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PPA Today: June 2009 Archives

June 2009 Archives

Florida Department of Revenue Sales and Use Tax Alert

Recently, the Florida Department of Revenue sent out letters to photographers in the state, requesting information about out-of-state or online purchases of tangible personal property for the last 36 months. Photographers have 30 days from the date of the letter to respond, and PPA is here to help you. (If you have questions, please call Bridget Jackson, PPA Studio Management Services Manager, at 800-339-5451, ext. 277.)

Please remember that some type of response is required--this applies to all photographers.

Here's some information to help clarify:

  • If sales tax was not paid on the item when purchased, the tax burden rests on the photographer via use tax (for the last 36 months of purchases).
  • If sales tax was paid at the time of the purchase or if use tax was subsequently paid, you are still required to provide proof (for the last 36 months of purchases).

Please keep in mind the following:

  • "Sitting fees charged by photographers are taxable as part of the sales price when the transaction is in conjunction with a sale of tangible personal property," according to Florida law; therefore, sales tax should be collected and remitted on the sitting fee as well as the products.
  • Wedding photographers should be collecting sales tax if a product is purchased in conjunction with the coverage charge (and the Florida Department of Revenue considers a DVD of images a product).
  • If a wedding payment is for coverage only and an album or other product is subsequently produced, the photographer is not required to collect sales tax on the amount charged for coverage only.

For details on relevant Florida law, visit http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/. The specific Florida Department of Revenue Administrative Code relating to photographers is 12A-1.041.

Remember, PPA is here to help. If you have any questions about this notice or about sales and use tax in Florida, please call Bridget Jackson, PPA Studio Management Services Manager, at 800-339-5451, ext. 277.

Action News Cover ContestLand a cover with your best sport or event image! Action News, the official publication of the Society of Sport and Event Photographers (SEP), is now accepting submissions for its 2009 Cover Contest. The first place winner locks in a FREE one-year membership to SEP, along with a feature article in Action News and the winning image on the cover. Submissions must be received by Tuesday, September 8, 2009. For details visit www.SEPsociety.com.
Congratulations to everyone who entered this year's International Print Competition. The final list of accepted prints is online now. 527 images/albums were accepted into PPA's Loan Collection and an additional 1,696 were accepted into the General Collection.

All accepted prints will be on display at Imaging USA (www.ImagingUSA.org), January 10-12, 2010 in Nashville. In addition, all Loan Collection images, and a selection of General Collection images will be published in the Annual Loan and Showcase books later this year.

Blogging has quickly become a key component in marketing your photography business. Whether you create a blog from a free template or invest in a customized version to match your branding, there are essential rules you need to follow for successful blogging. Learn more about this Webinar and your presenters here.

with Anthony Ronga and Michael Sablone
June 29 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm
$19 members / $249 non-members
To register, click here or call 800-786-6277

Over the past week, PPA members in multiple states have received requests for photography services via Find-a-Photographer, which we believe to be scams. At present, we have blocked those e-mail addresses.

While PPA makes every effort to block spammers from the referral service, no system is completely foolproof. Remember to please be diligent in vetting all e-mail requests, use precaution, and follow best practices when responding. For instance, don't share personal information and be very cautious about unusual payment arrangements, such as cash forwarding schemes utilizing cashier's checks or money orders. 

If you have received a request for services via the Find-a-Photographer referral prompt that you believe to be suspicious, please ignore the request and notify PPA's Member Value & Experience team as soon as possible. With your information, we can investigate the e-mail address and notify other members if appropriate.

The FTC provides good information about protecting yourself from the top ten online scams. PPA also distributed the article, "If a Project Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Just Might Be"  earlier this year. In addition, you can join the conversation about the latest scams on the OurPPA Forums, helping you stay informed and share information with other members.

If you have any questions, please contact csc@ppa.com (or call 800-786-6277).

Dear PPA Member,

I love to learn from others. (No, I'm not talking about "borrowing" answers for the last few math assignments during school!) Hearing firsthand accounts of how someone made it big, overcame a mountain in their lives, or experienced a great business success...it's inspiring. Afterwards, I'm all fired up, ready to try something new.

One thing I've learned here at PPA is that many photographers are willing to help others learn from their own successes. It's invaluable, especially now. This shared knowledge can only grow, as each person will use such advice and tips differently, spawning new examples and ideas themselves.

