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PPA Today: August 2016 Archives

August 2016 Archives

By Autumn Rice

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Fall is upon us and business is about to boom, but you still have some pertinent questions about clients, pricing, equipment and more.  Don't fret, just post your questions on theLoop and watch the answers flood in! This photographer-only forum for PPA members is the perfect way to give and receive help on all of your photography questions. Don't be shy! Head on over to the theLoop, and get answers to some of your most pressing questions.

Are you a first-time Imaging USA attendee looking for advice? Join this discussion on theLoop to get advice from photographers who have previously been to Imaging USA. Learn what to expect, how to get the best experience, and the best outfits for the occasion. Find out all you need to know about Imaging USA from your fellow photographers!

This photographer is changing her strategy when it comes to a client's wardrobe, but she's a little nervous. The client wants to wear black clothes, and other dark colors, which could affect the photos.  Give her advice about lighting techniques that may make her session a little easier.

One Looper is looking to combine his passions for photography and food, but he needs some help. If you have any advice about the craft, classes, or books that he could use, post it in this discussion post on theLoop!

This Looper has problems shooting large ethnically diverse groups and getting inconsistent colors. She's tried several different methods, but none get the job done. Have any advice? Share it in this post, and see what others recommend.

The speaker schedule for Imaging USA 2017 has been released, and there's a thread on theLoop dedicated to discussing what you're most excited about attending. Join the conversation and network with fellow photographers who want to attend the same events as you!

A Looper has a question about the difference between formatting memory cards and wiping them. Which one is better? If you have any advice or education about the topic, post what you know in the discussion thread.

One photographer has questions about her vision, and which lenses to buy after having her cataracts removed.  If you've been through the same situation or have any advice, lend it to the discussion!

See The Difference has many resources available to help photographers Be More. Check out this discussion thread on theLoop about what See The Difference can do for you, and how to get the most of this PPA member benefit that's included in your membership.

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By Autumn Rice

PPA photographers are a diverse group of people who begin as friends, but ultimately become family. Through connecting with one another and sharing experiences, they provide a support that contradicts the thought of being in business alone. PPA's YouTube video series, Behind The Camera, features professional photographers who share their trials and tribulations, and their relationship within the PPA community. Today, Trish Logan pitches in. 

None of these interviews are scripted or paid for. These are real photographers, members of PPA, who value and share the power of their PPA community. 

In this video Trish Logan shares the value of See The Difference resources, and how they increase the credibility of her business with her clients.


Help your photography friends and share this video. The power of being involved and deeply connected goes beyond professional development. It's a support system no one should be left without. You can also view a full playlist of the Behind The Camera Video series on PPA's YouTube channel and learn more about See The Difference here.

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By Autumn Rice

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Imaging USA 2017 Hands-on classes are posted, and you can register for them right now! These pre-convention classes, although offered at an extra fee, provide photographers with more experience and instructional time than other Imaging USA sessions. During the class, students have the opportunity to get advice and lessons from instructors, and then go out on a photo shoot and practice the skills they are taught with their cameras!  Bringing your equipment is a must!

Thinking about registering?

These classes are shorter, so you can attend multiple classes during the day and get all the hands-on practice you want. There are three different sessions for each Hands-on program held on Saturday, January 7, 2017, so you can sign up for up to three classes for the day! There are also special pricing offers available for participation in Hands-on sessions. Attend 1 Hands-on Class for $79, 2 for $129 or 3 for $159. Space is limited in each class for the benefit of students, so classes sell out fast. Check out this list of Hands-on classes to see which fits you best, and then head over to ImagingUSA.org/Programs to register now!

Bree Adams, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Max Participants: 35 per each time slot

Tomayia Colvin
Max Participants: 35 per each time slot

Daniel K. Davis, M.Photog.
Max Participants: 35 per each time slot

Kay Eskridge, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Max Participants: 35 per each time slot

Mike Fulton, Cr.Photog.
Max Participants: 35 per each time slot

Joseph Glyda, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP
Max Participants: 35 per each time slot

Andy Gould
Max Participants: 35 per each time slot

Ted Linczak, M.Photog.Cr.
Max Participants: 35 per each time slot

Michael G. Taylor, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., API, F-ASP
Max Participants: 35 per each time slot

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By Chris Homer

Ten years ago, Stacey Williams Dunse, CPP, launched her studio in a small South Dakota town, setting herself up as a do-it-all photographer. Business was growing, but it wasn't until she implemented financial initiatives she learned at Imaging USA that she was able supercharge her profits. 

Read "Outside, Looking In" on the PPMag.com website.


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 Autumn Rice

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September is PPA Charities' Family Portrait Month, and it's the perfect time to get involved in giving. Participating studios donate a portion of their earnings from family portraits to help fundraising efforts on behalf of PPA Charities' philanthropic projects. 

Learn how to be part of it in "Family Portrait Month Benefits PPA Charities."

Summer is winding down and school is back in session. That's no fun, but we have just the thing to cheer you up. Settle down from the workday with our top blog posts from the week of August 22! 

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By Autumn Rice 

STYLE: When it comes to fashion, having a sense of style is mandatory, and the same applies to fashion photography. It behooves photographers to develop a signature style that makes their work stand out from the rest. Take a look at the advice in this article about finding your own distinct style.

HOW TO: There is more to photography than just taking pictures; it's somewhat of a science. Follow along in this article as photographer Ty Poland walks through his process of creating a few of his favorite photos, and how he translates a thought into a great image. 

