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PPA Today: Imaging USA Classes Archives

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by James Yates

You didn't miss Imaging USA 2016, did you? Well, just in case, here on the PPA Today blog you will find exclusive videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

Award + Degree Ceremony
Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta

In this video, check out the 2016 Award & Degree Ceremony at Imaging! Congratulations to all the photographers that earned their PPA Degree or got an award, including the Lifetime Achievement Winner, Kenneth L. Whitmire, M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP.

Ken is such an inspiration and his joy is infectious. Watch and learn how a true legend accepts acclaim with grace and gratitude.

And don't even think about missing next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!

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by James Yates

Learn how to use PRINTS to boost your studio's success! Over the next several days, you will find exclusive videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

PRINT. The Movement: Success Secrets of a Six Figure Studio
Class taught at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta
by Allison Tyler Jones, CPP

In this video, Allison Tyler Jones shares her tips on creating products and using in-person sales strategies that have helped her create a successful and sustainable business. This interactive class was guided by questions from attendees, so watch to learn the answers to some of your biggest business and sales questions.
Be on the lookout for more Imaging USA 2016 videos coming your way next week!
And don't even think about missing out on next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!

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If you've never seen or heard the great Tim Walden speak, you are in for a huge (and inspiring) treat! In the next few days, you will find several videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the first video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

PRINT. The Movement: Being A Print Artist
Class taught at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta
By Tim Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP

In this program, you'll be part of a conversation on the importance of printing in photography and the role it plays in positioning you uniquely and making "the crowded market" a subjective argument. You will hear how to be a "Print Artist" in your community and how that can raise the value of your imagery and of you as an artist.

Be on the lookout for another PRINT. The Movement video coming your way tomorrow!
And don't even think about missing out on next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!

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by James Yates

***all images © Alex the Photo Guy***

***except the dogs at the end. You'll see***

I can't even. I. Cannot. Even. 

If you read my previous post, then you know how much the Pre-Convention days here at Imaging USA in Atlanta meant to me as a first-timer. To be able to speak to members, hear their stories, share in their excitement, and make new friends in the process seemed like PPA's coupe de grace. 

And then the first official day happened today.

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The entryway to the GWCC had a 8:00am. I danced to Outkast with Imaging USA attendees at 8:45 this morning! Now THAT is ATL love! I knew there were lots of parties at Imaging but this is ridiculous! 

Right off the jump, the 8:00am classes featured amazing speakers like Kristin and Paul Privette and Timothy Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Phtog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, starting everyone's convention off with fun, informative (and full) classes that had me wishing I could stay for the whole thing each time I ducked in to sample them. The faces of the attendees, while they learned pro tips like how Kristin and Paul describe being "obsessed" with your products personally before showing them to your clients, were what you would call "transfixed". 


This year, everyone's schedule was cleared so all attention would be paid to our Keynote Speaker, Amy Purdy. You could hear a pin drop as she told her life story and inspired everyone in attendance with her triumphant take on life's struggles. I've had the pleasure of writing up several blog posts about Amy over the past couple of months and I was more than a little "fanning out" over her being here. She did not disappoint, in both inspiration, and generosity of spirit. 


We barely had time to think before the Board of Directors cut the ribbon to the Imaging Expo floor and, in an instant, PANDEMONIUM. It was like a Black Friday sale without the trampling and shoving (photographers are a classy and respectful bunch). Seriously, if you have never seen the Imaging Expo, it truly is like the Mall of America for photographers. Everything and anything you need for your business is there, from the latest trends to perennial favorites. 

I interviewed tons of people on the Expo floor and around the conference today and found a special bond with other first-timers. Our eyes would meet in a look of "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?!". 


The evening classes were awesome too and I was able to catch an entire class on the amazing Studio Makeovers. Here's the deal: two studio owners, both members of PPA, were chosen to partner up with five PPA mentors, the best in the business, to completely overhaul the finances of their business. The class was a group interview and presentation as we were walked through their process and how their year went. It was a real-life experiment in the question, "How does change feel?" Here's a hint: both studios became increasingly financially successful. I'll devote an entire blog post to just this class when my head stops spinning from everything else I saw today but seriously, with mentors as strong as Ashley Brooke, Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, Dave Doeppel, CPP, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, and Kristin Privette, CPP (yes, her again!), you can imagine how insanely informative and packed with info the class was. 

As Angela Kurkian, PPA's Director of Education, put it, "When you decide to create change, change occurs all around you." 

