Ad image

PPA Today: May 2017 Archives

May 2017 Archives

by Sidra Safri

iStock-607606926.jpg

This week PPA's drone-waiver series addresses Section 107.33, also known as "Visual Observer". According to the regulations, the "Visual Observer", a second person distinct from the remote pilot, must have constant communication with the remote pilot, be able to see the drone, and beware of any hazardous conditions present while in the air. 

In order to obtain this waiver, many requirements discussed in last week's waiver blog about "Visual line of sight" must be met. These include: 

creating a detailed plan 

accessing any possible risks

conducting various practices and simulations. 

Due to the amount of preparation and planning required to satisfy the FAA concerns, only a handful of these 107.33 waivers have been granted.  Remember: if you are attempting to obtain this waiver, make sure you begin preparing at least a year out in advance to give yourself (and the FAA) enough time to process the waiver request. 

As always before any flights, refer to the B4U Fly app and make sure your drone is registered.

Visit PPA.com/Drones for all the latest drones news and updates!


may17botmblogfooter.JPG
By Sidra Safri
 
Many photographers know that as soon as they press the shutter button on their camera, they fully own the copyrights to that image. 

Some photographers will take it one step further and register their images with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registering your images makes it easier to determine that you own the copyright, and allows the registration holder (you!) to claim increased statutory damages, and possibly attorney's fees, if your images are used, sold, or reprinted without your permission! 

In order to register your photographic work, you must go to the Copyright Office's Website and create a free account to fill out your registration application. Once you are logged in, you'll want to click on "Register a New Claim". From here, the website will walk you through what needs to happen to successfully register your work. You can also visit the Copyright Office's step by step guide here. 

Registration is an important step in protecting your copyright. And PPA encourages all professional photographers to do it as part of their regular workflow. However, due to how complex, archaic, time-consuming, and expensive the registration process can be (yes, we think the system needs to be improved!), many of you will systematically fail to register your work. But this can change if more copyright holders, like photographers, push to modernize the Copyright Office. 

If you agree that change needs to happen and the copyright registration system needs to match the 21st century's technology needs and volume, then sign up today to show your support as PPA leads a large  Grassroots Action Team to push for these changes to happen. We're currently 11,000 strong. Add your voice to help us create a louder message at PPA.com/Grassroots



may17botmblogfooter.JPG
Thumbnail image for revisedheader-201705-coleman--196_1050_591_75_s.jpg
Pro photographer Suzanne Deaton, M.Photog., offers advice to fellow photographers looking to both follow their joy and pay the bills.

Suzanne's five business tips are designed to marry your passion with an actionable strategy. For instance, "Figure out who you are first," she says. "You have to know who you are as an artist to tell someone else's stories. When you can do that, you become much more valuable."


may17botmblogfooter.JPG
Photographers, it's time to pull your best images and work on your competition entries for the International Photographic Competition! 

The IPC is PPA's annual photographic competition that allows photographers to test their skills, and get advice on how to improve quality, impact and technique through constructive competition and critiques from qualified jurors. Participating in PPA's photographic competitions gives you the opportunity to:

  • Improve upon your finest work 
  • Earn recognition and admiration from your peers
  • Engage with the passionate and supportive photographic competition community
  • And improve your business!
If you're smarter than average, you'll also choose to have your images critiqued, and will receive a recording from a judge with feedback on each image you've entered in the competition, explaining to you how each photo stacks up against the 12 elements of a winning image, and what you could have done better if it fell a little short! 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.

To give you an idea of the types of things you can learn from a critique at IPC, check out this one from last year's competition. This is "Spirit of the Lake" by Karen Weatherwax, critiqued by Kathy Meek  M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API. 

 

The judging for the International Photographic Competition will be held July 30-August 3, 2017 and you will be able to watch it all via PPA's live online streaming of the IPC! Early registration opens May 22, 2017 - June 21, 2017 by 5 pm ET. Entries submitted on or after June 21 at  5 pm ET will be accepted with a late fee through July 6, 2017. No entries will be accepted after July 6, 2017 by 5 pm ET.

This year's IPC has some new rules. Be sure to check them out and enter your images early to beat the crowds and save some money!



may17botmblogfooter.JPG
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for theloop_networking.jpg
by Trent Schick

Have you visited theLoop recently? As an exclusive PPA member-only forum, theLoop is a great place for members to connect with each other, share information/advice, get image feedback, and overall-- a place to go if you need help. Become a member so you can "stay in the loop" with theLoop, and if you already are than head over to theLoop to see what everyone's buzzing about. 

Lots of things have been going on in May, so here are a few of the top posts this month. Check them out, provide some feedback, and perhaps even learn something new!

A school-sports photographer is having some trouble with her images not being sharp enough. She wants to know which lens would work best for her. Join the discussion and see if you can help or even learn something new yourself.

This Looper is sharing some insight he received from businessman and speaker Horst Schulze on the most important aspects of business. Check it out to learn something that could help your business, or share your own business input.

Do you ever have problems or issues with backing up your photos? This photographer wants advice on what storage provider works best. You can give your own preference or see what advice others are giving.

A photographer shares about a difficult client she is having who wants a refund, and she is looking for help. Sooner or later we all face difficult clients and maybe you can relate to this story, give some advice, or learn how to deal with tough clients yourself

If fine-art photography is an interest of yours than, check out this Loop. A photographer is asking for help from anyone with experience in selling fine-art prints on a couple of online outlets.

Photography copyright is a big discussion in PPA right now, but a copyright factor that tends to be overlooked is music. A lot of times photographers will use music for their slideshows and the possibility of music-copyright infringement is a topic to be discussed.
 

And there you have 'em, the top posts from theLoop! 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!

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

roundup weekly blog.jpg
by Trent Schick

With Memorial Day just around the corner, we hope you enjoy your long weekend. While you're relaxing, take some time to check out our favorite photography blog posts from this week!

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY: Talk about perfect timing! Take a look at these amazing sports photos taken at just the right moment in everything from baseball, judo, and Formula 1 racing. Find out what's going on in these crazy pictures from CNN!

DRONES: With the popularity "soaring" for drones, a whole new platform for photography has opened up. Telegraph is promoting this new book, Dronescapes, which features incredible pictures from all over the world taken by drones. You can see a few samples of just how amazing these photos are.


ANIMALS: Get ready to bust out laughing at these animals caught in the act of some hilarious scenes. These critters are hysterical, goofy, and down-right adorable. Flow Art Station has captured some great pictures that are sure to brighten your day.


Q&A: Gain some great insight and advice from a Lensculture interview with Sarah Leen, the Director of Photography for National Geographic. Learn about the advantages of school vs. experience, how to improve as a photographer, and even insider info on National Geographic. 


PHOTOGRAPHY: Take a look into the past, of the historical city in England called Leeds. These pictures offer an incredibly vintage and retro feel, by illustrating the style and culture from the time period. See how much our society has changed by checking these photos out on Fubiz.


MARKETING: It's very common for people to struggle with attracting the amount of clients they want, because their marketing strategies and ideas are weak. If you're still wondering why you're not getting the clients you want, you should check out this article by Fstoppers. They show you the marketing mistakes many photographers make, how to fix them, and where you should be putting your focus to be more successful.


REVIEW: You might laugh or even gag at the thought of ever using a disposable camera, but don't be too quick to refuse. In this article by The Phoblographer, six disposable cameras were tested and reviewed to see how they rank up. They provide unedited images and the results are very surprising, especially when you see the price. Try for yourself and even make a fun project out of it, you could be surprised.


MATERNITY: With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, check out this article Peta Pixel posted on a very heartwarming maternity photo. A husband fighting for his country overseas and a pregnant wife in the states never had a chance to take their maternity pictures together. See how this photographer made that happen with this beautiful picture she created.


PRICING: Pricing can be one of the most frustrating things for a photographer. You must consider many factors to land on a price that benefits you and satisfies the customer. Learn from this article at Seniors Ignite how you should correctly price your products and services, and the importance of emphasizing value and how to use it. 


PHOTOVISION: If you haven't heard of PhotoVision, it is an excellent tool for you to access over 500 tutorial videos designed to improve your skills as a photographer. The best part is, if you're a PPA member, PhotoVision is included FREE. Check out some of the latest uploads on PPA Today that include videos which cover in-person selling, marketing to women, sales techniques, and more!


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.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG



By Sidra Safri
iStock-607606926.jpg

As a continuation of our Drone-Waiver series, today we're going over how to obtain a section 107.31: Visual Line-of-Sight wavier. According to the FAA, a drone pilot must always have their drone in view during operation. This rule was made as a safety precaution since the drone camera can be deceiving about its surroundings. 

Applying for a section 107.31 waiver can come in handy for those who want to survey large fields, forest mines and commercial properties, as well as assess emergency situations before dispatching first responders. 

Since this waiver tends to be so high risk, before you apply for it, it is necessary to come up with an extremely detailed plan. As we have previously stated, the more detail you provide the FAA, the more likely your waiver will be approved. 

With this in mind, there are 3 main steps that can help you succeed in obtaining a section 107.31 waiver. 

