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PPA Today: September 2015 Archives

September 2015 Archives

By Sarah Ackerman

Starting October 1, 2015 there will be major changes coming to your credit card terminal. In order to cut down on the amount of credit card fraud happening around the globe, major credit card companies are moving to a chip that will make transactions more secure than ever. This new chip, the EMV (that's short for EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa) chip will move the liability from the issuing institution (the credit card companies) to the merchants (you, as a business owner) for counterfeit fraud losses when chip cards are used. Here's what this means in simpler terms: if a client experiences credit card fraud and your terminal isn't up to snuff (meaning it doesn't process transaction with cards with a chip), you will be held financially responsible for the fraudulent charge. Yikes!

But you avoid being stuck in a pickle by simply upgrading your terminal. The processing machine you use to swipe your clients' credit cards. All new terminals should be able to accept EMV chip enabled cards. In the rare case fraud occurs in this situation, you'll be covered! If you're still using old swipe methods however, you'll be held liable. So with the total of credit card fraud in the U.S. topping $8.6 billion, that could impact your business in a big way. Be More Protected!

We know this is a lot of information, so Kristen Hartman, PPA's Member Value & Experience Director, conducted a webinar with Bank of America Merchant Services to walk you through all of the changes that will be coming your way. This webinar will address not only the EMV chip, the new law requiring terminal changes across the country, but it will also give you some background information on Interchange rates, what they are, and how they affect the processing costs passed on to you. Don't miss it, it's useful information!

After you watch this webinar, consider contacting your current credit card processor companies in order to explore your options to be properly equipped and protected. 

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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 Sarah Ackerman

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For many photographers, we're entering the busiest season of the year! Your business can't afford for you to spend a down day in the waiting room for you, your kids or your employees.

Call a Doctor Plus is yet another service PPA photographers can take advantage of at deeply discounted rates. This telemedicine service is perfect for the busy photographer. It provides 24/7 access to U.S. certified physicians who can diagnose and prescribe over the phone or through an online chat. For a small monthly fee of $8.95 (compared to $24.95 regular rate), PPA members can pick up the phone or log on to a website and get answers, assistance, and even prescriptions. Once your consultation is complete, your records can be sent to your primary care doctor so they are still in the loop and you'll be able to pickup your prescriptions at your local pharmacy! Talk about a time, stress and money saver (there's no copay!)

For independent photographers, the cost of health insurance can be staggering! Call a Doctor Plus is a health and wellness telemedicine service that provides patients with effective, immediate access to medical services. But here's best part: there are no copays, no deductibles and no per-call charges. And, your subscription includes up to 5 users at no additional cost, meaning that you can include employees (maybe as a perk?) or 4 additional family members... at no extra cost!

Read more about the service and Be More Prepared... Take advantage of the huge PPA discount; this service can help a lot! PPA.com/CADR+

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 Aleighia Rouse 

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Earlier this month, John David Pittman- Imaging USA 2016 instructor dropped into theLoop for AMA (Ask Me Anything). 

Aside from having two awesome first names, he is a very passionate and creative person that uses his sense of humor to create an incredible and imaginative client experience. John David has a love for all things baseball, anything that has to do with alma mater (University of Central Arkansas), and his friends and family. Majoring in Communications, photography was not too far from where John David was headed. But how did he arrive there? 

Here are some of our favorite moments with John David explaining his photography journey:

On how he got started in the industry:  

After college I worked a lot of different jobs. In 2009 my girlfriend gave me a Nikon D60 for my birthday because she knew how much I liked photography. We got engaged that December. After getting engaged, we decided that she would quit her job as a pharmaceutical rep and pursue her lifelong dream of owning her own dance studio. Quickly it became evident that I would need to quit my job (educational software sales) to help open and run the dance studio as well. In the beginning, we had no budget so using my 'fancy new camera' I took the first ever promotional photos for the dance studio's website. Looking back now, they were awful. But at the time, some people took notice and began asking me to take photos for them. After a little while, people even wanted to pay me for it. After several months of this my thirst for photography became insatiable. I was spending hours every night on YouTube trying to teach myself to be better.

On creating personal work:  

Creating personal work that you make for no one else but yourself is the one and only true way to discover what inspires you and find your style. Personal work shows clients who you are and what you can do. More and more today, commercial clients want to work not only with good photographers but with people who have ideas and be strong collaborative partners. 

On his inspiration: 

I draw inspiration from a lot of places. Music. Sports. Nature. Light. Design. Fashion. But I think ultimately, I'm inspired by human feelings, connection and emotion. I enjoy the often awkward forced micro-relationship that is required to create a dynamic portrait. I'm usually a stranger to my subjects. My process requires that I stand pretty close to you and I'm pointing a hunk of metal, plastic, and glass at your face. The raw emotion that fills that space inspires me more than anything.

Want to learn more about John David's experience, check him out at Imaging USA 2016!

Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of the film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and one of PPA's Marketing and Communications intern, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. 

 

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By Chris Homer

Happy Friday! Sit back and soak up the knowledge from our top blog posts of the week. 
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VIRAL MEDIA:  Read PPA photographer Tara Ruby's story about how a photo she took of 10 soldiers breast-feeding and posted to Facebook went viral and was featured by national media outlets like CNN. It's an interesting look at what you can expect if you post an image to social media that goes viral!

INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION:  If you've entered PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) before, you know that images are judged based on the 12 Elements of a merit image. Did you know there's a whole podcast dedicated to the 12 Elements? Check out Imaging USA instructor Dan Frievalt, M.Photog.Cr., on the 12 Elements Podcast discussing the process behind making his images that merited at this year's IPC. It's a great learning experience for any photographer who has entered the IPC before and first-timers thinking about entering the 2016 competition alike! And don't forget, you can see all the Loan collection images from the 2015 IPC at the International Photographic Exhibit at Imaging USA 2016!

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY/SEE THE DIFFERENCE: Here's a good, quick article from Brides for wedding photographers to share with their potential clients on how to tell if a photographer is a true pro, or an amateur. PPA's See The Difference campaign is also dedicated to showing the value of hiring a professional photographer, so if you're a PPA member check out all the resources we have for you to help show potential clients why they should hire a professional!

ADVICE: PPA photographer and Imaging USA instructor Cris Duncan, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, was recently  featured on the Photo Tellers podcast. He discusses things all photographers should know, as well as how to fall in love with photography again if you're feeling run down by the industry. There's tons of great advice here for you to adsorb.

INSPIRATION: This post from PetaPixel is sure to entertain any wedding photographer. Several wedding photographers share images from their very first wedding shoots and compare them to their recent work. It's remarkable how far these photographers have come, and it's also a good reminder to keep learning and working on your photographic technique so your images are always getting stronger.
By Lindsey Forson

Since one of the most significant concerns of professional photographers is copyright protection, PPA strives to constantly advocate on copyright issues.  One of our goals is to forge relationships with key lawmakers, and as intellectual property law is overseen at the Federal level by the House Judiciary Committee, our advocacy efforts are currently focused toward members of this committee. 

Usually these conversations take place on Capitol Hill during monthly trips made by CEO David Trust and the PPA's Government Affairs team.  Recently though, Congressman Doug Collins, U.S. Representative from Georgia, stopped by PPA's headquarters for a discussion on copyright issues. Congressman Collins is a member of the House Judiciary Committee; he is the Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet; and is the Co-Chair of the House Creative Rights Caucus. In a nutshell, Congressman Collins is a rising star on Capitol Hill when it comes to advocating for creators' rights and we thank him for that.

David Trust and Congressman Collins discussed several related topics, including the overall importance of intellectual property protection, the copyright review process that has been on-going in the House Judiciary Committee, copyright issues specific to high-volume creators such as photographers, and what we may expect in terms of legislative action. We've been able to record the interview, so check it out in the video below:


For more information on other causes that PPA supports, read more on PPA.com/Advocacy


Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator.  She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.


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By Chris Homer

If you've been thinking about joining PPA, now is a great time. That's because in addition to all of PPA's membership benefits, you'll also get a FREE 3 Day All Access Pass to Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. 

Yes, you read that right! Those who join PPA as a professional active member this year get full access to Imaging USA's classes, parties, the Imaging Expo tradeshow and more AT NO COST! Imaging USA's registration fee is normally $349 for non-members, so you can see why this is quite a deal.

Of course, getting to experience Imaging USA for free in 2016 is just the tip of the iceberg of benefits you'll get when you join PPA's association of over 28,000 photographers. You'll get deals and tradeshow-only discounts from top photography companies, business malpractice protection from the Indemnification Trust and free equipment insurance to protect your camera gear. It doesn't stop there, you also get full access to the PPAedu and PhotoVision online library of over 1,100 videos to help with your photography techniques and nail down some good business practices; Plus, you can also discuss photography-related topics on PPA's member-only online network, theLoop! These are just some of the reasons why photographers who are with PPA are More Connected, More Profitable, and More Protected. 

Bottom line: If you're a professional photographer you really can't afford to not be with PPA! Join today and we'll see you at Imaging USA in Atlanta. Don't be left out, join PPA! Visit PPA.com.


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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.



Imaging USA: Register Now

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By Lindsey Forson

Professional photographers in the U.S. often have a difficult time enforcing their copyright due to a one-size-fits-all copyright system in our country - a system which in reality is a much better fit for low-volume, very high-value creators such as motion picture studios and recording artists than it is for visual artists. PPA is actively advocating for a system that works for all of our nation's creators. This is just what we did during our latest trip to Capitol Hill. And hopefully our efforts will resonate with more and more legislators here and abroad.

Here are the priorities that PPA has set with regards to improving our copyright system (in no particular order): 

  1. Modernizing the U.S. Copyright Office so that it can keep up with the demands of its "customers" in this fast-paced, digital era and so that it has the authority, accountability, and administrative capacity to implement key changes; 
  2. Modifying the registration system to make the process more user-friendly and less burdensome for high volume creators including eliminating the requirement to sort images as published v. unpublished and amending the deposit requirement; and 
  3. Creating a small claims process for seeking damages for copyright infringements.

The implementation of a small claims process has been established as PPA's top legislative priority based on the concerns of our members, and we will continue to lead the charge on the Hill until this becomes a reality. The addition of a small claims option to the currently available enforcement mechanisms - which limit legal enforcement options to expensive Federal Court cases - is absolutely necessary to ensure photographers actually have viable means for recovering damages when infringements of their work occur. For a detailed descriptions of the issues PPA advocates for during meetings on Capitol Hill and at the U.S. Copyright Office, see PPA's response to the Copyright Office's recent Notice of Inquiry to the Visual Arts community.

