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PPA Today: Professional Photographers of America (PPA): October 2010 Archives

Professional Photographers of America (PPA): October 2010 Archives

Dear PPA Member,

"No matter where you go, there you are."

Whether you attribute the quote to Confucius or Buckaroo Banzai, it doesn't matter...it rings true to most photographers these days. When you focus on what your clients want, it's impossible to not think about location. You, as the creator of artistic masterpieces, need to ask several questions (not just of yourself, but also of your clients) regarding location. And then, you need to able to anticipate changes when shooting on location versus in a studio.

So if you shoot on location, no matter where you go, you're in your studio. This week's Vital Signs article talks with several PPA members who shoot...well, everywhere. I love what Ron Jackson has to say about his location: "My studio is the world."

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

As a pro photographer, you know that a photograph isn't just a photograph. It's a memory; it's an interpretation of a soul; it's so many things. And it's definitely more than a picture on paper.

Jamie Schultz, an Imaging USA instructor, knows this truth. It's a core value she's built her entire business on! Not only can this philosophy help in image making, it also can help in exceeding your customer's expectations in every way, as Schultz will show you in her class: "Beyond Pictures on Paper: Innovative Products" (Jan. 16, 9:00am). For example, providing clients with innovative products for displaying their images will increase your profitability and leave them feeling confident about their choice to hire you.

"Four years ago, I was searching for solutions to take my business to the next level. A relatively simple formula helped me achieve a level of success I never dreamed possible," adds Schultz. "I'm eager to share my experience with others who are ready to take their own businesses to a different level."

Are you ready?
PPA has three great webinars scheduled for November, including a free webinar for PPA members to help you great ready for Imaging USA in San Antonio.

On November 9, Stephen & Jennifer Bebb will host "On the Road to Photo Fusion" at 2 pm EST. The Bebbs will discuss why photo fusion is something we should all be thinking about, how fusion can work with your photography studio, and what you need to make fusion a reality...for you!

Later in the month, Kevin Kubota will host "Lightroom Wedding Workflow" on November 17th at 2 pm EST. Kubota will provide workflow tips that will enhance your editing using Adobe Lightroom. His techniques and tips will help you to produce a complete workflow system.

Also on November 17th, PPA's Events Director Lenore Taffel will host "Bring the Heat to Imaging USA." This webinar is free for PPA members and will give you the inside scoop on what to expect and how to make the most of Imaging USA at San Antonio. Find out what events are scheduled to ignite your inspiration, what pre-convention classes (January 13-15, 2011) are going to light your creative fire, and what blazing bargains you can find on the tradeshow floor.

Fullgraf_brittney.jpgCan photographing schools be a smart business decision for a boutique photographer? The answer is a definite yes, especially when it comes to private schools--just watch the upcoming "The Boutique Studio for Private Schools" webinar!

"Private schools offer amazing opportunities to grow your portrait studio," adds Britney Fullgraf of Belvedere Studio in Lakeland, Fla. "You're accessing a market that is not only fairly recession-proof, but that includes clients who haven't been as affected by the recession in the first place."

Fullgraf has had great success in this market, both by steering pre-qualified clients to her regular studio sessions and by shattering what you might consider the "norm" for school portrait sales. And it started via a fundraising auction.

Collages.net CEO and President, Kevin Casey has been honored with induction into the Philly100 Hall of Fame. This honor, only bestowed upon 38 executives in the tri-state area since its inception, recognizes leaders whose companies have earned a spot on the prestigious Philly100 list five or more times.

Kevin Casey founded Collages.net in 1999. His pioneering vision for using technology to enable professional photographers to easily share their work, to sell their products online, and to help studios become more profitable has grown into a multi-million dollar company. Collages.net has been nationally recognized for its innovation, best-in-class products and growth by NBC's Today Show, INC. Magazine, and Professional Photographers of America (PPA) which is the largest professional photography organization in the world.  Kevin's commitment to professional photographers extends to his role on the PPA board of directors where he works closely with other directors and the committed PPA staff in helping to create a vibrant community of successful professional photographers by providing education, resources and industry standards of excellence.
Adorama, one of America's premier photography and consumer electronics resellers and iPad and iPhone accessory headquarters, has announced the new Flashpoint iBoard Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard for the iPad, iPhone 4.0, iPod Touch and any Mac computers. In addition to normal keyboard functions, this App-controlled mobile keyboard also provides convenient shortcuts which allow users to quickly and easily open their favorite Apps and Websites.  

Earlier this year, Adorama, a photo-imaging retailer serving generations of photographers, recognized the impact of the iPhone on photography by announcing the Annual APPOS Awards.  The APPOS awards are designed to spotlight the rapid rise in popularity of the iPhone as a new platform for digital point-and-shoot photography and to recognize developers of outstanding photo Apps.  Introduction of this new App-controlled Bluetooth wireless keyboard continues in Adorama's tradition of recognizing the impact that wireless devices have on our mobile society.
Imaging USA attendees flying to San Antonio should be aware of new requirements for air travel under the TSA's Secure Flight Program.

The Secure Flight Program streamlines the watch list matching process. The program hopes to reduce the number of passengers misidentified as matches to the watch list by requiring date of birth and gender data when booking flights.

Under the new rules, you must provide the following information for air travel:

  • Name as it appears on government-issued I.D. when traveling
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Redress Number (if available)
What is a Redress Number?

Redress is an opportunity for passengers to seek resolution and avoid future delays if they believe they have been improperly or unfairly delayed or prohibited from boarding an aircraft. These passengers often have the same or a similar name to someone on the watch list.

The Redress Number is additional information used to differentiate passengers who are not on the watch list from those that are.

If you are interested in obtaining a Redress Number, visit www.dhs.gov/trip and fill out the application. You will receive a Redress Number immediately that can be used to track your application. This is also the number you should provide to the airline once your application has been processed and finalized.

You will be notified by DHS once your application has been finalized.

