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PPA Today: March 2015 Archives

March 2015 Archives

April is Copyright Awareness Month

Have you ever had your rights infringed upon by a photo retailer? Hint: You most likely have and the worst part is both you and the retailer probably didn't even know it! Often retailers commit or allow copyright infringements simply because they do not fully grasp that they actually have some responsibilities.

But you can help make sure it doesn't happen again! (OK, maybe not completely, but you can help make it happens LESS!). April is Copyright Awareness Month. As such, you can work with PPA to better inform photo retailers across the United States. Especially those right in your neighborhood.

Your local retailers (including the big ones like Target, CVS and Walmart) might just be printing whatever comes in and not checking for copyrights. No one wants to infringe the law. You can help them know what they don't know. And most large chain stores don't offer systematic training for their in-store lab attendants or clerks. They will appreciate you helping protect their business, while you will also be protecting your own work! It's a training win-win.

 

There are two ways you can do your part and get involved:

By Sarah Ackerman

As a professional photographer, it can be difficult explaining the difference between you and that kid down the street with a fancy camera. In this latest addition to your See The Difference resources, you'll see how you can use the tools PPA has put together to help you show your clients the advantage of hiring a pro - all while eloquently showing your clients why they need to go with you, a PPA photographer!




Share a few laughs with this lighthearted video and while you're at it, start exploring and using all of the See The Difference resources, logos and graphics. You can get them at all at PPA.com/SeeTheDifference.


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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

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By Sarah Ackerman

We're about to enter the second quarter of the year - how are your creative goals holding up? Might you be in the market for some new gear to help you get there? Get back on track with your 2015 plan and learn something in the process with these great discussions on theLoop!

Do you have input on the newest Nikon camera bodies? Weigh in with your opinions on this member's specific shooting needs and maybe get some shopping tips of your own!

If you have expertise in using a tablet as a monitor for you Canon 5D Mark III, this is an excellent techy thread for you! Share your knowledge with larger monitor options today! 

Are you a fan of albums? Who are your favorite vendors? Help your fellow photographer with your best bets on vendors and any pro tips along the way. 

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? It's easy: join today!


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for SarahA-2763.jpgSarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

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By Chris Homer

Happy Friday! As always, we're back to deliver you a selection of the top photography blogs
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 of the week. From portrait photography to business advice, there's a little bit of everything in this week's roundup. Check them out below. 

BUSINESS: Many photographers have started to offer video as part of their services. If you're thinking of getting into this market, read this post from Fstoppers first! It covers some good points you'll want to consider before you start offering video. 

GEAR GEEK: Do you ever find yourself paralyzed when it comes time to capture a shot - running through a mental list of lenses, lights, and other equipment? You may be suffering from 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome.' Find out how you might be able to slim down some of that gear and still get great photographs, and have a healthier bottom line, in this post from The Phoblographer. 

LIGHTING TIPS: With summer approaching, chances are you're starting to get requests for outdoor portraits during 'golden hour' (that time right around sunrise or sunset). There are some tricky lighting situations to consider, but this post from Digital Photography School provides some advice to overcome these challenges. 

INSPIRATION: This video features the Gulf Photo Plus ShootOut, where three photographers (including past Imaging USA instructor Joel Grimes) were given the challenge of capturing intimacy between strangers with only 20 minutes to plan, shoot, edit, retouch and present their results. The photographs are pretty astonishing given the time frame. Plus, you'll get to listen to their thought process behind each photograph, which may give you some useful tips for your own work! 

PPA Competition: Here's something we don't see every day! At a recent PPA District Photographic Competition, photographer Monish Mansharamani witnessed how his image scored a perfect 100. You can watch the judging of Monish's "Brooklyn Twilight" image and see what it is PPA judges are looking for in an image. Hopefully, you'll be inspired to enter a District Photographic Competition or the International Photographic Competition

TIPS FOR POST: If you struggle with lighting darker skin tones, this post from PhotoFocus is for you. Some quick tips are provided for getting the light correct so you can always give your clients flattering results.  

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY: With March Madness going on, basketball is probably on the top of the mind for the sports photographers out there. H & H Color Lab has compiled a great series of videos that show photographers in action at the NCAA Tournament. You may pick up some tips you can use the next time you're hired to cover a basketball game. 
NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY: If you enjoy nature photography, check out this post from the Photo Naturalist. It discusses how to subtly retouch an image so you get exactly what you had envisioned, without over-doing it to the point that a photograph no longer looks like it was captured in the wild. 