During this week's trip, CEO David Trust and the PPA team met with key members and staff of the House Judiciary Committee to discuss these important points. Our issues were met overall with a very positive response. In most of these meetings, it was noted that opposition to our sought after improvements is likely to be very limited. Though it will take time to create the necessary legislation, we hope to see action on these issues within the next 18 months. 

See our latest advocacy stories  for more information on these meetings. Stay tuned to PPA's advocacy page  throughout the coming months. As any copyright legislation moves from Committee to the House floor, we will be calling on you to reach out to your representative. Keep up with PPA's Advocacy efforts and Be More Protected!

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator.  She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.

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By Nicole McIntosh

The deadline to register online for a $99 Super 1 Day class is approaching fast (September 29, 2015 to be exact), and this is something you won't want to miss. Once this date has passed you must register on site and the price will increase to $120 (if space permits). All photographic classes will be held October 5-19, 2015, which gives you a two week time frame to find one that fits your schedule and educational needs!

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN A CLASS NEAR YOU?

There are 174 classes offered for this amazing opportunity! Studios across the country will be inviting attendees to join their daily workshops where they can learn about a wide variety of topics such as portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies. There are so many locations and so many choices to choose from, and don't forget about the Super 1 Day Bonus Pack! All attendees will receive the Bonus Pack, featuring offers and discounts from various companies such as iSmartPhoto, Simply Color Lab, Rebooku, and many more! Super 1 Day will be an excellent learning experience and a way for you to interact with your peers during a full day of photography education by a professional photographer near you.

Remember that PPA members receive one service merit for each class they attend. PPA membership is NOT required to participate.

Register today! 


Nicole McIntosh is one of PPA's Marketing and Communications Interns, yay! Nicole is known for her vibrant smile and the one to laugh even if the sky is falling. A sophomore at Spelman College, she hopes that working with PPA will give her the tools she needs to start her own non-profit organization one day.


By Sarah Ackerman

Happy Friday! We're back with our top 10 favorite blogs from around the internet. We hope they inspire, educate and entertain you! 

MARKETING: If you're struggling with your online content getting picked up, this is a handy read from Forbes on how to refresh your way of thinking. Many are quick fixes that can help you see immediate impact!

COPYRIGHT: PPA went to Washington, DC this week to lobby on Capitol Hill. The team had great meetings with key decision makers on upcoming legislation! Get the full update here. 

OPERATION LIFE SAVER: No image is worth dying over. One photographer didn't get the memo that shooting on railroad tracks is not only extremely dangerous, but illegal. Remind your clients and fellow photographers that there is never any reason to photograph on railroad tracks.

STAYING PRESENT: It's a balancing act to enjoy your travels while still capturing all of the fun and adventure. This great post from Cultural Vistas explains how to keep your passion for photography alive on vacation, while not letting it run the show.

CONTRACTS: You've got a swell client, but they breach your written contract. What are the next steps? The LawTog walks you through the steps necessary to get you back on track.

SQUARE ONE: We all start somewhere, and rarely is that a place of greatness. Take time in the near future to go down memory lane and see how far you've come. Remember not to be too critical of yourself, those images helped you become the amazing image maker you are today!

COPYRIGHT: This is an interesting take on DMCAs and what constitutes fair use. In this case it focuses on musical copyrights, but it gives some perspectives that could trickle over into the photographic world. Remember, as a PPA photographer, you have access to our Copyright & Government Affairs department should you ever have questions concerning your rights as an image maker. 

REALITY CHECK: It's amazing in this day and age to be surrounded by work from so many talented artists, but don't let that empower the little voice inside that starts to scoff at your own process. Take a moment and remind yourself that the first draft of anything is always far from polished. 

MALPRACTICE PROTECTION: No one goes to an assignment hoping Murphy's Law will take effect, but at some time it inevitably does. See how the PPA's Indemnification Trust was there for one this particular PPA photographer and saved her business. 

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS: This is an excellent article from PhotoFocus on the value of educating your client as early as the initial consultation on  theon the value of your services. It'll go a long way in the end!

There you have it, our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommitee (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.

By Aleighia Rouse

Going to the doctor can be such a big ordeal. No one has time to wait 3 hours to only see the doctors for 3 minutes, especially when you are sick. PPA understands this problem and has addressed it with its latest membership benefit, Call A Doctor Plus!

Call A Doctor Plus is a telemedicine medical assistance program that is able to diagnose, answer questions, and prescribe medicine. CADR+ is not health insurance but an aid that can pin point the needs and concerns of day-to-day health issues. PPA members get this amazing service for a low monthly rate of $8.95 (normally $24.95), with the ability to add up to five dependents for no extra fee. 

CADR+ has no copays, deductibles, or per call charges. This resource is available 24/7 and administers U.S. certified medical physicians, who can be reached in a matter of minutes, through smartphone or computer. Take a look below at one member's experience:

"I requested a consultation online and was called by a doctor within 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."

Why waste your time in a waiting room when you can be in the comforts of your own home? Learn all of the benefits from CADR+ here. 


Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of the film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and one of our Marketing and Communications intern, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around.  


