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PPA Today: September 2012 Archives

September 2012 Archives

Thumbnail image for kupka_headshot.JPGKathy Kupka, of Kathy Kupka Photography in Leesburg, Virginia, operates a thriving toddler and dog photography business--it gets crazy in there, we're sure! But actually, the two types of photography have more in common than you'd think, as she'll show you in her "Two-Legged & Four-Legged Kids: Behind the Scenes" Super Monday class in Leesburg, VA on October 15!

Starting Out with Kids & Dogs
Captivated by photography since she was a child, Kathy recalls going to Philadelphia on a school assignment and photographing the historic sites. "I can still see those black-and-white images, and I have had a camera ever since," Kathy recalls. Little did she know where it would take her!

After graduating from high school and working as a secretary, Kathy began taking photography classes when she moved to Virginia in 1994. "When I started those classes, my first grandson was born, and I used him as a model for my assignments. Then I started photographing my nieces and nephews and the kids of theThumbnail image for kupka1.JPG people I worked with," Kathy says. "I loved it. I noticed that while everyone wanted a picture taken quickly, I had patience and wanted to keep working until I got the perfect shot."

Kathy established her photography business as a part-time job in 1998, and in two short years, it became her full-time job. Eventually, her experience working with children led her to photographing dogs, too!

"I found that photographing dogs was just like photographing toddlers," she explains. "I loved it, and I had the patience for it." (Passion and patience...both are extremely important in that line of work!)

And her photography has had inspirational side effects! Kathy has created her own line of doggie greeting cards, and has used the images she has captured to create an inspirational "But There Is Treatment" presentation for cancer patients: "The slideshow presentation chronicles the ups and downs of my own experience being treated for Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. In it, I use my dog images for the purpose of encouragement and inspiration to those who are afflicted by cancer and its treatments."

She's shown the presentation at many venues, including Johns Hopkins, Relay for Life, Thumbnail image for kupka2.JPGMyeloma Institute, Rotary Clubs and many more. "I've received so many wonderful testimonials from cancer patients and many others."

Showing YOU How to Succeed With Kids & Dogs
If you want to learn how Kathy made these two photo markets pay off, don't miss her "Two-Legged & Four-Legged Kids: Behind the Scenes" Super Monday class on October 15. She'll cover a wide-range of topics, including how to handle clients for both types of sessions, window lighting, photographing in a home studio, backdrops, props and how to use your photography to create interesting marketing pieces.

Kathy's got a lot to share, so if you're interested in either type of photography, this could be the class for you!

View more Super Monday classes in more locations. Read more about Kathy Kupka 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.



fep.jpgThe FEP European Professional Photographer of the year competition is now accepting entries. Entries must be received by October 15th.

Winners of each category will be presented with a FEP Golden Camera. The overall winner will be awarded as the FEP European Professional Photographer of the Year.

Learn more about the competition and enter here.

Along with the competition, the next edition of the FEP Facebook Cover Picture of the Month contest will open September 28th and close on October 5th. The image that receives the highest number of "likes" will be the cover of the FEP page for the next month and be published on the FEP website. 

Jon King Keisling, 64, of Texas passed away on August 15, 2012. Well-known in the photographic community, Jon King became a PPA member in 2006. Much of the San Antonio area has been covered by his lens, including the Botanical Gardens (a favorite of his) and the Tower Life flagpole installation. His work took him worldwide, completing assignments in countries as far away as South Africa, Australia, Scotland, Canada and South America.

Our hearts go out to his family, friends and the many lives he has touched.

You can read more about Jon King Keisling here.

What do you use? What do you like? Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts in this survey about camera and printer use. (Your participation should only take about 10 minutes or less.) Your input helps PPA and our industry partners to keep abreast of industry trends, which allows us to serve YOU better! Click here to begin the survey.

Peter Read Miller, a sports photographer with over 40 years of experience and staff photographer for Sports Illustrated for three decades, will be hosting a sports photography workshop in Atlanta, October 15-21, 2012.