  1. Develop a plan and conduct a risk assessment. This gives you a surface-level view of problems you may run into, and also helps you lay out a clear plan of what you intend to do. 
  2. Compile data about your flight plan. This includes what altitude it would be best to fly at, what speed, what you are doing, etc. A great way to do this would be at the FAA's testing facilities. It also helps to partake in an FAA pathway program.
  3. Submit your FAA waiver here, along with all your plans, research, and data. This will show the FAA you have thought through your flight and plan to abide by all necessary safety standards. 
Applying for this waiver will be time-consuming. Between the testing, making plans, compiling data, and the approximate 3-4 month turnaround time, you want to make sure you apply early enough to have your waiver approved in time for the work you need to do. 

As always before any flights, refer to the B4U Fly app and make sure your drone is registered.

Visit PPA.com/Drones for all the latest drones news and updates!



may17botmblogfooter.JPG
By Sidra Safri
iStock-519496688.jpg

On May 19th, the District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the FAA's regulations requiring hobbyist drone users to register their drone with the FAA. The Court stated:

"...Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act prohibits the FAA from promulgating 'any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.' The Registration Rule is a rule regarding model aircraft. Therefore, the Registration Rule is unlawful to the extent that it applies to model aircraft."  

This basically means that since the Reform Act of 2012 was passed three years before the regulations were put into place, and since, according to the court, drones classify as model aircrafts, the requirements for hobbyists are unconstitutional.
 
Looking over the Court's opinion, we at PPA respectfully disagree.  According to the FAA, 1.6 million drones have been registered for recreational purposes. This number is only going to increase as time goes on. Since many hobbyists are not fully aware of the regulations, limitations, and drone waivers required by the FAA, there must be some way to track and regulate all drones that go up into the air. 

Additionally, with the number of close calls reported by airplane pilots and air-traffic control men, it is more important than before to have a way to track drones and ensure they are being operated safely. 

PPA believes that having ample knowledge and understanding of drones is so necessary that we are in the process of introducing our own Drone Certification Program coming in July of 2017. For more information, please email Julia Boyd at jboyd@ppa.com. 

Stay updated about changes to drone regulations and much more at PPA.com/Drones. 


may17botmblogfooter.JPG
iStock-531860244.jpg

By Lisa Sharer

It's happened to all of us. Probably more than once. Someone asks you what your rate is, and when they hear it, they are appalled. You start to feel a little flush. You start to think, maybe I went too high. You start to want to back into the nearest bush.

We're here to tell you to kick that bush to the curb! Part of becoming a professional photographer starts with confidence. If every photographer folds, then no one gets paid. By demanding a solid rate, you're not only helping yourself, you're helping all the photographers that come after you.

Here's a recent, completely real, interaction that we applaud:

A photographer is out and about taking pictures. He is approached by a gentleman who notices him.

Gentleman: You take pictures?

Photographer: Yes.

Gentleman: How much do you charge?

Photographer: It really depends on what you want.

Gentleman: Just walking around downtown with you taking pictures of me.

Photographer: My portrait sessions start at $$.

Gentleman: (Laughs) Oh, come on, man.

Photographer: (Without hesitation) This is my full time job, and I'm really good at it. Here's my card. Check out my portfolio, and let me know if you're interested.

If you believe in yourself, your clients will believe in you. Set your prices, stick by them, and above all, do NOT be embarrassed by them. Remember that you spend many hours--collective portions of your life--perfecting your craft and building a business. You have every right to charge fairly for your service, and you should never be ashamed of it.

"Listen up photographers. Know what you're worth. State it with conviction. Know when to bend, but know that bending should be the exception. There will be clients that will see your worth and pay your fee." 
                     - Aaron Coury, Photographer.

If you would like more help on how to sell yourself and your service, check out PPA's See The Difference® resources. PPA members have access to a plethora of sales and marketing tools to assist in promotion and in-person sales. If you're not a member, you should join today!
PPAedu_Free-Webinar_05-25-17_1200x1200.jpg
by Trent Schick

If fine art photography is something you have a passion for or are interested in doing, then this webinar is for you!

Join the acclaimed photographer/artist Thomas Dodd as he delves into all the important business facets of being successful in fine art photography. He will talk about the significance of influences and intentions, how to market yourself online and off, how to find, approach, and work with galleries, and much more you can learn about through his one hour presentation.

This webinar is FREE and open to both PPA members and non-members alike, so register now and tune in tomorrow, May 25, 2017, at 2:00 pm ET!

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Bethany Clark

Calling all drone photographers! Have you heard of the General Liability Endorsement, exclusively made for UAS/Drone operators? This type of coverage will help you be more protected while operating your drone on assignment!

PPA's General Liability Insurance has coverage of $1 million per occurrence, or up to $2 million total. If you want to cover your drone under the same terms, it is recommended for you to purchase Drone endorsement insurance as well. Please note that this coverage is sold separately from the PhotoCare Equipment Insurance that is provided with your PPA membership. 

Drone Liability Coverage terms and conditions: 

  • You must be a member of PPA
  • Coverage must be purchased in conjunction with PPA's General Liability coverage
  • Limit options of $50,000 and $25,000 
  • Annual premiums of $150 and $100
  • Must be compliant with Part 107 Federal Aviation Regulations, and also state and local regulations
  • Operation of drone must be in connection with a paid assignment for your business
  • Defense coverage is included inside the limit of liability
  • Coverage extends to bodily injury and property damage of others

Ready to purchase coverage? Call our team at 888-202-1526 to secure your coverage today!

Not sure what the new FAA drones rules are? Visit PPA.com/Drones!


may17botmblogfooter.JPG
by Trent Schick

As of May 22, photographers can now enter their work in PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC). We hear from past entrants that entering images in the IPC is one of the best ways to improve as a photographer. During the 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 2018 in Nashville! 

If you choose to have your images critiqued, you'll get a recording of a judge going through each image you've entered in the photo competition, explaining how it stacks up against the 12 elements of a winning image, and what you could have done to take your image to the next level if you fell a little short! 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.

To give you an idea of the types of things you can learn from a critique at IPC, check out this one from last year's competition. This is "Balancing Act" by Angela Cuhel, critiqued by Dennis Hammon, M. Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP.


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
Having a judge take time to give personal advice on how to improve a specific image is just what you need to grow not only as a photographer but artist! 

Important info:

  • Judging for the IPC will be held July 30-August 2, 2017 at Gwinnett Tech in Lawrenceville GA, right outside Atlanta. It's open to the public and it's free to attend, but if you can't make it in person, you have no excuse not to watch the online streaming of the entire judging process! It's one of the best ways to learn what judges are looking for in this image competition.
  • Early registration to enter your images opens May 22, 2017-June 21, 2017 by 5 pm ET
  • Entries after June 21 at 5 pm ET will be accepted with a late fee through July 6. Please note that no entries will be accepted after July 6, 2017 by 5 pm ET
  • Watch live streaming of IPC judging at Stream.TheIPC.org: July 30, 4 pm - 7 pm ET, July 31 and August 1, 8:30 am - 6 pm ET, and August 2, 8:30 am ET to finish.

This year's competition has some new rules, so click here to view the IPC Photographic Open rules and the IPC Artist Competition rules, or check them at PPA.com/IPC. 

And don't forget to enter your images early to beat the crowd and save some money!

may17botmblogfooter.JPG
By Sidra Safri

Many photographers have complained about the archaic registration system of the Copyright Office, how long the process takes and, overall, how cumbersome it is. Thankfully, these complaints have not fallen on deaf ears. 

In 2013, the Copyright Office began looking into potential updates to the overall IT system that impacts the registration process. This research lead to the creation of a report stating it was necessary to create a better user-interface and more accurate public record.

On May 9th, 2017, the Copyright Office rolled out a pilot program for Bulk Submission of Claims to Copyright. This pilot program will serve a very small niche of creators, since it will only be available for literary works (such as fiction, nonfiction, autobiographies, etc.). Single literary works that have single authors, with all the work being owned and created by that single author, are eligible for the bulk registration program.

Even though this program is not available to photographers, the Copyright Office is taking a step in the right direction to make the process easier and faster. Through this pilot process they will be able to work out any issues that arise, and eventually (we hope) roll out the bulk submission process for all categories.

PPA will keep you updated as developments unfold, so stay tuned to PPA.com/Advocacy for the latest. 

Want to get in on the ground floor of copyright reform? Sign up today and be a part of the PPA Grassroots Action Team at PPA.com/grassroots!

may17botmblogfooter.JPG
By Chris Homer

Back in the days of film, infrared photography was a complicated undertaking that was rarely used outside of scientific and fine art applications. Today, photographers looking to offer something unusual to clients might find this alternative process an appealing option.

Laurie Klein is one photographer who's demonstrated the power of differentiation through infrared. "I've made most of the money in my career with infrared photography," she notes. And she says others can do the same.



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.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Chris Homer

If you are a photographer, PhotoVision is a great way to elevate your skills by using the more than 500 video tutorials from some of the top photographers in the business. Better yet, PhotoVision is included for FREE with your PPA membership! Head on over to PhotoVisionVideo.com to begin streaming classes.

And if it's been a minute since you've checked in with PhotoVision, be sure to come back and watch these new videos! The new releases include Sue Bryce and Anne Geddes, who are contributing to the PhotoVision's  new 'Year of Inspiration' series.

Sue Bryce

Consider the fact that marketing to women is different than marketing to men and you'll see why Sue Bryce views this as an ideal opportunity to focus your message. As a glamour photographer, the majority of her clients are women and she shares how she tailors her messaging to suit them. Sue systematically breaks down the different demographics while explaining the types of products each is drawn to.

