Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?
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Old 09-27-2007   #1
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Default Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

I've seen the site and I've heard a few people say it's a great boon to their business. But I'm not sure what the practical and real advantages are.

Can some of you talk about some of the things that it's done for you personally, rather than just list the site's bullet points?

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Old 09-28-2007   #2
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Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

I may be the lone member of PPA on this site (I certainly hope I'm not).

My thoughts are that I wouldn't be where I am without PPA. There are huge advantages of membership. The biggest being the wedding indemnification insurance that comes free with membership.
A friend of mine in Corpus Christi Texas was sued by a wedding client over reception photos that did not turn out.
PPA attorneys worked out a settlement with the bride's father (also an attorney). Photographer didn't have to lift a finger. PPA did everything. They paid off the client.
Photographer only paid a deductible of $200.
Bambi Cantrell lost an entire wedding to loose insulation inside the film magazine of a Hasselblad. PPA rehosted the wedding, just for photographs.
They'll do whatever it takes to make the bride happy.

Besides insurance, there's the never ending education offered by PPA.
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I personally attend the Texas School of Professional Photography at Texas A&M every year, as well as our state and regional conventions, just to hear the speakers. Both are PPA Affiliated.

They also offer degree programs on the local, state and national level.
I remember posting that info on this site over a year ago. Don't remember where. I'll be glad to repost it.
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Old 09-28-2007   #3
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Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

Makr, you're the one who I first heard about the PPA from (in a thread where someone was photographing wedding dresses in a bridal shop for free in exchange for experience).

You mentioned some good reasons if you're a wedding photographer. But what if you're not? I do events like store grand openings, corporate parties, etc. Do the same things apply or is it only for weddings?

You mentioned
Quote:
the never ending education offered by PPA.
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What are these? Are they free and if not, how much are they? Are they online or in-person? I'd rather not spend money to join an association that requires me to spend even more money.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 09-28-2007   #4
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Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

I think it is, and I'm not a member yet. Membership actually at the top of my list of "logical assets" for my business plan.
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Old 09-28-2007   #5
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Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

Same as John, it's at the top of the list of things I need to have in order to be a properly aligned professional. I think it puts you in the column of "serious" professional rather than an "enthusiast" professional.

To be honest after reading Mark's response I don't think I'd do a wedding without being a PPA member. There are WAY too many uncontrollables that can and DO occur during the course of a wedding that having that insurance alone pretty much makes membership worth it.

Portrait and commercial stuff can almost always be re-shot in order to satisfy an unhappy customer. Weddings are a one time deal...either you get it right the first time or you're scr@wed.
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Old 09-28-2007   #6
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Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

I joined a while back and I find it is worth the money. While I an in the Caribbean and a lot of the benefits,such as the insurance is not available here the fact that I can advertise as a member gives me something that no other photog on islands can say.

I find the Monthly magazine enjoyable and although not a real in depth publication I have gotten some good ideas from it.

I hope to take advantge of more of the benifits but have not yet.
All in all I am pleased this the fact that I joined.
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Old 09-28-2007   #7
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Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by waple View Post
What are these? Are they free and if not, how much are they? Are they online or in-person? I'd rather not spend money to join an association that requires me to spend even more money.
Education - Professional Photographers of America, Inc.

Dude, everything costs money...equipment, lab bills, packaging,....even education.
But everything is relative.

If you spend $500-$1,000 attending a seminar or convention, yet learn a sales technique that raises your sales by $300 a session, is that information expensive or was it a bargain?

I can't tell you how many things I've learned from the guy sitting next to me at TSPP during a class. You learn as much from your classmates as you do from the instructor.
Even though I travel to photography seminars and conventions all over the US, I never pass up the chance to study as a student at TSPP, or under another speaker at the same convention.

You can attend all of PPA's events as a non-member, but you pay more.
Also, you can obtain Certified Professional Photographer Status without being a PPA Member, but you'll pay 5x more.

PPA Members also get access to legal forms, legal advice, template, action downloads, and help from other PPA Members on the PPA Forum. All free.

The second biggest advantage, I think, to being a PPA member is the print competition.
Print competition isn't about the merits or degrees you earn, it's about making you a better photographer. Which is reason enough in my book.
Some of the degrees offered by PPA Affiliates are participation based, not grade based. You can earn a degree by racking up points by attending PPA Events, both locally, state or regionally, or at PPA Nationals (in Tampa FL this year).

Indemnification insurance is only for weddings.

I believe they have a payment plan of $24 a month, or something like that.
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Old 09-28-2007   #8
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Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark McCall View Post
Indemnification insurance is only for weddings.

I believe they have a payment plan of $24 a month, or something like that.
Mark,

Is this (Malpractice Protection - Professional Photographers of America, Inc.) the insurance you're referring to? Just curious because it doesn't specify that it is only for weddings, but it does mention the $200 deductible and it states that the coverage is only $50/year (wow...that's cheap!)

BTW - I can't find anywhere on the website that tells how to become a member...I'm probably looking right at it, but I can't find it.
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Old 09-28-2007   #9
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Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

On the left colum click the join button. Or try this link: Join - Professional Photographers of America, Inc.
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Old 09-28-2007   #10
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Default Re: Is Joining the PPA actually worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by captlen View Post
On the left colum click the join button. Or try this link: Join - Professional Photographers of America, Inc.
Yup...staring right at it and didn't see it

Thanks, captlen!


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