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PPA Today: April 2016 Archives

April 2016 Archives

By Aleighia Rouse

 

Poof! April has come and gone, but the photography industry is making new changes every day. At PPA, we want to make sure that you are staying abreast to all things photography that happened this week. Here are our top 10 blog posts of the week!

 

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'Shark Tank' Star Robert Herjavec's Top 5 Small-Business Marketing Tips

MARKETING HELP: Looking to start or even expand your business but need some tips on where to start? Look no further than Robert Herjavec, he started his business from the ground up, in this article learn how he did it and how you can do the same through simple marketing changes and additives.

 

The Complete Guide to Color Management: Color Made Easy

POST PRODUCTION: We all know how boring color management can be, well it just got a lot more exciting thanks to PPA photographer Jeff Rojas.  Check this article and learn how to manage color and take a crash course in color displays, analyzing your environment, and much more.

 

Posing Secrets of the Red Carpet
BEAUTY PORTRAITS:  How do celebrities look so fabulous in every red carpet photo that you see? Well check out this article to find out how, PPA photographer Megan DiPiero discusses anything from body positions to actual shot compositions.

 

A How- To Guide On Photographing Strangers 

BREAKING THE SHELL: It can be an awkward thing walking up to strangers, especially because you never know what to expect. But taking pictures of strangers is a great way to exercise your skills and practice, even as a professional. In this article Jeff Rojas sits down with Miguel Quiles to discuss some tips on how to approach strangers to take their photo.

 

Improve your Landscape Photography with this Step-By-Step Seascape Guide

REFERENCES: This is for all our landscape photographers out there. We know your job isn't just taking pictures of random objects and infrastructures; it is much bigger than that. It's nice to have some people that understand that struggle. This article gives a play-by-play of all aspects of landscape photography, from settings to technique.

 

Three Unique Ideas for Improved Compositions
ADVANCED PORTRAIT POSITION: Everyday a new feature or technological advance is added to the pot of the photography industry. In this article, PhotographyTalk goes beyond the normal suggestions of "rule of thirds" or "include foreground interest" when it comes to shot composition. Delve into some lesser-known compositional tips so you know how to create a stunning image.

 

How Do You Balance Family Time While Establishing Your Business

BUSINESS & LIFESTYLE: Balancing home life and work life can be a very difficult, especially when you are a photographer and a business owner all at once. In this Fstopper article they discuss finding a median between work and home life and how to do it successfully.

 

How to Harness the Power of the Midday Sun for Your Photos

STAY INFROMED: The dreaded midday sun is not only the hottest part of the day but can create a harsh light for your images. In this article learn how to turn that harsh light into a benefit for your session, though a close aperture, dynamic settings and using your shadows to your advantage.

 

Photog Kicked Off Plane for Trying to Be a Responsible Drown Owner

DRONES: Recently, a photographer was kicked off a plan, not for carrying dangerous materials or taking pictures when he wasn't allowed but for being a "responsible drone owner." Learn how to avoid situations similar to this one and get tips that'll help you avoid going through something.

 

Maintaining Creativity with Personal Projects

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: Learn a few tips from pro Skip Cohen's interview with Vincent Laforet on how creativity can advance your career, business and personal projects. In this podcast he discusses how to hustle, personal projects and mindset, overcoming challenges, and feeling discovery.

 

There you have it, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or 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 a graduating senior at Spelman College and one of 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.

 

 

By Sarah Ackerman

Regulations surrounding drone operations are on the verge of major changes as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to make the integration of drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) top priority. PPA is here to help you understand the changes. 

We've published two resources at PPA.com/Drones to help you navigate the legal mumbo jumbo surrounding the world of professional photography and drone usage. 

This article walks you through current regulations and what to expect once more changes from the FAA come to fruition. Think you're operating legally? Give it a read and make sure. The last things you want are fines or make it more difficult to become certified because you weren't aware of the rules and regulations. 

Choose your own adventure! Answer questions and follow the path to your answer of "Can I legally fly my drone?" Remember that changes are on the way! Just because you may not be able to legally operate a drone now, doesn't mean that will always be the case. New regulations are expected within the next couple of months!

PPA's goal is to keep you legal and informed as these rules change. We're back in Washington, D.C. this week working with legislators on drones and copyright issues. Stay up-to-date at PPA.com/Advocacy and Be More Protected. 

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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

As you expand your photography business, you don't know what you don't know. Asking questions on theLoop to expand your knowledge is a great place to start to learn about any area of photography! With 29,000+ PPA members behind you, there's bound to be someone who has been in your shoes and can offer a word of support or advice. 

This month, we're highlighting the thread concerning skyline images, specifically how to reduce the noise in them. Check out what your fellow Loopers had to say and the beautiful images their advice helped create (complete with before and after shots): 

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Jonathan Andreas: Hello! I currently travel for work and aside from my day job I make it a point to get out and shoot skylines when I am in bigger cities. Most of the time I shoot around dusk and during the night. Typically I am shooting with a ISO of 100 and as slow of a shutter as I can with a f/22 (canon 5d mark III, 24-70 f/2.8) I just started using live view and manually focusing as well- I am just looking for some tips for how to reduce my noise during the low light shots as well as some post production tips. Thanks! -Jon 

Thomas Viceconte: Are you using long exposure noise reduction in-camera? Is there a specific reason you're using f/22 for all the images? How are you processing the files in post?

Jonathan Andreas: Thanks for responding Thomas, I did not know there was an option for noise reduction in camera. I will apply that and check it out the results. I have been shooting f/22 just so I could use a long exposer. Are there negatives to using f/22? 

Eugene Lugo: Shooting at F22 will cost you some sharpness due to diffraction. I would suggest using a neutral density filter and a larger aperture if you can do that and still have enough depth of field.

Jonathan Andreas: Got it, I didn't know that. I'll try the larger aperture and look into the filter. I have been using iPhoto to process my images. Once I get home in May, I will be able to use CS6 to process my images.

Leroy Moore: Jonathan, in-camera noise reduction takes two photos. It takes your photo, then closes the shutter and takes another.  So, if you are shooting a 3 minute shot, you lose another 3 minutes while the camera takes a dark frame.  It then subtracts the noise produced in the dark frame from your original image.  It's slower and sometimes works well, depending...  You set this up in your camera's menu system.

Suggestions:  DXO Viewpoint 2 is not very expensive and can be used to correct the optical distortion you are getting. 

Fair noise reduction software includes Lightroom and some techniques with Photoshop.  Topaz labs makes a great and inexpensive de-noising software called DeNoise.

But if you want to sell large copies of these great photos, your best noise reduction that can be had is by DXO Optics Pro labs.  It also converts raw files and is a stand-alone program.  The Prime de-noising algorithms of this software are currently the best available at removing noise, but leaving detail.  I am not sure, but I think buying the bigger program may come with the Viewpoint software included.

Have fun shooting...

Jonathan Andreas: Leroy, I appreciate the feedback, I'll take a look at the programs. For future photographs do you think the neutral density filter is the way to go? Thanks!

Kevin OConnell: I shoot mostly all long exposure and paint with light. I would suggest you try shooting different f-stops as well. See how more brilliant the light is at say f13. You will see a difference in the two scapes. Also find the sweet spot of your lens for optimum detail. Very easy to do with tutorials on youtube. You probably already know to shoot during the Blue hour for the best looking skyline shots, if not try that as well. 

