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PPA Today

By Chris Homer

Last week, we broke the news that the long-awaited FAA regulations relating to Unmanned
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 Aircraft Systems (UAS) weighing less than 55 pounds were announced! With the new regulations, if you want to use a small drone in your photography business you must be certified by the FAA. Here are some more details on becoming certified!

According to the new FAA rules, the estimated out-of-pocket cost for an individual to become certified as a remote pilot with a small UAS rating is $150. This will cover the testing fee.

The required aeronautical knowledge test will cover the following subject areas:

- Regulations applicable to small UAS operations

- Airspace classification and operating requirements, maintenance and inspection procedures, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation

- Official sources of weather and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance

- Small UAS loading and performance

- Emergency procedures

- Crew resource management

- Radio communication procedures

- Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft

- Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol

- Aeronautical decision-making and judgment

- Airport operations.

You'll be able to take the test at more than 700 FAA-approved testing centers. Get more information from the FAA on certification here

And don't forget you can learn even more about the new FAA regulations for drones during PPA's "It's Legal To Use Drones in My Business, Now What?" webinar on July 12 at 2pm ET.

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 Chris Homer

As we count down the days to fireworks and hotdogs, take a minute to check out the top
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 photography blog posts for the week of June 20! 

DRONES/UAS NEWS: The FAA has just announced new regulations regarding the operation of drones that will allow photographers to offer this type of photography to their clients, provided you meet some requirements. Check out the news on the PPA blog!

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRACTS: Contracts can be a tricky thing, especially when dealing with a 'work-for-hire' situation. In this post on Photo District News, lawyers review several editorial photography contracts and break down what some of that confusing language means. You may be surprised! This is a must read for all photographers.

BUSINESS TIPS: If you've ever experienced hard drive failure, you know how stressful it can be to lose all of your images. Help avoid this problem by creating a USB Recovery Drive. Photofocus breaks down the steps in this post. And if hard drive failure still happens to you, don't forget about your PPA member benefit with DriveSavers

TUTORIAL: Whether or not you shoot cityscapes at night, this post from Digital Photography School provides a good tutorial of how to use Luminosity Masks in Photoshop and the results you can get by using them!

BACK TO THE BASICS: Do you understand how the histogram display on the back of your DSLR works and what it can tell you about a photograph you just took? Take a look at these exercises from Picture Correct that will help you understand the histogram! 

By Chris Homer

The early registration deadline for The International Photographic Competition (IPC) is quickly approaching. Be sure to enter your images today by 5pm EST to avoid the additional fee! 

IPC gives photographers the opportunity to improve their work through competition and critiques from some of the most noted photographers in the business. Entering the International Photographic Competition has many benefits, including:

  • Engage with the passionate and supportive photographic competition community 
  • Improve your best work (Raise your hand if you want to get better!)
  • Earn the admiration and recognition of your peers
  • Ultimately improve your business
Your images will be evaluated based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the areas in which you may need improvement. It's an amazing learning experience!

Entering your work in a competition can be scary for first-timers. So, to make it a little easier, here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image is "Determined" by George Austin and is being judged by International Juror Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API.

Take a look back and see how constructive criticism from the judges and application of their feedback can improve your work as a photographer.


We hope this critique will give you a better understanding of what the judges are looking for when scoring your images. Enter your images into the International Photographic Competition today! Registration is open until June 22, 2016 at 5pm EST. Late registration extends to July 7, with an additional fee. Be sure to enter your images by 5 pm EST today to avoid paying the extra fee! The IPC judging dates are July 31-August 4, 2016 and you can stream it live at Stream.theIPC.org. Be sure to request a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art. Familiarize yourself with the rules for the Photographic Open and Photographic Artist categories today at www.PPA.com/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.


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by Lindsey Forson

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The FAA has released its long-awaited new rules for small drone operations! These regulations apply to the use of any unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) weighing less than 55 pounds for any reasons other than for hobby or recreational purposes. The rules, of course, apply to operating small drones as a part of your photography business.  

As expected, the finalized rules are very similar to those which were proposed by the FAA in February 2015. According to these new rules, you will no longer be required to obtain an exemption from the FAA and hold a manned aircraft pilot's license to offer drone photography services. Instead, you will be able to become a certified UAS operator (or "Remote Pilot in Command") by passing a computerized knowledge test at an FAA-approved testing center.  

FAA certified small UAS operators will be required to meet specified criteria (age requirement, English language proficiency requirement, health requirements, etc.), follow instructions for maintaining and inspecting the aircraft, and stay within FAA-specified operational limitations (some of which are summarized below).

Operational limitations include (but are not limited to):
- Daylight-only operations
- Operations in Class G airspace only without permission from air traffic control (in Class B,         C, D, or E with permission)
- Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level
- Maximum airspeed of 100 mph
- UAS may not operate directly over any person not directly involved in the operation

Read the complete regulations from the FAA here and a summary of the rules here. Stay tuned for more information from PPA!

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Lindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!

By Chris Homer 

PPA photographers are a very diverse group of people, but one common thread is their passion for the backup that their peers provide. PPA's YouTube video series, Behind The Camera, features real life professional photographers who share their trials and tribulations, and their relationship with their PPA community. Today it's photographer Walter Eagleton who pitches in.

