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Monday, January 26, 2015

Peter Lik Unable to Appear at Imaging USA, But The Show Must Go On!

PPA has received word that world-renowned landscape photographer Peter Lik will not be able to attend Imaging USA, February 1-3 in Nashville, TN. Lik posted a statement to his Facebook page Friday night:

In October 2014, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) changed my life with a monumental announcement that I had been chosen as the recipient of the organization's highly coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.

I was completely taken aback and honored to become one of only 13 photographers in history to ever receive this award.

Due to personal reasons, it is with an extremely heavy heart I announce I am unable to attend Imaging USA in February to accept this remarkable award or act as keynote speaker.

Thank you again to PPA for this incredible honor. After 30 years of traveling and taking photos, I continue to lose myself in the beauty and power of nature in an effort to finally capture an image I can call my favorite.

 

PPA President Susan Michal offered her support for Lik.

"Peter is a class act, and a proud PPA member and advocate," she said. "I personally know that he is extremely disappointed he will not be able to attend. We wish him the very best and certainly hope all is well."

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While Lik will surely be missed, Imaging USA in Nashville is still on course to be PPA's biggest and best event in its 146-year history. The event has already set attendance records with the biggest registration numbers ever seen to date. "Peter is a lot of fun and a good friend to PPA photographers. We'll regret his absence, of course, but this isn't changing the fact that we are getting ready for our best event ever," commented PPA CEO David Trust.

Organizers say last fall's announcement about Peter Lik's attendance created some buzz. But his absence will change little in terms of events and celebrations showcasing Lik's work or Imaging USA's overall success. While he won't be able to attend, Lik's presence will still be felt at Imaging USA. He will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Award and Degree Ceremony on Tuesday night. And a hand-selected exhibit of his super-sized images will be on display in the print exhibit area throughout the event.

Lik has also made significant donations to Saturday Night's PPA Charities Celebration, including his newly released book featuring 317 large scale images. Only 2,500 hand-signed copies of this collector's item book, which retails for $5,000 per copy, are being issued worldwide.

Among next week's highlights are the Big Game Super Party Imaging USA Kick-off, which may be the biggest Super Bowl party anywhere, the best slate of photographic education ever assembled, the giant Imaging Expo, two large photographic exhibitions, and the closing night party in the Gaylord Opryland's Atrium, which is expected to be one for the record books.

It's not too late to register and join in all the fun! Head to ImagingUSA.org/Register to Be More with us in Nashville.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

10 Questions with Imaging USA Speaker Luke Edmondson, M.Photog., CPP

By Chris Homer

A third generation photographer, Luke Edmonson has the craft in his blood! He's been a
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 professional photographer for nearly 20 years, starting out in commercial photography and then teaming up with his father in 2003 to create Edmonson Weddings. We chatted with Luke about defining style, his career as a photographer, what inspires him and more. Here's the recap of the interview:

1. What would you say is the biggest difficulty people usually face in defining their style?
The biggest difficulty in finding a style is finding your own voice and doing the work to discover who you are and what you want to say. It's not simply a matter of the type of photography you like or admire. It's not simply your ability to execute what you want when creating your imagery. You have to know the "Why" behind what you are communicating.

It's about understanding and knowingly pursue what is behind your vision when you are capturing a moment, your subjects, how you light, direct or pose them. So, an artistic style, at its very core, requires introspection. Something that as individuals many of us do not want to do. It requires you to become still...to be quiet...to reflect with intent.

I like this quote from Katherine Anne Porter, Pulitzer Prize winning author, who says succinctly "You do not create a style. You work, and develop yourself, and your style is an examination from your own being."

Let's examine that for a minute...

a. You don't create a style? Then what is all this talk about "finding your style" or "creating your style" that you hear bantered about? Perhaps it's just marketing speak to make it more palpable to the audience who is listening. Who wants to hear about work when the world sells us on the premise of "easy, fast and simple"? But don't for a second betray yourself to think that discovering something is easy. Especially when it involves learning about yourself. What is it that you bring to each photo shoot that shapes the direction of the imagery you capture?

b. You work and develop yourself? Yep, it's a never-ending process of growth periods, plateaus, and sometimes darker times. When things get stagnant, it's up to you to make the changes necessary to break through. When you are on top of the world it's about fighting complacency. None of us ever have it all truly figured out. However, with growth and development, some challenges as a photographer that may have taken hours to solve visually can be solved in mere minutes, once you've had that proverbial light-bulb moment.

c. Your style is an examination from your own being? Like most of us, you probably became a photographer when you fell in love with it. Perhaps, it was because of its immediacy. Perhaps it was because of how it made your feel when people complimented your early eye. But now that you have been in it for longer, what keeps you in the field? What drives you to create? When you look back on your work, what patterns and tendencies do you see? How have you transitioned from WHAT you see when you shoot but HOW you see, think and feel when you shoot? Have you had to persevere and overcome challenges in your photography? Your fingerprint is firmly implanted on every image you create. I encourage you to study it and understand it!