I'm inspired, I'm moved, I'm exhausted, I'm ready for more. I have to finish writing this so I can hop over to the Opening Party where I hope to dance with a few superheroes and flappers until all the fun starts again tomorrow! 


^^^my favorite attendees, Louis and Annabella, © Judy Reinford^^^

Check out our amazing Recap Video for a whirlwind glance at all that went down

See you all tomorrow at Imaging USA! Don't forget to share and tag your photos on social media with #ImagingUSA

And if you've missed out, be sure to join PPA and go to next year's Imaging USA in San Antonio for FREE!

By James Yates

PPA's theLoop online community has been on a roll lately, hosting Imaging USA 2016 speakers for Ask Me Anything sessions. This week, we were privileged to have Terri Eddington, M.Photog., CPP, sit and answer your questions for our final AMA before Imaging USA 2016!


Terri is a 3-time recipient of the International Photographer of the Year Award as well as PPA's highest honor of Diamond photographer; her elegant style and talent in wedding and boudoir photography has truly set her apart in the industry. Terri also devotes her time and energy to furthering her industry as the rising President of PPA Louisiana.

At Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta, Terri will be teaching the class "High Impact Lighting Made 'Easy'", January 11, 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM. In this amazing workshop, Terri demystifies everything that is difficult, complicated and cumbersome about lighting. Using her unique gift of simplifying this all-important concept, she'll show you fun and easy-to-understand setups that will deliver stunning images for your clients!
Terri's easy-going approach and sparkly personality are infectious. Right at the start of our AMA session, she told the audience, "Go ahead ask me anything...I will answer with a 'TNT' response! Does that mean 'Powerful'? From me, no! 'TNT' means 'Terri Not Technical' LOL! If you like an easy approach and simple explanation...then I'm you girl!"

Thanks, Terri! We know there are both new and evolving photographers who appreciate "easy" and "simple"! Here are some highlights from her AMA:
What's Your Inspiration and Your Favorite Personal Photo?

My inspiration? "People". I love to photograph people. Any kind, any style and even anywhere! Years ago in painting or art class when I could choose to draw or paint anything, I would choose people! I was told that was the hardest - but not to me. It was my passion. I did not know that many years later I would be photographing people but I never get tired of it. It is always exciting to see the many faces and personalities before me. And I have the privilege to capture them all! 
What is my favorite photography ever? Really? I mean, really? That is impossible to say! But I can say, when I capture the soul of a person, there is nothing like it. When their inner beauty shines through their eyes we are no longer just photographers but artists!
Is your creativity for an image fully realized before the capture or in post-production?
There are so many ways to approach photography to where there is not a true right or wrong. I can just say from my personal experience I have done a little of both. I do try to have a "game plan" when I shoot. I like to know location, time of day (if outside), the personality or taste of the client to know what to work towards during a shoot. If shooting in the studio I try to have the type of props and style of lighting ready that will work for the client. These are things I do for my everyday clients. A lot of times these clients have a need for normal/regular shots. What I do try to do is at the end of the shoot I like to be creative and do a little something different. We just have fun! A lot of times it will be their favorite but it was nothing they originally asked for. This allows me to stay creative and also gives them something that maybe no one else has. 
Now, on a stylized shoot I do plan more ahead of time. I try to have a theme, look and style ready. But again during the shoot something might hit me and I go for it. It's either the look someone has or their personality that comes thru and may lead me in a different direction. No matter how tired I am at the beginning of a shoot, once we get started I am "in the zone". I don't get in a hurry when I shoot. I love to create so I make sure I schedule in the time. 
That being said I would say that I don't fully realize everything I am going to do before a shoot but it does help to plan a little.
How do you approach High Key Lighting?

I really don't shoot a traditional high key. As far as a high key look on the subject themselves, I shoot normal lighting ratios and then lighten in Photoshop. This allows me to be in control of how much I want to lighten the subject and also to keep good detail and depth in the eyes, etc. I do sometimes shoot to have the background a white high key look by putting a one-to-two stop higher light on the background than the subject as long as the light on the back of the subject (reflecting from the background) is not brighter than the main light.
We hope you found Terri's advice helpful! And remember to catch her live at Imaging USA in Atlanta! Sign up today at

By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta is right around the corner, January 10 - 12. Some of the major highlights of Imaging USA are the great classes that cover nearly every photographic specialty. Take a look at some of the classes in Imaging USA's Business track below. From growing a school photography business to booking more sessions, you'll find a ton of great tips for your photography business in this track!