Anne Geddes

One of the most fascinating elements of an artist is learning how their mind creates and works before they ever pick up the camera. In this video, world-renowned photographer and story-teller, Anne Geddes, shares her creative process and gives a glimpse into her own inspiration. In addition to her aesthetic, Anne speaks about the journeys she's faced throughout her career and the lifetime of stories she has amassed along the way. She discusses how much research and hard work went into each of the six books she has created, while also giving an inside look of her newest work available since April 2017, Small World.

Andy Marcus

Andy Marcus photographs a wedding couple in the lofted garden of a Manhattan skyscraper. He then goes inside to photograph them in silhouette against the NYC skyline. Andy discusses the importance of assistants and how to best utilize them in an effective manner.

Sue Bryce

To be a successful photographer, you must have a firm understanding of sales, pricing, and the products of your business. In this video, Sue Bryce shares her own philosophies and the tried-and-true sales techniques she has learned over the years, including her two favorite products to sell to her clients. Additionally, Sue explains the psychology behind the placement of your middle package to achieve your desired average sale while still keeping your price list simple and clean to improve your overall sales.

Andy Marcus

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.

Sue Bryce

As a photographer and business owner, in-person sales can be directly correlated to an increase in your profits. In this video, Sue Bryce 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.

Visit PhotoVisionVideo.com today to access all of these classes! If you're not a PPA member, join today and you'll be able to watch all the PhotoVision and PPAedu photography tutorials. Together, that's more than 1,000 videos designed to help you take your photography to the next level! You have nothing to lose, try it 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.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Bethany Clark

IPC_1200x1200_2.jpg
Today is May 22, 2017, and it's the first day to enter your best images into the International Photographic Competition

The judging for PPA's annual International Photographic Competition (IPC) takes place July 30-August 2, 2017 and now it's time to submit the best images in your portfolio. 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: 

  • Getting critiques from PPA certified jurors 
  • Competing against the best in the business
  • Engaging with the photographic community 
  • Watching the judging live stream and learn from real images and real judges, in real time!

Here's a quote from PPA member Kira Derryberry, M.Photog.Cr., CPP about her IPC experience with entering her images in the IPC: 

"I was awarded my Master of Photography degree with Professional Photographers of America! Print competition is hands down one of the largest contributing factors to my growth as a photographer and artist. After competing diligently for the last 3 years, I'm proud to call myself a Master! Check that one off the list!" 

This is a great opportunity to improve your work. It's time you start entering your images! 

Important info:

  • Judging for the IPC will be held July 30-August 2, 2017 at Gwinnett Tech in Lawrenceville GA, right outside Atlanta. It's open to the public and it's free to attend, but if you can't make it in person, you have no excuse not to watch the online streaming of the entire judging process! It's one of the best ways to learn what judges are looking for in this image competition.
  • Early registration to enter your images opens May 22, 2017-June 21, 2017 by 5 pm ET
  • Entries after June 21 at 5 pm ET will be accepted with a late fee through July 6. Please note that no entries will be accepted after July 6, 2017 by 5 pm ET
  • Watch live streaming of IPC judging at Stream.TheIPC.org: July 30, 4 pm - 7 pm ET, July 31 and August 1, 8:30 am - 6 pm ET, and August 2, 8:30 am ET to finish.

This year's competition has some new rules, so click here to view the IPC Photographic Open rules and the IPC Artist Competition rules, or check them at PPA.com/IPC. 

And don't forget to enter your images early to beat the crowd and save some money!

may17botmblogfooter.JPG
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for roundup weekly blog.jpg
by Trent Schick

It has been a long week, and the weekend is finally here! You deserve a break and relaxation, so while you do, take some time to enjoy our favorite photography blog posts of the week!

COPYRIGHT: Still think your photos aren't valuable enough to register for copyright? The copyright owner for photographs of plants (!) is sure glad they did. See how this person hit the mother lode and you might change your mind.

TIME-LAPSE VIDEOS: Time-lapse videos are a great way to literally make the time go by faster. Learn how to create them in a more efficient and creative way with this post from Tech Republic. Add flare to your work with a walk-through process on how to form one by reading this article.

PROTECTION: As a PPA member, you can be assured that you always have a virtual suit-of-armor around you. Better known as the Shield of Protection, PPA is there no matter what goes wrong to help protect you, save you money, and help you Be More. Find out the three big ways PPA insurance keeps you best protected at the PPA Today Blog!

ENGAGEMENT MISHAP: I bet you have never had this happen to you. Mashable has this story about a photographer who takes engagement pictures of the WRONG couple. It may sound like a nightmare, but this tale has a surprisingly fortunate ending. Read here to find out just what happened.

GEAR: Camera gear can be a pain having to take and carry around; especially if you're doing it wrong. Well don't worry, because you can learn to be stylish and secure as the fun and charismatic Christopher Niccolls demonstrates all the do's and don'ts of how to carry your photography gear in this article.

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY: Need some places to add to your photography bucket list? These truly breathtaking landscapes will make you want to book a flight today. Check out this article from FStoppers to see just where you can find them.

CREATIVITY: You will regret pushing off all those times you said you would go to the gym after reading this article. With it getting more competitive every day to make a name for yourself, it is important to always try and get a leg up on the competition. Learn how you can boost your creative edge through exercising and being more active... yes this even applies to photographers!

HOW TO: Sunset photography is something everyone can do, because you can do it virtually anywhere you are. As well, they are a great way to help build your confidence and skill as a photographer through experimentation. Learn how to master sunsets in an in-depth, step-by-step process through this article.

MONEY: Ever wondered if photographers can really make any money? Ever seen a Senior Portrait Photographer driving a Porsche? Find out the answer to both these questions through this article on SeniorsIgnite.com, it might surprise you!

LOCATION: Peta Pixel has some absolutely astonishing photos of a couple who had their wedding photos taken on Mt. Everest! No amount of altitude or bitter cold could stop this marriage. Check out these stunning photos that redefine couple goals.

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.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG



By James Yates
iStock_000018508366Large.jpg

PPA members know they have a virtual suit-of-armor surrounding them. It's the PPA Shield of protection, and it has you covered on all sides: gear, liability, negligence and data loss recovery ...no matter what goes wrong. These are the three big ways PPA's forms of photographic insurance keep you fully protected, save you money, and help you Be More. 

Coverage- if you break your camera or it's stolen from your car, then no worries! If you've activated PhotoCare, you're covered! 
  • Did you know you can get up to $15,000 of photo equipment insurance for FREE when you join PPA? PhotoCare Equipment Insurance is included with the PPA Professional Active membership. All you have to do is activate your policy. PPA pays the premium for up to $15,000 just in case  you lose your photo gear, computer, tablet, or printer to fire, theft, or breakage.. And, you get worldwide coverage while on location. With a first loss deductible of only $250 (excluding breakage), it can pay big to opt-in to PPA's PhotoCare Equipment Insurance. 
  • PhotoCare Plus is also available for members to purchase and covers up to $100,000 on the same damages as PhotoCare, in addition to coverage for mysterious disappearance and non-PPA member employee coverage. PhotoCare Plus will also insure your drone if it falls from the sky.

Assistance- If someone got hurt or something was destroyed on your shoot, General Liability Coverage will handle it.
  • At some point, we all fall victim to Murphy's Law- the idea that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Did your lighting setup fall over on someone's aunt at the wedding? Did little Cousin Billy break his arm when he tripped over your extension cord? We hope you never have to use this benefit, but if you do, it can help save your reputation, business, and a LOT of money. Nearly all commercial and event shoots now require general liability insurance coverage. It's incredibly affordable to get the protection you need, and you can even get up to $2 million for less than 62¢ a day! 
  • Drone Photography Liability Insurance is also now available as an add-on to your existing policy. It covers bodily injury and property damage caused by an FAA-certified drone photographer while on a paid assignment. In the event of a chain reaction, your insurance will also cover the non-drone, additional damage.

Peace-of-Mind- Got an unsatisfied client, or lost all the data on your hard drive or SD card? PPA's Indemnification Trust is like malpractice protection for you. 
  • Have you ever faced angry clients whose images all just disappeared from your hard drive? PPA is here to help. PPA photographers get a type of malpractice coverage, called PPA's Indemnification Trust, which comes included in the membership and helps when things go wrong like data loss, equipment malfunction, mistakes, or unsatisfied clients. The Trust can step in and guide you through the claim process, pay for data recovery services if needed, negotiate and pay any settlement, prepare you for court if needed, appoint local counsel at the Trust's expense if necessary, and pay judgments for most types of damages awarded to your client if things end up in a court. In summary, the Trust covers and protects all Professional Active members at no cost after they clear their small deductible. 
The next time you're feeling vulnerable or overwhelmed by everything life can throw at a small business owner, lean on your PPA membership, because it truly has your back. Let PPA be your shield! All these benefits and more are available for you to save money and be more profitable. Find out how you and your photography business can Be More Protected at PPA.com/NoBrainer. 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPG
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.




may17botmblogfooter.JPG

by Lisa Sharer


Print_Seth_Godin_Quote_550px.png

Many times we find ourselves believing that the industry is to blame for the reduction in printed-product sales. But what is the industry actually made up of? It's made of you and me. As photographers, you set the bar for making PRINT Art a part of your everyday lives and a very important part of your client's lives.

