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By Chris Homer

Photographers who belong to Photographers of America (PPA) are a very diverse group of people, but one common thread is their passion for the support that their peers provide. PPA's YouTube video series, Behind The Camera, features professional photographers who share their trials and tribulations, and their relationship within the PPA community. Today it's Pete Rezac, CPP, who pitches in!

None of these interviews are scripted or paid for. These are real photographers, members of PPA, who value and share the power of their PPA community.

The world of professional photography spreads far and wide, which makes it easy to feel that you have to "go at it alone". PPA's goal is to link professional photographers together, providing a support system and business backbone that helps photographers grow, sustainably. 

In the video below, Pete shares how becoming a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) through PPA has helped him grow as a photographer and impacted his business positively!

 
Help your photography friends and share this video. The power of being involved and deeply connected goes beyond professional development. It's a support system no one should be left without. You can also view a full playlist of the Behind The Camera Video series on PPA's YouTube channel and learn more about the CPP program here.


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.



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By Autumn Rice

PPA photographers are a very diverse group of people, but one common thread is their passion for the backup that their peers provide. PPA's YouTube video series, Behind The Camera, features professional photographers who share their trials and tribulations, and their relationship with their PPA community. Today Certified Professional Photographer Aubrey Hord pitches in!
 
None of these interviews are scripted or paid for. These are real photographers, members of PPA, who value and share the power of their PPA community.

The world of professional photography spreads far and wide, which makes it easy to feel that you have to "go at it alone". PPA's goal is to link professional photographers together, provide a support system and business backbone to help photographers grow, sustainably. 

Watch the video below; you'll learn how becoming a Certified Professional Photographer, and working in Hawaii helped Aubrey Hord distinguish her photography business.

 
Help your photography friends and share this video. The power of being involved and deeply connected goes beyond professional development. It's a support system no one should be left without. You can also view a full playlist of the Behind The Camera Video series on PPA's YouTube channel.

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By Autumn Rice

At PPA we want to create a unified community of professional photographers, so we construct outlets to connect you to other professional photographers all around the world. From IPC, to Imaging USA, to theLoop, there are countless ways to Be More Connected. And we all know that connections are part of the key to success. 

The Find-A-Photographer database on PPA.com is a resource that allows professional photographers to display information about themselves and their business in front of a captive audience of prospective clients. 

Every PPA member is listed in the Find-A-Photographer database, but not all listings are created equal! Did you know that?  You can indeed make your profile pop and be much more convincing by updating it. It's completely free to upgrade your profile; you just have to do it! 

To upgrade your Find-a-Photographer profile (again, it's free!) follow these simple steps:

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1. Log in to PPA.com/My-PPA 
2. Once logged in, click on My PPA

Then simply scroll down to FIND A PHOTOGRAPHER. Click the "Update Your Find-a-Photographer Profile" link. Then you can:
Add additional information to your profile page
Create up to 4 photo albums
Upload up to 8 images to each album
Upload a headshot or logo
Preview your listing

3. Once you make your changes, be sure to enable your listing. It's a super-simple step, but if you don't do it, your updated profile won't be visible to the public (you'll only have a standard listing in the Find-a-Photographer search.)

There are other simple tools to make your business more visible and recognizable. Hop to the See The Difference Resource section on PPA.com to find what works for your business. PPA is here to help you Be More Proactive.

Become a member to be a part of the Find-A-Photographer database and Be More Visible today!


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by James Yates
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Your PPA membership comes loaded with several educational opportunities to keep you competitive and on the forefront of modern professional photography. One of the greatest ways to set yourself apart from the competition, if you haven't already, is to GET CERTIFIED!
Becoming a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) through PPA gives you more than just the CPP behind your name, it makes an impact on your career.

One of PPA's favorite podcasts, The PhotoTellers, recently sat and talked with your very own Director of Certification, Julia Boyd for a conversation all about the program. In this episode, Julia and co-hosts Bill Ramsey and Cris Duncan discuss:

•    What does it mean to be "Certified Professional Photographer?" Why does it matter?
•    "Photography is the subjective use of an objective craft." -Cris Duncan
•    What are the steps to become Certified?
•    What are the objective metrics that distinguish between a Certified & non-certified photographer? How is this used in marketing? How will PPA help you leverage this distinction?
•    To the Photographer who says, "I don't need Certification! I'm doing great work without it." What will you gain through the process?

Give it a listen here. And, while you're at it, check out the other fantastic podcasts from the PhotoTellers team and the Fireside Network. If you'd like to learn more about the Certification process, head on over to PPA.com/CPP.

