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By Sarah Ackerman

2016 is off to a quick start! Can you believe it's nearly February? Time flies when you're working on things you love! Take a moment and check in on some of our top discussions from theLoop!
 
What do you do to turn passion projects into profit? When your artistic vision changes, it can be a challenge! Help this PPA portrait photographer explore where she can take her landscapes. 

Watermarking has been a time honored tradition in years passed to help market your work, but has its time come to an end? Weigh in with this PPA photographer to share your experience with keeping your stamp on your work.

Have you ever been put in a position where a client was past due on a bill and you had to charge a late fee? How did you handle it? Help this PPA photographer figure out what's an appropriate amount.

Sometimes clients are disappointed for a variety of reasons, many of which may be out of your control. What do you do when a client demands too much? Chime in with this PPA photographer to share how you would handle this situation. 

Volume photographers unite! In a volume world, how do you offer online reorders that don't take ages to set up on your site? Help this PPA photographer streamline their workflow to maximize profits and minimize time wasted. 

Sometimes the best of the best isn't feasible, so what's a good midrange option for monitors? Do you have a favorite anecdote or a horror story to steer this PPA photographer in the right direction? Chime in!

When your clients insist on just having the files and not having anything printed, what's an appropriate price? And would you barter for leads? Share your feedback with this PPA photographer!

If you're a newborn photographer, how do you handle sales sessions? New moms have their hands full and adding to their stress won't lead to your top sales, so what's the best option? Help this PPA newborn photographer navigate her way to better sales here.

As a photographer, it's important to get your name in front of your potential customers. Have you ever used a mall display? If so, how did it work? Weigh in on this thread!

When a job is substantially larger than any other job you've done, how do you go about handling the pricing? For this PPA commercial photographer, do you do it by the hour, by the unit or just a flat rate for the whole project? Weigh in here!

Remember to check out theLoop, a safe and protected online community where PPA members can discuss a range of photography topics. Not a PPA member? Join here!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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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.



CPPs_1200x1200_Bree_Adams.jpgI hope you are as excited about the upcoming AMA (Ask Me Anything) conversations on theLoop as we are here at PPA. You will be amazed by the new and innovative information you will gain from logging into the discussions.

In the upcoming weeks theLoop will be explosive with great conversations from Imaging USA speakers. That's right! Ask "Imaging USA 2016 speakers" Anything is coming! We want you to feel free to chime in and ask these pros anything about Imaging USA 2016 and much more.

Next week, November 30 - December 1, hear from Francie Baltazar Stonestreet, Cr.Photog., CPP about how she became the Best Wedding Photographer in Houston among winning numerous other awards in wedding photography. You can even ask Bree Adams, CPP and Landon Day, CPP about how they both became Certified Professional Photographers and how you can become one yourself. Are you just starting out with your photography business? Learn from Dave Goldman, Cr.Photog., CPP about how he has owned and operated a successful high volume sports and portrait photography business.

And mark your calendars for these upcoming AMAs:
  • Lindsay Adler, December 7-8
  • Terri Eddington, M.Photog., CPP, December 21-22
Connect with photographers just like you when you log into theLoop. Not a PPA member and want to contribute to theLoop conversation? Click here to join!  


By Nicole McIntosh

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Earlier this week Imaging USA 2016 instructor Kristi Elias visited theLoop for an AMA (Ask Me Anything).

Kristi Elias is one of a kind. She is known for her artist's eye and poetic soul. Kristi is a pro at combining artistic energy and creativity into fine art portraiture. She has been a professional photographer for the past 17 years and a member of PPA since 2011. Kristi graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography in 1998 and has worked as a full time photographer ever since.
Kristi also received her Masters from PPA (M.Photog) this year and operates her successful fine art luxury based photography studio and art gallery right on the water, in Long Beach California. 

Here are some of our favorite moments with Kristi Elias as she graced us with her presence on theLoop detailing different aspects of her photography career:

On her creative process:

Normally clients hire me for my vision, a lot of clients don't know what they want until you show them. I do have a few clients a year, who have a very detailed idea of what they want. I always let clients know, I will create my interpretation of the time period or theme they have chosen or we have discussed. I always have to be careful not to open Pandora's Box, whatever is in my clients mind is not going to be an exact match of what is in my mind. This way they are not going back and forth with me proof after proof until I have guessed what their mind is seeing.

