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PPA Today

By Lindsey Forson

PPA is back on Capitol Hill this week seeking sponsors for a copyright small claims bill this week! Here's how it's progressed from the first day - 

We met with Amy Bos in the office of Congressman Sensenbrenner. The Congressman is on the House Judiciary Committee and is known for his strong support of small business issues. He is also very strong on IP protection issues. These traits make Congressman Sensenbrenner an ideal advocate for small claims legislation. This is our third meeting with the office just this year, and they continue to be extremely receptive to our message. We will definitely continue to follow-up with Congressman Sensenbrenner's office as we see progress toward a small claims bill. 

Our next meeting is with Congresswoman Judy Chu and her Chief of Staff Linda Shim. Congresswoman Chu repeatedly proves herself to be one of the strongest advocates for small creators on the committee. She has certainly emerged as a leader on this issue. We will thank the Congresswoman for her continued support for small claims and all of our priority issues. (She previously introduced a bill to the committee on Copyright Office Modernization.) During this meeting we will also discuss more specific strategy for achieving the creation of a small claims process. 

We'll keep you update as the trip progresses, but we really wanted to show our appreciation for Congresswoman Chu and her continued efforts for our cause. Stay tuned on PPA Today for more updates!

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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 Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Capitol_Copyright_Blog.jpg

Memorial Day is just around the corner and, once again, PPA is on Capitol Hill advocating for stronger copyright protection for professional photographers! Our priority issue - the creation of a small claims process for copyright infringement claims - continues to gain support throughout Congress. Multiple offices within the U.S. House of Representatives are eager to take initiative on this issue, and some are even beginning to work toward the creation of legislation which would achieve this goal. We expect to see small claims legislation introduced before the end of year, and most likely, much sooner than that!

PPA will discuss specific details of potential small claims legislation this week during meetings with established supporters of copyright small claims. It is extremely important for us to work with Congress at the outset to create a small claims program that will operate as effectively and efficiently as possible. Through other meetings, we will continue to introduce the idea of copyright small claims and lobby for support for the issue. Our hope is that when a bill is formally introduced, this concept will already have vast support on both sides of the aisle in both the House and the Senate. We are well on our way toward accomplishing this!

In addition to advocating for the creation of copyright small claims, PPA will continue to lobby for improvements to the copyright registration process and the modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Stay tuned to PPA.com/Advocacy for more updates from the Hill!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey 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 James Yates
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Registration for this year's Imaging USA went live early this year and so did the hotels! This year there is a "one stop shop" reservation system for Imaging USA hotel booking in San Antonio. We encourage you to make your reservations through this new online system, as it is here to help you book your hotel rooms seamlessly.

Save yourself the trouble of searching for a lower rate! PPA's already done the work and negotiated discounted rates for your stay in San Antonio. Staying in our host hotels not only guarantees a lower rate, but also keeps you closest to the networking action and saves you money on transportation. Here are this year's partner hotels:

Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter
The headquarter hotel for this year's Imaging USA, Marriott Rivercenter is only one block from the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The Rivercenter is 38-stories and connects to the city's premier dining, shopping, and entertainment destinations. The Alamo, one of the nation's most storied and revered landmarks, is within easy walking distance from this hotel. Marriott's Rivercenter hotel is designed for relaxing, with LCD TVs, premium cable, high-speed Internet access, and Marriott's Plug-In Technology in each guest room.

Marriott San Antonio Riverwalk
This one is only half a block from the Convention Center. Capture the romance of San Antonio with a stay at one of these recently renovated guestrooms with a sweeping balcony view of the city and the famous River Walk below. This hotel combines gracious Marriott service and amenities, including high speed internet access, with a comfortable and casual feel.

Grand Hyatt San Antonio
The closest hotel at only .25 blocks from the Convention Center, the Grand Hyatt San Antonio hotel presents contemporary style, comfort, luxury and convenience. The location affords stunning views of downtown San Antonio or HemisFair Park. They offer luxurious accommodations ranging from king-size bedrooms to suites and free Wi-Fi is available in all guest rooms.

