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PPA Today: April 2010 Archives

April 2010 Archives

Dear PPA Member,

I'm seven. My brother is three. We're in the car, buckled in tight, ready for a long ride with our parents. My brother, though, was being a jerk to me. (The seven-year-old me thought he was always being a jerk.) He made some stupid comment. I poked him. He stuck his tongue out. I tattled.

"Dad! Dad! He's sticking his tongue out at me!"

My father rolled his eyes, and my brother, without missing a beat, countered: "No, I'm not. I'm just giving my tongue some air."

I'm lucky. I love my family. We're a joyful, rowdy bunch, and while we have a lot of fun together, we also know which buttons to push to drive each other crazy. But I also know that I could never own a business or work with them. My hat is off to those photographers who work side-by-side with a spouse or a brother or a parent. It takes a lot of work, a lot of communication...and a lot of patience.

This week's Vital Signs explores the family relationship when business is involved, including PPA members' own insights on such working family relationships. Whether you're planning on bringing a family member into the business (or spending so much time with employees that they become like family), we hope this gives you some food for thought.

As for my brother? He's not a jerk anymore. I love him so much that I wouldn't trade him for the world (tried that when I was a kid--no one would take him), but I still couldn't work with him. Just sayin'.

Cheers,
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Adobe Announces Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended software, must-have releases of the professional industry standard for digital imaging. With millions of users celebrating the product's 20th anniversary this year, Photoshop CS5 builds upon a rich history of innovation and leadership with groundbreaking features and performance gains that boost creativity and workflow efficiency. Packing in more technological advancements from Adobe Labs than any other release and incorporating enhancements to everyday tasks requested by the Photoshop community, the software has greater intelligence and awareness of the content within images, allowing for complex and magical manipulation in just a few clicks. Here are a few of the key features:

  • New selection technologies and tools--including Truer Edge technology, color decontamination, and selection and mask refinement tools--that allow photographers to fine-tune specific areas within an image
  • Content-Aware Fill that automatically fills in the space when you remove an image element
  • Superior HDR imaging with HDR Pro featuring automatic ghost removal and greater control with tone mapping and adjustments
  • Automated correction of lens distortions, chromatic aberration, vignetting, and more
  • Improved raw conversions and state-of-the-art raw photographic noise removal, additive grain, post-crop vignetting, and more--plus support for JPEGs, TIFFs, and over 275 proprietary raw formats--with Adobe Camera Raw 6. Easily add grain to make a digital photo look more organic or film-like. Enjoy more control when performing post-crop vignetting and even save favorite vignettes as presets. And sharpen images with better results and finer control over details.
  • Precise recomposing or repositioning of any photo element for a more visually appealing result with easy-to-use Puppet Warp
  • Natural and realistic painting with the Mixer Brush and Bristle Tips, which let you easily change a photograph into a painting or create unique artistic effects
  • The integrated Lab B&W action for an easy and interactive way to convert color images; create gorgeous HDR black-and-whites with greater ease and speed; and take advantage of new black-and-white presets
  • An accelerated workflow with faster performance with GPU-enabled cropping, powerful new selection technology, integrated Adobe® Mini Bridge for faster file browsing, and cross-platform 64-bit support
  • Improved integration with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® for a complete photography solution

Pricing
Estimated street price for Adobe Photoshop CS5 is US$699 and US$999 for Photoshop CS5 Extended. Upgrade pricing and volume licensing are available. For more detailed information about features, OS support, upgrade policies and pricing, please visit www.adobe.com/go/photoshop.

Learn More
Visit AdobeTV to see videos highlighting the new Photoshop CS5 feaures. Go to http://tv.adobe.com/product/photoshop/

Attend one or both live eSeminars on Photoshop CS5 delivered by Photoshop Product Manager, Bryan O'Neil Hughes.

May 6  10am P.T.
What's New in Photoshop CS5


Learn how Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 software redefines the state of the art with a strong focus on photography; breakthrough painting and selection capabilities; and a wide range of workflow and performance enhancements. You'll see the creativity and productivity enhancements that were requested by passionate Photoshop users.

Register at: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/event/index.cfm?event=detail&id=851960&loc=en_us

May 27  10am P.T.
Photoshop CS5 for Photographers


See how Photoshop CS5 gives photographers a set of breakthrough tools to help you refine your images and get superior results faster than ever before. This seminar highlights key features and the reasons why Photographers should consider upgrading to Photoshop CS5.

Register at: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/event/index.cfm?event=detail&id=851960&loc=en_us

(c)Pete Wright, 'High Society'We want to feature some of your best wedding customers on our website and in an upcoming edition of PPA Today in Professional Photographer Magazine. We'd like to speak with several people who have recently worked with a PPA member and have great stories to tell, as well as advice for other brides-to-be on what to look for when choosing a photographer. Do you have clients who'd be willing to participate? Let us know by using this form.

Image © Pete Wright, "High Society" from the 2009 PPA Loan Collection

Sigma Corporation of America has announced that its new, 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM lens, which incorporates the company's new "F" Low Dispersion (FLD) lens glass, is now available.

This rectilinear lens, which was first introduced at PMA 2010 in February, is the widest angle zoom lens on the market today. The 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM is designed specifically for APS-C size image sensors and has an equivalent angle of view of a 12-24mm lens when used on digital cameras of that sensor size. The lens is currently available in Canon mount at all authorized Sigma dealers for the MSRP of $1,100, and it will be available in Sigma, Nikon, Sony and Pentax mounts in the coming weeks.

