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PPA Today: Imaging USA: July 2013 Archives

Imaging USA: July 2013 Archives

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Imaging USA might be 24 weeks away (yes, we are counting down), but we already have a stellar line up of industry professionals ready, willing and able to help you elevate the level of your photography. Steve Kozak,  M.Photog.Cr., CPP, of Steve Kozak, Photographic Artist, in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area will be back as one of our pre-convention speakers. 

Steve's class, "The Secrets to Success When Turning Pro" focuses on the transition to becoming a full-fledged professional starting a photography business. 

"I expect [attendees] to walk away with a clear understanding of their role in the craft of photography.  They will learn the pursuit of excellence is not optional and that the work we do has value--professional photographers can make a great living," said Steve. 

Like many of you, Steve doesn't take the term "professional photographer" lightly. 

"Being a professional photographer carries with it a responsibility to always deliver at the highest level of quality and service, and to never stop learning something new.  The rewards are greater than most can ever imagine and the personal satisfaction is over the top! I never take it for granted."

Some of that personal satisfaction comes from hearing about other photographer's successes. At Imaging USA, Steve's favorite interactions come from talking to former class attendees.

"I love those moments where I run into a former student who shares their success story and how far they have come after attending one of my classes." 

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Steve has plenty of opportunity to find those students; he has been a leader in the photographic industry for over a decade. 

"This will be my 11th year speaking at Imaging USA and it is one of my career highlights. I love watching photographers learn how to take their passion and turn it into a profession. It is very gratifying watching others succeed while following my path towards success. I have been inspired by so many others before me, it is quite an honor to follow in their footsteps and give back to others."

So what keeps him coming back alongside newcomers and experienced pros alike? It's because Imaging USA combines the education you need to get started and stay on top with the networking and collaboration that the industry thrives on. Some folks go because they are starting out and need all the help they can get. Others, already in business, need some strategic help and guidance. And most everyone thrives on a triple shot of inspiration, creativity and energy boost. There are nine tracks during the conference, and a wide variety of pre-convention courses. This is THE only convention for all photographers, regardless of your specialty, location, or size. 

Networking is a key at Imaging USA (or any conference!). This is where you connect with real people who will later be able to help you from afar. There are plenty of opportunities to spark these connections, even before the conference. Check out the Imaging USA Facebook or Twitter pages or head to the Imaging USA Community on theLoop and start hunting for a roommate or a dinner partner. 

With all of the wonderful memories from so many years of experience - one moment stands out for Steve. 

"I think [my most memorable moment] might be the first time I walked through the print exhibit and saw some of my prints hanging in the show.  I knew then that I had made it and that I belonged," Steve said. "Getting my Master's Degree was pretty cool, too!"


We're past the halfway point on the calendar to Imaging USA 2014 in Phoenix!!! Since we already showed you some of the fun Phoenix has to offer, we figured we should probably tell you where to stay, how to get there, and before you do any of that, how to register. You know--the details! 

So let's dive right in.

Where Should I Stay?

Save yourself the trouble of searching for a lower rate! PPA's already done the work and negotiated discounted rates for you during Imaging USA. And we've got three options for you!


PPA's headquarters for Imaging USA 2014. Located just minutes from Sky Harbor International Airport and adjacent to the Phoenix Convention Center, this hotel is at the center of everything. This is also Phoenix's largest hotel and will place you just minutes away (walking!) from ample dining and entertainment options. Or if you're tired from so much conference activities, you can kick back on the pool deck or in their inviting lobby bar. Three blocks from the convention center, this hotel is ideally located between everything Imaging USA and the revitalized downtown Phoenix!


The Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel is an artful urban retreat, combining the comfort and convenience of a full-service business and convention hotel. It's a big hotel with a big brand name but with the soul of a boutique hotel. You're in for a treat! The Renaissance is even closer to the Convention Center than the Sheraton (1.5 blocks!), plus, it sports a rooftop pool and is within blocks of CityScape entertainment and dining district.


Location, location, location! The Hyatt is the CLOSEST of the three hotels. You can walk from all three, but this one is about 50 steps from the convention center. You just can't beat that! Like the other hotels, it has an outdoor pool, but where the Hyatt really stands out is up top, in the Compass Arizona Grill. This rotating restaurant will give you an unparalleled 360-degree view of Phoenix. Pretty cool!

