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PPA Today: PPAedu Archives

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By Sarah Ackerman

We can all use a little extra education to stay on top of our photographic game--but where do you turn for your photography and business learning needs? PPAedu of course! PPA started this customizable program, and we hope that you'll use it in your professional development never-ending journey. 

PPAedu has over 250 HD videos that PPA members and PPAedu subscribers can access 24/7. These videos cover 8 categories - four to help with photography technique: essentials, lighting, posing, and post-capture; and four to help you with on business side: sales, finance, marketing and operations. All PPAedu classes are taught by some of the most accomplished photographers in the industry. It's a completely customizable education program, included for free with your PPA membership! All you have to do is answer a series of short questions and the system will crunch the best series of videos for you to watch, based on your answers. You can update that program at any time or come back to it when you want. It's like having a program that grows with you... because you can get new recommendations and we add new videos in the mix each month!

This month you'll find a free sample of this awesome program with Steve Kozak, CPP and a class on the "Fundamentals of Flash". 

In this video, Steve once takes a technical topic (flash lighting) and breaks it down so it's easy to understand and even better, easy to use! After all, all the techniques in the world won't matter if you can put them into practice.

Watch it and you'll learn the benefits of using your flash in manual mode. There's some math behind it all, but Steve will walk you through it, so you'll be able to make good, informed decisions on using your flash. 

Great photography may look impulsive, subjective and purely creative, but any great art is based on fundamentals. This class gives you the tools and knowledge you need to have greater control and creativity, while making it look easy!

Check out Steve's class for free, here (only this month!): ppa.com/tryedu 

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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 with Witless Protection around the Atlanta area and at Dad's Garage Theatre Company. When she's not tweeting/instagramming/facebooking 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.

You've got a pumpkin spice latte in one hand and a folder full of images you need to review in the other. People walk with their hands in their pockets; everyone talks fantasy football and Halloween. It's then you realize that fall has arrived, and with it, the responsibility of making sure your business is in in order for the New Year! Breathe that crisp, cool autumn air deeply, and fret not because PPA has your back.

This fall we have several upcoming educational opportunities for members to take advantage of. Here is a rundown of some of our free, live-learning events that can help you maximize your business and start the New Year off right:

Free webinars!

Finding Your Missing Pieces for Profitability in Photography
October 7, 2014 - 2 pm ET
With Jeff Lubin, M.Photog.Cr.

New Member Orientation
October 8, 2014 - 2 pm ET

How to Create a Profitable Pet Photography Business
October 21, 2014 - 2 pm ET
With Kim Hartz, CPP

The Origin of Style
October 23, 2014 - 2 pm ET
With Thom Rouse, M.Photog.MEI.Cr., CPP, F-ASP

Income Tax Strategies
November 13, 2014 - 2 pm ET
With Bridget Jackson, CPA, PPA Business Consultant

Creating Your Social Media Plan
November 18, 2014 - 2 pm ET
With John Pyle

In addition to our webinars, don't forget that Super 1 Day Photo Workshops start next week! For two weeks (10/6-10/20), dozens of studios will open their doors and host classes on a vast array of subjects, from posing and lighting to effective business practices. Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity to learn from some of the best photographers in the world!

PPA closes out its "school year" with the final CPP Prep Class and Business Workshop of 2014. There's still time to register for both and end your year with a bang.

Business Basics Workshop
November 15-16, 2014 in Atlanta

In this two day business workshop for portrait and senior photographers, Jen Basford, Cr.Photog., gives hands on advice on how evaluate your business strengths, develop a profitable pricing structure and use proven marketing ideas to bring more clients to your door.

Upcoming Certification Prep Classes
November 3-5, 2014 in Atlanta

Thinking about taking the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) exam? We're offering this class to help you pass the exam and learn tons of additional information about the how to effectively run a photography business.

Dr. Lynda Falkenstein, the Niche Doctor, is joining us September 23 to help you distinguish yourlynda_ppaeduinstructor.png business from the rest of the pack in her webinar--Claim Your Niche: Nine Steps to a World-Class Business in Any Economy. This exclusive (and free!) introduction to Lynda's Nine-Step Process is guaranteed to help you build your business successfully through even the worst economic downturn. This is a rare opportunity to get valuable information on everything from marketing to sales tactics.

