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by Lindsey Forson

PPA has a full time presence on Capitol Hill fighting for the rights of professional photographers. In fact, as you read this, PPA's CEO David Trust is in Washington, D.C. meeting with key lawmakers. As we kick off our 2016 advocacy efforts, we have hope that this will be the year that a lot of hard work will pay off.
Know that PPA is fighting for your rights! This is why we want you to know exactly what the issues PPA advocates for are and why these issues have been prioritized. As a result, during the next six weeks, we'll post more updates right here, on the PPA Blog. Weekly posts will cover key priority areas of PPA's legislative advocacy efforts and provide updates on the most recent progress on Capitol Hill. You can also follow these stories on

This blog series will also offer a webinar to dig a bit deeper on the same topics and discuss strategies for grassroots advocacy. Here are the advocacy priorities you can expect to learn more about:

1.    The Creation of a Small Claims Option for Copyright Enforcement
2.    Modifications to the Copyright Registration process to create a more functional system
3.    Modernization of the United States Copyright Office

Do not miss out on these opportunities to become fully informed on these vital issues which directly affect your livelihood! The time to become educated is now - very soon PPA might be calling on you for help!

Why now?

The House Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress has executed a comprehensive review of copyright in America during the past few years. PPA has been there all the way through, speaking out for the issues most important to the industry. In the next year or two, we hope to see legislation from this committee on issues vital to photography businesses, such as those outlined above. When, exactly? No one knows - which is the reason to prepare now.

If and when any copyright legislation moves from the Committee to the House floor, PPA will call on you! We will ask each and every PPA member to contact their representatives so that our voice truly is 29,000 photographers strong. Timing is essential - so it is extremely important to time this right. But when the day comes (hopefully soon!), PPA members will be educated and prepared to fight for your rights. Do your part now by taking full advantage of PPA's educational opportunities - Be More Protected!

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator. She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for  professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.

by Lindsey Forson

There is a lot of information floating around right now regarding new FAA regulations for drone or UAS use. We want to clear a few things up for you and give you some helpful tips!

The new regulations released this week from the FAA require the registration of all Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). As of Monday, the FAA launched a very simple online registration process for hobbyist users of small UAS. There is a paper application currently available for commercial users, but it is important to note that commercial use is still only currently permitted for professional photographers who have been granted a Section 333 exemption and are licensed pilots or have exempt licensed pilots operating the UAS.

We expect the FAA to finalize new regulations for business-related use of small UAS during the first half of 2016. The FAA has also said that the online UAS registration system will be expanded to include business-related use by the spring of 2016. If you are using UAS for hobbyist or recreational purposes while awaiting new regulations for business use, be sure to register your UAS with the FAA as soon as possible. Please see our recent coverage (link to last blog post) for more information on the most recent regulatory change.

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to register your UAS after the jump:

by Lindsey Forson

You may have heard about the Copyright Review currently underway in the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives. If so, read on, as this is going to be a good update, otherwise read on, as this is stuff photographers need to know. You may be wondering what a Copyright Review on Capitol Hill could mean for you and your business. Some photographers may even be worried about potential changes to the Copyright Act, while others are excited about the prospect of improvements for small business creators. There is a lot of information floating around about this Copyright Review process and while most of it is very informative, a small amount is quite misleading.

That is why we are separating facts from fiction for you!

PPA works on advocacy in very close cooperation with several other visual arts associations. In recent PPA advocacy coverage you have likely read about the congressional briefing PPA hosted on Capitol Hill in which we included many of these organizations and the annual summit we participated in where we worked with these groups to set joint legislative priorities for the coming year. Another recent joint venture is a free webcast produced for the creative community, Copyright Reform: Separating Fact from Fiction.

We encourage professional photographers across the U.S. regardless of your specialty, to check out this series of six mini-webcasts as they will give you expert insight into just what exactly is going on up on the Hill.

The webinars are presented by two copyright esteemed experts in the field: June Besek, Executive Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School and intellectual property attorney Nancy Wolff of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear about this important topic.

PPA is extremely excited about the possibility of some real, tangible improvements to our nation's Copyright System, especially for professional photographers! With our feet on the ground on Capitol Hill, we are actively fighting for a small claims enforcement option, improvements to the registration system, and modernization of the Copyright Office that will immensely help protect, enforce and defend photographers' copyrights! You can rest assured that should anything arise from the Copyright Review that could potentially be harmful to creators, PPA is here, fighting for photographers rights in particular, visual artists rights in general!

Learn more about PPA's advocacy efforts at and Be More Protected!

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator. She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for  professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.

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by Lindsey Forson

While anxiously awaiting the new regulations from the FAA that will allow for business-related use of "drones", or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), many professional photographers have already purchased UAS to use for non-business-related aerial photography. Operating as a hobbyist gives you the opportunity to master the craft before you can integrate UAS photography into your business. Because UAS photography is soon to become even more prominent within the industry, PPA is dedicated to keeping you in the loop as regulatory changes occur!

