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October is the month of PRINT, and we're celebrating by bringing you some great content. If you weren't sure how to present print art to your clients, then we have a few items that will help you...and your sales.

Head to our new Resources page on the Print.The Movement website, and you'll find a few things: 

Elegant, customizable brochures to showcase your print art. Simply add your photos and studio information. They also include a section to add your price list, so the brochure can do the selling for you! They're super easy to use, and a great way to help you be more profitable.

Outreach content with information that you can repurpose and use as needed. Adjust the message for your clients and use it in your studio. You can also use it as sample copy to customize and send to your local publications along with your photography.

PRINT.The Movement logos. Use them on any of your branding materials to let clients know that you are a print artist. These logos will help set you apart from the shoot-and-stash competition. 

All of these items are meant to spark a dialogue with your clients about why print is so important. Let's build a movement, and let's get people printing again!

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By Autumn Rice

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Recently, current PPA President Lori Craft made her first-ever trip to the Texas School of Professional Photography, and joined host Bill Ramsey on The PhotoTellers Podcast for an enlightening conversation. 

Aside from discussion about maintaining a 40-year portrait photography business in an ever-changing economic climate, Lori talks in depth about what PPA means to photographers, and why it's important for professional photographers to join the organization. Lori also discusses the importance of PPA advocacy issues associated with copyright laws and drone regulations.

Listen to Bill Ramsey's interview on The PhotoTellers Podcast here, and share it with your fellow photographers!

Recently, two respected photography institutions around the country closed their doors permanently. Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura, CA and the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turner Falls, MA issued notice that they were shutting down operations. The closing of these schools may be disheartening or even shocking, but it's not a statement on photography as an education or a career.

More and more people are looking for professional photographers, yet they are looking to fulfill different needs and in different ways. Whether it is family portraits, high school seniors, weddings, or even commercial, the need for photographers that know what they're doing remains. With the invention of the camera phone, more and more people are finding the thrill in taking photographs. Some could say it's making people appreciate the art even more. But how do they go from camera phone junkies to professional artists? They don't! And what makes professional photographers more valuable than ever is their education. PPA knows the value of being prepared, professionally and artistically, and the success so many photographers experience now is a marriage of the two: business and artistry.

Never before have photographs and photographic products sold in such great numbers and photographs retailed for such large sums of money. That's why PPA focuses so much on helping its members achieve excellence through integral knowledge of photography and honing in on business as much as on photographic skills. "I joined PPA because I was hungry to learn from the top pros. I wanted success and there was no other way to develop and achieve my goals than through education, marketing, sales, and overall business operations know-how," says Master of Photography and Certified Professional, Gregory Finney. Whether it's online training, educational videos, studio seminars, or hands-on classes, PPA strives to give its members the tools they need to be more savvy, be more prepared, and on the right track to be more profitable.

To learn more about PPA or how to take your photography business to the next level, visit

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Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.
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4:30pm We finished our last two meetings for the day. Right after lunch we met with Representative Lamar Smith's (TX) office. He was happy to hear from us about the progress of the Small Claims bill and is waiting as anxiously as we are for the bill to drop. He is looking forward to continuing working with PPA. His office understands that it is important to get the word out about small claims to ensure we can get all the support we need when it comes time for a vote. (Grassroots!) Hopefully, Representative Smith's office will be able to co-sponsor when the times comes.

Out last meeting for today was with Representative Steve Chabot's (OH) office. This was our first meeting with his office and they were very open to the idea of small claims. Like the other first-time meetings we've taken this week, it was important to lay out the foundation of small claims and history of how PPA began advocating for photographers' copyright protection. His office was very attentive and fully understood why small claims would be important. This was a very preliminary meeting and PPA hopes to be able to follow up with Chabot's office as we get closer to the bill being released.

We are headed to the airport for the return to Atlanta. This was a jam packed and extremely productive meeting. PPA is extremely happy with how how responsive everyone was and even more excited about the bill and upcoming meetings at Capitol Hill!