EDUCATION: Owning a for-profit photography business is difficult, but running a for-profit business that teaches photography is even harder. With the extreme innovation in technology, among other factors, many institutions that aim to formally educate photographers are struggling, if not shutting down all-together. Read this article about the photography educator's journey. 

HALL OF FAME: The National Photography Hall of Fame and Museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and in honor of the special occasion they're inducting Steve Jobs into the museum's Hall of Fame. No, Mr. Jobs was not a photographer, but his products have changed photography forever. See what the museum has to say about the induction, and who else is on the inductees list.

PORTRAITURE: Jay L. Clendenin decided to shoot Olympic athlete portraits with a large-format camera directly onto photo paper. While this process is fascinating and beautiful, it's also very expensive. Check out the results of some of the photos in this article.

CONCEPTS: The New York Institute of Photography recently received an e-mail from a student who did not understand the difference between in-camera and handheld light metering. This article explains the difference between the two concepts from A to Z! 

IMAGING USA: Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, Texas is quickly approaching and PPA has exclusive deals on hotels that are within walking distance of the convention center. Staying at an Imaging USA hotel will save you hundreds, so check out this blog and use our platform to book your room in an official Imaging USA hotel!

CAMERA LENS: Portrait lenses can be found in a variety of styles and prices. They're an important aspect of business for many photographers, so it's important to get the most out of your purchase. Read this article that gives some basic tips to maximize the use of your portrait lens!

LIGHTING: There's no one way to create perfect light for a portrait shoot, but learning from other photographers is always a helpful way to get ideas for your own portrait session. Check out this video showing how this photographer chose the lighting for his portrait shoot.

DRONES: The old Nintendo Gameboy continues to reinvent itself in the world of technology. This time, it's drone related! Watch how this drone user was able to manipulate his computer and Gameboy to control his drone.  

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By Autumn Rice

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A PPA membership offers hundreds of dollars in savings and discounts and offers a vast amount of business and photography education to help you Be More. 

PPAedu gives you a personalized education program (a $600/year value!), 24/7, at no extra cost for those who are members of PPA. Here are five ways to get strong professional development while saving a ton of cash thanks to your PP membership:

1. PPAedu's online tutorials and webinars cover everything when it comes to photography and business, including marketing and branding, building rapport with clients, and industry game-changers, like drones. 

2. The Assessment tool allows you to develop a personalized curriculum that you can update as your skills grow and as you watch more and more of the PPAedu content! It's the best way to be more proactive and constantly develop your talent!

3. PhotoVisionVideo.com (brought to you by PPA) has an enormous library of videos and tutorials to help you learn the best techniques and best practices to help improve your photography business. You'll get real-life advice from the industry's leading wedding, family, pet, and senior portrait photographers. 

4. Super 1 Day classes are face-to-face photography workshops taught by professional photographers for professional photographers, all across the country, and for two weeks in both spring and fall. In these small-group sessions you'll learn everything from retouching and workflow, lighting and posing, to portrait and wedding photography, and sales and marketing strategies. 

5. The Business Challenge is a fun and interactive way for PPA members to understand and implement the basic business principles needed to maintain a suitable studio. Participants get advice from some of the industry's most successful photographers about everything from setting sales goals to creating appropriates sales and marketing strategies, and tons of other topics.
 
When you join PPA you also get a huge perk, was your first year of registration for Imaging USA is FREE! Imaging USA is the world's strongest and longest-standing professional-photography convention, with hundreds of classes, tons of networking opportunities, a huge photo exhibit, and a giant tradeshow floor. Over 10,000 photographers attend to be taught by the industry's best! Next year's Imaging USA will be held January 5-10, 2017 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. Register to attend here!

If you are a PPA member, remember to take advantage of all of the savings that come with your membership. If you're not a member, what are you waiting for?! All of these savings are here for you. All you have to do is to join. It takes only a minute and is super affordable: only $27.92 a month! Other businesses charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the information, education, networking and resources that PPA members get... essentially for free! 

Keeping money in your pockets in a lot of ways is just one more thing PPA does to help photographers be more profitable!

Visit PPA.com/Benefits to see all the ways you can save with PPA!

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With the new FAA regulations regarding drones going into effect August 29th, you need to have the most up-to-date information to fly and use a drone for business or work purposes. Bottom line: you MUST take the aeronautical knowledge test (the "Drone Test") and have your drone registered. Here are important links and guidelines that will be helpful while navigating through the process.

  • In order to sit for the "Drone test", and be able to apply for the remote pilot certification, the applicant must be at least 16 years old, be fluent in English, be in good physical and mental condition to operate a drone, and take the test at an approved FAA knowledge testing center. Step by step guidelines are posted on the FAA website under requirements and process for becoming a pilot.


  • All applicants need to take and pass the Drone Test in order to apply for their remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating. The cost of taking the test is $150 and, once certified, the certification will be valid for two years. Taking the test and getting certified allows photographers to use drones during photo sessions in accordance with FAA guidelines. To ensure that everyone has the knowledge necessary to pass the drone test, the FAA has posted various study guides and sample test questions for applicants to study. These materials can be found under the FAA's suggested study materials

  • Once an applicant has passed the drone test, applied for and received their remote pilot certification, they MUST register their drone. The drone must be registered if it is over .55 pounds, up to a maximum weight of 55 pounds. The 55 pound limit includes any equipment you attach to the drone, such as your camera. Registration cost is only $5 and will be valid for three years. All drones need to be registered at https://RegisterMyUAS.FAA.gov/.

  • Your drone must also undergo a pre-flight check to ensure it is in proper condition to be operated. This link has a .pdf of the FAA's pre-flight checklist. 