Vital Signs is following this trend today. We've gathered six marketing and business examples from articles about photographers' winning entries in the AN-NE Marketing Awards. Hopefully, you'll come across something that will click and help push your own idea into success.

Cheers,

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

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Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is thrilled to announce that it has partnered with EYE to run exclusive pro-bono advertisements in eight malls across the country promoting PPA and the use of professional photography. The ads will be running in the following malls during the month of July reaching nearly 8.2 million people at a media value of over $57,000 at no cost to PPA!

  • Arrowhead Towne Center (AZ)
  • Chandler Fashion Center (AZ)
  • FlatIron Crossing (CO)
  • Freehold Raceway Mall (NJ)
  • Oaks, The (CA)
  • Queens Center (NY)
  • Scottsdale Fashion Square (AZ)
  • Westside Pavillion (LA)

These ads will show mall shoppers the benefits of professional photography and will drive them to the Find-a-Photographer feature on the PPA website (www.ppa.com).

PPA members can also take advantage of mall display advertising with EYE (with preferred rates featuring discounts of up to 20% off the standard 4 weeks of advertising), and  they will also have experts coordinating all aspects of finding space, getting approvals, and creating advertising graphics. For details, log in to www.ppa.com.

Adobe OfferFrom June 1 until August 31, PPA members are entitled to a 15% discount on CS4 full-version product from the Adobe online store or $100 off individual upgrades to CS4 as well as $100 off each CS4 licensing product!  This is a time-limited offer, so be sure to act now.  PPA members can log in to the Extreme Deals page on www.ppa.com for more information.

Dear PPA Member,

I have a confession to make: I'm addicted to a fast food restaurant here in Atlanta (that happens to have a location an elevator ride away from the office). Did you notice that I said I'm addicted to the restaurant, not the food? While the meals are tasty, there's more to it. It's the overall experience that keeps me coming back.

The products are delicious. But on top of that, the restaurant's staff is always helpful, friendly, and personal. They remember that I like less ice in my soda and extra napkins. They "know who they are" and they're good at what they do. Sounds simple, but I recognize that it's tough to be consistent--and they are consistently good. I'm a repeat customer, and they know they have my business.

If you want your customers to come back for more, then make sure you give them a reason the first time--and never let them forget. This week's Vital Signs will hopefully spark some ideas for you and your studio.

Cheers!

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Congratulations to all who entered! You may download the 2009 List of Accepted Prints here. This list of accepted prints is being verified. There may be additions/deletions before the final list is published. That list will replace this document when it has been finalized.

PPA is evaluating past marketing programs for members (such as the Sweepstakes Marketing Co-op), and we'd like your input. Please take part in this brief 2-minute survey, so we can better serve you. Click here to begin. The survey will remain open through June 22.
PPA's International Print Competition was held this week (June 14-17) in metro Atlanta, and PPA staff took the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the competition process. While there, staff observed the judging process for both Merit and Loan images, got a peek at the new critique recording process and even watched the "Charge to Jurors" video that is played for all jurors at the start of the judging.

With over 4,000 entries to judge, the jurors stayed very busy during our visit, but we did get a chance to chat with them during their breaks. We were all impressed by the high quality of images being judged and the intensity of the jurors as they evaluated each image.

Congratulations to everyone who "merited" or "went loan" this year! The judging will wrap up today, but the final list of accepted prints will not be available until all of the data is input and verified. Watch for a post here, or check the Competitions section of PPA.com in early July.

Here are a few shots from our trip:

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PPA staff members observe the judging.

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Jury panel examines an entry.

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Past PPA President Ann Monteith records a print critique.



Professional Photographers of America (PPA) proudly ushers in the new council for 2009 - 2012. As a non-profit, member-driven association, PPA's membership ultimately governs the association through its representatives in the PPA Council.

Councilors are professional photographers who volunteer their time and service to guide and act as the voice for their state's PPA members. Duties include discussing and voting on changes to the Bylaws and Adopted Procedures and the leadership of the association (via the election of the board of directors and the Nominating Committee). They also play a crucial role in sharing the PPA message to existing, new and prospective PPA members.

Currently, three positions remain open due to ties for the final Councilor position in three states: California, Michigan and Pennsylvania. These states' eligible PPA members will receive a paper ballot for the run-off election. PPA will be notifying these states and their members of the timeframe for the paper ballots and the run-off election's outcome.

