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PPA Today: July 2009 Archives

July 2009 Archives

winning_tweet.jpgCongratulations to Ben Enos (http://twitter.com/enosjben)! He is the first person to successfully tweet the hidden message, and he is the winner of one of our copies of Photoshop CS4 Extended.

Don't forget, we still have another copy to give away. For your chance to win

Thanks again to Adobe for sponsoring this and providing the copies of Photoshop. We are finalizing details on their two-day educational track at Imaging USA. Look for complete details in the coming weeks here and on www.ImagingUSA.org.

We will announce the second place winner next week. Tweet away and have a great weekend. Good Luck Everyone!

Dear {first},

When I think of word-of-mouth marketing, the first thing that comes to mind is the old Breck shampoo commercial: "And she told two friends, and she told two friends, and so on, and so on..."

Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful. When you share your positive thoughts about a product or service with friends, family, and even complete strangers, you're helping to market that commodity. Having clients spread the word about your studio through word-of-mouth marketing is the least-expensive and, often, the most-effective way to increase your business. While it takes some work on your part, it's worth the effort in the long run!

We've touched on what happens when negative things are said about your studio or your work in previous Vital Signs; but this week, we're putting a positive spin on it all and giving you some ideas on how to create the type of client who wants to sing your praises to everyone within earshot. We've even enlisted the help of some of our own PPA members to inspire you.

Cheers,

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Colorado Photographer Sandy Puc´ of Portrait Designs by Sandy Puc´ is taking her Bellies & Babies Seminar Tour north of the border. The Bellies & Babies Seminar Tour--Canada is a comprehensive program that covers all aspects of creating a successful pregnancy and baby's first year portrait series. The program presents information on marketing, customer service, posing and product templates. The Canadian tour debuts August 28th in Vancouver.

Other Canadian cities where the Bellies & Babies Seminar Tour will visit are:

  • Calgary, AB, August 30
  • Edmonton, AB, August 31
  • Toronto, ON, September 2

In 2008, Puc´ traveled to over 50 US cities with the US Bellies & Babies Seminar Tour, teaching photographers how to conduct and market a fail-safe program to increase their business and their bottom line. Each stop of the tour sold out, with over 350 in attendance at each show.

The Bellies & Babies Seminar Tour is the first of its kind to train photographers on the finer points of pregnancy and baby portraits. The Bellies & Babies program demonstrates the five perfect baby poses and provide ready-made marketing materials to give photographers the tools they need to become baby-portrait experts.

This information is more valuable than ever in this changing market. Wedding photography is down, and seniors are taking their own images. What better way for a photographer to broaden their client base than to tap the very fertile market of pregnancy and baby portraits? Pregnant woman and newborns are a huge part of the market share, yet most photographers are afraid to approach the subject.

Sandy serves on the Board of Directors of the PPA and has the prestigious title of Print Master from Canon USA. On average, She photographs around 900 sessions per year. Of these sessions, over 65% of her work are children under the age of five. Sandy loves working with children. She believes that anyone who is inspired to learn this market can be successful.

For more information, and for venue locations, visit the tour site on the web at www.bellies-babies.com

Want to win a copy of Adobe® Photoshop® CS4? That's the treasure to be found in this special, online scavenger hunt!

This is where you will find the contest textEach day of the contest (July 29-31), we will hide this icon graphic on one of our websites:   
www.ppa.com, www.ppmag.com or www.imagingusa.org.

 

Here's what you have to do to win:

  1. Visit www.ppa.com, www.ppmag.com and www.imagingusa.org to look for the icon graphic.
  2. When you find it, mouse over it to read the image title. Write it down.
  3. After finding all three icons, combine the three message snippets and Tweet it!
ps_cs4_ext_bxshot_3in.jpg

Winners:

  1. The first person who tweets the full message wins one copy of Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended.
  2. Didn't get the message first? That's ok--you could still win! After the original message has been tweeted, retweet it yourself to be entered into a drawing for a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended.
  3. If you don't tweet, don't worry. Go to this form and submit your entry there for your chance to win.

Look for clues:
Need some help finding the icon? Follow @ImagingUSA on Twitter. We'll post clues each day (July 29-31) to help you locate them.

