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By: Lauren Walters
Have a case of the judging jitters? If you've entered a photographic competition such as IPC, you know how intimidating the process can be, but that fear is far exceeded by its reward.
The IPC is proven to benefit photographers' technique and assure their credence. But if you've never entered, you might wonder: How does the judging process work? Competitions are a great way to improve your work by getting pointers via critiques from accomplished photographers such as international juror Jeff Dachowski, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. Once you get a hang of the process, you'll be more confident to enter your work into a competition yourself!
Below Jeff Dachowski critiques "Framed Classic" by Mark Bowers, M.Photog. in the Artist category for IPC. Watch how one's work is analyzed and see how the exercise can help you continue to perfect your craft. Once you get a hang of the process, you'll be more confident to enter your work into a competition yourself!
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 Be More Business Savvy and Be More Protected.
By: Lauren Walters
Thom Rouse began his career in 1994. He now splits his time as a portrait and commercial photographer. With two diverse sides to his career, Thom has mastered the art of photography. In the following interview, he tells us about himself as an artist.
What is your definition of "fine art"?
I wouldn't dare try to define art! My thought is that if you have a personal experience with literature, music, a painting or a photograph, then it must be art. We don't really need to define it, agree on it, or consult a critic to decide what it means. If we have an experience with it, positive or negative, I think it must be art.
Who are some of the artists who inspire you?
There are many artists who inspire me and the list changes daily. Among those near the top of my list are Salvador Dali, Gustave Klimt and Tintoretto. Among photographers, I'd include Steichen, Julia Margaret Cameron, Gordon Parks and Irving Penn. As soon as I start a list, I can think of 30 more I should have added.
Why do you teach classes for other photographers?
It sounds trite, but I like to teach because I learn so much from it. It pushes me to think and evaluate the things I think I know about my process and my craft. While teaching, I often have some self-revelation about my own image making and I always learn from other photographers, usually from the newest newbie in the room.
You've had over 50 images go Loan - what do you enjoy most about photographic competitions?
My reasons for entering competition have changed over time. When I started, I was solely trying to make the judges happy and earn merits towards a degree. Once I earned my degrees, I tried to make and enter images that I liked the most and were unique to me. At that point, I stopped looking for what I thought would achieve the highest scores. If we're not learning from competition, I see no reason to compete. We all need to present our work and receive feedback; it's a part of our ongoing creative process. No matter where we are in our careers, photographic competitions guarantee to make us better image makers. The more we enter competition, the more we have to work at stretching ourselves. It pushes us to take chances and do work that advances our vision; not just entering images that will earn more merits.
What makes photography such a versatile medium of expression?
It's great to be a photographer: a time when the medium has become more versatile than ever! I started later in life at 40 years old, but the 20 year span of my career has encompassed the transition from film to digital capture. As much as I loved the traditional darkroom, I came alive with digital post production. During that time it has become an entirely new medium that encompasses painting, compositing and extensive possibilities for post-capture manipulation. The technology has created endless opportunities, yet we have to remind ourselves that we still create images with our eyes, hearts and minds. That's what makes photography truly versatile.
Do you pursue any other creative endeavors?
Sadly, I do not. I gave up music 30 plus years ago; although, I'm greatly inspired by other media. I fantasize projects in other media, but I've never acted on it.
What is your favorite image you've captured?
I have several favorites because they were influenced by very personal experiences that captured, expressed and expanded those experiences. I think the best and most impactful work is done when it's grounded in your personal experience.
Who should take your class at Imaging USA?
I think that photographers in any genre and at any experience level will find something of value in my program. I'll be making the case for spending time on fine art and how fine art will translate into added success in commercial and portrait work. Creating and displaying fine art expands your reputation as an artist, and will contribute to both your image making skills and to your bottom line.
What are the top 3 things people should take away from your class?
1. Pursuing personal fine art will keep you fresh, alive and vibrant as an image maker.
2. These days everyone is a photographer - being recognized as an artist elevates your status and recognition in the market.
