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PPA Today


By Aleighia Rouse 

Good golly Mr. and Ms. Molly's! August has approached its end! Where did all of the time go? We are hopeful that you spent your time doing exciting things for your amazing businesses and learning a little bit more in the process.  Here is a little something to add to that list, our top ten blog posts of the week, just for you! 

BOOKING: As school revs up in full motion, it can be hard to get your senior student clients booked on the calendar. It's not very easy to bring summer beach weather to Oklahoma autumn weather. See PPAedu instructor Jen Basford's, Cr.Photog., tips to get those students photos done well.  

CREATIVITY:  Feeling uninspired? Maybe it is the creative energy you have surrounding you! Read FStoppers as they explain why it is important to have a creative collective around you when you are an artist. 

REFERENCES: This is for all our landscape photographers out there. We know your job isn't just taking pictures of random objects and infrastructures; it is much bigger than that. It's nice to have some people that understand that struggle.  Read Robert Rodriguez Jr.'s talk about who his influencers are in the field of landscape photography. 

INFORMATION: Imaging USA is right around the corner and I know you are excited, holding your tickets in hand.  Another important feature to this convention is the awesome pre-convention classes we offer. Though an extra fee, they are worth the intimate learning experience. 

PETS:  Pet photography can be an intense experience, especially when Spot decides to be more concerned with using the backdrop as a chew toy then sitting in front of the camera.  Check out these tips from PPA photographers to helping get the best images out of man and woman's best friend. 

CONSIDER: As a professional photographer you have to be able to make anything possible and being that every subject is different, this can be a very hard job. This post from PetaPixel highlights this difficulty. Read about photographer Rick Guidotti work photographing people with genetic conditions. 

WILDLIFE:  Thrills, chills, and beauty can all be found in wildlife photography. There are some things that must be known ahead of time before you end up in the middle of the woods with your camera.  See these tips from Digital Photography School! 

SOCIAL: Have you considered expanding your company into the realm of blogs? If you don't believe us check out this post from Digital Camera World for reasons why you should! 

BE DIFFERENT:  Photography can sometimes become difficult especially when you don't want to look just like the next professional in the field. See these easy tips on how to stand out in the wonderful world of professional photography. 

EQUIPMENT. It can be difficult and expensive to keep up with the latest in new features and camera gear.  Here are some tips on how to save money and make the best out of what you already have. 
 


Aleighia Rouse is known by her happy personality and bubbly voice. With over 6 years of the film and photography experience, Aleighia can relate to most of the issues that come along with being a photographer. A graduating senior at Spelman College and our Marketing and Communications intern, Aleighia aspires to hold a position just like the amazing people she works around.  

By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta is rapidly approaching. As you make preparations for the convention, consider signing up for a pre-convention class to increase your photographic education opportunities!
 
While Imaging USA has a whole host of classes included with your full-access registration covering topics that all photographers can learn from during the convention from January 10-12, there are also additional classes occurring from January 7-9. These pre-convention classes require an additional fee, but the class sizes are limited to smaller groups, meaning you'll get more one-on-one attention from the instructor! 

Pre-convention classes range from multiple day workshops, like PPA's Business Workshop or the Certification Preparation Class, to full day classes on topics like using Lightroom, learning Corel Painter, getting your images ready for the International Photographic Competition, and more! 

Plus, there's also Hands-On pre-convention classes, where you'll go out on a photo shoot with the instructor and practice the skills you are taught with your camera! These classes are shorter, so you can attend multiple classes during the day and get all the hands-on practice you want.
 
Find the complete list of pre-convention classes on the Programs By Day page on imagingusa.org. Make the most of your educational opportunities at Imaging USA and sign up for one today!

Visit imagingusa.org for more information on registering, hotels, travel and more. 


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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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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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Editor's Note: Renowned Photographer Anne Geddes AnneGeddes_headshot1.jpg

We are very excited to share with you that PPA has teamed up with world-renowned photographer and PPA lifetime member Anne Geddes. Anne is adding her voice to PPA's See The Difference campaigns and will help all of us showcase the value of professional photography to prospects and clients. 
Over this last decade, point-and-shoot high-end technology and other forms of non-professional photography have muddied our industry, lowering the bar and the mass' perception of what is acceptable in terms of quality and professional service.

At PPA we have been working on developing the See The Difference campaign to (1) provide PPA photographers with sales tools and arguments to stand out from the ocean of photographers, and (2) to get consumers to grasp the difference and worth professional photographers make and why the investment should be a no brainer. 

Who's Anne Geddes?

"Only" one of the most famous child and newborn photographers ever! Her career highlights include an Oprah-featured coffee table book "Down in the Garden" that rose to become a New York Times Best Seller, a series of greeting cards sold internationally, a best-selling annual calendar now in the 25th continuous edition, and an extensive, acclaimed photography series and collection of books featuring third-world children facing extreme health problems and needs as part of her various roles as a global ambassador, advocate and volunteer for the United Nations and March of Dimes. 

