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PPA Today

By Autumn Rice

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Fall has officially arrived! So as you bid adieu to summer and prepare for temperatures to cool, take some time to read our top blog posts from the week of September 19!

See The Difference: NEW Customizable Brochures

MARKETING & BRANDING HELP: See The Difference is PPA's campaign that offers tools that help photographers market themselves to clients as true professionals. There are several different resources, and now the customizable brochures are new. Read about the new brochures, and other See The Difference resources available to PPA members.

Long Exposure Photography Without a Tripod

LANDSCAPE: Getting the perfect shot can be difficult when it comes to landscape photography. There's a lot of technique and equipment involved. See how this photographer achieved amazing long exposure photographs of landscapes using his steady hand, instead of a tripod.

NILMDTS - Photographer Recruitment Month

PHILANTHROPY:  Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is a great way for photographers to lend their services to make a bigger difference than they know in the lives of families. Read this article about how photographers feel about their volunteer experiences.

The Power of Repeat Business

BUSINESS: Photography is artistic in nature but there is a science to the business, and when the two combine the result is success. Read this article about the importance of combining art and business to create lifetime clients for photographers. 

How to Save Drafts in Instagram

TIPS: Did you know it's possible to save a draft you were working on in Instagram? Here's their own helpful how-to so you never have to start all over again! Note: If you don't edit the post, tag people or add a caption or location, you won't be able to save the post as a draft.

How To Precisely Color Grade Photos With Complementary Colors

COLOR GRADE: Sometimes photographers capture the perfect shot with a great color scheme, but the surrounding colors don't compliment the subject very well. See how this photographer corrects color scheme problems by color grading with complementary colors.

Photography School Closings: Not a Reflection on the Photography Business

PHOTOGRAPHY LEARNING IS ALIVE & WELL: Although prominent photography schools around the country are closing, it doesn't mean that the business of photography is obsolete. Professional photography is bigger than ever. Read all about the success in the business in this post. 

Tower Lit by 2,800 People with Flashes and Flashlights

CREATIVITY:  Every year the Rochester Institute of Technology creates a 'Big Shot' in a creative way. This year, the institute lit the 19-story Kodak tower with flashes and flashlights from 2,800 people. See how the photo turned out, and what it looked like without the lighting. 

The Beautiful Process Behind Erik Johansson's Surreal Images

WORKFLOW: Erik Johansson is known for creating breathtaking surreal images. Watch this video that follows him as he goes through the process of creating his most recent masterpiece.

How To Guarantee Referrals In Your Photography Business

REFERRALS: Advertising to clients has become easier than ever in a world full of ever evolving technology. But it's not the only way to get clients. More and more photographers are looking to referrals to gain new clients. But how do they do it? Read this article about how to successfully gain clients through referrals.  

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

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The new FAA regulations regarding drones are now in effect, and if you plan to incorporate drones into your photography business, you've got to pass the FAA's aeronautical knowledge test (the "Drone Test")... which means it's time to start studying!

As we learned from PPA member Eddie Tapp, M.Photog.MEI.Cr., CPP, API, who passed his Drone Test on the first try, the test is formidable and goes deep into some pretty technical areas of being a pilot of a flying aircraft. 

To ensure that you study information that thoroughly covers the varied topics on the test, PPA recommends that you bookmark the FAA's extensive suggested study materials! See below:

See this post for more quick tips about taking the test, including eligibility to take the test, approved testing centers, and more. 

Once you pass, then it's time to register your drone and take your business to new heights! (See what we did there?) 

For all things drone-related, be sure to visit, which will be continually updated with resources, webinars, tips, insurance (which PPA covers in PhotoCare Plus!), a community of other drone photographers to network with, and much more!

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Are you looking to take in some live demonstrations at Imaging USA? The Demo Class Track is guaranteed to give you a jolt of inspiration as you witness live demonstrations by top instructors. 

As you prepare for the world's largest pro-photography convention, keep these Demo Track classes in mind to catapult your business!

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the creation process from legend Tim Kelly. Experience a live demo as you discuss compositional dynamics and explore the challenges of posing techniques. Tim teaches you how to flatter a face, light your subject and create the right composition for amazing images. Composition, posing, lighting - it's all in here! Learn from the best!

Lighting With Conviction
Scott Detweiler
January 8
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Known as the only lighting course you will ever need, this class teaches how to create the look you envision and see in your mind. Stop worrying about what modifier you need and how many lights are required. Don't stress about how far away the subject is from the light and what you need to adjust. The answers to these and many more questions are at your fingertips. Learn how to think with light and capture the results you want. Scott Detweiler delivers an info-packed yet easily understood workshop that makes this one of his most popular subjects. This is a crowd you'll definitely want to join!