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PPA CEO, David Trust and Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator, Lindsey Forson are in Washington, DC this week working with law makers on a variety of photography related topics to help advocate for photographers rights to Be More Protected. 

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Our first meeting was with Joe Keeley and Jason Everett the chief counsel to the Judiciary Committee. We discussed the same priorities PPA pushes forth in order to protect professional photographers' rights when it comes to copyright, including modifications to the copyright registration process which would improve image protection for professional photographers. We stressed the importance of the small claims process for photographers' copyright protection and addressed questions from the counsel regarding what would need to be included in small claims legislation in order to make the process as effective and efficient as possible for photographers. We had an in depth conversation about barriers to registration for photographers, once again noting the issues of published v. unpublished and the difficulties surrounding the deposit requirement. We look forward to on-going conversations with these key members of the Committee staff as any of these issues are brought forward. 

Next, we met with Tim Tarply of Congressman Poe's office. Congressman Poe is a strong supporter of copyright in general and understands the important nature of a proper framework for photographers. We were able to outline our priorities, among the copyright issues that need to be addressed. 

Last stop for today was with Lauren Soltani of Congressman Del Bene's office. This was our first meeting with this particular staffer so it was a great opportunity to introduce her and the Office to PPA. We provided her with a description of copyright issues from the perspective of the copyright industry and presented our priorities. 

As always, remember that you can contact your Copyright & Government Affairs department at PPA (800-786-6277) with your advocacy questions and input! PPA works hard to help professional photographers Be More Protected.

For more updates from Capitol Hill, visit our previous post here

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator.  She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.

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PPA CEO, David Trust and Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator, Lindsey Forson are in Washington, DC this week working with law makers on a variety of photography related topics to help advocate for photographers rights to Be More Protected. 

We met with counsel to Ranking Member Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee in our first meeting this morning. We discussed the specifics of PPA's priorities related to copyright improvements. We had a great discussion regarding modifications to the copyright registration process which would improve image protection for professional photographers. We proposed an elimination of the requirement to sort creations as published v. unpublished and a relaxation of the deposit requirement, proposals which were met with a favorable and optimistic response. We also discussed specifics surrounding a copyright small claims process which is currently PPA's top priority. In this meeting, Jason Everett and other counsel for the committee provided great insight into what opportunities and barriers may arise regarding actual legislative action. 

Next, we met with Curtis Philip of the office of Congressman Lamar Smith who serves on the Judiciary Committee. We discussed these priorities with him as well as the modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office highlighting administrative improvements that must occur in order for legislative changes to start happening. 

We wrapped up the afternoon meetings in the Office of Congresswoman Mimi Walters with a member of her staff - Casey Fitzpatrick. We provided insight into the photographic industry highlighting the intellectual property concerns of professional photographers. We had a discussion surrounding how a small claims process would greatly improve the enforcement mechanisms of creators in protecting their copyright. And we even discussed specific ideas for the structure of this process. 

We look forward to meeting tomorrow morning with Joe Keeley, Chief Counsel for copyright issues for Chairman Goodlatte (Chairman of the Judiciary). This is our official copyright review meeting as a major stakeholder in the industry. We will meet with additional committee members in the afternoon. Stay tuned for more updates later this week. 

As always, you can contact your Copyright & Government Affairs department at PPA (800-786-6277) with your advocacy questions and input! PPA works hard to help professional photographers Be More Protected.

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator.  She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.

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By Chris Homer

At some point during your photography career you'll be shooting for a client when you fall victim to Murphy's Law - that idea that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Don't panic though; PPA's Indemnification Trust is here to protect members when something like that happens and when your responsibility is engaged. That happens often for equipment malfunction, professional errors, or plain and simple unsatisfied clients in general! 

When you file an Indemnification Trust claim, you will be connected with one of PPA's attorneys, the most experienced attorneys in the world at defending professional photographers. The connection is usually established within a single business day because we understand that when a storm hits it's hard to wait. The attorney will advise you on next steps to take. If the problem can't be solved without litigation, then the Trust will appoint and pay for local attorneys to defend you and pay any damages awarded to your client. You will only pay a small deductible to use the Trust and will never pay an attorney's bill! 

If you're a professional photographer, the Indemnification Trust could save your business. There's too much at stake for a small business owner like you NOT to be protected. But don't take our word for it; In the video below, PPA photographer Abbie explains how the Trust helped her protect her business and her reputation... from a bad issue of client dissatisfaction. 




Only PPA members can be covered by the Indemnification Trust, so join today! If you ever run into a legal issue with a client, and most people do at some point in their business life, you'll be thankful you did. Learn more about PPA's Indemnification Trust here. 


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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 Nicole McIntosh

As 2016 starts approaching, Imaging USA gets closer (17 weeks out, but who's counting) and it's important to remember that this three-day photography bonanza is THE conference for serious photographers and is not all classes, tradeshow, and networking. There are also several special events that add to the experience and take it to the next level. Here's some of what's happening this year:

PPA Charities Celebration 
Saturday, January 9 
VIP: 7pm-8 pm 
Reception: 8 pm- 11pm 
Kick off Imaging USA as you enjoy fun auctions and all the good deeds that have been done. All attendees are welcome, PLUS, this is the perfect place to chat with photographers who've been able to leverage charitable photography to grow their business. Pick their brains! 