On creative inspiration:

I have always been attracted to storytelling dramatic art. Most of my inspiration comes from watching movies, I will find a certain color palette or wardrobe that will resonate in my mind, then I eventually create a vision in my mind. I believe that in order to get creative inspiration you must do cross training much like people do in sports. 

On her marketing strategy:

I market a luxury fine art portrait experience, my clients are not just coming for a quick photo shoot, I create a memorable fun almost vacation like experience. I get a lot of clients through referrals. My business is on the first page of google in my and surrounding areas, so that helps with getting clients and inquiries. I also offer promotions to the first 10 clients who book via Facebook and on email lists during the slower months. Occasionally I run a Living Social promotion to reach clients who normally would not have found me. My average sale from a Living Social promotion has been the same as my organic clients. The only difference is I lose the sitting fee, but I figure I save a lot of money from not marketing somewhere that might not bring clients.
I also offer a referral program for clients and I give my favorite clients a voucher for a free session with me to be used in the next 6 months (that includes a session with me plus $100 off their next order) I have about 15-20 clients that re-book and use the offer.
I also offer a VIP club membership to clients who I not only loved meeting and photographing but also had higher end sales. Let's say the sale value was $5k and I loved working with them, then I would give them the VIP fine art club membership complimentary. If I really loved the client, but let's say they were at $3k (my average sale amount), then I would offer them a buy into the club for $300. VIP clients have one year to use their membership rewards such as a $300 gift voucher towards a fine art photography session, hair and makeup by Annie Van Dye ($150 value), invitations to exclusive members' only events and specials plus more, and once they do, it is renewed for another year automatically. This insures that my highest paying and favorite clients return year after year. This has been very successful for me.

Want to learn more about Kristi Elias's experience as a professional photographer? Check her out at Imaging USA 2016!

Nicole McIntosh is one of PPA's Marketing and Communications Interns, yay! Nicole is known for her vibrant smile and the one to laugh even if the sky is falling. A sophomore at Spelman College, she hopes that working with PPA will give her the tools she needs to start her own non-profit organization one day

Imaging USA: Register Now

By Sarah Ackerman

Fall is right around the corner! You can just feel it! We hope you had a productive, profitable summer. To gear up for next month, check out these top conversations on theLoop! You never know what you might learn, or who your advice could help!

What are the technical caveats between the two final formats? Help this PPA photographer discover which is the best for their needs and possibly pick up some pointers for yourself! 

We've definitely heard of this struggle before! You offer a wide variety of photography products and services, so is one website going to serve all of your clients? Weigh in on the pros and cons of multiple sites in this awesome discussion!

This is a great question for all photographers: how do you sell mounted prints to your clients? How do you edit your photographs accordingly? This is a great thread that everyone can learn from!

As a sports photographer, vinyl banners can very easily come with the territory. Do you have a favorite vendor to work with? How have you handled banners in the past? Weigh in here!

Lighting a classic car can be a tricky situation. One PPA member has been asked to tackle such a project! How would you accomplish the look the client has requested? 

We love gear discussions! Do you have a favorite on-camera flash modifier or are you in the market for one? This is a great conversation to get some peer to peer advice!

Looking for a lab with competitive pricing can be a daunting process. Help this sports photographer find a lab to work with her little league client and offer advice on how to run stations same day. 

We always love it when photographers give back! How would you run mini sessions with proceeds going to a cause? If you have experience with this or want to do something similar, this is a great thread to review and contribute to! 

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

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarahs 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 Chris Homer

We hope you've been enjoying success throughout June. Check out these top conversations on theLoop and join in! You never know what you might learn, or who your advice can help!

Have you ever exhibited your work at a summer festival? If you have, share your advice in this thread. If you're thinking about selling your work at a festival, there's lots of good advice to consider as well!

One member brought an interesting problem to theLoop in June. A client asked him to sign a contract guaranteeing that images of her family would not appear on his website or social media. Would you sign this contract? See what other members have to say!

Do you need advice for adding accent light to the background of a portrait? This thread is for you! Read members' suggestions for lighting set-ups.

