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PPA Today: March 2017 Archives

March 2017 Archives

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

  • Building your business: pricing and marketing strategies
  • Finding your niche: seniors, children, newborns, weddings, landscape, and more
  • Learning lighting setups for studio and on-location, 
  • Discovering techniques for Photoshop® & Lightroom®
  • And much, much more

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

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

All photographic classes will be held May 8-22, 2016, and each class will be available for $99 through May 3, 2017. 

Online registration is now open!

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

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By James Yates
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As we say goodbye to March and head into April, guard yourself against any "April Fools" pranks by staying indoors and diving into the best photography articles of the week. Here are our top blog posts from around the web...no kidding. 

CAPITOL HILL ADVOCACY: Major updates occurred this week for PPA's efforts in D.C, including an important bill leaving committee and heading to the House. Check out our updates and refresh yourself and your friends on the need to sign up to support the Grassroots Action Team. 

DEBUNKING THE IN-PERSON SALES: Speaking of amazing tutorials, the latest edition to the PhotoVision library is "In-Person Selling" with Sue Bryce. As a photographer and business owner, Sue Bryce discusses how in-person sales can be directly correlated to an increase in your profits. She also explains how the PRINT movement has restored the value of printed images and empowered photographers to present their art in the way it was intended.

DRONE LITIGATION: A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit against a "drone hunter" who shot down a drone above his property. Find out why (it has more to do with legal standing than property rights and airspace) and get ready because this is surely just the tip of the "drone-lawsuit" iceberg. 

PERSEVERANCE: PetaPixel has an inspiring story about the therapeutic benefits of art for one veteran . Documentary photography has helped Baltimore native Michael McVoy deal with his struggle. Read the interview and see his work here. 

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: This in-depth interview gets the nitty-gritty details of what work-life is like in the White House Photo Office. Chuck Kennedy worked as a White House Photographer under the Obama administration and gives PetaPixel an on-the-ground look behind the scenes. 


By Chris Homer

Are you interested in drone photography, but aren't sure where to start? During this spring's Super 1 Day Photography Workshops (May 8 - 22, 2017) there's a number of classes that will help you learn how to become a drone photographer. Check them out below!

Springfield, MA
May 8, 2017
With John McCarthy, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI,API

Interested in turning your love of drones into a profitable expenditure? Join FAA certified instructor, John McCarthy and learn what it takes to get your FAA Remote Pilot Certificate to fly small unmanned aircraft systems. This course will help you prepare for the test as John introduces you to numerous tips and study aids in addition to online materials and practice tests from the FAA.

Drones-FAA Part 107 Prep Course
College Station, TX
May 11, 2017 & May 12, 2017 (same class, two date options!)
With Robert Norwood, Kathy Norwood, Cr.Photog., CPP

Drones are a hot item with photographers today! But unlike most aspects of photography, drone photography requires a government license. This course will teach photographers the rules and regulations required by the FAA to successfully pass the Part 107 FAA exam.

This course will cover the 5 main subject areas of the test including regulations, airspace classifications and operating requirements, weather, loading and performance, and drone operations. A sample test will be administered to prepare the participants to take the Part 107 exam upon completion of this course. Walk out ready to ace your exam!

Wayne, OK
May 18, 2017
With Larry J. Foster, M.Photog., CPP

Drones are the hot topic right now. But what is legal and what is not? What can I do with a drone and do I need a license? What is controlled airspace and how do I read a NOTAM? Confused? This class will help clear the air and help you learn the proper way to use your drone and get prepared for the FAA UAG test.

If you're looking to get started in drone photography, register for one of these classes today! Don't forget to visit PPA.com/Drones for more resources on passing the FAA test, educational videos and more. 


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 Tristin Vaccaro
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It's our favorite time of year, and we're not talking about springtime. We're talking about District Photographic Competitions with PPA! Every year, hundreds of photographers from across the country submit their images in hopes of earning a merit, and you can watch the judging LIVE! 

Beginning tomorrow, you can stream the judging of the Western District Photographic Competition that takes place March 31 to April 2. The live stream begins at 1pm PT on Friday and at 9am PT on Saturday and Sunday, only at Stream.theIPC.org.

If you've entered the Western District Competition, this is your chance to see how you did. Even if you didn't enter the competition, watching the judging is a great way to take a peek at what judges are looking for during the Photographic Open or Artistic competition. 

You can also learn more about PPA's 12 Elements of a Merit Image, and we invite you to tune in and get inspired. It's a great way to prepare for the International Photographic Competition, which begins this summer! But don't forget: what you'll see and hear watching this live judging pales in comparison to the prep you'll get with the request of a critique--dedicated and focused comments on your image--a fantastic way to learn, grow and become a better photographer. 


by Sidra Safri


3/29/17
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12:20 p.m.

H.B 1695 has passed the House Judiciary Committee today! It pass with 27 yeas and 1 nay. Remember, this bill is proposing to make the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointee. 

PPA fully supports this since we were shocked by the abrupt termination of Maria Pallante. This is a great first step towards insuring that the Copyright Office is on the right path to modernization and continues to include small creators.

The bill will be presented to the House for a full vote soon.


11:23 a.m.

We are currently sitting in a house judiciary hearing (pictured, with portraits of Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking member John Conyers) about making the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointee. This part of the process is called a markup. During this "markup" all Representatives (those who support, are against, sponsored or any other stance) can submit their input and recommend changes. This ensures that the bill is properly debated and can pass when it is presented to the full house.

Stayed tuned for more updates and a preview of Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA)'s comments about the bill!


9:45 a.m.

This is day two for PPA on Capitol Hill and things are going great! 

Yesterday evening, we met with Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). This was our first time meeting with him and it was important to get his office up to speed about small claims and why it's so important to photographers. Rep Labrador's office showed a lot of interest in the bill since they are strong supporters of small businesses. They have asked us to keep them updated about the bill and we hope they will sign on when time comes.

After talking about small claims, we briefly talked about the Register of Copyright position becoming a presidential appointee. We found out that Representative Labrador is a co-sponsor of that bill. Upon hearing this, we wanted to take the time to thank him and his efforts to protect the copyright office.

After meeting with Representative Labrador, we ended the day meeting with Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)'s office. This was another first time meeting, but an important one, since she was recently asked to join the Judiciary Committee by Speaker Paul Ryan. This meeting went well, as we explained the intricacies of the small claims bill. Once again, we hope when times comes she will support small claims!

For the rest of today...we are doing things a little differently. We had a full day of meetings lined up. However, as we all know, things can change at the drop of a hat on Capitol Hill. Instead we are attending the bill markup of turning the Register of Copyrights into a presidential appointee. This will allow us to hear first-hand what changes are being made to the bill and also allows us to meet with Representatives and staffers.

Stay tuned for more updates!

And check out this morning's Facebook Live update (the screen alignment is fixed after the first 30 seconds or so!) with CEO David Trust and Government Affairs Coordinator Sidra Safri. 