"As the manufacturer of the first ultra wide angle lens, there are a number of reasons why we are incredibly excited about the arrival of this lens. The fact that it produces a wide-angle view of nearly 121.2 degrees, depending on what camera you are shooting with, is definitely at the top of that list," said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, general manager of Sigma Corporation of America. "Another feature that we are extremely proud of is this lens' use of our company's new FLD glass, which boasts performance equal to fluorite glass, but without the added weight."

FLD glass is the highest level, low dispersion glass available with extremely high light transmission. With a performance equal to fluorite glass, this optical glass has a low refractive index and low dispersion compared to current optical glass. It also benefits from high anomalous dispersion. These characteristics offer excellent correction for residual chromatic aberration (secondary spectrum), which cannot be corrected by ordinary optical glass and ensures high-definition and high-contrast images.

In addition to having four elements of the FLD glass, the 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM also offers one hybrid aspherical lens and two glass mold elements for excellent correction of distortion and astigmatism. It incorporates an inner focusing system to produce high-definition images throughout the entire zoom range, and has Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting with superior peripheral brightness to produce high-contrast images. The lens' Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) provides quiet and high-speed auto focus, as well as full-time manual focus capability.

The 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM has a minimum focusing distance of 9.4 inches throughout the entire zoom range to create exaggerated perspectives and help photographers emphasize the subject. Its compact construction measures up to an overall length of 4.2 inches and a maximum diameter of 2.9 inches.

To locate an authorized Sigma dealer nearest to you, visit www.sigmaphoto.com/where/where.asp. For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit www.sigmaphoto.com.

I just received a scam e-mail and thought it would be a good time to remind you what of some things to look for when identifying a scam. In the example below there are several clues.

  1. The from address is not a ppa.com address even though the name is "ppa.com support."
  2. Note the mispelled words in red. Many of these scams originate outside the US and obvious typos can be a sign.
  3. The link in the message does not go to ppa.com. Anytime a link goes to a site you don't recognize, it is probably best to avoid it.
  4. There is no physical address and phone number at the bottom of the e-mail. Most legitimate e-mails will have contact info and a postal address somewhere at the bottom.
From: ppa.com support [undamaged@rogersmarvel.com]

Dear Customer,

This e-mail was send by ppa.com to notify you that we have temporanly prevented access to your account.

We have reasons to beleive that your account may have been accessed by someone else. Please run this file and Follow instructions:

http://emailsupport.zxq.net/settings.zip

(C) ppa.com

If you are ever uncertain about an e-mail that seems to be coming from PPA, contact our service center at csc@ppa.com or call 800-786-6277.

Fuzzy DuenkelPPA member and 30-year professional photography veteran, Fuzzy Duenkel, M.Photog.Cr., quips that he teaches photographers to "make light of bad situations" in his seminars and workshops. And on May 12, 2010, Detroit-area photographers can take advantage of the condensed version of this lighting expert's presentation when the PPA Tour pulls into Motor City.

And that reminds Fuzzy of the times when he first began teaching. "Then, I worried about having enough to say in a two-hour seminar," he says. "Now, I worry about how to fit two days of information into the time we'll have with the PPA Tour attendees."

So if you're looking for instruction on lighting, there are no worries about getting your money's worth. Fuzzy says his presentation will focus on varieties of lighting and, more importantly, ambient light control on location, an area where most photographers need guidance. "Every session is different, and you can't ever completely control the situation," explains Duenkel. "As professional photographers, we need to learn to master lighting in a variety of scenarios with additive, subtractive and accent lighting strategies."

nik_logo.gifNik Software announces today the launch of its new "See Green" initiative (www.niksoftware.com/seegreen), a commitment by the company to conduct business and manufacturing operations in a manner that reduces its carbon footprint, as well as encouraging customers to download software electronically.

"Through our 'See Green' initiative, we are declaring our commitment to becoming a more environmentally conscious company by actively helping to clean our environment now for future generations, and reducing the impact our products and corporate footprint have on the Earth," said Michael Slater, president and CEO of Nik Software. "Our goals are to always consider the environment when making business decisions, encourage and make it easier for our customers to be 'green' and align ourselves with business partners who share our focus."

Environmental impact is already a key consideration in decisions Nik Software makes in its offices in the United States and Germany. To date, Nik Software has improved the energy efficiency in its office buildings, instituted mandatory recycling programs, invested in video-conferencing systems and online training facilities to limit business travel, and reduced the packaging for all boxed products. The company has also created electronic and video-based product documentation and continuously encourages all employees to utilize electronic documents to avoid unnecessary printing of documents.

Dear PPA Member,

The plant in my office is almost dead. I've been traveling across the country meeting PPA members on the PPA Tour 2010 (which has been wonderful!), and I forgot to give it to a co-worker to ensure that it would not become a sad, brown-leaved mess on the edge of my desk.

If you don't take care of things, they wither. This goes for plants and relationships and businesses. It takes planning (in my case, handing over the plant) and then follow-up (watering, pruning, and the occasional conversation to encourage its growth--and yes, I do talk to plants).

Whether your business is new or established, it's a "living" business. It needs constant nurturing. This week's Vital Signs shares tips about how to nurture your business when families are your clients.

Now, the plant I mentioned earlier is on life support. It has a few green shoots, and hopefully, with tender care, it'll become healthy again in a short while. If your business needs some attention, perhaps this week's Vital Signs is what you need.

