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PPA Today: December 2015 Archives

December 2015 Archives

By James Yates

PPA Charity 5K 215-(c)-randy-taylor.JPG2016's Imaging USA convention in Atlanta features several celebrations and programs brought to you by PPA Charities. A fully functioning philanthropic arm of Professional Photographers of America (PPA), PPA Charities' mission is to "allow PPA to become a force for positive change in our society and to make a difference in the lives of others." PPA Charities chooses partners in the philanthropic community to help reach their giving goals.

Imaging USA is always the kick-off to a great year of giving and this year's charity events are no exception. It all begins Saturday, Jan. 9 at 8pm with the Cooking it Up with PPA Charities party at the Georgia World Congress Center. It's a great place to meet and mingle with other philanthropic photographers. Yearly donations are presented to Operation Smile and Dando Amor, the newest recipient of the prestigious Legacy Award will be announced and the whole party is sponsored by White House Custom Color.
 
Don't party too hard because the next morning, Sunday, Jan. 10 at 7am is the Super Hero for Smiles 5k Fun Run around downtown Atlanta! It's a fundraiser for Operation Smile, an international medical charity that has provided more than 220,000 free surgical procedures to children and young adults from over 60 countries born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.

After the run, kick off those shoes and donate them and other gently used shoes to Dando Amor's "Shoes for Love" shoe drive! Dando Amor helps orphans in South America and Africa escape poverty through education and self-sufficiency training. They collect gently used shoes of all kinds to give to the shoeless and also help teach the unemployed how to run a small business selling repurposed shoes.

Stop by the PPA Charities booth #1551 to see the Dream Studio and buy raffle tickets for Tuesday, Jan. 12th's Dream Studio Giveaway, where one lucky winner's photography studio is overhauled with $20,000 worth of photographic equipment, products, software, lab credits and more. 

Be sure to allow plenty of time in your Imaging USA 2016 schedule to party with your philanthropic peers and help artists give back to the community with PPA Charities! 

By James Yates

PPA's theLoop online community has been on a roll lately, hosting Imaging USA 2016 speakers for Ask Me Anything sessions. This week, we were privileged to have Terri Eddington, M.Photog., CPP, sit and answer your questions for our final AMA before Imaging USA 2016!

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Terri is a 3-time recipient of the International Photographer of the Year Award as well as PPA's highest honor of Diamond photographer; her elegant style and talent in wedding and boudoir photography has truly set her apart in the industry. Terri also devotes her time and energy to furthering her industry as the rising President of PPA Louisiana.

At Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta, Terri will be teaching the class "High Impact Lighting Made 'Easy'", January 11, 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM. In this amazing workshop, Terri demystifies everything that is difficult, complicated and cumbersome about lighting. Using her unique gift of simplifying this all-important concept, she'll show you fun and easy-to-understand setups that will deliver stunning images for your clients!
 
Terri's easy-going approach and sparkly personality are infectious. Right at the start of our AMA session, she told the audience, "Go ahead ask me anything...I will answer with a 'TNT' response! Does that mean 'Powerful'? From me, no! 'TNT' means 'Terri Not Technical' LOL! If you like an easy approach and simple explanation...then I'm you girl!"

Thanks, Terri! We know there are both new and evolving photographers who appreciate "easy" and "simple"! Here are some highlights from her AMA:
 
What's Your Inspiration and Your Favorite Personal Photo?

My inspiration? "People". I love to photograph people. Any kind, any style and even anywhere! Years ago in painting or art class when I could choose to draw or paint anything, I would choose people! I was told that was the hardest - but not to me. It was my passion. I did not know that many years later I would be photographing people but I never get tired of it. It is always exciting to see the many faces and personalities before me. And I have the privilege to capture them all! 
What is my favorite photography ever? Really? I mean, really? That is impossible to say! But I can say, when I capture the soul of a person, there is nothing like it. When their inner beauty shines through their eyes we are no longer just photographers but artists!
 
Is your creativity for an image fully realized before the capture or in post-production?
 
There are so many ways to approach photography to where there is not a true right or wrong. I can just say from my personal experience I have done a little of both. I do try to have a "game plan" when I shoot. I like to know location, time of day (if outside), the personality or taste of the client to know what to work towards during a shoot. If shooting in the studio I try to have the type of props and style of lighting ready that will work for the client. These are things I do for my everyday clients. A lot of times these clients have a need for normal/regular shots. What I do try to do is at the end of the shoot I like to be creative and do a little something different. We just have fun! A lot of times it will be their favorite but it was nothing they originally asked for. This allows me to stay creative and also gives them something that maybe no one else has. 
Now, on a stylized shoot I do plan more ahead of time. I try to have a theme, look and style ready. But again during the shoot something might hit me and I go for it. It's either the look someone has or their personality that comes thru and may lead me in a different direction. No matter how tired I am at the beginning of a shoot, once we get started I am "in the zone". I don't get in a hurry when I shoot. I love to create so I make sure I schedule in the time. 
That being said I would say that I don't fully realize everything I am going to do before a shoot but it does help to plan a little.
 
How do you approach High Key Lighting?

I really don't shoot a traditional high key. As far as a high key look on the subject themselves, I shoot normal lighting ratios and then lighten in Photoshop. This allows me to be in control of how much I want to lighten the subject and also to keep good detail and depth in the eyes, etc. I do sometimes shoot to have the background a white high key look by putting a one-to-two stop higher light on the background than the subject as long as the light on the back of the subject (reflecting from the background) is not brighter than the main light.
 
We hope you found Terri's advice helpful! And remember to catch her live at Imaging USA in Atlanta! Sign up today at ImagingUSA.org/Registration.



by Lindsey Forson

There is a lot of information floating around right now regarding new FAA regulations for drone or UAS use. We want to clear a few things up for you and give you some helpful tips!

The new regulations released this week from the FAA require the registration of all Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). As of Monday, the FAA launched a very simple online registration process for hobbyist users of small UAS. There is a paper application currently available for commercial users, but it is important to note that commercial use is still only currently permitted for professional photographers who have been granted a Section 333 exemption and are licensed pilots or have exempt licensed pilots operating the UAS.

We expect the FAA to finalize new regulations for business-related use of small UAS during the first half of 2016. The FAA has also said that the online UAS registration system will be expanded to include business-related use by the spring of 2016. If you are using UAS for hobbyist or recreational purposes while awaiting new regulations for business use, be sure to register your UAS with the FAA as soon as possible. Please see our recent coverage (link to last blog post) for more information on the most recent regulatory change.

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to register your UAS after the jump:

By Sarah Ackerman

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Happy Holidays from your friends at PPA! As you're traveling to see family and friends, take a moment and check out our top 10 favorite blogs from around the internet on this short week. 

HOLIDAY FUN: T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that new photo gear soon would be there. Get the rest of this classic from Steve Gettle and enjoy your holidays!

ARTISTRY: Get to know PPA Photographer Tim Kelly, M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP, in this special two-part episode from Gary Hughes and Booray Perry. Listen in as they cover just about everything photography related (it IS two parts)!

LIGHTING: Traveling might not be on your agenda for the holidays, but you can still experiment with some new lighting techniques at home! Get back to basics and pick up a few tips from FStoppers. 

COMPOSITION: As a photographer, you know that composition can make or break your photograph. Drew Hopper gives you an inside look on how he uses lines to emphasize his subjects and create brilliant works of art. 