During his time as a sports photographer, Miller has had his images featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated 100 times, among many other editorial and advertising credits. He has covered 8 Olympic Games, 37 Super Bowls, 14 NBA Finals, The World Series and many other sporting events and has shot portraits of countless famous athletes.

At the workshop, participants will gain hands on experience photographing baseball, women's volleyball, tennis, equestrian and youth and high school football. The workshop concludes with photographing the Georgia Tech/Boston College football game on October 20th!

In addition to action photography, the workshop covers portrait lighting with strobes, in the studio and on location; arena lighting and the set-up; and use of remote cameras. Student work is reviewed and critiqued every morning and each student receives a one on one portfolio review with Miller or one of the other instructors.

The workshop costs $1,495.00 and includes all instruction, a one-on-one portfolio review with Miller and all model and location fees. The class size is limited to 20 participants.

Visit for more information and to register.   

We are still 4 months away from Imaging USA in Atlanta, but one of our contracted room blocks has already sold out! That means it's time to book your room for Imaging USA.

Room blocks at the Glenn Hotel have sold out, but blocks are still available at the other official Imaging USA hotels, including the Omni Hotel at CNN Center - our headquarters hotel. Rooms are also still available at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel and the Holiday Inn Downtown Atlanta.

Find all the information about booking your room at one of these hotels on the Imaging USA hotels & travel page.

Read more about Imaging USA here.

The wait is over! PPA has posted the 2011 Benchmark Survey Analysis and five--count 'em, five!--Summary Reports that break down the latest guidelines to building stronger, healthier photography businesses! Dig in and see what the numbers say about the health of your business--where you are and where you should or could be. Members can access the reports here.
Did you know PPA Headquarters is hosting a Super Monday class a few days before the main date? PPA's chief executive officer, chief financial officer and Studio Management Services Manager are teaming up to deliver "Making Sense of Branding & Finances" on October 8. It's never been done before, and it's going to be one heck of a ride! (We'd say you'll be learning from some of the best, but we are a tad biased.)

Learn more about Super Monday and register for the class of your choice here.
Call them packages, call them collections, call them purchase programs--whatever the name, the concept is the same: You can encourage people to make larger purchases by grouping together products in an appealing assortment. It's sales enticement at its photographic best, and everyone has a slightly different approach.

Want to learn some basic structures and tips for sweetening the pot with packages? Here's some reading material for you (if you're a PPA member, that is)!
Once off-limits, the tender time right after the birth of a child has become a new frontier for portrait photographers. Increasingly, photographers are offering hospital visits as part of their maternity-baby portrait options. While styles and approaches vary widely, many photographers approach these sessions as a way to record the child's first few hours, and topete_wright_blog0919_1.JPG portray the family's closeness during this time.

Timing the Sessions

It's important to note that "birth" photography doesn't usually mean documenting the actual birth, but instead providing a series of portraits at the hospital or birthing location shortly after the birth. (Many hospitals do not even allow photographers in the delivery room, so be careful about what you promise clients.) Often, photographers try to time these sessions within a few hours of the birth, or perhaps the next day. This differs from the timing of a newborn session, which typically occurs a week to two weeks postpartum.

Packaging the Sessions for Return Visits
The birth sessions fit well into ongoing packages, with display options including collages and albums that can be added to as the child grows. They also serve as another key bonding element to help a photographer establish a stronger relationship with the clients. You can plug such birth sessions into a program that might also include a maternity session, a standard newborn session, and baby portrait sessions at regular intervals.

Thumbnail image for pete_wright_blog0919_2.jpgThat's how PPA member Pete Wright, M.Photog.Cr., of PW Photography in Richmond, VA, uses birth sessions:  to deepen his relationship with his clients and to add another element to their growing collection of imagery. Pete created a structure that incentivizes clients to return regularly during the maternity period and baby's first year. The ultimate product is an album, and parts of the process include a maternity session, a hospital visit/birth session, a newborn session seven to 10 days later, another early baby session about six weeks after that, and then follow-on baby sessions at six, nine and 12 months.

