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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Welcome to San Antonio!

by James Yates
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You're all set to go to Imaging USA 2017, but you've never been to San Antonio before? Relax. Your PPA Team was just there, scouting out the best attractions and locations and preparing enough photography-convention-awesomeness to blow your ten-gallon hat off come January. 

In addition to shooting a guide to the newly remodeled Convention Center (which you'll see at a later date), we took a look at some of the best San Antonio has to offer. Here's a handy guide of things to consider making time for your trip in January:

Start with The Riverwalk, the unique, can't-miss 2.5-mile walkway along the San Antonio River. Take one of the famed Riverboat Tours to see the other side of attractions like the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Arneson River Theater and the Aztec Theatre. The boats pass right by and through several restaurants, making any night out to eat a gorgeous experience. It may sound like a tourist trap, it's not! It's really nice! That's probably why the Riverwalk is Texas' second most popular tourist spot after...The Alamo/The Missions. Remember this? No trip to San Antonio would be complete without visiting the Alamo and the other four Spanish frontier outposts designated as a National Historic Park. Founded in 1939, La Villita Historic Arts Village is San Antonio's original neighborhood. La Vallita houses over 30 art galleries and shops along with several restaurants. The Arneson River Theater is also there so you can get a better look from off of the boat. The RiverCenter Mall is also located on the Riverwalk and literally right downstairs from our host hotels. It's a fully functioning mall with all the stores you may need to get your shopping fix ($6 cowboy hats, anyone?) and tons of restaurants including a food court if you want something fast and cheap! You can experience the largest Mexican mercado in the city for authentic shopping underneath all those iconic, colorful flags at Market Square. Get the best view of San Antonio from atop the 750 ft-tall Tower of the Americas, built in 1968 for the Hemisfair (World's Fair), which you'll hear a lot about because it was a huge deal for the city. 

If you're looking to venture away from the downtown area by car or bus, The San Antonio Botanical Gardens, the San Antonio Aquarium and the San Antonio Zoo offer some of the most beautiful, Texas-sized flora and fauna for the entire family to enjoy. There are also the big theme parks, SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas if you have the need for speed and want to ride the state-of-the-art Iron Rattler or Steel Eel. Other kinds of thrill-seekers may want to check out the Natural Bridge Caverns, named for the 60 foot limestone slab that spans the caverns' entrance.  

We weren't sure what to expect from our planning trip to San Antonio, but what we got was a beautiful city with a lively and bustling downtown area, all easily accessible from the Imaging USA hotels and convention center. We're more certain than ever that January 2017 is going to be AWESOME. 

For more info, head over to ImagingUSA.org/about-san-antonio. If you haven't registered yet for Imaging USA 2017, be sure to head over to ImagingUSA.org/Register and take advantage of the Early Bird rates! 

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James Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Imaging USA 2017: For the First-Timers...

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Registration is already up and running for Imaging USA 2017! For all you first timers that are preparing to be amazed by the excitement of the world's largest (and best) photography convention, this post is for you! If you haven't discovered already, Imaging USA offers a range of opportunities for first timers to connect and build relationships with seasoned photographers. 
If you are new to PPA, you can even participate in the New Members reception. It's free and it's your chance to start making lifetime friends with other photographers. Nearly 1,500 new members come to Imaging USA each year. Here are some useful tips to conquer your first Imaging USA like a champ!

Meet New People- Try to meet at least five new people every day during your time at Imaging (so bring those business cards!)
Wear Comfortable Shoes- You're going to be doing a lot of walking\
Pack Light- No need to bring anything more than what is absolutely necessary
Look for Orange- Ask PPA staff if you need any help. We'll be wearing bright orange button downs and will be happy to answer any questions. 
Attend the Parties- Plan on attending the opening and closing night parties. They are a blast!
Use a Water Bottle- Stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you to save money and the environment
Stay in the Official Hotels- PPA has negotiated discounted rates for Imaging USA attendees. Stay close to the action and have a blast!
Rest Up!--Classes start early on Sunday, so come to San Antonio Saturday night and rest up...or party ;) 

We hope you find these tips helpful while preparing for this awesome experience. Have any more questions about Imaging USA 2017? Head over to www.ImagingUSA.org. Want to register and take advantage of the early bird special? Go to www.ImagingUSA.com/Register!