Most photographers carry multiple cameras while out on an assignment. In this thread, one member asks what's the best solution for carrying multiple cameras so you can easily switch between them. Members provide all sorts of great ideas, so if you've struggled with this, check it out!

Do you shoot jewelry commercial photography assignments? If you do, this thread provides some good tips for capturing all the details.

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


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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 Megan Mitchell

You might have noticed us post about the International Photographic Competition (IPC) quite a bit recently. That's because registration is now open! 

We could talk about the value of competing until our faces turn blue, but why not let other photographers do the talking? We asked IPC competitors to share their thoughts on theLoop here. Here's what they had to say!

Why should I compete?

"To grow beyond from merely being a photographer to becoming an artist. That's why a total immersion in the crucible of competition is what I suggest."
-Jerry Venz, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, Idaho

"It has given me something to send out press releases about and that helps keep my name in front of potential clients. I share credit with clients whose images have done well in competition and they get excited about it also. As you earn enough merits and receive your degree that gives you more talking points when selling clients that your skills are top notch."
-Bob Coates, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, Arizona

"Working on your own work shows and tells clients you believe in your own work."
-Joanne Fabian, Pennsylvania

Great, so a critique will help me "improve." How?

"I often learn more from those critiques than any other education resource. While I may not always agree with the critique, there is still validity and things to be learned. As a result, I see my work constantly improving."
-D. Brent Walton Cr.Photog., CPP, New York
 
"It takes much longer to progress in a vacuum. By that, I mean the usual praise you may receive from family and friends. So, go for it! Even if you don't earn merits or Loan Prints right away your client images WILL improve because you will be getting UNBIASED, HONEST feedback on your work--and that is PRICELESS!"
-Jerry Venz, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, Idaho

"You start to look for possible competition images in every session that you shoot--consciously, and subconsciously. In every portrait session that you do, you start looking at things just a bit differently. You start looking to see if you can possibly create a competition image from just about each and every session that you do. You find yourself taking just a second or so before tripping the shutter to really look at your subject like it was a competition image and you end up finding yourself correcting those things that would keep that image you see in front of you from scoring well... and in the process, the quality of your day-to-day work just automatically gets better and your clients get a better product. 

Without even noticing it, you look back a year or two and are amazed about how much your work has improved with what seems like no effort at all. Just because you started to take just those few extra seconds to do the steps that you need to do to change an ordinary image into a competition image."
-Rick Massarini, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, Lousiana

"Almost all the critiques pointed at things I did not see at first and helped me get even better. After your first critiques you will view your images differently. You are not looking for a sellable image or a showcase of your work. You are objectively looking for the 12 Elements of a Merit Image they list as you pick your images. It is an enlightening journey, so welcome aboard."
-Joanne Fabian, Pennsylvania

I don't think I can do this. 

"It's obtainable to all those folks who are naysayers - find your inner artist, turn it loose, find mentors whose work you admire and ask for constructive feedback. Most of the best people out there are willing to help others raise their bar because in the end, it makes our industry better for everyone!"
-Gena Tussey, CPP, Tennessee

They said it best! Ready to step up your game and compete with your images? Register now!
And check out the full conversation on theLoop. Have something to add? Jump on in! 

Megan Mitchell is an intern at PPA. Though she attends college in New York, she is originally from Georgia - most everyone she meets up north is shocked and disappointed by her lack of a southern accent. She finds great joy and comfort in copy editing and reading. She loves nothing more than words, but her family and friends take a close second.

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By Chris Homer

It's Friday, so you know what that means. You guessed it - time for our weekly rundown of
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 our favorite photography blogs from around the web. Enjoy them below!
WORKING ABROAD: If you ever do photo shoots in foreign countries, you'll want to pay attention to this post. PetaPixel reports on 13 American photographers who were thrown out of Indonesia for not having the proper permits for a photo shoot. Moral of this story? We can't expect clients to respect our copyrights but flagrantly break other laws.

COMPETITION IMAGES: PPA Photographer and PPAedu instructor Christine Walsh-Newton, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, has started a great new series on her blog. As a way to show the value of photo competitions, Christine examines different self-portrait entries that other photographers have entered in the International Photographic Competition (IPC). This week, she breaks down PPA Photographer Christie Kline's, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, "Soul Salvation" self-portrait entry. You'll learn all about how the image was created, and maybe draw some inspiration. Want to hear more on photo competition? Don't miss her "Certification, Competition, and Credentials: The Course for Continued Success" webinar on June 9! This live webinar will be free for anyone to watch; PPA members have the advantage to be able to replay it later at their convenience.

