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Winter weather has definitely arrived! Snuggle up with ten of the best blog posts from around the photography industry this week. 


The Fight for Artists' Rights! PPA is Back in D.C. 

COPYRIGHT: PPA was back on Capitol Hill this week, advocating for the Small Claims bill, H.R. 3945. Find out how the meeting with Congressional representatives went by reading this post from PPA Today! And don't forget to urge your representatives to support H.R. 3945 at PPA.com/SmallClaims! 


10 Shortcuts For Working With Layer Masks

TUTORIAL: Out of all the things you need to know how to work with in Photoshop, layer masks are one of the most fundamental and important. This quick video from Fstoppers will show you ten shortcuts for working with layer masks in Photoshop. 


Using Emotion To Influence Conceptual Photography

 INSPIRATION: Check out the noir work of Michelle Mackie's portfolio, whose collection of composite images have common themes of female models and moody tones that pay homage to influences from horror and fairytales. 


Get Your Imaging USA Badge in Nashville 

CONFERENCE: Just a reminder: if you're registered for Imaging USA this year, you won't be mailed your badge in advance! You'll print your badge onsite at one of the several kiosks, slip it into a holder, attach a lanyard, and you're ready to go! Read about it on PPA Today.


How Photography Helps At-Risk Children 

GIVE BACK: Sony is partnering with the Photo Start foundation to encourage people to donate used (and new) working cameras, lenses, and accessories to help at-risk children around the world. Find out how you can get involved in this article from PetaPixel.


Facebook Updates Photo Size Specifications

FACEBOOK: Confused about the various dimensions published for social media sites? This article from The Digerati seeks to compile the definitive specifications for optimal viewing on desktop and mobile.


39 Tools For Creating Unique Social Media Images

 VISUALS: There are dozens of free image editing tools out there that you can use to start altering, touching up, or creating social media images to help market your business. This post from Sprout Social presents several free and premium tools you can use that are web-based. 


Sales Of Mirrorless Cameras Continue To Skyrocket

TECH: The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) has released its statistics showing that there was a 12% rise for mirrorless, indicating that mirrorless is continuing its rise while simultaneously cannibalizing market share from its DSLR cousins. Check out this post from DPreview to see what that may mean for the market.


Using RGB tone curves in Photoshop 

PHOTOSHOP: Photographer Conner Turmon put together a quick video tutorial on DPreview that will get you up to speed on using the RGB tone curves to post-process your photos in either Lightroom or Photoshop.


10 Tips For Organic Growth On Instagram

SOCIAL MEDIA: It becomes obvious relatively quickly that gaining traction on Instagram can be at times daunting. There are lots of variables go into capturing engagement, and just as many questions into what makes the algorithm tick. Check out a few tried and true tips in this video on Fstoppers. 


There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.


By Chris Homer

It's Friday, so that means it's time for our favorite photography blog posts from around the
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 web! As you head into the weekend, take some time to enjoy these stories: 

TUTORIAL: Multiple exposure can be a great technique to create memorable wedding photos. Learn some tips for how to create multiple exposure wedding images in this tutorial from PetaPixel.

WORKING WITH MODELS: If you need a model for an upcoming photography shoot, but aren't sure how to approach them with your request, check out this post from FStoppers. You'll learn 3 quick tips to help you along in the process of finding and hiring a model.

SALES/MARKETING: If you need some marketing tips to bring in more business and boost your photography sales, check out this post from the PPA Today blog! You'll learn 7 ways you can make your business more visible and hopefully bring in new clients.

LIGHTING/INSPIRATION: This post from FStoppers is a good reminder that it's the skill of a photographer that makes a great image, not the equipment. Read about how one photographer created unique images of British pop group Clean Bandit for use in publication, using only cheap lighting found on eBay!

POSING: Do you use pyramid posing for group portraits? If you've never heard of it, or need a refresher, this post from PhotoFocus provides a quick overview and discusses the advantages of using this posing style.
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Thanksgiving is next week and we've got a lot to be thankful for at PPA... about 30,000 reasons to be more exact. While you prepare for the holiday (and spending some time with your favorite family) check out our top blog posts on the web this week!

COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY: PPA understands the importance of teaching photographers how to run a profitable business and now FStoppers tutorial videos are switching things up from concentrating on the artistic process over to the business side of photography. Watch the new video, "Making Real Money".

COPYRIGHT: PPA is back at it again...and YOUR small-claims copyright bill is on the line! Catch up on all the updates as we meet with more representatives from the U.S. House and spread the good word of H.R. 3945 to those who have the power to change things. 

RESPECT: What does it mean to be an "ethical landscape photographer"? Spencer Cox explains the idea on PetaPixel, revealing the respect for nature required during the shoot...and the post-production process too. 

CHARITY: PPA Charities is gearing up for its annual "Giving Tuesday" fundraiser. From 10am-11pm (EST) on Tuesday, November 29th, they will have 15-minute mini-programs from some of the biggest names in the industry, streaming on PPA Charities' Facebook page via Facebook Live. In return, they'll be providing a link for you to donate to PPA Charities to help support their charitable efforts. (Last year we raised over $11,000 in a single day!)

EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY:  "Getting great light in an event setting whether inside or outside is a tough shoot. You have to understand exposure, people are moving sometimes erratically, ambient light is moving over your subjects randomly, and you still have to create sellable imagery." Dallas photographer JT Blenker gives you the tips on how to overcome these obstacles. 

PORTFOLIO: Your online portfolio is an important way to advertise yourself to new clients and show them what you've got. Aside from PPA's See The Difference® materials, how else do you market yourself? This post from PetaPixel helps you figure out your online calling card with strategies for image optimization, resizing, compression and more. 

INDUSTRY: Kodak lost $46 million in Q3 of 2017 and is laying off hundreds of employees. DP Review has the story, which includes the company's optimistic outlook on their fourth quarter. Remember, we have the power to keep print alive! Join the Print Movement now! 

PROTECTION: The holiday-sales season is here and OpenForum has this article about how to protect your studio's bottom line by following their e-commerce fraud prevention tips. Stay safe with these methods of identity protection so you can have a peaceful (and profitable) season! 

SHOP: Remind your clients that Small-Business Saturday is around the corner! This post-Thanksgiving tradition, as many seek out local mom-and-pop businesses for a portion of their holiday-shopping spending. American Express has a bunch of downloadable content you can use to promote and display your studio's participation in this year's Small-Business Saturday! And this is a great opportunity to remind your clients that shopping locally (with you) makes a difference all-year round!

PRINT: If you're looking to create images that are worthy of printing and selling to your clients to cherish forever, PPA Today has some pointers to keep in mind. From planning to technique, if you're wondering how to sell prints to your clients, PPA has you covered. 

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.


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By Mayo Lawal

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We have no idea what the weather is doing, but we do know that whether you are out on the porch or cuddled by the heater, you can relax and enjoy our top 10 blogs from around the web this week.

HOLIDAY: The holiday season is typically a busy time for photographers. So as you begin to equip yourself with candy, treats, and lots of patience, you may want to also check out these invaluable tips on how to go about family photo sessions.

COPYRIGHT: The copyright system in the United States may work well for many creators in the higher-income industries, but not so much for small-business creators. Andrew's story is a perfect illustration of the downside of the current system - a story you can probably relate to.

SOCIAL MEDIA: How much do you think people can tell about you just by looking at your Instagram photos? If your answer was "not much," you are about to be mind-blown by this article based on scientific and psychological analysis from Harvard psychologists.

BUSINESS: As artists, your work environment is typically causal and informal, but this doesn't mean that professionalism can go out the window. This article discusses the do's and don'ts in maintaining a friendly but professional relationship with your clients.

LOCATION: This is the tenth time you are receiving a request for a unique photo shoot in a particular location and you are starting to run out of ideas. The author of this article gives some advice on how to create exceptional experiences in the same location over and over.  

SENTIMENT: Wedding photography goes beyond calculated photo shoots to the ability to capture the perfect, precious moments. Get inspired with these award-winning wedding images that will make you smile.

PHOTO WALK: Photo walks can be very enjoyable and low pressure... just you with your camera capturing whatever appeals to you. Here are seven tips that can make your experience even better!

TECH: You spent several hours editing that photograph to perfection, only to discover when you view the image on a different device, that your monitor had been deceiving you the entire time. Color calibration is vital in photography. Find out how you can ensure color accuracy on monitor by reading this article on Photographylife.