Tim Gray: Another thing to consider is the higher aperture numbers create the nice star-burst flare effects from direct lights (ex: the streetlights on the bridge). The trade-off is that your lens provides sharper focus and less edge distortions at the middle f-stops (f/8 - f/13).

As for the noise reduction, are you shooting RAW or JPEG? If you are shooting in RAW, then noise reduction is not applied in camera. I have not done comparisons shooting RAW with long exposure NR setting but my guess is that would only be applied for JPEG. Has anyone else tested this for RAW images?

Thomas Viceconte: You're welcome, Jonathan. In addition to all the excellent recommendations from others, you can try applying the digital lens optimizer (DLO) in Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software that comes with your camera. You can download the software from the Canon web site. DLO reduces lens aberrations and diffraction. It would be interesting to see what it does with the images that you posted. If I apply DLO to an image in DPP, I set the sharpness/unsharp mask to 0 before using DLO and make no other adjustments in DPP. I then export the file as a 16 bit TIFF and process the file in Lightroom/Photoshop. It's not needed for every image, but if you're using the extremes of a lens, it might help improve the image quality. I used this process on the attached image that I took handheld at ISO 1600. It's not perfect, but if you look in the dark areas of the image I think the noise is minimal.

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Jonathan Andreas: I attached the before and after canon photo professional, just from tweaking it really quick it is a huge difference! 

What would you add to this conversation? Chime in on theLoop or ask your own question! If you're thinking it, chances are so are your peers! Not a PPA  member, join today at ppa.com/join and access the thriving community of theLoop.



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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 Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Capitol_Copyright_Blog.jpg

Your PPA team is on Capitol Hill this week, advocating for stronger copyright protections to benefit artists like YOU! After yesterday's celebration of Intellectual Property Day, we continued with more meetings with senators in a position to help with our mission to empower small business photographers.  

This morning PPA's CEO, Membership Director, and Government Affairs Manager met with David Rybicki, Counsel for Senator Perdue (R-GA). Since the State of Georgia is home to PPA headquarters, we had an added connection with this office. We introduced PPA's priorities and discussed our small claims proposal in depth. David seemed intrigued by the proposal and is eager to consult with Senator Perdue on it. Senator Perdue has a business background and is strong on IP protection issues, so we suspect that this will be a great office to continue working with.

Next, we met with Garrett Levin with the office of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Senator Leahy is the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also has many artistic pursuits himself (including photography!) and is a very strong copyright advocate. This office will be an integral part of any success of small claims legislation on the senate side. Garrett, who had studied our proposal prior to the meeting and was prepared with very specific questions for us, provided great insight into how we might best set up potential legislation for success. He has worked on these issues for a long time and the knowledge he shared was very helpful. We also discussed registration issues in depth. Garrett is very interested in creating solutions to the problems surrounding the deposit requirement that is a part of the copyright registration process. We will be meeting with his office again in the very near future.

These meetings are a big deal as they really help to advance photographers' copyright enforcement and copyright protection in general. PPA puts the time and effort year-round into pushing these issues because they impact the livelihood of our profession. This is why it is so encouraging to see these pieces of the puzzle come together, pushing us steps closer to our goal.

Stay up-to-date here on PPA's blog and on PPA.com/Advocacy for everything you need to know about PPA's work on Capitol Hill. It will help you be more protected and be more prepared.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!


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By Sarah Ackerman

Second quarter is off to a roaring start! Are you still on track with your business and creative goals for the year? Take a moment to check in on theLoop for some education and inspiration from your fellow photographers!

Drones are all the rage, but did you know if you're using it for more than just hobbyist use, it's probably illegal? Take a moment and catch up with the current FAA recommendations and PPA's take on them.

Are you in the market of senior photography? What are your favorite and most profitable products? Whether you have years of experience or you're just looking to expand into this market, this is a great read!

If you're a photographer on the go, portable backdrops give you a great way to take your studio on the move! But with so many options, where should you invest your money? See what your fellow Loopers had to say!

As a new business owner, there are a lot of questions that pop up and getting advice from experts is always great. But do you need to consult a lawyer and pay pricey fees before you get started? Weigh in to help this new business owner out!

First, no need to apologize for asking questions on theLoop! That's what it's there for! In this thread, help your fellow photographer on common questions on flash. 

Location photography means needing to have the majority of your resources at your fingertips. What hardware and software do you consider must-haves in this situation? Weigh in on this thread!

Most photographers are comfortable printing their work to a reasonable size, but billboards? That's a new animal! Help this photographer with what size image she'll need to make it happen!

Calling all search engine optimization (SEO) pros! If you redo your website, does it undo all of your past SEO? Demystify the world of Google and other search engines in this active thread!

When photographing outdoors, you're battling a pretty powerful light source with the sun. What are some great lights to combat the sun? 

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 Lindsey Forson
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4/26/16, 5pm:
Today was packed with meetings that shed more light on the work being done to strengthen copyright protection in the U.S. First, the Government Affairs team had a pair of introductory meetings on the issue of copyright small claims. We met with Skiffington Holderness from the office of Senator James Risch (R-ID) to introduce the idea of copyright small claims. Senator Risch is on the small business committee and we would love to see them hold a hearing on the issue. Skiffington was very receptive to our cause and said he would love to dig into it deeper and meet with us again to discuss. We look forward to that and hope to work with this office to shed light on the need for small claims.

We also met with Matt Sangren, the Chief IP Counsel to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to discuss all of our priority issues. Senator Hatch is a long time copyright advocate, and we are very appreciative of that. We hope to work with this office on copyright small claims and other issues important to small-business creators. We provided Matt with our small claims white paper. He is excited to look further into the issue and work with us. IMG_3260.JPG

The back half of our day included an excellent meeting with Jonathan Nabavi, Counsel to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). He was very interested in the idea of small claims and asked a lot of questions about how to make the potential small claims process work best for small creators. We also discussed our concerns with the "one-size-fits-all" copyright registration process that makes it very burdensome for professional photographers who produce the highest volume of creations among the copyright holder community. These issues include the requirement to sort images according to publication status and date and to deposit each individual photograph. Senator Grassley will be a very important component to achieving our goal since he is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We are excited to see what will come of getting his office engaged on the issue.

Your PPA team is now headed to the World Intellectual Property Day reception! We'll be mixing and mingling on Capitol Hill with the other IP stakeholders and supportive members of Congress.

We have more great meetings lined up for tomorrow! Stay glued to PPA Today or PPA.com/Advocacy for all the updates!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!


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by Lindsey Forsoncapitol.jpg

Today is World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, and PPA's Government Affairs team is spending it fighting for your rights on Capitol Hill! Celebrated internationally on April 26, World IP Day marks the date in 1970 when the World Intellectual Property Organization Convention became active. It's observed today as a way of promoting a general understanding of intellectual property and its importance. This year, PPA will be in attendance at several World IP Day events in DC to network with other copyright stakeholders and discuss shared goals.

