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PPA Today: July 2015 Archives

July 2015 Archives

By Chris Homer

It's Friday, which means it's time for our favorite photography stories from around the web!
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 Check them out below:

STEAM THE IPC: PPA's International Photographic Competition is coming up August 3-6! You'll be able to stream all the judging live at Stream.TheIPC.Org. This year, we've also added a new component to the live streaming - IPC Live! Hosted by PPA photographer Booray Perry, Cr.Photog.CPP, IPC Live will feature interviews with the judges, answers to judging questions and more! In this post on his blog, Booray previews the upcoming stream. Take a look and get excited to watch. You might even want to host a viewing party! (Find the complete streaming schedule here.)

SALES: Sales seem to be the least favorite part of the photography business for many photographers. One reason for that is frustration over clients' objections. Chances are good that you've heard these objections in this post from HubSpot before. Read on and find out how to overcome them!

SOCIAL MEDIA: Do you use Instagram as part of your social media marketing plan? If you do, check out this post from HootSuite on how to write a caption for your Instagram photos to get the most engagement with potential clients!

WEBSITE ADVICE: If your website gets strong traffic, but you get very little inquiries from that traffic, this post from Mountain Side Media is perfect for you. You'll learn tips for turning that web traffic into potential bookings!

SOCIAL MEDIA: Social Media is essential to any successful marketing plan for your photography business. If you're not sure where to start, this post from Mashable is a good jumping-off point. It covers the basics of many of the popular social media platforms and how you can use them to your advantage.
Can you believe it's almost August? Where did the summer go? Before it completely passes you by, check out these top conversations on theLoop! This month saw a lot of tech recommendations and business advice. You never know what you might learn, or who your advice can help!

This is a wonderful thread for anyone who has a struggling business, or has had  hit some hard times and come through like a champ. What are your best ways to attract new customers? What charities do you align yourself with? Pick up some business tips and share your own! 

Negative feedback has been a hot topic recently. What lengths will you go to for customer satisfaction? How much is too much, and is that worth a potential negative review?

If you've ever thought about going into stock photography, this is an excellent discussion. What are the pro and cons to this side of the business? Can folks actually make a living from it? Read on and give your advice!

This is a really interesting, technical read. Have you ever had to match something precisely in Photoshop to what it is in real life? How do you do it? Help a fellow member or pick up a few new tricks of your own!

Have you ever thought about taking on a business roommate? What are your thoughts on a shared studio space? Help this photographer navigate the financially responsible but confusing choice of taking on a fellow renter. 

As a photographer, sometimes it can feel like you're expected to be an expert in everything. If your forte isn't web development, it might be a good choice to leave it to the experts. Check this thread for top notch website builders - or if you have a favorite, submit your own!

Do you have a favorite brand of digital paper? Help a fellow pro out in finding his perfect paper style in this thread!

Do you have any experience in on-field printing? Add your insights on costs, pricing and how it's helped (or hurt) your business in this sports photography thread! 

Email marketing is a key way to engage your customer base. Who do you use as your email service provider? See what platforms win in terms of cost vs features with your fellow photographers!

Blogs increase your search engine optimization (SEO) and allow you to have a great way to keep your site fresh with new content. What platforms do you use to manage your blog? WordPress?  Google Blogger? What are the pros and cons? Weigh in here!

If you're running into accounting issues using Studio Cloud and Square, this is an excellent discussion for you! See how fellow PPA photographers work around the hiccups of these two systems. Have any good tips? Join in!

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

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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 Sarahs 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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It's just a week away so make sure you have plans to tune in. IPC Live will give you behind-the-scenes access to the competition like never before.

And here's your host, Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP, with a quick video preview on the show!


With the judging streaming live alongside the show, you won't miss any of the action. Read our previous blog for details. The full broadcast schedule is below.

Watch at Stream.theIPC.org!

