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PPA Today: February 2012 Archives

February 2012 Archives

PhotoShelter has released a new free educational workbook, SEO for Photographers. The workbook provides valuable insights to coach photographers on search engine optimization tactics and online tools that will improve search engine rankings and drive more traffic to their websites. The SEO for Photographers Workbook can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/SEOforphotogs

As an added bonus when photographers sign up, they will also receive the SEO for Photographers Bootcamp, four weeks of additional SEO tips delivered straight to their inbox. The Bootcamp includes:  
      
  • Week 1: Interpreting SEO Metrics for Success
  • Week 2: The Simple Explanation of How Google Ranks Websites
  • Week 3: Proven Tactics to Beat the Competition
  • Week 4: Tracking Your Progress to Get More Business

The SEO for Photographers Bootcamp is PhotoShelter's second online educational series joining The Photo Business Bootcamp, a series equipped with interviews and business tactics from the industry's leading professionals.

The SEO for Photographers Workbook is the latest in PhotoShelter's ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter's e-book library includes 19 educational guides including topics like email marketing, search engine optimization, and starting a photography business. All can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/psresearch.
tamron_mpe_app.jpgTamron USA, Inc., has announced the launch of MyPhotoExhibits (MPE) app for iPad to enhance the convenience and user-friendliness of the MyPhotoExhibits site. MPE is an innovative way for photographers looking to showcase their favorite images in a free online venue. Unlike traditional static online galleries, Tamron's MPE interface, available at http://myphotoexhibits.com, allows users to create customizable 3D exhibits with a vibrant interactive experience.

iPhone and iPad Apps for On-The-Go Viewing and Sharing

The convenient iPhone and iPad apps, found at http://tmrn.us/itunes, offers easy access to MPE wherever users may be. Through their iPhone and iPad, users can browse through all available MPE exhibits; view their own 3D exhibits; check out exhibits of other photographers that they may "follow"; and share their exhibits by sending out an e-mail or Facebook invite to friends.

About Tamron's MyPhotoExhibits

My Photo Exhibits offers a creative way to transform the way images are viewed and shared: Photographers simply set up a user avatar and bio, upload their favorite high-resolution images, and create a personalized exhibit space. After organizing the exhibit and captioning the photographs, users can put the finishing touches on their exhibit space, choosing from a variety of gallery spaces (wall and floor textures and colors), photo frames, furniture, and lighting options. It's easy to go back into the MPE interface at any time to add more photos, tweak presentation specs, or create an unlimited number of new exhibits that feature travel pictorials, special events, projects, and more.

Once an exhibit is ready to "open," it's easy to share it with friends: Users simply send out an invitation from the website or iPhone/iPad app to Facebook or other social media platforms, or by email, to direct friends to their exhibit, which can be viewed by "invitation only" or remain open to the public. Viewers are able to sign the photographer's guestbook, choose "favorite" exhibits and "follow" exhibiting photographers.

Visitors can check out all available public exhibits on the site or browse by category. Tamron will also suggest favorite exhibits for further photographic inspiration - users can even submit their own exhibits for consideration in this coveted "Featured by Tamron" category. To maximize photographers' MPE experience, Tamron-created exhibits will also be prominently featured on the site to instruct users on how to take better photos.
Guiding the world's largest, non-profit professional photography association is tough, and PPA is fortunate to have the right visionaries at the helm. Our board of directors understands exactly what you face and knows the education and resources you need to be successful, and they constantly work to expand those offerings to you. After all, they are practicing professional photographers just like you. Join us in welcoming this year's board of directors, who take office from March 1, 2012, to March 1, 2013:
 
Tim Walden, President
M.Photog.Cr, F-ASP
 
Ralph Romaguera Sr., Vice President
M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, F-ASP
 
Susan Michal, Treasurer
M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI
 
Don Dickson, Chairman of the Board
M.Photog.Cr.Hon.M.Photog., CPP
 
Don MacGregor
M.Photog.Cr., API
 
Michael Gan
M.Photog.Cr., CPP
 
Rob Behm
CPP
 
Lori Craft
Cr.Photog.
 
