting, laminating, framing and finishing materials and equipment, including its new line of UV curable and aqueous liquid laminators. Its display division also offers an extensive range of banner stands, portable displays and specialty exhibits. For more information, visit www.drytac.com.

If you own a business (or are headed there), there will come a time when you need some help. Tight as things are, you still can't do everything by yourself!

That's why we're offering this week's Vital Signs--an essential checklist of items you should know and be ready to deal with before you hire an employee or independent contractor. Yes, many of you already have an employee or two. If that is true in your case, think of this as a refresher. Is there anything you've forgotten to do in the rush to stay abreast of the situation? After all, you don't want to be caught in red tape when you need to be focusing all your efforts on bringing in clients and wowing them!

PPA will always help you remember your business responsibilities (and refine your business skills), so you can keep funding your artistic creativity. Together, we will come out even stronger.

Cheers,

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Membership

P.S. Stay tuned for more information about employees and independent contractors in future Vital Signs!

IrelandJoin Texas School of Professional Photography and Professional Photographers of America, July 19-27, 2009, for a photo tour of Ireland. Travel by luxury motorcoach with the camaraderie of other professional photographers. This tour has been especially designed for the most scenic and picturesque places. Includes limited edition travel shirt, evening photography seminars, special program with Ireland photographers, and over $1000 dollars in door prizes.

Don't miss out on this once in a lifetime experience. Register online at https://www.tppa.org/forms/register_ireland.php.

IrelandLAND FARES
(Based on fare-paying passengers per coach)

  • Per Person............................................... $1585.00
  • Single Room Supplement......................... $347.00
  • A deposit of $250 per person is required. The balance is due Friday, May 8, 2009.
  • When the trip is sold out, you will be put on a wait list and not charged your deposit until you are confirmed on the trip.

TRAVEL PROTECTION PLAN
Premium per person.................................. $149.00
CIE Tours International offers this travel policy with Trip Mate (see attached information sheet).
Protection Plan can only be purchased at the time of deposit.

IrelandLand Fare Inlcudes

  • Transport by luxury motorcoach with a driver/guide (one man) for 8 days
  • Hotel accommodations based on twin bedded rooms with private bath as listed opposite for 7 nights.
  • Full breakfasts (7).
  • Table d'hôte dinners (6).
  • Welcome drink in your Dublin hotel.
  • Dinner and evening entertainment at the Abbey Tavern.
  • Guided tour of Dublin.
  • Passage on the Tarbert Ferry.
  • Boat trip and bus tour to the Aran Islands.
  • Catamaran cruise on Killary Harbour.
  • Visits and admission fees to: Ireland
    • St. Patrick's Cathedral
    • Trinity College (Book of Kells)
    • Blarney Castle & Woollen Mills
    • Skellig Experience
    • Cliffs of Moher
    • Dun Aengus
    • Clonmacnoise
  • Hotel porterage, service charges and government taxes.
  • Flight bags, ticket wallets, baggage tags and identifying strap.

New ideas and critical business education are essential in tough economic times, and we deliver it to you with PPA Webinars. Sign up now--only $49 PPA members.

To register visit www.ppa.com/education-events/webinars.php or call 800-786-6277.

Graham Wilson
Kellyann Foe

February 20, 2009 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Making Money Matters...
Learn How to Make 2009 Your Best Senior Season Ever! (#09FEBWEB2)
Graham Wilson and Kellyann Foe

In just five short years, with only five full-time employees, and in spite of a struggling economy, Graham Wilson's studio has passed the $1 million mark in senior portrait sales. Not only have sales skyrocketed, they also keep a higher percentage of sales as net profit.

Graham is described by Scott Kurkian, PPA's chief financial officer and founder of Studio Management Services, as an "entrepreneurial genius" for the techniques he's used to build what is currently one of the most successful senior photography businesses in the country.

This Webinar is your golden opportunity to learn first-hand from Graham some simple techniques that could make 2009 your best-ever year for senior sales. Register today!