If you want to become a better photographer, it starts with becoming a better person. How can you pour out your life into others if there are areas in your own life that are holding you back from doing just that?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

10 Questions with Imaging USA Speaker, Russ Harrington

By Sarah Ackerman

Get to know hometown favorite, Russ Harrington before you hit the road to Imaging USA! Russ is an accomplished photographer, specializing in celebrity and musician clientele (we hear Nashville is a pretty awesome spot for that sort of thing). 

What made you want to get into photography? 
Our family always took pictures, so when I got my first 110 Kodak for Christmas, it was on!

What should people expect to take away from your class?
I'm going to show tons of photos! People will get to see different lighting ideas, how to work a location and what all goes into a celebrity shoot. Things they may not have thought of like renting RV's for the glam teams, working with assistants and what not. 

What is your favorite part of a photo shoot?
When the [music] artist gets on set and you do that first test. It all comes together at that point. You finally see how the light looks on your artist and not your assistants, you see the wardrobe you've picked for the setup. If it's a big shoot, we've built sets, pre-lit them and have wondered how the artist will fit in the vibe or world you've created. Sometimes, we might have 10 setups that we're doing that day. No matter what, I still get that cool feeling when I see the first shot pop up on the Mac.

 What do you enjoy about shooting with musicians?
I am, in general, a music fan. So getting to know them, photographing them and then being able to see your images represent them is a very special thing. Musicians just have a cool vibe, you want to capture that. You want to capture images that they love and that their fans love. Granted, some would rather be far away from a photo shoot, but they know it's one of those things they have to do. In the music industry, fresh images are a must. The bonus is they are generally more creative than the average client. Artists and celebrities are pros, they move like models and I just love shooting them.

 How did you get into the celebrity/musician market?
I photographed models for years so it was a natural progression. Fashion is all about the angles, the lighting, the location and wardrobe, and that's basically celebrity photography. I started showing my model portfolio to Christian Music Labels at first and started to shoot a ton of those. My big break was an editorial shoot with Trisha Yearwood, which I'll go into during my presentation. 

 What has been your favorite photo shoot of all time?
There's not a "favorite" necessarily, but I've had a lot of cool memories and images that I love every time I see them. I do have to say when Loretta Lynn calls you her photographer, that's pretty dang special. Brian Setzer is one of my favorites for sure, rockabilly singer and master guitar player from the Stray Cats. I could photograph him every day - he's just cool! I also got to do a big gig in LA for Dr. Pepper and Chelsea Handler. It was awesome, but I had butterflies for sure. 

What's the biggest mistake you made when you were just starting out?
You have to remember, I started shooting professionally in 1983. I've done some dumb things, but every year I tried to get better and make more money than the previous year. At one point I made a joke about an artist's hair that was pretty amazing and said "If I could afford a toupee like that, I'd be all over it!" Well, what do you know - it was a toupee. Whoops!

What's the best part about being a Nashville photographer?
This is my town! I grew up here, I met my wife here, we raised our boys here, and now to see what's happening with how popular Nashville is getting is crazy. We've put our loft on Airbnb.com and its awesome meeting folks from around the world that want to visit.

Country? Or... country?
I love the twang, I love a steel guitar, I love bluegrass, I love Jack White, I love Keb' Mo'. I just love music.

Join Russ for his class "Music & Celebrity Portraits" on Monday, February 2nd from 10 - 11:30 AM and discover how to manage the workflow when dealing with people in the spotlight. 

If you haven't registered for Imaging USA yet, there's still time! Head to ImagingUSA.org/Register today - we can't wait to see you in Nashville!

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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.

Monday, January 19, 2015

PPA on the Norovirus Outbreak at Opryland Hotel

Hello everyone!

We are well aware of the situation at Opryland last Thursday and rest assured; everything is under control. First of all, no further cases of Norovirus have been reported. Second, this is not uncommon in the hospitality industry and third, the folks at Opryland are taking care of the situation.

