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By James Yates
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As a member of PPA, you've got a virtual suit-of-armor surrounding you. It's the PPA Shield, and it has you covered on all sides.

That's (one of the) the advantages of belonging to an organization that's had photographers backs and that helps you be more profitable. PPA's protection benefits include various forms of insurance, advocacy and education:

•    Up to $15,000 of PhotoCare Equipment Insurance

•    Malpractice, Negligence & Data Loss Protection (PPA's Indemnification Trust)

•    Up to $2 million in General Liability Coverage

•    Copyright Kit, Copyright Infringement Tool, & Advocacy Updates 

•    Drone (UAS) News & Updates

When stuff hits the fan, and it always, inevitably does, professional photographers know that they have a strong shield protecting them with their PPA membership. The three forms of photographic insurance combine to keep you fully protected no matter what the situation. If you break your camera or it's stolen from your car? Be sure you've activated your PhotoCare! Have an unsatisfied client or did you lose all the data on your hard drive? PPA's Indemnification Trust is like malpractice protection for professional photographers. Did someone get hurt or something get destroyed on your shoot? General Liability Coverage can handle that.

You also need a way to cut through the clutter surrounding legal issues and PPA has positioned itself as the top authority on all things Drone and Copyright-related. For instance, did you know that it is only currently legal to operate a drone as a hobbyist? If you're using your drone for commercial or civil use, you must have an FAA exemption and a pilot's license. Didn't know that? It's just one more way PPA wants to keep you informed, in order to keep you legally protected. PPA consistently brings you updates from the FAA, and lobbies for the relaxing of commercial-drone-use. This summer should bring the changes we've been waiting for. Head over to PPA.com/Drones for all the latest details.

Stay up-to-date on all the progress PPA is making on Copyright issues and the implementation of new copyright law at PPA.com/Advocacy. Feel like you've been infringed upon or had your works of art stolen? PPA will protect you with our Copyright Kit and new self-assessment tool at PPA.com/Copyright. The new tool is a great way to learn how to proceed if you feel your photos have been lifted. It's easy to use, quick and painless...because having your work stolen is painful enough!

The next time you're feeling vulnerable or overwhelmed by everything life can throw at a small business owner, lean on your PPA membership and feel secure. Let PPA Be Your Shield! Find out how you and your photography business can Be More Protected with PPA! PPA.com/Protection.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames 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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By Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for copyrighticon.png

As part of April's increased copyright awareness efforts, PPA's government affairs team created two new copyright webinars. The webinars are available through PPAedu and were created to help you increase your copyright knowledge and protection efforts.

Copyright Basics: What Every Professional Photographer Needs to Know provides a brief overview of photographic copyright. Though this is not an incredibly exciting topic, copyright is something that you, as a professional photographer, should have at least basic understanding of. By tuning in, you will learn the basics of federal copyright law and how it affects your business. The webinar also provides an overview of how to protect your copyright and how to recognize and deal with copyright infringements. Finally, you will learn how to access and take advantage of PPA's copyright resources. You may have tuned into this webinar in the past, but now there's an updated version on PPAedu.

Ten Tips for Protecting Your Copyright presents the nuts and bolts of image protection. As a professional photographer, you want to protect your photographs from copyright infringements but may not be sure of what steps you can take. From educating your clients to registering your work, this webinar gives you the tools you need to make sure your photos are as safe as possible.

These webinars do not present legal advice but are full of useful educational information. Don't miss out - take advantage of this opportunity to fine-tune your copyright knowledge! Check out PPA's helpful Copyright Tool and Kit at PPA.com/Copyright. And stay up-to-date with all of PPA's Copyright advocacy efforts at PPA.com/Advocacy.


Thumbnail image for Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!
by Lindsey ForsonThumbnail image for Capitol_Copyright_Blog.jpg

Copyright protection is vital to professional photographers. It is what preserves the value of your creations and, without it, a photography business could be very difficult to maintain. Many people think of copyright as something that only really affects rich and famous, Hollywood creators. But we know better!

We know that, more than anything else, copyright is a small business issue.  PPA works year-round to spread this message and to fight for vital improvements to America's copyright system. In honor of April's World Copyright Day, we have gone the extra mile this month - but we need your help!

What is PPA doing?

As always, we are advocating on Capitol Hill for copyright improvements that are essential to professional photographers. At the center of our advocacy is the creation of a copyright small claims option for infringement claims.  We are also sending the message to the public that copyright protects small businesses across the country, and therefore, respecting copyright law is essential to our economy. PPA circulates copyright-related press releases to the media and welcomes copyright-related inquiries from consumers and photo retailers. Through this process, we provide resources which educate the public on copyright law and connect consumers with copyright owners of images they wish to have reproduced.

