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PPA Today

It's Friday, which means it's time to share 10 more of our favorite posts from around the web!
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 From tutorials to laughs, you'll find it all here.
 
Here are some great tips from DIY Photography on how you can create multiple backgrounds using only a seamless white background. You might be surprised how versatile this one piece of (cheap) equipment can be!
 
Wow, this post made us nearly die of laughter. We all need a good laugh now and then, so check out what happened when this husband took his wife's place in maternity pictures. Hilarious stuff! 

If you photograph dance recitals, or want to get into this market, this post from Improve Photography provides some great, easy advice to keep in mind to get the best results possible. 

Here's a great post for those still learning how to light! The pop-up flash on your camera is great, but PetaPixel provides some simple alternative methods of lighting you'll want to try out. You never know what might make your images really stand out. 

If you've ever struggled with lighting a group shot outdoors in full sunlight, this tutorial from Strobist is right up your alley. The post walks you through the steps and equipment you can use to get awesome photographs next time you find yourself with this challenge. 

If you shoot any imagery that includes glass, you've probably run into the issue of reflections showing up in the photograph. This quick tutorial on PhotoFocus shows how you can get rid of these pesky reflections. 

If you're in need of some inspiration, this post from A Photo Editor is a great read. Read how photographer Stephen Mallon landed the job of photographing the salvage of Flight 1549 after the Hudson River incident in New York, and how this assignment lead to his transition to capturing video. 

Many photographers could use less stress when it comes to photo editing. After all, the less time you're spending on photo editing, the more time you can spend shooting. Digital Photography School provides 4 tips in this post that can make the photo editing process easier on you.
 
Do you want to create photography that looks like a still captured from a film? Check out this post from Fstoppers, where several photographers share how they create imagery like this. 

We wrap up with some beautiful, interesting imagery from photomicrographer (meaning he photographs very small things) Danny Sanchez. PetaPixel has a collection of his photographs of the inside of gemstones, as well as the steps Sanchez used to create these unique images.

There you have it! What are your favorite spots to get some photography knowledge and inspiration? Let us know on theLoop!

Some great things were happening on theLoop as temperatures soared. Check out the hottest discussions that happened in July.

[PPA Members Discussion] Offline data storage

What are you using to back up your files? PPA members discuss their methods for protecting their images and the pros and cons of offline and online storage. Even if you've got a system in place, it's worth checking out what others are doing!

[Finance Discussion] What bookkeeping software do you use?

Just as photo editing software updates, so does bookkeeping software too! Members share their favorite programs for balancing the books.

[Commercial Photography Discussion] Pricing executive portraits

Doing executive portraiture for the first time? Get some firsthand accounts from photographers who've done it before and are sharing their tips for doing the job right.

[PPA Members Discussion] Getting a credit line in the newspaper

A PPA member's image is printed on the front page of the newspaper - but they refuse to give him credit. Now what? Weigh in on the discussions for and against getting a credit line in publication.                                       

[PPA Members Discussion] Moving studio

If you're thinking about moving your business from home to a retail studio, or vice versa, read this discussion! Members talk about their experiences working in different locations and how it affected their business.


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!

 

Tom Bochsler's 50-plus year career took him all over the world as a photographer and speaker, but he didn't have to look far to find a home for his massive collection of images.

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The 82-year-old Burlington, Ontario native decided to gift his life's work to the Hamilton Public Library. The recently completed donation took place over about six years and contained a total of 500,000 negatives. The library found value in the images as they provide a visual history of the area. 

Bochsler, who was designated as having Outstanding Significance and National Importance by the Heritage-Cultural Property Export Review Board, started his career in Hamilton in 1956 and joined PPA not long after.

The collection spans the well-known industrial photographer's early years in photography and thousands of local images. Many of his black-and-white historical photographs were created using the 10-pound Speed Graphic camera, which used one-shot flashbulbs as its lighting source. Bochsler has photographed every single nuclear power plant in Canada, and the collection includes images of nuclear reactors, salt mines and steel factories from across Canada. The photos will stay in a climate-controlled archival vault to ensure the images don't decay over the years. The library's history and archives department is tasked with scanning the images and making them available to the public.