"The key is that we try to get two or three sessions in, as well as the preview appointments, before the baby hits eight weeks old. That's the honeymoon phase with a new baby when parents are crazy in love with him/her to the point where they'll spend a lot more," says Wright. "We wanted to offer a different option with some incentives to come back in. It makes our customers more proactive about coming back so they can finish their book."

Wright says that his system (which includes birth photography) "trains clients to keep returning at key points in their family's growth, and that process may continue long after they're finished with the baby book. Some keep returning for years as their children grow!"

Is birth photography for you? Do you approach it differently? Share below!



fedex_0919.JPGYou lucky dog, you. PPA's connection with FedEx® snags PPA members a shot at energizing your business with hundreds of prizes (totaling $25,000) during their FedEx Advantage Sweepstakes! You'll be automatically entered in the sweepstakes and eligible to play the game when you submit your enrollment application for our FedEx Advantage® discount program. PPA Members: Get the Code to Enter Here.
Remember, the more eligible FedEx shipments you make, the more entries you'll receive--up to 50--from Sept. 12, 2012, through Nov. 7, 2012. Take this chance to advance your business with these prizes:

  • $10,000 Grand Prize
  • $5,000 First Prizes (2)
  • $25 Instant Win Reward Cards (200)
PLUS, members of PPA will also save up to 26% on FedEx services during the sweepstakes and beyond! What's not to love?
Separate your senior portrait studio from the rest by creating a buzz marketing strategy that's one-of-a-kind--it's just one more thing you can learn from our Imaging USA instructors! Check out Jen Basford's "Seniors IGNITE" class online and watch her explain why you can't miss it.

Want to see what else you could be learning, doing and loving at Imaging USA come January? Surf the site here: 

Do you--and your images--have what it takes to win the big bucks? Peter Lik, M.Photog., won $1,000 with this image (below) last year (he was the grand-prize winner of PPA's 2011 Summer Shootout). Could you do the same this year?

You have until Sept. 30 to go up against the best photographers on the planet and see for yourself via PPA's Summer Shootout, made just for PPA members. Get all the fine print (from categories to rules) here and show us what you got!

"Inner Peace"

Enter the PPA Facebook Giveaway by September 24th for your chance to win a 8'x 8' Roll Up Floor from Denny Manufacturing, a $448 value!

Denny Manufacturing Roll Up Floors are made on a flexible, non-skid neoprene material similar to a mouse pad. These Roll Up Floors are lightweight, easy to store and set up, and there's a vast selection to choose from. Another great benefit is that the edges of Denny Roll Up Floors do not curl up - they remain flat!

Enter the giveaway here. Remember, you must enter by September 24th to win!

View the Roll Up Floors product here.


onOne Software, Inc. has announced Perfect Photo Suite 7 for Adobe® Lightroom®, Photoshop®, Apple® Aperture® and as a standalone application. Improved to give photographers even more ways to maximize their creativity and solve common problems in digital photography, Perfect Photo Suite 7 now offers new easy-to-use, yet powerful tools to develop stunning black and white images, enhance, stylize and correct images, retouch portraits and prepare all images, including mobile snapshots, for enlargement and print. Perfect Photo Suite 7 includes the brand new module Perfect B&W, Perfect Effects 4, Perfect Portrait 2, Perfect Layers 3 and Perfect Resize 7.5 Pro-powered by Genuine Fractals technology, Perfect Mask 5.2 and FocalPoint 2.

Improved workflow integration and a significantly redesigned user interface allow photographers to focus on their image editing while working seamlessly within their preferred workflow. Users can select their image from Lightroom, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or Aperture, send it directly to the Perfect Photo Suite 7 module of their choice, make adjustments, then immediately return it to their original photo editing or organization application.