Read more about the Secure Flight Program here
fong_lenslock.jpgGary Fong, Inc. has launched the latest addition to its line of innovative security products with the introduction of the GearGuard Lens Lock. Available for Canon and Nikon brand lenses, the Lens Lock is a security device that affixes directly to the lens, in place of the rear lens cap, to safeguard expensive hardware against the constant snatch-and-grab threat photographers face.

With the addition of the GearGuard Lens Lock to the previously released GearGuard Body Lock and Bag Lock, the GearGuard product line now offers a seamless theft deterrent system for a photographer's complete equipment system.  Once the Lens Lock is attached to the camera's rear optic, the irremovable device renders the lens useless to thieves.  When twisted into place, the Lens Lock releases "teeth" that anchor the security cap to the bayonet on the lens mount for a flawless fit.  Made of industrial strength plastic, the Lens Lock can be paired with the GearGuard Security Cable and Combination Lock and attached to a secure anchor point for safe storage or attached to other gear inside a camera bag for added protection and loss prevention.

Matthew Hunt, CEO of StudioPlus Software, and Stuart MacFaddin, CEO of PhotoOne Software, are pleased to announce that effective October 19th, 2010, StudioPlus Software is acquiring PhotoOne Software.

The power and innovation of the leading and award-winning studio management software companies are combining to provide the most diverse and cutting edge products for every size professional photography studio.

Do you work with schools on their yearbook portraits? LumaPix®, publisher of the acclaimed FotoFusion® photo editing software, announces the release of LumaPix::YearbookFusion™ for the 2010-11 school year...a new software version that may make that job easier. This version dramatically increases the power, ease of use, and performance of this already market-leading tool for yearbook layout. The updated version is available to publishers and schools with licenses for the 2010-11 school year; new publishers can sign on at www.LumaPix.com.

What is YearbookFusion?
LumaPix::YearbookFusion is a hybrid online/offline software tool for yearbook layout and submission. It is designed to be rebranded and customized by yearbook publishers, who resell or give the software to schools in exchange for their yearbook business.

The layout engine under YearbookFusion is the popular LumaPix::FotoFusion application, a powerful multipage resolution-independent layout tool that has won acceptance and awards from professional photographers since its introduction in 2003.

YearbookFusion adds features and business support specific to the creation of yearbooks, including:
  • The import of Professional School Photographers Association- (PSPA) standard "Yearbook CDs", which streamline the creation of databases of student portraits.
  • Tools to create, populate, and refine the layout of yearbook panels based on database queries
  • Publisher-specific branding, form factors, out-of-box templates, and rendering restrictions
  • One-click direct-to-publisher submission of jobs and work in progress.

Since its introduction in 2008, YearbookFusion has been adopted by hundreds of publishers and over 3000 schools nationwide. LumaPix was invited to join the PSPA Digital Data and Image Format Guideline committee and participated in the updating of the PSPA standard for the current school year.

Dear PPA Member,

You open an envelope addressed to your studio. A beautiful image of your client's family graces the holiday card's cover. Wait...that's your image. You turn the card over and cringe. They bought the cards from a large retailer, not you. And you sell holiday cards.

You're probably not feeling the holiday spirit at that moment, are you?

It happens all the time, and it's not just around the holidays. But how do you deal with that type of situation? This week's Vital Signs brings up this less-than-jolly subject, in the hopes that you beat the holiday rush that your clients may want to make with your images...rushing straight to a retailer. Educating yourself and your clients about copyright infringement (and what to do when it happens) may not make visions of sugar plums dance in your head, but perhaps it can put some green in your wallet.

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

DxO Labs has announced that the latest version of its award-winning image enhancement software for demanding photographers, DxO Optics Pro v6.5, will be released in early November. Along with providing photographers with high dynamic range (HDR) capability from a single RAW image, version 6.5 improves accessibility and productivity.

Single Shot HDR technology

While multi-shot HDR is becoming increasingly popular, to render both highlight and shadow details in scenes with extreme contrast, DxO Optics Pro 6.5 Single Shot HDR technology brings the power of HDR rendering to photographers working with a single RAW image.

"We found that, in a very large number of situations, Single Shot HDR technology reveals the full dynamic range of contrasted scenes without the need of cumbersome bracketing." explains Cyrille de La Chesnais, Director Sales & Marketing for DxO Labs' Photography business. "It widens picture taking opportunities in harsh lighting conditions such as backlight, opens up creative possibilities until now only available under dedicated shooting conditions and gives legacy pictures a potential new life."

free-acr-box.jpgonOne Software is giving away a new volume of free presets for Photoshop Lightroom 3.0. The presets help photographers using Photoshop Lightroom expand their creative possibilities and speed their workflow.

onOne Software, Inc., a leading developer of innovative timesaving solutions for professional and advanced amateur photographers, today announced Perfect Presets for Photoshop Lightroom. Designed to help photographers work more quickly and easily while expanding their creative options, Perfect Presets for Lightroom 3.0 now offers a third volume of effects created by Mike Wong for a total of 192 presets.

"We are pleased to announce Perfect Presets for Photoshop Lightroom 3.0, the latest in our line of free products for the photography community. This update includes new content developed by Mike Wong, our VP of Marketing, and supports Lightroom 3," said Craig Keudell, president of onOne Software. "onOne Software strives to constantly provide value to our customers and the photography community as a whole. Whether it's being first to market with free updates to support the newest releases of Lightroom and Photoshop, to robust free products, excellent technical support or live webinar training, we are focused on satisfying our customers."

There's less than three months left to raise $78,311 for Operation Smile to meet our 2010 goal. We broke records last year, and we'd like to do it again in 2010. Of course, it's more than just competing with our success last year. If this year's goal is met, you will make it possible for as many as 500 children to receive life-changing surgery provided by the volunteer medical staff of Operation Smile. Learn how you can help right now.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is sponsoring a free virtual summit for small businesses tomorrow (October 20, 10:00am - 6:30pm Eastern). This is a great chance to learn more about different legal and economic issues you might face, including how the new health care law will affect you. In fact, there are two health care discussions: "Healthcare 411: How the New Health Care Law Will Affect YOUR Business" (12:30pm - 1:30pm) and a Q&A chat on health care reform (1:30pm - 2:00pm). Register for the Virtual Summit by clicking here.

