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PPA Today

By Chris Homer

This new video is part of a series that shows off beautiful/talented/awesome PPA members. PPA photographers like you are speaking out more and more about their way of coping with the changes in the industry, what they are doing about it and how they are using PPA along the way. The Faces of PPA series is there to market and show you off (take advantage of it!). This new Behind the Camera series is PPA showing YOU off... but this time, with video! 

Our first episode featured PPA member, portrait photographer, Jessica Williams. If you missed it, take a look to see how mentoring helped her take her business to the next level, feeds her passion for photography, and how she's using PPA to be more.

PPA is a nonprofit that's here to help its photographers/members be more. In the video below, PPA member and senior portrait photographer Sharma Ferrugia talks about her beginnings in photography, why she loves making a difference with high school seniors and how Imaging USA has opened her horizons! As a photographer, what are YOU doing to be more?





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


By Bridget Jackson, CPA, PPA Business manager

As you look to 2015, it's important to assess where you've been and where you want to go. It's impossible to achieve your goals if you don't have a plan to get there.

Here are 6 things you can do in 2015 to meet your financial goals:
By Chris Homer

We're back at it again with our favorite photography posts of the week. Take a look and seeblogroundup_1212.jpg what you can use to improve your photography business. And forget the naysayers, photography is anything but dead. Check these out:

1. The Portrait Era is Over!
INSPIRATION: How many times have you heard another photographer complain that people no longer want wall portraits, just digital files? Well, this post from the Million Dollar Photographer points out how that simply isn't true! If you've had this feeling before, check it out and see why you shouldn't give up on these timeless products.

2. Peter Lik Sets World Record

PHOTOGRAPHY GOOD NEWS: Imaging USA keynote speaker Peter Lik has set a world-record for selling the most-expensive photograph ever. His image "Phantom" sold for an astounding $6.5 million! Be sure to head over to Peter's blog to see the image. You can also see him speak in person in Nashville! Peter will host a special program at Imaging USA 2015 where he'll share stories from his remarkable career. Plus, you'll be able to browse an exhibit of his work during the Imaging Expo.

3. How I Shot a Time-Lapse of a Large Thunderstorm Rolling Through Sydney
KNOW-HOW: If you shoot storm photography, you won't want to miss this post on PetaPixel. Photographer Matthew Vandeputte explains how he created a time-lapse of a super storm moving through Sydney, Australia. He details everything from camera set-up to post-production. Check it out!

4. Dramatic Lighting | Tips from Hollywood
LIGHTING: Do you want to create more dramatic lighting in your images? PhotoFocus recently spoke with a Hollywood photographer on creating dramatic light and recorded the conversation. You'll find some amazing lighting tips here!

5. Funny Business: 25 Portraits of the Funniest People On the Planet
INSPIRATION: Fstoppers has a collection of creative photos from Seth Olenick of various comedians-- from Zach Galifianakis to Jane Lynch and more. Take a look and get inspired for future portrait sessions.

6. 6 Tips for Photographing Dogs in Action
PET PHOTOGRAPHY: If you're thinking of getting into the pet photography market, or if you want to create better shots of dogs running and playing, check out this post from Digital Photography School. Fast track your pet photography skills with some quick tips for how to get those great (and furry) action shots!

7. From Above - Astronaut Photography with Don Petit
FOR FUN: As a professional photographer, you've probably photographed in tons of crazy places. Something tells us that you've never shot in outer space though! This video interview from SmugMug Films, featuring astronaut/photographer Don Petit, talks about the challenges of photographing in outer space. It's a fascinating watch.

8. Lightroom Retouching Tip: Fixing Hotspots
RETOUCHING: If you've struggled with 'hotspots' - shiny areas on your portrait subject's face - this post might have a solution for you. Lightroom Killer Tips has provided a video tutorial on how you can remove these troublesome spots.

9. 20 Creative Photography Tumblr Blogs You Should Follow
CREATIVITY: As a photographer, you're probably always looking for new sources of inspiration. That's why we loved this post on Digital Photo Buzz. You'll find a list of great photography blogs to follow (in addition to this one of course) to keep your creativity flowing!

10. Infographic: 36 Ways to Make Money as a Photographer
MONEY-MAKING TIPS: Feeling stuck in a rut? Take a look at this infographic from Photography Concentrate to remind you of all the ways you can make money as a photographer. The post also looks at some of the emerging photography markets you might want to dive into!

There you have it, our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs do you enjoy? Let us know on theLoop.


  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. 


How my business partner has been driving me around, driving me crazy, and driving our business forward for ten years.

By Mariah Ashley

You know your job is fun when your clients provide you with a golf cart for tooling around and snapping their destination wedding. Anytime there is a golf cart involved, work is a good time, right? The only problem that could arise in this scenario is if there are two Snap Girls and only one golf cart.

Oooh, instant conflict! What to do? Who will hold the keys to the chariot? Do we flip a coin? Draw straws? Joust?