Yesterday, the FAA released a new rule requiring the registration of all UAS. This rule becomes Federal Law on December 21, 2015. Users who do not register will be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

For small UAS, which is defined as UAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds including the camera weight, the FAA is launching a web-based registration system beginning December 21. The registration fee is $5.00, but if you register prior to January 30, your fee will be waived. Upon completing the online registration, users will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership which will include a unique identification number. The ID number must be marked on the aircraft.

This new rule, however, does not affect the legality of business-related use of UAS. "We understand that the time is now for professional photographers to have the ability to integrate this technology into their businesses," says David Trust, CEO of PPA. "PPA continues to send the message to the FAA and Congress that time is of the essence for professional photographers to stay competitive in today's industry. We are urging the FAA to finalize the new regulations as soon as possible and are advocating for regulations that are not prohibitive to photographers." Until the FAA releases new regulations for non-hobby and non-recreational use of small UAS, professional photographers may only utilize UAS in connection with their businesses if they have been granted a Section 333 exemption from the FAA and the UAS is operated by a licensed pilot. We expect the new regulations to be released during the first half of 2016.

 For this reason, the online UAS registration system currently only supports UAS used for hobby or recreational purposes. The FAA has announced that it will integrate enhancements allowing for the registration of unmanned aircraft to be used in connection with a business by spring of 2016. More information from the FAA is available here

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator. She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for  professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.

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That's right! PPA has elections and you get to vote! Starting today, April 15, PPA Council nominations will be accepted online at

Nominations Blog Graphic.JPG

But first...

What's PPA Council, you ask?

It's a delegate body that oversees PPA's bylaws. Volunteer PPA members are elected to represent their states for a 3-year period.

What does PPA Council do for YOU?

  • Assists PPA members and fellow photographers. As a group, they make decisions that guide the association.
  • Elects members to serve on the Nominating Committee and PPA's Board of Directors.
  • Approves PPA degree recipients and maintains PPA's merit system.

PPA Council Nominations will be held for each state. Who do you want to represent you? Give it some thought, and submit your nominee(s). But please, run it by them first...

You've got two weeks to submit your elected nominee(s). All nominations must be submitted by May 1, 11:59pm EST. Take advantage of this chance to give input on your state's PPA representative(s) and help shape your photographic association.

If you're not sure who a good candidate in your area would be, chat about it on theLoop and share what traits/skills you'd like your PPA representative to own.

For more information on the 2015 elections and instructions on how to nominate, please visit

Don't forget - voting opens May 15!

By: Lauren Walters

PPA CEO David Trust was in DC the past two days advocating for photographers like you! He and PPA's copyright team in D.C., the Nickles Group, had a series of meetings with Representatives of Arizona, California, Georgia, Missouri, Utah and Wyoming and Senators from Los Angeles and Oklahoma who all have a say on the FAA's proposed rules for regulating the use of drones in the United States. The proposed rules are awaiting approval and are now in a 60-day comment period, during which PPA is working diligently to pull together comments for submission.  

The revised proposal indicates good progress for Photographers. The FAA proposes and approves the rules on drones; those rules are not legislation and do not require congressional approval. Currently, the said rules categorize drones into three physical size groups. PPA is mainly concerned with regulation pertaining to small and micro drones. A small drone is classified as 55lbs or lighter, and a micro drone is 4.4lbs or lighter.

The FAA's proposed rules would require professional photographers wanting to use small drones (less than 55 lbs) to take an aeronautical skills test and obtain a permit and renew that license every two years.  There would also be a one-time registration fee of $150. With 560 testing sites, finding a testing center should be easy. PPA believes the proposed rules for small drones to be a major step in the right direction as they eliminate the current requirement that commercial drone users hold an actual pilot's license. 

The proposed rules for micro-drones (4.4 lbs or less) are even more favorable as they require no skills test.  Photographers wanting to use micro-drones in their business would have to register and self-certify that they understand the FAA's aeronautical information manual.

We are still months away before the rules are finalized, yet solid progresses are being made in the direction of photographers. Want to weigh in? Please visit the discussion on theLoop about drones, it's a dynamic one! 

Drones are the hot topic at the moment, but Trust also had discussions on copyright reform and the Next Great Copyright Act, which are still under development. 

As a PPA member, you're using some of the benefits the membership brings you and could probably leverage it a lot more. You know the value of belonging to this photography association. In fact, you probably have some photographer friends who don't belong to PPA and could use a little help with their business. 

Why are you a PPA member? People have very different reasons to join and belong to this group, but who better than existing members to get the word out? That's why PPA has developed a reward program, called the Member-2-Member Campaign, to compensate PPA members that refer fellow photographers to PPA. 

Whether the photographers in your network are new to the industry or veteran pros, we hope you will encourage them to belong to PPA! Here's how the program works: for each photographer you refer to PPA, you'll earn a $25 Visa Gift Card! The photographer you refer will also get a free all-access pass to Imaging USA 2015. Pretty good, right? Well, it gets even better:  

After 3 photographers you've referred join PPA, you'll get a $75 Visa Gift Card ($25x3) AND an all-access pass to Imaging USA 2015 (that's a $179 value!). That means that you get $75 in cash and save $179. Additionally, the friends you referred all get a free all-access Imaging USA 2015 pass. It's a win-win!

