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PPA Today

Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13).

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers.

Let's Meet...


Al Audleman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API

Al Audleman is a commercial photographer operating out of St. Petersburg, Florida. A PPA Master Photographer and Photographic Craftsman, he was one of the first PPA-approved Photographic Instructors, PPA Certified for 29 years, and one of the first officially-recognized PPA Certification Instructors.

Professional recognition includes several PPA Loan Collection images, selection to the Kodak Epcot Center Exhibit, Kodak Gallery and Fuji Masterpiece Awards, Florida's "Becker Award for Creative Photography," and the coveted Florida People's Choice Award. Al has also earned the Georgia Fellowship Degree, the Florida Degree of Photographic Excellence, the Florida Degree of Artistic Excellence, the Florida Service Award, and the Florida Education Degree. He was named the Florida Photographer of the Year in 2001 and 2002.

His teaching credentials include CPP Exam Prep and Photoshop classes throughout the nation and internationally. He is known to conduct a fun class on a technical subject, plus he includes lots of stories on how the information applies to the real world. And he tells a lot of jokes! But he is serious because more than 90% of his students normally pass the exam the first time following the class.

Al also has produced a comprehensive Study Guide, "The Road to Certification for Professional Photography," that includes a lengthy glossary of technical terms and a 256-question practice exam.  This is included in your registration as a workbook fee and you will receive the download link to obtain the document as soon as you register for the class. So sign up NOW! Get a head start on the test.

 Speaker Sessions:

Thu, Jan. 11

9:00 am-5:00 pm - CPP Prep Class A

Fri, Jan. 12

9:00 am-5:00 pm - CPP Prep Class A

Sat, Jan. 13

9:00 am-5:00 pm - CPP Prep Class A


What is your life motto? Do it right the first time ... and if not, FIX it!

What was one of the defining moments in your career? When a local adjunct professor/ad agency owner told a student that there were no good commercial photographers in my town and they passed it along to me.

Each photographer has a specialty/genre/niche; how did you discover yours? There was a need in my community for good commercial photography and with my technical background and training in good photographic techniques in the Navy, I said, "Hey, I can do this!"

If you could have a theme song, what would it be? "I Can See Clearly Now," by Johnny Cash.

What would be your advice for photographers who are just starting their career? Pursue the CPP credential because it will give you a solid foundation on which to build the rest of your career - something you won't get any other way. Do this FIRST!

Al Audleman is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is online now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel!


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


By David Eun

Imaging USA 2018 is almost here and PPA has so much planned for you, including a variety of classes covering as many topics as you can think of!

In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. So, if you're a tech-savvy photographer or one who's seeking to take your photography to - literally - new heights, then the Drone track at Imaging USA is definitely for you!

With this track, you will learn the technology behind drones, proper aerial photography techniques, how to market drone photography to grow your business, and much more! The future of photography will see ever-advancing innovations in technology, and if you want to be a part of that future, the Drone track is here for exactly that.

The classes in the Drone track include: 

Incorporating Drones Into Your Business 
Session Time: January 12, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Speaker: Stacy Garlington and Randy Braun 

DJI Aerial Photography Academy is an intensive one-day class designed to teach valuable secrets to students who wish to create top quality, compelling, marketable aerial photographs using DJI drones. Expert instructors Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington have come from DJI global headquarters to share their expertise in an upbeat day-long classroom presentation.

Let's Talk Drones 
Session Time: January 13, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Speaker: Manie Kohn Join highly-acclaimed drone pilot Manie Kohn as he discusses the ins and outs of drone photography and how you can ACCELERATE your business in this exciting new industry. Learn how to navigate through the complex drone-licensing landscape and FAA Drone Regulations, while also discovering how you can create extraordinary images. Learn to use many of Manie's own techniques to help you avoid making the cinematic mistakes often made by drone photographers. Explore the fields, the various skill levels, and the overall business of drone photography as Manie shares his experience and craft. 

You can find the classes in the Drone track and other tracks in the Imaging USA schedule. Furthermore, the Imaging USA Expo will also feature a "Drone Zone," which includes vendors and demonstrations regarding all things drone related on the trade show floor. Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!


