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Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13).

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.

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Let's Meet...
Joe Craig, Cr.Photog.
Web: joecraig.com

A portraitist of international acclaim, Joe Craig has worked to establish a number of global brands. His instinctive talent and magnetic charisma keep him in high demand as artist and lecturer on four continents. With a career spanning 45 years, Joe's narrative-filled captures radiate mystery, project drama, and are steeped with truth. As he dared to invent a singular style, Joe Craig confronted existing paradigms and fashioned an approach that expresses the power of photography. His in-your-face black & whites are provocative and ageless - the iconic prints made to stand the test of time - the stories within to be shared generation to generation. Joe's life work has become photography as philosophy - a philosophy that stands at the very heart of the Soulmarks Foundation. 

Speaker Sessions
Sunday, January 14, 8:00 am - 9:30 am: Changing the World, One Face at a Time 

Joe Craig is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018. Register now at ImagingUSA.org/Register!


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Imaging USA 2018 is almost here and PPA has so much planned for you, including a variety of classes covering as many topics as you can think of!

In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. So, if you're a tech-savvy photographer or one who's seeking to take your photography to - literally - new heights, then the Drone track at Imaging USA is definitely for you!

With this track, you will learn the technology behind drones, proper aerial photography techniques, how to market drone photography to grow your business, and much more! The future of photography will see ever-advancing innovations in technology, and if you want to be a part of that future, the Drone track is here for exactly that.

The classes in the Drone track include: 

Session Time: January 12, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Stacy Garlington and Randy Braun 

DJI Aerial Photography Academy is an intensive one-day class designed to teach valuable secrets to students who wish to create top quality, compelling, marketable aerial photographs using DJI drones. Expert instructors Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington have come from DJI global headquarters to share their expertise in an upbeat day-long classroom presentation.

Session Time: January 13, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Speaker: Manie Kohn Join highly-acclaimed drone pilot Manie Kohn as he discusses the ins and outs of drone photography and how you can ACCELERATE your business in this exciting new industry. Learn how to navigate through the complex drone-licensing landscape and FAA Drone Regulations, while also discovering how you can create extraordinary images. Learn to use many of Manie's own techniques to help you avoid making the cinematic mistakes often made by drone photographers. Explore the fields, the various skill levels, and the overall business of drone photography as Manie shares his experience and craft. 

You can find the classes in the Drone track and other tracks in the Imaging USA schedule. Furthermore, the Imaging USA Expo will also feature a "Drone Zone," which includes vendors and demonstrations regarding all things drone related on the trade show floor.

Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!

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By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2018 in Nashville is right around the corner, January 14-16. Your 3-day All-Access Pass to Imaging USA gets you into tons of incredible photography classes, but if
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 you're looking for even more opportunities, you have some nifty options!  

Start exploring Pre-Convention programs! They are held on the front-end of Imaging USA and range from multi-day workshops to half-day and all-day classes on topics like post-processing workflow, fashion portraiture, the certification process, the business of senior photography, and more!

If you're wondering about entering in the International Photographic Competition, or have questions about what images to select, sign up for The Photo Competition Mentor Program. You'll learn what makes an image award-winning material and what the PPA judges look for in competition. PPA-approved jurors will sit down with you in 15 minute sessions and look at your images, to give suggestions on creating images for competition.

During pre-con you can also learn about an amazing volunteering organization that makes a heartfelt contribution for families going through incredibly painful times. "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" photographers capture portraits for families who have a terminally ill child, creating photos that will be cherished by the family forever. Learn how you can get involved during this pre-con program. 

Finally, on Saturday, check out PPA Charities' 20th Anniversary at the Roaring 20s Casino Night! VIP & Awards Reception from 6:30-8pm ($100/person); General Admission 8-10pm (only $25/person). PPA Charities will also host the Super Hero 5K Fun Run on Sunday morning at 6:15am!

Don't forget, with your All-Access Pass you'll be getting:

  • Acclaimed keynote speaker Ryan Estis on how to "Adapt and Thrive" with today's modern client.
  • Parties that will rock your socks off
  • An enormous Expo (80,000+ square feet!) filled with tons of new products and deals
  • The International Photographic Competition exhibit with well over 3,000 images and the World Photographic Cup's image showcase! This is the largest photography exhibit out there!
  • The Drone Zone--all you need to know about getting started in drone photography
  • A dedicated theater to learn how to sell PRINTED WORKS
  • Award shows and degree presentations

And so much more! So enhance your All-Access Pass with extra programming at pre-con, and we'll see you soon at Imaging USA!


