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PPA Today: November 2015 Archives

November 2015 Archives

Imaging USA is just around the corner and is the perfect way to kick off your New Year's Business Resolutions! It's a 3-day conference and expo filled with 10,000 photography friends, over 100 talented speakers, 600+ booths on the Imaging Expo floor and so much more!
Instead of telling you all of the great things you'll get out of Imaging USA, we thought it might be easier to show you! Check out this short video to see all the reasons you should go to Imaging USA!


Are you ready for Imaging USA? Be sure to register by December 8th to get the $50 early bird discount! After December 8th, prices will increase! Head to ImagingUSA.org/Register today to sign up. 


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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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Imaging USA 2016 is zooming around the corner. If this is your first time at Imaging USA, you will have the opportunity to attend classes taught by top photography pros, browse through the International Photographic Competition Exhibit, see product demos, test a lot of new gear, get free samples and tradeshow-only discounts and deals, practice your skills with models on-site, network with 10,000+ fellow photographers and build relationships with vendors. Everything is set to make for an incredibly exciting photography experience! But have you registered yet?  If not, well you're still in luck! The deadline to sign up with the early bird savings is December 8th 2015. Why pay full price when you have an amazing discount waiting for you?! 

Hurry and register at ImagingUSA.org/Register, this photography bonanza event is coming up very soon and you don't want to miss out!


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.

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By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta is right around the corner, January 10 - 12. Some of the major highlights of Imaging USA are the great classes that cover nearly every photographic specialty. Take a look at some of the classes in Imaging USA's Business track below. From growing a school photography business to booking more sessions, you'll find a ton of great tips for your photography business in this track!

Michael Christman
January 10
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Yes, school photography is a saturated market and every studio seems to have a piece of it. Yes, the photos are often more about the vendor and less about the customer experience. So, why would you do it? Michael Christman is here to share his expertise and experience on why this is a market you want to want!

Kristin Privette
January 10
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

All too often, great photographers are not great business people, leaving hundreds and even thousands of dollars on the table. In this course, former sales representative and business-savvy photographer Kristin Privette pairs up with her husband to teach you simple sales techniques that can generate significant results!

Jessica Vogel, M. Photog.Cr., CPP
January 10
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Styles may change and eventechnology will change but the one thing that doesn't change? The demand for families to suspend their memories in time with beautiful portraiture! In this class, instructor Jessica Vogel walks you through how to build a successful, sustainable business capturing the images of children.

John David Pittman
January 10
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Take a moment and step away from workshops about lighting, posing, business plans and sales strategies. John David Pittman (JDP) spends this class discussing the concept of truly being "tuned in." In an upfront, honest conversation, JDP explores what it really means to tune-in to your own creativity, what it can mean for your work and what it can do for your career.

Shawn Lee
January 10
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Shawn Lee will talk about some tested techniques, from initial phone consultation to final products, that will absolutely WOW senior portrait clientele. You'll see some of his award winning photographs and experience how he "thinks outside the box" to capture High School Senior portraiture that cuts the edge and serves the individual exceptionally well.
ISUA_MasqueradeParty-social_1200px.jpgAre you all set for Imaging USA 2016? We're so excited to be hosting this year's convention right in our backyard of downtown Atlanta, GA! We want to make sure these best three days of the year are bookended by the best parties we could throw.

Be sure to meet join us at the Georgia World Congress Center on Sunday, Jan. 10 at 8pm for the Opening Party! We were thinking: why limit oneself to a single "theme" for the party? Why not set up four different sets to provide photo ops and costumed revelry in a variety of environments? At Imaging USA 2016, you can party with Super Heroes, snap pics of Steampunks, take a trip back with Retro Fashions and partake in the mysterious with our Masquerade. That's a variety-pack of four different themes, all of which are sure to get your artistic (or just party) mojo flowing!


This is a photography convention, right? So bring your camera and take advantage of these setups! We want to see TONS of awesome pics or it. didn't. happen.

After you've been filled to the brim with info and fun at the convention, we've got something waiting for you at the Closing Party. It's time to dance with the fishes. Imaging USA 2016's Closing Party is invading the Georgia Aquarium! The Georgia Aquarium is the Southeast's largest indoor aquarium and home to whales, penguins, schools of colorful fish, and more perfect photo ops than you can shake a selfie-stick at. Come see why this is a prized location for many film and photo shoots and why people come from all over the world to see Atlanta's finest fish tank.  Hold those newly made friends tight and say "eel" as you celebrate and document the last night of Imaging USA 2016. But don't worry, it's not goodbye...you'll see all of us again in 2017!

Georgia Aquarium Large Tank with Sun Rays.jpgThe Opening and Closing Parties at Imaging USA 2016 are just two of the bajillion reasons to come to the greatest conference of the year. See you there!

CPPs_1200x1200_Bree_Adams.jpgI hope you are as excited about the upcoming AMA (Ask Me Anything) conversations on theLoop as we are here at PPA. You will be amazed by the new and innovative information you will gain from logging into the discussions.

In the upcoming weeks theLoop will be explosive with great conversations from Imaging USA speakers. That's right! Ask "Imaging USA 2016 speakers" Anything is coming! We want you to feel free to chime in and ask these pros anything about Imaging USA 2016 and much more.

Next week, November 30 - December 1, hear from Francie Baltazar Stonestreet, Cr.Photog., CPP about how she became the Best Wedding Photographer in Houston among winning numerous other awards in wedding photography. You can even ask Bree Adams, CPP and Landon Day, CPP about how they both became Certified Professional Photographers and how you can become one yourself. Are you just starting out with your photography business? Learn from Dave Goldman, Cr.Photog., CPP about how he has owned and operated a successful high volume sports and portrait photography business.

And mark your calendars for these upcoming AMAs:
  • Lindsay Adler, December 7-8
  • Terri Eddington, M.Photog., CPP, December 21-22
Connect with photographers just like you when you log into theLoop. Not a PPA member and want to contribute to theLoop conversation? Click here to join!  


By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta is right around the corner (47 days)! Throughout the year, you've heard PPA talk about how Imaging USA is the top photography conference of the year thanks to great education, the Imaging Expo tradeshow, special parties and more. Now, listen to a real PPA member tell you why you need to attend Imaging USA!

In the video below, PPA photographer Sharma Ferrugia reveals why attending Imaging USA has been so important to her career as a professional photographer:




Are you ready to register for Imaging USA? Visit imagingusa.org/register for all the details. Remember to register by December 8th for the lowest prices! After that date, you'll pay an extra $50. 


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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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The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun! As you wind down your week, sit back, relax and enjoy the top 10 blog posts of the week.

