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by James Yates

Being the oldest and largest nonprofit photography association comes with responsibility. Our mission is to not only provide photographers with the education, resources and industry standards of excellence to help them be successful, but to also help consumers see the difference when evaluating photographers. That's why PPA launched an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign called See The Difference®. 

For the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Bridal Guide, PPA was called upon to offer the top three wedding photo trends for 2016. You can find us on the bottom right corner of page 5. If you're snowed in and can't make the newsstand, here's some of what we revealed:


  • Photographers are needed for more than just the "big day". They're being asked to be around the whole week!


  • Photo editors are in-demand now for onsite instant retouching and social sharing! 


  • Forget the old superstition about not seeing the bride before the wedding! "Many brides and grooms not only want to see each other before the wedding, they also want to capture those private, connected moments in their photos." 


The 2016 Hottest Wedding Trends issue of Bridal Guide is on sale now! 

See The Difference is a marketing toolset developed for professional photographers, by professional photographers. If you want it, or for more information on how YOU can put See The Difference® marketing resources to work for your business, visit PPA.com/SalesTools

by Lindsey Forson

There is a lot of information floating around right now regarding new FAA regulations for drone or UAS use. We want to clear a few things up for you and give you some helpful tips!

The new regulations released this week from the FAA require the registration of all Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). As of Monday, the FAA launched a very simple online registration process for hobbyist users of small UAS. There is a paper application currently available for commercial users, but it is important to note that commercial use is still only currently permitted for professional photographers who have been granted a Section 333 exemption and are licensed pilots or have exempt licensed pilots operating the UAS.

We expect the FAA to finalize new regulations for business-related use of small UAS during the first half of 2016. The FAA has also said that the online UAS registration system will be expanded to include business-related use by the spring of 2016. If you are using UAS for hobbyist or recreational purposes while awaiting new regulations for business use, be sure to register your UAS with the FAA as soon as possible. Please see our recent coverage (link to last blog post) for more information on the most recent regulatory change.

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to register your UAS after the jump:


By James Yates
 
Can you believe Imaging USA 2016 is only 2.5 WEEKS away?! PPA Today is going to make sure you have all your i's dotted and t's crossed before your big trip and we figured now may be a good time to go over...transportation.

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Imaging USA 2016 will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) in the heart of downtown Atlanta. PPA is super-excited that Imaging USA is in our hometown this year! If you've never been or it's been a while, downtown Atlanta got a face-lift. Right next to the GWCC you'll find Centennial Olympic Park and the CNN Center, the new SkyView Ferris Wheel, the World of Coca-Cola, the new College Football Hall of Fame, the new Civil Rights Museum, and of course, the amazing Georgia Aquarium...home of the 2016 Imaging USA closing party!

If you're flying to Atlanta...take MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) from Hartsfield-Jackson airport to the GWCC, Omni or Glenn Hotels. It's only $2.50 and a straight line there!

1. Enter MARTA Airport station adjacent to baggage claim.
2. Board northbound train (Red or Gold) toward Five Points Station.
3. Get off at Five Points and follow signage to westbound train platform.
4. Board westbound train (Green or Blue) travel one stop to Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center.
5. Follow signage to street level, walk one block northwest toward Georgia World Congress Center.

If you're heading to the Hyatt Regency, Sheraton Hotel or other downtown Atlanta properties, continue on the Red or Gold line past Five Points Station, and get off at Peachtree Center. From there you'll find signage directing you to your respective hotels. 

If you're driving to Atlanta...save a lot of money and pre-purchase parking for Imaging USA. That's 50% off the regular convention parking price at $10 per day - no overnight parking permitted. 

1. Just click on the GWCC Online Parking Permits button here to go to the main parking permits page.       
2. From there you will click on the "Purchase Event Parking Permits" button.
3. On the Select Event page, click on Georgia World Congress Center.                                                                           
4. Look for Imaging USA among the January events.
5. Continue to pre-purchase a parking permit for IUSA.

If you're also staying at a hotel downtown, you will have access to everything you need for the week with just a short walk. There are also several ways to get around if you want to spend some time exploring our beautiful city or if you're staying at a hotel a little farther away. 
Take Marta! It's Smarta! Go to itsmarta.com and/or check out this helpful video.

Atlanta also has Uber, Lyft and taxi services available. 

