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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 31 Dec 2009 (Thursday) 13:05
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Photography associations and the benefits

 
Rachel ­ B
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Dec 31, 2009 13:05 |  #1

I was looking at joining a photographers associations like the ppa or the nppa I was wondering if the benefits are as good as they sound? is anyone a member of a photographers association? what do you recommend and why?


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C-Shuler
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Dec 31, 2009 13:26 |  #2

I definitely suggest PPA. I've been a member of NAPP as well, and like it, too. As for PPA, the best benefit is peace of mind, knowing they've got your back if you should ever need it.


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FlyingPhotog
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Dec 31, 2009 13:31 |  #3

+1 for NAPP

The website is a wealth of info and ideas for PS and LR and the Free Shipping from B&H has paid for several years worth of membership already.


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Rachel ­ B
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Dec 31, 2009 13:33 |  #4

With the PPA I was reading about the insurance benefits, do you find they give you a good discount on things like insurance and other benefits

( I have searched on POTN but cant find much about the discount and benefits)


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Mike ­ R
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Dec 31, 2009 21:22 |  #5

I'm joining a regional association that is an affiliate of the PPA. I'm doing this because of the seminars they offer that I would actually be able to get to. http://www.ppane.com/ (external link)
Maybe there is something similar down your way


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dugcross
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Jan 04, 2010 14:15 |  #6

FlyingPhotog wrote in post #9297401 (external link)
+1 for NAPP

The website is a wealth of info and ideas for PS and LR and the Free Shipping from B&H has paid for several years worth of membership already.

I totally agree. I've been a member of NAPP for years now. They have a huge list of discounts on their member only website. Just for example I got Adobe CS4 Premium Design Suite at 20% off with member discount. Members also can set up a portfolio page within the site.


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aram535
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Jul 21, 2010 19:29 |  #7

I have to say that I was very disappointed with PPA. Their "forum" is total cr... and is very hard to navigate or find relevant information when searching. Their discounts are just about the same discounts as every other professional organization so no positive there. The magazine that they send out every month is extremely business heavy, that could be a positive or negative. It was a negative for me -- I did not find it useful.

Their accreditation system is very very business heavy rather than photographic. For instance, to get credit for a class that you "TEACH" you have to teach it for 8 hours in 1 day! Who the devil teaches anything for an entire day? Even if you break it up between different lecture and shooting, most people will loose interest after an hour or two.

Anyway, I found it very frustrating to get anything worth while, for the $25/mo they charge. I canceled my membership after a year.

I've been researching National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), which seems to get good reviews from members so far. Although I haven't made up my mind yet.

+1 for NAPP, although it's second hand. I do a lot of photoshop work, but I don't belong to the organization. There are a couple of local professionals that I meet with on a regular basis and they all seem to like it. It's very active and there is a lot of new information, tools, tips, samples of work that comes out on their forum and sites.


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Mark1
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Jul 21, 2010 20:28 |  #8

I will add on for NAPP. If you are in a growing phase, the NAPP membership will pay for it self with just the discounts you get from venders. Even if you are not interested in learning photoshop, but are buying equipment, the NAPP membership is worth the $99. at times $89. I have covered my membership this year in just free shipping. No less the other discounts.

Other assoc's are highly dependant on you, and how you will use them. If you think you need a bunch of logos on your website to make you look better than the competition It might be worth it. But keep in mind they look like "camera clubs" to the uninformed.


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RDKirk
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Jul 21, 2010 22:15 |  #9

aram535 wrote in post #10579901 (external link)
I have to say that I was very disappointed with PPA. Their "forum" is total cr... and is very hard to navigate or find relevant information when searching.

It's been recently simplified. They had tried a more detailed forum system for a year at the request of users who asked for it.

The magazine that they send out every month is extremely business heavy, that could be a positive or negative. It was a negative for me -- I did not find it useful.

Considering that you can't find so much detailed and specific information for portrait and wedding photographers anywhere else, how can that be a negative? Except, of course, for people who are only involved in photography as a hobby. But why would such people even want to join "Professional Photographers of America?"

Their accreditation system is very very business heavy rather than photographic. For instance, to get credit for a class that you "TEACH" you have to teach it for 8 hours in 1 day! Who the devil teaches anything for an entire day? Even if you break it up between different lecture and shooting, most people will loose interest after an hour or two.