Certification is one very important way that PPA helps you Be More Successful!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.


By James Yates

PPA's theLoop online community has been on a roll lately, hosting Imaging USA 2016 speakers for Ask Me Anything sessions. This week, we were privileged to have Terri Eddington, M.Photog., CPP, sit and answer your questions for our final AMA before Imaging USA 2016!

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Terri is a 3-time recipient of the International Photographer of the Year Award as well as PPA's highest honor of Diamond photographer; her elegant style and talent in wedding and boudoir photography has truly set her apart in the industry. Terri also devotes her time and energy to furthering her industry as the rising President of PPA Louisiana.

At Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta, Terri will be teaching the class "High Impact Lighting Made 'Easy'", January 11, 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM. In this amazing workshop, Terri demystifies everything that is difficult, complicated and cumbersome about lighting. Using her unique gift of simplifying this all-important concept, she'll show you fun and easy-to-understand setups that will deliver stunning images for your clients!
 
Terri's easy-going approach and sparkly personality are infectious. Right at the start of our AMA session, she told the audience, "Go ahead ask me anything...I will answer with a 'TNT' response! Does that mean 'Powerful'? From me, no! 'TNT' means 'Terri Not Technical' LOL! If you like an easy approach and simple explanation...then I'm you girl!"

Thanks, Terri! We know there are both new and evolving photographers who appreciate "easy" and "simple"! Here are some highlights from her AMA:
 
What's Your Inspiration and Your Favorite Personal Photo?

My inspiration? "People". I love to photograph people. Any kind, any style and even anywhere! Years ago in painting or art class when I could choose to draw or paint anything, I would choose people! I was told that was the hardest - but not to me. It was my passion. I did not know that many years later I would be photographing people but I never get tired of it. It is always exciting to see the many faces and personalities before me. And I have the privilege to capture them all! 
What is my favorite photography ever? Really? I mean, really? That is impossible to say! But I can say, when I capture the soul of a person, there is nothing like it. When their inner beauty shines through their eyes we are no longer just photographers but artists!
 
Is your creativity for an image fully realized before the capture or in post-production?
 
There are so many ways to approach photography to where there is not a true right or wrong. I can just say from my personal experience I have done a little of both. I do try to have a "game plan" when I shoot. I like to know location, time of day (if outside), the personality or taste of the client to know what to work towards during a shoot. If shooting in the studio I try to have the type of props and style of lighting ready that will work for the client. These are things I do for my everyday clients. A lot of times these clients have a need for normal/regular shots. What I do try to do is at the end of the shoot I like to be creative and do a little something different. We just have fun! A lot of times it will be their favorite but it was nothing they originally asked for. This allows me to stay creative and also gives them something that maybe no one else has. 
Now, on a stylized shoot I do plan more ahead of time. I try to have a theme, look and style ready. But again during the shoot something might hit me and I go for it. It's either the look someone has or their personality that comes thru and may lead me in a different direction. No matter how tired I am at the beginning of a shoot, once we get started I am "in the zone". I don't get in a hurry when I shoot. I love to create so I make sure I schedule in the time. 
That being said I would say that I don't fully realize everything I am going to do before a shoot but it does help to plan a little.
 
How do you approach High Key Lighting?

I really don't shoot a traditional high key. As far as a high key look on the subject themselves, I shoot normal lighting ratios and then lighten in Photoshop. This allows me to be in control of how much I want to lighten the subject and also to keep good detail and depth in the eyes, etc. I do sometimes shoot to have the background a white high key look by putting a one-to-two stop higher light on the background than the subject as long as the light on the back of the subject (reflecting from the background) is not brighter than the main light.
 
We hope you found Terri's advice helpful! And remember to catch her live at Imaging USA in Atlanta! Sign up today at ImagingUSA.org/Registration.



Have you ever wanted to explore the path to Certification, but don't know where to start? Imaging USA is a great place to get all the information you could ever need! Whether you prefer an intimate group setting or a larger informative type of session, you'll find options: 

Head to Imaging USA early and take the Certification preparation class! The three-day intensive class covers all of the topics you'll encounter on the Certification exam (which you'll also have the opportunity to take during Imaging USA). It covers all of the technical side of photography and is equivalent to nearly a semester of college! You'll walk away more knowledgeable, more confident and more prepared. 

Sunday: 
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM
Join this panel of Certified Professional Photographers and see how it's changed their photography and their businesses! The panelists range from wedding, baby, maternity, sports, headshots and senior photographers who all had a huge change in their business once they became a Certified Professional Photographer! 

