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PPA Today: November 2013 Archives

November 2013 Archives

Happy Thanksgiving! While you recover from your turkey-induced coma, here are November's top conversations on theLoop:

Join the conversation as photographers discuss who they'd love to photograph (famous or not) and the settings they'd photograph that person in. 

Share your opinion about why photographers should attend Imaging USA, regardless of what point you are at in your career. 

What item is a must-have for you when you're out on a photography assignment? You might be surprised by some of the useful ideas!

theLoop community shares their ideas on studio lighting setups that can supplement ambient light and off camera flash. 

Photographers share why they prefer the Nikon D4 DSLR or the Nikon D800 DSLR. Do you use one of these cameras? Chime in! 

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? Join today. 
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Hey everyone! Just a quick couple of reminders to take you into turkey day.


Imaging USA Early Registration

Next week is your last chance to save on registration to Imaging USA.

Make sure you register for Imaging USA before December 5 to save $50! The price goes from $129 to $179 after that. $50! That's like, a lot of tacos. Don't miss out on the savings!


Imaging USA Mobile App

Also, download the Imaging USA mobile app! The app has everything you need to enhance your Imaging experience. Customize your schedule, get connected with other attendees and so much more. Check out this handy video to get you started!


From all of us here at PPA. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Need a little help boosting your numbers? Have you considered PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS)? You should.

We could tell you all about SMS, but why not hear it from someone who has actually been through the process? Arkansas photographer Clark Sanders, CPP, knows well the benefits of SMS and shares his experience below. It's the first in our new PPA Member Story series.

How was your business doing prior to signing-up for SMS?

It was going well, but I knew I needed to make some changes if my business was going to continue to grow and become more profitable.

ClarkSanders1.jpgWhy did you decide to sign-up?

I attended Imaging USA in Atlanta in January and visited the SMS booth. I had already been interested in a consultation for a while. I knew that many profitable studios in the country had already benefitted from an SMS consultation and knew if I didn't seek the advice/counsel of SMS my studio might wind up being less than profitable and I didn't want that to happen.

What were your emotions going into the consultation?

I was excited and nervous all wrapped in one!

Can you take us through your mentoring experience?

Prior to visiting on the phone with Bridget Jackson, CPA, and Allison Rodgers, Cr.Photog., CPP, I completed a comprehensive list of items they needed to better help me out. Just going through that task alone really opened my eyes! I thought I had all my numbers in my head, like the number of sessions, average sale of those sessions, who I photographed the most, was I really pricing my work to make a better profit, etc. Boy was I wrong!

Seeing the numbers on paper (actually in excel) really took me back! WOW. Bridget helped me set up a budget, set a plan for how many sessions I should book during a month and more. Allison helped me make sense of my price list and gave some amazing suggestions to improve it as well as advice on some of the promotions I was working on.

One big thing I learned is I don't have to photograph everyone in my market! There are lots of prospective clients in my area, and surrounding area, that are who I consider my ideal clients and who aren't afraid to invest both their time and money in me. That's who I want my business to benefit from. The numbers Bridget helped me understand who my ideal client really is, and helped me to make a "road map" of sorts, not only for 2013, but one that will help me be even better and more profitable in 2014 and beyond!


How did you use what you learned?

After my consultation with my SMS mentor Allison Rodgers, who I think she's the best thing since sliced bread, by the way, I made lots of changes to my price menu and have even more planned for 2014. I love that the Rodgers' provide such an amazing experience for their clients from the moment they call and have a session consultation until they come back to pick up their portrait order. The experience you provide your client with will determine the outcome of your sales session and will lead to future business with them and their friends that they're going to talk to you about! We discussed some of the mini-sessions I had planned and Allison again gave me some amazing advice for them.

ClarkSanders2.jpgHow has your business changed since your consultation?

I raised my prices after my consultation and will be increasing them again soon! I had always been scared to death to raise my prices to a point where I would lose clients, but as a lot of successful studio photographers have said in the past, you'll attract the clients who value what you do and will make up for the ones that don't. And that has rang true! I'm able to prequalify clients based on the price of my session fees and my collections.

Why should someone consider an SMS consultation?

The old saying, "don't reinvent the wheel," comes to mind when seeking the services from SMS. If you're currently operating a studio or thinking of starting one, there is a wealth of knowledge from the SMS mentors that can help get your business off on the right track. My SMS mentor was able to take a look at my pricing and other aspects of my business during my consultation. The suggestions she made have helped steer my business down the right path. If anyone is struggling with their business and don't know what they should do to turn it around, an SMS consultation is a no-brainer!


So what's your number? Do consider PPA's Studio Management Services (SMS) if you need help finding it.

