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PPA Today: October 2011 Archives

October 2011 Archives

PPA member Jim DiVitale, M.Photog.MEI.Cr.,API,F-ASP, will open his first solo fine art exhibit on Friday, October 28th at the Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur.

The exhibit, which is titled "Shape and Shadow", will be displayed at the Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur through November 24, 2011.

"It is a collection of 20 of my multi-image illustrations of both studio and architectural subjects," DiVitale says of the exhibit on his blog.

You can take a look at the images of the prints hanging in the exhibit on DiVitale's blog. Click on the picture in the left of the blog post and it will pull up a photo gallery of the prints.

So, if you're near Atlanta between today and November 24th, stop by to see the exhibit and support a fellow PPA member. 

Dear PPA Member,

Everyone loves babies! (I know I do.) Even people who loudly proclaim they don't often melt and coo when handed a photograph of a brand new-bundle of joy. When these coos come from seasoned parents, they're often accompanied with this advice: treasure every moment.

As a photographer, you can help new parents do that. Don't just think "cute baby;" think cute "Baby Plan"! This week's Vital Signs will discuss baby plans, which help show clients the value of multiple professional portrait sessions during baby's first year and beyond. You'll create opportunities to earn clients for life by producing extraordinary images and outstanding experiences...and you'll give mom and dad the chance to put down their camera and treasure the moments.

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

P.S. - Come see me at PhotoPlus in New York City, booth 364! We'll be here until Saturday, October 29, and would love to meet you in person and answer your questions about the $15,000 of equipment insurance with PhotoCare and more.

millers_letterpress1.JPGContinuing the push for innovative press products, Miller's Professional Imaging announces the release of Signature Letterpress, the ultimate in high end press cards.

As the first lab to combine letterpress technology with press printing, this modern spin on traditional letterpress adds sophistication to greetings and announcements by allowing Miller's clients to incorporate favorite images into a number of letterpress designs. With drag-and-drop templates and a variety of color options, expect to find awe-inspiring combinations to wow and delight customers.

"Press continued to come up in conversation with our focus groups over the last couple years,millers_letterpress2.JPG and we knew that if we wanted to compete in the market, it was essential to push the envelope in our press area," President and COO Todd Coleman said. "Traditional letterpress can be expensive and turnaround is often slow, which led the drive to create a unique, reasonably-priced letterpress product in which our customers could find value."

Available in 5x7 and printed on Premium Cotton paper, Signature Letterpress Cards make the perfect choice for truly special holiday greetings, invitations, baby announcements and Save-the-Dates, to name a few.

To see these simply exquisite cards up close and personal, purchase a Letterpress sample kit for $10. The kit includes a selling booklet displaying all templates, letterpress color swatches, and a letterpress card.

millers_letterpress3.JPGTo find out more about Signature Letterpress, visit the Miller's blog

Pay attention, photographers--changes are on the way that could affect the copyright landscape! Maria Pallante, Register of Copyrights, recently announced how the U.S. Copyright Office plans to focus its efforts over the next two years.

"PPA is pleased to see a number of its advocacy priorities now become top priorities by the copyright rulemaking body," says David Trust, PPA's chief executive officer. "We look forward to working with the Register over the next few months to ensure photographers' voices continue to be heard as proposals and proposed rule changes are released."

Read more here.
Ever had one of your images used without your permission? Unfortunately, copyright infringement--whether intentional or unintentional--does happen. So, what do you do when you discover it?

If you feel that one of your copyrights has been violated, you can contact PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs staff for help. PPA offers copyright assistance as part of your member benefits to help protect your bottom line. In instances of infringement, our staff will work one-on-one with you to ensure that you have the needed information to make the best decisions to protect your work and your livelihood.

PPA is also active on Capitol Hill, lobbying Congress on the importance of copyright protection for photographers' work. In fact, PPA is the only photographic association with a full-time, dedicated team focused on legislative affairs. Read more about how PPA protects your copyrights here.

There are also a number of copyright resources that PPA members can take advantage of, including the PPA Copyright Kit and the Copyright Registration Guide. Access these resources (and many others) here.

But PPA doesn't stop with protecting your copyright. Our Copyright & Government Affairs department also makes sure photographers' voices are heard on Capitol Hill in regards to small business issues...and they help provide members with a number of other legal resources needed in running a photography business. Members can access sample contracts, model releases, licenses and a host of other helpful articles in the "Legal" and "Contracts and Forms" categories of the Resources archive on PPA.com.

Remember these benefits the next time you're looking for copyright or contract guidance! 
adler_lindsay_head_blog.jpgHave you ever felt like a "small fish in a big pond" after a move? Lindsay Adler experienced that when she moved her business Lindsay Adler Photography to New York City.  But thanks in part to her smart use of social media (and her unique offerings), Adler's portrait and fashion photography business has grown in success.

In fact, Adler's talents led her to author two successful books--"A Linked Photographers' Guide to Online Marketing and Social Media" and "Fashion Flair for Portrait and Wedding Photography." That's quite an achievement, considering that she accomplished it all by age 25. (And she'll be sharing some of the methods that helped her grow at Imaging USA, but more about that later!)

Early Beginnings
"From the very beginning, photography had an important place in my heart," Adler remembersadler1.jpg of her introduction to the art by her mother and grandmother--two photographic hobbyists. "Together, we would wander around the family farm taking photos of the changing seasons and the beauty of nature. I knew almost instantly that photography would be my career."

By the time she was in high school, Adler began her first portrait business photographing her fellow students in upstate New York. Since moving to New York City, though, she has found her niche as a fashion photographer.

"I love the creative freedom that being a fashion photographer gives me. People hire me for my vision, and in fashion editorials, there are no rules," she says of her specialty. "No matter adler2.JPGwhat I envision, I can orchestrate a fashion shoot to bring that vision to reality. I am able to take the beautiful thoughts and images in my head, and manifest them into something."

