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By Autumn Rice

Need inspiration? PhotoVision has everything you're looking for and more! This great resource provides an all-access, behind the scenes look at the techniques used by some of the biggest named professionals in the world of photography. These videos cover a wide range of best practices to inspire every element of your business. The best part about PhotoVision is that it's free to PPA members.

Check out the latest release!

In this video, Beth Forester photographs a high school senior while she breaks down her in-studio lighting setups. As she progressively builds it up, the difference each light makes in an image is shown on camera. Beth shows how to use a softbox as a background to achieve an editorial look, and shares some tips on how to avoid having your model squint when using a fan and directly hitting them with light.


Want to see more? Hop on over to PhotoVisionVideo.com and begin exploring all the website has to offer. Not a PPA member but want access to PhotoVision? Right now, use the promo code PPA49 to receive a full year of PhotoVision for only $49. And when you become a PPA member you get all of PhotoVision online unlocked with your membership AND you get a 50% discount on all DVDs! 

Why wait? Join today!


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by James Yates
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It's time to alert your non-PPA member friends. Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in spreading the wealth of education that PPA members have at their fingertips! The PPAedu library has a lot to help you sharpen your photography techniques, marketing strategies, sales techniques and business operations. These tutorials and educational videos are available 24/7 at no cost as a benefit to PPA members. Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, you can tap into over a thousand programs to help you Be More! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision, take a look. There's a new website with a slew of new episodes!

For the month of June, the video Photoshop: Retouching for Beauty with PPA Instructor Jen Hillenga, M.Photog.Cr. has been unlocked. In this video, Jen teaches you how to enhance your subject's beauty, using some quick and easy Photoshop tricks. You'll first go through the options you have with Photoshop, like controlling exposure, color, crop and vignette. Then Jen will take you through the steps to use so that you don't go overboard or lose the integrity of your images. Drilling down into specific tools, you will explore vignette creation and blemish removal, using the history brush, adding shadows to naturally enhance, and applying selective blurring techniques for extra effects. In her easy and effective way, Jen breaks this down so that you can take your images from beautiful to breathtaking!

If you're already a member of PPA, just log in anytime to watch the video. This video is unlocked for non-members, this month only, at PPA.com/TryEdu. For full access to PPAedu and PhotoVision programs, join PPA today!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 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.


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By Autumn Rice

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When it comes to drones there is a lot of available information. However, the credibility of that information is questionable. Here is a new PPAedu webinar which addresses the current FAA regulations on drones, and the emerging FAA regulatory changes that make drone use more achievable for business related uses.

At the end of the video there is a Q&A session with PPA's Manager of Government Affairs, Lindsey Forson, who has been in communication with the FAA's UAS Integration office.

Tune in to see what to expect and when to expect the new changes!

Remember PPA.com is always the place to go for new and dependable information about drones.




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By Autumn Rice

PhotoVision is an educational photography website that provides 24/7 access to photography tutorials for its members. The PhotoVision videos provide a range of photography and business best practices from some of the biggest named professionals in the business. The helpful tips and tricks provided in these videos can be used by photographers in every element of their business. The biggest and best news is that PhotoVision is available at no cost to PPA members.

Not a PPA member? No problem! 

Anyone can subscribe to PhotoVision, and for a limited time receive 75% off the cost. Every month a new video will be unlocked for free!

This month's free video:

Baby's First Year



This video follows Lori Nordstrom as she demonstrates her preferred methods of capturing milestone months throughout a baby's first year. Watch as she uses different techniques to capture all the important baby's firsts.

Check out PhotoVision today!




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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BizChallenge_blogpost_650x160.jpg103 PPA photographers quietly kicked off the new PPA Business Challenge in February. Since then, two more groups have gotten underway with well over 300 participants at PPA.com/Challenge.

The Business Challenge helps photographers improve their business by building a stronger foundation with a focus on sustainability and profitability. The April group has already experienced two weeks of business-changing assignments, Q&A webinars, inspiration, check-ins, recaps and mark-your-calendar alerts. It's a great way to confidently build your business and not go it alone!

#1 No nonsense business advice
Led by PPA Director of Education Angela Kurkian, this 12-month Business Challenge is THE place to come for small-business help specifically developed for photographers. It is a sound framework to help PPA photographers steer their studios in the right direction. Don't be afraid to take the Challenge! Kurkian explains, "A lot of the things (the participants) are nervous about are things that being a member of PPA will help with (i.e. pricing, marketing, value through certification and becoming better at the craft of photography through photographic competition)."

#2 Peer-to-peer support group & accountability
The Business Challenge was developed to help hold photographers accountable in their attempts to improve their studios. One of the most popular and rewarding components of the Business Challenge in that regard are the questions and answers in the forums, where Kurkian poses questions to the group for an honest, frank discussion among peers. The questions can be complex, or as simple as "What are you afraid of?"

Here are some examples of the candid answers pulled from the group:

Q: What are you afraid of? What stops you from taking action?

"Will people value me?"