They are working with the Metro Nashville Department of Health which applauded their fast response and disinfecting actions. According to health officials (and reported in The Tennessean), "Opryland is going above and beyond the health department's recommended cleaning and disinfecting measures to stop the spread of germs." All rooms have been aggressively sanitized. All door handles, escalator handrails and elevator controls have been wiped clean. Opryland has been cleared for guests.

We're excited for this year's Imaging USA and your record registration numbers show that you are too! 
And the good news is that with everything the Gaylord has done in the past two weeks,  you now have the added comfort of staying in America's cleanest and most sanitary hotel.

Get ready for the biggest and best Imaging USA yet!


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Friday, January 16, 2015

Conventions, Getting Sued and Death Defying Nature Photography: Our Top 10 Favorite Blog Posts from 1/ 11-16

By: Lauren Walters

Itching for news in the world of photography? Here are our top ten blog posts for this week. From tips and tutorials to adventure and high art, this week's top ten is a creative cluster.

 

1.       Imaging USA: The Next Stage of Your Photography Career Begins Here!

EVENT: Become more knowledgeable, connected, and confident by attending Imaging USA. This convention hosted by PPA takes place on Sunday, Feb. 1 - Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Nashville, Tennessee. Read this article to find out about all the benefits it has to offer. Come join the fun at Imaging USA!

 

2.       The Consequences of Working for Free

BUSINESS: Relating the life of a photographer to a life of a circus performer, this blog shares a few concepts of working the circus life that seem all too familiar to us photographers. There is no publicity value in working for free. North America has a silly belief system that work should not be enjoyable, therefore we should only be paid if there isn't enjoyment. But, don't sell your skills for free just yet! Value your work and yourself as a professional. 

3.       How to Make Artistic Multiple Exposures In-camera and in Photoshop

TUTORIAL: Interested in expanding your portfolio with creative pieces? Try a multiple exposure piece! From abstract to artistic portraits, regardless of the medium, this tutorial covers it all when it comes to multiple exposures. Have fun experimenting!

4.       How I Learned to Stop Taking Photographs and Start Making Photographs

PARADIGM SHIFT: Going from taking photos to making art can be a huge step. A common struggle among learning photographers can be focusing on a shallow depth of field. As soon as you start to learn that photography is a story telling device is when you start "making" photos instead of "taking" them.

5.       Why Photographers Aren't Artists

ARTISTS vs. PROFESSIONALS: As a photographer, do you consider yourself an artist? This blog distinguishes creative individuals as craftsmen, artists, professionals and finally entrepreneurs. Furthermore, this blog explains that true artistic geniuses such as Beethoven no longer exist. Instead of artists, we've become professionals.

 

6.       Help Unravel a Gordon Parks Southern Mystery

HISTORY: They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The featured photograph dates back to 1956 in an Atlanta airport. Relations of race and gender are assumed through this intimate photograph. Although, the details of this photo still remain a mystery today.

7.       Help, I Am Being Sued for Nearly $500,000 by a Model I Photographed

COPYRIGHT PROTECTION: After signing a release, participating in the shoot and getting paid, a model decides to sue the photographer for the photos getting stolen. The model signed a release allowing her photos to be used as stock, but they got stolen off her personal Facebook page after posting them herself. You won't believe where the images wound up!

8.       Gotham 7.5K A Rare High Altitude Night Flight Above NYC

AERIAL, BY NIGHT: "Gotham From Above" was shot from a helicopter 7,500 feet above the ground of New York. Capturing aerial photographs can be quite a challenge; helicopters vibrate, so the photographer had to use a relatively high shutter speed. This project showcases the scale of New York City.

 

9.       Photographer armed with just a SWORD braves threat of wolves and -50C in Siberia to snap awe-inspiring Northern Lights images

-50C AURORA BOREALIS: Into the Siberian wilderness, a Russian photographer ventured to capture images of the Northern Lights. Because of temperatures (as low as -50C), the photographer designed a coat to protect his camera. We applaud this photographer for braving such harsh conditions for the sake of art. Take a look at the results!

 

10.   Stunning Photos of Acrobatic Dancer Leap and Twirl Amid Dynamic Clouds of Powder

COMMERCIAL VS. FINE ART: Check out this high art marketing campaign. An acrobat dances in a cloud of powdered milk to create the most stunning photography designed to sell creamer. Did this approach make you crave creamer?

