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PPA Today: September 2010 Archives

September 2010 Archives

Dear PPA Member,

We live in a digital world. The fine art of handwritten letters still exists, but most of our communications these days are by text or e-mail. Intimate conversations still occur, but the setting may be Skype or Facetime rather than next to a roaring fire. As the technology we use changes, so does the way we live"and work.

While many PPA members began their careers before the advent of digital cameras, digital opened up a whole new world of options. Not only did you have access to new equipment and technology, but how you presented images to your clients changed as well. Does the request for digital files ring a bell for anyone? What do you do when a client demands them?

Nothing can take the place of a cherished handwritten letter, a friendly hug"or a beautifully created heirloom print. But when you can't have those, digital will have to do. This week's Vital Signs discusses how to establish your policy on sharing digital files. When you encounter a client who makes this request (if you haven't already), it's best to know where you stand on the issue and how to respond so that everyone wins. Communicating your digital files policy (and educating your clients on copyright at the same time) is part of living in this digital world.

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Olympus Memory Works America Inc. has launched ibonthenet.com, a new online photo service that makes photography more fun and easy by fully integrating and streamlining the process of shooting, storing, organizing, sharing and printing photos. Initially ibonthenet.com offers users two gigabytes of free space to share photos at full resolution with family and friends, and to shop for digital photo albums, photo prints and other photo gifts.  The service also provides online photo backup to ensure that photos will be safe from mishap or disaster.  Olympus will continue to enhance the service to more tightly integrate unique end user benefits with its camera line.

ibonthenet.com simplifies the entire photo experience, offering:

  • Group photo sharing to send and receive photos easily
  • Photo Books and Photo Prints custom printed with your photos
  • Photo backup service to protect your memories
  • Merchandise for purchase: photo book, photo print, calendar, greeting card and other related items

"We're excited to offer our customers a complete photo solution to make it easier than ever for them to manage and get the most out of their photos," said Michael Timar, Director of Business Development for Olympus Memory Works America Inc. "Imagine going to a bridal shower,  wedding or baby shower.  After the event, you can create a share space where everyone can add their photos, and enjoy the complete collection of photos.  Then, with a few clicks, each can create a beautiful photo book using their favorite pictures, not just the ones from their own camera."

To try out ibonthenet.com for yourself, click here

iStock_000000322194XSmall.jpgYour clients need to get your approval before using your images...just like you need to get approval to use someone else's music during your session, on your website or as part of your slideshow. But music licensing can be confusing! That's why you should tune in to tomorrow's free webinar, "Are You Tuned in to Music Licensing?", (September 29 - 4:00pm ET) and ask questions of Jack Flynn from BMI, an American performing rights organization that represents more the 475,000 music artists! This is your chance to learn the rules and better understand how the process works.

And so we've come to the final installment of our series featuring the "seven deadly sins" of financial management for photographers. If you've missed one or more of the previous articles, you can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here, but let's start with a quick summary of the no-no's we've pointed out so far:

  1. Ignoring your financial statement (ignoring it won't make it go away).
  2. Failing to plan (planning to fail).
  3. Failing to think like a businessperson as well as an artist (focusing on your passion not your profitability).
  4. Trying to go it alone (turning from those who can help you understand financial results and get new ideas for improving profitability and efficiency).
  5. Trying to fix too many things at once.
  6. Straying too far from your primary sources of income.

And last, but not least:

7: Not Investing the Time in Creating a Marketing Plan or Tracking Results.
Seasoned marketing pros will tell you that one of the all-time greatest marketing campaigns is the few words found on the backs of most shampoo bottles: "rinse and repeat." It's simple, to the point and encourages you to use twice as much shampoo--which just goes to show that good marketing doesn't have to be difficult. But it does need to be relevant and elicit the desired response. 

For photographers, good marketing starts with a plan. Without one, you're just throwing money at activities and hoping something works--and while you'll get lucky every now and then, you can be sure you'll also waste precious resources.  

But first things first--before you start the details of your marketing plan, you need to decide what you are and what you're not going to be. 

moul_laura.jpgLaura Moul, M.Photog., CPP, of Milton, W.Va., knows all about the challenges of marketing fine art photography. A professional photographer since 1991, Moul is now a specialist in fine art landscape and nature photography because she loves the beauty of nature and the feeling of "capturing a moment in time."

Moul has become a specialist in fine art nature photography that she even earned her PPA degree (and Certified Professional Photographer status) using solely her landscape images during the image review process. She is also an artisan in Tamarack - Best of West Virginia, and her work has been displayed in many galleries and art shows throughout West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.

Moul1.jpgEven more impressive than her creative talents are Moul's business skills, for they have allowed her to create a thriving business based on her fine art images...even in a slow economy where people aren't buying as much artwork.

"I try to provide a variety of products with various price points so that artwork can be more affordable for all," explains Moul about how she overcomes the challenges of a slower economy.

If you're thinking about entering the world of fine art photography--and want to do so successfully!--don't miss Moul's "Marketing Fine Art Photography" Super Monday class on October 25th at Twin Falls State Resort Park in Mullins, W.Va.

"Many portrait photographers are thinking of marketing landscape photos, but there are many things to consider before going into the art world," advises Moul. And that's why she's holding her class. "I try to help individuals learn the steps for proceeding into fine art marketing in a cautious manner."

Moul will share tips on networking, grant writing, booth set-ups, art shows, galleries and many other subjects during this class. Plus, she'll host an informal landscape photo shoot at Twin Falls State Resort Park on October 24th for those interested in arriving early!

Rouleau_Wendy.gifIf you're serious about your business, you have to stand out from the crowd via your imagery and (often) your marketing. "I always hear photographers say that they can't afford marketing (meaning a fancy campaign or huge mailing)," notes Wendy Rouleau of Portraits by Wendy. "But marketing is exactly what we should be doing...with a twist!"

By "twist," she means online marketing, one of the easiest and most effective forms of marketing (and the least expensive). Right now, you're probably thinking about Facebook and Twitter as online marketing formats, but what about e-mails? They have worked for Rouleau, and she's going to share how they can work for you in her upcoming webinar: "Online Marketing with Effective E-mail Campaigns" (September 30, 2:00pm EST).

We aren't talking spam here; we're talking targeted and effective marketing, similar to direct mail pieces placed right into your clients' hands. "With an online campaign, you can see instant results at a minimum cost," Rouleau adds. "Think of it as a mailing without all the lead time, printing costs and postage!"

And e-mail can be one of the best tools...if handled correctly.
©Victor Bruce, Imaging USA 2010
Image ©Victor Bruce

Hands in the air: who uses an Adobe ® product somewhere in your photography workflow? Chances are, most of us do. That's why Adobe sponsors classes at Imaging USA, including the Adobe Photography Solutions educational track.

Monday and Tuesday are your days for Adobe edification, focused on the newest Adobe Photoshop® and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® versions. And not only can you learn new tips, tricks and timesavers to accelerate your workflow and increase your creative freedom, you can also get specific help on how to use your HDSLR camera to create videos and edit them via Adobe Premier Pro CS5!

You have the chance to catch any--or all five--of these Adobe-sponsored classes at Imaging USA:

Join us in San Antonio to learn from those Adobe aces.

A mere week after the Senate heard you speak out on the importance of H.R. 5297 - Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives took up the bill and--with a vote of 226-186--have sent it to the President for his signature.

The helpful provisions we highlighted for you last week were not changed when the House passed the latest version of the bill on Thursday. "We are delighted to see that the House moved quickly on a bill that is of extreme importance to photographers," said David Trust, CEO of Professional Photographers of America. "Our only regret is that Congress was unable to incorporate a repeal of the new 1099 reporting requirements."

We anticipate the bill will arrive at the White House for signature early next week.

Read the full article here.

Dear PPA Member,

What's your song? Come on, we all have one--a song that takes us back to a certain time or place. Maybe it was a song from your high school prom, your first concert or the first dance at your wedding.

Sometimes we don't even need a whole song to spark a memory. Just the first few notes of a song can do the trick. For example, think of any classic television show theme song: "The Andy Griffith Show," "The Brady Bunch," "Hawaii Five-O," "Happy Days"...