"My biggest fear is that I'm going to fail and look like a complete fool for even trying. I worry that my work isn't worth anything, that my peers view me as just another mom with a camera, and that I won't earn their respect; and I worry that I'll never find a client that values my work."

"I worry that maybe I AM talented but I'll let my fears squander it away or that my lack of business acumen will outweigh that talent."

"People will not pay our prices and will go with cheaper alternatives. People do not value our art or our time. My phone will stop ringing. We won't be able to afford/maintain our lifestyle."


But don't get too bogged down in the muck of negativity! Sharing with your peers is a wonderful way to see how alike we all are. Once these obstacles have been identified, it's only a matter of banding together and learning how to stomp it out with knowledge, hard work, and support from
PPA and your peers. We're all in this together!

#3 Safe practice for your own business
PPA is constantly developing new curriculum, offering webinars and advice to inspire and ignite the Business Challenge participants, and pushing them to greater success as artists and business people. You'll even notice Wes Roberts, who completed the Studio Makeover Challenge last year, hanging around the forums and offering great advice as someone who's been through the program.

Check back in a couple weeks, where we see what's going on with April's class one full month in...maybe some of their fears will be alleviated? (Spoiler alert: They will be!) Sign up now for the May class! Over 50 members are already on board! It's your turn to take control over your business and Be More! Sign up for free at PPA.com/Challenge.

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By Chris Homer

With so many helpful videos to choose from, why wouldn't anyone want to be a part of PhotoVision? PhotoVision is a photography learning website that provides 24/7 online photography tutorials. The PhotoVision series provides a range of educational information from some of the biggest names in the professional photography industry. From helpful tips to processes that photographers can use when considering every element of their business, these videos have it all. They range from helpful information in green screen techniques to constructing a social media and digital marketing plan and so much more. The best news? PhotoVision is available at no cost to PPA members!

Need some convincing on why to join PPA? Consider subscribing separately to PhotoVision! Every month, PhotoVision unlocks a FREE video available for everyone to stream. We're so sure you'll love it and gain insight from it that you'll want to come back for many, many more.

This month's free video:

Boudoir On The Edge
Featuring The Boudoir Divas 


This video begins with the Boudoir Divas creating a series of head and full length boudoir images while using a unique constant which mimics a glamorous runway. Watch as the Boudoir Divas use Photoshop to put the finishing touches on the final images.

Check out PhotoVision today! Just one more way PPA is helping you Be More Educated!


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 Chris Homer

PPA is dedicated to delivering photographers the best education available through the over 350 photography course videos available on PPAedu, as well as the 800+ videos on PhotoVision. In addition to these recorded courses, PPA hosts courses that you can attend from your computer LIVE as they happen. Check out what we've got coming up in April below!

April 21, 2016 - 2 ET
Skill Level(s): ALL
FREE for All Photographers

There is a lot of information out there about what is legal and what is not when it comes to drone photography. This webinar will separate fact from fiction concerning current regulations. More exciting is that regulatory changes from the FAA are on the horizon which will make legal business-related use of drones much more achievable. Tune in to find out what you should expect and when you will likely see these changes take effect. At the end of the webinar, there will be a Q&A session with PPA's Manager of Government Affairs who has been in communication with the FAA's UAS Integration Office.

April 26, 2016 - 2 ET
With Andrew "Fundy" Funderburg
Skill Level(s): ALL
FREE for All Photographers

Join the founder of Fundy Software, Andrew "Fundy" Funderburg, as he walks you through how to significantly improve your workflow and maximize your studio profits conducting in-person sales. Design and sell wall art and albums with ease and flexibility, while also ensuring your clients walk away happy.

Remember, these courses are open to ALL photographers to attend live, so register today! If you want to access the recordings of these courses and the full PPAedu library of 350+ videos as well as the 800+ streaming courses on PhotoVision, you'll need to be a PPA member. Join PPA today!


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 Sarah Ackerman

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in the power of education for all (it's normally reserved only for PPA members)! The PPAedu library has a lot to help you sharpen your photography techniques, marketing strategies, sales techniques and business operations. These tutorials and educational videos are available 24/7 to PPA members.  Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, as a PPA member, you can tap into over hundreds of programs to help you Be More! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision (PPA's newest member benefit), take a look, there's a new website with a slew of new episodes!

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For the month of April, the video "Soft Selling with Intense Results" with Kristin Privette has been unlocked.  It's available for anyone who wants to learn how use a simplified system of soft selling techniques to generate significant results!  In this video, Kristin works through her 10-step process for wedding sales. Learn the language, the specific steps they take their couples through and the selling techniques that anyone can learn and be comfortable using. 

If you're a member of PPA, just log in to watch the video anytime. Non-members will have access to this video this month only at PPA.com/TryEdu. For full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos, join PPA today!

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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

You already have the art of photography down, but is your business where you'd like it to be? If you find yourself wanting to learn how to boost your bottom line, the new PPA Business Challenge is for you! The Business Challenge provides photography business owners with the information and tools they need to develop the foundation for a more profitable business over the course of one year. Not only do they receive the tools required to make changes to their business, but also step-by-step instruction and support from PPA mentors as they implement these changes.

