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PPA Today

By Autumn Rice

Before you fire up the barbecue and see a few great firework shows, take some time to enjoy our favorite blog posts of the week of June 27!

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Copyright Small Claims Court: Not Just a Dream

SMALL CLAIMS: PPA's CEO David Trust shares his take on small claims copyright legislations, why it's so important, and how to take action. Read the article here.

What Bill Cunningham Taught Us About Ethical Journalism

PHOTOGRAPHY COMMUNITY: The photography community is extremely saddened by the passing of legendary fashion photographer Bill Cunningham. Check out this recap of his work, and the mark he left on the photography community.

Who Owns Your Photo Once It's Posted On Facebook? Copyright Cheat Sheet Download

COPYRIGHT: Did you ever stop and think if Facebook takes ownership of your photo once you post it? I don't think many people answer yes. Check out what this article says about copyrights on Facebook!

How To Use The Face-Aware Liquify In Photoshop

BEST PRACTICE: Here is a great Photoshop hack for photographers. Learn how to use the Face-Aware Liquify feature to improve photo editing. Check it out!

13 Things To Know Before You're Drone-Ready

DRONES: We have new drone regulations that benefit the use of drones in photography. But before you head out and put your drone to work be sure to check out this article about the 13 things you need to know before you're drone ready.

Fstoppers Writers Reveal Their Biggest Mistakes in Photography

MISTAKES: We all make mistakes; it's pretty much inevitable. But the key is to learn from them. Check out what the photographers in this article say their biggest mistakes are and how they learned from them.

How To Read A Photograph: Left To Right Or Right To Left?

INTERESTING TAKE: Have you ever taken the time to think about how you read a picture? For photographers, knowing what part of the photograph attracts attention first affects the composition of a picture. See how this article says we read photos! 

Spectacular Drone Photos Capture the Beauty of Australia's Landscape

LANDSCAPE: Drones often get a bad reputation for being dangerous, but in the hands of a responsible professional, they capture some really amazing moments. Check out these spectacular photos of Australia's beautiful landscape, all captured by drones. 

4 Lost Masterpieces Recreated Using Only Stock Photos

CREATIVITY: Adobe asked a few artists to recreate 4 lost masterpieces to show off the potential behind their stock photography collection. Check out these impressive recreations using only Adobe Stock Imagery!

Tips for Shooting Fireworks!

ADVICE: The Fourth of July is almost here and we know you want to get some great shots of fireworks. Here's an article that offers advice on how to get the best possible shots this Fourth of July.


 

By Autumn Rice

Summer is all about fun, but don't forget about running your business. Before you head out for some amazing adventure, be sure to check in with your fellow PPA members on theLoop for some great conversation and advice. Here's a preview of some of the top discussions from theLoop in June.

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A member has had their entire computer hacked and the files encrypted. Even worse, the hackers are demanding money for the return of the files. Tons of advice on how to protect your files and your business before this happens!

This Looper needs some advice about choosing between Lightroom and Capture One products. Chime in the conversation and let him know your take on the issue!

This photographer needs some new tips and tricks for Photoshop. Do you have any? Let him know some of your favorite Photoshop methoods.

Here's a thread about helpful website designs to distinguish your business from the competition. See what your fellow Loopers have to say!

Does anyone know about online back-up systems? Here's a discussion thread to fill you in on all your options. Check out the conversation!

This Looper needs some help with traveling with her photography equipment. Do you know any ways to navigate the airport with your gear?

This new family photographer needs some advice for getting good photos of families with more than three people. Any advice? Share it in this discussion thread!

This Looper needs an upgrade and your help. If you know anything about mobile photography and computers join the conversation!

 Remember to check in with theLoop for a safe place to stay connected with the photography community and discuss all your photographic interests. Not a PPA member? Join here!


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by James Yates
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You're all set to go to Imaging USA 2017, but you've never been to San Antonio before? Relax. Your PPA Team was just there, scouting out the best attractions and locations and preparing enough photography-convention-awesomeness to blow your ten-gallon hat off come January. 