Like images, music is also a powerful tool, which is why many photographers incorporate music into their workflow. This week's Vital Signs discusses the music licensing process, an important topic because music--like an image--is copyrighted and often requires a license in order for you to use it as a part of your business. It's best to make sure you understand the licensing process before you incorporate anyone's song onto your website or client slideshow.

What's my song? Probably "Sugar Magnolia" by the Grateful Dead. It's my happy song, and it always--without fail--makes me dance.

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

P.S. To celebrate the birthday of the astronomer who discovered infrared light, Precision Camera & Video Repair is offering PPA members an Extreme Deal on their Infrared Conversion Services until November 15th. These special prices are in addition to your regular PPA member discount! Find out how to take advantage of this Extreme Deal here.

Photodex Corporation has released ProShow 4.5, the latest version of its award-winning slide show software for Windows. Version 4.5 adds automatic show creation with an all-new wizard and hundreds of new transitions and effects. In addition, ProShow Producer users can build their own transitions with the new Create Transition tool.

ProShow's new wizard intelligently mixes a user's photos, videos and music together into a dynamic slide show, instantly. Perfect for quickly creating a show with no effort or getting the creative juices flowing before fine tuning in ProShow. It comes with hundreds of built-in themes and effects for creating slide shows for any occasion. Users can adjust the energy level of their shows, customize themes and create their own themes by mixing together any of the thousands of available slide styles and transitions.

"We wanted the user experience with Version 4.5 and the new wizard to be seamless; instant show creation with the option to edit down to the millisecond if a user chooses to do so. It's the best of both worlds," said Paul Schmidt, President and Founder of Photodex Corporation. "I also couldn't be more excited about our new transition effects. They open up whole new world of instant, creative power for ProShow."

ProShow 4.5 includes hundreds of new transition effects like Page Curl, Curved Path and Camera Flash. The transitions interface has been redesigned to make browsing effects easier with categorizations like Simulations, Image Adjustments and Page effects. ProShow 4.5 also supports adding new transitions with ProShow Transition Packs. Volume 1 is available now for $19.95 and includes an additional 25, dynamic transition effects including Clouds, Smoke and 3D Drift.

A special bonus for Producer 4.5 users is the powerful new ability to build custom transitions. With Producer, professionals and power users can create their own custom transition effects for use in their shows. Custom built transitions can be used by the wizard and can be easily distributed to friends online.

ProShow 4.5 also comes with over 100 new, built-in slide styles for creating instant special effects in slide shows. The robust selection of new styles includes themed effects for Weddings, Portraits, Celebrations, along with popular staples like the Backdrop Zoom and Pan styles, new Caption styles and much more.

Pricing and Availability
ProShow Gold and Producer 4.5 are available immediately from www.photodex.com or by calling 1-800-377-4686. Upgrades start at $44.95 for ProShow Gold 4.5 and $89.95 for ProShow Producer 4.5, downloadable and boxed editions available. ProShow Transition Pack Volume 1 is available at $19.95 and requires ProShow 4.5. 
Lowepro, the leading brand of protective gear for photography equipment and portable electronics, has unveiled its redesigned S&Fâ„¢ Series, a modular carrying system for professional photographers that was designed to optimize workflow and help them meet the growing demand for multimedia content.

The foundation of the system includes the S&F Deluxe Technical Belt, S&F Light Utility Belt, S&F Technical Vest and S&F Technical Harness.  When either belt is worn in tandem with the vest or harness, a photographer gains the ability to comfortably carry a heavy load while quickly accessing gear and adapting to fast-changing scenarios. While all components are available individually, Lowepro is offering suggested component bundles for event photographers, multimedia photo journalists and sports photographers which combine the core workflow-saving elements for these popular photographic disciplines.
Datacolor® , a global leader in color management solutions, today introduced SpyderCheckr™, a new color reference tool that allows photographers to obtain consistent, accurate color within a standard RAW processing workflow, perform precision in-camera white balance, create custom camera calibration and record known color references. SpyderCheckr features 48 scientifically engineered color patches in a wide range of spectrally neutral colors and user-friendly profiling software that enables photographers to achieve consistent, predictable color control from capture to edit.

Datacolor SpyderCheckr captures accurate color when shooting and delivers results effortlessly into a photographer's digital workflow with RAW import software. With high-consistency standardized color patches and easy-to-use calibration software that allows photographers to create custom camera profiles, SpyderCheckr decreases post production time by eliminating trial and error color adjustment. By correcting color automatically as part of the image import workflow, the SpyderCheckr takes the guesswork out of precision color balancing.

Get the 1099 Reporting Requirement Repealed

Don't forget: professional photographers have another chance to fight the existing 1099 reporting requirement. We need you to make your voices heard by contacting your congressperson today to bring H.R. 5141 - the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act out of committee.

Rep. Dan Lundgren's (R-3rd -CA) bill, H.R. 5141, fully repeals Section 9006 of the new health care law that mandates small-business owners to file a 1099 form for every business-to-business transaction over $600 a year. This new reporting requirement will wreak havoc on small businesses (like photography studios) by drastically increasing their paperwork burden.

This new reporting requirement has nothing to do with improving health care...it is just another way to raise government revenue on the backs of small-business owners, while forcing them to spend more time on regulatory compliance than on running their businesses.

On Tuesday, September 14th, the Senate voted not to include a repeal of the 1099 reporting requirement in their version of H.R. 5297 - Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. With the Senate's passage of the bill, the House now has an opportunity to make sure a repeal provision is included!

We need 218 members of Congress to sign on to the discharge petition. Contact your congressperson today and urge him/her to sign the petition, so Congress can vote to stop this new paperwork tidal wave. Visit the Contact Congress page now to call, write or e-mail.

In addition to representing members on copyright issues, PPA is a strong advocate on small business issues, primarily relating to health care. Through the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, PPA advocates health care solutions that meet the needs of small business owners, employees, the self-employed and their families. In previous congressional sessions, PPA has supported various health reform bills, in particular those that would provide trade associations the ability to create insurance pools on behalf of its members

MichaelAlanBielat_Headshot.jpgMichael Alan Bielat of Michael Alan Bielat Photographers in Buffalo, N.Y., says that he always knew he would be some type of artist. When he was a child, he even daydreamed about becoming a comic book artist. However, he found his calling as a photographer once he reached high school, thanks to an introductory photography class he took as a freshman...and his skills in and love for the art has only increased.

"I was hooked," Bielat recalls about his introduction to photography. "From there, photography was all that I could think about."

In fact, Bielat's photography love was so great that he opened his studio in 2005...at the age of 22. Calling his business one of his biggest accomplishments, Bielat has since focused on wedding photography. His enjoyment of that specialty continually grows because he is always thinking up creative, unique ways to capture images of his subjects. "And it's good that I chose this area of photography because this is one of the few that can actually make you money!" he adds.

Bielat will share his creativity in capturing images during a Super Monday class onBielat1.jpg October 25th in Lancaster, N.Y: "Off-Camera Flash Techniques." Here, attendees will learn how to make and use creative lighting with speedlights and on- and off-camera flash techniques.

"I think that incorporating flash in your photography--the right way--really steps things up," explains Bielat about the importance of the flash techniques he'll share. "You are now 'making' a photograph instead of just taking one. Flash adds a sense of dimension and just makes the images pop."

Bielat also believes that his class will help photographers gain confidence in using flash techniques themselves. "Unfortunately, I think people get into their comfort zones and are a little reluctant to take out the flash and do some creative lighting with it," he notes. "Hopefully, this class will give my students the know-how to take their photos to the next level."

Learn more about Bielat's Lancaster class, and browse more Super Monday classes in more locations at www.ppa.com/supermonday.

Read more about Bielat here.  

Super Monday is an educational program, sponsored by PPA, every spring and fall. These daylong, interactive workshops are conducted in locations around the country, allowing PPA members to earn merits for sharing their craft and enabling all photographers to learn new skills and develop professional networking contacts.

braniff_headshot1.gif"In order to rise to the top of the heap, you have to be remarkable in some way," says Farrah Braniff, CPP, of the saturated photography market. "Your skill behind the camera is not remarkable enough (in most cases) to get people to come to you. Instead, you have to reach out with your marketing, showcase your skills and have a highly effective marketing message that catches people's attention. Finding interesting and new ways to represent the image or face of your business will help you get noticed."