So it starts with you. Having tangible objects to see and hold has a value that hasn't changed over generations, and that isn't poised to change either. Print Artists understand the timeless contribution of their work and printing their work (and selling it!) is something that can become second nature. Consumers' approach to photographic products is shifting, and this is why Print Artists can thrive. They are offering the effortless quality of timeless pieces that consumers can't get in a couple of clicks through their drugstore. It can be as simple as starting to help redecorate a client's home, and then follow along in their progress through life. Every home in America and around the world is starting to remember why that tangible piece of memory makes such a difference in their minds and in their lives.

And the Industry is changing.

Thankfully, the printing options for professional photographers are changing as well. That's why it's more important than ever to learn these options from a Print Artist standpoint. Understand the paper preservation methods; develop the vocabulary to educate consumers on options (that no drugstore can rival with); speak influentially about the intrinsic worth of a print investment; have it become second nature to be a print artist; and the list goes on. But it all starts with you. 

Become a part of PRINT. The Movement, and see how you can help change your business and the industry. You'll receive updates and stories about the PRINT Movement, but also new sales tools to help you when presenting printed pieces to your clients.


may17botmblogfooter.JPG
By Sidra Safri

iStock-607606926.jpg
As a part of our drone waiver series, we will continue to talk about the 9 waivers drone photographers can apply for under the section 107 regulations. 

Today our focus will be Section 107.29 and being unable to fly at night. The FAA drone regulations state: "No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft system during the night." This means that, without a waiver, a drone operator can only fly during civil twilight (30 min before sunrise), during the day, and evening twilight (30 min after sunset).*+

Luckily, for many drone-photographers, the most commonly-requested and approved waiver is Night Operation. When applying for this waiver, be specific, but not too specific. You do not want to limit yourself too much. Do your research on the area and show the FAA that you are prepared to handle any possible situation. This includes, explaining how the operator will maintain a visual line of sight with the drone during the darkness, how you plan to avoid people, structures, and other aircraft, and how you will know - in darkness - the location, altitude, and movement of the drone. 

To submit your waivers, visit the FAA's website. After submitting your waiver to the FAA, make sure you pay attention to any correspondence from the FAA to avoid delays. See you next week for part 3! And if you missed part 1, go back and read about Section 107.25 - operation from a moving vehicle, boat, or aircraft.

*Must use anti-collision lights that are visible for 3 statutory miles when flying during either twilights. 
+Alaska: Twilight is determined by the Almanac. 

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Sidra Safri
IMG_2964.JPG

In the world of Intellectual Property (IP) there are three main categories:

1. Patents
2. Trademarks
3. Copyright

These three categories are distinct in their own ways and work to protect their creator, inventor, or the company that made them or who they represent. All three (patents, trademarks, and copyrights) can be used together, but people largely tend to confuse the differences between Copyright and Trademark. 

A trademark can be wording, phrasing, slogan symbols, graphics or designs that help identify a brand or set them apart from others. A logo is a great example of a trademark. Trademarks do not expire after a set number of years, therefore giving them the ability to last forever as long as they are being used. You are not required to register a trademark with the United State Patent Office, but are encouraged to do so for added protection and benefit.

A copyright protects original creations that include literary works, performing arts, photographs, etc. and can be registered with the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress. Copyright protection is determined based on different factors such as when the content was created, was it created using a pseudonym or anonymously, or it was a work-for-hire. These protections can last from 50 years after the creator's death to 120 years after publication. 

Similar to a trademark, a copyright does not need to be registered but is encouraged for added protection and higher statutory damages. 

For more information and a more detailed breakdown of these three main categories of IP, visit the USPTO website. 


may17botmblogfooter.JPG
By Chris Homer

Have you checked out theLoop recently? theLoop is an exclusive photographer-only forum
TheLoop jpg 825x399.jpg
 where PPA members can connect, ask questions, and share their 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. 

Here are some of the top discussions on theLoop from May! Check them out, provide some feedback, and perhaps even learn something new.

One photographer has a question about sales tax. Take a look and see if you can help out... or just check that you're doing things correctly!

Do you need a photo release when photographing old buildings? Find out in this discussion.

When you sell a large, framed print, should you put a watermark anywhere on it? See how other photographers feel about it, and chime in!

What is your idea of perfect lighting, and what techniques do you use to create it? Share and learn in this discussion.

A photographer new to blogging is looking for advice on how often to post and how to grow an audience. If you have a blog, share your thoughts!

In this discussion, photographers chime in on the conundrum of whether to buy a new camera body, or just new lenses. See what they have to say and add your own advice.

And there you have 'em, the top posts from theLoop! 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!


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.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Bethany Clark
 
IPC_1200x1200_5.jpg
Photographers, it's time to pull your best images and work on your competition entries for the International Photographic Competition

The IPC judging will take place this summer, and those who enter will once again get ahead of their peers, so get ready! 

The IPC is PPA's annual photographic competition that allows photographers to test their skills, and get advice on how to improve quality, impact and technique through constructive competition and critiques from qualified jurors. Participating in PPA's photographic competitions gives you the opportunity to:

  • Improve upon your finest work 
  • Earn recognition and admiration from your peers
  • Engage with the passionate and supportive photographic competition community
  • And improve your business!

If you're smarter than average, you'll also choose to have your images critiqued, and will receive a recording from a judge with feedback on each image you've entered in the competition, explaining to you how each photo stacks up against the 12 elements of a winning image, and what you could have done better if it fell a little short! 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.

To give you an idea of the types of things you can learn from a critique at IPC, check out this one from last year's competition. This is "Forged in Steel" by Shellie Kappelman, critiqued by Cary Garrison:



Important info:

  • Judging for the IPC will be held July 30-August 2, 2017 at Gwinnett Tech in Lawrenceville GA, right outside Atlanta. It's open to the public and it's free to attend, but if you can't make it in person, you have no excuse not to watch the online streaming of the entire judging process! It's one of the best ways to learn what judges are looking for in this image competition.
  • Early registration to enter your images opens May 22, 2017-June 21, 2017 by 5 pm ET
  • Entries after June 21 at 5 pm ET will be accepted with a late fee through July 6. Please note that no entries will be accepted after July 6, 2017 by 5 pm ET
  • Watch live streaming of IPC judging at Stream.TheIPC.org: July 30, 4 pm - 7 pm ET, July 31 and August 1, 8:30 am - 6 pm ET, and August 2, 8:30 am ET to finish.

This year's IPC has some new rules. Be sure to check them out and enter your images early to beat the crowds and save some money!


may17botmblogfooter.JPG
By Chris Homer

This year, PPA's District Photographic Competitions were a great success! Thank you to everyone who entered. As we look forward to kicking off the upcoming International Photographic Competition (IPC), let's check out some of the interesting stats from the District Photographic Competitions!

In the Southwest District, 971 images were entered - with 54% earning a merit. Meanwhile, in the Northeast District, of 1,000 entries, 45% earned a merit. In the Northcentral District, 709 images were entered and 47% earned a merit.

The Western District saw 760 images, with 39% earning merits, and the Southeast District rounds things out with 986 entries and 48% earning merits. That's a grand total of 4,426 entries with about 46% earning merits (all counting towards earning various photographic degrees!). 

These stats show how many understand what a big accomplishment earning a merit at the District Photographic Competitions is! So go ahead, brag about it! 

Don't forget that the judging for IPC will be held July 30-August 2, 2017 and will be streamed live! Registration to enter your images opens May 22, 2017 - June 21, 2017 by 5pm ET. Entries received June 21 after 5 pm ET will still be accepted with a late fee through July 6, 2017 by 5pm ET. Please note that no entries will be accepted after that point. Get your images ready and we'll see you at the IPC!


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.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

201705-1_ndr-2__large_800_568_75_428e07214a8a3e9a.jpg
Approach a stranger and create an alluring portrait in just 30 seconds? No way, you say. But Nicola Davison Reed is doing just that.

Nicola's street photography method is tried-and-true process she's developed over the course of her "30 Seconds of Street Portrait" project. And she's got some tips for other photographers who may feel a bit shy about talking to strangers.






may17botmblogfooter.JPG
by James Yates

Beginning next week, May 22, photographers can enter their work in PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC). We hear from past entrants that entering images in the IPC is one of the best ways to improve as a photographer. During the 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 2018 in Nashville! 

If you choose to have your images critiqued, you'll get a recording of a judge going through each image you've entered in the photo competition, explaining how it stacks up against the 12 elements of a winning image, and what you could have done to take your image to the next level if you fell a little short! 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.

To give you an idea of the types of things you can learn from a critique at IPC, check out this one from last year's competition. This is "Technique, Composition, Interest" by Jerome Ranch, critiqued by Adrian Henson, M. Photog.MEI.Cr., CPP. 


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
Having a judge take time to give personal advice on how to improve a specific image is just what you need to grow as an artist!

The judging for IPC will be held July 30-August 2, 2017. Registration to enter your images opens May 22, 2017 - June 21, 2017 by 5pm ET. Entries received after 6/21 will still be accepted with a late fee through July 6, 2017 by 5pm ET. 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 early to beat the crowds and save some money. Good luck!


Thumbnail image for James.JPG
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.


may17botmblogfooter.JPG
by Chris Homer
Weekly_Top_Ten.jpg

The end of the week is here! As you wind down and head into the weekend, take some time to enjoy our favorite photography blog posts from around the web. 