Hilton Palacio del Rio
Two blocks from the Convention Center, you'll find the Hilton Palacio del Rio. The Hilton's renovations have transformed this iconic River Walk hotel to convey a contemporary flavor within a hacienda setting. Each room features local decor along with a private balcony for panoramic views of the city. Pamper yourself with Hilton Serenity Collection bedding and today's latest technology - high speed wireless internet, connectivity centers and 37" HD televisions. Each room also includes a spacious newly redesigned bathroom with wood floors, granite countertops and sapphire blue mosaic tiled walls. Fiesta & Siesta - A Hip Hacienda!

Remember, you MUST use our new registration system to book your hotel this year. Learn more at ImagingUSA.org/Travel/Hotel/. As always, PPA is not making anything on these hotels. Savings are passed directly on to you, so make the best of this experience and stay at a host hotel!


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames 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.

By Autumn Rice

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Arthur Levi Rainville, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, grew up in New England watching his father make portraits. He was inspired to become portrait photographer in his own right, and he's made a fine career of it.

Read "The Connected Portrait" to follow Rainville's 50-yearjourney,  and learn why he believes that the connection between portraitist and subject is everything. 

The newly designed PPmag.com offers complete Digital Editions, searchable back issues, and remarkable photos for subscribers to explore. 

Enjoy "The Connected Portrait" and don't forget to stay up-to-date with PPmag.com

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By Chris Homer

Entries are now open for the International Photographic Competition (IPC)! Be sure to enter your images between May 23 - June 22, 2016 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

Start preparing your images for the International Photographic Competition! Submissions are open May 23-June 22, 2016 by 5 pm EST. Late registration extends until July 7, with 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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Thumbnail image for iStock_money bag.jpgJust a friendly reminder! PPA members get amazing discounts and special offers from a slew of companies. It's all meant to save you money on the products and services you use most.

Hurry! There are offers from DriveSavers, Manfrotto, Profoto, H&H Color Labs and Pounds Labs that are expiring soon! Be sure to use them while you can and keep the Special Offers page bookmarked so you don't forget the deals.

Member Perks & Savings are just more of the ways PPA helps you Be More Savvy. 


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By Autumn Rice

As the end of May quickly approaches (can you believe it's already the end of week three?), take some time to enjoy our favorite blog posts of the week!

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INSPIRATION: More than a decade after walking down the aisle, the Grier's experienced a terrible fire that not only destroyed their home, but their precious memories as well. However, through amazing skills and technique, PPA photographer Greg Beasley was able to revive the family's photos back to new. See the before and after.

PHOTOSHOP: Beach wedding photos can be a tricky situation for photographers. Watch as past Imaging USA instructor Booray Perry takes viewers through a step by step tutorial for editing raw beach wedding images, and creating a finished product for clients.

CREATIVITY: At a photo-shoot creativity takes center stage. Everyone from hair and makeup, to the model and back to the photographer is in the zone. Check out how music can improve your shoot and harmonize the creative environment.

CONTRAST: The world of contrast can be very complex and hard to master. Here's an article that breaks down scene contrast, subject contrast, and light contrast to make it understandable for all photographers.

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY: Many photographers face the same problem with landscape photography...PEOPLE IN YOUR SHOT! It can be extremely frustrating, but this article offers a few tips to navigate the crowds and get the photos you want.

COMPOSITION: Photographer James Allen Stewart has an innovative way to defy the almighty "Rule of Thirds". He proves that although some things may be technically perfect, they may not translate into being visually appealing. 

ADVICE: How many photos do photographers take in a session? A lot. Now how many are used? Few. Although slowing down the number of clicks is not easy, it could really improve your body of work. Check out these tips for slowing down the session and improving your photography. 

HUMAN INTEREST: We've all heard the saying: A picture is worth a thousand words. But what happens when those words are wrong? Read this story of how Facebook continuously removes an image of a father cradling his ill son in the shower. 

LEGAL BATTLE: Veteran photographer Maya Vidon-White is being prosecuted after she sold a photo of a man murdered in the November 2015 Paris terror attack. See why the victim's family believes she broke the law.

