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PPA Today

By Aleighia Rouse

The month brings many loving and historical holidays and it also supplies new information on helpful and exciting happenings going on within the photography community.  Here are our top 10 blog posts of the week!

RIGHTS AND REGULATIONS: PPA's government affairs team has hit the New Year running, running for your rights as photographer, that is! This year will bring great happenings for professional photographers that own small business copyrights. The three primary priorities and most vital copyright concerns have been (1) creation of a small claims option for copyright enforcement; (2) modifications to copyright registration process to improve participation and functionality; and (3) modernization of the United States copyright office. 

IPC 2016: If you are thinking of entering the 2016 International Photographic Competition here is a informative article on the recent changes in the judging process. Don't be the one photographer left out of the loop and check out this article by Christine Walsh- Newton, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. 

COMPETITIVE EDGE: Learn an interesting perspective on new competition in the photography industry, a terrific podcast by international award winning photographer and PPA member Ben Hartley. He focuses on why being in a cluttered market can be a good thing and how to get out a scarcity mindset for the success of your photography business. 

IUSA 2016: If you missed this year's Imaging USA in Atlanta, you missed out on some incredible new experiences in photography and great inspiration from our keynote speaker. Check out this post and amazed by the splendor and magnificence that is Amy Purdy. 

AESTHETICS: Personal style is so important to have when owning your own photography business. It is your signature, what you will be known for. In this article by the Exposure School, learn how to adapt and define your personal style as a professional photographer and "unleash your inner creativity." 

MARKETING WISELY: One of the big keys to having a successful photography business is making sure you take in consideration the concerns, needs, and wants of your clientele. Check out this article to find ways to promote your business and great techniques on approaching your marketing plan for your photography business.

PRO TIPS: Are you having trouble showing people the difference it can make by hiring you as a professional photographer? Here are some helpful approaches to use from PPA member Jeff Rojas on how to capture the potential clientele your business needs. 

CONNECT: As a professional photographer you know that you have to pull the best out of your subject and make them feel so comfortable that they don't know the lens is even in front of them. Check out this article by Fstoppers and learn how to break the barrier between you and your subject. 

PHOTOVISION: This month PhotoVision has released a wide variety of videos with many different topics to help you become better photographers. Remember that as a PPA member you have access to over 800 videos from PhotoVision, head on over to their recently redesigned website!

ZENSPIRATION: It can be difficult to separate your work life from your personal life, thanks to a few new TED talks it just got a little easier. Learn a few tips on how to develop a balance between your work environment and your personal life. 

There you have it, our Weekly Roundup of our top 10 blog post! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorite on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommitee @

Aleighia Rouse is a graduating senior at Spelman College and PPA's Marketing and Communications intern. She aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. Aleighia is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice, and with over 6 years of film and photography experience, she can relate to and understand most of the issues faced by PPA photographers.


By Sarah Ackerman

The Southeast, Northeast and Western District Competitions have opened for entries (don't worry, North Central and Southwestern Districts, we're coming to you in the next few weeks)! Don't wait another day. Push yourself to be more creative in 2016. To get you prepared for competition, we're showcasing the critique of "Bacatia dal Sole" created by Richard Breshears, critiqued by Jamie Hayes,M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API from PPA's International Photographic Competition. 

In this critique, Jamie compares the work to the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. See what can apply to your work or identify areas you might want to focus on!

We hope this critique can help you get a better understanding of what the International Photographic Competition judges are looking for when scoring your images. Head to the District Competition section of PPA's website to see when your area is accepting entries, and be sure to get a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art! 

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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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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 980791_10153524820929051_3053145740937398337_o.jpgImaging USA 2016 was a resounding success all around and one of the most noteworthy takeaways was the keynote speech by Amy Purdy. Even those who were unfamiliar with Amy and her inspiring story found themselves blown away by her larger-than-life personality and charm. Now we want you to experience it too!
Paralympic medalist/motivational speaker/New York Times best-selling author/Adaptive Action Sports co-founder/Amazing Race and Dancing With The Stars runner-up Amy Purdy gave the inspirational keynote presentation to thousands of photographers on the first morning of Imaging USA 2016. A lot of photographers work alone and can be discouraged when trying to "make it". Amy offered a fresh perspective and showed everyone that it's all a matter of putting your heart and soul into something bigger than yourself. She shared her triumphant tale of overcoming the loss of her legs to go places she never thought she could. From nearly losing her life to being able to buy feet to match her favorite shoes, Amy's story is both thought-provoking and uplifting. Get some motivation and take your business to new heights by checking out the recording from her speech!

