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PPA Today: PPA Benefits Archives

Recently in PPA Benefits Category

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Like any small business, most photographers are always looking for ways to save. PPA photographers can now stop wasting money on unnecessarily high credit card processing fees. All that cash can (and should) go straight to your bottom line! 

PPA negotiated deeply discounted rates for PPA photographers through Bank of America Merchant Services. Members who have made the switch have saved hundreds (at times more, depending on the volume you process each year!). 

Here's some fun math! We compared the negotiated PPA rate using Bank of America's standard terminal against a standard mobile processor from the well-known company Square. 

For regulated debit card (legalese for credit card) rates:   
Bank of America: Current interchange (0.05% + $0.22) plus 0.07% plus $0.07 = 0.12% + $0.29 per transaction 

Square: Flat 2.75% per transaction

Monthly Credit Card Processing Amount

PPA Member Fee

Regular Fee with Square

Monthly Savings

Annual Savings

$300

$0.65

$8.25

$7.60 / month

$91.20 / year

$1,000

$1.49

$27.50

$26.01 / month

$312.12 / year

$2,500

$3.29

$68.75

$65.46 / month

$785.52 / year

$5,000

$6.29

$137.50

$131.21/ month

$1,574.52 / year


There are no (zip, zilch, nada) pesky monthly fees for the regular transaction processing. And if you add the option to process mobile transactions, that's only a flat $9.95 add-on per month.

See for yourself! Bank of America Merchant Services is offering free statement comparisons - just call them at 888-317-5402 (7am-7pm CST) or email TellMeMore@BankofAmericaMerchant.com to see how much you could save. 

Make the switch today and Be More Profitable 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.

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By: Lauren Walters

Accidents happen -sometimes you may drop your camera or break a lens on the job. But what happens next? You have to pay out of pocket to fix or replace your gear and ultimately return to work. What if you didn't have to rely on your own savings account as an insurance policy? PPA can protect your photo gear with PhotoCare Equipment Insurance.

Why PhotoCare? Other insurance companies offer insurance policies that may fit your budget, but this one was crated for PPA, specifically to fit photographers' needs. Instead of going to a one-stop-shop general insurance company, PhotoCare Equipment Insurance will give you peace of mind; it's been created for photographers like you.



All PPA photographers receive up to $15,000 of equipment coverage as part of their membership--They just have to activate it (it's free) and PPA pays the insurance premiums! Best of all, it covers loss or damage of your professional equipment due to fire, theft or damage.

Don't risk your business or facing big out-of-pocket expenses. In the professional world it's not a matter of if but when, because things will happen! So if you're already with PPA, make sure you have activated your PhotoCare Equipment Insurance! To do so, go to My PPA and activate your equipment insurance!

Not yet a member? Join now and Be More Protected. It's that plain simple.

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By: Lauren Walters

As April rolls along, check out this week's top blogs about ethics. Join in the fun with other posts and learn about the PPA perk - Photovision. Remember to exercise good ethics and inspire your creative self.   

Be More Inspired with PhotoVision

PPA MEMBERSHIP PERK: Now that PhotoVision is part of PPA, you have no excuse! The sources of inspiration to be more inspired and more creative are endless! Pick a topic, pick a genre or pick an instructor, there is something for everyone to motivate and inspire you in photography. With over 800 cinematic HD streaming videos, PhotoVision is now included with your PPA membership! Visit PPA.com/PhotoVision and proactively continue to learn today!

Could the U.K.'s Copyright Hub Provide a Template for Simple Rights Use?

COPYRIGHT: We all know the troubles copyright comes with. The U.K. created a hub to identify all copyright information pertaining to a single piece simply by searching the image, video or audio file. How useful is this? Read this article to find out what the U.S. thinks of this hub.

In the Smartphone Era, Can Street Photography Be Illegal?

ETHICS: Let's find out! In Germany, a Berlin-based street photographer started a project funded by 528 supporters totaling $19,850 for his possible legal fees. Since 1907, the law stated if a photographer didn't have the subject's permission to photograph them, they weren't allowed to publish the image. This interesting article shows how this project turned out.

Photoshop and Photojournalism

ETHICS AGAIN: In a way, photography is manipulation, but photojournalism is about revealing the truth to the public. A photojournalist cannot recreate a moment by asking a subject to pose a certain way - they must be an honest and credible source. Check out this video and celebrate 25 years of Photoshop as it relates to modern photojournalism.