Oh, and one last thing...the icon on this page does not count as one of the three to find.

Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on July 31, 2009.

Adobe Photoshop CS4 software generously donated by Adobe.

About Adobe® Photoshop® CS4 Extended
Create powerful images with the professional standard. Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended software provides improved access to its unrivaled power through a more intuitive user experience, greater editing freedom, and significant productivity enhancements. Learn more at www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/photoshop/prophotographer. Try it for 30 days free at www.adobe.com/downloads.

Image ©Curtis Joe Walker
Image ©Curtis Joe Walker

Visit www.ppmag.com, the website of Professional Photographer, to get Web Exclusive news and product reviews. Check out this fresh trio of product review:

Read more Web Exclusive stories at www.ppmag.com.

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The Bellies & Babies program covers all aspects of creating a successful pregnancy and baby's first year portrait series. Topics include marketing, customer service, posing and product templates. This five hour program is only $79. PPA members save an additional $20--click here for your discount code. (One dollar of each registration will go to support the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation.) For program schedule and registration visit Bellies-Babies.com.

iusa_home_240.jpgAnd now, the website you've all been waiting for...the new www.ImagingUSA.org!

It's the perfect tool for planning your Imaging USA convention and expo experience. Dive on in and surf around...you'll see why you can't miss the education, networking, and photographic fun of Imaging USA 2010 in Nashville!

Dear PPA Member,

Let me start out by admitting that I hate numbers. They are my personal brand of kryptonite. I bet that most of you photographers agree with me--at least in part! But despite how I feel about them, I know that numbers are essential to survival.

Look at it this way: a random person on the street may not know the numbers that constitute healthy blood pressure, but someone with high blood pressure definitely knows the numbers needed. Amateur photographers may not know or care about the finances associated with their hobby, but professional photographers had better know what's coming in and going out...if they want to make business thrive. In a sense, you don't want your company to have high blood pressure, so you need to know what financial numbers form a healthy photography business.

The necessity of that finance knowledge is the purpose of this week's Vital Signs, the kickoff of a four-part series from PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS) department. The next three articles will be coming the fourth week of each month, so keep watch! We'll help you get a better understanding of your own numbers and how to make them even healthier.

Cheers,

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

iusa_fanpage.jpg

We are launching a new Imaging USA Fan Page, and the old Imaging USA Facebook group will be closing soon.

Make sure you don't miss out on any of the excitement! Go to http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Imaging-USA/82819519050 and become a fan now!

UPDATE: July 31, 2009
We now have all the print handlers we need for International Print Exhibit at Imaging USA in Nashville. Thank you to everyone who volunteered--you stepped up in record time this year!


We are looking for a few good people to help with the International Print Exhibit at Imaging USA in Nashville, Tennessee--and there are some goodies for those who volunteer. Help is needed to put up, take down, pack and ship the thousands of images that will be on display. Can you help put up and/or tear down the show?

©David Harvey

The Job and Time Commitment:

  • Arrive ready to work at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center at 12:00 noon on Saturday, January 9, 2010 to set-up and hang the print show.
  • Take-down and pack the print show for shipment late afternoon & evening on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.
  • NOTE:  You can volunteer for either Saturday, Tuesday or both.

You will receive:

  • Reimbursement of your Imaging USA registration if you work both the set-up and tear-down.
  • Service Merits: one for set up and one for take down.
  • Commemorative Volunteer Shirt

Click here to complete the volunteer application form.

Questions can be addressed to Jim at 866-591-9190, or jdingwell@ppa.com

A friend forwarded me a link to this New York Times article today: "Mom-and-Pop Operators Turn to Social Media." It is a look at how small businesses are using Twitter to create digital word-of-mouth marketing. If you are new to Twitter or not using it yet, the article may give you some good ideas on how to begin.

Even more exciting than the article (at least for me) was its link to a blog called "Small Biz Survival, the rural and small town business resource." It has a wealth of resources and ideas for small business owners in--you guessed it--small towns and rural areas. In addition to the well-written articles, Small Biz Survival offers a newsletter, podcasts, a free downloadable booklet: 20 Small Business Ideas for Small Towns, and a community of readers who share their ideas on the articles--the comments following the articles can be as useful as the article itself. Take a guided tour of the site to see all they have to offer.