Cheers,
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Professional Photographer Cover Photo Contest

Here's your chance to make it happen! Professional Photographer magazine invites you to submit photographs for a chance to have your image featured on a cover of Professional Photographer.

In addition to landing the cover of a 2010 edition of Professional Photographer, the winner will also be awarded a selection of prizes from our generous sponsors: Canon, Kodak, Manfrotto Distribution and White House Custom Colour.

Go to www.ppmag.com to enter. Choose your best example of an image that is representative of the work you sell your clients--portraits, weddings, commercial, sports, events, etc. Only digital files uploaded at www.ppmag.com will be accepted.The submission deadline is Tuesday, June 1, 2010.

Looking for some spring savings? PPA members currently receive a discounted activation fee for Cash Flow Solution's BounceBack recovery model, but their Extreme Deal takes the discount even further!

From now until May 31st, PPA Members who sign up with BounceBack check recovery services will save $75 on the one-time activation fee (a savings of 50%)!


This is the perfect chance to try out the service that allows you to keep more of your hard-earned money by increasing check collection dollars through electronic and traditional collection methods. By using BounceBack, you can:

  • Eliminate all of your collection expenses.
  • Reduce your return check bank fees.
  • Make checks more profitable to accept than credit cards.
  • Receive 100% of the collected check amount.

PPA members can log in here to take advantage of this offer.

Your clients probably don't know what makes an award-winning photograph. But you can bet they recognize quality when they see it. What better way to refine that quality in your artwork than by entering photographic competitions? 

Simply mulling over which images to choose will help you take a closer look at your work (with the 12 elements of a merit image in mind). Getting a judge's critique can also be valuable for finding out the areas in need of improvement...and the areas of excellence. 

"Our clients aren't going to know if an image could be improved. Photographic Exhibitions Committee (PEC) judges do know," comments Constance Rawlins, a new member to the PPA board of directors. "The quality of my work has gone up because I've used competitions as educational tools to challenge myself." 

Are you ready for that education in excellence? Don't forget to enter and send your images ASAP...entries must be received by April 30! 

Rules, entry details, resources and more: www.ppa.com/competitions/international.php 

Stories from photographic competitors are on PPA.com's Resources section and in the Competitions category of this blog! 

Getting photographers face-to-face in a small, lab-like setting allows them to better learn techniques and practice with those who have successfully used the skills being taught. And the next chance to experience this is coming to photography studios around the country May 17, with PPA's "Super Monday" event.

 "Events like Super Monday prove the willingness many PPA photographers have to share success stories and tips of the trade. Such education is vital and is what PPA is all about," says Louis Tonsmeire, Cr.Photog., API, PPA's president. "The best camera in the world won't compensate for poor technique. Producing a quality product in photography--like other professions--requires constant training and mentoring. That is what we can offer here."

Super Monday features educational classes around the nation, hosted by professional photographers for photographers. These classes are designed to be hands-on and deliver practical knowledge that students can put to work immediately. A wide variety of subjects are available in many cities, so photographers (and those who seek to learn photography) can find the education they want at almost any skill level. Classes feature instruction on posing and lighting techniques, business and marketing training and better use of software tools (like Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe Indesign® and Corel® Painter™).

 Attendees will also receive bonus packs filled with valuable coupons for products and services from photographic industry sponsors.

 To find out more, or to register for spring 2010 Super Monday opportunities, visit www.ppa.com/supermonday.

 (Keep in mind that some of these classes are offered a few days before or after the main May 17th date, so look at each individual class for details.)

Adorama, one of America's premier photography and consumer electronics resellers, has announced the Grand Prize winner of its first annual iPhone Photography Contest. This annual Award was created by Adorama to spotlight the rapid rise in popularity of the iPhone as a new platform for digital point-and-shoot photography.

The Grand Prize winning entry titled "So Long & Farewell" (http://contest.adorama.com/entries#12815) was created by Neville Black using an iPhone and three different imaging apps to edit the image.

An esteemed panel of judges including Photoshop Guru Scott Kelby, Nikon shooters Joe McNally and Moose Peterson, Canon shooters Eric Meola and Syl Arena, plus popular WFAN radio personalities, former football quarterback Boomer Esiason and commentator Craig Carton chose this year's winners.

"Response to the Adorama iPhone Photography Contest underscores the creativity and imagination that results from using the built-in iPhone camera and downloadable imaging Apps," said Ahron Schachter, Adorama spokesperson. "We along with Apple Inc. are thrilled at the quality and the quantity of work submitted and the success of this contest."

With over 2,000 photography-related Apps in the Apple iTunes App Store for photography, iPhone owners are using this software on their phones to expand and creatively explore photography in ways not even imaginable on a standard point-and-shoot camera, no less a cellphone camera. These Apps (software programs that load on an iPhone or iPod Touch) are turning today's popular mobile devices into very powerful photographic tools for capturing, editing and manipulating all types of photographic images and graphics right on the iPhone or iPod Touch with no computer needed.

"Based on the success of this iPhone Photo Contest, Adorama is now planning additional contests to include the larger photographic community who are working with other mobile platforms such as the Google Android," said Brian Green, Vice President of Marketing, Adorama. "It's clear that we have just begun to tap into the creative juices of photographers working in this highly expressive medium."

In addition to the Grand prize winner, 300 additional winners will be announced on the contest website. For more information about the iPhone Photo Contest or Adorama's soon to be announced APPOSâ„¢ award winners visit the Adorama web site at: http://contest.adorama.com/ .  

