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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 11 Aug 2008 (Monday) 22:02
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Question For PPA Members

 
710 ­ Studio
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Aug 11, 2008 22:02 |  #1

I'm considering joining the PPA. The big question before I do so is simple... will joining the PPA actually help improve my business? Or is it more of a status thing?

Thanks for taking the time to answer this rather basic question.


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michaelanthony
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Aug 12, 2008 00:32 |  #2

i joined one year... i dont recall it doing anything for me...


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710 ­ Studio
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Aug 12, 2008 09:58 |  #3

MICHAELANTHONY - Good to know. I am serious about getting my photography off the ground, but I want to be very careful how I spend my limited cash. If it's not going to do much for me, I'll pass for the time being.

Thanks for the reply!


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amfoto1
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Aug 12, 2008 18:50 |  #4

Trade associations are often a good source of insurances, say equipment and health insurances, that might be hard to swing on your own.

They also lobby politically on behalf of their membership. The whole Orphan Works thing is a really good example.

Many have forms and training and what not that are exclusively available for their members.

Locally, chapters may have regular meetings, for networking, referrals, etc.

I'm not a member of PPA, but am now and have previously been a member of various other associations.


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710 ­ Studio
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Aug 12, 2008 18:57 |  #5

AMFOTO1 - The insurance thing is what grabbed my attention, to begin with. Seeing that I am just starting out, insurance is something that I've been looking for. PPA came up in my search. Aside from the insurance, I'm not sure if the PPA would help me. That said, would joining the PPA for insurance reasons be a smarter move financially than obtaining insurance, myself?

And on the topic of insurance, who would you recommend for that (outside of the PPA)?

Thanks for the reply... great information for a starter!


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suyenfung
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Aug 13, 2008 01:49 |  #6

forget the ppa. look up package choice for insurance.


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Aug 13, 2008 14:54 |  #7

SUYENFUNG - Will do. Thanks for the reply!


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zerovision
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Aug 13, 2008 21:01 |  #8

I joined PPA last year, for about the same reason, insurance. I received a quote for health insurance, but it was about the middle of the pack. I went out on my own to get insurance and it ended up about $150/month less. I was not able to compare the benefits so it may be fewer for less. It may not make you money, but I have received emails that have pointed me in some good directions. Earlier this year I was able to attend a seminar with Bob Davis and Mike Colo'n. It ended up costing me about $400 for the seminar and the DVDs from each, but I learned an incredible amount of information and walked away more excited about photography than I had ever been. I would not have known about this seminar without PPA.

I am currently working on getting insurance for my equipment and again I received a quote through PPA that was about $800/year for my equipment. Way too high for me. I also received a package in the mail saying I could insure that same for around $350/year. I am waiting for the agent to send me a quote.

I'm not sure what type of photography you are into, but there are annual events through WPPI and some others associated with PPA that are very educational and you get to mingle with some of the top photographers in the world.

Check out local organizations in your area. Most of the time they are cheaper and more beneficial to you.


  
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mattograph
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Aug 13, 2008 21:08 |  #9

I joined -- I haven't gotten my "moneys worth" per sea, but I don't mind supporting the cause.


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BriPhi
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Aug 14, 2008 08:36 |  #10

Look for a local chapter of the PPA. I have the PPSGW (Professional Photographers Society of Greater Washington). It is an invaluable source of networking with other photographers, and how they do their business. You can definitely learn alot.




  
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John ­ Mireles
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Aug 14, 2008 10:52 |  #11

If all you do is send in a check and then do nothing, you will not get your "money's worth." You'll only get out what you put in. Actually, you'll get ten times back whatever you put in, but you do have to put out the effort.

The PPA offers so many learning and business improvement opportunities. Right now, I'm taking advantage of their Studio Management Services to help us better understand the financial workings and profitability of my studio. There is no other program in photography like that.

I regularly attend the local chapter meetings. I always pick something up from the speakers. Especially for someone starting out, the competitions are a great way to improve your work. There's a lot of exchange of ideas and information at every meeting that you can't help but get something out of it.

Another thing that PPA offers to all wedding photographers is their Indemnification Trust which is essentially an Errors and Omissions insurance policy. If you ever get sued by an unhappy bride, they'll provide you with a lawyer and pay any award.

Last year, I had a CF card go bad on me. I called PPA and they had me send the card to recovery service. They then assigned a lawyer to me in case their was any problem with the client. Because the information couldn't be recovered, I didn't have to pay a dime. (If they had been able to recover the info, I would have had to pay a $250 deductible.) It was great knowing that I had the PPA in my corner as I dealt with this tricky situation. (My clients were both lawyers - fortunately, all ended well.)

The PPA also has Super Monday where there's a seminars around the country. Then there's their annual trade show and convention with lots more seminars.

In my own career, one of the turning points was when I decided to get involved with another trade group, the APA (Advertising Photographers of America). I became the local chapter president and served on the board. The leadership and management skills that I developed in my tenure there helped me grow my business from a struggling one man shop to one of the largest studios in my area.

Again, if you sit back and expect the PPA to knock on your door and make you rich, don't bother joining. If you're willing to make the effort to get to know people, attend the seminars and take advantage of the many learning and growth opportunities that are available, your business will grow beyond what you thought possible.

And, yes, they do offer insurance.

John


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laurielozano
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Aug 14, 2008 12:44 |  #12

I've been looking into it. My question is, if I pay and join PPA, do I have to pay additional to join SWPPA or TPPA? or am I automatically in with the PPA membership. How does that work? I havent found any info to clarify that.




  
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Aug 14, 2008 16:45 |  #13

JOHN MIRELES - This post offers some great information. Thanks, for that. Sounds like the PPA has some real merit. LAURIELOZANO brings up a great point, however. If I become a member of the PPA, am I automatically in with local, or related organizations, or am I going to have to cough up for those, as well?

I want to get something out of the PPA, so I am willing to put into it what I need. You need to work to get money - a lot of people don't realize that. So, attending what the PPA has to offer to make the right connections to boost my business is well worth it, in my book. But, if I have to pay for even more groups to get something out of it, then that defeats the purpose, in my eyes... it becomes a money grubbing organization, then.

If you can shed some light on that, you may help me make up my mind! :)

Thanks.


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Aug 15, 2008 09:08 |  #14

PPA is worth it, if and only if you use most of their resources. Contacts/Prepared Forms/Learning Discounts/Local Meetings/Equipment Rental Discounts/Mailing Lists/Logo, etc.
If you're going to use 2-3 rather than 5-6 things than its not worth it.


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Aug 15, 2008 09:11 |  #15

mattograph wrote in post #6103484 (external link)
I joined -- I haven't gotten my "moneys worth" per sea, but I don't mind supporting the cause.

I didn't know PPA was a charity.


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Question For PPA Members
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