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PPA Today

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by Trent Schick

With Memorial Day just around the corner, we hope you enjoy your long weekend. While you're relaxing, take some time to check out our favorite photography blog posts from this week!

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY: Talk about perfect timing! Take a look at these amazing sports photos taken at just the right moment in everything from baseball, judo, and Formula 1 racing. Find out what's going on in these crazy pictures from CNN!

DRONES: With the popularity "soaring" for drones, a whole new platform for photography has opened up. Telegraph is promoting this new book, Dronescapes, which features incredible pictures from all over the world taken by drones. You can see a few samples of just how amazing these photos are.

ANIMALS: Get ready to bust out laughing at these animals caught in the act of some hilarious scenes. These critters are hysterical, goofy, and down-right adorable. Flow Art Station has captured some great pictures that are sure to brighten your day.

Q&A: Gain some great insight and advice from a Lensculture interview with Sarah Leen, the Director of Photography for National Geographic. Learn about the advantages of school vs. experience, how to improve as a photographer, and even insider info on National Geographic. 

PHOTOGRAPHY: Take a look into the past, of the historical city in England called Leeds. These pictures offer an incredibly vintage and retro feel, by illustrating the style and culture from the time period. See how much our society has changed by checking these photos out on Fubiz.

MARKETING: It's very common for people to struggle with attracting the amount of clients they want, because their marketing strategies and ideas are weak. If you're still wondering why you're not getting the clients you want, you should check out this article by Fstoppers. They show you the marketing mistakes many photographers make, how to fix them, and where you should be putting your focus to be more successful.

REVIEW: You might laugh or even gag at the thought of ever using a disposable camera, but don't be too quick to refuse. In this article by The Phoblographer, six disposable cameras were tested and reviewed to see how they rank up. They provide unedited images and the results are very surprising, especially when you see the price. Try for yourself and even make a fun project out of it, you could be surprised.

MATERNITY: With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, check out this article Peta Pixel posted on a very heartwarming maternity photo. A husband fighting for his country overseas and a pregnant wife in the states never had a chance to take their maternity pictures together. See how this photographer made that happen with this beautiful picture she created.

PRICING: Pricing can be one of the most frustrating things for a photographer. You must consider many factors to land on a price that benefits you and satisfies the customer. Learn from this article at Seniors Ignite how you should correctly price your products and services, and the importance of emphasizing value and how to use it. 

PHOTOVISION: If you haven't heard of PhotoVision, it is an excellent tool for you to access over 500 tutorial videos designed to improve your skills as a photographer. The best part is, if you're a PPA member, PhotoVision is included FREE. Check out some of the latest uploads on PPA Today that include videos which cover in-person selling, marketing to women, sales techniques, and more!

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 Sidra Safri

As a continuation of our Drone-Waiver series, today we're going over how to obtain a section 107.31: Visual Line-of-Sight wavier. According to the FAA, a drone pilot must always have their drone in view during operation. This rule was made as a safety precaution since the drone camera can be deceiving about its surroundings. 

Applying for a section 107.31 waiver can come in handy for those who want to survey large fields, forest mines and commercial properties, as well as assess emergency situations before dispatching first responders. 

Since this waiver tends to be so high risk, before you apply for it, it is necessary to come up with an extremely detailed plan. As we have previously stated, the more detail you provide the FAA, the more likely your waiver will be approved. 

With this in mind, there are 3 main steps that can help you succeed in obtaining a section 107.31 waiver. 

  1. Develop a plan and conduct a risk assessment. This gives you a surface-level view of problems you may run into, and also helps you lay out a clear plan of what you intend to do. 
  2. Compile data about your flight plan. This includes what altitude it would be best to fly at, what speed, what you are doing, etc. A great way to do this would be at the FAA's testing facilities. It also helps to partake in an FAA pathway program.
  3. Submit your FAA waiver here, along with all your plans, research, and data. This will show the FAA you have thought through your flight and plan to abide by all necessary safety standards. 
Applying for this waiver will be time-consuming. Between the testing, making plans, compiling data, and the approximate 3-4 month turnaround time, you want to make sure you apply early enough to have your waiver approved in time for the work you need to do. 

As always before any flights, refer to the B4U Fly app and make sure your drone is registered.

Visit for all the latest drones news and updates!

By Sidra Safri

On May 19th, the District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the FAA's regulations requiring hobbyist drone users to register their drone with the FAA. The Court stated:

"...Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act prohibits the FAA from promulgating 'any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.' The Registration Rule is a rule regarding model aircraft. Therefore, the Registration Rule is unlawful to the extent that it applies to model aircraft."  

This basically means that since the Reform Act of 2012 was passed three years before the regulations were put into place, and since, according to the court, drones classify as model aircrafts, the requirements for hobbyists are unconstitutional.
Looking over the Court's opinion, we at PPA respectfully disagree.  According to the FAA, 1.6 million drones have been registered for recreational purposes. This number is only going to increase as time goes on. Since many hobbyists are not fully aware of the regulations, limitations, and drone waivers required by the FAA, there must be some way to track and regulate all drones that go up into the air. 