3/28/17 
5:15 p.m.
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It's been another fantastic day on Capitol Hill for PPA and Small Claims!

Things started off at lunch with Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Representative Blackburn gave great insight into how important copyright and IP issues are to many members of congress and how she fully understands where PPA is coming from. Being from Nashville, she knows the importance of protecting creative artists and will certainly look into Small Claims when the time comes.

During this lunch Rep. Blackburn also shared how upset she was when Maria Pallante was dismissed from the copyright office and is interested-- like much of congress-- to see how the bill suggests to turn the position into a presidential appointment. 

After lunch with Blackburn we met with Representative Mike Bishop (R-MI). This meeting was the first time PPA has met with this office. During this meeting it was clear that Representative Bishop's office understands that copyright law currently is flawed and knows that something needs to be done. His office is interested in seeing the small claims bill and we hope that his office will support small claims and go on to become a co-sponsor.

Once we left Representative Bishop's office we went to go visit Representative Lieu (D-CA)'s office. Representative Lieu has worked closely with Representative Chu on various items through the Judiciary committee and we hope he will sign on as well. During this time we also had the opportunity to talk about modernizing the copyright office as well as the introduction of the recent bill to make the registrar a presidential appointment.

We have two more meetings today and we hope that they go as well as all of our earlier ones did. Stay tuned! 


9:00 a.m.

Good morning everyone!

PPA is off to Washington D.C. again to continue laying the groundwork for small claims. We have a jam packed day ahead.

The main purpose of this trip is to continue bringing attention to the Freedom for American Small Creators Act (the small claims bill) and highlight why this is so important to creative artists, especially photographers. Since the bill has not been reintroduced yet (but it will be soon!), PPA hopes many of the representatives we talk to will be willing to co-sponsor the bill when time comes.

Stay tuned for more updates after our meetings with your representatives.

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by James Yates

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Lisa Dillon, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, and Bryan Welsh, Cr. Photog., API, share a fresh perspective on PPA's International Photographic Competition. Specifically, they look at the "12 Elements of a Merit Image" in a new light.

They write:

If you're new to image competition, it can feel like a game. It's possible you have only a passing familiarity with the 12 elements of a merit image. Yes, the list is displayed at every image competition and a short description of each element can be found on the PPA website. But do you really understand what they mean? Do you understand how they underpin one another and build upon one another?  

Rather than looking at the elements as a checklist, Lisa and Bryan created a mind map (a diagram used to visually organize information) for a unique take on these elements and how to succeed in the IPC. 

Read their fascinating article, "A Fresh Look at the 12 Elements", at PPmag.com today! 

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The times, they are a changing... and it could have a HUGE impact on how professional photographers protect their images and their livelihood. 

Under the current copyright legislation, infringement claims must be filed in person and in federal court. Two unfortunate things about this: this is a labor-intensive process, and federal cases are very expensive. This is what keeps many pros from pursuing rightful justice. But things are about to change!

Thousands of creative professionals banded together in support of the "Fairness for American Small Creators Act," a "small claims bill" that would make it possible for small business image creators (including professional photographers) to take advantage of the U.S. copyright system for the first time since its inception!

If approved, the Act would allow for photographers and visual artists whose work has been infringed to file for a hearing with a small claims process online without having to hire an attorney.  Additionally, copyright claims could be filed without prior registration with the Copyright Office. The maximum recovery amount would be set at a manageable $30,000, ensuring that small creators have a place to remedy their copyright infringements, while also preventing the pipeline of infringement claims from becoming clogged (like it is now). Last but not least, those who still wish to pursue their claim in federal court may still do so. It's a win-win for copyright infringement victims and cases of all sizes.

The small claims issue is currently on the list of four necessary reforms Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has been advocating for the Copyright Office. Now more than ever is the time for creative artists to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill. Getting involved is easy. PPA has partnered with other leading visual arts organizations and created a Grassroots Action Team dedicated to fixing this broken copyright law. Visit their website PPA.com/Grassroots and add your name to a growing roster of individuals and businesses seeking more effective copyright legislation. Once signed-up and when the bill is reintroduced, you will receive alerts and information on how or when to contact your representative. 

For so many working photographers, making great images is a passion... and now protecting that work can be a right. Make your voice heard in supporting the "Fairness for American Small Creators Act" and the protections it brings to so many businesses and livelihoods.


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By Autumn Rice

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Looking for inspiration? PhotoVision is your one-stop shop for 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!

The latest edition to the PhotoVision library is "In-Person Selling" with Sue Bryce. As a photographer and business owner, Sue Bryce discusses how in-person sales can be directly correlated to an increase in your profits. In this video, she explains how the PRINT movement has restored the value of printed images and empowered photographers to present their art in the way it was intended, in print. Additionally, Sue shares the satisfaction derived from seeing her clients view their images for the first time as a piece of artwork that will last a lifetime.   

There you have it! If you're a PPA member, this video is available on PhotoVision for you now. If you're not a member, join PPA today and get access to this video and over 800 more, included with your membership!

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By Tristin Vaccaro
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Have you checked out theLoop recently?

theLoop is an exclusive photographer-only forum where PPA members can connect, ask questions, and their share stories with other members.  It's a great way to get the advice you've been looking for or even offer up some advice of your own.  Loopers have been abuzz throughout March, so here are this month's top posts from theLoop. Check them out, provide some feedback, and perhaps even learn something new!

This Looper is looking to purchase a new 6-8 foot modifier to add a soft light source to his collection.  More specifically, he wants one that is durable, easy to set up, and budget friendly. If you know of or use a light source similar to the one requested, head on over to this Loop post to make your recommendation. 

After receiving her prints back from the photo lab, one Looper noticed that they came out much darker than she expected. She was instructed that she probably needed to calibrate her monitor in order to remedy the issue. Problem is, she's unsure how to do so. If you've ever had a similar problem, or know how to calibrate a monitor, you'll want to check out this post in particular. 

This photographer is having an issue using her Canon 5D Markiii in tandem with her newly upgraded pocketwizard. The lights fire but the photos come out black or with no flash at all.  If you have a solution for this issue in mind, head over to theLoop to provide some assistance.

theLoop isn't just all photography talk all the time. When asked what was the best decade for music was, photographers came out of the woodwork to put in their two cents. It seems like everyone has an opinion when it comes to music, but what's yours? Head over to theLoop to get in on this fun debate!

And there you have 'em, the top posts from theLoop this month! Remember to check out theLoop frequently as new discussions are posted daily. It's a great way to catch up with fellow PPA members! Not a PPA member? Join today!

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The results are in for the Southwest District Photographic Competition! Congratulations to all who merited!

View the results here

Want to improve as a photographer and gain feedback on your work? There's still time to register for the other districts... learn more now!