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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Imaging USA is almost here and PPA has so much planned for you, including a variety of classes covering as many topics as you can think of!

In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. 

So, if you've got the "what" down but you're still trying to figure out the "how," or you're just looking for the best ways to go about your photography, check out the School, Sport, and Event track!

With this track, you will learn non-complicated but exceptional techniques that will save you time and still keep clients coming. It includes everything from exclusive photography, to mind-opening business tips and tricks, such that no matter your niche, there's a class for you! 

Some of the classes in this track include:

Session Time: January 14, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Speakers: Neal Freed and Bryan Blanken
Discover how high-volume school photography can change your world! Bryan Blanken and Neal Freed will demonstrate how their business model is transforming school photography in their Washington, DC market and how easy it is for you to apply it to yours. You will discover how to identify the schools that you want and attain these clients. Learn how to create school portraits that both students and parents will love - and purchase! These two are serious photographers and business people who have replaced their wedding business and grown their school photography business to record levels by generating sales at twice the national average. This is your opportunity to do what they do! From sales and management to marketing and market share, you will walk away with specific action items to help you attain, grow and sustain your school photography business.

Session Time: January 16, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Speaker: Rose Coleman and Nancy Emmerich
Come see this dynamic program where Nancy Emmerich and Rose Coleman will teach you how to photograph cheerleaders. They know the art of making money with this specific sport that is unlike traditional sports and pre-paid packages. Learn lighting, posing, and creating ways to flatter your clients and sell products. Talk specifics of what you will need to work fast and still maintain a high average. Come see why you should be photographing cheerleaders!

Session Time: January 14, 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
Speaker: Leslie Ann Kitten
Everyone knows the key clients in volume photography: sports, schools, and daycares.  But what lies beyond the packages? Leslie Ann will teach you how she gains traditional volume clients and turns them into hybrid clients - those that photograph like volume and pay like private commissions. Learn how to handle volume with confidence and extreme streamlining, and where to market so that they lead to higher-end volume clients.  

Session Time: January 15, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Speaker: Jetawn Spivey
There is a hidden power in the simplicity of volume photography. Jetawn Spivey, a 28-year veteran of the volume portraiture business, comes to Imaging USA to guide you through why volume photography can be such a great direction for your business and how to create a successful, money-making program. You'll learn how to create seasonal programs that will help you, and how to avoid the traditional downturns. But you will also learn how to redefine the perception of volume photography by creating valuable portraits, not just pictures. Jetawn will also walk you through his post-production workflow and image management so you can consistently produce high-quality work. It doesn't have to be complicated to work and make you successful. Jetawn Spivey will show you why and how in this Volume Portraiture class!

Session Time: January 15, 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Speaker: Mark Schoenrock
The School Picture Business seems to be getting more challenging and the path to profitability more difficult. Business owners are asking themselves if it's possible to improve results and at the same time prepare for change. Has your studio -and have you- done what's necessary to survive and thrive? If any of this causes you concern, then this is the program for you!  During this class, Mark will give you a model to maximize your performance, create value, and also prepare your business for change. Mark will take you through your business strategy and how this, combined with shared values and your company's culture, can influence the results you're currently getting. You'll come way from this program understanding what you can do as a business owner to shape your staff's behavior and to support your company's goals. Mark's systems solutions and his concept of operational consistency can improve your studio's performance and efficiency. This session is not just about school photography but about setting your own path to success while creating an experience and a value proposition of which you and your team can be proud.

Session Time: January 16, 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Speaker: Eric Miller
This is not a class about lighting, camera settings, or posing techniques. Rather, Eric Miller is here to show you everything you need to run a successful Sports Photo Day. You'll discuss the all-important element of communication and how to work with your leagues leading up to and on the day of the event. You will learn the how to organize and prepare essential elements for running a successful Photo Day. You'll explore how to lay out your set up so you can expertly and efficiently run through all your teams and individuals. These Sports Photo days can be a hectic and chaotic experience, leaving everyone frustrated and exhausted. With Eric, you'll learn how to rise above the rest and how to create an experience that will have your sports leagues coming back season after season.

... and more!

You can find the classes in the School, Sport, and Event track and other tracks in the Imaging USA schedule. Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!

by Mayo Lawal

We are just a few weeks away from Imaging USA 2018! Can't wait? Well, here's something that may get you even more excited:  this week's Imaging USA giveaway prize is a "Music City Backstage Pass!"