INSPIRATION: A solar eclipse is a rare occasion, which makes this video pretty impressive. Watch the behind the scenes video of photographer Rutger Pauw scout the perfect location to capture the eclipse on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Rutger definitely overcomes some tough challenges to get the shot. Check it out on DIY Photography. 

BUSINESS: Do you find yourself stuck in a rut - taking photography jobs you don't really want? Check out this post from Fstoppers on three really simple ways you can market yourself to get the jobs you actually want! 

There you have it, our top blog posts of the week! What blogs do you enjoy? Let us know on theLoop.


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 

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By: Lauren Walters

PPA is constantly helping photographers be more successful through the benefits, education, copyright advocacy and more offered with membership! As a nonprofit photography association (and the largest!) that's what we do! PPA photographers use and make the best of their membership in many different ways. What matters is to leverage that pool of resource that PPA pushes forth for photographers. Take a look at these "Behind the Camera" videos. This series shows real photographers and how THEY are putting PPA to work for them. Consider how or how else YOU could be using PPA too.

Atlanta-based photographer Arlene Dicks touches on an issue ANY photographer fears and eventually faces: Data Loss. What happens when your hard drive crashes or your memory card malfunctions? Do you have your clients' work backed up on another device? Are there ways to get the files back?

Data loss, hard drive sudden death, memory card deep water dives and other accidents compromising your photos do directly jeopardize your work and... can be a death sentence for some businesses. Watch the video below to learn how PPA helped Arlene with recovery after such a mishap.


Data loss protection comes with most PPA memberships, head to PPA.com/MyPPA to see if you're covered. If your hard drive crashes, PPA can refer you to specialist to recover damaged or lost files and your deductible should cover you. Oh and if you're clients are threatening to sue because of data loss issues... your PPA membership covers you for that too, but that's in another piece we wrote on malpractice protection. Long story short, if you are not with PPA, consider it and... Be More Protected.  

Join PPA today and Be Proactive!

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PPA's District Competitions are in full swing and the International Photographic Competition (IPC) is on its way! Entries will be accepted in the beginning of May so make sure you have your images ready.

 

If you're still on the fence about entering--hop on over and give it a shot! Getting over your fear and entering competition is an incredibly rewarding experience for a photographer--especially when you have your work critiqued by one of our accomplished judges. It's one of the best ways to improve your skills and gain confidence!

 

If you're wondering what a critique looks like, here's an example! In this video, juror Donna Goodhale, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, explains to Kevin Floyd, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, why his image, Mister Mischief, went into the Loan collection.


 

Another great way to learn about photographic competition is by live streaming the district competition judging. You'll be able to view the images and hear what the judges take into consideration. The Western district judging airs live this weekend, March 26-28, from Vancouver, Washington! It's free to watch, you don't even have to be a PPA member, just head to Stream.theIPC.org and create an account (no worries, it's free and no credit cards are required!).

 

Ready to enter your work in a photographic competition to learn and get recognized? Entries for the International Photographic Competition open May 26.


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John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burger.

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Southeast Photographic Competition Now Open

The Southeast District photographic competition is now open! Ring in spring by getting your images ready for the last district competition of the year. Image submissions will be accepted until April 24. Entered works will be judged May 1-3 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

PPA urges members to enter photographic competition to push themselves to be more, improving their craft and confidence in the process.

"Once photographers get over the initial fear of competition, most keep entering year after year and become better photographers in the process," said Randy McNeilly, PPA's international photographic competition committee chairman. "Even if they don't earn a merit right away, there's so much they can learn. Plus, it's a huge confidence boost, not only for the photographer, but also the client who commissions their work--especially once they start to win awards."

At the district level, images either earn a "merit" or "does not merit" score. Merit images are sealed and move on to the International Photographic Competition (IPC), held each August. Non-merit images may be worked on and re-entered into the IPC that same year. Critiques from a PPA judge can be ordered to give entrants personalized feedback on the reason for the score. Entrants and non-entrants alike can watch the judging live online in January.

The best of the best images will enter the prestigious Loan Collection and be on display at the International Photographic Exhibit during Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. They will also be in a coffee table book published by Marathon Press. For inspiration, PPA produced a video featuring 2014's Loan Collection images to show what the best look like.

