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PPA Today: PPA Membership Archives

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Every so often, PPA realizes its exemplary members need to be recognized in ways that they haven't yet been. With that being said, the Board of Directors has created a new accolade that honors PPA members who give back to the industry through teaching. 

The new EDU100 bar will be awarded for every 100 speaking merits a member has earned. The first round of recipients is being notified and awarded December 2017. 

Since 1937, PPA's Merit & Degree program has provided its members with a path to earning a PPA degree that vets, recognizes and celebrates their achievements in the profession. Merits are the points-system used by PPA that adds up to getting one's photographic degree. Each degree requires 25 merits that are obtained through exhibition, competition, speaking, and service, and each degree requires a different combination of merits. 

The Merit & Degree program is an exclusive PPA member benefit, so click here to learn more about earning your degree. Ready to get started but you're not a member? Join PPA Now!

By Mayo Lawal

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As a PPA member, you have access to a ton of online educational resources where you can learn anything from creative techniques to how to run a successful photography business. This includes free access to over 500 photography tutorial videos available through PhotoVision.

PhotoVision is a vast online video library where photographers can learn proven techniques and strategies that are being used by well-known experts in the world of photography. With PhotoVision you'll take a deep dive with top photographers, follow them in-studio and on-location, and get an insider's glimpse into their actual process! 

So, don't procrastinate! Check out PhotoVisionVideo.com today and begin exploring all the website has to offer. As a PPA member, you have full access for free anytime, anywhere. Not a member? Join PPA today and get access to PhotoVision and many other valuable resources!  

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By Autumn Rice

PPA photographers are a diverse group of people who begin as friends, but ultimately become family. Through connecting with one another and sharing experiences, they provide a support that contradicts the thought of being in business alone. PPA's YouTube video series, Behind The Camera, features professional photographers who share their trials and tribulations, and their relationship within the PPA community. Today, Trish Logan pitches in. 

None of these interviews are scripted or paid for. These are real photographers, members of PPA, who value and share the power of their PPA community. 

In this video Trish Logan shares the value of See The Difference resources, and how they increase the credibility of her business with her clients.


Help your photography friends and share this video. The power of being involved and deeply connected goes beyond professional development. It's a support system no one should be left without. You can also view a full playlist of the Behind The Camera Video series on PPA's YouTube channel and learn more about See The Difference here.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2016. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
By Autumn Rice

At PPA we want to help you grow your business. And what better way to do that, than to add your studio information to the Find-A-Photographer database? The Find-A-Photographer database on PPA.com is a resource that allows professional photographers to display information about themselves and their business in front of a captive audience of prospective clients. 

Every PPA member is listed in the Find-A-Photographer database, but not all listings are created equal! Did you know that?  You can indeed make your profile pop and be much more convincing by updating it. It's completely free to upgrade your profile; you just have to do it! 

To upgrade your Find-A-Photographer profile (again, it's free!) follow these simple steps:

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1. Log in to PPA.com/My-PPA 
2. Once logged in, click on My PPA
3. Scroll down to Find-A-Photographer
4. Click Update Your Find-A-Photographer Profile and then you can:
    • Add additional information to your profile page
    • Create up to 4 photo albums
    • Upload up to 8 images to each album
    • Upload a headshot or logo
    • Preview your listing
5. Once you make your changes, be sure to enable your listing. It's a super-simple step, but if you don't do it, your updated profile won't be visible to the public (you'll only have a standard listing in the Find-a-Photographer search.)

There are other simple tools to make your business more visible and recognizable. Hop to the See The Difference resource section on PPA.com to find what works for your business. PPA is here to help you Be More Proactive.

Become a member to be a part of the Find-A-Photographer database and Be More Visible today!

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2016. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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By James Yates
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The Business Challenge provides photography business owners with the information and tools they need to develop the foundation for a more profitable business over the course of one year. Not only do they receive the tools required to make changes to their business, but also step-by-step instruction and support from PPA mentors as they implement these changes.

The next Business Challenge starts April 1st and you don't want to miss it! Be sure to sign up for your year of fun, interactive inspiration for you to integrate as much business acumen as you can in one year's time. 