By Autumn Rice

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Marketing is a complicated part of running your business, but you shouldn't stress about it. Despite having several elements and sub-elements, there are easy ways to simplify your marketing plan, and make it a successful addition to your business. When applied effectively, marketing presents significant added value and insights, but without strategy it can sabotage your business. To avoid the mayhem of a failed marketing plan, make sure to avoid these common mistakes. 

1. Not having a plan: Having a marketing strategy is the first, and most important, step in any marketing activity because it provides focus and a roadmap of what to do and how to do it. Without a strategy, it's easy to deviate from constructive marketing activities that lead to your objective. Calendars, spreadsheets, and bulleted documents are a great way to create an organized plan that's easy to follow.

2. Not Measuring: Marketing strategies should have a way to measure their success. Without a method to measure you'll never be able to distinguish if your plan is successful. There are several ways to measure the effectiveness of your plan according to your goals and business activities. From increases in clients to ending revenues, you can use any measurement that quantifies the success of your plan.

3. Ignoring the Brand: Every business has a brand, but it's up to you to highlight your brand and tailor a marketing plan around it. For many professional photographers this means finding your niche and creating promotional materials related to it. Whatever your brand/style of photography is, stick to it.  By defining your brand you make it easy for clients to know what you do, and how it benefits them. 

4. Mismanaging Social Media: Social media is a great way for professional photographers to display their work and connect with clients. However, in order to be successful it must be done correctly. Before beginning social media marketing it's important to know who your clients are, listen to what they want, and then give them that information. By sharing content relevant to your clients you'll keep them engaged and you'll communicate the benefits you provide to them as a professional photographer. It's also important to maximize social media platforms that host your clients and potential clients, post content consistently, and leverage your brand in your profile.   

5. Using outdated materials: Technology is a client go-to for information, and having updated marketing material is important for effective marketing. By using outdated websites, print materials, or social media promotions you create communication barriers between you and your client. You want to create marketing materials that are consistent in design, clean and easy to understand. Keep all of your materials updated, so that clients are clear about what they're getting from you.

These mistakes are common and can be easily corrected to create a marketing strategy perfect for your professional photography business. Check your marketing plan for these mistakes and, after fixing any mistakes, watch your business flourish! For more marketing and sales advice and resources visit PPA.com/ SeeTheDifference.

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By Chris Homer

Happy Friday! As we head into the weekend, take a minute to enjoy our favorite photography
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 posts of the week from around the web. From posing couples to learning how to use medium format film - you'll find it all below! 

CREATIVITY: Do you keep a journal to track your creative projects? This post shares the advantages of using a journal to help your personal or client projects along! 

COPYRIGHT DEFENSE/PPA MEMBER BENEFIT: If you're looking for a way to explain to clients how copyright and usage works for images you provide, don't forget about PPA's copyright inserts! PPA Members can download them and attach them to contracts to help educate clients on copyright. Sometimes a simple reminder like this can go a long way! 

COLOR PALETTES: Do you have a good understanding of how color palettes work and how they can impact the composition of your photos? If you need a refresher, this video provides a good overview of how to apply color palettes to your composition. 

LONG EXPOSURE: Are you interested in creating long exposure images? If you're just starting out, or need a quick refresher on how it works, this post provides some great tips to keep in mind when creating a long exposure image. 

COPYRIGHT: California has some unique work made for hire regulations that can impact photographer's copyrights. If you photograph in California, make sure to give this post a thorough read!

CAREER ADVICE: If you're new to the photography business and looking for your niche, this post is for you.  You'll learn some things to consider that will help you find your niche in the photography industry. 

HOW-TO: Many landscape photographers include water in their photographs, but there can be some challenges when it comes to getting the best impact. This post provides 5 simple tips you can use when photographing water to get the best results. 

DRONES: Here's an interesting bit of drone news! Read all about how the federal court dismissed a lawsuit against a man who shot down a drone flying over his property. For more resources on legally flying your drone, check out PPA.com/Drones.

INSTAGRAM BOOKING: Here's some big news that will impact your photography marketing! Instagram will soon allow potential clients to contact and book photographers directly through the app. Read up so you're ready to book clients once Instagram opens this feature!

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.


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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The Business Challenge provides photography business owners with the information and tools they need to develop the foundation for a more profitable business over the course of one year. Not only do they receive the tools required to make changes to their business, but also step-by-step instruction and support from PPA mentors as they implement these changes.

The next Business Challenge starts April 1st and you don't want to miss it! Be sure to sign up for your year of fun, interactive inspiration for you to integrate as much business acumen as you can in one year's time. 

The first assignment is all about defining YOUR idea of success.  It's vital that photographers begin creating a roadmap that will take them where they want to go so they don't end up somewhere else completely. 

"Something I hear often," says Angela Kurkian, Education Director and moderator of the Business Challenge, "is this concept that helps people dismiss the idea that they should be profitable...the concept that success and money don't go hand-in-hand, as if accepting money for your craft were a bad thing. Should artists only make enough to pay the bills'? I don't think that's true."

Here's an example comment from a participant:

"I feel that many tie success with money.  There are so many other facets to success.  Don't get me wrong - I am not anti-money, I just want to make enough to pay my bills.  I want to be able to have a balanced work/personal life balance.  I shoot lots of events and sports.  One of my schools is one that has been ignored by many because it is a lower income school.  The impact that I have on these students make it all worth it.  They are so excited that someone will take the time to really care about them."

And here was Kurkian's response:

"Right on! I appreciate that sentiment completely; we can't be so focused on our wallets that we lose sight of how it feels to give of our gift.  I also appreciate that you choose to give to a lower income school. You're right; those schools don't get enough attention from local businesses because they become known as 'lower income schools'.  I have also learned that the more profitable I am, the more room I have in my schedule to give to those who would benefit from what I can offer.  It's a two sided coin.  It's that concept of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first, before attending to those you're helping.  I admire you greatly and hope we can help you to develop and sustain an even more profitable level so that you can continue to give as you do."

For some, success is having the agency to be able to give back to others. For others, success may be the ability to take that yearly vacation. And for some, it may be a more existential definition. The concept of "defining success" leads to many great discussions on the PPA Business Challenge (like this great answer we shared last week). 

YOU should sign up now for April 1st's Business Challenge group. Consider it the next, big step toward success for your business! 

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For professional photographers, the start of spring means District Competitions are in full swing! Did you know you can stream and watch the judging, LIVE?

You can stream the judging of the Southwest District Photographic Competition March 24-25, from 9am-6pm ET on Stream.theIPC.org

If you've ever wanted to take a peek at what the judges are looking for during the Photographic Open or Artistic competition, or to learn more about PPA's 12 Elements of a Merit Image, we invite you to tune in and get inspired. Who knows? Maybe there's still time to register for your district? Or maybe you'll be entering next year? Find out more here. http://www.ppa.com/ipc

To give you an idea of what the judges are looking for, here's an actual critique from last year's Northcentral district competition. This image is "Alone Together" by Sevie Kenyon. It's being critiqued by Janel Pahl M.Photog.Cr., API. 