PPA's District Competitions and the International Photographic Competition are open to the public. PPA photographers and non-members alike are also encouraged to attend the judging. Photographers who belong to PPA are each assigned to districts based on their studio's geographic location. For full district competition information, visit PPA.com/Competitions.

Northeast and Northcentral District Results Now Online

If you entered the Northeast or Northcentral District competition, results are now up online! Check out the list to see how you and your photography friends fared this year. And when the time comes, don't forget to re-submit to the IPC!

Watch Western District Judging LIVE This Weekend

Judging for the Western District takes place this Thursday through Saturday (March 26-28) in Vancouver, Washington. But you don't have to be there to watch! The judging will be streamed live for anyone curious, whether you're involved in the competition or not. Go to the Western District competition page for a link to the stream.

 

 

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Congratulations to our newest round of Certified Professional Photographers! These folks have taken the effort to pass the Certification exam, as well as the image submission portion to set themselves apart in the photographic industry. 

Debbie Andrus, CPP - Camden, AL

Jennifer Ashby, CPP - Meridian, ID

Marina Baklanova, CPP  Albany, CA

Ryan C. Bates, CPP - Vacaville, CA

Dawn  Baxstrom, CPP - Drumright, OK

Roben Christian Bellomo, CPP - Carmel, IN

Humberto F. Boncristiani, CPP - Odenton, MD

Jaelene A. Bryan, CPP - Pullman, WA

Sandra M. Burns, CPP - Massapequa, NY

Stephanie R. Carnessali, CPP - Johnsonburg, PA

Sabina Cavalli, CPP - Naperville, IL

CL Clay, CPP - Elgin, SC

Diane K. Costello, CPP - Half Moon Bay, CA

Joshua A. Cuppek, CPP - Blairstown, NJ

Dalisa Jo DeChiara, CPP - Entiat, WA

Veronica Dennis, CPP - Huntsville, AL

Lori Jill DiBiase, CPP - Charleston, SC

Meghan Elizabeth Doll, CPP - Minneapolis, MN

Dan Ferguson, CPP - Wylie, TX

Russ Forthofer, CPP - Fishers, IN

Juliah K. Ginos, CPP - Quincy, IL

Susan A. Goralski, CPP - New Hartford, CT

Meggan Harper, CPP - Ormond Beach, FL

Blair Wyatt Haynie, CPP Houston, TX

Ryan Higgins, CPP - Phoenix, AZ

Jenn Hindman, CPP - Ellsworth, IA

Aubrey L. Hord, CPP - Kahului, HI

Kathryn Tracey Jennings, CPP - Stilesville, New Brunswick, Canada

Russell L. Jensen, CPP - Rapid City, SD

Bill S. Johnsen, CPP - Baraboo, WI

Felicia Jane Jones, CPP - Richland, WA

Edward Keller, CPP - Monroe, MI

Bob J. Laramie, CPP - Moorestown, NJ

John Lee, CPP - Little Neck, NY

Javon D. Longieliere, CPP - Valdosta, GA

Carla M. Lynn, CPP - Smyrna, TN

Ross D. Magnuson, CPP - Billings, MT

Laura H. Mansur, CPP - Houston, TX

Jeffrey L. Mason, CPP - Silver Spring, MD

Renee K. McCardell, CPP - Greensboro, NC

Scott A. McDougall, CPP  - Highland Park, IL

Mac K. Miller, CPP - Tyler, TX

Steve L. Morrow, CPP - Abilene, TX

Ann Nester, CPP - Ravenswood, WV

Rodney O'Dell, CPP - Middletown, OH

Bradd A. Parker, CPP - Chatsworth, GA

Jari Poulin, CPP - Ithaca, NY

Jaiel Prado, CPP - Barueri, Brazil

James Remington, CPP - South Riding, VA

Tim Roebuck, CPP - Winter Garden, FL

Amanda A. Sharpe, CPP - Columbus, IN

Simone Cristina Silverio, CPP -  Barueri, Brazil

Krystal L. Stankowski, CPP - Madison, WI

Chrystina Straughan, CPP - Cibolo, TX

Kimberly Diane Teichrow, CPP - Bend, OR

Zach Thomas, CPP - Saint Augustine, FL

Stephanie W Turner, CPP - Newton, NC

Graciela Valdes, CPP - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Joan Hustace Walker, CPP - Norfolk, VA

Qian Wang, CPP - Lexington, SC

Kerri S. Weiss, M.Photog., CPP - Saint Charles, IL

Rodney Williams, CPP - Columbia, SC

James M. Woltjen, CPP - New Bern, NC

Why should you consider becoming Certified? Check out our blog here that hits on the four key reasons Certification can boost your business and your confidence. Learn more here! 

