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PPA Today

By John Owens

Millenials Are Part of A Lost Generation

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We are raising a generation of young adults who have been conditioned to not print, yet the public values photography more than ever. People take pictures of everything. EVERYTHING! The sunset, your pets, your food #brunch #noms, yet they don't leave your phone. OK, sure, you uploaded them to the cloud, but where do they go? And how do you know the cloud is safe?

Family heirlooms are becoming far too literally a thing of the past. Our current generation lacks the portraits on the wall. We have Facebook albums and Instagram feeds and CDs in a drawer, but honestly, when is the last time you printed a picture? Or had a family portrait professionally taken and ordered prints? It's a problem facing the photographic community, and the reason the biggest print labs in the industry convened at PPA headquarters in Atlanta for the Printing in Professional Photography Summit.

White House Custom  Colour and Miller's Professional Imaging, H+H, Simply Color, Tyndell Photographic, Hahnemuhle, Kodak Alaris, GW Molding, Finao and American Color Imaging, BWC Photo Imaging, Marathon Press and even Canon had representatives on hand to discuss the lost art of the printed portrait and how to find it again, both for photographers and consumers.

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By John Owens

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! That means it's our last top 10 of the best month of the year! Dig in to get your weekly photography blog fix.

New See The Difference Resource: Senior Portrait Quiz

SEE THE DIFFERENCE: This new See The Difference tool helps consumers understand that there's more to it to be a pro than snapping photos. Help show your seniors why they need to hire you--a true professional!


10 Behaviors of Unstoppable Entrepreneurs

INSPIRATION: Here's some sound advice that applies to you professional photographers/small business owners. There's more to consider than just your pricing and lighting!

Buzzfeed Cracks the Code

SOCIAL MEDIA: Buzzfeed is the master of all things viral, but did you know it's actually very strategic and not just dumb luck? They've created Pound, a new technology that explains how content spreads through the web. It's an interesting read, especially if you debated about that silly post on "the dress." See if you can learn from Pound to strategize your own marketing!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Film and Digital Photography

ERA COMPARISON: Many new photographers who have only known digital photography are becoming interested in film. Why? PetPixel investigated to find out, comparing the speed, resolution, pricing and more. Take a look at their conclusions!

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By John Owens

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! That means it's our last top 10 of the best month of the year! Dig in to get your weekly photography blog fix.

New See The Difference Resource: Senior Portrait Quiz

SEE THE DIFFERENCE: This new See The Difference tool helps consumers understand that there's more to it to be a pro than snapping photos. Help show your seniors why they need to hire you--a true professional!


10 Behaviors of Unstoppable Entrepreneurs

INSPIRATION: Here's some sound advice that applies to you professional photographers/small business owners. There's more to consider than just your pricing and lighting!

Buzzfeed Cracks the Code

SOCIAL MEDIA: Buzzfeed is the master of all things viral, but did you know it's actually very strategic and not just dumb luck? They've created Pound, a new technology that explains how content spreads through the web. It's an interesting read, especially if you debated about that silly post on "the dress." See if you can learn from Pound to strategize your own marketing!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Film and Digital Photography

ERA COMPARISON: Many new photographers who have only known digital photography are becoming interested in film. Why? PetPixel investigated to find out, comparing the speed, resolution, pricing and more. Take a look at their conclusions!

By Sarah Ackerman

As a professional senior photographer, it can be difficult to explain the differences between you and the school portrait photographer. PPA's here to help with that! Here is the latest addition to your See the Difference resources. You'll see how you can use this Senior's Quiz  to help your potential clients find their senior style and superlative! 

To direct them to the quiz and feel free to use this short video on why it's important they define their style and use you, a PPA photographer!



For more See the Difference resources, visit today!

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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 around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming 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.
By Sarah Ackerman

Summer is just around the corner! Check out the top conversations on theLoop and join in!