Here is the full schedule (all times are Eastern Standard):

IPC Judging Live Stream

·         Monday, Aug. 3, 8:15am-6pm ET

·         Tuesday, Aug. 4, 12:15-9pm  ET

·         Wednesday, Aug. 5, 9:15am-6pm ET

·         Thursday, Aug. 6, 8:15am-6pm ET

 

IPC Live broadcast hosted by Booray 

·         Monday, Aug. 3, 10am & 2pm ET

·         Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2pm & 5pm ET

·         Wednesday, Aug. 5, 10am & 2pm ET

·         Thursday, Aug. 6, 10am & 2pm ET

 

 

Image Critique: Classy DameBy Megan MitchellWe're less than a week away from the International Photographic Competition judging! The judging will be streamed live, August 3-6, and you can watch it for free at Stream.theIPC.org this event will also be supplemented with IPC Live - interviews and Q+A's hosted by Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP.Can't wait for the IPC action? Get a taste of a juror's mindset by watching this image critique. The juror here is Richard Avalo and he is reviewing  CPP Kelli Svancarek's image "Classy Dame." The image did not merit, but that doesn't mean Kelli got nothing from participating - Richard says it the best when he remarks,  "I personally believe that photographic competition is the best and the fastest way to improve your technique and to hone your skills . . . It's been so instrumental in improving the work that I do."
By Megan Mitchell

We're less than a week away from the International Photographic Competition judging! The judging will be streamed live, August 3-6, and you can watch it for free at Stream.theIPC.org this event will also be supplemented with IPC Live - interviews and Q+A's hosted by Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP.

Can't wait for the IPC action? Get a taste of a juror's mindset by watching this image critique. The juror here is Richard Avalo and he is reviewing  CPP Kelli Svancarek's image "Classy Dame." The image did not merit, but that doesn't mean Kelli got nothing from participating - Richard says it the best when he remarks,  "I personally believe that photographic competition is the best and the fastest way to improve your technique and to hone your skills . . . It's been so instrumental in improving the work that I do."

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Want more on IPC? Look at past critiques and bookmark Stream.theIPC.org so you can tune in this August 3-6. We hope that both this critique and watching the judging and the IPC Live broadcast will inspire you - learn from the juror's comments and work towards creating competition-level images daily! You'll even be able to send in your questions through Stream.theIPC.org or through Twitter by using the hashtag #IPCLive. 

Megan Mitchell is an intern at PPA. Though she attends college in New York, she is originally from Georgia - most everyone she meets up north is shocked and disappointed by her lack of a southern accent. She finds great joy and comfort in copy editing and reading. She loves nothing more than words, but her family and friends take a close second.

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By Chris Homer

If you're looking to improve as a photographer, one of your best opportunities for learning, networking and shopping is Imaging USA 2016, from January 10-12, 2016, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. Registration is now open!

If you've never attended Imaging USA before, you might be wondering what the big deal is. Hosted by PPA, this is the most established professional photography convention out there. Major components of Imaging USA are the three-day Imaging Expo trade show, several all-inclusive parties and presentations by some of the biggest names in the photographic industry and a keynote speaker who is sure to make an impact. Imaging USA's photography and business classes are geared to improve a photographers skills, photographic repertoire and use of technologies. It's a jam-packed three days full of education and fun with thousands of your fellow photographers! The most passionate bunch can even add pre-convention sessions to take their learning experience to the next level.

Go to ImagingUSA.org/REG to check out the different options and pricing for PPA members, PPA Student Members and Non-Members. (Hint: if you're not with PPA, consider the Join & Go option, as it waives your 2016 Imaging USA registration fee!) Be sure to register by December 8, 2015 for the lowest rates! After that date, prices will increase. 

Go ahead, register today and see how attending Imaging USA can help you Be More Business-Savvy! Find all the details on classes, special events, hotels and more at ImagingUSA.org.


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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 John Owens

I think we can unanimously agree that summer is going by way too fast. But when you have a few minutes off from your busy schedule, take a break for a little inspiration from this week's best photography blog posts--hopefully with a refreshing drink in your hand!

1. #IPClive Is Around The Corner, Don't Miss It!

BEHIND THE COMPETITION: The International Photographic Competition judging is once again streaming live this August 3-6. New to the live streaming of judging is IPC Live, a twice daily broadcast hosted by Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP! You'll get into the IPC action with interactive interviews and discussions. Get together with your photography friends and host a viewing party! Don't forget to post a photo and tag #IPClive! We'll keep sharing your photos and posts. Last but not least, check out the blog for the full schedule and bookmark this link for a quick access to IPC Live starting Monday 8/3: Stream.theIPC.org. Oh, and it's free to all, PPA members and non-members alike!

 

2. Are You Busy, or Profitable?

KEY DIFFERENCE: Busy and profitable - you might think the two go hand in hand, but do they really? This post from Million Dollar Photographer Bradford Rowley explores how more work doesn't necessarily mean more money! He gives you 8 tips on how to maximize your profits.

