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Imaging USA is THE place to kick off a successful new year with 10,000 of your best friends as you party like rock stars alongside fellow photographers. Make new connections, rekindle old friendships and don't forget to bring your camera! 

THE ROARING 20s: PPA CHARITIES 20TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Saturday, January 13, 8-10pm
Governor's Ballroom C, Level 2
Please join us to celebrate PPA Charities 20th Anniversary at the Roaring 20s Casino Night!
VIP & Awards Reception from 6:30-8pm ($100/person)
General Admission 8-10pm ($25/person)
Advanced tickets available at PPAcharities.com and at the door.

Imaging USA Welcome Party
Sponsored by Canon
Sunday, 8 - 11pm
Delta Ballroom A, Level 2
Kick things off in style with your photography friends. Eat, drink & make Music City memories with your fellow Imaging USA-ers. Just remember to bring or wear your full convention badge so you can get in! Those with EXPO ONLY badges or who are guests of attendees may purchase tickets to the parties at Imaging USA Registration or at the door. Oh, and bring your camera for unique photo ops!

IMAGING USA 2018 CLOSING PARTY
Tuesday, Jan. 16, 7-10pm
Delta Atrium 
The perfect cap to your Imaging USA experience! Music, dancing, delicious food and drinks...and don't forget those business cards so you and your new friends can stay in touch!

These are just some of the fun times that await you at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is open now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel!


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By Chris Homer

In-Person sales can be a huge boost to your photography business if done correctly,
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 especially when you're aware of the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Check out "3 In-Person Sales Mistakes You Don't Have to Make" on PPMag.com to learn some common mistakes photographers make when doing in-person sales. 

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


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by Mayo Lawal

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When was the last time you were on theLoop? If you are trying to remember, you should probably head over to see what everyone's buzzing about.

As an exclusive PPA member-only forum, theLoop is a great place for photographers to connect with each other, share information/advice, get image feedback, and overall - a place to go if you need help. This is one of the many great reasons to join PPA today!

Lots of great discussions have been happening, so here are a few of the top posts from the first half of October.

Watermark Complaint

This Looper wants to know if there's anything wrong with putting your logo or watermark on a purchased image. Apparently, a customer expressed his displeasure with the photographer's logo being on the images he paid for.  Even if you don't have an opinion on this, you have got to check out the interesting and insightful feedback from fellow photographers so far!

Finding Headshot Clients

Who would you contact to find out if a company needs headshots of their staff? This Looper is asking if the Human Resources or PR departments are appropriate contacts for this cause. What do you think?

The Trick No One Tells You to Get Through Airport Security with Your Gear - Fast!

If you are thinking of travelling with your gear anytime soon, this Looper has some tips for you based on personal experience - and coming from someone who flew over 50 hours through 8 airports in 6 countries on 3 different continents, you may not want to ignore this one!

Website Company

This Looper wants to change their website, but isn't sure what website company to go with. Do you know any? If not, you can certainly find some in the responses given so far.

Celebrity Protocol

Have you photographed a celebrity before? If so, this Looper is wondering if accepting a "trade" to use her images,with due credit, on their website and social media with thousands of followers, instead of payment is a great idea. Is it?

And there you have 'em, the top posts from theLoop! Check them out, provide some feedback, and perhaps even learn something new! Be sure to visit theLoop frequently as new discussions are posted daily.


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by Steve Furlong 
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For me, Imaging 2017 was equal parts intensive introduction to an exciting new area of photography, a fabulous refresher on a wide variety of established photographic techniques and a very satisfying coalescence of my passions and the continuing themes in my life. To provide a little background, I've spent most of my career as a basic research scientist in the life sciences. However, I knew I wanted to be a scientist on the day a junior high school science teacher introduced my class to developing film in the darkroom. I will never forget watching as that first image magically appeared in the developing bath! As I progressed through my undergraduate and graduate degrees in the life sciences, I always found ways to include my passion for photography. Sometimes I used photography to document research projects. Other times I explored photographic techniques through the microscope. In a few cases, I was even lucky enough to get cover images published along with our publications in scientific journals. (pictured, Harrier Jet Demonstration at Airventure 2015 in Oskkosh, WI)

Fast forward many years (I won't tell you how many), I found myself working in R&D for a pharmaceutical company. By this time, I was mainly sitting in meetings all day and knew that I needed other avenues to explore my creative side. The advent of digital photography provided the perfect outlet and I dove in with both feet. One of my favorite topics as I worked on my digital photography skills was airshow photography. My adult children claim to have been traumatized by the many times I dragged them along to airshows with me! Since I was a child, I was always fascinated with airplanes and doing airshow photography seemed like about the most fun thing I could imagine - until I was offered a training opportunity to become a pilot myself. I took it!          