Last month, Bochsler also had the opportunity to give an audio/visual presentation in a display of selected images during Super Crawl, an annual art and musical festival downtown Hamilton. In addition to the collection, Bochsler published a book, The Art of Industry, which features 272 of his favorite images from 1950 to 2003.

According to Bochsler, he donated his life's work rather than the alternative--throwing them in the trash. 

"It's all very exciting for me," he said. "There are many members out there who find their old negatives and files a burden. I initiated the contacts to explore a home for my collection. Along the way I found people interested in saving history."


Got a cool story to tell? We're always looking for more! Email PPA's communications specialist, John Owens, with yours (put 'PPA Member Story' in the subject line) and we'll see if you're worthy of a spot on the mighty PPA blog! 

Think about it: how useful has filling out a survey ever been to you? Well, for Heather Sams, CPP, from Fountain, CO, not only has it helped her business be more profitable, but she also won an iPad mini. How?

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PPA's Benchmark Survey, of course. The industry's only complete financial snapshot, it's been helping businesses get a better idea of where they stand and how they can improve their bottom line. Survey participants get a free side-by-side comparison of the results to their financial data. With that kind of valuable info, the monthly giveaways for survey participants only seem like an added bonus!

Sams has been in the photography industry for over a decade, and previously used the Benchmark to put together a business plan when starting her portrait studio seven years ago. "What's great about Benchmark is that it puts all the industry information in one location that businesses can easily use," she said.

Since building up her business, Sams knew the importance of the survey to her success. "I was excited just to have been able to participate in the Benchmark Survey this year! It's such an extensive tool that the industry has access to that it just made sense for me to take the time to do it."

She never considered the fact that she could win the monthly giveaway. "When I found out that I won, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. It was super easy to participate, but winning an iPad really takes the cake. I was on cloud nine!"

And as a true dedicated professional, Sams already has plans to incorporate the iPad mini into her business. "I photograph executives, and they like seeing portraits and galleries immediately. Having a device that can make this happen will be great for my business," she said. "I'm grateful that I had the chance to participate in the survey."

Want to get in on all the Benchmark awesomeness? Check out PPA.com/benchmark and enter for your chance to win this month's prize. And don't fret! There will be more through the end of the year!

Happy Friday! Where have you found inspiration around the internet? Here are our 10 favorite photography posts from the world wide web!

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This one will blow your mind and inspire you to do amazing things! We promise. See 25 popular photographers from their early shoots versus today's work. Some of the massive transformations took as little as two years! This is a must read.

DigitalRev TV has a great video out on the 10 biggest pet peeves photography lovers have. It's worth a watch and a giggle!

How do you keep your passion in this crazy industry? PhotographyTalk breaks it down to show you how to keep focused on what you love, while still maintaining a healthy bank account!

We can't say we condone his tactics, but darn it, it worked! See how Marcus Haney became a music photography star by the age of 26, and the less than legal tactics he used to get there. 

Aperture: it's not an all or nothing situation! Matt Granger and the folks at PetaPixel walk you through situations where you might need to expand your thought process. 

Make magic with levitation images! Here are 7 easy tips for making your images fly (pun intended) from Digital Photography School. 

Have you ever read a spam email and thought "Who the heck would send this?!" Well, Christina De Middel decided to create portraits of the spam senders. Check out the great spam emails, along with their portraits of their senders as De Middel imagined them! 

Charity is great! It's a no brainer to give, but when it comes to your taxes, it can make it complicated. Here's a quick guide for your fiscal planning from Intuit! 

Horst P. Horst was the king of fashion photography in the 20th century. Check out some unpublished works before they hit the floor of the Victoria and Albert Museum in September. 

The fine folks at H&H Color Lab bring you some killer marketing tips for local photographers! In 14 easy steps, you can up your business, your referrals and your presence in the local community!