Easier said than done, huh? Well, Braniff is getting ready to show you how she follows through with that statement about reaching out. And if you tune into her upcoming webinar ("Become an Image Marketing Dynamo") on September 23rd at 2:00pm, you could carry away some helpful tips from this two-time winner of the AN-NE Marketing Awards' Best Image Marketing Campaign.

"I firmly believe that, as photographers, WE are our brand," Braniff adds. "Many of us are the only photographer in our operation, and you may even use your own name as your company name. If that is so, then you really have to incorporate YOU into your branding."

After all, people come to you for a reason. Braniff suggests finding out what those reasons are and refining and defining the experience your clients have. Can you focus that customer experience to reflect more of the "uniqueness of you and your style"? That is what will help your business truly stand out. As Braniff says, "The best things we have to offer are our unique selves. Find out who that person is and put that in the forefront of your marketing efforts."

How do you get those marketing efforts started? "One of the very best ways to market your business is to get your existing clients to talk to their friends about you," explains Braniff. And in her webinar, she's going to talk about ways that you can use your packaging and marketing to get such a conversation started.

You ready to share your remarkable features? Join Braniff to learn how to "Become an Image Marketing Dynamo" (September 23rd at 2:00pm ET) and get people talking.
Since 1936, photographers have appreciated Olympus's critically acclaimed Zuiko® lenses for their innovative design, high quality and superior reliability.  Today, Olympus is pleased to announce that it is developing a new flagship compact camera that will be its first digital compact camera with a built-in Zuiko® lens. Olympus expects to introduce the camera in the first quarter of 2011.  

Like the Olympus PEN® E-P2 and E-PL1 cameras, the new camera will include an accessory port so photographers will be able to expand its versatility by attaching optional accessories like the SEMA-1 external microphone adapter set.  

A prototype of the camera will be displayed this week at Photokina 2010, the world's largest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries held September 21-26 in Cologne, Germany.  It will also be on display from October 28-30 at the 2010 PDN PhotoPlus Expo in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.  
Precision Camera.gifNovember 15th marks the birthday of William Herschel, the astronomer who discovered infrared light in 1800. To celebrate the occasion, Precision Camera & Video Repair (Precision Camera) will be running a special promotion on their Infrared Conversion Services. From now until November 15th, PPA members get an even lower price when they convert their digital cameras to infrared!

PPA members can visit the Extreme Deal page to find out how to take advantage of this special offer. If you have questions about Precision Camera, please e-mail ir@precisioncamera.com or call (866) 449-7287.

Precision Camera & Video Repair also has a special PPA Premier Services Repair Program for PPA members, with no annual fee, rapid turnaround times, discounted repair and shipping prices, discounted infrared conversion services and much more.

You spoke up and the Senate listened!  On Thursday, September 16 the Senate voted to pass their version of H.R. 5297 - Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. In a vote of 61-38, the bill safely sailed through the Senate.

Even though the bill was viewed favorably by the Senate, it must return to the House for a conforming vote. We anticipate the vote may occur as early as Wednesday of this week when the House returns from recess.

Read more here.


Professional photographers have another chance to fight the existing 1099 reporting requirement. We need you to make your voices heard by contacting your Congressman to bring H.R. 5141 - the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act out of committee.

Rep. Dan Lundgren's (R-3rd -CA) bill, H.R. 5141, fully repeals Section 9006 of the new healthcare law that mandates small business owners to file a 1099 form for every business-to-business transaction over $600 a year. This new reporting requirement will wreak havoc on small businesses, like photographers, by drastically increasing their paperwork burden.

Members, read how you can help here.

At age 88, Betty White ended up hosting Saturday Night Live because of Facebook.

Despite her decades of success, stellar comedic performances and the plain fact that she's just so adorable, she wasn't the "It Girl" of 2010 until a Facebook campaign to get her on SNL made it so. In her opening monologue, she thanked her Facebook fans with her tongue firmly implanted in her cheek: "I really have to thank Facebook...I didn't know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say that it sounds like a huge waste of time."

Well, for some, it may be a huge waste of time. (Need I name the game "Farmville"?)

But for some smart photographers (or their smart staff), it's a great way to connect with clients and potential clients while providing a new marketing avenue. Like any technology, there's a learning curve. So pay attention to this week's Vital Signs, for it brings up some important questions to consider as you navigate this crowded section of the information highway.

Afterwards, if you haven't already, jump on Facebook. Be a fan of Imaging USA. Be a fan of Professional Photographers of America. Connect with other photographers. Connect with your clients. (Just stay away from Farmville...trust me.)

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

On September 22nd  at 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT, the Small Business Health Care Coalition is hosting a health care webinar titled, "The New Health Care Law and You: What Your Small Business Needs to Know." PPA is a member of the Small Business Health Care Coalition, and we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to hear from and ask questions of experts on the new health care laws.

Please be aware that registration is limited to the first one thousand attendees and will operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Participation is free and open to all!
Contrary to expectations, the U.S. Senate voted not to repeal the 1099 reporting provisions incorporated into the law in March 2010. The two 1099 amendments we mentioned in yesterday's update were brought to the floor that very afternoon. The amendments put forward by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) were each met with opposition from only a slight majority and failed to pass.  

It's our hope that both the House and the Senate will take up debate on the repeal of the 1099 reporting requirement later this session or when they return in January. However, an attempt to pass the repeal in the House as a "stand alone" bill failed earlier this summer.

Read the full article here.
PPA remains hopeful that the U.S. Senate will complete the passage of their version of H.R. 5297 - The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Prior to the August recess, PPA sent letters to the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee leadership, supporting the substitution they introduced in the Senate.  

"We were pleased to see the passage of the bill substitute prior to the recess," adds David Trust, CEO of PPA.  "It is especially important to take note that the Senate's substitute included Section 2042, a provision allowing self-employed business owners to deduct their health care expenses pre-tax for one year, as proposed by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME)."

Before the bill can be sent back to the U.S. House of Representatives for a conforming vote, though, there are still amendments on the table.  To learn about these amendments and more, read the full article
Olympus has announced the E-5, a new digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera that builds on the company's tradition of innovation to meet the rigorous demands of professional photographers and experienced amateurs. In recent years, Olympus has changed the DSLR marketplace by pioneering groundbreaking features, including the first 100 percent digital-specific lenses, the award-winning Supersonic Wave Filter Dust Reduction System, the first Full -Time Live View system and a completely splashproof and dustproof magnesium alloy DSLR body. Olympus continues this legacy by pairing these technologies with several new breakthrough features developed for the E-5 camera, providing further proof that Olympus lets you capture it all.

Superior Image Quality: The E-5 camera achieves the highest image quality of any Olympus camera by pairing a 12.3 megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor with a TruePic V+ image processing engine that boasts new "Fine Detail Processing" technology for greater detail in the photograph. Optimized to maximize the performance of the Zuiko® Digital Lenses, Fine Detail Processing takes digital photography to the next level.

270 Degree Swivel LCD: A 3.0-inch dual axis swivel HyperCrystal® LCD with 920,000 dots makes it easy to frame High Definition (HD) videos and still images at any angle from low to high and side to side to ensure accurate composition.

Limitless Creativity: Ten in-camera Art Filters including new Dramatic Tone round out this DSLR's impressive feature set. For the first time, photographers can use Art Filters in all shooting modes, program auto, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual modes and movies with expanded control. Both still and movie capable, the E-5 camera offers HD video in an E-System DSLR for the first time.

"The E-5 camera combines the E-System's legendary durability, reliability and professional image quality with HD video, multi-exposure and creative art features of the PEN® series," said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "Wherever you're shooting, the rugged splashproof design of this camera will capture excellent images and video and withstand any rough conditions you might encounter."

Superior Image Quality
The E-5 camera utilizes a unique combination of cutting-edge technologies to deliver the highest image quality in the Olympus family. Together with its 12.3 megapixel High-Speed Live MOS image sensor, the Olympus TruePic V+ Image Processor produces clear and colorful photos using all the pixel information at an individual pixel level to provide the best digital images possible. The increased detail is due to the new Fine Detail Processing technology, utilizing a sophisticated algorithm to deliver all the information from each pixel for greater detail than shots taken on other cameras with the same number of pixels. The image processor is noted for accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression; it also lowers image noise in photos shot at higher ISO settings (ISO 100 to ISO 6400), enabling great results in low-light situations.