Here at PPA we realize that while you love the art of photography and the process of taking beautiful pictures, and there are probably certain aspects of your business that you do not enjoy. The selling and marketing process, the uncertainty in discovering your niche as a photographer--the list goes on. This webinar is here to tell you that everything is going to be okay! We feel that the best way to learn is by doing and the only thing we can do is confront those doubts and formulate a practical solution to our problems. Take the next step today and register for this impactful class!

Take control of your business with Lynda and improve your bottom line, for free, on September 23 at 2 PM (ET). Register Now!

Mark the Date! On October 7, 2014, at 2 p.m. world-renowned portrait photographer, Jeff Lubin,

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 M.Photog.Cr., will present a FREE live webinar, Finding Your Missing Pieces for Profitability in Photography, during which he will review actual studios and provide tangible methods through which they can be more successful. And guess what? Yours could be one of them!

Looking to upgrade your offerings? Improve your lighting capacity? EARN MORE MONEY?! Then get involved.

If you are interested in having your studio featured in the webinar, please complete these questions and forward them to lubin.jeff@gmail.com!

  1. How long have you been a professional photographer?
  2. Do you consider yourself new, proficient or advanced?
  3. Do you have an additional source of income beyond photography (another job, savings, working partner, etc.)?
  4. How would you categorize your business (portraits, weddings, commercial)?
  5. Which styles of photography are most appealing to you?
  6. Do you have trouble making your overhead most months?
  7. What has been your most successful form of income from your studio?
  8. Have you noticed big changes in your business recently, and what do you attribute that to?
  9. How do most of your clients view you? (top pro, new photographer, etc.)
  10. What do you think is your biggest weakness that you need to overcome?
  11. What would you like to focus on changing this year?
  12. In which areas would you like to learn most?
  13. Would you prefer a one, two or three day workshop?
  14. Which camera system do you use?    
  15. What type of lighting equipment do you own?
  16. If you don't currently do studio lighting, would you be interested in learning?  
  17. Do you have a studio and if so, is it commercial or in your home?
  18. What are your goals in photography for your future?

From October 6 to 20, fall Super 1 Day classes will take place all over the globe on every photography

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 skill and strategy you can imagine.

PPA will offer members and non-members alike the opportunity to attend a litany of daily workshops ranging from a class on working with strobe & speed lighting units in California to newborn photography in Daegu-city Korea.

All of the classes are taught by professional photographers and are tailored just for you. There are dozens of different courses offered at a variety of different times and dates, so finding one that fits your busy schedule is a piece of cake.

These events offer both up-and-coming photographers and seasoned veterans the chance to learn from one another and also the chance to network and grow their local market. At just $99 if you book online ($120 in person), the day-long classes are an awesome value. And if you're thinking of joining PPA, this is a perfect opportunity to see what we're all about. If you're already a member you'll receive one service merit for attending each class-- a crucial step towards attaining certifications/degrees.

And also another step forward to BE MORE!

Head to PPA.com/super1day to find a class near you.

 

At PPA, we're constantly paying attention to the fears and concerns of photographers. One of the worries of professional photographers that we hear consistently is struggling to make those big sales. We hear you! Chances are you became a photographer because you love creating beautiful imagery, not because you wanted to be a salesperson. However, to have a successful business you need to be skilled at both!

Selling your photography doesn't have to be frightening. Many photographers hate the feeling

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 of putting some sort of pressure on their clients to buy packages. That's why this four-part webinar series will help! "Soft Selling with Intense Results" will show you that the uncomfortable high-pressure strategy isn't necessary to make great sales. Soft sales methods focus on using casual, friendly messages to drive sales. Instructor Kristin Privette is very skilled at this and she will share different soft sales methods for photography that have helped her to quadruple (more, actually!) her income within the last five years. Take a look at what you'll learn in each part:

Soft Selling with Intense Results--Webinar Series

Part 1: Soft Sales System for Weddings (view recording)
In this first part, Kristin walks you through the 10-step process she uses to gain five-figure wedding sales. Hear the language they use, the specific steps they take their couples through, and selling techniques that anyone can learn and be comfortable using.

