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PPA Today: Imaging USA Classes Archives

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By Lisa Sharer

People came from far and wide to San Antonio for the annual professional photographers' conference, Imaging USA 2017, to hear amazing speakers, and absorb their wisdom. Of all the educational series featured at the event, the PRINT program talks emphasize print product sales as a core component of your photography business. Now, you can get an exclusive look at the live recording of this inspiring program. Watch Photographers and Print Artists Tim Walden, Allison Tyler Jones, and the world renowned photographer, Sue Bryce, as they walk you through their processes. Each speaker has unique experiences that you can apply in your everyday business to help you sell more prints.

When you're done hanging on their every word, join the PRINT movement! Once you sign up, you'll get monthly tips, info, tools, videos, etc. to help you grow as a Print Artist and help you grow your photography business. (By the way, these resources will be completely FREE to you!)
By Autumn Rice

The wait is over, so let the Imaging USA festivities begin!

As you arrive at Imaging USA 2017, there will be loads of intriguing sights and sounds filling the air, but before you dive into the greatest pro-photography convention, there are a few important tasks that need to be completed. 

Be sure to mark the following items off of your arrival checklist.
 • Hotel Check-In. Before you head to the Henry B. Gonzalez convention center, you'll need to stop by your hotel room and check-in. You'll get the chance to drop off your luggage and gather all of your important items to attend classes and the convention. 

• Registration Check-In. You'll need to stop by the registration desk to receive your convention badge, lanyard, ribbons, bag and show guide. The badge is important, as it is required for attending the Imaging USA expo, classes, parties, and more. Hold on tight to your badge! If you lose it, there is a reprint fee of $25 for the first badge reprint and $50 for one additional reprint. Stop by the main registration area for assistance. Pre-Con registration will be located at the Marriott Rivercenter, 101 Bowie St, San Antonio, TX 78205, 3rd floor. Main Registration will be at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention, Main Lobby, street level. There will be signage, so you won't miss it!

• Make a plan. Your show guide is a great way to get a complete list of the events hosted at Imaging USA. Use your show guide to schedule your days at Imaging USA, and stay on schedule using the official Imaging USA app! Be sure to attend the trade show, and as many classes and parties as you can pack into each day!

• Have the time of your life! Imaging USA is all about learning and connecting with your peers, while having the best fun of the year. So, shake off your nerves and dive into the greatest photographic convention around!

Imaging USA has begun, and your PPA Team is happy to answer any of your convention questions. You can also head over to to get answers to any questions you may have!

Enjoy Imaging USA 2017, and stay tuned for daily convention recaps and updates!

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by James Yates

PPA's Business Challenge was born nearly one year ago, at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. It was during the Studio Makeover class, dedicated to unveiling the results two studio owners had by implementing PPA's business advice, when Education Director Angela Kurkian began to realize the program could be scaled up. By adding the Challenge as a group on theLoop, all PPA members would have the chance to join and begin their 12-month, step-by-step program to profitability and sustainability for their photography businesses. 

It's been a huge success. There are now nine different Challenge Groups on theLoop, with over 900 members taking advice, implementing changes, sharing wisdom and holding each other accountable as they make the steps toward their studios becoming more financially sound! 

YOU can get a taste of the Business Challenge LIVE and IN PERSON with a class at Imaging USA 2017

Business Challenge mentors Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API and Angela Kurkian, M.Photog.Cr., CPP will be presenting the platform program "4 Things You Need to Know to be Successful"  at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, TX. 

The class will be held on January 8 and asks the question, "If you could make four changes to your business and your way of thinking that would help you be more profitable, add time to your day and move your life in the direction you dream of, would you do it?"  Full of great takeaways and business strategies you can start implementing right away, this class is the perfect introduction to the Business Challenge program, which can help you build your business on a strong foundation in 2017.

If you're not already using the Business Challenge to own your place in the photography industry and be more profitable, what are you waiting for?! Sign up now at! And be sure to register for Imaging USA and join us in San Antonio! 