IMAGING USA: With Imaging USA getting closer and closer, it's important that you take in all the advice that you can to have the best convention yet! This video features a tour of the home of Imaging USA 2016, the Georgia World Congress Center.  Watch and be better informed on the location of all the places you will need to go during the event.

PPA BENEFITS: Credit card processing fees can be such a hassle for photographers. PPA has your back with discounted rates for PPA photographers through Bank of America Merchant Services.

TIPS: Sometimes baby photography sessions can be difficult. Little ones don't always do what you would like them to do. This blog featured on Virtual Photography Studio provides ideas and tips to help you master the art of photographing babies. 

INSIGHT: Choosing the perfect location for a shoot can be the difference between an absolute success and an absolute failure. Improve Photography features a podcast where professional photographers discuss the factors that go into choosing the right location dependent upon the client, ideas, and purpose of the photo.  

ADVICE: Taxes can create an emotional strain for many photography business owners. In this blog you can read about various tips that will help you master your taxes and be in better financial health.

VISUAL IMPACT: Sometimes photographers feel the urge to move past the normal two-dimensional image and into something with more visual impact. This blog featured on Digital Photography School dives into how using foreground can change your images to have much more of an impact.

RESOURCES: Many clients do not truly understand the value of hiring a professional photographer, which makes it very difficult for photographers to make good business. See The Difference has logos that you can add to your website to help raise awareness of the advantages that come with hiring a professional photographer. 

WEBSITE MANAGEMENT: Sometimes when photographers first create their websites they can become obsessed with the idea of how much traffic is coming into the site. Photofocus posted this blog in order to open website owners up to things they should be doing (outside of watching their stats) in order to improve their consumer following. 

VALUABLE TIPS: When things get difficult as a photographer some people resort to quitting. The blog FrederickVan features a video discussing facts and tips that are involved in surviving the wedding photography business market. 

QUICKTIPS: Who would have ever thought that changing your cover image thumbnail could be this easy? Check this blog posted by Lightroom Killer Tips to learn how to choose which photo you want to be your cover image in your stack.

There you have it, our Weekly Roundup of our top 10 blog posts! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommitee @ PPA.com

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.

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By Sarah Ackerman

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With over 100 speakers, 600 booths on the Expo floor and bug networking opportunities each day, it can be easy to miss some of the special events happening during Imaging USA! So here's a list, so that you don't miss out!

Saturday 
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Cooking It Up with PPA Charities Celebration
Kick off Imaging USA early (Saturday!) and enjoy the fun, the auctions, and all of the good deeds that have been accomplished in 2015! Don't skip the auction. You'll love it!

Sunday:
7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
PPA Charities Super Hero 5k Fun Run
Get things running with a little early jog around Atlanta! Proceeds from the race go to PPA Charities and afterwards, donate your kicks to Dando Amor!

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
DO NOT MISS: Amy Purdy's Opening Session: A Life-Changing Program
You might know Amy Purdy as a Paralympic medalist, New York Times best-selling author, Adaptive Action Sports co-founder or from Dancing with the Stars. Join her for a morning filled with some amazing motivation and inspiration that'll help set the tone to take your business to new heights! This presentation is so important, there are no other classes happening at this time. 

8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Welcome Party Sponsored by Canon:
Dance the night away with your newfound photography friends! And don't forget your camera! There will be live models and sets to create original images of super heroes, steam punk, masquerade or retro fashion fun! Bring your camera and get ready for some serious fun!
Have you ever wanted to explore the path to Certification, but don't know where to start? Imaging USA is a great place to get all the information you could ever need! Whether you prefer an intimate group setting or a larger informative type of session, you'll find options: 

Head to Imaging USA early and take the Certification preparation class! The three-day intensive class covers all of the topics you'll encounter on the Certification exam (which you'll also have the opportunity to take during Imaging USA). It covers all of the technical side of photography and is equivalent to nearly a semester of college! You'll walk away more knowledgeable, more confident and more prepared. 

Sunday: 
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM
Join this panel of Certified Professional Photographers and see how it's changed their photography and their businesses! The panelists range from wedding, baby, maternity, sports, headshots and senior photographers who all had a huge change in their business once they became a Certified Professional Photographer! 

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: 
11:30 - 5 PM
PPA Booth: Learn the benefits of Certification and first steps at the PPA Association booth #1227, where PPA staffers will be able to show you the path to Certification and how to best get started. 

Take the step to Be More Competitive in 2016 with Certification! See all of the options at ImagingUSA.org and get details on discounted hotel rooms at ImagingUSA.org/Hotel

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By Nicole McIntosh

Be proud of being a pro! And use PPA's marketing and awareness campaign to your advantage and to help consumers understand the value of a professional photographer: you! See The Difference comprises advertising targeting consumers, but also tools and resources for PPA members to use. With your PPA membership you have access to all these resources to be more credible, more visible, more marketable and more in-demand. These sales and marketing tools include videos you can share, side by side comparisons pamphlets you can customize, logos you can leverage to add credibility to your site, landing pages you can link to, consumer tips/ FAQs and customizable brochures that you can share with your clients and prospects to help them see the value of professional photography and show the difference hiring a pro makes. 

One way that you as a professional photographer can get started in this campaign is by adding See The Difference logos to your website. These icons and logos not only help you impress your clients but they also give you more credibility and allow your clients and prospects to see that you are backed by a well-established and trustworthy photography association (PPA!). By going to the See The Difference Resources, you can find more information on the tools and resources available to help you justify your prices and brand, and learn how to add a logo to your website. We've made adding logos to your website easy so why not use them?

Check out the videos below to learn how logos can benefit your website and how to add them:

Be sure to visit PPA's See The Difference Resources toolbox today. There are even logos just for PPA and Certified Professional Photographers!

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.

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By Sarah Ackerman

It's been nearly a year since Wes Roberts of Wes Roberts Photography in Smiths Station, Alabama started his journey with his PPA mentors and his Studio Makeover. We checked in via Skype for one last chat before we see him live at Imaging USA in Atlanta, Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 5 PM. So what's changed in his business in the past 10 months? What has he learned? Check out the video check-in below. 




About PPA's Studio Makeover:
At the beginning of 2015, PPA began working with two lucky studios giving them the chance at a total "business makeover". The goal is to boost their profits and analyze all elements of their business from their business model, branding and pricing to marketing, sales strategy, workflow efficiency and overall profitability. Both studios are measured based on the tools, information and resources set by PPA's Benchmark. Want to know more about the full project? Read more here. 


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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Sarah Ackerman

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Imaging USA is the best place to stand on the shoulders of giants (metaphorically speaking). As a professional photographer, it's easy to feel like you're going it alone most of the year. Imaging USA provides a collaborative, supportive environment for you to ask fellow photographers your tough questions about your business or your craft. 