LIGHTING: Most photographers, during outdoor sessions, target the "magic hours" just before or after the harsh sunlight makes it almost impossible to get the lighting right. The author of this article, however, reveals how you can achieve spectacular photos during the middle of the day.

HOLIDAY: For many toddlers, attempting to achieve a photograph of them happily sitting on Santa's laps is a herculean task. But who says you have to? Read the story of Photographer Jeff Roffman who has made an art of capturing the children's true feelings about Santa in Professional Photographer's Magazine.

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.

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By David Eun

Anyone who's been hired to be a wedding photographer knows it's one of the most stressful gigs, period. Well, Dunja Djudjic provides us a parody video making light of the issues wedding photographers face when guests become photographers, too.

We've all been there: You just took the best photo ever. But, you can't decide which Instagram filter to use, so you end up scrolling back and forth for 15 minutes. Check out this article by Stefan Pettersson to see how the biggest IG users pick their filters.

The title says it all: If you're new to the photography game and are looking for tools to help you develop your images, you should take a look at this free video from Photoshop Training Channel on Adobe's newest Lightroom CC app.

Even the most imaginative minds hit a creative slump. Sometimes, we believe the answer is to consider as many ideas as possible to reinvigorate ourselves. Alex Cooke discusses how the answer could actually lie in narrowing our ideas.

Simplicity can lead to some of the most wonderful images people have ever seen. However, whenever people want to keep things nice and simple, it's imperative to not make the images too simple. Tihomir Lazarov discusses more in detail.

Documentaries possess the power to not only convey rich information to the public but also move hearts to take action. So, if you're looking to enhance your documentary photography skills, take a look at this article by Scott Choucino.

Being a small business owner can be stressful. You have bills to pay, you have clients to make happy - The list goes on. Pat Kiernan at CNBC wants to help, so if you're part of a small business here are 5 blunders you should avoid at all costs.

The market is flooded with competition, and getting your name out to your audience is vital to ensuring you even survive. Jack Alexander delves into the importance of creative professionals having and maintaining a quality website.

People pursue photography for many reasons. But, what happens, when you forget why you became a photographer? Jeff Carpenter discusses his story of regaining his passion for photography and his advice for those going through similar struggles.

Photographers are masters of stills, and sometimes they believe that's all they need to know to be successful. COOPH argues otherwise. Will Nicholls discusses his top 8 reasons why photographers should add videography to their arsenal.

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.

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By Bethany Clark

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As we head into the weekend, take a minute to enjoy our favorite photography blog posts from around the web!

VALUE: The PRINT Movement is all about touting the value of printing photographs made by professional photographers, so this post by Illuminating Creativity is the perfect complement to that effort... and provides six reasons why every photographer should get on board.

BUSINESS: If you are a professional photographer, you are a business owner, and as such you need to protect your work, and also ensure your clients are getting what they need. We all know that the first rule of thumb for protecting your work is have a contract (have it signed), but this PPA Today post outlines nine additional excellent rules of thumb!

MARKETING: This article by DIY Photography starts hard and keeps the cold, hard truths coming - including the fact that Facebook is testing out a much more stringent "pay to play" model for any business owner with a Facebook Page. This model, which coincides with their new Explore feature, would require Pages to sponsor posts in order for its followers to see them; if these changes stick, organic reach may very well be a thing of the past. 

INSPIRATION: Imaging USA speaker Lisa Saad's personal project "Anonymous Man" began when the death of her mother and other personal disappointments left her feeling depressed and depleted. The series ended up helping her re-connect with photography, and changed the direction of her commercial photography business. Read about it on Professional Photographer magazine.

DIY: If you're a fan of thrifty DIY photo projects, watch this COOPH video on PetaPixel for creative hacks you can try with a camera and a sheet of cardboard, from creating a lightbox to a DIY macro lens! 
 
GROWTH: Renowned fashion photographer Lindsay Adler kicks off Adobe's new YouTube series with an in-depth look at how her photographic style and prowess have evolved over the years. Watch the video and read her interview at DPReview!

DRONE NEWS: New York has taken the first big step in advancing its drone corridor. The corridor will allow drone pilots the opportunity to develop traffic management systems and further safety and performance testing. Read this post on PPA Today to learn more about what this means.