Our reserved rooms at the Grand Hyatt just sold out! Rooms are still available in the other two headquarters hotels, so check out the special promo codes and/or links online...and book yours now while the deals are hot. (Space is limited and our special rates are available only until the hotel cut-off dates or until our room blocks are sold out, whichever comes first.)

iStock_000014148465XSmall_250.jpgHave you ever seen your images used somewhere (or by someone) without your permission? If you have--or if you want to try to prevent something like this from happening--it helps to know what copyright ownership entails. Tomorrow's "Are Your Images Protected?" webinar (Wednesday, October 20 at 4:00pm EST) is free for PPA members, and it's a great resource to learn more about copyright ownership and get your copyright questions answered. Once you understand the ins and outs of copyrights, licensing agreements and model releases, you will be better able to protect your work and your clients' privacy.

anundi_2008.jpgEvery time a client interacts with your business, it has a dramatic effect on the outcome of your bottom line...whether you realize it or not. Eric Anundi of Eric John Photography in Salem, Ore., realizes it, though. And he uses those client interactions to his advantage, as you'll see in his webinar, "Exceptional Customer Service Helps Create Exceptional Bottom Lines" (Oct. 27, 2:00pm ET).

"We're here to make the client happy," says Anundi. "This business is about service and experience."

For instance, Anundi is firm about treating every client like he or she is his only client. And he even makes sure his senior clients know about the rescheduling possibility, a great customer service offer.

"If they don't feel 100 percent, I don't want them to come. I want them to rebook," he explains. "If the senior broke up, is sick or just feels crappy, they won't like their images. And I want them to love their images."

This focus on exceptional customer service has paid off for Anundi. "When a client is treated like they are the only client, they feel special. If they don't feel special, they have no reason to return or talk about us," he says. "Ninety-five percent of our business is repeat or referred clients."

Simply put, "if you provide exceptional service, exceptional sales will follow." That's what Anundi hopes to impart to you...so tune in to learn how, via his webinar, "Exceptional Customer Service Helps Create Exceptional Bottom Lines."
Every pro photographer holds at least two jobs: photographer and businessperson. (And that doesn't even count your home life.) Problem is, most of us want to focus on that artistic part. But it takes more than good photography to be successful...just ask any successful photographer! And you can do so at two special pre-convention classes: The Business of Portrait Photography and The Business of Wedding Photography.

That's right, PPA's renowned Studio Management Services (SMS) 2-Day Business Basics Workshop has split its focus. The fundamentals the classes teach are the same; they are simply geared to either portraits or weddings! Why the split?

Well, Jennifer Roggi, Cr.Photog., ABI, CBM, and Todd Reichman--The Business of Wedding Photography instructors--know that the wedding mindset is very different. For one thing, you market and sell your services for an event over a year away! And this class will help you address those special wedding requirements, just as the portrait class will do for portraiture.

Ready to get down to business? You can at Imaging USA!
ellis_williamson_headshot.JPGEllis Williamson of Ellis Williamson Photography in Durham, N.C., began his career in photography thinking that it would be a good way to earn some additional income on top of his job. However, he quickly realized that photography was his true passion and has been shooting professionally for the last 25 years.

"I fell in love with making captivating images," Williamson says of his decision to become a professional photographer. And when it dawned on him that photography was "more than simply taking pictures," he had one more strong reason to open his photography business.

"As photographers, we are part of the history-making process for every person that sits in front of our cameras," Williamson explains. "Photography is so very important because it pauses our subject in time and records their very existence in history, which goes way beyond just making money."

Williamson started out as an architecture photographer, but he has since specialized inellis_w1.JPG wedding and maternity photography--"I chose these areas, but looking back, I think they chose me," he adds. And while he has been shooting weddings for over 20 years now, he says that he must constantly evolve to stay ahead of the competition.

"The biggest challenge I face is re-inventing myself," says Williamson. "As technology changes, I must change also. In order to stay fresh about what I do, I try to surround myself with people who not only think outside of the box, but who see no box. I strive to keep an open mind and try new things."

If you want to learn some of the tips that have helped Williamson capture great images and stay in business for over 20 years, don't miss his "Fill Flash On Location" Super Monday class on Saturday, October 23rd.

Williamson will help you conquer on-camera flash at any time of the day with tips on posing and selecting locations. His goal with this class? "Every photographer will gain additional confidence in using their flash equipment in any situation they find themselves in," says Williamson. "We will make fill flash so natural that it will seem virtually undetectable!"

ellis_w2.JPGLearn more about Williamson's class and browse more Super Monday classes (in more locations) at www.ppa.com/supermonday.

Read more about Williamson here.

Super Monday is an educational program sponsored by PPA every spring and fall. These daylong, interactive workshops are conducted in locations around the country, allowing PPA members to earn merits for sharing their craft and enabling all photographers to learn new skills and develop professional networking contacts.


ALL IMAGES © ELLIS WILLIAMSON
A2Z Keywording, specialists in the practice of professional image keywording, has announced the launch of Keyword Perfectâ„¢ 2.0, a highly efficient sales tool that enables photographers, stock photo agencies, archivists and other imaging professionals to tag their photo libraries using a comprehensive dictionary of searchable keywords, ensuring that their images are as accessible as possible to potential buyers.  First developed as the in-house engine around A2Z Keywording's successful keywording service, Keyword Perfect is now available to pro photographers as a means to quickly input relevant tags and, with a minimum of keystrokes, generate dozens of associated keywords that make their work more likely to be identified by image buyers and stock agencies.

With an easily mastered user interface running on top of a powerful platform that includes A2Z Keywording's proprietary keyword dictionary and thesaurus, Keyword Perfect imports digital images into its workspace and displays them in a convenient filmstrip pane. Users can then keyword each image by selecting any number of pre-defined and/or user-generated tags, representing not only the image's physical contents, but also its less tangible elements such as time of day, photo style, concept, emotion and activity.  The keyword engine then reads each assigned tag and adds a number of logically associated keywords, eliminating significant input time while ensuring that the images are thoroughly and accurately identifiable to discerning image buyers. 
Sigma Corporation of America has announced that the company's 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM lens is now available for purchase in the United States for the MSRP of $1,400 and the estimated street price of $899.