There are two special opportunities to work with seasoned veterans while in Atlanta at Imaging USA: 

Coach's Corner: If you're into school, sports or event photography, this is an excellent chance to have a 10 minute one-on-one session with top pros in the market. They'll review your work, talk pricing and business, and answer all of your questions! Space is limited, so sign up for your spot today! 

IPC Mentor Session: This is your chance to sit down with a Juror from the International Photographic Competition and see what it really takes to create high-scoring images and discuss what you should know to make images for photographic competition. With PPA's District Competitions around the corner (link), this is a great chance to get practical advice to see how to improve your work!

Be More Creative in 2016 and learn from those who have already been there! These are two amazing opportunities that your creativity and business will thank you for as you move forward through the year!


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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 


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By Aleighia Rouse 

If you have been hanging out on theLoop, then you have noticed the great conversations that have been going on with Imaging USA 2016 speaker Trish Logan

Beyond being an award winning photographer, Trish has committed her life to helping her clients, her industry and the rising photographers with whom she can share her knowledge. She is also an expert at knowing and teaching others how to secure their business in the marketplace to produce high volume revenue. 

Here are some of our favorite moments with Trish Logan providing helpful advice and tips for the industry: 

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On handling social media presence:
"I find that even though there have been lots of changes, Facebook is still my best place for getting exposure. The seniors are on Instagram and Twitter. Trust me, I have a 16 year old. I do find that the Moms and grandparents are still on Facebook and they are the ones that ultimately are paying you. I think using any or all of these is really good."

On balancing running a studio and photography schools: 
"My studio is located in Maine. I spend my entire summer photographing outdoors in spring, summer and fall. Adding school business to my studio allows me to keep working even after the weather turns cold. If you live in a part of the country where your work might be seasonal, I absolutely recommend adding events, programs and other services that will bring income and help you weather the winter months. Think about winter sports, church directories, corporate head shots and more.  The work is there we just have to think out of the box!

Advice on helping high school senior clients feel confident and at ease:
"Making Seniors feel incredible is what it's all about. I talk to my seniors the entire time I am photographing them. I show them the back of my camera and build confidence with them. Not only that they look great but that I can make them look great if they trust me. It's all about the way they feel when you are with them. News travels fast good or bad is all in how they feel they were treated."

We hope you found Trish's advice helpful. Did you like what you read from her? Read more about Trish Logan and her upcoming class at Imaging USA here

Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of 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 interns, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around.  

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By Guest Blogger Rachel Brenke

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Taxes can be extremely overwhelming, exhausting and downright annoying. In fact, figuring out how to do taxes can feel like one big ball of these emotions with no real path to navigate. Unfortunately, we have no choice but to make it happen. The downfall for many photographers is that they don't take the time to pick apart the needed tax information and strategies that are available out there, including keeping up with remitting the proper tax, identifying your deduction strategy and keeping up with reporting.

Remit the proper taxes 

Paying the proper amount of taxes is scary. You want to do it right, but may not be sure if you are. There are three major tax categories to keep in mind: federal income, state income, and state sales. 

Income taxes at both the federal and state level are taxes on the money that is determined to be your income. As you'll see at the end of this blog, you can identify certain expenses as deductions to help reduce your personal income tax liability. On a state sales tax level, figuring out what rate to take and what products/services are taxed can seem tedious. You are a middleman between client and state, but you need to fulfill the duty of ensuring that the sales tax is collected properly. Other information for sales tax includes whether the state is a destination based, origin based, or hybrid state, as well as whether use or franchise taxes are needed for your business. It is highly recommended you engage in a yearly review of this information to ensure you're walking the tax lane on the straight-and-narrow. Whether you feel comfortable and competent enough to handle it yourself or hire a trusted accountant, it will avoid you getting penalized for failure to fulfill the required duty of remitting accurate taxes and while this seems taunting, it truly is needed as it protects your photography business and ends up saving a lot of time, money and energy in the long run.

Keep up with reporting

Keeping a handle on reporting your income and expenses can help you be more efficient at tax reporting time, as well as identifying appropriate pricing and paralleling to evaluate marketing strategies for effectiveness. The baseline information to get your head around is the monies coming in the bank account, as well as the monies going out. These outgoing amounts include overhead expenses such as the cost of goods, insurance, legal fees, hosting, marketing materials, subscriptions, etc. Without getting your arms around these numbers, you'll end up shooting in the red. But not only that, you're unable to accurately and easily deduct (see tax tip #3 shortly) these expenses, resulting in paying taxes on money you didn't really "pocket".
By Sarah Ackerman

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As a small business, every penny counts and you're always looking for ways to save. As a PPA photographer, you can now stop over spending on high credit card processing fees! Think of how big of a boost that could be to your bottom line! 

PPA has been working toward discounted rates for PPA photographers through Bank of America Merchant Services. Members who have made the switch have saved hundreds (at times more, depending on the volume you process each year!). 

Since this new benefit launched, we heard you loud and clear and worked with our partner to make things extremely simple and help you truly compare apples to apples. In a nutshell, here's what you get: 

Mobile or virtual terminal: 2.31% swiped, 2.91% non-qualified (when you key it in). 
Terminal pricing: 1.80% swiped, 1.95% non-qualified (when you key it in). 
No per item, no set up fees and no monthly cost!* That simple.

As a comparison, Square charges a flat 2.75% per transaction. So this is as simple as Square, but a lot more economical!

There are no (zip, zilch, nada) pesky monthly fees for the regular transaction processing and the table below should  help you see the immediate savings:

Monthly Credit Card Processing Amount

PPA Members

Square Users

Monthly Savings

Annual Savings

$300

$5.40

$8.25

$2.85

$34.20

$1,000

$18

$27.50

$9.50

$114

$2,500

$45

$68.75

$23.75

$285

$5,000

$90

$137.50

$47.50

$570


Bigger and more savings are even possible with an interchange rate setup. It's more complicated, but if you process a lot of transactions each month, it will save you even more!

See for yourself! Bank of America Merchant Services is offering free statement comparisons - just call them at 888-317-5402 (7am-7pm CST) or email TellMeMore@BankofAmericaMerchant.com to see how much you could save. 

Make the switch today to Be More Profitable.

*No monthly fee" applies only to the Bank of America's virtual terminal. Should you go through a third party such as PayPal, etc. additional fees may apply. 

