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PPA Today: January 2016 Archives

January 2016 Archives

by James Yates

As we turn the corner on January and what was an amazing Imaging USA month here at PPA, let's take a look at some of the best blog posts from Jan. 25-29, 2016. From the secrets of creative people to Imaging USA highlights and wrap-ups, there's something for everyone! Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Weekly_Top_Ten_Excited.jpg

1. Imaging USA 2016, Imaging USA 2016 Review, & Imaging USA Fresh Look
IMAGING TOURS: Ann-Marie Ford has a great set of pics from Imaging up on her AM blog. Brian Striegler Photography recapped all three days of Imaging in great detail. Judith Chauvette took tons of model shots from Imaging USA and posted them to her Fresh Look blog. If you missed out this year, look through these and be very jealous. Then, mark your calendar to join us for Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, January 8-10!

2. Copyright: PPA Helps You Be More Informed, Be More Prepared, and Be More Involved!
©ACTION NEEDED: PPA's Lindsey Forson educates us on all the latest developments in U.S. Copyright Law. PPA has been advocating tirelessly for changes to the law that will protect small business, high-volume photographers. Check out how you can get involved as soon as legislation makes it to the floor of Congress.

3. Six Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People
CREATIVITY BOOST: Inc.com studies some of history's greatest creative minds and came up with this eye-opening list of daily habits they have in common. These six strategies have the power to change the way you think about creativity.

4. A Beginner's Guide to Working with Flash Off-Camera
LIGHTING HOW-TO GUIDE: In this tutorial, Digital Photography School shows you the quick and easy steps to shooting portraits using off-camera speedlights. From gear and setting up to step-by-step lighting, this Beginner's Guide is a must-read if you're working with off-camera flash.

5. Eight Ways to Separate Yourself From the Competition
BUSINESS HACKING: Rosh Sillars wants to help you get noticed and earn what you're worth. His eight steps aim to add value to what you do. Stepping outside of your bubble, engaging with worldwide cultures and trends and sending unique thank-you cards are just some of his tips for standing out from your competition.   

6. Time Lapse Imaging USA Trade Show Opening
TIME LAPSE TELLS A STORY: Check out this delightful footage from Successful-Photographer.com from the floor of the Georgia World Congress Center. See all the first-day madness from the bottom of the escalator when the Expo doors finally opened! 

7. Adulting with Randy Van Duinen
IMAGING RECAP: PhotoBomb guys Booray and Gary interview Randy Van Duinen for a three-part Imaging Recap podcast. Check out this second show, which is all about Randy's history and tips on how he makes a living with architectural photography.

8. Closing the Loop: Photographer Susan Michal
LEAD & INSPIRE: Read or listen to the amazing life story of Susan Michal, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, courtesy of WJCT, Florida. Learn how her music background combined with her passion and talent for photography and led her all the way to the Chairmanship of PPA.

9. Capturing the Female Form with Master Photographer Sue Bryce
IMAGING USA FAVORITE: RollingOut.com gives a play-by-play of one of the most popular classes at Imaging USA 2016: Sue Bryce. Find out why the packed audience was so excited to learn from one of the fashion world's greatest photographers.

10. Imaging USA 2016 Was Incredible!
EXPO VIDEO: Broadcast Pro Photo takes you on their journey of what made Imaging USA so special. Check out their iMovie video tour of the Expo floor and feel like you're really there. 

Hope you are as inspired and excited for 2016 post-Imaging USA as we are! This is going to be a great year! And please let us know what photography blogs or podcasts you follow! Post your favorite on theLoop or email us links at OnlineContentCommitee@PPA.com 
Thank you!


Happy Friday, all!
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Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to our very own Julia Boyd, Certification Director, for attaining her own Certification as a Certified Association Executive (CAE). Yay, Julia!
Attaining the CAE designation is an arduous process that typically requires a minimum of five years, culminating in 8 to 10 months of intensive study and preparation for the exam. The 200 question exam requires intensive knowledge and understanding of associations' law, finances, taxes, advocacy, leadership, and management (among other things). It's kind of a BIG DEAL! And we wanted to share it with you, as PPA staff is getting better and better... for you!



By Aleighia Rouse

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. This campaign was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers and those who are members of PPA get FREE marketing tools to help. These photographers' marketing tools include customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips, FAQs, and quizzes. 

Add a PPA logo to your website and stand out among the many photographers out there. By adding a logo you are showing clients that you are backed by a well-established and trustworthy association. When you are a PPA member, See The Difference offers two logos to choose from and both are available in full color, black, or white. They even include transparent backgrounds so that they will look professional on your website. And if you're a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), you can go to the "I'm a CPP" page under "Certification" and download your CPP logo. 