This large aperture, medium telephoto lens is optimized for use with full-frame, DSLR cameras and is especially ideal for portrait and low light photography. When used on digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, it effectively becomes a 127.5mm F1.4 lens.

"This lens is an excellent addition to our prime lens line-up and is a great performer for a variety of photographers. For the sports or photojournalist photographer, the Hyper Sonic Motor will keep up with fast-paced action sequences; the 1.4 maximum aperture provides the ability to work at high shutter speeds under low existing light conditions," said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, general manager of Sigma Corporation of America. "That same high-speed aperture is great for a portrait photographer who is looking to isolate details in their subject, with a pleasant, out-of-focus background. One-touch, full-time manual focus is perfect for the critical, professional photographer."
Darkroom Software LLC, a new Texas-based imaging company led by executives with years of experience using, selling and supporting Express Digital products, has acquired the Darkroom Core, Pro and Assembly product lines from Express Digital Graphics, Inc. This acquisition is built on a new strategic alliance between the two companies.

"We have focused on building a suite of applications that can empower a photographer with solutions that make complex image handling simple", says Charlie Meyer, vice-president sales, of Express Digital Graphics, Inc. "Darkroom Software LLC will continue to develop and improve the software used by over 16,000 photographers and help them grow their business even more".

Dear PPA Member,

I owe a huge thanks to Mr. Rand, my first chemistry teacher. This wild-bearded, bespectacled gentleman loved what he did, which was to explain how two seemingly innocuous items could be combined to create something new and exciting.

Vinegar and baking soda? Instant volcano! Zinc and hydrochloric acid? Hydrogen gas! Hydrogen peroxide and potassium iodine? Water vapor cloud!

Just like a controlled science experiment, you need your "safety goggles" and a plan when you partner your business with someone. You're striving to create something new...something different...something better. This week's Vital Signs talks to the mad scientist in all of us, inspiring us to find ways to get the right kind of reaction from our partnerships. (After all, we don't want to blow up the science lab or set something on fire.)

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Nik Software has started shipping HDR Efex Pro, a completely new High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging solution designed to help professional and amateur photographers quickly and easily achieve a full spectrum of HDR enhancements. HDR Efex Pro overcomes limitations in other software products with a revolutionary all-in-one approach and multiple tone mapping algorithms that enable realistic and artistic results to be created start-to-finish within a single tool. Introductory videos, free trial versions, and live online training can be found at www.niksoftware.com/hdrefexpro.

"Our HDR Efex Pro beta group had over 500 photography industry professionals and HDR enthusiasts and the feedback from this group has been both comprehensive and incredibly positive," said Michael J. Slater, President and CEO of Nik Software. "We have incorporated much of their feedback and I am confident that this product will advance HDR imaging."
Competition is good. It pushes us to work harder, run our businesses smarter and fine-tune our art. Competition is really fuel for success...if you know how to use it. Luckily, Imaging USA's top-notch instructors have lots of ideas to share about how to rise above your competition. Thom Rouse, M.Photog.MEI.Cr., CPP, for instance, says that a unique style can do the trick.

This multiple award-winning photographer divides his time between commercial, fine art and commissioned fine art pieces (with his clients as the central subjects), and he understands the balance between art and the market. That is what a commercially successful style is all about. As Rouse says, we all probably know the Stones, the Beatles, Elvis and Sinatra. And though we may argue over who is the "best," we know about them because of their original styles that appealed to different audiences.

If you're ready to be true to yourself, enhance your success and eclipse your competition, come learn Rouse's approach to style at Imaging USA: "One Ear to the Ground, One Ear to Your Heart: Creating Your Personal Style" (Jan. 18, 1:00pm).

Family Portrait Month As a photographer, you photograph smiling faces almost every day. But what about those children who can't smile? Those whose facial deformities make it difficult to even eat or speak? PPA Charities has a way for you to help make those children's smiles even more brilliant: join Family Portrait Month or become an Operation Smile Studio.

These national fund-raising efforts benefit Operation Smile, PPA Charities' charitable partner since 2005. A perfect fit for photographers, whose daily business is creating smiles for their clients, Operation Smile's mission is repairing childhood facial deformities including cleft lips and cleft palates. 

It takes only $240 to repair the smile of a child because the medical professionals and staff who provide these life-changing operations volunteer their services to Operation Smile. Now you can help to expand their work by joining with other talented and dedicated photographers, whose very business is bringing smiles to families in their communities. Join us in showing the world what can be accomplished when professionals work together!

PPA Charities is challenging PPA-member studios everywhere to change the world--one smile at a time. Now, I think that's a good reason for charity. What do you think? Learn more at www.ppacharities.com.

wilkins_storey_heartofweddinghead.jpgBy Storey Wilkins, MPA

A wedding brings together a group of people to celebrate the birth of a new family. My job as a photographer is to capture the heart and soul of the people there. Weddings are joyous, fun celebrations, and my goal is to make the photographs reflect that joy.

Three critical elements to capturing that joy are as follows: documenting the rhythm unique to that collection of friends and family, achieving expression-rich candid photographs of the guests, and creating relaxed yet elegant family portraits with a minimum of fuss.

So let's say a couple is leaving their friends' wedding. They exchange stories of the day...howstorey_heartofwedding1.jpg they caught up with old friends and the new folks they met in the course of the evening, what they talked about, laughed at, and who they gossiped with. They will discuss the ceremony, its ambience, its quotes and its emotion...how this "new family" has been created amongst their group.

They laugh at how much fun it was to get up on the dance floor (that band was fantastic), how great the food was--and didn't that room just take your breath away when you first entered? They'll ask: So what did you think of the signature drink they created for the wedding? What was your favorite amongst that superb range of nibbles?