Michael Timmons
M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP
 
NEW MEMBER: Stephen Thetford
M.Photog.Cr., CPP
 
NEW MEMBER: Audrey Wancket
M.Photog.Cr., CPP
 
NEW MEMBER: Richard Newell
M.Photog.Cr.
 
Kevin Casey, Industry Advisor
President & CEO of Collages.net 
iptlockLogo300.jpgWould you like to review images with clients and prospects, and never again fear you will see YOUR images used without your permission? That's what IPTLOCK can do for you. And PPA members will receive an exclusive 40% member-only discount!  

"I created IPTLOCK to protect artists' work from being compromised and to foster better communications. As a result, it helps reestablish a sense of trust between professional photographers and their clients," says Gary Blum, President of IPTLOCK.

This cloud-based application started out of need with a simple idea: to create a more secure way to share images while ensuring better communication with clients. Through IPTLOCK's easy-to-use virtual remote function, you can set who, what, where, when, and for how long someone will be able to access your images. With its Instant Collaboration function, you can instantly share comments back and forth, in real-time, on any images you send without affecting the originals.

Better than a PDF Lock, this technology uses state-of-the-art Internet Protocol Transfer Lock features. This technology allows users to send an email link right to the image or proposal file (especially useful for commercial and editorial photographers). Unlike other "secure" file sharing services, which convey ownership and rely on breakable password ID protection, IPTLOCK uses an IP address to guarantee greater security and doesn't allow direct access to your files.

Depending on your needs, PPA members can get a very special discount on all of IPTLOCK's plan options. We are excited to announce all members will receive 40% off their 10-pack, monthly and yearly plans in the first year and 30% off plans thereafter!

Standard Fees:
  • 10-Pack: $100 ($10 each)
  • Monthly: $33.00
  • Annual: $330.00
40% PPA Discount Fees (First Year of Use):
  • 10-Pack: $60 ($6 each)
  • Monthly: $19.80
  • Annual: $198.00
30% PPA Discount Fees (After First Year):
  • 10-Pack: $70 ($7 each)
  • Monthly: $23.10
  • Annual: $232.80

PPA members can start using this benefit now: get your discount code here.

As a photographer, the one thing you probably love more than (or at least as much as) creating a beautiful photograph is the gear you use to capture it. We don't just mean your prized camera, but also the lenses, the lights, the tripods and even the laptop and other computer gear you use to produce the finished product!

Recognizing your love of gear and the role it can play in helping you stay ahead of the competition, PPA has offered members the ability to access free and affordable equipment coverage. We want to make sure that we're helping you protect not only the equipment you love, but your livelihood as well. Read more here.

Working hard, but have little to show for it? PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS) business workshops have helped hundreds of studios, just like yours, gain control of their businesses and become financially stronger and more profitable. And one is coming to Atlanta--with a little something extra--March 12-14!

Our Business Breakthroughs Workshop can help you keep more money and take control. It's all in learning to manage your finances, price right, attract new clients and increase sales average per session to reach the "elusive" next level. The most amazing thing?  This workshop includes a private consultation with an SMS mentor and PPA accountant...meaning you'll walk away with actionable business and marketing goals AND a custom financial plan.

But this Atlanta class also features a special segment you won't get at any other Business Breakthroughs Workshop. Jen Basford of 3 Girls Photography is joining us for a day, meaning you'll be able to glean extra tips on senior sales and marketing specifics!

So, if you specialize in senior portraits (or want to) and have been thinking about gaining control of your studio with a Business Breakthroughs Workshop, this is the class you can't miss. All class sizes are limited, so register now before your spot is gone!

mukherjee_prem_blog.jpgThere's an overwhelming amount of work that comes with each job you do, particularly with a wedding. After the hours you spend covering said wedding, it sometimes takes days or multiple hours to finish the post-production. But what if we told you the editing could be done in just six hours?