 

PPA Member Stories:

This series serves as an opportunity for you PPA members to tell your story. How has PPA membership helped you and your business? It could be PPA's Studio Management Services, copyright protection, PhotoCare equipment insurance, the Indemnification Trust, Imaging USA--whatever! We want to hear from you, and so do your fellow members.


Have a story you'd like to share? Shoot John Owens an email at jowens@ppa.com.

Gmail recently made some pretty nifty changes to their layout, but you may have noticed you've been missing your updates from PPA.  It turns out that many of our messages are now landing in your "promotions" tab.

But don't worry - we're here to fix this!

All you need to do is open the "promotions" tab, click and hold your latest PPA (or Imaging USA) email and drag it to your  "primary" tab (check out this quick video for an example). A yellow box will pop up asking if you want to do this for future messages from PPA? Just click yes!

 

 

Now all of the great membership benefits, educational resources and updates from Imaging USA will be front and center - not to mention available on your mobile devices!

From the IUSA Mentor Booth to the Loan Collection: The Journey of an Image

By Christine Walsh-Newton, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

Last year was PPA member Christine Walsh-Newton's first trip to Imaging USA. While there, she not only picked up her master of photography degree, but also took full-advantage of the 15-minute mentoring sessions with an affiliated judge.

She learned more about her competition images--and even her overall shooting style--than she could have imagined. She flew home inspired to take her images to the next level.

Christine shared her story on her personal blog, read it and see the results!

And make sure you check out our blog from a couple weeks ago on mentoring opportunities at this year's Imaging USA in Phoenix!

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The 2014 edition of the Imaging USA app has hit the shelves of the app stores (quick, download it now--this overview will make a lot more sense!)

There are plenty of amazing features on this year's app--from planning your Imaging USA Expo strategy before the show to selecting your top classes day by day. There's even a feature to connect you with other fellow attendees before the show. It couldn't be easier to make new friends at Imaging USA!

Once you download the app, you'll see the main nine icons: 

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Exhibitors
This is where you'll find all of the vendors at the Imaging USA Expo in alphabetical order or by categories. Want to favorite an exhibitor? Open their listing and click the star at the bottom, or if you'd like to make a note on their listing, like what products to talk to them about, click the notes button in the middle. These notes will be saved in two places: on the Exhibitor Details page and in the "My Event" tab (we'll get to that). If you found something your friends might like, you can even tell them about the listing with the share button. 

Schedule 
Search classes by date and time or by class track! Create your personal schedule by clicking the star button for the classes you'd like to attend (located in the session details screen). You can also find speaker bios and social media information so you can connect with our speakers before (or after) they take the stage. To access your agenda, simply click the star button in the upper right corner of the schedule home screen. 

Speakers 
This is where you can search for your top speakers alphabetically. Check out their bios, connect with them on social media and see all of the wonderful sessions they are leading! This is also another way you can add classes to your personal schedule.

Mapping 
Get a bird's eye view of downtown Phoenix in this nifty tab. You'll also find basic convention center information and labeled Light Rail stops and parking decks. We'll soon be adding interactive maps of the convention center as well as the tradeshow floor. 

My Event 
This tab is all about you! It's your quick access to all of those favorites you saved before (like speakers, exhibitors, etc.), allows you quick access to your custom schedule and access to all of your notes. You can also select favorite places you want to visit and easily find your favorite contacts (you'll find those under the "Networking" tab in a moment). 
This is also where you sign in to the app! You'll receive your log in credentials by email once you've registered for Imaging USA. (Registered but haven't received them yet? Give our Member Care team a shout at 800-786-6277. They'll get you squared away.)

Info 
Need some general information about Imaging USA? This is the place to find it! Get show information, hours for the Expo, travel information and more. You can even register for the conference (but let's hope you've already done that!).

News & Social 
Want to stay up to date on all of the latest happenings at Imaging USA? Check here for all of the Twitter and Facebook updates your heart desires! Follow the official @ImagingUSA account for official show info or #IUSA14 for tweets from attendees, exhibitors and more. 

Local Guide
If you find yourself with a little down time around Phoenix, this local guide is a great one-stop-shop for your dining and entertainment needs. Check out area activities and attractions, Imaging USA hotel info and a quick guide to area restaurants. You can favorite any of these places and they'll be saved under your my Events section. 

Networking 
Here's one of the most advanced features of the app--you can now connect with your fellow attendees in one easy place. The first time you click on the networking tab, you'll have to enable networking features in your profile (you can also update your profile with a photo, dates you'll be in Phoenix, your studio/company name and a brief bio about you and your interests at Imaging USA). Back in the main networking tab, you can search by last names, company names or by keywords (or interests) to meet some new friends. Once you've found someone you'd like to connect with, you can send messages or arrange a meeting through the app. You can also make a note about the person (they won't be able to see it, but keep it clean) or add them to your My Events section as a favorite contact. 