Be sure YOU'RE taking action and encouraging everyone you know to lend their name to and learning more about Small Claims at

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12:30pm We just left Representative Richmond's office (LA). He thoroughly enjoyed the update on the Small Claims bill and we discussed, and he understood, why photographers can't be treated the same as Hollywood artistic properties, with the relatively "low" value placed on works of photographic or visual art compared with motion pictures and music publishing. This is why a small claims option is so important! Richmond's office was very optimistic about the legislation in the long term, but acknowledges that it is important to keep the upcoming elections in mind. Richmond's office want on to say that "nothing is more bipartisan then small business owners" and he can see why small claims would be popular and a bipartisan issue. He hopes, upon reading the bills, they can co-sponsor and help bring copyright protection to photographers.

11:45am Just finished up our first two meetings of the day. Representative Bishop's office (MI) fully understands and embraces the importance of Small Claims Copyright legislation and the effect it could have on photographers. We brought Representative Chu's bill to their attention and they were extremely interested to read further when the bill is introduced. They will continue to do their own research and let us know what they think. We hope Representative Bishop will join us in this fight for small claims!

After leaving Representative Bishop's office we met with Representative DeSantis' office (FL). Representative DeSantis informed us of how important copyright modernization and small claims is to him and hopes that we can make some headway in that area soon, since we all need to have a deeper look into small claims. He is waiting to hear back about Representative Chu's bill and will hopefully be able to co- sponsor when the time comes.

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9:30am: We have another exciting day ahead at Capitol Hill. This morning we have three back-to-back meetings with House Representatives. 

We start off in Representative Mike Bishop's (MI) office. This will be our first meeting with this office and we hope we can show them how important the Small Claims Copyright legislation is and eventually get him to co-sign when the bill is introduced. 

After Bishops office we are going to Representative Ron DeSantis' (FL) office. This meeting is an update to discuss the progress we have made on the bill and the great support we have via our Grassroots team! Once we leave Representative DeSantis' office we are meeting with Representative Cedric Richmond's (LA) office. This is also a follow-up meeting and an opportunity to remind him of how important small claims is and hopefully convince him to co-sponsor soon!

We have a lot going on Capitol Hill today! Stayed tuned for more!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for capitolcollins.jpg6:00pm Our last meeting for the day was with Representative Doug Collins' (GA) Office. Collins' office is still looking into the Small Claims bill and understands the importance of providing an alternative remedy for copyright infringement. His office has close ties with both Representatives Jeffries and Chu and wants to ensure he is able to comb through both bills in order to have a better view of what the impact of small claims will be to copyright law. They plan to reach out to PPA once they have more information or insight.

This brings Day One at the Capitol to a close. We are extremely happy that we can continue to build upon our relationships with the members of the House and also create new relationships along the way. Tomorrow we have six meetings back to back, so stay tuned for even more updates!

4:30pm Just had two very productive meetings. Our first meeting was with Representative Gowdy's (SC) office. This was our first meeting with Gowdy, a member of the House Judiciary Committee. We explained the importance of the Small Claims Copyright bill and the effect it can have on professional photographers. Representative Gowdy's office was extremely interested and said they would look further into the Small Claims bill when it finally drops.

Our second meeting was with Representative Markwayne Mullins' (OK) office. Representative Mullins is a part of the Commerce Committee. This committee is important to the success of the Small Claims bill, since after leaving the House Judiciary, the bill will go to the Commerce Committee. Our meeting with Mullins' office allowed us to lay the foundation for success in this committee, as they were very open to the idea of small claims and said they would review further and let us know if they can co-sponsor. 

We hope both Representatives Mullins and Gowdy will provide their support and Co-Sponsor the Small Claims bill.  

We have one more meeting today with Representative Doug Collins from Georgia. 

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2:30pm It was great touching base with Representative Chu again. The Small Claims Copyright bill is going through some cleaning up and should be introduced to the House soon. There will be plenty of opportunities to ensure that photographers' rights are fully and clearly laid out. Representative Chu's office is just as excited as we are about this bill and wants to make sure photographers and other visual artists finally get to take advantage of the copyright system that was deemed so important by our founding fathers. We appreciate everything Representative Chu has done for us and look forward to working even closer with her. 
We are now heading into another meeting with Representative Trey Gowdy (SC). 