Anne sent over the short blog post below, reflecting on her career and sharing her excitement to now  being even more involved with PPA.

How PPA (And Others) Helped Shape My Career and Can Help Shape Yours
By Anne Geddes

Many of you might not know this, but I didn't pick up a camera until I was 25 years old. I grew up in the far north of Australia and in the small country schools I attended there were no photography courses. But I've always loved the concept of being able to capture forever, a single moment in time (isn't that why we're all photographers?) and I was particularly drawn to images of people. 

In my teens and early 20s I subscribed to Life magazine when it was in its heyday, and marveled at the way complete stories could be told purely with the use of imagery. I began my career as many others do, photographing families (and in particular, children) on location in their homes and gardens, but it wasn't until I first walked in to a photographic studio that my personal style began to take shape. My 10 years of private portrait commissions were invaluable, as by trial and error, I gradually learned how differently children react at various ages. 
Can you believe August is half over?! Where has our summer gone? We hope you've spent yours doing good things, building your business and learning new tips and tricks. To add to that list, here's our top ten blog posts of the week for you!

MOTIVATION: Put an end to being green with envy and put into action a plan that will get you there. Whether it's your perfect session, returning clients or just more revenue, you can do it if you take the first step. See how Rachel Brenke of theLawTog makes it happen.

CONTENT IS KING: High school photographers know more than anyone how important it is to keep active on social media. The problem is, all of that activity can take up a lot of your time. See how you can repurpose that great content with this blog by Nancy Nardi from Seniors Ignite. 

LIGHTING: Many photographers preach the joys of soft lighting, but there's a case to be made for hard light. Join Chris Gampat on an exploration of hard light and the benefits your images will see by using it. 

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS: The contract is signed, the deposit is in, and now your client is making extra demands. Everyone can use a refresher on how to say "no" effectively (and politely). Here's a video from Imaging Resource and Ted Forbes from the Art of Photography that provides an excellent guide on how to say no, but keep your clients happy!

PERSPECTIVE: It's always a goal of a landscape photographer to showcase the expansive space they are trying to capture, but how do you do that effectively? Read this great article from Spencer Cox on Photography Life and discover the six ways to showcase the size and scope of your subjects.

MARKETING 101: Being able to reach your target consumer in an easy and effective manner is extremely important. The fine folks at FStoppers are here to give you three ways to better target your marketing materials to your ideal consumer in this must-read blog post.  

PLANNING: If you've got your eyes set on a great trip to Atlanta in January, you might want to book your hotel sooner than later. Atlanta is a busy convention destination, especially in the winter months and room prices outside of the Imaging USA block can get pricey! Find a roommate and grab a room at one of the four official convention hotels today!

PODCAST: Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP & Gary Hughes, M.Photog.Cr., are back for Photobomb! They talk about all things IPC related, and chat it up with PPAedu and Imaging USA speaker Jen HIlenga, M.Photog.Cr.! This podcast is full of shenanigans and photography, so if you need an entertaining podcast for the car, check them out. 

SHIFT PERSPECTIVE: This is a great article that puts this paradox into perspective: it's not because millions of photos are taken each day that professional photography is declining. It's about the younger generation's thirst to create a proof of our presence on this planet. Take a moment and see what you think about the author's perspective from PhotoShelter.

See How the Indemnification Trust Helped This PPA Photographer
MALPRACTICE PROTECTION: The Indemnification Trust is a mouthful, but it can save your business. Learn what the Trust provides in this video to see where Abbie, a PPA photographer, explains how she was affected and how she was able to get out of a sticky situation. 

There you have it, our favorite posts of the week! What photography blogs or podcasts do you follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee (at) PPA (dot) com.

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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. 


By Sarah Ackerman

Although the 2015 International Photographic Competition (IPC) has wrapped, it's never too early to get a jump on next year's images!

If you entered this year's competition and requested a critique, this is a sample of what you'll see! Here is the critique of Erik Vicino's image "Plastic Feelings" by Richard Avalos, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. This image merited, but was not accepted into the General or Loan Collections. In this video you'll find out what held this image back. Check it out to see if any of the changes could be applied to your next entry at District Competitions next year.



Hopefully seeing this critique will help you better understand what the IPC Judges are looking for next year! If you ordered a critique from this year's IPC, log on to see your very own on PPA.com under the My PPA section. Results for all of the International Photographic Competition can be found here. Dates for the 2016 competition schedule will be released shortly!


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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 Sarah Ackerman

If you've heard us say it once, you've heard us say it a thousand times: the Benchmark Survey is a great tool to help your business. Still leery of the results? Take a few minutes and watch fellow pros like you discuss what parts of the Benchmark helped them increase their profit margins up to 40%! 



Motivated to make the change? Explore all of the Benchmark resources available to you as a PPA photographer. Check out Square One to set annual goals for sales per sessions to make your marks. And remember to read the detailed analysis of the Benchmark Business Guide to explore the path you need to take to boost your take home income and grow your business to where you want it to be. All these resources are here to help you Be More Profitable. 