That's what Prem Mukherjee has found with his ultra-efficient wedding workflow, and he's going to share his proven methods on February 28 at 2:00pm ET ("How to Edit a Wedding in Six Hours").

Find the Right Software
"I spent years learning different software to try to find the most efficient one for each step of the workflow," he explains. "It seems like between Bridge/Photoshop, you can do just about anything that you need...but that doesn't mean that those are the most efficient tools for each step of the process."

Be Consistent & Decisive
Prem adds that the most important things to remember in editing efficiently are consistency and decisiveness. "I do each job using the same process in the same order every time," he says. "Eventually, it becomes second-nature."

Why is this so important? Well, to Prem, one of the biggest time-wasters is indecisiveness. When you come across multiple single images, do you agonize between them, trying to pick the perfect one? "You need to just pick one and move on quickly," he notes. And though he knows there are infinite ways to process and edit an image, you need to "pick a direction and go for it without second-guessing yourself" and trying out multiple ways. Trust those skills you've been cultivating and trust your artistic instinct!

As Prem says, "The client isn't going to know what it COULD have looked like if you edited differently. They will only know what it does look like based on what you show them." And you'll be able to show them those images that much faster.

Tune in February 28 to learn more from Prem, including what software he uses and HOW he uses it (from start to finish) to edit his beautiful wedding images in six hours.
Every day we hear something on the news about Capitol Hill and legal or governmental issues. Many of us tend to tune it out after a while because it becomes difficult to sift through the subjects to find the ones that really impact us...and even then it's just plain hard to understand what's going on!

But that doesn't mean it's not important to know what's going on. Will a legal decision affect your business? Is there a law being debated that will help or hinder your copyrights? As the only professional photographic association with a full-time Copyright & Government Affairs staff that maintains a regular presence on Capitol Hill, PPA has dedicated itself to protecting and defending your intellectual property and livelihood. We can help you focus your attention where needed.

Here is a quick look at some important issues you should be watching.

PhotoShelter, the worldwide leader in photography portfolio websites, sales and marketing tools for photographers, today released a new free educational guide, How to Grow a Wedding Photography Business. This guide offers essential tactics and strategies to help emerging wedding photographers build a brand, market their services, and attract new clients. The guide also includes firsthand interviews from successful photographers who offer real tips on how to innovate and beat the competition.

The guide can be downloaded directly here: http://bit.ly/PSwedding

How to Grow a Wedding Photography Business coaches photographers on both basic and advanced approaches to grow a thriving wedding photography business including:

  • How to build a unique brand and effectively market to prospects
  • How to establish competitive pricing tiers
  • How to improve search engine rankings to attract the right client
  • How to grow a network and reach new clients through Facebook, Twitter, and blogging
  • How to be the hero on the wedding day, and master post-wedding image delivery
  • How to influence the most powerful marketing tool of all: word of mouth

Each section provides key takeaways to help photographers immediately advance their business with smarter and faster approaches than ever before.

How to Grow a Wedding Photography Business is the latest in PhotoShelter's ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter's e-book library includes 18 educational guides including topics like email marketing, search engine optimization, and starting a photography business. All can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/psresearch.
The call for instructors is now open for Super Monday classes to be held on or around Monday, May 14, 2012. February 29 is the deadline to volunteer. We hope you will consider spending a day sharing your knowledge and experience teaching a Super Monday class. Besides the experience and new networks you'll gain from speaking, you will earn two speaking merits toward a PPA degree. Submit your instructor registration form by February 29, 2012.
PPA wants to send a round of congratulations and thanks to our newest Life members in honor of their years of dedication to this industry and association! To earn a Life membership to PPA, photographers must be 65 years or older and have been a PPA member for 30+ consecutive years. Here's to 30+ years more in the industry and your PPA family!