The new modules in Perfect Photo Suite 7 also include the new Perfect Brush giving users the ability achieve precise edge-detected masking quickly. It smoothly applies or removes adjustments to the specific areas being worked on without crossing over the edges around it. A redesigned browser with Search functionality and a Favorites panel allow users easy access to the specific effects and presets they're looking for. Photographic effects, designed by industry experts specifically for onOne Software, are also easily accessible alongside manual controls to give photographers the option to create professional looking images with one click or fine-tune adjustments to create the specific look they desire.

Availability and Pricing
The new Perfect Photo Suite 7 will ship in late October 2012. Pre-orders are available immediately and will include a complimentary Perfect Photo Suite 7 Creative Companion DVD with purchase through September 20, 2012. The Creative Companion DVD includes training and inspirational videos, Photoshop templates from Graphic Authority and unique presets for the suite. Owners of Perfect Photo Suite 6, Perfect Photo Suite 5, and Plug-In Suite 5 or earlier can upgrade to Perfect Photo Suite 7 for $149.95. Perfect Photo Suite 7 is available to new users for $299.95. Pre-orders may be made at For more information on Perfect Photo Suite 7, visit

For those who have purchased Perfect Photo Suite 6 on or after August 1, 2012, onOne Software will issue a complimentary upgrade to Perfect Photo Suite 7 via download when it is available in late October 2012.

Along with the release of Perfect Photo Suite 7, onOne Software has announced Perfect B & W, part of the new Perfect Photo Suite 7.

Perfect B&W is a completely brand new product that offers photographers the easiest way to develop stunning black and white digital images. It includes powerful and intuitive tools that give photographers instant results and complete creative control to replicate time-honored black and white processing techniques. With Perfect B&W, photographers can add dramatic, elegant and classic monochromatic looks to their images, and create the many moods black and white photography can evoke--resulting in beautiful and provocative imagery.

Availability and Pricing
The new Perfect B&W is now available for pre-order as part of the Perfect Photo Suite 7 for $299.95, which will ship in late October. It will be available later this Fall as an individual plug-in and standalone product for $99.95. For more information on Perfect B&W, visit  

Khara Plicanic presents The Business of a Wicked Fast Workflow at Imaging USA 2013.
Wouldn't it be awesome if you could be 100% caught up on every wedding before shooting the next one? What if you could turn around every wedding (proofs AND album design) in a week? Or even better... a single day? No production teams, outsourcing or army of interns required. Just you and a better plan. Don't miss this unique approach that's part workflow, part business strategy, applicable to portraits and 100% awesome! -- with Khara Plicanic.

Congrats to Teddi Yaeger in Washington! She was just named "Best Kids' Photographer" in Seattle by readers of ParentMap magazine, receiving its 2012 Golden Teddy Award. ParentMap surveyed its readers on the best businesses and resources for kids and families in Greater Seattle, and Teddi Yaeger Photography was one of them! (Getting picked by your clients is the best thanks ever, am I right?)

summer_shootout_cta2012.jpgDo you--and your images--have what it takes to win the big bucks? September is the last month for you to go up against the best photographers on the planet and see for yourself via PPA's Summer Shootout.

This online photo contest, exclusively for PPA members, is your chance to win cash prizes (up to $1,000!). Sound pleasing? Then give it a whirl! It's only $10 to enter your first image ($5 dollars for each additional image). As an added bonus, you can also request a critique of your image from world-class judges to help fine-tune your skills even more.

September 30 is the last day you can enter, so don't delay! See what we've got (the rules) and then show us what YOU've got!
Improvements are good...wouldn't you agree? (The word "improve" is in it after all!) That's why PPA created PPA's Merit & Degree Program in 1937 to recognize photographers for their achievements in the industry, define industry standards and promote excellence. It's just one way we incentivize you to continue growing and developing your skills and know-how.

