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PPA Today: Imaging USA: November 2011 Archives

Imaging USA: November 2011 Archives

Russell and Paula Jensen of South Dakota and Babe and Arlene Sarver of Arizona have a few things in common. They own photography studios, are PPA members, believe in the power of the PPA Benchmark Survey resources...and are the 2011 PPA Benchmark Survey's grand prize winners of the all-inclusive trips for two to Imaging USA!

The Benchmark Survey Pays Off
Both the Sarvers and Jensens have used the previous Benchmark Survey resources to help their businesses, and this all-inclusive trip is an added bonus.

For example, the Jensens used the Benchmark resources to build their studio's budget. "These are essential tools for photographers who actually want to make a living doing photography!" says Paula. "They help studios understand how much money should be coming back to the photographer and where they should be budgeting."

"Rather than plan in a vacuum, the Benchmark resources enabled us to compare our status to other PPA home studios. And for the first time, it was easy to identify our strong and weak areas," add the Sarvers, who used the Benchmark as a blueprint for their planning process. "It showed us where we were out of range from the norm and gave guidelines for improvement."

Heading to Imaging USA
The trip the Sarvers and Jensens won will help them continue to push their art and businesses forward--that's one of the purposes of Imaging USA!

"Imaging USA lets us see what is working for other studios and marketplaces and then decide how to implement the best aspects into our own business," says Paula. For example, she's looking forward to the "Business Breakthroughs" pre-convention class, and Russell is eager to "get the nation's pulse in photography" (along with seeing his first Loan Collection image displayed in the International Photographic Exhibit)!

And the Sarvers are doubly excited for Imaging USA. "After attending our first Imaging USA, we decided it was the conference not to be missed," they say. But it wasn't looking like a viable option this coming year...until they won the all-inclusive trip! Now they are looking forward to "taking back to our studio those important elements that will set us apart," from artistic and technical elements to business know-how.

Grab that business know-how yourself--join these winners at Imaging USA and check out these Benchmark resources.
Make your plans to attend Imaging USA before December 1, and you'll save $50 on buddy pass registration for you and one or two friends. After December 1, all buddy pass prices will increase by $50. So, register early and bring a little extra cash for the goodies on the Imaging EXPO floor!
duncan_headshot_blog.jpg"Life is too short to not be doing what you love," says Cris Duncan, Cr.Photog., CPP. For him, that means photography! "One thing that I am most proud of is that Deanna and I can do what we truly love and feel we've been called to do...and support our family doing it."

But doing what you are passionate about doesn't mean you'll only see sunshine and roses. Like every business endeavor, there are hurdles to overcome: lack of confidence, industry changes, competition, getting stuck in ruts, etc. Cris and his wife Deanna are coming to Imaging USA to help you beat back those challenges and reignite your photographic passion!

Find Your Passion
The Duncans have operated C.J. Duncan Photography in Lubbock, Texas, since 2002, offering high-end commercial, portrait and wedding photography. Since opening their business, Cris has photographed one president, two vice presidents and done work for large companies like Frito-Lay and Bayer.

Despite these high-profile clients, Cris says that family portraits are still his favorite type of duncan1.jpg work. "We both believe that these portraits will help reinforce the love and relationship that these families have," he explains.

"I feel you need to do something you are passionate about," Cris adds. "Your clients will see that love and passion you have for your job, and that experience is counted to them as value. We are passionate about families and helping preserve them in any way we can."

Improve with Your Passion
Like many photographers, Cris admits that the biggest challenge his business faces is keeping up with the constant change in the industry. And he is constantly working on new techniques, styles and product offerings to stay competitive.

"But there is a difference between changing what you do and adapting to do it better," he explains. "That is where learning comes in. Learning is not gaining knowledge but taking the knowledge and making adjustments to what you do to improve."

duncan2.jpgOne way Duncan overcomes the challenge of competition is by using his unique lighting techniques to create a signature style. He's even known as a "MacGyver of Light," and will discuss lighting tips and tricks that work for them at Imaging USA...along with other business strategies!

"We will be providing some quick 'kick-start' ideas that can be applied immediately and with little effort to help propel one's business," says Cris about that upcoming class. "Most importantly, we will discuss how confidence and having a different perspective on ourselves and those things around us can transform who we are as photographers and serve as a catalyst for our business and our craft."

Ready to make the necessary adjustments in your own business to live your passionduncan3.jpg successfully? Don't miss the Duncans' "Become the Photographer You Want to Be" Imaging USA class, sponsored by Miller's Professional Imaging.

Read more about Imaging USA here.

Read more about the Duncans here.