These events are just one small part of PPA's April advocacy visit to Capitol Hill. We also have several very important lobbying meetings to promote potential copyright small claims legislation and other key priorities. Our appointments include meetings with the offices of the Chairman Senator Hatch and the Ranking Member Senator Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Recently, PPA's copyright advocacy efforts have been mostly focused on the U.S. House of Representatives. This is due to the fact that the House Judiciary Committee has performed a comprehensive review of copyright law over the past couple of years. As our top priority issue gains increased support on the House side, PPA is now connecting with key offices in the Senate Judiciary Committee to introduce and promote the idea of copyright small claims. No matter who ultimately introduces a small claims bill, the legislation will have the best opportunity for success if it already has wide support throughout Congress when introduced.

You can rest assured that along with promoting small claims legislation, PPA is speaking up on all of the copyright issues affecting professional photographers. Recently, we submitted comments to the US Copyright Office concerning issues with both the copyright registration process and the DMCA notice and takedown process. We will continue to discuss these topics and others with key law-makers and agency heads.

Be more educated and get your Copyright Resources now at PPA.com/Copyright. And stay tuned to PPA.com/Advocacy this week for updates from Capitol Hill!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!

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by James Yates

Want to enter into a serious photographic competition? Been thinking about entering again or wanting to take the first-time dive? PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) begins accepting entries May 23. It's time to start preparing your images. It's through competition and critiques of your work by professional photographers that you can truly grow and evolve as an artist.

Entering the IPC is one of the best ways to improve your craft, especially if you choose to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's Jurors! You can have your images evaluated and scored based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the areas in which you may need improvement. It's an amazing learning experience!

We know the process can seem intimidating for first-timers, so here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image called "Cloud Surfing" was created by Heather Cook, M.Photog., and is being critiqued by PPA juror Rod Brown, M.Photog.Cr.

Take a look and see how entering a photographic competition can improve your own work as a photographer through constructive feedback like you'll hear in this critique.



We hope this critique can help you get a better understanding of what the IPC judges are looking for when scoring your images. Start preparing your images for the International Photographic Competition! Submissions are open May 23-June 22, 2016. Late registration extends until July 7, with an additional fee. The IPC judging dates are July 31-August 4, 2016 and you can stream it live at Stream.theIPC.org. Be sure to request a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art and Be More Prepared.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.


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By Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for copyrighticon.png

As part of April's increased copyright awareness efforts, PPA's government affairs team created two new copyright webinars. The webinars are available through PPAedu and were created to help you increase your copyright knowledge and protection efforts.

Copyright Basics: What Every Professional Photographer Needs to Know provides a brief overview of photographic copyright. Though this is not an incredibly exciting topic, copyright is something that you, as a professional photographer, should have at least basic understanding of. By tuning in, you will learn the basics of federal copyright law and how it affects your business. The webinar also provides an overview of how to protect your copyright and how to recognize and deal with copyright infringements. Finally, you will learn how to access and take advantage of PPA's copyright resources. You may have tuned into this webinar in the past, but now there's an updated version on PPAedu.

Ten Tips for Protecting Your Copyright presents the nuts and bolts of image protection. As a professional photographer, you want to protect your photographs from copyright infringements but may not be sure of what steps you can take. From educating your clients to registering your work, this webinar gives you the tools you need to make sure your photos are as safe as possible.

These webinars do not present legal advice but are full of useful educational information. Don't miss out - take advantage of this opportunity to fine-tune your copyright knowledge! Check out PPA's helpful Copyright Tool and Kit at PPA.com/Copyright. And stay up-to-date with all of PPA's Copyright advocacy efforts at PPA.com/Advocacy.


Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!
By James YatesThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Weekly_Top_Ten_Drumroll.jpg

April is winding down but spring is still in full-bloom, whether it's rainy, sunny, or still snowing outside. Take your allergy meds, curl up on the couch and stay informed with our top blog post shares this week.
    
Exposed: The Risks of Photographing on Railroad Tracks
Be Safe: From TheLawTog, Operation Lifesaver is providing shocking data and links to articles on the dangers of shooting on railroad tracks. Not only is it illegal, but deadly! Keep your clients safe with this informative read.

Three Important Ways to Edit Color in Lightroom
Lightroom Tutorial: Want to learn how to edit color in Lightroom? This article has nice insights from SLR Lounge on just the subject!

April 23 is World Copyright Day! Celebrate with PPA
Celebration: The construct that protects your business has a day all to itself and it's Saturday, April 23! Celebrate with this quick read on how PPA is protecting photographers' rights on Capitol Hill and beyond!

This Automated Method for Colorizing Black and White Photos is Very Impressive
Cool Technique: Popular Photography provides a tutorial on how to colorize black and white photos using automated processes with surprisingly natural results.

Reducing Our Emotional Attachment to Images Part 2
Sharpen Your Eye: Taking a critical view of your work can range from difficult to impossible at times. Apogee Photo continues its series on emotionally detaching yourself from your images to become a better editor.

What if Instagram Pictures were on Film?
Speculation Calculations: Think photography is expensive? Atlas Obscura asks us to imagine if Instagram were on film. The math might be a little crazy, but it's interesting to see we'd be spending $15.63 billion per year!

How to Cut Anything Out in Photoshop
Snip-Snip: If you've ever been faced with what seems like an impossible task of cutting something out of your images, this video is for you! Photoshop Road Map offers a video tutorial on how to cut anything (and we mean anything) out in Photoshop.

The Double Exposures of Brandon Kidwell
Must-See Images: This is a great read for some weekend inspiration! The Phoblographer profiles some very cool double exposure portraits by Brandon Kidwell.

Create a Storybook Image
Spotlight On: PhotoFocus presents the images of Australian photographer Kira Likhterova in this step-by-step on her process in capturing beauty. 

Am I Making Art?
Art for Art's Sake: Do you struggle calling yourself an "artist"? PhotoFocus offers inspiration for those photographers that struggle with labeling their works as art.

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

Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.

 
By Aleighia Rouse

Looking for some inspiration to bring to your next session? Look no further than PhotoVision! This amazing PPA resource has released even more photography courses to add to their ever-growing collection. They are continuing to inspire photographers just like you while also providing the information you need to improve to improve your skills and techniques! Here are PhotoVision's newest photography tutorials, giving you the solutions you need. Check out the latest releases below. 

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Beth Forester, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Join Beth as she discusses lighting technique and what she does every time to create that perfect studio lighting.  

Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API 
Running your own business can bring with it unexpected challenges and sometimes you just need advice from another professional.   Check out this episode for great business advice, whether you are a newcomer or seasoned professional. 

Parker Pfister, Cr.Photog. 
Parker offers pure inspiration in this episode.  Using a large format camera and then taking us into his darkroom, Parker is truly at home and you're inspired to think more like an artist. This is all about "creating the image" and purposefully making photographs. 

Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API 
Jamie Hayes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API
We love studio tours! Come along as we journey through these well-thought-out spaces.  Learn some great outdoor photography tips to take with you on your next session even if you don't own a garden studio.  Listen in to hear how to create the ultimate experience for your client. 

Iconik Studio
Get your younger clients to break out of their shell with a change in scenery. In this episode we follow Iconik Studio as they do a high fashion shoot for a little girl. Create a new experience for your young client every time and learn how to keep them engaged throughout the entire session. 

