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PPA Today

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By Sarah Ackerman

With more and more advanced technology, the art of skin retouching has become extremely refined. As we all know, out with the old, in with the new! Gaussian blur and high pass retouching are now passé. 

To help you out in March, PPAedu is offering for free to all photographers "Skin Retouching" with Joel Grimes, Cr.Photog. In this class, you'll learn frequency separation in Photoshop, foundation, high texture later and the lasso tool! Grab the video now, it's free on www.PPA.com/edu through the end of March!

PPAedu is the online education platform for PPA photographers. There you'll find more than 300 videos on both photography technique and business practices to help you grow your studio, be more profitable and  inspired!

You will also find nifty tool that allows you to build your very own custom-fit learning program based on your level of proficiency in your photography technique and your business skills. And the best part of all is that as you watch more and more PPAedu classes, you'll be able adjust that program so that it evolves with you as you continue to grow in photography!
 
Give it a try! Use it as a refresher course or learn something new. PPAedu is included with the PPA membership, so watch Joel Grimes's program for free today or become a PPA member to access the entire video library. Try it now for free! Go ahead and dive in! It's your time to be more inspired.


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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.
By Sarah Ackerman

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Can you believe March is almost here? Where did February go?! In case you haven't been keeping up on your blog reading, here are our top 10 posts on photography from around the internet!

REPUTATION PROTECTION: Scammers have started attacking photographers, threatening us with bad reviews, then offering pricey online reputation management solutions to clear it all up. Read up on what you can do to protect or clean your business reputation here! 

SEE THE DIFFERENCE: Turns out it can happen to anyone - and that's including Jeb Bush. In a photo he posted to commemorate his 41st wedding anniversary, it became clear he had forgone hiring a pro. We're not going to spoil the story here, but just know that his mom's point-and-shoot was his saving glory (kind of). You might want to show the difference hiring a pro makes with this great post from PetaPixel next time you face a client that's unsure about making the investment in hiring a pro!

PRINTS PAY: Peter Lik is back in the news with a New York Time's article on how he makes his millions - by selling prints. We understand the million-dollar-print market isn't in everyone's reach, but it does drive home an important point: regardless of your personal preference for one's style, prints can be an extremely viable revenue stream versus just digital work for professional photographers. 

INSPIRATION: Former Imaging USA speaker Benjamin Von Wong took to the skies with some of our favorite superheroes! Get some super-sized inspiration from these shots, and see how they were captured!  

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY: We swear spring is right around the corner, and with that comes all of the outdoor sports you can dream about! Check out this great article by Digital Photography School to see how you can improve your action photos from start to finish. 

BOOST YOUR BOTTOM LINE: Former Imaging USA Speaker Jeffrey Shaw is back on the roundup with Jeanna Gabellini. Listen to the podcast and learn how you can turn your everyday business into a full force business machine and as with all of Jeffrey's posts - you'll leave inspired, invigorated and ready to work!

OLD VS. NEW: After a multitude of photographs were disqualified in the World Press Photo competition for aggressive post processing, it sparked a debate on what really constitutes a photograph in this day and age. Check out all sides of the argument and weigh in on where you stand here!

FOR THE LADIES: Jessie Tarbox Beals was in no way America's first female photographer, but she was the first to leave the safety of a studio for the streets of photojournalism. Catch a glimpse of her with her cameras and some of her photographs, plus check out the awesome article from the Library of Congress about her life and work! 

POST PRODUCTION: Ever wonder how to automatically remove objects from Photoshop? It's easier than you might think! Check out this quick tutorial from Fstoppers to speed up your post process workflow!

TURNING PRO: Although this awesome article from Fast Company isn't just for photographers - it's for all creatives - it's a great read to put in perspective how lucky we are to do what we love for a living. It's a worthwhile reminder on how to create a better work - life balance and how to have it all without losing your mind. 

Have some favorite blogs we're missing? Let us know on theLoop

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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

By: Lauren Walters

Have you ever had someone steal your work or discredit you? Don't fret! PPA is here to help! If you hire a lawyer, you'll be spending A LOT OF MONEY in legal fees, but if you are with PPA, most likely we'll be able to protect your work for FREE or, if damages have already been done, for a fraction of that insane legal cost.

PPA photographer, Ross Oscar Knight, specializes in weddings, fine art and corporate events. Ross had a project that received a lot of exposure when it went viral in 2007, thanks in part to the feature on the Oprah Winfrey show. Soon after, people started pulling and using images from his website without his permission. Some were even discrediting his work and cropping out his logo, committing the ultimate copyright infringement. Ross remembered that PPA helps photographers resolve copyright disputes and went for that help. Check out his story and hear more about how PPA helped him resolve this copyright infringement rip-off.


If you are at risk for copyright infringement or simply want to take the right proactive steps, just go to the PPA's Copyright Resources , get your Free Copyright Kit or check out the overview of copyright laws. Be More Business Savvy and Be More Protected. 