If you're a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP)--or have been contemplating pursuing your certification--Imaging USA 2012 is the place you need to be! Here you'll find special classes just for CPPs, an informational session that can answer all your CPP questions, a CPP booth on the Imaging EXPO floor, a three-day Certification Prep Class and, of course, the Certification Exams.

As usual, the Certification Prep Class (Jan. 12 - 14, additional fees apply for this pre-convention class) will help you cram and be at your best for the Certification Exams. Those exams are held 9:00am - 11:00am Jan.  15 - 17, but you must register separately for them at least five business days before.

And to help you get the most certification love out of Imaging USA, this year we've added even more.

At Imaging USA, we pride ourselves on providing exactly what professional photographers need to grow in business, and that includes certification...and help in getting the most out of it!
kennykim_head_blog.jpgKenny Kim never intended to be a wedding photographer. "It just sort of fell into my lap," he says. Originally, he started photographing collegiate sporting events, where his love of photography grew and he became almost obsessed with learning its technical aspects. Then, the members of the 800-plus member church he attended began referring wedding couples to him.

"I fell in love with wedding photography after covering a few of those weddings and have not looked back since then," Kim adds.

Since establishing his wedding photography business, Kenny Kim Photography, in 2006, he has quickly become a nationally recognized name in the industry. He was recently named one of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine's A-List photographers and has written two books on wedding photography, "The Wedding Photographer's Planner" and "Digital Wedding Photography Photo Workshop." And he's getting ready to share his expertise with you at Imaging USA!

Becoming a Destination Wedding Photographer
During his class at Imaging USA, Kim will share what worked and what didn't as he grew hiskennykim_1.jpg business...specifically his destination wedding business. His first destination wedding (in the Bahamas) happened early in his career, and the referrals have been multiplying ever since.

"It's such a festival event, and with each wedding, I feel privileged that my clients would entrust me to capture their special day," Kim says. Today, he shoots about 20 weddings a year, half of which require him to travel. He has captured over 150 weddings throughout the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe.

Travel to Overcome Challenges
Kim says that his biggest challenge is dealing with the constant change in the photography industry (in both technology and trends).

"We're often tempted to refuse to conform to those changes," he explains. "But we have to constantly motivate and fuel ourselves to stay hungry and grow as a photographer and in business."

Kim credits the traveling he does for his wedding photography work with helping him stay motivated. "Traveling is the best education one can have," he adds. "I am always learning about myself and my character when I observe the lives of people from different cultures, and somehow they become life lessons that I apply to my business."

kennykim_2.jpgTravel is so important to Kim that he recently started a workshop called "PhotoVentures to Italy" to show other photographers what he's learned from his trips as a destination wedding photographer...and he's coming to Imaging USA , too!

Sharing Success
If you're thinking of getting into the destination wedding photography business--or want to improve what you're already doing--don't miss Kim's "Confessions of a Destination Wedding Photographer" Imaging USA class, sponsored by Kodak, on January 16.

He'll share what has worked for him in networking and marketing, as well as some of the mistakes he made when starting out and the lessons he learned from them. If you want to break in to this exciting field, this is the class for you!

Read more about Kenny Kim here. Follow him on Twitter and view his Facebook page. Readkennykim_3.jpg more about his books here.

Read more about Imaging USA here.


CPP Class: Market Your Certification to Gain a Competitive Edge
With Teri Quance, M.Photog.Cr., CPP & Audrey Wancket, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Convention Center, Third Level, Room 356 / 357
Tuesday, January 17
5:00pm - 6:30pm

In this special class just for Certified Professional Photographers, you'll learn cutting-edge, out-of-the-box ways to market your certification. See what your peers are doing to make a difference for their businesses in their communities, and take home fresh ideas to make certification work for YOU!

Free with Imaging USA registrations to all current Certified Professional Photographers as part of their Imaging USA.
johnridgeway_headshot_blog.jpgIs your specialty photographing babies? Or do you want it to be? Then we've got someone you should meet at Imaging USA: The "Baby Whisperer." Over the past 13 years, John Ridgeway, M.Photog., has become known as the Baby Whisperer for his talent in handling his newborn photography specialty.

Finding His Specialty
Like many of us, it took John a few years to find that perfect niche. He was originally attracted to photography in college, where he was studying to be an architect (he loved photographing buildings). John's priority shifted to "people" photography after assisting a friend with photographing a wedding. In fact, that brought him to a career change.

"I did a few weddings with him and then thought that I could do this...the way I wanted. Here Iridgeway1.JPG am 23 years later," John remembers of starting his own business. He has been operating Ridgeway Portrait Design in Maryville, Illinois, since 1988 with his wife, Cheryl Ridgeway, Cr.Photog.

After being in the business for a number of years, John decided that he didn't want to shoot weddings anymore. But he "didn't know how to get out."