The FAA has addressed some Drone Regulations frequently asked questions here. Here is also an easy-to-read recap chart with all the necessary information regarding both pilot and drone requirements:

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You can find even more information in the FAA's Getting Started guide. We hope you're as excited and ready to fly your drone as we are! Share your (legal) drone photography with us on theLoop, Facebook or Twitter! Now, get out there, take some amazing photos and share them with the world!

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by Autumn Rice

hro_826_funClasses.jpgImaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, Texas is right around the corner, and we want you to be a part of every minute of the action, including Pre-Convention Classes!

Aside from the whole host of convention classes offered when you register for Imaging USA, there are also dozens of pre-convention classes that you could participate in.  Pre-con classes require an extra fee, but they offer more one-on-one time with instructors and they focus on specific topics. These additional classes take place from January 5-7.

Pre-convention classes range from multiple day workshops to single day workshops and cover topics such as business and technique. Plus, there are shorter, hands-on classes where you'll get to practice the techniques you learned in the class!

So, as you prepare for the world's largest pro-photography convention, check out some of these pre-con classes that may interest you!

The Secrets to Success When Turning Pro
Steve Kozak, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Doug Box, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API
Thursday-Friday, January 5-6
9AM-5PM
Turn your passion into a profession - and your profession into profits! Instructors Steve and Doug walk you through the fundamentals of photography, the business skills and the creativity you need to be a hit. This pair has guided countless numbers of photographers to great success, and you are next!

CPP Prep Class
Al Audleman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API
Thursday-Saturday, January 5-7
9AM-5PM
This is an Exam Cram you can't afford to miss! Cover all the technical topics you need to know to ace your certification test! Not for the faint of heart, you'll work hard, study hard and walk away ready to crush your CPP!

Create a Look, Brand and Style That Women Have to Have
Marissa Boucher
Thursday, January 5
9AM-5PM
Discover the Boudoir Divas! Marissa and Kimberlee shoot two-to-three sessions a day, five days a week and are THE studio in town. Learn what they know, discuss the mistakes they've made and explore the Best Practices that have made them a hit. Whether a boutique or a high volume business, you will learn from the Divas!

The Real Deal: Creating Exceptional Fine Art Composites  
Richard Sturdevant, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr.
Thursday, January 5
9AM-5PM
Let's get real! Creating an exceptional fine art composite consists of many things, but the two that separate good from great are conception and finish. Conception, and the ability to dream up a visual idea or to tell visual story that is original and unique to your vision, is priceless. Equally important is the ability to bring it all together in such a way that it is beautiful and meaningful to the viewer. The finish of the art should keep the viewer engaged in the content and not the technique. Everything in between this journey is trained execution.

Wow-Worthy Fashion Techniques for Portraits
Lindsay Adler, Cr.Photog.
Friday, January 6
9AM-5PM
Learn the techniques that highly acclaimed photographer Lindsay Adler uses in the world of fashion - and apply these skills to your own clients. Be it seniors, boudoir, weddings or more - create extraordinary images so you can blow by your competition and WOW your clients!

Extreme Volume
Melanie Anderson, Cr.Photog., CPP
Saturday, January 7
1PM-5PM
Having the inner courage and conviction to do what you want to do - that's what this course is all about. There's no room to blame your competition, your conditions or your clients.  Take control of your business and your career as Melanie Anderson shows you how to have the career you want--and deserve!

Think Geek: How to Win at Websites and Social Media
Kira Derryberry, Cr.Photog., CPP
Saturday, January 7
9AM-12PM
Want to know how to speak "web?" Discover how to handle your own website design and even manage your social media presence! Facebook, Instagram, SEO and more - this is lingo you want to learn. Don't leave it in the hands of Tech Support - Think Geek and take control!

Rock Your Workflow
Linda M. Long, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Saturday, January 7
1PM-5PM
Time IS money, so don't waste either on ineffective, inefficient workflows. Discover the time-saving tips that will streamline your schedule, improve your attitude and yes, enhance your results!

The Business of Bellies and Babies
Bree Adams, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Saturday, January 7 (Hands-on)
9AM-11AM; 1PM-3PM; 4PM-6PM
Bree Adams went from a MWAC (Mom With A Camera) to a successful studio owner, averaging $2500 in sales per session! Discover how she did it and how you can too. Tap into the newborn niche and high fashion maternity market and watch your business boom!

Lighting and Posing Children
Daniel K. Davis, M.Photog.
Saturday, January 7 (Hands-on)
9AM-11AM; 1PM-3PM; 4PM-6PM
Dan Davis has built a booming business by staying one step ahead. Learn how knowing what's new, keeping up with media trends and adapting to change will keep your style fresh and exciting. Don't fall victim to the trends - learn how to bring them to life!

There it is! Just some of the pre-con classes that will be at Imaging USA 2017. If any of these classes interest you, register now! And look out for more classes that you could be apart of!

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Staying at the official Imaging USA host hotels is the best and easiest way to get the most out of your time at the convention. We encourage you to reserve a room and stay in the following host hotels:

  • San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter (HEADQUARTERS HOTEL) 
  • San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk
  • Hilton Palacio Del Rio
  • Grand Hyatt San Antonio

So, what's the big deal about host hotels? 

1. Host Hotels Keep Your Registration Fees Low!

By staying at the official Imaging USA host hotels, you're helping to keep registration fees down! These hotels provide complimentary meeting rooms for Imaging USA if, and only if, we meet the required minimum guest rooms in our hotel contract. Otherwise, Imaging USA must pay for meeting rooms as well as for each room we fall below the minimum--and registration fees will go up! So stay with us and save!