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Sarah Ackerman

Photographers that enter the International Photographic Competitions (IPC) have said time and time again that they are the single best way to push your craft, creativity and technique. During judging, IPC Jurors review your images against the 12 Elements of a Merit Image and if you'd like, we will even record a critique of your image. You can check out a handful of past critiques here! The Juror will explain the best parts of your image to show you where you're on the right track, as well as areas that could be improved to show you where you can grow in the coming years. 

"Once photographers get over the initial fear of competition, most keep entering year after year and become better photographers in the process," said Randy McNeilly, PPA's Photographic Exhibition Committee chairman. "Even if a participant doesn't earn a merit right away, there's so much that can be learnt. Plus, it's a huge confidence booster, not only for the photographer, but also for the client who commissioned their work--especially once the photographer starts winning awards."

If the International Photographic Competition is a little too grand for your taste, District Photographic Competitions are a great place to start. The dates and the rules for the District Photographic Competitions are already up!

Dates open early in 2016, so keep competitions in mind as you work through your holiday sessions and end of year clients. Go ahead, challenge yourself and Be More Creative

By Nicole McIntosh

Congratulations to all the photographers whose images earned a merit or were selected to be part of PPA's Loan Collection in this year's International Photographic Competition (IPC). If you did not enter your work in the image competition this year, District Competitions are starting at the beginning of 2016 and it's never too early to begin putting together your entries. 

Entering PPA's District Competitions is the best way to improve all your photographic techniques, just ask previous participants. As a contestant you can have your images evaluated by international jurors who will score your work based on the aspects of your photograph that fit the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the things you may need to improve on. 

To top off having your image critiqued, you'll receive an actual recording of an IPC Judge giving you feedback and explaining the components of your image that were analyzed. 

Because that can sound very intimidating to a lot of you, to help you look past your fears, here is an example of a prior real critique. Check the video below! 

The image being reviewed in this video is from George Austin and his image "B is enough" was critiqued by IPC Judge Donna Goodhale, M.Photog.Cr., CPP.


Now that you've seen a real critique, we hope that you'll enter some of your work into the 2016 District Competitions! Check out our blog to find more critiques (we share one each month!) and find more learning, and... Don't forget that PPA's Loan Collection images from the 2015 IPC will be on display for 10,000+ people to see at Imaging USA in Atlanta, January 10-12, 2016. We hope to see you there!

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.

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Imaging USA 2016 is just 54 days away! As you prepare for your trip to Atlanta, take a minute to watch the video below.

You'll get a tour of the Georgia World Congress Center, Imaging USA's home for 2016! Find out where to go for registration, the classes, the Imaging Expo tradeshow, special events and more. Take a look so you can dive right into the excitement when you arrive at Imaging USA.



Visit ImagingUSA.org for complete information on registering, hotel, classes, the tradeshow and special events happening during the conference. Be sure to register by December 8th for the best rates! After that, you'll pay at least $50 more, so save 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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Friday is here! Celebrate by reading the top ten posts you need to know about as a photographer.


"What does published even mean?" Modernizing the Copyright Office to Simplify the Process for Independent Creators

COPYRIGHT PROTECTION: Copyright is still a hot topic in the news this week! The Copyright Alliance has a great post featuring PPA photographer Mark Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API and what it's like to be an independent creator with the current rules and regulations.


New Member Benefit: Finally a Healthcare Exchange for PPA Members

HEALTH INSURANCE: If you're with PPA, your membership just got a whole lot more valuable! PPA has contracted with Lighthouse Benefit Resources to offer you a private healthcare insurance exchange! After years in the making, you can now get the details and a quote today!


Copyright Listening Tour Update

COPYRIGHT ADVOCACY: PPA CEO David Trust was back on the road this week to testify to members of the House Judiciary Committee in Los Angeles, California. Read what's on the horizon for the modernization of the Copyright Act here!


Taking Selfies On Train Tracks: Dangerous New Trend Is Ending Lives

RAILROAD SAFETY: The Today Show did an informative piece educating consumers why they shouldn't use train tracks as the backdrop to their next portrait or selfie session. Share with your clients and keep them safe.


Six Business Mistakes Most Photographers Make

BUSINESS BASICS: The Million Dollar Photographer is back with six mistakes many photographers, both new and seasoned, make that leave money on the table during a sale. See if any apply to you! 


Watch People in Other Industries React Hilariously to Being Asked for Free Spec Work

STAND YOUR GROUNDS: We've all heard it before - "You can use this in your portfolio!" but they won't pay you. You'll be able to easily relate to this post from AdWeek when advertisers are asked to do the same thing.


Wedding photographer rants on Facebook about guests trying to do his job and ruining everything

UNPLUGGED WEDDINGS: If you've ever photographed a wedding, you've been there. Thomas Stewart, Australian based wedding photographer took to Facebook to rant about cell phones, iPads, and tablets and it hits home. What are your thoughts on unplugged weddings? 


Six Photographers Photograph One Man Six Different Ways

WE ARE THE DIFFERENCE: As a photographer, you try to tell someone's story through the lens. See how Canon Australia challenged six photographers to capture the same man - but each photographer was given a different backstory. The results are extremely interesting.


How Photographer Can Deal with Unprofessional Models

MODEL BEHAVIOR: What do you do when a model becomes unprofessional? From lack of payment to unapproved nudity, FStoppers has the best ways to deal with your models when they go wild.


What Skills Do You Need to Be a Travel Photographer?

WANDERLUST: A career as a travel photographer is extremely different than a photographer that captures images on vacation. Read up on the skills that Digital Photography School thinks you should have before pursuing it as a career path.


There you have it, our Weekly Roundup of our top 10 blog posts! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommitee @ PPA.com.


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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga.  



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By Chris Homer

PPA's See The Difference® campaign is dedicated to helping PPA members show potential clients the value of hiring a professional photographer over a hobbyist or an amateur. To help photographers educate their clients, PPA continues to provide a whole host of resources, including downloadable videos that you can add to your website if you are with PPA. 

That's right! PPA photographers now have access to almost a dozen videos; some generic in scope to target any client, and some that showcase specific photography specialties, such as wedding, family, high school seniors and pets. These messaging videos are designed to appeal to consumers' emotions by showing them real clients who share their stories and talk about why it's so important to hire (and pay for) a professional photographer.

Find out why you should add one of these videos to your website below:




If you're a PPA member, grab the video for your needs and put it on your website or blog today! Be sure to check out the other See The Difference resources as well. There you will find customizable brochures, See The Difference logos, and side-by-side comparisons that can all help educate your clients. The more photographers we have share this kind of message, the stronger the stance of professional photographers, so start using the resources now. Remember that you've got to be a PPA member to access these resources, so join today!


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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 Lindsey Forson

Improvements to our nation's copyright system just might be on the horizon. The House Judiciary Committee just wrapped up a series of hearings known as the Copyright Review. In an effort to reach more stakeholders, this Committee held a nationwide listening tour.