In addition to shooting a guide to the newly remodeled Convention Center (which you'll see at a later date), we took a look at some of the best San Antonio has to offer. Here's a handy guide of things to consider making time for your trip in January:

Start with The Riverwalk, the unique, can't-miss 2.5-mile walkway along the San Antonio River. Take one of the famed Riverboat Tours to see the other side of attractions like the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Arneson River Theater and the Aztec Theatre. The boats pass right by and through several restaurants, making any night out to eat a gorgeous experience. It may sound like a tourist trap, it's not! It's really nice! That's probably why the Riverwalk is Texas' second most popular tourist spot after...The Alamo/The Missions. Remember this? No trip to San Antonio would be complete without visiting the Alamo and the other four Spanish frontier outposts designated as a National Historic Park. Founded in 1939, La Villita Historic Arts Village is San Antonio's original neighborhood. La Vallita houses over 30 art galleries and shops along with several restaurants. The Arneson River Theater is also there so you can get a better look from off of the boat. The RiverCenter Mall is also located on the Riverwalk and literally right downstairs from our host hotels. It's a fully functioning mall with all the stores you may need to get your shopping fix ($6 cowboy hats, anyone?) and tons of restaurants including a food court if you want something fast and cheap! You can experience the largest Mexican mercado in the city for authentic shopping underneath all those iconic, colorful flags at Market Square. Get the best view of San Antonio from atop the 750 ft-tall Tower of the Americas, built in 1968 for the Hemisfair (World's Fair), which you'll hear a lot about because it was a huge deal for the city. 

If you're looking to venture away from the downtown area by car or bus, The San Antonio Botanical Gardens, the San Antonio Aquarium and the San Antonio Zoo offer some of the most beautiful, Texas-sized flora and fauna for the entire family to enjoy. There are also the big theme parks, SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas if you have the need for speed and want to ride the state-of-the-art Iron Rattler or Steel Eel. Other kinds of thrill-seekers may want to check out the Natural Bridge Caverns, named for the 60 foot limestone slab that spans the caverns' entrance.  

We weren't sure what to expect from our planning trip to San Antonio, but what we got was a beautiful city with a lively and bustling downtown area, all easily accessible from the Imaging USA hotels and convention center. We're more certain than ever that January 2017 is going to be AWESOME. 

For more info, head over to ImagingUSA.org/about-san-antonio. If you haven't registered yet for Imaging USA 2017, be sure to head over to ImagingUSA.org/Register and take advantage of the Early Bird rates! 


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James Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.

By Autumn Rice

PPA photographers are a very diverse group of people, but one common thread is their passion for the backup that their peers provide. PPA's YouTube video series, Behind The Camera, features professional photographers who share their trials and tribulations, and their relationship with their PPA community. Today Certified Professional Photographer Aubrey Hord 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.

The world of professional photography spreads far and wide, which makes it easy to feel that you have to "go at it alone". PPA's goal is to link professional photographers together, provide a support system and business backbone to help photographers grow, sustainably. 

Watch the video below; you'll learn how becoming a Certified Professional Photographer, and working in Hawaii helped Aubrey Hord distinguish her photography business.

 
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.

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By James Yates
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Loopers know that the best way to find answers to your photography business questions is to ask it on theLoop, PPA's official, members-only social network. The discussions on theLoop are always productive and helpful, so dive right in!

Here's a recent example of a question and the first couple of responses. 

Q: Is the use of a UV filter standard? If so, which do I need and what is a good brand to purchase?
--Andre R.

