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PPA Today: Inspiration Archives

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By Sarah Ackerman

Spring is finally here! Before you take off to enjoy the beautiful weather and cure any lingering cabin fever - check out the top photography blog posts from around the Internet. 

FINDING YOUR PURPOSE: Past Imaging USA Speaker Jeffrey Shaw is back on the roundup with his podcast! This week he features an interview with Jeff Goins, author of "The Art of Work" (you can get a copy for FREE through his post!). The pair discusses finding your calling and offer practical ways to find it in your everyday life. 

NOT FOR EVERYONE: Don't get us wrong, we wish all photographers could make bajillions of dollars doing what they love... but we all know the real world is full of challenges. Truth is, photography as a profession is just NOT for everyone. This article from PetaPixel gives an interesting look at why people get into photography and what a small shift in attitude can do for your mental clarity.

BE MORE PROFITABLE: Two lucky studios are getting the chance of a lifetime - to get full studio makeovers from a dedicated team of pros from PPA! From marketing to sales, design to operations and everything in between Wes Roberts and Krista Newbill are embarking on a transformative year and you're along for the ride!

THIEVERY: Gary Hughes and Booray Perry take to the podcasting airwaves with their show "Photobomb". In this week's episode, the entertaining duo explores Star Wars Pinball, but more importantly photography thieves! (Pro tip: if you find yourself in the same situation as Booray, use the PPA Cease & Desist letter that comes as one of your member resources!)

DIY PHOTOGRAPHY: If you want to go to a larger format than 120 film, making your own camera might be a great option! You read that's right! Check out what Lucas Landers pulled together on a reasonable budget on the PhoBlographer. 

BARTERING BASICS: As a photographer, chances are you've been approached to barter your services. What constitutes a good bartering deal? How do you handle saying no? See what Rachel Brenke from the Law Tog has to say about the situation here. 

CERTIFIABLY GOOD: Becoming a Certified Professional Photographer is no small task - but as Dave Goldman, Cr.Photog., CPP explains, it's worth it. Becoming technically sound in your craft doesn't inhibit your creativity, it enhances it. Get Dave's take here!

INSPIRATION: Are you stuck when it comes to developing your personal style and vision? How do you define yourself in photography? This is a wonderful, inspirational blog by Gary Crabbe from Enlightened Images to guide you on the path to discovering your unique art. 

MYSTERIES OF THE PAST: National Geographic takes a look at the Rescued Film Project, an effort to discover and develop images from the past. Project manager Levi Bettwieser hopes this project will help photographers realize the importance of their craft on our individual histories. Check out the moving works here.

PRO TIPS: There's never a shortage of good portrait photography how-to articles, but this great read from FStoppers calls into focus some things to really avoid. Dani Diamond goes through his top five things portrait photographers should stop doing immediately. 

There you have it, our favorite photography posts of the week! What blogs do you enjoy? Let us know on theLoop

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

By Sarah Ackerman

Hopefully by now you've heard what wonders entering your images into photographic competition and asking for critiques can do for you, your artistry and your business. PPA district competitions are currently happening across the country and the International Photographic Competition (IPC) is set to open May 26, 2015. 

Photographic competitions are an excellent way to better your technical skill set. In many cases, you don't know what you don't know - and by entering into competitions and listening to the critiques, IPC judges will identify areas that might need improvement, as well as areas that you already excel in. For some, it might sound scary at first, but don't you want to become an even better photographer? This is a strategic jumping off point!

Here is Larry Lourcey, M.Photog.Cr., CPP critiquing Megan DiDiero's "The Glow" which made it into the General Collection at last year's International Photographic Competition.
 

And the educational opportunities don't stop there! You can watch the live judging of the district competitions or the IPC via live stream! From the comfort of your home, you'll be able to listen to everything the judges say about the images, how they score and when they challenge decisions. The first live streaming will be of the Northeast District March 13-14, 2015. Check the district's landing page for the live stream link! 