In a quiet moment, they will realize that this has been a "marker point" for them, a "milestone" for their friends and a special, shared day for all of them. This birth of a new family involves everyone. And I believe that in order to do true justice to any coverage of a wedding, the pictures must ultimately convey all of the above.

What It's All About
Indeed, the bride and groom are at the center of a wedding. They are supported by their parents and siblings, surrounded by their friends who comprise the bridal party...and celebrated by the wider group of friends and relatives, all of whom are special to the bride and groom and their families.

storey_heartofwedding5.jpgThis is not just about the bridal couple, but this is also about the community surrounding this couple. So many photographers get negative about doing groups. I've even read one photographer quoted as wanting to "...get the dumb groups done as quickly as possible and move onto the real photography."

What did that photographer think the "real" photography was? Did it involve taking the couple away from family and friends to a location that had little to do with the wedding and a lot to do with what the photographer wanted to do? I don't think our imaginary guest couple at the start of this article would be discussing the fact that the couple had such fun at the Junkyard taking pictures. Rather, they may well remark at the elongated absence of the bridal couple on their own wedding day.

As an industry, we have increasingly imposed our views on what should be photographed on a wedding day--and this has produced some lovely trends, admittedly. But I believe it is my responsibility as a photographer to capture a balance of documentary, candid and formally posed photographs, and these photographs should be a balance of the bride and groom and their loved ones.
tanya_hovey_headshot.jpegTanya Hovey, CPP, of Little Angels Photography in Layton, Utah, first become interested in photography after her first child was born. Like most new moms, she just couldn't stop taking her baby's picture! However, unlike most new moms, Hovey took her newly discovered passion for photography to the next level.

"The difference with me was that I had a craving to learn more. I wanted to perfect my images," says Hovey about her drive to turn professional. "I took all the night classes offered in my area regarding photography. I read all the books I could get my hands on. After about a year, I was laid off my job, and I decided to start a photography business. I never knew my business would turn into what it has. And I have PPA to thank for all my successes these past 10 years."

Over the last 10 years, Hovey has become one of Utah's top maternity photographers. One aspect that she sees as crucial to her success was the availability of PPA's educational programs. "Everything I have learned has made me an awesome photographer and a great business woman," she notes. "In this business world, you have to be both!"

If you're interested in maternity photography, don't miss your own chance at anhovey1.jpeg educational program: Hovey's "Maternity Portraits" Super Monday class on October 25th in Utah.

Hovey is ready to share her hard-earned knowledge about making maternity photography work, from marketing to maternity clients to establishing a good workflow. In addition, you'll see a sample photo shoot with a maternity model, during which Hovey will take you through the entire image making process all the way up to the portrait delivery.

"I hope photographers taking my course will be able to learn what has worked for me these past 10 years," Hovey comments. "I can teach them about my mistakes and successes...so hopefully, they won't make the same mistakes with their photography businesses!"
PPA has two great webinars coming up next week that you won't want to miss!

On Tuesday, October 12th, Leslie Ann Kitten, CPP, will host "The New Grapevine: Word-of-Mouth Marketing Through Social Networks".

You'll learn how to retain friendships, remember acquaintances and have them remember you, all for a nominal cost (or even for free)! With the age of computers, our advertising venues have changed. Unlike your local phone book, social networks help grow your clientele from local to international with just a few clicks and a few minutes a day. Leslie will guide you through setting up a personal Facebook page as well as a business page and will teach you how to make the most of them. She will also touch on other networking sites, offering advice on which ones to invest your time in and which to stay away from.

Tina Wilson will also host a webinar next week on Thursday, October 14th. Her "Design Those Must-Have Portrait Books" webinar will teach what you need to know about adding portrait books to your product line.

Other upcoming webinars:

October 20, 2010
Are Your Images Protected?
Member Essential Webinar Series - FREE for PPA Members

November 17, 2010
Lightroom Wedding Workflow
$39 for PPA Members
With Kevin Kubota, Cr.Photog.

November 17, 2010
Bring the Heat to Imaging USA
Member Essential Webinar Series - FREE for PPA Members
Panelist: Lenore Taffel, PPA Events Director
Super Monday Photo WorkshopsWhere will YOU be on Super Monday (on or around October 25th)? You could be gathering with nearby pro photographers to fine-tune your knowledge (a day of learning without the travel costs). But you better hurry--Monday, October 11th is your last day to register for Super Monday and save!

Don't miss your Super Monday chance to meet new colleagues, learn new skills, get great deals, and possibly find a lifelong mentor or friend. We're never done learning, so check out the classes in your area today.
leslie_kitten_headshot.JPGAdd word-of-mouth marketing to social networking and what do you get? A powerful tool for photographers! (Well, it can be powerful if you handle it correctly.) Leslie Ann Kitten, CPP, of Savant Photography knows the possibilities and pitfalls of combining the two, and she'll share her insights via an upcoming webinar: "The New Grapevine: Word-of-Mouth Marketing Through Social Networks" (October 12, 2:00pm ET).

"I started using social networks long before they were used for business, or even open to the general public," Kitten notes about her social networking experience. "When I started on Facebook, you needed to be linked to one of the universities in their system. There was no advertising, no fan pages, not even frequent status updates!"

In fact, Kitten used to be bothered by those who used Facebook for business in the early days--she likens it to receiving your first spam e-mail. Of course, as she says, Facebook has evolved into probably the number-one place for viral marketing. Kitten also evolved and is now making the most of Facebook and other social networking sites in her business. "When I learned what I could do, I saw my business skyrocket...so much so, that I quit my 60-hour-a-week 'pay the bills' job," she adds. "That is when I knew I was onto something great."

"Social networking helped me stay within my budget when I was trying to grow my business," Kitten explains. "I knew that if I could get my friends to easily tell their friends about me (costing them only 30 seconds of time), then referrals, the base of my business, could grow exponentially at almost no monetary cost to me. You can do so much within social networking that--if you put the correct time and energy into it--there is almost no reason to do anything else."

