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PPA Today: December 2016 Archives

December 2016 Archives

By Autumn Rice

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Christmas is gone and the countdown to the New Year is on!  So as the holiday season begins to wind down and you reflect on 2016, use our favorite blog posts of the week for inspiration to make New Year's resolutions for 2017! Happy New Year!

Why Imaging USA?

IMAGING USA: There are already a bajillion reasons to go to Imaging USA, but your peers can give you one more. Check out this bog with testimonials about how the Imaging USA experience changed their perspective on the photography business.

The Excuses Photographers Make

BUSINESS: Now is a better time than ever to be more assertive and build a better business. Instead of using common excuses, take the plunge, and challenge yourself to be more. Read this article about some of the common excuses photographers use, and how to overcome them in the new year!   

This 76-Year-Old Has Spent His Entire Life Repairing Cameras

INSPIRATION: Many photographers dedicate their lives to the craft and to photographing others. However, not many devote their lives to simply repairing cameras. Watch this 2-minute documentary about David Drills, a man who has spent his entire life repairing cameras.

Tip: Use the 3-2-1 Rule to Safely Back Up Your Precious Photos

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY: As a photographer your work is your most prized possession, so why not make sure its safe. Your work could be lost, stolen, or destroyed and if its not backed up you could lose everything. Read this article and watch the video on a foolproof method of backing up your photos!

Ten Tips for Flying a Drone in Winter and Capturing Great Photos

DRONES WHEN ITS COLD AND WINDY: Its cold outside, and although winter weather provides inspiration for great drone photography there may be some preparation required before you head out. Get ten tips for helping your drone be more effective during the winter months in this post!

Why Cinema Lenses Are Measured With T-Stops And What's the Difference With An F-Stop?

JARGON EXPLAINED: When it comes to lenses Cinema glass has always been superior to DSLR, but with the right pairings DSLR s are fully capable of creating decent films. Instead of comparing glass quality check out how this article compares the T-stop measure and the f-stop, which really makes the difference in the lenses.

3 Photography New Years Resolutions That You Should Break On January 2nd

RESOLUTIONS: With the New Year comes new resolutions, and although the goal is typically to stick to your resolution, this article says otherwise. Read why you should get rid of these three New Year's resolutions before you even start!

Patrick Temme's Inspiring Environmental Portraits Of People In Tigray, Ethiopia

ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAITS: Photographing environmental portraits requires photographers to capture the essence of who subjects are in their own element. Patrick Temme's most recent environmental portrait session beautifully captures the culture and spirit of people of Tigray, Ethiopia. See just how he got the job done in this article!

4 New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep By Attending Imaging USA

2017 RESOLUTIONS: Imaging USA is only a week away and with all the education and professional opportunities around the convention you're sure to keep up with your New Year's resolutions. Read this blog post about the best ways to keep up with your resolutions while at Imaging USA 2017!

Watch Bella Kotak Edit a Winter-Themed Fantasy Image

EDITING: When it comes to creating winter themed images a balanced mix of photography and digital manipulation is used to achieving the desired look of the photo. Watch as master photo manipulator Bella Kottak takes this winter-themed photo to the next level using digital manipulation.

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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By Chris Homer 

With New Year's Eve right around the corner, chances are that you've been examining your
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 photography business and making some New Year's Resolutions to improve in the coming year. Attending Imaging USA, January 8 - 10 in San Antonio, can be a great way to start the year off right and get the knowledge you need to make your resolutions a reality! Here are 4 resolutions photographers commonly make - and how attending Imaging USA can help you achieve these. 

Sell More Products/Make More Money
One area many photographers struggle in is selling printed products to their clients. Selling these products can often greatly increase your business' profitability. The PRINT For Success Theater at Imaging USA provides the answers you need to start selling more printed products! At the PRINT For Success Theater, top photographers will share sales advice in nineteen 30-minute sessions over the course of three days, all happening during the trade show. Come by and get the sales advice you've been looking for. It's open to all badged attendees - including Expo Only! 

Learn a New Photography Skill
Adding a new specialty to your business is a great way to bring in new clients, and at Imaging USA we'll be hosting classes on one of the most popular new specialties - drone photography! The Drone Zone will allow you to learn anything and everything drone-related. There will be speakers who are pioneers in the area, a representative from the FAA to answer all your questions, and rumor has it that you might even get to FLY A DRONE! Photographers can have access to the entire Drone track (10 classes, presentations, and demos) with your Imaging USA badge (Expo-Only and All-Access passes alike)!

Find a Mentor/Become a Mentor
It's easy for photographers to feel like they are all on their own when running a photography business. In reality, there's a vast network of professional photographers who are willing to share their knowledge with you and provide support when you need it! Imaging USA is a great opportunity to find a mentor, because you'll be mingling with 10,000 other professional photographers. You may just meet that person with the knowledge to jump start your business - or become someone's photography mentor and create a life-long friendship. 

Enter a Photography Competition
Photographers who have participated in PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) commonly mention that the knowledge you gain by entering is one of the best ways to improve your images. At Imaging USA, you can browse the International Photographic Exhibit; It's the largest photographic display out there with over 3,300 photographs featuring the top images from 2016. Come take a look and be inspired to create your own images! 

There's also the opportunity to speak with an IPC Mentor about your own images you're thinking about entering in competition and get their advice. Check it out and remove the fear that comes with entering your images in a competition!

Now that you've seen how Imaging USA can jump start your resolutions, go to ImagingUSA.org/Register today and sign up to attend. Keep in mind that you can attend the Expo trade show, Drone Zone classes, PRINT For Success Theater, Keynote speech by CNN anchor Mel Robbins and International Photographic Exhibit with an Expo Only pass for just $35. If you want to attend all of Imaging USA's classes, parties, and events, upgrade to an All-Access pass! 

Don't be left out; Join us in San Antonio!

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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Imaging USA is so close that we can barely stand the wait! While some of you know how life-changing the convention experience can be for professional photographers, new comers may not know what to expect. Aside from the parties and fun Imaging USA provides education, network, and inspiration that change the outlook on professional photography for many attendees, like you!

Here's a testimonial from PPA member Karen Langley Bentley on the impact Imaging USA has had on her photography and her business.

"For those of you who are/have been speakers... While some attendees might take your words with a grain of salt... There are some whose whole career is changed. In 2013 I was running my business single handedly while working a day job. My husband worked a crappy factory job on swing shift and honestly our family was suffering. At imaging 2013 in Atlanta I brought my husband along for company even though he didn't have any interest in photography. While I was at a maternity class he decided to "just go sit in some other class". He ended up in Jerry Ghionis` class. When we met back up afterwards he was a changed man. Not only was he taken aback by what a powerful image can do, but one small key on lighting illuminated the world of photography to him. I was in disbelief but that very same year my husband became the lead photographer of our business and was able to quit his awful factory job. We have both been full time photographers ever since. We have made mistakes but we have sustained our family and our bills through photography alone. That never would have happened if he hadn't ended up in that class. YOU GUYS MAKE A DIFFERENCE."

"We took many business classes, but we also attended classes by some of our idols. We were the creepy couple wanting selfies with you guys. The reason we wanted those selfies is because you have inspired us majorly in one way or another. One day when we are speaking at Imaging USA (and yes that's a goal of ours) we want to look back and say "this guy changed my life, my business, and yours can change too." We had an awesome time and learned so so much. Thank you all so much for the knowledge and inspiration!"

Imaging USA is an unlimited source of encouragement for photographers to achieve their photography goals, improve their work and build better businesses. If photography is your dream, make it a reality with all of the opportunities at Imaging USA. Imaging USA 2017 will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX from January 5-10. Visit ImagingUSA.org/Register to get your all-access pass to be a part of the world's largest pro-photography convention!

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By Bethany Clark
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Did you get a drone for Christmas? We can only imagine the delight you're feeling! There's little that can compare to getting something that you really want, especially if that item has the unique capability of simultaneously boosting your business. 

Now that you've got one, what's next? Read on for the plethora of resources that PPA has prepared for you, the actions you need to begin taking, and the in-person experience that you can have in a couple of weeks!

  1. Visit PPA.com/Drones for all the information you need about registering your drone, becoming a drone pilot, insurance options, and soon, how to get you Drone-Photography Certified! Also browse these articles for a vast array of information all about drones!  
  2. Check out these comprehensive videos on PPAedu about Drone Photography! Drone experts Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington from DJI  go over everything from safety and etiquette rules to tips on flying. These programs are available online 24/7 to all PPA members. Take advantage of them to get your buzzing edge!
  3. Come to Imaging USA to explore the Drone Zone! This brand new program features 10 classes with all you need to learn about drone photography, especially how to incorporate them safely, legally, and profitably into your photography business. The Drone Zone walks you through all of your options, in-person, with experts on hand to answer all of your questions! You'll be able to watch drones in action, participate in demos, learn best practices for a sustainable business, and so much more.