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Here's where it comes back to Imaging 2017. In 2014, I left the pharmaceutical industry and in 2016 we moved from Wilmington, Delaware back to my wife's childhood home on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. "The Cape" is a fabulous place to do landscape photography and I've done some of that. However, I wanted to again combine my passions and scientific training, so I contacted a local non-profit that works on whale conservation. My offer to them was to help with aerial surveys and photography. To my surprise, they were more interested in me helping them set up a drone program than with anything I could do for them in an airplane.

After purchasing a drone in December, 2016 and becoming FAA certified to fly it, I still had many questions about how best to use this new "camera platform" so I was thrilled to learn about the "Drone Zone" track at Imaging 2017 in San Antonio. I can't say enough about how useful I found the drone presentations. In addition to seeing stunning images produced with this relatively new type of aerial photography, the information provided by the presenters has helped immeasurably as we set up the drone program for this non-profit organization. Almost a year after the San Antonio meeting I am still in touch with some of the presenters to get their suggestions. Incredibly helpful!

(pictured, left, Image of Humpback whales feeding off the coast  of Cape Cod, October 2017. In this feeding behavior whales create a net from bubbles that corrals the baitfish. The image was captured with a Phantom 4 Pro drone.) 
Beyond the drone presentations, the bonus for me at Imaging 2017 was the opportunity to hear so many great presentations on more traditional types of photography and (to my wife's consternation) to be able to add to my photography wish list based on what I saw at the exhibits. I can honestly say that my learning from the San Antonio meeting didn't end there but has really carried throughout the year. Access to Photovision and the other great learning tools online through PPA, which I learned about at the meeting, are particularly valuable.  In short, we are already making our plans to attend Imaging 2018. See you all in Nashville!

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Steve Furlong is a scientist, pilot & photographer and lives on Cape Cod. 





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by Sidra Safri

After the long-awaited introduction of H.R 3945 (the Small-Claims Bill!), PPA is ready to hit the ground running and get it passed through the House! Now we're heading back to Washington D.C. for another round of meetings about the fight for artists' rights.

During our trip to D.C this week we are going to take the opportunity to thank some of our co-sponsors for supporting the Small-Claims bill and express how much it means to photographers. We will also take this opportunity to touch base on what else we can do to help ensure H.R 3945 gets passed through the House as smoothly as possible with continued bi-partisan support.
 
We're going to be meeting with other potential co-sponsors as well, talking to them about Small Claims and the impact it has on photographers who are also small-business owners. Remember, we need as many co-sponsors as we can get. The more co-sponsors a bill has, the more likely it is to pass the House. 

Don't forget to keep contacting your Representative through letters and phone calls by visiting PPA.com/smallclaims and demanding they join the fight for artists' rights!


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By David Eun

We are less than 3 months away from 2018's Imaging USA! As we inch closer to photography's biggest annual convention and trade show, PPA is happy to announce another free giveaway prize for our members!

QUICK HINTS: It's one we've never done before, and this could very well make your day if you enjoy collecting memorabilia.

This week's prizes are Imaging USA 2018 Nashville Pins! The pin's design consists of the Music City's widely recognized guitar handle with "NASHVILLE" running vertically down next to it. In order to win this week's giveaway, let us know in the comment section here where you'll be traveling to Imaging USA from! Furthest location wins!

Leave a comment to win the Imaging USA Nashville Pin, register for Imaging USA 2018 and we'll see you in January!

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Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of the best in photography learning, networking and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13). 

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is going to spend the next several months highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers. 

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Let's Meet...
Hajj Flemings

Hajj is a leading brand strategist; speaker and tech entrepreneur that travels nationally inspiring people and brands to build, launch and grow their ideas.