If 6 or more photographers you refer join PPA, you'll get a $150 Visa Gift Card ($25x6), plus an all-access pass to Imaging USA ($179 value), and a FREE year of PPA membership ($323 value!). Each friend still gets their all-access Imaging USA 2015 pass. You cash in $150 and save $502! Plain simple!

There's only one rule to earn the rewards: the photographers you refer must not have been a PPA member within the past year. That's it! 

Ready to start getting your photography friends to belong to PPA with you? Simply share with your friends how PPA has helped you (think PhotoCare Equipment insurance, PPAedu videos, networking opportunities, copyright guidance, inspiration, etc.). We've even put together recruitment materials to make it easier for you to discuss PPA with your friends. Heck, the free Imaging USA pass may be motivation enough! That's a $179 savings alone!

The campaign will run through December 31, 2014. Just be sure that your friends add your name as "Referring Member" on the top of the application form so you'll get credit for bringing them in. 

Find the recruitment materials and referral application on the Member-2-Member Campaign page. Get out there and invite your fellow photographers to Be More by joining PPA! 
It's Friday, which means it's time for an update on some of the great photography content we've found around the web! Here are five posts from the week of January 19, 2014 (they might have a know that awesome conference that happened last week? Yep. It was that cool!):

A first timer's perspective:
James Lout came to Arizona both a PPA and an Imaging USA newbie. Read about meeting his photographic idols and all of his experiences here.

Video blog:
You may have heard, Kenny Rogers was at Imaging USA! He accepted his honorary masters of photography, presented a Q&A with John Sexton (Imaging USA speaker) and was gracious enough to do some press. Check out the press room interview here!

Phoenix: Through Imaging USA's eyes:
Did you Instragram all over Phoenix? Check if your pics made the Downtown Phoenix Journal blog here! They did a compilation of their fav photos, plucked from the social web. 

Escape from Wisconsin:
Ellie and Emily escaped the frozen tundra of Waupun, Wisconsin to head to Phoenix. See how they experienced the show and some of the great images they captured while taking advantage of their new surroundings! 

Live from the Expo Floor:
The fine folks over at B&H made the rounds, talking to folks on the Imaging Expo floor. Check out what they discovered in their video blogs here

And for more behind the scenes content, video wrap ups and photos, visit! We'll be uploading more content throughout the week, so check back often! 
theLoop, PPA's exclusive social network for professional photographers, has been busy in September! Remember, theLoop is only available to PPA members, so don't worry about asking those tough questions you wouldn't want your clients to see. The best part? Now you can stay connected on-the-go with your pro photographer community, asking (and answering) questions, share ideas and even submit images for a peer critique with theLoop's new app for Android & iPhone devices. 

For those of you who are new to theLoop, or those who haven't had a chance to check-in lately, there are some amazing threads going on as we head into October. Here are our 5 favorites:

Weigh in with the pros and cons of what happens when you're in a situation with low light and no walls or ceiling to bounce from. High ISO? Slow speed? Large aperture? Join the conversation to see how you can improve your craft. 

There was photography before PhotoShop (no really, there was!), but how in the world did they did post editing? See how the industry has changed - consider it a mini history lesson, but with terms like "nose grease".

Sometimes bartering is a part of the business, but some offers are just absurd. What's the worst proposition you've received? 

Do your friends and families try to tell you that Groupon, Living Social, ScoutMob or other deal sites are great ways to boost your business? Check out this thread to give them eloquent reasons why it might hurt more than it helps. 

If you're coming to Imaging USA (and you should!), there's no better way to save some dough than by finding a roommate. Think of it like summer camp, but with better parties, more education and less bugs. Use the Imaging USA thread on theLoop to find a suitable bunk mate and book your room at any of the three IUSA hotels! 

loop_slider_2012.pngEver wish there was an online hangout exclusively for pro photographers? Wish granted. Let me introduce you to theLoop--it's THE social network for professional photographers, and it's waiting for you! (Well, it is if you're a PPA member.)

Need professional advice? Want to share an accomplishment or an inspiration? Now you can! TheLoop makes it easier than ever to connect with your fellow professional photographers in a safe place. Not only can you trade thoughts or ideas with your peers, you can discuss sensitive topics like customer service, dealing with demanding clients, and best practices without fear of being exposed to potential customers or other vendors.

If you're ready to get in theLoop and explore, here are the three super-simple steps to get started:

  • Log in to (use your normal PPA login information).
  • Read & accept the Official Etiquette Guide that will pop up on your screen (you only have to do this once).
  • Watch the "Welcome to theLoop" video for tips & start building your profile!
We can't wait to see you in theLoop!

About this Archive

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

PPA Merits and Degrees is the previous category.

PPAedu is the next category.

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