Smart Social Skills
Luckily, her creative approach to photography translated into her business skills, too--helping her face the challenge of moving to New York City and the subsequent high competition. She grew and stays successful by offering unique services to her clients (like moving images and fashion films) and using social media heavily to build and maintain relationships with clients.

"I try to overcome these obstacles by clearly defining my target market, which is often aadler3.jpg specific individual or company," Adler explains. "From there I look at the resources available to me--social networking, personal resources and marketing tools--and find ways to get my vision and work in front of those individuals."

If you want to learn how Adler leverages social media to her advantage, don't miss her "Social Networking Essentials for Photographers" Imaging USA class on January 16.

"I'll focus on best practices that will help you reach your target audience and save you time so you can focus on other aspects of your business," she says. "You'll learn the essential tools and platforms for social networking, and how to best leverage these tools by making yourself attractive to your audience."

Plan to attend if you want to strengthen your target audience reach and messaging...no matter where you're located!

Read more about Imaging USA here.
Read more about Lindsay Adler here.

ALL IMAGES © LINDSAY ADLER

 
facebook_badge.jpgHotel rooms for Imaging USA 2012 in New Orleans are disappearing fast, so now is the time to grab your digs in the Big Easy.
 
Specially priced Imaging USA room blocks are still available at Hilton New Orleans Riverside (Headquarters Hotel) and the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel New Orleans, but that's it, so don't miss out!
 
To find more information about booking your room, visit the Imaging USA hotels and travel page
Health care will remain a hot-button issue for some time, and PPA is actively working to protect your ability to access quality and affordable care now and in the future. One of our primary efforts is making sure your needs are considered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as they continue to craft rules that will directly affect not only how you purchase health insurance as a small business, but also the quality of the plans the soon-to-open state health care exchanges will offer you.

On October 21, HHS accepted a second round of comments on their proposed framework for how such health care exchanges should operate. "Exchange" is the term used by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to describe a health care pool, or group, which will give small businesses and self-employed photographers a more affordable way to purchase coverage.

"We recognize the difficulties small-business owners face when purchasing and maintaining health insurance," says David Trust, PPA's chief executive officer. "The decision to protect the well-being of your family and that of your employees is one we hope will be made easier through these exchanges."

Read more here.

Dear PPA Member,

Let's begin by saying that I was a good kid--or at least I thought I was being good. When I was five, I had long hair that my mother loved to curl, pop into pigtails or braid. I didn't care what my hair looked like, but I did want to help my mom. So, I tried to save her time the night before our portrait session.

I cut one braid off. Just one. (I would have cut both, but she walked into the room and realized that I found the scissors and would never have a career as a hairstylist.) The next day's photo session would have been a disaster if not for the photographer who kept my mom cool despite her frazzled nerves, me giggling, and my brother entertained--all while capturing images I still adore. I rocked that Florence Henderson / Mrs. Brady short hair flip.

My point? As a photographer, you will meet every kind of child--the good, the bad, and the well-intentioned. So, remember the power you can have over the little ones in your lens (and the parents who are behind you). This week's Vital Signs will help with some tips and tricks to make even the initially difficult sessions joyful.  

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Canon U.S.A., Inc., has introduced a completely revolutionized EOS-1D series camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. The EOS-1D X will be a high-speed multimedia juggernaut replacing both the EOS-1Ds Mark III and EOS-1D Mark IV models in Canon's lineup. Enhancing the revolutionary image quality of the EOS-1Ds and speed capabilities of the EOS-1D series, the EOS-1D X DSLR features an 18-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processors, 14-bit A/D data conversion and capable of shooting an incredible 12 frames-per-second (fps). Canon's EOS DSLR cameras and accessories have a long-standing legacy of providing high-quality results to professionals in a wide range of markets, including sports, nature, cinematography, wedding and commercial studios.

The EOS-1D X features three DIGIC processors, including Dual DIGIC 5+ image processors capable of delivering approximately 17 times more processing speed than DIGIC 4, and a dedicated DIGIC 4 for metering and AF control. In conjunction with the newly developed high-performance 18-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS image sensor, the Dual DIGIC 5+ processors provide high-speed continuous shooting, lower noise, and a significant increase in data processing speed than previous EOS-1D models. This new level of data processing speed allows the EOS-1D X to perform many functions including chromatic aberration correction for various Canon EF lenses in-camera instead of through post-production software. The DIGIC 4 processor utilizes a new 100,000-pixel RGB Metering Sensor for enhanced exposure accuracy with color and face detection, and works together with the camera's new EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF.

New 61-Point High Density Reticular AF

The EOS-1D X includes a brand new 61-Point High Density Reticular AF, the most sophisticated DSLR AF system Canon has ever released.  The 21 focusing points in the central area are standard precision cross-type and effective with maximum apertures as small as f/5.6, depending on the lens in use. The center five points are also high-precision diagonal cross-type points for maximum apertures as small as f/2.8. All 61 points are sensitive to horizontal contrast with maximum apertures as small as f/5.6 and 20 of the outer focusing points function as cross-type points with maximum apertures as small as f/4.0. Other innovations of the new 61-point High Density Reticular AF include expanded AF coverage area, superior focusing precision and low light sensitivity, and greater low-contrast subject detection capability compared to earlier EOS AF systems.

EOS iTR AF: Intelligent Tracking and Recognition Enhances AF Performance

The Canon EOS-1D X features incredible new EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF options ideal for wedding and event photography as well as sports and photojournalism. The default AF mode for the EOS-1D X uses phase detection AF information, while a new second option uses Face Detection technology to track recognized faces in addition to color information, ideal when shooting events such as tennis or dancing where facial recognition of the original subject will help keep that person in focus throughout the scene.