   
PPA's District Competitions comprise a step along the way to the annual International Photographic Competition (IPC), July 30-August 3, 2017. Though that may seem quite far away, time always flies and it's best to take some time to prepare the best images in your portfolio now so you can enter with confidence. IPC is an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself, so you definitely don't want to miss it! 

By competing in the IPC you'll get the chance to elevate your work through: 

Engaging with the photographic community 

Getting critiques from PPA certified jurors 

Competing against the best in the business 

And maybe even earning merits or joining the prestigious Loan Collection!

So get started now competing in your local, state, and district competitions. Then, you'll be prepared to head to the big stage and compete in PPA's IPC. 

The judging for the IPC will be held July 30-August 2, 2017. Early registration to enter your images opens May 22-June 21, 2017 by 5pm ET. Entries after June 21 will be accepted with a late fee through July 6. But please note that no entries will be accepted after July 6, 2017 by 5pm ET. 

This year's IPC has some new rules, so be sure to check them out. And don't forget to enter your images early to beat the crowds and save some money!

by Sidra Safri 

Drone_Alert_StateBill9.pngOn February 8th, the West Virginia Senate introduced a "Drone Bill" that effectively makes it difficult for photographers to continue to use drones for aerial photography. 

Senate Bill 9 contains two harmful provisions. As it currently stands, the legislation states:

  1. If you are operating a drone within 100 feet of a structure, you must have prior consent of all owners or occupants of any pictured structures. 
  2. In order to intentionally take a photograph of another person, you must have prior permission. This also applies to large group photographs taken at weddings, fairs, etc. 

Both provisions make it extremely difficult for commercial/real estate, wedding and event photographers, making it not only impossible, but impractical, to get consent from all owners or people pictured. 

Further, these provisions are so overreaching and do not consider the actual unintended effects on consumers. Photographers will not be able to fulfill consumer expectations due to the limitations placed on them from this arbitrary law.

This bill has already passed the Senate and is currently be reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee, with it possibly going to a vote in the next few days.

West Virginia PPA members and those who care about visual artists and small business rights need to take action now! 

Reach out to your representative here and tell them that Senate Bill 9 is unfair to Drone Photographers! We've already done all the work for you. Reach out to your representative here and tell them Senate Bill 9 is unfair to photographers!*** West Virginia ONLY, please!

Everyone else, take note: This could be the first step in several states attempting to adopt similar legislation. PPA and your Grassroots Action Team will keep you informed so we can all stand together and fight this impediment to your small business. 

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by James Yates

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Becoming a CPP is a big step in your development as a professional photographer, as it gives you an advertising edge, pricing justification and peer validation. PPA recently received an email from Chris Paulis, M.Photog.,Cr., MDPPA-F.Ph, CPP from Chris Paulis Photography in Ellicott City, Maryland. Chris is a CPP Liaison, getting people involved in certification through the Maryland PPA. 

Chris writes:

"From what I can tell, with the latest two [CPP candidates] passing their image submission, Maryland PPA now has 31 active members who are CPPs, of about 100 total; and we have 8-10 who are candidates (five of whom took and passed the exam I proctored two weeks ago). As you know, we've worked very hard on promoting CPP among our membership, and it's finally feeling like there is a feeling among us that if you are a professional, then you should become certified. It's not a pressure from above, but a ground-swell from within."

Chris (pictured above with MDPPA Board Chair Lidia Miller; photo by Steve Clark) has made a career out of being a resource and mentor to others. He was surprised at this year's annual MDPPA banquet when he was presented with the Ron Coss Memorial Award, given by the Board to members who have made significant contributions to the profession and to MDPPA. 

Congratulations, Chris! And a big congratulations also to all the Maryland CPPS and those on their way to becoming one. PPA thanks you for helping to elevate the craft of photography in your community.

YOU can get involved in your local affiliate and get prepared to earn your CPP. Learn more at PPA.com/CPP 

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by Sidra Safri 
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Do you ever wonder if your client fully understands their contract--especially the portions dealing with copyright or the usage rights? Some clients are so focused on the end product they completely forget that they may have to ask permission to use their new images for something other than personal use.
 
PPA has a small fix for that. Included in your membership kit (and renewal kit) is a stack of copyright inserts. These inserts can be stapled to your contract or be included in all the materials you provide to your client. The copyright inserts explain copyright law in a nutshell, and urge the clients to ask you, the photographer, for any additional information. Sometimes a gentle reminder or simple education can go a long way. 

These copyright inserts can be downloaded and printed anytime you need them here. 

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By Bethany Clark
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What's it like to have a photograph you've taken commemorated on a U.S. stamp? Find out from a photographer who has had two! Read all the details on PPmag.com.


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by Sidra Safri
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For a long time, wanting to take photos on train tracks has been extremely popular. What better way to celebrate a milestone and show that you are "heading somewhere in life" while getting some phenomenal shots? As great as this sounds, PPA has news for you: TAKING IMAGES ON TRAIN TRACKS IS TRESPASSING, THEREFORE IT'S ILLEGAL! 

Recently, this has become such a big deal that Union Pacific (second largest railroad company in the U.S) will seek removal of any photos that violate this policy

This may sound unnecessary, but safety is a huge concern around train tracks. While taking pictures on tracks, it is extremely easy to get stuck, not see or hear the train coming, or simply step in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Many people have heard about the recent story out of Navasota, Texas about a young athlete, mother-to-be, and aspiring model. Her death could have been easily prevented. And recently, the TODAY show demonstrated how these massive machines are able to "sneak up" on people before they can get away to safety.

As photographers, it is our duty to inform our clients about what can or cannot be done. If a client is adamant about taking photos on train tracks, many states have train museums or "false" tracks that allow you to do so. 

Keep in mind: SAFETY should always be the number one priority!

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By Autumn Rice
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Spring is in the air, and so is the chill of winter... BRRR, it's cold in a lot of places right now! Until the temperatures rise and you're able to head out for some springtime fun, snuggle up with some of the most informative and interesting blog posts in the photography industry this week!

EQUIPMENT HELP: When your photography equipment is clean and well-kept it can make your sessions run much smoother, but if not, it could be a disaster. Don't let dirt and grime rear its ugly head during your shoot! Check out this step-by-step, how-to video on cleaning your tripod. Some of these methods can also be applied to some of your other equipment! 

PERSPECTIVE: Changing your perspective can change your photography, leading to more creative and challenging shoots. Light Stalking has an article up with four reasons you should try taking low-angle photos. The article features examples and may just help you stretch yourself in a direction you haven't thought of before.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: More than likely, your website is your initial consultation...the first thing your potential client sees. But if you're using flash or aren't mobile-responsive, you're rapidly being left in the dark ages. FStoppers has "Eight Reasons Why Your Photography Website Sucks". From grammar to design, there's a lot to make sure you're doing right. 