3. Here's a Little Brand Therapy 101

BRANDING: This post from photographer Ellen Petty is all about finding your unique identity. How will you stand out from the pack? She poses several questions for you to ask yourself and in the end, you might have a better direction for where you want your studio to go!

4. New Health Care Benefit for Photographers

TELEMEDICINE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: Here's a new potential solution for those costly routine doctor's visits: telemedicine from Call a Doctor Plus! PPA photographers now have access to exclusive low pricing on the service at just $8.95/month (that's over 65% off)! It's yet another perk of being with PPA! Read all about it and subscribe to save some time and money.

By Rachel Noto

Though the deadline for submissions to the 2015 International Photographic Competition (IPC) has already passed, it's never too late to think about improving your skills for next year's competition.
 
If you've entered your work into this year's competition and have requested a critique, here's an example of what you'll be getting back! This is a critique of the image "Dark Queen" by Kelli Svancarek, CPP by Jeff Dachowski, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. This image was both accepted for merit and the prestigious Loan Collection, so watching the critique of this image can be a particularly helpful learning experience for anyone seeking their degreecertification and hoping that their images will do similarly well in this year's competition!   



Hopefully seeing this critique will help you to see what IPC judges look for and encourage you to enter your images in the next IPC! 

You can watch this year's judging in person at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA from August 3 - 6 to see many more critiques like this one. If you can't make it down to Lawrenceville, you can also stream the judging from the comfort of your own home at Stream.theIPC.org. Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP, will also be hosting a live broadcast twice a day during which he will sit down with judges and talk with them about some of the challenges they face in judging and what they look for in the image. Get the complete schedule for the judging live streaming and IPC Live here!

Form a viewing party, attend live, or watch online and see how the IPC can help you to Be More Confident as a photographer!

Rachel Noto is one of the summer interns wandering around the labyrinthine offices of PPA, enthusiastically taking pictures of her cat, and occasionally getting a little writing and design done. An Atlanta native, she's learned to embrace the feeling of getting lost every now and then, though she now spends most of the year in the gridded city of Savannah, Georgia, where she attends the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has a passion for food, cute animals, and communication in all of its forms.

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By Rachel Noto
Happy Friday, everyone! Take a minute to kick back and relax with our favorite blog posts of the week!

BE MORE IN DEMAND: Be prepared to both laugh and learn while listening to Megan DiPiero, a professional photographer who has lately gained a large following. Join PPA photographers Booray Perry and Gary Hughes to talk about how she runs her business. With a focus on individuality and client satisfaction, her business has been booming and she is more than willing to share tips on what has worked for her and caused her business to become as successful as it has! 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: In a world where the pervasiveness of print media has begun to decline, Bill Curtis, CEO of the Robb Report, reflects on the relevance of print in today's digitally-focused society.

TOUGH CHOICES: Opinions on color versus black and white. Both choices have their own advantages and drawbacks, and it can be difficult to decide what brings out the most in your image. This article gives four useful tips that you can use when you're struggling to decide.

PORTRAITURE: Capturing the essence of a person in one still image is quite a tall order, and it's one of the things that makes portrait photography both very challenging and very rewarding. Here are some tips for improving your portraits and a few exercises to get better, more genuine images of the people you're photographing. 

IMAGE THEFT: Losing your images is a photographer's worst nightmare, and that became a reality for Jacques Nadeau, a successful photographer in Montreal whose home had been broken into and five hard drives stolen. A tragic lesson in the value of data backup.

RESTORATION: Watch as Argentinian photo-restorer Hernan Folmer pieces together a ripped, creased, damaged old photo into a photograph that looks seamless and whole, all in Photoshop!

MODELING ADVICE: This article is directed toward models, but its message is an important one for photographers to carry in mind as well. It's not uncommon for models to end up in shoots that they aren't comfortable with, so be sure to warn models about the kinds of undesirable situations they can end up in, and also make sure that your own work with models ensures their comfort and respects their boundaries.  

ONLINE PRESENCE: Digital marketing is crucial for most professional photographers these days, and knowing how to give your photographs a better reach online can mean everything. Figure out the best way to tag your images and join different online communities that can help to make your work more visible! 

PRO TIPS: Lauren Lim is the co-founder of Photography Concentrate and has been the co-owner of a successful wedding photography business for nine years. She is well-versed in the industry, so her tips for beginners on what she thinks are the most important things for photographers to learn early on comes from plenty of experience. This piece isn't new, but it's still so valid today that we thought it was worth re-sharing!