THE © MARK MATTERS: Photographers, it's important to know that you still have a valid copyright claim and ability to submit a DMCA, even if the infringer links back to your website, as long as your photo has the copyright meta data that is necessary. This puts the infringer on notice and they can no longer claim ignorance. Learn more in this post from Photo Attorney.

MONEY: Whether you are just starting out or you have been shooting for years, pricing is always top of mind. If you've felt apprehensive about your prices, check out this post from Fstoppers so that you can give quotes with confidence, knowing that if a client says no, it simply means that you are not the right photographer for them!

BEST PRACTICE: Switching to in-person sales can offer a big boost to your photography business... but it's very important that you avoid these three common pitfalls, explained by Professional Photographer magazine.

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.

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By Chris Homer

As we head into the weekend, take a minute to enjoy our favorite photography blog posts
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 from around the web!

PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS TIPS: Whether you've been in the professional photography business for a while or are brand new, this post from PetaPixel provides useful business advice. In it, several photographers are interviewed about changes in the photography industry that have impacted their business and how they have adapted!

COMPOSITE PHOTOGRAPHY: With Halloween right around the corner, you may be looking for some inspiration for photos. This video from PhotoForge demonstrates how you can create some unique Halloween composites in Photoshop. 

LARGE FORMAT CAMERAS/TUTORIAL: In this video, photographer Irene Rudnyk demonstrates how she set up a portrait shoot using large format cameras. If you're interested in using this type of camera, check it out! You'll pick up some good tips to get you ready. 

PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNOLOGY: This Fstoppers post poses the question, with all the advances in camera technology, is it still you taking the picture or are you just carrying around a computer that takes the picture for you? Take a look and see what you think of the points made in the post. 

DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY: A drone recently struck a passenger plane in Canada, while the owner was flying illegally in a no-fly zone. Read the news on PetaPixel. This is just another reminder of the importance of understanding and following all regulations when using a drone for photography! Check out PPA's Drone Knowledge Center to learn more about flying your drone safely and legally. 
by James Yates
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It might be Friday the 13th, but it's actually your LUCKY day. The PPA Weekly Roundup is here! Kick back and enjoy your weekend with the best photography articles from around the internet. 

COPYRIGHT: In case you missed it last week! The legislation we've been fighting for has finally hit the floor of Congress. Read about the Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Act (CASE) and contact your congressperson now!

MARKETING: There are many different ways you can use Facebook ads, including building out a mailing list for your photography services. After reading this CurrentPhotographer article, you'll know the difference between Customer Lifetime Value and Cost Per Action and what they could do for your business. 

INSPIRATION: Everyone's journey to full-time freelance is different. FStoppers writer Mike Briggs takes us along on the journey of his first year, from the honeymoon period to the lessons learned. You'll find a lot of inspiration in his ten tips on how to navigate freelance. 

HISTORY: Eddie Adams, the famous photographer who captured the iconic shot of a Vietcong prisoner being executed in the street in 1969, has been teaching a workshop for three decades. This video from CBS Sunday Morning takes a look at  whether people can be taught to create a great photograph.

NETWORKING: Harvard Business Review talks to venture capitalist and entrepreneur Rich Stromback, a master networker, about his "counterintuitive" advice. Including "Don't Care About Your First Impression" and "Sleep From 4-8pm Every Day"...You really need to check these out. Guaranteed to make you rethink how you network as a photographer! This is very timely so you can make even stronger and more meaningful connections at Imaging USA!

PREPARATION: Choosing the best time to transition to full-time professional can be a daunting proposition. Writer Scott Choucino presents five things you must consider before making the decision to be full time. Read these and your own answer will become clearer. 

IMAGING USA: Excited yet for 2018's Imaging USA trade show and convention in Nashville? This video will get you there as you take in all that the world's strongest photography show has to offer!

TECHNOLOGY: DPReview has details on the new AI that can tell how 'good' your photo is, insofar as such things can be analyzed objectively. The software breaks photos down into the categories of Aesthetics, Sharpness, Exposure, Colors and Properties and scores each. What will they come up with next?