With all the great features the app has, we know it's a lot to take in with just one blog post. We'll also have videos coming shortly to give you a more visual representation of what the inner workings of the app look like. 

In the meantime, follow @imagingusa on Facebook, on Twitter and Instagram for the most up to date event announcements, speaker features and great behind the scenes access! 

And to get some tips & tricks on making this your best Imaging USA yet, check out our two videos (by PPA staffers). You're guarenteed to have a chuckle and hopefully learn something new!






My enthusiasm is ramping-up for Imaging USA 2014. Trish and I got our official badges in the mail today. Eeeek! 

It's hard to believe that this time last year I was dreaming of ways to fake-illness myself out of the trip to Atlanta for Imaging 2013. In my very first post for this blog, I confessed my panic and nausea induced by a stalled cash flow and floundering business. Thankfully, my business partner Trish dragged me kicking and screaming out from under the covers of my fake sick bed to IUSA 2013 and it profoundly changed...everything.

I once heard Trish say, "A problem shared is a problem halved."  That's been true for us so far. Sharing our problems, exposing our soft underbellies and swallowing our pride opened us up a support system of expertise, good will, and creative inspiration from PPA.

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Writing about our woes started out as an experiment.  I've been chronicling our trials and tribulations here for nearly a year and it's helped me foster a new way of looking at my business and my life. The experiment would either end in total failure with me at my new job as a sectional saleswoman at the local furniture store (love me a sectional) or it would end in success with "Bright being the new Bleak" when it comes to the future of Snap!. Sharing mistakes has also taught me to see inspiration for success in the most ridiculous, outrageous and mundane places.

Take for instance, when Queen Latifah called us recently. Queen Latifah is only (according to Google and um, the rest of the world) the very coolest singer-songwriter, rapper, actress, drop dead gorgeous model, television producer, record producer and talk show hostess. Not to mention she's considered one of hip-hop's pioneer feminists.

So, the phone rings the other day and it's Queen Latifah (in the interest of full-disclosure it was actually a lovely woman named Chelsea who works for the Queen Latifah show, but close enough).Chelsea was looking to get permission to use a photo from our Pinterest page pinned by one of their upcoming  guests. You may have heard about this couple in the news, Ryan Leak and Amanda Roman. Ryan planned an entire wedding from Amanda's "My Dream Wedding" Pinterest page. A photo we had taken of earrings was pinned by Amanda and used by Ryan in creating their wedding. Ryan proposed to Amanda, she said yes, and then they had the wedding all on the same day.

We had a nice chat with Chelsea and were about to hang up when she said something really momentous. She said, "Congratulations on your life." Chelsea wanted us to know she had spent a lot of time on our website and was really impressed by the photography but was even more impressed by the passion and zest we have for what we do. Gosh, Chelsea (a.k.a. Almost Queen Latifah) that was awfully nice of you to say. Lightning bolt moment: It's important to remember that a bad day for us doing this is better than a lot of people's best days at work.

Other times the inspiration for success comes from humbling places. One of the goals we set for ourselves at Imaging 2013 was to get involved with PPA Charities' Operation Smile. We were moved to action and tears after attending a PPA Charities party at Imaging and listening to all the wonderful people involved with Operation Smile speak. We had no idea then that we would get so inspired... really inspired... to donate all we could to Operation Smile.

The more we read about Operation Smile, the more we watched the videos of the children whose lives had been changed by Operation Smile, the more we wanted to do. One day we had an idea to donate the amount of one surgery ($240) for every wedding we booked. When given here and there, the $240 was hardly missed and before we knew it, we had booked 28 weddings and donated $7,487 (and counting), making us the Top Studio Donor in the country for the year.

I hardly know how that happened; after all, we don't have a fancy studio. We are just two ladies plugging away here at my house in my spare room. Sometimes it's a struggle to make ends meet, but I've never missed a dime of the money we've given to help children in need.

In the course of a year, it turns out that I shared my problems and halved them too by reaching out to PPA and asking for the help we needed. Ironically, what has really reenergized our business hasn't been what we've taken from PPA but what we've given back. It turns out that Joy shared is Joy doubled. I'm thankful to be doing what I do every day knowing that I'm pleasing my clients by involving them in an uplifting charitable cause. Sharing our passion for photography and the joy of our good fortune makes a bigger impact than I could have thought possible a year ago.