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: 
11:30 - 5 PM
PPA Booth: Learn the benefits of Certification and first steps at the PPA Association booth #1227, where PPA staffers will be able to show you the path to Certification and how to best get started. 

Take the step to Be More Competitive in 2016 with Certification! See all of the options at ImagingUSA.org and get details on discounted hotel rooms at ImagingUSA.org/Hotel

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Congratulations to our newest round of Certified Professional Photographers! These folks have taken the effort to pass the Certification exam, as well as the image submission portion to set themselves apart in the photographic industry. 

Debbie Andrus, CPP - Camden, AL

Jennifer Ashby, CPP - Meridian, ID

Marina Baklanova, CPP  Albany, CA

Ryan C. Bates, CPP - Vacaville, CA

Dawn  Baxstrom, CPP - Drumright, OK

Roben Christian Bellomo, CPP - Carmel, IN

Humberto F. Boncristiani, CPP - Odenton, MD

Jaelene A. Bryan, CPP - Pullman, WA

Sandra M. Burns, CPP - Massapequa, NY

Stephanie R. Carnessali, CPP - Johnsonburg, PA

Sabina Cavalli, CPP - Naperville, IL

CL Clay, CPP - Elgin, SC

Diane K. Costello, CPP - Half Moon Bay, CA

Joshua A. Cuppek, CPP - Blairstown, NJ

Dalisa Jo DeChiara, CPP - Entiat, WA

Veronica Dennis, CPP - Huntsville, AL

Lori Jill DiBiase, CPP - Charleston, SC

Meghan Elizabeth Doll, CPP - Minneapolis, MN

Dan Ferguson, CPP - Wylie, TX

Russ Forthofer, CPP - Fishers, IN

Juliah K. Ginos, CPP - Quincy, IL

Susan A. Goralski, CPP - New Hartford, CT

Meggan Harper, CPP - Ormond Beach, FL

Blair Wyatt Haynie, CPP Houston, TX

Ryan Higgins, CPP - Phoenix, AZ

Jenn Hindman, CPP - Ellsworth, IA

Aubrey L. Hord, CPP - Kahului, HI

Kathryn Tracey Jennings, CPP - Stilesville, New Brunswick, Canada

Russell L. Jensen, CPP - Rapid City, SD

Bill S. Johnsen, CPP - Baraboo, WI

Felicia Jane Jones, CPP - Richland, WA

Edward Keller, CPP - Monroe, MI

Bob J. Laramie, CPP - Moorestown, NJ

John Lee, CPP - Little Neck, NY

Javon D. Longieliere, CPP - Valdosta, GA

Carla M. Lynn, CPP - Smyrna, TN

Ross D. Magnuson, CPP - Billings, MT

Laura H. Mansur, CPP - Houston, TX

Jeffrey L. Mason, CPP - Silver Spring, MD

Renee K. McCardell, CPP - Greensboro, NC

Scott A. McDougall, CPP  - Highland Park, IL

Mac K. Miller, CPP - Tyler, TX

Steve L. Morrow, CPP - Abilene, TX

Ann Nester, CPP - Ravenswood, WV

Rodney O'Dell, CPP - Middletown, OH

Bradd A. Parker, CPP - Chatsworth, GA

Jari Poulin, CPP - Ithaca, NY

Jaiel Prado, CPP - Barueri, Brazil

James Remington, CPP - South Riding, VA

Tim Roebuck, CPP - Winter Garden, FL

Amanda A. Sharpe, CPP - Columbus, IN

Simone Cristina Silverio, CPP -  Barueri, Brazil

Krystal L. Stankowski, CPP - Madison, WI

Chrystina Straughan, CPP - Cibolo, TX

Kimberly Diane Teichrow, CPP - Bend, OR

Zach Thomas, CPP - Saint Augustine, FL

Stephanie W Turner, CPP - Newton, NC

Graciela Valdes, CPP - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Joan Hustace Walker, CPP - Norfolk, VA

Qian Wang, CPP - Lexington, SC

Kerri S. Weiss, M.Photog., CPP - Saint Charles, IL

Rodney Williams, CPP - Columbia, SC

James M. Woltjen, CPP - New Bern, NC

Why should you consider becoming Certified? Check out our blog here that hits on the four key reasons Certification can boost your business and your confidence. Learn more here! 

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 overview of copyright laws. 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!

Come listen to Thom speak at Imaging USA in Nashville, TN. He will conduct a course called "The Case for Fine Art" on February 1, 2015. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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