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This pass (valued at $1000) is good for admission for 2 people into 20+ Nashville attractions that you can enjoy during Imaging USA 2018 and beyond! You and one guest get free (or reduced-price) entry to places like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, the Adventure Science Center, the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, and much more.

If you've already registered for Imaging USA, this pass is sure to make your time in Nashville even more exciting and fun. The best part is that it doesn't expire until December 2018, so if you don't get to see everything while you're in town for #ImagingUSA, you have ample time to visit Nashville again!

Find out how you can increase your chances of winning today! The winner will be announced this Friday December 15, 2017 at 12 noon ET.  

Not registered yet? Head over to ImagingUSA.org/Register today. See you in Nashville!

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Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13).
Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.

Let's Meet...

Gary Meek, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, A-ASP, EA-ASP
Kathryn Meek, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API


Gary and Kathy Meek of Hot Springs, Arkansas own and operate Gary's Studio of Photography. Gary has been teaching Certification Preparation Classes for over twenty-five years.   His educational degree is in math and physics. Both Gary and Kathy have received their Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman degrees and are Certified Professional Photographer. Gary has received his Educational Associate and Honorary Educational Associate from American Society of Photographers. They are Approved Photographic Instructors.  Gary and Kathy have received their Associate Fellowship, Fellowship and Senior Fellowship Degrees from Arkansas Professional Photographers Association.  Gary and Kathy have been awarded Life Membership in Arkansas Professional Photographers Association and Southwestern Professional Photographers Association. Gary is a Life Member of Professional Photographers of America.  Gary and Kathy have both received a Fellow of Photography degree in conjunction with Professional Photographers of the Ozarks.  They are both International Photographic Judges.

Gary and Kathy are both active in State, Regional and National Associations. Gary served on the Board of Directors of Professional Photographers of America 1999-2007, is a Past President of Arkansas Professional Photographers Association, a Past President of Professional Photographers of the Ozarks, and was President of Southwestern Professional Photographers Association for two consecutive years.  Gary is a councilor for Professional Photographers of America. Kathy is a Past President of ASP, Past President of Arkansas Professional Photographers Association and a Past President of The Southwestern Professional Photographers Association.  Kathy serves on the Board of Directors of Professional Photographers of America.

Gary and Kathy have received numerous awards from the state of Arkansas. Gary has received numerous print awards in all categories.  He has received the Best of Show and been named Photographer of the Year many times. He has received the Arkansas Distinguished Service Award and The National Award from Arkansas Professional Photographers Association and Southwestern Professional Photographers Association.  He has had the highest print case total score in Southwestern Professional Photographers Association.  Kathy has received numerous print awards, and Best of Show - several times!  Kathy has been named Arkansas Photographer of the Year. Kathy has also received the Distinguished Service Award from Arkansas Professional Photographers Association and the National Award from APPA, SWPPA and ASP. They have both won several regional awards in addition to these. They both have been consistent in having images accepted internationally for display at Professional Photographers of America's National Conventions.  They have both had images go into the international and ASP loan collection.

Speaker Sessions
Thursday, January 11 9:00am - 5:00pm
Friday, January 12 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday, January 13 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Q & A with Kathy Meek:
What is your life motto? That one is easy.  Nike stole it from me.  JUST DO IT.  Lee Ann Womack sings a song, I hope you dance.  In the lyrics it says 'if you have the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance'.  Never sit on the sideline and let life pass you by.  If you want something that is good for you, get it.  If you want to do something that is good for you, do it.  If you want to go somewhere, go.  I hope you dance.
What would be your advice for photographers who are just starting their career? The most important advice I can give to someone just starting a career in photography is to get all of the education you can.  You can never know too much. Understand that you must be a step above the crowd and be able to present images that the 'just put the camera on program and hope for the best' photographers are not able to produce if you want to thrive in the business of photography.  Speaking of the business of photography, don't forget to make business education a priority.  PPA provides excellent opportunities to learn the business as well as the technical side of our trade.  One last thing to remember is that the client IS your business.  Forming relationships with your clients is a must.  Always let them know that they are special to you and that you appreciate their business and their friendship. 
I believe in photography.  I also believe that if I expect my clients to be photographed regularly, I have to set that example.  I have always had my own family photographed as our family has changed.  It's so important to save all of the stages of our children and grandchildren.  I also suggest that you keep an up- to-date portrait of your family on display in your studio.  
Imaging USA has been a high point in my life every year since 1985 and IUSA 2018 will be no different.  It has come to be like a huge family reunion.  I look forward to visiting with dear friends from all over the US as well as many other countries.  The educational opportunities are what keep me up-to-date and relevant in today's world.  I just couldn't stay in business without that.  