Whew! Getting a drone for Christmas makes for a very merry holiday indeed! See you at Imaging USA, January 8-10, 2017! Register today!

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By Autumn Rice

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Thousands of photographers will take over San Antonio for Imaging USA 2017 and if you're planning to be there, then don't forget to pack your camera! There will be loads of great photo opportunities and we want you to take advantage of them all! 

From photos with friends, to sights around the city, you'll have the opportunity to capture memorable moments all around Imaging USA. So, pull out your camera and take a picture of anything that catches your eye! And after you've captured the perfect picture, don't forget to share it with us. Tweet, snap, post, and share with the official #ImagingUSA, and your posts will be shared on large screens on site! 

Need more reasons? Here are a few sights for great photos opps at and around the convention:

Classes: There are great moments to capture photos of in classes. Snap some photos and share them with us!

Expo: The expo will be filled with your friends, industry professionals, vendors, and your PPA Team. Grab a few folks and get a group pic of the expo action!

The GIA's and the Award & Degree Ceremony: Snap some photos of the year's winners in their fanciest pants at these events where the award winners from the last year are recognized.

Parties: take a break from dancing the night away and snap some pics with friends. 

River Walk: Take a ride on the San Antonio River Walk and get great shots of the city from the boat! 

So whether you're on the plane to San Antonio, headed to an Imaging USA event or touring the city, keep your camera handy and capture some great moments from Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio. Remember to share all of your moments via social media with the hashtag:   #ImagingUSA

If you haven't already done so, you can still register: Go to ImagingUSA.org/Register and we'll see you soon!

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By Tristin Vaccaro

You may lock your car doors, look twice before crossing the street, and keep your valuables in a lockbox, but have you thought about keeping your digital files safe? As a photographer, your images are valuable and should be protected as such. 

Read "4 Image Backup Strategies" to find out how to effectively save your files from permanently disappearing, only at PPmag.com.


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By Tristin Vaccaro
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Happy holidays from all of us here at PPA! Between last minute shopping and gift-wrapping, we know you probably haven't spent a lot of time surfing the web for blogs, and that's OK! We've done the hard work for you and rounded up the best of the best photography blogs from this week. 

TRENDING: Don't look now, but 2017 is right around the corner, and with a new year comes new photography trends. It looks like 2017 will be the year of authenticity, as Getty Images predicts that unfiltered and color packed images will dominate the market within the next year. Check out all of Getty's projected new year developments so you can stay "on trend" in 2017. 

REMEMBERING: China Machado was one of the first women of color to be featured in a major fashion magazine when she appeared in the February 1959 issue of Harper's Bazaar.  She went on to become a fashion editor for the famous magazine, continuing to model and design clothes on the side. Machado has sadly passed away at the age of 86, but you can read up on her incredible personal and professional life here. 

BEWARE: Earlier this week Canon sent out an advisory, warning consumers about fake 50mm f/1.8 II lenses floating around. These counterfeit lenses look similar to the real deal, but upon further inspection, many of the parts and circuits are inauthentic. Read this article to find out how to tell if the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II in your possession is fake. 

BOOKINGS: With 2017 looming not so far ahead, those all important client bookings are probably on your mind. How can you get return and new customers on your calendar in 2017? Check out these tips from photographer Jennifer Tallerico to find out. 

TIPS: As a photographer, you'll probably take tons of photos over the holiday weekend. It's a time when families come together, so you'll probably want to get at least one snapshot of the whole group.  Before you grab your camera, though, you'll want to watch photographer Adam Lerner tips for capturing the best family portrait possible. 

TECHNOLOGY: Today's modern society values instant gratification, and advancing technology enables this trend. The LCD screen on your camera, for example, allows you to instantly view an image you just captured. But what happens when you show your subject an idea for the perfect image, and they dismiss it because they don't like the way they look? Read this blog to find out how to stay true to yourself and avoid this potential problem.

SECOND SHOOTER: Having a second shooter at a wedding can really lighten your workload and free up your hands so you can capture that picture perfect moment. But sometimes, your second set of hands can be hard to manage or motivate. Watch this video to find out how to best utilize your second shooter during all aspects of a wedding. 

LIGHTING: When photographing a wedding, you generally have to work with the lighting (or lack thereof) that is available. In this video, veteran wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer shows you some helpful tips for creating your own wedding lighting style.

DIY: Many wouldn't think to use a balloon as a pop-up flash diffuser, but this technique is simple while being effective. When placed in front of your camera's flash, an inflated, white balloon softens light and while giving your subjects a more flattering appearance. This means less editing for you and more natural photos for your client. Learn how this simple technique can instantly transform your images.
   
SERIES: Photographer's personal projects are like a window into their soul, highlighting the artist's personal interests and style.  This week photographer Joe Pugliese shows us some portraits from his time spent photographing fashionable churchgoers in his series "Sunday Best".  You can read about Joe's inspiration for the series and see some of the best photos from the day as well.  

That's all for this week's blog post roundup! We sincerely hope you enjoy your time with friends and family this holiday weekend. If there are any photography blogs or podcasts that you think are worth checking out, post them on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.

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By Lisa Sharer

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You can't appeal to a target audience if you don't know who you're targeting. While you may have a general idea of whom your customer is, it is imperative that you really understand what drives him or her. Once you know who you're talking to, then you will know how to talk to them.

What is a Buyer Persona?

Your target audience can be whittled down to one or two specific people. These are the people you will consider when creating any content or collateral to promote your photography business. In theory, these are generalizations of the ideal customer.

Instead of working with a vague, open-ended demographic, you can now focus on the wants and needs of the potential person walking through your studio door, reading your content, or asking for recommendations. Once you really know this person, you can learn what will hook them and bring them directly to you.

How to create Buyer Personas

If you don't currently have clients, you'll need to do some research. Find out who is looking for photographers in your area and why. Once you do, see if you can meet with them and ask them a few questions. Also, as we know, the internet is a vast wonderland of information. Do some social listening on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. You can search key terms and hashtags to find out who's looking for photography.

If you do currently have clients, you've got a leg up. Assess the clients you currently have and see if there's a common thread. Are they the same gender, the same age, have the same size family? As you look closely, you'll start to notice what your clients have in common.

More importantly, you can decipher the qualities that an ideal client has rather than the less than ideal client. Although it's not the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from that perfect client, it can be important to identify a negative buyer persona. You can make this up as you go, but generally you're going to want to avoid the client that is looking for a cheap fix. Look for the client that wants beautiful images that are produced by a professional.

Buyer Persona Template

We have created a buyer persona template just for you. After a few simple questions, you'll be able to identify the best potential clients. Once you do that, you'll be able to offer solutions to their perceived problem (i.e. in need of photography).


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See The Difference®

Now that you know who to market to, you can start using the marketing tools that are free to you. As a PPA member, you have access to a variety of advertising templates. See The Difference® is a consumer focused campaign that can be used to help promote you and/or your studio. The resources provided to you are easily customizable and really drive home the idea that hiring a professional is the only way to go.

To learn more about becoming a member, visit PPA.com.

Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.
By Chris Homer

Did you procrastinate on getting a Christmas gift for the photographer in your life? Don't panic
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 - Imaging USA 2017 is right around the corner, January 8-10 in San Antonio, and an Expo Pass makes a great gift for any photographer!

Expo Only passes are available for just $35 and they'll get the recipient into the 3 day-long Imaging Expo trade show that will feature more than 600 booths from top photographic companies. They'll get a kick out of being able to get hands-on with the latest and greatest products in the photography industry, hear the inspirational keynote speech by CNN star Mel Robbins and check out the best images of 2016 at the International Photography Exhibit - the largest photography exhibit out there with well over 3,300 images! As an added bonus, the Expo Only pass goes even further this year by giving photographers access to the PRINT For Success Theater and the Drone Zone! 

The PRINT For Success Theater will have top photographers sharing sales advice in 19 sales training sessions over the course of three days, all happening during the trade show. Come by and get the sales advice you've been looking for! 

And at the Drone Zone, you can learn anything and everything drone-related. There will be speakers who are pioneers in the area, a representative from the FAA to answer all your questions, and rumor has it that you might even get to FLY A DRONE! Photographers have access to the entire Drone track (with 10 classes, presentations, and demos) through an Expo-Only pass! 