Additionally, with the number of close calls reported by airplane pilots and air-traffic control men, it is more important than before to have a way to track drones and ensure they are being operated safely. 

PPA believes that having ample knowledge and understanding of drones is so necessary that we are in the process of introducing our own Drone Certification Program coming in July of 2017. For more information, please email Julia Boyd at 

Stay updated about changes to drone regulations and much more at 


By Lisa Sharer

It's happened to all of us. Probably more than once. Someone asks you what your rate is, and when they hear it, they are appalled. You start to feel a little flush. You start to think, maybe I went too high. You start to want to back into the nearest bush.

We're here to tell you to kick that bush to the curb! Part of becoming a professional photographer starts with confidence. If every photographer folds, then no one gets paid. By demanding a solid rate, you're not only helping yourself, you're helping all the photographers that come after you.

Here's a recent, completely real, interaction that we applaud:

A photographer is out and about taking pictures. He is approached by a gentleman who notices him.

Gentleman: You take pictures?

Photographer: Yes.

Gentleman: How much do you charge?

Photographer: It really depends on what you want.

Gentleman: Just walking around downtown with you taking pictures of me.

Photographer: My portrait sessions start at $$.

Gentleman: (Laughs) Oh, come on, man.

Photographer: (Without hesitation) This is my full time job, and I'm really good at it. Here's my card. Check out my portfolio, and let me know if you're interested.

If you believe in yourself, your clients will believe in you. Set your prices, stick by them, and above all, do NOT be embarrassed by them. Remember that you spend many hours--collective portions of your life--perfecting your craft and building a business. You have every right to charge fairly for your service, and you should never be ashamed of it.

"Listen up photographers. Know what you're worth. State it with conviction. Know when to bend, but know that bending should be the exception. There will be clients that will see your worth and pay your fee." 
                     - Aaron Coury, Photographer.

If you would like more help on how to sell yourself and your service, check out PPA's See The Difference® resources. PPA members have access to a plethora of sales and marketing tools to assist in promotion and in-person sales. If you're not a member, you should join today!
by Trent Schick

If fine art photography is something you have a passion for or are interested in doing, then this webinar is for you!

Join the acclaimed photographer/artist Thomas Dodd as he delves into all the important business facets of being successful in fine art photography. He will talk about the significance of influences and intentions, how to market yourself online and off, how to find, approach, and work with galleries, and much more you can learn about through his one hour presentation.

This webinar is FREE and open to both PPA members and non-members alike, so register now and tune in tomorrow, May 25, 2017, at 2:00 pm ET!


By Bethany Clark

Calling all drone photographers! Have you heard of the General Liability Endorsement, exclusively made for UAS/Drone operators? This type of coverage will help you be more protected while operating your drone on assignment!

PPA's General Liability Insurance has coverage of $1 million per occurrence, or up to $2 million total. If you want to cover your drone under the same terms, it is recommended for you to purchase Drone endorsement insurance as well. Please note that this coverage is sold separately from the PhotoCare Equipment Insurance that is provided with your PPA membership. 

Drone Liability Coverage terms and conditions: 

  • You must be a member of PPA
  • Coverage must be purchased in conjunction with PPA's General Liability coverage
  • Limit options of $50,000 and $25,000 
  • Annual premiums of $150 and $100
  • Must be compliant with Part 107 Federal Aviation Regulations, and also state and local regulations
  • Operation of drone must be in connection with a paid assignment for your business
  • Defense coverage is included inside the limit of liability
  • Coverage extends to bodily injury and property damage of others

Ready to purchase coverage? Call our team at 888-202-1526 to secure your coverage today!

Not sure what the new FAA drones rules are? Visit!

by Trent Schick

As of May 22, photographers can now enter their work in PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC). We hear from past entrants that entering images in the IPC is one of the best ways to improve as a photographer. During the IPC, jurors give competitors the opportunity to receive advice that will improve their future output and could land their work in PPA's Loan Collection, and be honored at Imaging USA 2018 in Nashville! 

If you choose to have your images critiqued, you'll get a recording of a judge going through each image you've entered in the photo competition, explaining how it stacks up against the 12 elements of a winning image, and what you could have done to take your image to the next level if you fell a little short! So, don't be shy! Enter your images to be critiqued by official jurors at this year's competition. Recorded critiques are a fantastic way to learn, specifically, how you can take your images to the next level.

To give you an idea of the types of things you can learn from a critique at IPC, check out this one from last year's competition. This is "Balancing Act" by Angela Cuhel, critiqued by Dennis Hammon, M. Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP.

Thinking about entering your images and ordering a critique? Take the plunge! You'll get the opportunity to: 

  • Understand what the judges expect from competitors 
  • Get an idea about the current state of your photography 
  • Improve your work with advice straight from jurors to help you
Having a judge take time to give personal advice on how to improve a specific image is just what you need to grow not only as a photographer but artist! 