I hope you are considering going to Imaging USA 2014. If you are struggling like we were, don't crawl under those covers, share your problems and halve them! Reach out and get a little help. Things will turn around. Once they do, remember what Almost Queen Latifah said, "Be grateful for the life you have."

You're doing what you love! Once you're feeling good and joyous about how lucky you really are, start spreading the joy and love around. PPA Charities' Operation Smile is a great place to start. Remember, bright is the new bleak.

Hope to see you in Phoenix!

An eight-year battle on behalf of creators has ended badly. Federal Circuit Court Judge Dennis Chin ruled last week that the mass digitization of library books "provides significant public benefits" and "advances the progress of the arts and sciences." This comes as a shock to the creative world, and apparently opens the flood gates on the mass digitization of creative works, with or without the creator's permission. 

"To be honest, it is just shocking to everyone involved in the protection of copyright," commented PPA's CEO David Trust. "Judge Chin's opinion is short-sighted. Creators cannot do what they do best--create--if they are not compensated for it. And when creators no longer create, the public suffers."

The suit:
The Author's Guild filed suit against Google in 2005 in response to The Google Book Project. The project, launched in 2004, was designed to create a digital collection of printed texts that would be searchable online. Google began sourcing books and other printed media from libraries and universities and later "partnered" with publishers. At no time were the individual authors consulted nor was their permission to make reproductions requested. This was the basis for the suit.

"We disagree with and are disappointed by the court's decision today," Authors Guild executive director Paul Aiken said. "Google made unauthorized digital editions of nearly all of the world's valuable copyright-protected literature and profits from displaying those works. In our view, such mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of fair use defense."

The Author's Guild plans to appeal.
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Here at PPA, we always encourage photographers to constantly seek ways to improve their photography techniques and business practices. To help you be more educated about your craft, we'll be providing weekly round-ups of interesting and useful photography blog posts from around the web. 

So, without further ado, here are ten posts that we thought would be useful for photographers to check out from the week of November 11th, 2013.


Imaging USA Member Story

PPA member Christine Walsh-Newton tells the story of how she took an image from the Imaging USA mentor booth to the Loan Collection!


Gregory Heisler Book Review

Check out this review on Gregory Heisler's latest photography book, 50 portraits. Don't miss Gregory's program at Imaging USA!

 

How to Photograph Wedding Details

Over at photographylife, they're talking weddings. It's not just about the people! Learn some tips on photographing the wedding details.

 

Photos From Japan

Imaging USA speaker Julieanne Kost is a renowned Adobe expert, but she's a heck of a photographer too! Check out a few images from her trip to Japan.

 

Images from New Tamron Lens

Take a look at some of the first published images from the new Tamron 150-600mm lens taken in Yellowstone National Park.

 

Photographers are Car Dealers

Imaging USA speaker Jeremy Cowart gives his take on photography pricing as it compares to car sales. Would you go for the Honda or spend the extra money for the Ferrari?

 

Behind the Shot

Outdoor Photography takes a behind-the-scenes look at this stunning image from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

 

Lessons from Saul Leiter

Eric Kim discusses seven lessons he learned from master street photographer Saul Leiter. Street photography might be a great way to break out of your comfort zone!

 

Light Painting Gets a Digital Upgrade with PixelStick

Here's a cool concept that just launched a Kickstarter campaign for funding. The age old technique of light painting might have new upgrade!


Making the Past Seem Real

You might have seen this one circling around the web. Check out the transformation of these classic black and white photos to vibrant color--the past is alive!

 

27 Surreal Places to Visit Before You Die

Okay, you caught us, there are 11. But if you're looking to use some frequent flyer miles AND discover an incredible photography opportunity? Gives these places a look--it's a beautiful world we live in.

 

There you have it! We hope you find these stories helpful. Tell us about some of your favorite photography blogs on theLoop.

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As we continue counting down the days to Imaging USA 2014, we wanted to share more of the great educational opportunities available to photographers at the convention. 

We've already talked about the Wedding and School, Sport and Event educational tracks, so be sure to go and check those out if this is your photographic specialty, or if you want to enter these markets! Also, the Imaging USA schedule page is sortable by track, so go there to find all the classes you want to attend. 

Now, the next types of IUSA classes we wanted to share are the #Hash It Out sessions. These
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 sessions are different, in the sense that they are interactive and will need your active participation. 

These daily sessions are interactive smart talks that will explore new ideas, from pro photographer to pro photographer. It's a photography business Q & A with a group twist. Our moderators will propose discussion ideas that you'll talk over with a small group of photographers and then share with the session as a whole. 

The really cool part about the #Hash It Out sessions are that you'll be able to tweet or text questions and ideas to the moderators and your peers and get advice on the spot. 