PPA CEO David Trust participated in one of these roundtable discussions during yesterday's Copyright Review tour stop in Los Angeles, California. Trust focused on the most pressing legislative issue for PPA photographers - the creation of a small claims process for copyright enforcement. He explained to the dozen Congress members in attendance that the current copyright system falls short for many creators (especially photographers!), because there are not effective enforcement mechanisms available. 

As the Copyright Review unfolds, Chairman Goodlatte and the Committee have expressed interest in acting on a few key issues, including the modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office and copyright small claims. This is great news as these are included in PPA's top priorities! We hope to see these issues turn into proposed legislation during the next two years. 

Aside from the roundtable discussion, Trust had several meaningful conversations during his time in Los Angeles. He touched base with Linda Shim, Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Judy Chu, who worked closely with PPA in coordinating last week's congressional briefing. Congresswoman Chu is a big supporter of copyright and is one of the top proponents of the U.S. Copyright Office modernization. Chu actually co-sponsored a discussion draft of a U.S. Copyright Office Modernization Bill and will likely sponsor an updated version of this legislative proposal. While in L.A., Trust also connected with Congressman Cohen, another member of the House Judiciary Committee.

PPA is hard at work advocating for the copyright improvements vital to professional photographers. And the Committee who oversees copyright issues is listening! Be sure to stay tuned for more PPA's advocacy updates or to learn how YOU can help when legislation moves to the floor - This will help you and fellow photographers 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 Sarah Ackerman

As an independent photographer, we know health insurance for you and your family can weigh on your mind. We're proud to announce that as a PPA photographer, you now have access to the best, most convenient health insurance services for you, your family and your employees, thanks to a new partnership with Lighthouse Benefit Resources!

At PPA we listen to the needs and concerns of our members and work hard to provide the services you are seeking. Over the past couple of years, you asked for affordable, competitive health insurance, so here it is! 

From health to life to dental, vision, pet insurance and more, the PPA Private Exchange has you covered. You will find everything you need to know on this new private insurance exchange at: PPAexchange.com.

The PPA Private Insurance Exchange provides a full array of competitively priced insurance products to our membership. From Health to Life to Dental, Vision, Pet insurance and more, the PPA Private Exchange has you covered.

The Open Enrollment dates for this year are November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016.  But, you should note that if you do not have a qualified insurance plan in place effective January 1, 2016 you are subject to a federal penalty according to the Affordable Care Act. In order to avoid any gaps in coverage it is suggested that you purchase insurance prior to December 15.

Want to get started? It's easy! Call your dedicated PPA insurance call center to get help in purchasing your insurance at 855-550-0859.

We are excited to bring this benefit to you! Don't be left out! Visit PPAexchange.com to Be More Covered.

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Aleighia Rouse

live-demo_350.jpgImaging USA 2016 is less than 60 days away and the excitement is building! This year at Imaging USA there are 12 class tracks to choose from, narrowed down to your particular specialty.
 
Here is one more thing to look forward to, Imaging USA's Demo track, where you can watch top pros demonstrate techniques live. Check out a few of the classes offered under this track:

Sunday, January 10
8:00 am- 9:30 am
The new technologies and styles within the photography industry will never change the need for family portraitures. Jessica will discuss helpful tips and resources to use to maintain a successful business capturing babies, regardless of the season. 

Sunday, January 10
6:45 pm- 8:00 pm
In this live demo workshop, Damon will provide insight into how he has captured over 2,500 weddings and share his methodologies to documenting the entire wedding day from start to finish. He will focus on how to capture prime photo opportunities of the day that only professional photographers can get!

Monday, January 11
10:00 am- 11:30 am
If you have ever seen a Timothy Walden black and white portrait than you know the power created by the image. In this class you will learn his four cornerstones to a powerful image--lighting, posing, composition, and emotion.  

Monday, January 11
5:00 pm- 6:15 pm
In this class you will get into the mindset of graduating seniors through a fun and exciting marketing segment. Travis will teach you how to become the go-to studio in your community for senior portraits and capturing the images your clients want while still being profitable and successful. 

Tuesday, January 12
5:15 pm- 6:30 pm
In this class Justine will discuss how to conquer group photos at weddings and how to make the experience for you and your clients a great one. She will take you on a journey to how she captures images and show you how to evoke great expressions, drama, and emotion from your subjects. 

Take advantage of the early bird special for Imaging USA, head on over to ImagingUSA.com/Register! For the best deal, become a PPA member! You'll get to go to Imaging USA 2016 for free when you join PPA. Join 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 PPA's Marketing and Communications interns, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. 


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By Nicole McIntosh

The countdown to Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta has begun! Just in case you're wondering you have exactly 61 days from today to prepare for this amazing occasion. During your time at Imaging USA you will have the opportunity to attend classes taught by top photography pros, explore the International Photographic Competition Exhibit, see product demos, test new gear, get free samples and tradeshow-only discounts and deals, practice your skills with models on site, network, and build relationships with vendors and lots more! That's a lot packed in just a few days, so here is a short advice video to help you juggle all the things your Imaging USA experience will bring you in Atlanta this upcoming January!


The earlier you register for Imaging USA 2016 the better the deal. You must register by December 8th, 2015 to get the Early Bird Savings. Go to ImagingUSA.org/Register with no further delay, because Imaging USA 2016 will be here sooner than you know it and you don't want to be left out!

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.


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If you've been keeping up with PPA's advocacy coverage, you know that right now is an extremely important time for copyright on Capitol Hill. The House Judiciary Committee recently wrapped up a series of 20 hearings, known as the Copyright Review, during which they heard testimony from 100 witnesses. Following the last hearing, Chairman Goodlatte - chairman of the Committee - announced that they would extend the Copyright Review through a listening tour. 

The Copyright Review Listening Tour involves members of the Committee traveling the country to hear directly from content creators and other key copyright stakeholders. The first stop on the tour was held in Nashville, Tennessee where the conversation centered on the music industry. This week there are two more listening sessions to be held in California, today in the Silicon Valley, and tomorrow in Los Angeles - both of these stops aim to capture a broader view of the copyright industries, involving representatives from the motion picture industry, the visual arts, publishers, libraries, image licensing organizations, professional photographers, tech companies and more.

PPA CEO David Trust received a personal invitation from Chairman Goodlatte to sit on the panel in Los Angeles as the voice of the photographic industry. There will be a dozen members of Congress present at the panel discussion and PPA's CEO will petition them for repairs to the copyright system in America so that it works for all creators. Trust will continue to voice PPA's message - that current copyright in America disenfranchises the vast majority of creators by not offering adequate enforcement mechanisms for copyright infringements, and that now is the time to fix this inequity. He will also reinforce PPA's three main legislative priorities: 1) the implementation of a small claims process for copyright enforcement, 2) modifications to the copyright registration system, and 3) modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office. 