Keynote Speaker Amy Purdy 
Sunday, January 10 
10 am- 11am 
Paralympic medalist/motivational speaker/New York Times best-selling author/Adaptive Action Sports co-founder/Dancing With The Stars runner-up/Amy Purdy will give an inspirational keynote presentation Sunday morning at Imaging USA. Amy will share her triumphant tale of overcoming the loss of her legs to go places she never thought she could. She will motivate you and offer advice on how you can take your business and photography to new heights! 

International Photographic Competition Exhibit 
Sunday, January 10 
10:00am- 6:00pm 
Get inspired to try new techniques as you view thousands of award winning images from around the world, featuring the 2015 PPA Loan and General Collections. 

Welcome Party 
Sunday, January 10 
8pm-11pm 
Admission to the party is included in the all-access registration for Imaging USA. We will be taking over the Georgia Aquarium! You'll be able to roam and take pictures at your leisure while dancing and feasting on delicious food. Just remember to wear your all-access badge so you can get in! Those with Expo Only badges may purchase tickets at Imaging USA registration

Grand Imaging Awards 
Monday, January 11 
6:30pm-7:30pm 
Celebrate with friends as we honor the 2015 Medalists, Diamond Photographers of the Year, and all the Loan Collection artists from the most recent International Photographic Competition (IPC). You'll see who gets crowned champion, earning the Grand Imaging Award! And don't forget to check out the entire Loan Collection at the International Photographic Exhibit. More than 150 images will be on display there, making it one of the largest quality photography collections around this time of year! 

PPA Award & Degree Ceremony 
Tuesday, January 12 
6:30pm- 7:30pm 
Join us to honor professional photographers who set themselves apart in the industry by earning PPA degrees and awards. These photographers worked hard to earn their degrees! Come get inspired to work toward yours. 

Closing Party 
Tuesday, January 12 
8pm-11pm 
Admission to the party is included in the full-registration for Imaging USA. Just remember to wear your all-access badge so you can get in! Those with Expo Only badges may purchase tickets at Imaging USA registration. 

(January 10-12 More Information Coming Soon): 

Photographic Competition Mentor Program 
PPA International Jurors are offering free photographic consultations to help you improve your craft, offer tips on how to create competition-quality images, and set you on the road to earn merits toward a PPA degree. More information is coming soon on how to sign up. 

IPC Merit Café 
Brush up on print competitions with this series of short seminars. 

Coache's Corner 
Want help hitting a home run in the school, sport or event market? Meet with a professional "coach" at Imaging USA for some one-on-one time (10-minute sessions) to ask your questions and get advice on images, business and more. 

So there it is, the highlight of the special events around Imaging USA 2016! Don't miss this incredible experience, or you'll be truly missing out! 
 
See you in Atlanta!



Nicole McIntosh is one of PPA's Marketing and Communications Interns, yay! Nicole is known for her vibrant smile and the one to laugh even if the sky is falling. A sophomore at Spelman College, she hopes that working with PPA will give her the tools she needs to start her own non-profit organization one day.





Imaging USA: Register Now

By Aleighia Rouse

Achoo! Flu and cold season are right around the corner and the last thing you need is to get sick right before Jen and Michael's wedding, the biggest event you have this year. But if by chance you do get sick, we have the perfect solution to your sickness. PPA has joined forces with Call A Doctor Plus, a 24/7 telemedicine service that provides access to U.S. certified doctors, that gives PPA members consultations and simple prescriptions; and- get this- you don't even have to leave the comfort of your home!



 
CADR+ is not health insurance, but is a very useful resource that helps with your day-to-day health needs. There is no copay, deductible, or even a per-call charge. CADR+ simply connects you with the doctor by phone or online in matter of 30 minutes or less. You don't even have to wait on the line: they call you back!

Perhaps you do get diagnosed with the flu or something a little bit more than the common cold, the doctor will inform you right there. You are probably wondering, "well how do they know what's really wrong", some of the doctors ask to snap a photo on your smartphone to help them address the condition spot on. When the doctor gets an understanding of what is wrong then a prescription is sent your local pharmacy. 

This amazing medical resource saves a lot of time, stress, and money (remember? No copay, no deductible and no parking fees!). Are you still not convinced? CADR+ allows you to include up to 5 people on the program with no extra charge. And when you are a PPA member it is only $8.95/month, which is 60% off the regular Call A Doctor Plus $24.95/month rate. 

Again, it is important that you note CADR+ is not health insurance, but a way to help with day-to day health needs. PPA cannot offer discounted health insurance (if you want to understand why, click here), but is the only photographic organization that is currently offering telemedicine through CADR+. 

Want to become a PPA member? Join here. Find out more about CADR+ here! 



Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of the film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and our Marketing and Communications intern, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around.  