Find any of these videos relating to your specialty? Well, this is just the beginning. Head on over to PhotoVisionVideo.com and explore the range of videos offered! Right now, you can use promo code PPA49 and get an entire year of access to PhotoVision for only $49.  And when you become a PPA member you can get 50% off DVDs, so consider joining PPA today, here, or sign up for your own PhotoVision Subscription.  


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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 Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Capitol_Copyright_Blog.jpg

Copyright protection is vital to professional photographers. It is what preserves the value of your creations and, without it, a photography business could be very difficult to maintain. Many people think of copyright as something that only really affects rich and famous, Hollywood creators. But we know better!

We know that, more than anything else, copyright is a small business issue.  PPA works year-round to spread this message and to fight for vital improvements to America's copyright system. In honor of April's World Copyright Day, we have gone the extra mile this month - but we need your help!

What is PPA doing?

As always, we are advocating on Capitol Hill for copyright improvements that are essential to professional photographers. At the center of our advocacy is the creation of a copyright small claims option for infringement claims.  We are also sending the message to the public that copyright protects small businesses across the country, and therefore, respecting copyright law is essential to our economy. PPA circulates copyright-related press releases to the media and welcomes copyright-related inquiries from consumers and photo retailers. Through this process, we provide resources which educate the public on copyright law and connect consumers with copyright owners of images they wish to have reproduced.

What's new?

Just this month, PPA launched our new Copyright Infringement Help Tool - an interactive resource available to PPA members 24/7 to help you deal with the unauthorized uses of your work. We released a Copyright FAQ section on the website which gives you simple answers to your most common copyright questions. Also launched this month is a new website, CopyrightDefense.com, which provides resources to policy-makers and other interested parties related to top advocacy priorities for the visual arts community. On this website you will find a video entitled, "Who is the Copyright Holder Next Door?" The video provides compelling insight into copyright as a small business issue.





How can you help?

The most important thing you can do is protect your own copyright. Begin with your PPA Copyright Kit to reinforce your copyright knowledge. Be sure to educate your clients about copyright and how it relates to the products they purchase. Keep up with PPA's advocacy efforts at PPA.com/Advocacy, and be sure your voice is heard when the time is right. In honor of World Copyright Day, take it a step or two further! Have a conversation about how copyright protects your business with at least one friend, family member, or person you come in contact with. Share PPA's new video with your social media networks with your own copyright story or personal message.

Copyright protection is important today and every day. PPA's voice is 29,000 strong - so let's work together to create awareness!  And don't forget to take advantage of your PPA copyright resources which can all be accessed at PPA.com/Copyright.


Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!
By Sarah Ackerman

The International Photographic Competition (IPC) opens in just over a month. Are your images ready? IPC offers photographers a chance to get objective critiques of their work and areas where they excel, as well as areas that could use some improvement. Photographers who compete get to cash in on the following benefits: 

Engage with the passionate and supportive photographic competition community
Improve upon their finest work 
Earn recognition and admiration from their peers
...And as a result, improve their business

Just ask Randy Van Duinen, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP. Watch as he discusses how he got involved with photography, PPA and competitions. 


IPC entries open May 23. Familiarize yourself with the rules for the Photographic Open and Photographic Artist categories today and Be More Competitive in 2016!

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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

A great place to start your photographic competition journey is with the District Competitions that happen at the beginning of each year. They are great reasons to get your images in competition shape before the International Photographic Competition (IPC) opens in May. 

This year there was a record breaking number of images and critiques, up 366 and 468 respectively, that entered the five districts

Top scoring cases for the Photography Open went to:
Southwest:
David Edmonson, M.Photog.Cr.
North Central:
Ben Shirk, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr.
Western:
Kristi Elias, M.Photog.
Northeast: 
Kari Douma,  M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Southeast: 
Joe Campanellie, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP

Top scoring cases in the Artistic category went to:
Southwest: 
Kimberly Smith, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP
North Central:
Ben Shirk, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr.
Western: 
Kristi Elias, M.Photog.
Northeast:
James Hoover, M.Photog., CPP
Southeast:
Michelle Parsley, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP

Congratulations to all who entered into the District Competitions to be more! Remember, if your images earned a Seal of Approval at a District Competition, they still need to be entered into the IPC to receive a merit. 

Entries can be submitted to the IPC starting May 23. Brush up on the rules or mark your calendars for IPC Live, our live broadcast of the judging of the IPC August 1-4 at Gwinnett Technical College! Take the leap and Be More Creative!

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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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Not only is Professional Photographer magazine's new website offering 30 Days of Giveaways (get in on those if you haven't already!), but it also boasts a new gallery of phenomenal work by talented photographers. The article "Flight of Fancy" by Amanda Arnold highlights the innovative and exceptionally creative composites of Matthias Jung's Surreal Houses series, for example. 

In this series, Matthias creates floating houses over beautiful natural landscapes. Can't picture it? Don't fret, the new website has a beautiful gallery highlighting some of Matthias' finest work. Check it out! 

And while you're there, enter the 30 Days of Giveaways! From free licenses from top software companies to great gift cards to some of your favorite labs! Get in before they're gone!

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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 Yates21738677.jpg

PPA members are totally PAWsome! Many of you have dived, heart first, into the pawsitively wonderful world of pet photography. In order to support our fur-friendly photogs, PPA added pet photography to its list of specialties in its See The Difference campaign.
See The Difference is PPA's online, print and social media awareness campaign that aims to help consumers "see the difference" when evaluating photographers... and realize the importance of hiring a pro. The campaign also gives PPA photographers FREE marketing tools to help with their sales processes and justify their costs, quality, and expertise.

As part of See The Difference, PPA periodically writes feature stories that are picked up by 1,000s of national and regional online and print news organizations with the explicit goal of teaching consumers the value of choosing a professional for their photography needs.
 
With the help of PPA pet photographers Kristin Adams, Barbara Brady-Smith, Barbara Breitsameyer, Mary Anne Broderick, Margaret Bryant, Julie Clegg and Kim Hartz, PPA wrote a See The Difference feature story called 7 Keys to a Pawfect Pet Session. The story was picked up by 1,084 online publications with a combined online audience of over 50 million. Photos from these talented photographers were used to illustrate the story and further hone the importance of using professional photography. Check out the whole story from some of the many sites that are hosting the article: the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Gate, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Orlando Sentinel.
 
Inside you'll find great info on these seven tips for consumers along with some awesome photos like the one above ©Bryant Dog Photography!:
 
1. Hire a photographer who specializes in pet photography.
2. Plan for patience.
3. The puppy/kitten window is as small as they are...start planning ASAP!
4. Try to capture every stage of your pet's life.
5. Plan the session to fit your pet's schedule.
6. An illuminated solution...the right light makes all the difference.
7. It's all in the eyes!

This is only one of 12 stories that PPA will push out each month in an effort to show consumers that professional photographers are worth the investment.
 
Want your photos considered for stories like these? Fill out this form today and we'll contact you if your images are selected!

James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.



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By Aleighia Rouse

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As we begin the entrance into mid-April we here at PPA want to make sure our members are always informed with as much information about the photography industry as possible. Here are our top 10 blog posts of the week! 

CLAIMS FOR CLAIMS: In this article by HyperAllergic find out how poet, actor, makeup artist, and photographer James R. Miller is claiming the copyright to four of his photographs that were being shown and sold for decades as the world renowned photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's. 