Gary and Kathy Meek are just two of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! The early bird registration rate has been extended to December 13, so be sure to take advantage and register now!

By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything
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 photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13).

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.

Let's Meet...

Nancy Emmerich, M.Photog.Cr., API, F-ASP




Nancy Emmerich is a Past President of the Professional Photographers of Oklahoma, ASP Fellow with degrees from PPA for her Masters and Craftsman. With huge success stories running multiple photography studios with her husband Don Emmerich and daughter Rose Coleman, she knows how to support multiple families off her photography income and makes it a huge success!

Speaker Sessions:

Tuesday, January 16


Q & A:

What is your life motto? If not now when?

Why do you love photography? I love making magic through the lens, knowing the camera and what to do with it. 

If you could have a theme song, what would it be? James Taylor. "It's a Lovely Ride"

What would be your advice for photographers who are just starting their career? Make money! It's a business.

What was one of the defining moments in your career? Getting my ASP Fellowship

Nancy Emmerich is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! The early bird registration rate has been extended to December 13, so be sure to take advantage and register now!

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 Joshua Payne (Guest Blogger)

I was like you.  At least I'm willing to bet we had a similar mindset about a year ago.  I was new to PPA, but didn't really know what to expect from it.  I joined PPA at the recommendation of Cris Duncan, who's very involved and well respected when it comes to empowering fellow photographers in the industry.  Did I really need this right now?  I mean, I'm doing photography part-time.  I'm getting lost in the 65 local folks with a nice camera who will shoot your family portraits for $35.  My online gallery is actually costing more money than I'm making back in online sales.   I'm not ready for this yet, right?

The First Spark

When you're new to Imaging USA, you'll hear from the amazing Angela Kurkian about your new-member session at Imaging USA.  Let me be the first to tell you that this is so much more than an orientation to the days ahead.  Sure, you'll get a few tips on what's coming up and a great summary of the benefits you can enjoy as a PPA member, but that's just a bonus to what you're truly getting from this session.  You'll find yourself in a room with scores of photographers of various ages, races, and backgrounds who are having the same fears, hang-ups, and excuses that are in your head right now.  Better yet, you'll hear all about those fears, hang-ups, and excuses from a presenter who also shared them, and overcame them in her own business.  While you'll find no shortage of enthusiastic professionals who know what you're going through, Angela stood out to me with her ability to break down the excuses I'd built up and spark the fire to consume as much knowledge and insight as I could for the rest of the week.

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Don't look for an orange Imaging USA envelope...

If you've already registered for Imaging USA 2018 and you've attended the convention in the past, you may be puzzled that you haven't received a familiar orange envelope from PPA. That's because badges won't be mailed for this year's Imaging USA, which takes place January 14-16 in Nashville, TN. Instead, you'll find badge printing onsite at several kiosks. 

If you need assistance, look for staff in an orange shirt. Otherwise, just print your badge, slip it into a holder, attach a lanyard, and you're ready to go! 

Remember, your badge is required to enter educational sessions, parties, and the Expo at Imaging USA. If you lose your badge, there's a $25 fee for the first reprint; $50 for each additional reprint. 

This Imaging USA will be one you won't want to miss! Register Now! 

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Are you looking for more ways to save at Imaging USA? Then consider booking your flight with Delta!

Delta Airlines is offering discounts (up to 10%, depending on your ticket's class) on applicable airfares from your city to Nashville, TN. Reservations and ticketing are available via Delta.com. When booking online, it is important to select "Meeting Event Code" and enter the Imaging USA meeting code NMQM4 in the box provided on the "Search Flight" page to get the discount. There is no ticketing fee when booking online. 

Reservations may also be made by calling the Delta Meeting reservations desk at 800-328-1111, Monday - Friday, 7am-7pm CDT. (Please note that there is a ticketing fee for call-ins to the Delta Meeting desk.)

Once your flight is taken care of, make sure you've got the right registration pass to the conference, and also make sure you've got your hotel booked (hurry, because hotel rooms are 96% sold out!). After that, you're ready to kick back and have an amazing time at Imaging USA 2018!

PS: did you know that the early bird registration rate has been extended through 5 pm ET on Wednesday December 13? Hurry up and save up to $50!

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This page is a archive of recent entries in the Imaging USA category.

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