Have you heard about this program yet? I'm not talking about the kind of degrees you get after completing a university curriculum. A PPA professional degree is different. It's a way to track and promote your ongoing progress in the industry and commitment to your craft! It's a goal to help you grow, and if you're a PPA member, it's worth a second (and third) glance.

Let me explain in a bit more detail:

  • PPA's Merit & Degree Program is based on a "point" system of merits, which are earned by being active and excelling in the PPA photographic community. Depending on how you choose to participate, there are different types of merits (and degrees) that you can earn. For example, let's say you teach or attend an approved class, compete in the International Photographic Competition, or volunteer in your PPA Affiliate association. Such activities translate into the 4 different types of merits: Exhibition, Artist Exhibition (formerly called Electronic Imaging), Speaking and Service.

  • Once you have accumulated enough merits, you are eligible for certain PPA degrees, representations of our standards of excellence. Degrees show your dedication to growing in the photographic industry and can only be earned after you have accumulated 25 of those merits I mentioned earlier. And just like there are different types of merits, there are also different degrees that you can earn: Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman and Master Artist (formerly called Master of Electronic Imaging). The 3 degrees represent different areas of expertise within the industry, much like their merit counterparts.
Kind of confusing, huh? It may be a tad complicated at first, but many PPA members say earning a degree is worth it. After all, your PPA degree can do more than just hang on your wall. It has the potential to improve your business and help make a name for yourself. How? The steps you take to earn PPA merits and degrees--from competition to continual education--strengthen your skills. (Plus, degrees are symbols of quality and improvement that your clients can recognize.)

Earning a PPA degree can be one more tool for telling the world (and all those potential clients) why they should call YOU, not the competitor down the street. Want to learn more? Walk through the details here: 
A family portrait session can be a stressful affair for the clients. They're trying to look their best. They're trying to wrangle their kids into the studio on time. They're trying to get everyone to behave somewhat normally. They're trying to get past the fact that a professional image maker will be examining their every move. Add to these factors the nagging knowledge that they're investing a bundle of money in the process, and it's not hard to understand why clients are a bit on edge when they show up for their family portrait.

So how do you, as a pro photographer, deal with all of those conditions and still figure out a way to make the experience enjoyable for everyone involved? (After all, you'd probably like your clients to return or give a referral.) Take a look at how this portrait studio makes it relaxed and fun!
When it comes to posing family portraits, there's the ever-present challenge of getting everyone to look good in an appealing composition without setting up a scene that is stiff and static. Grandma and the grandbaby just don't look or act the same (at least not usually!). But, as a pro photographer, you are paid to get it right. Clients come to you for the best! That's why we asked two family portrait studios to share their very different approaches in accomplishing this feat.

Is your big group approach similar? Do you have a different technique that works for you? PPA members can read the full article here, so let us know what you think below!
PPA has some great online classes coming up in September and October, with topics including maternity photography and boudoir portraits.

Plus, the  previously canceled "Photographing and Interacting with Children of All Ages" class taught by Marianne Drenthe has now been re-scheduled for October 2.

You can find the complete upcoming online class schedule below. Remember that these classes are only $39 for PPA members or can be attended as part of the online learning pass.

Don't miss your chance to learn from these photographers, register today!

September 11, 2012
Maternity Portraits: Simple, Transitional Shooting & Selling
With Ana Brandt
$39 for PPA Members

September 18, 2012

Setting Yourself Up for Success in Maternity Sales
With Pete Wright, M.Photog.Cr.
$39 for PPA Members

September 25, 2012

Secrets to a High-End Boudoir Portrait Experience
With Jennifer Rozenbaum
$39 for PPA Members

October 2, 2012
Photographing & Interacting with Children of All Ages
With Marianne Drenthe
$39 for PPA Members

About this Archive

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

August 2012 is the previous archive.

October 2012 is the next archive.

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