Want more info on Amy? Check out our previous blog posts to get more of her amazing life story.

By Sarah Ackerman

PhotoVision's February release has a wide range of photography topics to help you become a better photographer! In addition to the over 800 videos already available to PPA photographers, we're adding the following in the next few weeks:

Creating Cinemagraphs: Beth Forester, M.Photog., Cr, CPP
Beth Forester shows how to make a cinemagraph, which is a combination of still images with video that creates a fascinating visual. Beth talks about how they can be used as incentives for clients to order packages by including them free of charge. They also work great as social media marketing material.

Couples Posing Part 1: Jen Hillenga, M.Photog. Cr. 
Jen Hillenga photographs a young couple in their hip, open Brooklyn apartment. Jen challenges herself by using no equipment besides her camera to capture gorgeous, slice-of-life couple photos. She talks about how she started her photography business by exclusively shooting in people's homes and how she spun that as a benefit to her clients. She also discusses clothing choices and how she chooses the right coordinating outfits for the right shots.

The Fred Marcus Story: Andy Marcus, M.Photog., Cr. 
Photographer Andy Marcus sits down with PhotoVision correspondent Melanie Anderson to discuss the history of Fred Marcus Studio and what led them to their place of current prestige. Andy talks about the transition from film to digital and how he maintains a film sensibility in the age of digital. He shares how he runs a studio with numerous full time employees and freelancers in a way that maintains a high caliber of consistency.

Portraits of the Groom: Gary Hughes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Gary Hughes photographs a groom in a billiards room. Gary composes masculine, film-noir type images that would be worthy of the Rat Pack's portraits. He utilizes unconventional lighting methods, such as a powerful hand light diffused by an umbrella, that work perfectly for the run-and-gun nature of wedding photography. Gary teaches how to get stylized detail shots that look like they're straight out of a fashion magazine. Gary's thematic groom preparation shots will be sure to inspire creativity in your next wedding shoot.

As a PPA photographer, you have immediate access to 24/7 streaming of PhotoVision and PPAedu content (combined, it's over 1,300 tutorials and videos)! Not a member, join today! Check out the latest from PhotoVision on the newly redesigned website at Be More Educated!

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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 Lindsey Forson

Last week, PPA CEO David Trust, made his first trip of 2016 to Capitol Hill to continue PPA's advocacy for the rights of professional photographers. PPA's government affairs team is already hard at work preparing for the next trip later this month.  As you may have read in last week's copyright update, 2016 could be a very big year for small business copyright owners such as professional photographers! PPA is fighting for three primary priorities that have been identified as the most vital copyright concerns for the photographic industry which could be addressed through the current Congressional Copyright Review:

1.    The Creation of a Small Claims Option for Copyright Enforcement
2.    Modifications to the Copyright Registration process to improve participation and functionality
3.    Modernization of the United States Copyright Office

As the House Judiciary Committee winds down on their formal review of Copyright Law, the exciting thing is that some of their priorities are the same as ours! Several lawmakers who serve on this committee have identified Copyright Office Modernization and Copyright Small Claims as their desired accomplishments of the Copyright Review. Copyright registration issues could very well be addressed along with these topics as all three relate to copyright processes.
This means that actual legislation which specifically accomplishes PPA's priorities may make progress in Congress as early as this year and definitely within the next couple of years! In other words - over the past few years, there has been a whole lot of copyright talk on the Hill, and now is the time for some copyright action!

During last week's trip to DC, PPA's CEO met with key stakeholders from other copyright industries, including motion picture and music groups, to discuss copyright issues from the small business perspective. We are very excited to report that there is a great deal of cooperation and support of these priority issues within the entire copyright community. Through the Copyright Alliance, an association of copyright stakeholders which PPA belongs to, we will continue to band together to create the strongest and most unified voice possible.

Trust also met with offices of House Judiciary Committee members, including Congresswoman Chu, Congressman Collins, and Congressman Marino, who are all strong and outright advocates for improving the copyright system for small business creators through key legislative changes such as those PPA has prioritized. We thank these lawmakers for their strong support of creator's rights and will continue to work with these offices and others to help to advance legislation that would accomplish our goals.

