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PPA Today: PPA Member Benefits Archives

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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 PPA.LocktonAffinity.com/BusinessLiability.htm.

 

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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 PPA.LocktonAffinity.com/BusinessLiability.htm.

 

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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 PPA.com/PhotoVision.






iStock_000020646903XSmall.jpgDon't miss out on this year's health insurance open enrollment period!

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

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 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

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 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.

Connect with Kelly at BOA at (678) 540-7558 or kelly.sullivan@bankofamericamerchant.com
Be more business savvy!

For even more reasons to get in on this new service, head to PPA.com/BAMS, or jump on in and make the switch now!

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.

Some great things were happening on theLoop as temperatures soared. Check out the hottest discussions that happened in July.

[PPA Members Discussion] Offline data storage

What are you using to back up your files? PPA members discuss their methods for protecting their images and the pros and cons of offline and online storage. Even if you've got a system in place, it's worth checking out what others are doing!

[Finance Discussion] What bookkeeping software do you use?

Just as photo editing software updates, so does bookkeeping software too! Members share their favorite programs for balancing the books.

[Commercial Photography Discussion] Pricing executive portraits

Doing executive portraiture for the first time? Get some firsthand accounts from photographers who've done it before and are sharing their tips for doing the job right.

[PPA Members Discussion] Getting a credit line in the newspaper

A PPA member's image is printed on the front page of the newspaper - but they refuse to give him credit. Now what? Weigh in on the discussions for and against getting a credit line in publication.                                       

[PPA Members Discussion] Moving studio

If you're thinking about moving your business from home to a retail studio, or vice versa, read this discussion! Members talk about their experiences working in different locations and how it affected their business.


Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? It's easy: join today!

 

Think about it: how useful has filling out a survey ever been to you? Well, for Heather Sams, CPP, from Fountain, CO, not only has it helped her business be more profitable, but she also won an iPad mini. How?

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PPA's Benchmark Survey, of course. The industry's only complete financial snapshot, it's been helping businesses get a better idea of where they stand and how they can improve their bottom line. Survey participants get a free side-by-side comparison of the results to their financial data. With that kind of valuable info, the monthly giveaways for survey participants only seem like an added bonus!

Sams has been in the photography industry for over a decade, and previously used the Benchmark to put together a business plan when starting her portrait studio seven years ago. "What's great about Benchmark is that it puts all the industry information in one location that businesses can easily use," she said.

Since building up her business, Sams knew the importance of the survey to her success. "I was excited just to have been able to participate in the Benchmark Survey this year! It's such an extensive tool that the industry has access to that it just made sense for me to take the time to do it."

She never considered the fact that she could win the monthly giveaway. "When I found out that I won, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. It was super easy to participate, but winning an iPad really takes the cake. I was on cloud nine!"

And as a true dedicated professional, Sams already has plans to incorporate the iPad mini into her business. "I photograph executives, and they like seeing portraits and galleries immediately. Having a device that can make this happen will be great for my business," she said. "I'm grateful that I had the chance to participate in the survey."

Want to get in on all the Benchmark awesomeness? Check out PPA.com/benchmark and enter for your chance to win this month's prize. And don't fret! There will be more through the end of the year!

Want to work less and make more? Awesome! Have a plan on how to do that? Don't worry--PPA's got your back (and it's not as complicated as you'd think). 

Every few years, PPA invites studios from around the country--from home studios to brick and mortar locations, weddings to pets and everything in between-to complete the Benchmark Survey. This survey gets stronger with the more studios that participate. (Hint, hint - sign-up here to be an integral part of the upcoming survey! The information isn't difficult to obtain, in fact you'll have plenty of it readily available since you just completed your taxes!) 

Here's another way to look at the Benchmark survey: 


Once the survey is complete, PPA's CPAs and industry experts create an all-encompassing photography business guide and compile other resources that will show you where to increase your own business' profitability. And if you don't want to wait for the results of this year's survey, check out the new tool that  helps photographers plan for a profitable business model by beginning with their/your end in mind. How? Easy! 

  1. First, you'll start by deciding how much you'd like you're annual net income to be each year, then the tool works its way back to show your cost of sales and overhead and how they impact your profitability from get-go. All of these calculations come from past Benchmark Surveys, so you know they're based on real life examples of what's worked and more importantly, what hasn't. 

  2. Second, the survey will help you sidestep common mistakes many photographers unknowingly make. It will help you understand  how to determine or adjust your pricing (and it's not based on what the guy down the street is charging)! You'll also be able to determine if it's financially realistic to hire an employee or if it makes sense to move into a retail space. And the best part is, you'll be able to make sound calculated decisions, not just based on your "gut" feeling!

  3. And third, we understand you don't know what you don't know. That's why there are additional Benchmark Resources--resources, tools and guides that can quickly impact your bottom line! You'll get things like a comprehensive guide to the results. This will allow you to get the most from the survey by breaking it down to plain English and extrapolating the results into things you can do to change your business for the better. It will also give you access to comparison tools that allow you to size your studio up to the top performing studios in the nation (and learn from how they do business), along with how to see where you fit in the bigger picture of the photographic industry. 

It might sound too good to be true, but we assure you it isn't! You just fill out a few simply questions and you'll be ready to see how many sessions you need to book and at what prices to make the money you want. Get started at square one today! 

And there's a bonus if you participate in the survey: you'll get side-by-side results (personalized just for you!) from the 2014 Survey for free! This is HUGE! Best part: If you're a PPA member, this is included in your membership. If you're not, join today to improve your bottom line now! 

You can't afford to wait. Access these great resources today and sign up to participate in the 2014 Survey!

The healthcare insurance open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act closes March 31. That means you only have a couple weeks to enroll in a qualified health insurance plan and avoid tax penalties!  After March 31, everyone will have to wait until 2015 to enroll in a qualified health plan. You don't want to have to wait a whole year!

Read more about the plans offered by Pallay Insurance Agency below:

 

Are you familiar with the health insurance options available to you as a PPA member? That's right! PPA can help you and your family find the best medical and dental insurance in your area, with several different plans available.

PPA partners with Pallay Insurance Agency, Inc., to assist members in securing affordable and quality medical and dental coverage.

Ross and Scott Pallay are both very knowledgeable about all the options available to you and are very open to speaking with you. They can answer any questions about the new healthcare structure, open enrollment, fines for not having coverage (you read right, you can be fined for not having coverage) and more. They are also able to quote members on policies if you live in any of the 50 states except the ones listed below.*

Make sure you check out all of the insurance options available to you and reach out to Pallay Insurance Agency with any questions or to receive a quote.  

*coverage not available in AK, HI, ID, MA, ME, MT, NJ, NM, NY, RI, SD, VT

P.S. After open enrollment ends, Pallay can still offer Limited Benefit Fixed Indemnity AND Short Term Medical Insurance Plans to members looking for some form of health coverage. While these plans are not qualified health plans, they do provide members and their families with benefits to assist them with medical expenses which can help them get by until the next open enrollment.

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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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