OLD BECOMES NEW: The progression of technology has made today's photography universal, instant and easily accessible, but the resurgence of Tintype counters this trend. Tintype photography takes much more time, involves chemicals and metals, and a little chemistry. Read this article about the rebirth of these vintage photographs, and see if it's right for you!

COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY:  Photographers have always documented the evolution of fashion for magazines and billboards, and as fashion changes so should photography. Watch this up to date video with Clay Cook about shooting fashion and editorial portrait photography that fits today's landscape.

COLOR CORRECTION: When shooting close-up portraits on clients it's easy to see imperfections in their skin. As a professional, you must correct these issues before presenting the photographs to the clients. Go through some of the steps and corrections notated in this post to see if you've missed anything in your editing session!

ADD TO YOUR WATCH LIST: Wedding season is approaching and for wedding photographers that means business will be booming! To put your best foot forward and giver your clients the best finished product, brush up on your photography skills with a few of the newest wedding and engagement inspiration videos from PhotoVision!

CYA & WORKFLOW: Many photographers have questions about the best way to back up their photos. The problem is, they seek this information after they've run into trouble. They either thought their plan was good enough, or they didn't have one at all. Get ahead of the pack and figure out an accident-proof backup strategy for your photos with tips from this article! 

ONLINE MARKETING: As a professional photographer you must focus on more than just your craft; there's a business aspect too and SEO plays a big part in that. Some photographers don't know what SEO is, or how to optimize it. Here's an article about how to optimize and interpret SEO for photographers!

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 James Yates
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The Business Challenge provides photography business owners with the information and tools they need to develop the foundation for a more profitable business over the course of one year. Not only do they receive the tools required to make changes to their business, but also step-by-step instruction and support from PPA mentors as they implement these changes.

The next Business Challenge starts April 1st and you don't want to miss it! Be sure to sign up for your year of fun, interactive inspiration for you to integrate as much business acumen as you can in one year's time. 

The first assignment is all about defining YOUR idea of success.  It's vital that photographers begin creating a road map that will take them where they want to go so they don't end up somewhere else completely. This was one challenger's answer - one of many great ones--from Lindsay Syme, owner of Lindsay Syme Photography in Spring Creek NV. She also just so happens to be the winner of the 2017 Dream Studio Giveaway at Imaging USA (see photo)! 

"Success is that fabulous thing you achieve when you set a goal and do the work it takes to reach that goal.

My Business Goals:  

• I want to contribute financially for my family: This starts with pricing for profit and having solid business foundations. I need to get over myself and see my worth. I see it in others but fail to see it in myself. I am making progress but still have much to do!

• I want to be 100% present in everything I do: I need to focus all of my attention on whatever it is that I am working on because I tend to be distracted, lack focus, or procrastinate.

• I want to give back to the community and others: Being able to give to others feels so dang good. There are so many areas in our community that I could make a difference. Having the financial means would be awesome as well as the time to volunteer. Again, goes back to pricing for profit so I can have the money and time.

• I want to educate and share with others: I know how grateful I am when others share their time and talent. I want to give back to my photography community. Teaching runs through my veins so I look forward to the day that I can contribute.

• I want to strive to be better and improve my craft: My last step to earning my CPP is the image submission. My eyes have been opened to a whole new perspective! I always want to be better and push for the next step, whatever that might be.

• I want to show others how valuable they are: It amazes me how many times I get put off as a customer by various businesses and business owners. I find it shocking! I want people to feel important. I want people to feel special. I want them to feel communicated to and valuable. I want to go above and beyond so others know how important they are. I feel like achieving these goals will result in success!"

It's going to be an exciting year for Lindsay and her fellow Challengers..including, hopefully, you! We'll check back in with Lindsay and see how things have progressed. YOU should sign up now for April 1st's Business Challenge group. Consider it next, big step toward success for your business


By Bethany Clark

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Mistakes in drone safety could result in destroyed equipment, injuries, fines, and possibly even jail time. The BBC reported on the case of Paul Skinner, the 38-year-old owner of an aerial photography business in Washington state. Skinner was recently found guilty in Seattle Municipal Court of reckless endangerment and handed a $500 fine, plus 30 days in jail, after an incident during Seattle's Pride Parade in 2015.

Skinner's drone flew into a building, then dropped onto a crowd of people below, knocking a woman unconscious and leaving her with a concussion, reports the Seattle Times. A man also suffered minor bruises. 

This is believed to be the first time a drone pilot has been given a jail sentence. Read more of this story on the BBC's website and remember to keep public safely paramount when operating your drone! 

To be sure you're following best drone practices, head to PPA.com/Drones and read up on all the rules, get registered, and learn about adding drone coverage to your PhotoCare and General Liability insurance... all designed to keep you informed, empowered, and protected! 

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By Sidra Safri 
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Photographers BEWARE! Google's new imaging software, RAISR, is every photographer's worst nightmare. RAISR stands for "Rapid and Accurate Image Super Resolution". This software, like many others on the market, is able to take a low-quality image and turn it into a larger, and slightly better, image.

RAISR poses a bigger threat because this software is able to improve the image to make it look almost identical to the original! Even more worrisome is that this software is able to do this 10 to 100 times faster than most, and also works on mobile devices. With access to higher quality images on all devices, the door is now open for even more infringement opportunities without any remedy for photographers, perpetuating the unfair copyright-infringement cycle! As software continues to advance, it has become more important than ever to have a copyright-infringement remedy available for photographers and creative artists. 

With the passage of Small Claims legislation in the (relatively near) future, photographers will have the ability to prevent infringers from stealing their work. In order to make this a reality we need your support! Sign your name to the Grassroots Action Team at ppa.com/grassroots. We're trying to get 30,000+ names to show Congress how important this issue is for our members and their communities. For more information about small claims please visit ppa.com/advocacy or contact the Government Affairs Manager at ssafri@ppa.com.  

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By Bethany Clark

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"It's hard to explain, but I see my entire world in still images. I do it because nothing else on earth gives me as much satisfaction as getting a new and original shot."

This amazing quote comes from a man who doesn't really consider himself a photographer. Joel Woods has made countless images documenting working life on boats. Having spent 20 years earning a living on the sea, he's learned hard lessons in life and photography, and he's proved his talent for creative work that captures the hardships and danger inherent in commercial fishing.

Woods' photographs were recently featured in Yankee magazine. Read his fascinating interview on PPmag.com!

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By Autumn Rice

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Interested in formulating an infant photography business that keeps your customers coming back? Register for today's webinar with Olivia Grey Prichard where she tells you all about cultivating repeat clients with a successful "baby's first year" plan.

During this webinar you'll learn what ages/stages to shoot, how to shoot them, and when to incorporate family members. You'll also develop methods for communicating and setting expectations with clients. Finally, you'll set your sales goals and learn what products to sell, all setting yourself up to be more profitable!

This webinar has it all, and you don't want to miss it. Click here to register and don't forget to tune in at 2 pm ET, today!