2. Host Hotels Provide Networking Opportunities!

By staying at the host hotels, you're at the epicenter for everything Imaging USA. Social and networking opportunities abound, and you don't even have to go anywhere to find them. They're all right there!

3. Host Hotels Save You Money on Transportation!

If you're not staying at the host hotels, chances are good you'll have to spend some money on a taxi or parking to come over for some of the events. Why bother? Stay with us and be at the center of it all!

The San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter is the official Headquarters Hotel of Imaging 2017. Hurry and register because these rooms are selling out fast! If you can get a room there, we highly encourage it as you will be closest to all the action like: 

  • Hands-On Pre-Con Classes
  • Opening Party location
  • Charities Celebration location
  • Closest to the action: the San Antonio Riverwalk is right outside!

This year there is a "one stop shop" reservation system for Imaging USA hotel booking in San Antonio. Make your reservations through this new online system, as it is here to help you book your hotel rooms seamlessly.
 

If you have any questions or need help booking your hotel, call 210-207-6734.

By Chris Homer

Have the Summer Olympic Games inspired you to achieve new heights of success in your
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 photography business? Here are the top posts of the week that may help you get there! 

HOW TO PITCH: For many photography jobs, especially for a publication, you're required to pitch your ideas and skills to get the job. It can be an intimidating process! If you don't know where to start, this post from Light Stalking gives some good tips on how to pitch yourself. 

IPC News: PPA announced some changes to the 2017 District and International Photographic Competitions. Read about the changes in this post so you are up-to-date when your District Photographic Competition comes around! And, in case you missed it, results from the 2016 IPC are available now! Congratulations to all the photographers who earned a merit or had an image be selected for the PPA Loan Collection. 

INSPIRATION: Have you ever wondered how Salvador Dali and photographer Philippe Halsman put together their famous 1948 "Dali Atomicus" photo without Photoshop? Time has put together a fascinating video on the creation of the photograph - it took 28 tries to get the composition right! This is a must watch for any photographer.

HEADSHOT KNOWHOW: For portrait photographers that shoot headshots, one question that always comes up is, "what's the best focal length to use?" This post from PhotographyTalk gives some examples of different focal lengths and when you might want to use them. 

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT INSURANCE: Here's a cautionary tale from DIY Photography on why you should always double-check what your photography equipment insurance policy actually covers. This photographer found out the hard way that theft was not covered by his policy! Fear not PPA Members, your free PhotoCare Equipment Insurance includes theft coverage! 
By Autumn Rice

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Have you already signed up for PPA's drone webinar on August 19, 2016 at 12pm?

With the release of new regulations for aerial drones, we're on the cusp of a new era in drone photography. The possibilities are almost endless! But many photographers have questions, and need to know where to begin. So, we're here to help!

Remember to join drone experts Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington to get all the information you need to know about drones, and incorporating them in your photography business. Bring all of your questions!

Register for the webinar, and we'll see you there!

By Autumn Rice

At some point things will go wrong. It's inevitable: data gets deleted, cameras fall, and clients get angry. So what do you do? You protect yourself with insurance from PPA! From equipment to liability, medical to dental, or even drones, PPA has all of your business's insurance needs covered.

So, how are you covered?

PhotoCare and PhotoCare Plus are versions of equipment insurance. PhotoCare is included with your membership and covers up to $15,000 in damages for off premises or on location shooting, worldwide coverage, computer hardware, and theft of equipment. PhotoCare PLUS is available for members to purchase and covers up to $100,000 on the same damages as PhotoCare, in addition to coverage for mysterious disappearance and non-PPA member employee coverage. For more details on the difference between PhotoCare and PhotoCare PLUS, click here.

General Liability insures damages to the property of others, bodily injury as a result of your business activities, and personal injury. With Indemnification Trust, your business will Be More Protected with thousands in savings on legal fees and data protection, equipment malfunction and malpractice coverage, and even coverage for unsatisfied clients. 

And as small business owners, it's important to have medical and dental insurance available for both you and your employees! PPAexchange is designed with you, the photographer, in mind with a diverse range of options, decision making assistance and more! Take a look around and see what best suits your company's needs today!

Explore the range of insurance options that are available to you through a PPA membership, and help your business Be More Protected!

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By Autumn Rice

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theLoop is the photographer-only forum for PPA members. It's a perfect way to network, and get photography advice from your peers. Have a photography question? Post it on theLoop and watch the answers flood in! PPA photographers want to get to know and help each other, so don't be shy. Head on over to the theLoop and connect with your fellow photographers, and get answers to some of your most pressing questions. 

Here's an example of one of this week's questions!