Check out more See The Difference marketing resources offered to PPA members here. Not a PPA member? Join Today!


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


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By Sarah Ackerman

2016 is off to a quick start! Can you believe it's nearly February? Time flies when you're working on things you love! Take a moment and check in on some of our top discussions from theLoop!
 
What do you do to turn passion projects into profit? When your artistic vision changes, it can be a challenge! Help this PPA portrait photographer explore where she can take her landscapes. 

Watermarking has been a time honored tradition in years passed to help market your work, but has its time come to an end? Weigh in with this PPA photographer to share your experience with keeping your stamp on your work.

Have you ever been put in a position where a client was past due on a bill and you had to charge a late fee? How did you handle it? Help this PPA photographer figure out what's an appropriate amount.

Sometimes clients are disappointed for a variety of reasons, many of which may be out of your control. What do you do when a client demands too much? Chime in with this PPA photographer to share how you would handle this situation. 

Volume photographers unite! In a volume world, how do you offer online reorders that don't take ages to set up on your site? Help this PPA photographer streamline their workflow to maximize profits and minimize time wasted. 

Sometimes the best of the best isn't feasible, so what's a good midrange option for monitors? Do you have a favorite anecdote or a horror story to steer this PPA photographer in the right direction? Chime in!

When your clients insist on just having the files and not having anything printed, what's an appropriate price? And would you barter for leads? Share your feedback with this PPA photographer!

If you're a newborn photographer, how do you handle sales sessions? New moms have their hands full and adding to their stress won't lead to your top sales, so what's the best option? Help this PPA newborn photographer navigate her way to better sales here.

As a photographer, it's important to get your name in front of your potential customers. Have you ever used a mall display? If so, how did it work? Weigh in on this thread!

When a job is substantially larger than any other job you've done, how do you go about handling the pricing? For this PPA commercial photographer, do you do it by the hour, by the unit or just a flat rate for the whole project? Weigh in here!

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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By Aleighia Rouse for PRINT. The Movement 

A survey conducted by PPA revealed that 67% of respondents store their photos on their phone or computer. In this digital age, there are still great risks that come with not producing tangible prints. Most people will think: "I saved them on my hard drive!" True, but what if your computer crashes, or maybe there is power surge and you forget to save your images in the process? These images and your work as a photographer can be gone, forever, and you might have no way of recovering the files. 

There are even troubles when saving images on the cloud. Online storage subscriptions can become costly and with the changes in technology, future recovery of images on DVDs may be compromised. Because images are no longer tangibly accessible there is a real risk that future generations won't have cherished family memories for their own.

PRINT. The Movement. 

The infographic below shows in a simple way where we stand and the risks we're facing. Print. For Memories. For Life.


PRINT_Infographic_720x2400_Final.jpgThis infographic was produced by PPA - Professional Photographers of America, for PRINT. The Movement. 


JOY_7309-1.JPGAleighia Rouse is a graduating senior at Spelman College and PPA's Marketing and Communications intern. She aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. Aleighia is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice, and with over 6 years of film and photography experience, she can relate to and understand most of the issues faced by PPA photographers.

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By Sarah Ackerman

If this is the year you want to Be More Creative, start pulling together your images for PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC)! 

The IPC is dedicated to helping photographers be more creative and more artistic in their photographic pursuits. You'll be able to build on your best work, elevating the quality of your craft  for both your personal projects and paid jobs alike, but more importantly, you'll elevate the quality of your output for your clients. Through this competition, photographers who are also PPA members are eligible to achieve PPA exhibition merits toward their Master of Photography degree.

Why participate in this photographic competition? 
•  Take your finest work to the next level
•  Earn recognition from your peers
•  Engage and learn from an incredibly passionate and supportive community
•  ...As a result, improve your craft and photography business!

Sounds like a win, win! Check out why thousands of photographers participate each year, directly from them right here.

Are you wondering what judges will be looking for in the images? It's a thorough process where they'll compare your work against PPA's official 12 Elements of a Merit Image. In the past weeks, we've posted real critiques from past IPC entries. These images range from different styles of photography and different subject matter to varying levels of success in photographic competition. You can even see critiques from images that made it all of the way to PPA's prestigious Loan Collection! Watch these critiques and use them to get over the fear of participating. This is truly a supportive community and the judges give you specific examples of what you've done well and areas you could improve in the critique process.