The first assignment is all about defining YOUR idea of success.  It's vital that photographers begin creating a road map that will take them where they want to go so they don't end up somewhere else completely. This was one challenger's answer - one of many great ones--from Lindsay Syme, owner of Lindsay Syme Photography in Spring Creek NV. She also just so happens to be the winner of the 2017 Dream Studio Giveaway at Imaging USA (see photo)! 

"Success is that fabulous thing you achieve when you set a goal and do the work it takes to reach that goal.

My Business Goals:  

• I want to contribute financially for my family: This starts with pricing for profit and having solid business foundations. I need to get over myself and see my worth. I see it in others but fail to see it in myself. I am making progress but still have much to do!

• I want to be 100% present in everything I do: I need to focus all of my attention on whatever it is that I am working on because I tend to be distracted, lack focus, or procrastinate.

• I want to give back to the community and others: Being able to give to others feels so dang good. There are so many areas in our community that I could make a difference. Having the financial means would be awesome as well as the time to volunteer. Again, goes back to pricing for profit so I can have the money and time.

• I want to educate and share with others: I know how grateful I am when others share their time and talent. I want to give back to my photography community. Teaching runs through my veins so I look forward to the day that I can contribute.

• I want to strive to be better and improve my craft: My last step to earning my CPP is the image submission. My eyes have been opened to a whole new perspective! I always want to be better and push for the next step, whatever that might be.

• I want to show others how valuable they are: It amazes me how many times I get put off as a customer by various businesses and business owners. I find it shocking! I want people to feel important. I want people to feel special. I want them to feel communicated to and valuable. I want to go above and beyond so others know how important they are. I feel like achieving these goals will result in success!"

It's going to be an exciting year for Lindsay and her fellow Challengers..including, hopefully, you! We'll check back in with Lindsay and see how things have progressed. YOU should sign up now for April 1st's Business Challenge group. Consider it next, big step toward success for your business


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PPA is dedicated to delivering photographers the best education available through hundreds of photography course videos available on PPAedu, as well as the 500+ videos on PhotoVision. In addition to these recorded courses, PPA hosts LIVE courses that you can attend from your computer as they happen. Be your own valentine and give yourself the gift of attending!

PPA Webinar: The $3000 Headshot
February 14, 2017 - 2pm ET
With Megan DiPiero, CPP
Skill Level(s): ALL
Free for all; PPA Members can access archived recordings

In this memorable and inspiring talk, Megan will share the life lessons that have shaped her into the business success she is today. From her modest home studio, Megan comfortably charges 10x the market rate for her sought after headshot style, bringing in sales ranging from $1700-$6500. She'll convince you that pricing thresholds are limited only by your imagination. Whether you're a portrait or wedding photographer, new to the industry or seasoned veteran, this talk will be just the kick in the butt you need to vault your brand (and your prices) to new heights. Passion and profit ahead!

That's not all! Are you new to PPA or thinking about joining? There's also a new, membership webinar to attend!

PPA Webinar: Maximizing Your Membership
February 14, 2017 - 2pm ET
Skill Level(s): ALL
Free for all; PPA Members can access archived recordings
Click here to register

If you haven't already, it's time to jump in and take advantage of everything PPA has to offer! Please join us for a Maximizing Your Membership Webinar and we'll give you the low-down on everything PPA.

We know membership offers a lot and it can be hard to navigate all of the PPA benefits. That's why we created this webinar to help you take advantage of your membership. Topics include a step-by-step guide to activating your equipment insurance, how to navigate the PPA website and an introduction to theLoop.

Remember, these courses are open to ALL photographers to attend live, so register today! If you want to access the recordings of these courses and the full PPAedu and PhotoVision library of videos, you'll need to be a PPA member. Join PPA today!


By Autumn Rice

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Have you visited theLoop lately? 

theLoop is a great way for PPA members to connect, share stories, and give advice about their experiences as professional photographers, as well as stay up-to-date on what's new at PPA. The biggest bonus to interacting on theLoop is that there are no clients! 

Have questions about photography? Post it on theLoop! It's a safe way to answer your most important photography questions from professionals just like you!