We have a block of rooms already booked at each of these three hotels to guarantee you the Imaging USA discounted rates, so be sure you tell the hotel you're part of Imaging USA to get these great rates! Plus, most everyone prefers to be where the action is, right?! By staying at the Imaging USA hotels, you'll save money, have an incredibly short walk to the conference, and best of all, you'll have a better opportunity to network with your photography friends and remain at the center of all of the activities. That's why you're going to Phoenix after all, isn't it?

Besides, even if you find a cheaper hotel option, when you factor in time and travel fees associated with staying further away (let's not even get started on parking fees!), you won't benefit as much financially as you had planned. So why miss out on the action? Imaging USA is truly made and organized for you. PPA is not making anything on hotels. Instead, savings are passed directly on to you. So make the best of this experience and stay at a host hotel!

How Should I Get There?

All Imaging USA hotels are located within 0.25 to 3 blocks of the Phoenix Convention Center and convenient to several Valley Metro Light Rail stops. You can take the light rail from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to downtown Phoenix (approximately 4 miles) for just $2.00. If you're driving in, there are several city parking garages in the area as well (but remember, those garages are run by the city and they can adjust prices as they please).

Flying to Imaging USA
The Phoenix Convention Center is located just 4 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and several transportation options are available. The Convention Center has provided a Transportation Guide for getting to and from the airport via Phoenix's METRO light rail. However, other options are available.

Taxi, Limousine & Shuttle Service
Taxi rates remain the same regardless of company, number of passengers and number of bags. The first mile is $5. Each additional mile is $2.30. Each hour of a traffic delay is $23. The minimum fare is $15. Each per trip airport surcharge is $1.
Limousine rates to the Convention Center are $35.

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport also runs a shuttle service. The shuttle is $14 for the first passenger. Each additional passenger per reservation is $7.00 regardless of zone.

Visit the Imaging USA Hotel & Travel page for more taxi, limousine and shuttle service information.

Rental Cars
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport offers service from 12 rental car agencies which are housed in their own building. A shuttle runs from the curb of each terminal's baggage claim area every 5-10 minutes. Check with each company for rates. Find more information on the Imaging USA Hotel & Travel Page. 

Public Transit
As outlined in the Phoenix Convention Center Transportation Guide, using public transit is an easy and inexpensive way to travel to and from the airport. A full-trip from the airport to the Convention Center takes roughly 43 minutes and costs a whopping $2.00. It's only four miles, so it's not super fast, but you can't beat that price! For more information, visit http://www.valleymetro.org/

Driving to Imaging USA
If you're driving to Imaging USA, download the Convention Center's driving directions as well as a map and parking guide.

How do I Register for Imaging USA?
Easy! There are several ways to experience Imaging USA 2014. Head to the Imaging USA registration page and find the best option for you! Remember, if you join PPA as a new Professional Active member, we waive the registration fee for your first Imaging USA. That's your #IUSA14 full-conference pass completely FREE! 

Now you've got some joining/registering/booking to do! See you in Phoenix!

Head to the Imaging USA Hotel & Travel page for more info.

1. Dive deep & reinforce your photography specialty

You're good at what you do -- that's why you're a pro. But we all know the moment you stop challenging yourself is the moment business starts passing you by. Imaging USA offers tracks on everything from weddings and portraits to sports and software keep you on your game. Explore the latest posing and lighting techniques, update your post-processing routine, and save time and money. Your clients will love your evolving craft and keep coming back.

2. Challenge & expose yourself to something new

It's always good to break your routine. Attend a class or two (or more!) outside your specialtyiusatop10_blog.jpg area as a way to explore new horizons (and revenue sources), experiment with new products and check out some tools of the trade you might have never utilized before. Sitting in on sessions outside your comfort zone will force you to look at things differently and might create some unexpected a-ha moments. It's always a great way to expand your creativity and comfort your choices.

3. It's always easier with a little help (of your friends) -- network & enrich your connections

It's hard to make new friends when you're in your own studio all of the time! This is the perfect environment to meet lots of fellow photographers who care and are or have been on the same boat. Getting help from others is priceless and a natural way to get help with tough business decisions, challenge you creatively, or keep you focused on why you love doing what you do! Everyone has rough days in any profession, but it makes it a lot easier when you have other supportive photographers ready, willing and able to talk it out.