Michael Christman
January 10
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Yes, school photography is a saturated market and every studio seems to have a piece of it. Yes, the photos are often more about the vendor and less about the customer experience. So, why would you do it? Michael Christman is here to share his expertise and experience on why this is a market you want to want!

Kristin Privette
January 10
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

All too often, great photographers are not great business people, leaving hundreds and even thousands of dollars on the table. In this course, former sales representative and business-savvy photographer Kristin Privette pairs up with her husband to teach you simple sales techniques that can generate significant results!

Jessica Vogel, M. Photog.Cr., CPP
January 10
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Styles may change and eventechnology will change but the one thing that doesn't change? The demand for families to suspend their memories in time with beautiful portraiture! In this class, instructor Jessica Vogel walks you through how to build a successful, sustainable business capturing the images of children.

John David Pittman
January 10
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Take a moment and step away from workshops about lighting, posing, business plans and sales strategies. John David Pittman (JDP) spends this class discussing the concept of truly being "tuned in." In an upfront, honest conversation, JDP explores what it really means to tune-in to your own creativity, what it can mean for your work and what it can do for your career.

Shawn Lee
January 10
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Shawn Lee will talk about some tested techniques, from initial phone consultation to final products, that will absolutely WOW senior portrait clientele. You'll see some of his award winning photographs and experience how he "thinks outside the box" to capture High School Senior portraiture that cuts the edge and serves the individual exceptionally well.
By Sarah Ackerman

Imaging USA is the best place to stand on the shoulders of giants (metaphorically speaking). As a professional photographer, it's easy to feel like you're going it alone most of the year. Imaging USA provides a collaborative, supportive environment for you to ask fellow photographers your tough questions about your business or your craft. 

There are two special opportunities to work with seasoned veterans while in Atlanta at Imaging USA: 

Coach's Corner: If you're into school, sports or event photography, this is an excellent chance to have a 10 minute one-on-one session with top pros in the market. They'll review your work, talk pricing and business, and answer all of your questions! Space is limited, so sign up for your spot today! 

IPC Mentor Session: This is your chance to sit down with a Juror from the International Photographic Competition and see what it really takes to create high-scoring images and discuss what you should know to make images for photographic competition. With PPA's District Competitions around the corner (link), this is a great chance to get practical advice to see how to improve your work!

Be More Creative in 2016 and learn from those who have already been there! These are two amazing opportunities that your creativity and business will thank you for as you move forward through the year!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 

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By Nicole McIntosh

With Imaging USA 2016 getting closer and closer, the excitement just continues to build. Imaging USA offers an array of classes that cover the necessary things that photographers like you need to know. One of the tracks offered is Adobe Photography Solutions classes. This track is your go to for all things Adobe; you will learn everything from retouching tips to timesaving techniques. 

Here are the classes offered under the Adobe Photography Solution Track during Imaging USA 2016: 

Monday, January 11, 8-9:30am 
Save time and make your photos look amazing by discovering new timesaving techniques during this course. Expert retoucher Chris Orwig will teach you how to make your photographs of people and other subjects look their best using Lightroom and Photoshop.

Monday, January 11, 10-11:30am
Combining multiple images captured at different times to create a whole is something that can expand your portfolio to new levels. Julianne Kost, a pro at composites, will share her tips for creating successful composites including organizing layers and creating the perfect mask.

Monday, January 11, 5-6:15 pm
Sometimes photographers are afraid to use mobile devices to help aid them in their productivity and creativity. Terry White shows you how you can use Lightroom to organize, share, and edit your photographs from anywhere including on your mobile devices. 

Tuesday, January 12, 8-9:30am
When life gets too hectic, you sometimes can lose that creative spark that is the master of all your artistic abilities. Julieanne Kost will teach you techniques that will help you channel your creativity in any situation and inspire you to create better images. 

Tuesday, January 12, 10-11:30am
There are lists of things that can go wrong during your shoots including weather, challenging subjects, and poor lighting. Jared Platt will make sure you leave this class knowing the tricks using Lightroom and Photoshop of post processing that will change the game for the way your photographs turn out.

There you have it! The Adobe Photography Solutions Track offers classes that can help you develop your post processing and creative skills. Imaging USA 2016 has something for everyone! There's even more learning on the tradeshow floor with lots of demos. Join us in Atlanta, January 10-12, 2016! Register today at

Nicole McIntosh is one of PPA's Marketing and Communications Interns, yay! Nicole is known for her vibrant smile and the one to laugh even if the sky is falling. A sophomore at Spelman College, she hopes that working with PPA will give her the tools she needs to start her own non-profit organization one day.