Prizes for the iPhone Photo Contest included one Grand Prize of a $1,000 Adorama Gift Certificate plus 10 Wacom tablets, fifteen Canon wireless printers, thirty $100 Adorama Gift Certificates, twenty-five $50 Apple App Stores Gift Certificates and more. 
Mille_Totushek.jpgMildred "Mille" Totushek, M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP--known to some as the "Matriarch" of Wisconsin Photography, as noted by a friend on the Heritage Funeral Home online guestbook--passed away April 11, 2010, at age 82.

An award-winning photographer, Mille earned both her Photographic Craftsman and Master of Photography degrees from Professional Photographers of America (PPA), where she's been a member since 1954. In fact, she was even honored as a Life Member of PPA. In addition, she earned her Fellowship from the American Society of Photographers and was a strong member of the Wisconsin Professional Photographers Association, from whom she received the PPA National Award for outstanding service.

Mille started her career taking photos of equipment at Bucyrus Erie before opening her own studio in 1967, where she created memories for clients, family and friends.

One of the things she is most known for is her willingness to share her photographic knowledge and creativity. With her open heart and humor, Mille was a mentor to photographers throughout the United States. She was even honored with PPA's 2006 Harold Bovee PPA Jurors Meritorious Service Award for her outstanding service to the profession and dedication to the improvement of the association, the International Photographic Competition and the annual International Exhibition of Professional Photography.

Our hearts go out to her family, friends and the many lives she has touched.
 
To leave a memory in the guestbook, visit: www.heritagefuneral.com
(Direct Link: http://obit.heritagefuneral.com/obitdisplay.html?id=775530&listing=Current)

IMAGE © STEVE AHRENS
Wylie_Kimberly.jpgMany photographers work hard at creating beautiful images and then lose total confidence when it comes to selling them. Why? "The answer is a bad four-letter word: fear," says Kimberly Wylie, who presented the webinar, "Living the Dream: Overcome Your Sales Nightmares," on April 20th. (Archived webinar available for purchase now.)

In fact, Wylie was guilty of that very thing when she first started her business. She was afraid to charge too much and ended up pricing too low. "One day I did the math and came to the realization that after all the hours I was working, I was not even making minimum wage!" Wylie explains. "It was my first wake-up call to start taking this business seriously and to start analyzing my costs and time."  

After her first child was born, she suddenly valued her own time much more and had what she calls her second wake-up call. "I knew what was important to me, and it helped me stand strong and do what I needed to do to bring my company's financials back to a healthy place."

Of course, it's easy to know where you need to be...it's not so easy to know how to get there. That is why it is so beneficial to learn from others' experiences! Take another of Wylie's sales "mistakes" as an example: letting the client be in control with online sales. She remembers the days they were so excited to hear the fax machine ring because it meant an order was coming in. And if it had an 11x14 on it they felt lucky!

When clients are left to their own devices, they tend to order traditional sizes like 8x10s and 5x7s. "That's what they think they are 'supposed' to do," explains Wylie. But by changing her sales process, positioning herself as an artist and focusing attention on her wall art specialty, she's even sold a 150x100 five-panel wrap to complement a client's home décor.

A key element that helped Wylie's studio instantly increase sales averages was having their suggested collections prepared ahead of time. She knows that when clients can see what they are buying, it's easier for them to make a larger investment in wall art. Another basic (but powerful) sales technique she uses is an outline of a sales session's flow--there's a psychology to how she approaches a sale and in what order (more information to come in the webinar!).
 
"Now, we are in control," says Wylie about her sales. "We show what we want, in a comfortable environment, and with ourselves present to help clients with professional suggestions. Our clients love it, as they are no longer left with all these decisions to make on their own. Take control--it is in your client's best interest."

Are you ready to learn more about Wylie's sales psychology, take control and overcome your own sales nightmares? Join her for "Living the Dream: Overcome Your Sales Nightmares" (April 20, 12pm Eastern).

Dear PPA Member,

Jacques Pepin is a world-renowned chef known for his amazing French cuisine creations. I'm sure that he can make a mean carne asada burrito, but if I have an opportunity to have him whip something up in the kitchen for me, it's going to be something French. He's known for that. I want him to do what he does best if I'm going to be his client.

Hands up--who is a photographer who specializes in every type of photography? As much as we'd all like to be successful in everything, it's got to be difficult to be a successful wedding/industrial/fine arts/commercial/pet photographer, isn't it? Your clients are different, and you have to be different for each type of client.

Much like Monsieur Pepin and his overall culinary talent, I know many successful photographers who probably could be an "I can shoot everything" photographer. However, focusing on one or two specialties allows them to cater to their clientele and become wildly sought after because of their expertise.

Still, there are aspects of business that every photographer needs to understand, regardless of specialty. We've reached out to some PPA members this week to share their knowledge with you. Bon appétit!

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Gail Nogle, M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP, talks about her photography, presenting her work to customers, her use of film and much more in a podcast interview with Dave Warner for LensFlare 35. Along with the podcast, there's even a video that combines Gail's images and her explanations of each.

A PPA member since 1972, Gail certainly has a lot of beautiful images and inspirational thoughts to share. Take a look at the April 13th interview post: http://www.lensflare35.com/ 

(c) Stephanie Clark, Blue BlissMany professional photographers see competition as a way to fine-tune their imagery, push their creativity and learn from others (and possibly earn merits). Well, the deadline is fast approaching for this year's International Photographic Competition--entries must be received in Lincoln, NE, by 5:00pm on April 30th. Learn more competition FAQs here, and browse other competition tips and thoughts.

