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PPA Today: Inspiration Archives

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By Sarah Ackerman

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This week we're embracing improvement! Check out our top eleven blogs to help you be more. And, yes! There is a bonus blog this week!

SCAM ALERT: Arm yourself with knowledge against these four scams that seem to be running rampant in the photography industry! The folks at PhotoShelter bring you the top four scams they've seen, including fake photo contests and fake photo assignments! Read on and Be More Protected!

INSPIRATION: If you've ever suffered from a lack of motivation, direction or inspiration, this awesome E-book from Eric Kim will give you the best kick in the pants! Download it in a variety of formats and feel the creativity flow!

FINANCES: If the finances of your business are keeping you up at night, check in with Krista Newbill and our PPA Studio Makeover team! Krista has been focusing on finances for the past month. See what changes she's made and what she's looking to do in the future with this update!

SCIENCE + STORYTELLING: How do you set yourself apart in a world filled with billions of advertising messages? It's not easy, but it can be done! Read up on how to marry the science of marketing with the joy of storytelling from HubSpot. 

I find this week's round up particularly inspiring. So get ready to feel good, stay happy and push your business to the next level!

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THE LOST GENERATION: Convincing your clients the need to purchase prints can be an uphill battle. Check out this wonderfully written piece by PPA Treasurer, Rob Behm, M. Photog., Cr, CPP, to see why it's so important and how you can better educate your clients. 

HEALTH: Here's an unpopular topic for many photographers - making time to take care of yourself! Everyone knows they should exercise, but TIME covers why it can harm your work if you don't.  
 
PERSONAL PROJECTS: Andy Baker of National Geographic clues you in on how to get noticed by potential clients, and why personal projects are so important. Check out the video from Behind the Glass in this great article from FStoppers.  

SKILL SETS: Improve your ability to effectively run a business with this piece from Inc. Even if you're a company of one, this is a great reminder if you ever hire a second shooter or office admin. Or if you're a larger organization, it serves as a great message about supporting, encouraging and taking really good care of your employees. 

DEFINING 'PRO': What makes you a professional photographer? InMyBag talked to five highly respected photographers, including Benjamin Von Wong and Missy Mwac, to get their perspectives. It's an eye opening read!

WATCH YOUR MOUTH: What are common characteristics of successful people? This awesome article by the Review Journal breaks down seven phrases that successful people wouldn't eversay, and (more importantly) why they would never say them.   

LEGISLATION PROGRESS: James Williams of the Federal Aviation Administration made an announcement this week on the status of upcoming drone regulations. Although it's taking a bit longer than we all would like, this is a step in the right direction. 

POST PRODUCTION: Photoshop can be your best friend in post-production, but these guys take it to the next level for some commercial shoots! Check out the time lapse videos on six plus hours of editing. It's amazing what you can do if you have that kind of time and skill.

PROTECTION: This great read from Fstoppers gives you a quick review on how to protect your images, but also talks about how your subjects are covered. Everything from architecture to tattoos could have a copyright. Stay educated on what's fair game and what needs some special permissions. 

HAPPY THOUGHTS: Let's end this week on a positive note! Join Imaging USA speaker Jeffrey Shaw as he chats with Cornell Thomas, author of "Power of Me, Army of One" on all things positive thinking and how it can change your business and your day-to-day life! 

There you have it - our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee (at) PPA (dot) com

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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 Robert Behm M.Photog., Cr., CPP
PPA Treasurer

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Tomorrow they may very well be gone. The treasured memories, the smile moments, the passing opportunities for a quick shot of everyday life with those we love. That vacation to the Theme park or National park or worse yet, a rare family get-together and the only shot was one taken with a cell phone camera.

As professional photographers we know the value of what we do, and hopefully we all take the proper steps to insure that our client images are properly backed up and stored safely and securely. Certainly we value every image we create... right?

This conversation is not a new one, yet I do not see or hear much change happening out there in terms of protecting people's personal images. Digital photography has changed the way we approach photography, and for the consumer it has made it more convenient. However that seems to have devalued photography. We already have a generation of young people who do recognize the moment or opportunity for a great photo but then have no after thought of what to do with it other than post it to a social media site thinking that somehow it immortalizes the image. Sadly photography has become disposable to the majority of our youngest generations.