BUSINESS: PPA Photographer Jeffrey Shaw sat down with Anna Rea and discussed why we all need to banish the phrase "starving artists". Just because you're an artist doesn't mean your bank account needs to suffer. Give it a listen and get inspired rolling into the New Year!

INSPIRATION: What's the difference between you and the pro down the street? You're you! It sounds pretty simple, but this great blog from PhotoFoucs really hits it home that you make your business unique. 

CHEAP TRICKS: If you want to start exploring macro photography, but don't want to shell out the cash for a ring flash, here are three inexpensive alternatives to get you started from the Phoblographer. 

LEGAL: Ever wonder if it's worth it to have clients initial every single page of every single contract? Rachel Brenke, the Law Tog, discusses why it adds a layer of protection and helps maintain a happy client/photographer relationship. 

IMAGING USA: Wedding photographer extraordinaire, Carrie Wildes, is coming back to Imaging USA for a fantastic pre-convention course entitled "The Art of the Wedding Photography Business: How to Create a Plan to Succeed." Check in with Carrie before January here!

TRICKS OF THE TRADE: It's not one of the more glamorous parts of the job, but editing unwanted stubble come with the territory. Check out these quick and easy tips from PetaPixel on making that process easier!

There you have it, our weekly roundup of the top photography blog posts we found! 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 James Yates
 
Can you believe Imaging USA 2016 is only 2.5 WEEKS away?! PPA Today is going to make sure you have all your i's dotted and t's crossed before your big trip and we figured now may be a good time to go over...transportation.

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Imaging USA 2016 will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) in the heart of downtown Atlanta. PPA is super-excited that Imaging USA is in our hometown this year! If you've never been or it's been a while, downtown Atlanta got a face-lift. Right next to the GWCC you'll find Centennial Olympic Park and the CNN Center, the new SkyView Ferris Wheel, the World of Coca-Cola, the new College Football Hall of Fame, the new Civil Rights Museum, and of course, the amazing Georgia Aquarium...home of the 2016 Imaging USA closing party!

If you're flying to Atlanta...take MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) from Hartsfield-Jackson airport to the GWCC, Omni or Glenn Hotels. It's only $2.50 and a straight line there!

1. Enter MARTA Airport station adjacent to baggage claim.
2. Board northbound train (Red or Gold) toward Five Points Station.
3. Get off at Five Points and follow signage to westbound train platform.
4. Board westbound train (Green or Blue) travel one stop to Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center.
5. Follow signage to street level, walk one block northwest toward Georgia World Congress Center.

If you're heading to the Hyatt Regency, Sheraton Hotel or other downtown Atlanta properties, continue on the Red or Gold line past Five Points Station, and get off at Peachtree Center. From there you'll find signage directing you to your respective hotels. 

If you're driving to Atlanta...save a lot of money and pre-purchase parking for Imaging USA. That's 50% off the regular convention parking price at $10 per day - no overnight parking permitted. 

1. Just click on the GWCC Online Parking Permits button here to go to the main parking permits page.       
2. From there you will click on the "Purchase Event Parking Permits" button.
3. On the Select Event page, click on Georgia World Congress Center.                                                                           
4. Look for Imaging USA among the January events.
5. Continue to pre-purchase a parking permit for IUSA.

If you're also staying at a hotel downtown, you will have access to everything you need for the week with just a short walk. There are also several ways to get around if you want to spend some time exploring our beautiful city or if you're staying at a hotel a little farther away. 
Take Marta! It's Smarta! Go to itsmarta.com and/or check out this helpful video.

Atlanta also has Uber, Lyft and taxi services available. 

Wanting to go check out more cool Atlanta spots like the Martin Luther King Center or the Sweet Auburn district? You might want to take a ride on Atlanta's new streetcar!  The streetcar will take you all the way from Centennial Olympic Park to the King Historic District, 12 stops along the way, for only $1 a ride with the quick purchase of a free Breeze card (the same card you will use to ride Marta). 

No matter how you want to get around, Atlanta is ready to wow you at Imaging USA 2016


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By James Yates

Because sometimes being an internationally recognized symbol for overcoming adversity just isn't enough and some of you wondered where the connection is, we have been spending the past several weeks helping you get to know Amy Purdy. You'll quickly understand why we're so excited to have her be part of Imaging USA 2016!

Each week you'll see a highlight on Amy, and how the inspiration and insight she provides make perfect sense for this year's convention! Be sure to go back and read last week's post and find out about Amy's amazing 2nd place finish on ABC's Dancing with the Stars or check out our post about Amy's non-profit, Adaptive Action Sports. This week, your Amy Purdy round-up is super-sized for your holiday week perusal and will be taking a look at the rest of Amy's noteworthy television appearances, especially her stint on The Amazing Race and her meet-cute with future husband, Daniel Gale.

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One year after losing her legs, Amy placed third in a snowboarding competition. In 2003, after proving herself as an unstoppable athlete, Amy was chosen as spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. This job opportunity moved her to San Diego where, soon after, she began picking up work as a model and actress.

As soon as Amy got out into the modeling world, she was recognized for her fierce determination and unbeatable attitude...not to mention her looks and ability to affix props to her legs! She was cast in a Madonna video and, when the Material Girl caught Amy strutting around on her prosthetics in the background, she demanded Amy be a featured performer and placed front and center in the "American Life" video. The video, while Amy's big modeling breakthrough, was pulled from television and banned. You can find it with just a little searching (it's the one with the military-runway theme).

Element skateboards and clothing company signed Amy to design and model a line of clothes and snowboards for them. They were a huge success and, once Amy took off on Dancing with the Stars, Element made the collection a permanent part of their line.

Already a muse for Madonna, Amy next worked in the pop music world with Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx as a model for his book, This Is Gonna Hurt. She posed with giant ice picks as her legs in these unforgettable photos.


Continue Reading after the jump for Amy and Daniel's love story...

 

 

 



 

by Lindsey Forson

You may have heard about the Copyright Review currently underway in the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives. If so, read on, as this is going to be a good update, otherwise read on, as this is stuff photographers need to know. You may be wondering what a Copyright Review on Capitol Hill could mean for you and your business. Some photographers may even be worried about potential changes to the Copyright Act, while others are excited about the prospect of improvements for small business creators. There is a lot of information floating around about this Copyright Review process and while most of it is very informative, a small amount is quite misleading.

That is why we are separating facts from fiction for you!

PPA works on advocacy in very close cooperation with several other visual arts associations. In recent PPA advocacy coverage you have likely read about the congressional briefing PPA hosted on Capitol Hill in which we included many of these organizations and the annual summit we participated in where we worked with these groups to set joint legislative priorities for the coming year. Another recent joint venture is a free webcast produced for the creative community, Copyright Reform: Separating Fact from Fiction.

We encourage professional photographers across the U.S. regardless of your specialty, to check out this series of six mini-webcasts as they will give you expert insight into just what exactly is going on up on the Hill.

The webinars are presented by two copyright esteemed experts in the field: June Besek, Executive Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School and intellectual property attorney Nancy Wolff of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear about this important topic.

PPA is extremely excited about the possibility of some real, tangible improvements to our nation's Copyright System, especially for professional photographers! With our feet on the ground on Capitol Hill, we are actively fighting for a small claims enforcement option, improvements to the registration system, and modernization of the Copyright Office that will immensely help protect, enforce and defend photographers' copyrights! You can rest assured that should anything arise from the Copyright Review that could potentially be harmful to creators, PPA is here, fighting for photographers rights in particular, visual artists rights in general!