By Chris Homer

Have you visited theLoop recently? As an exclusive, PPA member-only forum, theLoop is a
theLoop Image.jpg
 great place for members to connect with each other, share information/advice, get image feedback, and overall - a place to go if you need help. Become a member so you can "stay in the loop," and if you already are, then head over to theLoop to see what everyone's buzzing about. 

Lots of great discussions have been happening, so here are a few of the top posts from the first half of November. Check them out, provide some feedback, and perhaps even learn something new!

A member is looking for advice on preferred in-person sales programs, as well as advice for how to upsell products to clients that live out of town. Check it out and see if you can help!

In this discussion, a photographer asks for advice on how to price a digital file for a corporate client. If you've got any experience with this scenario, share it here! 

This Looper wonders if any photographers have experience teaching photography techniques to others, and what they charge for this type of consulting. If you're looking to become a photography educator, this is a good discussion for you!

This photographer is asking for advice on the best lens to use for photographing a gymnastics meet. Take a look if you're thinking about taking a job like this - there's plenty of good advice!

And there you have 'em, the top posts from theLoop! Remember to check out theLoop frequently as new discussions are posted daily. It's a great way to catch up with fellow PPA members! Not a PPA member? Join today!

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.

By Sidra Safri

5:02 pm
Day 2 has resulted in some very insightful meetings! The Small Claims panel was a hit, and it did a great job of answering questions that many staffers had. It was also great to have someone from the Copyright Office not only sitting on the panel but also in attendance of the event. We hope this panel will encourage Representatives who are not a familiar with the Small Claims bill to do research and increase the amount of co-sponsors.

After the briefing, we headed over to the Copyright Alliance meeting in Downtown D.C. The Copyright Alliance is an association that consists of various stakeholders in the copyright world. Its members include CBS, NBA, Disney, and more. This meeting is a great opportunity to touch base with the copyright world and see where everyone stands. As always, the Small Claims bill was on the agenda and was discussed at length as to what can be done to ensure the bill passes. We were very happy to see that many facets of the copyright world are dedicated to making Copyright Small Claims a success.

We are heading back to PPA Headquarters in Atlanta, but don't forget to keep sending those letters and calling your representatives! The more often they hear from YOU, the more attention Copyright Small Claims will get!

12:32 pm
Day 2 in DC is off to a great start! We started our morning meeting with Representative Farenthold's office of Texas. This was one of our first meetings with this office and wanted to take the time to share an updated status of the bill. We had some great feedback and were happy to know that the staff consists of people who have worked with the Copyright office. The office was happy that we met with them and brought them up to speed. We are hoping as time goes on we will have this office sign on as a co-sponsor. 

After meeting with Representative Farenthold's office, we stayed in Texas and met with Representative Ratcliffe. Since the staff has recently been changed, we provided a general back ground in why small claims is so important. This office was very open to the struggle that many photographers face and has assured us that they will look into the small claims bill. We will stay in touch with this office to keep them up-to-date. 

After both of these meetings with Texas representatives, we were told that it is absolutely important to continue to send letters and make phone calls. The more contact that is made with the office, the more likely the Representative is to support small claims. 

We are now off to a briefing being held on Capitol Hill about H.R. 3945 and why this is so important. Our allies from the Copyright Alliance Keith Kupferschmid and  Tom Kennedy of ASMP are on the panel. This will be a great opportunity for many staffers to hear about small claims, and hopefully convince them to support this bill. 

We have two more meetings after the briefing. Stayed tuned and remember to send your letters and make your phone calls!

By Sidra Safri

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4:00 pm 
We just finished up our first day of meetings and we're off to a great start! We started our day with Rep. Richmond of Louisiana. During this meeting, we took the time to update the office about small claims, and provide a summary of what the small-claims bill entails. They showed a great amount of interest and have asked for more information so that they can study the bill in more detail. They have also asked for an approximate number of photographers in Louisiana to fully understand the impact that the small-claims bill will have in their district. We will continue to work with Representative Richmond's office and hope that he will sign on as a co-sponsor soon. 

After meeting with Representative Richmond's office, we moved on to meet with Representative Lofgren's office of California.  We haven't met with this office in a long time and thought it would be a good time to touch base since we had the introduction of the bill. During this discussion, some great ideas and concerns came up, including the constitutionality of certain provisions. We were also happy to see that Representative Lofgren's office understands the need for a small-claims process and fully sees this as a possible remedy for photographers.  