"My wife asked me what I would want to photograph if money were no object," says John. "I looked at the work of all of the studios around us and realized that there was a lack of good children's photography. Since I enjoyed children and enjoyed photographing them, I decided to concentrate on it."

That decision has paid off for his business over the last 13 years...even in the competitive market today.

ridgeway2.JPGLearning His Secrets
Want to learn the tricks John uses to create newborn photography that amateurs can't match? Attend his "The Baby Whisperer's Secrets Revealed" Imaging USA class, sponsored by H & H Color Lab on January 17, 2012.  

"Ten percent of making a good, quality photograph is the camera; 90 percent is knowing what to do with the camera to make that properly exposed, sellable image," John adds.

And when your subject is a newborn, there are a host of additional challenges added to mix. Attend his class, and you'll learn how John and Cheryl deal with those challenges, including their techniques for putting babies into a sound sleep so you can get a better variety of images for your clients.  

"A good photographer can take any camera and make a great photograph," reminds John. "Aridgeway3.jpg person with the 'best and most expensive' camera will still make a bad photograph if they don't know what to do with their new expensive toy."

So, get ready to wow your newborn photography clients with John and Cheryl's help!

Read more about the Ridgeways here. Read more about Imaging USA here.

Imaging USA has released a mobile app to help you get the most out of Imaging USA in New Orleans, January 15-17, 2012. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and Blackberry phones. You can download it for FREE now from the Apple App Store and Android Market, and Blackberry users accessing the mobile site from their Blackberry device will see an option to download the app.

Ready to navigate your way through all that Imaging USA has to offer pro photographers? We've put everything at your fingertips with these great features:

  • Imaging EXPO floor map and product directory (coming soon)
  • Detailed schedules, class, speaker and room info
  • Favorites--where you can pick favorite classes or exhibitors to help plan your schedule and time on the EXPO floor
  • Local map with convention hotel locations
  • Imaging USA updates via built-in messenger
  • Twitter Feed--to follow the show buzz
  • Contact--to help you connect and network with your fellow Imaging USA attendees
Download the app today and get ready to make it big at Imaging USA in New Orleans!
jenkins_andrew_head_blog.jpgRunning a photography business is not as easy as it looks. Not by a long shot. You need photographic talent, a mind for business and numbers, the ability to wow clients during their entire experience and more if you really want to succeed. But the thought of what it takes to succeed isn't what draws us here. We come because of a passion for the art, and it's up to us to learn and grows the rest of the skills needed to thrive. Imaging USA is a great place to do this, thanks to instructors like Andrew Jenkins, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, who will be sharing what helped him succeed with his senior clients.

Building Success
Andrew remembers growing up in a town where one photographer photographed everything.jenkins1.jpg "Every time I saw him, he would take my picture and I would give him an envelope with money in it. I figured, hey...this guy must be rich!" Of course, it wasn't quite as easy as collecting envelopes with money in them, but he has thrived in his own way.

"Creating images that I know people cherish and enjoy having in their homes and sharing with their friends is thrilling to me," he says.

He loves working with people like that, which is why he chose to focus on portrait photography. Andrew's  first session was for a high school senior almost 17 years ago, and he has run his own portrait business (Canfield Jenkins House of Photography in St. Johns, Michigan) since he graduated from college with a degree in photography.

Like many, Andrew admits that his biggest challenge is setting himself apart from the competition. While earning awards like the Michigan Photographer of the Year (2005 and 2007) and being named one of the Top Seven Michigan Photographers has helped set him apart, he knows the real key is making sure clients have a great experience.  

jenkins2.jpg"That's why I not only meet their expectations, but also take it a step further," he explains.

Sharing That Success with You
Do you want to surpass expectations like Andrew does? Do you want to keep the high school senior portrait portion of your business thriving like his is? Then come early to Imaging USA for one of his pre-convention classes.

On January 13, he'll share what has helped him succeed in the senior business (from products to sales tips and more) as one of the speakers for the "Ideas & Imagery to Make Senior Profits Soar" pre-convention class. The following day, he'll be one of the speakers for the "Hands-On Photography: Family, Children & Seniors" pre-convention class. This class will be a hands-on shooting demo that will help you understand the simplest ways to light and pose high school seniors in the studio and on location.  

"You'll learn how to give clients a great experience while keeping the shooting as simple asjenkins3.jpg you can so you have more time to connect with them," Jenkins adds about the latter. So register for Imaging USA now to give your senior photography business a boost with his help!

Read more about Andrew Jenkins here. Read more about Imaging USA here. Pre-convention classes are available for additional fees.


About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Imaging USA category from November 2011.

Imaging USA: October 2011 is the previous archive.

Imaging USA: December 2011 is the next archive.

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

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