By Lisa Sharer

Last year, several industry leaders came together to discuss the future of photography and the art of printing. Over the years we have seen a decline in the amount of printed works, and we've seen the effect it has on homes around the world. Every day someone loses all their cherished memories due to a lost phone, a digital collapse, or worse. The partners that instigated the initiative behind the PRINT movement came together to make a change.

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The PRINT Movement was born to help educate photographers on how to position themselves as print artists. This includes how to sell printed products, the importance of printed works of arts, and what they can tell their clients to sell more printed photographic work. Several educational resources and tools to help sell prints have already been developed and are being shared with photographers, for free, by the PRINT Movement. Just this past week, more plans to develop more tools were created as the partners behind the initiative came together at the PPA office, in Atlanta, GA.

As we work to come up with more resources and tools for photographers everywhere, the PRINT Movement is growing stronger every day. 1600 photographers have already joined the movement, pledging their commitment to printing as artists and learning how to do so and market it in an efficient and empowering way.

Photographers who sell printed works compete at a much different level than the shoot and burn photographers who can only compete on price. As a group, we truly believe that PRINT is the future of the photographic industry as it continues to bring the beauty of photography back into homes across the globe. Join the PRINT. The Movement today to pledge to not only be an amazing photographer, but also a talented print artist!


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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

PhotoVision has 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
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 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!

Read all about the latest PhotoVision videos below, including new videos from Anne Geddes and Sue Bryce that continue PhotoVision's "Year of Inspiration" series.

Sue Bryce inspires a return to simplicity. She recalls starting out in the photography business, working in an established studio with lots of props, lights and equipment, and how she transitioned to a simpler style that has now become her signature look. A true artist, Sue shares the how and why for this simplified lighting choice.

Anne is truly inspiring as she shares her take on being an artist, truly owning your work and imbuing it with a sense of importance. She disputes the idea that "everyone's a photographer" and encourages you to see past such a simplified concept so that you are inspired to, in her words, "rise above that vacuous imagery and create a timeless piece." She passionately relates her thoughts on PRINT. The Movement, the significance of printing in photography and the role it plays in valuing your imagery and yourself as an artist. To learn more about PRINT. The Movement, visit http://printmovement.org/.

Andy Marcus photographs a wedding couple in a beautiful European-style memorial garden and then takes them to the waterfront to capture their images against the Jersey skyline. Andy and his assistants demonstrate how to utilize silhouettes and leading lines to create stunning abstract images that will sell. Learn how he uses blurred foreground to create frames within a frame that help give images an artistic flair.

There you have it! If you're a PPA member, these videos are available on PhotoVision for you now. If you're not a member, join PPA today and get access to these videos and over 800 more, included with your membership! 


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 

During the International Photographic Competition (IPC), jurors give competitors the opportunity to receive advice that will improve their future output and could land their work in PPA's Loan Collection, and be honored at Imaging USA! So, don't be shy; enter your images to be critiqued by official jurors at this year's competition! Recorded critiques are a fantastic way to learn, specifically, how you can take your images to the next level. 

IPC judging will take place July 30-August 3, 2017, and while that may seem quite far away, time always flies and it's best to take some time to prepare the best images in your portfolio now. IPC is an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself, so you definitely don't want to miss it! Entries open May 22! 

Thinking about entering your images and ordering a critique? Take the plunge! You'll get the opportunity to:
• Understand what the judges expect from competitors 
• Get an idea about the current state of your photography 
• Improve your work with advice straight from jurors to help you score in next year's competition 

To give you an idea of what the judges are looking for, here's an actual critique from last year's IPC. This image is "Raising the Bar" by Cindy Crofford, CPP. It's being critiqued by Sarah Johnston, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. 
 

Having a judge take time to give you personal advice on how to improve a specific image is a great opportunity to expand your skills. It's time you start entering your images! 

The judging for the International Photographic Competition will be held July 30-August 3, 2017. Registration to enter your images opens May 22, 2017 - June 21, 2017 by 5pm ET. Entries received after 6/21 will be accepted with a surcharge late fee through July 6, 2017 by 5pm ET. But please note that no entries will be accepted after that point. 

This year's IPC has some new rules, so be sure to check them at PPA.com/IPC. And don't forget to enter your images into the International Photographic Competition early to beat the crowds and save some money. Much luck!
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By Autumn Rice

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Drones are the newest and greatest way to diversify your photography business, and offer your clients innovative angles and photographs. But first, you have to know what you're doing. Understanding how to legally, efficiently, and correctly incorporate drones into your business will make a difference in its success or failure.

There are numerous resources available that are credible, and guarantee you get the best education about drones. From in-person Super 1 Day photography workshops to webinar sessions online, there are hundreds of ways to get in the know about drones. To help you get started, here are a few suggestions about upcoming courses and events holding drone-info sessions. 

• Airborne Over Texas is a class organized by the Texas Professional Photographers Association and is all about teaching drone users how to use drones for good and how to pass the FAA's Part 107 portion of the exam. You can also expect a drone demonstration from instructor Justin Moore!

• What's Up With Drones?: This session is part of the Super 1 Day series, this upcoming May, and is all about keeping you legal while using your drone and getting you prepared for the FAA UAG test. Staying legal is the first step to using drones for your business, so this class is a must! If you're in the Oklahoma area, check out this class!

• Thinking About Adding a Drone to Your Photography Business?: If you are considering using drones in our photography business, this class is for you. This course will discuss FAA regulations and testing and available resources, equipment cost and investment cost, insurance and opportunities for drone photography. It is part of the Super 1 Day photography workshops to be held this May and will be held twice that month in order to accommodate everyone who wants to learn.

• Drones-FAA Part 107 Prep Course: There are two dates for this Super 1 Day course. It will teach you the rules and regulations required by the FAA to successfully pass the Part 107 FAA exam and make you a licensed drone pilot. This workshop will help you review the five main areas you will be tested on, and then take a practice exam to see how you'll fair on the real thing!

These are just a few of the sessions available for your drone education. Check out PPA.com/Drones to get the latest and greatest information in drone education from PPA and if you're curious about the Super 1 Day Photography Workshops coming up this May, there are more than 200 classes across the USA!

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By Tristin Vaccaro
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Spring hasn't quite sprung yet, but even though we haven't seen the last of winter, we've got something that's sure to give you the warm and fuzzies. Here is the weekly roundup of the HOTTEST photography-related blogs around! So melt away your stress and relax with all things photography.   

EDITING: The great thing about digital is the ability to make simple edits using settings right on your camera. Whether it be boosting the clarity or vibrancy, it is very much possible to capture your final image "right out of the camera" with little to no external edits.  A little in-camera polishing can go a long way, and photographer Tony Corbell explains why.

COPYRIGHT: As PPA fights for improvements on copyright law and small claims options on Capitol Hill, there is something you can do to make a difference from the comfort of your own home. Using the "Share Your Story" tool, you can share your personal account of how copyright infringement negatively impacted you and/or your business. Copyright infringement is frustrating, so use this tool to vent so we can share these stories with congress and advocate for a better small claims process.