INTERVIEW: On his podcast Here & Now, Jeremy Hobson sits down with Mark Osterman, a photographic process historian, and discusses the pros and cons of the pervasiveness of digital imaging in the field of photography.

There you have it - our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee (at) PPA (dot) com.


Rachel Noto is one of the summer interns wandering around the labyrinthine offices of PPA, enthusiastically taking pictures of her cat, and occasionally getting a little writing and design done. An Atlanta native, she's learned to embrace the feeling of getting lost every now and then, though she now spends most of the year in the gridded city of Savannah, Georgia, where she attends the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has a passion for food, cute animals, and communication in all of its forms.

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By Chris Homer 

While entries for this year's International Photographic Competition (IPC) are closed, it's never too early to start thinking about entering the 2016 competition!

If you've never entered the IPC before, you really should consider participating. Simply put, entering images into the IPC is the best way to improve your technique as a photographer! This educational opportunity gets even better if you choose to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's jurors - who are accomplished photographers who have achieved success in the IPC, so they'll be able to give you feedback on how to improve to make your images merit worthy!

For the first-timer, we know the idea of having your work judged can be intimidating, so take a look at an actual critique from a past IPC below. This is Lois Stanfield's, M.Artist., CPP, image "Windswept" being critiqued by Jon Allyn, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, F-ASP. 




We hope seeing a critique has encouraged you to enter the IPC in the future! You can also attend this year's judging live August 3 - 6, 2015 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA and hear the judges' comments on each image. 

And remember, you can stream the judging from your computer at Stream.theIPC.org. In addition to a live stream of the judging this year, twice-a-day you will be able to watch a live broadcast hosted by PPA member Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP. In IPC Live, Booray and his guests will answer judging questions and go over some of the image reviews and challenges that will be happening during judging. Get the complete schedule for the judging live streaming  and IPC Live here. 

Form a viewing party, attend live, or watch online and see how the IPC helps you to Be More Confident as a photographer! 


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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 Megan Mitchell

It's never too late to strengthen the foundation of your business. Whether you're just getting started or have been working as a photographer for years, it's important to understand and implement proven strategies for a successful business. That's why PPA is hosting its Business Retreat August 29-30 at the PPA headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

PPA's Business Retreat is an educational workshop specifically designed for professional photographers. You'll learn how to build a strong foundation for your business so you can increase profitability and define your own success. Understanding those building blocks such as recommended benchmarks, strategic sales planning, profitable pricing and brand management are critical for you to move forward in your business. This isn't a cut-and-dry, one size fits all workshop. You'll do more than just learn the basics - you'll begin to put together a plan for YOUR studio by evaluating your studio, your strengths, your ideal clients and their needs and the competitive landscape. 

The workshop will be taught by PPA business mentors Kristin and Paul Privette, a wife and husband team who own their own wedding and portrait studio, Footstone Photography. They know what it takes to grow your business from the ground up and are super excited to share this knowledge with you!

Officially, class is held from 9am to 6pm both days, but Kristin and Paul want this to be a life changing event for you so they're making time in the evenings for getting together as a group, giving attendees the opportunity for some open and authentic conversation as well as personalized attention. This is a unique opportunity and PPA photographers who attend the workshop will also receive 2 service merits.

Register now (before July 29) to get the early bird rate of $199 (and bring someone else from your studio for FREE)! This workshop is only open to PPA members, so if you're not a member, you can sign up today!

Megan Mitchell is an intern at PPA. Though she attends college in New York, she is originally from Georgia - most everyone she meets up north is shocked and disappointed by her lack of a southern accent. She finds great joy and comfort in copy editing and reading. She loves nothing more than words, but her family and friends take a close second.

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By John Owens

What if I told you that you could completely immerse yourself in surround via a photograph. A complete 360 degree panorama experience created by a single digital image. You wouldn't believe it, would you?

Well this PPA and Atlanta-based photographer, Fabio Musio, came up with a way to do just that and he is now one of the very few who know how to make it happen. Hopefully his story will inspire you to try something new!

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Fabio, a former engineer and self-proclaimed salesman, janitor and CEO, creates virtual tours through his imagery. The tours could be of a building, a concert venue, a park, a car dealership... even space! His photography hasn't taken him out of the atmosphere yet, but (beyond) the sky is the limit.

