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Imaging USA 2021: PPA’s Annual Convention Goes Virtual

Professional Photographers of America’s (PPA) annual Imaging USA convention went online for 2021, including educational sessions on photography, entrepreneurship, small business, and image-making inspiration.

F-Stop Magazine was invited to attend the event this year, and I was glad to cover the event especially for readers who work as professional photographers, and/or make a living from their photography. Keeping this in mind, I found many of the facets of Imaging USA 2021 as relevant to a professional photographer, or someone interested in starting or improving their business.

PPA is the world’s largest nonprofit photography association organized for professional photographers, by professional photographers, with 30,000 creative members in more than 50 countries. PPA’s first convention was held in 1869–152 years ago. Since then, it has only been disrupted 11 times due to world wars and the Great Depression.

“Moving the event to a virtual format does not mean it will lack the substance that Imaging USA is known for. We’ll miss the social part of the event, no question about that,” says PPA President Gregory Daniel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP. With in-person events eliminated, attendees will still be able to choose from more than 100 educational sessions, visit the Imaging Expo to search for gear and services, interact virtually with other attendees, participate in leadership meetings and ceremonies — practically anything they would normally do at the in-person event.

This virtual conference was held online Jan 17th through Jan 19th. After that time, attendees can replay keynote presentations and workshop videos on-demand, and visit vendor booths through January 31st. I found the conference site easy to navigate and sort through classes in different categories, or review the keynote presentations. Presenters at the conference came from a range of backgrounds — from Adobe professionals, to photographers with successful personal business models. Some of the classes in the conference lineup include: ‘Next Level Portrait Retouching in Lightroom’, ’Branding Through Storytelling’, ‘Google Ads for Photographers’, ‘Grants and Photography — Funding Your Practice’, as well as classes like ‘Keys to Making Money in Sports Action Photography’, ‘The Best Light for Your Wedding Portraits’, and a number of classes with tips for photographers who focus on volume work (events, headshots, step & repeat, sports teams, school portrait photography, etc).

For a professional photographer who is looking for tips on running or improving various aspects of their business, this annual convention presents many opportunities. PPA itself is a really good source for copyright information and resources, and business contracts and forms — all essential items for running a successful photo business. The PPA site also has some info regarding insurance for equipment damage, data loss and dissatisfied clients, and general liability coverage.

To check out the 2021 conference before Jan 31st, or get more information about PPA, including membership and upcoming Imaging USA events, please see their website: https://www.ppa.com/ or https://www.ppa.com/events/imaging-usa

Originally published at F-Stop Magazine.



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Cary Benbow

Cary Benbow


Photographer, independent writer :: staff writer for F-Stop Magazine, Publisher of Wobneb Magazine. (He/him) www.carybenbow.com