Exposure Control
For the first time in a Canon DSLR camera, a DIGIC processor is used exclusively with the metering sensor for fast, accurate exposure control. The Canon DIGIC 4 processor takes advantage of the EOS-1D X's 100,000-pixel RGB Metering Sensor and utilizes 252 zones for general metering or 35 zones for low-light metering to help ensure accurate evaluative ambient or flash exposure.  The new subject recognition capabilities enhance nearly all of the camera's automatic functions, helping to adjust exposure, autofocus, Auto Lighting Optimizer and Automatic Picture Style to the scene being captured for enhanced image quality.  

Multiple Exposure Modes
The EOS-1D X is the first EOS Digital SLR to feature Multiple Exposure capability. The camera can combine up to nine individual images into a single composite image, with no need for post-processing in a computer. Four different compositing methods are provided for maximum creative control, including Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Compositing results can be viewed in real time on the camera's LCD monitor, and there is a one-step Undo command that allows photographers to delete an image and try again if desired. The EOS-1D X's Multiple Exposure mode even allows photographers to specify a previously captured RAW image as the starting point for a new Multiple Exposure composite image.  

Super High Speed Mode

The Canon EOS-1D X camera breaks new ground in the world of digital SLRs, offering a Super High Speed Mode which increases shooting speeds up to 14 fps at full 18-megapixel resolution in JPEG mode . The new camera is also capable of shooting RAW, JPEG, or RAW+JPEG at speeds up to 12 fps in One Shot AF or AI Servo AF for enhanced performance in sports photography and other applications requiring high-speed digital capture. This new level of performance is made possible by the combination of the EOS-1D X's 16-channel readout CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC 5+ image processors, and a completely new reflex mirror mechanism that has been engineered by Canon to combine high-performance with exceptional precision and reliability.

Enhanced EOS HD Video - New Compressions, Longer Recording

Centered around an all-new full-frame CMOS sensor with larger pixels than those found on the EOS 5D Mark II image sensor, the EOS-1D X utilizes new HD video formats to simplify and speed up post-production work.  The two new compression formats offered on the EOS-1D X include intraframe (ALL-i ) compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data compression, giving professionals the options they need for their ideal workflow. Answering the requests of cinematographers and filmmakers, the EOS-1D X includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing multiple cameras or separate sound recording to be synced together in post production.  

Accessories

Designed exclusively for the EOS-1D X, the new Canon WFT-E6A Wireless File Transmitter features wireless LAN support for 802.11n network transfer rates providing users with increased communication speed when compared to previous models.  With this new dust and weather resistant model, professionals can synchronize clocks on multiple cameras and use the unit to support linked shooting when utilizing multiple cameras.  In addition, Bluetooth-compatible equipment can be easily linked to the device as well.

The EOS-1D X also offers an optional Canon GP-E1 GPS Receiver, which can be easily integrated into the camera's body.  Powered by the camera, this GPS receiver provides the same weatherproof resistance as the EOS-1D X, even at the connector. With an electronic compass on-board, the GP-E1 will log movement - latitude, longitude, elevation, and the Universal Time Code - and allow viewing of camera movement on a PC after shooting.  The receiver will also record camera direction when shooting, even when shooting vertically.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera is scheduled for March 2012 availability and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $6,800.00. The compact, lightweight WFT-E6A Wireless File Transmitter is scheduled to be available in March 2012 and have an estimated retail price of $600. Availability for the GP-E1 GPS receiver is expected in April 2012 with an estimated retail price of $300.
faust_headshot_blog.jpgRobert Faust, M.Photog.M.Artist.MEI.Cr., CPP, API, of Robert Faust Photography, has been a professional photographer for 30 years. While he describes his early interest in photography as immediate, his success didn't happen the same way. It took a lot of hard work to develop his own wedding photography style that clients have come to love. And at Imaging USA's pre-convention, he's going to share some tips that helped him along the way.

Thriving with Weddings
Wedding photography is a competitive field, and Faust has learned that if you want to thrive in today's wedding industry, you can't just copy what others are doing. "You must brand yourself with your own style that is different from the other guy's."

Despite being one of only six photographers in the world who hold all four PPA degrees,faust3.jpg Faust says that he still faces challenges from amateur photographers who own a digital camera and are "looking to cash in on the wedding business by claiming to be a professional." But he believes an amateur's images simply can't compare to those created by a true pro.

"Creating dynamic images that use advanced lighting and posing techniques that amateurs can't duplicate is one way to set yourself apart from the competition," he points out.

faust2.JPG



SBS logo.jpgFirst, there was Black Friday; then Cyber Monday. Now, there is Small Business Saturday (November 26, 2011).This event drives holiday shoppers to local, independently-owned businesses...like your photography studio!

American Express, the founding sponsor of Small Business Saturday, created the national program in 2010 in response to small-business owners' most pressing need: more demand for their products and services. The second event will build on last year's inaugural program that drove millions of dollars to main street merchants.

You can visit Facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday to join the initiative and download online promotional materials that can help you drive sales to your business on Small Business Saturday. 

In addition, here are a couple of intriguing options that are first-come, first-served:

  • *American Express is giving $100 of free Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners who sign up at facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday to help build online buzz and drive customers to their stores on Small Business Saturday. By simply entering a few pieces of information and clicking a button, you could create a personalized, geo-targeted ad that will run on Facebook leading up to November 26.
  • **American Express is also giving a $25 statement credit to 200,000 Cardmembers who register their card and use it to shop on Small Business Saturday at any locally-owned, independent small business that accepts American Express.
Small Business Saturday is a day to rally for local business--and that includes you photographers. Go to Facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday to learn more about how this day could equal big sales and big awareness!

*To be eligible to receive $100 worth of Facebook ads, you must register your business at Facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday. Registration is limited to the first 10,000 merchants. Limit one offer per registrant.