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By Sarah Ackerman

Spring is finally here! Before you take off to enjoy the beautiful weather and cure any lingering cabin fever - check out the top photography blog posts from around the Internet. 

FINDING YOUR PURPOSE: Past Imaging USA Speaker Jeffrey Shaw is back on the roundup with his podcast! This week he features an interview with Jeff Goins, author of "The Art of Work" (you can get a copy for FREE through his post!). The pair discusses finding your calling and offer practical ways to find it in your everyday life. 

NOT FOR EVERYONE: Don't get us wrong, we wish all photographers could make bajillions of dollars doing what they love... but we all know the real world is full of challenges. Truth is, photography as a profession is just NOT for everyone. This article from PetaPixel gives an interesting look at why people get into photography and what a small shift in attitude can do for your mental clarity.

BE MORE PROFITABLE: Two lucky studios are getting the chance of a lifetime - to get full studio makeovers from a dedicated team of pros from PPA! From marketing to sales, design to operations and everything in between Wes Roberts and Krista Newbill are embarking on a transformative year and you're along for the ride!

THIEVERY: Gary Hughes and Booray Perry take to the podcasting airwaves with their show "Photobomb". In this week's episode, the entertaining duo explores Star Wars Pinball, but more importantly photography thieves! (Pro tip: if you find yourself in the same situation as Booray, use the PPA Cease & Desist letter that comes as one of your member resources!)

DIY PHOTOGRAPHY: If you want to go to a larger format than 120 film, making your own camera might be a great option! You read that's right! Check out what Lucas Landers pulled together on a reasonable budget on the PhoBlographer. 

BARTERING BASICS: As a photographer, chances are you've been approached to barter your services. What constitutes a good bartering deal? How do you handle saying no? See what Rachel Brenke from the Law Tog has to say about the situation here. 

CERTIFIABLY GOOD: Becoming a Certified Professional Photographer is no small task - but as Dave Goldman, Cr.Photog., CPP explains, it's worth it. Becoming technically sound in your craft doesn't inhibit your creativity, it enhances it. Get Dave's take here!

INSPIRATION: Are you stuck when it comes to developing your personal style and vision? How do you define yourself in photography? This is a wonderful, inspirational blog by Gary Crabbe from Enlightened Images to guide you on the path to discovering your unique art. 

MYSTERIES OF THE PAST: National Geographic takes a look at the Rescued Film Project, an effort to discover and develop images from the past. Project manager Levi Bettwieser hopes this project will help photographers realize the importance of their craft on our individual histories. Check out the moving works here.

PRO TIPS: There's never a shortage of good portrait photography how-to articles, but this great read from FStoppers calls into focus some things to really avoid. Dani Diamond goes through his top five things portrait photographers should stop doing immediately. 

There you have it, our favorite photography posts of the week! What blogs do you enjoy? Let us know on theLoop

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

What's This About?

This year PPA is working with two lucky studios in all areas of their business, to give them a total "makeover". Every facet of their businesses will be scrutinized to help them be more profitable. The makeover will touch on and improve their business model, branding, pricing, marketing, sales strategy, workflow efficiency and overall profitability--all based on the tools, information and resources set by PPA's Benchmark!

Follow these two studios' progress, challenges and changes. Updates will be posted right here on the blog and you will be able to watch monthly webinar updates to track this year-long process. It's a series worth paying attention to, as there will be strategies and business tactics you can apply to your business too.

"PPA is providing these makeovers to provide photographers with real-life accounts of how to be more profitable and to give studio owners actual takeaways they can use in their own businesses," said Angela Kurkian, PPA director of education. "It's an all-encompassing approach looking at sales, marketing, workflow and finances to see if the participants are set up to realistically reach their financial goals. PPA's team of mentors will work with them individually on a monthly basis to help them reach their goals."

By Chris Homer

Have you ever entered PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) or one of the District Photographic Competitions? If you haven't, you really should consider it. Why? Simply put, entering the competitions and having your work critiqued by one of our accomplished judges is one of the best ways to improve your skill as a photographer. 