Now that you see why the Expo Only pass is a great gift for photographers, head on over to ImagingUSA.org/Register to grab one. And if you really want to be Santa, consider upgrading your gift to an All-Access Pass which will get you/your friend into ALL of Imaging USA's 100+ classes, parties and special events!


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 Yates
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PPA's Business Challenge was born nearly one year ago, at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. It was during the Studio Makeover class, dedicated to unveiling the results two studio owners had by implementing PPA's business advice, when Education Director Angela Kurkian began to realize the program could be scaled up. By adding the Challenge as a group on theLoop, all PPA members would have the chance to join and begin their 12-month, step-by-step program to profitability and sustainability for their photography businesses. 

It's been a huge success. There are now nine different Challenge Groups on theLoop, with over 900 members taking advice, implementing changes, sharing wisdom and holding each other accountable as they make the steps toward their studios becoming more financially sound! 

YOU can get a taste of the Business Challenge LIVE and IN PERSON with a class at Imaging USA 2017

Business Challenge mentors Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API and Angela Kurkian, M.Photog.Cr., CPP will be presenting the platform program "4 Things You Need to Know to be Successful"  at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, TX. 

The class will be held on January 8 and asks the question, "If you could make four changes to your business and your way of thinking that would help you be more profitable, add time to your day and move your life in the direction you dream of, would you do it?"  Full of great takeaways and business strategies you can start implementing right away, this class is the perfect introduction to the Business Challenge program, which can help you build your business on a strong foundation in 2017.

If you're not already using the Business Challenge to own your place in the photography industry and be more profitable, what are you waiting for?! Sign up now at PPA.com/Challenge! And be sure to register for Imaging USA and join us in San Antonio! 

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By Tristin Vaccaro

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Imaging USA is less than THREE weeks away, and whether you like to pack far in advance or throw everything in a bag at the last minute, packing for a trip can be a little stressful. Of course you need the basics like clean clothes, toiletries, and personal items, but there are other essentials you should pack, too. We took out some of the packing guesswork with this checklist of 10 essentials to bring with you to Imaging USA 2017.

1) Outerwear: January is San Antonio's coldest month of the year, meaning a coat or jacket is necessary. While the convention is held indoors at the Henry B. González Convention Center, exploring the beautiful city of San Antonio isn't as appealing if you're freezing. It's a good idea to be prepared for any kind of weather, so a rain jacket would also make a smart addition to your suitcase.

2) Camera: It's a photography convention, so you definitely don't want to leave your camera at home.  Between the hands-on classes and tech accessories available at the expo, you'll want your camera by your side throughout the convention.

3) Comfy Shoes: Make no mistake, you will be doing LOTS of walking during your time at Imaging USA. There are classes to attend, parties to dance at, and one amazing city to explore, so be sure to break in your shoes before you come. Trust us, your feet will thank you! 

4) Phone Charger: You don't usually leave home without your phone, so don't leave for a trip without the charger.  While this seems pretty obvious, you don't want to be the one who left your charger plugged into your wall at home.

5) Refillable Water Bottle: We know there's lots to do while at Imaging USA, so it's easy to forget to STAY HYDRATED! This is so important, and there are tons of places to fill up across the convention center so you'll never go thirsty. 

6) Business Cards: Part of the fun of Imaging USA is meeting tons of new people! These people can become friends for life or the professional mentor you've been looking for. Building your photographic network is easy when you have business cards to share. 

7) Semi-Formal Attire: The Award & Degree ceremony, the Grand Imaging Awards, and the official Imaging USA closing party are all good reasons to get dolled up. By no means is formal wear a necessity (well, unless you are going to be receiving a degree), but the option to dress up while having fun is definitely appealing.

8) Empty Bag: There's lots of swag to be had at Imaging USA, but you'll need another bag to bring it all home in! Bringing a spare bag with you ensures you'll have plenty of space to bring home those extra goodies you've picked up along the way.

9) Note-Taking Device: Do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper or bring your laptop or tablet. Whatever your note taking style, remember all you've learned at your classes by jotting down notes. 

10) Badge: Can't forget this! Your Imaging USA badge is essential for entering the classes, expo, parties, and basically everywhere else at the convention. If you lose your badge, there is a reprint fee of $25 for the first reprint and $50 for the second one, so keep an eye on your badge!

And there you have it, the top 10 packing necessities for Imaging USA 2017. This list serves as a jumping off point when considering what to pack, and you should definitely consider your specific needs as well. 

We can't wait to see you in San Antonio, and if you haven't already, there's still time to register and meet us there, too!

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By Autumn Rice

Imaging USA is home to the world's largest pro-photography expo. With 3 days of more than 600 booths over 80,000+ square feet of trade show with top companies from the photography industry, this show compares to none! This year's Imaging USA Expo will be the ultimate feast for photographers, featuring gadgets and gizmos from companies like Canon USA, Miller's Professional Imaging, H&H Color Lab, Kodak Alaris, Marathon Press Inc., and ChromaLuxe, just to name a few! 

Navigating this large convention can be quite overwhelming, and you'll want to visit every inch of it. So, plan your route in advance! Use the interactive map featured on ImagingUSA.org, like the map below, to plan your routes to the MUST see vendors that are important to you.

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Another way to get seamless navigation through the Imaging USA Expo is through the official Imaging USA App. This free app has a special navigation feature that will allow you to choose any vendor that you would like to visit, and get directions to their exact location on the expo floor. Visit ImagingUSA.org/Videos to get step by step instruction videos on how to use the navigation feature of the app. 

Make your way around Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio with ease by using the interactive map and the official Imaging USA App navigation feature. The Imaging USA Expo has so much to offer, and you deserve to see it all. To get a list of all of the exhibitors that will be at Imaging USA and access the interactive floor plan, go to ImagingUSA.org/Imaging-Expo!

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By Autumn Rice

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If you're heading to San Antonio in January, by now you've registered for all of your pre-con classes and scheduled your education-filled days at Imaging USA. But before you run out the door, here are some tips on what to bring to classes to ensure that you're prepared to get the most out of your "Imaging experience" this year!

Check your bag for these few necessities before you head to class:

1. Camera: This is a photographic convention. Of course you need your camera! Some of the classes at Imaging USA 2017 are hands-on and will give you the chance to use the skills you've learned right on your own camera. Bringing your camera is a MUST! Triple check your bag for your camera (and batteries) before you leave!

2. Mobile App: The mobile app is the best way for you to stay on the schedule you set for your days at Imaging USA. It has a special feature that allows you to schedule your days, and stay on time for each class. The app is also easy to use, and there are demo videos to help you master each feature. Make sure to download the official Imaging USA app before you head to San Antonio!

3. Laptop/Tablet: Some Imaging USA classes teach you about programs and editing, and having the program handy would be a good idea. Although laptops are ideal, keep in mind that tablets or smaller, compact items may be easier to carry. Be sure to equip your tablets and laptops with the software and programs you'll need for before you throw it in your bag!

4. Notebook & Pen: There will be a lot of information given in each Imaging USA class, and bringing writing utensil will ensure you're able to take advantage of it! You'll want to write down notes as a reference for future use and projects. Remember to stop by Registration on site to pick up your FREE Imaging USA notebook! And don't forget to throw a couple of pens in your backpack before class; you'll need them!

5. Business Cards: Many of your fellow photographers and vendors will attend class sessions with you, and building business relationships is a great way to find pro-photographer friends that can help you! Building and nurturing a professional network is also great for support, so don't forget to grab enough business cards before you leave!

There you have 'em! These items are your basic necessities for Imaging USA classes, and you don't want to forget them. So before you leave home triple check your bag for these items and you'll be Imaging USA education ready!

Visit ImagingUSA.org to register for the Imaging USA 2017, download the app and register for classes, and we'll see you in January! 

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By Tristin Vaccaro

Photographer Jerry Uelsmann has accomplished a lot in his 82 years. He began creating surreal photomontages beginning in the 1960s, blending together photographs in the darkroom long before Photoshop existed. His work is included in permanent museum collections in cities like Paris, New York, and Boston. He's published multiple books and taught photography at the University of Florida for almost four decades.  

To find out more about this accomplished photographer, read "His Story Is Untitled" on PPmag.com

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By James Yates
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It's super cold outside and, let's face it, you don't want to go anywhere this weekend. Curl up under a blanket, make something hot to drink, and enjoy these top photography blog posts from around the web. 