To prevent image blur caused by camera shake, the E-5 camera employs in-body Mechanical Image Stabilization to compensate for camera movement up to 5 steps EV and delivers blur-free images taken with any of the ZUIKO® DIGITAL lenses available for the camera. Moreover, built-in Image Stabilization works with not only long focal length lenses, but with wide, ultra-wide and even fisheye lenses, permitting long exposures during low-light and night scene settings with sharp, stabilized results.

Head-Turning High Definition Video
Shooting video is as easy as ever with the new Olympus E-5 camera. The camera captures all the action in crisp 720p HD video at 30 frames per second. With more than 20 Four Thirds® lenses, people can shoot video with a selection of lenses ranging from an extreme wide-angle fisheye lens to a super telephoto lens for a variety of expressive options. Photographers can capture great stereo sound quality by plugging any microphone with a standard 3.5mm jack into the camera's stereo microphone terminal. A built-in microphone also records clear monaural audio.

3.0-inch dual axis swivel HyperCrystal® LCD
Whether composing still images or HD video, photographers will appreciate the E-5 camera's 270 degree dual axis swivel 3.0-inch Live View LCD because it covers all the viewing angles from low to high and side to side, ensuring accurate composition and providing opportunities for creativity. Real-time image monitoring of white balance and exposure enables greater creative control of settings. The LCD displays 920,000 dots in vivid color and includes HyperCrystal® technology, which offers many times the contrast of conventional LCD monitors for easier viewing in both preview and playback modes. It also provides a wide viewing angle ensuring that images can be composed from even the most obscure angles.

Tremendous Durability and Reliability
The E-5 camera's sealed lightweight "thixomold" magnesium alloy chassis is completely splashproof and dustproof for optimal performance with pro lenses on expeditions to the most extreme environments on the planet. A durable shutter mechanism with the lifespan of 150,000 exposures meets the demands of serious photographers. The E-5 camera's large optical viewfinder provides a 100 percent accurate view to ensure photographers do not miss a shot.

The E-5 camera also features an award-winning built-in Dust Reduction System that eliminates spots from photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter. This year, the system won the prestigious Asahi Shimbun Invention Prize in the 2010 Japan National Invention Awards. The patented ultrasonic technology physically vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor, and captures the debris on a special adhesive membrane every time you turn on the camera. It can even remove dust attached by intermolecular force that cannot be removed by physical vibration or by discharging static electricity. These spot-free photos liberate users from hours spent retouching photographs at the computer or sending their cameras back to the manufacturer to remove dust trapped inside.

Unlimited Creativity
Olympus pioneered easy-to-use in-camera art filters for still images captured inside its E-System DSLRs. It was the first company to offer the ability to apply art filters to HD video recordings captured with the PEN® E-P1 camera. Now, the E-5 camera continues this tradition of innovation with 10 user controllable in-camera art filters, including one new filter: Dramatic Tone.

The Dramatic Tone art filter represents real space in a more imaginary way by applying unrealistic tones of light and darkness based on local changes in contrast. This new filter is a welcome addition to the Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process and Gentle Sepia filters previously available on the E-30, E-620 and PEN® series cameras.

For the first time, photographers can use Art Filters in all shooting modes: shutter priority, aperture priority, manual and program auto modes for expanded control. The filters can all be applied to both still shots and Standard Definition or HD movies. Whether you're a videographer, documentarian or established director - or just want to shoot like one - Art Filters set your images and videos apart from the pack. Since they're built into the camera, you can achieve dramatic results on the go without the need for computer or editing software.

With the E-5 camera's Multiple Exposure function for still image capture, you are free to tell a visual story your way, whether in portrait or landscape orientation, or a combination of both. The image capture options allow you to combine four shots. Shoot one shot, then another and combine them in real time, or capture two to four shots separately and combine them in the camera later.

The E-5 camera is also equipped with an internal Digital Level Sensor that detects the camera's pitch and roll with indicators in the optical viewfinder, on the control panel and during Live View operation. This Digital Leveler is a tremendous benefit for architectural photographers who must ensure that images they take of buildings are as centered and true as the walls of the buildings themselves. Rather than spend time rotating an image in computer software, you can use the camera's Digital Leveler to make sure your subjects are where they should be in the frame.

Whatever you create, it will be easy to display on the big screen. When you're ready to share your work, just plug the E-5 camera into any HD television using the camera's HDMI output with an HDMI cable and show it off.

Great Performance
Intuitive controls and fast performance are essential for capturing the moment without missing a shot. Besides its direct access buttons for quick access to camera menus, the E-5 camera offers the fastest AF speed in the world when coupled with the ZUIKO® DIGITAL ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 (24-120mm equivalent) Supersonic Wave Drive Lens to ensure fast focus for clear, sharp photos.[1] The E-5 camera has a Twin cross type (fully biaxial) 11-point AF sensor, based on proprietary Olympus micro-sensing technologies that achieve equally effective performance on both the vertical and horizontal axis. With most biaxial sensors, performance on the vertical and horizontal axes is not equal, and there is often a perceived difference in response time when using different lenses. However, unlike systems that respond at nominally lower f-stop values simply by boosting sensitivity, the E-5 camera's AF sensor features a houndstooth pattern phase detection sensor layout that uses micro-lamination technologies to achieve superior real-world performance. The 11 AF target points on the E-5 can be selected to work individually or dynamically in combination with adjacent target points.

The E-5 camera also features five frames-per-second continuous shooting and a 1/8000 second top shutter speed required for shooting situations when you are capturing fast-moving subjects.

Wireless Flash Control
The E-5 camera is compatible with a range of optional external flashes, including the Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R. The E-5 camera can control both of these flashes wirelessly so you can dynamically control lighting as your photography skills grow. The E-5 camera features a commander function incorporated in its built-in flash, making wireless multi-flash photography possible without using an outside commander. The E-5 camera can control up to three wireless flash groups independently, and control of multiple flashes is possible even in an environment in which both the FL-50R and FL-36R are used simultaneously. In addition, the E-5 camera's Super Control Panel display makes it possible to enter and check all of the selected items on the LCD. This ensures excellent operability and mobility.

Memory
Accepting both CompactFlash Type I UDMA and SD cards (SDHC/SDXC compatible), the camera provides a choice of data storage options for enhanced flexibility, and it is possible to transfer image files from one card to the other right inside the camera. Class 6 or higher SD cards are recommended for optimal movie shooting.

Availability
The Olympus E-5 camera will be available in October 2010. It includes the E-5 Body, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLM-5), Li-Ion Battery Charger (BCM-5), Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS software CD-ROM, Manuals and Registration card.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations

E-5 Camera Body Estimated Street Price: $1,699.99

onOne Software, Inc., a leading developer of innovative, timesaving solutions for professional and advanced amateur photographers, has announced its upcoming schedule of free onOne University Pro Live Webinars. Acclaimed photographers, Photoshop Gurus and onOne team members will be hosting the live hour-long webinars, enabling participants to submit questions during the sessions. Topics will include lifestyle, landscape, portraiture, travel and HDR photography, with new sessions being added regularly. Attendees who attend will not only be inspired by the amazing photography of the speakers but will also learn valuable tips and techniques on using onOne Software products.

Webinar Registration
To register for the webinars visit: http://www.ononesoftware.com/webinars

Pro Webinar Schedule

Enhancing Your Portraits, with Dave Cross
September 14th at 2pm Pacific / 5pm Eastern
Join NAPP instructor and photographer Dave Cross for this valuable webinar that's jam-packed with tips and tricks for getting the most out of your images using PhotoFrame.  Dave will also include Photoshop tips and techniques that will help you efficiently create great images that are easily editable. 

Creating Urban Exploration and Grunge HDR Photographs, with Brian Matiash
September 21st at 1pm Pacific / 4pm Eastern
Brian Matiash will guide you through the creation of "Urban Exploration" (UrbEx) and Grunge HDR images.  This genre of photography is about finding places that time has forgotten to document what happens when nature takes over.  Join Brian as he shows you how to use PhotoTools to maximize the amount of detail you can pull out of your UrbEx/Grunge HDR images and develop a style all your own. 

onOne Team Webinar Schedule

Making Your Portraits Stand Out with Plug-In Suite 5
September 15th at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern
This is a repeat of a popular webinar hosted by onOne's Senior Product Manager and professional photographer, Dan Harlacher.  In this session Dan will show you how to make your portraits pop using PhotoTools, PhotoFrame and FocalPoint.  You'll see how easy it is to take an ordinary image and give it that extra oomph that makes it a sure sell to your clients using effects, texture and selective focus techniques.

