Is Joining the PPA actually worth it? - Page 19
PhotoCamel: Your friendly photo community, with free discussion forums, digital photography reviews, photo sharing, galleries, downloads, blogs, photography contests, and prizes.
 

Go Back   PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Tools Of the Trade > Business of Photography

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-14-2008   #181
Lubbock, Tx.
 
Mark McCall's Avatar
 
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 3,706
CamelKarma: 307172
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo View Post
Not trying to be pedantic, but settling is not "successful".
...successful for the plaintiff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captlen View Post
Even if you win you may not be awarded your legal costs. This means that you are out money, cold hard cash. Win or lose.
That's exactly what I've been saying.
Even if you win, you lose...in time, money, reputation.
PPA Membership and Indemnification Insurance is less than my car insurance.
This just makes good business sense.
__________________
Mark McCall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008   #182
Guanaco
 
Location: Bavaria
Posts: 396
CamelKarma: 56
Editing OK?: Ask first
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

Mark, I think you've made your points really well. Thanks, it's easily convinced me - in fact it's a no-brainer, but I'm not in the US :-( Mind you that may be an advantage with such a litiginous bunch of clients.

I'm amazed at the patience you've shown through the thread. Also thanks for the other info (e.g. Metz flashes) in your other, really helpful posts!
kevgermany is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2011   #183
Vicuna
 
CameraTamera's Avatar
 
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 188
CamelKarma: 3730
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

I've been on the fence about joining PPA so i searched to see what my photocamel ppl had to say (I just knew this must have come up in a thread at some point and sure enough it has!) yes i klnow I'm commenting on a prehistoric thread but hey I just wanna say I've read 10 pages of banting to decide to fork over the cash and go for it. I'm all about continuing education and legal protection. Thank you to all who posted in the thread.
__________________
Camera Tamera
CameraTamera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011   #184
Vicuna
 
Posts: 71
CamelKarma: 47
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

even though it's an old thread it's still relevant.

I was a PPA member. Not one single one of my customers ever noticed the sticker on the door so it did nothing for me on that level.

I was going to branch into wedding photography and after doing alot of reading of horror stories i was REALLY on the fence. I had a ton of people approach me for it but it came down to the simple fact that nowdays everyone wants weddings shot for like 500 bucks and giving up a saturday or sunday for 500 bucks wasn't worth it to me along with all the headaches.

That said, if i would have shot weddings i would definitely have stayed a PPA member just for the insurance. If i wasn't shooting weddings and didn't plan on attending any of the events i don't think i'd bother.
swampthing1117 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011   #185
Lubbock, Tx.
 
Mark McCall's Avatar
 
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 3,706
CamelKarma: 307172
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

Gosh,
I'd forgotten about this thread.

I want to share a few things I've learned about membership since this thread was started, indemnification insurance in particular.

I spent all of last week at the Texas School of Professional Photography.
I got this flier during my trip touting the benefits of PPA Membership.
I am passionate about PPA, and have been a member for 15 years.
The benefits are almost uncanny. The strength of the membership allows PPA to negotiate deals with vendors that members can take advantage of.

In other thread on the board, someone questioned the non-profit status of PPA. It is in fact, a non-profit organization and makes no money above and beyond what it takes to run the organization.
The board rotates every year, so no one person stays on the PPA board for more than 5 years.

I found out that PPA's credit card merchant services cost aprox. half of what I'm paying now, so we'll be switching at the end of the quarter.

About insurance:
I use the Tamrac Rolling Studioc case when I'm shooting weddings.
A few years ago, someone stole a camera, bracket, flash from the case at an upscale reception venue.
Inside the camera was every shot from the wedding. EVERY SHOT.
Client was understandably upset. We sent photos, serial numbers to every pawn shop in the local area. Nothing ever turned up.
PPA paid aprox. $11,500 to the client as settlement.
My deductible was $200. I was allowed to keep everything the client paid the studio.

I've since learned that the indemnification insurance covers you any time your on a paid assignment.
The beauty of the indemnification insurance, which is really a trust, not an insurance plan, is that you do not have to meet any requirements regarding your talent level.
The newbie soccer mom who joins gets the same coverage as a 15 year veteran.