ACCESS: Read this PPA Today post on the amazing stuff that comes with this year's Imaging USA Expo-Only Pass (Drone Zone, Print for Success Theatre, Mel Robbins keynote, IPC exhibit, 600+ booth trade show) and get a promocode to enter to get your pass for FREE!

ADAPT: Windy conditions may seem like a ruined day for your photo shoot, but FStoppers has an article on how to use it to your advantage. More than just overcoming, there's a way to use wind to your advantage to create natural portraits. 

TIPS: Learn 10 tips for better wedding photography lighting via a video from Popular Photography. The first step is figuring out the space...watch the video to learn the rest. 

HOW-TO: Tis the season for these tips! Popular Photography again with 10 tips for holiday family portraits. They're simple, easy to remember, and will make the most out of your family get-togethers. 

BEWARE: Not to scare you, but memory cards can be damaged pretty easily. Here are a bunch of do's and don'ts for memory cards from PetaPixel. They'll clear up some common misconceptions and offer strategies to keep your images safe. 

INSPIRING: Business Insider has a slideshow of inspirational nature photography. Check out the winners from the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest. These are jaw-dropping images you won't soon forget. 
 
DIVERSIFY: Here's a great piece on diversity issues in the modelling world. A Liberian model collaborated with an L.A.-based photographer to recreate fashion campaigns featuring white models. The results spark questions about black girl invisibility and the need to diversify.  

TRIBUTE: New York fashion and portrait photographer Rodney Smith recently passed away. PetaPixel has a nice piece on his legacy and a look at his iconic photos. 

DREAMING OF DRONES:  Professional Photographer magazine reviewed 8 popular drones so you can put your favorite on your Christmas wish list. Hurry up and read this article or Santa may just pass you by. 
 
PRINT: The Photo Fundamentalist has a great essay up about print permanence and the need to create prints. Go into the meaning of life, why man creates art, and more deep issues that dovetail perfectly with PPA's PRINT. Movement

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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James 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 Tristin Vaccaro

As a PPA member, you've invested lots of time and energy into your photography passion.  Now it's time to help your clients see why they should invest in you.  Through PPA's See The Difference awareness campaign, consumers are encouraged to "see the difference" a PPA photographer can make when it comes to hiring a photographer. There are tons of FREE marketing tools available to PPA members that can help explain the importance of hiring a pro to potential clients. 

Some of those free tools include See The Difference videos, crafted by PPA just for you to share! These videos concisely explain all the benefits that come with hiring a knowledgeable PPA member. The videos are an easy way to show potential clients why PPA members are better suited for a job over unaffiliated photographers.

The See The Difference overview video really drives home the technical skills, artistry, and consistency that a professional photographer brings to the table.  This video quickly and effectively answers the question, "Why should you hire a professional photographer?" It's a great video to show to clients, potential customers, and friends who may not quite understand the importance of a professional photographer. 


There are also See The Difference videos available that cater to those in the wedding and senior photography market. 
By Autumn Rice

The countdown to Imaging USA 2017 is on, and to help enhance your Imaging USA experience we've made the Imaging USA app bigger and better than ever before. So forget the maps, schedules and alarms, and pick up your phone to download the official Imaging USA App!

With the Imaging USA app you can:
Create your own customized schedule of classes and events
View interactive maps with a navigation feature to help you find your way around the trade show floor
View the comprehensive list of speakers, exhibitors, and programs offered
Favorite and bookmark the speakers or vendors you don't want to miss
Connect with other attendees through the app's networking function
Take notes and keep them stored all in one place
Give feedback on the classes you attend
Receive expo-only offers and discounts while in San Antonio

Navigating the app is simple and easy to use, but we want to highlight some of the special features, just for you. Check them out!
By Bethany Clark

Tempted to get a drone for Christmas but don't know which one is for you? Professional Photographer Magazine reviewed 8 drones that are safe, high-quality, and ready to fly. Check out the recommendations on the best drones for photographers. 

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And for those coming to San Antonio in January, there's a bonus Christmas gift for you: The Drone Zone at Imaging USA! This brand new program features 10 classes with all you need to learn about drone photography, especially how to incorporate them safely, legally, and profitably into your photography business. At the Drone Zone, you can watch drones in action, participate in demos, learn best practices for a sustainable business, and so much more. 

Best of all: The Drone Zone is available to all attendees, whether you have an All-Access Pass to Imaging USA or the Expo-only Pass (which you can get free with promo code FB2017)! Register today and we'll see you January 8-10, 2017 in San Antonio!

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By Tristin Vaccaro

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They say that the influence of a good teacher can never be erased. If teaching others has always been a passion of yours, or you've always wanted to give it a try, Super 1Day 2017 is your chance to leave that lasting impact! 

Super1Day is a two-week-long event that builds the photographic and business skills of professional photographers. Classes covering a wide range of topics are held across the country and are led by knowledgeable professional photographers. In 2017, Super1Day will take place May 8-22, but not without those aforementioned knowledgeable instructors. That's where you come in! 

Super1Day instructors volunteer to share their photography and business knowledge with class attendees. Instructors can teach alone or with another PPA member by their side. PPA handles all aspects of Super1Day attendee registration including confirmation emails, class packets, and even event promotion. The rest is up to you! Course instructors determine the class topic, location, format, and size.

Signing up as a Super1Day instructor comes with some pretty awesome benefits too. Instructors receive two merits toward their PPA degree, simply for having at least one person attend their class. In addition, instructors with their Photographic Craftsman or Master of Photography degrees will receive $50 per student after the 7th registered class attendee. Aside from these more tangible perks, you'll get teaching experience, an expanded network, and the satisfaction of helping others achieve their goals.

Instructor registration for Super1Day Spring 2017 is already open, but don't wait, as applications are due by January 20! We've even provided you with instructor FAQs and resources to help complete your transition to teacher. By signing up to be a Super1Day instructor, you're helping others while also helping yourself. We call that a win-win! 

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By Chris Homer 

During Imaging USA 2017, you'll have the opportunity to attend one of the largest
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 photographic trade shows in the world! The Imaging USA Expo has more than 600 booths from top companies in the photography industry. You'll be able to get hands-on with the latest and greatest photography products - and find some great deals as well!

There's a lot going on at the Expo, so below you'll find some tips to help you make the most of the experience:

Download the Imaging USA App
The Imaging USA App is the easiest way to find exhibitors you want to visit and find your way around the trade show floor. You can browse exhibitors alphabetically, or by product categories. There's even an interactive map of the trade show floor that will give you navigation to any booth at the Expo! Visit ImagingUSA.org/App to download! 

Bring an Extra Suitcase / Expandable Bag
Shipping home all those purchases you make at the trade show can get expensive, so consider bringing an extra suitcase so you can take what you buy home with you. 

Wear Comfortable Shoes
The Expo floor is HUGE! You'll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure you've got comfortable shoes on! Consider 2 pairs or more so you can switch shoes daily. Trust us - this trick really helps!

Look Out for Show Specials
Many exhibitors will be offering great discounts on products and services! Show specials will be listed in the exhibitor profiles on the Imaging USA App. Some exhibitors will also have speakers giving special presentations during the trade show; the schedule for those will be included in the exhibitor profiles on the app, so here you go: one more reason to download the app! 

Visit the International Photographic Exhibit and the PRINT For Success Theater
The International Photographic Exhibit will display the top images from PPA's International Photographic Competition. You'll want to take some time to soak in all these great images and be inspired! The exhibit is open the same hours as the trade show.

Meanwhile, the PRINT For Success Theater will have top photographers sharing sales advice in nineteen 30 minute sessions over the course of three days, all happening during the trade show. Come by and get the sales advice you've been looking for!

Hungry? There's an Eatery on the Expo Floor
The Expo will be taking place during lunch hours, but there's no need to leave the trade show floor to grab a bite to eat. There's an eatery on the trade show floor so you can grab some quick lunch and get back to browsing.

Need a Break? Visit the Relax, Recharge & Rest Station
If your feet get tired walking around the Expo and you need a rest, visit the Relax, Recharge & Rest Station (booth #1049). There you'll find comfy couches where you can kick back and get the rest you need! 

There you have it, you're ready to attend the Imaging USA Expo! Keep in mind that Expo only-passes are available for only $35 and are valid for three days! If you want to attend Imaging USA's classes, parties and events as well, purchase or upgrade to an All-Access Pass. The $50 early bird discount on All-Access Passes for PPA members has been extended to December 15. Visit ImagingUSA.org/Register to get your pass 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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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!

