- Wear comfortable clothes and get down on the ground at pet level. Avoid a bunch of photos of the top of dog heads. Number two - be patient. Patrick Grannan
- For dogs, it's all about their comfort. They love to perform and interact with their owners. Watch and wait and you will see certain behaviors and expressions. They are easy enough to capture when they happen if you can predict the moment. Eugene Lugo
- Don't even think about doing pets until you love animals - they will feed off your discomfort and the distrust will be evident in your images. You need to connect. Eugene Lugo
- The main thing when working with pets is patience! No matter how well behaved, they don't understand photography. By staying with it and working with the pet you'll always come out with some great images. However, their attention span is only so long.(I've had models like that). Keith Ibsen
- Cats are all about comfort - but the older ones are wary and quite self-aware and are more difficult because the body language is far more subtle. Regardless, if you watch and wait, you'll see what you're looking for. Kittens are easier in some respects, but you need to be fast on your feet. Eugene Lugo
- Don't let the owner become frustrated or anxious, the animal will know. Also, photograph the dogs with their people. A lot of dog photographers don't do that and it is missed revenue. Margaret Bryant, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
- Limit the number of people you have trying to get the pet to perk up and pay attention... the fewer distractions, the more apt the cat or dog will key on you/the camera. Let cats sniff you first. You don't want the "airplane ears" look of distrust. Frederick Dunn
PPA Today: PPA Member Benefits Archives
Recently in PPA Member Benefits Category
John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burger.
The process of getting paid shouldn't pull ridiculous amounts of money out of your pocket.
PPA photographers can take advantage of a member benefit to save on credit card processing fees. PPA has negotiated deeply discounted processing rates through Bank of America Merchant Services. Watch the quick (<one minute) video below and visit ppa.com/BAMS to learn more so you can Be More Business-Savvy.
Call a Doctor Plus, the latest membership benefit from PPA, can save photographers both time and money when they're not feeling well or have health questions. For a modest monthly fee, PPA members can simply pick up the phone or log on to a website to get answers, assistance, and even prescriptions.
Call a Doctor Plus is a health and wellness telemedicine program that provides patients with effective, immediate access to medical goods and services. There are no copays, deductibles or per-call charges. Photographers who are members of PPA get service for an exclusive low monthly subscription.
Call a Doctor Plus provides 24/7 access to U.S. certified physicians who can diagnose and prescribe over the phone or through an online chat. Prescriptions are sent directly to the patient's local pharmacy, and records are sent to their primary physician. The benefit covers up to five dependents at no extra cost.
One member who's already used the service gives it a thumbs-up. "I requested a consultation online and was called by a doctor within 5-10 minutes," she said. "After providing a brief description of my symptoms, I was diagnosed with an acute upper respiratory infection. The doctor sent a prescription to my local pharmacy, and I had the medicine in hand less than an hour after I called."
Read more about the service at PPA.com/CADR+.
By John Owens
Hundreds of dollars isn't a savings to scoff at, especially for small business owners like professional photographers. And if you're with PPA, you could already be saving too!
PPA got its members crazy low credit card processing rates by negotiating deeply discounted rates for PPA photographers with Bank of America Merchant Services. Members that have already made the switch already started saving hundreds. Some, even thousands!
How much savings? Here's some math you won't hate: PPA photographers get interchange plus 0.07% + a flat $0.07 fee per transaction. That equals one of the lowest credit card processing rates out there and more importantly, the potential for big savings for you!
There are NO pesky monthly fees, unless you add the option to process mobile transactions, and that's only $9.95 per month.
Your savings will vary depending on how many transactions you process each month, but any extra funds add up fast. So fast, that this PPA perk alone is paying for the annual membership of a lot of busy full time photographers! How cool would it be if your membership paid for itself like that?!
These low rates are REALLY hard to beat; you'll most likely save a large amount of cash each month if you make the switch. Compare now how much you could save now, it's free! At PPA we're here to help you Be More Profitable.
PPA and partner Lockton Affinity, LLC, have reduced liability insurance rates for PPA photographers from $289 a year down to $236.
"This new rate is a huge deal for PPA photographers," said Kristen Hartman, PPA director of member value and experience. "It makes our liability insurance one of the most affordable out there for small businesses. We recommend all of our members get this extra coverage. In fact, many venues will require that photographers have it."