To see the full list of PPA Councilors, please view the online Councilor Directory. PPA welcomes our new Councilors, and we thank them for their service!

Carol AndrewsWe can help you find success as an artist and businessperson—
the true photographic rockstar!

READY TO ROCK?
WE ARE—and we’ve got the Imaging USA registration and
hotel information ready to roll, too!

REMEMBER: Imaging USA is January 10-12, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee, but plan to join us a little earlier to take advantage of the all-star lineup of pre-convention classes! These in-depth classes are being added all the time, but here's a taste of the great education that awaits you early birds:


  • JANUARY 7-8
    Photographic Essentials When Turning Pro
    Steve Kozak

  • JANUARY 7-8
    The Business of Photography:
    A 2-Day Business Basics
    Workshop developed by PPA’s Studio Management Services
    Ann Monteith
    Carol Andrews

  • JANUARY 7-9
    Certification Prep Class
    Gary Meek
  • JANUARY 8-9
    Senior Success: Success through
    Marketing, Photography, and Sales

    (3-part series)
    Colleen Gonsar & Darty Hines

  • JANUARY 9
    Tots 2 Teens
    Sandy Puc’

  • JANUARY 9
    Speed Shooting with the Pros
    (featuring bridal, children, family,
    individual, senior, & baby photography)
    Bry Cox, Dennis Craft, Jamie Hayes, Andrew Jenkins, Jackie Palmer, Don Chick, and Lori Nordstrom. Moderated by Louis Tonsmeire.
Ready to rock?Gaylord Opryland HotelGroup at Imaging USA

book your hotel rooms now!
We’ve saved spots for you in the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center—the same place where you’ll find all the classes and the EXPO. It’s all under one roof and is a one-day drive for two-thirds of the nation's population. Remember, to get our special rates, you must reserve online at www.ImagingUSA.org.

We’ll see you in Nashville, where we’ll help you find success as both an artist and a business person—a true photographic rockstar!

Your Imaging USA Team

Need help behind the computer, in the salesroom, or building your blog? The last 3 PPA  webinars in June can help.

Need to be more time-efficient while creating images that make the client say "WOW"? Tony Corbell has you covered. Want to raise your sales totals? Learn how Tim & Beverly Walden have done just that. And do you want to make your photography blog work harder to help build your business? The creators of www.intothedarkroom.com (Anthony Ronga and Michael Sablone) will offer their advice...for only $19!

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Rule #1 of the 5 Rules for Successful Photo-Blogging (from Anthony Ronga):

Content is King
"If you build it they will come." Living that statement is a leap of faith at its best, and a fallacy at its worst. Sure, design is important, SEO really helps, and choosing a blogging platform is not to be taken lightly. However, content is king, and it will remain so. And that remains true for photographers' blogs!

Tune in to our upcoming webinar (5 Rules for Successful Photo-Blogging, June 29) as we discuss how to maximize your blog's potential by doing it the right way. We'll discuss pitfalls and techniques, and look at some real-world examples and how they work.

Step out of the hot summer sun, some cool education is waiting for you.

To register, visit www.ppa.com, or call 800-786-6277.

Dear PPA Member,

We all have routines. In a lot of situations, having them is a good thing. Routines are comfortable, often require a minimum of brain activity, and allow us to navigate through our day.

Unfortunately, routines sometimes keep us from finding new things. If your routine involves ordering the same meal at a restaurant because you know it's delicious and you don't even look at the menu...well, you may never know that the menu has been expanded with new items, including your new favorite dish!

Here at PPA, we're constantly adding to our menu of benefits and resources to help you in your business. Some of these new items can be easily incorporated into your existing routine...and others may have you examining new avenues in the industry.

I always like to read the menu at the restaurants I frequent because I never know what I'll find. To help you do the same, we've made it easier to read the PPA menu with this Vital Signs. You'll find a list of new benefits that you and other PPA members can use, all added since January! (And we're not done--more benefits are coming.)

Cheers!

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Membership

P.S. Tony Corbell's webinar (Enhancing Images While Saving Time) is filling up quickly. If you're a portrait photographer, you won't want to miss this opportunity to see how Tony works--he'll even answer your questions during the webinar. Sign up now!