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

By Sarah Ackerman

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Can you believe March is almost here? Where did February go?! In case you haven't been keeping up on your blog reading, here are our top 10 posts on photography from around the internet!

REPUTATION PROTECTION: Scammers have started attacking photographers, threatening us with bad reviews, then offering pricey online reputation management solutions to clear it all up. Read up on what you can do to protect or clean your business reputation here! 

SEE THE DIFFERENCE: Turns out it can happen to anyone - and that's including Jeb Bush. In a photo he posted to commemorate his 41st wedding anniversary, it became clear he had forgone hiring a pro. We're not going to spoil the story here, but just know that his mom's point-and-shoot was his saving glory (kind of). You might want to show the difference hiring a pro makes with this great post from PetaPixel next time you face a client that's unsure about making the investment in hiring a pro!

PRINTS PAY: Peter Lik is back in the news with a New York Time's article on how he makes his millions - by selling prints. We understand the million-dollar-print market isn't in everyone's reach, but it does drive home an important point: regardless of your personal preference for one's style, prints can be an extremely viable revenue stream versus just digital work for professional photographers. 

INSPIRATION: Former Imaging USA speaker Benjamin Von Wong took to the skies with some of our favorite superheroes! Get some super-sized inspiration from these shots, and see how they were captured!  

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY: We swear spring is right around the corner, and with that comes all of the outdoor sports you can dream about! Check out this great article by Digital Photography School to see how you can improve your action photos from start to finish. 

BOOST YOUR BOTTOM LINE: Former Imaging USA Speaker Jeffrey Shaw is back on the roundup with Jeanna Gabellini. Listen to the podcast and learn how you can turn your everyday business into a full force business machine and as with all of Jeffrey's posts - you'll leave inspired, invigorated and ready to work!

OLD VS. NEW: After a multitude of photographs were disqualified in the World Press Photo competition for aggressive post processing, it sparked a debate on what really constitutes a photograph in this day and age. Check out all sides of the argument and weigh in on where you stand here!

FOR THE LADIES: Jessie Tarbox Beals was in no way America's first female photographer, but she was the first to leave the safety of a studio for the streets of photojournalism. Catch a glimpse of her with her cameras and some of her photographs, plus check out the awesome article from the Library of Congress about her life and work! 

POST PRODUCTION: Ever wonder how to automatically remove objects from Photoshop? It's easier than you might think! Check out this quick tutorial from Fstoppers to speed up your post process workflow!

TURNING PRO: Although this awesome article from Fast Company isn't just for photographers - it's for all creatives - it's a great read to put in perspective how lucky we are to do what we love for a living. It's a worthwhile reminder on how to create a better work - life balance and how to have it all without losing your mind. 

Have some favorite blogs we're missing? Let us know on theLoop

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

By Sarah Ackerman

February might have been a short month, but things were still hopping on theLoop! Check out our top discussions - if they tickle your fancy, log on and join the conversation!

If you're looking to dip a toe in the tethering waters, this is a great thread! Get input on a multitude of options and price points to get you started with wireless wonders. 

Sometimes the pop of a strobe light can spook your four legged clients, so what about continuous lighting? Which brands work (or don't work) in your studio? Weigh in here!

If you regularly sign your prints, this is a great (and simple) thread. What pen do you use? One member is transitioning from signing mats to prints and needs help in finding the perfect writing utensil. Get the scoop here!

If you're looking to get into the sports market, this is an excellent thread for you! Get technical tips and tricks to create better images with the constraints that come with indoor sports like basketball with fluorescent lighting. 

Going paperless can be tough when it comes to model releases, contracts, invoices and so much more! Do you have a favorite business app that helps you cut down on the paper trail? Weigh in! Or just read through the options to give yourself some ideas on how to go green!

As a social media pro, I love this discussion! Is it worth it to have a business page on Facebook? There are pros and cons, but see what your fellow photographers have to say! 