The Fine Art Composite Portrait
Mark Bryant, M.Photog., M.Artist.Cr.
January 8
6:45 PM - 8:00 PM

This class is about more than just taking good pictures. It's about the art, science and skill behind composite portraiture. You'll study the elements of lighting and discover how to use, manipulate and apply principles to achieve expert lighting. Discuss perspective and learn how to use your talent and your equipment for great shots. Then, delve into details like posing and props so that you bring detail and emotion into your portraits. Lastly, Instructor Mark Bryant walks you through the all-important postproduction processes. Explore color harmony, masking, sharpening and more as you learn how to bring all your hard work together for a fine art masterpiece!

Seniors... Think Differently...
Dan Rowe
January 8
6:45 PM - 8:00 PM

It seems every studio in town does senior portraits. This is your opportunity to learn how to do them better! Learn these simple, but effective ways to change it up as you explore lighting and posing techniques that are NOT what everyone else is doing. You'll even delve into some marketing techniques that will attract and keep new customers. Dan and Adrienne Rowe know senior photography and have built a career on not only doing it differently but doing it better. Learn how they do it and how you can too!

Boudoir photography isn't just about pictures. It's about finding your own confidence and courage and instilling the same in your clients. In this class, you'll delve into the power of this genre and how you can help change the lives of your clients as they discover their own power and beauty. Jen Rozenbaum finds inspiration from other powerful women, and uses this to help you grow your skills and your courage. As a photographer, you have the power to not only create an image of your client but to help define how they see themselves!

John Hartman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, A-ASP,EA-ASP
January 9
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Discover what these cutting edge lighting techniques can do for your creativity, your talent and your business! John Hartman teaches you how to not only enhance your style but also how to separate yourself from your competitors. Cover topics like multiple-flash burst imagery for fast moving subjects, overpowering ambient light to create subject separation, and how to use light painting to create stunning images - and that's not all! Not only will you learn the concepts but explore how to add and incorporate them into your own distinctive style. Techniques, toolsets and implementation - it's all here, delivered in Hartman's unique, expert and engaging style.

Maternity Inspiration and Beyond
Dani Miller
January 9
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

This class isn't just about taking maternity photos; it's about creating timeless classics that mothers will treasure for years to come. Dani Miller shares her innovative, creative ideas for setups that will make memories, not just photos. You'll explore both natural light and studio lighting in action and learn posing techniques that inspire awesome images. Delve into how to build that bond between you and your client and how to cultivate that relationship for future sessions. It's not just about one client session, it's not just about a photograph - it's a complete artistic experience that Dani creates and delivers for her clients! Listen, learn and then do it yourself!

Beyond The Speed Light...New Sources, New Look, New Light
Russ Harrington
January 9
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

For over 25 years, Russ Harrington has been THE Photographer for Country Music's biggest stars. In an everyday session, he has a very narrow timeframe to photograph a world-famous personality, including sets, makeup, wardrobe and location. Yet every shot is unique, dramatic and powerful. Spend some time with Russ and discover how he does what he does - and how you can too! Learn how your choice and use of lighting sources can define your distinct style. Delve into and really understand the nuances of strobes, ambient light, softboxes and more. During this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Russ shares his secrets, lighting techniques and tips. You'll witness the impact that various sources can have and best of all, how to do it yourself. Enjoy Russ' expertise, his lighthearted style and his experience as he teaches you to do what he does - in your own way.

Simple Techniques for Posing People in Groups of 2 to 100...
Michele Celentano , Cr.Photog., CPP
January 9
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Whether you're working with a group of 2 or 100, posing is a key to any portrait's success. And while posing a group of people puts fear in most photographers, Michele is here to show you how it's done! If you work with weddings, families, corporate events, teams or schools, this class will give you the insight and the ability to pose all groups of all sizes, easily and efficiently for amazing images! Stop stressing as Michele demonstrates her techniques, live on stage. Learn how to make people look younger, thinner and other characteristics that will wow your clients. You'll discover how to identify various body shapes and sizes and put them together for poses that work. Your best images start with you and what you create in the camera - walk away with new ideas you can use immediately!

Note: If you want to be included in the live demonstration, wear a black shirt.