This Camera Survived Three Months at the Bottom of the Ocean

JUST FOR FUN: An underwater photographer, Scuba Monster team member, found a camera among the coral reef near the bottom of the ocean. Guess what? The camera sill worked! What all did this camera go through before being rediscovered? Read more to get the full scoop!

Showing Girls that 'Strong is the New Pretty'

EMPOWER: Instead of photographing little girls in pink dresses and flowery hats, PPA Photographer Kate Parker helps her daughters find their confidence. Through photography, Parker's daughters show their tough side - redefining the term "pretty".

Three Little Letters... Big Meaning.

TREAT YOUR PSYCHE: "Why become certified?" PPA photographer Suan Goralski tells all! Read about her journey on the CPP path and find out what it takes to become a certified professional photographer. It might involve a side effect that helps with you beyond the client perception's rationale... just read on!

When More Is More: Photography and Doing Away With Subtlety

INSPIRATION: Is less more? "If less is more, just think how more that will be!" Where do you draw the line? When intensifying and balancing the right elements, your work will stand out among the crowd. Check out this work and get inspired by this photographer's brave lunge into the bold.

100 Ideas That Changed Photography

REINVENTION: From camera obscura to the iPhone, Fine Art Professor Mary Marien explains the evolution of photography through her book "100 Ideas That Changed Photography". Through this article, catch the highlights of significant historical artifacts that pushed photography toward the art it is today.

5 Steps To Realizing Successful Passion Projects

PHOTOGRAPHY PASSION: In the mini-documentary, "Updating Philosophies", film makers Jared Levy and Justin Hamilton share their secrets about how to get booked for the work you WANT to do. Watch the short video and follow their 5 simple steps to start living your dream.

What's photography blogs do you follow? Post your favorites on theLoop! Also, you can email your suggestions directly to OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.

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To help you Be More this year - PPA is proud to bring PhotoVision as one more tool and resource for photographers to be more creative, more inspired and more unique! PhotoVision is the top of the line learning program for photographers, with an immense library of cinematic HD videos where you'll get your creative juices flowing, learn new skills and find solutions from some of the biggest and best names in the photography world.

Whether you are new to PPA or a long-time member, the online streaming of this educational resource now comes included with your PPA membership at no extra cost! Where's the catch? There isn't one! 
  • The $199/year streaming is waived as it is now part of the PPA membership; 
  • PPA is a nonprofit funded thanks to membership dues and as there are more and more PPA photographers each year, the membership funds are reinvested into scalable benefits;
  • PhotoVision offers quality programs that match PPA's mission of providing tangible quality products and services for Photographers to be more 
Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, you now have access to over 1,100 videos on photography technique, creativity and business! What's stopping you from being more today? These four preview videos are a small sampling of what you'll find with PhotoVision:
By Chris Homer

At PPA, one of our goals is to constantly provide benefits that help photographers Be More
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 as business owners and as artists. With that in mind, we're excited to introduce the newest benefit of being with the largest and strongest photography association - PhotoVision! 

PhotoVision is a premier online library of cinematic HD videos where photographers can learn, be inspired and find solutions from some of the biggest names in the industry. Now that PhotoVision is a part of PPA, members can stream more than 800 videos for FREE! Or if you're more of the DVD type (some of us really like to hold onto DVDs), if you're with PPA you'll also receive 50% off the PhotoVision DVDs. When adding PhotoVision to the existing PPAedu videos, you now have more than 1,100 educational videos at your fingertips to help you work on photography technique and develop your business and business skills... all INCLUDED with your PPA membership! 

Below you'll find previews for the 2015 PhotoVision releases. There's certain to be something for every photographer! Learn all about this new benefit at PPA.com/PhotoVision. Remember, you've got to be with PPA to get the free streaming, but you can also get a PhotoVision-only subscription. It's your choice... Join today




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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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By: Lauren Walters

Have you ever had someone steal your work or discredit you? Don't fret! PPA is here to help! If you hire a lawyer, you'll be spending A LOT OF MONEY in legal fees, but if you are with PPA, most likely we'll be able to protect your work for FREE or, if damages have already been done, for a fraction of that insane legal cost.

PPA photographer, Ross Oscar Knight, specializes in weddings, fine art and corporate events. Ross had a project that received a lot of exposure when it went viral in 2007, thanks in part to the feature on the Oprah Winfrey show. Soon after, people started pulling and using images from his website without his permission. Some were even discrediting his work and cropping out his logo, committing the ultimate copyright infringement. Ross remembered that PPA helps photographers resolve copyright disputes and went for that help. Check out his story and hear more about how PPA helped him resolve this copyright infringement rip-off.