Andre,
You are going to get a lot of opinions on this.
Some for and some against using a UV filter, and then on which one to buy.
I'll just tell you my experience and you can decide for yourself. There is a belief that the more you spend on one the better it will be. 
I use them. I have had at least 6 incidents where I've dropped or bumped a lens (no lens hood attached), and the filter was trashed. But the lens was fine. Two incidents where I did not have a filter on the lens but I did have a lens hood - and the lens hood was destroyed, leaving the lens intact. I have had one incident where the integrated lens hood on a 14-24 zoom, a lens that does not lend itself to a convenient filter arrangement, did not save the lens and the front element was trashed.
There is an article that you might find helpful if you decide to use the filter.
www.lenstip.com/113.4-article-UV_filters_test_Description_of_the_results_and_summary.html
The cheaper filters have non-metal mounts, where the more costly ones use brass. At one point in the past when lens barrels were made of metal, I would prefer to have a filter that was made of brass. These days, many lenses have hard plastic filter threads, which in the past have cross threaded when using metal filters. I have yet to have that happen with the non-metal filter mounts.
-Eugene L.

Andre,
The argument for and against UV filters (like Eugene says) is as follows:
Fact 1: Every UV filter will degrade your image (even the most expensive ones).
Fact 2: Every UV filter will protect the front element of your lens (even the cheapest filters).
The decision you have to make is, in my opinion, if negligible degradation of the image with a good UV filter is worth the protection it offers your equipment. 
Every one of my lenses has a UV filter on the constantly. When I worked full time in an indoor photo studio, none of my lenses had UV filters. 
I'm with Eugene on this one. I'd rather have a protected lens, then a lens with a damaged front element, because the degradation of your image with a shattered front element is definitely noticeable.
I like B+W filters. They are made by Schneider one of the best optical manufactures in the world. While you're checking out filters, they make an amazing Circular Polarizing filter, which is the second filter I'd buy. For the UV filter, just buy the largest lens diameter you have (77mm or similar) and get a bunch of Step-up rings to make it fit on the different lenses.
-Pascal D.

Check in at theLoop.PPA.com to see more responses and ask your own questions for peer-to-peer discussion and support!


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James Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.
by James Yates
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It's now been six months since the inaugural class of PPA's Business Challenge started on theLoop. Since then a new group has started each month and those participating are making changes that will affect their businesses and their lives as they continue their entrepreneurial journey.  

One of the first things Challenge participants are tasked to do is define their personal idea of success and then create a sales and session projection using the online tool, Square One. It helps point every small business owner in the right direction and kicks off your Challenge-year with a firm understanding of what you need to accomplish in the upcoming months. Here are just a few comments pulled from the Discussion Threads on how things are going for our current participants:

"I did the square one projections for my business.  Wow.  I had to go thru it a few times and it was eye opening.  Not charging enough!!!  This was so helpful... "
Kim B. 


"Just realized I misunderstood net income.  This changes things...  YIKES.  Now I'm getting that crazy scared feeling in the pit of my stomach... This is such a huge kick in the rear.  I did a few breakdowns - with and without (a physical) studio.  (End goal is to have a studio space of my very own, so I wanted to see what needed to be done.)"
Later...
"Happy to report that I finished my projections yesterday.  I did one for a home based studio and one for a retail space.  I figured that my goal would be to aim for the retail space numbers since I want to end up with a studio.  If I fall short and hit my home based numbers, that's ok - just means I landed among the stars, right?  I'd be happy with either number right now, as long as eventually I get to the retail numbers!  :)...And now that I've done my a la carte pricing, I'm seeing clearly how that will help me reach the projection numbers.  It's all starting to come together in my brain." 
Karen C.

"I just used the square one tool, and it really gives me a starting goal for what I need to do.  So far I am working well towards my goals and getting the sales per session mark.  I just need to do more sessions. More sessions will come from more marketing and better time management." 
Jennifer J.

By Chris Homer

Seeking a hearty niche to claim as her own, Alison Miniter, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, turned to the lovers of classic cars. With loads of personal experience attending car shows because of her car-loving husband, Miniter saw an opportunity to provide custom photography to a new audience. 

Learn how Miniter has made a name and a niche in "Driving Sales" on PPMag.com.