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By Chris Homer

We're back again with our favorite blog posts from around the web! Check them out below:
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SEE THE DIFFERENCE: In her guest post on the PPA Today blog, Christine Walsh Newton, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, shares before and after images comparing when she was a MWAC (Mom With A Camera) to her work she has done so far now that she's earned her Master of Photography degree from PPA. It's a great look at how earning a PPA degree can help improve your photography, and a good reminder of the difference between a professional photographer and an amateur. If you want to find more resources to share with your own clients to show the importance of hiring a professional photographer, check out PPA's See The Difference Campaign and the See The Difference Resources

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS BEWARE: PetaPixel shares a shocking story this week about two photographers who were surprised to find a non-contracted vendor shooting images for marketing purposes at a wedding they were hired to photograph. Even worse, after telling the vendor to stop photographing and respect the couples' privacy, the vendor slapped the photographers with a lawsuit! Luckily, they were able to counter sue and win, but it serves as a good cautionary tale for all the wedding photographers out there!

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK: PPA's CEO David Trust was a guest on The PhotoTellers podcast with host Bill Ramsey to discuss The State of Professional Photography in America. Before you get all doom and gloom, give it a listen! Bill and David discuss where things are now as well as what photographers can expect from the recent movement toward new copyright law in Congress. They also dive deep into the business of photography and how PPA helps the industry.

NATURAL LIGHT PORTRAITS: Making a good portrait using natural light can be a challenge. If you need advice on how to accomplish this feat, head on over to Digital Photography School and read through these tips to keep in mind for the best natural light results.

INSPIRATION: PPA photographer Joel Grimes, Cr.Photog., was recently featured on PhotoFocus. Check out a video of Joel explaining how he created one of his favorite composite sports photographs. You may be inspired to try something out like thisyourself! And if you want more from Joel, he's also a PPAedu instructor. Check his PPAedu videos out

By John Owens

DTrust.pngPPA's CEO David Trust was a guest on The PhotoTellers podcast with host Bill Ramsey to discuss The State of Professional Photography in America.

Before you get all doom and gloom, give it a listen! Bill and David discuss where things are now as well as what photographers can expect from the recent movement toward new copyright law in Congress. They also dive deep into the business of photography and how PPA helps the industry. 

Take a look at some of the topics covered below:

  • What is the future of professional photography in America? Are things as bad as people are saying?
  • Is copyright really in jeopardy? What's going on in Congress & the possibility of changing copyright law?
  • What are the biggest issues facing professional photographers?
  • What is the biggest business mistake photographers make?
  • The availability of "malpractice" insurance for a photographer.
  • The lifespan of a low-priced photographer entering the market today.
  • How to speak to potential clients so that they'll be willing to share some of their "pot of money" with you.
  • How to move from a "photographer hired to do a job" to "MY family photographer!"

It's a discussion that serves the interest of any photographer. It's perfect for background noise while you're in the throes of editing! Or set aside a half hour and give it your full attention.

You can listen to the podcast here, and if you have some extra time, there's another one with PPA president Michael Timmons linked on the page!

John_3197_1.JPGJohn 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 Raquel Caldwell

Hands_On_Classes_3-Days-Of.jpgAre you a photographer who wants to attend Imaging USA but isn't so sure if it's worth the expense?

Well...

  1. It's worth it
  2. If you're a new member, your first year at Imaging USA is free, and
  3. For 4 lucky photographers, there is now another way...

That's because PPA is dishing out 4 Imaging USA Kickstart Scholarships!

Four lucky PPA photographers will win the opportunity to soak in all fresh new ideas available at Imaging USA. You'll get full access to every session, all of the after parties and events and can freely browse the massive tradeshow floor. The scholarship also includes your choice of a pre-convention class that happens Thursday, Friday or Saturday leading up to the show.

No matter where you are in your career, there's a class for you. Pre-convention classes range from multiple day workshops, like PPA's Business Workshop or the Certification Preparation Class, to full day classes on topics like using Lightroom, learning Corel Painter, getting your images ready for the International Photographic Competition, and more!

Plus, there are also Hands-On pre-convention classes, where you'll go out on a photo shoot with the instructor and practice the skills you are taught with your camera! These classes are shorter, so you can attend multiple classes during the day and get all the hands-on practice you want.

The scholarship includes: Choice of pre-convention classes and a full Imaging USA registration all for FREE. Travel, meals, and lodging are not included.Visit ImagingUSA.org for more information on hotels, travel and more.

Find the complete list of pre-convention classes on the Programs By Day page and see which one will help you kick-start your Imaging USA experience.

To apply for the scholarship, you must be an active PPA member and you can't have previously received an Imaging USA Kickstart Scholarship. Applications are due by November 6, 2015. Recipients will be announced November 25.

Apply for the 2016 Imaging USA Kickstart Scholarship now!



Imaging USA: Register Now

By John Owens

With PPA's Studio Makeovers (overview below if you need a refresher) well underway, it's time for an update on our recipients' progress. I chatted with Wes Roberts on Skype for a recap on where his business was when the process started, what he's learned and how he is implementing changes.

It's a great video for anyone looking to make similar modifications to the way they run their business. Wes gives great insight on how to best implement changes in a way that works for you! You can view our conversation below; the whole video is less than 10 minutes.

About PPA's Studio Makeovers:

This year PPA is working with Krista Newbill of Murfeesboro, Tennessee, and Wes Roberts of Smith Station, Alabama, in all areas of their businesses to give their studios 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! Take a look at the project overview to learn more about the project.

All are encouraged to follow along with Krista and Wes's progress, challenges and changes right here on the blog and 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!

An update on Krista's progress is coming up in a couple weeks!