Again, it's how you handle the networking that really makes it work...just like any other form of marketing. Nothing is fool-proof, as Kitten reminds us: "You could network face to face and never receive any business if you were not saying the right things. This applies to social networking as well."

So what constitutes the "right things" to say? For one thing, you have to remember that the purpose of social networks is to be social. "Don't wear out your welcome with hard-selling or bragging about yourself," Kitten adds. "It's a two-way street. If you don't care about the people reading your stories, then they will stop."

Another pitfall she urges us all to avoid is the time drain. Social networking can suck you in, and you'll suddenly realize it's the wee hours of the morning and you haven't completed anything! Kitten advises the following: "Set a goal, set a time limit and be sure not to waste away your profits by spending too much time on your social sites."  

If you want to learn more from Kitten about better using these networks, register for her upcoming October 12th webinar. 

Dear PPA Member,

There is a farmers market in my neighborhood that I like...no, love. They always have what I'm looking for, and their fruits and vegetables are amazing. They have anything and everything you could ever think of, all the way down to dragon fruit. Needless to say, I give rave reviews of this farmers market. I love to tell others how great it is because then they will go there, and the food and service assure that this local hotspot will stay in business for many more shopping trips to come.

Are you wondering which farmers market I'm talking about? Good--that was my goal because this week's Vital Signs article is about partnering with other businesses! More specifically, this article is about creating and maintaining the initial relationship with that potential partner.

I found a market that fits my needs, and look at all of the free publicity they get from me. The same can be true for your studio. And if you partner with a local business, you give yourself the ability to reach more potential clients and make a great first impression. It's all about finding a business that is the right fit for you (even if I have no idea what a dragon fruit tastes like).

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

P.S. If you use slideshows (or want to), we have good news! PPA members can now create slideshows at a discount--through PPA's newest Affinity Partner, Emotion Media. Be sure to take advantage of the PPA member discount and Extreme Deal the next time you need a slideshow!

At the request of Members of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has once again extended implementation of the Red Flag rules. Congress is currently trying to pass an amendment (H.R. 3763) which as written would likely exempt many photographers from creating and maintaining the Identity Theft Prevention Program currently required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Barring any further Congressional requests for an extension, the FTC has set the new effective date as December 31, 2010 or as of the implementation date included in the bill.

Read the full article here.
The cost of your health care coverage is balancing precariously on a single issue being discussed in Washington, D.C., and PPA is stepping up to argue on your behalf. The issue deals with photographers' abilities to participate cost-effectively in health care pools, described in legislative terms as "exchanges." Exchanges are critical if small businesses are going to have access to more affordable health insurance, and the design of these exchanges is a central point currently being explored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

"Simply put, the larger the insurance pool or exchange, the better the rates," explains PPA Chief Executive Officer David Trust. "For many small businesses, the entire health care debate boils down to one single issue: cost. This is the primary reason we have argued so vehemently in favor of the creation of exchange pools since the health care debate first began this Congress."

Read the full article here.
Emotion logo White.jpgLooking for a way to "wow" your clients? Incorporating slideshows into your workflow can do just that--and now PPA members can do so at a discounted rate! PPA's newest Affinity Partner, Emotion Media, is a professional multimedia design studio and three-time Hot One Award winner that designs broadcast-quality videos exclusively for professional photographers.

Each slideshow incorporates animated text intros, perfectly timed transitions, coordinating backgrounds and professional motion effects. Emotion Media even makes it possible to showcase your photos in full HD, allowing clients to see your images the way they deserve to be seen. And you can make even more of an impact by adding music from Emotion Media's wide selection of commercially licensed songs.

"Photographers use Emotion Media because they want to stand out from their competition by offering the very best," says Brian McMurray, co-founder and CEO of Emotion Media. "With our HD quality and exclusive designs, we help photographers showcase their images like no one else can."

In fact, you can start by creating unlimited full-length videos for free--just pay for the ones you want to keep! This new feature allows you to preview your videos before you order; and if you're an Emotion Media subscriber, you can even let your clients in on the preview, too.

Creating a slideshow with Emotion Media is easy. Just choose your slideshow style, upload your images and you're done! And there is no need to decide on one type of format. Every slideshow order is delivered in a variety of formats. This makes it easier than ever to use the HD mp4 file to add impact to your projection sales presentation, sell DVDs to boost revenue and use the online video to go viral with your marketing.

PPA members have access to Emotion Media's annual slideshow subscription at a discounted rate (which also includes their Proof Gallery subscription, allowing you to view photo galleries on a big screen television). PPA members, find out how to use this new member benefit here.

And in case that is not enough, Emotion Media is also offering an introductory Extreme Deal! From now until November 30, 2010, PPA members can get two free months and 10 free HD video downloads from Emotion Media--and that is in addition to the regular PPA member discount. PPA members can learn more about this Extreme Deal here.

FindPhotoWorkshops.com has announced the launch of its online professional photography workshop and event directory with information on hundreds of upcoming workshops covering such topics as wedding, portrait, lighting, software, marketing, business, seniors, children, sports, boudoir, fashion and travel.

"The FindPhotoWorkshops directory - with over 750 workshop listings and more being added each day - is a free resource for both photographers looking for quality workshops and providers seeking  an effective way to promote their events." said Mark Williams of FindPhotoWorkshops.com. "By keeping the directory free for all providers to promote their workshops, we ensure that new and experienced photographers can use the directory to find as many educational opportunities as possible."

FindPhotoWorkshops.com also tracks hundreds of speakers and instructors across events so users can quickly find and review a specific speaker's upcoming workshop schedule. The FindPhotoWorkshops.com  directory tracks workshops by state, country, month, provider, instructor and topic.

More information is available at http://www.findphotoworkshops.com
PPA members in multiple states reported requests for photography services at a child's birthday party through the Find-A-Photographer Search at PPA.com. Based on the similarity of their content and coast-to-coast distribution, we believe these e-mails to be scams.

If you have received e-mails claiming to have noted your affiliation with PPA--and you believe them to be suspicious--please ignore the request and notify PPA's Member Value & Experience team as soon as possible. With your information, we can investigate the e-mail address and notify other members if appropriate.