DRONES: Drone photography provides us with fascinating images from a point of view that we would never be able to experience otherwise. When you're hundreds of feet in the air, the photo opportunities are endless. Getting started in drone photography is easier than you'd think, and these tips will help you get the most out of your investment.  

GALLERY: This past Wednesday, March 8, was International Women's Day 2017, and Reuters photographers from around the world took to the streets to capture portraits of women on the job. From skydiving instructors to priests to diplomats, this gallery shows what women in the workplace looks like across the globe. 

ORGANIZATION: As a photographer, you probably have files all over the place. In folders, on your desktop, in your email, and who knows where else. Photographer and IT specialist Mykii Liu will take you through his steps for arranging files on your desktop that are sure to maximize your workflow.  

VIDEO: This short segment from The Today Show is a little different, in that it was completely shown using only old-fashioned still photographs. Anchor Al Roker visits photography shops in NYC completely dedicated to analog photography, and takes a few film photographs himself. Follow Al's journey from film to files then back again in this unique feature story. 

PERSPECITVE: You work hard for your money, there's no doubt about it, but have you ever thought if you're worth the money you charge? Photographer Eric Brushett offers an eye opening perspective: A man with a camera is often valued more than a man in a police uniform or a women teaching your children in today's society. It's something to ponder and reflect on as the busy season rounds the corner. 

INSPIRATION: If you're thinking about getting started in the unique space of drone photography, look no further than these popular snapshots for inspiration. Grab a cup of coffee and scroll past thousands of mesmerizing drone photographs and aerial photography tips on this Pinterest page. You could be here a while. 

INDUSTRY: Nowadays, it seems as though anyone with a decent smartphone camera can call themselves a photographer.  As a professional, you know this isn't true, but perhaps some days you feel as though the industry is in decline because of it.  Fear not! The profession isn't dying, but maybe your commitment and attitude toward your job have taken a dive.  Read this article for some words of encouragement and tips on how to keep your love affair with photography alive and well. 

BUSINESS: You're proud to show off the photos you've been producing, but would you say the same for your business? With PPA's Business Challenge, you'll get tons of information and advice from mentors about how to improve your bottom line. This article will explain just some of the takeaways you'll receive from the Business Challenge and how to sign up. Is you business up to the challenge?

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 Lisa Sharer

Welcome to the Shoot & Burn Era. These days more and more clients ask for digital images, and don't even think to ask about prints. That's where you come in.

One of the things that sets the professional photographer apart from the amateur is the knowledge and respect for printed images as an art form. It's the photographer's responsibility to show clients the beauty in print, and why they are necessary for their lives. Show your clients the difference hiring a professional makes by educating them on Print Art and producing amazing products for them. We live in a time filled with opportunities for those who sell printed products and here's why: People are decorating their homes with DIY décor. Photos are the single most unique way to personalize a space and photographers who help their clients see that potential are always better off.

In this video, famed photographer Allison Tyler Jones explains why and how a professional makes the difference when it comes to that perfect print for your client's home. This talk was part of Imaging USA 2016, the conference for working photographers in the U.S.


The full video can be viewed by PPA members.

Looking for ways to help promote yourself as a Print Artist? PPA members can enjoy all the benefits of the See The Difference® marketing tools today.



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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 Tristin Vaccaro

Photographer Joel Woods has spent over 20 years earning his living on boats. To capture the unexpected moments in his mundane work, Woods began photographing life out on the open sea. 

Professional Photographer magazine sat down with Woods and asked him about the challenges and rewards of taking photos while working as a fisherman, and it can be messy. "My options are either don't get the shot, or grab my camera with bait, slime, guts, and seawater-covered gloves. I will gladly choose the latter every time!" says Woods. 

To read the entire interview, head over to "Beast on Deck: Photography at Sea", only at PPmag.com.
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By Autumn Rice

PhotoVision is a great way for professional photographers to elevate their education with extensive tutorial videos from some of the top photographers in the business!

Aside from the 800+ tutorial videos on almost any topic, PhotoVision also unlocks a free video, each month, for non-subscribers to take advantage of great learning opportunities. This month's videos is "Children's Portrait Garden" with Jamie Hayes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API.

Follow along as Jamie Hayes photographs a young boy in his gorgeous outdoor studio garden. You'll learn a trick for easily posing children's hands in a way that looks natural, and how a remote control camera trigger can benefit you when photographing young children. Jamie will also share with you the reward system he uses with kids to give them incentive to behave and enjoy themselves. From tips to work better with kids to location gear setup, Jamie will walk you through so much that this video is a must-watch for photographer who is into Children Portraiture.

Check out the latest release!


PhotoVision is a valuable online subscription, filled with content that you won't find anywhere else. As a PPA member you have full access for free, but non-members must subscribe. Why wait? Sign-up for PhotoVision, it's $19.99/month. Or better yet, join PPA for only 27.92/month and PhotoVision automatically comes free as part of your PPA membership!

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The results are in for the Northcentral District Photographic Competition! Congratulations to all who merited!

View the results here

Want to improve as a photographer and gain feedback on your work? There's still time to register for the other districts...learn more now!

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By Tristin Vaccaro

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It's finally Friday, and if that wasn't exciting enough, we've brought you our favorite photography-related blogs from this week! You've made it to the end of another week, so reward yourself by taking a moment to relax and read up on all things photography. Enjoy!

BUSINESS: The life of a photographer moves fast and between consultations, shoots, and editing, where does the time go? The last thing on your mind during these hectic times is probably your email, but it should be.  Read up on how frequently reading and responding to your emails equates to more money in your pocket.

PRESTIGE: The 2017 World Photographic Cup winners were announced on February 23rd at the WPC 2017 Photo Show at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in Yokohama, Japan. Find out which country took home the coveted cup!

TIPS: Changing tides, stunning sunsets, and majestic marine life are just a few of the reasons to try your hand at seascape photography. For those of you looking to get your feet wet (pun intended), there are some basics you should know before you get started.  

INSPIRATION: It happens to even the best photographers: the dreaded photography slump. Whether your inspiration up and left, or nothing you've captured recently really speaks to you, fear not. As with any creative process, there are times of successes and failures, learning and growth, but the important thing to remember is this rut won't last forever. If you've found yourself feeling low, read up on these tips for turning it around.

SOCIAL BRANDING: If you thought Instagram was just an app for amateur photographers and millennials, you thought wrong.  With over 600 million monthly users, Instagram is the perfect place for skilled photographers to share their images and gain a fan base along the way. In this article, six photographers (some with millions of followers!) provide you with insight as to how they cultivated a mass following on Instagram, and how you can, too.