If you've never entered before, you may be a little intimidated. Fear not! Instead, take a look at the critique below. Once you've seen how it works, hopefully you'll be more comfortable entering and... you'll understand how much you can get from getting feedback on your images! In the video, juror Larry Lourcey, M.Photog.Cr., CPP goes over "My Dad" by PPA photographer Lisa Duncan. 


Another great way to learn about photographic competition is by live streaming the district competition judging. You'll be able to view the images and hear what the judges take into consideration. The Northcentral district judging airs live May 20 - 21. It is free to watch, you don't even have to be with PPA and a link will be posted on the Northcentral District website and PPA's Facebook page.
 
Ready to enter your work in a photographic competition to learn and get recognized? Several District Competitions are accepting entries now and entries for the International Photographic Competition will open May 26. Get those images ready! 


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 



The Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) is one of the most prestigious designations a photographer can own, but some photographers seem to think they don't matter. Dave Goldman, a CPP liaison from North Carolina, would argue to the contrary. He's helped hundreds of photographers earn their CPP and grow to become great artists in their field. In the guest blog below, he discusses how becoming a CPP is not a hindrance to your creativity at all, but can enhance your technique in ways you didn't imagine.

Enhance Your Creativity by Becoming a Certified Professional Photographer

By Dave Goldman, Cr.Photog., CPP

At a recent meeting with some local portrait artists, I heard photographers say things like "using ratios are bogus because no one uses them" and "photographic certifications hold no weight with clients" and "customers do not know what they are". These photographers have even gone so far to say that technical certifications are not needed and only hinder creativity by the constraints they make you follow.

By: Lauren Walters

 

Prom season is coming up! For a photographer, prom can be a tricky setting to work in - not to mention the formality of the portraits. So how do you survive a prom photo session? Read up on these tips from theLoop! Don't wait; it's just around the corner.

 

1.     Make sure you communicate with the coordinator often to ensure you both are on the same page. You will want to discuss backgrounds, props, times, etc. Prior to the prom, drop off advertisements for the school to distribute to the students including prepayment information, brochures, samples, etc. This will let students know of your services, pre-pay, or ask questions. Also, bring extras to the event.

 

2.     Arrive early to allow plenty of time to set up. Odds are the venue won't have all the supplies you need like a nearby wall outlet. Bring extension cords, pens, paperclips, a stapler, change, and a secure place to store money. If you can, bring along an assistant to help process the paperwork and payments. Make sure to let your assistant know the image number for each couple, so he/she can write it on their paperwork. High school is full of awkward moments, which may make for awkward photos. If possible, bring sample photos of poses.

 

3.     Make sure to clarify for each shot if the participating students are just friends or are a romantic couple. It's not uncommon to see a few same-sex couples come up for photos. Some of the time, they are just friends, but others may be an actual couple. If it is a same sex couple, pose them just as you would a heterosexual couple. This can be a sensitive subject, but if you're open and accepting about it, the students are much more comfortable. Considering you're a professional, it is most appropriate to keep your personal beliefs to yourself when on the job.

 

4.     It is important to have a reasonable turnaround time. It shouldn't take more than a few weeks max to get back to photos returned to the school. Notify the school and students of your estimated turnaround time ensuring your quality work.

Thank you to Crystal Prahl at Forever Me Photography for your contributions on theLoop. Have any further tips or opinion about prom photography? Check out the thread on theLoop.

It's another week and another Friday the 13th. Eek! We hope things aren't getting dodgy for you photographers out there (but if they do, please chat about it on theLoop). Here's the top 10 blogs from this past week to help you get stoked for "busy season".

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It's in the Details - Advice on Shooting for Competition

PHOTO COMPETITION: In this post, Christine Walsh-Newton picks apart some of her past submissions to show you what she learned about photographic competition and what to do to  get Loan collection worthy images. We also note here that Christine is a PPA photographer M.Photog.Cr. and CPP! After reading her piece, you'll be ready to get off the fence and enter yourself. And good news: many PPA district competitions are accepting submissions now AND when judging starts, you can watch a live streaming to see it in real time!