Originally from Torino, Italy, Fabio moved to the U.S. in 2007 and worked as an avionics system designer. For a few years, he worked 6-7 days a week and was doing nothing with his downtime, so he decided he needed a hobby--an expensive one so he would be forced to do it. Guess what he chose?

He left his job and created his company in January 2012, 100-DC immersive marketing agency, and now has national clients like Google, Red Bull and Expedia or local ones like Atlanta's Fox Theatre or Stone Mountain Park.

He was looking for something on the cutting edge of photography, not wanting to stick to traditional boundaries of the media. He discovered 360 degree digital tours and found his calling. The process involved taking hundreds to thousands of images per scene, then carefully stitching them together to create a single, panoramic high-res image. It takes time, patience and a steady hand. He claims his image of downtown Atlanta taken from a helipad is the largest of the city in existence. He plans to return to the same location to try to enter in the top 10 largest images in the world. 

He first started out as a hobbyist, not seeing it as a future career opportunity. "It's taken a lot of time to transition to a full-time business" he said. "I didn't realize how tough it is to be a professional photographer and I think a lot of people underestimate their skills and offer their photography for next to nothing. But I decided early on that I wasn't going to do that."

PPA, What Happened? 

This is the question we've been asked for the past week.

You may have already heard that last week we released a new quiz and landing page under PPA's See The Difference campaign. With this launch, the goal was to generate consumer interest in Pet Photography and drive traffic to the See The Difference website where PPA advocates for consumers to hire professional photographers. The program was intended to help pet photographers - we had no idea there were problems embedded in the offering. 

Two days after the launch, we were notified that some of the images in the campaign were used without permission. We were shocked, caught completely off guard and immediately took steps to take down the entire Pet Photography section of the site.  

Within hours, we started an investigation to understand how such a breach could have happened. Our processes in this particular project were clear: 

1. Seek out pet photographers who would have entered noteworthy work into the International Photographic Competition

2. Determine if these and other photographers had more work of this kind online that they would like to contribute to this important project, and 

3. Weave the approved images into the new pet-related pages and quiz. 

We now know that part of step two was dropped and that some of the images involved were used without permission. We should have caught the authorization omission but, in our haste, we didn't. It was our mistake, plain and simple, and we immediately contacted everyone involved and owned up to it. We wanted to be completely upfront about what had happened. We have since evaluated all of our processes and have instituted a series of stringent checks to ensure something like this can't repeat itself.

It should never have happened and we are incredibly embarrassed. We immediately removed all material in question and we started numerous exchanges with the affected parties. We are still in conversations about how to "make-good" on this mistake. We are grateful for the many good members who have been so understanding and supportive, despite being surprised to see their work online without permission. They understand what we are trying to accomplish for our members, and have been happy - even excited - to partner with us in this important cause. These good-faith members are the very best assets of our association and this industry. No question about it, our members are a class-act. We will re-work some of our pet photography campaign, and with the help of great PPA members like you, this project will go on as planned.

In a quest to be transparent, we shared two updates on Facebook last week, even though we did not yet have all the information about exactly what happened. In fact, we were still gathering new information as late as last evening, which is the reason we are just now comfortable issuing this statement. As is often the case on social media, some people understood our intent with the Facebook updates, others misinterpreted it. We never intended to disappoint anyone. We realize the enormity of the situation given our role in the industry. 

This should not have happened. In situations like these it is better to just admit that we messed up, correct what went wrong and move forward. PPA is the only organization in the world that campaigns on a daily basis to educate and protect photographers' rights. It is the only one that puts its money where its mouth is by having a full-time presence on Capitol Hill. 

PPA's team believes in this cause. Our goal is to provide more and more member benefits each year - more than all other photographic associations combined. Equipment insurance, the Indemnification Trust, the Benchmark Survey, PPAedu & PhotoVision, the See The Difference Campaign, Professional Photographer magazine, certification, International Photographic Competition, Call a Doctor Plus, and yes, an unmatched effort on Capitol Hill - these are the reasons you are a member. And we promise that greater things are yet to come.

Thank you for your understanding. And thank you for being part of the greatest association in the world.

Most sincerely,
David Trust,
Chief Executive Officer
On behalf of your entire PPA team
For the second consecutive year, the International Photographic Competition (IPC) judging will be streamed live, August 3-6 on Stream.theIPC.org. This year will also feature the new IPC Live, which will have live interviews and Q+A's to supplement the judging stream. 