Wanting to go check out more cool Atlanta spots like the Martin Luther King Center or the Sweet Auburn district? You might want to take a ride on Atlanta's new streetcar!  The streetcar will take you all the way from Centennial Olympic Park to the King Historic District, 12 stops along the way, for only $1 a ride with the quick purchase of a free Breeze card (the same card you will use to ride Marta). 

No matter how you want to get around, Atlanta is ready to wow you at Imaging USA 2016


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By Guest Blogger Rachel Brenke

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Taxes can be extremely overwhelming, exhausting and downright annoying. In fact, figuring out how to do taxes can feel like one big ball of these emotions with no real path to navigate. Unfortunately, we have no choice but to make it happen. The downfall for many photographers is that they don't take the time to pick apart the needed tax information and strategies that are available out there, including keeping up with remitting the proper tax, identifying your deduction strategy and keeping up with reporting.

Remit the proper taxes 

Paying the proper amount of taxes is scary. You want to do it right, but may not be sure if you are. There are three major tax categories to keep in mind: federal income, state income, and state sales. 

Income taxes at both the federal and state level are taxes on the money that is determined to be your income. As you'll see at the end of this blog, you can identify certain expenses as deductions to help reduce your personal income tax liability. On a state sales tax level, figuring out what rate to take and what products/services are taxed can seem tedious. You are a middleman between client and state, but you need to fulfill the duty of ensuring that the sales tax is collected properly. Other information for sales tax includes whether the state is a destination based, origin based, or hybrid state, as well as whether use or franchise taxes are needed for your business. It is highly recommended you engage in a yearly review of this information to ensure you're walking the tax lane on the straight-and-narrow. Whether you feel comfortable and competent enough to handle it yourself or hire a trusted accountant, it will avoid you getting penalized for failure to fulfill the required duty of remitting accurate taxes and while this seems taunting, it truly is needed as it protects your photography business and ends up saving a lot of time, money and energy in the long run.

Keep up with reporting

Keeping a handle on reporting your income and expenses can help you be more efficient at tax reporting time, as well as identifying appropriate pricing and paralleling to evaluate marketing strategies for effectiveness. The baseline information to get your head around is the monies coming in the bank account, as well as the monies going out. These outgoing amounts include overhead expenses such as the cost of goods, insurance, legal fees, hosting, marketing materials, subscriptions, etc. Without getting your arms around these numbers, you'll end up shooting in the red. But not only that, you're unable to accurately and easily deduct (see tax tip #3 shortly) these expenses, resulting in paying taxes on money you didn't really "pocket".

By John Owens


Greetings photography community! Hope you've all had a wonderful start to summer. To cap things off, here are our favorite 10 blog posts from the week. Dig in!


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1. Have or Want To Open Your Own Studio? Read This

STUDIO ADVICE: This post from Million Dollar Photographer shares common pitfalls that you'll want to avoid if you have or are considering opening your own studio. Author Bradford Rowley offers 9 things to keep out of your studio space. Take a look around and see if they apply to you!

2. Why Compete? Photographers Weigh In

BE MORE INVOLVED: First, some good news: The deadline for submissions to the International Photographic Competition (IPC) has been extended to July 10! Why should you enter? We asked photographers just that on theLoop. Check out their responses in this post. Hopefully they inspire you to compete too!

3. People Skills? Yeah, You Need Those Too

NEGLECTED NECESSITIES: Here's a trick of the trade that's not often talked about but generally assumed we all have: people skills. The word 'skill' is there for a reason--it's a talent! This post discusses their importance and asks three insightful questions for you to consider. Take a look!

4. Skin Retouching: What To Do (And What Not To Do)

POST-PRODUCTION: Here's a post from Lindsay Adler, all about skin retouching. (did you know she's speaking at Imaging USA in 2016?!). I this post, she discusses five things that ruin skin in your photos. Are you guilt of any of these photography sins? Lindsay tells you how to fix them.

By Mariah Ashley

I would like to officially announce my candidacy for the office of President.

(Cheers and Applause)

Oh wait a minute; I'm going to need to retract that statement. I'm already the president around here. In fact, I've served two and a half terms.

I know it seems pretty important and glamorous, being the most powerful woman in my office and all, but have you ever seen the side-by-sides of the presidents before and after their terms? Ouch! Being President DOES NOT do a body good- check it out

Wrinkles are in fact... bipartisan.