#Hash It Out sessions will be held twice a day January 12-13 with an additional session on January 14. Check the schedule page for times, and be sure to bring your ideas and questions! 

So, now that we've talked about the #Hash It Out sessions, let's dive into another type of track you'll find at IUSA, the Adobe class track. 

Seeing is believing, especially when it comes to award-winning images. And at Imaging USA, there will be PLENTY!!!

 

That's because there will be exhibits all convention long--including the International Photographic Exhibit, the ASP new fellows exhibit and a special exhibit from honorary master of photography recipient, Kenny Rogers. Yes, that Kenny Rogers.

 

If you're interesting in entering photographic competition in the future, the International Photographic Exhibit is the perfect way to see winning images. Many of the image creators will be on-hand in Phoenix and will be more than happy to discuss their photos with you. The adjoining ASP new fellows exhibit will showcase work from master photographers newly inducted into the prestigious American Society of Photographers.

 

The best opportunity to learn what goes into a winning image is at the Grand Imaging Awards. These photographers and images are the best of the best! Don't miss this opportunity to chat with them and see their work--you'll gain insider access you won't find anywhere else, until you actually enter competition yourself!

 

The exhibition schedule is as follows:

 

INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBIT

Inside the Imaging Expo

Sunday, Jan. 12......11:30am - 5pm

Monday, Jan. 13......11:30am - 5pm

Tuesday, Jan. 14......11:30am - 3:30pm

 

GRAND IMAGING AWARDS

Phoenix Convention Center, West Building, Room 301A, Third Floor  

Monday, Jan. 13, 6:30 - 7:30pm (doors open at 6:15pm)

 

Note: the Kenny Rogers and ASP new fellow exhibits will be on display all convention long.

 

See the full schedule, including speakers, over at imagingusa.org!

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We can all use a little extra education to keep on top of our photographic game--but where do you turn for your educational needs? PPAedu of course! PPA started the PPAedu program, and we hope that you'll turn to us for your educational needs. 

PPAedu has over 170 HD videos (and counting) that PPA members and PPAedu subscribers can access on-demand. These videos cover techniques for photographers like lighting, posing and post capture, as well as the business topics sales, finance, marketing and operations. All taught by some of the most accomplished photographers in the industry. It's a complete education program, included for free with your PPA membership! 

What really makes PPAedu stand out is the Assessment. You can answer a brief series of questions in several areas which will give you personalized class recommendations based on where your photography and business skill are now. Find out more about the Assessment in the "Be More Educated: Take the PPAedu Assessment" post. 

As we alluded to earlier, new PPAedu courses are constantly being added. Take a peek at some of our most recently added courses below:

Beth Taubner


Brands are about the marriage of fact and narrative. It's important to convey your special capabilities and traits so that potential customers can easily understand what sets you, your photographs, and your business apart from the competition. Photographers tend to be focused on technical and problem-solving capabilities rather than the emotional content of what makes their brands unique, so learning to operate from a brand perspective can make a real difference in your satisfaction and career.

View more of Beth's PPAedu courses.

Lori Nordstrom, M.Photog.Cr., CPP


You know you best. Lori will share a quick way to identify your target market and brand (so simple, you might never think to try it!)

You don't have to break the bank: Lori will walk you through some low- and no-cost marketing ideas to enhance awareness, from creating a customer database to e-marketing, rewards programs and more.

The devil is in the details: Lori will share ideas right and left as she discusses how displays and network marketing can work, which products she has found can increase sales for these particular clients, and the services that create loyalty and repeat business. We're talking VIP programs, charitable events, portrait installations and more.

So join Lori and take your marketing education and idea bank up a notch. After all, it's not just who you know or what you know--it's how you promote it!


For some photographers, creating a price list is like throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. That process, however, leaves you with inaccurate prices and messy walls! So take a smarter approach and watch this video class where instructor Lori Nordstrom walks you through creating a price list that works for you and your business.

A price list that helps you walk clients through what you want them to buy isn't built in a day, but how can you get started? With real-life examples from her own studio, Lori takes you through the process and what to consider.


Whether your motivation is sowing good seeds, creating good Karma or developing good relationships, involvement in charitable organizations is good for the soul...and for your business. But before you over-commit your time and money, develop a plan. In good works, just like good business, there should be method to the madness!

Lucky for you, instructor Lori Nordstrom is here to discuss just that topic: how to make a charitable marketing plan using a few of the 5 W's (and an H). She'll show you how answering the following questions can help you create a special campaign, product line and even a pricing structure for your charitable work:

What can you give of your time and your talents?
Who do you want to share this with - what charity?
What is your product offering?
When do you want to do this?
How do want to do this?