Q: I hope to have my web site finalized in the next month but have been going back and forth about pricing structure.  Part of me wants to Not be a discount service. I want to do more boutique is the plan.  -Ryan Berman

Hi Ryan, 
I think the answer to your question really depends on what you're basing your pricing on. Speaking from personal experience, giving all those photos edited to the client is a nice gesture, but it's not worth the time unless you're getting paid for each one. Looking at the competition's prices definitely has its place in marketing, but if it's the only thing you look at your business probably won't succeed. Here's a link that I found to be very helpful when setting my own prices: How much should photographers charge in 2016?. The article also has a link to a calculator that was very useful to me in figuring out my expenses. I hope that helps!  -Christopher Harrison 

Hey Ryan, 
Have you checked out the PPA business challenge? Angela Kurkian (Director of the PPA education department) actually has a section in the challenge where she goes over pricing. She'll be starting a new one in September, and I think having a question like this makes you a great candidate for the challenge.
Check out the Pricing Strategy Webinar we have out on PPAedu and the Self Assessment tool which will ask a series of questions, and make recommendations. If you would like to be added to the September Business Challenge, let me know and we will take care of it.  -DJ Adams

Ryan,
You have to look at your cost of doing business when you're setting your portrait prices. The PPA Benchmark Survey summary is a very good place to start in understanding your business and how you should be pricing for profit.
Business portraits (headshots) are a very different market from high school seniors and families. In my business, there's a flat fee for business headshots ($149) that includes one finished image and a broad package of usage rights, with the image delivered as a digital file in sizes for print and web. If the client wants more than one finished image there's an additional charge of $30 to cover the retouch and finishing time.
I don't understand the business model for seniors and families that you're considering: flat fee that includes a lot of retouched images. It's very appealing to clients, but doesn't serve you very well as a business person. Think carefully about how much time you'll spend retouching each image. Even if you can do a nice job in 7 minutes, multiply that by 60 images and you've got 420 minutes of intense retouching time in the job. That's 7 hours of work on top of your session time. If you need to earn $50/hour then that's $350 just for your time. Follow the PPA benchmark guidelines for a 25% cost of goods, and you've marked up your time by a factor of four to get $1400 you need to be charging your client, plus your session fee.
Personally, I couldn't stand spending 7 hours retouching one client's images. I'd go mentally bonkers and destroy my body from sitting at a computer that long.
When I started down the path to portrait photography I spent 3 days in PPA's SMS Business Workshop. It was well worth the trip to Atlanta. We spent a full day on pricing. I haven't looked recently, but I presume those classes are still being offered. -Mark Turner

Check in with theLoop to see what other photographers are posting, and how you may be able to help them!

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By Autumn Rice

At PPA we love to help photographers save money on the products and services you use most! So, every day we find new ways to incorporate bigger and better savings into your photography business. 

Through your PPA membership you not only have access to thousands of dollars in discounts from companies like Apple, Office Depot, and Zenfolio, but you also get access to amazing savings from PPA! The full membership, called Professional Active Membership, includes: 

  • Online education: You have Access to all PhotoVision online resources and videos + all of PPAedu online tutorials and webinars
  • Magazine: you get your print and digital subscription to Professional Photographer magazine 
  • Marketing tools: You have all the See The Difference® tools and PPAedu marketing tutorials at your finger tips
  • Client Trouble Shield: you are protected with PPA's unique data loss and malpractice protection program, PPA's Indemnification Trust. It covers you when a client sues you for negligence or if they get injured on a shoot, and while it is a service we hope you will never have to use, it is there to protect you and save you and your business thousands of dollars when Murphy's Law strikes.
  • Insurance: You get 15,000 worth of equipment insurance, as your main insurance or as a secondary one if you already have one! Plus you can add other kinds of insurances such as medical, dental, general liability, and others, at discounted prices!
  • Online and off line professional networking: you are de-facto connected to PPA's Photographer-only discussion forums called theLoop. Tap into them to seek advice, image reviews, find mentors, talk through business dilemmas, etc.

So, remember to take advantage of all of the savings that come with you PPA membership. 

If you're not a member, all of these savings are waiting for you. All you have to do is become a PPA member for $27.92 a month. Other businesses would charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the information that PPA members get for free. 

Keeping money in your pockets in a lot of ways is just one more thing PPA does to have your back and help you Be More Savvy!

Visit PPA.com/Benefits to see all the ways you can save with PPA!

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Working in the most downtrodden city in America hasn't harmed Shawn Lee's business. In fact, the Detroit photographer has found ways to grow his high school portrait niche. 

Find out how Lee made his business thrive during difficult times in "From Surviving to Thriving" on PPmag.com

By Autumn Rice 

See The Difference is the ultimate benefit to being a member of PPA! Customers don't always understand the difference a Professional Photographer can make, until it's too late. That's why PPA created the See The Difference campaign. Photographers looking to convey the difference between a professional and an amateur can use any of several tools created just for PPA members. 

These FREE marketing tools provide PPA photographers with shareable videos, side-by-side comparisons, logos, brochures, quizzes and so many other resources to help clients "see the difference." One tool we've found increasingly helpful is the Find-A-Photographer resource. Potential clients can find the right photographer for their needs by searching through our handy database of PPA member photographers. Make sure you update your MyPPA profile, so you too, can have a presence in your area. You can find more details about the Find-A-Photographer resource here


The See The Difference resources can change how your clients view your business. So, be sure to take full advantage of all the See The Difference resources available to you, for FREE, as a PPA member. 

Be proud of being a pro. Help spread the word to consumers, and start using your See The Difference marketing tools on your website and in your studio today!

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The International Photographic Competition has seen substantial growth over the last few years due to the consistent efforts of its members, staff and competition volunteers. PPA is thrilled with the renewed interest in competition among its members. With this growth in mind, we're excited to share some changes in both the District and International Photographic Competitions.

Here are some of the changes coming to the 2017 Competitions:

  1. All panels convened to determine merit will operate with a five-member panel. This will increase efficiency in the judging. In 2016, a six-juror panel was seated and the lowest score was dropped, therefore five scores were used in determining score. This change is an alignment of the amount of scores required to determine a final score to be congruent with the number of jurors on the panel. The lowest score will no longer be dropped. When a judge associates an entry with an entrant, the judge is required to disqualify themselves from scoring an entry. When this scenario happens, the Jury Chair will enter a score for that entry. In the case of two jurors needing to disqualify themselves, the entry will be skipped until a panel with five jurors can be convened to score the entry.