PPA deducts $29 a month from my checking account for membership dues.
It's the lowest bill I pay for the day to day operations of a storefront studio. Cheaper than rent, utilities, employees, lab bills.....everything.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PPAflier.jpg (193.4 KB, 139 views)
__________________
Mark McCall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011   #186
Former Camel
 
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 52
CamelKarma: 95
Editing OK?: No
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

I was a PPA member for 5+ years. The insurance protection would be the only reason I'd ever join again.

It was so much money out of pocket for everything, travel, time off, seminars, competition prints, not too mention time and money in creating competition images. I always scored 80's and higher. But the politics and popularity contest of the group of "Rock Star" photogs made me sick.

Having your images judged by people who do not know you or understand your vision, or who are clearly artisically inferior, was too much pressure and drama for me.

To point out one case, I'm sitting in judging session and this rediculous, horrible rock band shot comes up. 5 guys all strung out over an antique truck. The composition was off, direct sunlight, shadows everywhere, poor posing, just a mess. It scored a 100. A ONE HUNDERED ! what crap ! The only comment I heard from the judges was, "the effect is so next level". The image had been run through Lucis Arts plug in. That's It !

So, I am supposed to sit there and respect judges that are supposed to know the difference between good composition, lighting and bad composition and lighting, but let a dog turd slide through a one click Photoshop filter and it's a Loan Collection Print. No Way.

For my own sanity, I had to quit. I am not sure I will ever join again.

and yes .... Most Senior and Children's Photographers in the PPA follow a piper. One guys gets a style, then lock step, everyone joins in. ... and dont expect to go to a seminar and get the FULL meal deal for the cost of admission. Most speakers will "encourage" you to buy their 1,000.00 packets of PS Actions and marketing plans. Most of which they dont use, they just printed for the Marketing competition. Dont think for a minute you're getting the WHOLE story. I know for a fact. I was on the inside hanging with a current brand name before they were PPA famous.

Sorry, I'm very bitter.

The positives,
I met wonderful friends whom Im still in contact with today. Shared lots of laughs and visited beautiful hotels and ate incredible food. I spoke a few times, walked across the stage to accept awards, shared some amazing ideas with other photographers. The friendships were awesome. The PPA provided me with getting alot of photographers influence in one place, at one time, so I could begin my business and hone my skills.

If that interests you. The join up today !
imagei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2011   #187
Lubbock, Tx.
 
Mark McCall's Avatar
 
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 3,706
CamelKarma: 307172
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagei View Post
It was so much money out of pocket for everything, travel, time off, seminars, competition prints, not too mention time and money in creating competition images. I always scored 80's and higher. But the politics and popularity contest of the group of "Rock Star" photogs made me sick.
I agree about money spent on travel, being away from the studio and the seminar attendance.
I look at it as a learning experience.
I'm always looking to expand my knowledge base and learn new techniques and styles. Seeking knowledge costs money.
I guess I just chalk it up to the cost of doing business.
But I also enjoy the comradarie with other photographers outside of classes, the shop talk as well as things outside photography.
I know their kids, they know mine. We share ideas, and have fun at BBQ's, swim parties and trips to the lake.

I've never seen the popularity contest of which you speak.
People hang with their friends, so maybe thats it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by imagei View Post
Having your images judged by people who do not know you or understand your vision, or who are clearly artisically inferior, was too much pressure and drama for me.
There's actually a good reason judges aren't allowed to know the makers name. This prevents them from being influenced, good or bad.