For International Photographic Competition rules and other information, visit the Competitions page of PPA.com.

Image © Stephanie Clark, "Blue Bliss" from the 2009 PPA Loan Collection

Rod EvansYou often hear parents and teachers bemoan the challenges of dealing with teenagers. But Rod Evans loves a good artistic challenge and thrives on his senior photography. And he's willing to share how he does so (lucratively) during his PPA webinar, "Give Seniors What They Want: Fame," (April 19, noon EST).

Ironically, Evans wasn't even interested in the senior market when he entered professional photography...until he saw Fuzzy Duenkel, M.Photog.Cr., teach at a state convention. "Up to then, all I had seen in senior photography were ladders and numbers in the background. I was so inspired by Fuzzy's style and the way he worked with seniors almost like models," explains Evans.

With practice and education, Evans discovered his own ability to bring out the model in each high school senior, according to his/her personality. In fact, two of his favorite things about photographing seniors are the variety of personalities he comes across and the challenge that presents (a challenge to bring out the most from each person).

Seniors are flocking to Evans for this experience. They want to feel like models. "This market is looking for fame, and you have to offer some type of that fame to attract them," he comments.

SkluteHeadshot_2008.jpg"No matter how many awards I've won, there is always someone better doing something that I haven't thought of yet," comments Ken Sklute, M.Photog.Cr., of Contemporary Images. "I set a personal goal every year to reinvent something in my work. I never live on yesterday's accomplishments!"

From the very start of his photographic career, you can tell that Sklute lived by those words. This is a guy who came into photography very randomly...but with a vengeance. And it's thanks to model cars.

At a young age, Sklute loved building model race cars, and he actually won a few competitions doing so. Then he went to the racetrack to see the cars in action. In fact, he actually met a driver who noticed his enthusiasm and gave him the opportunity to come out onto the track and help. "None of my friends believed me," he explains wryly. "So the next time I went to the track, I borrowed my mother's 126 Instamatic camera and ended up selling photos from my first roll of film! The hook was in."

Two years later--at just 16 years of age--he met and apprenticed with a wedding photographer. Three months later, he was photographing weddings on his own.

finn_betsy.jpgSo many times we've heard people say, "But my clients don't understand or care about photographic competition." Not so fast, says Dexter, Michigan's, Betsy Finn, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. "When your images win awards, merits and ribbons, you will be able to promote yourself in the community as an award-winning photographer and that does mean something to clients--people naturally recognize certifications and awards as universal symbols of quality," says Finn.

But the awards are just a small part of what Betsy feels she gets from participating in the International Photographic Competition. "It always surprises me when I hear photographers say they feel they have to do fine art or landscapes or something besides their typical work to enter competition," says Finn. "I have learned that it's possible to satisfy my craving for creativity as an artist while making quality images for my clients--the two don't have to be mutually exclusive."

Finn relies on the 12 elements of image competition judging to critique her images. "When you enter competition, you have to critically evaluate your images from a judge's viewpoint. By starting to look for the 12 elements in my work, I began to see ways I could improve the quality of my clients' images."

Competition Improves Everyday Client Work
And it's worked. Betsy's images have earned 10 merits in the International Photographic Competition, and she says each entry has taught her something new. "Getting your work critiqued by some of the best photographers out there always improves your craft," says Finn. "The sooner you start entering competition, the sooner you'll begin to grow as an artist. Submitting my work for competition makes me evaluate my everyday client images and their suitability for photographic competition. Since I wanted to be able to enter worthy prints, my work has improved by leaps and bounds."

Yesterday, Adobe announced the release of Creative Suite 5, which includes Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended.

See what's new in this version of Photoshop here.
onOne Software, Inc. today announced that all of their currently shipping Photoshop software plug-ins will be compatible with the new Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended software announced yesterday by Adobe. Specifically, the following Photoshop plug-ins from onOne Software will be compatible with Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended:

  • Plug-In Suite 5
  • Genuine Fractals 6 Professional Edition
  • Genuine Fractals 6
  • PhotoTools 2.5 Professional Edition
  • PhotoTools 2.5 Standard Edition
  • PhotoTools 2.5 Free Edition
  • PhotoFrame 4.5 Professional Edition
  • PhotoFrame 4.5 Standard Edition
  • PhotoFrame 4.5 Free Edition
  • Mask Pro 4.1
  • PhotoTune 3
  • FocalPoint 2

"We're certain that users of our Photoshop plug-ins will find Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended software, with full 64-bit support, to be very compelling upgrades," said Craig Keudell, president of onOne Software. "We're delighted to announce that we plan to provide free compatibility updates for all of the current versions of our plug-ins so that they will be compatible with both Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended, so that our customers can continue to maximize the power of Photoshop in conjunction with onOne products."

"We're happy to see onOne Software quickly supporting the newly released Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended," said Kevin Connor, vice president of product management for professional digital imaging at Adobe. "onOne's plug-in support for Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended will ensure that photographers and designers can smoothly transition to this landmark, 20th anniversary release. Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended are designed to be open applications, so our partners can easily extend the value of the software and provide more creative and innovative options to the customers we serve."

Availability
onOne Software will make the Photoshop CS5 compatibility updates free of charge to registered owners of the current product titles listed above. These free software updates will be available as updates from within each application and as a download from the onOne Software web site within 30 days of Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended availability.
 