I am the first professional photographer in my family, however I was engrained with the idea that photographs are treasures from a very early age. My paternal grandmother had a second generation Brownie camera and made photographs on paper from a very early age. She continued with other film cameras throughout her life and always made albums with analogue metadata carefully printed on the back of each image. Later in life she became interested in painting and was a pioneer in hand colorizing black and white prints with oil paint before the invention of color film. My Dad had a part time job as a darkroom assistant at a local portrait studio in the small town he grew up in. He too became enamored with the print and how it told the story of our lives together.

By Mariah Ashley

De-cluttering Your Message

I've been avoiding my bedroom lately. I only go in there at night. I don't turn on the light and just kind of hop from the door into bed. I definitely DO NOT look around. I'm afraid if I do I might see something really horrible. Something embarrassing. I'm ashamed of...

My closet!

I've been meaning to spring clean my closet for a while now; I just haven't been able to get motivated to do it. I sort of started, which yielded a bag of donation clothes but I never finished the job. I left it, door open, shoes spilling out onto the floor. It's been that way for weeks.

I thought, I'll just get rid of everything that isn't totally me. The problem is, I'm not sure exactly what that means. Is me a black pencil skirt or a ruffled bohemian blouse? Cause I've got both... Gah! Who am I? What do I like? How am I perceived? Classic or Artsy? Fun or Functional?

It was time to call in an expert, a straight shooter, someone who thinks my feelings are of no consequence--my 13-year-old daughter.

"What about this one?" I asked holding up a plaid shirt dress.

"Are you kidding? Frump Town."

"Ohhh-kaaay how about this shirt?" I ventured, showing her a turquoise and gold leopard print tank top. (I swear, it wasn't as ugly as it sounds).

"It looks like something a tacky granny would wear. And what is this material? It feels greasy." She replies tossing it in disgust.

Holy moly, it's nearly May! And judging by the top conversations on theLoop, people are looking to do some spring cleaning, invest in new equipment and predict the future! Check out the top conversations on theLoop and join the conversations!

Have you ever cleaned your own sensors or do you usually prefer to rely on professional services? If you're a DIY photographer, this is an excellent thread on the things to consider before you start. 

If you're ever concerned with how to best carry all of your gear, this is a great thread! See what creative solutions your fellow photographers have come up with or share what's worked best for you.

Where is photography heading in the next five years? Read what your fellow photographers are predicting and try your hand at seeing the future! 

Do you use green screens on a regular basis or are you looking to add it to your product offerings? This is an excellent thread on what software to use and how to do it in a timely manner. 

We all know pricing can be tricky, especially when you're entering into a new field! How do you price for a book cover? What sort of image release should you draft up? Read up and weigh in on this awesome thread!

Mirrorless cameras are great for travel! If yhttp://ppa.com/joinou have one you love (or hate), jump in and let your fellow photographers know it! 

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!

By Mariah Ashley

I would like to officially announce my candidacy for the office of President.

(Cheers and Applause)

Oh wait a minute; I'm going to need to retract that statement. I'm already the president around here. In fact, I've served two and a half terms.

I know it seems pretty important and glamorous, being the most powerful woman in my office and all, but have you ever seen the side-by-sides of the presidents before and after their terms? Ouch! Being President DOES NOT do a body good- check it out

Wrinkles are in fact... bipartisan.

Whether you are the President of the United States or President of your Small Business, the job description is the same; 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Endless worry, countless decisions and constant public scrutiny. Success in pleasing your constituents? Unlikely. 

So who would want this for themselves? Well, Hillary, Ted, and Rand so far but maybe they'll give that a second thought after they read my blog post. Sure, right now they're all caught up in their patriotic passion to serve their country but do they realize what a grind the next four years will actually be for them?