Part 2: 7 P's of Portrait Selling (view recording)
In part 2, Kristin's covers the '7 P's of Portrait Selling.' You'll learn how to start selling from the very first time you speak with a potential client in a way that excites them and prepares them for a big purchase. This simple process has proven to bring her average sales higher than where she started.

Part 3: Your Arsenal of Answers & Increases (view recording)
During Part 3, you'll get the specific phrases Kristin uses to encourage upgrades, wall collections, add-ons and big investments. You'll learn how to prepare your brides from the very beginning to upgrade after the wedding. Plus, you'll hear the language you can use to guide your portrait clients toward wall collections and future sessions. She'll also share how she handles the common objections that every photographer gets.

Part 4: Live ProSelect Demo
September 18, 2014 - 2 pm ET
In the final part of the series, you'll go through a live ProSelect demo, showing exactly how Kristin would present to a portrait client using this software. From the moment the client walks in the door to writing a four figure check, you'll hear Kristin guiding and exciting her client about wall collections and making a big investment.

If you need help with sales, you won't want to miss this series of webinars! As always, both PPA members and non-members can attend the live webinars for FREE. However, if you want to be able to replay the recordings on demand (along with another 250+ videos on different techniques for photographers and business practices), you'll need to be a PPA member (join right here!) or just subscribe to PPAedu. Sign up today and let PPA help you be more!

Entering into the International Photographic Competition (IPC) can be intimidating, even if you know the 12 elements of a merit image like the back of your hand. It's easy to speculate what the judges are looking for in an image before they consider granting it a merit, so down below you'll find resources to clarify all this. You'll also find some tips on things to really avoid. 

There's a PPAedu series with IPC judge, Michael Timmons, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, F-ASP about all things relating to photo competition! Who better to tell you what the judges are looking for than... an actual judge? 

There's also a 3 easy-to-digest, 20-minute videos that break down the 12 elements. Watch them one at a time or back to back--however you learn best! They are must-watch for those who are newer to photographic competition, and an excellent refresher for those already preparing their entries this year. And because it's all on PPAedu, you can watch them as many times as you'd like. It's just one of the many benefits of your PPA membership

In the first part, Michael walks you through 4 of the 12 elements: Impact, Creativity, Style and Composition

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And to round things out, the 3rd piece focuses the last 4 elements: Color Balance, Technical Excellence, Technique and Storytelling

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Now you're well on your way to submitting a merit-worthy image at this year's International Photographic Competition! Entries are open May 26 - June 26 (or July 10 with a late fee). If you want to get the full experience, be sure to order a critique of your image. A judge like Michael will record a video showing you what you did well and what cause the image to fall short for a merit. It's a very effective way to find out what to work on and there's no better way to improve your craft!

These three videos and over 250 more are available to PPA members and PPAedu subscribers! Not a PPA member? Join now or subscribe to PPAedu to get full access to all the PPAedu on-demand videos.

If you're looking for a great live, in-person learning experience, consider a Super 1 Day photography workshop in your area! PPAedu helps photographers be more through live programming and classes, as well as a comprehensive (and ever-growing) video library on techniques for photographers and business practices.

During Super 1 Day (formerly known as Super Monday), photography studios from coast to coast and a few internationally (we're looking at you Turkey, Korea and Mexico), will open their doors to host classes on a variety of photography techniques and business practices. Whatever you need help with, there's sure to be a workshop to help you be more. Super 1 Day programs will span portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies.

In the past, these workshops were all held on one day. But we're changing  things up this year. There are going to be more than 110 classes, all to be held on multiple days between May 5 - 19, 2014 to give you an opportunity to find a workshop that fits best with your schedule. 