Read the IPC rules today and see how you can push yourself to Be More Creative in 2016! Submissions open May 23, 2016.

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 Lindsey Forson

PPA has a full time presence on Capitol Hill fighting for the rights of professional photographers. In fact, as you read this, PPA's CEO David Trust is in Washington, D.C. meeting with key lawmakers. As we kick off our 2016 advocacy efforts, we have hope that this will be the year that a lot of hard work will pay off.
 
Know that PPA is fighting for your rights! This is why we want you to know exactly what the issues PPA advocates for are and why these issues have been prioritized. As a result, during the next six weeks, we'll post more updates right here, on the PPA Blog. Weekly posts will cover key priority areas of PPA's legislative advocacy efforts and provide updates on the most recent progress on Capitol Hill. You can also follow these stories on PPA.com/Advocacy.

This blog series will also offer a webinar to dig a bit deeper on the same topics and discuss strategies for grassroots advocacy. Here are the advocacy priorities you can expect to learn more about:

1.    The Creation of a Small Claims Option for Copyright Enforcement
2.    Modifications to the Copyright Registration process to create a more functional system
3.    Modernization of the United States Copyright Office

Do not miss out on these opportunities to become fully informed on these vital issues which directly affect your livelihood! The time to become educated is now - very soon PPA might be calling on you for help!

Why now?

The House Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress has executed a comprehensive review of copyright in America during the past few years. PPA has been there all the way through, speaking out for the issues most important to the industry. In the next year or two, we hope to see legislation from this committee on issues vital to photography businesses, such as those outlined above. When, exactly? No one knows - which is the reason to prepare now.

If and when any copyright legislation moves from the Committee to the House floor, PPA will call on you! We will ask each and every PPA member to contact their representatives so that our voice truly is 29,000 photographers strong. Timing is essential - so it is extremely important to time this right. But when the day comes (hopefully soon!), PPA members will be educated and prepared to fight for your rights. Do your part now by taking full advantage of PPA's educational opportunities - 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 Chris Homer

See The Difference® is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign paid for by PPA that is designed to help professional photographers educate their (potential) clients on why hiring (and paying for) a pro over an amateur photographer is a good thing. See The Difference was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers and those who are members of PPA get FREE marketing tools to help in this sense. These photographers' marketing tools include customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips, FAQs, and quizzes.

One of the See The Difference resources PPA members have access to are consumer tips & FAQ pages that can be shared with your potential customers. There are tips and question pages for wedding, senior, family and pet photography specialties! Easy-to-use consumer tips and frequently asked questions (FAQs) will help your clients and prospects understand what to look for when evaluating photographers and give them tips on working with photographers to take beautiful photos. Add a Tips and/or FAQs button to your website or Facebook page!

If you are a PPA member, download one of the buttons for your website and link to the See The Difference consumer tips or FAQ page of your choice! Remember, it is only by exposing consumers to professional grade work and explaining the value inherent to your work and services that people will learn to see the difference and understand the worth in professional photography. 

For even more See The Difference resources, visit PPA.com/SalesTools. Just know that you've got to be a PPA member to access these resources, so join PPA today if you haven't already! It's economical and it gets you way more perks and benefits than it will cost you. Consider joining 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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See The Difference® is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign that aims to help consumers see the difference when evaluating an amateur vs. professional photographer. PPA members also get access to FREE marketing tools including videos, customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages, consumer tips, social media tools, FAQs, and consumer quizzes.
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One of these new tools are a few shareable videos. These videos are professional, high quality clips that can be streamed on your website, posted on your social pages or played in your waiting room. See The Difference videos are designed to appeal to consumers' emotions by showing real clients who share their stories and talk about why it's so important to hire (and pay for) a professional photographer. There are five categories of videos for you to choose from:
 
Why Hire a Pro?: includes 3 videos - See The Difference  Professional Photographers Make, Once-in-a-Lifetime Moments, and Why Hire a Certified Professional Photographer?
 
Wedding Photography: includes 3 videos - Wedding #PhotoFail, Wedding Photography is a Worthwhile Investment, and What's a Picture Worth?

Family Photography: includes 2 videos - Preserving Family Moments Forever and Moments You Can't Get Back.

High School Senior Photography: includes 3 videos - Seniors Show Who They Really Are, Once in a Lifetime Portraits, and Senior Yearbook Pictures.

Pet Photography: includes Furry Pals' Personalities Captured Forever.