By: Lauren Walters

How do you compete with amateur photographers? You have good resources at PPA to help! The See The Difference consumer-focused campaign aims at showing consumers "the difference" when evaluating photographers...and realize the importance of hiring a pro like you. It may seem hard to differentiate yourself, but you can stand out from the crowd by putting the tools and resources PPA developed for its members to work for you. This See The Difference toolbox can show your clients the difference it makes when hiring a PPA photographer. If you are with PPA, you can download videos, logos, customizable brochures, and other marketing materials to educate your clients. It's marketing help and sales pitch that support YOU as PPA photographers.

The video below is a reminder that when it comes to weddings, the day happens so quickly that you barely remember all the details. A PPA photographer not only stays focused, but captures the emotion - not just the composition. (If you do not photograph weddings, no worries: there are more videos for other specialties on the See The Difference Resource page!)

Watch this video then consider sharing it with your wedding clients so they can see why they should hire a PPA photographer like you!

 

There are a lot more videos on the See The Difference Resources page including some showing the importance of hiring professional Family and High School Senior photographers. If you're a PPA photographer, grab the embed codes for your own website today. There are other resources you can download/embed/use and share to spread the work and make a more compelling case for your professional status:

  •         logos
  •          brochures
  •          side-by-side comparisons
  •          Facebook tab
  •          other tools

Go ahead, show the difference hiring a professional photographer makes. Remember: the more photographers spread the word, the more successful and more powerful the "See The Difference" message becomes, which benefits ALL professional photographers! 

By Sarah Ackerman

Hopefully by now you've heard what wonders entering your images into photographic competition and asking for critiques can do for you, your artistry and your business. PPA district competitions are currently happening across the country and the International Photographic Competition (IPC) is set to open May 26, 2015. 

Photographic competitions are an excellent way to better your technical skill set. In many cases, you don't know what you don't know - and by entering into competitions and listening to the critiques, IPC judges will identify areas that might need improvement, as well as areas that you already excel in. For some, it might sound scary at first, but don't you want to become an even better photographer? This is a strategic jumping off point!

Here is Larry Lourcey, M.Photog.Cr., CPP critiquing Megan DiDiero's "The Glow" which made it into the General Collection at last year's International Photographic Competition.
 

And the educational opportunities don't stop there! You can watch the live judging of the district competitions or the IPC via live stream! From the comfort of your home, you'll be able to listen to everything the judges say about the images, how they score and when they challenge decisions. The first live streaming will be of the Northeast District March 13-14, 2015. Check the district's landing page for the live stream link! 

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

Remember those prizes attached to the Imaging USA survey you took? We've got winners!

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Kristen Schweitzer (Captured Moments Photography, Manhattan, Kansas) and Crystal Lugo (Crystal Lugo Photography LLC, Coral Springs, Florida) each won a $250 Amazon gift card. All they had to do was fill out the Imaging USA survey! Schweitzer and Lugo were chosen at random out of 1,722 respondents to receive the prizes.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to fill it out! The survey gives us feedback to make Imaging USA the most valuable, business-boosting convention and tradeshow it can be for you and your needs. It's your show after all!

Make sure you join us for Imaging USA 2016, January 10-12 in Atlanta for the biggest and best show yet! Registration opens June 2015.

For now, take a look at this year's photo gallery to re-live your favorite moments!

 

 

By Chris Homer

It's Friday, so you know what that means - blog roundup time! Here are our favorite stories
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 from around the web for the week of March 2. 

BUSINESS IDEAS: Where do you look to find ideas, inspiration and support for your business? If you need a place to start, this post from photographer and business maven Rosh Sillars is a great jumping-off point. He provides 197 ideas to help you support your photography business, so we're confident you'll at least find a few that will work for you! 

ETHICS IN PHOTOGRAPHY: You may have read about the controversy surrounding the World Press Photo competition. Last week, the 1st prize winner's photograph was investigated on the grounds it was unethically staged, however WPP found no wrong-doing and defended the photographer and their decision - which has caused quite an amount of disagreement among photojournalists. The saga isn't over yet! New accusations of unethical behavior have been levied against the photographer this week, causing the investigation to be reopened. Read all about it on PetaPixel. 

BEWARE OF SCAMMERS: Last week, we reported on a scam targeting photographers where scammers have threatened to leave bad reviews on your site, then offered pricey online reputation management solutions to clear it all up. Well, be aware that it's still happening! One photographer in Oregon shares what she experienced in this post. Read our post from last week as well to know what to be aware of and how to protect yourself! 