Interested in expanding into the profitable world of corporate headshots? Or have you already made the jump and love it? Then this is an excellent thread for you! Discuss pricing, final products and everything in between!

How much should you charge for editorial use of your images? If you have experience in pricing it out, hop on this awesome thread! Or if you're looking to get into the editorial market, this can provide some solid guidance on what to expect. 

Rain, rain, go away! If you're ever stuck in an outdoor shoot and the weather just isn't cooperating, this is a great conversation about protecting your camera, lighting and more. Do you have any tricks on taming Mother Nature? Join in! 

Most studios hit some growing pains sooner or later. Looking to add extra staff? You've got options in terms of contracts, 1099s and other business decisions. Weigh in on this thread with your experience and help a growing photography business out!

This is an excellent thread for all wedding photographers! How do you handle your payment schedule? Do you collect the day of or do you try to handle it all before the big day? If you've ever worked a wedding, you'll enjoy this discussion. 

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? It's easy: join today!

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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 around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming 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.
By Sarah Ackerman

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This week we're embracing improvement! Check out our top eleven blogs to help you be more. And, yes! There is a bonus blog this week!

SCAM ALERT: Arm yourself with knowledge against these four scams that seem to be running rampant in the photography industry! The folks at PhotoShelter bring you the top four scams they've seen, including fake photo contests and fake photo assignments! Read on and Be More Protected!

INSPIRATION: If you've ever suffered from a lack of motivation, direction or inspiration, this awesome E-book from Eric Kim will give you the best kick in the pants! Download it in a variety of formats and feel the creativity flow!

FINANCES: If the finances of your business are keeping you up at night, check in with Krista Newbill and our PPA Studio Makeover team! Krista has been focusing on finances for the past month. See what changes she's made and what she's looking to do in the future with this update!

SCIENCE + STORYTELLING: How do you set yourself apart in a world filled with billions of advertising messages? It's not easy, but it can be done! Read up on how to marry the science of marketing with the joy of storytelling from HubSpot. 

We're back with an update on Krista Newbill's Studio Makeover. Check out the previous post on the project overview if you need a refresher, and take a look at Wes Roberts' first update from last month.

Below is an update on what Krista has been doing with her team of PPA mentors, the early progress she's made along with some of the obstacles she's facing. Some of it surely applies to some of you and your business... maybe you can consider applying similar changes to Be More Profitable too?

The Financials

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Krista first came to PPA for help with her business back in 2012. At that time her studio's gross sales were down 21% from 2011 and what was more telling, expenses were up and her bottom line suffered, going down 52% during that time.

In 2013 Krista focused on cutting costs. Her sales that year increased and her bottom line recovered. Then in 2014 the stress of running and paying for a retail location caused Krista to rethink her location. She opted to co-lease a space with another photographer. With sales up 14% and her expenses once again down, Krista was keeping almost 61% of every dollar she grossed. According to PPA's Benchmark, top-preforming retail studios keep about 39% of each dollar, proving that Krista was doing a great job keeping her expenses in check.

As she started planning for 2015, Krista was feeling that she was working too hard, too many hours, and not spending enough quality time with her family. "How long can I keep up this pace?" is a question most business owners ask themselves at some point during their careers. That's why the concept of sustainability is one of the most important things to consider when you're planning each year.

What affects your business sustainability? The number of hours worked, stress levels, income, family life balance, and pretty much anything else that affects you as the business owner. Simply ask yourself, can your business continue on the same track it's currently on with you, as the business owner, doing everything as-is? Sometimes it simply comes down to time (or lack thereof). In the long run, can you realistically continue to put in the hours/week that you are currently spending and be achieving your life goals?

Krista realized that she's too busy and is now looking for ways to work smarter, not harder. Her main product lines include weddings, portraits and headshots. She lives near Nashville and has a very large clientele. Up until 2014, Krista created albums and sold prints to her wedding clients, but she only sold digital files to her portrait clients.

By Lindsey Forson

Commercial use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, continues to be a hot issue on Capitol Hill.