Tuesday, June 07, 2016

New Behind The Camera Video: The Importance of Imaging USA

By Chris Homer

If you've been paying attention to PPA's YouTube channel, you'll have noticed that PPA has been releasing a series, Behind The Camera Videos, featuring real photographers who discuss their experience running a photography studio and how PPA has helped them along the way. In one of our most recent videos, photographer Lisa Thayer shares the impact attending Imaging USA had in her career!

Many professional photographers have struggled with the feeling of having to 'go it alone'. It can be tough out there without a support system of other professional photographers to rely on. That's where the power of the PPA community comes in! Watch the video below to learn how this photographer built her own network of mentors by attending PPA's annual conference, Imaging USA!


We hope you'll share this video with other photographers to help show how the PPA network can help photographers' careers. You can also view a playlist with all the videos in the Behind The Camera Videos series. And if you haven't registered for Imaging USA - January 8 -10, 2017 in San Antonio, TX - you can register now!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Imaging USA 2017 Host Hotels Available for Booking NOW!

by James Yates
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Registration for this year's Imaging USA went live early this year and so did the hotels! This year there is a "one stop shop" reservation system for Imaging USA hotel booking in San Antonio. We encourage you to make your reservations through this new online system, as it is here to help you book your hotel rooms seamlessly.

Save yourself the trouble of searching for a lower rate! PPA's already done the work and negotiated discounted rates for your stay in San Antonio. Staying in our host hotels not only guarantees a lower rate, but also keeps you closest to the networking action and saves you money on transportation. Here are this year's partner hotels:

Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter
The headquarter hotel for this year's Imaging USA, Marriott Rivercenter is only one block from the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The Rivercenter is 38-stories and connects to the city's premier dining, shopping, and entertainment destinations. The Alamo, one of the nation's most storied and revered landmarks, is within easy walking distance from this hotel. Marriott's Rivercenter hotel is designed for relaxing, with LCD TVs, premium cable, high-speed Internet access, and Marriott's Plug-In Technology in each guest room.

Marriott San Antonio Riverwalk
This one is only half a block from the Convention Center. Capture the romance of San Antonio with a stay at one of these recently renovated guestrooms with a sweeping balcony view of the city and the famous River Walk below. This hotel combines gracious Marriott service and amenities, including high speed internet access, with a comfortable and casual feel.

Grand Hyatt San Antonio
The closest hotel at only .25 blocks from the Convention Center, the Grand Hyatt San Antonio hotel presents contemporary style, comfort, luxury and convenience. The location affords stunning views of downtown San Antonio or HemisFair Park. They offer luxurious accommodations ranging from king-size bedrooms to suites and free Wi-Fi is available in all guest rooms.

Hilton Palacio del Rio
Two blocks from the Convention Center, you'll find the Hilton Palacio del Rio. The Hilton's renovations have transformed this iconic River Walk hotel to convey a contemporary flavor within a hacienda setting. Each room features local decor along with a private balcony for panoramic views of the city. Pamper yourself with Hilton Serenity Collection bedding and today's latest technology - high speed wireless internet, connectivity centers and 37" HD televisions. Each room also includes a spacious newly redesigned bathroom with wood floors, granite countertops and sapphire blue mosaic tiled walls. Fiesta & Siesta - A Hip Hacienda!

Remember, you MUST use our new registration system to book your hotel this year. Learn more at ImagingUSA.org/Travel/Hotel/. As always, PPA is not making anything on these hotels. Savings are passed directly on to you, so make the best of this experience and stay at a host hotel!