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By Autumn Rice

If you're heading to San Antonio in January, by now you've registered for all of your pre-con classes and scheduled your education-filled days at Imaging USA. But before you run out the door, here are some tips on what to bring to classes to ensure that you're prepared to get the most out of your "Imaging experience" this year!

Check your bag for these few necessities before you head to class:

1. Camera: This is a photographic convention. Of course you need your camera! Some of the classes at Imaging USA 2017 are hands-on and will give you the chance to use the skills you've learned right on your own camera. Bringing your camera is a MUST! Triple check your bag for your camera (and batteries) before you leave!

2. Mobile App: The mobile app is the best way for you to stay on the schedule you set for your days at Imaging USA. It has a special feature that allows you to schedule your days, and stay on time for each class. The app is also easy to use, and there are demo videos to help you master each feature. Make sure to download the official Imaging USA app before you head to San Antonio!

3. Laptop/Tablet: Some Imaging USA classes teach you about programs and editing, and having the program handy would be a good idea. Although laptops are ideal, keep in mind that tablets or smaller, compact items may be easier to carry. Be sure to equip your tablets and laptops with the software and programs you'll need for before you throw it in your bag!

4. Notebook & Pen: There will be a lot of information given in each Imaging USA class, and bringing writing utensil will ensure you're able to take advantage of it! You'll want to write down notes as a reference for future use and projects. Remember to stop by Registration on site to pick up your FREE Imaging USA notebook! And don't forget to throw a couple of pens in your backpack before class; you'll need them!

5. Business Cards: Many of your fellow photographers and vendors will attend class sessions with you, and building business relationships is a great way to find pro-photographer friends that can help you! Building and nurturing a professional network is also great for support, so don't forget to grab enough business cards before you leave!

There you have 'em! These items are your basic necessities for Imaging USA classes, and you don't want to forget them. So before you leave home triple check your bag for these items and you'll be Imaging USA education ready!

Visit to register for the Imaging USA 2017, download the app and register for classes, and we'll see you in January! 

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By Autumn Rice

Every year Imaging USA leaves attendees bursting with inspiration from all they've learned at the convention, and this year's Imaging USA will exceed your expectations. 2017's convention features many new exhibits, classes, and events that you can't miss! 

This year, for the first time ever, Imaging USA will feature the Drone Zone! If you're interested in learning about drones and how you can incorporate them in your business, then visiting the Drone Zone is a MUST. This gigantic classroom is all about the new regulations, flying safety, and best practices. From hands-on demonstrations to classes held three times every day, and the chance to get answers to your most pressing questions, the Drone Zone is your complete guide to successful drone usage! And if that wasn't enough, there will also be drone exhibitors on the Expo floor along with PPA's insurance partner, Lockton Affinity, to offer you the best deals and advice about your drone insurance.

The best part of the Drone Zone experience at Imaging USA 2017 is that it's OPEN TO ALL ATTENDEES! As long as you have a badge, you'll be able to participate in all the drone fun; that's an Imaging USA first!  

Don't pass up this opportunity to soak up all of the information industry experts can offer you exclusively at Imaging USA. Visit to get your $35 Expo-only pass and guarantee your complete drone experience! 

If you want to attend all of Imaging USA's classes, parties, and events there's still time to purchase an All-Access Pass! Register by December 15 to save $50 off with the extended early bird rate at or get your Expo-Only pass FOR FREE by using the promo code TSC2017 at

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By Autumn Rice


Imaging USA is less than a month away, and although everything about the convention is fantastic, there are some events outside of the class curriculum you just have to attend while in San Antonio. From the Grand Imaging Awards and the Award & Degree Ceremony, to the parties and PPA Charities' Fun Run, these special events are sure to create special memories from your time in San Antonio. 

To help you navigate some of the special programs at Imaging USA we gathered the top 7 events that you can't miss! Check them out:

7. Grand Imaging Awards: Celebrate with friends as we honor the 2016 Medalists, Diamond Photographers of the Year, and all the elite Loan Collection artists from the most recent International Photographic Competition (IPC).