While we anxiously await the FAA's approval on new regulations for small UAS operations, things continue to move forward. Last week, Senator Cory Booker (New Jersey) and Senator John Hoeven (North Dakota) introduced the Commercial UAS Modernization Act (download it here: 265083514-UAS-Modernization-Act-of-2015.pdf) to the U.S. Senate. This legislation has not yet become law and would not replace the forthcoming rule from the FAA, but it could serve in the interim.   

If the Commercial UAS Modernization Act becomes law, it would make it legal to use UAS for commercial purposes within specified regulations. The Act would also accelerate the process of incorporating commercial UAS use into the current framework. If passed, the FAA would be required to act very quickly to establish the knowledge test and certification process for commercial UAS operators.

For an update on the FAA rulemaking process, check out PPA's past coverage of the issue. We will keep you updated on the progress of the Commercial UAS Modernization Act on the Hill!

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator.  She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan. 

 

 

By Chris Homer

Another week, another roundup! From business advice to lighting tips, you'll find it all below:
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BUSINESS: Since most photographers are entrepreneurs and small business owners, we know how easy it can be to become overwhelmed with everything involved with running your business. That's why this post from Fast Company is worth a read for all photographers. It lists 7 habits of people who are happy at work. Take a look, these tips are good to keep in mind when running your business! 

SOCIAL MEDIA: We've talked before about the importance of having a presence on social media for your photography business. With everything else on your plate, it can be tough to find time to work on your social media. That's why this post from Forbes is great! Read on for tips on how you can use social media without having it eat up too much time.
 
NAMING YOUR BUSINESS: If you're just making the transition to full-time professional photographer and need a name for your business, read this post from Name Kitchen first. PPA's own Director of Education and photography studio owner, Angela Kurkian, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, provides some good advice on things to keep in mind when picking a name. 

SALES: Are you struggling with making high-dollar sales for your portraits? This post from the Million Dollar Photographer is right up your alley. Make sure you don't hold any of the attitudes listed in the post about making sales; you may be hurting your bottom line!

LIGHTING: If you need advice on lighting for your wedding photography, don't miss this video featuring past Imaging USA instructor Ryan Brenizer from Fstoppers. He shares his top 5 lighting tips for weddings. 

STUDIO SETUP TIP: This post from Digital Photography School that lighting setups in your studio don't always have to be complicated to be effective. Check out 5 setups using only one light that you can use to get great photographs.
 
INSPIRATION: The National Geographic Traveler Photo Content is currently underway, and InFocus has a collection of some of the top entries so far. There's some powerful imagery here that just may inspire your own work!

NATURAL LIGHT: If you like to photograph using natural light, check out this interview on the Phoblographer. Photographer Susan Wasinger uses only natural light in her studio, and shares her processes and tips for this style of photographing in the interview. 

PPA COMPETITIONS: PPA Photographer Christine Walsh-Newton, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, is back in the round up this week sharing a recap of her experience at this year's District Photographic Competition. She shares the images she entered, how they scored and how she uses the District Competitions to prepare for PPA's International Photographic Competition. If you're thinking about entering this year's IPC (entries open May 26), check out this post. You'll find some good advice!

TUTORIAL: The newest version of Lightroom was recently released. If you use this software, this tutorial from Light Stalking is worth your time. It goes over how to use the new Panorama, HDR and Filter Brush features of Lightroom 6 step-by-step, as well as explaining what's so impressive about these features and how they can impact your photography.

There you have it - our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee (at) PPA (dot) com.


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About 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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PPA's Southeast District Competition has come to an end and the results are online. Congratulations to all who earned a seal of approval and will move on to this year's International Photographic Competition (IPC). Don't forget, even if you didn't merit this round, you can still rework your images and enter the IPC!

In addition to earning merits, the top scoring image in each of the 12 judging categories is selected to receive a PPA Southeast District Competition Award.

This year's category winners are:



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