BUSINESS: When owning your own business there is bound to be a time when you run into problems or mistakes. PPA member Rachel Brenke is here to the rescue, helping photographers avoid common pitfalls when it comes to legal mistakes in your business. 

MEMBERSHIP: When PPA's president speaks we all listen! Lori Craft is always advocating for her fellow PPA members and photographers. In this podcast by FotoFacts, learn why she believes that it is important for any photographer to become a member of PPA and how PPA has impacted her career and changed how she can Be More! 

COPYRIGHT PROTECTION: Copyright infringement never sleeps, and now neither does your infringement assistance at PPA! This week the Copyright Infringement Assistance Tool launched to help you with all of your questions when it comes to your next course of action when your images have been compromised. 

POST PRODUCTION TIPS: As much as many photographers do not like it, Frequency Separation is a wonderful technique to take with you in your next editing session. Check out this article to find out how to effectively use Frequency Separation so that your photos are taken to the next level. 

RECREATIONS: The famed musician Phil Collins has recreated his old album covers in a new way, an interesting and challenging task for his photographer. The unknown name of the photographer who has recaptured these memorable images has people questioning if it is the critically-acclaimed British photographer Trevor Key. 

DRONES: A new GPS-enabled drone has allowed photographers to photograph beautiful night landscapes, with the help of a mounted and powerful LED light. See how the combination of LED lights and drones can create multiple lighting positions and layered, theatrically-lit compositions. 

CREATIVITY: In a recent discovery, scientists have been able to store images and retrieve images within the life-defining molecule of DNA. In this article, discover how researchers from the University of Washington are converting digital files through the use of strings of DNA. 

CONSERVATION: Tucked in the drawers, flat files and shelving units of the National Museum of Natural History hides an array of reference objects that are helping scientists, researchers and museum creators discover earth fragments of biological and cultural objects from civilizations of the past. These somewhat artistic images are providing important information that can bridge the past with the present. 

TECH TIPS: Learn a few tips from pros Bob Coates, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP and Skip Cohen on how embracing new technologies can advance your career and business. In this podcast they highlight how to pull still frames, creating the perfect time-lapse photography moments,  experiments and personal projects.  

There you have it, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or 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 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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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BizChallenge_blogpost_650x160.jpg103 PPA photographers quietly kicked off the new PPA Business Challenge in February. Since then, two more groups have gotten underway with well over 300 participants at PPA.com/Challenge.

The Business Challenge helps photographers improve their business by building a stronger foundation with a focus on sustainability and profitability. The April group has already experienced two weeks of business-changing assignments, Q&A webinars, inspiration, check-ins, recaps and mark-your-calendar alerts. It's a great way to confidently build your business and not go it alone!

#1 No nonsense business advice
Led by PPA Director of Education Angela Kurkian, this 12-month Business Challenge is THE place to come for small-business help specifically developed for photographers. It is a sound framework to help PPA photographers steer their studios in the right direction. Don't be afraid to take the Challenge! Kurkian explains, "A lot of the things (the participants) are nervous about are things that being a member of PPA will help with (i.e. pricing, marketing, value through certification and becoming better at the craft of photography through photographic competition)."

#2 Peer-to-peer support group & accountability
The Business Challenge was developed to help hold photographers accountable in their attempts to improve their studios. One of the most popular and rewarding components of the Business Challenge in that regard are the questions and answers in the forums, where Kurkian poses questions to the group for an honest, frank discussion among peers. The questions can be complex, or as simple as "What are you afraid of?"

Here are some examples of the candid answers pulled from the group:

Q: What are you afraid of? What stops you from taking action?

"Will people value me?"

"My biggest fear is that I'm going to fail and look like a complete fool for even trying. I worry that my work isn't worth anything, that my peers view me as just another mom with a camera, and that I won't earn their respect; and I worry that I'll never find a client that values my work."

"I worry that maybe I AM talented but I'll let my fears squander it away or that my lack of business acumen will outweigh that talent."

"People will not pay our prices and will go with cheaper alternatives. People do not value our art or our time. My phone will stop ringing. We won't be able to afford/maintain our lifestyle."


But don't get too bogged down in the muck of negativity! Sharing with your peers is a wonderful way to see how alike we all are. Once these obstacles have been identified, it's only a matter of banding together and learning how to stomp it out with knowledge, hard work, and support from
PPA and your peers. We're all in this together!

#3 Safe practice for your own business
PPA is constantly developing new curriculum, offering webinars and advice to inspire and ignite the Business Challenge participants, and pushing them to greater success as artists and business people. You'll even notice Wes Roberts, who completed the Studio Makeover Challenge last year, hanging around the forums and offering great advice as someone who's been through the program.

Check back in a couple weeks, where we see what's going on with April's class one full month in...maybe some of their fears will be alleviated? (Spoiler alert: They will be!) Sign up now for the May class! Over 50 members are already on board! It's your turn to take control over your business and Be More! Sign up for free at PPA.com/Challenge.

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By Lindsey Forson
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The FAA recently expanded its online drone registration system to include unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or "drones") being used for commercial or public uses. Previously, online registration was only available for drones being used for hobby or recreational purposes, but no matter the purpose or activity, all drone owners are required to register every drone they have. The registration process only takes five to ten minutes. The cost is $5.00 and each drone registration is valid for three years.

Here's the official website to register your drone:  FAA.gov/UAS/Registration. Remember: only hobby and recreational uses are currently permitted unless the drone operator is a licensed pilot and has a Section 333 exemption from the FAA but stay tuned for new regulations that should be made public within the next few months. PPA wants to be very clear that the registration expansion does not mean that regulations have changed (though it is a good sign that the changes are coming very soon).

Registering a drone for business-related use is very similar to the hobbyist registration and is outlined in this article PPA published previously. There is just one additional step required and that is for you to provide the manufacturer, model, and serial number of your drone. The system will also prompt you to input information about your organization (your business) into your account profile.

Once you have registered your drone, you will be assigned a registration number. Be sure to follow the FAA's instructions for labeling your drone properly once you have that unique registration number. You must have your FAA registration certificate in your possession when operating any unmanned aircraft. That proof of registration may be either on paper or electronic, but it must be available immediately upon request.

And remember: Commercial drone use is still heavily regulated, requiring an exemption from the FAA and a pilot's license to be fully legal; however, we expect those requirements to be loosened soon. The FAA making commercial registration available online bodes well for the new regulations appearing just around the corner. We'll keep you posted on any and all updates here and on PPA.com/Drones.

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!

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By Chris Homer

With so many helpful videos to choose from, why wouldn't anyone want to be a part of PhotoVision? PhotoVision is a photography learning website that provides 24/7 online photography tutorials. The PhotoVision series provides a range of educational information from some of the biggest names in the professional photography industry. From helpful tips to processes that photographers can use when considering every element of their business, these videos have it all. They range from helpful information in green screen techniques to constructing a social media and digital marketing plan and so much more. The best news? PhotoVision is available at no cost to PPA members!

Need some convincing on why to join PPA? Consider subscribing separately to PhotoVision! Every month, PhotoVision unlocks a FREE video available for everyone to stream. We're so sure you'll love it and gain insight from it that you'll want to come back for many, many more.