Learn more about PPA's advocacy efforts at PPA.com/Advocacy 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

Tis' the season to be jolly and happy holidays! As you finish up and your last minute holiday projects wind down, check out our top blog posts of the week.

CAREER PERSPECTIVE: Sometimes you may sit back and wonder "Why I am doing such a bad job at something I love?" which is being a photographer. Check out this much-needed advice posted by Fstoppers on how you may be handling your photography career all wrong. And if you like what you read, we have great news: author Jeff Rojas is a speaker at this year's Imaging USA! Check out his class, "Photographing Men", January 9, part of the Pre-Con track at ImagingUSA.org

DO NOT MISS: More than 10,000 photographers are gathering a few weeks from now for three or more days of everything-photography. Don't miss out!! Even if budget is tight or you can't come for the whole time, grab a free Imaging USA Expo pass and come on down! Head over to this blog and see how you can grab this amazing deal before Imaging USA 2016. You'll miss out big time if you don't come. Don't regret it later.

PREPAREDNESS PAYS OFF: Preparing for Imaging USA 2016 can pay off big time. And while a conference of that size and scope can seem overwhelming because you don't like big crowds or you've simply never been to Imaging USA, a little preparation will take you a long way. This video will give you some tips on how you can manage your time at Imaging USA and be ready to make the best of the show! 

BOOKMARK FOR THE HOLIDAYS: In July, Resource Magazine Online posted a blog listing 40 films about photography that every photographer should watch. Now they are back, adding 20 more films to the list.

CHEER UP: This post is all about the act of creation through photography and how inherently "good" that is. Spinning out of the Japanese idea of Wabi-Sabi, Marius Vieth will inspire you to celebrate imperfection and see how necessary it is for truly great photographs. 

STRATEGY: Many photographers feel the urge to immediately share previews of pictures to their clients, but this is not always the best thing to do. This blog, posted by Digital Photography School, discusses how it can actually pay off to be patient when sharing photos with your clients to help build a promising and strong relationship with them. 

GET REGISTERED: Did you know that even hobbyists must now register their drones with the FAA? Brand new regulations dropped this month and Lindsey Forson's blog post will get you prepared with all the latest info you need to stay legal! 

KNOW YOUR STUFF:  Do you know the history and science behind the lens? Check out this blog on Shutterbug featuring a video where the filmmaker John P. Hess walks you through examples and explanations of the lens over time. 

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Now that it is the end of the year, it is time to reflect on the things that have been beneficial for you and the ones that haven't as a photographer. Check out this blog on PhotoFocus to see how you can improve your photography in 2016.

Think Outside the Box for Wedding Photography Marketing                                         
PRINT TO MAKE MORE $: Great ideas in here on giving something of value to your clients so they remember you and your work is fresh on their mind. This post offers a great holiday idea...custom Christmas ornaments! It's all about thinking outside of the box when it comes to marketing. 

There you have it, our weekly roundup of the top photography blog posts we found! 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

The New Year is coming. Now is the perfect time to take a few moments, reflect on what 2015 has brought to you and your business and evaluate where you want to go for the next trip around the sun. 

We asked what you wanted to do in 2016 and here's what your fellow photographers had to say:
Mark Turner, CPP of Bellingham, Washington: 

The big thing for me next year has to be improving my business systems. I'm sure there will be incremental improvements in the quality of what I offer, but if my business is to grow (and grow more profitable) I have to do a better job of implementing what I've learned from many workshops about running my business. And I've been at this for many years. You'd think I'd have learned by now.

James Lout of Grand Junction, Colorado: 
The biggest thing I plan to focus on is finishing the CPP process. I've already passed the test, but need to nail the image submissions. I don't believe I'm quite there yet, so I opted to not submit this year and pay the 100 bucks to extend it to give me time to nail it 100% percent.

Kari Castrogiovanni of Burbank, California:
First and foremost... Learning how to use theLoop better. My resolution for 2016 is to implement a solid marketing strategy. I am a photographer turned to Photo Retoucher nearly 5 years ago. I have worked with several talented retouchers who have shown me the tricks of the trade. The images I have worked on as a subcontractor have been seen on covers of popular magazines, TV shows, and even a billboard. The only issue is I'm unable to take any credit for them. I have decided to branch off on my own. I'm currently in the brainstorming phase to come up with creative ways to get photographers to notice my talents and take a chance on me. My goal is to go full force in January and make 2016 the most rewarding and successful year to date.

Melanie Wirkkala of Centralia, Washington:
Ahh, New Year's Resolutions - so easy to make and sometimes difficult to do. Upgrades for my software are on the list. Also camera and lenses. Continue to learn more about studio work, LightRoom, and Photoshop.  Learning is always an adventure!

Charles Burgess of Pensacola, Florida:
My major goals for 2016 are:
1. Network with PPA members in the Pensacola, FL area, so as to be better able to refer clients when they are not a good match for my photographic vision. Maybe a monthly field trip, or something as well.  I don't see my fellow PPA members as competitors; I view my colleagues as collaborators. There are more than 40k households (not counting active duty military) in my immediate area with incomes greater than $100k per year, so there are enough clients to keep us all busy and profitable (not to mention the annual flood of tourists to the Emerald Coast).
2. Build a new wet process darkroom.  Finding an enlarger is the main problem; I may have to construct my own (an enlarger is essentially a reverse of a camera).
3. Better document my business and photo process into a written SOP in order to track inefficiencies and general improvements. Sort of like a business play that is a living document that gets tweaked as needed.

What are your goals for 2016? How do you want to build your business, skills, technique or artistry? Chime in on theLoop! 

Remember to check out theLoop, a safe and protected online community where PPA members can discuss a range of photography topics. Not a PPA member? Join 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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Becoming a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) can open more doors for your career than you could even imagine, for a professional photographer to receive their CPP is an achievement and recognizable mark of excellence. At Imaging USA 2016, 15 CPP's will be presenting essential information in the business, inspiration and technique tracks. 

Here are a few of the classes being offered by Certified Professional Photographers:

Francie Baltazar Stonestreet, Cr.Photog, CPP
Bree Adams, CPP
Landon Day, CPP
Dave Goldman, Cr.Photog., CPP
The Game Changer: Become a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP)
Sunday, January 10
5:00 - 6:15 pm
Want to learn how to take your work and professional recognition to a new level? Want to differentiate your studio from others? Want to understand what it takes to earn your CPP? In this program you will learn from successful wedding, baby, maternity, sports, headshot and senior photographers how they earned their CPP and how it impacted their work and their businesses.  Join us in this program as we reveal our successes and failures and how CPP was the ultimate game changer in their businesses.

Dave Stock, Cr.Photog., CPP.
New Approaches for New Challenges
Sunday, January 10
6:45 - 8:00 pm
In this class Dave will be discussing the mark of youth sports photography and how to break the mold of parents taking photos of their children on the field or the court. He will talk about four key areas to maintain a successful business in volume sports- provide high quality products, conduct efficient photo days, provide superior customer service, and have a great team.

Timothy Walden, M.Photog.Hon.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP
Images that Speak
Monday, January 11
10:00 - 11:30 am
Tim will highlight the four cornerstones of any great image- lighting, posing, composition and emotion- and how each of these fit together to create the iconic Walden portrait. The typical Walden portrait combines relationship style and fine art study to explore emotion and discover one's own style and brand.

Terri Eddington, M.Photog., CPP
High Impact Lighting Made Easy
Monday, January 11
5:00 - 6:15 pm
This class will be an amazing experience. Terri will make the concepts of photography that seem the most difficult the easiest to understand. Through this class you will learn everything about lighting, like how to master strobes and off camera flash.