If you haven't logged on for a while, here's a recap of some of the discussion tips you've missed. Check it out!

This Looper is a wedding photographer who may have lost the files for 6 weddings, her own personal wedding, and other personal files. She wants to know what advice PPA members have to offer.  One Looper said:
 
"You say your original computer died and somewhere in the process, you backed up the data to this external drive. Perhaps it still exists on the drive in the original computer? Might depend on how it "died," but I would be pulling that drive out and looking at it.
Just a thought..."
--Tony

Here's a member who has taken on some new photography projects and needs some advice about expanding the pricing, and how to draft a contract for a vendor. This member advises:
 
"Okay - I am totally going to go out on a limb here and say you really need set some boundaries on that. I made the mistake of getting in over my head with very little Return on Investment in engaging with a boutique. I did it the wrong way of doing product shots of all their inventory consistently. It can be done well, but you need to set boundaries. I prefer to have 1 day events to do it all. For website managing that can get tricky. I usually just provide web-res ready images for them. But I would suggest maybe seeing if Sticky Apps could be an option and charging a consistent monthly fee for it all. :-) Sorry I am not much help as I am working through setting up my boundaries this year."
--Ray

The Print Movement is a great way to get involved with printed products and this Looper has some questions about motivations for clients to purchase prints.

"Touch and feel!  That's huge especially for women--which are the majority purchasers of portraits. A physical product that they can touch, feel, hold (albums, books, wall portraits) increases the perceived value of an item over a JPEG on a disc. Plus you are doing your clients a disservice by making them go out and find a lab to print and then buy a frame etc etc. If they can walk out of my studio with an archival piece of art for their walls, that has value."
--Tara

Imaging USA provided some inspiration for this photographer to venture into glamour and boudoir photography. She has questions about what questions to ask clients and how to price her products. Here's a response:

"Randall is right on track with the type of questions. Many resources for client questionnaires exist (The Boudoir Divas), Boudie Shorts, Molly Marie, Jen Rozenbaum, Christa Meola) just google and you'll find a wide variety of resources. Sue Bryce will tell you she deplores the term boudoir photography, and she isn't doing the common style boudoir most people recognize. She asks her clients a very smart question "How do you envision your photograph" - to paraphrase. What she's asking is what is their dream image - riding on a horse in the park with Victorian apparel or standing in Time Square in a red gown....
Asking the client what they envision and like combined with questions along the lines of what Randall mentioned is a winning combination."
--Mark

As a new member to PPA, this Looper has some questions about how to start a successful photography business. Here's what a Looper had to say:

"What Mark said--plus believe there may be some great videos on this in the PPAedu archives so be sure to check those out. PPA also does a Business Challenge but not sure if you have to already be in business a number of years to do that or not. Determine the type of photography you want to do--sounds like weddings and maybe portraits as well. Then you will want to get down and dirty on determining your pricing. As Mark said it's critical to understand your cost of doing business-how much do you need to make just to keep the doors open, lights on etc."
--Tara

These are just a few of the great posts made on theLoop. Hop on over to theLoop to see other posts and make some of your own! 

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Your PPA family is getting bigger: the New York Institute of Photography is now offering their students certification through PPA's CPP program! This is a big deal and serves to expand and deepen both organization's missions to elevate the craft of photography and provide support to professionals. Check out the press release, reprinted below.

NYIP Adds Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) Designation to Online Photography Course Offerings    

The New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) has partnered with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) to offer their students and graduates a widely recognized industry certification. The CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) designation is the official credential for photographers that want to set themselves apart within the highly competitive creative industry.

NEW YORK, NY-JANUARY 17, 2017
The New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) has partnered with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) to offer their students and graduates a widely recognized industry certification. The CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) designation is the official credential for photographers that want to set themselves apart within the highly competitive creative industry.

The Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) program from PPA assures potential clients of a photographer's knowledge, experience and continuance to develop new skills and techniques. It is a declaration of professional competence and ability. Through this exclusive partnership, photographers who study with NYIP can qualify to take the CPP exam and earn their certification.