**To be eligible for the statement credit, you must register your eligible American Express Card at Facebook.com/smallbusinessaaturday. You may only register one Card for this offer. Using your registered American Express Card, you must spend $25 or more at participating small business merchants on 11/26/2011 to receive the $25 statement credit. Eligible merchants include any independently owned small businesses that accept the American Express Card. Purchases made online, at large, national chains, at franchised business locations and at government agencies are not eligible. Prepaid, corporate cards and ExpressPay transactions are not eligible. If your Card is replaced during the promotional period, please call the customer service number on the back of your Card for assistance. Registration is limited to the first 200,000 enrollees. Limit one statement credit per Cardmember. Statement credits are generally issued within five business days after your qualifying purchase, but may take up to two billing cycles to post to your account. Additional terms apply; see registration website for details.

dwon_guvenir_head.jpgAlthough he started a professional business in 2001, Dwon Guvenir, of Oregon Photo Safaris in Portland, OR, has been taking pictures since he was old enough to hold a camera. He even won his first photo competition with a local artists' guild at the age of 16. And he knows his consistent success is partly due to his focus on and skill with composition and lighting--essential for all pro photographers.

"When people ask, 'What type of photographer are you?' I answer that I'm a great photographer," explains Guvenir. "The rules are the same no matter what you shoot. I specialize in putting modern technology into use to create art that follows the traditional rules of composition and lighting."

He'll even share his approach to these artistic elements--and how you can use them to better your own images--in his "Traditional Composition & Lighting" Super Monday class in Portland on October 23.

Why He Teaches It
While Guvenir is an accomplished photographer who has had images accepted into PPA's Loan Collection, teaching other photographers is his biggest passion and accomplishment.

"When you find what you're good at in this world, do it and do it well," he says. "I am a great teacher, as can be seen in my students' work."

Guvenir adds that he feels like a "proud grandparent" when one of his students shows him anguvenir_1.jpg image that he wishes he had taken..."especially if they come up with something that follows the rules I teach, but includes something I never would have thought of!"

Why You Should Learn It
Guvenir has succeeded in tough economic times thanks to a broad client base, but he knows that none of it would have been possible without good images. And "without good composition and lighting, you don't have good images," he explains. "These are the most important fundamentals any photographer can have."

That's why he's hosting a Super Monday class on the subject. He wants to help other photographers learn the traditional and essential rules of composition and lighting, and he'll use past PPA Loan Collection photographs to demonstrate those rules.

"It's not rocket science. These are the basics that have been around for hundreds of years,"Guvenir says.

So, plan to attend his upcoming class on October 23, and learn proven rules for creating better images!

Learn more about Guvenir's class and browse more Super Monday classes in more locations at http://www.ppa.com/education-events/sm_new.php. Read more about Dwon Guvenir 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.

IMAGE © DWON GUVENIR

 
Sigma Corporation of America has announced that its updated 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM is now available in Canon and Nikon mounts for the MSRP of $720.

Sigma's 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM is the successor to the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, which was launched in 2007. The lens has been updated to include the company's new "F" Low Dispersion (FLD) glass elements, which perform like fluorite glass and significantly improve lens performance. The FLD glass now complements the lens' other, Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements and aspherical lenses, which already provide excellent correction of color aberration.

Ideal for beginner and professional photographers alike, this 11.1x high-zoom ratio lens is designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras and incorporates Sigma's Optical Stabilization (OS) system, which allows for high-performance, handheld, close-up photography.  

The enhanced multipurpose zoom lens offers photographers the opportunity to capture wide-angle shots such as scenic, landscape and group photos, and, at the long end, is well-suited for candid portraits and sports action photography. With a compact body and length of just 3.5 inches, the lens is lightweight and easy to handle for photographers who are on the move.

The 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM also incorporates Sigma's Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) system to produce quiet, high-speed auto focus, it includes the Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting, ensuring high quality images throughout the entire zoom range, and its rounded, seven-blade diaphragm creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of images.
In order to have a successful business, you need clients. PPA has some benefits that may help in that regard: Find-a-Photographer and the "See the Difference" campaign.

For example, you can help potential customers find you with Find-a-Photographer. Members* are able to add a portfolio to this search engine, allowing people looking for professional photographic services in your area to see your sample images...as well as contact you with questions.

PPA members have received numerous bookings through Find-a-Photographer, which generates an average of 325 responses to a query per day. That's almost 10,000 each month!

However, making sure customers can find you is only part of the equation. Thanks to growing competition from amateurs entering the photographic market, you also need to be able to explain the value of professional photography over an amateur's work. That's why PPA started the "See the Difference" consumer-focused awareness campaign. The goal is to educate consumers on what they should be looking for in a photographer.

As part of the campaign, online advertising and social media drive prospects to specialized landing pages that highlight articles, image galleries, videos and search capabilities linked to PPA's Find-a-Photographer. As a member, you also have access to videos, brochures and other resources to help show potential customers why using a professional (like you) is important.

Use these resources to help you break away from your competition!

Read more about the Find-a-Photographer search engine here, and access your member-only See the Difference resources here.

*The Find-a-Photographer search engine and personal portfolio are FREE with an Active Professional membership (not available to members in the Aspiring category).
pinoverschiff_blog.jpgPPA Member Betsy Pinover Schiff recently had her new book "Windows on Central Park: The Landscape Revealed" published.

The landscape architecture and graden photographer includes 143 photos in her new book that reveal the textures, patterns and colors of the Central Park landscape in all seasons. In addition, sixteen well-known people including Candice Bergen, Donald Trump, Giorgio Armani and Paul Goldberger express their thoughts and feelings on what they see from their own windows.

Pinover Schiff is the other of six other landscape architecture and garden photography books. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, House and Garden, New York Spaces and Landscape Architecture magazine.

Congratulations to Betsy on publishing her new book!