Well there you have it! Our 10 favorite photography posts from around the web! What are your favorite spots to get some photography knowledge and inspiration? Let us know on theLoop

Coming soon...IPC Live!

IPC_1200X1200_LiveStream&Dates.jpgYou've always wondered what happens during International Photographic Competition judging. You imagined judges sitting behind the closed doors, in a dim room, throwing out opinions, tearing down an image piece by piece--maybe even yours. Or maybe they pulled numbers out of a hat?

Fear not--the mystery of IPC judging is soon to be revealed! For the first time ever, PPA is live-streaming the whole thing!

From August 4-7, 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST each day, you'll be able to watch at stream.theipc.org with your desktop device*.  If you're a PPA member, you'll be able to log in to view the stream. Non-members can easily register with your name and email address to access it for free. Once on the site, you can switch between rooms based on your interest, such as Portrait, Artist or Illustrative images.

Whether you have images in competition or not, the judging process is still a valuable learning experience. You'll be able to hear judges' comments and critiques, and see exactly what makes a merit image.

Judith Ann Elliott, a PPA member from Powder Springs, Georgia, attended the IPC as a non-participant before she entered her images for competition the following year. "I was sold on IPC after I saw the judges - they're fair and truthful. They aren't just there to tear your image down. They're there to build your image up and make you a better photographer," Elliott said.

"We're excited to offer live streaming so participants and non-participants alike can see the value in viewing the judging process," said IPC Manager Rich Newell, M.Photog.Cr. "Photographers will be able to see what truly goes on during the process, and hopefully this will encourage more to enter in the future."

*Audio is not enabled on mobile devices. For full audio and video, please view on your desktop computer. 

 

by Mariah Ashley

If you're anything like me, your summer vacation now revolves around spending a ridiculous amount of your hard-earned money and catering to your monsters children. These are some of the things I did over the last two weeks for my ingrate precious children...

I threw a party for ten screaming twelve-year-old girls. No really, they screamed for three hours straight of the four hour party. There was no reason for the screaming. No mouse, spider, unexpected teenage heartthrob sighting or worm in the fruit salad. Nothing like that. They just screamed.

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Did you know twelve-year-old girls do this? I didn't. I do now and so do my neighbors. (P.S. They only stopped screaming because you can't stuff pizza in your face and scream at the same time.)

I also took my son and his friend to a water park named Water Wizz. Why on earth would anyone put the word wizz into a name that describes a place where thousands of children share a communal cesspool? And why on earth would I voluntarily steep my body in the wizz water?

My son is sixteen. Since he was six he's refused sunscreen. He hates the way it feels. Normally I wrestle him to the ground and slather it on him while he writhes and twists like a slimy alligator. Well, he's six-foot-one now so my gator wrestling days are over. Needless to say I left the whizz with a big pink fried man-baby. Lesson never learned.

Fully committed to good-time summer fun family experiences, I went to Martha's Vineyard to visit my sister and her boys, ages four and two. Like all good aunts I brought along things for my nephews that their responsible mother would never allow them to have in a gazillion years. It's all part of my master plan to secure my foothold as their favorite aunt.

My secret weapon? Flavor Ice! (Suck on that other aunties!) Remember Flavor Ice? Or in technical terms, "liquefied chemical sugar in a planet destroying plastic sheath." Well they loved it. How many Flavor Ice sleeves do you suppose a four-year-old can ingest over the course of 30 minutes? My sister stopped the reckless mayhem at four, at which point my sweet nephew announced, "Fine, but if I can't get a lemonade right now I'm going to attack you!" Oops. Auntie's bad. Guessing we might not be invited back.

Sound familiar? If you're lucky like me then this is the way that you $pend your summer vacation. Something's got me thinking though...

I stumbled across a video clip from 60 Minutes on Facebook the other day about a man who had a very different summer vacation experience. It made me pause and consider that there might be an alternative way to spend my two weeks. Step into the way back machine with me...