IPC Live will be hosted by Florida wedding photographer and past Imaging USA speaker, Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP! You might recognize Booray from The Photobomb Podcast. You'll get the IPC action with interactive interviews and discussions. You'll even be able to ask questions as you watch the program that will broadcast twice daily.

The live stream allows competitors to follow along with the judging in real time and let prospective competitors check out the process! When watching the stream, you will never have to wonder how IPC images are judged ever again. For those considering the competition, this behind the scenes look is an excellent opportunity to learn what the judges are looking for and remove any apprehension you might have to enter. 

And if you entered, you might get to see your own image be judged! Gather your friends to watch and root together.

All you have to do is go to Stream.theIPC.org, sign in on your computer* with your PPA account or simply register with your email if you're not a PPA photographer - it's free either way! Once you're signed in, you can select which judging room you'd like to watch (portrait, illustrative and event and non-event album). Don't worry, you can switch between rooms at any time. 

You'll hear the judges comment and critique on images live, as well as decide scores! It's an enlightening inside look at the process - like a supercharged version of the critiques we share on the blog each week. 

Ready to watch? Well, you'll have to wait until August 3-6, so save the dates and bookmark Stream.theIPC.org!

Here is the full schedule (all times are Eastern Standard):

IPC Judging Live Stream
  • Monday, Aug. 3, 8:15am-6pm ET
  • Tuesday, Aug. 4, 12:15-9pm  ET
  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 9:15am-6pm ET
  • Thursday, Aug. 6, 8:15am-6pm ET
  IPC Live broadcast hosted by Booray 
  • Monday, Aug. 3, 10am & 2pm ET
  • Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2pm & 5pm ET
  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 10am & 2pm ET
  • Thursday, Aug. 6, 10am & 2pm ET

Tune in and Be More Inspired!

*Audio is not enabled on mobile devices. For full audio and video, please watch on your computer.

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By Sarah Ackerman

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Summer is in full swing! Grab your tablet and catch up on what's buzzing in the photography industry with our top ten blog posts of the week. Enjoy!

SCAM ALERT: Unfortunately scams have become a regular feature in our weekly round ups. Here's an old favorite that's been making a recent come back! Get the details from the Better Business Bureau. 

GRAB BAG: Have you ever thought about what tools you already have around the house that can help you in your photographic endeavors? See what gear Don Komarechka keeps in his camera bag that can come in handy in a variety of situations. 

SALES: Many portrait photographers sell printed pieces based on their clients' space and where those images could end up being displayed. See why the Million Dollar Photographer goes against this rational and sells the portrait simply based on the portrait, and how that's translated in to some major bucks!

TECHNICAL TOOLS: We all know histograms are extremely important to creating an impactful image, but most photographers don't understand them as well as they could. Read this awesome tutorial from Cambridge in Colour to deepen your knowledge of these helpful guys. 

TRESPASSING: It's great to see the photography community is trying to change the perception of photographing on railroad tracks, but it's also great to see the actual railroad company is discouraging it as well! Watch the video from Union Pacific and feel free to share it on your social accounts to educate your clients as well!

PROTECTION: If your camera allows you to add copyright EXIF metadata to your photos, take the time and do it! It could help you recover your gear if it goes missing, which was the case for one photographer in Australia. Read on about this great case of super sleuthing from PetaPixel and be more protected. 

CHILDS PLAY: Bring in the kiddos for this fun shoot! Use this tutorial to create great kid images using multiple exposures - of course this also works for other jobs, but why not bring the youngsters in since they're off of school?  

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: If you're interested in improving your action shots, this is an excellent article for you! Autumn Lockwood at Picture Correct goes over the seven key tips to keep in mind when trying to better your skills in capturing movement. 

SUCCESS: Go behind the scenes to see how Michael Gowin grew his headshot business to the point where he earned a feature in Professional Photographer magazine. Learn what he values in a business, what unique things he brings to his local market and see what might apply to you.

BUSINESS: Booray Perry and Gary Hughes are back in the round up talking with Rob Moorman about how to only take the jobs that keep your business on track for where you're trying to go. Take a moment, enjoy the entertainment and see if you subscribe to the same philosophies. 

There you have it - our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee (at) PPA (dot) com.


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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 Sarahs 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 John Owens

 

It's already been a few weeks since our last update from Krista Newbill and her adventure with PPA's Studio Makeover. This time Wes Roberts checks in with a quick, not even 2-minute update on his progress.