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? It's easy: join today!


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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

By: Lauren Walters

Are you getting back into the swing of things after Imaging USA? Put those ideas to work! ...After you check out our top blogs for the week.

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1.       When Photography Becomes More Than Just Taking Pictures

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: How do you capture original images in places that have been photographed over and over? This photographer wanted to take the best photograph ever taken in Myanmar. Worrying it's all been done, see what he did to tell a unique story.

 

2.       DOCUMENTARY: Finding Vivian Maier - Secret Photographer

OSCAR WORTHY: After dying in a Chicago nursing home, a woman leaves behind her hidden collection of photographs. Celebrating her life, this article delves into the story behind her Oscar nominated photos. The full documentary is available in some movie theaters and on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube.

 

3.       Photos That Made The Photographer Cry

EMOTIONAL COST:  Traveling to a different country for original images is normal, but would you put yourself in danger to obtain that shot? This photojournalist thinks so. Take a look at her photos and judge for yourself.

 

4.       DOCUMENTARY: In 'Through A Lens Darkly,' Black Photography Fades up to Joy

MAKING YOUR MARK: This documentary features photography of African-Americans making history. Appreciate the difference these photos made and learn about the filmmaker's intent to showcase the evolution of professional photography!

 

5.       Print Your Photos or Risk Losing Them to The Digital Dark Age, Internet Pioneer Warns

PRINT VS. DIGITAL: To print or not to print? That is the question. This article suggests that you print or else your photos will get lost in cyber space. What do you say? Save or print?

6.       Thinking About Brand, Thinking About Photography

BRANDING: How do multi-talented photographers brand their work? Instead of keeping up with 2 or 3 separate brands for each talent such as a writer, photographer and painter, just keep up with one; your personal brand!

 

7.       The Checklist for Narrowing Down Your Photography Portfolio

PORTFOLIO HELP: When putting together a portfolio, your included pieces need to showcase a diverse range of skills and professionalism. Follow this short checklist to see if your portfolio work best represents you as a professional photographer.     

 

8.       How Much Should Photographers Charge in 2015?

INDUSTRY: Photographers were thrown a curve ball when the digital technology evolved. After this struggle, a few photographers were left in the dust because everyone with a smart phone considers themselves a photographer. With this new found struggle, what's a fair price range for professional photography?

 

9.       Adobe Photoshop Turns 25: How It Created, and Questioned, The World's Most Iconic Images

SOFTWARE: How long have you been using Adobe Photoshop? The software has been helping photographers plunge into the digital age of photography for the past 25 years. What does Adobe hold for the future?

 

10.   Stolen Photos of Newborn's Final Moments Being Returned

ETHICS: Baby Amari's life was lost 30 minutes after birth due to medical complications. Photographer Faith Massey's photos of Amari were stolen a month after they were taken, but returned shortly thereafter?  

 

There you have it ladies and gents, our top blogs selection for the week! If you have any suggestions for our next round, please contact us on the Loop.  

Nothing like a Friday the 13th to send you into Valentine's Day! Here's some very non-scary posts from the week for you to eat up and take into the weekend and beyond.

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IMAGING USA: Day 1 of Imaging USA 2015 brought photographers in droves to Opryland, eager for the opening of the tradeshow and the many classes of the day. The night was capped off with what was easily the biggest Super Bowl party around! Read the day 1 recap.

IMAGING USA: Things got even better on day 2, with more deals and learning. And the Grand Imaging Award winner was crowned. Find out who won!

IMAGING USA: The convention and tradeshow came to a close Tuesday, with the final tally of attendees surpassing 11,000, officially making Imaging USA 2015 the biggest show to date. Things culminated with the handing out of Awards and Degrees and the official Closing Party on Delta Island.

ADVOCACY: Just before the end of the last Congress, a bill was handed down to declare that "still and motion photographs are speech". The bill will need to be re-introduced, and you should want it to since it is fighting for your basic rights--to photograph! Read on to see what all this entails and look for a blog on the matter from PPA next week.