This month's free video:

Boudoir On The Edge
Featuring The Boudoir Divas 


This video begins with the Boudoir Divas creating a series of head and full length boudoir images while using a unique constant which mimics a glamorous runway. Watch as the Boudoir Divas use Photoshop to put the finishing touches on the final images.

Check out PhotoVision today! Just one more way PPA is helping you Be More Educated!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout 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 

Although the District Photographic Competitions are over, there is still an opportunity to enter a serious photographic competition. PPA's 2016 International Photographic Competition (IPC) will begin accepting entries on May 23. It is never too early or too late to learn, especially when it comes to photography techniques that will improve your overall skills as a photographer.

PPA is always looking for new approaches to help photographers. If you entered last year's 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 Jaime Mezquida of Dennis Hammon, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP and her image City of Arts and Sciences.


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. Begin preparing your very own images for the International Photographic Competition now. Make sure you request a critique so that you receive feedback personalized on your works of art! 


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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 Chris Homer

PPA is dedicated to delivering photographers the best education available through the over 350 photography course videos available on PPAedu, as well as the 800+ videos on PhotoVision. In addition to these recorded courses, PPA hosts courses that you can attend from your computer LIVE as they happen. Check out what we've got coming up in April below!

April 21, 2016 - 2 ET
Skill Level(s): ALL
FREE for All Photographers

There is a lot of information out there about what is legal and what is not when it comes to drone photography. This webinar will separate fact from fiction concerning current regulations. More exciting is that regulatory changes from the FAA are on the horizon which will make legal business-related use of drones much more achievable. Tune in to find out what you should expect and when you will likely see these changes take effect. At the end of the webinar, there will be a Q&A session with PPA's Manager of Government Affairs who has been in communication with the FAA's UAS Integration Office.

April 26, 2016 - 2 ET
With Andrew "Fundy" Funderburg
Skill Level(s): ALL
FREE for All Photographers

Join the founder of Fundy Software, Andrew "Fundy" Funderburg, as he walks you through how to significantly improve your workflow and maximize your studio profits conducting in-person sales. Design and sell wall art and albums with ease and flexibility, while also ensuring your clients walk away happy.

Remember, these courses are open to ALL photographers to attend live, so register today! If you want to access the recordings of these courses and the full PPAedu library of 350+ videos as well as the 800+ streaming courses on PhotoVision, you'll need to be a PPA member. Join PPA today!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout 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 James YatesThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for copyrighticon.png

By now you know PPA is always fighting for your rights on Capitol Hill, lobbying and advocating for improvements to copyright registration and the modernization of the copyright office (including a small claims option).

We're pretty proud of the "big-picture" ways that we're working to improve your business's sustainability and profits, but there's a smaller, peer-to-peer way that PPA has helped, behind the scenes, for years: assessing whether or not members' works have been infringed.

In the old days (up until this month), if a PPA member felt their work may have been lifted without their permission, they would call and speak directly to our Government Affairs Coordinator. The GAC would walk each caller through the appropriate steps of determining if the use of a work was a violation of copyright law and what the next steps to take were.

Now, in honor of World Copyright Day being right around the corner (April 23rd), PPA is unveiling our newest member tool: the Copyright Infringement Assistance tool! This fast and easy tool does, online and in minutes, what the GAC used to do over the phone. Call it the "scaling up" of helping our members. With the new tool, if you think you've been infringed upon, you only have to answer 2-3 questions and the tool will generate specific help for you, including DCMA takedown notices, certified letters to the infringing parties or letting you know when it's time to contact an attorney.

If you feel your work has been infringed upon, but you don't know what to do about it, PPA can help with our Copyright Infringement Assistance tool. It's designed to point you in the right direction, with steps you can take to stop the infringement! It's quick and painless...because having your art stolen is painful enough! Come see how it all works, and also get your hands on our Copyright Kit and see Anne Geddes speak on the subject, at PPA.com/Copyright.

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by Lindsey Forson Dron1.jpg

This week the Micro Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Aviation Rulemaking Committee ("Micro UAS Committee") was convened by the FAA and made final recommendations for the classification and operation of micro drones (or drones weighing less than .5 lbs.). Their recommendations relate to regulations of micro drones for all uses other than for hobby or recreational purposes.
 
What do these recommendations mean for you?

These recommendations will have no immediate effect on you as a professional photographer interested in incorporating drone photography into your business. We still expect the FAA to finalize new regulations for business-related use of "small" drones (under 55 lbs.) within the next few months, which should make it much more feasible for photographers to pursue professional drone photography. See PPA's March Capitol Hill update for more on the forthcoming regulations.
The micro drone recommendations could potentially lead to relaxing some previously proposed small drone regulations for the smallest and lightest drones in the under 55 lbs. classification and increasing some restrictions for those on the heavier end. This is still in the early stages.
 
Based on our initial read, the Micro UAS Committee recommends breaking up "small" drones into four categories and, under this structure, drone manufacturers would be required to demonstrate that their drones qualify for a specific category. The committee recommends drones less than 0.5 lbs. should be permitted to fly over crowds. Additionally, operators of drones under 0.5 lbs. should have less burdensome certification requirements than other small drone operators. Specifically, they should be able to take an online (rather than in-person) test, and be exempt from having to get a TSA background check.

PPA continues to have a substantial voice and weight in the discussion on small and micro drone classifications and regulations. Here is some of our feedback on these initial official recommendations:

-    PPA is very much in favor of creating a sub-classification for the smallest of small drones
-    PPA supports the FAA's exploration of ways to carve out specific recommendations for micro drones
-    PPA continues to review the recommendations in an effort to gain a better understanding of how the different drone categories will apply to the currently available pool of drones on the market.
-    If a less costly, less burdensome testing and certification process is created, we would like to see it made available to users of drones weighing slightly beyond 0.5 pounds.

Don't be misled or misinformed - before you go looking for information on drones anywhere online, be sure to check right here on PPA's Blog and on PPA.com/Drones. This is where we keep all the latest info on regulations PPA is always striving to keep you safe and legal, and we're updating drone info as soon as it comes out.. Be More Protected!


Lindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!

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By Sarah Ackerman

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We hope you survived last week with minimal pranks and jokes! It's time to get down to business as you kick off your second quarter of 2016!

DRONES: This is the hottest topic in photography these days and it's easy to get some misinformation. Here's all you need to know so you don't break the law. 

CLASSIC LOOKS: Are you a fan of Ansel Adams' work, but not a fan of hours in the dark room? PDN Online has the filters you need to recreate this classic look in a fraction of the time. 

SEEKING PERFECTION: It's a great question - can a photo be too perfect? Check out this great article from the New York Times to see where to draw the line between art and telling a story of a person's life. 

DISAPPEARING ACT: Time lapse photography is a beautiful thing when used properly. Take a look at what the Bay of Fundy looks like as 160 tons move out. 

CHEAT SHEET: Learn 24 essential studio set ups with one handy graphic from Digital Camera! Whether you've been in the studio for years or are just starting out, it's a great guide to keep around. 

BUSINESS BASICS: Are you shaking in your boots if someone asks you to write a press release? Don't fret! Fullsail Blog has just the tips to take the stress out and make this marketing effort worth your time.

PERSONAL GROWTH: If you want to grow your studio business, these three traits from Fstoppers shouldn't be overlooked. Give them a read and see if there are areas of personal growth you can work towards. 