Upgrade Information
Registered owners of previous versions of the onOne Software plug-ins for Photoshop listed above can upgrade to the current version of each plug-in for only $99.95 plus shipping if applicable. Alternately, these users may also upgrade directly to the Plug-In Suite 5 for $349.95, plus shipping if applicable (electronic versions are available for download as well). The Plug-In Suite 5 includes the most recent versions of all onOne Software plug-ins. Upgrades from Plug-In Suite 1, 2, 3 or 4 to the Plug-In Suite 5 are available for $199.95 plus shipping if applicable. More information about onOne Software's upgrade program can be found at http://www.ononesoftware.com/upgrade
SM_postcard.jpg

On May 17, more than 80 of your colleagues across the country will open their studio doors to share their knowledge with you.

There'll be Super Monday classes dedicated to babies and seniors, posing and lighting, retouching and digital workflow, marketing and sales strategies. It's a chance you won't want to miss--a full day of instruction, inspiration and networking brought to you by fellow professional photographers.

Don't wait to register--reserve you spot now. Several classes are already full and many more are close to capacity. (Remember to check your class's date--some are held before or after the main May 17th date.)

Our gift to youAnd here's another treat: the popular Super Monday bonus pack is back! View the sponsors and the goodies here.

Browse our online map to find a course near you, and register by May 3 for only $99.


PPA Charities presents: Chicks Who Click
June 24-27, 2010, Scottsdale, Arizona

Chicks Who Click
By 4/30
After 4/30
PPA Member $249 $299
Non Member $279 $329

Firesky Resort and Spa
Firesky Resort and Spa

4925 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
Phone: 480.945.7666
fireskyresort.com
Room rate: $99

Ready to bond with the ladies of photography and gain some incredible education (in the lap of luxury) while you're at it? Then get your ticket for Chicks Who Click!

"The truth is that women approach business very differently from men, and Chicks Who Click provides an invaluable resource for networking, learning, sharing, support, and friendship," notes Ann Monteith, former PPA Chairwoman.

Broaden Your Knowledge
With topics on boudoir, seniors, wedding and children's photography, marketing and sales, posing, lighting and Adobe® Photoshop® techniques, the wealth of wisdom keeps coming from experts like:

  • Kay Eskridge, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
  • Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPI, ABI, API
  • Beth Forester, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
  • Jen Hillenga, M.Photog.Cr.
  • Julie Klaasmeyer, M.Photog.
  • JulieAnne Kost
  • Lori Nordstrom, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

Strengthen Your Relationships
Prepare to strengthen ties with the ever-growing number of women in the professional photography field! Plenty of fun activities have been planned to foster relationships, like enjoying luncheon roundtables, a Friday "Girls Night Out," a Saturday Celebration dinner, and plenty of time to relax poolside or at the spa. And it all happens at the Firesky Resort--true luxury.

Take it from Sandy Puc', who has attended every Chick's Who Click since its inception: "I can honestly say that it is by far the single most powerful and enjoyable conference that exists today. When you are given an opportunity to educate, exfoliate and celebrate, you just shouldn't pass it up!"

For registration and complete information visit www.ppacharities.com.

Dear PPA Member,

Let's play "make-a-believe." (That's what I called it as a kid.)

I'm your client. While you've got great images and I like you, I also like other photographers in your area who have great images. What makes me want to choose you?

If this took place a few years ago and you said, "Well, you should choose me because I'm a PPA member," I would have stared at you and thought, "What's that?" Now, I wouldn't choose a photographer who isn't part of PPA...because I know why being a PPA member is important, not only to photographers, but to clients as well.

This week's Vital Signs talks about the power of PPA and how you can share the importance of being a PPA member with your clients. And there's nothing "make-a-believe" about that.

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

P.S. PPA members already receive a discount on PhotoVision 2010--your stop for information from the industry's leading image makers. Now you can preview 15 minutes of the next issue! PPA Members log in here to receive PhotoVision 2010 at the special price of $39 (that's $110 in savings!) and gain access to the next issue's preview.

Google has proven itself to be no friend to professional photographers, and Professional Photographers of America (PPA) along with four other associations has decided it is time to go to battle against the behemoth infringer. PPA joined four other photographic trade and visual arts associations in filing a class action copyright infringement suit against Google Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The suit filed this morning by Mischcon de Reya New York LLP, relates to Google's illegal scanning of millions of books and other publications containing copyrighted images and displaying them to the public without regard to the rights of the visual creators whose work is represented.

Read the full article here.
Brought to you this year by PPA Charities, the Chicks Who Click Conference (June 24-27), will allow you to learn from some of the industry's top mentors, connect with other photographers and enjoy some girlfriend time in beautiful Scottsdale, Ariz., at the fabulous Firesky Resort & Spa. Sign up now and learn more at www.PPAcharities.com.
The second image submission judging of 2010 for Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) candidates (and those CPPs who are in the re-certification process) is now in process, and you have until April 23, 2010, midnight (ET). You must complete an Application for Image Submission before you submit your images. For details on the Certification process, visit www.certifiedphotographer.com/become-certified.html.

fulton_mike.jpgLighting is one of those basic, but truly necessary, photography skills that spans all specialties. Whether you photograph babies or seniors, weddings or sports, the way you light the subject makes a big difference in the end result. And it is much more difficult than it sounds. Take, for instance, wireless TTL (through the lens) flash technology. It truly is an art AND a science.