What's new?

Just this month, PPA launched our new Copyright Infringement Help Tool - an interactive resource available to PPA members 24/7 to help you deal with the unauthorized uses of your work. We released a Copyright FAQ section on the website which gives you simple answers to your most common copyright questions. Also launched this month is a new website, CopyrightDefense.com, which provides resources to policy-makers and other interested parties related to top advocacy priorities for the visual arts community. On this website you will find a video entitled, "Who is the Copyright Holder Next Door?" The video provides compelling insight into copyright as a small business issue.





How can you help?

The most important thing you can do is protect your own copyright. Begin with your PPA Copyright Kit to reinforce your copyright knowledge. Be sure to educate your clients about copyright and how it relates to the products they purchase. Keep up with PPA's advocacy efforts at PPA.com/Advocacy, and be sure your voice is heard when the time is right. In honor of World Copyright Day, take it a step or two further! Have a conversation about how copyright protects your business with at least one friend, family member, or person you come in contact with. Share PPA's new video with your social media networks with your own copyright story or personal message.

Copyright protection is important today and every day. PPA's voice is 29,000 strong - so let's work together to create awareness!  And don't forget to take advantage of your PPA copyright resources which can all be accessed at PPA.com/Copyright.


Lindsey_9955e_bw_cr.jpgLindsey Forson is PPA's Manager of Government Affairs. She works alongside our CEO to fight for the rights of professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep PPA members informed on the issues that affect your businesses. Lindsey helps PPA advocate for stronger copyright protection, improved drone regulations, and other small-business issues affecting the industry. When not on Capitol Hill or at PPA headquarters, you can typically find Lindsey on a soccer field, at an Atlanta restaurant or market, or cheering on the Auburn Tigers!
by James Yates21738677.jpg

PPA members are totally PAWsome! Many of you have dived, heart first, into the pawsitively wonderful world of pet photography. In order to support our fur-friendly photogs, PPA added pet photography to its list of specialties in its See The Difference campaign.
See The Difference is PPA's online, print and social media awareness campaign that aims to help consumers "see the difference" when evaluating photographers... and realize the importance of hiring a pro. The campaign also gives PPA photographers FREE marketing tools to help with their sales processes and justify their costs, quality, and expertise.

As part of See The Difference, PPA periodically writes feature stories that are picked up by 1,000s of national and regional online and print news organizations with the explicit goal of teaching consumers the value of choosing a professional for their photography needs.
 
With the help of PPA pet photographers Kristin Adams, Barbara Brady-Smith, Barbara Breitsameyer, Mary Anne Broderick, Margaret Bryant, Julie Clegg and Kim Hartz, PPA wrote a See The Difference feature story called 7 Keys to a Pawfect Pet Session. The story was picked up by 1,084 online publications with a combined online audience of over 50 million. Photos from these talented photographers were used to illustrate the story and further hone the importance of using professional photography. Check out the whole story from some of the many sites that are hosting the article: the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Gate, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Orlando Sentinel.
 
Inside you'll find great info on these seven tips for consumers along with some awesome photos like the one above ©Bryant Dog Photography!:
 
1. Hire a photographer who specializes in pet photography.
2. Plan for patience.
3. The puppy/kitten window is as small as they are...start planning ASAP!
4. Try to capture every stage of your pet's life.
5. Plan the session to fit your pet's schedule.
6. An illuminated solution...the right light makes all the difference.
7. It's all in the eyes!

This is only one of 12 stories that PPA will push out each month in an effort to show consumers that professional photographers are worth the investment.
 
Want your photos considered for stories like these? Fill out this form today and we'll contact you if your images are selected!

James.JPGJames 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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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BizChallenge_blogpost_650x160.jpg103 PPA photographers quietly kicked off the new PPA Business Challenge in February. Since then, two more groups have gotten underway with well over 300 participants at PPA.com/Challenge.

The Business Challenge helps photographers improve their business by building a stronger foundation with a focus on sustainability and profitability. The April group has already experienced two weeks of business-changing assignments, Q&A webinars, inspiration, check-ins, recaps and mark-your-calendar alerts. It's a great way to confidently build your business and not go it alone!