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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 Aleighia Rouse


September is here! You can feel the crisp bite of cold weather in the air. As the weather changes so should the new things you learn for your photography and photography businesses. This will help with the research process. Check out our top ten blog posts of the week! 

COMPARISON: Are you still not convinced that a PPA photographer can't make the difference? This article will change your opinion completely. Check out this article to find out why See The Difference actually makes a difference. 

THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Finally, we have a notification that the selfie is not going to take over the world, but you will. Well, at least in the area of vacations and travels abroad. Check this article out as it explains the need for professional photographers in the El Camino Travel Instagram page. 

PORTRAITS: Portrait photography is a stepping stone for a lot of photographers starting their new businesses. It is important to remember that things can happen and to always be prepared for the unexpected. Read this Phoblographer article to explore some cool tips so that you are fully prepared for your next session. 

FINANCIAL: Are you a new photography business with a lot of financial questions that need answers as far as tax season goes? PPA photographer Rachel Brenke has some suggestions that may ease your anxiety in this upcoming season.

NETWORKING: It is very important when running a photography business to come from behind the lens and make connections with the people you are working with and the people you want to work with. Take a look at this article to learn how to not only build those relationships but build your business in the process. 

LIGHTS: Sometimes it can be difficult lugging all those light cases around. PPA photographer Jeff Rojas has the solution for you, he suggests experimenting with a speedlight case in different ways. Check this article out to find more and also check him out at the 2016 Imaging USA conference. 

ECONOMICS: It is always awkward talking about money with your customers, but when it comes to your business don't be afraid. This article gives a good perspective on the economics of the photography industry and staying afloat in your photography business. 

IMPACTFUL: Anne Geddes, the most well-known child and new born photographers in the land of photography, sits down and tells of her experience with PPA. A must read article and informal into the benefits of PPA in shaping a new photographer's career.   

EVENTS: Sometimes in your photography business there will be gaps, where you have very little or no clients coming in, especially if your business is just starting out. What do you do? Try event photography. Learn more from this article about this great opportunity to get some different clients and expand your brand name. 

RIGHTS: Being a photographer you want to have as much creative space to work as you want, and don't want to be penalized for not knowing that some places are illegal. Be informed and know your rights as a professional photographer. Read this article to find out more! 


There you have it, our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommitee @ PPA.com


Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of the film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and our Marketing and Communications intern, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. 


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

*MWAC = Mom with a camera, M. Photog. = Master Photographer

I am impressed by befores and afters. If someone is trying to convince me of the results and effectiveness of their methods or system, I want proof.

Just like the diet and exercise infomercials, it's all just blah blah blah until I see the before and after photos. I want to see proof.

And now for the proof.
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This photograph was taken in 2007, a year before I joined the PPA. The subject is my youngest son, Dave, shortly after he received his first official police officer job. He came to the studio in his new uniform to create an image to celebrate the occasion.

I was a part-time newspaper and wedding photographer who only knew enough about photography to properly expose for ambient light.

Although I thought of myself as a professional photographer back then, in hindsight, I realize that was very far from the truth. (Seriously, I didn't even own a reflector at that point - trust me, 2015 Christine is not very pleased with 2007 Christine).

I did that thing that most new photographers do; I bought a bunch of equipment without knowing how to work it and implored upon my family members to sit for me while I tried to wrangle my equipment into submission.

I had gradually learned how to use a light meter and a calibration target so that my exposure and color balance was correct, but the intricacies of lighting, posing and other studio techniques were beyond my comprehension. With no knowledge to draw upon, I arranged my lights like floor lamps in a living room and called it good.

Unfortunately, it wasn't.

And so I learned my first lesson in photography; Buying a camera makes you a camera owner, not a photographer.
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I knew I needed help. Enter PPA, stage left.

To make a long story short, I joined the PPA and became actively involved in PPA-based education, joined my state affiliate and pretty much never looked back. In 2009 I became a Certified Professional Photographer, in 2012, a Photographic Craftsman and in 2013, a Master Photographer. I began competing in image competition in 2009 and entered my first IPC in 2010.

Now, that little list of titles may not sound like much, but to those of us that have earned those various certificates and degrees, it represents a heck of a lot of work. Months of study, many classes, speaking engagements and flat out hours of minion labor all tallied up over time to complete all the requirements.

At the end of each of these individual journeys, I was a better photographer, a better member, a better person. As I continued to compete in image competition, my level of knowledge grew, which helped me refine my skills behind the camera.

And then it was 2015.

As I packed for IUSA 2015, my son's community was hit with tragedy. Two elderly residents, a married couple, were robbed, abducted and murdered. A double homicide. And as I headed for Nashville, a nationwide manhunt was underway for the people that had committed the crimes.

I was scattered at IUSA 2015. I constantly checked my messages and the national news in between classes and events. The murderers were fleeing from Ohio, robbing gas stations as they traveled south, leaving a trail of fear where they went.

I constantly checked in with my son to see how he was doing. I knew that this investigation was very different from anything he'd ever had to do before. My mind constantly replayed the news channel video of the crime scene and grisly thoughts kept me from sleep. I was worried. Very worried.

I knew he was seeing things that no mother ever wants her son to see.

And for the first time, I was having difficulty with my son's chosen profession.

When I returned from IUSA, with a couple of new lighting concepts I wanted to explore (thank you, Tim Kelly), I began to plan out an image of therapy for me and my "mama angst."