IMAGE © BETSY PINOVER SCHIFF


Thumbnail image for photocare_blog.JPGIf you've ever met me, you know that I can be...enthusiastic...exuberant...excitable when something excellent is happening. I want to shout it from the rooftops, sing off-key and start a conga line when good news comes my way. I love to celebrate when there's a reason (and sometimes for no reason at all!).

PPA members have plenty of reasons to celebrate being part of the largest non-profit association in our industry. Great discounts and services. Amazing educational opportunities. Indemnification Trust. International Photographic Competition. All are great reasons to be a PPA member. These reasons get me to climb the stairs, warm up my vocal cords, and strap on my dancing shoes.

But it's PhotoCare that has me bursting through the doors and belting out to all that PPA is the only association paying the premiums for $15,000 worth of equipment insurance for eligible members. Why? Because we understand what's important to you. Because we're not-for-profit. Because we want you to keep doing what you love and make a profit while doing it.

And if you want to join in the enthusiastic celebration over PhotoCare, the conga line is forming to the left of me. Drums are optional.

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

claremontboys_wp_robin_driscoll.jpgCongratulations to Robin A. Driscoll, the winner of the 2011 Action News cover contest, hosted by the Society of Sport and Event Photographers.

Robin will be featured in an upcoming issue of Action News, and her "Claremont Boys Water Polo" image (left) will appear on the cover.

Finalists in the competition were Celeste Linthicum, Garth Phoebus, Jeff Borker, Tim Hill, Evgeny Vasenev, Jay Boatwright, Michelle Kilander, Reggie Ferraz and Michael Coons.

View the winning photo and all finalist images here.

IMAGE © ROBIN A. DRISCOLL
collages_storyblocks_blog.jpgCollages.net recently released the new product StoryBlocks.

The StoryBlocks are professional photographic prints adhered to a solid wooden block. Photographers can either choose Individual StoryBlocks or a StoryBlock Set.

StoryBlock Sets consist of a configuration of Individual StoryBlocks mounted on top of a larger block. The Individuals blocks are interchangeable, allowing photographers to swap the blocks out whenever they'd like.

The larger blocks come with hardware to allow customers to easily hang their sets on the wall.

Collages.net's patent-pending design allows customers to interchange the blocks on a whim, and allows photographers to not only sell more blocks, but it keeps customers coming back each year to update their set.

Read more about the StoryBlocks here
corsentino_michael_blog.jpgAs a professional photographer, you deal with a lot of equipment and software in the course of your work. They can save you time and make your end results better than ever...if you know how to use them efficiently. Take Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for example. Did you know that you can use that one program to post and manage images on social networking sites? To create inspiration boards/collages for blogs? To create slideshows and more?

Yes, Lightroom can be used in a myriad of ways, and Michael Corsentino's upcoming PPA online class is just the place to learn more: "Presenting Your Images with Lightroom" (October 18, 2:00pm ET).

Among the many techniques he'll share is one time-saving tip that remains his absolute favorite: presets. "Lightroom was built from the ground up with a framework of preset options in each of its modules," explains Corsentino. "Once created, presets allow you to automate your repetitive tasks and frequently used properties--all you have to know is how to set them up. So, repeat after me: presets, presets, presets!"

And Corsentino isn't stopping at improving your Lightroom abilities. One attendee will be selected to win a studio makeover prize valued at more than $1,000! So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for his October 18 class now!
millers_cotton1_blog.jpgRecognizing the need for innovation in press, Miller's Professional Imaging announces the release of environmentally conscious, superior feeling Premium Cotton paper. As the first professional lab to offer a cotton paper, Miller's meets the need for a plush, heavyweight option ideal for high-end press cards and other specialty products this holiday season.

Manufactured from 100% pure cotton, this elegant looking and sumptuous feeling paper combines old world opulence with new world sophistication. Plus, this paper is tree free, recyclable and biodegradable. Other product details include:millers_cotton2_blog.jpg

  • A matte finish with a crisp white backdrop for photos
  • Weight of 118# Cover/320 GSM
Receive a free sample of the new Premium Cotton paper by placing a press order with Miller's by October 21, 2011.  

Get the full scoop here.

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buck_headshot.jpgIf you're serious about photography as a career, you know the importance of being well-rounded. You need business and artistic education to get started the right way, and the peer-to-peer Super Monday classes can be a great resource. You'll even find several courses geared to those just starting in the pro business and taught by photographers who have been there, done that--photographers like Mary Buck, CPP, of Lightscapes Photographic Artwork in Georgia.

Been There, Done That
Buck started her business in 1995 after leaving the corporate world. A longtime photographic hobbyist, Buck says that her passion for photography and desire to have a more flexible schedule were the main factors in her decision to go pro.  

About six years later, she opened her own retail studio. Then, in 2009, she opened a second studio at a local hospital where she photographs newborns--her main photographic niche.

"After a few years of being in business, I realized I couldn't be everything to everyone," Buckbuck1.jpg says about her decision to specialize. That decision helped her business succeed, and she has specialized in infant photography for nearly 12 years.

Recently, though, Buck has been challenged by the over-saturation of baby photographers in the market. She responded by both narrowing her focus and expanding it. "I have diversified and now also specialize in outdoor family portraits," she explains. "And I have narrowed my niches even further by specializing in black-and-white fine art."

But Buck knows that art alone won't keep your business afloat. That's why she uses her marketing to explain to the public the value of her services over other photographers' offerings. Exceptional customer service is also essential to success. As she says, "Average just isn't good enough anymore!"

Learn What Works
If you're thinking of getting into the photography business--and don't want to be "average" either!--come learn from one who can share what works. Consider attending Buck's "How to Start a Portrait Photography Business" Super Monday class in Duluth, GA on October 24 (or one that is closer to you).

"I wish I had a workshop like mine when I started out!" notes Buck. Her comprehensive course will cover everything from branding, marketing and sales techniques to shooting in natural light, working with studio lights, using flash and simple posing techniques--just the well-rounded education you need to start on the right foot.

buck2.jpg"The most important lesson photographers will take from my course is how important it is to develop your own style," adds Buck. "The phrase, 'When all things are equal, price is the determining factor,' could not be truer than in the photography industry."