PPA's general liability policy is there for photographers in case a client or anyone is injured or if any property is damaged while on a shoot. In these instances--the photographer could be held responsible for damages and that means thousands of dollars in reparation or worse, legal battles. Some examples include if a client trips over a light and injures their arm, or the photographer backs up too far a knocks over a vase. That's where the liability insurance comes in.
"If something bad happens and the photographer is held responsible, it could be financially crippling," said Hartman. "This insurance is another way PPA protects photographers. Liability insurance is a great thing to have in your back pocket, as bad things do happen.
"It's important to note that liability insurance is not what most photographers currently think they have. It's different than home owners insurance, business insurance, or even equipment insurance, but it is much needed protection, especially for event photographers."
Lockton Affinity, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockton Companies (the world's largest privately held insurance brokerage firm) and is dedicated exclusively to the administration of insurance programs for associations, franchises, professional organizations and other affinity groups. Lockton Affinity designed for PPA a unique insurance program to meet the insurance needs of PPA photographers.
PPA's general liability insurance covers PPA photographers for up to $1 million per occurrence with a $2 million aggregate limit. For more information visit PPA.LocktonAffinity.com/BusinessLiability.htm.
By: Lauren Walters
If you missed Imaging USA, you might not have heard the news: PhotoVision is now a PPA membership benefit! What does this mean? It means that PPA photographers now have full access to PhotoVision's monthly streaming at no additional cost. It now comes included with your PPA membership!
PhotoVision is the popular bi-monthly DVD and streaming photography learning program founded by Ed Pierce, M.Photog.Cr. For 17 years, PhotoVision has offered photographers professional education and solutions through cinematic-quality HD videos from some of the biggest names in photography.
"Bringing PhotoVision under the PPA umbrella takes our educational offerings to another level and furthers PPA's mission to raise the bar in our ever-growing industry," said David Trust, CEO.
What exactly does PhotoVision do for you as a photographer?
PhotoVision videos feature tips, processes and techniques from real, working, successful professional photographers. The videos expand and strengthen the professional photography industry as a whole, aligning well with PPA's mission to do the same.
Ed Pierce will continue to produce PhotoVision's videos. "Nobody does this better than Ed," said David Trust, CEO. "He is the gold standard and it is a lot of fun work so closely with him on this." While PhotoVision continues to operate as its separate entity, PPA photographers now can tap into PhotoVision's entire library of 800+ videos through PhotoVision's 24/7 monthly streaming.
"PPA members are always seeking to grow as artists and business professionals," said Angela Kurkian, director of education. "I'm so excited we're able to offer this under the PPA umbrella of benefits. PhotoVision offers such a wealth of information, it's easy to access and this is the type quality learning our members look for."
Photographers who belong to PPA also receive 50% off all PhotoVision DVDs. Non PPA photographers can still subscribe to or renew with PhotoVision at their current rates.
For more information, visit PPA.com/PhotoVision.
Are you familiar with the health insurance options available to you as a PPA member? PPA can help you and your family find affordable medical and dental insurance in your area.
The open enrollment period for qualified Health Insurance Plans began on November 15, 2014. We are very excited to announce that this year, several healthcare providers who chose to sit out last year and not offer plans, have now chosen to get back in. This is great news for you, as more competition amongst insurance companies goes a long way in keeping your policy premiums down.
Here are the important deadlines from healthcare.gov:
- December 15, 2014: The last date to enroll for coverage that starts January 1, 2015
- December 31, 2014: Date when all 2014 Marketplace coverage ends, no matter when you enrolled
- January 1, 2015: The date 2015 coverage can start if you apply by December 15, 2014, or if you accept automatic enrollment in your 2014 plan or a similar plan
- February 15, 2015: The last day to enroll in 2015 coverage. If you miss this deadline, you can't sign up for a health plan inside or outside the Marketplace for the rest of 2015. The only exception is if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Let's talk business! We understand that you got into the business of photography because of
the pictures. You're an artist, and that's what you want to focus on. We also understand that dealing with the daily minutiae of running a business can be time consuming and take away from what you're truly passionate about. To remedy those business blues, PPA would like to remind you that there are tons of discounts and perks to being a part of our 27,000 member family!
The Allied Business Network (ABN) benefit can help you save huge on everything from office supplies, travel and promo products, printing and more. ABN negotiates discounts (from 5% - 85%) with vendors you actually WANT to do business with, including:
Hertz - Up to 20% off
Hit the road, Jack! Take your business where it needs to go and get up to a 20% discount off every rental, free enrollment in the Business Rewards program and access to even more discounts.