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Imaging USA: Free to New PPA Members

By Sarah Ackerman

Imaging USA, PPA's annual conference and expo, is headed to San Antonio, Texas January 8-10, 2017 and you could join us for free! Imaging USA hosts over 10,000 of your photographer friends, nearly 100 world-class speakers, and over 600 booths in the Expo dedicated to all things photography. 

If you're new to PPA, your 3 day, All-Access pass - which includes the classes, the Expo and the parties- is yours for FREE! As a thank you for joining PPA, we want you to attend Imaging USA on the house! It's a great induction into your new photography family, meeting a wide network of people you'll connect with over the years. 

Check out all the reasons people come to Imaging USA:



And now you can attend for FREE (a $399 savings). You can register today at ImagingUSA.org/Register

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Sarah Ackerman manages all things social media for PPA and Imaging USA. When she's not living on the internet, she loves improv comedy, going on wilderness adventures, gallivanting around the globe, knitting, wood working and yoga. 



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Thursday, May 05, 2016

Registration Open for Imaging USA 2017: Earlier than Ever Before!

By James YatesThumbnail image for 12493842_10153526507464051_5550446508218490223_o.jpg

Are you ready?! We thought so. Registration for Imaging USA, PPA's annual photography convention and expo, is now open at ImagingUSA.org/Register!

Imaging USA 2016 was a huge success, with more than 10,000 industry professionals taking over downtown Atlanta last January. Check out the photos, videos and blogs detailing what was an amazing three days of photography business education and inspiration as well as exclusive tradeshow shopping. Now, by popular demand, your friends at PPA have worked to enable registration earlier than ever before for Imaging USA 2017, held January 8 to 10 in San Antonio, Texas at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

You'll be 'Livin' La Vida Lone Star' next year when you attend the largest concentration of photographic talent gathered under one roof. Since everything's bigger in Texas, the Imaging Expo will feature more than 600 booths, live presentations and hands-on demonstrations of new photo-related products by some of the most respected companies in the industry. Imaging USA's renowned educational classes are geared to improve a photographer's business skills, photographic repertoire and use of technologies. There will also be a special keynote address from a special to-be-announced speaker, an extensive photographic display of the International Photographic Competition collection, mentoring opportunities, portfolio reviews, several all-inclusive parties and much more.

This early-bird registration is only $199. Yep, that's for all three days of photography awesomeness. Tell your friends if they're not a member, because attendance to one's first Imaging USA is FREE as a perk for new members! There are many different ways to experience Imaging USA, including but not limited to the full conference, a full conference plus pre-conference courses option and Expo only. Visit ImagingUSA.org for complete registration information and pricing options. And keep checking back for updates to the event schedule.
 
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for James.JPGJames Yates is an Atlanta-based writer/actor and the Communications Specialist at Professional Photographers of America (PPA). A graduate of Georgia State University, James has worked in the non-profit sector his whole life and is proud to be able to help artists achieve their goals. In his spare time he can be found walking his dogs on the Beltline or partaking in the nightly theater and comedy scene in the ATL.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New Imaging USA 2016 Video! Grand Imaging Awards

by James Yates

You didn't miss Imaging USA 2016, did you? Well, just in case, here on the PPA Today blog you will find exclusive videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

Grand Imaging Awards
Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta



Take a look at the Grand Imaging Awards at Imaging USA 2016! The 2015 Medalists, Diamond Photographers of the Year, and all the Loan Collection artists from the most recent International Photographic Competition (IPC) were honored. You can also see who was crowned champion, earning the Grand Imaging Award!

And don't even think about missing next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Imaging USA 2016 Video! Award + Degree Ceremony

by James Yates

You didn't miss Imaging USA 2016, did you? Well, just in case, here on the PPA Today blog you will find exclusive videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

Award + Degree Ceremony
Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta


In this video, check out the 2016 Award & Degree Ceremony at Imaging! Congratulations to all the photographers that earned their PPA Degree or got an award, including the Lifetime Achievement Winner, Kenneth L. Whitmire, M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP.