It was 1938 and Europe was on the brink of war. A Londoner named Nicholas Winton was following the events of Germany's march on Czechoslovakia and was deeply concerned about the 150,000 Jewish refugees suffering there. His particular concern was for the children who were enduring the harsh conditions and bitterly cold temperatures.

After hearing about how some Czech Jews were sending their children abroad, Winton decided to take a two week from his job as a stockbroker in London and travel to Prague to see if there was anything he could do to help. Upon arrival, he established an office in a hotel in the city to see how many children he could get out as quickly as possible. Over the course of the two weeks, there was literally not enough time in the day to meet with all the parents seeking his help. Not surprisingly he left Prague with a list of hundreds of children in need of his assistance.

Returning to London, Winton established a small office of volunteers and forged stationery to make his "organization" look established, and created false travel documents for the children. The day before Hitler occupied Czechoslovakia, the first train carrying 20 of the Czech children left for Holland and eventually Britain. Over the next few months, seven more trains carrying over 600 children made their way to London. Shortly after, WWII was declared and the trains could no longer run. The remaining 90,000 Czech Jews, many of them children ended up on trains to Auschwitz where they annihilated.

For fifty years, Nicholas Winton barely spoke of saving the lives of 669 Jewish children. He never even told his wife about what he had done. She discovered the story after finding the list of the children's names and questioned her husband about its meaning. Since then, the BBC created a special about Winton where he was reunited with many of the children he saved. He was also knighted by the Queen of England and is now referred to as Sir Nick.

Basically, Sir Nick took his two week vacation, went to Prague and ended up saving the lives of 669 children. Actually, since those children are now all grandparents it's more like 15,000 children, but who's counting.

We are not worthy.

But we could be.

Two years ago we got involved with PPA charities and Operation Smile. In a way, though not as heroic or as dramatic as Sir Nick, we have been improving children's lives too. We aren't saving them from the clutches of an evil dictator but we are saving their smiles and drastically improving their quality of life through facial reconstructive surgery. The children touched by PPA charities and Operation Smile now have a chance at a future they never could have imagined.

We've given a little here... a little there... donating what we can as we go. It's exciting and inspiring to count the number of children we've helped, at last count about 65. We won't miss a penny that we've donated because we've been paid back tenfold in the "feel-good-about-yourself-for-caring-about-more-than-yourself-department."

We're about half way through summer. Maybe you've already spoiled taken your kids on a vacation. Maybe you're gearing up for a family vacation. If so, Don't do it! Have fun! But have I planted a seed? In the back of your mind are you wondering ... WWSND (What Would Sir Nick Do?)

Why, he'd join PPA Charities Family Portrait Month in September and make the world a better place for children! Find out how. But first, get inspired and watch Sir Nicholas' 60 Minutes story (relax, it's only 15 minutes).

I can't promise you that 60 Minutes will make a documentary about you, but I will refer to you as Sir (insert your name here) if you get on board the charity train! How cool is that?!

About the author:

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Mariah Ashley is co-owner of Snap! Photography in Rhode Island. She is blonde, loves to bake fruit pies, wears flip flops way past the summer season, should have been born in the 50s, paints and writes when the mood strikes her, is mother to Jacques and Vianne, vacations on Block Island, is vegan, never has proper or stylish outerwear, fears frogs and toads but loves turtles, has really skinny legs, personal Style- Bohemian Chic, wants to own a VW van,  grew up on a cranberry farm and is happiest when snorkeling is happiest when sipping a rum punch under a palm tree.

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TGIF y'all. Buckle up, strap in, or you know, just continue to sit comfortably for this week's top 10 posts from the photography blogosphere.

Gregory Heisler Talks Photography as a Career

A past Imaging USA speaker and renowned portrait photographer, Gregory Heisler has done about all one can do in the realm of photography. When he speaks, people listen. Check out this video interview in which he reflects on his career and gives advice to photographers young and old.

The World's Smallest Instant Portrait Studio

A little ingenuity can make something small larger than life. That's what one photographer is creating with his tiny studio--small space, big memories. Definitely worth dropping in if you're ever in the area! But hint: It's far away.