TUTORIAL: If you do HDR photography, you won't want to miss this tutorial from PhotoFocus. You will find tips on using the HDR tool which is now part of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. It just may improve your workflow!

INSPIRATION: In this interview on Fstoppers, Fashion Photographer Dana Pennington discusses breaking into the fashion photography industry as well as overcoming the challenges of moving from a mid-sized market in Denver to the huge market of Los Angeles. It's a great read for both fashion photographers and anyone that's struggling with moving to a new market! 

LIGHTING TIPS: If you do Macro Photography (close-up images) or have been thinking about getting in to the market, check out this post from Digital Photography School. It provides some quick tips for properly lighting these images that may come in use on you next shoot. 

EARTH DAY/JUST FOR FUN: April 22 was the 45th annual Earth Day. To celebrate, The Atlantic put up a great photo series of environmental images from throughout the years. Check it out, there may be something here to inspire you. 

BUSINESS: We're sure that headline grabbed your attention! While reading this post from the Online Photographer won't necessarily make you a millionaire, it does cover good points on something all photographers (especially those just starting out) struggle with - giving away your work for free! If you've ever done this before, read up! Working for free may not be the best marketing strategy out there. 

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY: Here's a great post for the landscape photographers out there. Photofocus has compiled a list of 10 quick tips you can use to make your landscape images have more impact.

BUSINESS: You may have heard that Google has updated their search algorithm so that sites with mobile friendly pages rank higher than those without mobile friendly pages. If you're confused by what this means for your website, PhotoShelter has provided a great guide on the changes, as well as how you can check to make sure you are mobile friendly. 

BUSINESS: If you're thinking about making the transition from part-time to full-time photographer, read this post from Digital Photography School first! It provides some good things to think about before making the leap into full-time professional.

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


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



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By John Owens

It's Friday! And you know what that means--photography geeks blog round up time! Flip your way through this top 10 to see what's going on in the photography world this week. There's sure to be some good stuff that applies to you!

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Copyright Awareness Month
AWARENESS: April is Copyright Awareness Month! Do your part and raise awareness with your local photo retailers. They might be helping people infringe on your images without you even knowing it! You can help them know what they don't know during this month's campaign. Read the details and sign up! Be sure to check out the free-to-all copyright webinar later this month to educate yourself on your rights.

PhotoVision is Now a PPA Member Benefit
DID YOU KNOW? PhotoVision is now a part of PPA! That means the best photography education videos out there, for PPA photographers. 24/7 access to PhotoVision's entire catalogue of 800 videos through online streaming at no cost. Read more for details.

Attention to Detail: Get the Photo Your Client Will Cherish
INSPIRATION: In this heartwarming essay, Jenna Martin shares her wedding story and the image she wishes she had from the day. She gets introspective toward the end and it's something any photographer, especially wedding photographers, can practice. What's the one image you wish you had from your big day? How can you make sure you capture those moments for your clients?

Tips for a Long, Healthy Career
ADVICE: Learning from mistakes is a tried and true method, but chances are someone has already made those errors before you. Use this 40-year professional photography veteran's hindsight to your advantage and check out this post on the five biggest mistakes he's made during his career. Read through and make sure you don't fall victim to any of these shortcomings.

PPA Helps Potentially Harmful Arkansas Bill Get Vetoed
PHOTOGRAPHY LAW: Early this week, PPA was notified of a bill in Arkansas that would be incredibly harmful to the livelihoods of photographers not just in the state, but nationwide. The bill contained unintended and potentially dangerous implications to photographers, but was thankfully vetoed just in the nick of time. Read the full blog to see what this could have meant for photographers and what PPA did to make sure it didn't happen!

Goal Setting with Dr. Julie Connor
MOTIVATION: Past Imaging USA speaker Jeff Shaw has Dr. Julie Connor on this week's podcast to share her tips for dreaming big and achieving them. Dr. Connor travels the world spreading her mission helping people reach their goals. In this podcast she and Jeff discuss aligning tasks and goals with vision and mission, how to get unstuck and making your lifetime goals your habits. 
 