  2. To further bring consistency between the District Competitions and the IPC, scores will be used to determine merit at both events. A majority of members surveyed stated that they would like the two scoring systems to be the same.

  3. The PPA Loan Collection will be determined in a different manner as well. Images scoring in the "deserving of a merit" category (80-84) will not be reviewed for the Loan Collection. Entries that receive a score of 80-84 at a District judging have the choice to send those Seal of Approval entries on to IPC for a merit towards their degree, or to break the seal to chance a higher score at IPC. 

    • Entries scoring 85-94 at the District or IPC will be reevaluated for the Loan collection at the IPC event. 
    • Entries scoring 95-100 will be automatically accepted into the Loan Collection. Entries in this scoring range from the District events will still need to be submitted to the IPC to be included in the Loan collection and to receive the merits associated with those entries.
  4. Critiques ordered in conjunction with the IPC will be produced off site from the IPC judging. Critiques ordered for both events will be available within four weeks of the competition.

  5. The review mechanism of "outs" will no longer be utilized. Currently, entries scoring 78-79 were reviewed again for merit. The introduction of the majority challenge effectively activates this review on each entry.

  6. Entries into the Artist Competition will now be required to have guide images within the entry.

  7. In the Photographic Open category, an entrant will now be required to have made all elements in the entry. Entries involving elements from other artists may be entered into the Artist Competition.

Beginning in 2018, all district competitions will utilize a minimum of two panels during their judging events. This will allow each district to continue to grow and accommodate those members who are looking to earn their Seals of Approval prior to the IPC.

Once again, PPA is looking forward to further encourage its members to take advantage of these incredible educational opportunities. Look for 2017 District Rules and Schedules this fall on PPA.com/Competitions

Be sure to check out the results from this year's exciting IPC

By Autumn Rice

PPA photographers are a diverse group of people who begin as friends, but ultimately become family. Through connecting with one another and sharing experiences, they provide a support that contradicts the thought of being in business alone. PPA's YouTube video series, Behind The Camera, features professional photographers who share their trials and tribulations, and their relationship within the PPA community. Today, Lisa Thayer pitches in. 

None of these interviews are scripted or paid for. These are real photographers, members of PPA, who value and share the power of their PPA community. 

In this video Lisa Thayer shares her experience at her first Imaging USA, why she joined PPA, and what she enjoys most about her photography career. 


Help your photography friends and share this video. The power of being involved and deeply connected goes beyond professional development. It's a support system no one should be left without. You can also view a full playlist of the Behind The Camera Video series on PPA's YouTube channel and learn more about the Imaging USA here.

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by James Yates

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Can you believe we've made it to the dog days of summer? Send your kids off to school and take some time for yourself! Here are our top ten blog posts from around the web for your Friday reading pleasure...


DRONES: August 19th is only one week away, so be sure to sign up for PPA's new and exciting Drone Webinar with drone industry insiders Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington! 

COMPOSITION: Fun and fascinating article on Photzy about color inspiration and the power of "red". 

SCARY: The hard side of photographing at the Olympics: actual video of the confrontation between a photographer and the man who stole his gear! 

IMAGING: Need more reasons to convince yourself or your photographer friends to go to Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio? Here are ten reasons to get you excited for January! 

TIPS: Capturing emotional moments with your photography is made easier with these tips from a famed sports and music photographer via FStoppers

TRANSCENDENT: CityLab has an amazing gallery of London tube commuters reimagined as Renaissance art. 

CANDID: Lens, the photography blog from the New York Times, has rare photos of Robin Williams, revealing what it's like to photograph rare celebrity moments on and off-stage.

PATIENCE: Long exposure photography can provide gorgeous shots, but required practice. FStoppers with a post on the trickiness of long exposure and general tips to help you out. 

FAMILY: Creating an extended family portrait could be an impossible task given the ten family groups scattered across the United States. Read how Huth & Booth Photography in Riverview, Florida, found a way to make it happen on Professional Photographer

REGISTER: It's time to start thinking about Super?Day for fall 2016! Registration is online now, so see which all-day learning opportunities are in your area at PPA.com. 

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

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With so many resources available online, you may be asking whether it's worth your time and money to attend Imaging USA. Especially if you are a member of PPA, you already have access to online networking and education with theLoop, PhotoVision and PPAedu. So what makes Imaging USA so special?

There's literally a bajillion reasons to go to Imaging USA, but here are 10 you can't ignore:

Sharpen Your Saw
Stephen Covey talks about this in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It's the idea that if you don't step away from your daily grind to take care of life's other needs, you won't be doing your best work. It's a simple fact that the dull saw cuts less wood.

When you socialize, learn and network with your peers at Imaging USA, you are "sharpening your saw." When you return to your studio, you'll have new ideas, inspiration and connections that will help you work more creatively and efficiently.

Your Next "Ah-Ha" Moment
You never know where your next "ah-ha" moment is going to come from. But when you're surrounded by 10,000 photographers it could come from a new friend, the keynote speaker (this year it's Mel Robbins!), a tradeshow vendor, or the photographer sitting next to you in a session. One thing for sure, you will have several of these each day, and it's all worth it!