By Nicole McIntosh

200,000. That's about the number of professional photographers active in the United States, so how do you stand out from the crowd? You know your stuff and you are not average. Upholding an official certification like the CPP points it out right away!

If you are ready to venture into a new stage of your photography career, or want to take your work and professional recognition to a new level, then its time you got Certified. 

Every year the photography world becomes more and more competitive to keep up with the changing times. Although there are some people that are just looking to get the best price out of any photographer despite the quality, there are actually a ton of people who value the quality of their photos. In order for a person to have confidence in their photographer sometimes they have to have proof to believe they will get the best results. This is why it is important to become a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) so that you will have a title to vouch for your name and work.

So now I bet you're wondering, what if I'm scared to do it? Well guess what, you're not the only one! Others may fear the steps of earning their CPP because they don't understand the process. It can be very challenging to try to figure it all out on your own and it shouldn't! That's why at Imaging USA 2016 there is a panel to help out, get rid of these fears, and put you on your way to becoming a Certified Professional Photographer. 

This special CPP-prep program is called the The Game Changer: Become a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP). The presenters, Francie Baltazar Stonestreet, Cr.Photog., CPP, Bree Adams, CPP, Landon Day, CPP, and Dave Goldman, Cr.Photog., CPP run successful wedding, baby, maternity, sports, headshot and senior photography businesses. They will give you the opportunity to learn how they earned their CPP and how it impacted their work and their businesses. They will also share everything from their successes to their failures and ultimately leading to how earning their CPP changed the game for their businesses.

You won't want to miss this opportunity at Imaging USA. Earning your CPP in 2016 could be the game changer for you too!

Nicole McIntosh is one of PPA's Marketing and Communications Interns, yay! Nicole is known for her vibrant smile and the one to laugh even if the sky is falling. A sophomore at Spelman College, she hopes that working with PPA will give her the tools she needs to start her own non-profit organization one day.

Imaging USA: Register Now

By Nicole McIntosh

Weddings are one of the most memorable days for the happy couple. It is the only time for all their family to be in the same place and for them to display their love in front of everyone. This is why having the memory of this day is one of their biggest priorities. Most people think that setting up a wedding is hard, but when you compare it to the amount of work it takes for the photographer to capture every moment and manage to fit in with the crowd, it's beyond the ultimate challenge. To achieve the perfect pictures it takes patience, speed, and various other skills to ensure that your client is fully satisfied with your work. The Wedding Track at Imaging USA has the classes you need to perfect your wedding photography skills. These classes will have you on the road to creating the best wedding photographs imaginable.


Here are some of the classes from the 2016 Imaging USA Wedding Track you should attend:

Sunday, January 10

This workshop is for those who want to learn everything about documenting wedding photographs from beginning to end. Damon Tucci will share how you need to prepare, act, and even how you should look. His level of expertise and advice will have you and your wedding clients completely satisfied at the end of every celebration.

Tuesday, January 12

Taking a picture is the easy part when it comes to being a photographer, but being able to tell the story of the moment is the real challenge. And that's where Jerry Ghionis does his thing the best! In this class, he will teach you how to evoke the emotion that will ensure that the story is told in every photograph you take of your clients' special day. This class will leave you better equipped, inspired, entertained, and challenged to take your wedding photos to the next level.

Tuesday, January 12

When it comes to having the perfect image, beautiful lighting and effortless posing make the perfect couple. Rick Ferro will show you that to really master wedding photos, photographers must capture the romantic aspect of the couple which consist of posing the clients in an effortless manner with a beautiful body language and just the right amount of lighting to match. It's just like the perfect marriage.

Tuesday, January 12

Sometimes the chaos of filming a group photo can steer people away from wanting to participate in all that wedding photography has to offer. You must master the technical aspects of a group photograph to really capture the wedding party in a way that will be a much cherished memory. Justine Ungaro will share with you the process she takes in creating the perfect group portrait including evoking expressions, emotion, and drama from the people in the photos.

There it is! The Wedding Track offers classes that can help you develop so many of your photographic skills. Imaging USA 2016 has something for everyone! Join us in Atlanta, January 10-12, 2016! Register today at

Nicole McIntosh is one of PPA's Marketing and Communications Interns, yay! Nicole is known for her vibrant smile and the one to laugh even if the sky is falling. A sophomore at Spelman College, she hopes that working with PPA will give her the tools she needs to start her own non-profit organization one day.

Imaging USA: Register Now

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