Important info:

  • Judging for the IPC will be held July 30-August 2, 2017 at Gwinnett Tech in Lawrenceville GA, right outside Atlanta. It's open to the public and it's free to attend, but if you can't make it in person, you have no excuse not to watch the online streaming of the entire judging process! It's one of the best ways to learn what judges are looking for in this image competition.
  • Early registration to enter your images opens May 22, 2017-June 21, 2017 by 5 pm ET
  • Entries after June 21 at 5 pm ET will be accepted with a late fee through July 6. Please note that no entries will be accepted after July 6, 2017 by 5 pm ET
  • Watch live streaming of IPC judging at July 30, 4 pm - 7 pm ET, July 31 and August 1, 8:30 am - 6 pm ET, and August 2, 8:30 am ET to finish.

This year's competition has some new rules, so click here to view the IPC Photographic Open rules and the IPC Artist Competition rules, or check them at 

And don't forget to enter your images early to beat the crowd and save some money!

By Sidra Safri

Many photographers have complained about the archaic registration system of the Copyright Office, how long the process takes and, overall, how cumbersome it is. Thankfully, these complaints have not fallen on deaf ears. 

In 2013, the Copyright Office began looking into potential updates to the overall IT system that impacts the registration process. This research lead to the creation of a report stating it was necessary to create a better user-interface and more accurate public record.

On May 9th, 2017, the Copyright Office rolled out a pilot program for Bulk Submission of Claims to Copyright. This pilot program will serve a very small niche of creators, since it will only be available for literary works (such as fiction, nonfiction, autobiographies, etc.). Single literary works that have single authors, with all the work being owned and created by that single author, are eligible for the bulk registration program.

Even though this program is not available to photographers, the Copyright Office is taking a step in the right direction to make the process easier and faster. Through this pilot process they will be able to work out any issues that arise, and eventually (we hope) roll out the bulk submission process for all categories.

PPA will keep you updated as developments unfold, so stay tuned to for the latest. 

Want to get in on the ground floor of copyright reform? Sign up today and be a part of the PPA Grassroots Action Team at!

By Chris Homer

Back in the days of film, infrared photography was a complicated undertaking that was rarely used outside of scientific and fine art applications. Today, photographers looking to offer something unusual to clients might find this alternative process an appealing option.

Laurie Klein is one photographer who's demonstrated the power of differentiation through infrared. "I've made most of the money in my career with infrared photography," she notes. And she says others can do the same.

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 Chris Homer

If you are a photographer, PhotoVision is a great way to elevate your skills by using the more than 500 video tutorials from some of the top photographers in the business. Better yet, PhotoVision is included for FREE with your PPA membership! Head on over to to begin streaming classes.

And if it's been a minute since you've checked in with PhotoVision, be sure to come back and watch these new videos! The new releases include Sue Bryce and Anne Geddes, who are contributing to the PhotoVision's  new 'Year of Inspiration' series.

Sue Bryce

Consider the fact that marketing to women is different than marketing to men and you'll see why Sue Bryce views this as an ideal opportunity to focus your message. As a glamour photographer, the majority of her clients are women and she shares how she tailors her messaging to suit them. Sue systematically breaks down the different demographics while explaining the types of products each is drawn to.

Anne Geddes

One of the most fascinating elements of an artist is learning how their mind creates and works before they ever pick up the camera. In this video, world-renowned photographer and story-teller, Anne Geddes, shares her creative process and gives a glimpse into her own inspiration. In addition to her aesthetic, Anne speaks about the journeys she's faced throughout her career and the lifetime of stories she has amassed along the way. She discusses how much research and hard work went into each of the six books she has created, while also giving an inside look of her newest work available since April 2017, Small World.

Andy Marcus

Andy Marcus photographs a wedding couple in the lofted garden of a Manhattan skyscraper. He then goes inside to photograph them in silhouette against the NYC skyline. Andy discusses the importance of assistants and how to best utilize them in an effective manner.

Sue Bryce

To be a successful photographer, you must have a firm understanding of sales, pricing, and the products of your business. In this video, Sue Bryce shares her own philosophies and the tried-and-true sales techniques she has learned over the years, including her two favorite products to sell to her clients. Additionally, Sue explains the psychology behind the placement of your middle package to achieve your desired average sale while still keeping your price list simple and clean to improve your overall sales.

Andy Marcus

Andy Marcus photographs a wedding couple in a beautiful European-style memorial garden and then takes them to the waterfront to capture their images against the Jersey skyline. Andy and his assistants demonstrate how to utilize silhouettes and leading lines to create stunning abstract images that will sell. Learn how he uses blurred foreground to create frames within a frame that help give images an artistic flair.

Sue Bryce

As a photographer and business owner, in-person sales can be directly correlated to an increase in your profits. In this video, Sue Bryce explains how the PRINT Movement has restored the value of printed images and empowered photographers to present their art in the way it was intended: in print. Additionally, Sue shares the satisfaction derived from seeing her clients view their images for the first time as a piece of artwork that will last a lifetime.

Visit today to access all of these classes! If you're not a PPA member, join today and you'll be able to watch all the PhotoVision and PPAedu photography tutorials. Together, that's more than 1,000 videos designed to help you take your photography to the next level! You have nothing to lose, try it 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.


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