The Value of Face-to-Face Connections
Social media has its place in keeping you connected and forums like theLoop are great if you need a quick answer. But it's hard to make a strong, lasting personal connection when you aren't meeting face-to-face. At Imaging USA you get the face time you need to make connections that will last a lifetime with speakers, vendors, other photographers, or all of the above! People do business with people they like. And when you spend several consecutive days under the same roof, strong connections are bound to happen. The benefits of your networking at Imaging USA will serve you long past the end of the conference.

That Thing You Didn't Know You Needed
You never know what you'll find on the Imaging USA EXPO tradeshow floor, but you can be sure it's the latest and greatest. After all, these vendors are in the business of providing photographers with the equipment and services they need to thrive.

And the Expo is more than just a shopping mall for photographers. It's your opportunity to get hands-on demos of the products you need, check out the winners of the International Photographic Competition and take the opportunity to discuss your specific business challenges with the vendors that can help. Oh, and the discounts that you'll find on the tradeshow floor are well worth delaying your Christmas shopping for your studio until Imaging USA! 

Get Out of the Studio
Being in the same studio or sitting in front of the same computer monitor day after day is a sure way to find yourself in a rut. A change of scenery always leads to a fresh perspective, and Imaging USA is the perfect setting to spark new ideas... photography speaking, business speaking and for your creativity in general!

Business Solutions That Work
Sometimes the problem with having the Internet at your fingertips is that there is simply too much information. How do you find the exact solution to your problem and how do you know that it will work for you.

Imaging USA can help cut through the clutter. Bring a list of your business challenges and discuss them with your fellow photographers. You're likely to find others who have successfully overcome similar challenges and you can put their ideas to work for you. Plus, all speakers are available at the end of their sessions for questions. Those of you who sign up early enough to get a portfolio review are in for a treat! And there will be even more speakers on the tradeshow floor, with mini sessions and demos, and at the IPC Merit Café on photographic competition.
 
The Energy of Like-Minded Individuals
At Imaging USA you will be surrounded by like-minded people who are there to learn, share and teach. It brings a new level of energy of motivation to the learning that you can never get anyplace else. You WILL end up making (new) friends for life and this WILL boost your motivation and inspiration... perfect timing to start 2017!

The Power of the Random Workshop
Attend one class outside of your specialty and find one thing from that session that you can take back for your business. It could be a new product line, a new workflow method, a bit of marketing genius or a new way to sell prints. Imaging USA has 10 educational tracks so there is bound to be something new for you. Often times we have heard of exploring classes in a track outside your day-to-day practice as becoming a game changer. News ideas, new approaches, new techniques, new best practices, all make for more inspiration, more motivation and more power to you!

Invest In Yourself
Attending Imaging USA is a small investment in yourself, and you're worth it 20 times over! Constantly learning and growing is vital to your bottom line and essential to keeping you one step ahead of your competitors. Imaging USA is organized by PPA and because PPA is a non-profit, it is able to keep the registration cost so much lower than any other conference of this caliber, that it would be a mistake not to leverage it! Don't spend top dollars with fauxtographers! Come where the real pros come year after year to learn, grow, connect and have fun! There's no way you'll regret it ? 

Photography is Your Passion
Like with any great love, you must nurture it to sustain it. Your life can get so full and hectic with all the things you have to do throughout the year. You most likely need a jolt to recharge your passion after the busy holiday season. So come join us at Imaging USA and re-discover your love of photography.



By Autumn Rice

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Creating an extended family portrait could be an impossible task given the 10 family groups scattered across the United States. Huth & Booth Photography in Riverview, Florida, found a way to make it happen with a little help from photographer friends.
   
Read how this one amazing family heirloom came to be in "All Together Now" on PPmag.com.

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By Autumn Rice

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It's time to connect and grow with your fellow photographers during this year's fall Super 1 Day! For two weeks in October, dozens of studios across the country will host all day, peer-to-peer education workshops that enhance skills and help photographers build a better business. Participants will have the opportunity to experience classes like:

Building your business: pricing and marketing strategies
Learning lighting patterns, studio & outdoor lighting and equipment
Discovering techniques for Photoshop® & Lightroom®
Finding your niche: seniors, children, weddings & more

These don't even include the workshops on different post production methods and posing techniques, getting the best shots for boudoir, becoming a certified professional photographer (CPP), or branding and sales knowledge. The point is, if you want to learn it, there's probably a Super 1 Day class for it!

In addition to the tips and tricks you'll learn, these classes also help you get closer to earning your degree! PPA members earn one service merit for paid attendance.

All photographic classes will be held October 3-17, 2016, and each class will be available for $99 through September 27, 2016. 

Online registration is now open!

With more than 250 classes offered across the country, you are sure to find one in your area! So, browse the class schedule at PPA.com/Super1Day, and register for a class near you!

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Time for a blog roundup! Take a look at this week's stories below. IPC dominated our focus and emotions this week, but there was plenty more news going on in the photography world. Let's take a look.

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IPC: Find out the details of the merits and Loan images. Thank you to all who entered, and congratulations to all who merited or received a Loan! 

DRONES: Mark your calendar for Friday August 19 for a new webinar. Drone industry insiders Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington respond to the most frequently asked questions about drone photography.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram has released its own Snapchat-esk feature. Find out what that might mean for you and your clients. 

KEEP YOUR COOL: Learn three ways to keep your shoots as smooth sailing as possible. 

PPAedu: Unlock this month's free video and learn how to set up your area while on-location.

PRICING TIPS: Time is valuable and must be used wisely. Keep this perspective in mind as you manage your time with clients. 

WORKFLOW: Learn how photography juggernaut Getty devises a workflow that cranks out quality results. Hint: preparation is KEY.