Stylized Family and Children Photography
Kia Bondurant, M.Photog.Cr.
January 10
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Come and experience the style and skills that Kia Bondurant brings to her family and children portraiture. From providing creative sets and concepts, wardrobe ideas and innovative products, Kia does it like no other, and her clients love her for it! Take a glimpse into what you can really do for your business as Kia shares her style, her concepts, her innovation and yes, her competitive advantage.

Photographing Architecture - Taking Your Images to the Next Level!
Randy Van Duinen, M.Photog., M.Artist.Cr., CPP
January 10
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Architectural photography isn't like everything else. It takes a different perspective and vision to capture stunning images and breath-taking buildings. In this class, Randy Duinen shows you how to bring your architectural skills to a completely new level. Explore the differences in lighting residential and commercial buildings, and discuss the equipment you need to do both. Discuss how to shoot both interiors and exteriors, and the aspects that make the shot. Take advantage of Randy's insight and expertise as you discuss working with and marketing to this client base and discover how to earn more and more assignments. From the basics of lighting to Lightroom and Photoshop post-processing, it's all in here. Learn from one of the world's best!

Simple and Creative Ways to Work with Children
Alicia Adamopoulos
January 10
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Little humans, aka children, can often present more challenges than any other subject! They say big things come in small packages and children's portraiture is no different! In this course, learn from photographer Alicia Adamopoulos, who not only knows photography but she knows kids! Throughout her career, she's learned many easy methods for engaging her younger clients - as well as their parents - to present award-winning, creative images. She'll share how she prepares for a session, the tools she uses and the little tweaks and tips that can be the difference between a delight and a disaster!

Headshots 360
Jim Ferrara, M.Photog., CPP
January 10
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

For this class at Imaging USA, Jim developed a whole new platform for shooting headshots from the ground up! Shooting within a rather small space, Jim will demonstrate how you can get multiple looks with a three-light set up moving just one light- keeping the model within his or her footprint. The 360 is derived from the camera revolving 360 degrees around the person, while your main lights remain static. With adjusting the output power on each light, and other slight variations, the differences between each look can be as dramatic as you like. This class will be all demonstrated via live demo, and it will be Jim's debut with Headshots 360!

On-The-Go Lighting
Daniel Doke, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
January 10
5:15 PM - 6:30 PM

Learn the lighting technique that Wedding Photographer Extraordinaire, Dan Doke, uses in his portraits and events. Dan's expertise lies not just in his photography but in his desire to take his work to the next level. He's always thinking five steps ahead and in this class, he shares that process and his techniques with you! He'll demonstrate his lighting techniques for on-the-go weddings and portraits; he'll share his tool kit of lighting sources as you discover how he creates the dramatic, one-of-a-kind images his clients crave. In a live demonstration, see how he quickly poses and lights a couple under any time constraint. Discover how to be three dimensional and incorporate texture, drama and contrast. Learn how to make your images come alive - and all this can happen through easy light setups, both in the studio and on location. Create images that make you stand out from your competition!

Getting, Creating and Selling Families
Gary Box, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Pam Box, M.Photog.Cr.
January 10
5:15 PM - 6:30 PM

Family photography can be one of your most sustainable and profitable segments - easier and more profitable than even senior portraits! Discover what Gary and Pamela Box do to create amazing shoots - everything from their lighting and shooting techniques to how to convert it all into incredible sales. Learn how to capitalize on senior shoots and turn them into family orders. Discuss marketing techniques that get more families through your door. You'll even explore techniques for selling wall portraits that your clients will love. Capture the image, wow the customer, increase your sales - this is the way!

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By Autumn Rice

If you're looking to get the inside scoop about the International Photographic Competition, then be sure to visit the IPC Merit Café while you're in San Antonio for Imaging USA 2017!

The Merit Café is home to a host of events that are all geared toward preparing photographers for IPC 2017. Visitors will have access to merit and Loan Collection IPC images in the International Photographic Exhibit, various seminars lead by experienced speakers, and a first look at the new IPC rules that are in effect for the 2017 competition. You'll also have the opportunity to get one-on-one advice from official International Photographic Competition jurors about how to improve your photos for the competition. These 15-minute sessions are limited, so be sure to sign-up for yours today!

Various events are held from Sunday to Tuesday, so there's surely one perfect for you. Get there early and soak up all of the knowledge you can from these amazing International Photographic Competition (IPC) experts! Questions will be more than welcome, so ask away! Whether you need a first look at the competition, or just want to brush up on your skills be sure to stop by the Merit Café to get your dose of IPC at Imaging USA!

Here's what you can expect:

12pm "Why Enter Print Competition? The Benefits behind Competition" 
Donna GoodHale, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

1pm "Breaking Down the New IPC Rules" 
Doran Wilson, M.Photog.MEI.Cr., CPP, F-ASP and Rich Newell, M.Photog.Cr.