MARKETING & SALES: Do you have an online shop for clients? Perhaps you should. According to eMarketing Inc., ecommerce sales in 2017 could top $434 billion. You don't want to miss that gravy train! This lengthy infographic from ecommerce platforms is full of great tips to get you started.

INSPIRATION: Iconic images stand the test of time, but do you remember who created them? Photographer Tim Mantoani has compiled a collection of 150 artists behind the photographs into a book of 20 x 24 polaroid's with a short story on the image in the creators handwriting. Take a look at a few, and also this making of the project video.

SOCIAL MEDIA (part I): No one likes a Debbie Downer. Especially not when looking for a photographer. This post from Fstoppers takes a look at what not to post on your social media pages. Are you guilty of any of these?

SOCIAL MEDIA (part II): Okay, who saw this one coming?! The original post garnered so much feedback a follow-up on the positives of social media marketing was warranted. Hopefully you are indeed guilty of these practices, and keep it up!

INSPIRATION: This post from PetaPixel is a bit biting at first, but you'll see what the author is getting at quickly. She argues that a certain D word is much more important to your continued success.

ADVICE: Here's a cool podcast with one of the best in the business--Joe McNally. This award-winning photographer has seen and done it all for some of the biggest publications out there, and he's done it for quite some time now. Learn his approach to photography, how to deal with hardships and some honest advice.

There you have it, our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs do you enjoy? Let us know on theLoop.  

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John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burgers.

By Mariah Ashley

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes: "Such a pleasant thought, if you improve overall conditions everyone can sail happily into the sunset".

It's an idea I try to set my moral compass to and a philosophy I practice in my business. When I recognize this quality in others I want to latch onto them because lately it seems most people practice the "every man for himself" motto and would sooner see you walk the plank than steer your own ship.

...except at Imaging USA. There, everyone is raising the tide. Unfortunately, it's not possible to latch onto 11,000 people, not even if you're a Kraken (mythical sea beast with many arms). Still, I wish I could give every special person I talked to a big old slimy tentacle hug. I guess I'll have to settle for squeezing them with my words instead.

But before things get awkward, let's consider ships.

By: Lauren Walters

Ready to take the plunge into Imaging USA? First, stay up to date with what's happening in the world of photography. Read our top ten favorite blog posts and use them as conversation starters at the convention!

1.       5 Tips for Successfully Marketing Yourself at an Industry Trade Show

PERSONAL BRAND: Headed to Imaging USA next week? Get a head start! Learn how to market yourself successfully for when you're walking around at the Expo. The first step is to plan, plan, and plan again!

2.       Why Sports Illustrated Laid Off All of its Photographers

LAYOFFS: For a magazine so heavily reliant on its high-quality images, we were surprised to learn that Sports Illustrated laid off their entire staff of six photographers. A cut of photographers of this scale hasn't happened since The Chicago Sun-Times cut their 28-staffed photographers in 2013. Is history repeating itself?

3.       Joshua Kane: Running a Destination Wedding Photography Business

DESTINATION PHOTOGRAPHER: PPA photographer Joshua Kane gets paid to travel the world and photograph destination weddings. Although Joshua is living the dream, it's not always a vacation. Read about the challenges and benefits of a destination photography business.

4.       Pixels to Paint: Mixing Photography and Printmaking Yields Beautiful Results

MIXED MEDIA: How would a printmaker involve photography in their process? After mixing digital and print mediums, a hybrid medium was born. Check out a lithographer's approach to digital photography.

5.       India Through a Lens: The Nation Embraces Photography as Art

TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: India has always been rich in imagery, but not so involved in the art of photography. After their first photography festival four years ago in New Deli, India has become more present in the photography scene. Check out breath-taking images showcasing the exotic Indian lifestyle.