If you haven't watched these videos, check them out today! They are short and sweet at only 1-3 minutes per video. Take a look and decide what's best to play on your website or to show in your studio! It is only by exposing consumers to professional grade work that they will learn to see the difference and value professional photography more. For more information on how you can link to the See The Difference resources from your website, visit PPA.com/SalesTools.


By Chris Homer

As you get back into the swing of your business post-Imaging USA, take a few minutes to
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 check out the top blogs of this week. You'll find everything from social media advice to pricing for real estate photography. Check them out below.

IMAGING USA: Imaging USA 2016 was last week in Atlanta. If you weren't able to go, check out recaps from pre-convention, day one, day two and day three from PPA staff member James Yates. We hope to see you in 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. 

MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA: Do you know how social media can impact your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Check out this guide for photographers from Zenfolio on how social media and SEO work together and learn how to make your business more visible on the web!

GENERALISTS CAN BE PROFITABLE!: While many photographers choose to focus their business on one specific specialty, there are photographers out there who are generalists - meaning they shoot anything and everything! In this post, Fstoppers interviews generalist photographer Viktoria Haack on how she's found success without specializing. There's some good advice here that you may be able to apply to your own business!

SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY: PPA works with Operation Lifesaver to educate photographers on the dangers of photographing on railroad tracks and why you should avoid doing this. Don't take our word for it though! This post gives one photographer's perspective on the dangers of photographing on railroad tracks after having their eyes opened to the risk at Imaging USA!

DEVELOPING STYLE: Do you struggle trying to find your own photographic style? This post from Digital Photography School is for you. It gives advice on how you can start to develop a photographic style that will, in turn, give your images more meaning!
By Chris Homer

See The Difference® is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign paid for by PPA that is designed to help professional photographers educate their (potential) clients on why hiring (and paying for) a pro over an amateur photographer is a good thing. See The Difference was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers and those who are members of PPA get FREE marketing tools to help in this sense. These photographers' marketing tools include customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips, FAQs, and quizzes.

One of the See The Difference resources PPA members have access to are dedicated landing pages that can be shared with your potential customers. These specialized landing pages each showcase wedding, family, senior and pet photography, while highlighting the benefits inherent in hiring a professional photographer. You can use these pages to: 

  • Stand out from your competition
  • Help clients learn the value of professional work
  • Proudly marketing yourself as a pro
  • Show you belong to and are backed by a well-known professional organization

If you are a PPA member, download one of the buttons for your website and link to the See The Difference landing page of your choice! Remember, it is only by exposing consumers to professional grade work and explaining the value inherent to your work and services that people will learn to see the difference and understand the worth in professional photography. 

For even more See The Difference resources, visit PPA.com/SalesTools. Just know that you've got to be a PPA member to access these resources, so join PPA today if you haven't already! It's economical and it gets you way more perks and benefits than it will cost you. It's time. Consider joining 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 Aleighia Rouse

Want to share your talents, skills, and knowledge with other photographers? Volunteer to become a Super 1 Day instructor. Super 1 Day is PPA's semi-annual peer-to-peer educational initiative, and the spring workshops will be held on May 9-23, 2016. Prepare to be amazed with some great experiences, including learning more, networking more with your fellow photographers, and being closer to getting your degree!

Super 1 Day is a chance for you to gain TWO speaking merits towards your PPA degree. If you are a Photographic Craftsman and Master Photographer volunteer you will also receive $50 per student after the 7th paid attendee that comes to your class.

Hurry and apply now as an instructor for the upcoming Super 1 Day Spring 2016 workshops, registration closes on January 25, 2016. Sign up today and check out more information about Super 1 Day here.


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for JOY_7309-1.JPGAleighia Rouse is a graduating senior at Spelman College and PPA's Marketing and Communications intern. She aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. Aleighia is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice, and with over 6 years of film and photography experience, she can relate to and understand most of the issues faced by PPA photographers.


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By Sarah Ackerman


The 2016 District Competitions have started opening their entries! Now is the perfect time to push yourself to be more creative in the new year. To get you prepared for competition, we're showcasing the critique of "Age of Innocence" by Katherine Tracy Page by James Wyant from PPA's International Photographic Competition. 


In this critique, James compares the work to the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. See what can apply to your work or identify areas you might want to focus on!






We hope this critique can help you get a better understanding of what the International Photographic Competition judges are looking for when scoring your images. Head to the District Competition section of PPA's website to see when your area is accepting entries, and be sure to get a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art! 