Ralph Allen III, M.Photog.Cr.
Alan S. Brooker
Ed Broussard, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Thomas R. Carter
Robert A. Clayton
Rex N. Enochs, M.Photog.Cr.
Jerome N. Fine
Lawrence W. Fowler
Robert Crane Hall
Sandy Levy
William R. Lloyd
Myron A. McMillan, M.Photog.Cr.
Russ Miller, M.Photog.Cr.
Christina L. Perry, M.Photog.
Jules A. Purvis, M.Photog.Cr.
Gerry Thomas
Eileen Wendt, M.Artist.Cr.
Corsentino_Michael.jpgWhere's the best place to shoot? What spot will add that special charm and awe-inspiring atmosphere to your on-location images? Join acclaimed photographer Michael Corsentino online for an in-depth, exciting and inspirational look at shooting wedding, engagement and environmental portraits ("Wedding & Portrait Location Strategies"). You'll learn the location strategies and secrets that have helped make Michael a top pro. This no-holds-barred, pull-back-the-curtain presentation is sure to help take your location shooting to the next level!

Sign up for it now and watch live at 2:00pm Eastern.
CollagesDesigner 2.0 is the newest free Album and Book design software available for Collages.net customers. This brand new program enables you to quickly create professionally designed and personalized albums and books. Choose your product, a folder of images, and then click Autoflow to watch your images be carefully inserted into a clean, professional design. Review the design, export a proof, share with your customers, and place your order - It is that simple.

  • Software is MAC and PC compatible
  • Autoflow feature creates professional design in seconds
  • Hundreds of page styles, masks, and backgrounds
  • Export proof for client preview

MAC and PC versions can be downloaded at www.collages.net/freedesignsoftware.  

At some point in your life, you resolved to take your love for photography and make it official—you were going to take proper measures to become a professional photographer.  Maybe that day was back in the summer of '71. Maybe it was the last in a series of contemplative moments you'd been having the last few years. Or perhaps, just maybe it was today—on some ordinary Thursday.

But whether you are green to the industry or a seasoned pro, never forget that your business skills are equally as important as your artistic skills. After all, your images can speak for themselves, but are your profits following suit?

Thing is, the business landscape of pro photography is tricky. And as artists, photographers often have a hard time grasping what the numbers mean. That's why PPA has championed business education for photographers, becoming the authority in the industry with our Studio Management Services (SMS). For 10 years, SMS has helped hundreds of studios like yours gain control of their businesses and become more profitable with industry-leading resources (like the Benchmark Survey), education, mentors and other business tools.

Want the best path to success—one that's custom-designed for your unique business? Want to be make smarter business decisions for long-term success? With SMS resources you have access to as a member, you can find the help you need practically every step of the way. Read the complete article here.

Working hard, but have little to show for it? PPA's business workshops have helped hundreds of photographers like you, gain control of their businesses and become financially stronger and more profitable. You see, photographers need both art AND business skills for true professionalism. Come see how we can put you on the right path:

Business Basics Workshops

  • Build a healthier studio from the ground up with this two-day, nuts-and-bolts class (from understanding financial management to the basics of attracting customers and getting them to buy).
  • Be empowered to make smarter business decisions for long-term success.

Business Breakthroughs Workshops

  • Take your studio to the "elusive" next level with this intensive three-day class.
  • Walk away with actionable business and marketing goals AND a custom financial plan.
  • Get personalized help with a one-on-one consultation.

2012 Business Workshop Calendar

Business Basics
April 28-29 - Cincinnati, OH
June 9-10
- Atlanta, GA
June 25-26
- Ann Arbor, MI (GLIP)
November 3-4 - Atlanta, GA
  Business Breakthroughs
March 12-14 - Atlanta, GA
April 29-May 4* - Dallas, TX (Texas School)
July 15-19* - Shawnigan Lake, BC (Image Explorations)
July 16 - 18 - Memphis, TN
November 5-7 - Atlanta, GA

*NOTE: Workshop is offered with additional programs at this location.

