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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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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.  



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

In Memory is the previous category.

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