P.P.S If you haven't already, could you please take a moment (or two) to complete our two-minute survey?

If your client skips out of the studio to make some copies of a photograph on the cheap, they are not alone in the infringement. Someone okayed the reproduction order, probably without thinking twice.

So how can you help keep photo retailers educated and vigilant? PPA has a program to help with this tutelage: the Retail Compliance Network (RECON) program. But we need your help! Learn how you can get involved in RECON for the good of your business (and the industry)

PPA is evaluating past marketing programs for members (such as the Sweepstakes Marketing Co-op), and we'd like your input. Please take part in this brief 2-minute survey, so we can better serve you. Click here to begin. The survey will remain open through June 22.

There's only about 2 weeks left to enter the AN-NE Marketing Awards. So why should you? As Melissa Miroslavich (winner of last year's Best Website) says, "The AN-NEs are a great learning experience. It makes me self-check, to really focus on if I was able to meet my objectives."

Plus, when you have an additional goal to shoot for (like enticing customers AND winning a competition), you often end up with a stronger drive to succeed. You start looking even more critically at your marketing pieces, trying to see them from another's view. Perhaps you even check out some of the images and articles about previous AN-NE winners (look at the Results and Past Winners pages). That can only help improve your marketing in the future, just like print competitions can push you to improve your photography.

The prizes don't hurt, either: Critiques, a free year of PPA membership, free Imaging USA passes, and more--including up to 2 service merits (1 merit for finalists)!

There are a lot of amazing ideas that don't get submitted. Don't be one of them! Download the rules now and prepare your entry for shipping (must be postmarked by June 26, 2009>

Good luck!

PPA members can save $50 when attending Canon Live Learning Workshops. Whether you are a novice or advance EOS user, these workshops will have something for you.

EOS Essentials

Multi-dimensional Saturday mini-conferences and intimate Sunday workshops led by professional photographers including Canon's exclusive Explorers of Light designed to educate and inspire.

EOS Extras
Take part in a weekend of instruction on location with a Canon Explorer of Light You'll get extensive hands-on experience and come away with an increased knowledge and understanding of your Canon EOS equipment.

PPA Members save $50—Get your PPA discount code here.

Visit www.usa.canon.com/canonlivelearning for complete details.

Adobe has a rich collection of video tutorials on Adobe TV and a channel dedicated to Digital Imaging. www.tv.adobe.com. Here are some that aren't to be missed:

  • Everyday Timesavers Series: Photography with Julieanne Kost
    Six videos exploring how different functionality in Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom 2 save time and make your workflow more efficient.
  • The Complete Picture with Julianne Kost  
    This series of 12 videos does an in-depth exploration of Photoshop CS3, Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom 2 features.

Apple"Apple" is a familiar name to most photographers. In fact, you may use at least one of their products every day! Well, we have some news that will make your day: Your PPA benefits now include exclusive savings from Apple.

PPA is one of a few select organizations to offer Apple's Association Member Purchase Program. Members now receive:

  • Special member pricing on Apple and third-party products (up to 17% off)
  • Exclusive promotions
  • Complimentary shipping on all orders over $50
  • Free engraving on all new iPod models
  • Mac customization
  • Flexible business financing options

"This special program is only offered to a select few organizations chosen by Apple," adds Christel Aprigliano, PPA's director of membership. "Earning this privilege for our members is a great honor, not to mention a great benefit for anyone, especially photographers!"

Click here for more details.

Dear PPA Member,

As much as we talk about the economy and how tough things are, there is an "elephant in the room" that we all need to address. "What can I personally do about how tough things are for me?"

Most business owners have this elephant, so you're not alone. Unless you have a magic wand to wave over the housing market and unemployment situation (and if you do, hand it over!), each of us has a choice on how to deal with this elephant (by the way, mine is pretty big, and it wears a bowtie). We can ignore it; we can do the same things over and over again expecting a different result; or...we can try something new.

It's easy to blame things we can't control--world banking or political influences or a new photographer who set up business in town--on why we're not making money. But what we can do about it is take action for the things we can control--how clients perceive us, how we price our services, and our ability to risk a little for a large return. This week's Vital Signs is meant to give you some ideas on how to get your elephant moving ahead of the current economy...and out of your room.

Cheers!