Arthur Levi Rainville, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API
Dégagé Portraiture - The Art of Unconstrained Creating
Tuesday, January 12
10:00 - 11:30 am
In Arthur's class he introduces a new style of photography which takes the conformities of this old-school portraiture and lets them loose. He will discuss non-posed posing and interview techniques to use with your clients to help you create the most beautiful images.

Are you considering getting your Certified Professional Photographers? Learn from PPA members that have already earned theirs. Gain techniques and helpful information to tackle the CPP exam like a champ! Have you gotten your Imaging USA passes yet?

JOY_7309-1.JPGAleighia 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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This fall, PPA launched its third annual PPA Kickstart Scholarship. PPA granted four lucky winners the opportunity to attend free pre-convention classes at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. They had the chance to choose between a full day of hands-on classes or a two-day business workshop.

All of the winners are very excited about this amazing opportunity, and two of these four PPA photographers will be attending Imaging USA for the first time. We introduce to you the 2015 scholarship winners and some highlights from conversations following their winnings:

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Erik Vicino
Reenfoque Photography, Mexico
Member of PPA since 2014

"Imaging USA will help me be more by just being there. I can't even imagine the vibe of the place, the people that are there and the fact that everyone that will be there has a story and something in common with me. Anything and everything that happens during Imaging USA will undoubtedly change my life and my studio. "

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Monica Alden
Monica Alden Photography, Mundelein, Illinois
Joined PPA in January

"I am hoping that by taking a pre-convention class I will learn enough helpful tips to make my studio the best in my residing area. That's my goal for 2016."

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Lori R McCoy, CPP
Bella Vita Photography, Hamilton, Ohio
Member of PPA since 2008

"The best part about winning this scholarship is that I would not have had the extra money to take a pre-convention class, so thanks to the PPA scholarship, now I can take an in-depth class that will help me take my photography business to the next level!"

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Matthew L Noll
Matthew Designs, Revenna, Ohio
Member of PPA since 2014

"The biggest thing I am hoping to take away from Imaging USA is learning about new information through the Hands-On classes. That will be an amazing opportunity for me to learn next to a master photographer. After that are the courses, I've already bookmarked the ones I'm going to attend and researched all about the speakers I want to see. Lastly, I'm looking forward to speaking with the vendors and learning about the new equipment and techniques."

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by Lindsey Forson

While anxiously awaiting the new regulations from the FAA that will allow for business-related use of "drones", or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), many professional photographers have already purchased UAS to use for non-business-related aerial photography. Operating as a hobbyist gives you the opportunity to master the craft before you can integrate UAS photography into your business. Because UAS photography is soon to become even more prominent within the industry, PPA is dedicated to keeping you in the loop as regulatory changes occur!

Yesterday, the FAA released a new rule requiring the registration of all UAS. This rule becomes Federal Law on December 21, 2015. Users who do not register will be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

For small UAS, which is defined as UAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds including the camera weight, the FAA is launching a web-based registration system beginning December 21. The registration fee is $5.00, but if you register prior to January 30, your fee will be waived. Upon completing the online registration, users will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership which will include a unique identification number. The ID number must be marked on the aircraft.

This new rule, however, does not affect the legality of business-related use of UAS. "We understand that the time is now for professional photographers to have the ability to integrate this technology into their businesses," says David Trust, CEO of PPA. "PPA continues to send the message to the FAA and Congress that time is of the essence for professional photographers to stay competitive in today's industry. We are urging the FAA to finalize the new regulations as soon as possible and are advocating for regulations that are not prohibitive to photographers." Until the FAA releases new regulations for non-hobby and non-recreational use of small UAS, professional photographers may only utilize UAS in connection with their businesses if they have been granted a Section 333 exemption from the FAA and the UAS is operated by a licensed pilot. We expect the new regulations to be released during the first half of 2016.

 For this reason, the online UAS registration system currently only supports UAS used for hobby or recreational purposes. The FAA has announced that it will integrate enhancements allowing for the registration of unmanned aircraft to be used in connection with a business by spring of 2016. More information from the FAA is available 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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By Sarah Ackerman

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Imaging USA is better when it's shared with friends! Whether you're bringing your buddies with you or looking to make new connections on site (and let's be honest, everyone should be looking to network) here are your best ways to stay engaged leading up to and during the convention! 

Join the Imaging USA community on theLoop and start interacting with your fellow attendees before you even arrive in Atlanta! Anyone in this community is registered for the event, so no need to worry about any stranger dangers. Make new friends, find a roommate and more!

Social Media 
First things first, when posting about Imaging USA, be sure to use the official hashtag of the convention, #ImagingUSA. By doing so, your posts will be highlighted on the TweetWalls in the classrooms before the sessions start and we'll be reposting some on the Imaging USA social platforms! Also, we always have fun giveaways happening on all of the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram pages, so like, tweet and share your posts and pictures to get in on the goods!

Be sure to like and follow Imaging USA on Facebook for contests, deals, show announcements and so much more! Upload photos and tag #ImagingUSA and @ImagingUSA when you receive your orange packet or if you have any questions! 

Follow Imaging USA on Twitter! We'll be highlighting speakers, announcing Expo speakers and sharing your stories as you experience the convention! There's also a list of all the Speaker's Twitter handles listed here so you can find them all in one handy spot! 

Its photography, so of course Imaging USA is on Instagram! Follow up and get behind the scenes images of what's happening before and during the conference. Tag your images with @ImagingUSA to get reposted in the official feed! And with the rest of the social platforms, be sure to use #ImagingUSA for a feature on the TweetWall!

Download the Imaging USA app at ImagingUSA.org/App and get connected! Turn on the Networking Feature of the app and search for fellow attendees by name, specialty or keyword. Be sure to update your schedule in your profile and you'll be able to schedule meetings with your new found photography friends! Just tap the icon of two people shaking hands and you can coordinate a meeting.

Also, if you have any questions or concerns about the event, feel free to reach out through any of these platforms and our social media team will answer you lickity-split! 


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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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Last week Imaging USA Speaker Lindsay Adler hosted a two day Ask Me Anything! 

Lindsay is widely known for her fashion photography that gives her lookbooks, ad campaigns and clients a clean, bold, graphic look that is uniquely her own. But her passion doesn't stop there. Her love of teaching brings her to Imaging USA where she will teach "Fashion Lighting Techniques to WOW Your Portrait Clients". In her program, you can learn how to bring the fashion world to your portrait clients in your own way. 

Here are some of our favorite moments from Lindsay's Ask Me Anything. 

On getting a big break:
Ahhh... the big break. You know. I think that is totally a myth. I never had a big break... I've had a long break (back breaking work!). I've just been working bit by bit to improve connections and become a better photographer. Basically I lived in upstate New York and did online networking with other beginning makeup artists and wardrobe stylists who lived in NYC. I would travel to NYC and put together shoots. Then with these better images, I would work to approach better/more talented artists and keep building and growing. What is great is when they get a contact from a magazine or celebrity, they share it with me-- because we are a team!

On post processing:
To begin with I did ALL of my own processing work during my first four years as a fashion photographer. I didn't have the money to outsource retouching at all, plus I wanted to add my own 'style' to it. Basically I watched a lot of YouTube to be honest and made friends with photography students taking classes and asked them for their top tips! Now that I have a style for retouching, when I outsource they know to match the look and feel that I like. Just to give you an idea, the retouchers I hire range from $35 an image to $225 depending on what they are working on. Right now I outsource about 60% of my retouching simply because I'm too busy and it's worth the cost!