For the month of December, the video "Architectural Photography: Real Estate 1" with Randy Van Duinen, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, has been unlocked! This video, which is the first in a two-part series, explores:

  • How to capture an image with more detail by accessorizing, or removing objects in the photo 
  • The equipment he uses for his shots and the benefits each of them provide. 
  • And finally how to make adjustments to your images using Photoshop

And much more! 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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By Autumn Rice

Every year Imaging USA leaves attendees bursting with inspiration from all they've learned at the convention, and this year's Imaging USA will exceed your expectations. 2017's convention features many new exhibits, classes, and events that you can't miss! 

This year, for the first time ever, Imaging USA will feature the Drone Zone! If you're interested in learning about drones and how you can incorporate them in your business, then visiting the Drone Zone is a MUST. This gigantic classroom is all about the new regulations, flying safety, and best practices. From hands-on demonstrations to classes held three times every day, and the chance to get answers to your most pressing questions, the Drone Zone is your complete guide to successful drone usage! And if that wasn't enough, there will also be drone exhibitors on the Expo floor along with PPA's insurance partner, Lockton Affinity, to offer you the best deals and advice about your drone insurance.

The best part of the Drone Zone experience at Imaging USA 2017 is that it's OPEN TO ALL ATTENDEES! As long as you have a badge, you'll be able to participate in all the drone fun; that's an Imaging USA first!  

Don't pass up this opportunity to soak up all of the information industry experts can offer you exclusively at Imaging USA. Visit ImagingUSA.org/Register to get your $35 Expo-only pass and guarantee your complete drone experience! 

If you want to attend all of Imaging USA's classes, parties, and events there's still time to purchase an All-Access Pass! Register by December 15 to save $50 off with the extended early bird rate at ImagingUSA.org/Register or get your Expo-Only pass FOR FREE by using the promo code TSC2017 at ImagingUSA.org/Free-Expo-Pass.

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Register now for your free Expo pass to attend Imaging USA 2017! Not only does this pass grant you access to the 3-day, 600+ booth Expo floor, this year your Expo pass gets you FREE ACCESS to so much more:

1. NEW!!! The Drone Zone features 10 classes with all you need to learn about drone photography. Drones are the hottest new photography tool on the market, and it's important to learn how to use them and incorporate them safely, legally, and profitably into your photography business. The Drone Zone will provide you with ample opportunity to watch drones in action, participate in demos, and learn best practices for a sustainable business. 

2. NEW!!! The PRINT for Success Theater offers 19 short-format sales training workshops on how to make more money selling printed products. If you're interested in encouraging your clients to purchase more printed works, this room is for you. Stop by the PRINT Marketing Theater and join a comprehensive sales session, get information about how to price and market printed products to your clients, and show them the value of printed photography. The sessions will be held in 30-minute intervals during Expo hours. The tips provided in these sessions are sure to get your clients excited about the print movement, and buying printed products in no time.

3. NEW!!! The Keynote Speech by Mel Robbins delivers true inspiration! Take your business to new heights with motivation from one of the most sought-after speakers in the world. CNN host, legal analyst, and criminal defense attorney, Mel's life experiences have helped her craft speeches that deliver business-expanding, life-changing, interactive advice to inspire change, challenge thinking and accelerate personal and professional growth. Her book, Stop Saying You're Fine, is a bestseller that has been translated into four different languages, and her TEDx Talk "How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over" has over 10 million views across 37 countries. She will bring her story and motivational advice to Imaging USA to help your business soar to new heights! Oh, and there will be a book signing too! You don't want to miss this!

4. The IPC Photo Exhibit features thousands of award-winning images from the 2016 PPA Loan and General Collections. The exhibit is located inside the Merit Café, where you can gain a first look at the new IPC rules that are in effect for the 2017 IPC competition, meet with an IPC juror one-on-one to discuss your images, and participate in a series of short seminars geared to getting you familiar with and better prepared for future photographic competitions!

5. The Imaging USA Expo is basically the Mall of America for photographers, an all-you can-eat buffet of photography wonders... all on an 80,000 square foot trade show with everything from heavy equipment to small gadgets, printers, labs, service providers, and BIG name photographic companies like Canon USA, Miller's Professional Imaging, H&H Color Lab, Kodak Alaris, Marathon Press Inc., and ChromaLuxe, to name a few. Oh and all these vendors are there to move merchandise, so you get ready for a deals galore! Plus, the Expo Floor has classes, product demos, giveaways, and much more! 

Whew! Even if you can only attend the Expo, you are getting soooo much at Imaging USA 2017! The best part is that the Expo is free for you! Register at ImagingUSA.org/Free-Expo-Pass and enter promo code TSC2017 at checkout. See you in San Antonio!

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By Tristin Vaccaro

While finding your niche is more important than ever, it's differentiating yourself in the sea of sameness that really matters. Start by asking yourself questions from your clients' point of view, questions like, "Why should I choose you?" and, "Why should I come back to you?" Once you can effectively answer those questions, you can effectively deliver your message of what makes YOU different!

Read "You Can't Compete Without Being Unique" by Jeffrey Shaw, Cr.Photog., on PPmag.com to gain some sound advice on capitalizing on your distinct perspective.

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By Chris Homer

While we know you're busy finishing up holiday projects for your clients, take a minute to
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 relax and enjoy this week's top photography blog posts! 

COPYRIGHT ALERT: Copyright Reform Is (finally!) Coming! 
PUSHING FOR CHANGE:  PPA has been back in Washington D.C. this week, meeting with lawmakers to advocate copyright reform and the creating of a copyright small claims system. There's some exciting news on this front, so check out part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4  updates from PPA's recent visit!  You can also read the press release about the proposed copyright reforms. Remember, it is now more important than ever for you to sign up and join the Grassroots Action Team and make a change!

PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS:  Sports Illustrated's recent cover featuring Dwayne Johnson was shot with a smartphone (you won't believe it from seeing the cover). In this article from PetaPixel, get a behind-the-scenes look of how photographer Michael J. LeBrecht created such a stunning image via smartphone. 

DEBATE: This post from Fstoppers brings up an interesting point: if you struggle with post-processing in Photoshop, does that make you a less capable photographer? If you've felt this way before, you'll want to check out this post - you aren't alone!

IMAGING USA:  You may think there's little value in attending the Grand Imaging Awards and Award & Degree Ceremony at Imaging USA if you're not getting an award yourself. In reality, attending these ceremonies is a great idea for generating some inspiration to take home with you! Read all about these Imaging USA ceremonies in this post. And if you haven't registered for Imaging USA, do it today!

LIGHTING TECHNIQUE:  Find out how to create a photo that looks like it was created at night, even if it was created during the middle of the day! This post from Fstoppers will show you the steps to take to perform this neat photography trick. 

By Autumn Rice

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Imaging USA is less than a month away, and although everything about the convention is fantastic, there are some events outside of the class curriculum you just have to attend while in San Antonio. From the Grand Imaging Awards and the Award & Degree Ceremony, to the parties and PPA Charities' Fun Run, these special events are sure to create special memories from your time in San Antonio. 

To help you navigate some of the special programs at Imaging USA we gathered the top 7 events that you can't miss! Check them out:

7. Grand Imaging Awards: Celebrate with friends as we honor the 2016 Medalists, Diamond Photographers of the Year, and all the elite Loan Collection artists from the most recent International Photographic Competition (IPC).

6. Award and Degree Ceremony: This ceremony is all about your peers and their accomplishments in the professional photography industry. If you need some inspiration, going to cheer on your fellow photographers is the way to do it!

5. The Expo: The Expo is where all the action takes place. Marvel over everything from the PRINT Movement Theatre, Drone Zone, and the IPC exhibit to vendors offering the best discounts on the industry's latest products just for you! Going to the expo is a must!

4. Charities Reception: Mingle with your fellow photographers before the charities auction. This is a ticketed event!

3. Charities Auction: Kick off Imaging USA as you enjoy fun, auctions and all the good deeds that have been done. This is a ticketed event so pick those up at PPA2016.Gesture.com

2. Fun Run: Get up, get out, and get running at the annual 5k run for PPA Charities. Don't stay out too late the night before because the race starts at 7am and you don't want to be left behind!

1. AND THE PARTIES!!!: The parties at Imaging USA are a great way to kick off the New Year. Dance the night away with all of your photographer friends while having the time of your life. Don't miss the opening party or the closing party!

These are only a few of the special events that Imaging USA has to offer. Don't forget, you can take your Certification exam, watch the incredibly kick-in-the-rear-end motivational and inspiring presentation by CNN Star Mel Robbins, and so much more!