By: Lauren Walters

PPA CEO David Trust was in DC the past two days advocating for photographers like you! He and PPA's copyright team in D.C., the Nickles Group, had a series of meetings with Representatives of Arizona, California, Georgia, Missouri, Utah and Wyoming and Senators from Los Angeles and Oklahoma who all have a say on the FAA's proposed rules for regulating the use of drones in the United States. The proposed rules are awaiting approval and are now in a 60-day comment period, during which PPA is working diligently to pull together comments for submission.  

The revised proposal indicates good progress for Photographers. The FAA proposes and approves the rules on drones; those rules are not legislation and do not require congressional approval. Currently, the said rules categorize drones into three physical size groups. PPA is mainly concerned with regulation pertaining to small and micro drones. A small drone is classified as 55lbs or lighter, and a micro drone is 4.4lbs or lighter.

The FAA's proposed rules would require professional photographers wanting to use small drones (less than 55 lbs) to take an aeronautical skills test and obtain a permit and renew that license every two years.  There would also be a one-time registration fee of $150. With 560 testing sites, finding a testing center should be easy. PPA believes the proposed rules for small drones to be a major step in the right direction as they eliminate the current requirement that commercial drone users hold an actual pilot's license. 

The proposed rules for micro-drones (4.4 lbs or less) are even more favorable as they require no skills test.  Photographers wanting to use micro-drones in their business would have to register and self-certify that they understand the FAA's aeronautical information manual.

We are still months away before the rules are finalized, yet solid progresses are being made in the direction of photographers. Want to weigh in? Please visit the discussion on theLoop about drones, it's a dynamic one! 

Drones are the hot topic at the moment, but Trust also had discussions on copyright reform and the Next Great Copyright Act, which are still under development. 

By Sarah Ackerman

February might have been a short month, but things were still hopping on theLoop! Check out our top discussions - if they tickle your fancy, log on and join the conversation!

If you're looking to dip a toe in the tethering waters, this is a great thread! Get input on a multitude of options and price points to get you started with wireless wonders. 

Sometimes the pop of a strobe light can spook your four legged clients, so what about continuous lighting? Which brands work (or don't work) in your studio? Weigh in here!

If you regularly sign your prints, this is a great (and simple) thread. What pen do you use? One member is transitioning from signing mats to prints and needs help in finding the perfect writing utensil. Get the scoop here!

If you're looking to get into the sports market, this is an excellent thread for you! Get technical tips and tricks to create better images with the constraints that come with indoor sports like basketball with fluorescent lighting. 

Going paperless can be tough when it comes to model releases, contracts, invoices and so much more! Do you have a favorite business app that helps you cut down on the paper trail? Weigh in! Or just read through the options to give yourself some ideas on how to go green!

As a social media pro, I love this discussion! Is it worth it to have a business page on Facebook? There are pros and cons, but see what your fellow photographers have to say! 

Don't forget, theLoop is PPA's safe and secure online community where members can discuss various photography topics! Not a PPA member? It's easy: join today!


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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.
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Have you been burned by a bad review of your services online? Surely it stings when it happens, and you want to do what you can to remedy them. But there is a two-step scam going around right now, first threatening photographers with cyber bullying through bad mouthing online reviews, and then (step 2) offering to help you with your online reputation and solve the newly posted bad reviews... when the scammers are actually the ones posting them!

The situation is spreading rapidly so be on the lookout. In a nutshell, don't panic--delete, flag and report the scammers. Baltimore photographer Kat Forder posted a perfect explanation on her blog (which was also picked up by Peta Pixel), along with some great suggestions on what you can do to protect yourself. Her suggestions on how to protect yourself are below, but the full read is highly recommended!

WHAT YOU CAN DO IN THE USA

    • Don't respond to the emails!
    • Set up a Google Alert for your business name
    • Watch your business on a few different review sites and attempt to respond to the false reviews with a link to this post to educate potential readers, or by submitting "proof" to the review website
    • Contact the Federal Trade Commission: via its toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or the FTC online complaint form
    • Contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Fraud Complaint Center
    • Non-emergency number for your local police department to make them aware of the fraud (larger cities will have a cyber-crimes task force or department)

Again, Kat's full blog is worth a read to get a firm handle on the situation. Spread the word to your fellow photographers and make sure you don't fall victim to a scam like this! PPA's pushing the information out everywhere possible, including through paid alerts... but help us spread the word by sharing this #ScamAlert against #CyberBullying and #BadReviews. Thank you!


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John Owens is PPA's resident wordsmith. Know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? That's where he comes in. The Connecticut transplant and (still) avid Hartford Whalers fan is an aspiring adventurist/novelist/racer on a lifelong quest to find the best trails, brews and burgers.