None of these interviews are scripted or paid for. These are real photographers and members of PPA who value and share the power of their PPA community.

The world of professional photography spreads far and wide, which makes it easy to feel that you have to "go at it alone". PPA's goal is to link professional photographers together, and provide a support system and business backbone to help photographers grow, sustainably.

Watch the video below; there you'll learn how earning a PPA degree has helped Walter to distinguish himself and his business above all his competitors. 


 

Help your photography friends and share this video. The power of being involved and deeply connected goes beyond professional development. It's a support system no one should be left without. You can also view a full playlist of the Behind The Camera Video series on PPA's YouTube channel. Learn more about earning a PPA degree here.


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


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By Autumn Rice

You're a portrait photographer, not a volume shooter, so you don't care about school photography, right? Maybe not. For David Grupa, M.Photog.Cr., and Kristen Grupa, Cr.Photog, CPP, adding high-volume sports photography to their senior portrait business has been a boon to their studio's profitability.

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Read about David and Kristen Grupa's success in "Pumping Up the Volume" on PPmag.com.


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by Lindsey Forson

Drone lawyer, Peter Sachs reported on his website (dronelawjournal.com) this morning that he
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 has obtained a summary of the forthcoming small drone regulations from the FAA (for non-hobby and non-recreational use of UAS) which will reportedly be officially released from the FAA tomorrow. Read more from Forbes here. Stay tuned for updates from PPA regarding the new drone regulations beginning tomorrow. 

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Lindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!


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by James Yates

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We're stuck right smack-dab in the middle of June and it's getting hot out there! Grab a Popsicle, crank up the a/c and take a look at our top blog posts from around the web for the week of June 13. 

PPA Advocacy Team D.C. Updates Parts 1 &
BE MORE ENGAGED: PPA was back on Capitol Hill fighting for a Small Claims Copyright option. Progress has accelerated! Check out the latest details here. 

SPEAK OUT: Have you joined our Action Team? If not, there's no time to waste. Watch this informative video and lend your voice to this historic movement. 

JOIN UP: PPA Member Randy Van Duinen, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, with a plea for all to join the Grassroots Team. 

PASSION V. PAYCHECK: FStoppers has an intriguing op-ed about doing what you love for a living and the reality that some people may thrive with an unrelated day job, pursuing their dreams in their spare time. Is one better than the other? Several links and opinions offered in this thought-provoking read. 

INSIGHT: The Phoblographer with an article on New York-based photographer Aundre Larrow's tips and tricks that could change how you think about portrait photography.


Be sure to enter your images to the International Photographic Competition (IPC) by June 22 by 5pm EST for the lowest price! 

If you've never entered the IPC before, you'll be surprised to learn that past entrants say entering the competition is one of the best ways to improve your skills as a photographer. That's because images are judged by PPA jurors based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. The 12 Elements define what makes an excellent, professional image, so learning how to create while keeping these elements in mind is sure to help you improve as a photographer! And remember, if you aren't continuously improving your skills - you're falling behind other photographers! 

The feedback you can get on the images you enter to the IPC becomes even more valuable if you choose to order critiques on your entries. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. Check out a critique from last year's competition. 

Once you've entered your images, make plans to attend the judging August 1 - 4, 2016 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA. Judging is open to the public and free to attend, so come and adsorb all the judges' comments on the entries - you never know what you might learn! And if you can't attend the judging in-person, you can also stream it all online via Stream.theIPC.org

So, get those images entered by June 22 by 5pm EST for the lowest price! Late registration extends until July 7, but you'll have to pay an additional fee. Enter today and see how competition can help you Be More Skillful!

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


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By Autumn Rice

When news broke of the killing of "Cecil the Lion" animal activists everywhere were outraged. There were hundreds of protests and demonstrations in support of the slain lion. So why did this demonstration cost Mical Caterina, an amateur drone photographer, a whopping $55,000? 
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Last August Mical Caterina decided to help a friend of a friend by using his drone to take a photo of the human chain-link Cecil the Lion mural they created. Caterina received no monetary compensation. The FAA sent a letter to the coordinator of the event concerning the drone usage. Unable to clarify the contents of the letter with the FAA, the event went on as scheduled, but this May, the photographer received a subpoena for the drone images and videos, followed by a $55,000 fine.
 
This story corroborates why photographers need to keep up with drone legislation, and why it is so important FAA regulations be reformed.

Under current rules, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) / drone model aircraft operations are strictly limited to hobby or recreational use only. Additionally, anyone flying drones for recreation or hobby purposes is to stay within the following guidelines:

Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times
Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
Don't fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower and obtain an authorization to fly before operating your drone
Don't fly near people or stadiums
Don't fly a UAS that weighs more than 55 lbs
Don't be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft - you could be fined for endangering people or other aircrafts

Drones are evolving into a great way for photographers to safely gain skill and enhance their businesses. Drones can be put to good use and PPA, along with other Photography partners, is working hard to lobby Congress and get these regulations updated to allow professional photographers to leverage UAS Photography! We are expecting very favorable changes in the coming week, but in the meantime, please remember, until the FAA finalizes new regulations, any other uses are prohibited unless you have FAA pilot certification and a Section 333 exemption and fines, although rare, are very heavy.

Stay up to date on drone regulations and changes at PPA.com/Drones.


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