After meeting with Lofgren's office, we went on to meet with Representative Bigg's office of Arizona. We met with this office after a long absence and wanted to take the opportunity to have them become more familiar with the small-claims bill. This was a great touch-point meeting, and we are planning on circling back to this office soon. 

We are done with our meetings for the day. We have plenty of great potential co-signers and hope that the interest in the small-claims bill continues to grow. In the meantime, do not forget to contact your representative and urge them to support small claims!

10:00 am: 
PPA is off to D.C once again to continue to fight for your copyrights! As many of you remember, we are in the middle of urging representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 3945 (CASE ACT).

We are going to start the day off meeting with Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California. This is one of the first times we will be meeting with her office in regards to the Small-Claims bill. We are aware that Rep. Lofgren has her hesitations about H.R. 3945 and we are hoping to meet with her and ease some of her concerns and answer many of her questions.

After meeting with Representative Lofgren we are heading to Rep. Richmond of Louisiana. We have met with Rep. Richmond before but had not had a chance to touch base with him since the introduction of H.R 3945. We hope to bring him up to speed on the status of the bill and answer any questions that he may have.

After meeting the Representative from Louisiana, we will go on to meet with Rep. Biggs of Arizona. We met with the Representative's office earlier this year and they ask that we keep them up to date on the Small-Claims bill. Since the bill was introduced last month we thought it would be a good time to swing by again to fill them in on Small Claims and urge them to sign on a co-sponsor. 

We have a flight to catch, but stay tuned for more updates! And, as always, don't forget to contact your representative at You can send as many letters or make as many calls as you want!

See Day 2 updates here.

Imaging USA 2018 is almost here and PPA has so much planned for you, including a variety of classes covering as many topics as you can think of!


In order for you to get the most out of your experience in Nashville, we created tracks that you can easily follow if you have an area you specifically want to concentrate on. So, if you've got the "what" down but you're still trying to figure out the "how," or you're just looking for the best ways to go about your photography, check out the Technique track!

With this track, you will learn non-complicated but exceptional techniques that will save you time and still keep clients coming. It includes everything from exclusive photography, to mind-opening business tips and tricks, such that no matter your niche, there's a class for you! 

Some of the classes in this track include:

Lighting A Wedding Day from Start to Finish

Session Time: January 14, 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm

Speaker: Michael Anthony

There is no question that weddings are challenging. However, with the right knowledge, they don't have to be. Like all photography, wedding photography is based on light, and with the right lighting techniques, you can capture beautiful images in any situation. The challenge with lighting in wedding photography is that you have to remain mobile while remaining within a small footprint. In this class, Michael Anthony will show you how to turn any location into a studio and create dynamic photos for all of your couples. You'll learn how to prepare for each wedding day and how to be ready for any scenario that may happen. After this class, you will understand how to create beautifully lit images with minimal equipment. Michael will even discuss with you some of the challenges and tricky lighting situations in which you are bound to find yourself - and how to overcome these! You'll walk away with solid lighting techniques and the confidence to capture amazing images each and every time!


Maternity Posing & Lighting

Session Time: January 15, 8:00 am - 9:30 am

Speaker: Alli Peck

Maximize the tools of your trade as you learn to create outstanding images. Using live models, Instructor Alli Peck will demonstrate maternity posing at its finest. Learn the poses that showcase your clients' beauty, grace and poise in your maternity sessions.


You will also delve into lighting techniques and learn to use both one light and strip lighting to achieve optimum effects. This workshop gives you the skills, but also the confidence, to conduct successful maternity shoots with stunning results!


Using Light To Make Every Person Look GORGEOUS!

Session Time: January 16, 8:00 am - 9:30 am

Speaker: Dixie Dixon

In this in-depth talk, Nikon Ambassador Dixie Dixon will share her favorite fashion-lighting techniques and secrets that make all subjects look their best! Dixie will cover lighting styles, types and modifiers that suit different face shapes and skin tones.  From on-the-go quick lighting setups to more in-depth detailed strobe setups, you'll discover how to use all types of light effectively to make every person you shoot look amazing and save a ton of time in post-production.  