At present, we have included the following addresses on our blocked senders list:

ronda.adams70@yahoo.com
johngarnet@yahoo.com
 
If you receive a request for a quote or consultation from either e-mail address, we encourage you to delete and ignore it.

The FTC provides good information about protecting yourself from the top ten online scams. PPA also distributed the article, "If a Project Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Just Might Be," which provides tips on addressing e-mail scams. In addition, you can join the conversation about the latest scams on the OurPPA Forums, helping you stay informed and share information with other members.

If you have any questions, please contact PPA at 800-786-6277 or csc@ppa.com.
With sales ranging between $10,000 and $25,000 per wedding, regardless of economic climate or client income level, Sean and Melanie McLellan know what they are doing. They are the photographers and businesspeople behind McLellan Style, one of the top wedding studios in the Southeast, and their pricing model of a la carte products combined with low-pressure, back-end sales strategies has proven very successful.  

Want to learn how they manage this? Listen and learn as the McLellans share key information that has allowed them to earn the majority of their sales after the wedding: "Post-Wedding Sales Strategies for Wedding Photographers" (October 6th, 2:00pm ET).
Kay Eskridge and Jennifer Hillenga
Kay Eskridge &
Jennifer Hillenga

Would you say that one of your goals is to tell the story behind an image? To show the external and internal beauty of each subject? Jennifer Hillenga, M.Photog.Cr., and Kay Eskridge, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, believe in that...and they bring those statements to life in their boudoir photography, too!

These two award-winning photographers have created their own successful boudoir divisions, one of today's hottest photographic specialties. But their success is not all due to great photography. A lot of it has to due with the client experience, from photographing with sensitivity to making the client feel beautiful and empowered.

Kay and Jen will spend a day at Imaging USA showing you how to do it all. They'll demonstrate what has worked for them, from connecting with clients to marketing ideas to hands-on practicing of poses and set designs that sell. By the end of the class, you'll have images for your portfolio, PR cards designed and ready to be printed and the knowledge needed to begin your own boudoir division.

The goal here? To increase the client's confidence with an experience she won't stop talking about! So if you're thinking about bringing a little spiciness to your photography business, do it the right way: Join Kay and Jen's pre-convention class, "Boudoir: Bold & Beautiful" (Friday, January 14th, 9:00am-5:00pm).

We'll see you there!

FamilyPortraitMonth.pngThe answer is yes. But more importantly, supporting a cause like PPA Charities' charitable partner Operation Smile can help those in need. That's why PPA Charities puts on Family Portrait Month, a national fundraising effort by photographers like you.

Want to join hundreds of PPA studios across the country in supporting Family Portrait Month's fundraising for Operation Smile? For only $25, you get to download all logos, a marketing guide and ad slicks to promote your business. PPA Charities will even send you a CD with special templates designed by Sandy Puc' and her team specifically for PPA Charities. To learn more and register, click here.

It's a win-win-win for your business, your clients and the children helped by Operation Smile. So don't let this chance pass you by!

Get your free Flat Rate Shipping Kit from the United States Post Office (USPS). To order yours, visit prioritymail.com/kit16 or look for the free reply card in your October issue of Professional Photographer magazine.

jim_hilgedick_headshot.jpgJim Hilgedick, CPP, of TimeScape Photography in Grand Rapids, Minn., admits that he originally was hesitant to open his photography business. But once he rediscovered his passion and took the courageous plunge, he steadily built up his success.

"I was talked out of being a photographer back in high school, citing, 'There's no money in it,'" recalls Hilgedick. "So I abandoned a passion that I'd had since fourth grade to get a 'real job.'"

While friends' weddings offered him an opportunity to "shake the dust off" his camera gear, Hilgedick did not begin to pursue photography professionally until 2004...after he was inspired by his three adopted boys. And when he jumped back in, he did it with gusto! In fact, he handed his other business over to his wife to manage so he could pursue photography full time.

Hilgedick began his photography studio in the warehouse space from his other business.Hilgedick1.jpg There he stayed until 2009 when he was able to purchase and renovate a building to contain two 500-square-foot studios, a sales room and a reception area. "That single, scary decision has opened up a whole new chapter for me," he says, remembering the purchase.

And now he knows that there is plenty of money to be had as a professional photographer--even if you have to work harder in a tough economy to get it.

"Whining will get you nowhere," Hilgedick adds. "Now is the time to be as optimistic as possible. Come up with new ideas or beg, buy or borrow great ones from others. If you are not on one of the many professional photographer forums, join one. You may learn something, share something or commiserate with others. Do everything you can to set yourself apart from those new faces. Do not lower your prices--add more value to them."

Hilgedick2.jpgIf you want to learn more about how Hilgedick has achieved success in a short amount of time, don't miss his "Lights, Camera, Success!" Super Monday class on October 25th (Grand Rapids, Minn.).   

During his upcoming class, Hilgedick will cover a variety of topics requested by previous Super Monday attendees. You'll learn about planning a successful studio, the anatomy of lighting set-ups and a quick and simple editing workflow. "After all, every moment we spend on our workflow is one that could be used to enhance our businesses or be spent with our families!" he says.

Learn more about Hilgedick's class, and browse more Super Monday classes in more locations at www.ppa.com/supermonday.

Read more about Hilgedick here.

Super Monday is an educational program sponsored by PPA every spring and fall. TheseHilgedick3.jpg daylong, interactive workshops are conducted in locations around the country, allowing PPA members to earn merits for sharing their craft and enabling all photographers to learn new skills and develop professional networking contacts.

ALL IMAGES © JIM HILGEDICK
Tina_Wilson_headshot.jpgWhat was it that convinced Tina Wilson of Tina Wilson Photography to create portrait books, which have become THE must-have photography items among her clients)? Their creation was the answer to a series of questions:

  • As a new business owner, Tina wondered, "What can I place in my clients' hands that they will be excited to show their friends and generate buzz?"
  • As an artist, Tina also thought, "What product can I create that will allow the client to see all the nuances of his or her child's personality?"
  • And the clients who wanted it all kept asking, "What do I do with all these images?"