Ken is such an inspiration and his joy is infectious. Watch and learn how a true legend accepts acclaim with grace and gratitude.

And don't even think about missing next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!


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Friday, February 12, 2016

New Imaging USA 2016 Video! Learn about: PRINT: The Movement pt 2

by James Yates

Learn how to use PRINTS to boost your studio's success! Over the next several days, you will find exclusive videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

PRINT. The Movement: Success Secrets of a Six Figure Studio
Class taught at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta
by Allison Tyler Jones, CPP



In this video, Allison Tyler Jones shares her tips on creating products and using in-person sales strategies that have helped her create a successful and sustainable business. This interactive class was guided by questions from attendees, so watch to learn the answers to some of your biggest business and sales questions.
Be on the lookout for more Imaging USA 2016 videos coming your way next week!
And don't even think about missing out on next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

New Imaging USA 2016 Video! Learn about: PRINT: The Movement


If you've never seen or heard the great Tim Walden speak, you are in for a huge (and inspiring) treat! In the next few days, you will find several videos from Imaging USA 2016 for your daily dose of motivation. Check out the first video recording of this Imaging USA program in its entirety here!

PRINT. The Movement: Being A Print Artist
Class taught at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta
By Tim Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP


In this program, you'll be part of a conversation on the importance of printing in photography and the role it plays in positioning you uniquely and making "the crowded market" a subjective argument. You will hear how to be a "Print Artist" in your community and how that can raise the value of your imagery and of you as an artist.

Be on the lookout for another PRINT. The Movement video coming your way tomorrow!
And don't even think about missing out on next year's Imaging USA. It will be in San Antonio, TX, January 8-10, 2017, so save the date!




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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Amazing Amy Purdy

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 980791_10153524820929051_3053145740937398337_o.jpgImaging USA 2016 was a resounding success all around and one of the most noteworthy takeaways was the keynote speech by Amy Purdy. Even those who were unfamiliar with Amy and her inspiring story found themselves blown away by her larger-than-life personality and charm. Now we want you to experience it too!
 
Paralympic medalist/motivational speaker/New York Times best-selling author/Adaptive Action Sports co-founder/Amazing Race and Dancing With The Stars runner-up Amy Purdy gave the inspirational keynote presentation to thousands of photographers on the first morning of Imaging USA 2016. A lot of photographers work alone and can be discouraged when trying to "make it". Amy offered a fresh perspective and showed everyone that it's all a matter of putting your heart and soul into something bigger than yourself. She shared her triumphant tale of overcoming the loss of her legs to go places she never thought she could. From nearly losing her life to being able to buy feet to match her favorite shoes, Amy's story is both thought-provoking and uplifting. Get some motivation and take your business to new heights by checking out the recording from her speech!

Want more info on Amy? Check out our previous blog posts to get more of her amazing life story.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Unusual Habits of Creative People, Copyrights and Capturing the Female Form: Our Top Ten Blogs from January 22-29

by James Yates

As we turn the corner on January and what was an amazing Imaging USA month here at PPA, let's take a look at some of the best blog posts from Jan. 25-29, 2016. From the secrets of creative people to Imaging USA highlights and wrap-ups, there's something for everyone! Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Weekly_Top_Ten_Excited.jpg

1. Imaging USA 2016, Imaging USA 2016 Review, & Imaging USA Fresh Look
IMAGING TOURS: Ann-Marie Ford has a great set of pics from Imaging up on her AM blog. Brian Striegler Photography recapped all three days of Imaging in great detail. Judith Chauvette took tons of model shots from Imaging USA and posted them to her Fresh Look blog. If you missed out this year, look through these and be very jealous. Then, mark your calendar to join us for Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, January 8-10!

2. Copyright: PPA Helps You Be More Informed, Be More Prepared, and Be More Involved!
©ACTION NEEDED: PPA's Lindsey Forson educates us on all the latest developments in U.S. Copyright Law. PPA has been advocating tirelessly for changes to the law that will protect small business, high-volume photographers. Check out how you can get involved as soon as legislation makes it to the floor of Congress.