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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.

by James Yates

all images © Alex the Photo Guy

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I'm trying to stay upbeat but heading home is a bittersweet feeling. Everyone on the floor of the GWCC and Expo today was excited, inspired, and ready to return home with a ton of new friends and weapons in their photography arsenal. 



Let me share with you the story of April Ranew, a PPA member of just two years. Last year was her first Imaging USA and she left inspired and determined to make her business a success. In just a couple of months, she used her new knowledge to open her home studio and by the end of the year she had doubled her sales. Now, that's exciting enough but here's where the story gets even better: at this Imaging USA she happened to be in line at a nearby restaurant after the convention one evening. The party in front of her noticed she was alone and invited her to sit with them. It turned out to be several PPA Board Members who wound up sharing their stories and years of experience with her, a "newbie", and forming new friendships. She learned so much and now feels like she's "part of the PPA family". That's what I'm talking about when I say you never know what can and will happen at Imaging USA! 

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But back to this last, amazing day. The classes today were as fantastic as one would hope for on the last day. Peter Hurley is always a big favorite from attendees. Craig LaMere taught everyone how to have a "badass brand". Ashley Brooke used her social media savvy to inspire attendees to put the personality back in their business. And there were more than a few tears shed at the highly emotional session with Jerry Ghionis, M.Photog.Cr. His session was all about evoking emotion! You didn't expect him not to do that, did you? 

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The Expo floor was abuzz today as throngs of people bought last-minute tickets for the PPA Charities Dream Studio Giveaway, a complete makeover for one lucky winner, Greg Mooney of Marietta, Georgia, souped up and tricked out with all the latest and greatest products from the expo and valued at an estimated $50,000. Check back in the spring here at PPA Today to see video of Jamie Hayes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API and the PPA Charities Dream Team surprising Greg at his studio and beginning the process of giving it that amazing makeover. 

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Next up tonight was the Awards and Degree ceremony where PPA honored the professional photographers who set themselves apart in the industry by earning new PPA degrees and awards. There was even the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award given to Ken Whitmire, M.Photog.Cr.FASP. Ken is only the fourteenth recipient of that honor in PPA's nearly 150 year history!


And then...the Closing Party. Imaging USA goers schmoozed with fish, danced with penguins, and snapped pics of beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium. You went, right? If for no other reason than to say "see you next year!" Please tag and share your pictures with #ImagingUSA with all the friends you've made and saw at Imaging USA. 

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That "last day of camp" feeling is electric in the air today. Let's all get rested and then work hard to implement everything we learned to help our business and art thrive! 






If you missed out....DON'T LET IT HAPPEN NEXT YEAR! We're going to be Living La Vida Lone Star in San Antonio, Texas. Not a PPA member? Join now and get your first Imaging experience for FREE! PPA.com/Join


Check out the Recap Video for the final day of Imaging 2016

by James Yates

all photos © Alex the Photo Guy 

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Wow, everyone. Sorry. I don't know what happened. I'm usually so calm and composed but my first couple of posts about Imaging USA have had the tone of a 12-year old girl's post to Justin Bieber's Facebook page. I'm fine now, though. I've adjusted to the constant flow of positive vibes and stream of new friends I'm making by the second. I'm now used to the passion, the parties, the pride I'm seeing photographers take in their work and their generosity with sharing their knowledge with anyone who needs it. I'm jaded now. 

Just kidding! Of course I'm still walking around with my jaw on the floor! In fact, if you see me around at the Imaging Expo tomorrow, come pinch me and wake me up. 

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The day kicked off with morning classes and there were twice as many today as yesterday. The tradeshow doors opened at 11:30am and was just as full of happy and excited photographers the second time around. I was able to interview vendors today and their excitement over sharing new products and trends with their clients was contagious.



There was a LOT of chatter on the Expo floor after the 10am class with Sue Bryce. I heard the term "fangirl/boy" maybe ten times from as many different people. Other amazing speakers today included Lisa Evans, M.Photog.Cr., Chris Garner, CPP, Clyde Butcher, and Terri Eddington, M.Photog, CPP.

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A video went up earlier today about last night's jam-packed Opening Party, sponsored by Canon. In one of our greatest opening party turnouts, guests were treated to more delicious food than they could handle and several models roaming the ballroom dressed in fun costumes including retro and superhero fashions.  Watch the video and re-live a night you maybe can't remember or have major jealousy for missing out on completely. Don't have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) tomorrow night! Be sure to attend the Closing Party at the Aquarium, featuring catering by Wolfgang Puck! 