 

Enjoy this week's blog posts? Check back next week for more excitement! If you have a blog you want us to check out, let us know on theLoop!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

10 Questions with Imaging USA Speaker, Thom Rouse, M.Photog.MEI.Cr., CPP, F-ASP.

By: Lauren Walters

           

Thom Rouse began his career in 1994. He now splits his time as a portrait and commercial photographer. With two diverse sides to his career, Thom has mastered the art of photography. In the following interview, he tells us about himself as an artist.

 

What is your definition of "fine art"?

 

I wouldn't dare try to define art! My thought is that if you have a personal experience with literature, music, a painting or a photograph, then it must be art. We don't really need to define it, agree on it, or consult a critic to decide what it means. If we have an experience with it, positive or negative, I think it must be art.

 

Who are some of the artists who inspire you?

 

There are many artists who inspire me and the list changes daily. Among those near the top of my list are Salvador Dali, Gustave Klimt and Tintoretto. Among photographers, I'd include Steichen, Julia Margaret Cameron, Gordon Parks and Irving Penn. As soon as I start a list, I can think of 30 more I should have added.

 

Why do you teach classes for other photographers?

 

        It sounds trite, but I like to teach because I learn so much from it. It pushes me to think and evaluate the things I think I know about my process and my craft. While teaching, I often have some self-revelation about my own image making and I always learn from other photographers, usually from the newest newbie in the room.

 

You've had over 50 images go Loan - what do you enjoy most about photographic competitions?

 

        My reasons for entering competition have changed over time. When I started, I was solely trying to make the judges happy and earn merits towards a degree. Once I earned my degrees, I tried to make and enter images that I liked the most and were unique to me. At that point, I stopped looking for what I thought would achieve the highest scores. If we're not learning from competition, I see no reason to compete. We all need to present our work and receive feedback; it's a part of our ongoing creative process. No matter where we are in our careers, photographic competitions guarantee to make us better image makers. The more we enter competition, the more we have to work at stretching ourselves. It pushes us to take chances and do work that advances our vision; not just entering images that will earn more merits.

 

What makes photography such a versatile medium of expression?

 

        It's great to be a photographer: a time when the medium has become more versatile than ever! I started later in life at 40 years old, but the 20 year span of my career has encompassed the transition from film to digital capture. As much as I loved the traditional darkroom, I came alive with digital post production. During that time it has become an entirely new medium that encompasses painting, compositing and extensive possibilities for post-capture manipulation. The technology has created endless opportunities, yet we have to remind ourselves that we still create images with our eyes, hearts and minds. That's what makes photography truly versatile.

 

Do you pursue any other creative endeavors?

 

        Sadly, I do not. I gave up music 30 plus years ago; although, I'm greatly inspired by other media. I fantasize projects in other media, but I've never acted on it.

 

What is your favorite image you've captured?

 

        I have several favorites because they were influenced by very personal experiences that captured, expressed and expanded those experiences. I think the best and most impactful work is done when it's grounded in your personal experience.

 

Who should take your class at Imaging USA?

 

I think that photographers in any genre and at any experience level will find something of value in my program. I'll be making the case for spending time on fine art and how fine art will translate into added success in commercial and portrait work. Creating and displaying fine art expands your reputation as an artist, and will contribute to both your image making skills and to your bottom line.

 

What are the top 3 things people should take away from your class?

 

1. Pursuing personal fine art will keep you fresh, alive and vibrant as an image maker.

2. These days everyone is a photographer - being recognized as an artist elevates your status and recognition in the market.

3. Fine Art translates into skills and styles that let you create work like no one else in your market.

 

Elvis, Johnny Cash, or Jack White?

This is trick question that should be answered with "all of the above". I know that Elvis and Johnny Cash have influenced nearly everyone that's followed, but my first choice for listening right now would be Jack White!

This must be a based on Nashville connections; otherwise I'd be voting "none of the above" and writing in Miles Davis!

Come listen to Thom speak at Imaging USA in Nashville, TN. He will conduct a course called "The Case for Fine Art" on February 1, 2015. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

9 Questions with Imaging USA Speaker JulieAnne Jonker, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

By: Lauren Walters

Let's get to know one of our speakers who will be at Imaging USA in Nashville, Tennessee. JulieAnne Jonker has her master of photography and photographic craftsman degrees from PPA and is also a certified professional photographer (CPP). In the following interview, she sheds some light on her career as a photographer. 