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10:00am: PPA is back on Capitol Hill again advocating for the introduction of a Small Claims Copyright Bill.  On this trip we plan to meet with Representative Judy Chu's (CA) office to get an update on the soon to be released small claims bill. After meeting with her office, we are also going to meet with other members of the House of Representatives to continue to discuss with them the importance of Small Claims. The next two days are jam-packed with meetings so stay tuned for updates!
by James Yates
Copyright in America is on a brink of change with the introduction of a Copyright Small Claims Process on Capitol Hill. Over 7,000 people already added their name to support these legislative changes. 

This week, PPA CEO David Trust participated in two different podcasts talking about the incoming Copyright Small Claims Process that is being introduced on Capitol Hill. The podcasts explain what this is about, how simple it is and the huge difference adding your name will make.

First up, Bill Ramsey of The PhotoTellers brings his skills as an interviewer to his talk with David, taking us into a deep dive addressing the Small Claims piece of legislation that's about to hit the floor and what YOU can do to help (it's easy and takes all of four seconds). 

Next, Rob Trawick and Jim Felder of FotoFacts cracked us up with their usual madcap energy as David Trust breaks down the history of Copyright Small Claims and exactly who can and should add their name to the Grassroots Action Team (here's a hint: EVERYBODY). 

Stream or download these two podcasts. Copyright law matters, because photographers' livelihoods depend on it. Our industry has never been this close to making a big leap forward. It's so easy and fast to add your name, you won't regret it!  

Take a listen, add your name to and...  SHARE, SHARE, SHARE with your friends and family, everyone you have ever met on social media, people at the grocery store, your mailman... anyone who believes in the rights of content creators. Thank you!

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James Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.

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With the new FAA regulations regarding drones going into effect August 29th, you need to have the most up-to-date information to fly and use a drone for business or work purposes. Bottom line: you MUST take the aeronautical knowledge test (the "Drone Test") and have your drone registered. Here are important links and guidelines that will be helpful while navigating through the process.

  • In order to sit for the "Drone test", and be able to apply for the remote pilot certification, the applicant must be at least 16 years old, be fluent in English, be in good physical and mental condition to operate a drone, and take the test at an approved FAA knowledge testing center. Step by step guidelines are posted on the FAA website under requirements and process for becoming a pilot.

  • All applicants need to take and pass the Drone Test in order to apply for their remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating. The cost of taking the test is $150 and, once certified, the certification will be valid for two years. Taking the test and getting certified allows photographers to use drones during photo sessions in accordance with FAA guidelines. To ensure that everyone has the knowledge necessary to pass the drone test, the FAA has posted various study guides and sample test questions for applicants to study. These materials can be found under the FAA's suggested study materials

  • Once an applicant has passed the drone test, applied for and received their remote pilot certification, they MUST register their drone. The drone must be registered if it is over .55 pounds, up to a maximum weight of 55 pounds. The 55 pound limit includes any equipment you attach to the drone, such as your camera. Registration cost is only $5 and will be valid for three years. All drones need to be registered at

  • Your drone must also undergo a pre-flight check to ensure it is in proper condition to be operated. This link has a .pdf of the FAA's pre-flight checklist. 

The FAA has addressed some Drone Regulations frequently asked questions here. Here is also an easy-to-read recap chart with all the necessary information regarding both pilot and drone requirements:

You can find even more information in the FAA's Getting Started guide. We hope you're as excited and ready to fly your drone as we are! Share your (legal) drone photography with us on theLoop, Facebook or Twitter! Now, get out there, take some amazing photos and share them with the world!

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The International Photographic Competition has seen substantial growth over the last few years due to the consistent efforts of its members, staff and competition volunteers. PPA is thrilled with the renewed interest in competition among its members. With this growth in mind, we're excited to share some changes in both the District and International Photographic Competitions.