BUSINESS MOTIVATION: PPA member and past Imaging USA instructor Tiffany Briley wrote this great post on staying successful in a creative industry like photography. She encourages you to 'uproot' yourself from time to time to help you figure out where you are successful. Why? Read the post to find out!

SHOOTING ON LOCATION: Do you photograph people on location? Whether you take portraits of people in their homes or at their work place, environmental portraiture is all about showing people in their habitat. So how do you make these portraits look believable? This post from PhotoFocus provides three things to keep in mind while making these types of portraits. 

INSPIRATION: If you're in need of some new ideas or creative inspiration, the collection of Mike Cable's abstract photographs on the Photo Argus may be just what you need to get your spark ignited again! Between commercial and fine arts, you'll find unusual takes of usual sceneries. Just check it out!

LIGHTROOM HELP: This tutorial from Lightroom Killer Tips could be a great boost to your workflow if you use Lightroom. In it, you'll learn how to use the Brightness Slider tool to easily get a feel for how a printed image will look once you send it off to the lab for production. 

INSPIRATION: Every now and then, we like to share a story about a unique photographer. This post from DIY Photography features Australian photographer Ray Collins and his story of how he went from working in a coal mine, to being one of the top surfing photographers, despite being color blind. There's also a great collection of his images. 

FOR FUN: We've all seen them before - those cheesy 'business' stock images. As a photographer, you've probably cringed at more than a few. Here's a take on those images that will make you laugh. Actor Vince Vaughn and his fellow stars of the upcoming movie 'Unfinished Business' posed for a series of business-type stock images with hilarious results. Check it out on Fstoppers. 

COPYRIGHT INFOGRAPHIC: Do you have a hard time understanding who has the rights to use your images and how to protect them from illegal use? It can be a confusing topic, but the infographic in this post from Ephotozine is a great resource to remind you of how photographic copyright works. From who has the right to use images you post on social media, to how to find infringers, the infographic gives a good overview of copyright. And don't forget, PPA's here to help on this front too with our copyright resources and assistance. 

PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE NEWS: Variety has announced that Jennifer Lawrence will star as award-winning war photographer Lynsey Addario in the Steven Spielberg-directed "It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War." While the movie won't be out for several years, it is based on Addario's memoir of the same name, which you can check out now

There you have it, our favorite photography posts of the week! What blogs do you enjoy? Let us know on theLoop


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 



By: Lauren Walters

Have a case of the judging jitters? If you've entered a photographic competition such as IPC, you know how intimidating the process can be, but that fear is far exceeded by its reward.

The IPC is proven to benefit photographers' technique and assure their credence. But if you've never entered, you might wonder: How does the judging process work? Competitions are a great way to improve your work by getting pointers via critiques from accomplished photographers such as international juror Jeff Dachowski, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. Once you get a hang of the process, you'll be more confident to enter your work into a competition yourself!

Below Jeff Dachowski critiques "Framed Classic" by Mark Bowers, M.Photog. in the Artist category for IPC. Watch how one's work is analyzed and see how the exercise can help you continue to perfect your craft. Once you get a hang of the process, you'll be more confident to enter your work into a competition yourself!

Ready for some live and local photography education near you? Super Day is on the way! Make some room during the busy season for a little extra learning on the side. PPA's Super Day workshops will be held May 4-18.

What's Super 1 Day?

Peer-to-peer education at its very best! For two weeks in May, dozens of studios across the country will invite photographers to join daily workshops featuring portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies. PPA membership is not required to attend a Super 1 Day class! These all-day learning sessions have been created by photographers, for ALL photographers.

Is there a class near me that fits my needs?

Most likely! With 115 classes across the country, you're bound to find a class near you. Just browse through the list to find a workshop you'll enjoy and benefit from. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone! Expand your skills and broaden your professional network with classes like that will help you:

  • Build your business; pricing and marketing strategies
  • Learn lighting patterns, studio & outdoor lighting and equipment
  • Discover and apply techniques for Photoshop® & Lightroom®
  • Find your business niche: seniors, children, boudoir, pets & more


JOIN A CLASS NEAR YOU 

Register online by April 28 and take advantage of the $99 Super Day online registration discount! Starting April 29, registration will only be accepted on-site, space permitting, and will cost $120 per class. 

Oh and remember: These programs help you get closer to your degrees! PPA photographers receive one service merit for each class you attend. 