Who's your class for?

Any photographer, really. It's about inspiration as much as what it takes to get your photography studio to the next level. I'll help you direct your business based on your definition of yourself as an artist

What are the top 3 takeaways from your class?

At the end of my class, you will be able to understand 3 things: 

1. Who you are as an artist

2. What direction you want to take your studio in 2015

3. How you can operate a low-volume, high-end studio in this economy

Define your style as a photographer in 5 words.

My style reflected in my photography is vintage, ethereal, classical, compelling and timeless.

What makes your portrait style so unique?

The influences that I continually derive from the fine art world shine through my work and define my photography style.

What is your favorite medium of expression besides photography?

Outside photography, there are two outlets I use to express myself: painting and sculpting.

What was your proudest photographic moment?

Being invited and voted into the Camera Craftsmen of America has to be my proudest moment as a photographer.

What is one marketing mistake many photographers make when they are first starting out?

Inexperienced photographers tend to compete on price, and price only, to get their foot in the door, but that presents them as cheap studios with too many sales and specials. 

What do you want to be known for?

As an artist I'd like to be known for creating timeless pieces.

Elvis, Johnny Cash, or Jack White?

Definitely, Jimi Hendrix.

JulieAnne has had a long streak of success. Learn from her at Imaging USA in Nashville! You'll have two opportunities to hear her speak: on the business panel "5 Golden Nuggets" and in her solo-class called "The Portrait as an Art Form"

If you haven't registered for Imaging USA, you can do so now at ImagingUSA.org/Register! We can't wait to see you in Nashville! 

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Learn How to Make the Most of Imaging USA with Our Mobile App

By Chris Homer

February is approaching quickly, which means it's almost time for Imaging USA 2015 in Nashville! To help you make the most of the conference, the Imaging USA mobile app is now available for free download. This app will allow you to create your own schedule, find and network with other attendees, stay up-to-date on conference updates and specials through social media, participate in the game to win daily prizes and much more! 

Make the most of the app when you get to Nashville! Take a minute to watch the quick tutorial videos below. You'll learn how to use the exhibitor, speaker, schedule and mapping features of the app, where you can post to social media and find important information, how to build your own agenda and how the game works (there are prizes for top ranked attendees each day!).

Exhibitors, Speakers, Schedule, Mapping


News, Information, Social


My Event


Networking


Game

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Meet Us at the Merit Café!

By Sarah Ackerman

This year at Imaging USA you will find a completely new thing... the Merit Café. There you'll find a series of short seminars, from Sunday to Tuesday, by the International Photographic Exhibit. These sessions are geared to getting you familiar with and better prepared for future photographic competitions ! This These 30-minute short format sessions are restricted to first come, first serve for seating. 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!

Here's what's on tap:

Sunday, February 1
1pm "Using Titles [of your images] to Your Advantage" - Larry Lourcey
1:30pm "The Road to Becoming a [Image Competition]Judge"- Kimberly Smith
2:30pm "The Judging Process: How an Image Becomes a Merit" - Donna Goodhale
3pm "Print Presentation" - Carl Caylor
6:30pm "Becoming a Master Photographer" - Gabriel Alonso
7pm "What the Heck is the Artist Category?" - Doran Wilson

Monday, February 2
1pm "Using Titles to Your Advantage" - Larry Lourcey
1:30pm "The Road to Becoming a Judge" - Kimberly Smith
2:30pm "The Judging Process: How a Print Becomes a Merit" - Donna Goodhale
3pm "Print Presentation" - Carl Caylor
6:30pm "Recognizing Impact in Your Images" - Ryan Brown
7pm "12 Elements of a Merit Image" - Jeff Dachowski

Tuesday, February 3
11:30am "What the Heck is the Artist Category" - Doran Wilson
12:00pm "12 Elements of a Merit Image" - Jeff Dachowski
1:00pm "Becoming a Master Photographer" - Gabriel Alonso
1:30pm "Recognizing Impact in Your Images" - Ryan Brown

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

PPA's District Competitions will be underway shortly after Imaging USA, so use this valuable opportunity to ask all of the questions that are causing road blocks to your future with photographic competitions. 

If you haven't registered for Imaging USA, you can do so now at ImagingUSA.org/Register! We can't wait to see you in Nashville! 

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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.