Stay tuned for an update following this Copyright Review listening session!

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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"What does published even mean?" Modernizing the Copyright Office to Simplify the Process for Independent Creators

By Sarah Howes and Leo Lichtman
Originally posted on CopyrightAlliance.org

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Mary Fisk-Taylor runs Real Life photography studio, and her thoughts on copyright law are very much that: a real life perspective. She is the kind of photographer that many Americans are familiar with; she takes photos of soccer games, newborn babies, and weddings, like tens of thousands of professional photographers across the country. On any given assignment, she will capture thousands of images, but does not register a single one with the U.S. Copyright Office. 

Fisk-Taylor was one of five photographer and illustrator panelists at Visual Artists in America: The Untold Story of Copyright, along with Denis Reggie, John Schmelzer, Lisa Shaftel, and Michael Grecco, whose works have been featured everywhere from magazines and newspapers to film and architectural installations.  The event was put on by the Creative Rights Caucus in partnership with several visual arts groups, including Copyright Alliance members Professional Photographers of America, Graphic Artists Guild, American Society of Media Photographers, and the National Press Photographers Association.

One of the major topics discussed was how the current registration process works--or is not working--for visual artists. The current registration system is impractical for visual artist's business needs. For many photographers, graphic designers, and illustrators, the cost and time required to register the voluminous collections they create outweighs the benefits. This in turn gives them little to no leverage in being able to enforce their rights, creating an online culture of take first and ask forgiveness later, rather than a culture that respects the legitimate markets that visual artists depend on to make their livings.

Presently, copyright registration requires separate applications for published and unpublished works. A single registration costs between $35-$85, depending on a number of factors. If works are unpublished, creators have more flexibility to register works within a single application for one fee. Whereas, if works are published, then they are typically restricted to only registering works as a collection if the images themselves are published as a collection. 

Photographers are provided a special exception: published photographs taken within the same calendar year can be registered in one application, regardless of whether the images were published together as a collection. There is no such exception for illustrators or other visual artists unless their work is published in a periodical (like a newspaper).  

"What does published even mean?" wondered Fisk-Taylor. Does publication require printing the images in a bound book? Is posting an image to a website publication? Freelance photographers take thousands of images a day, and few, if any, of those images will ever be published in a traditional book. Even with the photograph group exception, photographers must still register their published and unpublished works separately. 

Yet, even if a visual artist can register her work, there is often no way of effectively enforcing the rights in her work, because the costs of bringing a federal lawsuit quite often outweigh any potential recovery for infringement. While creators of works with high individual value can sometimes afford to bring lawsuits, a vast majority of visual artists--one of the largest groups of creators--are essentially priced out of the legal system. Several on the panel supported a small claims process for copyright enforcement. For many in the visual arts community, this is one of the most important improvements to be made so that visual artists can receive equal treatment under the law.

Like many other independent creators, the five visual artists on the panel support Register Maria A. Pallante's call for a modernization of the Copyright Office. Better registration technologies and clearer registration guidelines will empower visual artists, big and small, to enforce their rights. Though the Copyright Office works with visual artists to address their challenges, it lacks the resources and authority necessary to effectively administer the law, panelists noted.
By Sarah Ackerman

We know your days will be packed with top notch classes, networking with your fellow attendees and shopping till you drop at the Imaging Expo, but if you find yourself with some time on your hands, here are some great new attractions to check out in Atlanta! 

Even if you came to Imaging USA 2013 (last time it was in Atlanta), there have been plenty of exciting new additions to the downtown area! 



We hope you're as excited as we are to experience Atlanta! Hotels are selling out quickly, so head to theLoop to find a roommate and make some new friends or go to the ImagingUSA.org/Hotels page to see the latest hotels additions! Remember to check ImagingUSA.orgfor all of the latest speakers, classes and events and to register! Early bird pricing ends December 8th!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Aleighia Rouse 

Happy Friday! October is over and November has opened its arms wide with new holidays and innovative happenings in the photography industry.  But before you get those turkeys, dressings and Imaging USA passes, here are our top ten blogs of the week!

RULES & REGULATIONS: PPA's Copyright and Government Affairs Coordinator Lindsey Forson talks about her experience this past week along with PPA's Copyright and Government affairs committee, meeting at the nation's capital. She addresses how they spoke out for the rights of professional photographers. Over 100 people were in attendance and most of who were staffs of key members of Congress, this is an informative and good read.  

IMAGING USA: Imaging USA is one of the largest photography conventions in the nation, and also allows new PPA members to participate in social opportunities,  connect and build relationships with seasoned photographers, and expand your professional network with peers, mentors and vendors alike. . 

FROM THE HEART: This article will pull on your heart strings. Through the beautiful and captivating work of PPA member Brandy Angel, a mother was able to take a picture with her son one last time. 

DYNAMIC LEARNING: It can be overwhelming to think on your feet for creative ideas. Here is a fresh wave of PhotoVision episodes to give you inspiration. All of your favorite pros are back for a new season! Enjoy innovative ways to think of photography and learn from the best in the business (bonus: it's free with your PPA membership!)

BUSINESS HELP: In this article, PPAedu instructor Jen Basford, Cr.Photog., helps anyone having trouble coming up with prices for their business. She discusses important factors to consider when charging for your specialty, target projections with easy goals to set for your business and cost-based versus value-based pricing. 

TO EACH ITS OWN: "A photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what is in front of it." Every photographer has their own perception of their subject before they begin to compose their image. In this video, 6 photographers show how vastly different stories of one man's life shapes how they see him and create his portrait with that perception lens. 

FOR STARTERS: With the photography business being such a hot commodity in today's society, the competition can make it difficult to remain relevant in the industry. MediaNovak provides some helpful tricks to maintaining a prosperous and successful photography business. 

MARKETING PERSPECTIVE: Maintaining a successful and marketable business is more than your equipment and editing software. In this article, PPA member Rachel Brenke is helping photographers "mow their lawn" with helpful information on timing and all aspects of social media from target audiences to analytics. 

BUSINESS EXPERTISE: Sprout Studio sat down with Sarah Petty, M.Photog.Cr. CPP., in a Podcast to discuss marketing tools every professional photographer needs to consider in their business. She narrows in on the topics of defining expenses, positioning your value, and pricing. You can also catch Sarah at Imaging USA 2016, in Atlanta, January 10-12! 