There are a lot of photographic competitions out there. It's easy to get lost trying to decipher what goes where and when and why! Here's a quick update, so you don't miss any deadlines:

Alisha and Brook ToddCome on down--oh, we mean come on up!--and learn the answer to the age-old question: Should you go up or down in your pricing? Should you throw in the kitchen sink? At 2:00pm ET today, Alisha and Brook Todd will delve into the mysterious world of pricing weddings, engagements and marketing yourself effectively. Learn more here.

We all know that running a photography business is not easy. But last month at Imaging USA, we celebrated The Ball Studio's 100 years as a PPA studio! Holly Peterson is the latest generation and PPA member of this long history, and she accepted a special acknowledgement from PPA President Don Dickson during the PPA Council Meeting for her family.

Holly's great-grandfather, William Ball arrived in Corvallis, Oregon, in 1912 by way of working on the railroad. An artist at heart, he founded The Ball Studio, which has continued to this day to be owned and operated by his family. One of his sons, Robert, fell in love with photography as well, and turned his attention to strengthening the studio's business foundation. (Robert even became a PPA President.) The family business next came to Robert's daughter Mickey and her husband Keith Peterson, who embraced color (and even put in a color lab). And for the past 30 years, Holly has been involved, expanding into a 4,000 sq. ft. studio with five employees.

In that time, The Ball Studio has seen its share of challenges. They've survived two World Wars, the Great Depression, the recession of the '70s, two studio fires and more! So how have they stayed successful for so long?

"We're always adapting and changing...except for one thing, the motto laid down by our great-grandfather: "Reputation is a responsibility as well as a reward," says Holly. "We never centered our studio brand around an individual, but on the concepts of quality, craftsmanship and reputation. And to fine-tune those concepts, we've been members of PPA since the beginning."

Congratulations Holly and the entire Ball Studio family!

Tamron_24-70mm_f2.8_610x424.jpgTamron has announced the development of the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007), the world's first full-size high-speed standard zoom lens equipped with VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive), with resolution at the top of its class. The lens will be developed for Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts. A release date has not been announced.

Product Features
 
  1. World's first full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in VC (Vibration Compensation). Even when shooting in low-light conditions with a slow shutter speed to render sharpness, Tamron's acclaimed VC allows for stable handheld camera work, to more fully enjoy the benefits of this high-speed zoom lens.
  2. Uses specialized high-grade glass in the three LD elements, three Glass Molded Aspherical Lenses, one Hybrid Aspherical Lens and two XR (Extra Refractive Index) glasses, delivering top-of-the-class quality images suited to this high-grade lens. Using a rounded diaphragm, the lens achieves gorgeous blur effects.
  3. Features USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) to power a speedy AF drive together with a continuous manual mechanism.
  4. This high-speed standard zoom lens has a wide-end focal length of 24mm that expands the photographic area.
  5. The lens adopts the new technology including the latest optical design, VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive), all in a lighter and more compact package.
  6. Moisture-resistant construction helps prevent water from penetrating the lens.
Remember the day you decided that you needed to get a website? It might have been at a time when photographers thought of their websites solely as a digital version of their printed portfolios, or as a brochure for their studio/event businesses. But today, your website is much more - it's arguably the most important part of your sales and marketing strategy. If you don't already think of your website that way, then it might be time for an upgrade.

Building a successful photography website might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Depending on your clientele and addressable market, your website will need to focus on some features more than others (e-commerce vs. file delivery, for example). But regardless of your specialty, all photographers should bear in mind these 5 pillars of a successful photography website:

1. Separation of Church and State. If you have multiple lines of business, like shooting weddings and politics, create a separate website for each. If a potential new client comes to your website looking for coverage of the latest political debate and sees a galleries full of wedding photography, they're likely to leave and move on to another photographer who's more closely specialized in what they need. Don't lose business by mixing your audiences - instead, maintain separate websites that are focused on one specialty.

branaman_1_photoshelter.jpg

James and Julie Branaman have one website for their photojournalism work at branaman.photoshelter.com.

branaman_2_photoshelter.jpgThe Branamans have another website for their wedding photography at branamanweddingphoto.photoshelter.com.