Friday, January 09, 2015

Why Sharma Attends Imaging USA

Are you still on the fence on attending Imaging USA? Don't just take our word on why it's so great, listen to why Sharma Ferrugia decided to attend and what she got out of it.
 

In addition to networking with over 10,000 of fellow photographers, exploring 600+ tradeshow booths and learning from some of the industry's best photographers, you also get to know you're starting 2015 off on the best foot possible! With Imaging USA, you're building your education for your business, inspiring your creativity and networking so you'll have the best support system possible when it comes to any challenges you face throughout the year. 

Registration is still open at ImagingUSA.org/Register. Remember, hotels are filling up fast! As a matter of fact, the Gaylord Opryland, the headquarter hotel, is 99% sold out! (This is not a marketing push, this is a fact). So here's a quick list of nearby properties. And as always, head over to theLoop to make new friends before you arrive, find a roommate or just ask any questions that might come up in your planning process!


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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.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Ask Prem Anything!

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By Sarah Ackerman

Prem Mukherjee - Imaging USA 2015 instructor and current PPAedu instructor stopped by theLoop this week for an AMA (Ask Me Anything). 

Prem is a wedding and portrait photographer from the great state of Michigan. After getting his degree in mechanical engineering, he spent the first 10 years of his career in corporate America before transitioning into running his studio full time. 

Prem puts the business into all sides of his photography studio - and that's clear in his AMA. By creating efficient systems and quick turnaround times, he is able to maximize profits!

Here are a few of our favorite moments with Prem: 

On what inspires him before a shoot (as a huge fan of social media, this struck a chord with me):
We primarily use Pinterest for inspiration before a shoot. It's quick and easy to use and seems to consist mostly of high quality professional photos as opposed to doing a Google image search.

On turnaround time:
First, I should put a disclaimer and say that we do not do a super-fast turnaround for all clients. Most clients of ours are local and we do the shoot one day and typically schedule the order session the next day they are available - which is sometimes the day after, sometimes a week after. For the clients that are really busy or for anyone coming from out of town...those are the times we do everything on the same day.
We usually do the shoot from 10am -11am, have them go grab lunch and come back at 1:30pm-2:00pm. By then everything is edited and the ProSelect gallery is made, and I've had time to eat lunch myself. 

On creating efficient systems:
For weddings, I cull things down quickly, do minor Lightroom adjustments for color, contrast, exposure to all the keepers, and then Photoshop the best 30 pics and then it's done.
For portraits we usually cull it down to about 40 shots and do full touchups including everything from skin softening to liquefy if needed.
People typically spend more when they are fully edited and look awesome! For the full portrait retouching, I use some various actions that allow me to do full retouching in 1-1.5 minutes per image so it doesn't take all that much time to get the work done.

Don't forget to stop by for Prem's class at Imaging USA! His class "Easy Techniques to Triple Your Dollars Per Hour" will take place on Monday, February 2. Register now if you haven't already done so! Registration information for Imaging USA is available at ImaginUSA.org/Register.

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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.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Overflow Hotel Rooms Available for Imaging USA

This year's Imaging USA is on track to be the biggest and best yet! So much so that our host hotel, the Gaylord Opryland, is selling out. If you haven't reserved your room, please do so as soon as possible, they are 99% sold out! Opryland will  guarantee the discounted Imaging USA rate of $175 until all of our rooms have been sold. 

Once those rooms do sell out, there are a few backup hotels options for you that are all close to the convention center. Try any of the following:

Regardless of where you stay, you'll see benefit from discounted parking at the Gaylord Opryland for $9/day by being an Imaging USA attendee. You'll have to show your badge to get that fare (instead of $21!).

And in case you haven't heard, early bird registration has been extended through Friday, January 9th. You can still save $50 on your all access pass (for you or for a friend!) by registering at ImagingUSA.org/Register

Remember, if you're still looking for a roommate or want to carpool over to  the largest photography convention and tradeshow of the year, head over to theLoop's Imaging USA community to get the discussion going! 

We hope to see you in Nashville!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

10 Questions with Carl Caylor, Imaging USA Speaker

If there's one thing we can guarantee about Imaging USA 2015, it's that this year's speaker lineup is probably the best ever. Last time we highlighted Steve Kozak and found out, amongst other things, that he's a Johnny Cash man at heart. This week we're back with Carl Caylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP and his class, Hands On Photography: Natural Light Portraiture. In this week's interview with Carl, you'll get why he dove into natural light, where he draws his artistic inspiration from, and who he believes let the dogs out. 