6. Award and Degree Ceremony: This ceremony is all about your peers and their accomplishments in the professional photography industry. If you need some inspiration, going to cheer on your fellow photographers is the way to do it!

5. The Expo: The Expo is where all the action takes place. Marvel over everything from the PRINT Movement Theatre, Drone Zone, and the IPC exhibit to vendors offering the best discounts on the industry's latest products just for you! Going to the expo is a must!

4. Charities Reception: Mingle with your fellow photographers before the charities auction. This is a ticketed event!

3. Charities Auction: Kick off Imaging USA as you enjoy fun, auctions and all the good deeds that have been done. This is a ticketed event so pick those up at

2. Fun Run: Get up, get out, and get running at the annual 5k run for PPA Charities. Don't stay out too late the night before because the race starts at 7am and you don't want to be left behind!

1. AND THE PARTIES!!!: The parties at Imaging USA are a great way to kick off the New Year. Dance the night away with all of your photographer friends while having the time of your life. Don't miss the opening party or the closing party!

These are only a few of the special events that Imaging USA has to offer. Don't forget, you can take your Certification exam, watch the incredibly kick-in-the-rear-end motivational and inspiring presentation by CNN Star Mel Robbins, and so much more!

Find a complete list of the special events and their descriptions at And don't forget to visit to sign up for Imaging USA. The early bird rate is being extended until midnight ET Dec. 15, 2016. Don't be left behind!

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By Chris Homer

Have you been considering drone photography as an addition to your business? Imaging USA is tackling this hot topic with a host of brand new classes. For the first time ever, Imaging USA will have a "Drone Zone"! This is where you can learn anything and everything drone related. There will be speakers who are pioneers in the area, a representative from the FAA to answer all your questions, and rumor has it that you might even get to FLY A DRONE! 

Even better, you can have access to the entire Drone track (classes, presentations, and demos) through an Expo-Only pass for only $35! Take a look at everything being offered in the Drone Zone below and register here for Imaging USA 2017 today! 

Drones and Aerial Photography 101
Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington will start from scratch speaking plain English to explain where, when, how and why. This class is for complete beginners who are a little bit nervous and confused about aerial drone photography. Randy and Stacy will encourage participants to relax and ask questions throughout the class.

Flights - Camera - Action
Designing your commercial imaging flight today requires planning, visualization and safety considerations. Eddie Tapp, M.Photog., MEI,Cr.,API,CPP, will discuss tips, techniques and information that will help your flight strategies from composition flights, camera settings, safety practices and more. Even if your considering drone aerials in your business, come and prepare to take flight for your creative imaging experience.

Elevate Yourself and Your Business Using Small Drones
Camera-drones are the hottest thing in photography industry. Randy Bruan & Stacy Garlington from the DJI Photography Development Team will discuss drone hardware, flying basics, image capture, simple processing, do's and don'ts, and how to earn additional income with your drone.

Getting Started in Aerial Drone Imaging
The composition rules have changed, you can now move your camera in 3D space. Learn how to cast of traditional photography constraints and elevate your photography. In this session Colin Smith will provide tips on the best way to fly to capture the best photographs and video. We will also explore some basic image editing of aerial images in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

By Tristin Vaccaro

Whether you want to dust off your cowboy boots or just get out of the studio for a while, there truly are a bajillion reasons to go to Imaging USA

While fun and networking are definitely on the menu, we know the majority of you come to Imaging USA with the hopes of learning new things! That's why the classes, demonstrations, and workshops overflow with methods to improve both your business and photography talents.

Imaging USA instructors want you to leave San Antonio a more equipped photographer, and often provide class takeaways so you know just what you'll learn after attending their class.  So today, we're highlighting a handful of awesome Imaging USA classes, and their equally as awesome takeaways, that are sure to stick with you long after you return home!