 

In this video blog (or Vlog for you web lingo-savvy readers), Wes shares what he learned from working with PPA mentor and Adobe Certified Expert, David Doeppel. From their conversation, Wes says he will be making some changes to his workflow! See if any of the strategies apply to you--it will only take a minute!

 

About PPA's Studio Makeovers:

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.

 

You can get a refresher with the project overview and take a look at the most recent update on Krista's makeover. Some of the advice they're receiving may very well apply to your business! Another update on Krista's progress is coming soon as well as more from Wes Roberts. This adventure is supposed to make both Krista's and Wes's studios Be More Profitable. So stay tuned for the next update on PPA's two Studio Makeovers!

 

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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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By Megan Mitchell

Your chance to compete in this year's International Photographic Competition (IPC) is almost gone! Entries close after 11:59 pm (EST) on July 10, and if you miss this deadline, you'll have to wait another year before you can have this opportunity to improve your photography again! 

The concept of the IPC is pretty simple. You send in your image(s) (make sure you check out the guidelines so you do it correctly), and a panel of jurors judge it. If your image meets the 12 Elements of a Merit Image, you will earn a merit toward your Master of Photography degree

Unlike standard photography competitions, the IPC allows you to learn directly from the work you submit: if you want to know exactly why your image merited or not so you can target what to improve, you can choose to receive a critique from one of the jurors. It's a neutral and objective critique, from a trained juror, just for your image, done in order to help you in the future.

You will also be able to stream online the entirety of judging live and see the process, the images being challenged and the jurors explaining their viewpoints. Don't miss it! And in case you were wondering, yes, watching the live streaming is free! Just hop on Stream.theIPC.org from August 3-6.  

In the meantime, here's a critique of an image from last year's IPC so you can see that they're really not anything to worry about! Donna Goodhale, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, critiques Suzanne Siler's image, "Heading Home." This image was not accepted in to the Loan or General Collections, which makes it an excellent opportunity to see how the judges aren't there to rip your work apart but rather to offer suggestions on how your image could be improved.

 

So there you have it! Choose an image (you can submit up to 4 per case!), send it off according to the submission guidelines, select to receive a critique and you'll be on your way to becoming an even better photographer! Enter the IPC today and Be More Creative. 

Megan Mitchell is an intern at PPA. Though she attends college in New York, she is originally from Georgia - most everyone she meets up north is shocked and disappointed by her lack of a southern accent. She finds great joy and comfort in copy editing and reading. She loves nothing more than words, but her family and friends take a close second.

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By Chris Homer

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for anyone to watch (not just PPA photographers!), because PPA believes in the power of education for all. PPAedu is a library of 300+ video tutorials on photography techniques and business best practices available for PPA members 24/7 as part of their membership. And with the recent addition of PhotoVision, there are even more courses (a total of 1,100!) for PPA photographers to watch on demand at no extra cost. 

July's unlocked video is great for photographers looking to improve their marketing. One aspect of strong marketing is having a consistent brand for your photography business. If you're not sure where to start building your brand, July's video is a perfect place to start. 

In "Bring Out Your Brand," PPA's CEO and marketing pro David Trust takes you through the intricacies of what makes a brand and how you can build yours!

If you're with PPA, log in to watch the video. Non-members can access this video throughout July at PPA.com/TryEdu. If you want full access to all the PPAedu + PhotoVision on-demand videos, join PPA now!


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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 Rachel Noto

Though the early bird deadline for entries has passed, there's still time to enter your images in this year's International Photographic Competition (IPC)! 

If you've waited until now because you were intimidated by the idea of entering your images into a competition to be judged -- don't be! To learn more and be more prepared, you even have the option to have your images critiqued by an IPC judge so you can get professional feedback on what you've done well and what you can improve on. All IPC judges have earned Master of Photography degrees by submitting their work to competitions like this, so you can be sure that they have the experience to back up the feedback they give you.

To get an idea of what your critique would be like, watch a review of one of last year's merited images, "Grandma Mary" by Pete Rezac, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, with critique by Larry Lourcey M.Photog.Cr., CPP.


Submitting your images comes with more perks than just receiving feedback, of course! All images that earn a seal of approval are awarded with a merit, and all merited images then have a chance to be featured in the prestigious loan collection. Merits on your images go toward your Master of Photography degree, which requires 13 exhibition credits. 

If you're still nervous or feel unprepared, watch this video of PPA Instructor Michael Timmons explaining the process by which IPC judges judge entries and gives tips on everything from image size specifications to where to set your easel compared to the judges' chairs! 
It's not too late! Click here to enter and Be More Confident in your work.