Portrait Retouching Workflow
POST-PROCESSING: Here are some handy tips from Fstoppers to help you spend even less time in front of that dreaded computer screen editing your images! Photographer Jeff Rojas uses a male portrait session to demonstrate his 6-step workflow process that could apply to any portrait session. If you're spending too much time retouching, give these a try!

Give and Receive Critiques with Grace!
CRITIQUING YOUR WORK: Here's a great post full of advice on how to give and receive photography critiques. The author gives tips for both sides and it's a pretty solid way to think of them. Don't forget, critiques are one of the most valuable pieces of photographic competition so make sure you get yours when you enter!

Make Your Subject Pop Off the Background
TECHNIQUE: Does the subject of your image ever get washed out by the background? Don't let it happen again with these helpful tips from The Phoblographer.

The Best Photography-Related April Fools' Day Spoofs
JUST FOR LAUGHS: A round up in a round up?! So meta, John. April Fools' Day came and went Wednesday, hopefully without incident for you all. PetaPixel did us all the favor of gathering the best photography hoaxes. I'm pretty partial to the SteadiKid Baby Carrier. What's your favorite?

 

There you have it, our top blog posts of the week! What blogs do you enjoy? Let us know on theLoop.


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John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burger.


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By Chris Homer

Happy Friday! As always, we're back to deliver you a selection of the top photography blogs
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 of the week. From portrait photography to business advice, there's a little bit of everything in this week's roundup. Check them out below. 

BUSINESS: Many photographers have started to offer video as part of their services. If you're thinking of getting into this market, read this post from Fstoppers first! It covers some good points you'll want to consider before you start offering video. 

GEAR GEEK: Do you ever find yourself paralyzed when it comes time to capture a shot - running through a mental list of lenses, lights, and other equipment? You may be suffering from 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome.' Find out how you might be able to slim down some of that gear and still get great photographs, and have a healthier bottom line, in this post from The Phoblographer. 

LIGHTING TIPS: With summer approaching, chances are you're starting to get requests for outdoor portraits during 'golden hour' (that time right around sunrise or sunset). There are some tricky lighting situations to consider, but this post from Digital Photography School provides some advice to overcome these challenges. 

INSPIRATION: This video features the Gulf Photo Plus ShootOut, where three photographers (including past Imaging USA instructor Joel Grimes) were given the challenge of capturing intimacy between strangers with only 20 minutes to plan, shoot, edit, retouch and present their results. The photographs are pretty astonishing given the time frame. Plus, you'll get to listen to their thought process behind each photograph, which may give you some useful tips for your own work! 

PPA Competition: Here's something we don't see every day! At a recent PPA District Photographic Competition, photographer Monish Mansharamani witnessed how his image scored a perfect 100. You can watch the judging of Monish's "Brooklyn Twilight" image and see what it is PPA judges are looking for in an image. Hopefully, you'll be inspired to enter a District Photographic Competition or the International Photographic Competition

TIPS FOR POST: If you struggle with lighting darker skin tones, this post from PhotoFocus is for you. Some quick tips are provided for getting the light correct so you can always give your clients flattering results.  

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY: With March Madness going on, basketball is probably on the top of the mind for the sports photographers out there. H & H Color Lab has compiled a great series of videos that show photographers in action at the NCAA Tournament. You may pick up some tips you can use the next time you're hired to cover a basketball game. 
NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY: If you enjoy nature photography, check out this post from the Photo Naturalist. It discusses how to subtly retouch an image so you get exactly what you had envisioned, without over-doing it to the point that a photograph no longer looks like it was captured in the wild. 

INSPIRATION: A solar eclipse is a rare occasion, which makes this video pretty impressive. Watch the behind the scenes video of photographer Rutger Pauw scout the perfect location to capture the eclipse on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Rutger definitely overcomes some tough challenges to get the shot. Check it out on DIY Photography. 

BUSINESS: Do you find yourself stuck in a rut - taking photography jobs you don't really want? Check out this post from Fstoppers on three really simple ways you can market yourself to get the jobs you actually want! 

There you have it, our top blog posts of the week! What blogs do you enjoy? Let us know on theLoop.


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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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