3. Six Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People
CREATIVITY BOOST: Inc.com studies some of history's greatest creative minds and came up with this eye-opening list of daily habits they have in common. These six strategies have the power to change the way you think about creativity.

4. A Beginner's Guide to Working with Flash Off-Camera
LIGHTING HOW-TO GUIDE: In this tutorial, Digital Photography School shows you the quick and easy steps to shooting portraits using off-camera speedlights. From gear and setting up to step-by-step lighting, this Beginner's Guide is a must-read if you're working with off-camera flash.

5. Eight Ways to Separate Yourself From the Competition
BUSINESS HACKING: Rosh Sillars wants to help you get noticed and earn what you're worth. His eight steps aim to add value to what you do. Stepping outside of your bubble, engaging with worldwide cultures and trends and sending unique thank-you cards are just some of his tips for standing out from your competition.   

6. Time Lapse Imaging USA Trade Show Opening
TIME LAPSE TELLS A STORY: Check out this delightful footage from Successful-Photographer.com from the floor of the Georgia World Congress Center. See all the first-day madness from the bottom of the escalator when the Expo doors finally opened! 

7. Adulting with Randy Van Duinen
IMAGING RECAP: PhotoBomb guys Booray and Gary interview Randy Van Duinen for a three-part Imaging Recap podcast. Check out this second show, which is all about Randy's history and tips on how he makes a living with architectural photography.

8. Closing the Loop: Photographer Susan Michal
LEAD & INSPIRE: Read or listen to the amazing life story of Susan Michal, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, courtesy of WJCT, Florida. Learn how her music background combined with her passion and talent for photography and led her all the way to the Chairmanship of PPA.

9. Capturing the Female Form with Master Photographer Sue Bryce
IMAGING USA FAVORITE: RollingOut.com gives a play-by-play of one of the most popular classes at Imaging USA 2016: Sue Bryce. Find out why the packed audience was so excited to learn from one of the fashion world's greatest photographers.

10. Imaging USA 2016 Was Incredible!
EXPO VIDEO: Broadcast Pro Photo takes you on their journey of what made Imaging USA so special. Check out their iMovie video tour of the Expo floor and feel like you're really there. 

Hope you are as inspired and excited for 2016 post-Imaging USA as we are! This is going to be a great year! And please let us know what photography blogs or podcasts you follow! Post your favorite on theLoop or email us links at OnlineContentCommitee@PPA.com 
Thank you!


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Imaging USA 2016 Day Three Recap: The 'Last Day of Camp' Blues

by James Yates

all images © Alex the Photo Guy

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I'm trying to stay upbeat but heading home is a bittersweet feeling. Everyone on the floor of the GWCC and Expo today was excited, inspired, and ready to return home with a ton of new friends and weapons in their photography arsenal. 



Let me share with you the story of April Ranew, a PPA member of just two years. Last year was her first Imaging USA and she left inspired and determined to make her business a success. In just a couple of months, she used her new knowledge to open her home studio and by the end of the year she had doubled her sales. Now, that's exciting enough but here's where the story gets even better: at this Imaging USA she happened to be in line at a nearby restaurant after the convention one evening. The party in front of her noticed she was alone and invited her to sit with them. It turned out to be several PPA Board Members who wound up sharing their stories and years of experience with her, a "newbie", and forming new friendships. She learned so much and now feels like she's "part of the PPA family". That's what I'm talking about when I say you never know what can and will happen at Imaging USA! 

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But back to this last, amazing day. The classes today were as fantastic as one would hope for on the last day. Peter Hurley is always a big favorite from attendees. Craig LaMere taught everyone how to have a "badass brand". Ashley Brooke used her social media savvy to inspire attendees to put the personality back in their business. And there were more than a few tears shed at the highly emotional session with Jerry Ghionis, M.Photog.Cr. His session was all about evoking emotion! You didn't expect him not to do that, did you? 