EDITING: Typically video game controllers hold a different meaning for men and women, but in the world of photography there's a much more unifying definition. See how to use a video game controller to edit in Adobe Premiere.

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By Sarah Ackerman

From equipment to liability, medical to dental, PPA has all of your business's insurance needs covered. Did you know as a PPA photographer, you have a world of reduced-rate insurance programs available? Just by being a member, you can opt in to the PhotoCare program which covers up to $15,000 of equipment! 

In addition to PhotoCare (or PhotoCare Plus if you want to go above and beyond the $15,000), PPA offers programs to make sure you're covered with business general liability insurance through Lockton Affinity. You can grab a quote to see what you could save at InsuranceForPPA.com. This insurance can protect you and your business from bodily injury and property liability, real or alleged faults in your work that result in bodily injury or property damage, liability of personal and advertising injury. It's not the sexiest business topic to cover, but you know you need it to stay prepared. And through Lockton, you're covered for up to $1 million!

And as small business owners, it's important to have medical and dental insurance available for both you and your employees! PPAexchange is designed with you, the photographer, in mind with a diverse range of options, decision making assistance and more! Take a look around and see what best suits your company's needs today!

Explore the range of insurance options through PPA and see what you can save as you become more protected!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By Sarah Ackerman

As you expand your photography business, you don't know what you don't know. Asking questions on theLoop to expand your knowledge is a great place to start to learn about any area of photography! With 29,000+ PPA members behind you, there's bound to be someone who has been in your shoes and can offer a word of support or advice.

This month, we're highlighting the thread concerning fast recycle flash or strobes for portable use. Check out what your fellow Loopers had to say:

James Corbett: I shoot mountain biking events and use my Canon Speedlite 580EX II off camera in high speed sync mode with an external battery pack. Perhaps because of the overly dreary day this past Saturday and my position in a stream valley, the typically speedy flash cycle time was impaired. I think because of the need for maximum output every shot. This caused me to miss more than the typical trailing racers.  Any thoughts on options for something small and quick enough to pack into the woods?

John Lee, CPP: What's your budget?  If you want to use multiple speed lights, then you can bring each one to a lower power that'll increase your flash duration.  You can also use the HSS that'll kill the power output and battery life, but you're freezing with your shutter instead of the flash duration.  You're not freezing with your flash duration if there's too much ambient light, by the way.

To eliminate all of this,, I would suggest the elinchrom ELB 400 unit with the Hi-sync flash heads (you'll have to buy a remote for this that'll enable you to use Hi-sync technology though).

You can also use the profoto b2 for its HSS tech (also need a remote).  By spec, it's less power than the Elinchrom though.

The profoto B1 also has the HSS feature and it's 500 w/s.  With the right modifier (profoto magnum) you generally will not have a problem with the ambient light.  Or you can just use the HSS feature along with its remote.  Only drawback with the B1 iss you'll need a "beefy". nightstand for it, especially if you're placing it high and outside.  Definitely need sandbags also. The other 2 options, although a "beefy" nightstand is great, but the flash heads weigh nothing so it's not absolutely required, just sandbags.

By Chris Homer

Want to enter into a serious photographic competition? Been thinking about entering again or wanting to take the first-time dive? PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) begins accepting entries May 23. It's time to start preparing your images. It's through competition and critiques of your work by professional photographers that you can truly grow and evolve as an artist. 

Entering the IPC is one of the best ways to improve your craft, especially if you choose to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's Jurors! You can have your images evaluated and scored 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!

We know the process can seem intimidating for first-timers, so here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image called "Considering Options" was created by Doc List and is being critiqued by PPA juror Kimberly Smith, M.Photog.Cr., CPP.

Take a look and see how entering a photographic competition can improve your own work as a photographer through constructive feedback like you'll hear in this critique.


We hope this critique can help you get a better understanding of what the IPC judges are looking for when scoring your images. Start preparing your images for the International Photographic Competition! Submissions are open May 23-June 22, 2016. Late registration extends until July 7, with an additional fee.  Be sure to enter your images by 5 pm EST on June 22 to avoid paying an 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 and Be More Prepared. 


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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