Todd and Jamie Reichman

February 23, 2009 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Stop Competing on Price
(#09FEBWEB3)
with Todd and Jamie Reichman

There are much better ways to beat out your competition.
Investing in your clients and managing their expectations can result in higher sales, more profit, and increased referrals. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Listen and learn the steps to transcend market rates and create a wedding photography business where value matters more than price.

In the span of 3 years, Jamie and Todd Reichman went from part-time, generalist photography novices to successful wedding photography specialists.  They now operate a boutique wedding photography studio in Dunlap, Illinois.  In 2008 they were named a Studio Success Story by PPA's Studio Management Services after reaching top-performing studio benchmark numbers in their second year in business.

February 24, 2009 | 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST
Webinar: Employees vs. Independent Contractors
Protect yourself when hiring - participate in this FREE, member-only online seminar
With Maria Matthews, PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Manager,
Stephen Morris, attorney with Meadow & Macie, P.C.,
and a member of PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS) staff

So you need some extra help with that assignment...or maybe you're the one who is willing to be a second-shooter. That's fabulous!

But do you know what to do to ensure that the IRS doesn't think you're hiring an employee? What forms do you need to hire an independent contractor? Who owns the copyright to the images?

Don't get caught in a tough situation--protect yourself by attending this Webinar, FREE for PPA members. Maria Matthews, PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Manager, will be joined by Stephen Morris, an attorney with Meadows & Macie, P.C., and a member of PPA's SMS staff to help answer any questions you have about hiring an employee or an independent contractor. Learn the details and ask your questions now, to prevent problems later.

February 25, 2009 | 7:00pm - 8:00pm EST
Print Competition 101 - Demystifying the Process (Part 1)
Cost:  $95 - includes all four Webinars & 100% of your registration fee is applied to your 2009 Print Competition case fee!

Get a head start on PPA's 2009 International Print Competition with this 4-week Webinar series, designed to give you a complete understanding of the benefits and workings of this exciting program-a very different form of education!

  • How Print Competition Helps You
    Wednesday, February 25 | 7:00pm Eastern
    See how you can use it to your advantage. Learn how the International Print Competition is linked to PPA's Merit & Degree program, and how you benefit in terms of education, marketing, credentials, and adding value to your photographic work.
  • The Twelve Elements of a Merit-Worthy Image
    Wednesday, March 4 | 7:00pm Eastern
  • PPA's International Print Competition: Process and Workflow
    Wednesday, March 18 | 7:00pm Eastern
  • The Home Stretch: Judging the International Print Competition
    Wednesday, April 1 | 7:00pm Eastern

Click here for schedule/details.

Mike and Rebecca Zoumberos

March 2, 2009 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zero to Hero
(#09MARWEB1)
with Mike & Rebecca Zoumberos

Push your business up and up.
Learn to grow your business from something small, unknown, and/or unprofitable into a thriving, successful, profitable business within two years. While a great program for new businesses, this Webinar can also be applied no matter how long you have been in business. After all, we all want to take our businesses to the next level!

Before creating Limelight Photography, Rebecca earned a B.S. in advertising and an M.F.A. in graphic design. In her first year of business, Rebecca took Limelight Photography to six figures. After the first year, Mike realized that Rebecca's business was well on the way to success, and he left his career to join the Limelight team. Through creative marketing, design skills, and relationships with clients and other wedding professionals, they have created a highly profitable studio in under three years.

Allison and Jeff Rodgers

March 16, 2009 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Blog. Facebook. Twitter.
The Trifecta of Online Viral Marketing
(#09MARWEB3)
with Allison & Jeff Rodgers

What's one of the quickest ways you can create awareness about your studio...and add to the demand? Get the answers (and advice) from one the most profitable studios in the nation.

Social networking tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, are an integral part of online viral marketing and brand awareness. And Allison & Jeff Rodgers attribute a large chunk of their success to those very tools! Learn to use these services yourself to grow interest in your studio and develop relationships with clients and fellow business owners.