No we do not.

Trish drives. It does not need to be discussed.

Easy as that?

Easy as that.

That's how it's been since we joined our businesses 10 years ago. Other photographers often ask, "How do you do it? How do you find the perfect business partner? It would be so nice to break the isolated existence of the companionless photographer but how do you integrate someone else into your existing business?"

I have some unconventional advice on the subject. These are my five tried and true rules for choosing a business partner.

If there's one thing we can guarantee about Imaging USA 2015, it's that this year's speaker lineup is probably the best ever. Last time we highlighted Steve Kozak and found out, amongst other things, that he's a Johnny Cash man at heart. This week we're back with Carl Caylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP and his class, Hands On Photography: Natural Light Portraiture. In this week's interview with Carl, you'll get why he dove into natural light, where he draws his artistic inspiration from, and who he believes let the dogs out. 

Why do you love natural light so much? 
I like natural light because it is my comfort zone. I have always used natural light for my photo journalistic work and it seemed to transition well into the portrait world. I guess it has always been something that I could see and then record in my pictures. The strobe lights involved me constantly recording and rechecking to see if it worked--natural light is just so much easier for me.

What can people expect to take away from your class?
Photographers will get hands-on experience and feedback with live models. They will learn how to see light and determine where to position their subjects in relation to that light. They will also learn what is possible with the light they find. Light dictates what patterns are possible within the given background that corresponds to a scene--the relationship between the subject, the available light, and the background is something I'll expand upon more at Imaging USA.

What is the one thing about using natural light that most photographers initially struggle with?
The fact that just because you're outside doesn't mean you should throw away portrait lighting. We can still achieve wonderful light patterns that are flattering to the human figure. Natural light doesn't mean getting a correct exposure. Be a professional, be an artist. Give more than just a picture. Create...yes, create a portrait.

Where do you draw your inspiration from as a photographer?
Life in general is a good place to begin. But I draw inspiration from many places. Movies, ads, music, art, and other photographers are great sources of inspiration. For the last 19 years photographic competition has been my biggest source of inspiration. Although I took a few years off of being really serious about it, last year was a good comeback for me. It made me excited again and I played hard. It's important to give print competition a try, because you might find that it pushes you to be a better photographer.

What brought you to the world of photography?
My aunt and uncle are very talented photography hobbyists. From cameras to darkroom work, I was lured in by their love of the craft at an early age. My high school wrestling coach was also the photography teacher and yearbook advisor, which turned out to be a great combination for me, and I instantly was hooked. I went to college for Technical Communications Management with an emphasis in Photography and a minor in Business. While I value what I was taught in school, I learned much of what I know about photography today simply by spending time with talented photographers in classes and seminars. 

What's your favorite image you've ever captured?
I'll let you know when it happens.

What's one image you want to create?
I would love to work on a movie set doing portraits for the marketing end of the movie. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty would have been a great assignment!

Who let the dogs out?
I did. It was her time to do her thing. Seriously--her name is "Canon's Image Stabilizer," we call her Izzie for short. Before that we had "Caylor's Kodak Moment," Kodak for short. She was our photo "lab".

What do you enjoy about photographic competitions?
Competition itself. Regardless of if it is a sport or an art contest, competition gets the blood flowing. You create great friends in competition. You learn new things. You push yourself to new levels. It's not that I'm too competitive; I just think that it is important to always do your best. If you make sure to do that you will always be a winner.

Elvis, Johnny Cash, or Jack White?
Who is Jack White?

Be sure to come see Carl at Imaging USA 2015! His preconvention class--Hands On Photography: Natural Light Portraiture is available at $79. You can sign up for additional Hands On Photography pre-convention courses for $129 for two classes, and $159 for three classes.

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The first full week in December is in the books - how are you holding up? If you need a little "you time" settle in with these 10 great blog posts from around the web!

COMPETE: We get it; photographic competitions can be tough and intimidating. But they are also extremely rewarding, educational and you'll make more friends than you'll know what to do with. Christine Walsh-Newton shares where you can get your start and why it's so important. 

REALITY TV: In our favorite photography series of all time, Caleb Shane and Jacob Slaton went head to head in Little Rock with some interesting REFOCUS restrictions. See who took home the title this round and subscribe so you always are current with your episodes! 

BETTER BLOGGING: If improving your blog is on your list of resolutions for 2015, this is a must-read from Lightstalking. Do the exact opposite of everything in this post and you'll be making substantial improvements - hey, you might even end up in this round up!

POST CAPTURE: It's true, sometimes cover models can be a little heavy on the post-process work. What happens when you take four ladies off the street and give them the same treatment? Their reactions are interesting and might hit home. 

POSING: If you're sick and tired of static looking portraits, this post from Digital Photography School is for you! Get more creative shots with a few simple tricks - you'll be thrilled with what you can accomplish.