And this is the result:
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Same subject, same studio, same equipment, same photographer.

What isn't the same is the level of competence exhibited - and that is a direct result of the education and guidance I have received through my PPA membership, education and image competition participation.

Creating this image served a personal need for me - it was the first time I created an image from within - when my heart was breaking - and each time I look at it, my heart still floods with emotion.

And pride.

Because it was this image, this experience -  that made me feel that I'd finally become an artist.

If it hadn't been for the classes, the shooting safaris, the webinars, the Super 1 Days, the conventions, the plethora of mentors and instructors that I've been privileged to learn from over these last 7 years, I would have never been able to create this image or excel photographically to the degree I have.

I have seen the difference.

I am the difference.

Thank you, PPA.

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*I Had To was chosen for the IPC 2015 Loan collection and was awarded the 2015 PPA Northeast District Kodak Gallery Award and Ohio's J. Anthony Bill trophy for Outstanding Portrait. It will advance to the 2015 Kodak Gallery Elite competition this fall.

By John Owens

It's inevitable--fall/winter (and flu season) is coming, and when it hits, it hits hard. And having to wait a couple of days to see a doctor or not finding the time during business hours to make your way to see one can take a toll!


So this might not seem like much, but here's a real-life solution to help photographers soften the blow: Call a Doctor Plus. This is the latest membership benefit from PPA!

Call a Doctor Plus can save you both time and money when you're not feeling well or have health questions. This telemedicine solution can get you answers, assistance, and even simple prescriptions just by picking up the phone. Consultations are available via a quick call, online or through Call a Doctor Plus's mobile app. This service is available to anyone, but Teladoc agreed to provide this service to PPA members at a very small monthly fee!





What's Call a Doctor Plus?

By Chris Homer

Congratulations to all the photographers who had images earn a merit or were selected to PPA's Loan Collection in this year's International Photographic Competition (IPC)! If you didn't participate in this year's IPC, it's never too early to start thinking about entering in 2016. 

At PPA, one thing we hear all the time about the IPC is that entering is one of the best ways to improve your photographic technique! Having your images judged against the 12 Elements of a Merit Image is a great way to see where to improve in your photography and become aware of what you do really well already. 

The learning opportunity gets even better when you choose to have your images critiqued. You'll get an actual recording of an IPC judge going over why your image was judged the way it was.

We know that sounds a little intimidating, so to remove some of your fears check out a real past critique below!

The image being reviewed here is from Joan Walker, CPP and her image "Guardian of the Ancients" is being critiqued by IPC judge Jeff Dachowski, M.Photog.Cr., CPP.




Now that you've seen a real critique, we hope that you'll enter the 2016 IPC! Check out our blog for more critiques and more learning and... Don't forget that the Loan Collection images from the 2015 IPC will be on display for 10,000+ people to see at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta, January 10-12. 


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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 Aleighia Rouse 

Cheers to us (and you)!

Our See The Difference consumer videos were recently honored as a Silver Winner at the 36th Annual Telly Awards. Silver is the highest honor the Telly's dish out, so this is a big deal! 

The videos, made for PPA by Radiant3, a video production company in Atlanta, earned the Telly's highest honor in the Online Commercial Campaign, Promotional/Branding category. Winners were chosen from nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, with big names like Dell, AT&T, Disney, Coke and more alongside PPA. 

These award-winning videos feature real people sharing their stories about why it's so important to hire pro and also feature real PPA photographers capturing clients' unique personalities and beauty. There are 6 videos that showcase wedding, family, senior and pet photography. PPA photographers can add these award-winning videos to their websites to show clients and prospects the difference professional photographers make. 

Watch PPA's See The Difference videos here

Want to know more about the See The Difference marketing tools? Consider joining PPA at PPA.com/Join.


What are the Telly Awards?
The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world. 

A prestigious judging panel of over 500 accomplished industry professionals, each a past winner of a Silver Telly and a member of The Silver Telly Council, judged the competition, upholding the historical standard of excellence that Telly represents. The Silver Council evaluated entries to recognize distinction in creative work - entries do not compete against each other - rather entries are judged against a high standard of merit. Less than 10% of entries are chosen as winners of the Silver Telly.  


Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of the film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and our Marketing and Communications intern, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around.  
Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy (not just PPA photographers), because PPA believes in the power of education for all! This is just one of the over 300 videos in the PPAedu library on photography techniques and business best practices. These tutorials are available 24/7 for PPA photographers! Plus, as a PPA photographer you have access to the over 800 videos from PhotoVision on demand. That's over 1,100 videos available anytime, anywhere!

In this month's free video, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, walks you through how to set up "Simple Posing and Lighting Family Portrait Month." These tips lend themselves to be easily incorporated into any situation where you're trying to host multiple sessions in a single day and eliminate post process time! 

What is Family Portrait Month? This annual event is put on by PPA Charities to benefit their charitable partners, as well as elevate the business images of participating studios! For more information, visit ppacharities.com.

If you're a PPA member, log in to watch the video. Non-members can access the video during June at PPA.com/TryEdu. If you want full access to all the PPAedu courses and PhotoVision streaming videos, join PPA now! 

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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.


About this Archive

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

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October 2015 is the next archive.

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