I mean, you have got to wear A LOT of hats when you are president. I can't believe how many decisions I have to make in the course of the work week. I heard on NPR once that President Obama does not make any non-essential decisions. He has so many big decisions to make that he's eliminated all choices like, what to wear, what to eat etc. He simply does not have room for one more decision. I think maybe George W. Bush said it best when he famously said, "I am the decider." I hate to admit it, but he was right if, you are president you are the decider. Period. That's what you do, you decide.

The thing is, everything (including your skin) turns grey when you become president. It seems like much of the frustration with our elected officials comes from wanting them to take a hard line on an issue. I'm here to tell you, as someone who sits in the big chair, it's nearly impossible to boil things down to black and white and all that grey is exhausting. Let me illustrate with three examples of presidential decisions I had to make this week.

By Sarah Ackerman

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Happy Friday! You survived the week (including Tax Day in the U.S. ), so that is cause for celebration! Take a few to relax, kick up your feet and enjoy our top ten posts from around the interwebs!

BEST PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE WORLD: The United States took home the World Photographic Cup for the second year in a row. Led by medalists and PPA photographers Ben Shirk and Kenneth Martin, the team took four medals and nine top 10 finishes! Get all the details here.

COPYRIGHT PROTECTION: Happy Copyright Awareness Month! If you've had a run in with copyright infringement, know you're not alone. Check out this write up on PPA photographer Ross Oscar Knight and see what you can learn from his experiences with copyright infringement. PPA is here to help!

HELP TO FIND CLIENTS: Imaging USA speakers Gary Hughes and Booray Perry are back with their PhotoBomb podcast! The two weigh in on reimagining iconic wedding photographs (like the sometimes dreaded "ring shot") and discuss how to attract and keep clients when you're just starting out. Learn from these hilarious pros!

LEGAL MATTERS: You may recall Andrea Polito's case from a few months back - she was sued when she made her clients pay extra for their album cover (catch up on the full backstory here). The parties are back in the news for a defamation suit. Read the article and weigh in with your opinions in this spirited conversation on theLoop

BUSINESS COACHING: As you heard in March two PPA member studios are getting total makeovers! Wes Roberts has been working diligently over the past month with Business Consultant Bridget Jackson, CPA and Marketing Mentor, Ashley Brooke. Check in to see his progress!

DEBUNKING THE SALES TAX: Since Tax Day came and went this week, this article is extremely timely! Rachel Brenke separates the truth from fiction in the world of sales tax when it comes to photography clients in this easy-to-read post. 

BUSINESS BEST PRACTICES: If you've ever wondered what your customers are thinking - Entrepreneurs compiled a list of the top five things you need to know and how it impacts your business! Check the list and see how these tidbits can improve your customer experience, from start to return visit. 

WEB BASICS: Don't judge an article by its headline. This three part series from Go Live HQ offers some great input on not stressing out about those three little letters. Moral of the story: treat SEO like a bad boyfriend, the less you care and the more you focus on yourself, the better it will behave. 

STATE OF MIND: Imaging USA speaker, Jeffrey Shaw is back on the round up with Denise Martin, a master communication specialist. Denise and Jeffrey explore how you can improve communication with your clients by improving communication internally. Think of it this way - does your inner monologue need a pep talk? Tune in. You won't be disappointed. 

INSPIRATION: We frequently talk about getting it right in the camera, and Ray Dennis did just that. Ray ditched the digital editing and created some surreal images that you have to see the behind the scenes photos to believe! 

What's photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorites on theLoop! Also, you can email your suggestions directly to OnlineContentCommittee (at) PPA (dot) com.

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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.

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By: Lauren Walters

As April rolls along, check out this week's top blogs about ethics. Join in the fun with other posts and learn about the PPA perk - Photovision. Remember to exercise good ethics and inspire your creative self.   

Be More Inspired with PhotoVision

PPA MEMBERSHIP PERK: Now that PhotoVision is part of PPA, you have no excuse! The sources of inspiration to be more inspired and more creative are endless! Pick a topic, pick a genre or pick an instructor, there is something for everyone to motivate and inspire you in photography. With over 800 cinematic HD streaming videos, PhotoVision is now included with your PPA membership! Visit PPA.com/PhotoVision and proactively continue to learn today!