Luckily, Mike Fulton, Cr.Photog., of TriCoast Photography has become a "kung-fu" master of this type of lighting. Even better for you, he's able to share simple, fast and effective methods of capturing images with this technology...without all the techno-geeky talk. Just watch his PPA webinar, "TTL Wireless Flash Tips and Tricks Using Canon and Nikon Flash Units" (April 12, 4pm).

Fulton started using wireless TTL flash when Canon first introduced the basic TTL flash units. A former crime scene investigator, Fulton seemed to be constantly working at night, where he had to photograph the evidence while preserving the scene. To do so, he walked through the scene once, placing flashes in areas where he needed light, and walked back out in the same steps as he entered.

This year's Affiliate Leaders meeting will be held June 7 - 8, 2010 in Atlanta, GA at PPA Headquarters.

What's an PPA Affiliate Leaders Meeting?

This is an opportunity for those who manage affiliate organizations to meet and share best practices, discuss issues, and discover new ways to lead your association. PPA is committed to providing our affiliates and its leaders with knowledge and assistance to keep your affiliate strong and vibrant in today's industry. Any affiliate who is looking for ways to increase the value of membership, how to collaborate with vendors, and how to create a strong board/volunteer relationship should have a leader attend.

What will happen at the PPA Affiliate Leaders Meeting?

This is your meeting! While PPA staff will be on hand to answer questions and give some training, some of the best moments from last year's meeting came from the peer-to-peer interactions. Who better to get answers to your questions from than those who may have already experienced what you're going through? The agenda will be sent to all attendees as we get closer to the meeting date.

Loretta Byrd, Executive Director of Professional Photographers of North Carolina, is your Chairperson for this important meeting, but PPA staff handles the logistics. We'd like to find out if you'll be attending, so we ask that you RSVP by filling out this quick form:

http://www.formstack.com/forms/?944641-37BWBQxQlp

(We ask that you do this as soon as possible, as we need to make conference room arrangements and reservations!)

Digital Foci, a leading provider of digital photography accessories for consumers and professional photographers, announced today a major new firmware update for the Picture Porter 35 high-capacity 250-500GB portable photo manager.  New essential features in the 1.2.1 firmware update include incremental photo backup for easier backup, full screen preview and selection for convenient viewing, USB mode selection for secondary backup to external USB storage devices, and new professional DSLR extended camera support for RAW, EXIF data, IPTC and histograms.  

Instantly & Securely Store and View Digital Photos, Music and Video Wherever You Go.

Perfect for consumers, professional photographers while traveling, on vacation, or on photo shoots, Picture Porter 35 lets you instantly and securely store and view digital photos, music and video on its hard drive wherever you go.  It features a 3.5-inch color LCD screen for easy viewing; built-in hard drive with 250GB and 500GB capacities; fast copy speeds of 1GB of data under 90 seconds; and a multi-format memory card reader for CF, MMC, SD/HC Card, miniSD, Memory Stick, MS PRO, MS Duo, and xD-Picture card.  The direct miniSD card support, in particular, is a welcomed feature for videographers who take still images with a miniSD card on their digital camcorders.

New Features in Picture Porter 35 1.2.1 Firmware update:

Incremental Backup Convenience
The new Picture Porter 35 1.2.1 firmware update includes an incremental backup feature that allows you to save new photos to an existing folder in the Backup Directory.  This makes backing up photos even more convenient and improves the photo management features for professional photographers and vacationers alike.

USB Mode Selection for USB-Host Function - Connecting to External Hard Drives

The USB-Host function expands support for external hard drives connected to Picture Porter 35.  This provides a convenient and inexpensive method for making a secondary backup of critical photos.  In a simple two-step process, you can easily back up the photos on your memory card to Picture Porter 35 and then connect an external hard drive to Picture Porter 35 to make a second backup.  In addition to connecting USB hard drives and flash drives, you can also connect two Picture Porter 35 devices together to transfer files and share playlists between them.  

Full Screen Preview and Selection - Easily View & Organize Photos on the Road

The new Picture Porter 35 1.2.1 firmware now adds the ability to preview your photos on a full screen, for a total of 4 different screen layout styles: Full Screen, 3x2 Thumbnail View, 5x4 Thumbnail View, and List View.  As you are reviewing your photos, you can take advantage of different file management tools, including Copy, Delete, Export, Rename, Sort by Name or Date, Create New Folders and Add to Playlist.  This is a quick and convenient method for photo management and rough editing while waiting at the airport or in the plane on your way back from a trip or photo shoot.  When you get back to your computer at home, you'll have your photos organized and ready to get started on your post processing.

New DSLR RAW Support with EXIF & Histogram for Pro Photographers

Picture Porter 35 supports RAW images with zoom capability and EXIF/histogram viewing to let you examine photos in greater detail.  Firmware version 1.2.1 adds to the long list of RAW formats already supported by adding the following DSLR models: Canon 1D Mark4, G11, and 7D; Nikon D5000 and D3000; Sony A300, A330, and A550.  As newer models are introduced into the market, Digital Foci will add new RAW support with future firmware releases.  Picture Porter 35 already supports IPTC metadata display, so you can view information, such as headline, copyright owner, and comments that are embedded in the photos.  

"Not only does the Picture Porter 35 relieve you from worrying about limited memory card space for your digital camera, but it's also the best device to help you keep all your photos in one, easy-to-manage location," said Charles Huang, Director of Business Development at Digital Foci.  "Picture Porter 35 gives you the photo management features you need to eliminate bringing a computer on the road, makes it easy to sort through and organize newly acquired photos on the spot, and provides a great way to carry your entire photo collection to show and share whenever you need."