Rachel Noto is one of the summer interns wandering around the labyrinthine offices of PPA, enthusiastically taking pictures of her cat, and occasionally getting a little writing and design done. An Atlanta native, she's learned to embrace the feeling of getting lost every now and then, though she now spends most of the year in the gridded city of Savannah, Georgia, where she attends the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has a passion for food, cute animals, and communication in all of its forms.

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By Megan Mitchell
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Surprise! Our weekly roundup of our favorite blog posts is a day early! Sending best wishes for a happy and safe independence day weekend celebration!

TELL YOUR STORY: As a professional photographer trying to set yourself apart, you need to connect with your clients. That's why you need stories on your website and as a photographer, you have many places to add them - tell your story and tell the stories of the photographs you take. 

TOUCH UP: Wondering how you can enhance your firework images? Here's one way from the folks at Killer Lightroom Tips!

HONOR CODE: You want to be respectful when photographing the American flag in portraiture, so read up on the U.S. Flag Code - the LawTog makes it easy to understand!

STATE OF THE UNION: Have you heard? The White House has lifted its ban on photography during tours! National Geographic sent a team of photographers on one of the first photo-friendly tours. Check it out!

HEALTH: Here are some stretches you should do during your long editing sessions at the computer - your body is an important asset to your business, so take care of it!

By Lindsey Forson

Things continue to move forward on Capitol Hill and we'd like to share updates on three fronts: 

Capitol_Copyright_Blog.png1. Currently, the primary focus of PPA's advocacy efforts is responding to a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) recently released by the U.S. Copyright Office. This NOI requests written comments on how certain visual arts, including photographs, are monetized, enforced, and registered under the Copyright Act. The issues we will address in our response are the same issues we're advocating for everyday through our lobbying efforts. This NOI is just another avenue through which we are able to speak up for your interests! 

It's very promising to see the Copyright Office continue to express interest in the concerns of visual artists (through this NOI) and show initiative in improving the copyright process for small creators (through several legislative proposals). In our response, we will stress the need for a small claims process for copyright enforcement as a top priority and will discuss other important issues such as the modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office and difficulties for photographers pertaining to copyright registration. We are working in close communication with other visual arts associations and stakeholders in the preparation of our comments and as always welcome PPA members' input!

Call a Doctor Plus, the latest membership benefit from PPA, can save photographers both time and money when they're not feeling well or have health questions. For a modest monthly fee, PPA members can simply pick up the phone or log on to a website to get answers, assistance, and even prescriptions.

Call a Doctor Plus is a health and wellness telemedicine program that provides patients with effective, immediate access to medical goods and services. There are no copays, deductibles or per-call charges. Photographers who are members of PPA get service for an exclusive low monthly subscription.

Call a Doctor Plus provides 24/7 access to U.S. certified physicians who can diagnose and prescribe over the phone or through an online chat. Prescriptions are sent directly to the patient's local pharmacy, and records are sent to their primary physician. The benefit covers up to five dependents at no extra cost.

One member who's already used the service gives it a thumbs-up. "I requested a consultation online and was called by a doctor within 5-10 minutes," she said. "After providing a brief description of my symptoms, I was diagnosed with an acute upper respiratory infection. The doctor sent a prescription to my local pharmacy, and I had the medicine in hand less than an hour after I called."

Read more about the service at PPA.com/CADR+CADR_monthly_push_ppa_today_ad_650x160.jpg

 

By Sarah Ackerman 

Time is ticking down, but you still have a chance to enter the International Photographic Competition (IPC)! Although the early bird deadline has passed, you can submit your work until July 10. 

If you're still not quite sure what the judges are looking for, check out this review of "Grandma Mary" by Pete Rezac, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, with critique by Larry Lourcey M.Photog.Cr., CPP. Critiques are a great way to get even more out of your competition experience. It's a personal review of your work on what you did well and what areas need a little more attention. IPC jurors are accomplished photographers who have been in your shoes, they've competed for years and all have had successes and a few stumbles. 

Check out this great review of Pete's work that made it into the General Collection.

   

Still need more convincing? Well I quit. You obviously want to keep being terrible at photography. You can get inspired by what other photographers have gotten out of entering their images in IPC! Ready to compete in the IPC? Enter the IPC today and Be More Competitive!

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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 Sarahs 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 July 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

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