To address this directly: we aren't judged on our vision, we're judged on the end result.
As far as a judge being "inferior" to you artistically, that's a pretty bold statement.
The requirements to be a PPA affiliated judge are tremendous, and takes many years to acheive.
I'm going through the process myself, and I can tell you, it's no cakewalk.
#1. Must have acheived Master rank which takes anywhere from 4-12 years depending on skill level.
#2. Must have racked up 5 merits above and beyond Master. Add another two years minimum, but could take longer. Again, based on skill level.
#3. Must have gone through the Master Judging School at PPA in Atlanta
#4. Must judge at 5 PPA State Affiliates, where your judging is judged by Master Judges.
#5. 5 Master Judges and/or Print Committee Chairmen must give you passing marks for your judging. Your not allowed to see those reports. They're sent directly to PPA in Atlanta.
If all these requirements are met, and your judging is deemed satisfactory, you are officially a PPA Affiliated Judge.

Many unqualified candidates are weeded out during the process.
And you can still be denied Master Judge status if step #4 is inadequate.
I'm going to politely disagree that those judging your images are inferior to you. They are the worlds finest image creators. The process is meant to insure that only the best of the best make it.

Besides, print competition isn't about the merits. It's about making yourself a better photographer.




Quote:
Originally Posted by imagei View Post
To point out one case, I'm sitting in judging session and this rediculous, horrible rock band shot comes up. 5 guys all strung out over an antique truck. The composition was off, direct sunlight, shadows everywhere, poor posing, just a mess. It scored a 100. A ONE HUNDERED ! what crap ! The only comment I heard from the judges was, "the effect is so next level". The image had been run through Lucis Arts plug in. That's It !
Images are scored on a 12 point matrix.
I'm sure that it didn't score perfectly because of a single filter.




Quote:
Originally Posted by imagei View Post
So, I am supposed to sit there and respect judges that are supposed to know the difference between good composition, lighting and bad composition and lighting, but let a dog turd slide through a one click Photoshop filter and it's a Loan Collection Print. No Way.
That's not the way it works.
As I said before, what matters is the end result, not the means at which the artist arrived at it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by imagei View Post
Most speakers will "encourage" you to buy their 1,000.00 packets of PS Actions and marketing plans. Most of which they dont use, they just printed for the Marketing competition. Dont think for a minute you're getting the WHOLE story. I know for a fact.
PPA platform speakers are prohibited from mentioning their products or services more than once during a PPA Affiliated event.
We all have to sign a release agreeing to those rules.

As far as the Marketing Competition, your talking about the An-Ne Awards.
I've won the National PPA An-Ne Award 5 times with a studio brochure on CD that we print hundreds of every year.
If someone is printing marketing material strictly for entering at nationals, they are spending tons of money doing it.
Personally, I haven't seen it happen, but I'm not saying it doesn't. I just haven't seen in personally.


I sense your bitterness, most of which seems to be directed at print judges.
Out of curiosity, how many print merits do you have? any loans?
__________________
Mark McCall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2011   #188
Former Camel
 
Location: Peoria, IL
Posts: 52
CamelKarma: 95
Editing OK?: No
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

Yes, true, I vented and was harsh. It's a sensitive topic for me.

I dont know how many merits I had. To be honest, I took most of the the ribbons off and have no idea where they are. I have one plaque left and have no idea where the certificates are. I became so disenchanted, I could have cared less. I keep the plaque as a reminder that for a moment, competition photography was good. It's right next to my front door. I see it, eye level, everytime I leave the house.

It sounds as if things have changed for the better with the judging and overall atmosphere of the PPA and Affliates. That's good. I believe everything you've written. I have no reason not to.

In light of that info, I'll give the PPA the benefit of the doubt and change my stance to " I had a bad experience, but I hear it's better. "

Like I said, I had a bad experience, but I agree, it wont be the norm.

Thanks for caring enough to ask !
imagei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2011   #189
Photocamel Master
 
Ed Shapiro's Avatar
 
Location: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Posts: 6,718
CamelKarma: 5188665
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

This too is becoming an epic thread or ongoing question that will never go away- well it should not go away because it is a valid question. Nobody can really give you a perfectly definitive guru-like answer because everyone is different in their approach to affiliation with organizations, clubs, unions, associations, churches and anything that has to do with lots of people getting together in what is ostensibly a common cause or mutual interest. This can be a question that can be extremely complex or surprisingly simple all depending on human behavior- probably the most complex subject in the entire world.