Tamara Lackey Lisa Walters

March 30, 2009 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Hiring & Managing Studio Employees (#09MARWEB2)
with Tamara Lackey & Lisa Walter

Studio life runs at an insane pace, as you well know. With so much to do, many business owners eventually realize that they must outsource their work, hire help, or do both. But how can you do so profitably? Never fear, you can get the answers here!

If you're at that hiring point, seeking new ideas for interviewing and retaining current employees, or just looking to manage an associate-based business in a very current, innovative way, Tamara and Lisa can help you do it even better. Learn the methods they've used to build a highly successful associate-based studio model that continues to increase in profitability annually.

Many Americans, including professional photographers, most of whom are self-employed, are feeling the effects of current economic tough times. And many photographers fear that if they don't get some relief fast, their businesses will suffer irreparable damage.

Throughout its nearly 130-year history, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has provided business-critical resources to professional photographers. Today PPA, together with its long-standing Industry Advisory Committee, announced a renewed commitment to giving all photographers the help they need to combat economic challenges during the next several years. New programs and resources will be rolled out regularly, giving photographers tools and information to make a real difference in the bottom line of their businesses.

Many of the ideas for helping photographers navigate difficult times come from PPA's Industry Advisory Committee, which has met at least twice a year for decades, collaborating with PPA on ways it can help make photographers successful. In fact, the committee met again this weekend, praising PPA for its regular work on photographers' behalf in the areas of health care reform and copyright protection.

"It's wonderful what PPA is doing to lobby on Capitol Hill to secure health care benefits for photographers," adds Kevin Casey, CEO of Collages.net and member of PPA's Industry Advisory Committee. "This is an important issue that affects the daily life of photographers, and it's important that we are there trying to solve serious issues, rather than just talking about them."

"Our Industry Advisory Committee has been such an important part of our advocacy efforts. They care about photographers and are serious partners in helping us get through these difficult times. We have serious situations, and that means expending serious resources, including substantial financial resources, to make a difference," explains David Trust, PPA's CEO. "Some groups are out there talking, but this takes a lot more than talk - it requires real action, which PPA is already taking."

Photographers are urged to take advantage of the programs and resources available now,  only through PPA, the world's largest non-profit association for professional photographers:

Professional Photographers of America (PPA), a worldwide non-profit association, exists to assist its 22,000 members and the photographic industry in achieving their professional, artistic and fraternal goals; to promote public awareness of the profession; and to advance the making of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science, and a visual recorder of history. For more information, visit www.ppa.com.
We will be installing new hardware on Saturday, February 28. Work is scheduled to begin at 8am EST and should be completed by noon EST.  During this time, access to online profiles, event registration, merit reports and other web functions that are tied to our Atlanta servers will be interrupted. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.
Farmingdale, NY February 9, 2009 -- Smilebooks - the fun and easy way for people to turn their digital photos into professionally bound and printed photo books - announced today its Smiles of Winter Photo Contest.

Following the success of their Smiles of Summer contest, Dominic Brezinski, General Manager of CeWe Color said, "We received a number of requests for another contest. People love taking and sharing their favorite digital pictures and we share their enthusiasm. We look forward to receiving entries for our Smiles of Winter Photo Contest."

The Smiles of Winter Photo Contest invites individuals to enter their favorite shot of a person or pet having a blast this winter. The top prize is a $100 gift certificate with second and third prize winners receiving $50 gift certificates all good towards SmileBooks photo books.

There are a number of categories in which a favorite photo can be entered including:

  • Snowmen
  • Nature & Landscape
  • Pets
  • Baby/Kids
  • Vacation/Travel
  • Opening Holiday Gifts
  • Friends and Family
All entries are to be sent to Contact (at) smilebooks.com by February 28th, 2009. Winners will be announced on the SmileBooks Website once the contest is over.

About SmileBooks
Smilebooks is an award winning photo book builder that enables individuals to create their own professionally bound photo albums using their favorite digital photos.