So, come learn what it takes to be a pro that stands out. Attending Mary Buck's Super Monday class is a good start!

Learn more about Buck's class and browse more Super Monday classes in more locations at http://www.ppa.com/education-events/sm_new.php. Read more about Mary Buck 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.


ALL IMAGES © MARY BUCK
You can't run your photography business without the right equipment (as is true for all businesses). But photographic equipment can get expensive quickly. That's why PPA worked out an equipment financing deal with United Funding, creating yet another PPA member benefit to protect your pocketbook.

United Funding offers PPA members a rebate (maximum of $1,000) on the equipment cost for all leases and loans.

That rebate is just the beginning of the benefit. Unlike financing equipment through a bank loan or credit card, United Funding does not report the debt to credit bureaus--so there's no worry about your credit score being adversely affected. As if that wasn't enough good news, leases and loans through United Funding may also qualify for IRS section 179. That means you could expense the entire cost of the equipment in the current year!

So, when you need a certain piece of equipment, don't forget to tap into this equipment financing benefit. It's one more reason why it's smart to be with PPA!

Insure the equipment you do get with PhotoCare--the latest PPA benefit where PPA pays the premium for $15,000 in equipment insurance for each U.S-based Professional Active and Life member who opts in! Read more about PhotoCare Equipment Insurance here.
The Delaware Tourism Office launched a photo contest on October 1, 2011, that is open to all amateur and professional photographers.  The theme of the photo contest is "Delaware - A State for all Seasons."  Entries pertaining to seasonal categories (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) will be accepted from October 1, 2011, to February 17, 2012. Entrants may submit up to three photographs in each category including scenic photos and photos of people enjoying Delaware sites and activities.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize, and the winning photo will be published in Delaware Today Magazine and utilized by the Delaware Tourism Office. The first place winner in each seasonal category will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to B&H Photo and have their photo featured on the Delaware Tourism Office website and social media outlets.

All participants must adhere to the Delaware Tourism Office Photo Contest Rules and Guidelines found on www.visitdelaware.com/photocontest. All images must be submitted by using the photo contest form posted on the Delaware Tourism Office website at www.visitdelaware.com/photocontest. All entries must be submitted by the original photographer. By submitting an image, entrants grant permission to the Delaware Tourism Office to edit, publish and reuse the image.

Thumbnail image for Benchmark.pngHave you read the "How We Did It" and "Ask the Experts" columns in Professional Photographer? Heard success stories from PPA's Studio Management Services clients? Many of those photographers' turnarounds happened in part because of information from the Benchmark Survey.

After all, the Benchmark Survey is what SMS bases its financial and business guidelines on. It's helped hundreds of photographers! And we need YOUR help to make it even better this year.

Help others. Help yourself. Participate in the 2011 Benchmark Survey!

  1. Complete the Participant Demographic Questionnaire.
  2. Gather a few financial documents.
  3. Send them to PPA by October 31.

If you have questions, just call Melissa Kriest at 800-339-5451, ext. 227. She'll walk you through it.

Participate by Oct. 31 to Win:

  • Drawing for TWO all-inclusive trips for two to Imaging USA 2012 in New Orleans
  • Personalized financial analysis of your studio compared to the 2011 Benchmark results.
  • Benchmark webinar to guide you through the results
  • Advance copy of the survey report
Great news for our sports photographers! The General Business Liability coverage offered through PPA Insurance Solutions, with only a few exceptions, no longer excludes sporting events or activities when you photograph from outside the race track, sports field, sports course, sports court or area restricted to athletic participants while they are competing or practicing! The few exceptions are the following sports: sports involving aircraft including balloons, sky diving, hang gliding, parachuting, scuba diving or snorkeling, mountain climbing, whitewater rafting, surfing and spelunking. With respect to individual or team still photos, the exclusion does not apply to any sport.
 
For more information about coverage, or to inquire about the specifics of your sports photography exposures, call PPA Insurance Solutions at 888.202.1526.

Dear (First Name),

Have you ever witnessed the moment a child has gone from "I am so happy that I can barely stand it!" to "There are no earplugs in the world that will muffle the screams coming from me"? If you're a photographer, you may have actually captured that moment through your lens. However, it's often not a pretty image, and it probably won't be the one the parents choose to grace the wall above the mantle.

If you can keep a smile or intrigued look on a child's face, it's money in your pocket. How can you do it? This week's Vital Signs will share tips and tricks from PPA members to get your littlest subjects (and their parents) in the right mood for perfect portraits...no earplugs required!

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

ProdPrem5-5.jpgIt's no news that Photographers are increasingly interesting in DSLR video editing. In an effort to get the best available editing software in the hands of every video and photography professional, Adobe is offering a discount of 50% off Production Premium or Premiere Pro CS5.5 to all current Final Cut Pro and Avid users. To learn more about this offer, go to: www.adobe.com/products/premiere/switch.html.

Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium allows you to enjoy a fully-featured professional editing workflow and offers many benefits such as,

  • Timesaving integration between Premiere Pro and After Effects and Photoshop.
  • Powerful editing performance that provides real-time effects and color correction/color grading, accelerated rendering, and superior multilayer performance.
  • Broad native format support: Import and export virtually any format and even FCP 7 projects, and skip time-consuming transcoding and rewrapping processes when working natively with file-based and DSLR footage.

You'll find the learning curve easy, thanks to Final Cut Pro and Avid keyboard shortcuts in Premiere Pro and many user interface enhancements so you can edit the way you're used to. And there is a new show on Adobe TV called Moving to Adobe Premiere Pro.