If you are at risk for copyright infringement or simply want to take the right proactive steps, just go to the PPA's Copyright Resources , get your Free Copyright Kit or check out the overview of copyright laws. Be More Business Savvy and Be More Protected. 

By: Lauren Walters


If you missed Imaging USA, you might not have heard the news: PhotoVision is now a PPA membership benefit! What does this mean? It means that PPA photographers now have full access to PhotoVision's monthly streaming at no additional cost. It now comes included with your PPA membership!  


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PhotoVision is the popular bi-monthly DVD and streaming photography learning program founded by Ed Pierce, M.Photog.Cr. For 17 years, PhotoVision has offered photographers professional education and solutions through cinematic-quality HD videos from some of the biggest names in photography. 


"Bringing PhotoVision under the PPA umbrella takes our educational offerings to another level and furthers PPA's mission to raise the bar in our ever-growing industry," said David Trust, CEO.


What exactly does PhotoVision do for you as a photographer? 

PhotoVision videos feature tips, processes and techniques from real, working, successful professional photographers. The videos expand and strengthen the professional photography industry as a whole, aligning well with PPA's mission to do the same.  


Ed Pierce will continue to produce PhotoVision's videos. "Nobody does this better than Ed," said David Trust, CEO. "He is the gold standard and it is a lot of fun work so closely with him on this." While PhotoVision continues to operate as its separate entity, PPA photographers now can tap into PhotoVision's entire library of 800+ videos through PhotoVision's 24/7 monthly streaming. 


"PPA members are always seeking to grow as artists and business professionals," said Angela Kurkian, director of education. "I'm so excited we're able to offer this under the PPA umbrella of benefits. PhotoVision offers such a wealth of information, it's easy to access and this is the type quality learning our members look for."


Photographers who belong to PPA also receive 50% off all PhotoVision DVDs. Non PPA photographers can still subscribe to or renew with PhotoVision at their current rates. 


For more information, visit PPA.com/PhotoVision.






iStock_000020646903XSmall.jpgDon't miss out on this year's health insurance open enrollment period!

Are you familiar with the health insurance options available to you as a PPA member? PPA can help you and your family find affordable medical and dental insurance in your area.

The open enrollment period for qualified Health Insurance Plans began on November 15, 2014. We are very excited to announce that this year, several healthcare providers who chose to sit out last year and not offer plans, have now chosen to get back in. This is great news for you, as more competition amongst insurance companies goes a long way in keeping your policy premiums down.

Here are the important deadlines from healthcare.gov:

  • December 15, 2014: The last date to enroll for coverage that starts January 1, 2015
  • December 31, 2014: Date when all 2014 Marketplace coverage ends, no matter when you enrolled
  • January 1, 2015: The date 2015 coverage can start if you apply by December 15, 2014, or if you accept automatic enrollment in your 2014 plan or a similar plan
  • February 15, 2015: The last day to enroll in 2015 coverage. If you miss this deadline, you can't sign up for a health plan inside or outside the Marketplace for the rest of 2015. The only exception is if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
By Danielle Brooks

I seriously think PPA hit the jackpot when they asked me to guest blog for them. I'm not saying I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread, rather so much has happened to me in the past year that I am running the gamut of all things newsworthy. It started with Imaging USA, me losing my job, jumping head first into full-time photography, and literally applying everything I learned at Imaging USA as a business owner. I am so honored to be sharing my ups and downs with you all, and this post is certainly no different. 

This past month I had the most horrific thing that could ever happen to a photographer happen to me. I broke my camera and lens. I still wince even when I type the words. 

I was at Harley Davidson in Daytona Beach when it happened. My husband's company sold them some LED lights for their showroom. I was tasked with taking the before and after photos. My tripod had been acting up lately and I should have taken that as a sign. Sometimes one of the leg joints would give out--the latch wasn't tight enough to keep the leg extended, and because my tripod was cheap there was no way to tighten them. Although at the time, I didn't know that's what was happening. I just thought I was being careless and didn't latch my tripod leg all the way, so sometimes when I was taking a long exposure, it would start to tilt.

Well, this time I left my tripod unmanned to remove some stuff from view. Don't judge. You know we ALL do it. The leg gave way. I didn't see it happen fortunately, or else I might have passed out. All I heard was the crash and the slew of profanities that left my mouth. I ran over to my camera and saw that the lens essentially broke off at the mount. The mount for the lens was still attached to the ring. Luckily no glass was broken. I didn't notice it at the time, but the top of my camera body was cracked. It still seemed to function normally, but we needed to get that fixed too. The only thing I can compare the feeling of breaking your camera to would be accidentally slamming a child's finger in the car door. It probably hurts you more than it hurts them. Plus you're left with the residual guilt.