3. Fine Art translates into skills and styles that let you create work like no one else in your market.
Elvis, Johnny Cash, or Jack White?
This is trick question that should be answered with "all of the above". I know that Elvis and Johnny Cash have influenced nearly everyone that's followed, but my first choice for listening right now would be Jack White!
This must be a based on Nashville connections; otherwise I'd be voting "none of the above" and writing in Miles Davis!
By: Lauren Walters
Let's get to know one of our speakers who will be at Imaging USA in Nashville, Tennessee. JulieAnne Jonker has her master of photography and photographic craftsman degrees from PPA and is also a certified professional photographer (CPP). In the following interview, she sheds some light on her career as a photographer.
Who's your class for?
Any photographer, really. It's about inspiration as much as what it takes to get your photography studio to the next level. I'll help you direct your business based on your definition of yourself as an artist
What are the top 3 takeaways from your class?
At the end of my class, you will be able to understand 3 things:
1. Who you are as an artist
2. What direction you want to take your studio in 2015
3. How you can operate a low-volume, high-end studio in this economy
Define your style as a photographer in 5 words.
My style reflected in my photography is vintage, ethereal, classical, compelling and timeless.
What makes your portrait style so unique?
The influences that I continually derive from the fine art world shine through my work and define my photography style.
What is your favorite medium of expression besides photography?
Outside photography, there are two outlets I use to express myself: painting and sculpting.
What was your proudest photographic moment?
Being invited and voted into the Camera Craftsmen of America has to be my proudest moment as a photographer.
What is one marketing mistake many photographers make when they are first starting out?
Inexperienced photographers tend to compete on price, and price only, to get their foot in the door, but that presents them as cheap studios with too many sales and specials.
What do you want to be known for?
As an artist I'd like to be known for creating timeless pieces.
Elvis, Johnny Cash, or Jack White?
Definitely, Jimi Hendrix.
JulieAnne has had a long streak of success. Learn from her at Imaging USA in Nashville! You'll have two opportunities to hear her speak: on the business panel "5 Golden Nuggets" and in her solo-class called "The Portrait as an Art Form".
If you haven't registered for Imaging USA, you can do so now at ImagingUSA.org/Register! We can't wait to see you in Nashville!
There's always plenty going on here at PPA. So how about a monthly blog to keep you up to date?
At the start of each month, we'll give you an update on what workshops and live webinars are coming up! There's no excuse to miss out now!
Without further ado, let's take a look.
PPAedu's live webinars are offered FREE to members and non-members alike, but only available on-demand to PPA professional active members and PPAedu subscribers.
Here are this month's live webinars:
November 12, 2 p.m. ET
Learn strategies that can potentially lower your taxes and more with THE expert--PPA's resident CPA, Bridget Jackson!
November 19, 2 p.m. ET
Don't miss part four of SEO expert Brett Snyder's series on... you guessed it... SEO! Read our blog post from last week for more info.
look out for part 5 in early December!
December 3, 2 p.m. ET
And make arrangements for PPA's upcoming workshops!
PPA's Studio Management Services are hosting a few workshops at Imaging USA in Phoenix to help you be more in 2014. If you really want to get the most out of your Imaging experience, head out a few days early for these great pre-convention workshops!
Thursday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
with Carrie Wildes, CPP & Allison Tyler Jones
Register for Business Breakthroughs and we'll throw in a FULL Imaging USA registration for free! Don't miss out on this exclusive deal to get a comprehensive and intimate workshop on your business followed by three days of Imaging USA to give you all the inspiration you need to put your new business plan to action!
And TWO Certification Prep Classes
With Gary Meek, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, A- ASP, EA-ASP
& Kathy Meek, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API
with Al Audleman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API
Friday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
PPA is also offering two SMS Business Basics workshops in Phoenix.
$379 $279 (Save $100!)
with Ann Monteith, M.Photog.Cr.Hon.M.Photog., CPP, ABI, API, A-ASP
$379 $279 (Save $100!)
with Carrie Wildes, CPP
These experts and PPA's Benchmark Survey will help you understand your numbers and be more profitable in 2014!