Lightroom Workflow with onOne Presets and Plug-Ins
September 23rd at 2pm Pacific / 5pm Eastern
onOne's VP of Marketing, Mike Wong, will walk you through his workflow with Photoshop Lightroom.  This presentation will cover Lightroom basics as well as using the Free Lightroom Presets from onOne.  Mike will then cover how to access our onOne Plug-Ins from inside Lightroom for fast enhancements and batch processing.
digimarclogo.gifProtecting your copyrights is an important topic for many photographers...and PPA. That is why we're excited to announce Digimarc® as PPA's newest member benefit!

Through their Digimarc for Images solution, Digimarc provides digital watermarking services that help protect your images by communicating your ownership and copyright information. These imperceptible watermarks are designed to stay attached to your images or digital content as it is moved, copied, pasted, resized or reformatted.

"With Digimarc for Images, professional photographers can effectively engage the online marketplace without worrying about the unwanted use and misappropriation of their images," says Ben Bounketh, Digimarc for Images Product Manager.

Wherever your images are found on the Internet, Digimarc's digital watermarking allows others to determine not only who the image belongs to, but how to contact you as well. And depending on which Digimarc edition you implement, you can even track where your watermarked images are and who is using them through the Digimarc Search Service.

"The search service functions as a web crawler, scanning literally billions of images per year," explains Bounketh. When a watermarked image is found, the search database records its location, along with a thumbnail of the image and a time stamp. By generating a search report, search subscribers have the ability to see where their images are being used and if they are being displayed according to usage terms. "If illegal use is found, content owners can prove ownership, giving them the leverage to ensure appropriate remedial action is taken."

Since the Digimarc plug-in is pre-installed in Adobe® Photoshop®, all you need to utilize the technology is Adobe Photoshop CS3, CS4, CS5 or Elements 6, 7 or 8. As soon as you register for Digimarc for Images, you will be provided with a unique Digimarc ID and PIN. Once you put this information into the Adobe Photoshop plug-in, you're ready to start digitally watermarking your images!

"Watermarking an individual image takes mere seconds and can be easily automated within Adobe Photoshop by using action scripts," adds Bounketh. "All in all, Digimarc for Images is a quick process and is easily incorporated into any workflow."

To learn more about the new Digimarc benefit and how to take advantage of the PPA member discount, visit the Benefits section at PPA.com. If you have questions about the Digimarc for Images solution--including the available editions--you can get additional information at Digimarc.com and through their video tutorials.
Mohr_John_headshot.gifJohn Mohr, Cr.Photog., CPP, of John Mohr Photography in Bettendorf, Iowa, knows all about the importance of enjoying what you do. A professional photographer for 22 years, he says that his specialty has become photographing high school seniors because of how much fun he has doing it.

"The seniors of today are exciting and full of personality," Mohr adds. "They offer us the opportunity to express their personalities and passions in so many ways. The sky is the limit!"

Before he became a senior photography specialist, though, Mohr says that his interest in photography started years ago while working on 4-H projects with his Yashica rangefinder camera. "It may have been the first time the camera that I directed made someone react from the other side. I'm glad to be doing what I do," Mohr recalls.

And since he turned that photographic interest into a career and opened his own studio, MohrMohr1.gif says that PPA has been a great help.

"PPA recognizes the challenges of today and makes tools available to me in many different ways," he explains. "The biggest help has been the education...at conventions, Super Monday classes or in a publication sponsored by PPA. The knowledge provided is diverse, and it was helpful on my first day in the business and still is today."

He even considers getting his Photographic Craftsmen degree from PPA one of his biggest accomplishments as a photographer. "The work involved with teaching a class or thinking 'is that a competition image?' has made me a better photographer," he adds.

And being a better photographer is important in today's market, according to him. After all, the availability of equipment that allows people with little skill and training to capture good images forces real professional photographers to raise the bar to an even higher level.

Mohr2.gif"The level of this particular bar has caused a bigger need for us as professionals to refine our skills and offer an experience, not just a JPEG on a CD," Mohr says. He adds that being a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) has helped him overcome this challenge. "I believe being certified shows that you are taking your craft forward one more step. Certification portrays to the client that you are striving to stay current with the education that can set you apart from others."

But above everything else, Mohr says his favorite part of being a PPA member is meeting other photographers.

"The people I have met along the way are priceless," he says emphatically. "I always look forward to Imaging USA, a week at our own PPA Affiliate School (Mid-America Institute of Professional Photography), or a few days at our state convention. These are great places to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. The information picked up in these sessions is so valuable and equally balanced with what is learned in the hallways afterwards."

It's that kind of enthusiasm and zeal (for his career and his entire industry) that proves Mohr has chosen the correct path in his life!

Read more about John Mohr and view more of his work here.
PPA Charities' fundraising season is ready to swing into high gear...are you?

Last year, the outstanding generosity of PPA member studios and vendors allowed PPA Charities to present a check for $100,000 to their charitable partner Operation Smile at Imaging USA. This unprecedented amount nearly doubled the previous donation!
 
For this year, PPA Charities Trustees are challenging you to help raise that donation to $120,000, which represents 500 smiles saved by Operation Smile medical professionals. Because those dedicated professionals donate their services to Operation Smile, it takes only $240 to give a needy child the precious gift of surgery.

How to Help Reach that Goal
There are many ways to get involved and raise donations for PPA Charities, including joining the 2010 Family Portrait Month (October or November) and/or becoming a PPA Charities Operation Smile Studio (year-round).

In fact, the PPA Charities website has been redesigned to better help you participate. There are new resources that aid in charitable fundraising activities and getting your business noticed, including success stories from photographers and new downloadable marketing materials (in the new Downloads section). Those who register for Family Portrait Month will also receive samples that have been designed by Sandy Puc' and her crew (sent to you after your registration)!

Save Those Smiles
Whether you save a single smile or many more, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are part of a professional organization that makes miracles happen for precious children. Become an accessory to those miracles--get involved with PPA Charities now!  

Dear PPA Member,

Who inspires you? How can you inspire others? I think it starts by sharing what you know. In fact, I bet that many of the speakers you consider most compelling didn't start their careers by saying, "I want to be a great speaker!" But I believe that they all said, "I want to share what I know with others."

So how do you start sharing your knowledge with others?

Well, the Beatles didn't begin by playing at Shea Stadium. They began with small gigs in Liverpool and Hamburg. They started small, but dreamed big. They practiced. Got better. Practiced some more. Got even better.

You may not want to play Shea Stadium, but if you want to be a great speaker, you need to start somewhere. This week's Vital Signs will give you some helpful tips on where to begin. Where will you end up? Well, Lennon and McCartney mentioned something about the long and winding road...

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

P.S. Have you ever wanted to accept a credit card payment while you're out of the studio? Midwest Transaction Group (MTG) is now offering mobile payment solutions, which allow you to accept swiped credit card transactions through your smart phone or mobile device! Learn more about the new service and the discounts you get as a PPA member!

PPA Member Jen Hillenga, M.Photog.Cr., of Memento Images in Savage, MN, recently won a Golden Camera Award in the Federation of European Professional Photographer's European Professional Photographer of the Year Awards.

More than 700 photographers from 25 countries participated in this year's competition, making Hillenga's first-place finish in the International category very applause-worthy! She has been invited to the Photokina Exhibition in Cologne, Germany, on September 22nd to accept her award during the FEP European Golden Cameras ceremony.

If you'd like to learn from this award-winning photographer firsthand, don't miss her pre-convention "Boudoir: Bold & Beautiful" Imaging USA class on January 14, 2011.

Read more about Hillenga here.