Use the "SWITCH" code on adobe.com Store to take advantage of the savings. Offer expires October 31, 2011.

fisktaylor_mary_blogheadshot.jpgMary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, of Hayes and Fisk - The Art of Photography in Richmond, Virginia, operates one of the most lucrative home-based studios in her area with business partner and fellow photographer Jamie Hayes, M.Photog.Cr., ABI, API. What is it that makes it so successful?

Since partnering with Hayes, Fisk-Taylor has become a specialist at capturing advertorial and fashion-style wedding images. "I love creating images that set a mood and evoke emotion," she says.

But if you are trying to run a profitable wedding photography business, you know that wonderful images are only part of the puzzle. Fisk-Taylor has learned more than a few tips for managing a business like that, and she's ready to share. If you want to learn how to better manage your wedding business, don't miss "Business Basics for Wedding Photographers," the two-day Studio Management Services pre-convention workshop she'll host at Imaging USA on January 12 - 13, 2012.  

Starting Out
Fisk-Taylor has had an interest in photography since high school, where she served as herfisktaylor_1.jpg family's "picture-taker and memory maker." And when her daughter was born 16 years ago, Fisk-Taylor's passion for photography was re-awakened.

"I was picture crazy and, even more importantly, in search of a 'real' photographer to capture our gorgeous baby girl's firsts and milestones," she remembers. Her search for that real photographer led her to Hayes as he was just opening his studio. Little did she imagine that it would also lead to a business partnership! "He was overwhelmed with a brand-new business and I was overwhelmed with a brand-new family. So, we started helping each other out."

In the beginning, Fisk-Taylor used her business savvy to help out with the studio's marketing and production. However, after attending her first Imaging USA 15 years ago, she knew that she had to start taking photographs as well. "I was just blown away by all of the gorgeous images in the International Photographic Exhibit and wanted to start photographing myself," she explains.

Managing the Challenges
Fisk-Taylor describes her transition into wedding photography as "slow progress," but over the years she has become a successful wedding photographer as well as business manager at Hayes and Fisk. Still, like many, their studio struggles the most with organization and multi-tasking.

fisktaylor_2.jpg"It is really hard to run a small business and juggle all of the balls that are in the air...plus make time for ourselves and raise healthy families," Fisk-Taylor points out. "So, I keep a very solid calendar for my studios but also make sure that I schedule personal time, family time and vacations. I also use great vendors and software in my studios that help make my life a lot easier."

Sharing What She's Learned

Are you ready for more advice on running a wedding photography business? Attend the two-day "Business Basics for Wedding Photographers" pre-convention workshop at Imaging USA in New Orleans! You'll walk away with a greater understanding of how to manage your business, including advice on hiring employees, pricing and operating costs. Plus, Fisk-Taylor promises to share some of her own marketing ideas with you.

"I have some great advertising and marketing ideas that are low-cost but high-yielding, profitable campaigns," she adds. Come learn from her experiences and start on the path to experience such profit yourself!

Read more about Mary Fisk-Taylor here.

Read more about Imaging USA here.
fisktaylor_3.jpg

Mary Fisk-Taylor's partner, Jamie Hayes, will also present two programs at Imaging USA. Read about Hayes and his classes here.


ALL IMAGES © MARY FISK-TAYLOR
gregphelps_headshot.jpgGreg Phelps of Gregory James Phelps Photography in Brownsville, Texas, has been operating his studio for more than 30 years. During that time, it's safe to say that he's picked up a few tricks on how to keep your photography business profitable and successful...like pricing.

"I find that the word 'profit' is grossly misused and misunderstood," Phelps says. But obtaining profit in his new business was necessary when he made the switch from mechanical engineer to professional photographer.

Changing Careers
It all started when visiting friends who owned a camera shop and photo studio. There, Phelps bought a 35mm camera and a few booklets from Kodak on how to take pictures.

"When I went home that evening, I started reading and became so enthralled that I read and played with the camera throughout the whole night. I knew instantly that this was how I wanted to earn my living," recalls Phelps about his inspiration to change careers. "From then on I spent every dime I could get my hands on buying equipment, getting educated and practicing."

Since establishing his studio in 1975, Phelps has moved from photographing everything tophelps1.JPG using his mechanical engineering background for architectural photography. In explaining his choice of specialty, he says, "I actually had chosen architecture as my first career choice but was scared away when told you had to be a really good artist. I can't draw worth a plug nickel!"

In addition to architectural photography, Phelps has always been drawn to fine art photography and makes many sales in this area as well. "My focus is creating outstanding pieces of fine art for those with discretionary income who will really enjoy it," he explains.

Pricing for Profit
While specializing has helped keep Phelps' business successful, he knows that none of it would have been possible without the proper pricing of his work. He believes so strongly in the importance of pricing that h''s sharing his hard-earned knowledge--knowledge that has kept him in business for over 30 years--in a Super Monday class!

If you want to learn how to make a real profit, don't miss Phelps' "How to Price Your Photography for Top Dollar (The Right Way)" Super Monday class  on October 24 in Brownsville, Texas.

phelps2.JPG"If photographers walk away from this class with the knowledge of how much it really costs to open the doors to their studios every day, they will know more than the majority of photographers today," Phelps notes. But he's not stopping there. He'll teach you how to combine fixed costs and the cost of goods sold to learn how many sessions a year must be done to break even...and to make a profit.

Phelps promises that you'll leave with a "no Ouija board formula" for putting a price on your work. So, get ready to make (and keep) more money!

Learn more about Phelps' class and browse more Super Monday classes in more locations at http://www.ppa.com/education-events/sm_new.php. Read more about Greg Phelps here.

Super Monday is an educational program sponsored by PPA every spring and fall. These
phelps3.JPG 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.

ALL IMAGES © GREG PHELPS

moul_laura_blog.jpgLooking for a way to create additional streams of income? Who isn't! Well, Laura Moul, M.Photog., CPP, has a few suggestions for you. Try what she did and branch out into the fine art market. (She's even offering a PPA online class on how to do it right!)
 