Beginning March 5th, PPA members and non-members alike will be able to browse the list of workshops and register for the one of their choice for $99. Be sure to register by April 30th to get the lowest price. Starting May 1, registration goes up to $120 and will only be processed on-location and space permitting. So sign up by or before the end of April to be able to register online while keeping money in your pocket!

After signing up, you will get the Bonus Pack (electronic gift goodie bag) with deals and discounts from several photographic companies. PPA members will also receive one service merit for each class. Great learning opportunity, merits towards a PPA degree AND a bunch of discount coupons? Sounds like a deal to us! 

Super 1 Day participants vary in their specialties and locations, but they all seem to agree on one thing: Super 1 Day is one of the best and easiest ways to mingle with your photography friends while experiencing excellent learning! 

Find out for yourself! Visit the Super 1 Day page on PPA's website, starting March 5th, locate the workshops taking place in your area and register for the class of your choice. 
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PPAedu has been busy! Not only are new classes on photography techniques and business practices getting released monthly (check out our latest additions with Jeffrey Shaw), but the free class of February is with none other than Imaging USA Super Star, Carrie Wildes. To check out the session "The Wedding Consultation" with Carrie, head to ppa.com/tryedu starting February 1st. 

And if you want to be more business savvy in 2014, but don't have the funds to travel to Atlanta--there is an exciting new thing: PPA Business Basics workshop is now available through live streaming, starting with the March 29-30 program! PPA is so excited to offer LIVE STREAMING for the first time; there is a special double deal...

  • You can go (or get the live stream from home) for just $199 when you register by February 5. That's 30% off for early birds!
  • And you can add a friend... for free! In-person in Atlanta or through live streaming!
What are the perks of live streaming? Let us count the ways...

  1. Save money! No need to spend on hotel, gas or airfare. Who doesn't love saving some money?
  2. Save time! No need to spend time on the drive or at the airport when you live stream!
  3. Ability to replay! Once the workshop wraps, you'll get a link to watch the whole thing again, for free! 
  4. Downloadable worksheets! (Who doesn't love a good worksheet?) You'll get everything the folks who attend the face-to-face get, but in an ecofriendly PDF.  
  5. Learn in your pajamas! For the sweatpants-loving photographers out there, this could be the number one reason to try the Live Stream. A day filled with education in your comfy pants? Yep. You may have just found a little slice of heaven here at PPA.

As a live streaming attendee, you'll still get all of the resources and education as folks in the room. The course will feature:

  • Two days of top-notch advice from two instructors: Bridget Jackson, a CPA with a proven track record of boosting hundreds of studios' profitability and Jeff Dachowski, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, your photographic mentor, an active, successful photographer who knows what it takes to succeed TODAY 
  • Live interactive Q&As 
  • Zero sponsors plugging their product pitches--just tangible business advice (that's the power of the non-profit )

For more information on the new course offerings from PPAedu, head to ppa.com/edu or for information on the live streaming workshops, head to PPA.com/workshops.

PPAedu strives to give photographers the best educational courses on photography techniques and business practices. Many members have already started exploring PPA's online education platform, watching videos and building a personalized program of business and photography courses. And that's just the tip of the iceberg: in addition to the on-demand programming, PPAedu offers live webinars and workshops! PP''s got several live webinars coming up in December and January, read on for all the details:

Live Webinars:

In December and January, we'll be covering a wide-range of topics including marketing, SEO and health insurance reform. You can watch these webinars from your own computer (or tablet!) and have an opportunity to ask questions. Better yet, if you're not a PPA member, you can get a taste of PPAedu by attending any live webinar for free. PPA members can access all recordings of the classes, but if you aren't a member, this is a great opportunity to learn a thing or two, on us (and maybe down the road you'll finally see why 26,500 photographers chose to operate with PPA)! So here's the upcoming schedule of live and (free!) webinars, open to all:

December 12, 2013 - 2 pm ET
With Angela Pointon

Do you have a great studio but need a little help marketing yourself? Pennsylvania photographer and marketing expert, Angela Pointon, will walk you through how to set up a marketing plan for your business. She'll discuss the elements of a killer marketing plan, how to build a plan and how to stick to the plan.
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