Dear PPA Member,

Utter the words "business planning" in a conversation with friends, and you might find blank stares or worse...your friends' eyes glazing over. The topics of business planning and business goals just don't sound exciting. But when you listen to renowned professional photographers, many of them believe they wouldn't have made it to the top of their field without such planning and goals.

If being wildly successful in the business of photography consisted only of producing amazing images, there would be a lot of rich photographers. However, it's the marriage of art and business planning that creates a profitable business. Look at it this way: while business planning may not be exciting, it is necessary.

Luckily, PPA has tools and resources to help you determine what your goals are and how business plans can help you get there. This week's article--an overview of business plans--may help point you in the right direction.

Cheers,

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Membership

Share Your Knowledge, Earn Merits
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 May 8 for inclusion in the October 26, 2009 program. Be a Super Monday Instructor--click here.

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.

Want to attend a Super Monday class?

Sign up for an April course and help your business, technical, and/or artistic skills grow.
drytac_090206.jpgRichmond, VA, - To better help customers manage their cash flow, Drytac introduces a leasing program that allows the customer to NOT pays up to five (5) monthly payments during  a 48 month lease.  The payments are not added to the end of the lease term so the client is only making a total of 43 monthly payments and interest rates are not inflated for this program.

"The thought behind this promotion is that we have many customers interested in our liquid UV coaters, laminators, and other equipment but are hesitant to commit because they are afraid they may have slow months in which they may have difficulty making payments", says Drytac's Spokesperson. "This lease gives them the ability to forecast and skip up to two payments in a row and a total of five." According to the company, the new leasing program also gives the customers time to build up business for any new equipment they purchase from Drytac.

Dear PPA Member

Technology has made the ability to view and sell images much easier. Unfortunately, it also allows the general public to take images without permission (and in some cases, without payment) and display them online.

Our full-time Copyright & Government Affairs staff does an outstanding job advising members on how to handle such cases of online copyright infringement.

While every situation is unique (from senior clients scanning their favorite portrait to show their friends on Facebook to former commercial clients re-using images after their licensing agreement has ended), there are steps that all photographers can take when images are used without permission--and they're here in this week's article, Defending Yourself Online: Protect Your Images. If you're unfamiliar with what a DMCA takedown notice is--and how powerful it can be--this article is a must read!

PPA strives to help protect, educate, and provide you with the tools and resources to stay successful. We focus on giving you what you need, so you can focus on what's important: your business.

Cheers,
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Membership

P.S. If you're interested in a topic we haven't covered in our weekly Vital Signs newsletter (and think that it might interest other PPA members), please send me an e-mail at caprigliano@ppa.com .
TRAVERSE CITY, MI: MorePhotos, an Internet software company since 1998, announced today that it has acquired Pictology, a former competitor, and its technology.

Based in San Diego, California, Pictology was established in 2004, with a client base of 2,600 photographers.

"This acquisition aligns with our dedication to helping our clients solve critical business challenges at a time when the business of photography is constantly changing," said Mike Connors, President and CEO of MorePhotos. "As our clients' needs evolve, we are strengthening our ability to fulfill them."

With the acquisition of Pictology services, we can now provide additional tiers of services.  The simple, easy to use, software for photographers allows the display of their images online, and provides their clients with a way to view and purchase images in a secure and efficient manner.

MorePhotos' software was developed for photographers, to display and offer images  for sale from events they have photographed.

Currently, MorePhotos provides services for clients in 25 countries, and in four languages.

Are you ready for the event where studios open their doors and share their knowledge--on a wide variety of topics--with fellow photographers?

Well, now's your chance to find the perfect class. The Super Monday class brochure is available now online!

These intimate, in-depth Super Monday classes are only $99 if you pre-register by April 6. And remember: while April 20 is the official Super Monday date, several instructors offer their classes a day or two before or after (so you--and they--can attend even more classes).

Print Competition 101 - Demystifying the Process
Cost:  $95 - includes all four Webinars & 100% of your registration fee is applied to your 2009 Print Competition case fee!