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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 Sarah Ackerman

Save yourself the trouble of searching for a good rate - PPA has already done the work and negotiated discounted rates for you during Imaging USA! And there is a variety of options to suit everyone's needs. 

Omni Hotel at CNN Center

Stay attached to the action! Luxurious comfort embraces pure style at the elegant, four-diamond Omni Hotel at CNN Center with views of the spectacular downtown skyline. Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, this hotel is also connected to the Georgia World Congress Center (Imaging USA's home!) by an enclosed walkway, making it the most convenient and incredibly comfortable option; we should add that it's connected to the CNN Center with its large food court and major Atlanta attractions are within a short walking distance. 

Hyatt Regency Atlanta Hotel

The Hyatt Regency is a landmark destination on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. In 2011, the hotel completed a $65 million transformation that renewed its look and feel, but also its dining experience, technology and functionality. Some of the amenities include complimentary internet in guest rooms! The Hyatt Regency is also located within blocks of many downtown restaurants and attractions and Atlanta's metro, MARTA. 

Bonus: while the Hyatt is an easy walk from Imaging USA, as January isn't the warmest month in Atlanta, there will be a courtesy shuttle bus provided to the Georgia World Congress Center for Imaging USA guests!

Holiday Inn Express Atlanta Downtown

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Atlanta Downtown is a 173 guest room property conveniently located within walking distance to Atlanta's best attractions and just blocks from the Georgia World Congress Center. Holiday Inn offers a complimentary full hot breakfast, wireless internet, local calls, and all rooms are equipped with microwave, mini fridge and coffee maker. There also is a business center and fitness center for your personal use at no charge! 

The Glenn Hotel, a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel

Located in Atlanta's Downtown business district, and extremely walkable to the Georgia World Congress Center, the Glenn is an urban boutique hotel. You'll feel fancy schmancy as you stay in this reasonably priced hotel (thank you Imaging USA discounts!) Rooms include complimentary wireless internet access, ample working space and a warm ambiance, business center usage, fitness center, bottled water and coffee each morning. Plus since it's a part of the Marriott family, you can earn points or use them towards your stay.

As you're preparing for your trip, we also wanted to bring to your attention a few scams we've heard about as of late. It has been brought to our attention that there are multiple third parties claiming to represent Imaging USA and offering Exhibitors and Attendees alike "assistance" with hotel bookings. These third parties are aggressively cold-calling and spamming companies whose names appear on ImagingUSA.org. Please be aware, these third parties are not in any way affiliated with Imaging USA and do not give you the best discount, like Imaging USA gets you. Please book your hotel using the links/phone number provided at ImagingUSA.org/Travel/Hotel. PPA is working through the proper channels to put an end to this poaching and apologizes for their deceptive behavior. Here are some of the scams we've heard about that you should be aware of. ImagingUSA.org/Scams.

Visit ImagingUSA.org to book your hotel and register for the conference. We can't wait to see you in Atlanta!

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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


There's a bajillion reasons to go to Imaging USA, but how about a little bonus inspiration?! Renowned motivational speaker and Paralympian Amy Purdy is coming and will give a keynote presentation Sunday morning at 10am. If you haven't already, make sure you register now because you won't want to miss this life-changing session!

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Who's Amy? Amy Purdy is known for overcoming the loss of her legs at age 19 to become a Paralympic bronze medalist in snowboarding. Purdy's spirit and attitude led her to become a New York Times best-selling author, model, TED Talks speaker, and even landed her on the screen with roles in independent film and as a contestant on TV shows like ABC's Dancing with the Stars and CBS' The Amazing Race. While doing all this, she also found time to co-found Adaptive Action Sports, a nonprofit organization which helps those with permanent disabilities to get involved in action sports; and to top it all, she is getting ready to release a clothing line in spring 2016.

Because Amy's program is truly a game changer, no other programs will conflict with her address. Check out her under 10-minute Ted Talk for a preview on what's to come!

Imaging USA 2016 will be held January 10 to 12 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. More than 10,000 professional photographers will spend over three days of everything photography from education to inspiration as well as some photographers-only shopping opportunities.

Imaging USA has also blocked rooms at several nearby hotels for attendees to take advantage of the reduced pricing. This is a coup in itself, because there is another convention downtown Atlanta at the same time as Imaging USA, which is causing local hotel prices to sky-rocket.

There are many different ways to experience Imaging USA, including but not limited to the full conference, a full conference plus pre-conference courses option, parties only, and tradeshow only.

Visit ImagingUSA.org for complete registration information and pricing options. And keep checking back for updates on speakers, classes and event schedules. Each year, Imaging USA helps photographers Be More Inspired, Be More Motivated, Be More Creative and Be More Connected. Consider joining the experience and kick off 2016 right. We hope to see you there!

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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. 



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