It is vital to PPA's cause that each and every member becomes educated on our advocacy priorities because, before long, we hope to be calling on you for help. When a bill on any key copyright issue(s) is scheduled for a vote in committee and especially once legislation moves to the House floor, we will call on members to contact your representatives. Because we think that may happen soon, but cannot know exactly when, we are beginning the education process now.

During the next several weeks, you will find on this blog detailed educational pieces on each one of our priorities, beginning next week with "Why Modernize the Copyright Office?" Stay tuned to Be More Informed to Be More Protected at!

Lindsey Forson is PPA's Copyright & Government Affairs Coordinator. She works with members on a daily basis addressing copyright questions and works closely with our CEO to advocate for  professional photographers on Capitol Hill and to keep members informed on the issues that affect their businesses. She's new to Atlanta and spends most of her free time exploring the city (restaurants, markets, parks); spends three nights a week playing soccer and is a huge Auburn fan.

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By Chris Homer

Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in the power of education for all (it's normally reserved only for PPA members)! The PPAedu library has a lot to help you sharpen your photography techniques, marketing strategies, sales techniques, regular business operations and more! These tutorials and educational videos are available 24/7 to PPA members. And between PPAedu and PhotoVision, if you are with PPA, you can tap into over 1,300 online programs to help you Be More! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision in a little while, go back now: there's a brand new website with a lot of new videos!

For the month of February, the video "Environmental Lighting: The Basics" with Jamie Hayes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, has been unlocked and is available for anyone who wants to learn how to photograph outdoors using natural light. Shooting outdoors using natural light can be challenging--clouds, too much sun or a strong wind, and your moment is gone. In this class, Jamie gives you the fundamentals you need to successfully use natural light and make the most of your outdoor opportunities.

If you're a member of PPA, just log in to watch the video anytime. Non-members will have access to this video this month only at For full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos, join PPA today!

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.


by James Yates

As we turn the corner on January and what was an amazing Imaging USA month here at PPA, let's take a look at some of the best blog posts from Jan. 25-29, 2016. From the secrets of creative people to Imaging USA highlights and wrap-ups, there's something for everyone! Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Weekly_Top_Ten_Excited.jpg

1. Imaging USA 2016, Imaging USA 2016 Review, & Imaging USA Fresh Look
IMAGING TOURS: Ann-Marie Ford has a great set of pics from Imaging up on her AM blog. Brian Striegler Photography recapped all three days of Imaging in great detail. Judith Chauvette took tons of model shots from Imaging USA and posted them to her Fresh Look blog. If you missed out this year, look through these and be very jealous. Then, mark your calendar to join us for Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, January 8-10!

2. Copyright: PPA Helps You Be More Informed, Be More Prepared, and Be More Involved!
©ACTION NEEDED: PPA's Lindsey Forson educates us on all the latest developments in U.S. Copyright Law. PPA has been advocating tirelessly for changes to the law that will protect small business, high-volume photographers. Check out how you can get involved as soon as legislation makes it to the floor of Congress.

3. Six Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People
CREATIVITY BOOST: studies some of history's greatest creative minds and came up with this eye-opening list of daily habits they have in common. These six strategies have the power to change the way you think about creativity.

4. A Beginner's Guide to Working with Flash Off-Camera
LIGHTING HOW-TO GUIDE: In this tutorial, Digital Photography School shows you the quick and easy steps to shooting portraits using off-camera speedlights. From gear and setting up to step-by-step lighting, this Beginner's Guide is a must-read if you're working with off-camera flash.

5. Eight Ways to Separate Yourself From the Competition
BUSINESS HACKING: Rosh Sillars wants to help you get noticed and earn what you're worth. His eight steps aim to add value to what you do. Stepping outside of your bubble, engaging with worldwide cultures and trends and sending unique thank-you cards are just some of his tips for standing out from your competition.   

6. Time Lapse Imaging USA Trade Show Opening
TIME LAPSE TELLS A STORY: Check out this delightful footage from from the floor of the Georgia World Congress Center. See all the first-day madness from the bottom of the escalator when the Expo doors finally opened! 

7. Adulting with Randy Van Duinen
IMAGING RECAP: PhotoBomb guys Booray and Gary interview Randy Van Duinen for a three-part Imaging Recap podcast. Check out this second show, which is all about Randy's history and tips on how he makes a living with architectural photography.