 

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John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burger

PPA-led Team USA Looks to Defend Title


The medalists for Team USA at this year's World Photographic Cup (WPC) have been announced and it looks like Team USA will be in the running to keep the title it won last year.

Team USA has placed four medalists out of a possible 18--tied with Portugal for most at this year's competition. Team USA's four medals were earned by two PPA photographers. Iowa photographer Ben Shirk, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., an Imaging USA and PhotoVision speaker, will earn three medals in three different categories (illustrative, portrait and wedding). Wisconsin photographer Kenneth Martin, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, of Wisconsin, earned a medal in the landscape category, rounding out the medal haul for the stars and stripes.

"We're very proud of the stunning images created by PPA photographers for Team USA this year," said David Trust, PPA CEO. "This competition is really all about the fellowship of photographers from all over the world. That being said, we're excited about our chances to keep the cup in the U.S."

While the WPC committee announced this year's medalists, they did not reveal what color medal they will receive, building the suspense to the second annual event, to be held April 12 in Montpellier, France.

By Chris Homer

If you're just starting a photography business, or have recently moved from part-time to full-time photographer, you probably feel a little bit overwhelmed by all the different things you must implement to have a successful business. Don't panic! PPA's Business Basics Workshop WILL help get you over the hump and set your studio up for success 

This workshop answers all those questions you might have - everything from legal and financial aspects of running a studio to picking a business model and developing a pricing strategy that works for you! Better yet, this Business Basics workshop utilizes PPA's Benchmark Survey results by directly comparing your studio's numbers with high-performing studios to help you identify real tangible areas of opportunities or needed changes. It's a 2 day business jolt that will empower you to make smarter business decisions.

You have to be with PPA to attend and there is a fee, but the knowledge and confidence to run your business successfully is such that almost all past attendees recognize it was a turning point for their studios and well worth the $199 cost. 

Emily Mulkey from Dallas, TX (who already attended this program) told us, "Doing the Business Basics Workshop was, by far, the best decision I made last year. The information and advice I received is still, to date, essential for taking my photography business from the hobby level to full time professional. The instructors are wonderful--they have incredible passion for the industry and have truly walked the walk. I only wish I had attended this workshop 2 or 3 years ago, as it would have saved me many tiresome nights of frustration!"

If you're looking for a photography business guide to avoid the frustration Emily mentioned, consider attending the next Business Basics Workshop at PPA headquarters in Atlanta, April 25-26. Those who register by March 25 will even get the early bird rate of $199! That and...you'll be able to bring someone else from your studio for free! 

The April class will be taught by Ann Monteith, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI,API,A-ASP, who's among the best in teaching photographers how to run a business. 

Past attendee Virginia L.S. Freire of Brooklyn, NY said, "The Business Basics Workshop was worth every penny and every minute of it. I was amazed - and thrilled - that Ann Monteith covered so much and answered all of my questions in such a short amount of time. The program was inspirational and energizing and armed me with the critical tools, perspective, and business savviness I needed to set my studio apart and start on the road to profitability immediately. Thank you PPA and Ann!"

So, if you want to Be More as a photography business owner, get over your fears and sign-up for this April 25-26 Business Basics Workshop today! The workshop is only for PPA members, so you'll need to join before you can register. See you in Atlanta! 


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 



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By Sarah Ackerman

With more and more advanced technology, the art of skin retouching has become extremely refined. As we all know, out with the old, in with the new! Gaussian blur and high pass retouching are now passé. 

To help you out in March, PPAedu is offering for free to all photographers "Skin Retouching" with Joel Grimes, Cr.Photog. In this class, you'll learn frequency separation in Photoshop, foundation, high texture later and the lasso tool! Grab the video now, it's free on www.PPA.com/edu through the end of March!

PPAedu is the online education platform for PPA photographers. There you'll find more than 300 videos on both photography technique and business practices to help you grow your studio, be more profitable and  inspired!

You will also find nifty tool that allows you to build your very own custom-fit learning program based on your level of proficiency in your photography technique and your business skills. And the best part of all is that as you watch more and more PPAedu classes, you'll be able adjust that program so that it evolves with you as you continue to grow in photography!
 
Give it a try! Use it as a refresher course or learn something new. PPAedu is included with the PPA membership, so watch Joel Grimes's program for free today or become a PPA member to access the entire video library. Try it now for free! Go ahead and dive in! It's your time to be more inspired.


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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.


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This page is an archive of entries from March 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

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