Here are some of the changes coming to the 2017 Competitions:

  1. All panels convened to determine merit will operate with a five-member panel. This will increase efficiency in the judging. In 2016, a six-juror panel was seated and the lowest score was dropped, therefore five scores were used in determining score. This change is an alignment of the amount of scores required to determine a final score to be congruent with the number of jurors on the panel. The lowest score will no longer be dropped. When a judge associates an entry with an entrant, the judge is required to disqualify themselves from scoring an entry. When this scenario happens, the Jury Chair will enter a score for that entry. In the case of two jurors needing to disqualify themselves, the entry will be skipped until a panel with five jurors can be convened to score the entry.

  2. To further bring consistency between the District Competitions and the IPC, scores will be used to determine merit at both events. A majority of members surveyed stated that they would like the two scoring systems to be the same.

  3. The PPA Loan Collection will be determined in a different manner as well. Images scoring in the "deserving of a merit" category (80-84) will not be reviewed for the Loan Collection. Entries that receive a score of 80-84 at a District judging have the choice to send those Seal of Approval entries on to IPC for a merit towards their degree, or to break the seal to chance a higher score at IPC. 

    • Entries scoring 85-94 at the District or IPC will be reevaluated for the Loan collection at the IPC event. 
    • Entries scoring 95-100 will be automatically accepted into the Loan Collection. Entries in this scoring range from the District events will still need to be submitted to the IPC to be included in the Loan collection and to receive the merits associated with those entries.
  4. Critiques ordered in conjunction with the IPC will be produced off site from the IPC judging. Critiques ordered for both events will be available within four weeks of the competition.

  5. The review mechanism of "outs" will no longer be utilized. Currently, entries scoring 78-79 were reviewed again for merit. The introduction of the majority challenge effectively activates this review on each entry.

  6. Entries into the Artist Competition will now be required to have guide images within the entry.

  7. In the Photographic Open category, an entrant will now be required to have made all elements in the entry. Entries involving elements from other artists may be entered into the Artist Competition.

Beginning in 2018, all district competitions will utilize a minimum of two panels during their judging events. This will allow each district to continue to grow and accommodate those members who are looking to earn their Seals of Approval prior to the IPC.

Once again, PPA is looking forward to further encourage its members to take advantage of these incredible educational opportunities. Look for 2017 District Rules and Schedules this fall on

Be sure to check out the results from this year's exciting IPC

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With so many resources available online, you may be asking whether it's worth your time and money to attend Imaging USA. Especially if you are a member of PPA, you already have access to online networking and education with theLoop, PhotoVision and PPAedu. So what makes Imaging USA so special?

There's literally a bajillion reasons to go to Imaging USA, but here are 10 you can't ignore:

Sharpen Your Saw
Stephen Covey talks about this in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It's the idea that if you don't step away from your daily grind to take care of life's other needs, you won't be doing your best work. It's a simple fact that the dull saw cuts less wood.

When you socialize, learn and network with your peers at Imaging USA, you are "sharpening your saw." When you return to your studio, you'll have new ideas, inspiration and connections that will help you work more creatively and efficiently.

Your Next "Ah-Ha" Moment
You never know where your next "ah-ha" moment is going to come from. But when you're surrounded by 10,000 photographers it could come from a new friend, the keynote speaker (this year it's Mel Robbins!), a tradeshow vendor, or the photographer sitting next to you in a session. One thing for sure, you will have several of these each day, and it's all worth it!

The Value of Face-to-Face Connections
Social media has its place in keeping you connected and forums like theLoop are great if you need a quick answer. But it's hard to make a strong, lasting personal connection when you aren't meeting face-to-face. At Imaging USA you get the face time you need to make connections that will last a lifetime with speakers, vendors, other photographers, or all of the above! People do business with people they like. And when you spend several consecutive days under the same roof, strong connections are bound to happen. The benefits of your networking at Imaging USA will serve you long past the end of the conference.

That Thing You Didn't Know You Needed
You never know what you'll find on the Imaging USA EXPO tradeshow floor, but you can be sure it's the latest and greatest. After all, these vendors are in the business of providing photographers with the equipment and services they need to thrive.