SEO 101: You've probably heard that you need to do some type of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your site in order for clients to find your business in web searches. If you're not sure where to start, read this post from PPA! It covers the basics of SEO so you can get started in the right direction. 

COPYRIGHT: News flash: Taking watermarked photos and putting them on Facebook, scanning a print and making it digital, or just yanking an image from a Google search and sharing it...these are all instances of copyright infringement and are against the law! Improve Photography has a nice article summarizing the fight for copyright protection (with a nice shout out to the work PPA has been doing!). 

TUTORIAL: When photographing on location, stabilizing your camera can be an issue! Check out this post from PetaPixel for some quick hacks you can use for better camera stabilization. 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: Do you use Instagram to help market your photography? It's become a powerful tool for photographers, so if you're looking to have a presence on Instagram (or already do) check out these tips from PhotoFocus to learn how you can better connect with potential clients. 

COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY: Here's a great post for the commercial photographers out there. Read how photographer Dustin Dolby creates great photos of wine bottles using only one speedlight on DIY Photography. 

PORTRAITS: Whether you've been taking portraits for a long time, or are new to the game, this post from Light Stalking is good to review! It covers 3 fundamental elements of a portrait that lead to great results when done right. 

CAPITOL HILL ADVOCACY:  Last week was a pretty crazy one on Capitol Hill (as they mostly are lately) and, lost in the shuffle, was the fact that the companion bill to H.R. 1695, the bill PPA's Grassroots Team lobbied to get through the House, has now been introduced in the Senate! Read up on the next step in our fight here. 

BUSINESS...ETIQUETTE: Have you ever engaged in a flame war (posting negative comments) on a Facebook discussion with another photographer? Stop doing that! This post from Fstoppers talks about how potential clients can see these comments, and how it may make them choose to not do business with you.

TUTORIAL: Low-key photography is a style where the main elements are darkness and negative space. You can create some very unique portraits using this style. If you're intrigued by it, Digital Photography School provides a tutorial on the basics of creating a low-key image. 

WALL ART: Suzanne Deaton joined PPA, took advantage of educational opportunities, and decided to pride her business on producing tangible products that clients can appreciate as art. Today, she operates a successful studio focused on wall print and in-person selling. Read all about it on Professional Photographer magazine. 

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.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG
By Sidra Safri
iStock-607606926.jpg

It's been a year since the introduction of the Section 107 drone regulations and many photographers are still extremely excited! As more and more photographers look to incorporate drones into their businesses, the FAA is attempting to stay on top of the influx of waivers that are coming in. 

At first introduction, the FAA was able to process waivers within 90 days. Now, that waiting period has gone up to 120 days!  To ensure you waiver is approved in a timely manner, be careful to apply for the correct waiver and be as detailed as possible. Over the next eight-to-nine weeks, PPA will break down these waivers, providing you with examples as to when you can apply for them and what sort of information to provide to ensure your wavier is processed as quickly and smoothly as possible.
 
The first waiver we will address is Section 107.25- Operation from a moving vehicle, boat, or aircraft.  In accordance with the Section 107 regulations, a drone operator may not operate a drone while being transported via any method. However, there is waiver for this! One may apply for this waiver when wanting to get a shot of an aerial view for commercial or real estate purposes, inspecting power lines or pipelines, even simply shooting a video for a client.  Since there is a lot going on logistically, it is understandable that the FAA wants to approve these sorts of uses. 

When applying for a waiver to operate a drone via a moving method of transportation, include as much information as possible. Include why you are requesting this waver, the time of day, a backup plan (just in case something goes wrong). Also, it helps to have another set of eyes on the drone. Include a plan to have someone watching the drone in action to add another layer of safety. The more detail you have, the more likely the FAA will approve your request, and the less back-and-forth there is trying to get additional information. At the same time, the FAA has also requested you be as detailed as possible, but to not ask for more then you need. This will cause delays in your request, and possibly even lead to a denial. To request a drone waiver or see additional waiver options visit the FAA website.

Stay tuned for the next part in our series on drone waivers, or read them below! 


For more info on all things drones, of course, head to
PPA.com/Drones.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

by Sidra Safri
IMG_2964.JPG

As photographers we all understand the importance of the Copyright Office and everything it is meant to do for the world of copyright. However, besides being the protector of copyrights, the Office's other main purpose is to continuously provide Congress with the proper knowledge necessary to make decisions in the area of Intellectual Property. 

However, to fully understand the Copyright Office and how copyright law has evolved, it is necessary to go back to the early years of America. In 1787, during discussions for the Constitutional Convention, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 was added. It stated "the Congress shall have power...to promote the process of science and useful arts, by securing for limited time to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." This law would go on to shape Copyright Law for many years to come.

Below is a short timeline of how both the Copyright Office and Copyright Law evolved. 

  • 1790: The first Copyright Act is passed and provides American creators with the ability to control when to print, reprint, or publish their work for up to 14 years, with the ability to renew for another 14 years. This was done to encourage creators to continue to add to society while giving them an incentive to do so. 
  • 1831: This was the first review of the Copyright Act. This revision allowed the protection of copyright to be extended to 28 years with the possibility to renew for another 14 years. This change was made to ensure American creators had the same, if not similar, protections as their European counterparts. 
  • 1870: This was the first revision of the Copyright Act. When the Copyright Office was first created it was up to each individual District Court to file copyright claims. However, with this revision, the office was moved from the District Courts into the Copyright Office, where it would remain. 
  • 1909: After another major review of the Copyright Act, the items that could be protected by copyright were increased to include more categories. This review also extended the renewal from 14 years to 28 years. During this time, many congressional members were trying to find a balance between allowing the creator to enjoy the benefits of their creation and also allowing the public to enjoy these creations. 
  • 1976:  After 67 years of no revisions to the Copyright Act, it was necessary to incorporate technological advancements, as well as to prepare to join the Berne Convention which was joined by our European counterparts in 1886. Also during this revision, copyright protection was extended to the life of the author plus 50 or 75 years if the work was done for hire and/or for unpublished works. 
  • 1992: An amendment was made to make copyright renewal automatic, and therefore really limited what items were joining the public domain. 
  • 1998: Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act extended protection from 50 years after the life of the creator to 70 years after the life of the creator. 
  • 1998: Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) brought some aspects of copyright law to the 90s that would address challenges many creators were facing, while attempting to regulate digital items. 
  • 1999: Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement: With infringement becoming so easy, it was necessary to find some way to deter this from happening. Congress approved a large increase in the minimum statutory damages. The minimums went from $500 to $700 and the maximums went from $20,000 to between $30,000 and $150,000 depending on intent. 
  • 2016: Small Claims bill is introduced by Representative Judy of Chu of California. Proposing an alternative method to pursuing infringement claims valued at less than $30,000. During this same year, Chairman Goodlatte circulated a white paper highlighting the importance of Small Clams and making it a priority for the upcoming year. 
  • 2017: Representative Goodlatte introduced H.R 1695 to turn the Register of Copyright into a Senate-confirmed, Presidential Appointee, therefore ensuring a person with ample copyright knowledge is able to run the copyright office, and have a certain degree of autonomy from the Library of Congress. This bill currently has been introduced in the Senate at S. 1010 and will be heading to committee shortly. 

As you can see, the history of copyright in the U.S. is a long and winding road. PPA is making sure YOUR rights are protected by being a constant presence on Capitol Hill during these exciting months. Be sure to sign up and show your support (and share with all your friends!) at PPA.com/Grassroots. 

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Chris Homer

Beginning May 22, photographers can enter their work in PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC). We hear from past entrants that entering images in the IPC is one of the best ways to improve as a photographer. 

IPC gives you even more if you choose to have your images critiqued by one of the judges! You'll get a recording of a judge going through each image you've entered in the photo competition, explaining how it stacks up against the 12 elements of a winning image, and what you could have done to take your image to the next level if you fell a little short!

To give you an idea of the types of things you can learn from a critique at IPC, check out this one from last year's competition. This is "7 Degrees Below Zero at Willow Falls" by Daniel Thompson, critiqued by Dennis Hammon.


Having a judge take time to give you personal advice on how to improve a specific image is a priceless opportunity to take your images to the next level! 

Important info:

  • Judging for the IPC will be held July 30-August 2, 2017 at Gwinnett Tech in Lawrenceville GA, right outside Atlanta. It's open to the public and it's free to attend, but if you can't make it in person, you have no excuse not to watch the online streaming of the entire judging process! It's one of the best ways to learn what judges are looking for in this image competition.
  • Early registration to enter your images opens May 22, 2017-June 21, 2017 by 5 pm ET
  • Entries after June 21 at 5 pm ET will be accepted with a late fee through July 6. Please note that no entries will be accepted after July 6, 2017 by 5 pm ET
  • Watch live streaming of IPC judging at Stream.TheIPC.org: July 30, 4 pm - 7 pm ET, July 31 and August 1, 8:30 am - 6 pm ET, and August 2, 8:30 am ET to finish.

This year's competition has some new rules, so click here to view the IPC Photographic Open rules and the IPC Artist Competition rules, or check them at PPA.com/IPC. 

And don't forget to enter your images early to beat the crowd and save some money!


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.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By James Yates

B_Challenge_1200x1200_1.jpg
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... 