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The day ended with one of the highlights of everyone's year, the Grand Imaging Awards. The best of the best in PPA's loan collection were honored. The winners in each category were:

Ted Linczak---Non-Event Album

Jerry Ghionis---Event Album

Sandra Pearce---Artist

Peter Lik---Landscape/Nature

Ben Shirk---Illustrative/Commercial

Paul Ernest---General Portrait

Abby Ziemer Malone---Animal Portrait

Dan McClanahan---High School Senior Portrait

Kimberly Smith---Fishin' Buddies

JB Sallee---Wedding


and the Grand Imaging Award for 2015 goes to...


Ted Linczak for his Non-Event Album, 1863


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Tomorrow's going to be full of excitement. From the Award and Degree ceremony to unbelievable prizes and surprises on the Expo floor. I'm signing off for the night. I can't believe tomorrow is the last day! If you've missed out this year, don't let it happen again. You have GOT to join PPA and see what all the fuss is about by being a member of the world's oldest and largest nonprofit association for photographers by photographers. Need an incentive? If you join, you get to go to next year's Imaging USA in San Antonio...for FREE. PPA.com/Join


Watch our daily Recap Video here for an up-close look at all that went down.



by James Yates

***all images © Alex the Photo Guy***

***except the dogs at the end. You'll see***


I can't even. I. Cannot. Even. 

If you read my previous post, then you know how much the Pre-Convention days here at Imaging USA in Atlanta meant to me as a first-timer. To be able to speak to members, hear their stories, share in their excitement, and make new friends in the process seemed like PPA's coupe de grace. 


And then the first official day happened today.


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The entryway to the GWCC had a DJ...at 8:00am. I danced to Outkast with Imaging USA attendees at 8:45 this morning! Now THAT is ATL love! I knew there were lots of parties at Imaging but this is ridiculous! 


Right off the jump, the 8:00am classes featured amazing speakers like Kristin and Paul Privette and Timothy Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Phtog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, starting everyone's convention off with fun, informative (and full) classes that had me wishing I could stay for the whole thing each time I ducked in to sample them. The faces of the attendees, while they learned pro tips like how Kristin and Paul describe being "obsessed" with your products personally before showing them to your clients, were what you would call "transfixed". 


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This year, everyone's schedule was cleared so all attention would be paid to our Keynote Speaker, Amy Purdy. You could hear a pin drop as she told her life story and inspired everyone in attendance with her triumphant take on life's struggles. I've had the pleasure of writing up several blog posts about Amy over the past couple of months and I was more than a little "fanning out" over her being here. She did not disappoint, in both inspiration, and generosity of spirit. 


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We barely had time to think before the Board of Directors cut the ribbon to the Imaging Expo floor and, in an instant, PANDEMONIUM. It was like a Black Friday sale without the trampling and shoving (photographers are a classy and respectful bunch). Seriously, if you have never seen the Imaging Expo, it truly is like the Mall of America for photographers. Everything and anything you need for your business is there, from the latest trends to perennial favorites. 


I interviewed tons of people on the Expo floor and around the conference today and found a special bond with other first-timers. Our eyes would meet in a look of "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?!". 


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The evening classes were awesome too and I was able to catch an entire class on the amazing Studio Makeovers. Here's the deal: two studio owners, both members of PPA, were chosen to partner up with five PPA mentors, the best in the business, to completely overhaul the finances of their business. The class was a group interview and presentation as we were walked through their process and how their year went. It was a real-life experiment in the question, "How does change feel?" Here's a hint: both studios became increasingly financially successful. I'll devote an entire blog post to just this class when my head stops spinning from everything else I saw today but seriously, with mentors as strong as Ashley Brooke, Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, Dave Doeppel, CPP, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, and Kristin Privette, CPP (yes, her again!), you can imagine how insanely informative and packed with info the class was. 

As Angela Kurkian, PPA's Director of Education, put it, "When you decide to create change, change occurs all around you." 



I'm inspired, I'm moved, I'm exhausted, I'm ready for more. I have to finish writing this so I can hop over to the Opening Party where I hope to dance with a few superheroes and flappers until all the fun starts again tomorrow! 

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^^^my favorite attendees, Louis and Annabella, © Judy Reinford^^^


Check out our amazing Recap Video for a whirlwind glance at all that went down



See you all tomorrow at Imaging USA! Don't forget to share and tag your photos on social media with #ImagingUSA

And if you've missed out, be sure to join PPA and go to next year's Imaging USA in San Antonio for FREE! PPA.com/Join

by James Yates

***all images © Alex the Photo Guy***

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Imaging USA 2016 doesn't officially start until tomorrow but you sure wouldn't know it from the tons of people already enjoying Pre Convention classes! 