On the three most important things in becoming an artist:
1. Discovering your creative process: Sounds weird but honestly I never considered myself an artist. Forever really... I considered myself more of a photo technician. A nerd. A tech person. So that was how I approached photography. That's even how I approached creativity. When I came up with a creative idea, I created a formula - How did I get to this idea? How can I repeat that process for success? Finally when I realized I was creative, it was because I knew the steps I needed to create to come up with new ideas. 

2. Don't always try to please others: Sure, as portrait photographers we want to make other people happy. But when you are so worried what all the other photographers or artists or people in your town think ALL THE TIME, it is paralyzing. You can't create or try anything different because you are afraid of what they think. 

3. Experiment all the time: We all get so comfortable. We find our favorite lighting, our favorite poses, our favorite approaches to photography... and then we stick there. We don't move. I use 'my favorite' gear, lighting, poses, etc. in order to make sure I get a good shot. Once I got a decent shot, I try something different that might miserably fail. But that 'failure' is okay because I already have a decent shot using my usual techniques and I may have the opportunity to learn and discover something incredible with that experimentation!

We hope you found Lindsay's advice helpful! And remember to catch her live at Imaging USA in Atlanta! Early bird pricing ends December 17, so save $50 and sign up today at ImagingUSA.org/Registration.



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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

Nearly a full year has passed since Krista Lee Newbill of Krista Lee Photography of Murfeesboro, Tennessee started her Studio Makeover with PPA. We checked in with Krista one last time this year on Skype to see how she's changed her business over the course of this process and before we see her live at Imaging USA in Atlanta, Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 5 PM. Check out the video below for this last recorded studio makeover check-in with Krista!



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 Nicole McIntosh

The excitement is unbearable, Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta is right around the corner! Preparations are kicking into high gear because there are officially less than 30 days left to get ready for this wondrous event. During your time at Imaging USA you will have the opportunity to attend classes taught by top photographers, 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, build relationships with vendors and lots more! For first timers this is soooo exciting, and yet at the same time this can be a lot to digest and we know you're going to need all the advice you can get, so here's a short video with some tips from our "pros" for your time at Imaging USA 2016!


The earlier you register for Imaging USA 2016, the better the deal. We are excited to announce that the early bird deadline has been extended to December 17, 2015! So now you have more time to enjoy yourself some savings. Go to ImagingUSA.org/Register with no further delay, because Imaging USA 2016 will be here sooner than you know 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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By Chris Homer 

Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta is right around the corner - only 26 days until the convention begins! If you're pressed for time and won't be able to attend the Imaging USA classes or special events, consider signing up for an Imaging Expo pass... for FREE!

The Expo-Only badge will allow you to explore the Imaging Expo tradeshow and attend the demos and classes that will be held on the Expo floor. The Expo Pass is $35 at the door, so get it online now and get a good dose of Imaging USA at no cost to you!
 
Don't miss out browsing through or testing the latest and greatest photography gear. There will be more than 150 photography companies with products and services that will make any photographer drool. And best of all: most exhibitors will run Imaging USA-only deals and discounts, so you know you'll find something to reward your visit.

But that's not all, this year you can also check out the International Photographic Exhibit with thousands of images AND the selection of photos that are entered in this year's World Photographic Cup! In the image exhibit area, there will be free tours. Just sign up on site and get rolling!

Last but not least, at the Imaging Expo, while you can 'shop till you drop' on anything photography, you can also learn a ton! There will be daily short format demos and classes on the tradeshow floor, so make the best use of your time, come one day to shop and another to learn...all for $0 with your FREE IMAGING EXPO PASS!

Visit ImagingUSA.org/Free-Expo-Pass to grab that free pass! If you want to take your learning and networking experience to the next level, upgrade to attend the full classes program and events and sign up for an All-Access Pass at ImagingUSA.org/Register. Register by December 17 for the lowest prices, after that date prices will go up $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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By Aleighia Rouse

Everyone is in the mood for the holiday season. Along with the holiday come family portraits and many holidays of giving! Before you prepare for your holiday card photography sessions and for Imaging USA 2016, here are our top ten blog posts of the week. 

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CONSIDERATION: Here's a cute and informative article to check out. Photographer Kat Sink interviewed a group of photographers, asking them their biggest pet peeves when being hired by friends and close acquaintances. The results were the most common said among the interviewed group. 

DREAMCATCHER: Is there a photograph you've always wanted to snap, the photo of your dreams? Check out this article from My Modern Met that tells the story of a photographer who made it his dream to capture the majestic image of a Kingfisher taking a dive in the water to catch its prey. 

ORGANIZE: As a photographer running your own business you know that it is very important that you always remain organized. Here is one article that will help the process go a little better. Learn a few tips to make sure you are always ready for a session. 

GROWTH: This article from MediaNovak breaks down some great information on how to get your photography business started in the New Year. They discuss how to become your own boss, how to choose your specialization, how to create your online presence and making sure you treat your customers right.

LIGHTING: As a photographer you know that lighting is one of the most crucial parts of capturing a captivating and powerful image. In this article, by The Phoblographer learn a few tips to make sure you catch the best photographs. 

BUSINESS SAVVY: Creating a client contract can be an extended and grueling process, but it is greatly needed to establish and implement policies that will leave you and the client both protected. In this article by PPA photographer Rachel Brenke, you will learn a few tips to consider when creating a contract for your client. 

IPC EXHIBIT: As the excitement for Imaging USA 2016 builds and as you begin to make your schedule for the different events you will participate in, add the International Photographic Exhibit to your list. The exhibit will be free and open to the public, for more information about IPC check out this article. 

IMAGE PRESERVATION: Check out this article and get helpful information about the preservation of older photos and the quality and importance of the printing process. As you know, photography is about storytelling. The article acknowledges this and discusses how photography documents the society in which we live. 

ZENSPIRATION: As the holidays ramp up in full speed, it is important that you as a professional photographer find helpful ways to mellow out. In this article you will learn four simple steps to decrease the amounts of stress in the upcoming holidays.

IMAGING USA: If you have not gotten your Imaging USA passes, make sure you head on over to ImagingUSA.com/Register and get them. Check out this article for all the excitement and things you won't want to miss at Imaging USA 2016!

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


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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 James Yates 

Because sometimes being an internationally recognized symbol for overcoming adversity just isn't enough and some of you wonder where the connection is, we will be spending the next several weeks helping you get to know Amy Purdy. You'll quickly understand why we're so excited to have her be part of Imaging USA 2016!

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Each week you'll see a highlight on Amy, and how the inspiration and insight she provides make perfect sense for this year's convention! Be sure to go back and read last week's post and find out about Amy's non-profit, Adaptive Action Sports.
 
This week, we're looking at the platform where most of America learned about Amy: a televised dancing competition. We've scoured the internet to bring you recaps and video clips of Amy's amazing 2nd place finish on ABC's Dancing with the Stars!
 
Even before Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) began in 2014, there was buzz building in the entertainment news world that Amy Purdy was "one to watch". She was only the second double-amputee to compete in the top-rated reality competition series.
 
Just a few weeks into the competition, Amy brought the house down with her "Inspirational" dance. It was based on her relationship with her father, who provided Amy with a life-saving kidney transplant as her donor. "My dad gave me one of his kidneys," she said. "I always say that my dad gave me life twice. He brought me into this world, and then through his gift he kept me in this world." You have to check out the dance as well as the recap provided by The Daily Mail. But BE WARNED: Lots of tears within.
 