GEAR: See why this photographer ditches the extra gear and keeps it light.

HOW TO: How do you create photos that step outside the box? Learn this simple technique. 

PHOTOSHOP: Is it possible to make color-correction a breeze? Fstoppers thinks so! Learn how. 

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

Bethany Clark manages all things social media for PPA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves writing, sewing, travel, yoga, and of course photography.
By Chris Homer

The 2016 International Photographic Competition results are now available! Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to all the photographers who earned merits or had an image be selected for the PPA Loan Collection! 

Don't forget that all the Loan Collection and merited  images will be on display in the International Photographic Exhibit at Imaging USA 2017, January 8 -10 in San Antonio, TX!

Go to PPA.com/IPC to view the 2016 results, and don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2017 to see all these great images in person! 

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 Autumn Rice

With the release of new drone regulations lifting some of the harsh restrictions on drone usage in the photography business, the possibilities are almost endless. Drones, or UAS, are the hottest new tool being used by leading edge photographers, and client demand is swiftly growing. So why are photographers stumped? 

Although the regulations lift some of the restrictions, there are still more questions and photographers don't even know where to begin. What equipment do I need? How do I learn? What are the rules?

PPA is here to help! Join a live and informative discussion on Friday, August 19, 2016 at 12pm with drone industry insiders Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington as they respond to the most frequently asked questions about drone photography. And yes, this is free for anyone to stream!


Randy Jay Braun has been a professional photographer for thirty years on the island of Maui. For most of those years Braun also owned and operated Hawaii's most successful photography retail art gallery. When the DJI Phantom Quadcopter hit the market in 2012 Randy was the one of the first photographers to adapt to aerial photography. 

Stacy Garlington spends much of her time studying the art of photography and creating images using small aerial drones. Stacy noted the tremendous potential of aerial photography during the early stages of the budding small drone industry. She began to create impactful images using basic camera skills. Her work is now published in both Forbes and TIME magazines - examples of the new perspective achievable using this technology.

Any photographer hoping to use drones in their business should attend this webinar. These two experts can provide valuable information about this new technology to skyrocket your business into new territory.

Register for this webinar, and learn all you can about drone photography!

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By Chris Homer

It's time to alert your photography-loving friends who aren't with PPA. Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in spreading the wealth of education that PPA members have at their fingertips! 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 at no cost as a benefit to PPA members. Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, you can tap into hundreds of programs to help you Be More in photography and in your photography business! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision lately, take a look. There's a new website with a slew of new episodes!

For the month of August, the video "Sports & Events: On Location" with instructor Jeff Gump has been unlocked. In the world of photography, the studio is your domain, but on location - well, anything can happen. In this video, PPA Instructor and sports photography expert Jeff Gump teaches you how to prepare so that "anything" doesn't happen on your watch.

If you're already a member of PPA, just log in anytime to watch this video and any other PhotoVision or PPAedu videos! This video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, this month only, at PPA.com/TryEdu. For full access to PPAedu and PhotoVision programs, 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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Come one, come all to the International Photographic Competition Exhibit at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio! The exhibit is free and open to the public, and features thousands of award-winning images from the 2016 Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Loan and General Collections.

The Loan and General Collections are comprised of the best of the best entries from the International Photographic Competition, which selects the year's top images from around the world. Images that earn a merit become part of PPA's General Collection, and then those images are judged again for inclusion in the prestigious Loan Collection. The images in the Loan Collection are bound in a beautiful hardcover book, available through Marathon Press (PPA does not receive any money from sales of this book). These collections are also displayed at the Imaging USA IPC Exhibit every year, so PPA members AND the general public can marvel at the year's best of the best photographs!

Every year at Imaging USA, PPA hosts the Grand Imaging Awards, where IPC winners compete for the best of 2016's Loan Collection in six categories: Event Albums, Non-Event Albums, Illustrative, Artist, Portrait, and Wedding. One of those six winners goes on to win the Grand Imaging Award!

Following the Grand Imaging Awards is a presentation by the World Photographic Cup! This is an international competition designed to bring together photographers from all over the globe in a spirit of friendship and unity. The United States team is made up of images from the Grand Imaging Awards, and in all, more than 25 countries are vying for this year's World Photographic Cup!

Want to enter the International Photographic Competition but don't know where or how to start? Consider enrolling in the Imaging USA pre-convention class "The Competition You Can't Lose" featuring Jessica Vogel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP and Timothy Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP.

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

The IPC Exhibit is inside the Merit Café, where you'll also gain a first look at the new IPC rules that are in effect for the 2017 competition, as well as a series of short seminars geared to getting you familiar with and better prepared for future photographic competitions! Seminars cover Creating Portraits, Technical Excellence, Competition Concepts, Print Presentation, Lighting, Landscape Composition, Marketing, Degrees, and much more. Questions will be more than welcome, so ask away! You'll also have the opportunity to get one-on-one advice from official IPC jurors about how to improve your photos for the competition. These 15-minute sessions are limited, so be sure to reserve yours today!

We can't wait to see you at Imaging USA in January. But hurry up and register by Dec. 8 at ImagingUSA.org/Register for the Early Bird savings, OR use the Join & Go option to become a member of PPA and your full access pass to Imaging 2017 will be FREE as a welcome gift!




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By Chris Homer

Despite the small size of Oakland City, Indiana (population 2,432), Dan Rowe has built a thriving business with the help of his senior spokesmodel program, which veers from the traditional. 

Read how Rowe's program draws in teens and primes parents to buy in "Model Might" on PPMag.com.


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

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