Read more about the competition here
Kubota Image Tools, provider of photographer-empowering tools and educational offerings, and Dane Sanders, principal and head photographer at KIN Photographic, have announced open registration for Escalate LIVE Fall 2010. The conference, taking place Oct. 4-5, 2010, will be the first co-produced by Kubota Image Tools and Dane Sanders, and begin a series of events to be held in the spring and fall of each year.  The location of Fall Escalate LIVE was strategically selected to provide attendees access to studios of two of the country's leading portrait photographers: Vicki Taufer's V Gallery in Morton, Ill. and Jeffry and Julia Wood's studio in Washington, Ill.

Escalate LIVE Fall 2010 will be available via a live streaming feed to photographers around the world in addition to the live audience, and will feature renowned portrait photographers Julia Woods, Vicki Taufer, Tamara Lackey and Lori Nordstrom sharing tips for successful professional portraiture. Julieanne Kost, Digital Imaging Evangelist for Adobe, will also be sharing her expertise on portrait workflow. Dane Sanders will host the event, while giving aspiring and established photographers a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to build a thriving portrait business. Entitled "Be Boutique," the focus of the workshop is to help photographers center their value and brand on their unique talents and personal style.  Sanders will provide opening remarks, host Q&A sessions with the featured photographers and conduct studio tours.

"This event has the potential to be a turning point in the careers of many established and fledgling portrait photographers - encouraging them to 'Be Boutique,' by showing them the path to a thriving business based on their unique talents," said Sanders. "We aim to make a dramatic impact not only on the people we touch directly, but on the entire industry by preserving and fostering the role of portrait artists as a creative and valued resource to their communities."

Escalate LIVE will bring together one of the most well-appointed panels of portrait photographers possible, and will offer participants unique approaches, techniques, workflows, etc. which they can adapt to their portrait work.

"Portraiture is about a connection between an artist and a subject, and this program is designed to make that connection more fulfilling for both," said Kevin Kubota, Idea Guy of Kubota Image Tools. "We know from our experience running the Digital Photography Bootcamp and other programs that photographers find greater success by putting their passion for photography front and center. Dane has proven time and again that he can provide insights and motivation to make that passion a photographer's strongest value to his or her customers. His success with the first Escalate LIVE inspired us to join him in making it a fixture on the calendar twice a year, and bringing this business-changing inspiration to far more people."

In addition to the live event streaming online, the intimate in-person conference will be limited to 50 attendees at a cost of $499.  Those looking to participate via Internet have several options for joining the conference virtually ranging in price from absolutely free up to $20 for two days of content. A high quality video will be produced of the entire event and will be available for sale for $99 once it has ended.

Premiere sponsors from the 2010 spring event, Adobe and White House Custom Color, return for Escalate LIVE Fall 2010, joined by Asukabook and Triple Scoop Music. A full agenda is available at http://escalatelive.com/ along with information on the featured photographers, show sponsors, logistics information and access to Video On Demand from Escalate LIVE Spring 2010.

Imaging Expo ©Victor BruceDo you have your holiday wish list already? Yes, I know it's only September, but there are so many hot new photo products and services out there...why wait?

Hop on www.ImagingUSA.org/floorplan and make your list, courtesy of Imaging USA's upcoming Imaging EXPO, one of the largest professional photo trade shows in the U.S. (and the first one of the year). You can even cruise the interactive, live floor plan! It's constantly updated, so you can see who is coming, where their booths are and what kinds of products they'll be offering come January 16th.

Have you been wondering if a lens is right for you? What about that new album or background you've heard about? Come see for yourself how these (and many, many more) products look and feel in person. You might discover something new that will change the way you do business.

But it's not just great deals and products--the Imaging EXPO also includes live, in-booth demos by experts. In fact, GraphiStudio Theater dedicates an entire theater-style space to their demonstrations!

Make your wish list now for great products and services that fan the flames of your inspiration. Then turn those wishes into reality at the Imaging EXPO.

We'll see you there!

(Image ©Victor Bruce)

Raise your hands if you knew that the word "sin" is actually an archery term meaning to fail to attain or miss the mark; whereas the word "transgression" more closely describes overshooting the target. In other words, we can make mistakes by falling short of our goals, but we can also create problems for ourselves by overreaching.  

Today, in the third installment of our series of articles featuring the "seven deadly sins" of financial management for photographers, our main subjects are about just that--too much of a good thing isn't always the right thing.

If you've missed one or more of the previous articles, you can find Part I here and Part II here, but let's start with a quick summary of the sins--or transgressions--we've pointed out so far:

  1. You can ignore it--in this case, your financial statement--but it won't go away. 
  2. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
  3. Failing to think like a businessperson as well as an artist puts you at a disadvantage when your entire focus is on your passion and not your profitability. 
  4. Trying to go it alone means you turn away from financial advisors and peer groups that can help you understand financial results and get new ideas for improving profitability and efficiency.
Now, let's move on to number five, a transgression commonly committed by overachievers.

#5 - Trying to Fix Too Many Things at Once
You've admitted you have a problem. You've taken the first step of really analyzing your books...and guess what? Being brave and facing your numbers has likely produced a whole list of new ideas to make your business more profitable. So as your mind races with all the things you can do, it's almost too easy to head off in multiple directions without a clear plan for success.

Not so Fast
"Stop," says Scott Kurkian, PPA chief financial officer and founder of Studio Management Services (SMS), PPA's business and financial management practice for photographers. "There is a time to take action, but before you rush out and start implementing sales and marketing programs, you need a plan." 

A great place to start is a detailed read of PPA's benchmark survey analysis, which can help you measure your business against industry averages to determine your strengths and weaknesses. And that, of course, leads to a look at the opportunities and threats. 

A detailed and well-reasoned S.W.O.T. analysis is the foundation of a great marketing plan. And it doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out process, says PPA's chief executive officer David Trust. "Make an appointment with yourself. Set aside a few hours, grab a cup of coffee, a notebook and a pen and start with your strengths," he advises. 

We'll talk more in-depth about marketing planning next week, but if you decide to try this at home before then, don't forget to clearly articulate your weaknesses and threats as well. They'll reveal as much, or even more, about where you need to focus your sales and marketing efforts.

Focus. Focus. Focus.
If you don't understand what you need to improve or, in some cases, minimize, you'll lose focus on what you need to grow. And that focus, Trust says, is the key to avoid failing by overreaching. "Photographers have to be relentless about sticking with the products lines and clients that generate the most revenue for them. It's a basic tenet of small business management. You have to be vigilant about focusing on your core competencies." 

Focus on the most profitable product lines and customer types and, Trust concludes, "be ruthless with yourself about pricing properly." 

Kurkian also points out that pricing is one of the most misunderstood and difficult concepts for photographers. "We spend hours on pricing in SMS workshops because it's a complex concept that photographers need to grasp in detail in order to improve profitability. We'll never get where we want to be as a business if we fail to price for profit."

This focus on focusing leads us to the next to last of our deadly sins to avoid.

#6 - Straying Too Far from Your Primary Sources of Income.
"One of the most common marketing mistakes small businesses make is trying to be all things to all people," says Trust. "When focused on driving revenue, it's easy to fall into the trap of chasing after every kind of client. But in reality, that lack of strategic focus will end up costing you in time, resources and lost opportunities."

How do you figure out your sweet spot? Start with an analysis of your previous sales by product line. Which clients produce the highest average sales per session? Which markets have the most potential in your particular area? What kinds of clients do you enjoy photographing--or photographing for--the most? 

Look for opportunities to expand to adjacent markets as well. For instance, if you're focused on high school seniors, encourage a pose or two with the family pet and then offer a coupon for another family session involving people, pets or both.

"It will almost always be more cost-effective and more profitable to stick close to your current source of clients and revenue," says Kurkian. 

Coming Up Next
Last but certainly not least, our final article in this series will address one of the deadliest of the big seven: failing to develop a marketing plan. In the meantime, get a head start this week by thinking through your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You may discover some interesting--and exciting--directions for your business that haven't occurred to you before. The power of a notebook, a pen and a cup of coffee should never be underestimated.

Want to Know More?
If you'd like more information about SMS, you can read all about a typical two- or three-day class on PPA.com. You can also sign up for those upcoming workshops in November in Atlanta or at Imaging USA in San Antonio this January. 

Not ready to register for a class yet, but intrigued? PPA members can also check out a variety of resources, including the Financial Benchmark survey, templates and other tools in the SMS section of the PPA website.