Why do you love natural light so much? 
I like natural light because it is my comfort zone. I have always used natural light for my photo journalistic work and it seemed to transition well into the portrait world. I guess it has always been something that I could see and then record in my pictures. The strobe lights involved me constantly recording and rechecking to see if it worked--natural light is just so much easier for me.

What can people expect to take away from your class?
Photographers will get hands-on experience and feedback with live models. They will learn how to see light and determine where to position their subjects in relation to that light. They will also learn what is possible with the light they find. Light dictates what patterns are possible within the given background that corresponds to a scene--the relationship between the subject, the available light, and the background is something I'll expand upon more at Imaging USA.

What is the one thing about using natural light that most photographers initially struggle with?
The fact that just because you're outside doesn't mean you should throw away portrait lighting. We can still achieve wonderful light patterns that are flattering to the human figure. Natural light doesn't mean getting a correct exposure. Be a professional, be an artist. Give more than just a picture. Create...yes, create a portrait.

Where do you draw your inspiration from as a photographer?
Life in general is a good place to begin. But I draw inspiration from many places. Movies, ads, music, art, and other photographers are great sources of inspiration. For the last 19 years photographic competition has been my biggest source of inspiration. Although I took a few years off of being really serious about it, last year was a good comeback for me. It made me excited again and I played hard. It's important to give print competition a try, because you might find that it pushes you to be a better photographer.

What brought you to the world of photography?
My aunt and uncle are very talented photography hobbyists. From cameras to darkroom work, I was lured in by their love of the craft at an early age. My high school wrestling coach was also the photography teacher and yearbook advisor, which turned out to be a great combination for me, and I instantly was hooked. I went to college for Technical Communications Management with an emphasis in Photography and a minor in Business. While I value what I was taught in school, I learned much of what I know about photography today simply by spending time with talented photographers in classes and seminars. 

What's your favorite image you've ever captured?
I'll let you know when it happens.

What's one image you want to create?
I would love to work on a movie set doing portraits for the marketing end of the movie. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty would have been a great assignment!

Who let the dogs out?
I did. It was her time to do her thing. Seriously--her name is "Canon's Image Stabilizer," we call her Izzie for short. Before that we had "Caylor's Kodak Moment," Kodak for short. She was our photo "lab".

What do you enjoy about photographic competitions?
Competition itself. Regardless of if it is a sport or an art contest, competition gets the blood flowing. You create great friends in competition. You learn new things. You push yourself to new levels. It's not that I'm too competitive; I just think that it is important to always do your best. If you make sure to do that you will always be a winner.

Elvis, Johnny Cash, or Jack White?
Who is Jack White?

Be sure to come see Carl at Imaging USA 2015! His preconvention class--Hands On Photography: Natural Light Portraiture is available at $79. You can sign up for additional Hands On Photography pre-convention courses for $129 for two classes, and $159 for three classes.

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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Imaging USA Keynote Speaker Peter Lik Checks In

Have you heard? Peter Lik is coming to Imaging USA. Yes, that's Peter Lik, M.Photog., world-renowned landscape photographer, multi upon multi-million dollar print seller and host of From The Edge with Peter Lik, which aired for one season on The Weather Channel and asked the question, "How far are you willing to go to get the perfect shot?"

Peter will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award Tuesday night at PPA's Award & Degree ceremony. He will also, for the first time ever, open up to a crowd of photographers and share his experience and insider's view to his showbiz-size operation. This high-energy Aussie definitely has some stories to tell so make sure you don't miss An Evening with Peter Lik, Monday at 8 p.m.

And if you're wondering what a multi-million dollar print looks like, some of Peter Lik's amazing (and supersized) work will be on display next to the International Photographic Exhibit. See what all the buzz is about Sunday-Monday, 8am - 8pm and Tuesday, 8am - 3:30pm.

Peter recently sat down with PPA president, Susan Michal, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, to share his excitement for Imaging USA. Take a look!


Rooms for Imaging USA are filling up fast. In fact, as we are publishing this post Opryland is already at 80% capacity! So don't miss your chance to stay at the center of it all.  

Register for Imaging USA and reserve your room today. Don't forget, if it's your first year with PPA your registration is free and for everyone else, early bird registration saves you $50 through December 31stSee you in Nashville!


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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 and wishes Taylor Swift would just stop.