#1 No nonsense business advice
Led by PPA Director of Education Angela Kurkian, this 12-month Business Challenge is THE place to come for small-business help specifically developed for photographers. It is a sound framework to help PPA photographers steer their studios in the right direction. Don't be afraid to take the Challenge! Kurkian explains, "A lot of the things (the participants) are nervous about are things that being a member of PPA will help with (i.e. pricing, marketing, value through certification and becoming better at the craft of photography through photographic competition)."

#2 Peer-to-peer support group & accountability
The Business Challenge was developed to help hold photographers accountable in their attempts to improve their studios. One of the most popular and rewarding components of the Business Challenge in that regard are the questions and answers in the forums, where Kurkian poses questions to the group for an honest, frank discussion among peers. The questions can be complex, or as simple as "What are you afraid of?"

Here are some examples of the candid answers pulled from the group:

Q: What are you afraid of? What stops you from taking action?

"Will people value me?"

"My biggest fear is that I'm going to fail and look like a complete fool for even trying. I worry that my work isn't worth anything, that my peers view me as just another mom with a camera, and that I won't earn their respect; and I worry that I'll never find a client that values my work."

"I worry that maybe I AM talented but I'll let my fears squander it away or that my lack of business acumen will outweigh that talent."

"People will not pay our prices and will go with cheaper alternatives. People do not value our art or our time. My phone will stop ringing. We won't be able to afford/maintain our lifestyle."


But don't get too bogged down in the muck of negativity! Sharing with your peers is a wonderful way to see how alike we all are. Once these obstacles have been identified, it's only a matter of banding together and learning how to stomp it out with knowledge, hard work, and support from
PPA and your peers. We're all in this together!

#3 Safe practice for your own business
PPA is constantly developing new curriculum, offering webinars and advice to inspire and ignite the Business Challenge participants, and pushing them to greater success as artists and business people. You'll even notice Wes Roberts, who completed the Studio Makeover Challenge last year, hanging around the forums and offering great advice as someone who's been through the program.

Check back in a couple weeks, where we see what's going on with April's class one full month in...maybe some of their fears will be alleviated? (Spoiler alert: They will be!) Sign up now for the May class! Over 50 members are already on board! It's your turn to take control over your business and Be More! Sign up for free at PPA.com/Challenge.

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By James YatesThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for copyrighticon.png

By now you know PPA is always fighting for your rights on Capitol Hill, lobbying and advocating for improvements to copyright registration and the modernization of the copyright office (including a small claims option).

We're pretty proud of the "big-picture" ways that we're working to improve your business's sustainability and profits, but there's a smaller, peer-to-peer way that PPA has helped, behind the scenes, for years: assessing whether or not members' works have been infringed.

In the old days (up until this month), if a PPA member felt their work may have been lifted without their permission, they would call and speak directly to our Government Affairs Coordinator. The GAC would walk each caller through the appropriate steps of determining if the use of a work was a violation of copyright law and what the next steps to take were.

Now, in honor of World Copyright Day being right around the corner (April 23rd), PPA is unveiling our newest member tool: the Copyright Infringement Assistance tool! This fast and easy tool does, online and in minutes, what the GAC used to do over the phone. Call it the "scaling up" of helping our members. With the new tool, if you think you've been infringed upon, you only have to answer 2-3 questions and the tool will generate specific help for you, including DCMA takedown notices, certified letters to the infringing parties or letting you know when it's time to contact an attorney.

If you feel your work has been infringed upon, but you don't know what to do about it, PPA can help with our Copyright Infringement Assistance tool. It's designed to point you in the right direction, with steps you can take to stop the infringement! It's quick and painless...because having your art stolen is painful enough! Come see how it all works, and also get your hands on our Copyright Kit and see Anne Geddes speak on the subject, at PPA.com/Copyright.

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By Sarah Ackerman

Drone photography has been a hot topic for some time! What are the rules and regulations of drone use? Can you use it legally for commercial purposes? What are the best kinds of drones to buy for when it eventually becomes legal? Etc. 

In order to better inform PPA photographers, and to keep them legal and ahead of the game, we created a Drone Photography community on theLoop, PPA's  unique, exclusive online community for members. By posting vetted articles, answering your specific questions and keeping you up-to-date on rules and regulations, we're excited to keep PPA photographers legal and ahead of the curve!

Consider joining the Drone Photography community today if you want to learn more about this rapidly evolving field of photography! Regulatory changes could be happening as early as next month!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 

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By Sarah Ackerman

In the ever-changing world of photography, we know that everyone has questions. And what better place to get those questions answered than on theLoop? Today we're highlighting a conversation about wedding attire. It sounds pretty simple, but as you gaze into your closet, what's really the appropriate dress for the occasion? We can generally rule out a poofy white dress (can't outshine your clients!), but there's a huge range between that and shorts and a t-shirt. 

