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by James Yates

Being the oldest and largest nonprofit photography association comes with responsibility. Our mission is to not only provide photographers with the education, resources and industry standards of excellence to help them be successful, but to also help consumers see the difference when evaluating photographers. That's why PPA launched an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign called See The Difference®. 

For the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Bridal Guide, PPA was called upon to offer the top three wedding photo trends for 2016. You can find us on the bottom right corner of page 5. If you're snowed in and can't make the newsstand, here's some of what we revealed:


  • Photographers are needed for more than just the "big day". They're being asked to be around the whole week!


  • Photo editors are in-demand now for onsite instant retouching and social sharing! 


  • Forget the old superstition about not seeing the bride before the wedding! "Many brides and grooms not only want to see each other before the wedding, they also want to capture those private, connected moments in their photos." 


The 2016 Hottest Wedding Trends issue of Bridal Guide is on sale now! 

See The Difference is a marketing toolset developed for professional photographers, by professional photographers. If you want it, or for more information on how YOU can put See The Difference® marketing resources to work for your business, visit PPA.com/SalesTools

by James Yates
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Your client's four-legged best friend has a personality and style of their own. They know it by heart, but can they articulate it to others ... say, you, the photographer who will be shooting lasting pictures of their pet? PPA's See The Difference® resources include a fun, shareable quiz, "How is Your Pet's Personality Captured in Photos?" that can help steer them in that direction!

See The Difference is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign that aims to help consumers see the difference when evaluating photographers. It was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers and those who are PPA members get access to these FREE marketing tools including shareable videos, customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips/FAQs.
 
With the Pet Quiz, your clients can find out, for instance, if their dog is a "Diva" or "Down-to-Earth" and just looks that way. But "pet personality" isn't the only See The Difference® quiz for consumers to try out! You can share quizzes based on Family ("What's Your Family's Style?"), Wedding ("What's Your Bridal Style?"), and High School Seniors ("Will Your Senior Photo Capture the Real You?"). They're all designed to help promote PPA members' value as a professional and better serve their clients.
 
Go ahead and use these tools or share these quizzes because it is only by exposing consumers to professional grade work that they will learn to see the difference and value professional photography. For more information on how YOU can link to the See The Difference® quizzes from your website, visit PPA.com/SalesTools.





Here is a consumer video for senior yearbook photographers to upload to their website or play on a monitor in their waiting room. This video was created to help seniors and their parents see the value in hiring a PPA senior yearbook photographer.  In this video, PPA senior yearbook photographers descend upon a high school senior class at the start of their final year. High school seniors are shown sharing their stories and talking about why it's so important to hire a pro. PPA photographers talk about the importance of being prepared and on task so they can spend time helping seniors and their parents feel comfortable in front of the camera. 

See The Difference is an online, print and social media consumer awareness campaign that aims to help consumers see the difference when evaluating photographers. PPA photographers get access to a FREE marketing toolkit that includes shareable videos, customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips/FAQs. 

Watch and share this video with your clients to help them See The Difference when choosing a senior photographer! For more information on See The Difference marketing resources, visit PPA.com/SalesTools.



2015 is officially done and you're already on your way to the most successful, profitable, amazing year yet! To kick 2016 off on the right foot, check out the top discussions taking place on theLoop!

Do you design your wedding photo books for your clients? If so, what websites or software do you use? Chime in on this thread to share what's worked for you! 

Working in a situation where there are multiple photographers doing portraits can cause a kerfuffle with your lighting set up. Have you had your strobes pop because of the speedlights around you? Join this thread to see what works, what doesn't, and how to all play nice in a tight space!

Having troubles with the latest Photoshop CC update? One PPA photographer's liquefy tool is no longer working - could it be the update or has her video card gone stale? Weigh in here!

Using fog/smoke inside your studio can be challenging - from safety to clean up, all of your options present some draw back. Which do you prefer? Join this great conversation on coming up with creative solutions! PPA Members, In Studio Smoke/Fog Effects

It's the age old question: laptop or desktop? Which do you prefer? Pros and cons? If you're an Apple user, help this PPA Member with their big purchase!

The bad news is you're slammed with time management, marketing and everything else. How do you balance it all? Whether you've been there before or just wanted to be prepared for your best year yet - this is a great thread!

Do you work with corporate clients that have you sign away your copyright? What would happen if you stopped offering that as a part of your business? There are great anecdotes in this awesome thread! Chime in with your thoughts today!

Looking for a new source for frames or do you have a favorite you'll always stick with? Weigh in as one member looks for a new vendor for ready-made options that are nicer than your run-of-the-mill box store.

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 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

The holidays are in full swing! We hope you had a great Thanksgiving. If you're still in a bit of a food coma, here are our top threads from November on theLoop! Give them a read, chime in with advice or ask a question of your own!

If you're looking to expand into the corporate headshot business, this is an excellent thread for you! See what lighting systems work (or maybe don't work so well) or chime in if you have any favorites!

Looking for a best solution for tethering with an iPad on a shoot? There is a wide variety of commercial options out there. Help one photographer find out what works best. 

Are you coming to Imaging USA? (If you haven't registered yet, head to ImagingUSA.org/Register today before rates increase on December 8th!). One photographer asks if the Closing Party is a must do. Because we're taking over the Georgia Aquarium, of course it's bound to be an unforgettable night. What are your thoughts?  

Help a fellow photographer find a solution to an interesting problem: finding a cover for sound proofing foam that will still allow the foam to do its job. Canvas is out of the question, so what's next? Share your ideas on this thread.

Shooting a Bar Mitzvah for the first time can be intimidating. Do you have any tips and tricks for a first timer? Join the conversation here!

Shooting a parade solo can be a large endeavor! How would you suggest a one-man crew cover such a big celebration? Weigh in with your equipment and logistic recommendations in this thread.

Photographers new and old are always looking for new ways to ensure that their images last a lifetime. Do you have any pro tips on backing up and storing your files? Share them in this great thread!

It's always great to expand your creative offerings. Have you ever dabbled in food photography? Help one photographer on pricing, resources and more! 

Sometimes your clients want some pretty crazy things. Help a fellow photographer shoot a real estate sign with a macro look, without post processing. Chime in and see what works best for you!

Do you ever experience things in your studio that just stump you? Check out this holiday photography that's got one photographer perplexed. He has his Christmas lights on, but in the photos, it looks like every other string is turned off. In this thread participants are debating what may have caused this mini-mystery. 

Communicating to your clients when your studio is open is critical to your business, but how do you do so, while still leaving flexibility in your schedule? How do you post that information on your website and other digital platforms? 

This is a slightly complicated situation: you're hired as a second shooter, but are sent out solo. The couple hates the final images and wants their money back. How do you approach the photographer that hired you? Read these responses and weigh in!


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 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 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!


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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.

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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 PPA.com/Protection 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.

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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. 




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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