Get a head start on PPA's 2009 International Print Competition with this 4-week Webinar series, designed to give you a complete understanding of the benefits and workings of this exciting program-a very different form of education!

  • How Print Competition Helps You
    Wednesday, February 25 | 7:00pm Eastern
  • The Twelve Elements of a Merit-Worthy Image
    Wednesday, March 4 | 7:00pm Eastern
  • PPA's International Print Competition: Process and Workflow
    Wednesday, March 18 | 7:00pm Eastern
  • The Home Stretch: Judging the International Print Competition
    Wednesday, April 1 | 7:00pm Eastern
To register or for more information, visit: www.ppa.com/education-events/webinars/090225-print-comp.php.

PPA instructors share their strategies for success, and you don't want to miss a single one:

New ideas and critical business education are essential in tough economic times and we deliver it to you with PPA Webinars. Sign up now and get your year off to a great start--only for $49 PPA members ($249 non-members).

To register visit www.ppa.com/education-events/webinars.php or call 800-786-6277.



Carol Andrews

February 9, 2009 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Big Marketing Ideas on a Small Budget

with Carol Andrews, M.Photog.Cr., ABI

Today's marketing is all about your clients and community involvement...and how your business benefits from the events and opportunities you create. Nope, it's not about huge advertising budgets. It's about creating low-cost publicity, getting your customers to market for you, and gaining positive profiles in your community.

A PPA member since 1986, Carol Andrews has served many roles in professional photography. For instance, she has been a PPA Studio Management Services (SMS) Consultant since 2005. And in addition to her membership in the Texas Professional Photographers Association (of which she was on the Board) and leadership in different PPA committees, she was the 2006 Chairman of the PPA Business Initiative Committee. Carol is currently serving as a member of PPA's Board of Directors.



Graham Wilson
Kellyann Foe

February 20, 2009 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Making Money Matters!
Graham Wilson and Kellyann Foe

If you're not making enough money, it's probably your own fault!
Remember, efficiency is the key to success...and we can help you with that. Come learn a few simple principles that have pushed our studio to over $1 million in just five years (with only five full-time employees).

"Getting over $1 million for senior sales in a very competitive market, in a struggling economy, and in a remarkably short time is unheard of these days. But Graham and his staff do just that--and they also keep a higher percentage of the sales as net profit. I highly recommend you listen to this entrepreneurial genius as he lets others in on his 'Making Money' secrets in Senior Photography."
~ Scott Kurkian, PPA's Chief Financial Officer



Todd and Jamie Reichman

February 23, 2009 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Stop Competing on Price

with Todd and Jamie Reichman

There are much better ways to beat out your competition.
Investing in your clients and managing their expectations can result in higher sales, more profit, and increased referrals. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Listen and learn the steps to transcend market rates and create a wedding photography business where value matters more than price.

In the span of 3 years, Jamie and Todd Reichman went from part-time, generalist photography novices to successful wedding photography specialists.  They now operate a boutique wedding photography studio in Dunlap, Illinois.  In 2008 they were named a Studio Success Story by PPA's Studio Management Services after reaching top-performing studio benchmark numbers in their second year in business.



Mike and Rebecca Zoumberos

March 2, 2009 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Zero to Hero

with Mike & Rebecca Zoumberos

Push your business up and up.
Learn to grow your business from something small, unknown, and/or unprofitable into a thriving, successful, profitable business within two years. While a great program for new businesses, this Webinar can also be applied no matter how long you have been in business. After all, we all want to take our businesses to the next level!

Before creating Limelight Photography, Rebecca earned a B.S. in advertising and an M.F.A. in graphic design. In her first year of business, Rebecca took Limelight Photography to six figures. After the first year, Mike realized that Rebecca's business was well on the way to success, and he left his career to join the Limelight team. Through creative marketing, design skills, and relationships with clients and other wedding professionals, they have created a highly profitable studio in under three years.



About this Archive

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

January 2009 is the previous archive.

March 2009 is the next archive.

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