STRIKE A POSE: PPA's own Julia Kelleher shows you all the right moves to get the perfect portrait on Picture Correct. She covers everything, down to the tips of the fingers to make sure the pose works. 

MONOCHROMATIC: If you want to explore the high impact world of monochromatic color, this is a great read from Fstoppers. Learn how to make your images pop in Lightroom in just a few simple steps. 

LEVERAGE THE OUTDOORS: Mother Nature can provide a world of framing options on outdoor shoots. This article from Photography Life gives great examples you can use in your next session. 

There you have it, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee @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 Aleighia Rouse 

We know you all are already excited about Imaging USA 2017 that will be held in San Antonio, TX on January 8-10, 2017. San Antonio is an amazing city filled with delicious restaurants, and an abundance of rich history. There is a lot to do around the convention center and throughout the downtown area. Don't forget to bring the family, San Antonio is great for all ages and there are so many ways for you to get around. Here are a few of San Antonio's dining and attractions options:

Dining
Grab a quick lunch and enjoy the scenic environments around the convention center, Market Café is located in the Main Lobby and El Puente Café in the West Lobby of the convention center. Pop into to either one of these restaurants for a coffee, quick snack or a meal. 

Listed as Texas' number one tourist attractions, the River Walk is one place you want to visit during your time in San Antonio. It sits catty corner to some amazing historical sites and national parks and it is home to a lot of delicious restaurants, from fine dining on a River Boar to take-out. 

The Market Square is one of San Antonio's gems and provides world-famous, authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. This is known as the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico and houses over 100 locally owned shops and stalls. 

Attractions
The Alamo is dedicated to educating its visitors on the over than 300 years of historical importance of its presence in the Texas nation. It is used to remember those who died in the battle in which Texas fought for freedom in 1835. The Alamo is family friendly and allows opportunities for fun and entertainment. 

This beautiful park was built in 1968 for the World's Fair. In 2001 the River Walk formed an extension of the new Convention Center Expansion and connects to a miniature lagoon on the inside of Hemisfair. Hemisfair Park is in the process of new innovations that will bridge the gap between the past and the future as it binds historic sites and the urbanization of San Antonio. 

This national historic landmark symbolizes some of the last visual remnants of Presidio San Antonio de Béjar. The Spanish Governor's Palace was originally intended for the purpose of residence and working office for those captains of military garrison from the early 1700s through the 1800s, but today it serves as a historic Texas site for some of the earliest Spanish rule. 

The Tower of Americas has the most spectacular view of the Alamo and shows a panoramic view of downtown San Antonio. Located in the heart of downtown, Tower of Americas sits just around from the convention center that Imaging USA is taking place in. Take a moment to enjoy the view and enjoy a meal at the Tower's revolving Chart House Restaurant or pop into their 4D Theater Ride.

Nestled between the Alamo and River Walk, the Institute of Texans Cultures is home to some great exhibits that will inspire, entertain, and educate those who experience them. In association with the Smithsonian Institution the museum is located downtown as part of the University of Texas at San Antonio's Hemisfair campus. 

This is the perfect place for your little ones, at The Doseum they have the opportunity to learn and explore through exciting and transformative fun. This San Antonio Museum is designed for kids to educate themselves through professional development and a fun place to visit during your down time. 

Want to learn more about the Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, head over to ImagingUSA.com!


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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 Chris Homer

PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) is right around the corner August 1 - 4 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA. The Judges Workshop will take place at the same location, starting on July 31, just before the IPC judging begins, and running until August 3. 

While watching the IPC Live Stream last year, did you find yourself wondering why the judges scored images the way they did? If so, consider attending the Judges Workshop! You'll learn what makes a photograph award-winning material and demystify the world of image judging. You'll explore the ins-and-outs of what makes a print "merit worthy" and observe the competition process and protocol. You'll even get the chance to mock-judge images to learn by doing, and you'll leave this course confident in your ability to identify those merit images. 

If you want to be a judge at the IPC, attending this workshop is your first step! Plus, learning what judges look for in a merit worthy image will help you when entering your own work in the IPC. It's a great learning experience that can help expand your skills as a photographer. 

Register for the Judges Workshop today, space is limited! And remember to start preparing your images for the IPC, which will begin accepting entries on May 23. 


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout 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 Sarah Ackerman

Drone photography has been a hot topic for some time! What are the rules and regulations of drone use? Can you use it legally for commercial purposes? What are the best kinds of drones to buy for when it eventually becomes legal? Etc. 

In order to better inform PPA photographers, and to keep them legal and ahead of the game, we created a Drone Photography community on theLoop, PPA's  unique, exclusive online community for members. By posting vetted articles, answering your specific questions and keeping you up-to-date on rules and regulations, we're excited to keep PPA photographers legal and ahead of the curve!

Consider joining the Drone Photography community today if you want to learn more about this rapidly evolving field of photography! Regulatory changes could be happening as early as next month!

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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

In the ever-changing world of photography, we know that everyone has questions. And what better place to get those questions answered than on theLoop? Today we're highlighting a conversation about wedding attire. It sounds pretty simple, but as you gaze into your closet, what's really the appropriate dress for the occasion? We can generally rule out a poofy white dress (can't outshine your clients!), but there's a huge range between that and shorts and a t-shirt. 

Here's what your fellow Loopers had to say:

Kevin Thomas: "Hi Everyone, What do y'all wear when shooting a wedding?  I'm torn between: my roots - looking like banker: conservative suit and tie, white shirt and a traditional photographer - black suit, black tie, black shirt. Am I over-thinking this?"

Mark Harrington, CPP: "I always wear black because I was taught you want to blend into the background of the video or guest photos. I don't usually wear a jacket, rather a black dress shirt, slacks and a conservative tie. My logo is embroidered on my shirt in a dark grey above the pocket. This separates me from the guests and helps when navigating behind the curtains at the venue."

Randy Frum:  "Same for me. Black dress shirt/tie/pants. I usually blend right in with the wait staff. Lol."

Marketing your business just got a little easier with new consumer quizzes that you can link to from your website. 

No matter your specialty PPA offers a quiz for it!










This is just one of many tools available to PPA photographers as part of the See The Difference consumer awareness marketing campaign. The See The Difference toolkit includes shareable videos, customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages, consumer tips & FAQs, and the Find-A-Photographer search tool. Use one or all of these tools and show your clients and prospects that you are worth investing in. 

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


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By Sarah Ackerman

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Professional Photographer magazine's website is showing a brand new face to the world! Between the regularly refreshed content and the 30 days of giveaways, there's no reason not to check back daily to learn and win!

And because April includes Copyright Awareness Day on the 23rd, we felt it was fitting to merge the beautiful new PPMag.com and copyright education by highlighting "10 Tips: Protect Your Copyright" by Amanda Arnold. 

Check out the article on PPMag.com to ensure you're protecting your work and your business. And while you're there, enter for today's amazing giveaway!


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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

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 and business operations. These tutorials and educational videos are available 24/7 to PPA members.  Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, as a PPA member, you can tap into over hundreds of programs to help you Be More! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision (PPA's newest member benefit), take a look, there's a new website with a slew of new episodes!