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

9 Questions with Ana Brandt

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By Sarah Ackerman

It's time to get to know Ana Brandt, Imaging USA 2015 instructor and maternity photographer extraordinaire! Ana has been in the business over 14 years and has never stopped learning. Get to know this pre convention instructor in nine easy questions!

1. When did you start your photography career? What prompted it?

I became a professional photographer in 1999. I had been taking pictures since I was a teen and had no intention of ever becoming a professional. After shooting for well over 10 years as an amateur, I decided once I moved from the East Coast to the West that I would register my business and get to work. I was a web designer by day and a photographer by night. I started shooting child models in California and one day I just quit my Web Job and never looked back.

2. What do you want for people to take away from your class? 

I want them to feel the power of the amazing talent and gift that photographers have. I want them to leave motivated and encouraged and understand that the marketing, selling, posing and all that is entailed should just flow from their pores. I want them to leave and not sleep for days because I have given them so many ideas, tips, techniques and marketing methods that will take them months to incorporate. I am bringing in a pregnant model and a brand new baby and I want to show them easy transitional posing for both session types that can work in any location.

3. What is your favorite aspect of photographing newborns? 

Watching them fall into such a deep sleep that they just smile in bliss. It is amazing to watch them just curl up and be cozy in a basket. Sometimes I just stare in wonder. They are just days old, and here they are in my space, just sleeping away. It's really amazing. 

4. How did you get into the maternity market? 

Honestly, I wish I knew. When I was in my 20's I was so awe inspired by seeing gorgeous pregnant woman. I was immediately drawn to this phase in a woman's life. I have shared this story so many times, but I am an adopted child, and I have never seen a photo of my biological mother. I think I was just drawn to what I never saw in my own life way earlier then I even knew why. Now 15 years later, I just never get tired of it. I think pregnant woman are just gorgeous and it's such a short time in development. I knew from early on I would specialize in maternity and newborn and I knew my being adopted was a driving force - and still is. I wish I could explain it in words, but it's really hard to. I feel that every path I took in my life, led me to here. To doing this, even when I had no idea what my journey would be.

5.    What is one piece of equipment you can't live without on newborn shoots? 

On location - it's my 5-n-1 - I almost always use a diffuser and reflector to block out harsh light on one side, and reflect in soft light on the other. That is a must when I am traveling. 
In studio, I need good lights. I would never use flash inside and I love my soft boxes and Einstein's. I used Alien Bees for years, and those are great too.

6.    How do you differentiate yourself from other newborn/maternity photographers? 

I think I would have to ask my clients that! I don't really pay attention to other newborn/maternity photographers. I try and just focus on things I like and ideas that inspire me and things that drive me. I let my clients know I can provide everything for them for their sessions, such as clothing and styling and location scouting, so that they can just relax and trust the process. I think each photographer has their own style, even if they use the same props - the style is easily defined. I believe that people choose the photographer that is similar to their own style and has a personality that is comforting to them. I do not believe I am the perfect photographer for every client. 
One product that sets us apart are our behind the scenes videos. We have been providing video for our clients of behind the scenes in their sessions. Clients have told me they love watching the videos because not only can they see who I am but they can appreciate what is involved in a session. It is a win, win - the client receives a gorgeous video, and we have marketing tools for the next client.

7. Who is your favorite photographer? 

I can't pinpoint one person. In my 20's I studied Ansel Adams and Anne Geddes. I bought their books, screensavers and calendars and just stared at their images over and over. I think Ansel defined black and white photography and Anne Geddes showed the world the wonder and beauty of newborns.

8. What defines your photographic style? 

For pregnancy I think its movement and angles. I like curves and to stretch woman's bodies in ways they never thought possible. I adore fabric and how it flows, and if I love to work with fans and just create beautiful images. For newborns, I try and create images that are classic and simple while being a tad artsy at times.

9.  What do you wish more photographers knew before going into business? 

That it is hard, hard work and that you cannot give up. Photography is a business. Like any business, it takes time to learn and grow.  You have to commit and just do it. You need to be patient and not worry about others. This is your journey - your path and you need to let it grow and nurture it with every ounce of your being.

Come learn from Ana live at Imaging USA 2015. Her "The Art and Business of Pregnancy and Newborn Photography" pre-convention class will run January 31 for an additional $129 fee to your registration. Get all the details on Imaging USA and register here!

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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 with Witless Protection around the Atlanta area and at Dad's Garage Theatre Company. When she's not tweeting/instagramming/facebooking 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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