In addition to SMS resources, PPA members can also glean a wealth of ideas from the Resources section of the PPA website, including archives of Vital Signs, the weekly newsletter focused on business and marketing information for PPA members.

Do you have financial management success stories of your own that you'd like to share? We're all ears--just e-mail Angela Wijesinghe. You may be an inspiration to others as well!
  

Andrews_Carol.gifWe all know that time is money. But it's one thing to "know" that in the back of your mind, and it's quite another to act on that knowledge and change your practices. Carol Andrews Jensen, M.Photog.Cr., ABI, PPA board member and Studio Management Services (SMS) mentor, is here to help you change with some commonsense workflow advice: shoot with intention.

"The more inefficient and inconsistent your entire business process, the less chance you have of being successful in today's competitive photographic marketplace," Andrews Jensen says about the connection between workflow and profit. "By controlling your business (shooting with intention), you can also create and control your profitability...or your loss. They are each correlated to workflow and your business future. In other words, the over-shooters are losing."

What Andrews Jensen is referring to is the tendency of many digital photographers to take hundreds and thousands of images during each session. "What's wrong with that?" you might ask. Well, what was true for film photography is still true for digital photography (even if you don't realize it).

"Just ask any old film shooter," replies Andrews Jensen. "Each exposure, each click of the button had to really mean something because it was $1.50 every time you clicked the shutter. But here's the revelation to younger photographers: NOTHING CHANGED. It still costs you $1.50 every click of the button when you measure time and realize time is money."

And the real nightmare is in the editing of those image dumps. "You can literally 'shoot' your way into bankruptcy, client dissatisfaction and, yes, even divorce if you don't put your business in front of your 'artistic expressions,'" adds Andrews Jensen.

She hears such "woe is me" and "I want my life back" stories from photographers every day. That's why she is bringing her "Shooting with Intention (for Portraits)" webinar to PPA members (September 16th, 2:00pm ET).

In the webinar, Andrews Jensen will be reviewing the keys to photographing with intention, creating a beautiful and profitable flow from client relations to portrait design, the photo session and the sales recommendations. With her help, you'll see that simplifying is key. To her, this philosophy is nothing new...just something that was forgotten by many.

"(Shooting with intention) is the key to creating quality lives and profitable businesses that serve us and our families...not ruin us," says Andrews Jensen. "As a single parent and business owner, it helped me create the life I needed by supporting my financial needs and giving me the flexibility and time to parent my child. And I'm just as excited to see other photographers embracing this structure and making these simple changes, for we see their studios flourishing and their personal lives recovering."

Are you ready to tighten control, rein in your shooting and focus on the goal of each session or event? Join Carol Andrews Jensen for her "Shooting with Intention (for Portraits)" webinar, and start making profitable changes.
midwesttransactiongroup.pngHave you ever been out of the studio and needed to process a credit card payment? Whether you're shooting on location or at a client consultation, accepting credit card payments while out of the office has never been easier!

Midwest Transaction Group (MTG)--PPA's Affinity Partner for credit card merchant services--has announced that they are now offering ROAM Data's ROAMpay mobile payment solution to PPA members. This service allows individuals to accept swiped credit card transactions through their smart phone or mobile device. Everything from physically swiping a credit card to e-mailing a receipt to the client is handled through the ROAMpay system.

"PPA members are the most mobile group of clients we have," explains Charles Creamer, CEO of MTG. "It only makes sense to offer them a reliable processing solution that is as mobile as they are."

MTG Mobile Processing.pngWhile some similar products may only be compatible with a specific device, ROAMpay's equipment will work with the iPhone™, BlackBerry® and DROID smart phones (not to mention the iPad™!). And there is no need to think twice about the security of these transactions. ROAMpay is both PCI and DES3 secure, which means that the transactions are processed in the safest of environments.

Since ROAMpay is distributed by MTG, PPA members have access to this mobile payment option at the lowest possible price. "ROAMpay is not only the most versatile, but also the most cost-effective mobile processing solution we have come across," adds Creamer.

To learn more about this new mobile processing service and the special discounts you get as a PPA member, visit the Benefit area at PPA.com.
gwengreenglass_headshot.jpgOften, our parents influence decisions about our future...but we each find our own unique path due to our inspirations and skills. For example, Gwen Greenglass, M.Photog., CPP, of Bonita Springs, Fla., first became interested in photography as a child, thanks to her father. His hobby was photography, and he had a darkroom in their home while she was growing up. And while such a hobby is not remarkable, his subject matter definitely was!

"He was involved with the rocket program and would bring home images of the test monkeys and of the earth from outer space," Greenglass remembers.

After this unique introduction to photography, Greenglass became a professional photographer in 1996 and now operates Portraits by Gwen, a family and children's portrait business. While her father's space photography drew her into the photographic industry, she found her own love in photographing people--they inspire her to capture the beauty and uniqueness that she sees in them.

"The innocence of children and the bond they have with their families are great images togwengreenglass_1.jpg capture now and for the future," says Greenglass.

Greenglass loves what she does, but she admits that not having a staff and having to know every part of her business from top to bottom can be challenging. However, the photographers she has met through PPA help her overcome this challenge--she has a network of colleagues available to discuss issues and share ideas with her.

Of course, part of knowing your photography business from top to bottom is being able to capture great images. Greenglass will teach you how she does it in her Super Monday "Window Light" class on October 25th in Bonita Springs.

In the course, you'll learn how to use natural, window light in your studio and in your client's home to capture soft and natural-looking portraits. "I want everyone to be able to use any window to create a unique image," adds Greenglass about the goal she has for her students.

Neil Enterprises, Inc. has just announced two new snow globes that are currently in stockneil_pr.gif and going to be big sellers for the upcoming holiday season. Both globes make great add-ons to portrait packages or can be a unique point-of-purchase sale. Both snow globes have the look of a glass sphere but are actually soft and pliable spheres making them kid-friendly for those with sticky hands.

The Create-A-Globe (#2716) takes personalization and creativity to the next level. Not only does the snow globe hold two 2" x 2-7/8" photos but one can design their own base. The Create-A-Globe comes with four pre-printed inserts in addition to a blank insert that can used either as a template or to decorate directly on. This item is ideal for gift-giving and creating a truly one of a kind gift.

The second addition to Neil Enterprises' diverse snow globe collection is the Mini Snow Globe (#2718). This globe is ideal for displaying photos in small areas. It holds two 1-5/8" x 2-1/2" photos, one on each side. This pint-sized snow globe is perfect for stocking stuffers. Both new snow globes have snow and glitter flecks floating around inside the soft sphere and are individually boxed.

Since 1961, Neil Enterprises has been an outstanding provider of unique and innovative photo and personalization products. Neil Enterprises, Inc. offers photographers, labs, dealers, and retailers the largest line of photo novelties available in the United States.

The entire photo line can be seen at www.neilenterprises.com
Tamron USA, Inc. has announced an End of Summer Super Rebate program that gives consumers extra cash incentive when purchasing one of the select lenses included on the program. The limited time offer is valid on purchases made September 3 through October 10, 2010.

New Super Rebates on Six Top Lenses
Included in this special offer are:
  • Tamron AF18-270mm Di-II VC (model B003) at $100
  • Tamron AF18-200mm Di-II (model A14) at $100
  • Tamron AF28-300mm Di at (model A20) at $50
  • Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 VC (model B005) at $100
  • Tamron SP AF10-24mm (model B001) at $100
  • Tamron SP AF60mm F/2.0 1:1 Macro (model G005) at $100

Download the Rebate Form
The End of Summer Super Rebate form can be found at http://www.tamron-usa.com/lenses/rebates.asp.  