Here's what your fellow Loopers had to say:

Kevin Thomas: "Hi Everyone, What do y'all wear when shooting a wedding?  I'm torn between: my roots - looking like banker: conservative suit and tie, white shirt and a traditional photographer - black suit, black tie, black shirt. Am I over-thinking this?"

Mark Harrington, CPP: "I always wear black because I was taught you want to blend into the background of the video or guest photos. I don't usually wear a jacket, rather a black dress shirt, slacks and a conservative tie. My logo is embroidered on my shirt in a dark grey above the pocket. This separates me from the guests and helps when navigating behind the curtains at the venue."

Randy Frum:  "Same for me. Black dress shirt/tie/pants. I usually blend right in with the wait staff. Lol."

By Sarah Ackerman

With Easter just around the corner, the debate on using live animals in studio always makes an appearance. We asked on theLoop, "Have you ever used live animals for your shoots? What kind of precautions do you take to ensure the animal's and subject's safety?

Here's what your fellow photographers had to say:

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Tracey Luttgens of Braselton, GA: "I have used a bunny in the past for Easter sessions. It was at a pet store and the bunny was from a rescue group, and was up for adoption. For most of the sessions the bunny was in a basket and was allowed to be pet but not held so there was less chance of injury to the bunny or the children. If the child was older, then they were allowed to hold the bunny for one image. I now mainly photograph pets so won't be offering bunny sessions this year. I have also found many life like bunny and chick props to use instead. For me, safety of the animals and my clients are always more important than the "cute" factor of the shot! One bit of information I learned :if you do plan to use "live Animals that are not the clients" in many states you will need a permit from the USDA."

Joanne Fabian of Souderton, PA: "I have not [used live animals], but heard stories in Boston during college where the photographers would do the sessions then take the bunnies out and let them go in the woods after the season! Having been bought from a store, these poor creatures never would have been able to survive in the wild. I hope what you hear is with a responsible plan of what to do with the animals afterwards." 

She went on to say "I forgot to add the one guy did not feed them or give them water either so there was no chance of them making a mess. Can you imagine. He was fined when it was reported. No animal rights groups were active in the 70's I guess."

Dianna Griffin of Marysville, OH: "You can purchase life-like bunnies and chicks from any reputable photography prop store. I bought a set of 3 bunnies years ago and they were only $38.00 for the set. No one knew the difference, including the kids. I had toddlers petting and kissing those bunnies and no one got hurt. I did have a client that had baby chicks on their farm that she wanted to use with her son. We tried, and I was able to get a couple of really cute images but it was a battle for the mom to try to keep her toddler from squeezing the chicks when he held them."

Al Wilson of Rome, GA: "Here's an idea I've used in the past. I secured an agreement with a local pet store owner to allow me to conduct child & family portrait sessions in the petting area of the store. The rabbits and other animals were well cared for by the store staff. As most of you with children probably know, once you take your child to a pet store they'll want to go back. The pet store business increase and I was invited back for more. The weekend portrait sessions were a winner for both of us. The next year we increased sessions to Monday-Friday (after school to close) plus Saturday (open to close)."

What is your take on using live animals in the studio? Worth the hassle and insurance or skip it? Chime in on theLoop!

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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By James Yates

With so many helpful videos to choose from, why wouldn't anyone want to be a part of PhotoVision? PhotoVision is a photography learning website that provides 24/7 online tutorials, founded by PPA photographer Ed Pierce, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. The PhotoVision series provides a range of educational information from some of the biggest names in the professional photography industry. From helpful tips to processes that photographers can use when considering every element of their business, these videos have it all. They range from helpful information in green screen techniques to constructing a social media and digital marketing plan and so much more. The best news? PhotoVisionVideo is available at no cost to PPA members!
 
Need some convincing on why to join PPA, consider subscribing separately to PhotoVision! Every month, PhotoVision unlocks a FREE video available for everyone to stream. We're so sure you'll love it and gain insight from it that you'll want to come back for many, many more.
 
This month's free video:

Simplified Studio Lighting

Featuring Ed Pierce & Lori Nordstrom




In this video, Ed Pierce and Lori Nordstrom hold a senior photography session in Lori's spacious studio. They discuss the benefits of continuous lighting and clarify how to set a proper white balance in order to cut down on post-production correcting. Ed also shows how to use common studio equipment in unusual and beneficial ways. 


Check out PhotoVIsion today! Just one more way PPA is helping you Be More Informed!


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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.

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