By Chris Homer

We often hear that it's tough for professional photographers to differentiate themselves from all the hobbyist or inexperienced photographers out there. Whether it's by undercutting pricing or taking away potential business, newly found competition can be extremely frustrating for pros to deal with. So what can you do? The answer is simple- educate your clients on why and where hiring a pro makes a difference. Remind them that they only get one chance to capture precious memories, so you'll want the best photos possible - which only a pro can provide!

To help shine light on this important difference, PPA has a series of tools; all hosted under the See The Difference campaign. Leverage them! Even non-PPA photographers can benefit from this advertising and education campaign. 

Those who are with PPA can also download and embed videos, brochures, advertising materials and more that will help show your potential clients why you're worth the extra investment. Use the resources on your own website and incorporate them into your marketing. They are there to help your sales pitch and after sharing them with your clients and prospects, hiring and paying for a professional photographer should be a no-brainer for them!

Below is one of the new See The Difference videos - Moments You Can't Get Back. This piece targets (and features) family portrait clients with real moms sharing heart-wrenching stories about their families and discussing how professional photographers made a difference and helped them preserve family memories.  


This video is a powerful reminder of how photography can be the only thing you have left to remember someone by, showing just how important hiring a professional can be. Go ahead, take a look, and share it!

There are more videos on the See The Difference Resources page including some showing the importance of professional wedding and high school senior photography. If you're a PPA photographer, grab the embed codes for your own website today. Plus, take a look at the brochures, Facebook tab and other tools that PPA has developed for you to use. Go ahead, show them the difference hiring a professional photographer makes. Use and share the resources and tools. They are there for you! And remember: the more photographers who are sharing the message, the more successful and more powerful this message will become, benefiting ALL professional photographers, so use See The Difference and start spreading the word! 

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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 



By Mariah Ashley

There are only 23 days until Spring but still two feet of Permafrost in the garden. Is it wishful thinking to dream about blossoms? Not if those blossoms are dolla dolla bills y'all.

We've been hard at work in our garden all winter long planting seed of sales and we are starting to see the first signs of green life poking through the ice. It doesn't hurt to have a classic 80s ballad to hum while we are gardening, thank you Tears For Fears, "Sowing the seeds of sales, the seeds of sales, sowing the seeds!"

We want a nice healthy variety in our flowerbed so we've picked seven kinds of seeds to plant. Feel free to rush right out and get yourself these seed packets!

By Sarah Ackerman

Your educational opportunities are endless at PPA! Here's an update on what to expect from PPAedu's live webinars and workshops in the upcoming months. Good learning opportunities ahead...Mark your calendars!

Remember: PPAedu's live webinars are FREE to anyone (PPA members and non-members alike). PPA photographers also get 24/7 access with free on-demand replays + all that is on PPAedu's platform!

Here are the upcoming live webinars:

March 3, 2 pm ET
Marketers tell you to be different in order to succeed - but what does that really mean? Join Angela Pointon on an exploration of differentiation and common pitfalls of marketing your business.
 
March 12, 2 pm ET
Whether it's simply adding a pet to the family portrait or exploring pet photography as a new line of business, this webinar with Angela Lawson is a great jumping off point! Go beyond the technical aspects and learn how to get comfortable with some of our four-legged friends!

March 17, 2 pm ET
Explore the world of headshots for actors and talent! These aren't your standard corporate portraits - Tracy will show you the requirements for different types of headshots, things you should do (and avoid) and industry lingo! 

March 31, 2 pm ET
Stir up your senses when creating captivating portraits! Francie is here to help you create impactful images by finding the emotion with your subjects. It's a must-watch for any portrait photographer!
 
Make sure to follow PPA on Facebook and stay tuned into PPAedu's events calendar for the latest.


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Sarah Ackerman is known around PPA as #Sarah in part because she handles all things social media and in order to differentiate herself from the other Sarah's in the office. Sarah loves improv comedy (think "Whose Line") and routinely performs around Atlanta. When she's not tweeting/facebooking/instagramming all of the action at PPA, she can be found gallivanting around the world or wandering around the woods with her pup, but more than likely she's on stage making people giggle.

By John Owens

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Amidst all the classes, tradeshow deals, football, parties and networking at Imaging USA was a healthy dose of charitable giving. PPA Charities, the philanthropic arm of PPA, flexed their veritable muscle as donations rolled in through a series of events and a certain special drawing.

Events included the PPA Charities "Boots and Bling" Celebration, which featured a silent and live auction. On day one, more than 100 attendees braved the Nashville cold for the first ever PPA Charities 5K Fun Run. And things culminated on the last day with PPA Charities' Dream Studio Giveaway, where one lucky winner walked away with a life-changing prize.

Imaging USA attendees were clearly feeling generous. "Boots and Bling" raised over $25,000, with the aid of a massive photo book donated by 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Peter Lik, M.Photog. Valued at $4,500, the limited edition piece auctioned for $7,000 alone. The Sunday morning 5K raised an additional $7,000+ and Tuesday's Dream Studio Giveaway brought in massive ticket sales right up until the drawing, totaling a whopping $50,000. 



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