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The Expo floor was abuzz today as throngs of people bought last-minute tickets for the PPA Charities Dream Studio Giveaway, a complete makeover for one lucky winner, Greg Mooney of Marietta, Georgia, souped up and tricked out with all the latest and greatest products from the expo and valued at an estimated $50,000. Check back in the spring here at PPA Today to see video of Jamie Hayes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API and the PPA Charities Dream Team surprising Greg at his studio and beginning the process of giving it that amazing makeover. 

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Next up tonight was the Awards and Degree ceremony where PPA honored the professional photographers who set themselves apart in the industry by earning new PPA degrees and awards. There was even the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award given to Ken Whitmire, M.Photog.Cr.FASP. Ken is only the fourteenth recipient of that honor in PPA's nearly 150 year history!


And then...the Closing Party. Imaging USA goers schmoozed with fish, danced with penguins, and snapped pics of beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium. You went, right? If for no other reason than to say "see you next year!" Please tag and share your pictures with #ImagingUSA with all the friends you've made and saw at Imaging USA. 

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That "last day of camp" feeling is electric in the air today. Let's all get rested and then work hard to implement everything we learned to help our business and art thrive! 






If you missed out....DON'T LET IT HAPPEN NEXT YEAR! We're going to be Living La Vida Lone Star in San Antonio, Texas. Not a PPA member? Join now and get your first Imaging experience for FREE! PPA.com/Join


Check out the Recap Video for the final day of Imaging 2016

Monday, January 11, 2016

Imaging USA 2016 Day 2: Kicking Things Up a Notch!

by James Yates

all photos © Alex the Photo Guy 

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Wow, everyone. Sorry. I don't know what happened. I'm usually so calm and composed but my first couple of posts about Imaging USA have had the tone of a 12-year old girl's post to Justin Bieber's Facebook page. I'm fine now, though. I've adjusted to the constant flow of positive vibes and stream of new friends I'm making by the second. I'm now used to the passion, the parties, the pride I'm seeing photographers take in their work and their generosity with sharing their knowledge with anyone who needs it. I'm jaded now. 

Just kidding! Of course I'm still walking around with my jaw on the floor! In fact, if you see me around at the Imaging Expo tomorrow, come pinch me and wake me up. 

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The day kicked off with morning classes and there were twice as many today as yesterday. The tradeshow doors opened at 11:30am and was just as full of happy and excited photographers the second time around. I was able to interview vendors today and their excitement over sharing new products and trends with their clients was contagious.



There was a LOT of chatter on the Expo floor after the 10am class with Sue Bryce. I heard the term "fangirl/boy" maybe ten times from as many different people. Other amazing speakers today included Lisa Evans, M.Photog.Cr., Chris Garner, CPP, Clyde Butcher, and Terri Eddington, M.Photog, CPP.

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A video went up earlier today about last night's jam-packed Opening Party, sponsored by Canon. In one of our greatest opening party turnouts, guests were treated to more delicious food than they could handle and several models roaming the ballroom dressed in fun costumes including retro and superhero fashions.  Watch the video and re-live a night you maybe can't remember or have major jealousy for missing out on completely. Don't have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) tomorrow night! Be sure to attend the Closing Party at the Aquarium, featuring catering by Wolfgang Puck! 

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The day ended with one of the highlights of everyone's year, the Grand Imaging Awards. The best of the best in PPA's loan collection were honored. The winners in each category were:

Ted Linczak---Non-Event Album

Jerry Ghionis---Event Album

Sandra Pearce---Artist

Peter Lik---Landscape/Nature

Ben Shirk---Illustrative/Commercial

Paul Ernest---General Portrait

Abby Ziemer Malone---Animal Portrait

Dan McClanahan---High School Senior Portrait

Kimberly Smith---Fishin' Buddies

JB Sallee---Wedding


and the Grand Imaging Award for 2015 goes to...