Find a complete list of the special events and their descriptions at ImagingUSA.com/Programs. And don't forget to visit ImagingUSA.com/Register to sign up for Imaging USA. The early bird rate is being extended until midnight ET Dec. 15, 2016. Don't be left behind!

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Big Day for U.S. Copyright Law and Advocacy on Capitol Hill
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Two Proposed Reforms Led by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and Backed by Creative Rights Caucus and Visual Arts Alliance Hit the House of Representatives' Floor

by James Yates

Atlanta, GA (December 8, 2016) - Major ground was broken on two fronts in Washington D.C. in regards to long-awaited changes in U.S. copyright law. First, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released the first policy proposal to come out of the committee's review of U.S. Copyright law.  According to a released statement, the policy proposal includes "granting the Copyright Office autonomy with respect to the Library of Congress, requiring the [U.S. Copyright] Office to maintain an up-to-date digital, searchable database of all copyrighted works and associated copyright ownership information, and many others reforms" including a small claims process for copyright infringement.  On that latter subject, the policy proposal states, "The Copyright Office should host a small claims system consistent with the report on the issue released by the Copyright Office.  The small claims system should handle low value infringement cases as well as bad faith Section 512 notices.  The Register should be given the authority to promulgate regulations to ensure that the system works efficiently."

Meanwhile, also in the House, Representative Judy Chu (D-Ca.) and Co-Sponsor Lamar Smith (R-Tx.) have introduced the "Fairness for America's Small Creators Act", a "small claims bill" that would make it possible for small business image creators (i.e. professional photographers) to take advantage of the U.S. copyright system for the first time since its inception.  This small claims bill would provide creators with an effective remedy to protect their works, and make sure that they are paid for what they produce.  The bill establishes a tribunal made of two attorneys with extensive intellectual property (IP) and/or copyright backgrounds and a third arbitrator familiar with U.S. Copyright law, who would oversee the new small claims process for infringement remedies. 

In the U.S., Copyright claims have traditionally only been allowed to be filed in person in federal court.  The "Fairness for America's Small Creators Act" allows for those whose work has been infringed to file a claim online and the corresponding hearings will be held via video conference without the requirement of an attorney.  Under the "Fairness for America's Small Creators Act", copyright claims can be filed without prior registration with the Copyright Office; However, registration must be completed before the tribunal gives their decision.  The cost for this process is set to be kept to a minimum, but is still being decided on at this time. The maximum recovery amount is set at $30,000, ensuring that small creators have a place to remedy their copyright infringements, but also preventing the tribunal process from being clogged.  Those who wish to pursue their copyright claim in federal court may still do so, and it will be noted that the parties opted out of the small claims option.

"The New Year couldn't get off to a greater start for professional photographers and other visual artists," says PPA CEO, David Trust. "These are two giant announcements. The reform of the U.S. Copyright Office, including modernization of the office and the registration processes, has been one of PPA's biggest advocacy issues over the past 10 years.  The current one-size-fits-all registration system simply doesn't work for professional photographers.  This didn't matter as much, however, because of the lack of a small claims process.  Now, in one day, we have movement on both issues.  Just as important as the introduction of Representative Chu's small claims bill, is the statement released by Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers.  It's an indication that they really want to get this done. December 8, 2016 will stay as a big day for U.S. Copyright Law!"

The timing, a flurry of activity all seemingly in one day, coincides with the end of this Congress's 2016 lame-duck session.  PPA will continue to work with the incoming Congress and actively engage with House members as it also mobilizes its 30,000 photographer members to reach out to their respective Representatives and lend their support to this new piece of legislation in 2017.  

About PPA:
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA's roots date back to 1869. It assists nearly 30,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued and sustainable success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at PPA.com/BeMore.





By Sidra Safri
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11:45 am
Immediate update! As I am sitting here writing this, we got a call from Rep. Judy Chu's office saying they are releasing the Small Claims bill TODAY.  Another giant milestone in the fight to protect photographers! The bill will be called the Fairness for American Small Creators Act. Stay tuned for the official announcement and the ability to read the final bill! 

11:30 am
The holidays have come early for creative artists! PPA just got out of our meeting with Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and it could not have gone better. The entire Visual Artist Coalition was able to attend the meeting, with the sole purpose of talking about the importance of small claims and our concern with the removal of Maria Pallante as the Register of Copyrights. Chairman Goodlatte agreed with us wholeheartedly and said that something needs to be done for sure. 

After talking to us for a few minutes, Chairman Goodlatte gave us some fantastic news: he has prioritized four necessary reforms for the Copyright Office... and Small Claims is on that list! This is the first time a member of the House, let alone a ranking member of the House, has come out and said that Small Claims is a priority. This is a huge win for Creative Artists! However, this does not mean that our work is done. YOU, as a creative artist, are more important to this movement than ever! 

Keep in mind this is going to be a long journey, and we're just getting started! Once the bill is introduced, we still need to go through both chambers of Congress. However, having the Chairman talking about Small Claims is a huge win, and a step in the right direction. This meeting honestly could not have gone any better. It almost seems as if Chairman Goodlatte was reading our minds! CEO David Trust, Director of Membership Kristen Hartman, and I are all celebrating on Capitol Hill! This one meeting made our trip even more worth it! We hope our other two meetings today go as well as this one. Stay tuned for more news to come!

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By Chris Homer

Have you been considering drone photography as an addition to your business? Imaging USA is tackling this hot topic with a host of brand new classes. For the first time ever, Imaging USA will have a "Drone Zone"! This is where you can learn anything and everything drone related. There will be speakers who are pioneers in the area, a representative from the FAA to answer all your questions, and rumor has it that you might even get to FLY A DRONE! 

Even better, you can have access to the entire Drone track (classes, presentations, and demos) through an Expo-Only pass for only $35! Take a look at everything being offered in the Drone Zone below and register here for Imaging USA 2017 today! 

Drones and Aerial Photography 101
Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington will start from scratch speaking plain English to explain where, when, how and why. This class is for complete beginners who are a little bit nervous and confused about aerial drone photography. Randy and Stacy will encourage participants to relax and ask questions throughout the class.

Flights - Camera - Action
Designing your commercial imaging flight today requires planning, visualization and safety considerations. Eddie Tapp, M.Photog., MEI,Cr.,API,CPP, will discuss tips, techniques and information that will help your flight strategies from composition flights, camera settings, safety practices and more. Even if your considering drone aerials in your business, come and prepare to take flight for your creative imaging experience.

Elevate Yourself and Your Business Using Small Drones
Camera-drones are the hottest thing in photography industry. Randy Bruan & Stacy Garlington from the DJI Photography Development Team will discuss drone hardware, flying basics, image capture, simple processing, do's and don'ts, and how to earn additional income with your drone.

Getting Started in Aerial Drone Imaging
The composition rules have changed, you can now move your camera in 3D space. Learn how to cast of traditional photography constraints and elevate your photography. In this session Colin Smith will provide tips on the best way to fly to capture the best photographs and video. We will also explore some basic image editing of aerial images in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

By Chris Homer

In "Senior Sun Day Supreme", watch as high school senior photographer John Pyle guides you through a senior photography shoot. He shares posing and lighting advice at a variety of outdoor locations. Plus, get a look at what has helped his senior photography business succeed!

Check out this month's free video!

 

Want to see more? Head on over to PhotoVisionVideo.com and begin exploring all the website has to offer. You'll find everything you're looking for and more! This great resource provides an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at the techniques used by some of the biggest-named professionals in the world of photography. These videos cover a wide range of best practices to inspire every element of your business. The best part about PhotoVision is that it's free to PPA members!

Don't forget that PPA members get access to all the PhotoVision photography courses for free with their membership, so 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 Sidra Safri 
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Yesterday, we reported on how great our Creative Caucus Briefing went. Your PPA Advocacy team can now report that the rest of the day was one success after another. The meeting with Representative Nadler (D-NY) was fantastic. During the meeting we even realized that Anne Geddes (Panelist for CRC), her husband Kel, and Rebecca Blake (Graphic Artist Guild) were all constituents of Representative Nadler! Representative Nadler has always been open to listening to why small claims legislation is necessary, but it is even better when it comes from someone who lives in his district...and we had THREE! Representative Nadler was very appreciative and wants us to keep him up-to-date about any developments on small claims. We hope that as time goes on and a bill is finally introduced, we will have the support of Representative Nadler.