2pm "Pitfalls and Triumphs of Compositing Images for Competition" 
Kim Smith, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP

3pm "The Importance of Emotional Impact in Your Images" 
Sandra Pearce, M.Photog.MEI.Cr.

4pm "The Importance of Guide Prints in the Master Artist Category" 
Bob Coates, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP

12pm "Client Images VS. Competition Images, Is There a Difference?" 
Cris Duncan, M.Photog.Cr., CPP and Deanna Duncan, Cr.Photog.

1pm "The Do's and Don'ts of Retouching for Print Competition" 
Carl Caylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

2pm "How Do I Get My Master's Degree and Why Should I Work Towards it?" 
Madonna Lovett Repeta, M.Photog.Cr.

3pm "The Quest for Creating the Creative Competition Image" 
Michelle Parsley, M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, API

4pm "Creating Emotional Impact in Your Competition Images" 
Allison English Watkins, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

12pm "Understanding Print Presentation and Technical Excellence" 
Dennis Hammon, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP

1pm "What is the Benefit of Entering Physical Prints VS Digital Images" 
Shelly Kraemer, M.Photog.Cr., CPP 

2pm "The Value of Titles and Storytelling" 
Dennis Craft, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, F-ASP

Register for Imaging USA 2017, held January 5-10, 2017, to take advantage of all the Merit Café has to offer, and we'll see you deep in the heart of Texas!

Please note: schedule is subject to change. Follow @ImagingUSA on Facebook and Twitter for last minute show changes or download the Imaging USA mobile App!

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By Autumn Rice

See The Difference has great marketing and branding tools that are accessible to PPA members, which helps their clients understand the value of a professional photographer fit for their needs. The campaign offers a variety of resources that are customizable and perfect for incorporating in your studio.

The latest See The Difference resource is new customizable brochures!

These brochures are professionally designed and are meant to convey your technical skills, artistry, and consistency as a professional photography. There are six brochures to choose from- wedding, family, high school senior, newborn, pet, and Certified Professional Photographer (CPP's only).

Good news is...we've done most of the work for you! To access these amazing marketing tools, all you have to do is download the brochure template that fits your specialty, and then insert your own images and studio information. The only thing left to do is print the brochures and display them in your studio!

Explore the wide range of options that this branding campaign has to offer including shareable videos, logos, webpages, and other marketing resources. With See The Difference your clients will know the value of a professional. 

Visit to take advantage of the See The Difference resources, and personalize your custom brochure! 

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Recently, two respected photography institutions around the country closed their doors permanently. Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura, CA and the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turner Falls, MA issued notice that they were shutting down operations. The closing of these schools may be disheartening or even shocking, but it's not a statement on photography as an education or a career.

More and more people are looking for professional photographers, yet they are looking to fulfill different needs and in different ways. Whether it is family portraits, high school seniors, weddings, or even commercial, the need for photographers that know what they're doing remains. With the invention of the camera phone, more and more people are finding the thrill in taking photographs. Some could say it's making people appreciate the art even more. But how do they go from camera phone junkies to professional artists? They don't! And what makes professional photographers more valuable than ever is their education. PPA knows the value of being prepared, professionally and artistically, and the success so many photographers experience now is a marriage of the two: business and artistry.

Never before have photographs and photographic products sold in such great numbers and photographs retailed for such large sums of money. That's why PPA focuses so much on helping its members achieve excellence through integral knowledge of photography and honing in on business as much as on photographic skills. "I joined PPA because I was hungry to learn from the top pros. I wanted success and there was no other way to develop and achieve my goals than through education, marketing, sales, and overall business operations know-how," says Master of Photography and Certified Professional, Gregory Finney. Whether it's online training, educational videos, studio seminars, or hands-on classes, PPA strives to give its members the tools they need to be more savvy, be more prepared, and on the right track to be more profitable.

To learn more about PPA or how to take your photography business to the next level, visit

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Lisa Sharer is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Professional Photographers of America. As a Creative Writing graduate, she loves any chance at getting pen to paper. When she's not being creative in the workplace, she can be found skating with the Atlanta Rollergirls or volunteering with the Weloveatl Project. Or really - snuggling with the dogs.
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By Chris Homer

Online registration for Super 1 Day will close September 27! Be sure to register for the workshop of your choice by then to secure your spot and save some money. Workshops are only $99 if you register online through the 27th. And while you can always register in person the day of the workshop, registration cost on location will go up to $120. Additionally, onsite registration means that you'll only get in if there's space permitting, so why risk it?