Ted Linczak for his Non-Event Album, 1863


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Tomorrow's going to be full of excitement. From the Award and Degree ceremony to unbelievable prizes and surprises on the Expo floor. I'm signing off for the night. I can't believe tomorrow is the last day! If you've missed out this year, don't let it happen again. You have GOT to join PPA and see what all the fuss is about by being a member of the world's oldest and largest nonprofit association for photographers by photographers. Need an incentive? If you join, you get to go to next year's Imaging USA in San Antonio...for FREE. PPA.com/Join


Watch our daily Recap Video here for an up-close look at all that went down.



Sunday, January 10, 2016

Imaging USA 2016: Day One: We're Just Getting Started!

by James Yates

***all images © Alex the Photo Guy***

***except the dogs at the end. You'll see***


I can't even. I. Cannot. Even. 

If you read my previous post, then you know how much the Pre-Convention days here at Imaging USA in Atlanta meant to me as a first-timer. To be able to speak to members, hear their stories, share in their excitement, and make new friends in the process seemed like PPA's coupe de grace. 


And then the first official day happened today.


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The entryway to the GWCC had a DJ...at 8:00am. I danced to Outkast with Imaging USA attendees at 8:45 this morning! Now THAT is ATL love! I knew there were lots of parties at Imaging but this is ridiculous! 


Right off the jump, the 8:00am classes featured amazing speakers like Kristin and Paul Privette and Timothy Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Phtog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, starting everyone's convention off with fun, informative (and full) classes that had me wishing I could stay for the whole thing each time I ducked in to sample them. The faces of the attendees, while they learned pro tips like how Kristin and Paul describe being "obsessed" with your products personally before showing them to your clients, were what you would call "transfixed". 


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This year, everyone's schedule was cleared so all attention would be paid to our Keynote Speaker, Amy Purdy. You could hear a pin drop as she told her life story and inspired everyone in attendance with her triumphant take on life's struggles. I've had the pleasure of writing up several blog posts about Amy over the past couple of months and I was more than a little "fanning out" over her being here. She did not disappoint, in both inspiration, and generosity of spirit. 


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We barely had time to think before the Board of Directors cut the ribbon to the Imaging Expo floor and, in an instant, PANDEMONIUM. It was like a Black Friday sale without the trampling and shoving (photographers are a classy and respectful bunch). Seriously, if you have never seen the Imaging Expo, it truly is like the Mall of America for photographers. Everything and anything you need for your business is there, from the latest trends to perennial favorites. 


I interviewed tons of people on the Expo floor and around the conference today and found a special bond with other first-timers. Our eyes would meet in a look of "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?!". 


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The evening classes were awesome too and I was able to catch an entire class on the amazing Studio Makeovers. Here's the deal: two studio owners, both members of PPA, were chosen to partner up with five PPA mentors, the best in the business, to completely overhaul the finances of their business. The class was a group interview and presentation as we were walked through their process and how their year went. It was a real-life experiment in the question, "How does change feel?" Here's a hint: both studios became increasingly financially successful. I'll devote an entire blog post to just this class when my head stops spinning from everything else I saw today but seriously, with mentors as strong as Ashley Brooke, Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP, Dave Doeppel, CPP, Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API, and Kristin Privette, CPP (yes, her again!), you can imagine how insanely informative and packed with info the class was. 

As Angela Kurkian, PPA's Director of Education, put it, "When you decide to create change, change occurs all around you." 



I'm inspired, I'm moved, I'm exhausted, I'm ready for more. I have to finish writing this so I can hop over to the Opening Party where I hope to dance with a few superheroes and flappers until all the fun starts again tomorrow! 

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^^^my favorite attendees, Louis and Annabella, © Judy Reinford^^^


Check out our amazing Recap Video for a whirlwind glance at all that went down



See you all tomorrow at Imaging USA! Don't forget to share and tag your photos on social media with #ImagingUSA

And if you've missed out, be sure to join PPA and go to next year's Imaging USA in San Antonio for FREE! PPA.com/Join