More Lenses with Rebates
In addition to this special offer, Tamron offers rebates that are valid 9/1/10 through 12/31/10 on several other lenses. These include:
  • Tamron SP AF70-300mm Di  VC USD (model A005) at $50
  • Tamron SP AF17-50 F/2.8 XR Di II LD (model A016) at $45
  • Tamron SP AF200-500 F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF) (model A08) at $30
  • Tamron 28-200 F/3.8-5.6 XR Di LD (model A031) at $50
  • Tamron AF28-300 F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD (model A061) at $50
  • Tamron SP AF90 F/2.8 Di 1:1 Macro (model 272) at $50
  • Tamron SP AF180 F/3.5 Di 1:1 Macro (model B01) at $50

After October 10th
After 10/10/10, the lenses with Super Rebates will carry the following rebates through 12/31/10:
  • Tamron AF18-270mm Di-II VC (model B003) at $80
  • Tamron AF18-200mm Di-II (model A14) at $60
  • Tamron AF28-300mm Di at (model A20)
  • Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 VC (model B005) at $75
  • Tamron SP AF10-24mm (model B001) at $50
  • Tamron SP AF60mm F/2.0 1:1 Macro (model G005) at $50
Award-winning Canon Explorer of Light photographer Clay Blackmore leads you out of the past and onto the cutting-edge with this dynamic educational program. Blackmore uses his passion and extensive training in the classical principles of posing, lighting, and composition to explain in detail How to Photograph Everyone: men, women, children, families, brides, couples, and groups, and shows today's photographers how to incorporate HDSLR video techniques and products into their portfolio. Learn how to combine dynamic, living, multimedia creations with your photography, offering a cinematic approach to everything you do. Join us for this exciting and informative seminar...only $79. (Members, click here to get your PPA promo code and save $15.)

Read more about the program here.
Don't miss the upcoming webinars scheduled in September and October! With subjects ranging from marketing to workflow to sales, there's sure to be a webinar that you can learn from.

Most webinars are $39 for PPA members. Click on the links below to register and view more information about each webinar.

September 16, 2010
Shooting With Intention (for Portraits)

$39 for PPA Members
With Carol Andrews Jensen, M.Photog.Cr., ABI

September 23, 2010
Become an Image Marketing Dynamo

$39 for PPA Members
With Farrah Braniff, CPP

September 29, 2010
Are You Tuned in to Music Licensing?

Member Essential Webinar Series - FREE for PPA members

September 30, 2010
Online Marketing with Effective E-mail Campaigns

$39 for PPA Members
With Wendy Rouleau

October 5, 2010
A Workflow to Help You Live the Life You Want

$39 for PPA Members
With Amber McAdoo, CPP

October 6, 2010
Post-Wedding Sales Strategies for Wedding Photographers

$39 for PPA Members
With Sean & Melanie McLellan

October 14, 2010
Design Those Must-Have Portrait Books

$39 for PPA Members
With Tina Wilson

Dear PPA Member,

In business and life, there are a lot of decisions that really have no universally right or wrong answer (despite what my grade school teachers said when they graded my pop quizzes). Something may work for you, but it won't work for a photographer the next city over and vice versa.

But there is one thing you can depend on: no matter their age or why they came to you, odds are your clients get excited to see their images. They wait with anticipation to see the outcome of their own wedding images, family portraits or senior pictures. That is why the proofing process is so important--you want to make a positive impact when the client sees those images for the first time.

Over time, the options for proofing have grown. Whether you offer a printed proof book, set up an online gallery or participate in projection sales, your proofing process is one more way you represent your work as a photographer. This week's Vital Signs reviews those different proofing options and how to make the most of the process. There is no right or wrong answer--it's what works best for you and your clients!

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

P.S. Show off your seniors! PPA is preparing to launch the next phase of the consumer-focused See the Difference campaign: a landing page and Facebook advertising directed to seniors. Will you help by sharing your best senior images? We need stills to use in videos and images for our web gallery, so showcase your work and help spread the word. Submit photos here. Thanks!

pilotImaging.jpgPilot Imaging is hosting its second Bringing the Value Back to Photography one day seminar on September 15th in Rockville, Marylyand. Titled "BVB Part II - This Time We Mean Business!", the seminar focuses on building and improving your photography business, and features 5 speakers, an advising panel and a full day of networking and education for just $125.

The line up includes PPA's Chief Financial Officer, Scott Kurkian, who will be presenting his program,"It's Your Money - Keep More of It!" For complete details and online registration, click here.

Scott Kurkian presentation

tamaralackey.jpgKubota Image Tools, provider of photographer-empowering creative imaging tools, workflow-saving solutions and educational offerings for photographers of all levels, today announced availability of the "Kubota Artist Series Style Book & DVD Tutorial, Artist: Tamara Lackey" instructional guide for photographers interested in improving their portrait work through smarter use of Photoshop.  

Ideal for the consummate portrait professional looking for inspiration or for those looking to expand their business into the lucrative market of child portraits, Lackey's step-by-step guide is perfect for users of all skill levels. In addition to the hardcover, comprehensive style book featuring before and after comparisons that detail the actions used to create the finished work, Kubota Image Tools includes a DVD with a tutorial exploring the entire process from captured image to final print, and downloads for Lackey's Action formulas.

Epson is expanding its Signature Worthyâ„¢ line of professional media for photographers and fine artists by offering a wider selection of roll-based products. Due to the growing popularity of Hot Press and Cold Press papers, Epson is now offering these products in rolls of 17-inch, 24-inch, 44-inch, and 60-inch widths. The company is also expanding its offerings of Exhibition Fiber Paper to include 17-inch, 24-inch, 44-inch, and 64-inch wide rolls.

"We have collaborated with many of the industry's leading photographers and fine artists to redefine and perfect the art of paper making, and the overwhelming success of these three papers mandates that we expand our line to include rolls," said Jeff Smith, product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America. "Every day, a growing number of professionals switch to these breakthrough papers because of the stunning images they can produce, and in an effort to help satisfy the demands of professionals, we are delighted to be able to provide these papers in rolls."

Start a conversation with PPA members about mentoring, and it's hard to decide who's getting the most out of this loveliest example of professional networking. Make the most of your socializing and jumpstart your relationship building with these suggestions from PPA members who have experience with mentoring and being mentored.

"I figured out pretty early on that I learn best in small groups, so mentor relationships provided the best way for me to learn how to improve my photography skills and business," says Heather Smith, Cr.Photog., CPP. "When I picked out who I wanted to learn from, I didn't just choose people because I liked their art. I also looked for business people I could respect--how do they treat others, how do they manage their businesses, how do they teach and give feedback?"

Carol Andrews Jensen, M.Photog.Cr., ABI, says she tells her PPA Studio Management Services (SMS) clients the same. "It's not just about an f-stop. You need mentors in all areas of your life. I wouldn't be where I am today without my mentors, and you need to choose the people you want most to be associated with."

Click here to read the full article.
ANNE_individual_2010.gifSometimes things are just better in layers. You want layers of security for better protection, layers of clothing for more warmth and so on. And according to Allison and Jeff Rodgers of Allison Rodgers Photography, a photography business should also have layers beyond its photography, layers in design, marketing and service.

"People always ask us how we 'do it,'" recalls Allison. "What we say sounds so simple, and it is...if you do it. You have to give the client something to buy."

Giving the client something to buy is more than just producing an image. There are more layers to photography than that. In fact, helping other photographers see how better service and design can help bring better sales is one reason she and Jeff created the He Said/She Said promotional package for photographers that won them a 2009 AN-NE Marketing Award.

Click here to read the full article.  

give-away-logo.pngTo celebrate the company's 60 years of optical innovation and excellence, Tamron USA has announced an unprecedented promotional program designed to reward the legions of photo enthusiasts and loyal Tamron fans residing in the USA who have helped to make Tamron a world leader in precision optics for digital imaging. For the next 60 days--from September 1st to October 30th 2010--anyone* that's signed up to receive Tamron news by e-mail will automatically be entered to win one of the 60 sensational new 60th Anniversary Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD zoom lenses or 4 other exciting prizes that will be given away each day. No purchase is necessary, and it only takes a few minutes to sign up at www.tamron-usa.com today!

(*Must be a resident of the USA to qualify.)

The Prize Lens: An Optical Milestone That's In Your Reach!
Released in conjunction with Tamron's 60th Anniversary, the Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD zoom lens is a superb new extended-range telephoto zoom that covers both full-frame (24x36mm) and APS-C digital as well as 35mm film formats. Designed to exceed established performance parameters, it delivers outstanding definition, contrast, and color fidelity over its entire range by leveraging the full array of Tamron's Advanced Imaging technologies including premium quality Low Dispersion LD and XLD Glass for superior imaging performance at all focal lengths; new USD motor (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) for quiet, fast autofocus speed and enhanced AF accuracy; and built-in stabilization (VC) system to minimize the effects of handheld camera shake



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