ART: Is selling your work "proof" of artistic validation? Or is the selling of your work your business, and how do you receive artistic validation? The Luminous Landscape has this though-provoking article that lists several ways you can gain artistic validation without sacrificing your sales. 

BUSINESS: As you set out to be a professional photographer, you need to know what pitfalls to avoid and how to keep yourself sane and financially healthy. Contrastly has this article up on how to ensure you're creating lasting relationships with clients and not overlooking the little things. 

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.


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by Mayo Lawal

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Temperatures are finally cooling and the leaves are changing! It's about time, right? So grab your tablet, sit outside and enjoy the weather with our top blog posts from around the web this week.

The New Small Claims Bill is Finally Here! It's Time to Support It

COPYRIGHT: The moment we have all been waiting for is finally here! Two representatives have introduced the bill that will make it so much easier to protect your work and recover damages if your work is infringed upon! Learn more on PPA Today, and find out why you need to urge your representatives to co-sponsor it today!

 

An In-Person Sales Road Map For Photographers

SALES: Photographer Julia Kelleher decided to ditch a digital-only model for in-person sales. Find out how this helped her more than triple her average sales and build the upscale, boutique-style studio she always wanted, on ppmag.com.

 

[VIDEO] Pricing, Marketing & Social Best Practices for Photographers!

PHOTOVISION: PhotoVision offers a unique, unprecedented photography education experience. This article gives you an overview of new PhotoVision videos you can't afford to miss!

 

Tips for Lighting Bald Subjects:

PORTRAITURE: Trying to get rid of the head glare on your bald subject in Photoshop is not exactly an easy task. But according to the author of this article, you won't have to stress if you use these lighting tips.

 

5 Simple Hacks for More Creative Images:

CREATIVITY: Those creative ideas that seem nearly impossible might just be a lot easier to accomplish than you think. The author of this article on FStoppers shares some creative hacks that could help you push your limits even further.

 

Why You Should Consider Adding A Drone To Your Gear:

DRONE: You've thought of adding a drone to your gear but you're not sure if it's worth it, or if it's the right time. Well, the more you read, the more you know! Check out this article on DPreview which discusses the benefits of having a drone.  

The Trick to Making Your Photos Fine Art

FINE ART: Fine art photography can be pretty amazing but requires a lot of patience. This article on Photographytalk gives some invaluable tips on how to achieve perfection when making your photos into fine art.

 

The Iconic Saturday Night Live Bumper Photos:

ICONIC PHOTOS: If you watch Saturday Night Live, you've probably more than noticed the iconic celebrity portraits that welcome you back after a commercial break. Did you know that the photos have been an integral part of the show for over 40 years? Find out the story behind them in this article on CNN.

 

The Benefits of Shooting Backplates:

BACKPLATES: In recent times, more and more photographers have added backplate shoots as part of their routine during photo shoot sessions. This article on FStoppers explains why this is a great habit to cultivate as a photographer.

 

How Technology Has Changed Photojournalism Over The Last 40 Years:

THEN VS. NOW: This interesting interview with Jim Wilson, who has been a New York Times staff photographer since 1980, takes us down memory lane as he explains how technology has changed photojournalism over the years.  

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.

 

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By Chris Homer

As you wind down another busy week, take a break and enjoy our top photography posts from
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 around the web!

SOCIAL MEDIA AND PHOTOGRAPHY: Many photographers feel that social media has had a negative impact on professional photography. Before you get too worked up, take a look at this post from Photography Talk. It shares how several social media sites can be a benefit to your photography business. 

COMPOSITION: A recent study has revealed that people's eyes are more drawn to areas of a photograph that have meaning - rather than those that just stick out. What does that mean for how you compose a photograph? Read all about the study on PetaPixel.

MARKETING: If you're struggling to convert your website visitors into paying clients, read this post from FStoppers. It shares some common pitfalls that you'll want to avoid to make sure your site actually brings you business!

WHITE BALANCE: If you're relying on the auto white balance setting of your camera, you may be missing out on an opportunity to create better photos. This post from PhotoFocus explains several methods for how to create a custom white balance to get the most from your photography.

TUTORIAL: You're shooting on location, and you want a dark background, but none are available for you! If this has happened to you, check out this video on FStoppers. It shows how you can turn a white wall into a dark background through proper lighting and set up.


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