One For the Coffee Lovers

This one's for all you caffeine-dependent folk who head straight for the coffee pot as soon as you enter the studio. We have several here at PPA! Now, could you imagine living in a coffee universe? Artist Flora Borsi could, and the Photoshop expert created one, replacing the sky with coffee swirls. Check out the results!

A Starving Artist Needs to Eat

We came across this touching letter from Dayle L. on the state of artistry in today's world. This emerged in response to the Shoot & Share controversy, which allows clients to change your final product however they wish. For anyone who's struggling, these words can offer some encouragement.

A Chart to Live By

Hmmm... this one looks familiar... Oh yeah! That's because we made it! We went viral y'all. (PPA brushes shoulders off.) We think the graphic is true, too, by the way,

4 Simple Tips for Photographing People Outdoors

These are some quick and easy tips you can use when you're shooting outdoors. Studio lighting and a controlled environment is great and all, but get on out there and challenge yourself!

Vertical Panos vs. Wide Lenses

Debate time! Traditionally, panoramic images are shot horizontally with wide lenses, but Levi Sim argues that you should flip that camera sideways and go vertical. Read his argument and see the results from a rooftop in Chicago.

Steal These Photographs!

Chill, keep reading. Photographer Lukas Renlund recently held a "Steal My Photograph!" exhibit in Cape Town, South Africa. It's pretty darn meta--but it worked! He created a fun and creative way to exhibit his art while also driving up its value. Check out the interview and behind-the-scenes video on fstoppers.

Photos from the Philippines - Typhoon Rammasun

Mother Nature offers some of the most breathtaking photography opportunities available, but when she unleashes her wrath in the form of a typhoon, it's the human element that captures your emotion. Here's a collection of some compelling photo journalism from Wednesday's typhoon in the Philippines.

5 Ways to Deal with Bad Wedding Photos

Sometimes your client won't like their images. It happens! These are some tips for wedding photographers on what to do next. Don't get discouraged out there (that might be one of them).

There you have it! Our 11 favorite posts from around the net. What are your favorite photography blogs? Let us know on theLoop!

See ya next week! 

At PPA, we're constantly paying attention to the fears and concerns of photographers. One of the worries of professional photographers that we hear consistently is struggling to make those big sales. We hear you! Chances are you became a photographer because you love creating beautiful imagery, not because you wanted to be a salesperson. However, to have a successful business you need to be skilled at both!

Selling your photography doesn't have to be frightening. Many photographers hate the feeling of putting some sort of pressure on their clients to buy packages. That's why this four-part webinar series will help! "Soft Selling with Intense Results" will show you that the uncomfortable high-pressure strategy isn't necessary to make great sales. Soft sales methods focus on using casual, friendly messages to drive sales. Instructor Kristin Privette is very skilled at this and she will share different soft sales methods for photography that have helped her to quadruple (more, actually!) her income within the last five years. Take a look at what you'll learn in each part: 

Soft Selling with Intense Results  - Webinar Series 

August 7, 2014 - 2 pm ET

In this first part, Kristin walks you through the 10-step process she uses to gain five-figure wedding sales. Hear the language they use, the specific steps they take their couples through, and selling techniques that anyone can learn and be comfortable using.

August 21, 2014 - 2 pm ET

In part 2, Kristin's covers the '7 P's of Portrait Selling.' You'll learn how to start selling from the very first time you speak with a potential client in a way that excites them and prepares them for a big purchase. This simple process has proven to bring her average sales higher than where she started.

September 4, 2014 - 2 pm ET

During Part 3, you'll get the specific phrases Kristen uses to encourage upgrades, wall collections, add-ons and big investments. You'll learn how to prepare your brides from the very beginning to upgrade after the wedding. Plus, you'll hear the language you can use to guide your portrait clients toward wall collections and future sessions. She'll also share how she handles the common objections that every photographer gets.