10 Ways to Create Videos to Help Increase Sales

Session Time: January 16, 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Speaker: Joe Switzer

All too often photographers turn down projects because they involve video production. What would happen, though, if you were suddenly able to say "yes" to those clients? After taking Joe Switzer's course, you will! This class is all about video production made simple for you. Isn't it time you stop turning down the business and learn how to produce videos that people want? Joe will teach you how to use your camera to capture video footage and how to edit it for professional results to both shoot and edit. You will also learn how to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. If you've tried video before (and failed), this is your chance to finally succeed. With Joe in your corner, you will find out how to become a successful video producer, increase your sales, and finally say, "Yes, I can!"

... and more!

You can find the classes in the Technique track and other tracks in the Imaging USA schedule. Don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2018, January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. We hope to see you there!

By Chris Brennaman

Images Fit to Print.jpg

It's not an understatement to say that digital photography has fundamentally changed our industry. Not only can we snap hundreds of images without ever having to stop to change a roll of film but we also have what seems like an infinite amount of storage.

But there's just one problem with that: instead of handing a client a physical framed print or a quality album, we hand over a CD or USB flash drive and call it a day.

The general public may not understand-and some photographers for that matter- but most successful and profitable professionals absolutely do! Rather than existing in some digital ether, print photographs give memories a sense of permanence. So if you're looking to create images that are worthy of printing and selling to your clients to cherish forever, then keep these things in mind!

Plan Your Image With the Finished Product In Mind
Once upon a time, it wasn't enough to just snap away and hope to find an image in the mix that was "good enough." Rather, a photographer had to plan his or her vision.

Think about where the photo will hang and what emotions you'll want it to trigger with your work. Think about how your subjects will be framed. Think about lighting and how it will contribute¬ to- or detract from¬- your image. Think about all the things that will work in tandem to make your image one worth printing and putting on display.

Then start creating with that finished product in mind!

DO Sweat the Technique
About craft, about use of equipment, about product choices, about finishing or presentation touches- sweat the technique about everything! It's easy to forget about the latter, but it makes the biggest difference. Know what distinguishes each product and how they contribute to making the experience of having hired you one that's worth their while and then some.

Technology changes, but best techniques never go out of style. 

Be Picky About Your Images as Much as About Your Brand
After you've finished capturing your image, it's time to choose the one that will have the honor of being printed. Only then pick the ones that you're sure you'll be happy your client might select and showcase in print! 

Why be so picky? Because the images you choose to show your client will be the ones that speak for you and your business. "Image is everything" isn't just a saying; it's a fact. Bottom line: never present images you do not want to reflect as your brand...because any visible image of yours will contribute to building your personal and business' image.

Appearance Drives Everything 
Your session is over. You and your client have picked the very best photos. Now it's time to produce the final product, right? Well, no, not yet. Now it's time to take into account how you want this image presented.

It's easy to neglect this part of the process, and too often photographers go for a one-size-fits-all approach to printing. But every image is different and needs to be printed as such. 

Remember how we said image is everything? Well, that isn't limited to just the print. It relates to the total experience you provide your clients, too. Every detail, from largest to smallest, will go towards meeting and exceeding expectations and creating an experience that justifies your prices. 

Here are some examples of things you might not always think about as areas of opportunity to enhance the experience you provide but that you might want to consider :
What size print would best suit the image?
What paper stock is most appropriate?
What frame will best accentuate the image?
How will the image be lit?
If shipped, how will your packaging contribute to a reveal that delights the client?
If hand-delivered, how will you deliver the product and how will the reveal take place to delight the client?

Show Your Clients That Prints Are Relevant
Technology has made a lot of consumers think that prints are a thing of the past. Sure, they share their photos to sites like Facebook and Instagram, but beyond that, photos are often forgotten. They're left to sit on hard drives and CDs tucked away in some drawer that's never opened.

And when that happens it's like losing the memory itself. Having a physical print creates a tangible connection to one special moment in time. How many of us have been overcome with waves of nostalgia from holding a print? How many of us have felt like we've been pulled back in time just by being able to physically interact with a print? We all have. 