  1. #CreateABusinessModelThatWorks: Their first word of advice, and the guiding plan for the upcoming Business Challenge, is to define success for YOU. Making a business plan that works for you and your needs is step one on the road to a successful photography business. Separate qualitative and quantitative goals. Use the Square One tool available through PPA to figure out what your pricing needs are going to be for profitability and sustainability. Remember: the goal is to pay yourself. You are not your business!
  2. Use Your Time Wisely: Your time is limited. There are only so many hours in the day. Know how much time you need and respect it because it's precious. Use PPA's Benchmarks to track where your studio is and trust them to help you prioritize and understand your needs. 
  3. Understand Your Customer's Needs: Begin with the end in mind. Photography is not about the image, it's about what you're going to do with the image. Develop products to sell to your clients that have a purpose. Products that will surprise and delight them. And, finally...
  4. Do the Work: Sounds easiest of all, right? Wrong. You'd be surprised how many people fall down on this sword. But you can stay accountable and get the support you need through PPA's Business Challenge. 

The Business Challenge is free to PPA members and includes tools to understand and develop the foundations of a profitable business with:

  • A step-by-step support system 
  • Answers to the most vital business questions 
  • A personalized success and business plans
  • Lists and guidelines to help prioritize 
  • Inspiration and help to stay focused 
  • A framework to avoid getting overwhelmed 
  • Accountability partners with other photographers with the same challenges 

Want to join the Challenge? Sign up today at PPA.com/Challenge to enroll in the next Challenge Group, which begins in August, and spend the next 12 months working on your personalized success path. Sign up today to begin your Challenge Group and Be More Business Savvy!

may17botmblogfooter.JPG
Zigler_quote_450x450_keyline.jpg

By Lisa Sharer


If you've read our previous article Marketing 101 for Photographers, you may have a general idea of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Now, let's break it down to exactly how it works, and what you can do to optimize your websites for search engines... and ultimately get more clients from improved search results.

Top Level Search Engine Marketing Factors

You probably know of some widely used search engines like Google.com, Yahoo.com, or Bing.com. These sites decide what rank to give to your website amongst the other photography businesses out there in the world and this directly impacts how far up your studio's name appears in a search results page. How they do that raking is a more involved process that you might want to learn to help you improve your own SEO ranking.

SEO_Checklist_Graphic_1200x1200_New.jpg

Search engines sort the search results they serve based off a few different factors:

  • Content - Does your content match the search of your potential client?

  • Site Structure and Internal Links - Is it user friendly, and do all your links work?

  • Geographical Location - Are you in or nearby the city where the client is looking for photography?

  • Mobile Optimization - Is your site easy to use on a mobile device (phone, tablet, e-reader, etc.)?

  • Loading Time - How long does it take for your site to load its content (photos, videos, etc.)?

  • Social Signals - Are you getting traffic from social media platforms?

Search engines have "bots" or "crawlers" that visit websites and check each of the items above. Once they have tested those items they then compare your website to other similar websites. Your ranking will depend on how you fare against those sites, which is why it's imperative that you make sure each item is performing at its best.

Improve Your Ranking with Authority & Relevance

Google.com, Yahoo.com, or Bing.com all use two common criteria within the algorithm used to produce search results. And while they all evaluate them differently, there are two key factors for you to understand as they will help with your optimization: 

Authority- A website shows its level of credibility based off how many links tie it to other websites. This is what search engines call the level of 'online authority' and this is where you look to other sites and influencers to help raise your site's authority. When a search engine finds your site through an outside link, it's showing it that you have enough authority that other people/sites trust your content. Beware though, it's not the quantity of links that helps you but their quality. For example, a direct link from PPmag.com would fare better than JoeSchmoPhotography.net.

Relevance-  The content on your site must be relevant to photography or some version of your expertise (portraiture, wedding, etc.) in order to rank higher. That means you'll need to use keywords that speak directly to what your photography business offers to your prospective clients. It's not just the words on your landing pages that you'll need to keep an eye on, though. You'll also want to make sure that your URLs and text formatting are shouting about your business. For example, when PPA wanted to tell you how insurance could help protect photographers, then we created the link PPA.com/BeMoreProtected. Likewise, to emphasize the content relevance of a blog post, it earn will you more SEO brownie point if you embed keywords in the headlines of your blog post, and it is even better yet if you bold keyword-related phrases. Make sure to keep those small things in mind when creating any kind of content, as they make a large difference to the search engines that crawl your site.

SEO-Graphics-735x184_01.png


Keywords

When someone does a search online, they generally type in a few keywords. For instance, photographer or family portraits in [location]. These keywords are important to make sure you are attracting quality leads. Of course, it would be amazing to rank #1 for photographer, but if you're not Wikipedia, that's not likely to happen. That's why long tail keywords have become more important than ever to your SEO strategy. You'll need keyword lists in order to run search ads, but it's also important to think about these keywords when creating content for your site.

Remember, those search engine results pages are looking for relevant and authoritative information to improve your ranking. So you will want to include information and keywords that are specific to your specialty and locale. Rather than just "portrait studio," maybe you'll want to include things like "outdoor family photography in [city]" or "high school senior photography in [area]," etc.

Most photographers overlook the power and importance of long tail keywords. Getting by on the basic short tail keyword is fast and takes little to no research. So, of course, we want to get things done quick and easy. However, if you take that route you're missing out on a huge opportunity. Optimizing for long tail keywords will make your site stand out over the quick solution photographers.

SEO-Graphics-735x184_03_New.png

Content is King

If you know or have even met anyone in the online marketing world, we can guarantee they've said this at least a thousand times (and you've probably heard it at least once). Content is King. Gone are the days of dial up and Encyclopedia Britannica door-to-door salesmanship. People use the World Wide Web daily for work and for pleasure. Hungry minds are looking for education, news, social interactions, and of course, information gathering and shopping. A trusted website is going to capture those hungry minds ahead of any bells and whistles that you can sound off.

This means you need more than your homepage and gallery. You need to include content on your website that is engaging and valuable. And that content has to be 'relevant' to the searches of your potential clients. So, how do you easily add this essential content to your site? Through blogging. Having a regular blog with new and continuing content will not only delight clients looking for an added value to a site visit, but it also helps improve your search ranking.

Even if writing isn't your strong suit, blogging is a good way to relate to your clients, make you a real human being, and again help with your rankings. We do recommend having someone proof read for you if the copy is more than a couple of paragraphs long, but you are in the visual business! Use this to your (business') advantage and share behind the scenes photos, or selfies with clients, or location scouting shots by adding captions that show that you are who you and your clients say you are! Here are a few tips and ideas for blog content:

  • Added Value - Don't just write a bunch of words because you can. Think about what would really add value for your clients and go nuts! (How to prepare for a session, organizing the family for the portrait, best grooming tips for your puppy's first photo, what not to wear and why, etc.)

  • Compare - Look at the top 10 photography sites that you currently aspire to rank with. Take a look at how they used your keywords (frequency, position, etc.) and compare that to your current content.

  • SEO_Goldfish_1200x1200.jpgBe Engaging - A white page with black text is going to put most everyone to sleep. Make sure that you include photos, graphics or videos, if you can, but also remember to use bullet points and headlines (ahem, look at this blog) to help organize the content and guide the reader through your content.

  • Get To the Point - along with the age of super-fast internet, also comes people's super-short attention spans. Use enough detail to get your point across, but also get to the point quickly.

  • Have Fun - If you're not having fun with your content, it will show. People enjoy a good personal, conversational tone, and they will read more if they feel that in your words. From Throwback Thursdays #TBT, behind the scenes, bloopers or plain fun shots, people will get to know you better, making them come to like you more each time you make them smile, so have fun with them!


Stay Ahead of the SEO Game

All search engines and their bots are getting more and more complex because they're trying to think more and more like humans would think by using artificial intelligence to help answer your online searches. So rather than changing your site and content constantly to try and improve your ranking, put your hard work into the relevance of the content you create. That's what artificial intelligence will be looking for as well.

SEO_Robot_1200x1200.jpgAs you learn more about optimization and search engines, you'll start reaching that perfect client because you will be more liked by social media platforms, you will have more visitors on your website, and you'll have more followers on your blog. All these are indicators that your online presence as a photographer is trustworthy (relating to you online authority) and likeable (relating to the relevance of the content you push online) and, as we opened this article, people who like you who will do business with you. This fact of life also applies to Bing, Yahoo and Google who will improve your search ranking once they trust you and see that you are relevant in among photographers with in your area.

And as we've said in previous articles, test, test, test! If something isn't working, you can only fix it by trying something else. Just don't forget that you have plenty of marketing resources right at your fingertips with PPA's See The Difference® tools. Work on your website and blog to get more visits, and rock those See The Difference tools to be more relevant and start capturing more sales.




Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lisa Sharer_Profile.jpg
About the author:
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 Bethany Clark

PPmag image.jpg
Are you eager to steer your photography business more towards printed work? It's not as hard as you think, and there's plenty of help available to get you where you want to be! 

Get inspired by this article on Professional Photographer magazine titled "How to Foster a Portrait Business on Wall Art Sales", and also join the PRINT Movement


may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Chris Homer

Beginning May 22, photographers can enter their work in PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC). Entering the IPC is one of the best ways to improve your photography - especially when you choose to get your images critiqued by an official IPC juror. You'll get a recording of a judge going through each image you've entered in the photo competition, explaining how it stacks up against the 12 elements of a winning image, and what you could have done to take your image to the next level if you fell a little short!