After meeting with Representative Nadler, we made our way to Representative Lamar Smith's (R-TX) office. It was great to be able to touch base with him and have him talk to Anne Geddes about the importance of a small claims bill. This meeting was very productive and gave Rep. Smith direct insight into the importance of small claims copyright protection, and how both small businesses and the famously successful are impacted by infringement. We know that Representative Smith is an advocate for small business and copyright and hope that he will be ready to support the small claims bill when it is introduced!
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Today we have another action-filled day. We have four meetings back-to-back, and we are going to cover a lot of ground. Since there is so much going on, we have our friends from the Visual Arts Coalition joining us in these meetings. As the saying goes, "There is power in numbers!" If every single member of all seven organizations signed up for the Grassroots Action Team we would be 50,000 members strong! Image the impact that would have on Capitol Hill! Remember, it is now more important than ever for you to sign up and join the Grassroots Action Team and make a change!

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by Sidra Safri
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2:30 pm
We just got done with our Creative Rights Caucus event and we have to say... it was a GREAT SUCCESS! Staffers loved the opportunity to meet with our entire panel and hear about their journey through photography. Representatives Chu and Collins were present and eager to share the importance of small claims copyright protection and small business in general. Everyone who attended was extremely impressed with the event and have asked us to follow up with them in the future. We believe this event left a great impression about Small Claims with the attendees, highlighting why it is so important.

After we clean up the event, we are taking our wonderful panelists, along with other members of the Visual Arts Coalition, to an impromptu meeting with Representative Jerrold Nadler of NY. Representative Nadler is interested in hearing about Small Claims protection and why it is so important to visual artists.
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After Representative Nadler, we are meeting with Representative Lamar Smith. Since Representative Smith has always been a champion for small business and Small Claims, we have to make sure we stop by and share our appreciation with him every time we come to DC!

There is plenty going on between now and tomorrow so stay tuned! Don't forget: encourage everyone you know to sign up and lend their support to the cause of Copyright Small Claims! 
By Sidra Safri 
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12:30 pm 
PPA is back in Washington D.C. for one of the most exciting trips yet! Yesterday's summit with the Visual Arts Coalition was a great success. This Coalition is made up of seven members including American Photographic Artists (APA), American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), National Press Photographers of America (NPPA), Photographic Licensing Universal System (PLUS) and Professional Photographers of America (PPA). This summit occurs once a year to check in on making progress for the rights of creative artists.

While there, the Coalition discussed the status of the small claims bill, and the removal of Maria Pallante as Register of Copyrights for the Library of Congress. Members of the coalition are just as upset as PPA and we all hope that some change is made to benefit the copyright office. 

During our summit we also had the opportunity to talk to Keith Kupferschmid of the Copyright Alliance and Rob Kasunic of the Copyright Office. Both meetings gave us great insight into the direction the Library of Congress is heading in and gives us plenty of hope for the success of small claims. However, we know that small claims is still going to be something we must fight for. Hearing Rob and Keith speak reminded everyone how important it is, now more than ever, to make sure you're signed up for the Grassroots Action Team and your voice can be heard!

We are getting ready for the Creative Right Caucus now, with Representatives Chu and Smith. Everyone is excited to hear Denis Reggie, Michael Grecco, and Anne Geddes speak about their journeys through photography. More updates to come soon!


By Tristin Vaccaro
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At Imaging USA 2017 we're awarding individuals for the outstanding photography work they produced in 2016!  There are dozens of awards to give out over the three-day convention, so join us at these special ceremonies to honor those who made significant contributions to the photography industry. 

Attending these ceremonies is great inspiration for many photographers, as you'll see the best images of the year at the Grand Imaging Awards, and get to see who is honored as the Lifetime Achievement Award Winner at the Award & Degree Ceremony!

January 9 | 6:30-7:30pm
The Grand Imaging Awards are awarded yearly at Imaging USA based on the results of the International Photographic Competition (IPC). Bronze, silver, gold, and platinum medalists are announced, along with the top winners from each of the six photographic categories, as chosen by IPC jurors. The top image from all categories will then earn the overall Grand Imaging Award! 

Following the announcement of the Grand Imaging Award winner, finalist images for the World Photographic Cup will be announced. This is a really big deal because these finalists form Team USA that will go on to compete against countries around the world for the World Photographic Cup! Get a glimpse of these finalists and their images that will go on to compete on the world stage. 

You'll see some great images at the Grand Imaging Awards, so you'll want to attend to soak it all in. You may even find some inspiration for future photography projects!

January 10 | 6:30-7:30pm
At the PPA Award and Degree Ceremony we honor those who have gone above and beyond to set themselves apart in the photographic industry. There are tons of awards to give away at this ceremony for individuals, businesses, and groups alike. Awards include the Directors Award, Imaging Excellence Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Also, those who have taken the extra step to earn a photographic degree will be honored with ribbons and medallions. Degrees include Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman, and Master of Electronic Imaging. Obtaining a degree takes a large amount of commitment and hard work, and we are proud to name those who have shown this passion for photographic excellence.

So while our winners don't walk down the red carpet, there is great honor in being presented with a PPA award or degree. We want to recognize those who make this industry great, and we hope you will join us at Imaging USA in San Antonio, TX, to honor them, too! 

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By Sidra Safri 
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Your PPA Advocacy team is heading to D.C today for a very busy and exciting week, beginning with the Visual Coalition Summit tomorrow. This will give PPA an opportunity to make sure everyone in the Visual Artist Coalition is on the same page for Copyright Small Claims, and talk about a few other things important to Visual Artists.

Wednesday will be the Creative Rights Caucus event. This will give PPA the opportunity to show members on Capitol Hill the importance of Small Claims and the impact it can have on small businesses, especially those in the photography and graphic artists' world. This is also one of the few opportunities to reach the mass amount of staffers and members on Capitol Hill and share your stories. During this briefing, Anne Geddes, Denis Reggie, and Michael Grecco will share their journeys in becoming a photographer, including the education, time and investment they had to make to be where they are today. They will also touch on the importance of a small claims process for copyright protection and how it is necessary to all creative artists.

Following the CRC event we have meetings lined up to help us reinforce the necessity of small claims. These meetings will be attended by PPA and other members of the Visual Coalition. Attending these meetings in a larger number shows the importance and impact a small claims copyright bill will have.

Stay tuned throughout the week for further updates. And be sure to SIGN UP to lend your name and voice in support of our efforts to improve copyright protection for artists. 

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By Autumn Rice

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If you want to do a nice business selling tween portraits, focus your marketing on the kids but your sales on the parents. This advice comes from Audrey Woulard, who's been in the photography industry for 15 years and enjoys a booming business in photographing young teens. Originally a newborn photographer, Audrey challenged the status quo by strategically targeting tweens, a segment many photographers avoid. Now she has an impressive clientele of 98% tweens in her business. 

Read "Audrey Woulard: Striking Gold in the Tween Market" on PPmag.com to see how Audrey found success in an underserved niche.

Audrey will be teaching "Tweens and Teens, The New Genre. How to Capture Images That Sell!" at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio. Registration for her class is still open!

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By Bethany Clark

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The first week of December is bringing some cooler temperatures, but since Imaging USA is right around the corner, things are really heating up at PPA! We can't wait to meet all of you pro photographers January 8-10, 2017, but until then, let's connect over some of these top blog posts from the past week.

IMAGING USA: The countdown to Imaging USA is on! We know in the midst of all the excitement there are a lot of things attendees forget about, so we've come up with some reminder tips just for you! 

INSPIRATION: The best architecture photos of the year are here, and they're stunning. 

INTERESTING: What do penguins, crocodiles, and flamingos have in common? They are all featured in this striking gallery of animals from around the globe. 

CAPITOL HILL: Your PPA Advocacy team will be in Washington D.C. next week to join the Creative Rights Caucus for a "lunch and learn" event, to be held on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 12pm. 

WORLDWIDE: As elaborate as traditional Indian wedding ceremonies are, you can imagine the bounty of available shots for typical wedding photographer, and the profession is gaining popularity in India. 

TIPS & TRICKS: After all of your planning, did you miss the golden hour moment on the day of your photo shoot? Fear not. Take a peek at these tips and create golden hour on demand. 

IMAGING USA: Mel Robbins is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers out there, and you'll have a chance to see her in person! As the keynote speaker at Imaging USA, she'll definitely get you super motivated in 2017!

SWIM WITH THE FISHES: Maybe Ariel had it right. Under the sea is where it's wetter - and better! Check out some of this amazing underwater photography.  
HISTORIC: Old images of a past England have been collected for the first time in a new book. Take a peek into the past! 

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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By Bethany Clark

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PPA members know that the best way to find answers to your photography business questions is to ask it on theLoop, PPA's official, members-only social network. The discussions on theLoop are always productive and helpful, so dive right in!