I'm James Yates, PPA's Communications Specialist and one of the newbies on the PPA staff, having only started working with PPA two months ago. I had certainly heard the hype: "Imaging is the most fun you'll have all year!" "You won't believe how happy and friendly everyone is!" and "Get ready for the ride of your life." Aside from that nervous, "up the rollercoaster"-feeling in my stomach, I set out Thursday morning ready to receive whatever Imaging goodness came my way...


...and boy, did it! THIS IS AMAZING! Seriously, the convention and expo officially start tomorrow but it already feels like the greatest photography party on earth up in here! The Georgia World Congress Center has been painted red-and-white by PPA and I got to snap some pics and take in everything there is to do during the Pre Convention courses. Here's a Pro Tip for next time....GO TO PRE CONVENTION! 


 

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By Chris Homer

Imaging USA starts this weekend! With that in mind, this edition of the blog roundup includes
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 several posts to help you prepare for what you'll experience in Atlanta during Imaging USA, along with the usual photography news, advice and inspiration you're used to seeing. Enjoy and we'll see you in Atlanta!

IMAGING USA: Attending Imaging USA but not sure what the value is of attending the Grand Imaging Awards or the Award and Degree Ceremony? Read up on PPA member Christine Walsh-Newton's take on these events and why they are important for professional photographers to attend!

EXPOSURE 101: If you're thinking about going pro, or if you need a refresher, one of the things you've got to understand is how the Exposure Triangle of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO work together. This post from Digital Photography School gives a nice overview of how these elements come into play when taking a photograph.

STUDIO PORTRAIT TUTORIAL: If you run your photography business from home or don't have a large studio, you can still create great looking, professional portraits. In this post from PetaPixel, a photographer shares the simple set-ups he uses to create great portraits, all without a conventional studio.

HDR 101: Capturing photos with the correct lighting can be a challenge at night. This post from PhotoFocus shows you how you can use HDR Photography to get great results in photos taken at night.

COLOR: If you want to create portraits that really stand out, check out this post from The Phoblographer. It goes over some of the key points to consider to get the best color out of your portraits.

COPYRIGHT: Do you include copyright information in the meta data of your photos? Doing so is a great way to help defend your copyright. This post from Killer Lightroom Tips goes over how you can easily update (or add) your copyright information to a photograph in Lightroom. 

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by James Yates

Being the oldest and largest nonprofit photography association comes with responsibility. Our mission is to not only provide photographers with the education, resources and industry standards of excellence to help them be successful, but to also help consumers see the difference when evaluating photographers. That's why PPA launched an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign called See The Difference®. 

For the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Bridal Guide, PPA was called upon to offer the top three wedding photo trends for 2016. You can find us on the bottom right corner of page 5. If you're snowed in and can't make the newsstand, here's some of what we revealed:


  • Photographers are needed for more than just the "big day". They're being asked to be around the whole week!


  • Photo editors are in-demand now for onsite instant retouching and social sharing! 


  • Forget the old superstition about not seeing the bride before the wedding! "Many brides and grooms not only want to see each other before the wedding, they also want to capture those private, connected moments in their photos." 


The 2016 Hottest Wedding Trends issue of Bridal Guide is on sale now! 

See The Difference is a marketing toolset developed for professional photographers, by professional photographers. If you want it, or for more information on how YOU can put See The Difference® marketing resources to work for your business, visit PPA.com/SalesTools

by James Yates
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Your client's four-legged best friend has a personality and style of their own. They know it by heart, but can they articulate it to others ... say, you, the photographer who will be shooting lasting pictures of their pet? PPA's See The Difference® resources include a fun, shareable quiz, "How is Your Pet's Personality Captured in Photos?" that can help steer them in that direction!

See The Difference is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign that aims to help consumers see the difference when evaluating photographers. It was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers and those who are PPA members get access to these FREE marketing tools including shareable videos, customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips/FAQs.
 
With the Pet Quiz, your clients can find out, for instance, if their dog is a "Diva" or "Down-to-Earth" and just looks that way. But "pet personality" isn't the only See The Difference® quiz for consumers to try out! You can share quizzes based on Family ("What's Your Family's Style?"), Wedding ("What's Your Bridal Style?"), and High School Seniors ("Will Your Senior Photo Capture the Real You?"). They're all designed to help promote PPA members' value as a professional and better serve their clients.
 