The Dancing with the Stars YouTube channel has all Amy's past performances including a fantastic Jazz performance of "Too Darn Hot" and Amy performing like, in the words of judge Bruno Tonioli, "a superhero", to the Jive... one of the most difficult DWTS routines.

Take a look at Amy and dance partner Derek Hough's appearance on Ellen during their run on DWTS. Amy truly exemplifies self-motivation, perseverance, and bigger-than-life goal settings. For the past few years she has worked relentlessly to share her passion for life, thriving on helping people Be More. How could PPA not be excited to bring her on-board as an amazing keynote speaker at Imaging USA?
 
Next week: long before she dazzled audiences with her dancing skills, Amy participated in another reality competition. We'll take a look at The Amazing Race and her meet-cute with partner and future husband, Daniel Gale.

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By Aleighia Rouse 

The 2015 International Photographic Competition (IPC) may have concluded, but we here at PPA want to make sure you stay on your toes and are prepared for next year's competition. It is never too early or too late to learn, especially when it comes to photography techniques that will improve yours overall skill as a photographer. 

PPA is always looking for new approaches to help photographers. If you entered the competition then you know your images were being judged against the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. This serves as a very effective way to spot how or where you can enhance your photography and also know what you did well. 

The critique below is for Janet Boschker, M.Photog.Cr. of Lisa Blaschke, CPP and her image "A Little to the Left."


We really hope this critique can help you get a better understanding of what the IPC judges are looking for when analyzing images. Keep posted on our blog for more critiques and helpful tips to stay informed. The Loan Collection images from the 2015 International Photographic Competition will be exhibited for over 10,000 photographic talents to see at the 2016 Imaging USA in Atlanta, January 10 -12! If you have not already, register for Imaging USA today!

JOY_7309-1.JPGAleighia 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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Come one, come all to the International Photographic Competition Exhibit at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. No, really. The exhibit is free and open to the public, but you must have a badge to enter the exhibit area. Register for your FREE Expo Pass here. Get inspired to try new techniques as you view thousands of award-winning images from around the world, featuring the 2015 Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Loan and General Collections.

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Each year, PPA holds the International Photographic Competition (IPC), selecting photographers' top photographs for the year. The best of the best is then placed in the PPA Loan Collection and is bound in a beautiful hardcover book available through Marathon Press (No, PPA does not receive any money from sales of these book). These collections are also displayed at the Imaging USA IPC Exhibit every year, so PPA members AND the general public alike can walk through and marvel at the year's best of the best photographs!

There are several competitions including local, state, and district that feed into the IPC. Top images are deemed worthy of a merit and become part of PPA's General Collection, then those images are judged again for inclusion in the prestigious Loan Collection.

Every year at Imaging USA, PPA hosts the Grand Imaging Awards, where IPC winners compete for the best of 2015's Loan Collection in six categories: Event Albums, Non-Event Albums, Illustrative, Artist, Portrait, and Wedding. One of those six winners goes on to win the Grand Imaging Award!

And this year, following the Grand Imaging Awards is a presentation by the World Photographic Cup! This is an international competition - nation against nation - designed to bring together photographers from all over the globe in a spirit of friendship and unity. The United States team is made up of images from the Grand Imaging Awards and has won the past two years. In all, 28 countries are vying for this year's World Photographic Cup !

Wanting to enter the competition but don't know where or how to start? Consider enrolling in the Pre-Convention class, The Competition You Can't Lose featuring Jessica Vogel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP and Timothy Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP.

We understand it's a big question: "Why should I enter the International Photographic Competition?" This program will answer this question AND it will guide you through the process and show you how this competition is an investment in yourself and your business. Separate registration is required for pre-convention classes at ImagingUSA.org/Register.

And finally, be sure to swing by the Merit Café inside the IPC Exhibit. There you'll find a series of short seminars geared to getting you familiar with and better prepared for future photographic competitions! These 30-minute sessions are restricted to first come, first serve seating so get there early and soak up all of the knowledge you can from these amazing International Photographic Competition experts! Seminars include Creating Portraits, Technical Excellence, Competition Concepts, Print Presentation, Lighting, Landscape Composition, Marketing and many more. Questions will be more than welcome, so ask away!

We can't wait to see you at Imaging USA in January. But hurry up and register by Dec. 17 at ImagingUSA.org/Register for the Early Bird savings OR use the Join & Go option to become a member of PPA and your full access pass to Imaging 2016 will be FREE as a welcome gift!


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By Sarah Ackerman

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

For the month of December, the video "Feel the Light" with Richard Sturdevant, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., has been unlocked and is available for anyone who wants to learn how to combine the science and art of lighting. Learn how to blend technical expertise with talent to create drama, emotion and feeling in your images from this imaging master. 

If you're a member of PPA, just log in to watch the video anytime. Non-members will have access to this the video this month only at PPA.com/TryEdu. For full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos, join PPA!


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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 Nicole McIntosh


It is finally that holiday time of year! Sit down, relax and enjoy our top 10 blogs of the week. 


What Can You Expect from Imaging USA?

IMAGING USA: With Imaging USA coming up, I'm sure many of you are wondering what this event will entail. Check out this blog where you can watch a video to see all the reasons you should go to Imaging USA.


'Live From NYC: The Anne Geddes Experience' Set to Inspire In Time for the Holidays

INSPIRATION: It is not every day that you get the opportunity to watch a photography icon demonstrate their craft live on camera. Read this blog to find out more information on how you can watch Anne Geddes create a brand-new holiday newborn photograph. 


Why Did Photographers Stop Selling Paper Prints?

PRINTS MATTER: Paper prints have slowly disappeared off the scene of the photography world. Missy Mwac posted a blog discussing how the digital age has changed the dynamic of how photographs are stored and shared.


Christmas Photography: The Ultimate Guide to Capturing the Holiday Magic

BE PREPARED: With Christmas around the corner, the moments you will want to capture will be endless. Virtual Photography Studio has just the blog for you to learn ways you can prepare to capture some amazing holiday magic. 


How to Get the Best Color in Your Final Images

CHROMATIC QUALITY: Sometimes photographers lose sense of what is really important when creating a quality image. The Phoblographer posted a blog explaining why color is so significant in the creation of a photo and how you as a photographer can create the best color quality. 


6 Things You Can Do to Improve Image Quality Without Spending a Dime

SAVING MONEY: Most of the time, improving things as a photographer requires you to make some type of financial investment, which can be dreadful for most.  In this blog on Fstoppers, you can learn different techniques to increase the quality of your images without breaking the bank. 


Photographer Wanted $5 per hour - should you take the job?

INDUSTRY:  There are two sides to the argument when it comes to what the client thinks they should pay and what the professional photographer feels that they are worth. On Photofocus they posted a blog discussing both side and how each one can be taken into consideration when negotiating prices.


5 Money Savings Tips for Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta

TIPS: Having a budget for Imaging USA will be a huge lifesaver for your pockets. Check out this blog and read up on tips that will help you save money for Imaging USA 2016. 


Top November Threads from theLoop

MORE TO READ: theLoop is always filled with topics of advice and questions that all members can relate to. Check out this blog to see what threads were featured for the month of November. 


The Science Behind Digital Camera Sensors

LEARN: Ever wonder how digital camera sensors really work? Check out this blog posted by PetaPixel featuring a video discussing the science and technology behind digital camera sensors. 