We all know that photographers are entrepreneurs, small business owners with a passion for their craft. We also know that many photographers open their studios as artists, more often than not, not having gone to business school, nor carrying a finance background. It is part of PPA's mission, as a nonprofit, to help our members understand and implement the basic business principles needed to maintain a sustainable studio. The Business Challenge is meant to be a fun, interactive way for PPA members to integrate as much business acumen as they can in one year's time. There is work involved, as this "challenge" is meant for photographers who are serious about wanting to take their business to the next level. Participants will have tasks to complete and the opportunity to be active members of accountability groups and peer-to-peer mentoring. "PPA's business advice is based on years of experience and successful business mentoring," says Angela Kurkian, Director of Education at PPA. "The new Business Challenge will help our members be more business-confident. It will help them think and strategize as a savvy business person."

Kurkian began brainstorming the concept of the Business Challenge over two years ago and 01-16-ppa-imagingusa-sun-9251__large.jpgan earlier form of the program debuted as the "Studio Makeover Challenge" at this year's Imaging USA in Atlanta. When she started noticing the average photographer needed business help, Kurkian knew it would be a difficult road for many members but she asks everyone keep one question in mind: 'How does change feel?'

"This is going to be a big change for these artists, and change is difficult. But when you decide to create change, change occurs all around you." Two small business owners/photographers (Krista Newbill, Wes Roberts) were chosen to go through a year-long business boot-camp with some of the best studio owners in the industry as their mentors.

Throughout 2015, the two participating studios' strengths and weaknesses were evaluated, their definitions of success were taken into account, and their top five goals for the year were contemplated. From this, five leading photographers including Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr.,CPP, ABI, API, Dave Doeppel, CPP, Ashley Brooke, Greg Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP and Kristin Privette, who all run successful studios, called and consulted with the participants all year, coaching them on implementing new steps for their businesses. These steps included setting new sales goals, creating appropriate pricing strategies and outlining a marketing plan, among others. "Your business doesn't have to look like any one way or one thing," Kurkian says. "That's why we wanted to show different examples of how these businesses can maintain their unique identity while still implementing changes that will increase their profits and make them sustainable. The program was a success and we decided the next phase for this project would be to expand it to all 29,000 of our members."

PPA's Business Challenge is free to PPA members (Not a member? Consider joining today!). The Challenge includes tools to understand and develop the foundations of a profitable business with:

•    A month-by-month, step-by-step support system
•    Answers to the most vital business questions
•    A personalized success and business plans
•    Lists and guidelines to help prioritize
•    Inspiration and help to stay focused
•    A framework to avoid getting overwhelmed
•    Accountability partners with other photographers with the same challenges

Want to join the Challenge? Sign up today at PPA.com/Challenge any time. When you join, you'll be put into a Challenge Group beginning on the first day of the following month. Then, for the next 12 months, you'll work on your personalized success path. Not only will you receive the tools required to make changes to your business, but also step-by-step instructions and support as you implement these changes. These smaller sized groups create a community of peers for you to share and mentor with as you go through the same program together.

Sign up today to begin your Challenge Group on April 1st and Be More Business Savvy!

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By Sarah Ackerman

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PhotoVision's latest release has a wide range of photography topics to help you become a better photographer! In addition to the hundreds of videos already available to PPA photographers, we're adding the following in the next few weeks:

Parker Pfister gives a tour of his beautiful studio in downtown Asheville, NC. Parker talks about his progression as a photographer and why he has been focusing on large format imagery. He shows off his antique lenses, including one that is technically radioactive, and tells why he enjoys the look he's able to achieve with the use of these older lenses. Parker talks about his inspirational sources and how taking on a collaborator has enhanced his work after years of going solo.

John Pyle shares his exposure tips for broad daylight when using off camera flash that will ensure balanced lighting between your subject and the sky.  At a sports track photographing a high school senior with a javelin for kinetic sports images or in a quaint downtown area capturing gorgeously lit fall portraits, John explains how to manage your camera settings to enable clear, blur-free imagery when photographing moving subjects.

Melanie Anderson shares her techniques on how to pose newborns in a way that's natural and comfortable for them. Melanie discusses the newborn portion of her business with PhotoVision correspondent, Janine Killian, then takes us inside her studio to photograph two of these sweet new arrivals She talks about why she sometimes prefers photographing two different newborns at once and where she finds some of her specialty items that help ease the process. Melanie demonstrates how to light babies using only natural light and reflectors to achieve a soft and sweet look.

Amy Doerring explains why she loves photographing hands and what inspires her to pick the objects she does.  She then photographs a young girl holding various sentimental items. Most importantly she explains how she markets her hand art photographs and how they can make for great seasonal gifts. Amy is always inspiring photographers to give a personal touch to every image.

As a PPA photographer, you have immediate access to 24/7 streaming of PhotoVision and PPAedu content! Not a member? Join today! Check out the latest from PhotoVision on the newly redesigned website at photovisionvideo.com. Be More Educated!

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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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