4. Try, compare & snatch photo gadgets & gizmos deals (while saving big bucks!)


The Imaging Expo is like the Mall of America for photography equipment. Lenses, props,iusatop10_blog1.jpg accessories, editing programs and more -- you'll find everything you wanted (and some stuff you didn't know you needed!) from hundreds of vendors. Try or test products in all the demo booths and ask the million and a half questions that you can't ask when shopping online. It's like your own testing grounds - everything is set up to help you explore all the options. If you need some instant gratification, in most cases, you can walk away with your purchases in hand. For the bigger orders, there are plenty of FedEx and UPS stops around the area to ship home your new found toys. AND last but not least: on Tuesday, the last day of the conference, there are always mind-boggling deals for those who stick around the tradeshow floor!  

5. Reconnect with your passion & get inspired

The exhibit for winning images of the International Photographic Competition (IPC) is held during Imaging USA. This competition is open to all professional photographers until July 12th (late fee required) and the top scoring images will be included in the PPA Loan collection. Interested in competing? Get all the details! You'll want to schedule a bit of time to view the images of those who have taken it to the next level and will have been awarded recognition for their entries. It's key to (re)connect with the Arts component of Photography. We all get pulled away running our business and not always finding time to create for ourselves, so in the middle of all the learning and shopping hustle and bustle, it's nice find a photographers' haven. That's why you have to take some time to experience what the best of the best are doing across the globe in photography. Who knows, you might even pick up some new inspiration along the way.

6. Boost your business & get ready for a mega jolt of ideas to kick off the year

Even in the long history if Imaging USA, it's safe to say that no one has left the conference less motivated than when they came. You'll leave energized, filled with great ideas and ready to utilize new skills and put those new thoughts into action! Your business will feel the boost in creative juices you've gained over the three days (or more if you register for pre-con classes)! There is no better way to start the year and put your business on a path to success. Continuing to connect with the instructors and connections you will have made will also keep you on cloud nine for the longest time. It's oh-so-worth it!

7. Earn your Merits

If you're pursuing a Master of Photography, Master of Artist or Photographic Craftsman degree, it's important to earn you Merits! There is no easier time than at Imaging USA! For attending the conference, any PPA member in good standing will earn one Service Merit. Interested in pre-con classes? A one-day session will earn you one additional Service Merit (for a total of two) or a multi-day session will earn you two Service Merits (for a total of three)! These Service Merits go towards the additional credits you need to earn any of your degrees - and earning three in one week is a sure fire way to keep on track!

8. 10,000 pros under one roof means someone's been there & done that. Don't be shy -- ask away!

With hands-on classes, live demos with small groups and instructors eager to share whatiusatop10_blog2.jpg they love, you'll have more resources than you'll know what to do with! If you need specific advice, there are portfolio reviews and the coach's corner to offer honest and transparent feedback. It's also easy to connect online - join the Imaging USA community on theLoop, Twitter or Facebook, and start the conversation with fellow attendees before your flight touches down in the desert!

9. No matter how successful or famous you are, we all need to fuel our passion & inspiration

There is an unmatched passion and intensity of everything-photo-related that goes on at Imaging USA. The amount of energy from attendees, speakers and vendors make it mind boggling place for inspiration, creativity and motivation. There are so many options with ten tracks, the IPC, Coach's Corner, hands-on sessions and Pre-Con classes (and more)! It's impossible to miss your quota of creative and business learning.  

10. Get a full dose of Vitamin D (sun!) & explore the new Phoenix

It's been five years since Imaging USA was held in Phoenix, and my oh my, has the city changed! There are dozens of new restaurants and attractions mixed in with your favorites of years' past. The new highlights include CityScape -- a mixed use development located only one block south of the Renaissance Hotel. CityScape offers a dozen restaurants, night life, live music, a bowling alley, comedy club and a CVS for sunscreen, ice cream and band aids! A few blocks from there, the Phoenix City Market has taken off, spurning a café and weekly food truck round-ups for your ever-changing tastes. Another project that was recently completed was the Phoenix Civic Space Park, including a modern art piece that lights up the night and moves with the breeze. Last but not least, it's now easier than ever (and super affordable) to get around town with the LightRail. At PPA, we're so excited to be going to Phoenix, we will be posting videos, photos and a bunch of tips to show how much the city has changed. Stay tuned!

There you have it! If you have more reasons why going to Imaging USA is the easiest decision of your year, please share these us! In the meantime, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (@ImagingUSA) to share your insight, ask questions, get great tips and tricks, or simply see behind the scenes action. 

For more information on the specifics of Imaging USA 2014 or to register, simply visit www.imagingUSA.org. PPA's here to help you be more in photography, so don't be shy and reach out. 



About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Imaging USA category from July 2013.

Imaging USA: June 2013 is the previous archive.

Imaging USA: August 2013 is the next archive.

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

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