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Membership

P.S. I have to admit that I adore Tony Corbell. (He even has a Facebook fan page, so I know I'm not alone.) He's talented, successful, and loves to share his expertise with other photographers. Ever met him? (Psst...He'll be speaking at Imaging USA 2010) Well, here's your chance to learn why Tony's photographed three U.S. Presidents, and it's free to PPA members!

Tony will share his time-saving digital workflow tips, featuring dynamic image editing tools from Nik Software, in the upcoming FREE PPA member-only Webinar "Enhancing Images While Saving Time." It's on June 17th at 3 pm EST, so sign up today.

P.P.S Check out the new Apple benefit.

Councilors play an essential and integral role in Professional Photographers of America (PPA), representing PPA at state meetings and conventions, encouraging participation and membership in PPA, and acting as the liaison between their state members and PPA.

You have until June 15, 2009 to vote; however, we encourage you to vote as soon as possible. Voting members can cast their ballots online here.

Read the complete story here.

Eric J. Anundi

Enhancing Images While Saving Time
June 17, 2009 - 3:00pm EST
with Tony Corbell, Cr.Photog.

Yes, you want to enhance your images to bring out their best qualities even more...but image editing often siphons away valuable time. Tony Corbell, internationally known for lighting seminars and workshops, is here to help make your work life better. Watch and learn as he shares his time-saving digital workflow tips, featuring dynamic image editing tools from Nik Software. Follow Tony as he showcases retouching, creative styling, corrective techniques, and more. Rapid-paced and in-depth, this Webinar proves how you can use popular products to optimize image quality AND save your most valuable commodity: time. PPA members can register for free by clicking here.

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Approaching a studio redesign can be a daunting task, but for Gayletta Tompkins, it was definitely time for a change.

After 10 years in business, Galetta Tompkins, CPP of Nederland, Texas had outgrown her studio space and was in need of a redesign. With the help of fellow PPA member Jerry Bryan, M.Photo.Cr. of Carlsbad, California, she took on a complete redesign her studio. Stephanie Boozer spoke with both Jerry and Gayletta about the process and here is some of what they had to say:

A Few of Jerry Bryan's Key Points to Consider When Approaching a Remodel:

  • Determine if you can afford to purchase your own building or space. About 8 out of 10 of his clients wind up purchasing a building to capitalize on the equity potential. If you can't afford to purchase, shop around for a long-term lease that is more cost effective. Because of the economic downturn, many photographers are opting to do the best with what they have, and Bryan can help optimize home-based studios as easily as larger spaces.

  • Establish a firm budget and stick to it. "When photographers call me, I send them a care package and find out what their financial situation is, and whether they are able to even make a move. They've got to be able to qualify for relocation."

  • Pay the money for professional design services. "Many photographers have outgrown their space, but they aren't sure what steps they need to take. This is where a professional can step in and at least set the course."

  • Establish a firm start and end date. "We do turnkey operations, so there is a beginning and end to every job I work on. Photographers tend to procrastinate. If they don't have a deadline, they'll never get finished. That's where I come in to manage the project."

What Gayletta Tompkins Learned:

  • How handy are you? Tompkins' husband was able to do a lot of the demolition and some of the framing, which she estimates saved her about $50,000.

  • You know what they say about first impressions. Gayletta's Photography didn't have the elegant, professional feel that Tompkins felt really represented her work. She removed the awning, beefed up the exterior with brick, splurged on elegant entry doors, and swapped out her maquee-sign with an updated electronic sign. She also changed her logo from simply Gayletta's to Gayletta's Photographic Studio & Gallery.

  • Less is usually more. Tompkins' walls were so full of dimly-lit portraits that clients couldn't get a good idea of how a large print would look hanging in their own homes. She greatly reduced the number of hung portraits (which also highlights frame samples) and focused spot lighting on each portrait for drama.

  • A little privacy please. Tompkins' sales areas were originally separated by lattice walls that provided virtually no screening or noise reduction. These were replaced with more permanent walls for more private consultation areas and screenings.

  • Show big to sell big. Tompkins' sales associates were presenting images on 19-inch monitors. To really wow her clients, she created projection areas for a much larger viewing, generating a much higher response.

Read Stephanie's complete article online here.

Hear more about studio redesign with Gayletta on Monday, June 8 in her webinar
WOW Your Clients with a Studio Makeover.

Image ©Gayletta Tompkins (www.gayletta.com).



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

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