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PPA Today: Helpful Hints: March 2016 Archives

Helpful Hints: March 2016 Archives

by James Yates

PPA's Northcentral District Photographic Competition judging is happening this weekend and the Southwest District judging will take place the first of April. While entries for these competitions are now closed, you can watch the live stream of each and witness the judging online as it happens!

If you missed your District's Photographic Competition, but want to still enter in a serious photographic competition, PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) begins accepting entries May 23. It's never too early to start preparing your images!

Entering a District competition or the IPC is one of the best ways to improve your craft, especially if you choose to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's Jurors! You can have your images evaluated and scored based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. You'll receive an actual recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you the components of YOUR image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the areas in which you may need improvement. It's an amazing learning experience!

We know the process can seem intimidating for first-timers, so here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image called "Cappuccino for Three" was created by Debra Klawetter, CPP, and is being critiqued by PPA juror Tina Timmons, M.Photog.Cr., CPP.

Take a look and see how entering a photographic competition can improve your own work as a photographer through constructive feedback like you'll hear in this critique.

We hope this critique can help you get a better understanding of what the IPC judges are looking for when scoring your images. Learn more about when and where the District competitions are held here and then head to to watch live streams of the District competitions and also start preparing your images for the International Photographic Competition! Be sure to request a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art and Be More Prepared.

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By James Yates
See The Difference is PPA's online, print and social media awareness campaign that aims to help consumers "see the difference" when evaluating photographers ... and realize the importance of hiring a pro. The campaign is designed to give PPA photographers FREE marketing tools to help with their sales process and justify their costs, quality, and expertise.

As part of See The Difference, PPA periodically writes feature stories that are picked up by 1000s of national and regional online and print news organizations with the explicit goal of teaching consumers the value of choosing a professional for their photography needs.
Most recently, See The Difference provided 5 Tips to Ensure You Get Romantic Wedding Photos. The story was picked up by 1,059 online publications with a combined online audience of 57,978,514. Photos from PPA photographers were used to illustrate the story and further hone the importance of using professional photography. Check out the whole story from some of the many sites that are hosting the article: Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, The Baltimore Sun, and the Houston Chronicle.
Inside you'll find great info on these five tips for consumers along with some awesome photographic examples, like the one above © Ace Photography, provided by PPA photographers:
1. Let yourself be vulnerable

2. Don't risk putting your memories in the hands of amateurs

3. Put together a detailed shot list

4. Be daring

5. Be there for the magic hour

This is only one of 12 stories that PPA will push out each month in a proactive effort to show consumers that professional photographers are worth the investment.
Want your photos considered for stories like these? Fill out this form today and we'll contact you if your images are selected!

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-    Currently, commercial use of UAS is almost completely prohibited.

o    The only way to use UAS commercially is to obtain a section 333 exemption from the FAA (a very complicated process which usually involves an attorney) and to have someone with a pilot's license operating the UAS.

-    This makes drone photography virtually impossible for professional photographers unless they also have a pilot's license.

o    For this reason, PPA (over the past few years) has been regularly meeting with the FAA and members of Congress to petition for better regulations.

-    In February 2015, the FAA proposed a set of new regulations which would create a new type of airman certification specifically for UAS operators which would be required in lieu of a pilot's license and would be obtained through a knowledge test.  This proposal improves other regulations for small drone use (55 lbs. or less) affecting photographers by allowing users to fly them much closer to buildings and people than currently authorized.

o    PPA submitted comments to the FAA based on the proposal.  We were generally very pleased with the proposal but did suggest some minor changes.

-    In May 2015, the FAA gave themselves a deadline of no more than 16 months to pass the final rule.  We have the impression the final regulations will be very similar to the proposal and will greatly improve the regulatory framework as it applies to professional photographers' use of UAS.

-    In December 2015, the online registration process was introduced for HOBBYIST use of drones.  

o     In our most recent meeting with the FAA's UAS integration office, PPA was told that their goal for passing the new regulations is early summer 2016, and that they will be completed before the end of 2016 at the latest. We have since heard that it may be even sooner.We expect the use of UAS among professional photographers to massively expand this spring/summer once the new rule is made official and in the years that follow.

Stay right here every week for all the latest Drone news and updates!

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There is a lot of information floating around right now regarding FAA regulations for drone or UAS use. We want to clear a few things up for you and give you some helpful tips! Because while drones are very exciting, we want to keep you legal!

The regulations released last December from the FAA require the registration of all Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The FAA launched a very simple online drone 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 literally any day now. We certainly expect the regulations to come by Summer 2016. The FAA has also said that the online UAS registration system will be expanded to include business-related use. 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 for more information on the most recent regulatory change.

At this point, you may be wondering why we keep using the word "hobbyist". Again, we have to stress that as it stands now, drone use is restricted to only "hobbyist" use and not "commercial" use without a pilot's license. Since you, our members, are professionals and are probably thinking about using drones in your photography work, we feel we have to keep you informed of the illegality of that situation. Think of these posts as "How to Use Your Drones ONLY FOR RECREATIONAL and HOBBYIST USE and NOT FOR PROFESSIONAL OR COMMERCIAL USE". The new regulations relaxing the rules for business use are expected any day now. But until then ... here are step-by-step instructions for how to register your UAS (FOR HOBBYIST USE ONLY) after the jump:

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Helpful Hints category from March 2016.

Helpful Hints: February 2016 is the previous archive.

Helpful Hints: April 2016 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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