CAREER ADVANCEMENT: Want to get up to pro status? You might be asking the wrong questions! Here are some great examples from photographer Jenna Martin of how changing up how you talk to other photographers could get you the answers you really need.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS: How do you capture the holidays? Just having a Christmas tree in your photos won't cut it anymore. Check out these three great tips from Love That Shot to beef up your holiday repertoire. 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Have you taken the time to look at how far you've come as a photographer? Even two years can be the difference between "Meh" and "Wow!". Join Sasha Juliard on a journey looking back and the dramatic changes that can happen. 

INSPIRATION: Peter Lik is coming to Imaging USA (and you should be too)! He'll be presenting a key note address, along with receiving PPA's Lifetime Achievement Award and let's just say this high energy Aussie is a little excited. Check out this great video from when he recently sat down with PPA President Susan Michal.

SOCIAL PURPOSE: Past Imaging USA instructor, Jeffrey Shaw, sat down with Ted Coiné to discuss the human side of social media. This podcast will help you reframe how you look at social, and all of the good it can do! Give it a listen!

There you have it, our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs do you enjoy? Let us know on theLoop.  

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs with Witless Protection around the Atlanta area and at Dad's Garage Theatre Company. When she's not tweeting/instagramming/facebooking all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.


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Have you heard? Peter Lik is coming to Imaging USA. Yes, that's Peter Lik, M.Photog., world-renowned landscape photographer, multi upon multi-million dollar print seller and host of From The Edge with Peter Lik, which aired for one season on The Weather Channel and asked the question, "How far are you willing to go to get the perfect shot?"

Peter will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award Tuesday night at PPA's Award & Degree ceremony. He will also, for the first time ever, open up to a crowd of photographers and share his experience and insider's view to his showbiz-size operation. This high-energy Aussie definitely has some stories to tell so make sure you don't miss An Evening with Peter Lik, Monday at 8 p.m.

And if you're wondering what a multi-million dollar print looks like, some of Peter Lik's amazing (and supersized) work will be on display next to the International Photographic Exhibit. See what all the buzz is about Sunday-Monday, 8am - 8pm and Tuesday, 8am - 3:30pm.

Peter recently sat down with PPA president, Susan Michal, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, to share his excitement for Imaging USA. Take a look!


Rooms for Imaging USA are filling up fast. In fact, as we are publishing this post Opryland is already at 80% capacity! So don't miss your chance to stay at the center of it all.  

Register for Imaging USA and reserve your room today. Don't forget, if it's your first year with PPA your registration is free and for everyone else, early bird registration saves you $50 through December 31stSee you in Nashville!


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John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burgers and wishes Taylor Swift would just stop.

 

We've featured well over 200 beautiful, bright Faces of PPA over the past year and we're looking to show off even more! Take a look at some of the members we've featured in the Faces of PPA video below. You can read all about these photographers and why they've joined PPA on the Faces of PPA Gallery.

In addition to the gallery on PPA.com, PPA photographers are highlighted on PPA's Facebook  and Google+ pages. And each month, one of the lucky entries even gets a full page feature in Professional Photographer Magazine!

Want to be part of this ongoing campaign? Be More and submit your information now! 

It's understandable to be a little nervous about entering your photos into competition. It's stressful, it puts you in a vulnerable position, and you never know what the results will be. But as we've heard from PPA members before, the International Photographic Competition (IPC) can be a valuable resource in improving your image quality and technique as a photographer. As a participant in the IPC, we recommend having your images critiqued by an IPC juror, as the feedback you will receive can go a long way in your quest towards being the best photographer you can be.

To encourage you to get a critique and hopefully dissuade some of the fears you may have about the process, here's an example of what you can expect! This image is entitled "Twilight Ride" by Mark Bowers, critiqued by Jeff Dachowski. Video here:
Taking great photographs is just one part of running a successful photography business. You
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 also need to be able to sell those images! That process starts with the consultation with your client before a single photo is taken.

In December, PPAedu is offering "The Portrait Consultation" with Allison Rodgers, CPP for free to all photographers. Allison will help you understand why the consultation is important and how it helps you and your client. So, if you're looking for tips to make your pre-shoot consultations as strong as possible, grab the video today!

Through PPAedu, the online education platform for PPA photographers, you'll find more than 250 videos on both photography technique and business practices to help you grow your studio, be more profitable and be more inspired!

You will also find a quick and easy to use self-assessment tool that will allow you to build a custom-fit learning program. And the best part of all is that as you take more and more classes, you'll be able adjust your program so that you can continue to grow in photography! 

Give it a try! This is a way for photographers to find videos on areas of photography where you could use a refresher course or learn something new. PPAedu is included as part of your PPA membership, so join today to access all the videos. Or, subscribe to PPAedu without becoming a member... you won't get all the membership benefits, but you'll get access to the complete customizable PPAedu library! Go ahead and dive in! It's your time to shine. 


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