One thing that's nice about the fine art market is that you can start integrating it almost immediately into your studio. In fact, fine art photography has usurped the place of weddings and outdoor portraiture as the focus of Laura's business.
 
"Now I concentrate on landscape, wildlife, flower and nature photography...and I enjoy it much more," she explains. "I'm also expanding into home décor and photo commissions to better serve my higher end clients (for more profit!)."
 
But the ease of integration doesn't mean that such transitions are without pitfalls. "Without some background and understanding of the fine art market, photographers could spend funds needlessly," says Laura. "It is better to have knowledge before jumping into any new field."
 
That's where her PPA online class comes in. You'll learn about developing and placing the right products in the right locations, surviving art shows and exhibitions, essential networking and more...all proven steps to help you avoid the common pitfalls of entering this market. If this sounds intriguing to you, join Laura for "Transitioning into the Fine Art Market" (October 11, 2:00pm ET). 
Lowepro has expanded its top-selling and award-winning Fastpack line with the release of the DSLR Video Fastpack AW series. This flexible, dual-compartment backpack is expressly designed for fast-moving multimedia photographers who rely on a diverse set-up of equipment to help them capture and deliver rich content.

The series consists of three models that fit a wide-ranging capacity of pro-sized gear, plus a laptop and accessories. Each delivers an identical and full set of premium features and provides flexible ways to customize equipment.

The lower compartment of each pack protects a pro-sized DSLR or and HD video-enabled DSLR within padded and adjustable compartments. A fast-access, side-entry pocket allows the photographers to quickly get to his or her gear by rotating the pack to the front and unzipping the camera compartment.

Pro shooters and enthusiasts who carry sound accessories will appreciate the upper compartment with its storage space for headphones, a microphone, transmitter/receiver set  and other audio gear. This compartment comes outfitted with Lowepro's removable custom audio utility pouch to aid in the neat and organized management of smaller audio accessories and cables.

A separate and padded laptop compartment keeps the multimedia photographer's workstation within easy reach--ideal for uploading stills, video or when posting a new blog entry and keeping in touch with colleagues and clients while on a shoot or traveling to one.

Additional pro-focused features include: a Hideaway Tripod Mountâ„¢ to help secure a tripod or DSLR video rig to the side via a foldout holder and strap; hidden ID pocket for quick access to ID or business cards; patented, built-in All Weather AW Coverâ„¢ to help protect gear from the elements; stretch-mesh side pocket; grab handle; stow-away waistbelt; and durable, water-resistant outer materials.

The series is available in three sizes in black: DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW, DSLR Video Fastpack 250 AW and DSLR Video Fastpack 150 AW. For more information on this series visit www.lowepro.com

Design Highlights
  • Protective, lightweight and highly configurable backpack, designed for the multimedia photographer
  • Fast-access, side-entry pocket for camera compartment allows wearer to quickly grab gear by rotating pack to the front and unzipping.
  • Upper compartment outfitted for audio gear with space for headphones, microphone and other accessories.
  • Dedicated, padded laptop compartment keeps a workstation within easy reach.
  • Hideaway Tripod Mountâ„¢ at side secures a tripod or DSLR video rig to pack.
  • Patented, built-in All Weather AW Coverâ„¢ protects camera gear from the elements.
A $15,000 equipment insurance policy at no cost to you...what are you waiting for? Over 1,500 PPA members have already opted in to PhotoCare Equipment Insurance, PPA's newest member benefit, on the first day!

photocare_blog.JPG"We knew PhotoCare would be a huge benefit to our members, but we had no idea the response would be so big!" says David Trust, PPA's CEO.
 
Remember: PPA is covering the premium for $15,000 in equipment insurance coverage* for each U.S.-based Professional Active and Life member as a part of their annual membership. It's simple to opt in, so take advantage of this opportunity now!

  • Log in to www.PPA.com with your user name and password.
  • Look under the My PPA tab (top left).
  • Click on the "Yes, I would like to opt in for PhotoCare Equipment Insurance!" (It will appear in the upper left corner of the page if you are eligible.)

*PhotoCare is available to U.S.-based Professional Active and Life PPA members. In order to activate the policy, members must log in to www.ppa.com and opt in. 
tenba_topload_blog.jpgTenba has announced another expansion of its popular Discovery collection of lightweight professional-level camera bags. Tenba has added the new Top Load and Photo/Laptop Messenger bags to further broaden a product line that has been designed with active outdoor photographers in mind. The Discovery Top Load is a clean and simple carrying solution for a single DSLR camera body with a mid-size zoom lens, while the Discovery Messenger fits a larger multi-lens camera system plus a tablet or laptop computer up to 13 inches.

The Discovery Top Load enables photographers to securely carry their bare essentials camera kit. The bag weighs only 16 ounces, yet it will fit a professional-size DSLR camera body up to the size of a Canon 5D or Nikon D700, plus a zoom lens up to five inches long (e.g. 24-70mm f/2.8), and then still offer room for extra batteries, memory cards and other important items.

For those photographers who need a slightly larger camera system, the Discovery Messenger is ideal. The bag fits a DSLR camera body with 2-3 lenses and accessories, plus a tablet or laptop up to 13 inches. In addition, it has all the hallmarks of a great Messenger bag - lots of pockets, body-hugging design, and a removable photo insert so that the bag can be converted for non-photo, general-purpose use.

The Top Load and Messenger have a waterproof bottom panel for protection when the bag has to be put down on a wet surface, and they include Tenba's exclusive WeatherWrapâ„¢ fast-deploying all-weather cover.

The new Discovery Top Load and Messenger bags are available now at suggested retail prices of $69.95 to $109.95 respectively. To find more information about these bags visit www.tenba.com.

PPA members get a discount on Tenba products. Read more here.


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