In 2011, Hajj was one of eight entrepreneurs selected for the CNN's Black in America 4: The New Promised Land Silicon Valley documentary with Soledad O'brien.  It was during the filming of that documentary that he was exposed to the term meritocracy and how the lack of access in the technology space was creating a permanent underclass in communities of color which literally changed the course of his life.  

Hajj founded Brand Camp University an educational platform that is preparing people for the future of work and produces the Brand Camp Summit a national gathering of thought leaders around technology, design and innovation. As an inaugural winner of the Knight Cities Challenge, Hajj founded Rebrand Detroit, a civic design and brand project.  It is a multi-disciplinary collaboration with the residents, community stakeholders, and local government to innovate neighbors nationwide which we are piloting in Detroit. 

His client list includes: Walt Disney, Pitney Bowes, Pfizer, the Detroit Lions, the U.S. Department of Defense, Iowa State University, University of Michigan - Ross School of Business, Davidson College, University of Detroit and more.  He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Mashable and CNN Tech Money on the subject of startups, digital technology and branding.

Speaker Sessions:
Sunday, January 14

Hajj Flemings is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is online now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel! 

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By David Eun

Clients are the lifeblood of any business, and the same applies to you and your photography studio. Convincing them to do business with you, though, isn't as simple as it sounds. Whether you are veteran in the game or a brand-new photographer who just opened up a studio, everyone can use help in bringing new faces through their doors.

So, here are 7 ways to garner more clients:

1) Referrals
• This is the oldest/most practical method in the book. Referrals from loyal customers are cost-efficient ways to gain more clients fairly quickly. Offer incentives, such as punch cards or discounts, to encourage more referrals!

2) Customer Service
• The client experience needs to be top-notch. Not only will that further incentivize current clients to refer you to others positively, but it will also ensure they don't hate you. Even one nasty review on Yelp can tarnish your image.

3) Networking
• With the exception of direct competitors, networking with other photographers and vendors greatly increases your reach in regards to finding prospective clients. Shoot out some emails or leave business cards in person. Network! You can get started on theLoop, PPA's members-only social network.

4) SEO
• Search Engine Optimization plays a significant role in the amount of exposure businesses obtain in the digital realm, which virtually everyone uses. Take a quick - and cheap - SEO course online (there are several great PPAedu videos on the subject you can watch) or hire a professional. It helps a lot.

5) Live Feeds
• Social Media, such as Instagram and Facebook, allows you to host live videos with your followers. You can show your audience behind the scenes work in your next photo shoot or hold a Q&A session. People love connection!

6) Social Media Advertising
• You can run a business without social media presence, but doing so is ill-advised. The world is becoming more and more digital every year, so having a few advertisements on social media platforms gets your name out there immensely.

7) Magazine Advertising
• If you're going to advertise, investing in more traditional methods still works. Make sure to advertise in magazines that are related to your client's interests. Also, double check to see a lead list is also included!

PPA takes pride in seeing its photographers succeed in their business endeavors. People will come up with crazy, unorthodox marketing schemes, which do have their place. But, we believe by following at least these 7 tips, your path to a profitable profession looks clear and straight. Looking for additional ways to help get your name out there and increase business? Check out your FREE See The Difference resources. Not currently a PPA member? Find out more about all the benefits offered to PPA members and how you can join today!

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by James Yates
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It might be Friday the 13th, but it's actually your LUCKY day. The PPA Weekly Roundup is here! Kick back and enjoy your weekend with the best photography articles from around the internet. 

COPYRIGHT: In case you missed it last week! The legislation we've been fighting for has finally hit the floor of Congress. Read about the Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Act (CASE) and contact your congressperson now!

MARKETING: There are many different ways you can use Facebook ads, including building out a mailing list for your photography services. After reading this CurrentPhotographer article, you'll know the difference between Customer Lifetime Value and Cost Per Action and what they could do for your business. 

INSPIRATION: Everyone's journey to full-time freelance is different. FStoppers writer Mike Briggs takes us along on the journey of his first year, from the honeymoon period to the lessons learned. You'll find a lot of inspiration in his ten tips on how to navigate freelance. 