Hotels - Up to 20% off
Save 10% on your Motel 6 reservation with your member code, 10% off Red Roof Inn hotel rooms, and up to 20% off the best available rate on every hotel stay in Wyndham Hotels (from Days Inn to Ramada)...all as a member of ABN through PPA!
Office Depot - Up to 85% off
Save up to 85% on office supplies and more, get special coupons and discounts, and enjoy free next-day delivery on orders of $50 or more. There's no better time to stock up!
4imprint - 10% off
Save on client gifts, jackets for your staff, or pens to rep your business name or logo. Heck, go ahead and get all three. You can afford to, since PPA members get a 10% discount on everything--even what's on sale.
Don't delay your business' success any longer! Find out how to use these discounts (and more), and become an Allied Business Network member for free.
A New Era for Credit Card Processing Rates and a Reality for PPA Photographers
Buckle up for some big news everyone: PPA has joined forces with Bank of America to offer
what is potentially your most money-saving benefit yet. Get ready to be even more profitable!
This new benefit means massively discounted rates on credit card processing for all PPA photographers. If you sell prints online, accept credit card payments at your studio or process mobile transactions, this could mean huge, tangible, cost-of-doing-business savings.
Now, you're probably thinking, Sounds good, but how does it save me money?
Here's the breakdown: PPA is able to offer these deeply discounted rates because we use Bank of America (BOA) Merchant Services too! Like, a lot (several thousand transactions each month). Since there are 27,000+ PPA photographers and most of you renew each year, Bank of America agreed to extend our volume discount to all of you.
That's right, this means that PPA photographers will be able to get the same low credit card transaction processing rate that's normally reserved to very-large size businesses! That's the benefit you reap from belonging to the world's largest photography nonprofit!
That incredibly low rate should help you save a good bit by reducing the so-called interchange fees you end up paying anytime you use a credit card processing service. These are the pesky fees you pay to a bank when you accept a credit card payment.
Bank of America's reduced pricing for PPA photographers puts your rate at interchange plus a crazy low 0.07 percent with a flat hard-to-beat $0.07 per transaction fee. It's easy to do the math and figure out you've got big savings headed your way.
At the end of the day, photographers always end up eating the cost of these pesky fees. With that in mind, and to give you an example of just how much cash savings this can represent, we asked two PPA photographers to send us a month's credit card processing statement with their current service provider. Kelly Sullivan, the point of contact for all PPA-related business at Bank of America, then plugged the numbers in and the comparative results blew us away.
The first photographer's previous merchant charged a converted interchange rate of 0.73%. With the new PPA discounted rate of 0.07% (see the difference?), that studio shaves off about $2,500 per year in credit card processing fees. That alone would pay for your PPA membership for the next 7 consecutive years! (or some new gear, I know, I know...)
"This first studio is on tiered pricing for their credit card transaction fees and their pricing structure is interchange plus, so the savings is going to be approximate and not exact. With that said, our [BOA] pricing model is showing that if this studio was on the new PPA program, they would save $2,500 per year (based on their current credit card transaction volume). For this PPA member, that amount represents 3 months of free credit card processing services!"
The second PPA photographer would save even more: $3,000!
"This Square* user would save about $3,000 per year with the new PPA discount. Since Square charges 2.75% for all card types, no matter what interchange level they fall to, BOA's discount will represent significant savings to any photography studio that uses Square. To give you an idea, the wholesale cost of a regulated debit card is 0.05% and $0.22 per transaction. Since PPA's preferred pricing is interchange plus 0.07% and $0.07, we would charge 0.12% and $0.29 on this same transaction. Take, for example, an average sale of $500. With Square, that would cost $13.75 (or 2.75%). With the BOA PPA discount, the photographer would only play $0.89 on that same transaction. That's a difference of $12.86 on this one example alone!"
[* - For those unfamiliar, Square is a popular, easy-to-use credit card processor, but they charge a very high 2.75% processing rate.]
These aren't shrug-your-shoulder savings, this is big time. We hope you'll consider learning more about the program and checking out how much money you could save. Kelly Sullivan at Bank of America is offering free statement comparisons. That 0.07 rate plus $0.07 per transaction is so hard to beat; they will most likely save you a large about of cash each month.
Call or email .
Be More Business-Savvy!
And if all that sounds too good to be true, ask your credit card company to match that rate and see what they say. Trust us, it's not. It's your newest PPA member benefit. We've told you before and we won't stop: PPA has your back.