8. Closing the Loop: Photographer Susan Michal
LEAD & INSPIRE: Read or listen to the amazing life story of Susan Michal, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, courtesy of WJCT, Florida. Learn how her music background combined with her passion and talent for photography and led her all the way to the Chairmanship of PPA.

9. Capturing the Female Form with Master Photographer Sue Bryce
IMAGING USA FAVORITE: gives a play-by-play of one of the most popular classes at Imaging USA 2016: Sue Bryce. Find out why the packed audience was so excited to learn from one of the fashion world's greatest photographers.

10. Imaging USA 2016 Was Incredible!
EXPO VIDEO: Broadcast Pro Photo takes you on their journey of what made Imaging USA so special. Check out their iMovie video tour of the Expo floor and feel like you're really there. 

Hope you are as inspired and excited for 2016 post-Imaging USA as we are! This is going to be a great year! And please let us know what photography blogs or podcasts you follow! Post your favorite on theLoop or email us links at 
Thank you!

Happy Friday, all!
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Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to our very own Julia Boyd, Certification Director, for attaining her own Certification as a Certified Association Executive (CAE). Yay, Julia!
Attaining the CAE designation is an arduous process that typically requires a minimum of five years, culminating in 8 to 10 months of intensive study and preparation for the exam. The 200 question exam requires intensive knowledge and understanding of associations' law, finances, taxes, advocacy, leadership, and management (among other things). It's kind of a BIG DEAL! And we wanted to share it with you, as PPA staff is getting better and better... for you!

By Aleighia Rouse

See The Difference® is an advertising initiative and a marketing toolkit for photographers who belong to PPA to help with their sales and marketing efforts. The purpose of See The Difference is to reshape the public's view of professional photography and equip professional photographers like you with marketing resources to explain your pricing, the quality of your work, and the worthiness of your overall skill set. This campaign was developed for professional photographers by professional photographers and those who are members of PPA get FREE marketing tools to help. These photographers' marketing tools include customizable brochures, logos, side-by-side comparisons, dedicated landing pages and consumer tips, FAQs, and quizzes. 

Add a PPA logo to your website and stand out among the many photographers out there. By adding a logo you are showing clients that you are backed by a well-established and trustworthy association. When you are a PPA member, See The Difference offers two logos to choose from and both are available in full color, black, or white. They even include transparent backgrounds so that they will look professional on your website. And if you're a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), you can go to the "I'm a CPP" page under "Certification" and download your CPP logo. 

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

Aleighia Rouse is a graduating senior at Spelman College and PPA's Marketing and Communications intern. She aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around. Aleighia is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice, and with over 6 years of film and photography experience, she can relate to and understand most of the issues faced by PPA photographers.

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By Sarah Ackerman

2016 is off to a quick start! Can you believe it's nearly February? Time flies when you're working on things you love! Take a moment and check in on some of our top discussions from theLoop!
What do you do to turn passion projects into profit? When your artistic vision changes, it can be a challenge! Help this PPA portrait photographer explore where she can take her landscapes. 

Watermarking has been a time honored tradition in years passed to help market your work, but has its time come to an end? Weigh in with this PPA photographer to share your experience with keeping your stamp on your work.

Have you ever been put in a position where a client was past due on a bill and you had to charge a late fee? How did you handle it? Help this PPA photographer figure out what's an appropriate amount.

Sometimes clients are disappointed for a variety of reasons, many of which may be out of your control. What do you do when a client demands too much? Chime in with this PPA photographer to share how you would handle this situation. 

Volume photographers unite! In a volume world, how do you offer online reorders that don't take ages to set up on your site? Help this PPA photographer streamline their workflow to maximize profits and minimize time wasted. 

Sometimes the best of the best isn't feasible, so what's a good midrange option for monitors? Do you have a favorite anecdote or a horror story to steer this PPA photographer in the right direction? Chime in!

When your clients insist on just having the files and not having anything printed, what's an appropriate price? And would you barter for leads? Share your feedback with this PPA photographer!

If you're a newborn photographer, how do you handle sales sessions? New moms have their hands full and adding to their stress won't lead to your top sales, so what's the best option? Help this PPA newborn photographer navigate her way to better sales here.

As a photographer, it's important to get your name in front of your potential customers. Have you ever used a mall display? If so, how did it work? Weigh in on this thread!

When a job is substantially larger than any other job you've done, how do you go about handling the pricing? For this PPA commercial photographer, do you do it by the hour, by the unit or just a flat rate for the whole project? Weigh in here!

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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