September 18, 2014 - 2 pm ET

In the final part of the series, you'll go through a live ProSelect demo, showing exactly how Kristen would present to a portrait client using this software. From the moment the client walks in the door to writing a four figure check, you'll hear Kristin guiding and exciting her client about wall collections and making a big investment.

If you need help with sales, you won't want to miss this series of webinars! As always, both PPA members and non-members can attend the live webinars for FREE. However, if you want to be able to replay the recordings on demand (along with another 250+ videos on different techniques for photographers and business practices), you'll need to be a PPA member (join right here!) or just subscribe to PPAedu. Sign up today and let PPA help you be more! 

We've (finally) got an update on the Walmart v. Huff case! Brush up on the story below first if you need a refresher. 

Update 7/16:

At a recent case management hearing, the judge set the trial for the trial term beginning April 6, 2015 and ending April 30. This doesn't necessarily mean the case will go to trial April 6, just that the case is set to be tried sometime during that term.  

Read the full story:

Your typical copyright infringement involves one photographer stealing another photographer's images, or reproducing copyrighted images without permission. But in this case, it's the largest retailer in the world bullying a small Arkansas studio.

Walmart and its founding family, the Waltons, have filed suit against Helen Huff, the widow of Arkansas photographer David A. Huff.

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David Huff's studio, Bob's Studio of Photography, was founded by his late father, Robert A. Huff, in 1946, and created portraits of the Walton family before the expansion of Walmart grew them into one of the wealthiest families in the world. But now Walmart and the Walton family are demanding that Helen Huff hand over those works.

The complaint states that they (the Waltons) seek to obtain six or more boxes of photos, negatives, and proofs, alleging that over the years, Bob's Studio retained those items "as a courtesy" to Walmart and their family (they didn't). The complaint further states that the Waltons own intellectual property rights to the photos (they don't). The fact is, under federal law, photographers own the copyrights to their own works.

PPA has been working with Huff to support her case and thereby advocate for photographers' copyrights.

"If there were ever a David vs. Goliath situation, this is it" says PPA CEO David Trust. "We simply can't remain idle and allow this to happen--it would set a terrible precedent. In our opinion, this obviously is a violation of copyright law and it is beyond question that Ms. Huff owns the photographs and if the Waltons want the photographs, they should pay for them. PPA as an association stands behind Ms. Huff and supports her case as the rightful owner of these images. We have contacted her lawyers and offered to file an amicus brief* when and if that time comes."

*What's an amicus brief, you ask? It's is a legal opinion or testimony that is volunteered by a "friend of the court" who is not a party to a particular lawsuit but has a strong interest in the case. It is a way to introduce concerns ensuring that the possibly broad legal effects of a court decision will not depend solely on the parties directly involved in the case. 

PPA also advised Huff and her attorney of a separate suit, Natkin v. Winfrey, in which Oprah Winfrey claimed she owned the rights to photos of her created on her set. Since the photographers were hired as independent contractors and had not signed work-for-hire contracts, they owned the full copyrights for the images, and Winfrey's argument was swiftly rejected by the court.

Walmart filed its lawsuit against Helen Huff in state court, but because it is a copyright issue, Huff's defense removed it to federal court. The defense argues in its answer to the Walmart complaint that Huff owns copyrights to all the works her late husband and father-in-law created for the Walton family, and that they worked as independent contractors for the Walton family. In addition, Huff's defense filed a counterclaim of copyright infringement, alleging that in the past Walmart has reproduced and allowed third parties to use Bob's Studio of Photography's copyrighted works. Huff and her attorney are awaiting Walmart's answer.

UPDATED 5/21: Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove issued a statement this afternoon: 

As you can imagine, many of the photos go back many years and commemorate the history, heritage and culture of our company. We believe that some of the photos that Bob's Studio has belong to Walmart. All we want is for the court to make it clear who rightfully owns these photographs. We tried very hard to resolve this without involving the courts. We never wanted the issue to reach this point and we've done everything possible to avoid this. 

PPA always stands for photographers' copyright protection. As such, we will continue to provide information as these cases develop. Check back for updates!

 

 



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