Dear PPA Member,

How did you learn to tie your shoes?

If you're like most of us, someone "shared their knowledge," explaining the need to create a tight knot to keep your sneakers from flying off when you run down the street. And if you were like me, then that person conducted more than one intensive "hands-on" training session. You'll be happy to know that I can tie my shoes now and have passed this knowledge on to the next generation...but I couldn't have done it without learning from someone else.

That example--simple though it may be--is the essence of what speakers do. Speakers have knowledge about a particular topic that they believe is important enough to share with those who are willing to learn. Do you have something to share? Speaking can open up new doors for you, from increasing your reputation with clients to potential honorariums for presentations.

I don't know a single photographer who began his or her speaking career in front of a thousand people at an international venue...but I know a lot of them who are well on their way, and they're sharing how they did it with you this week.

Cheers,

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Independent Leasing Associates--a PPA affinity partner--is pleased to announce the immediate merger with Lanier Funding, LLC, to form United Funding, LLC. The merger will allow greater efficiency and synergy for their clients, vendors, lenders, and associations.

This merger represents the pooling of the expertise of two established and well-respected equipment leasing and finance firms. Working separately over the years, both firms helped develop a state-of-the-art online system (called e-Vendor) to automate the financing process and help vendors close more transactions more quickly, thereby increasing their sales and profitability.

"We have been talking with Lanier for a long time, and we are excited that the merger is finally coming to fruition," stated Bob Bell, Independent's owner. "With all the turmoil in the financial marketplace, we are happy to say our sources of funds are still in business and we have money to lend."

Those businesses who are looking for financing can apply through the online website.

PPA members click here for more details.

_________________________

About the Companies:
Independent Leasing Associates has been servicing the small ticket equipment marketplace with emphasis on computers, printers, imaging equipment and inventory control systems since 1993. Lanier Funding, LLC, formed in 2003, specializes in financing equipment for the waste management market place. Both firms offer competitive financing to small- and medium-sized businesses without the typical red tape associated with bank lending. The lending "sweet spot" for both firms is between $5,000 and $250,000 with some transactions approaching the million-dollar mark. The new firm, United Funding, LLC, will have main offices in Georgia and Tennessee with satellite offices in various other states.

Bounce BackSign up in July and SAVE $75 on BounceBack!

BounceBack, PPA's affinity partner for check recovery services, electronically recovers NSF checks and pays 100 percent of the collected check. BounceBack reduces bank fees and eliminates the hassles of collections using a courteous, yet effective process.

PPA members who sign up by July 31, 2009, will receive an exclusive $75 savings off the one-time activation fee. Grow your business today--let the PPA-approved professionals recover the money that was owed to you yesterday!

Adobe OfferSpecial Adobe Discount for PPA Members

From June 1 until August 31, PPA members are entitled to a 15 percent discount on the Adobe Creative Suite 4® (CS4) full-version product (from the Adobe online store) or $100 off individual upgrades to CS4, and $100 off each CS4 licensing product! This is a time-limited offer, so be sure to act now.

Visit the Extreme Details page in the Benefits section of PPA.com for complete details on both of these offers.

DriveSavers® Data Recovery--the worldwide leader in data recovery services--has assembled the following list of tips to help prevent data loss and handle flash memory cards properly.

  • The first rule of thumb for protecting your digital photos (or any important data) is to back it up! That may seem obvious, but here at DriveSavers, we see hundreds of drives, flash memory cards and other storage media every month that have failed mechanically or been physically damaged.
  • Always transfer photos from your camera's memory card to your computer's hard drive as soon as you can. Note that some image management programs installed on your computer allow you to delete photos from the memory card as soon as transfer is complete. We do not recommend deleting images or reformatting memory cards, until all files on the computer's hard drive are opened and tested.
  • Backup your new photos immediately! This will guard against data loss when your hard drive crashes unexpectedly. Backup your data using CDs, DVDs, an external hard drive or online backup service.
  • It's best to make more than one copy of your backup media and keep a duplicate offsite in a secure location, perhaps in a fire safe or bank safety deposit box.
  • When traveling, always carry a spare external hard drive, blank CDs, DVDs, or other media to use for backup. Most importantly, when you return home from your trip, don't forget to back up your laptop. You can't back up too often!
  • It is a good idea to replace your flash memory cards occasionally. In most cases, typical flash memory cards can endure about 10,000 to 1,000,000 erase cycles.
  • Never carry unprotected flash memory cards in your pocket! Simple static buildup in your clothing can zap the card and make it unreadable. There are other dangers as well such as breaking a card in your pants pocket as you sit down, or putting the card along with your clothing through the wash--literally.