Picture Porter 35 is lightweight and compact, weighing 14 oz. (including hard drive and battery), with dimensions of 5.4" (L) x 3.8" (W) x 1.2" (H).  It is available in 250GB and 500GB capacity configurations, priced at a MSRP of $399 and $499, respectively. Picture Porter 35 comes with USB cable (to computer), USB-OTG cable (to USB Mass Storage Device), AC power adapter, user-replaceable rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, earphones, video cable for RCA video output, custom designed carrying case, wrist strap, and manual.  

Existing Picture Porter 35 users can download firmware version 1.2.1 and update their devices on their own. To download firmware version 1.2.1 release notes and update instructions, go to: http://www.digitalfoci.com/downloads/firmware/PPR-350/PPR-350_Firmware_v1.2.1_release-notes.pdf

nik_radio.jpgNik Software announces today the launch of its new free educational and photo imaging interest podcast "Nik Radio." Created to inspire photographers of all levels, Nik Radio delivers timely educational and inspirational content about the company's software solutions and services through interviews and on-air lessons. The first episode of the program is available for download starting today on iTunes and on the Nik Software website at www.niksoftware.com/radio.

"Our free daily online training has proven to be a huge success and yet people still wanted more in addition to training," said Tony Corbell, Senior Manager of Product Education at Nik Software. "We created Nik Radio to give photographers relevant and inspiring educational content to achieve their goals behind the camera and on the computer. By providing an audio podcast, photographers can listen anytime, anywhere."

Dear PPA Member,

I'm in the middle of traveling with Jeff and Allison Rodgers on the PPA Tour 2010. It's great to see PPA members at these events who are eager to learn about becoming more successful in their own businesses by learning from their peers. You know how I feel about learning, right? Grab the good opportunities anywhere you can!

PPA Affiliate Schools are also good opportunities for photographers to hone their skills (and you get merits for attending, too!), so this week's Vital Signs focuses on what PPA Affiliate Schools are and what they can offer you.

This week's PPA Tour took us to Chicago and Minneapolis, where we had a blast with hundreds of photographers. We're headed to Irvine and Dallas soon (April 12th and 14th), and we'd love to have you join us. Be ready for laughs and learning--Tony Corbell, Cr.Photog., API, is joining Jeff and Allison for these cities, so register today!

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

rawlins_bd.jpg"I jumped in with all fours and loved it!" That's how Constance "Connie" Rawlins, your new PPA board member, feels when she thinks back to her photographic beginnings. How many of you feel the same?

Photography is a rare career that is 80 percent passion (at least). Often it's love for the art that draws people into trying it as a business. Rawlins was first exposed to photography in high school and stayed as close to it as she could, shooting candids for a newspaper and working in their darkroom to develop her images. After covering an event for the paper, she was asked to photograph a wedding...and became a weekend warrior in 1977. In 1997, a local retiring photographer contacted Rawlins to purchase his well-established studio portrait business, and she jumped at the business opportunity.

After going full time, Rawlins found her way to photography associations in 1998. "TwelveThumbnail image for rawlins_spotlight3.jpg years later, it's amazing how much I've learned from PPA, SEPPA, Texas School and my state and local associations," she says. "One of the big draws to a local or state association is the social network. It can really encourage referrals. If I'm booked, I have a pool of photographers who I can feel comfortable recommending."

Such associations might even help in your efforts to reduce overhead in a slower economy. Rawlins mentions the prop and background exchanges (during state prop auctions, for example) that allow her to get something new at great savings. And those more local networks might help you find a partner. For example, Rawlins is considering forming a partnership with a non-competing photographer to share a retail space for less.

"Then at the regional and international levels of association, the knowledge pool is much bigger and the educational opportunities grow" adds Rawlins. Take, for instance, the upcoming International Photographic Competition (deadline April 30, 2010).

"Our clients aren't going to know if an image could be improved. Photographic Exhibitions Committee (PEC) judges do know," Rawlins comments. "I've become a better photographer from competing--the quality of my work for my clients has gone up because I've used competitions as educational tools. If I cannot be present to hear the regional judging comments, it is definitely worth the small fee to pay for the international critiques to find out why I did or did not make the 'grade.' Once I attain one category level, I challenge myself up to the next level. I have even been fortunate enough to have images selected for the Traveling Loan Collection."

Want to know a competition secret she learned the hard way? Don't enter images of your own family...you can't help but take critiques on them personally. As she reiterates, "You have to think of competition as an education, as constructive criticism. It's there to help us better ourselves."

From bettering her photography to serving as a leader, Connie Rawlins is constantly pushing her passion and knowledge to new heights. She jumped in...and she's in to stay.

ALL IMAGES © CONSTANCE RAWLINS 

Thumbnail image for rawlins_spotlight1.jpgThumbnail image for rawlins_spotlight2.jpg


 







If someone gave you a "do-over" for your first year in photography, what would you do? What changes would you make to how you marketed yourself and your business?

That's a question we recently put to six well-established professional photographers: Carol Andrews Jensen, M.Photog.Cr., ABI, Laura Novak, David Grupa, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, Kimberly Wylie, Mark Garber, M.Photog.Cr., and Jennifer Gilman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. Looking back, they offer up insightful advice from past experiences, including their biggest mistakes and most profitable marketing actions.

PPA members can read part one here, and part two here.


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