Here's a recent example of a question and the first couple of responses.

Q: If you had to give a fellow photographer (new or seasoned) one piece of advice... what would it be? I'm not talking about the typical "be true to yourself" answers here. I mean the real, nitty gritty, tough love kind of advice. 
--DJ


DJ,
It would have to be two pieces. 
  1. It's not about you. It's about the client. The minute the focus shifts to your accomplishments, image quality, etc., you break the rule. Everything you do needs to be 100% client centered. If it isn't, you need to find another profession.
  2. For the fine art photographer - look at last year's work. If it looks pretty good to you, then you aren't making any progress. You should strive to be a better photographer this year than you were last year. And this will continue until you can't hold a camera up to your eye any longer.
Is that enough "tough love" for you?
--Gene L.


DJ,

There are only 3 things that matter:
  1. Vision (without it, your path follows no course)
  2. Passion (without it, you have no power on which to draw)
  3. Action (without it, your idea is just a daydream)
Eliminate any one of them, and you will fail. Have all three, and you're unstoppable.
--Pascal D.


DJ,
To succeed at this, to make photography put food on your table and a roof over your head, you have to be a business person first, a photographer second. For those of us who came at this profession because it was fun, because it involved smelly chemicals and magic in dark places, that's a hard lesson to learn. I'm still learning. That's the other thing, you'd better never stop learning, growing, changing. I watched my friend Ken Whitmire, who died tragically last weekend at 86, taking notes and asking questions and continuing to learn right up to the end.
--Mark T.


DJ,
I'd offer two pieces of advice.
  1. Find your niche: figure out what kind of photography you love and that you can sell to others and go for it.
  2. Every purchase needs to be justified: You're in a business as a pro photographer. If a piece of gear can't help you make a profit, don't buy it.
--Ned L.


Check in at theLoop to see more responses, and ask your own questions for peer-to-peer discussion and support!


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By Autumn Rice

The countdown to Imaging USA is on, and 2017's convention in San Antonio is 36 days away! By now you should've registered for your all-access pass at the early bird rate, booked your stay at an official Imaging USA hotel, and registered for all of your pre-convention class sessions. Your trip is almost complete. You're just missing one more thing...tips from your PPA Team! 

We know in the midst of all the excitement there are a lot of things attendees forget about, so we've come up with some reminder tips just for you! From remembering to meet new people, to visiting the trade show, and even washing your hands, this video covers all of the important tips to remember for the upcoming trip to San Antonio!

Check it out!

Stay tuned for more tips from the PPA staff, and visit ImagingUSA.org/Register to jump-start your year with the best photography conference in the country!

See you there!

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By Tristin Vaccaro

People buy from people they trust. And trust comes with your name, your brand and the word of mouth. Through PPA you have access to a series of marketing tools, all centered around reinforcing your professional credibility. Use them to help your clients realize the commitment to excellence you made when you joined PPA! This week we're zero-ing on the See The Difference®'s customizable brochures.

These brochures were designed with you- and your photography studio- in mind. They help you convey your technical skills, artistry, and professionalism.  

Crafting a brochure unique to you is easy. There are six downloadable brochure templates to choose from: wedding, family, high school senior, newborn, pet, and Certified Professional Photographer. Once you download your chosen template, simply insert your studio information and even your own images. It's as simple as that! All that's left to do is print your brochures to distribute to clients or display in your studio. 


Start using the marketing tools that are available and free to you from PPA. As a member, you have access to a variety of advertising templates; They are here to help you promote you and/or your studio and the resources provided are easily customizable and really drive home the idea that hiring a professional photographer (like you!) is the only way to go.

These brochures are just one of the many resources available to you as a PPA member. Take advantage of these brochures and other resources and allow your clients to "See The Difference" today!

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By Autumn Rice

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The streets of San Antonio will soon be filled with clicks and flashes. Photographers from all over the world will be pouring into the city for Imaging USA 2017. Although many of you have been to the convention several times before, many will be enjoying the Imaging USA experience for the first time, or even returning after a hiatus. No matter your personal situation, navigating this massive convention and all it has to offer can be pretty overwhelming, so we thought we'd gather a few tips from your fellow photographer friends like Christine Walsh-Newton to help you crack the code to maximize your Imaging USA experience. From planning, to what to wear, and where to go, these tips will definitely make it easier for you to enjoy every minute of your Imaging USA experience!

Check them out!

1. Register early. Registering early for Imaging USA helps you save on registration fees, hotel stays, and it provides you access to all pre-con classes before they fill up (because they will fill up!). You'll also have more time to plan your trip to San Antonio. The Early Bird Rate is still in effect until December 8, so do it now!

2. Download the app. The Imaging USA app is up and allows you to create your own custom schedule of classes you are interested in seeing. You can also merge the schedule on your smartphone to keep track of every event you want to attend throughout the day.

3. Check the weather. Packing can get to be a lot of pressure and knowing what to pack is slightly confusing, so to ease some of the burden of figuring out what to pack, check the weather. Checking the 10-day weather forecast can help narrow your packing options.

4. Pack Smart. Don't wait until the last minute to pack, and don't pack what you don't need. Over packing can make your traveling experience a nightmare and increase costs. So, be sure to pack mandatory outfits for each event and a comfy pair of shoes for walking, and leave the unnecessary items at home. Oh, and pack an extra bag... because you might be bringing home extra goodies with you!

5. Bring Your Camera. Yes! This is a photographic convention, so bringing your camera is a must. Between hands-on classes with models and lots of on-camera assignments and with the models at some of the parties (hint-hint), you'll have some camera fun... guaranteed! Plus, who doesn't love to share the fun and excitement and on social media? Just remember to use the hashtag #ImagingUSA.

Take these tips and make your trip to Imaging USA the best it can be. Visit ImagingUSA.org to register, book hotels, and plan each day of your convention visit! 

See you in January! 

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by James Yates
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You're all set to go to Imaging USA 2017, but you've never been to San Antonio before? Relax. Your PPA Team has scouted out the best attractions and locations and prepared a video guide to all the amazing sights and sounds set to blow your ten-gallon hat off come January. Here's a handy guide of things to consider making time for your trip in January:

  • Start with The Riverwalk, the unique, can't-miss 2.5-mile walkway along the San Antonio River. Take one of the famed Riverboat Tours to see the other side of attractions like the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Arneson River Theater and the Aztec Theatre. The boats pass right by and through several restaurants, making any night out to eat a gorgeous experience. It may sound like a tourist trap, it's not! It's really nice! That's probably why the Riverwalk is Texas' second most popular tourist spot after...
  • The Alamo/The Missions. Remember this? No trip to San Antonio would be complete without visiting the Alamo and the other four Spanish frontier outposts designated as a National Historic Park. 
  • Founded in 1939, La Villita Historic Arts Village is San Antonio's original neighborhood. La Vallita houses over 30 art galleries and shops along with several restaurants. The Arneson River Theater is also there so you can get a better look from off of the boat. 
  • The RiverCenter Mall is also located on the Riverwalk and literally right downstairs from our host hotels. It's a fully functioning mall with all the stores you may need to get your shopping fix ($6 cowboy hats, anyone?) and tons of restaurants including a food court if you want something fast and cheap! 
  • You can experience the largest Mexican mercado in the city for authentic shopping underneath all those iconic, colorful flags at Market Square
  • Get the best view of San Antonio from atop the 750 ft-tall Tower of the Americas, built in 1968 for the Hemisfair (World's Fair), which you'll hear a lot about because it was a huge deal for the city. 
  • If you're looking to venture away from the downtown area by car or bus, the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, the San Antonio Aquarium and the San Antonio Zoo offer some of the most beautiful, Texas-sized flora and fauna for the entire family to enjoy. There are also the big theme parks, SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas if you have the need for speed and want to ride the state-of-the-art Iron Rattler or Steel Eel. Other kinds of thrill-seekers may want to check out the Natural Bridge Caverns, named for the 60 foot limestone slab that spans the caverns' entrance.  
You may not be sure what to expect from your trip to San Antonio, but what you'll get is a beautiful city with a lively and bustling downtown area, all easily accessible from the Imaging USA hotels and convention center. We're more certain than ever that January 2017 is going to be AWESOME. 


 

For more info, head over to ImagingUSA.org. Register and take advantage of the Early Bird rates for members by December 8th, OR pick up an Expo Only Pass for only $35 and get access to the trade show, Print Theatre, Drone Zone, IPC Exhibit and Keynote Presentation by Mel Robbins!



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

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