And the Expo is more than just a shopping mall for photographers. It's your opportunity to get hands-on demos of the products you need, check out the winners of the International Photographic Competition and take the opportunity to discuss your specific business challenges with the vendors that can help. Oh, and the discounts that you'll find on the tradeshow floor are well worth delaying your Christmas shopping for your studio until Imaging USA! 

Get Out of the Studio
Being in the same studio or sitting in front of the same computer monitor day after day is a sure way to find yourself in a rut. A change of scenery always leads to a fresh perspective, and Imaging USA is the perfect setting to spark new ideas... photography speaking, business speaking and for your creativity in general!

Business Solutions That Work
Sometimes the problem with having the Internet at your fingertips is that there is simply too much information. How do you find the exact solution to your problem and how do you know that it will work for you.

Imaging USA can help cut through the clutter. Bring a list of your business challenges and discuss them with your fellow photographers. You're likely to find others who have successfully overcome similar challenges and you can put their ideas to work for you. Plus, all speakers are available at the end of their sessions for questions. Those of you who sign up early enough to get a portfolio review are in for a treat! And there will be even more speakers on the tradeshow floor, with mini sessions and demos, and at the IPC Merit Café on photographic competition.
The Energy of Like-Minded Individuals
At Imaging USA you will be surrounded by like-minded people who are there to learn, share and teach. It brings a new level of energy of motivation to the learning that you can never get anyplace else. You WILL end up making (new) friends for life and this WILL boost your motivation and inspiration... perfect timing to start 2017!

The Power of the Random Workshop
Attend one class outside of your specialty and find one thing from that session that you can take back for your business. It could be a new product line, a new workflow method, a bit of marketing genius or a new way to sell prints. Imaging USA has 10 educational tracks so there is bound to be something new for you. Often times we have heard of exploring classes in a track outside your day-to-day practice as becoming a game changer. News ideas, new approaches, new techniques, new best practices, all make for more inspiration, more motivation and more power to you!

Invest In Yourself
Attending Imaging USA is a small investment in yourself, and you're worth it 20 times over! Constantly learning and growing is vital to your bottom line and essential to keeping you one step ahead of your competitors. Imaging USA is organized by PPA and because PPA is a non-profit, it is able to keep the registration cost so much lower than any other conference of this caliber, that it would be a mistake not to leverage it! Don't spend top dollars with fauxtographers! Come where the real pros come year after year to learn, grow, connect and have fun! There's no way you'll regret it ? 

Photography is Your Passion
Like with any great love, you must nurture it to sustain it. Your life can get so full and hectic with all the things you have to do throughout the year. You most likely need a jolt to recharge your passion after the busy holiday season. So come join us at Imaging USA and re-discover your love of photography.

PPA is always looking for ways to get you to Imaging USA and help start your year off right each January with six days of photography fun. We are pleased to announce that, for the third year, four lucky PPA photographers will win Imaging USA scholarships and the opportunity to soak in all the fresh, new ideas available at Imaging USA 2017. They'll get full access to every session, all of the after parties and events and can freely browse the massive expo tradeshow floor. The scholarship also includes the choice of a pre-convention class that happens the Thursday, Friday or Saturday leading up to the show. 

No matter where you are in your career, there's a class for you. Pre-convention programs range from multiple-day workshops to half- and all-day classes on topics like fashion portraiture, post-processing workflow, certification process, the business of senior photography, and more! 

Plus, there are also Hands-On pre-convention classes, which take you on a photo shoot with the instructor and practice the skills you are taught with your camera right there on the spot! These classes are designed so you can attend multiple sessions during the day and get all the hands-on practice you want.

The Kickstart scholarship includes: Choice of a pre-convention class and a full Imaging USA registration all for FREE. Travel, meals, and lodging are not included. Visit for more information on hotels, travel and more. 

To apply for the scholarship, you must be an active PPA member and you can't have previously received an Imaging USA Kickstart Scholarship. Applications for the 2017 Imaging USA Kickstart Scholarship open August 1!  Applications are due by November 11, 2016. Recipients will be announced November 23 and notified via phone. 

What are you waiting for? PPA is making it SO EASY for you to attend Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio and begin next year with the knowledge and connections you need to Be More! 

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

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