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By Chris Homer

PPA's See The Difference® campaign is dedicated to helping PPA members show potential clients the value of hiring a professional photographer over a hobbyist or an amateur. To help photographers educate their clients, PPA continues to provide a whole host of resources, including downloadable videos that you can add to your website if you are with PPA. 

That's right! PPA photographers now have access to almost a dozen videos; some generic in scope to target any client, and some that showcase specific photography specialties, such as wedding, family, high school seniors and pets. These messaging videos are designed to appeal to consumers' emotions by showing them real clients who share their stories and talk about why it's so important to hire (and pay for) a professional photographer.

Find out why you should add one of these videos to your website below:

If you're a PPA member, grab the video for your needs and put it on your website or blog today! Be sure to check out the other See The Difference resources as well. There you will find customizable brochures, See The Difference logos, and side-by-side comparisons that can all help educate your clients. The more photographers we have share this kind of message, the stronger the stance of professional photographers, so start using the resources now. Remember that you've got to be a PPA member to access these resources, so join today!

About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.

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Happy Halloween! We hope your October was filled with Halloween candy, and wonderful clients! There were some stellar conversations happening on theLoop - here are the ones that stood out the most:

Continuing education is a huge part of what makes a pro a pro! Where do you go to learn even more? Check out this great thread on what your best options are as a PPA photographer!

Are you an Amazon Prime/Cloud subscriber? See what benefits and restrictions there are with this cloud based storage system, as well as others on the market. 

Any school photographer knows there can be pain when it comes to resizing for yearbooks. Help one photographer overcome some issues with wonky images here. 

Making any gear purchase can be an exhausting experience. How do you know you're getting the best product for your needs? Help one photographer pick a softbox for her outdoor sessions and weigh in with your own favorites!

How do you photograph a white product on a white background? It can cause a whole host of problems! See how one photographer is looking to overcome this issue. 

Could your post processing use an upgrade? Read this thread and pick up on some new tips and tricks from Lightroom and Photoshop!

Take to the friendly skies in this thread. Photographing airplanes on the ground is one thing, but in action is completely different! How would you suggest this photographer make it work? 

It's great to get some good press and get your name out there, but how can you best leverage it? Dive in to this copyright question about sharing the work you've done for a publication on your website. 

Remember to check out theLoop, a safe and protected online community where PPA members can discuss a range of photography topics. Not a PPA member, join here!

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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 Sarahs 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 John Owens

It's inevitable--fall/winter (and flu season) is coming, and when it hits, it hits hard. And having to wait a couple of days to see a doctor or not finding the time during business hours to make your way to see one can take a toll!

So this might not seem like much, but here's a real-life solution to help photographers soften the blow: Call a Doctor Plus. This is the latest membership benefit from PPA!

Call a Doctor Plus can save you both time and money when you're not feeling well or have health questions. This telemedicine solution can get you answers, assistance, and even simple prescriptions just by picking up the phone. Consultations are available via a quick call, online or through Call a Doctor Plus's mobile app. This service is available to anyone, but Teladoc agreed to provide this service to PPA members at a very small monthly fee!

What's Call a Doctor Plus?

If you've ever tried to photograph pets in a portrait session, you understand they can be a little difficult to control. We took the topic of pet photography to theLoop to get some tips to get you started - and this is what we found:

  • 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

It's always good to know that even with the best intentions, sometimes things go awry. Here are two great stories from Margaret and Frederick on interesting pet photo sessions!

"I was having a devil of a time getting a dog to look at me. He wasn't scared, just not interested. Noises didn't get him interested and all of my other tricks didn't work either. However, the dog was crazy about a laser pointer. But a dog chasing a laser pointer is looking at the ground not at me. So I put on a hat and put a piece of 8.5x11 card stock standing up in the brim, kind of like the badge on the front of a fireman's helmet.  I had my animal assistant get the dog's attention with the laser pointer and slowly move the red dot from the floor up to the white card stock above my face. The dog's eyes followed the red dot. It got the dog to look at me and I got the shot. Necessity really is the mother of invention!" Margaret Bryant

"Many years ago, I was asked to photograph a grand national champion Paso Fino, circa 1988. I had an auto film advance on my camera. The stallion was groomed to the hilt and we were shooting in a corral surrounded by six foot high wooden fencing. I was asked by the owner Mr. Diaz if I were at all afraid of horses. I assured him I was not. All of the handlers gathered on the fence while I went out and stood in the middle of the corral with my camera ready. They long reigned "Bueno" to the entry and took off the tack so he could run and show off. We were in the golden hour, so the sunlight would rake across this incredible horse. Bueno ran past me at a trot, I snapped away, at the far end, he turned and showed the whites of his eyes while he sniffed and did a snort. 
The Paso Fino breed has a long wild looking mane and equally dramatic long tail. This all added to the drama of his turns. Then, he dead on charged me. I mean, hammering the dirt, pounding, digging, angry all in charge. I stood perfectly still and continued to shoot, he cut out at the last moment, kicking dirt up, again, adding drama to my photos. This charging occurred three more times and they finally let him out. The grooms all looked at me as if I had a death wish. "Fred, no one gets in the corral with Bueno like that. No one ever!" It was interesting that they hadn't explained that first. Mr. Diaz was very pleased with the results and also commissioned an oil painting for his trophy room. That's my pet story." Frederick Dunn

Have any great pet photography tips or stories? Share them on theLoop! Remember, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not part of PPA? Be More Connected: 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 Sarahs 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 John Owens

What's PPA's Indemnification Trust, you ask? It's a legal safety blanket provided by PPA to help PPA photographers if they are ever accused of malpractice. The "Trust" has your back in instances such as equipment malfunction, an error or unsatisfied clients (like the infamous Bridezilla), and even data loss.

Want proof? Take a few minutes to watch Abbie's true story and learn how the Trust came to her rescue. This is one of these PPA benefits that you never really pay attention to... until you really need it. 


Have you ever been in a similar situation or one where you think the Indemnification Trust could have bailed you out of expensive fees? 

Go to to learn the step-by-step process to file a claim . Being aware of this benefit and knowing what to do will help you Be More Prepared and Be More Protected. Not to mention that it will save you a lot of hair pulling if one day Murphy's Law strikes at your door.

What if you are not a PPA photographer? Consider joining PPA, because having this benefit alone could save your entire business. Plus, you'll get many other membership benefits. There is so much value in  being a part of the world's largest photography association. Take a peek

PPA has your back! Be More Protected.


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 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


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?!

To help you see for yourself, Bank of America is offering free statement comparisons. Call 888-317-5402 (7am-7pm CST) or email

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.



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.
Liability Insurance can be purchased as an add-on to coverage included in PPA membership


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


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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!  

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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

About this Archive

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

PPA Member Alert is the previous category.

PPA Member Brag Book is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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