6.       Study Finds that Professionally Captured Photos Are More Memorable Than Amateur Ones

DUH! (THANKFULLY): According to the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), people can distinguish a professional from an amateur photographer. The researcher who conducted this study used special equipment to record the subject's eye movements when exposed to photographs. Check out other conclusions they drew from this experiment.

7.       Johnson Publishing to Sell Historic Photo Archive

ARCHIVES: Hoping to raise funds, the publisher of Ebony magazine is selling their entire photo archive. This collection dates back to 1945 including historic and award-winning photography. Find out more about this collection.

8.       Street Photography: It All Comes Down to Editing

EDITING: As a street photographer, you can shoot anytime, anywhere! Where the structured schedule is lacking, the photographer picks up the slack when it comes to editing. Why would one have to heavily edit street photography? Read more to find out!

9.       Photographer Suing Nike Over the Origins of the Famous Jordan "Jumpman" Logo

COPYRIGHT: Learn about Nike's "jumpman" logo legend. Was there a photograph behind this genius design for inspiration? If so, does the photographer deserve to be compensated?

10.   Photographer Captures Enchanting Landscapes Inspired by The Brothers Grimm

INSPIRATION: We all know those beloved fairytales from our childhood. How about capturing the landscapes that inspired the original Grimm's fairy tales?

Check back with us next week for more top blogs. Any interesting blogs you'd like us to check out, let us know on theLoop!

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By Sarah Ackerman

You've made it one month into the New Year! How are your business resolutions holding up? To get you back on track, check out these great discussions on theLoop!

How are you finding clients in this ever-changing landscape? Weigh in with your tips or pick up a few from some seasoned vets!

If you have experience (or want to learn more) about commercial photography - this is for you! Pick up some quick tips on how to shoot for a client that wants "the snazzy product reflection fadeout shadow" here. 

Bridal shows can be a beast! How do you attract customers to your table? What information do you collect from them? How? Weigh in here!

SE-Uh oh! This is a great lesson in web maintenance and outside vendors. Do you have great SEO skills and can help this member get his business back on track? 

If you've ever been caught in a situation with a cell phone looming over your shoulder, this is the perfect thread for you. How do you handle folks taking photos or videos during your shoot without coming off as rude? Get some great pointers, or contribute your own, here!

Have a favorite background vendor that might be flying under the radar? Help a fellow pro out with some solid recommendation!

How did you get awesome at sales presentations? Or could yours use some tweaking as well? Get in on this great discussion to see how to better value yourself (and the industry) by staying away from just selling a disc of images. You'll be sure to pick up a tip or two!

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? It's easy: join today!


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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

By Mariah Ashley

I'm sitting here in Massachusetts with a blizzard bearing down on my house and all I can think is, This better not mess up my plans to go to Imaging USA in Nashville on Friday!

It's colder than a frosted frog here so in the spirit of Nashville, I'm passing the time researching country and western idioms. What I've discovered is that we're pretty boring here in New England, at least in terms of color phrases. You know, one of the best things you can do when visiting a new place is to learn some local lingo. I've included a bunch in this post so that you can fit in too. You're welcome.

Anyway... What a difference two years can make! It was just two years ago that I tried to fake a flu to get out of the trip to Atlanta for my first Imaging USA. My business had two speeds at that time: slow and stop. Yep, my crick had run dry. True story. I had $79 in my bank account. Coming up with enough money each week to make payroll was like trying to put socks on a rooster.

I couldn't see mustering the energy, let alone the money to make the trip. Fortunately for me, my business partner Trish is as bright as a new penny and saw right through my lame faux-flu. She insisted I get on the plane. Never in my wildest imagination (and trust me it gets crazy as a bed bug in there) did I imagine how much that trip would change my life. When we arrived in Atlanta we were desperate--desperate for inspiration, desperate for answers. We had nothing to lose so we went with open minds and empty pockets and found everything we were looking for.



About this Archive

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

In Memory is the previous category.

Photography Business is the next category.

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