To give you an idea of the types of things you can learn from a critique at IPC, check out this one from last year's competition. This is "To Reach the Skies" by Umamaheswara Ra Kalapatapu being critiqued by Gabriel Alonso.


Having a judge take time to give you personal advice on how to improve a specific image is a priceless opportunity to take your images to the next level! 

The judging for IPC 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 still be accepted with a late fee through July 6, 2017 by 5pm ET. 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 early to beat the crowds and save some money. Good luck!


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.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

iStock_81157691_XLARGE_1.jpg
Last week was a pretty crazy one on Capitol Hill (as they mostly are lately) and, lost in the shuffle, was the fact that the companion bill to H.R. 1695, the bill PPA's Grassroots Team lobbied to get through the House, has now been introduced in the Senate! 


"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today introduced the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, which makes the Register of Copyrights a presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed position. This legislation is the Senate companion to H.R. 1695, which passed the House of Representatives last week by an overwhelming vote of 378 to 48.  It is the product of bicameral, bipartisan discussions led by these Senators and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers.

The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act makes important changes to the selection process for the head of the U.S. Copyright Office, known as the Register of Copyrights.  Specifically, the legislation requires the Register to be nominated by the President of the United States and subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.  It would limit the Register to a ten-year term that is renewable by another presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. The legislation would establish a panel consisting of Members of Congress and the Librarian of Congress to recommend at least three individuals to the President for the position. It would require that the Register be capable of identifying and supervising a Chief Information Officer or similar official responsible for managing information technology systems. Finally, the legislation clarifies that the mandatory deposit requirements for collection at the Library of Congress will remain the same.

Grassley, Feinstein, Leahy and Hatch look forward to working with the Senate Rules Committee on legislation to improve the selection process for the position of Register, and they remain committed to further efforts towards modernization of the Copyright Office.

Bill text is available HERE."

PPA will keep you updated every step along the way, as the Bill now goes to one of several Senate Committees vying for the chance to spearhead the Senate's changes to the House version of the bill.

Stay tuned and ready to activate by signing up for PPA's Grassroots Action Team at PPA.com/Grassroots!

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

PV_New-Video_AndyMarcus_05-08-17.jpgWhether you need a little inspiration or a dash of encouragement, PhotoVision is the place for you. PhotoVision is a collection of informative and inspiring videos from some of the greatest photography professionals in the world. You get an all-access, behind-the-scenes look into the minds of photography's biggest names, and the best part is, it's FREE for PPA members.

The newest addition to the PhotoVision library is "Mandarin Oriental Hotel" with Andy Marcus, M.Photog.Cr. Andy photographs a wedding couple in the lofted garden of a Manhattan skyscraper. He then goes inside to photograph them in silhouette against the NYC skyline. He also discusses the importance of assistants and how to best utilize them in an effective manner.

This video is currently available on PhotoVisionVideo.com for all PPA members. If you're not a member, join PPA today and get access to over 500 videos included with your membership. So what are you waiting for? Be More Inspired today! 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG
By Bethany Clark

Weekly_Top_Ten.jpgThe first weekend in May has arrived, and hopefully the weather is gorgeous where you are. Pour yourself a nice glass of lemonade, relax on the porch, and check out ten of the best photography blog posts this week!

ADVOCACY: Though H.R. 1695 passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support on April 26, there is still more left to this fight. The bill now heads to the Senate side, where more scrutiny (and changes) are likely to happen. Learn more in this article from PPA Today.

EXPLORE: Though it's tempting to look up a place on Google Images to see if it's photogenic before you visit it, the author of this Fstoppers article urges against taking cues on the creative potential of a location from casual tourists, or even other photographers. Go see it for yourself!

TECH TALK: You might be surprised at how many photographers' websites are very much behind the times. (In fact, yours might be one of them!) Here are a few do's and don'ts - from such as making sure your website is easily viewed on mobile devices, to having easy navigation, to SEO tips - that will quickly bring your site into the 21st century.

STORYTELLING: One of the differences between a great image and a snapshot is storytelling. If your picture doesn't narrate anything, it won't serve any purpose. Take a look at these 3 tips for stronger images that tell a story. 

PROTECTION: PPA members, there have been two big changes to the indemnification trust agreement, and both affect claims regarding data loss. Learn more about them on PPA Today.

EDITING: If you're not sure how to properly sharpen your images in Photoshop, this tutorial from the Photoshop Training Channel is a deep dive into the most common sharpening techniques, complete with an explanation of which ones are better and why.

TECHNIQUE: Many of us overlook the basics! But be sure to keep these essential tips in mind, from having a shot list, to wardrobe prep (thoughtfully chosen and no wrinkles!), to the importance of communication with your subject. See more in this Fstoppers article. 

DIGITAL: Social media can be done so much easier with just a few tweaks to your workflow. Consider pre-writing your captions (complete with hashtags!) and other handy hacks with this Fstoppers article.

SALES: When assembling the tools that represent your brand, like your website, be sure to think carefully about your printed portfolio. As tempting as it is to stay digital, clients like to see great books that strongly showcase a photographer's capabilities. Learn more about building the perfect printed portfolio on RMSP

MARKETING: If you're trying to choose the right email service to manage communication with your clients, your options will vary depending on the size of your email list and the frequency of your email campaigns. Professional Photographer magazine has a few suggestions.


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.


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Autumn Rice


Judging for the International Photographic Competition (IPC) takes place July 30-August 2, 2017, and while that may seem 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, 2017! 


As you enter images, keep in mind that you also have the option to order a critique, during which jurors give you advice that will improve your future work -- tips which could land your 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, in detail, how you can take your images to the next level. 


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 "Pink Elegance" by Suzanne Siler, CPP. It's being critiqued by Janel Pahl, M.Photog.Cr., API.



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! 


Important dates:


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


This year's IPC has some new rules, so click here to view the Photographic Open rules and the Artist rules, or check them at PPA.com/IPC


And don't forget to enter your images early to beat the crowds and save some money!



iStock_000003572051small.jpg
By Sidra Safri

PPA members, there have been two big changes to the indemnification trust agreement, and both affect claims regarding data loss: 

  1. A data loss claim will no longer be filed unless you have been a member in good standing for at least 30 days. This change was put into place to prevent fraud and prevent people from taking advantage of the indemnification trust.  
  2. The indemnification trust will now cover data loss that occurred internationally. However, if the data cannot be recovered it will become a dissatisfaction claim, and all US and Canadian laws will apply. As a reminder, the indemnification trust will not cover any lawsuits brought outside of the US, Canada, or their territories. 

For more information, download the new trust agreement here.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Customer Cre at csc@ppa.com, or PPA's Government Affairs Manager Sidra Safri at ssafri@ppa.com. 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG
by Sidra Safri
iStock-462985127.jpg

Drones have become wildly popular in the last few years, especially after the introduction of the drone regulations in August of 2016. As more and more people have purchased a drone, the amount of close calls with planes have dramatically increased. To combat these close calls the FAA, along with industry leaders and other governmental agencies and departments, is testing various drone detection systems. 

So far these tests have occurred at:
  • Atlantic City International Airport
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • Eglin Air Force Base
  • Helsinki Finland Airport
  • Denver International Airport
  • Dallas Forth-Worth Airport
Currently, drone detection technology is working with radars, radio frequencies, and electro-optical systems to see which combinations would be the most effective. 

As the FAA continues to gather information, we hope these detection methods set the foundation for a safe and effective way to locate drones near airports. As a reminder, it is always necessary to get prior permission to fly a drone near an airport, and contact air control tower to notify them of your drone flight. It is also best to check with FAA's app B4UFly prior to takeoff for any other advisories. 

Head to PPA.com/Drones for further drone info! 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Autumn Rice

At PPA we want to help you grow your business. And what better way to do that, than to add your studio information to the Find-A-Photographer database? The Find-A-Photographer database on PPA.com is a resource that allows professional photographers to display information about themselves and their business in front of a captive audience of prospective clients. 

Every PPA member is listed in the Find-A-Photographer database, but not all listings are created equal! Did you know that?  You can indeed make your profile pop and be much more convincing by updating it. It's completely free to upgrade your profile; you just have to do it! 

To upgrade your Find-A-Photographer profile (again, it's free!) follow these simple steps:

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for My PPA.png
1. Log in to PPA.com/My-PPA 
2. Once logged in, click on My PPA
3. Scroll down to Find-A-Photographer
4. Click Update Your Find-A-Photographer Profile and then you can:
    • Add additional information to your profile page
    • Create up to 4 photo albums
    • Upload up to 8 images to each album
    • Upload a headshot or logo
    • Preview your listing
5. Once you make your changes, be sure to enable your listing. It's a super-simple step, but if you don't do it, your updated profile won't be visible to the public (you'll only have a standard listing in the Find-a-Photographer search.)

There are other simple tools to make your business more visible and recognizable. Hop to the See The Difference resource section on PPA.com to find what works for your business. PPA is here to help you Be More Proactive.

Become a member to be a part of the Find-A-Photographer database and Be More Visible today!

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2016. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG

Super1Day_Map_1200x1200.jpg
Super 1 Day is here!!! Well, it's May 8-22, 2017 but your friends at PPA are already deep into planning the next and subsequent rounds of day-long photography workshops....and we need your help. PPA needs your images! 

We'd love to have images of the class-- the various locations, the hands-on experience, and the camaraderie between you photographers would be a great way to showcase Super 1 Day to those who have never participated before, those who are on the fence, and for those interested in teaching or taking a class in the future. 