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout 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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By Chris Homer

Last week, we broke the news that the long-awaited FAA regulations relating to Unmanned
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 Aircraft Systems (UAS) weighing less than 55 pounds were announced! With the new regulations, if you want to use a small drone in your photography business you must be certified by the FAA. Here are some more details on becoming certified!

According to the new FAA rules, the estimated out-of-pocket cost for an individual to become certified as a remote pilot with a small UAS rating is $150. This will cover the testing fee.

The required aeronautical knowledge test will cover the following subject areas:

- Regulations applicable to small UAS operations

- Airspace classification and operating requirements, maintenance and inspection procedures, and flight restrictions affecting small unmanned aircraft operation

- Official sources of weather and effects of weather on small unmanned aircraft performance

- Small UAS loading and performance

- Emergency procedures

- Crew resource management

- Radio communication procedures

- Determining the performance of small unmanned aircraft

- Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol

- Aeronautical decision-making and judgment

- Airport operations.

You'll be able to take the test at more than 700 FAA-approved testing centers. Get more information from the FAA on certification here

And don't forget you can learn even more about the new FAA regulations for drones during PPA's "It's Legal To Use Drones in My Business, Now What?" webinar on July 12 at 2pm ET.

ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout 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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By Chris Homer

As we count down the days to fireworks and hotdogs, take a minute to check out the top
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 photography blog posts for the week of June 20! 

DRONES/UAS NEWS: The FAA has just announced new regulations regarding the operation of drones that will allow photographers to offer this type of photography to their clients, provided you meet some requirements. Check out the news on the PPA blog!

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRACTS: Contracts can be a tricky thing, especially when dealing with a 'work-for-hire' situation. In this post on Photo District News, lawyers review several editorial photography contracts and break down what some of that confusing language means. You may be surprised! This is a must read for all photographers.

BUSINESS TIPS: If you've ever experienced hard drive failure, you know how stressful it can be to lose all of your images. Help avoid this problem by creating a USB Recovery Drive. Photofocus breaks down the steps in this post. And if hard drive failure still happens to you, don't forget about your PPA member benefit with DriveSavers

TUTORIAL: Whether or not you shoot cityscapes at night, this post from Digital Photography School provides a good tutorial of how to use Luminosity Masks in Photoshop and the results you can get by using them!

BACK TO THE BASICS: Do you understand how the histogram display on the back of your DSLR works and what it can tell you about a photograph you just took? Take a look at these exercises from Picture Correct that will help you understand the histogram! 

By Chris Homer

The early registration deadline for The International Photographic Competition (IPC) is quickly approaching. Be sure to enter your images today by 5pm EST to avoid the additional fee! 

IPC gives photographers the opportunity to improve their work through competition and critiques from some of the most noted photographers in the business. Entering the International Photographic Competition has many benefits, including:

  • Engage with the passionate and supportive photographic competition community 
  • Improve your best work (Raise your hand if you want to get better!)
  • Earn the admiration and recognition of your peers
  • Ultimately improve your business
Your images will be evaluated based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the areas in which you may need improvement. It's an amazing learning experience!

Entering your work in a competition can be scary for first-timers. So, to make it a little easier, here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image is "Determined" by George Austin and is being judged by International Juror Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API.

Take a look back and see how constructive criticism from the judges and application of their feedback can improve your work as a photographer.


We hope this critique will give you a better understanding of what the judges are looking for when scoring your images. Enter your images into the International Photographic Competition today! Registration is open until June 22, 2016 at 5pm EST. Late registration extends to July 7, with an additional fee. Be sure to enter your images by 5 pm EST today to avoid paying the extra fee! The IPC judging dates are July 31-August 4, 2016 and you can stream it live at Stream.theIPC.org. Be sure to request a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art. Familiarize yourself with the rules for the Photographic Open and Photographic Artist categories today at www.PPA.com/IPC


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout 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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