Again, why would you expect the PPA not to be "business heavy?" You can go anywhere to learn to take pictures--there aren't too many places to go to learn the business. The purpose of the PPA is to learn how to stay in business as a photographer. They teach finances, marketing, branding...and yet do get around to higher-level portrait and wedding photographic craft as well. No, they don't do much at the basic level.

I guess you've never been to a good all-day photography workshop. The value is that you have enough time to pick the instructor's brain. People don't lose interest when they're learning how to make more money.

PPA certainly owes nobody any apologies for being fully involved in helping photographers make more money.




  
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RDKirk
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Jul 21, 2010 22:26 |  #10

Rachel B wrote in post #9297286 (external link)
I was looking at joining a photographers associations like the ppa or the nppa I was wondering if the benefits are as good as they sound? is anyone a member of a photographers association? what do you recommend and why?

One of the biggest advantages of an association is the association with other photographers. In PPA I've met other photographers and talked details of shop, even visited their studios and watched them handle sessions. We continue to correspond and meet at various gatherings. I can send them work for evaluation, ask about specific business problems, et cetera. That's hard to do without an association that brings you together with photographers outside your own market competition circle.

The variety of low-cost (sometimes free) seminars, webinars, training days, et cetera, are also highly valuable if you take advantage of them. There is nothing like PPA's Studio Management Services anywhere. The SMS is basically an accounting service that specializes in the photography business.

At its top level of service, SMS does the full accounting job for hundreds of photographers across the country. Based on the statistics they gather from that and from surveys they take, they have the information to advise photographers in great detail how to spend money effectively to make more money. Photographers can also hire SMS on a consultant basis or simply attend SMS workshops.

PPA lawyers are available to answer questions and while they won't represent you in court, they will write a lawyerly letter in your behalf if you need one to rebut a client or intimidate a copyright infringer. That in itself is worth a year's dues in one use.




  
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Park ­ Street
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Jul 22, 2010 04:16 |  #11

I've been a member of ASMP for over twenty years now and joining it was the smartest thing I did starting out. Twenty years later I've been a chapter president, gotten jobs off Find a Photographer every year, gotten various discounts on many purchases and services, and, best of all, have great friendships I have built through being in the chapter.

Whatever the organization you choose I recommend everyone be in at least one photography trade association.


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aram535
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Jul 22, 2010 08:32 |  #12

RDKirk wrote in post #10580693 (external link)
It's been recently simplified. They had tried a more detailed forum system for a year at the request of users who asked for it.

It's still not very good.

Considering that you can't find so much detailed and specific information for portrait and wedding photographers anywhere else, how can that be a negative? Except, of course, for people who are only involved in photography as a hobby. But why would such people even want to join "Professional Photographers of America?"

I guess you've never been to a good all-day photography workshop. The value is that you have enough time to pick the instructor's brain. People don't lose interest when they're learning how to make more money. PPA certainly owes nobody any apologies for being fully involved in helping photographers make more money.

I was hoping for a 50-50 split at least. I think you're under the impression that you can "learn" photography like it's a finite amount of data. I don't think it is. I think there is always something else you can learn to do better. Use of new technology, use of a tool for multiple purposes.

This is where the "PPA" fell down for me. It's so business heavy that it should be "Professional Business of America". 95% business is just not what I wanted. I have a business manager, marketing companies and what not that do that cr@p so I don't have to.

Again, why would you expect the PPA not to be "business heavy?" You can go anywhere to learn to take pictures--there aren't too many places to go to learn the business. The purpose of the PPA is to learn how to stay in business as a photographer. They teach finances, marketing, branding...and yet do get around to higher-level portrait and wedding photographic craft as well. No, they don't do much at the basic level.

I admit, I have never handed anyone $1000-3000 of my money to go through the basics of photography with me. I know there are subject matter experts. I have all the respect for bird photographers for example. These guys know the birds habits and habitats intimately, that's why they do so well. You cannot teach that in a "workshop". The only workshop that I've spent money on was buying a set of the DVDs from the Strobist, more for learning how he taught the basics of flash rather than the content. As I was doing a class for a local camera club.

I've seen parts of some from Joe McNally (someone whom I think is a good teacher) -- these go to "trial and error" for me. I've learned the same thing spending a couple of hours in my own studio playing, be it with products, models, plants, macros, whatever. I also believe that they have to do a "least common knowledge" when they do these sessions.


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