You'll also learn more ways to get creative with your charitable involvement, like partnering with other vendors to expand on the offering. And since nothing happens without publicity, Lori will explain how you can play up the buzz with local media, email, Facebook and blogs. Put it all together and you could be presenting your charity with an oversized check, something you'll love whether you started for fun or business or both!


No matter your professional aspirations, this class is a must-have. After all, you can be the best photographer in town, but if you can't sell your business, does it really matter?

What do you say the first time a prospect calls or contacts you? For real, what do you tell them? What message does your studio convey? Are your clients right for YOU? After Handling the Inquiry, you'll skillfully and expertly answer these questions and more!

View more of Lori's PPAedu courses.
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Here at PPA, we always encourage photographers to constantly seek ways to improve their photography techniques, inspiration and business practices. To help you continue to be more, we'll be providing weekly round-ups of interesting and useful photography blog posts from around the web. 

So, without further ado, here are ten recent articles and posts we thought might be interesting for our photography friends. All from last week (week of November 4th, 2013). 

Is Camera Design Important?
The Photography Life blog dives into why camera design matters and how it can impact your work. Some of you will agree, while others may think that camera design boils down to marketing. We think there's no single correct answer, how about you? Read the post. 

10 Photography Lighting Tutorials From Beginners to Pros
Great photography can't happen without great lighting. All photographers could use some lighting advice from time to time. That's why we like DIY Photography's round-up of ten lighting tutorials that cover basic to advanced techniques. 

The Power of "No"
Visual artists always strive to give clients what they want, but occasionally you need to say no to a client idea or demand! It's not an easy thing to do. Stillmotion Blog provides tips for how videographers can say no and how to turn your no into an opportunity for creating an even stronger product for your client. Even if you only shoot still, these lessons still apply. Read the post. 

Ask A Retoucher: Questions From The Industry, Answered By A Retoucher 
Fstoppers answers questions from photographers about retouching in this Q&A. Post production is part of 99.9% of photographers' work these days and there's always a way to improve workflow, results and speed.
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We're thrilled to announce a new member benefit coming your way! Effective November 1, PPA will be making the switch from FedEx to UPS®.

Shipping & logistics are a vital component to every business, so we know this discount is important to you. Rest assured, the new discount from UPS is the best we have ever been able to offer. As a PPA member, you'll save up to 34% on a broad portfolio of services, including air, international and ground services. Plus, savings begin at 70% on UPS Freight® shipments over 150 lbs. UPS understands how important reliability, speed and cost are to meeting your business goals and your customers' needs. Put the power of logistics to work for you. (For the details, log into PPA.com!)

What makes these even better - the discount with UPS will not only offer great rates, but also host a user-friendly interface, saving you money and time. 

Remember to visit the Year-Round Discounts page to see other companies PPA has partnered with to help lower your costs of doing business! 

Not a PPA member? Join today to take advantage of this discount, along with the rest of the PPA member benefits

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When we talk to photographers that have attended Imaging USA, one of the comments we often hear is how easy it is to network with instructors, vendors and fellow photographers. You all love to share and exchange, talk shop, share best practices, and explain the photography techniques that have worked well for you. 

To get you going and facilitate the networking, Imaging USA offers two mentoring opportunities during the convention. The Coach's Corner and the PPA Photographic Competition Mentoring Program are both designed to help you be a(n even) better-rounded professional. After all, who couldn't use a little advice from a seasoned (and successful, that's key) photographer who's been in your shoes? 

Photographic Competition Mentoring
If you've ever entered PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC), you know that earning a merit or having an image chosen to be part of the Loan collection is a very big accomplishment! It takes practice and effort to get your images to meet the 12 elements of a merit image (that's the standard by which images are judged at IPC). The process of preparing your images and entering an image competition is one of the best ways to improve your own photography skills.

However, it can be frustrating if you've entered a professional photographic competition and haven't had an image merit or become part of the Loan collection. Plus, the process can be intimidating for a first-timer. But you've got to go at it! And if you're considering entering into an image competition or fear it might not be for you, please consider signing up for a mentor session on Photographic Competition at Imaging USA.

You'll get to meet with a PPA International Juror who has actually scored images according to the 12 elements of a merit image at IPC. It's your chance to sit down with someone who knows what it takes to create winning images and discuss what you should consider when thinking about entering into a photographic competition. PPA mentors will offer ideas to help you improve your images and help you earn merits (or even get your work into the Loan collection!). After you sign up, be sure to bring sample images to the mentoring session to discuss (paper or digital)! 
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As a professional in the photographic industry, you've probably heard about Adobe's switch over to the Creative Cloud. Unfortunately, due to these changes, Adobe has decided to discontinue all discounts. But we're not going to leave you hanging! Here are a few suggested options to keep your business costs low: 

If you currently use a version of Adobe Creative Suite (CS3 or later) and want to make the switch to Creative Cloud, you stand to save quite a bit of money! Get the latest software and save 40% with the offer below.