Go ahead and use these tools or share these quizzes because it is only by exposing consumers to professional grade work that they will learn to see the difference and value professional photography. For more information on how YOU can link to the See The Difference® quizzes from your website, visit PPA.com/SalesTools.



by James Yates

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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!

Be sure to go back and read our last super-sized post taking a look at Amy's noteworthy television appearances, Then 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

Imaging USA 2016 is HERE and Amy will be with us, Sunday, January 10 at 10am! You'll be with us, right? By now you really don't need any more info to know how amazing Amy is (HELLO! She's a Bronze Medal- winning Olympic athlete!), but we've saved some clips for you just to get you even more excited.  

First up, in 2011, Amy gained international notoriety through her TED talk. This was long before she started working as a motivational speaker and was a huge success, being viewed worldwide nearly 1.2 million times. Consider this clip about drawing inspiration from life's obstacles a preview for what's to come on January 10th! (She'll be inaugurating a whole new presentation for us at Imaging USA!)

Did you know Amy was featured by ESPN as one of their Impact 25, a list of the greatest women athletes for 2015? Her interview is intimate and inspiring and you can read it here

Of course, a year before her fame-making appearance on Dancing With the Stars, Amy first proved herself to be a superstar by winning the Bronze Medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics. Host network NBC included Amy in this documentary profile, How to Raise an Olympian, sponsored by P&G.

Finally, if you haven't already, grab yourself a copy of Amy's memoir, On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life. Copies will be available before and after her talk because she's doing a book signing right after her keynote speech! We know you're as excited as we are now to meet and be inspired by Imaging USA's 2016 Keynote speaker, the amazing Amy Purdy.

See you there! If you, for some insane reason, haven't registered for Imaging USA 2016 yet, do so here. But hurry! It's THIS weekend! 

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Here is a consumer video for senior yearbook photographers to upload to their website or play on a monitor in their waiting room. This video was created to help seniors and their parents see the value in hiring a PPA senior yearbook photographer.  In this video, PPA senior yearbook photographers descend upon a high school senior class at the start of their final year. High school seniors are shown sharing their stories and talking about why it's so important to hire a pro. PPA photographers talk about the importance of being prepared and on task so they can spend time helping seniors and their parents feel comfortable in front of the camera. 

See The Difference is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign that aims to help consumers see the difference when evaluating photographers. PPA photographers get access to a FREE marketing toolkit that includes shareable videos, customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips/FAQs. 

Watch and share this video with your clients to help them See The Difference when choosing a senior photographer! For more information on See The Difference marketing resources, visit PPA.com/SalesTools.



By Chris Homer

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in the power of education for all (it's normally reserved only for PPA members)! 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 January, the video "How to Handle Client Objections" with Lori Craft, Cr.Photog., has been unlocked and is available for anyone who wants to learn how to turn "no" from your clients into "yes" and make more sales. Learn how to handle client objections and help you turn your client's frown upside-down!

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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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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2015 is officially done and you're already on your way to the most successful, profitable, amazing year yet! To kick 2016 off on the right foot, check out the top discussions taking place on theLoop!

Do you design your wedding photo books for your clients? If so, what websites or software do you use? Chime in on this thread to share what's worked for you! 

Working in a situation where there are multiple photographers doing portraits can cause a kerfuffle with your lighting set up. Have you had your strobes pop because of the speedlights around you? Join this thread to see what works, what doesn't, and how to all play nice in a tight space!

Having troubles with the latest Photoshop CC update? One PPA photographer's liquefy tool is no longer working - could it be the update or has her video card gone stale? Weigh in here!

Using fog/smoke inside your studio can be challenging - from safety to clean up, all of your options present some draw back. Which do you prefer? Join this great conversation on coming up with creative solutions! PPA Members, In Studio Smoke/Fog Effects

It's the age old question: laptop or desktop? Which do you prefer? Pros and cons? If you're an Apple user, help this PPA Member with their big purchase!

The bad news is you're slammed with time management, marketing and everything else. How do you balance it all? Whether you've been there before or just wanted to be prepared for your best year yet - this is a great thread!

Do you work with corporate clients that have you sign away your copyright? What would happen if you stopped offering that as a part of your business? There are great anecdotes in this awesome thread! Chime in with your thoughts today!

Looking for a new source for frames or do you have a favorite you'll always stick with? Weigh in as one member looks for a new vendor for ready-made options that are nicer than your run-of-the-mill box store.

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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This page is an archive of entries from January 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

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