Photographers who earn their CPP credential do so for three primary reasons. First, it gives them an edge in advertising their services, as certification promotes trust in the minds of clients and consumers. Second, it is a way to justify the price of services offered by the world's top photographers. Finally, the peer validation step that is required to earn the certification signals to the photography world that you truly care about your craft.

"PPA is excited to bring the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) credential to NYIP students and alumni through this exclusive partnership," says Julia Boyd, CAE, Director of Certification at PPA. "As the world's largest non-profit photography association PPA's mission of creating a vibrant community of successful professional photographers by providing education, resources and industry standards of excellence is in sync with NYIP's values and goals. We are eager to spread the power of Certification as both organizations continue to raise the bar in the photographic industry."

The CPP program can be added to any of NYIP's online photography classes at the time of enrollment for $473. This cost is $50 less than the price typically offered by PPA and includes one year of PPA membership. Students and graduates already enrolled in NYIP courses may purchase CPP directly for the same price.

After purchasing, the path to certification is a simple, 3-step process. First, students will declare their candidacy to PPA. Second, they will study for and pass the CPP exam. Finally, they will submit a set of images for official review. Once said images are approved, the photographer will have earned their CPP designation.

For more information or to get started on your path to photography certification, you may visit http://www.nyip.edu/courses/cpp-photography-certification.

About the New York Institute of Photography
The New York Institute of Photography offers ten great online photography courses. Founded in 1910, NYIP is the largest and longest running photography school in the world, having successfully trained thousands of photographers for more than 100 years. Located in the heart of the art capital of the world, New York City, NYIP brings high quality photography education straight to its students' doors. NYIP currently offers ten online photography courses in areas such as portraits, weddings, travel, nature, photojournalism, video making and Photoshop. NYIP is owned and operated by Distance Education Co., LLC, which also operates the New York Institute of Art and Design, the premier home-study school for creative professionals.

About Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the world's largest non-profit photography association organized for professional photographers, by professional photographers and with more than 29,000 creative members in more than 50 countries. Our mission is to create a vibrant community of successful professional photographers by providing education, resources and industry standards of excellence.

by Sidra Safri
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With the holidays right around the corner, many members are looking into getting a drone and adding drone photography to their repertoire.  In adding drone services, many members are focused on making sure they have the best drone, are properly certified, and have all the training necessary to ensure they can capture that fantastic photo. However, during all this excitement, many members will forget that it is necessary to update their contracts to make sure they are protected from any contracted-related issues. 

PPA knows it's important to make sure our members are ready for anything. That's why we have done some of the work for you! Now, under the forms and contracts section, exclusively for PPA members, is a Drone Clause that you can add to your existing contract. This contract has been reviewed and approved by an attorney, but keep in mind this is only meant to be used as a starting point. You still need to make sure you are in compliance with your local and state laws as they can vary drastically from location to location. 

Last, but not least, remember to fill out the Drone Survey request you received last week. These survey responses help guide PPA in knowing what our members want and need, thus allowing us to provide you with the best possible benefits! 

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by Tristin Vaccaro
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Standing out in the sea of other photographers is so important when building a client base. Luckily, you have PPA to help you differentiate yourself in this growing photography market. 

As a part of the See The Difference® initiative, professional photographers like you get equipped with marketing resources to help explain your pricing, promote the quality of your work, and convey the worthiness of your skills. These resources are helping to reshape the public's view of professional photography. Educate your customers as to why they should only hire professional photographers.

See The Difference has many resources available to PPA members, and one of the easiest to implement are the PPA logos. Adding a logo to your website shows clients that you are backed by a well-established and trustworthy association. 

Once you log in, there are two logos to choose from, and both are available in full color or black and white, with or without transparent backgrounds. If you're a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), you can also download a CPP logo to inform clients of your further credibility. 

So go ahead and impress your clients, because as soon as they see your PPA/CPP logo, they will also see your commitment to photography excellence! 

Check out more See The Difference marketing resources offered to PPA members. Not a PPA member? Join Today!

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About this Archive

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

PPA Member Brag Book is the previous category.

PPA Merits and Degrees is the next category.

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

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