There you have it, our Weekly Roundup of our top 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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Early-bird savings are coming to an end! Don't be left paying full price when you could get an all-access, three-day pass for just $179. Offer ends December 8th! Need some more persuading? Here's a list of the top things you won't want to miss at Imaging USA 2016...

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10. Be More Philanthropic... PPA Charities Celebration

Jan. 9, 8-10pm. Kick of the festivities with the PPA Charities Celebration! You'll "cheers" all of the charitable giving from 2015 and have the chance to participate in an auction that has anything a photographer could dream about and helps a very good cause. All attendees are welcome! 

9. Be More Energized... PPA Charities Events
Jan. 10, 7-9am. Get things up and running (literally) with an early-morning 5K around Atlanta. It will be chilly, so dress appropriately. Afterwards, kick off those sneaks and drop them in the bin for the Dando Amor Shoe Drive. Used shoes will be collected and repurposed for orphanages in South America and Africa. Drop-off bins will be located at the Expo entrance and registration kiosk. But that's not all! Be sure to stop by the PPA Charities booth on the expo floor because one lucky winner will receive more than $20,000 worth of photographic equipment in the Dream Studio Giveaway! Winner will be announced at the booth on Jan. 12, 2:30pm.

8. Be More Connected... PPA's Closing Party
Jan. 12, 8-11pm. Dance the convention away at the Georgia Aquarium, the largest in the U.S! This is an exclusive party, brought to you by PPA; you will have access to the entire aquarium for all your revelry and pic-snapping needs. And did we mention it's catered by Wolfgang Puck? FREE to attendees with an all-access 3-day pass or $60 for just the party!

7. Be More Encouraged... Awards & Degree Ceremony 
Jan. 12, 6:30-7:30pm. It's like a fun graduation for photographers earning degrees (Photographic Craftsman, Master of Photography, and Master Artist) and awards (Lifetime Achievement, Imaging Excellence, Distinguished Service, Humanitarian Service) from 2015. This is a free event to the public, so attendees can bring guests to enjoy in the celebration! Formal attire is suggested, but not required. Tux rentals will be available on location.

6. Be More Challenged... Grand Imaging Awards
Jan. 11, 6:30-7:30pm. Celebrate with friends as we honor the 2015 Medalists, Diamond Photographers of the Year, and all the elite Loan Collection artists from the most recent International Photographic Competition (IPC). Stop by to see these top photographers' works and see who gets crowned champion, earning the Grand Imaging Award! Doors open at 6:15.





By Aleighia Rouse

Marketing your business just got a little easier with PPA's See The Difference® campaign. See The Difference is an advertising initiative and a marketing toolkit for photographers who belong to PPA to help with their sales and marketing efforts. The purpose of See The Difference is to reshape the public's view of professional photography and equip professional photographers like you with marketing resources to explain your pricing, the quality of your work, and the worthiness of your overall skill set. With this, PPA spends several hundred thousands of dollars in advertising each year, specifically pitching the difference photographers affiliated with PPA make. As no small business is able to undertake this type and scale of advertising, PPA advocates publicly to consumers on the difference and importance in hiring professional photographers. 

See The Difference does not stop there, it provides tangible tools to help impress your clients and become more credible and more in-demand. Try adding a logo to your website and "see the difference" it makes. Watch this helpful video below, as it shows you "How to Add a Logo" in the matter of 3-steps.



See The Difference® offers a range of marketing tools to choose from. Just one more step PPA is taking so you can Be More. Check out more See The Difference resources offered to PPA members and some of the other toolkit resources here. Not a PPA member? Join Today!


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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 Aleighia Rouse

Get your cameras ready and prepare to be amazed. Imaging USA 2016 is a few weeks away and we at PPA are just as excited for this event as you are. Have you prepared a budget  for spending during your time here in Atlanta? Here are some helpful tips to put in your back pocket when budgeting for the trip to Atlanta.

1. Register before December 8th
Take advantage of that early bird special rate and save $50 off the original price of the access passes, Register Today!

2. Take MARTA
MARTA is the best way to get around Atlanta and it takes you to and from the airport. MARTA is also located near the Imaging USA host hotels and the Georgia World Congress Center. Why take a cab that will most likely be $30 or rent a car? MARTA is faster and a great alternative!

3. Find a Roommate
Split the hotel costs by finding a roommate to share a nearby Imaging USA hotel with or choose a hotel a little further away and get free parking and/or MARTA access. You can save big on lodging through sharing a room or staying further away. 

4. Pack Snacks 
Snacks and food at concessions can be limited or with a surcharge, so save time, money, and have a healthier option by bringing your own snacks. 

5. Pack a Suitcase in Your Suitcase
There will be over 100 exhibitors at the convention so you'll want to bring an extra suitcase for the purchases you will make at the expo.

If you still haven't registered for Imaging USA 2016, don't wait any longer, head over to ImagingUSA.com/Register and get the lower rate before the price increases. PPA members get the best benefit and price of them all, join today!


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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 Lindsey Forson

Running a successful photography business is no easy task! Professional photographers are required to keep so many balls in the air: marketing, budgeting, scheduling, studio management, professional development, legal matters, and of course there's photography. That's why PPA is here to provide support on virtually every aspect of your photography business.
 
One especially difficult area to navigate is the complex and ever-changing legal landscape that affects photography businesses. This is why PPA strives to keep photographers educated on the most important issues and works tirelessly to fight for your rights through our advocacy work.

Because the photographic industry is so diverse, it is vital that all stakeholders work together to promote strong copyright law and to advocate for other issues affecting small photography businesses. We can accomplish much more on Capitol Hill when we have a united voice across the visual arts industries. This is why PPA organized an industry-wide visual arts briefing on the Hill last month. And this is the reason we work closely with other visual arts associations to advocate for you!

PPA's CEO, David Trust, and PPA's Copyright and Government Affairs Coordinator, Lindsey Forson, participated this week in our annual summit for visual arts associations. PPA sat around a table along with representatives from the American Photographic Artists, the American Society of Media Photographers, the Digital Media Licensing Association, the Graphic Artists Guild, the North American Nature Photography Association, the National Press Photographers Association, and the PLUS coalition. We also collectively met with, Keith Kupferschmid - the new CEO of the Copyright Alliance, of which PPA is a member, to discuss how the Alliance can continue to support our advocacy efforts in D.C.

The summit resulted in established collective legislative priorities for 2016 and planned advocacy strategies for the upcoming year. We also planned for joint educational efforts and awareness campaigns. All of the associations agree with PPA that the top advocacy priority for the coming years is the creation of a small claims process for copyright enforcement. We will also collectively advocate for the modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office and for repairs to our nation's one-size-fits-all copyright registration system. There are other important issues that we plan to address through unique efforts such as the expansion of fair use and mass digitization issues.

PPA continues to receive an extremely optimistic response from the House Judiciary Committee regarding our priorities. We know that Copyright Small Claims and Copyright Office Modernization are among the top priorities for many members of the Committee. PPA expects 2016 to be a very important year concerning improvements to our nation's copyright system, and we hope to actually see legislation proposed on these important issues. Be sure to stay tuned to PPA's Advocacy Coverage (PPA.com/Advocacy) in the coming year to learn how you can help - 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.
By Nicole McIntosh

Imaging USA will be here sooner than you think, which means it is time to prepare. As you begin thinking about everything you need to do, one of our suggestions is to add finding a roommate to your list. Now, we know you are thinking, "why find a roommate?" Having a roommate at Imaging USA awards you the advantages of saving money, making new friends, and of course saving even more money!