The resulting portrait book product was a resounding success (and still is). Why? "With the purchase of one little book, they can have every image from their session," remarks Tina. In fact, she's found that many clients keep returning to add another volume to their collection.

And this product's success is no fluke...it's smart business. Tina didn't just create something and then leave it up to the customer to want it. She created something that answered her clients' needs, and then she led them straight to it. "The most important thing I mention to clients when I'm introducing the books for the first time is how special a portrait book will be for their children to have when they are older," explains Tina. "To be able to flip through a book and get an idea of what their life was like is pretty fantastic."

Does that sound like something you'd like to see in your business? Well, Tina is ready and willing to help! She'll be sharing a simple approach to portrait book design and how to present those books to clients in her upcoming webinar: "Design Those Must-Have Portrait Books" (October 14th, 2:00pm ET).

Additional upcoming webinars:
McAdoo_Amber.gifCreating a doable workflow system is vital for your photography business--and you--to survive. And according to Amber McAdoo, CPP, of McAdoo Photo Artistry, peace of mind is one of a great workflow's best benefits. In fact, she'll be sharing a webinar on the subject: "A Workflow to Help You Live the Life You Want" (October 5th, 2:00pm ET).

"Since creating and implementing my workflow in my own business, I am a lot happier of a person in general," explains McAdoo. "There's less stress because you know you are in a good position to get everything done when it needs to be done."

And as you know, there are a lot of things to get done in a photography business! From scheduling to shooting, post-production editing to selling (and everything in between), McAdoo reminds us that a good workflow is necessary to produce the timely delivery of client orders--and to keep the experience consistent from client to client.

Of course, no one's workflow is exactly the same, for everyone works differently. The key is to know your goal and put down a plan. In her October 5th webinar (which will be archived), McAdoo will walk you through the steps you need to take to create your own system and put it into action.

"I think the most important step is simply knowing your steps and putting them into a process," she says. "And obviously, you have to be able to manage those steps in a timely manner."

Are you ready to get your workflow in working order? Do so, and you'll boost your productivity, profitability, client experience...and your own peace of mind! Learn how, thanks to "A Workflow to Help You Live the Life You Want." 

Epson is redefining how computer-to-plate (CTP) technology is used by small and medium commercial print shops with a new technology called Epson DirectPlate Aluminum. Taking advantage of a recent breakthrough in chemical engineering and plate coating, this new plate technology enables true aluminum lithographic printing press plates to be created with a standard Epson Stylus® Pro printer and Epson UltraChrome® HDR inks. Once imaged, followed by a quick heat curing process, these unique plates can be used to produce up to 20,000 impressions each with image quality that's superior to polyester solutions available today.

The new Epson Stylus Pro 7900CTP system is the first printer to incorporate DirectPlate Aluminum technology. This complete turn-key system combines an Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer (24-inch wide format) with a unique plate curing device (PCU), an EFI® Computer-to-Plate RIP software package, and plate guide attachment. Designed for printing press-duplicators and small to medium size printing press businesses, the Epson 7900CTP's output offers better quality prints on press than polyester without having to manage hazardous and messy chemicals. In addition, a lower cost-per-plate, energy efficiency, and the virtual elimination of maintenance costs contribute significantly toward a lower total cost of operation.

"It's amazing to see just how much Epson DirectPlate technology can exceed the final press quality that today's small and medium sized commercial printers are used to seeing," said Reed Hecht, product manager, Epson America. "But even more important than image quality, this technology gives them a true aluminum press plate workflow that's reliable, consistent, more cost-effective than polyester, and less impact on the environment while still being easier to use. We're confident that once customers incorporate this solution into their workflows, it's very likely they'll never want to use polyester plates again."

Epson DirectPlate Aluminum technology contributes to superior press output with up to 175 lpi resolution, better solids, cleaner halftones, and sharper text. In addition, the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer's robust engineering and energy-efficient operation offers significant savings in electrical costs as well as ongoing maintenance expenses and service contracts. Once purchased, there's nothing else owners need to buy other than ongoing ink cartridges, plates, and an occasional ink maintenance tank.

The Epson Stylus Pro 7900CTP's unique water-based plate-making system eliminates the messy, time-consuming process of cleaning and handling hazardous chemicals associated with other platesetting solutions. In addition, because no special inks are required, the Epson Stylus Pro 7900CTP can also be used to make high-quality press proofs, imposition proofs, and even high-quality, short-run, posters up to 24-inches wide.

Pricing, Availability and Support

The Epson 7900CTP system will be available in November 2010 for $9,999 (MSRP) through authorized Epson dealers. Unlike other computer-to-plate solutions, the system comes complete, including the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer, modified for easy plate loading, the Plate Curing Unit, an EFI® front-end CTP RIP workflow, and a starter set of inks and plates. For more information on Epson's complete line of professional proofing solutions, inks and media, visit www.proimaging.epson.com.
Southpoint Photo Imaging Supplies Inc. will meet up with professional photographers at Imaging USA, where they will be featuring the Mitsubishi Grace Pearlescent "metallic-like" inkjet media along with the Mitsubishi Diamond Jet canvas inkjet media. See the looks you can achieve at the Imaging EXPO, booth 1617.  

Grace Pearlescent has been a huge success, for it gives the photo imaging professional the ability to achieve a custom, specialized look...without converting to expensive metallic inks. For example, it is perfect for baseball and sport images because a highly luminous look can be achieved that goes beyond glossy.

The canvas inkjet media--a 100-percent cotton coated product that stretches easily and instantly dries--is also at a popular price. The base coating is a high-level clean white with a light textured base that allows the aqueous-based inks to permeate the layers for superior color perception.

Southpoint Photo Imaging Supplies Inc. is sure these products will be a hit at this year's Imaging USA convention and the Imaging EXPO trade show, especially for those producers who control the output of the finished image. Discover these innovative inkject output solutions at booth 1617.

For more information:
contact@southpointphoto.com  
www.southpointphoto.com 


About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in October 2010.

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