$29.99 Creative Could Complete Membership

If you are an existing Adobe customer, you may join Creative Cloud for US $29.99 per month for your first year of Creative Cloud complete membership, a 40% savings. This discount is currently available until December 3. Learn more at https://creative.adobe.com/plans

Don't need access to the entire Creative Cloud collection, but want access to Photoshop? There's a solution for you too! 

Photoshop Photography Program

Existing Photoshop customers may join a special Creative Cloud plan designed exclusively for Photoshop customers who are focused on photography. It includes access to Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5, plus feature updates and upgrades as they are available, 20 GB of cloud storage for file sharing and collaboration, and a Behance ProSite. And it's US $9.99/month when customers sign up for a one-year plan. This is not an introductory price, but customers must join by December 31, 2013. To qualify, customers must own Photoshop CS3 or later (Standard or Extended version).

If you need more information on the switch, read Adobe's FAQ here and get all the latest with Adobe's Creative Cloud Team Blog. And if you're ready to make the switch, sign up for the Adobe Creative Cloud here.

Don't forget to check out all of the Year-Round Discounts PPA is proud to continue to offer. As always, we'll be the first to let you know if there's something new!

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Sending holiday cards can be a pain in the butt, right? As busy as you are, it's pretty easy to let the project drag out into the New Year. Luckily for PPA members, Marathon Press has stepped in to help ease some of the stress!

PPA has teamed up with Marathon Press to offer PPA members another Extreme Deal--a free holiday greeting card design collection of your choice and an unheard of Buy One Get One Free on all holiday greeting cards.

Yes, FREE. 

Holiday cards are more than just for your family and friends. As a professional photographer, they are another opportunity to take your customer service to the next level. Especially since you can provide top-notch images!

With this extreme deal, you'll get:

   A free Holiday Greeting Card design collection (a $30 value).

   Unlimited Buy One Get One Free on Holiday Cards.

The offer expires November 30, so don't miss out!

Since there are actually two deals here, there are two ways to redeem! Log in to PPA.com{LINK} to get the promo codes!

Marathon Press is the leading provider of press printed products and marketing services for photographers. Their exceptional employees and state of the art color management are the keys to outstanding print quality. Always going above and beyond to please their photography clients, they provide 7 paper options, 1 -2 day turnaround on all press printed card orders placed in the Store and free shipping.

Extreme Deals are short-term, ridiculously good (extreme!) deals that are available only to PPA members. 
Keep checking for the latest and greatest deals here.

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There's always plenty going on here at PPA. So how about a monthly blog to keep you up to date?

At the start of each month, we'll give you an update on what workshops and live webinars are coming up! There's no excuse to miss out now!

Without further ado, let's take a look.

PPAedu's live webinars are offered FREE to members and non-members alike, but only available on-demand to PPA professional active members and PPAedu subscribers.

Here are this month's live webinars:

November 12, 2 p.m. ET

Income Tax Strategies w/ Bridget Jackson, CPA & PPA's Studio Management Services Manager

Learn strategies that can potentially lower your taxes and more with THE expert--PPA's resident CPA, Bridget Jackson!

 

November 19, 2 p.m. ET

SEO & Social for Photographers: A Match Made in Heaven

Don't miss part four of SEO expert Brett Snyder's series on... you guessed it... SEO! Read our blog post from last week for more info.

 

And look out for part 5 in early December!

December 3, 2 p.m. ET

SEO & Web Content Are Evolving, Even for Photographers: What to Expect in 2014 and Beyond

In this installment, Brett will cover web content--and goes in depth on the difference between fresh and static content and how both can boost your SEO!

 

And make arrangements for PPA's upcoming workshops!

 

PPA's Studio Management Services are hosting a few workshops at Imaging USA in Phoenix to help you be more in 2014. If you really want to get the most out of your Imaging experience, head out a few days early for these great pre-convention workshops!


Thursday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

$944

Business Breakthroughs

with Carrie Wildes, CPP & Allison Tyler Jones

 

Register for Business Breakthroughs and we'll throw in a FULL Imaging USA registration for free! Don't miss out on this exclusive deal to get a comprehensive and intimate workshop on your business followed by three days of Imaging USA to give you all the inspiration you need to put your new business plan to action!