Whether you are the President of the United States or President of your Small Business, the job description is the same; 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Endless worry, countless decisions and constant public scrutiny. Success in pleasing your constituents? Unlikely. 

So who would want this for themselves? Well, Hillary, Ted, and Rand so far but maybe they'll give that a second thought after they read my blog post. Sure, right now they're all caught up in their patriotic passion to serve their country but do they realize what a grind the next four years will actually be for them?

I mean, you have got to wear A LOT of hats when you are president. I can't believe how many decisions I have to make in the course of the work week. I heard on NPR once that President Obama does not make any non-essential decisions. He has so many big decisions to make that he's eliminated all choices like, what to wear, what to eat etc. He simply does not have room for one more decision. I think maybe George W. Bush said it best when he famously said, "I am the decider." I hate to admit it, but he was right if, you are president you are the decider. Period. That's what you do, you decide.

The thing is, everything (including your skin) turns grey when you become president. It seems like much of the frustration with our elected officials comes from wanting them to take a hard line on an issue. I'm here to tell you, as someone who sits in the big chair, it's nearly impossible to boil things down to black and white and all that grey is exhausting. Let me illustrate with three examples of presidential decisions I had to make this week.

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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It's another week and another Friday the 13th. Eek! We hope things aren't getting dodgy for you photographers out there (but if they do, please chat about it on theLoop). Here's the top 10 blogs from this past week to help you get stoked for "busy season".

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It's in the Details - Advice on Shooting for Competition

PHOTO COMPETITION: In this post, Christine Walsh-Newton picks apart some of her past submissions to show you what she learned about photographic competition and what to do to  get Loan collection worthy images. We also note here that Christine is a PPA photographer M.Photog.Cr. and CPP! After reading her piece, you'll be ready to get off the fence and enter yourself. And good news: many PPA district competitions are accepting submissions now AND when judging starts, you can watch a live streaming to see it in real time!

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!

Nothing like a Friday the 13th to send you into Valentine's Day! Here's some very non-scary posts from the week for you to eat up and take into the weekend and beyond.

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IMAGING USA: Day 1 of Imaging USA 2015 brought photographers in droves to Opryland, eager for the opening of the tradeshow and the many classes of the day. The night was capped off with what was easily the biggest Super Bowl party around! Read the day 1 recap.

IMAGING USA: Things got even better on day 2, with more deals and learning. And the Grand Imaging Award winner was crowned. Find out who won!

IMAGING USA: The convention and tradeshow came to a close Tuesday, with the final tally of attendees surpassing 11,000, officially making Imaging USA 2015 the biggest show to date. Things culminated with the handing out of Awards and Degrees and the official Closing Party on Delta Island.

ADVOCACY: Just before the end of the last Congress, a bill was handed down to declare that "still and motion photographs are speech". The bill will need to be re-introduced, and you should want it to since it is fighting for your basic rights--to photograph! Read on to see what all this entails and look for a blog on the matter from PPA next week.

MARKETING & SALES: Do you have an online shop for clients? Perhaps you should. According to eMarketing Inc., ecommerce sales in 2017 could top $434 billion. You don't want to miss that gravy train! This lengthy infographic from ecommerce platforms is full of great tips to get you started.

INSPIRATION: Iconic images stand the test of time, but do you remember who created them? Photographer Tim Mantoani has compiled a collection of 150 artists behind the photographs into a book of 20 x 24 polaroid's with a short story on the image in the creators handwriting. Take a look at a few, and also this making of the project video.

SOCIAL MEDIA (part I): No one likes a Debbie Downer. Especially not when looking for a photographer. This post from Fstoppers takes a look at what not to post on your social media pages. Are you guilty of any of these?

SOCIAL MEDIA (part II): Okay, who saw this one coming?! The original post garnered so much feedback a follow-up on the positives of social media marketing was warranted. Hopefully you are indeed guilty of these practices, and keep it up!

INSPIRATION: This post from PetaPixel is a bit biting at first, but you'll see what the author is getting at quickly. She argues that a certain D word is much more important to your continued success.

ADVICE: Here's a cool podcast with one of the best in the business--Joe McNally. This award-winning photographer has seen and done it all for some of the biggest publications out there, and he's done it for quite some time now. Learn his approach to photography, how to deal with hardships and some honest advice.

There you have it, our favorite posts of the week! What photography 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 burgers.



About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Helpful Hints category.

Faces of PPA is the previous category.

How They Did It is the next category.

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