New Business Challenge Introduced by Professional Photographers of America

Share Article

1-Year Program Aims to Help Small Businesses Be More Profitable.

"Studio Makeover" Panel from Imaging USA 2016 Photography Convention

...when you decide to create change, change occurs all around you.

Professional Photographers of America is unveiling its Business Challenge as a new benefit for members of the non-profit organization. The Business Challenge provides photography business owners with the information and tools they need to develop the foundation for a more profitable business over the course of one year. Not only do they receive the tools required to make changes to their business, but also step-by-step instruction and support as they implement these changes.

Photographers are entrepreneurs, small business owners with a passion for their craft. As a non-profit, it is PPA’s mission to help them understand and implement the basic business principles needed to maintain a sustainable studio. The Business Challenge is meant to be a fun, interactive way for PPA members to integrate as much business acumen as they can in one year’s time. There is work involved, as this “challenge” is meant for photographers who are serious about wanting to take their business to the next level. Participants will have tasks to complete and the opportunity to be active members of accountability groups and peer-to-peer mentoring.

Many photographers open their studios as artists, more often time than not, not having gone to business school, nor carrying a finance background. PPA saw an opportunity to help photographers learn how to develop their businesses for profitability. “PPA’s business advice is based on years of experience and successful business mentoring,” says Angela Kurkian, Education Director at PPA. “The new Business Challenge will help our members be more business-confident. It will help them think and strategize as a savvy business person.”

Kurkian began brainstorming the Business Challenge over two years ago and an earlier form of the program debuted as the “Studio Makeover Challenge” at this year’s Imaging USA 2016 Photography Expo and Convention. When she started noticing the average photographer needed business help, Kurkian knew it would be an uphill proposition for many members but she kept one question in mind: ‘How does change feel?’ “This is going to be a big change for these artists, and change is difficult. But when you decide to create change, change occurs all around you.” Two small business owners/photographers (Krista Newbill, Wes Roberts) were chosen to go through a year-long business boot-camp with some of the best studio owners in the industry as their mentors.

Throughout 2015, the two participating studios’ strengths and weaknesses were evaluated, their definitions of success were taken into account, and their top five goals for the year were contemplated. From this, five leading photographers who run successful studios called and consulted with the participants all year, coaching them on implementing new steps for their businesses. These steps included setting new sales goals, creating appropriate pricing strategies and outlining a marketing plan, among others. “Your business doesn’t have to look like any one way or one thing,” Kurkian says. “That’s why we wanted to show different examples of how these businesses can maintain their unique identity while still implementing changes that will increase their profits and make them sustainable. The program was a success and we decided the next phase for this project would be to expand it to all 29,000 of our members.”

PPA’s Business Challenge is available at no cost to members of the association. The Challenge includes Tools to understand and develop the foundations of a profitable business with:

  •     A month-by-month, step-by-step support system
  •     Answers to the most vital business questions
  •     A personalized success and business plans
  •     Lists and guidelines to help prioritize
  •     Inspiration and help to stay focused
  •     A framework to avoid getting overwhelmed
  •     Accountability partners with other photographers with the same challenges

Interested photographers can enroll at if they already are with PPA, or become a member by joining the association at Participants will be assigned to a new Business Challenge Group that will begin on the first of the following month and will last for one year.

About PPA:
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international nonprofit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA's roots date back to 1869. It assists more than 29,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

James Yates

Jef Tingley
Follow >
Professional Photographers of America
Like >
PPA - Professional Photographers of America

Follow us on
Visit website