Fortunately, as a PPA photographer, my gear is covered. I called the insurance company and immediately spoke with a representative. No automated service. I was impressed. 
The woman I spoke with was so calm and reassuring. I'm sure she went home that day and had a good laugh with her family about my quivering, nervous voice on the verge of a breakdown. They emailed me the packet of info I would need to start a claim that day. They told me I could take my gear anywhere to get it fixed and get a quote. My husband and I were already headed to Orlando for our anniversary trip. It just so happened that the biggest Canon representative in the state of Florida is in Orlando. So we swung by. 

They quoted me for the work and then pointed me in the direction of the nearest camera rental facility, which just so happened to be right down the street. We went over there and were able to get a rental. They aren't open on weekends and I had a shoot scheduled for Monday. So I HAD to get a camera. All the while I had two clients call back and book sessions. I was beyond relieved that things worked out for me what would have otherwise been a stressful situation. 

Needless to say, I threw away my tripod and bought a legit one. Never use subpar equipment when it comes to cameras. Unfortunately it was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. 

So if there is any takeaway from this, it's GET INSURANCE ON YOUR GEAR! You can't afford not to. Just by being a PPA member, you have up to $15,000 of PhotoCare Equipment Insurance. You'll be thankful you have it when you need it!

Photographers who belong to PPA get many benefits, like the free print and digital versions ofthe award-winning Professional Photographer magazine so you can keep up with the latest photography techniques, products, and business advice, and also perks and discounts on photography products and services. There's 15 families of tangible benefits for photographers to be more profitable, more protected, more prepared, more inspired, more connected and more productive. 

You surely have access to some of these benefits on your own, but they'll cost you more! How come? Because PPA is a non-profit in the business of helping photographers, not stockholders. Plus, we're the only one able to negotiate rates for 27,000 people at once, and therefore, able to transfer the drastic savings down directly to you.

One of these benefits is PhotoCare Equipment Insurance. The next time your camera or lens breaks, you'll be thankful for your membership. The insurance won't avoid the stress, fear or the frustration an accident or a theft can cause, but knowing that this insurance is there should give you pure peace of mind. Price tag? $300+ to PPA, but nothing to you! Isn't that priceless?

Here's what makes PhotoCare so awesome: You get up to $15,000 worth of coverage on photography and video equipment due to theft, breakage or fire. This comes at no cost to you! You read that right! PPA pays the entire insurance premium, so other than the deductible, you'll pay nothing out of pocket as long as you're a PPA member (valid for U.S. and Puerto Rico-based Professional Active or Life members). 

Replacing broken equipment can break the bank, but with PhotoCare Equipment Insurance you won't have to stress nearly as much next time your camera, lens or other piece of photography equipment gets wet, dinged, dropped, cracked, smacked, frozen or stolen! 

What if you already have an insurance you're happy with, you ask? Simple: PhotoCare will act as a secondary insurance, filling the gaps where your insurance will leave you hanging!

And what if you want MORE than the $15,000 PPA PhotoCare coverage? There's an option for that too! PhotoCare Plus offers up to $100,000 of coverage and extends to theft of equipment in unlocked vehicles (yep!), mysterious disappearances (yep again!), and non-PPA member employee coverage (up to $1,000). That option isn't included with the PPA membership, but it's well worth it. Learn more about PhotoCare Plus here

Either way, we highly encourage you to read more about Photocare and check the FAQs. It will help you get the coverage you need and avoid any surprises down the road.

Also, check out the video below that explains more about how this equipment insurance works.


What if you've already joined PPA but not activated your insurance? Easy! Log in to PPA.com and opt-in through the My PPA section. Boom, $15,000 of equipment insurance just like that! The video below will walk you through how to opt-in; it's a really quick process that will only take a moment of your time. 


Stop stressing about your expensive gear or the risks associated with owning and hiding your stuff! We want you to be more protected, so that you can do more of what you love!

Join PPA today to opt-in or activate your coverage now if you haven't! It costs you nothing and it's a great safety net! Stay tuned to the PPA blog, as in upcoming weeks we'll be explaining even more of the benefits your PPA membership gives you, why they are here and what you're missing out on by not leveraging them!


About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the PPA Benefits category.

PPA Affiliates is the previous category.

PPA Charities is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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