A classic example is folks who are fine, ethical, compassionate and generous human beings but can not function in organized religion and will not set foot in a church, synagogue, temple, shrine or mosque. There are horrible people- criminals- gangsters who attend organized religious services regularly.
There are people who crave structure even to the extent of dogma and the are people who are true free spirits. There are people who can compromise and meet people half way and the are folks who are as stubborn as a bad case of hemorrhoids.

I can write here about the advantages of affiliation with a photographic association 'till the cows come home and all of those advantages can be diametrically opposite to what some people want . To others who are into associations, my arguments are useless as well because I would be preaching to the choir.

The arguments on both sides of the fence are endless and in a way boring because the are almost all the same, I have been involved in a number of photographic organizations for half a century and there is very little I have not seen- again it is boring because of the sameness involved. A big one is "there is a clique of people running the show and I/we have no say etc. etc, etc". Another biggie is "they are too old school or traditional and there is arrogance, dogma and snobbery"! Well- at least it is not like some religions, sects and cults which damns you to hell if you don't get with the program or might even have your head cut off if you don't dig the curriculum. I don't like to make fun of religion so don't send me hate mail but there are members of photographic associations who consider the tenets of the organization as if the were componants of a religion. My experience is that theses folks are in the minority and only stand out because some of them are obnoxious.

My own argument or theory, if anyone is interested, is that there are all types of people and personalities in every community or organization. If you want to benefit from a membership you need to be a people person and cope with all kinds of varied people situations. The most important thing to realize is that you will only take out of a membership in direct proportion to what you put in. If you want to change things or have a say in policies, you have to join up, become active on committees, garner a good reputation as a member a teacher and a photographer and keep at it. If insurance benefits are your main reason for joining and supporting an association; see you local insurance broker and forget about the association. If you can't see the prestige available to you for accomplishing certifications, craftsmanships and masterships just tap into your local advertising agency and do your institutional advertising on your own. And if you can't see the educational opportunities that are out there through your joining an association- go to school and read books and don't bother joining up.

This is a free country and we all are entitled to our opinions. I do understand that people do have some aggravation in their association activities but nothing that is of worth comes without some problems and setbacks. Some say that complaints are like belly-buttons- everybody has one. There are challenges in schools, associations, print judging, and many aspects of photography but there are bigger challenges in business and life on a daily basis and we learn to cope with them and become successful.

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with not wanting to join an association because it does not fit in with you lifestyle, philosophy or for any other reason- you can still be successful and God bless you. If you are already in an association and find that it is not for you and it is a hindrance rather than a help, get out of there ASAP- why bring on stress?

To me, the ongoing educational opportunities, the challenges to keep up with the latest industry standards and technologies and the self motivation that is boosted with membership is all golden. You do this for you own self improvement, for you business and your clients! What can be so bad? What can be better?

Not everything is for everybody. Be guided by your common sense, your good judgment and your heart.

Good luck and success to all.

Sincerely, Ed
__________________
Ed Shapiro - Master Photographer
Ottawa, Canada

Last edited by Ed Shapiro; 05-17-2011 at 11:29 PM.. Reason: added a word
Ed Shapiro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2011   #190
Alpaca
 
JFriend's Avatar
 
Location: The Woodlands Texas
Posts: 49
CamelKarma: 828
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

the problem is that this thread was taken over from what was initially intended, which was "is it worth it" after reading 8 pages of this thread the only things i can tell you for sure is the Marks loves the PPA and BlooDog hates it. I clicked on this thread because i was interested in the initial question, and though i would get an answer. (Same on me for thinking that)

James
- who is off to another thread


__________________
Members don't see ads in threads. Register for your free account today and become a member of PhotoCamel to open up the site's many benefits and features.
JFriend is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

« PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Tools Of the Trade > Business of Photography »


Share this topic:

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is an Fe2 worth? robertdavid Nikon 8 10-07-2007 06:01 AM
how much is this SLR worth xxx19 Other Cameras and Lenses 3 02-09-2007 08:50 PM
how much is this SLR worth xxx19 Photography Talk 13 09-09-2006 12:37 PM