Lindsay Adler, Cr.Photog.
January 6 | 9am - 5pm
Learn the techniques that highly acclaimed photographer Lindsay Adler uses in the world of fashion - and apply these skills to your own clients. Be it seniors, boudoir, weddings or more, create extraordinary images so you can blow by your competition and WOW your clients!

  1. How to pre-visualize, create a mood board, and plan for stylized fashion and portrait shoots
  2. Fashion lighting tools and techniques that give your portraits that wow factor
  3. Techniques of fashion photography useful to differentiate your work from the competition.

Melanie Anderson, Cr.Photog., CPP
January 7 | 1pm - 5pm
Take volume photography to a whole new level! Go EXTREME as photographer Melanie Anderson shares all her creative techniques and tricks for school and youth sports! Walk away with the knowledge and the ability to achieve 100K+ as THE volume photographer in town! 

  1. Marketing to High School and Youth Sports
  2. Securing Sponsorships
  3. Creating Senior Sports Banners

Bradford Rowley
January 9 | 10-11:30am
This class will change your business and your life!  Discover the 10 steps that will explode your sales in 2017. Everything from closing strategies to handling objections, selling to the sophisticated clients, and more - it's all here!  

  1. Learn closing strategies for almost every objection
  2. Learn the alternative to hard selling, which is a turn-off to the sophisticated client
  3. Why selling portraits is the best kept secret out there, even among photographers

Barbara Breitsameter, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
January 10 | 10-11:30am
Dog photography is one of the fastest growing niches, and this is your ticket to mastering it all! Learn from Best of the Best as Barbara Breitsameter shares her tips and techniques, her secrets and her skills, her experience and her expertise. Canine family members can be your ticket to a booming business! 

  1. Learn the steps for a successful stress-free session for the dog and everyone else
  2. Create artistic dog portraits with technical excellence
  3. Learn how PPA print competitions can take your dog photography to a whole new level 

Gary Box , M.Photog.Cr., CPP
January 10 | 5:15 - 6:30pm
Capture and sell fantastic family portraits! From lighting to marketing techniques, you'll discuss ways to enhance and increase your sales. Capture the image, wow the customer, and improve your profits! 

  1. Get more families in your door
  2. Learn better family lighting
  3. Sell family portraits for the wall
And there you have it, just a few of the nearly 100 diverse classes  and thousands of lessons available to you when you attend Imaging USA this January in San Antonio, Texas. If you haven't already, go register for Imaging USA so you too can leave the convention with awesome swag, valuable knowledge, and amazing memories! 

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By Chris Homer

With your 3-day All-Access Pass for Imaging USA 2017, you can attend a whole host of
 great photography classes during the regular days of the convention, January 8 -10, 2017 in San Antonio. These programs are included at no extra cost with your All-Access Pass. But if you're looking for even more photography education opportunities, Imaging USA has you covered with the Pre-Convention classes!

Pre-Con, as most nickname these programs, take place right before Imaging USA, from Thursday through Saturday, January 5-7, 2017. While these classes do require an additional fee to attend, many photographers find the much smaller class size and the ability to get one-on-one attention from the instructors well worth the small add-on cost! 

You'll find a multitude of day-long and half-day classes. Here are two examples: 

Perhaps you're new to the photography business and looking for the education that will make your business successful. In that case, consider signing up for the multi-day Pre-Convention workshops, such as: 

And if you're considering becoming a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), you should take the 3-Day CPP Preparation Class, also a part of Imaging USA's Pre-Convention programming! 

If you're looking for education that's more hands-on, Imaging USA's Pre-Convention classes can help you there, too! The Hands-On class track features 2 hour sessions where you'll actively be using your camera - the perfect opportunity to learn a new technique and practice it! From Lighting and Posing for Children to Cutting Edge Wireless Flash - there's a Hands-On class sure to grab your interest. And since these are short sessions, you can attend multiple Hands-On classes in one day! 