Happiness, love, comfort, fellowship, even sadness- prints make us feel. Those feelings are contagious. Show prints and have existing clients talk about how important prints are to them. So much of what you do is about connecting with people and bringing them something special. Do it in PRINT.

As a professional photographer, you understand just how important prints are. It's time you make your clients understand it too. It's easier than you think. Join the PRINT movement and learn more about pricing, selling and the many other benefits of prints so you too can become a Print Artist.

From the moment you first attract an ideal client all the way through to the sale and beyond, your brand must be unforgettable. Relationship-building is the number one priority in creating an unforgettable brand. It starts with the first contact and basically, never ends. 

There are five major points to master if you want to be a brand that's irresistible. Join Teri Fode as she shares how to get these five points right so that you're on your way to standing out in your marketplace, no matter how crowded it is!

This webinar is FREE and open to all TOMORROW ONLY, so register now and tune in, November 16, 2017, at 2:00 pm ET. 

Oh, and if you're a member of PPA you'll be able to replay this and any PPA webinar at your leisure and however many times you wish (videos uploaded about two weeks after original webinar date)! Block your calendar and learn how to be an unforgettable brand!

By Bethany Clark

Do you have a goal to earn your CPP? Imaging USA is an excellent place to learn more about the program, its benefits, and dive deep into it! 

The Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) program assures others of a photographer's technical knowledge, experience, and continuance to develop new skills and techniques. It is a declaration of your professional competence. 

Being a CPP is like quality assurance because certification is a credential consumers and businesses understand. More importantly, it provides you with a tool for telling the world--and all those potential clients--why they should call you rather than a competitor down the street.

So if you plan to become a CPP, here are some options while you're at Imaging USA 2018:

Imaging USA offers a three-day intensive prep class during Pre-Con that covers all the technical topics on the exam. This class isn't for the faint of heart - it's an in-depth study of the technical side of photography, almost equivalent to a semester of college! You'll work hard and study hard, but you'll also walk away a more polished, knowledgeable, confident professional. And a prep class like this will give you a lot of confidence when it comes time to take the exam. 

Topics covered in the prep class include:

  • The Inverse Square Law, Filter Factors, Bellows Factor
  • Lenses and Filters
  • Color Theory and H&D Curves
  • Lighting Ratios, Corrective Lighting and Posing, Depth of Field, Angle of View
  • The Zone System (and how it helps you understand the digital histogram)
  • Difference between a Bit, a Byte and Bit Depth
  • And much more

After you've taken the prep class, you can choose to take the CPP exam at Imaging USA, too, while the information is fresh in your mind!

Nervous about the CPP Image Submission? Do you want to have more confidence and control of your images? Do you just want to understand light more? If you answered yes to any of those questions than this class is for you. This one-day pre-con class takes an in-depth look at the process of submitting your images for CPP, and provides you with techniques to create images that benefit your craft and your business.

The image submission prep class will:

  • Review the criteria and guidelines for submitting images
  • Provide tips on how to build your image submission portfolio
  • Explain how to analyze images and understand how they are created
  • Explore portrait lighting patterns and ratios (with live demonstrations!)
  • Provide useful insight on the judging process
  • Give you confident understanding of light
  • Demonstrate how posing, color, key, composition, and lighting all work together for successful images
  • And much more!

The CPP Exam:
When taking your CPP exam, you'll have the option to test in person or online. And you will have the opportunity to do so while at Imaging USA on Sun-Tues, January 14-16, 2018 from 1 pm - 3 pm! You must declare your candidacy in order to sit for the exam. And if you have already declared your candidacy, make sure to register for the exam by Monday, January 8, 2018.

If you're already a CPP:
All this talk about becoming a CPP; what if you already are one? Well, current CPPs are invited to refresh, relax, and recharge in the Certification lounge, exclusive for Certified Professional Photographers and Certified Drone Photographers! The Certification lounge will feature charging stations, light refreshments, and a place to chat with your fellow Certifieds. Stop by and relax awhile!

So now you know how to dive deep into the world of CPP at Imaging USA! Register for a pre-con prep class today, declare your candidacy, and take your exam, all while kicking your 2018 off with the energy, excitement, and information at Imaging USA


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