So, how do you do it? Once you register for Imaging USA 2016, you have access to theLoop, Imaging USA's community where you can communicate with your fellow attendees and find a roommate (or three) to help cut down on housing costs, making your Imaging USA experience even better. You can also take advantage of the Imaging USA Facebook, Imaging USA Twitter , and use other forms of social media to search for a roommate. 

Get ready for your experience at Imaging USA 2016 and begin your search for your roommate now. You never know the new possibilities it may bring! Be sure to book your hotel room early by going to ImagingUSA.org/Hotel for the very best rates. There are a range of hotels still available including Hilton Garden Inn Midtown, Microtel Atlanta-Buckhead, Aloft Atlanta Downtown Hotel, and many more. If you have not registered yet head on over to ImagingUSA.org/Register to 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.

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200901we_geddes_c_royemerson.jpgby James Yates

World-famous photographer, New York Times best-seller, PPA member since 1997, PPA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient and philanthropic rock star Anne Geddes is hosting an event in New York we thought you might want to check out!
 
On December 8, 2015 at 10am EST, head over to AnneGeddesLive.com to watch Anne create a brand-new holiday newborn photograph. It's a rare gift to be able to watch an icon like Anne work. Anne is opening this live-stream, so that fellow photographers can have the opportunity to peek in on her process and observe how she interacts with babies, their parents and her team during this exclusive live-stream. This is a tremendous opportunity, share it away!

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by James Yates

Because sometimes being an internationally recognized symbol for overcoming adversity just isn't enough and some of you wonder where the connection is, we will be spending the next several weeks helping you get to know Amy Purdy. You'll quickly understand why we're so excited to have her be part of Imaging USA 2016! Each week you'll see a highlight on Amy, and how the inspiration and insight she provides make perfect sense for this year's convention! Let's kick things off with a look at the non-profit that means the most to Amy and her husband Daniel...

Adaptive Action Sports! "Encouraging Individuality and Creativity While Building Independence and Self-Confidence"

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Ten years ago, Amy Purdy and Daniel Gale joined forces to create the first non-profit focused specifically on disabilities and action sports. Their emphasis began with snowboarding and skateboarding, which were their own particular passions, but in just a few short years, they got several Adaptive Action sports into the Paralympics and now provide over 50 adaptive sports for over 200 sports enthusiasts. From their website: "...adaptive action sports creates skateboard, snowboard and other action sport camps, events and programs for youth, young adults and wounded veterans living with permanent physical disabilities, TBI and PTSD".
 
Adaptive Action Sports has helped get adaptive snowboarding, adaptive snow cross, adaptive skateboarding and adaptive moto X into the Paralympic games. The Snowboard Pipeline, opened in 2007, is one of their greatest accomplishments, providing snowboard training to adaptive riders at all skill levels. Snowboarding camps and race training sessions provided by AAS have become action sports staples and are regularly awarded honors nationwide.
 
How does this relate to you or professional photography? Why is Amy's story your story? PPA believes that each of our members in particular, but also photographers in general, are their own small businesses and the only way to improve your business is to get out there and start doing! Amy's story of tragedy, regroup, and triumph can inspire any self-made artist to keep trying and never give up! Use every tool to your advantage, even those that seem like disadvantages at first. Come listen to Amy's keynote speech at Imaging USA 2016 and you'll understand how and why her story applies to YOU!
 
Her session is only available to All-Access Pass holders, so register for yours today at ImagingUSA.org/Register. Act fast: early bird pricing ends December 8th, after that prices will increase by $50.

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by James Yates

Parties_Like-A-Pro.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 are the best three days of your year, bookended by the best parties of the year.

Be sure to meet your fellow photographers at the Georgia World Congress Center, Thomas Murphy Ballroom on Sunday, Jan. 10th at 8pm for the Opening Party, sponsored by Canon! And don't leave your camera at home! We were thinking: why limit oneself to a single "theme" for the party? Why not set up four different sets to provide more photo ops and create costumed revelry in a variety of environments? At Imaging USA 2016, you'll start partying with Super Heroes, snap pics of Steampunks, take a trip back with Retro Fashions and partake in the mysterious with our Masquerade. That variety-pack of four themes is sure to get your artistic (or just party) mojo going!
    
This is a professional photography convention, right? So bring your camera, grab your friends and take advantage of these setups! And remember to share your favorite photos with the hashtag #ImagingUSA! Your images could be featured on our giant Tweet Walls before class!
 
After you've been filled to the brim with info and fun at the convention, there will be something waiting for you at the Closing Party. It's time...to dance with the "fishes". Imaging USA 2016's Closing Party, sponsored by PPA will take over the entire Georgia Aquarium! The Georgia Aquarium is the largest indoor aquarium in the U.S. 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. Oh and did we mention that you'll have free-range access to the entire aquarium?! So 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!

The Opening and Closing Parties at Imaging USA 2016 are just five of the bajillion reasons to come to the greatest conference of the year. See you there!

These parties are only available to All-Access Pass holders. To register for yours, head to ImagingUSA.org/Register today and take advantage of early bird pricing. After December 8th, prices will increase by $50!


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By Sarah Ackerman

The holidays are in full swing! We hope you had a great Thanksgiving. If you're still in a bit of a food coma, here are our top threads from November on theLoop! Give them a read, chime in with advice or ask a question of your own!

If you're looking to expand into the corporate headshot business, this is an excellent thread for you! See what lighting systems work (or maybe don't work so well) or chime in if you have any favorites!

Looking for a best solution for tethering with an iPad on a shoot? There is a wide variety of commercial options out there. Help one photographer find out what works best. 

Are you coming to Imaging USA? (If you haven't registered yet, head to ImagingUSA.org/Register today before rates increase on December 8th!). One photographer asks if the Closing Party is a must do. Because we're taking over the Georgia Aquarium, of course it's bound to be an unforgettable night. What are your thoughts?  

Help a fellow photographer find a solution to an interesting problem: finding a cover for sound proofing foam that will still allow the foam to do its job. Canvas is out of the question, so what's next? Share your ideas on this thread.

Shooting a Bar Mitzvah for the first time can be intimidating. Do you have any tips and tricks for a first timer? Join the conversation here!

Shooting a parade solo can be a large endeavor! How would you suggest a one-man crew cover such a big celebration? Weigh in with your equipment and logistic recommendations in this thread.

Photographers new and old are always looking for new ways to ensure that their images last a lifetime. Do you have any pro tips on backing up and storing your files? Share them in this great thread!

It's always great to expand your creative offerings. Have you ever dabbled in food photography? Help one photographer on pricing, resources and more! 

Sometimes your clients want some pretty crazy things. Help a fellow photographer shoot a real estate sign with a macro look, without post processing. Chime in and see what works best for you!

Do you ever experience things in your studio that just stump you? Check out this holiday photography that's got one photographer perplexed. He has his Christmas lights on, but in the photos, it looks like every other string is turned off. In this thread participants are debating what may have caused this mini-mystery. 

Communicating to your clients when your studio is open is critical to your business, but how do you do so, while still leaving flexibility in your schedule? How do you post that information on your website and other digital platforms? 

This is a slightly complicated situation: you're hired as a second shooter, but are sent out solo. The couple hates the final images and wants their money back. How do you approach the photographer that hired you? Read these responses and weigh in!


Remember to check out theLoop, a safe and protected online community where PPA members can discuss a range of photography topics. Not a PPA member, join 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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