There is A LOT to choose from, but Pre-Convention class sizes are very limited, so sign up today! Head over to and click on the Pre-Convention tab to view the complete Pre-Convention schedule. If you've already registered for Imaging USA 2017, it's easy to add-on some pre-con classes. And if you haven't registered for Imaging USA, what are you waiting for? register now for your Imaging USA All-Access Pass! 

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.


By Autumn Rice

There will be loads of fun, partying, and photo opps at Imaging USA 2017, but there are also remarkable learning opportunities. You will find dozens of class tracks at Imaging USA taught by fantastic professional photographers who want to share business-changing advice with you. These programs cover almost any photography or business topic you can think of. From Adobe Solutions to Wedding and Special Events, there's a session that's sure to pique your interest. Although classes are organized by tracks, we encourage photographers to attend any session, regardless of your respective specialties.

Some of the sessions during Pre-Convention are offered at additional costs, but they will provide you with even more insight and even hands-on instruction to help you improve the quality of your business. Pre-Con, as they are often called, range from half-day to 3-day workshops, and cover a wide range of highly specialized topics in business,  technique, and even Certification. Plus, there are shorter hands-on classes where you'll be asked to bring your camera and will get to practice the techniques you learn while in class! These additional classes take place from January 5-7.

You're in it for three or more days of photography mind-blown, and it's up to you to jam-pack your schedule with the best instructors and soak it all in! You're guaranteed to learn something new and you can be sure you'll even make new friends! 

Here are the 10 tracks offered at Imaging USA, and what they're about:

Adobe Solutions: As a photographer, you are probably familiar with Adobe's family of editing software, including Lightroom and Photoshop. But are you leveraging them for an efficient workflow? Or, if you only use the same few functions, how about delving in to take your editing to the next level? There are five Adobe-sponsored classes, designed for beginners and masters in mind.

Business: If you're looking to better your business with invaluable insights from your peers, look no further because the business track courses are sure to give you great perspective to help your business be more efficient, more knowledgeable, and more profitable.

Commercial Photography: This track is all about lighting and storytelling, fit for commercial photography. If you've ever thought about pursuing this field of photography, check out the classes in the commercial track.

Demo Classes: During these sessions you'll have the opportunity to learn through instruction and demonstration! After explaining the ins and outs of each topic, instructors will give you a first-hand example of their lesson in action. You'll learn exactly what to do, straight from the source. 

Drones, Drones, Drones!: Drones are the hottest new photography tool, and photographers need to know how to incorporate them into their business. The classes in this track are all about teaching photographers about drone safety, how to incorporate them in your business, and how to use them for professional photography.

Inspiration All Around: This track is all about inspiring photographers to recapture the essence of why they became a photographer. If you need a push in the right direction, the inspiration class track is perfect for you!

Photography Technique: These classes hone in on improving and refreshing the way that professional photographers pose, shoot, and light their sessions. This is a great way to brush up on the basic skills needed to make your business boom.

Portrait Photography: The portrait track covers the necessary technique and business strategy needed to be successful in portrait photography. 

School, Sport & Events Photography: Are you hesitant about taking photos of large groups? Looking to fine-tune your high-volume photography business? Or maybe you don't know a thing about photographing events, but you've always wanted to?  Whether you want to learn something new, or simply sharpen your skills, there's a class here for you.

Wedding Photographers: This track covers everything you need to know to create wedding photos that will last a lifetime for your clients. No matter if you're a pro or new to the business, this track will give you key tools for being successful in wedding photography.

And as these 10 tracks were not enough, there are a number of must-attend special events at Imaging USA: From parties to networking to fun run, to photography auction and drone demos, all the Special Events at Imaging USA will keep you buzzing from sunrise to sundown and are the perfect opportunities to build relationships with your peers. Make sure you include these special events and the opening and closing parties to your schedule! You'd hate it if you missed those! 

So, as you prepare for Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, TX, be sure to take some time to plan which classes you want to attend. A full list of sessions is now available online and on the App. Go check them out at

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