Digital photography offers a fast and convenient way for photographers to accomplish their work. However, with convenience comes the extra task of managing camera cards and unlimited numbers of digital images. Add to the list, the very real possibility of a hard drive crash or physically damaged camera card and data recovery becomes a priority. Learn more about how DriveSavers can help.

How to Protect and Register Your Images- Wednesday, July 22 (7pm EST)
Once it's created, it's copyrighted...right? Don't panic: next week's webinar has the answers for you. Learn how to go beyond owning the rights and get them federally registered (and other tips for protecting your images). We'll even have Sandra Ware, Copyright Specialist with the U.S. Copyright Office, available to answer your questions about photographic registration! Register for the FREE, members-only webinar now.

Also Coming Soon:

August 19, 2009
Protect Your Copyright through Licensing Agreements

September 9, 2009
Certification Process from Start to Finish

To be more proactive in stopping scammers from reaching Professional Photographers of America (PPA) members, PPA has created a moderation queue for the Find-a-Photographer database. With Find-a-Photographer, consumers have the opportunity to "E-mail this photographer." The new moderation queue will help us eliminate e-mails that come from people misusing this privilege.

All attempts to contact members through the online Find-a-Photographer will now come first to PPA staff moderators, who will then approve or reject the message if it appears to be a scam. This will be done on a daily basis. Thanks to this new feature, most of the fraudulent opportunities and scams coming through PPA.com should be eliminated.

Please note: this won't stop individuals from searching for a photographer's website and contacting that photographer directly.

Dear PPA Member,

As much as we'd like to think that we're unique individuals, we fit into certain demographic categories. As photographers, you probably know that such categories help you (and other businesses) tailor offerings so they appeal to a certain group of "unique individuals." That group is your target market--they usually shop at the same places, eat at the same restaurants, and use the same types of services.

However, it's not enough just to know your target market. If you're looking to reach out to a particular group of clients, you need to think like them, and give them an opportunity to meet you. But how can you create marketing programs that present you with that meeting opportunity?

This week's Vital Signs examines how creating a gift certificate program with business partners can increase your client list exponentially and help you reach your target market in a new way. After all, I don't know anyone who doesn't like to be given a gift!

Cheers,

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

After  run-off elections in California, Michigan and Pennsylvania, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) welcomes more leaders into the new council for 2009 - 2012. As a non-profit, member-driven association, PPA's membership ultimately governs the association through such representatives in the PPA Council.

The new additions to PPA Council from these state run-off elections are as follows:

California
Dan Jones - Davis, Calif.
 
Michigan
Tina M. Timmons, M.Photog.Cr. - Vassar, Mich.
 
Pennsylvania
Mary Jane Smith - Huntingdon, Pa.

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

Dear PPA Member,

A few months ago, I listened to a conversation between my father and one of our graphic designers here at PPA. Dad used his GI Bill after the Korean War to study graphic design; and in over fifty years, he has developed an opinion on what constitutes "clean design" and what just doesn't appeal to an audience. (He's developed a lot of other opinions, but that's for another Vital Signs...)

Despite the half-century gap in formal education between Dad and Mark, the PPA designer, it was interesting to note that their views were the same on how to create compelling pieces that inspire people. Colors, readability, spacing...all of this and more play an important visual role in a marketing campaign's success.

As a photographer, I'm sure you can relate to what makes a "quality image" versus what doesn't appeal to your target market. Similar attention needs to be given to selecting the elements of graphic design that will influence your ability to effectively reach clients. This week's Vital Signs gives you some ideas about such design and the important role it plays in your business...and what you can do right now to step up your own game.

Cheers,

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience



About this Archive

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

June 2009 is the previous archive.

August 2009 is the next archive.

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