BRANDING: When you are just starting any business, especially a photography business, it is important to find your individuality among your competitors. This ShutterShock article breaks down some key factors to consider when creating your brand for your business. 

There you have it, our Weekly Roundup of our top 10 blog post! 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 one of PPA's Marketing and Communications interns, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. 

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By Sarah Ackerman

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy (it's normally only for PPA photographers), because we believe in the power of education for all! The PPAedu library has a lot to help you sharpen photography techniques, marketing strategies, sales techniques, regular business operations and more! These videos are available 24/7 to PPA members and between PPAedu and PhotoVision, if you are with PPA, that means that you can tap into well over 1,300 tutorials to help you be more online! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision in a little while, go back now: it's a brand new website with a lot of new videos! 

For the month of November, the video "How To Create a Profitable Pet Photography Business" with Kim Hartz, CPP is unlocked for anyone who wants to be more profitable through pet photography! There you'll learn how to develop your style as a pet photographer, get some great branding and marketing tips, understand how to create successful relationships with vendors, zero-in on best practices in working with your furry clients, and last but not least, get how to prep for a pet session in a way that allows you to increase your sales during the ordering appointment! 

If you're already with PPA, just log in to watch the video. Non-members can access the video this month at PPA.com/TryEdu. For full access to all the PPAedu courses and PhotoVision streaming videos, join PPA!

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

Earlier this week, Imaging USA speaker Cathy Anderson, CPP visited theLoop for an AMA (Ask Me Anything). 

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Before we dive in, let's get to know Cathy and her business partner, Chris Garner. This duo of Certified Professional Photographers (CPP) were born with photography in their blood: Chris learned everything he knows from both his dad and grandfather, and Cathy's own father was also a studio owner. Today, Chris and Cathy work together in the foothills of North Carolina as the successful team at TPS Photography. 

As the only CPP-certified team in their area, TPS began with preschool photography in 2000 but were then flung headfirst into the wild world of high school photography - and they haven't looked back since! Their high volume business has been a great source of clientele for their custom portraiture, and TPS has seen profits and sales grow each and every year. The talents of Chris and Cathy combined with their teamwork and abilities to delegate and outsource has allowed them to establish a studio like no other.

Here are some of our favorite moments with Cathy as she participation on theLoop, sharing different aspects of her photography career:

On what's her favorite type of client to photograph: 
My guilty pleasure regarding photography is how psychology fits into your role as a photographer, with regards to dealing with clients. Long story short, I can answer your question by saying this: my favorite type of client is the one I can connect with and relate to most. I came from a hard past, so it's been tough getting through all of life's challenges and converting from an introvert to an extrovert.  However, forcing myself to step outside my comfort zone has really opened up a lot of opportunities in my career.  

On her must-have software:
Lightroom and ProSelect. Lightroom (LR) is so amazing because it takes the best of both worlds, both Photoshop and Camera RAW, and marries them. Rendering is kinda slow in LR, but you can get around that with a little optimization. ProSelect is awesome because it takes care of all of our in-person sales (projection), exports orders to our management software, shows portrait sizes in actual, real-life size, and really increases our sales average. If you've never used ProSelect, make sure you check it out.
Want to book more sessions this holiday season?  We're here to help!  If you don't already have a brochure to use in your studio, consider using one of PPA's customizable brochures. These brochures have been professional designed and are meant to help you show your clients and prospects the difference professional photographers make in terms of consistency, technical skills, artistry and professionalism. 

There are four brochure templates for you to choose from - wedding, family, senior and Certified Professional Photography (for CPP's only). All brochures are editable - all you have to do is insert your own images and studio information, then print them to display in your studio or hand them out at trade shows.

PPA members get these professionally designed brochure templates for FREE!  Check them out here. Not a PPA member yet? Join TODAY!



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Today during out visit to D.C., we continued to focus on the same three priorities:

  • including creation of a small claims process for copyright enforcement, 
  • improving/modifying the copyright registration process, and 
  • modernizing the U.S. copyright office.
 
We started the morning with an introductory meeting with Reginald Babin, Legislative Director from the Office of Congressman Cedric Richmond. Congressman Richmond is on the Judiciary Committee and before being elected, was the Louisiana State Representative for District 101 from 2000 to 2011, where he served as the Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary and a member of the Ways and Means, House Executive, and Legislative Audit Advisory committees. Richmond also serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on the Judiciary. During the meeting, we introduced Babin to PPA and presented our three priorities. He was very receptive to our message.

Our next stop was a meeting with Chris Randal, Legislative Counsel for Congresswoman Karen Bass. Prior to serving in Congress, Congresswoman Bass made history when the California Assembly elected her to be its 67th Speaker, catapulting her to become the first African American woman in U.S. history to serve in this powerful state legislative role. Bass serves on the House Judiciary Committee (Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet and Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations) and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
By Nicole McIntosh

With Imaging USA 2016 getting closer and closer, the excitement just continues to build. Imaging USA offers an array of classes that cover the necessary things that photographers like you need to know. One of the tracks offered is Adobe Photography Solutions classes. This track is your go to for all things Adobe; you will learn everything from retouching tips to timesaving techniques. 

Here are the classes offered under the Adobe Photography Solution Track during Imaging USA 2016: 

Monday, January 11, 8-9:30am 
Save time and make your photos look amazing by discovering new timesaving techniques during this course. Expert retoucher Chris Orwig will teach you how to make your photographs of people and other subjects look their best using Lightroom and Photoshop.

Monday, January 11, 10-11:30am
Combining multiple images captured at different times to create a whole is something that can expand your portfolio to new levels. Julianne Kost, a pro at composites, will share her tips for creating successful composites including organizing layers and creating the perfect mask.

Monday, January 11, 5-6:15 pm
Sometimes photographers are afraid to use mobile devices to help aid them in their productivity and creativity. Terry White shows you how you can use Lightroom to organize, share, and edit your photographs from anywhere including on your mobile devices. 

Tuesday, January 12, 8-9:30am
When life gets too hectic, you sometimes can lose that creative spark that is the master of all your artistic abilities. Julieanne Kost will teach you techniques that will help you channel your creativity in any situation and inspire you to create better images. 

Tuesday, January 12, 10-11:30am
There are lists of things that can go wrong during your shoots including weather, challenging subjects, and poor lighting. Jared Platt will make sure you leave this class knowing the tricks using Lightroom and Photoshop of post processing that will change the game for the way your photographs turn out.

There you have it! The Adobe Photography Solutions Track offers classes that can help you develop your post processing and creative skills. Imaging USA 2016 has something for everyone! There's even more learning on the tradeshow floor with lots of demos. Join us in Atlanta, January 10-12, 2016! Register today at ImagingUSA.org/Register.