2. Clean, simple, and uncluttered. Clients are most likely visiting your website because they're interested in your photography, not your web design skills. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have a nice logo and site design - just keep it simple. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to find what they're looking for. That means focusing on well-organized and aptly named featured galleries and information pages that are easy to navigate to from your homepage.

solas_photoshelter.jpg
Megan and James of Solas Wedding + Portrait Photography have portfolios for both their wedding and portrait photograph, which are both easy to find from the homepage.

3. Search engine optimized. One of the most important factors to think about when building your website is whether it's search engine optimized. Although search engine optimization (SEO) - the way you structure and edit your website's content to maximize your ranking in search results - may seem difficult, a good photo website makes it easy. Rule #1 is no Flash, because search engines read Flash websites as basically a blank page; it's the plain, on-page text and web page meta data that gets your website to rank. Also, make sure that your gallery titles, image captions, and other text is optimized for the keywords that you want to rank for. You can learn more in this free guide, SEO for Photographers.

4. The faster, the better. You might think that a fancy intro with your logo slowly fading in is great, but it's almost certain that your clients don't. Photo buyers, consumers and clients tell us time and time again that if your website doesn't load in under 10 seconds, they're moving on. Make sure that you're working with a company that builds websites that will load and advance your images quickly. And if you absolutely insist on starting with a slideshow, make sure the visitor can control or dismiss it.

5. Easy-to-find contact information. Whether the goal of your website is to land you assignments, book weddings, or sell prints, make sure clients know how to contact you. This sounds simple enough, but clients frequently comment that they fall in love with a photographer's work and then can't figure out how to contact them. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to include your contact information in the footer of your website so it shows up on every page. You can use a "contact" link, but be sure to provide your email and telephone number since some clients don't like using standard contact forms.



bio_photoshelter.jpg
Travel and lifestyle photographer Ken Kaminesky includes his email and telephone number on the contact page.

Tuning up your website is a key marketing tactic for any good photography business. Of course, there are other strategies that should be part of your photography business plan. In PhotoShelter's 2012 Photo Business Plan Workbook, we help you assemble a concrete plan to beef up your marketing and grow your business. Use this step-by-step guide to build your business plan and stick to it!



Photography BlogSites has announced a partnership with internationally acclaimed digital photo sharing hub SmugMug. As the only website option with the ability to instantly synchronize its designs with SmugMug, Photography BlogSites is taking another step in becoming the premiere website service for photographers.

Through Photography BlogSites' instant sync ability with SmugMug, the design of the photographer's website will carry directly over to SmugMug - allowing photographers to retain their branding when customers make purchases. In addition, this service is available to all SmugMug Pro and Power users.

Read more here.

Everyone has experienced that sinking feeling. You know the feeling you got in the pit of your stomach when you were 7 years old and just broke one of Mom's or Dad's prized possessions?  That's when you look around and try to blame the dog, the cat, the wind...even the kid down the street.

Chances are, you're probably no longer at risk of having to explain yourself to Mom and Dad when accidents happen. On the other hand, as a photographer (and a small-business owner), you could find yourself sitting in front of a client with this very same feeling. You are the end of the line when it comes to decision making for your photography business, so it's going to be quite difficult to convince a client to blame someone/something else, even if the matter was out of your hands. And the client probably won't be satisfied with just sentencing you to one week without TV.

In situations like this, your wallet and, more importantly, your reputation are on the line.

This is where PPA's Indemnification Trust program can step in to help. When clients start to point their fingers at you, use yours to pick up the phone and request the assistance of an attorney experienced at talking photographers through a variety of client complaints. Read more here



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This page is an archive of entries from February 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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