INDUSTRY TRENDS: For more than 40 years Showcase, Atlanta's largest and last camera store, sold photography and video equipment to customers nationwide. Sadly, on January 5, Showcase announced they were closing their doors for good. Showcase is just one of the many camera stores that have fallen victim to big name retailers and lack of consumer interest. Showcase's general manager John Williams explains why he believes independent camera stores are on the verge of extinction in this eye-opening article.      

PASSION: Photographer Liam Smith really loves wedding photography, like REALLY loves it. Smith says he doesn't shoot anything else and has no desire to. Where does this passion for capturing others' big day come from? Besides the obvious pressure and emotional connection with clients, Smith reveals the reasons behind his love affair with the wedding niche in this fun testimonial.        

FUN: You remember playing with those LEGO building blocks as a kid, but did you know you can now build your face with them? At London's LEGO store you can enter the "Mosaic Maker" photo booth and leave with your own custom LEGO kit. After assembling all its pieces at home, you're left with a LEGO mosaic of your portrait. Read this article to see just how it works and unleash your inner child!    

CREATIVITY: Inspiration can strike at any time, when you're not expecting it or even when you're expecting something else.  In photographer Ty Poland's case, he set out to capture the perfect wide shot of New York City at sunset, but the other photos he captured on his excursion were even better. See the images and read about Ty's story about stepping out of the box and how changing your perspective can make all the difference. 

TUTORIAL: If you know anything about color theory, you know that color grading by split toning complementary colors adds visual interest and appeal to an image. Currently trending in photography and editing is the "orange and teal look" which involves, you guessed it, combining orange and teal hues together in a photo.  YouTuber Denny's Tips walks you through the steps to achieve this popular look, and it's perfect for beginners and professionals alike.  

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 James Yates
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You may already have the art of photography down, but is your business where you'd like it to be? If you find yourself wanting to learn how to boost your bottom line, the PPA Business Challenge is for you! 

The Business Challenge provides photography business owners with the information and tools they need to develop the foundation for a more profitable business over the course of one year. Not only do they receive the tools required to make changes to their business, but also step-by-step instruction and support from PPA mentors as they implement these changes. 

We all know that photographers are entrepreneurs, small business owners with a passion for their craft. We also know that, more often than not, many photographers open their studios as artists, not having gone to business school, nor carrying a finance background. It is part of PPA's mission, as a nonprofit, to help our members understand and implement the basic business principles needed to maintain a sustainable studio. 

The Business Challenge is meant to be a fun, interactive way for PPA members to integrate as much business acumen as they can in one year's time. There is work involved, as this "challenge" is meant for photographers who are serious about wanting to take their business to the next level. Participants will have tasks to complete and the opportunity to be active members of accountability groups and peer-to-peer mentoring. 

"PPA's business advice is based on years of experience and successful business mentoring," says Angela Kurkian, M.Photog.Cr., CPP and Director of Education at PPA. "The Business Challenge helps our members be more business-confident. It helps them think and strategize as a savvy business person." 

Kurkian led a presentation on the Business Challenge (pictured above) and its first year at this year's Imaging USA in San Antonio. Titled "4 Things You Need to Know to Be Successful", the group panel included Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP; Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API; and participants from the previous year's Business Challenge. 

As an example of the kinds of takeaways you'll gain from the Challenge, they presented these four steps to success... 

By Chris Homer

Through PPAedu, PPA members have hundreds of tutorials and educational videos to choose from, available to them 24/7. Each month, however, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone (including non-members!) to enjoy. Why for free? Because PPA believes in the power of education for all working photographers!

This month, the video "Posing for Two: Part 1" with Drake Busath, M.Photog.Cr., has been unlocked for your viewing pleasure! In this video, Drake will show you how to expertly position younger and more mature couples so their images showcase their relationship. You'll learn key poses, what type of shots to get, how to make the couple comfortable and more!

Non-members will have access to this video the entire month of March, and PPA members can access this video anytime. Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, photographers who have a PPA membership can tap into hundreds of programs to help them Be More! For full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos, join PPA today!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.

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By James Yates

For professional photographers, the end of winter and beginning of spring means District Competitions are in full swing! Did you know you can stream and watch the judging, LIVE?

You can stream the judging of the Northcentral District Photographic Competition this week, March 3-4, from 9am-6pm ET on Stream.theIPC.org

If you've ever wanted to take a peek at what the judges are looking for during the Photographic Open or Artistic competition, or to learn more about PPA's 12 Elements of a Merit Image, we invite you to tune in and get inspired. Who knows? Maybe there's still time to register for your district? Or maybe you'll be entering next year! Find out more here

To give you an idea of what the judges are looking for, here's an actual critique from last year's Northcentral competition. This image is "Jack" by John Stalzer, M.Photog.Cr. It's being critiqued by Cary Garrison, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. 



PPA's District Competitions comprise a step along the way to the annual International Photographic Competition (IPC), July 30-August 3, 2017. Though that may seem quite far away, time always flies and it's best to take some time to prepare the best images in your portfolio now so you can enter with confidence. IPC is an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself, so you definitely don't want to miss it! 



By Autumn Rice

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It's that time of year again! It's time you use the educational tips & tricks learned during Super 1 Day to Improve Your Business. 

Spring Super 1 Day sessions will be held May 8-22, 2017, and your fellow photographers are ready to teach you the best of what they know! Though our Super 1 Day participants vary in their specialties and locations, they all seem to agree on one thing: Super 1 Day is one of the best and easiest ways to join your peers for an excellent learning experience!

From each class you can expect to at least four things learn: 
  1. Top tier photography education from your peers
  2. Diverse ways to improve your marketing, profits, and the overall success of your business
  3. Tips & tricks to help improve your workflow and time spent on editing
  4. Strategies to improve the end product delivered to your clients

With nearly 250 classes across the country, you're sure to find one that fits your interests. (There are 30 in Texas alone!) So join a class near you!

Super 1 Day classes are very interactive and often give participants the chance to practice what they've learned on site. Before you head off to your class, be sure to check your bag for a few items. You'll need to bring:
  • Camera
  • Note-taking material 
  • Small tablet or laptop 
  • Snacks 
  • Money for lunch 

Online registration for Spring Super 1 Day will open March 2, 2017. Each class will be available for the $99 rate through May 3, 2017. Classes fill up fast, so visit PPA.com/Super1Day to join a class near you!

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Thumbnail image for marketing plan.jpgMaking a marketing plan doesn't have to be a daunting experience that you put off for months on end. 

In fact, creating a killer plan -- and being motivated to actually execute marketing each week -- is actually easier than you think! 

You are invited to attend a free webinar tomorrow, March 2 at 2:00 pm ET, that explores the important aspects of making a marketing plan that works.

You'll learn:
  • The key elements of a killer marketing plan and why are they important
  • How to build a tactical marketing plan you'll actually follow
  • Tips and tricks for sticking to the marketing plan
This webinar is FREE and open to both PPA photographers and non-members alike, so register now and tune in tomorrow, March 2nd, at 2:00 pm! 

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2017 listed from newest to oldest.

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