During Super 1 Day, hundreds of studios across the country will invite attendees to join daily workshops featuring portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies. It's a chance you won't want to miss--a full day of photography education brought to you by fellow professional photographers. All photographic classes will be held October 3-17, 2016, so you should be able to find one that fits your needs and your schedule!

Don't miss out! View the list of Super 1 Day classes and be sure to register by September 27!

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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Each month, one PPAedu video is unlocked for everyone to enjoy, because we believe in the power of education for all (it's normally reserved only for PPA members)! The PPAedu library has a lot to help you sharpen your photography techniques, marketing strategies, sales techniques and business operations. These tutorials and educational videos are available 24/7 to PPA members. 

Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, as a PPA member, you can tap into hundreds of programs to help you Be More! If you haven't checked out PhotoVision, take a look;there's a new website with a slew of new episodes!

For the month of September, the video "Giving to Charity is Awesome! Why and How We Became a Charitable Business" with Mariah Ashley and Trish Gilmore has been unlocked! It's available for anyone who is considering getting their business involved with charity. This video explores:

  • The benefits of being a charitable studio
  • Creating a charity scenario that benefits others and makes sense for your studio's specialty
  • How they raise funds for Operation Smile and how they share that with their clients and others
And much more! If you're a member of PPA, just log in to watch the video anytime. Non-members will have access to this video this month only at For full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos, join PPA today!

By Tristin Vaccaro

You've taken the plunge and decided to try your hand at drone photography. What's next after you buy the equipment? 

Check out these tips for beginner drone pilots in "7 Drone Commandments" on

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It's the absolute last week of summer 2016 and we're ready for fall! Here are our top photography blog posts from around the web for your dog days-weekend reading pleasure. 

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Congress Is Back In Session...And So Is The Quest for Better Copyright Protection! 

GRASSROOTS: PPA Today was there with a play-by-play account of PPA's trip to D.C. this week, meeting with tons of Representatives to discuss the upcoming Small Claims Copyright Bills. 

Photographer Janette Beckman Presents "Rebel Cultures"

MUSIC:  Bazaar has a profile up featuring the works of Janette Beckman, who photographed the underground music scene of the 1980s. She has a new gallery show presenting her images of Run DMC, Blondie and more. Can't make it to NYC to check it out? We've got you covered with this slideshow. 

The Underwater Archer: How to Get the Shot

TECHNIQUE: Only a small portion of photographers take on the challenges of underwater photography. Maybe this post will inspire you to give it a try! Jennifer Tallerico tells F-Stoppers how she achieves the desired results for underwater action photography. Dive in for magical images! 

Now You Can Access the Most Iconic Images from Cinema History

CINEMA: This week, over 750,000 images from two prominent photo collections were acquired by Shutterstock: The Art Archive and The Kobal Collection. This means that iconic cinema images are now available to the public! Check this piece out for a trip back in time through some memorable cinematographic photo classics! 

10 Daily Tasks You Should Be Delegating (So You Can Grow Your Business)

BUSINESS: Open Forum takes a deep-dive into delegation with this post. Are you bad at delegating? Maybe you think it doesn't apply to you and your small business? This post counteracts those theories with a list of what you could be delegating, who to delegate it to, and how it can help your business in ways you may have never considered.


Motley Crue Sued By Photographers Over Merchandise Image Rights

COPYRIGHT: Motley Crue has embarked on a farewell tour and is using past album covers and tour photos to promote it. Trouble is, they didn't get permission from the photographers of those original photos! The photographers are now suing the band after their images were put on recent merchandise. Learn more about the case in this post. 

9/11 Images are Seared Into the Memories of Magnum Photographers

HISTORY: Photographers who were there at Ground Zero have formed a collective and are now telling their story to CNN in anticipation of their new book. Many photographers risked their lives and health to get these images, some of which have become the most iconic photos of the 21st century. 

How I Choose My Photography Jobs

CAREER: F-Stoppers with how one photographer chooses his jobs by weighing money, interests and people. If you're struggling with how to decide which clients and jobs to pursue, take a look at the method proposed here to help you keep stock of what you need to do to be fulfilled creatively and financially. 

Photographic Competition Mentor Program at Imaging USA 2017

IPC:  Be sure to check out the FREE IPC mentorship sessions at Imaging USA! If you're going (and why wouldn't you?) consider spending some one-on-one time with a juror who can go over your image and answer your questions to prepare for IPC 2017!

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

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