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.

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Get the full details of the Creative Rights Caucus here. Here are some behind the scenes images taken through out the day!

Preparing for our presentation with Lindsey Forson, PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator!

PPA CEO, David Trust and Director of Member Value & Experience, Kristen Hartmen review notes.

The Creative Rights Caucus is packed and in full swing!

PPA photographer Jamie Hayes multitasks between capturing new headshots and talking about the issues.

Copyright movers and shakers mingle.

PPA photographer Jamie Hayes in action.

Congresswoman Judy Chu and Congressman Doug Collins speaking to the Creative Rights Caucus

PPA CEO David Trust and Denis Reggie chat before the event.


Behind the scenes of the Creative Rights Caucus


PPA photographers Mary Fisk-Taylor & Jamie Hayes prepare the headshot station.

... or when the U.S. Copyright System Received Grades of Ds and Fs

By Lindsey Forson

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To get a quick background on why we were in Washington, DC for this event, get the background info in this blog post.

The briefing was a huge success! Over 100 people were in attendance, most of who are on the staffs of key members of Congress. Our panel of five distinguished visual artists, Denis Reggie, John Schmelzer, Lisa Shaftel, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, and Michael Grecco, spoke passionately about how copyright is at the core of their livelihoods and why copyright protection matters.

The primary message of the panel discussion was that although the copyright system in the United States may work for some creators such as the high value, low-volume creators like motion picture creators, it does not work at all for small business creators like visual artists in general and photographers in particular. When asked to grade the copyright system in America for how well it works for each of their specialties, the panelists gave either a D or an F! Some of the issues pointed out were loss of control of images on the Internet, a copyright registration system that does not work for the visual arts industries, and the fact that the only option for legal enforcement is in federal court which is simply not a feasible option for the vast majority of creators. Here is the handout that was given at the event that outlined our priorities. 

PPA CEO David Trust moderated the panel discussion. He asked our speakers to offer solutions to these issues. One solution presented by several panelists was a small claims process for copyright enforcement. 

"If we don't implement a small claims process for copyright enforcement, even if a perfect registration system is created, it will be irrelevant for small business creators for whom it's not feasible to sue in federal court," said Mary Fisk-Taylor who is co-owner of Hayes & Fisk Photography and a Member of the Board of Directors for PPA.

All of the panelists agreed that it is crucial to make improvements to the copyright registration process and to modernize the U.S. copyright office.

The audience was intrigued by the discussion and asked important questions to make sure that they had full understanding of the issues. Public misconception of copyright even extends to Capitol Hill. One question asked was, "What exactly is copyright? What does your copyright do for you?" This gave our panel the opportunity to educate the audience on the most fundamental aspect of this topic - what is copyright - which is truly not understood at all by too many.


We heard you and we value your opinions!  Based on your feedback of the new See The Difference videos, we removed the "FindAPhotographer.com" search tool at the end of each video so that your prospective clients won't have a reason to leave your website to search for another photographer. These videos are great for showing your customers and prospects the benefits in hiring you, a professional photographer. Updated See The Difference videos can be downloaded from the See The Difference Resources: Videos section of our website. Thanks for helping us develop marketing tools that you see value in using!


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By Lindsey Forson

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We know you do everything you can to protect your copyright! From educating your clients on the law to including a copyright notice on your published work, you are diligent about protecting your rights because you know it is your livelihood. Unfortunately, there are still barriers to copyright enforcement for professional photographers including big public misconceptions, a general lack of legal enforcement and legal options, and a complicated copyright registration process. We also know that if you could meet with law-makers personally to discuss these issues, you would! Because running a successful photography studio keeps you busy enough, PPA works hard to be the voice of professional photographers in Washington, D.C., protecting, defending and advancing copyright matters for all visual artists.

And this week, we're at it again! Your PPA Copyright and Government Affairs team is in our nation's capital speaking out for the rights of professional photographers. During this trip PPA  is hosting a briefing to the Creative Rights Caucus of the United States House of Representatives, in collaboration with several other visual arts associations. Key members of Congress related to copyright law and their staffs will be present at the event. They will hear about the copyright challenges that affect the visual arts industries directly from a panel of visual artists.

After the event, your PPA team will sit down directly these law-makers for a deeper discussion of legislative priorities relating to professional photographers. We continue to petition for a small claims process for copyright enforcement as the most vital improvement to our nation's copyright system for small business creators including photographers. We will also discuss the legislative changes that are much needed to both improve the copyright registration process, and to modernize the U.S. Copyright Office. Thankfully, all of these issues continue to be met with great optimism by members of Congress and we hope that this briefing and follow-up conversations will provide a unique perspective on the importance and urgency of these issues.

Check back in on our blog to see the most recent updates, as we'll be reporting back several times this week!

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

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), congratulations! For those of you who did not participate this year, the 2016 competition is rolling right around the corner and it's never too early to get the ball rolling.

One thing that most all of the IPC participants will tell you about the competition is that entering is one of the best ways to improve all your photographic techniques! You have the opportunity to have your images judged against the "gold standard" to define a merit image, the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. The 12 elements allow the judges to define your image as having some of these specific measures or define it to be visually superior because it obtains a part of each element. Just by learning what elements your images contain can help you know what you do really well and where you may need to improve. 

Taking advantage of having your image critiqued will make your learning opportunity even better. You will receive an actual recording of an IPC judge giving you feedback explaining the judgment of your image.

Now we know to most that can sound very intimidating so in order to help you look past your fears we provided an example below of a prior real critique!

The image being reviewed below is from Gail Carver, CPP and her image "38 Years Playing Just For Her" is being critiqued by IPC judge Joan Genest, M.Photog.Cr.


Now that you've seen a real critique, we hope that you'll enter some of your work in the 2016 IPC! Check out our blog to find 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. We hope to see you there!

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.


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By Aleighia Rouse

Hooray, it's almost time for Imaging USA 2016! This post is for all the first timers that are preparing to be amazed by the excitement of Imaging USA. If you haven't discovered already, Imaging USA is not only one the largest photography conventions in the nation, but also offers a range of opportunities for the first timers to connect and build relationships with the seasoned photographers. 

If you are new to PPA, you can even participate in the New Members reception. It's free and it's your chance to start making lifetime friends with other photographers. Nearly 1,500 new members come to Imaging USA each year. Check out this video! It gives you some useful tips to conquer your first Imaging USA like a champ!



We hope you found that helpful in preparing for this awesome experience. Have any more questions about Imaging USA 2016? Head over to ImagingUSA.com. Want to register and take advantage of the early bird special? Go to ImagingUSA.com/Register!

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 interns, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. 


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