And TWO Certification Prep Classes


$299

Certification Prep Class A

With Gary Meek, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, A- ASP, EA-ASP

& Kathy Meek, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API

 

Or

 

$299

Certification Prep Class B

with Al Audleman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API 

 

Friday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


PPA is also offering two SMS Business Basics workshops in Phoenix.


$379 $279 (Save $100!)

Business Basics for Portrait Photographers

with Ann Monteith, M.Photog.Cr.Hon.M.Photog., CPP, ABI, API, A-ASP

 

$379 $279 (Save $100!)

Business Basics for Wedding Photographers

with Carrie Wildes, CPP

 

These experts and PPA's Benchmark Survey will help you understand your numbers and be more profitable in 2014!

 

 Make sure to follow PPA on Facebook and stay tuned into PPAedu's events calendar for the latest.

 

 

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"That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going."

~ Forrest Gump


A little while ago I decided to give running a try, so I trained for a 5K and I ran it. Actually Trish and I ran it together, dressed as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia--don't ask. After that epic battle, I decided I'd amp up the training for a 10K.

That's where I'm at now, in training. I get up in the morning, put on my sneaks and log some miles. Today it was four. I really didn't want to run this morning because I was a little jet-lagged and it's shivery in the morning. It's starting to feel wintery here in Rhode Island and I haven't bought any full-length running pants. My capri pants leave about five inches of pasty white shin vulnerable to the early morning frost. Some tough Jedi I am.

But then I thought about the alternative to my run, which was much, much worse. Deathstar worse. Shuddering at the thought, I laced up my sneakers and bolted out the door. If you are thinking the terrifying alternative to frosty running is... my muffin top, you'd be wrong! Although that is a fairly scary sight too. No, the alternative I speak of is sitting down at my computer and opening Quickbooks to address the state of my finances.

Noooooooooo!

Oh yes, it's that time. Time to face the facts. Time to NOT pay the piper (me). It may be November, but there ain't to Cornucopia for this Pilgrim. This is a lean month. It's no contest, running in the cold to avoid the inevitable gloom it is.

I put on my headphones and started my favorite training app, Easy 10K with Jeff Galloway. Jeff is the always positive, supportive, non-judgmental coach in my ear. Just when I'm feeling winded or like I might vomit on my sneakers he interrupts the music with an affirmation like, "You can do it! Look how strong you are! Don't give up!" So I choke back my bile, and keep on truckin'. Thanks Jeff.

About half way through my run this morning, I had managed to almost completely forget about the ugly state of my November sales projections when Jeff popped-in with a dandy little quote that really got me thinking. He said, "You can't be your best if you don't give it your best." To which I would add, "Every friggin' day."

It's brutal being in business for yourself. Just like running, it's hard to imagine what the payoff could possibly be when you are plodding your way in an uphill battle wearing cement shoes, certain you are going to barf at any minute.

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It's exasperating because the improvements to your endurance and shape, financial or physical come in such tiny increments. Even so, I really heard what Coach Jeff was saying this morning. I couldn't expect to build the best possible business if I wasn't willing to give my best to it every day. Every friggin' day. So I finished my run and hit the books, Quickbooks. It wasn't pretty. I paid some bills but not myself. Ouchy.

I didn't stop there. Realizing I had to give it my best gave me renewed energy to brainstorm ideas for slow season money making. Trish and I put our heads together and came up with a few doozies we hope will cushion us through this Cornucopia-less month.

Like Forrest, I'm just going to keep running. I'm going to run out the door in the morning and put in the miles. Then I'm going to let my creativity and my ideas run at my desk and give it my best even though it might be more realistic to hang up the sneaks and crawl into bed. I figure if I keep moving in the right direction I'll get there even if it feels like baby steps.

Why? Because the force is strong in me, that's why."

And for anyone who's reading this and struggling uphill like me, I'd like to be your Coach Jeff and say, "May the force be with you," too.

Whoa, it's already November? How did that happen? 

While you nurse the candy hangovers, here are some of October's top conversations going on in theLoop.

 

PPA Members: Would you be interested in a camera with WiFi and GPS?

Nikon announced the D5300 this month, its first DSLR with built-in WiFi and GPS. Do you want one?

 

PPA Members: Print sales for large event

When you're shooting a large scale event, do you offer prints a la carte or do you make packages available?

 

PPA Members: Is it the camera or the artist that makes art?

Does a better camera make a better photographer? Discuss!

 

Post-Capture: Photoshop vs. Lightroom (and actions)

Which do you prefer and why?

 

Lighting: Studio lighting recommendations

Lighting can be everything for an image, what brands of lights do you trust the most?

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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