HISTORY: Eddie Adams, the famous photographer who captured the iconic shot of a Vietcong prisoner being executed in the street in 1969, has been teaching a workshop for three decades. This video from CBS Sunday Morning takes a look at  whether people can be taught to create a great photograph.

NETWORKING: Harvard Business Review talks to venture capitalist and entrepreneur Rich Stromback, a master networker, about his "counterintuitive" advice. Including "Don't Care About Your First Impression" and "Sleep From 4-8pm Every Day"...You really need to check these out. Guaranteed to make you rethink how you network as a photographer! This is very timely so you can make even stronger and more meaningful connections at Imaging USA!

PREPARATION: Choosing the best time to transition to full-time professional can be a daunting proposition. Writer Scott Choucino presents five things you must consider before making the decision to be full time. Read these and your own answer will become clearer. 

IMAGING USA: Excited yet for 2018's Imaging USA trade show and convention in Nashville? This video will get you there as you take in all that the world's strongest photography show has to offer!

TECHNOLOGY: DPReview has details on the new AI that can tell how 'good' your photo is, insofar as such things can be analyzed objectively. The software breaks photos down into the categories of Aesthetics, Sharpness, Exposure, Colors and Properties and scores each. What will they come up with next?

ART: Is selling your work "proof" of artistic validation? Or is the selling of your work your business, and how do you receive artistic validation? The Luminous Landscape has this though-provoking article that lists several ways you can gain artistic validation without sacrificing your sales. 

BUSINESS: As you set out to be a professional photographer, you need to know what pitfalls to avoid and how to keep yourself sane and financially healthy. Contrastly has this article up on how to ensure you're creating lasting relationships with clients and not overlooking the little things. 

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


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By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of the best in
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 photography learning, networking and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13). 
 
Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is spending the months leading up to Imaging USA highlighting the speakers.

Let's Meet...
Charleton Churchill
Twitter: charleton_

Charleton Churchill is an adventure wedding photographer who travels along the world's most rugged terrains to document couples adventurously. Charleton recently became the first wedding photographer to document a wedding at Mt. Everest base camp with the first couple recorded in a wedding dress/tux. His work has been featured in the news, in multiple popular photography and wedding magazines, and also on covers, including Digital PhotoPro, Rangefinder, TheKnot, Grace Ormonde, and Professional Photographer, to name a few. Charleton was chosen in SLR Lounge's Top 100 wedding photographers in the USA/Canada 2016, and has won awards including the Sony Impact Award for his humanitarian work in Nepal. He has spoken on both the Nikon and Profoto stages at WPPI, at Mystic Seminars, and speaks across the country at workshops, conferences, and universities. While he enjoys hiking and traveling to extreme regions of the world, he enjoys being with his wife and three girls in their northern California small town.

Speaker Sessions:
Tuesday, January 16

Q&A:

What do you most value in your friends? I value spurring each other on to be better people, honesty, criticism, and challenging each other to be your best.

What did you want to be as a kid when you grew up? Actor or a movie director

What is your most treasured possession? Family first, then the goods in my safe, guns, etc., main RAID drive, and my wilderness survival gear box.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?  I think the biblical motto to "do unto others as you would want them to do unto you" would solve everything.
Most embarrassing moment? Lip syncing "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake with a guitar and tight black leather pants at the 8th grade talent show in front of the school with my band, and my leather pants were so tight, the button popped off and the zipper came down. I had to use my guitar to hide it until the song was over.

If you could have a theme song, what would it be? Anything epic from Hans Zimmer. I listen to Superman Man of Steel, Batman, Dunkirk, Interstellar.

What would be your advice for photographers who are just starting their career?  Depends on their goals, but if they're serious, like any career, they should immerse themselves in learning around the clock, workshops, videos, conventions, seminars, and make notes of everything they learn, and practice, practice, practice until they get it. If you're weak in an area, tackle it. You'll learn as you go.

Who has been one of your biggest artistic influences? "Eye of the Tiger" blasted on my home Klipsch sound system with the 12" subs thumping. And then whatever I'm viewing at the time becomes bigger and my present inspiration.

Charleton Churchill is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is online now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel!


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


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