Could the U.K.'s Copyright Hub Provide a Template for Simple Rights Use?

COPYRIGHT: We all know the troubles copyright comes with. The U.K. created a hub to identify all copyright information pertaining to a single piece simply by searching the image, video or audio file. How useful is this? Read this article to find out what the U.S. thinks of this hub.

In the Smartphone Era, Can Street Photography Be Illegal?

ETHICS: Let's find out! In Germany, a Berlin-based street photographer started a project funded by 528 supporters totaling $19,850 for his possible legal fees. Since 1907, the law stated if a photographer didn't have the subject's permission to photograph them, they weren't allowed to publish the image. This interesting article shows how this project turned out.

Photoshop and Photojournalism

ETHICS AGAIN: In a way, photography is manipulation, but photojournalism is about revealing the truth to the public. A photojournalist cannot recreate a moment by asking a subject to pose a certain way - they must be an honest and credible source. Check out this video and celebrate 25 years of Photoshop as it relates to modern photojournalism.

This Camera Survived Three Months at the Bottom of the Ocean

JUST FOR FUN: An underwater photographer, Scuba Monster team member, found a camera among the coral reef near the bottom of the ocean. Guess what? The camera sill worked! What all did this camera go through before being rediscovered? Read more to get the full scoop!

Showing Girls that 'Strong is the New Pretty'

EMPOWER: Instead of photographing little girls in pink dresses and flowery hats, PPA Photographer Kate Parker helps her daughters find their confidence. Through photography, Parker's daughters show their tough side - redefining the term "pretty".

Three Little Letters... Big Meaning.

TREAT YOUR PSYCHE: "Why become certified?" PPA photographer Suan Goralski tells all! Read about her journey on the CPP path and find out what it takes to become a certified professional photographer. It might involve a side effect that helps with you beyond the client perception's rationale... just read on!

When More Is More: Photography and Doing Away With Subtlety

INSPIRATION: Is less more? "If less is more, just think how more that will be!" Where do you draw the line? When intensifying and balancing the right elements, your work will stand out among the crowd. Check out this work and get inspired by this photographer's brave lunge into the bold.

100 Ideas That Changed Photography

REINVENTION: From camera obscura to the iPhone, Fine Art Professor Mary Marien explains the evolution of photography through her book "100 Ideas That Changed Photography". Through this article, catch the highlights of significant historical artifacts that pushed photography toward the art it is today.

5 Steps To Realizing Successful Passion Projects

PHOTOGRAPHY PASSION: In the mini-documentary, "Updating Philosophies", film makers Jared Levy and Justin Hamilton share their secrets about how to get booked for the work you WANT to do. Watch the short video and follow their 5 simple steps to start living your dream.

What's photography blogs do you follow? Post your favorites on theLoop! Also, you can email your suggestions directly to OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.

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If improving your artistry and building your business are on your list of things to accomplish this year (we hope it is!), consider entering some of your work in the International Photographic Competition (IPC). The IPC opens May 26, 2015 and is an excellent way to push yourself creatively and technically. 

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! To take some of that fear out - here is Donna Goodhale, M.Photog.Cr., CPP critiquing Linda Gregory's  "Pensive Kate" which was not accepted into last year's Loan Collection. 



Ready to enter your work in a photographic competition to learn and get recognized? Entries for the International Photographic Competition will open May 26.

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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.

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By Sarah Ackerman

We're about to enter the second quarter of the year - how are your creative goals holding up? Might you be in the market for some new gear to help you get there? Get back on track with your 2015 plan and learn something in the process with these great discussions on theLoop!

Do you have input on the newest Nikon camera bodies? Weigh in with your opinions on this member's specific shooting needs and maybe get some shopping tips of your own!

If you have expertise in using a tablet as a monitor for you Canon 5D Mark III, this is an excellent techy thread for you! Share your knowledge with larger monitor options today! 

Are you a fan of albums? Who are your favorite vendors? Help your fellow photographer with your best bets on vendors and any pro tips along the way. 

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!


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for SarahA-2763.jpgSarah 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.

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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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