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For the month of April, the video "Soft Selling with Intense Results" with Kristin Privette has been unlocked.  It's available for anyone who wants to learn how use a simplified system of soft selling techniques to generate significant results!  In this video, Kristin works through her 10-step process for wedding sales. Learn the language, the specific steps they take their couples through and the selling techniques that anyone can learn and be comfortable using. 

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

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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

Every once in a while, we get a little star-struck here at PPA headquarters. For instance, when someone as famous as Anne Geddes stops by, and proves to be amazingly down-to-earth and kind, we can't help but feel super-proud to be doing what we do. Anne has teamed up with PPA to help spread the word about Copyright Law in the U.S. and how vital it is that you protect your images.

Anne sat with us to film a Red Chair video and we're over-the-moon about her excitement and passion for our Copyright Defense projects. In this video, you'll see that Anne knows how important it is for a 29,000+-member strong association like PPA to "have your back". She recounts how difficult it was to protect your work as an artist in the 1980s and early-90s before PPA began lobbying and fighting for stronger copyright protections for photographers. Now, Anne is making sure photographers know the importance of having their work copyrighted and having PPA's resources at their side if any theft occurs.



April 23rd is World Copyright Awareness Day and PPA is celebrating all month long. In addition to the release of this new celebrity interview, you can find a brand-new Copyright Tool on our website to help guide you, step-by-step, through the process of determining and stopping an infringement. Members can also pick up our Copyright Kit* for all the forms and info you need to Be More Protected. Stay up-to-date at PPA.com/Advocacy to read about all the exciting progress our Government Affairs team is making on Capitol Hill to expand and strengthen copyright protection for small businesses like YOU.

Check out the video and come by PPA.com/Copyright to Be More Protected!

*A "lite" version of the Kit is available to non-members so you can share it with your friends. Because copyright protection is important for ALL photographers, not just our members (but we're sure that after seeing all the work we're doing to keep them protected, they will want to sign up at PPA.com/Join)!

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by James Yates

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Spring is known as a time for rebirth and have we got a rebirth for you! PPA is flipping the switch on a new website, PPmag.com, the companion site to Professional Photographer magazine, which promises more education and inspiration than before, within a beautiful (and much more engaging) interface. The site has been dormant for some time now but we've been tinkering and working diligently behind-the-scenes to make it the BEST online photography magazine out there. Now...we're ready for you to see what we've done! Go visit the site TODAY! To celebrate the launch, we're giving away a unique photographic prize to a winning visitor of the site EVERY DAY for the entire month of April!

We know you'll be impressed with PPmag.com's makeover, as it presents a beautiful design, high-resolution photographs and compelling editorial content. The online home of Professional Photographer offers users the opportunity to explore galleries of additional images not present in the print edition plus daily doses of inspiration. Visitors to the site will also find profiles of successful photographers making the most of their image-making passion. Best of all, the site hosts a searchable archive of every issue of Professional Photographer dating back to 2008!

Professional Photographer magazine boasts the largest paid circulation in the professional photographic industry. Born in 1907, Professional Photographer has a long history of award-winning content. No other magazine offers a more influential and consistent presentation of the people, trends, products, and photographs changing and defining the portrait, wedding and commercial photography landscape.
 
In addition to hosting a digital version of each issue of Professional Photographer, PPmag.com presents content that is unique to the web. You'll find quick links to more industry news, products, tutorials, business tips, and in-depth profiles. Gear junkies can access reviews of new and noteworthy products, tutorials and how-to's from pros. Addressing the fact that most professional photographers are small business owners, PPmag.com also offers business tips, real-world solutions and advice from experts to help photographers be more.

"The new site is designed to be vibrant and user-friendly, with lots of opportunities for sharing," says Jane Gaboury, Director of Publications. "Most important, it's a place where Professional Photographer magazine readers can go for even more of what they love--more photos, more tips and more inspiration than we can fit into each printed issue. It's exciting to deliver content that can have a real impact on photographers' lives by helping them build better businesses."

The "Thirty Days of Giveaways" promo launches today, April 4th, to celebrate this long-awaited launch. EVERY DAY for 30 days, you can register for your chance to win a unique prize provided by one of Professional Photographer's sponsors. Enter once daily at PPMag.com/30Days.

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By Aleighia Rouse
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As March comes to its close, April is opening its hands with 'lucky charms' of innovation and business help for the photography industry. This is no April Fool's joke, just our top 10 blog posts of the week!

Bry Cox Q&A Engage Your Client for Emotional Expression
CLIENT FUN: Are you looking for new techniques to use to connect with your clients a little more during a session? Check out this short video to learn how to better engage your clients and get images with emotion, feel and real expressions. Bry Cox, M.Photog.Cr., CPP teaches you how to ignore your gear and connect with your client to increase the quality of your shots and customer service experience.

What the New Instagram Algorithm Means For Small Businesses
TECHNOGRAPHER: PPA member Jasmine Star has brought solutions to the new changes in Instagram's viewer updates. She discusses how you can improve the way you use Instagram for your business and how some photos have more interactions than a less personal promo for your business.

How-To: Shoot Expressive Black-and-White Portrait Photos
PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY: Although black-and-white portraiture has been used for many years, it is often a very difficult thing to master correctly. This article discusses three photographers, including PPA member Ima Mfon and fellow photographers Sandro Baebler and Melanie Dunnea, as they express the power and intricacies behind creating and mastering the art of black-and-white portraits.

Google Photos Will Now Automatically Create Albums From Your "Best" Photos and Videos
CLOUD STORAGE: Not only has Google added facial recognition and GPS logging, but now Google Photos system has included an upgrade to their Albums feature. In this article by Popular Photography, discover how Google Photos has helped its consumer by selecting the "best" photos from a specific trip, event, or collection of images and making a sharable album from them.  

12 Films Worth Shooting With Before They're Gone
CREATIVITY: Many people consider film photography to be a lost art, but there are plenty of films out there worth loading into a camera. This article provides a collection of 12 captivating film images showing the rewarding photographic experience one can have with using a film camera.

Top Social Media Trends That'll Change Your Business in 2016
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS: Social media has swarmed the world and allowed a place for fellow photographers and other businesses to market themselves through a completely different lens. Check out this article to see the top trends in social media that are going to help advance your businesses this year.
 
63 Photoshop Shortcuts to Speed Up Your Workflow
PRO TIPS: Think you know all there is to know about Photoshop? Here are a few more things to add to that list by checking out these shortcuts to use in your next editing session. This can help with those simple tasks that seem to hinder your workflow and also help you find out quick tips from viewing an image to actually handling the image.

Why Some Great Depression Photos Were Punched Full of Holes
HISTORICAL PROOFS: Historically, images captured during Depression-era America tend to have a mysterious black hole in their center. This once mysterious imprint has now been answered. In this article, discover the reason why Roy Stryker, the FSA's documentary photography program director responsible for photographers such as Dorothea Lang and Gordon Parks punctured a hole in the images. 

The International Space Station Experiments with Long Exposure Photography
PHOTO EXPOSURE: Photography has the power to change science, technology, and now space-research. The International Space Station has recently used their crew to experiment with long exposure photography and the results will blow your mind!

Professional Photographers Are the .1%
STAY INFORMED: Everyday more and more professional photographers are being overshadowed by amateur photographers and the numbers speak for themselves. Check out this article to learn why so many pro photographers are having to reform their business to get their clients.

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


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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