Please take and send along to us any images you feel comfortable sharing. We're looking for photos that depict your class, your craft, and your creativity for Super 1 Day! These images would potentially be used to help promote and advertise for future Super 1 Days, so please be sure to submit images that you would be comfortable having appear on social media.

You can send your photo files to PPA's Education Coordinator at Lbradley@ppa.com. 

Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG

Thumbnail image for iStock-537021780.jpg
Be careful! It's been brought to our attention that there is a new virus scam going around in members' inboxes. Don't open any suspicious emails from UPS or FEDEX! 

Here are links where you can read about these viruses and see examples of the email content



How can I tell if it's fake?
Typically, the "From" address is not a standard UPS/FedEx format email address. Or, there will be letter substitutions such as "O" for "0" or "1" for "I" in the email address. In the message body, hover your mouse over the tracking number link and the true web address is revealed - if it's not ups.com or fedex.com, then it's fake.

What happens if I click on it? 
If you click on the message link, it could encrypt the entire contents of your hard drive and possibly spread to any shared network you're on. Encrypted files are unrecoverable. 

What if I already clicked on it?
You may or may not see anything happening right away, but if the response you get is unexpected--act quickly! Unplug the internet cable from your laptop or PC, reboot your computer, clear your cache and run a virus scan as soon as possible. Even if it is a false alarm, you've done no harm - so don't react too slowly to a perceived threat.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG

by Tristin Vaccaro


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

Aside from the 500+ photography tutorial videos covering several topics, PhotoVision also unlocks a free video, each month, for non-subscribers to take advantage of great learning opportunities. This month's video is "Products that Sell" with Sue Bryce.

To be a successful photographer, you must have a firm understanding of sales, pricing, and the products of your business. In this video, Sue Bryce shares her own philosophies and the tried-and-true sales techniques she has learned over the years, including her two favorite products to sell to her clients. Additionally, Sue explains the psychology behind the placement of your middle package to achieve your desired average sale while still keeping your price list simple and clean to improve your overall sales. 


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!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Autumn Rice

FB Square_1.jpg
If you're interested in learning how to use lighting and lighting tools to improve your photographs, then this webinar is for you!
 
Join Tony L. Corbell, Cr.Photog., API as he discusses how you can best use photographic lighting to truly bring out the optimum quality in a portrait session. Light-shaping tools will be discussed as a major contributor to the creative process. With the use of numerous examples and diagrams, Tony will help attendees understand the importance of truly knowing our equipment. Softboxes, beauty dishes, umbrellas are all terms we have become familiar with; what we need to know is WHEN to use each of these tools and, perhaps as important, their exact placement.

This webinar is FREE and open to both PPA members and non-members alike, so register now and tune in tomorrow, May 4, 2017, at 2:00 pm ET!

may17botmblogfooter.JPG
by Sidra Safri 
IMG_2964.JPG

On April 26th the House of Representative passed H.R. 1695 with overwhelming bipartisan support. This is huge victory for not only the modernization of the Copyright Office (located within the Library of Congress, pictured here) but for photographers across this country. This would not be possible without the many letters photographers and creative artist sent, and the support of many Representatives, including Representative Chu (D-Ca), Representative Collins (R-GA), Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA), and Ranking Member Conyers (D-MI). 

It is important to remember, H.R 1695 getting passed the House of Representatives is only half the fight. The bill now heads to the Senate side, where it is going to be a much harder fight. The Senate will examine the bill in various committees and go through the bill with a fine tooth comb. It is also possible for the Senate to come up with its own version of H.R 1695, which will then have to head back to the House for a vote again. 

However the Senate decides to precede it is absolutely imperative to continue to send letters, but this time to our Senators. We need to make sure that the voices of photographers and other creative artists are heard as you demand for the Copyright Office to step into the 21st century.

Stay tuned for "Go" time in the Senate with those letters and calls. And be sure to sign everyone you know up at PPA.com/Grassroots

Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG
theweddingconsultationvideothumbnail_frame.jpg
PPAedu has an extensive library filled with hundreds of educational videos on the topics that interest you. Aside from being entertaining, these videos are packed with loads of information to help you brush up on, or learn more about photography.

The only way to access these helpful videos is through your PPA membership. As a PPA member you can access these videos anywhere, anytime. If you're not a member, stay tuned every month when PPAedu releases a video that's open for everyone to access! Be sure to hurry because you'll only be able to access the video for that month!

This month's release is "The Wedding Consultation" with Carrie Wildes. A client relationship is a two-way street, and in this class, you'll learn how to handle any potholes or roadblocks that might arise. Instructor Carrie Wildes tells you, step by step, how to conduct an effective, professional wedding consultation so that you and the client can know if it's a good fit and thereby build a good relationship.

Non-members will have access to this video the entire month of April, 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!

Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG
by Tristin Vaccaro

PPA's District Competitions may be over, but the International Photographic Competition (IPC) is right around the corner! Photographic competitions are a fun way to improve upon your work while also pushing yourself to BE MORE! 

When you enter any kind of photographic competition, you're given the opportunity to have your work critiqued by official and qualified IPC judges. While this might seem a bit daunting, it's a great way to see how your photography matches up with your peers, learn more about the 12 Elements of a Merit Image, and receive customized critiques of your images. 

When you enter images in the IPC, you're also competing for the opportunity to be featured in PPA's Loan Collection book, earn merits that go towards earning your photography degree, and be honored at Imaging USA!

With IPC entries opening on May 22, you only have a few more weeks to get your best images ready for submission. Fear not, though, as PPA is here to help you be as prepared as possible. That's why we've provided you with IPC critiques from the previous year, so you'll have 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

Check out this 2016 IPC critique of the image "Interior Dogerator" by Heike O'Day, being critiqued by Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP.

   

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

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

Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Autumn Rice

201705-header-yuck,-i-hate-psketti_1050_591_75_5d927fc68c157f75_s.jpg
With the Print Movement on the rise, now is a better time than ever to follow the business model laid out by Suzanne Deaton. After being a registered nurse for 11 years, Suzanne found her true passion in photography on a whim. She joined PPA, took advantage of educational opportunities, and decided to pride her business on producing tangible products that clients can appreciate as art. Today, she operates a successful studio focused on wall print and in-person selling.

Read about Suzanne's journey to printed photography and learn her tips for a successful print business in "How to Foster a Portrait Business on Wall Art Sales" on PPmag.com.

Thumbnail image for may17botmblogfooter.JPG
By Chris Homer

By now, you've heard that PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) is right around the corner, July 30 - August 2 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA. You may be wondering, "What exactly are the judges looking for in a photograph?"

If you've been asking yourself that question and would like to learn how to become a judge for PPA's International Photographic Competition or District Photographic Competitions, sign up to attend the Judges Workshop!

Held at the same time, same place as the IPC, this workshop will demystify the world of image judging. You'll explore the ins and outs of what makes a print "merit worthy" and observe the competition process and protocol. You'll even get the chance to mock-judge images to learn by doing, and you'll leave this course confident in your ability to identify those merit images. 

By learning how to judge a photograph for the IPC, you'll also pick up some tips on how to improve your own photography! Don't miss out on this chance to learn the judging process inside and out. Space is limited, so register for the Judges Workshop today!

And don't forget that entries for the IPC open May 22, so start getting your images ready for competition as well!


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.

may17botmblogfooter.JPG

By Autumn Rice
hro_business_webinars.jpg
PPA always has the latest in photography news and education, and this month there are a few webinars that you just can't miss! PPAedu webinars are filled with useful information from credible industry experts about the most popular topics in the business.  From creative techniques that make your photos stand out, to how to run a top-notch photography business, we've got the webinars for you. And if life calls and you have to miss a scheduled live session, never fear. All live webinars are included in the PPAedu course library.
Here's a first look at what's on tap for this month's webinars!

Between Light and Shadow: In this webinar, Tony Corbell will discuss how you can best use photographic lighting to truly bring out the optimum quality in a portrait session. Light-shaping tools will be discussed as a major contributor to the creative process. With the use of numerous examples and diagrams, Tony will help attendees understand the importance of truly knowing our equipment. Softboxes, beauty dish, umbrellas are all terms we have become familiar with. What we need to know is WHEN to use each of these tools and perhaps as important, their exact placement.

Turn New Clients Into Lifelong Clients Before Their First Session!:  Struggling to create a lifelong relationship with your clients? Join instructor Kim Hartz as she discusses how to leverage the goodwill of past clients for powerful referrals. She will also reveal ways to uncover and easily overcome your client's objections and hesitations so they won't even consider working with another photographer. Find out the simple-but-powerful additions you can make to your client on-boarding process, creating a lasting impression and an out-of-this-world customer experience, and tips for creating genuine connection with your clients to help build a solid relationship based on mutual respect and trust. You'll take away all of this information on the secret of how to keep your clients coming back!

Making a Life and Living as a Fine Art Photographer: In this one-hour presentation, acclaimed photographer/artist Thomas Dodd will talk about the importance of influences and intentions, how to market yourself online and off, how to find, approach and work with galleries and other facets of the business of fine-art photography.

These webinars are a sure fit for your photography education, so don't forget to register. Visit PPA.com/Webinars to sign up today!  

may17botmblogfooter.JPG



About this Archive

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

April 2017 is the previous archive.

June 2017 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Live Chat is closed