So far, we've covered how PPA members can activate and build a Find-a-Photographer profile to help consumers find them, as well as the resources available to help photographers show potential clients the value of hiring a professional photographer over an amateur. Today's post is going to be a bit different. We'll be providing advice for how consumers can use the Find-a-Photographer search engine the most effectively. So, if you're a PPA member listed on Find-a-Photographer, you may want to repost this to your own blog to help educate your own potential clients!
So, you're looking for a particular professional photographer, or who's in your area, or a specialty pro? Well, PPA's Find-a-Photographer search engine is a great place to start. Find-a-Photographer's database combs the 26,000+ profiles of PPA members to screen the best ones according to your needs. PPA photographers are dedicated to producing the most professional images possible, delivering pro results regardless of the circumstances, and ensuring you'll receive quality products and services!
You can access the Find-a-Photographer search engine directly from the left-hand side of PPA.com. There, you can do a basic search by zip code (simply put in your zip code, and click the green 'Search Now' button. By default, you'll see photographers located within 30 miles of your zip code).
If you want to narrow this search radius, click the advanced search link below the 'Search Now' button. You'll be directed to a Find-a-Photographer page with greater search options. Not only will you be able to narrow the mile radius of the search, you can also search by city, state or country (PPA is an international photography association so some photographers in the database are located outside the U.S.). If you know the name of the photographer or the studio you are looking for (or even part of the name), you can search by either one of these parameters as well.
Finally, you can choose what type of photographer you are looking for by checking-off as many of the specialties as you'd like. The Find-a-Photographer results you see will list those that have indicated that they specialize in the area of photography you are interested in.
Once you've inserted all the different metrics you'd like to search by, be sure to click the red 'Search For Your Photographer' button at the bottom of the search page. That easy!
Browsing Photographer Profiles
Once you've done your search, you'll see a list of Find-a-Photographer profiles organized by their distance from you. You can click on any of these names and find the contact information for that photographer. Most photographers list their emails, so you'll be able to email them directly from the Find-a-Photographer search engine. You'll also be able to visit their website, and view sample images if the photographer has uploaded any.
Keep in mind that some photographers will travel for an assignment (some for free, others for a nominal charge), so it may be worth it to check out photographers by specialty or accreditation in other states or cities!
When screening through the final search results, you may notice that some photographers have a Certified Professional Photographer logo next to their name. This means that the photographer has completed the necessary requirements to earn the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation. Only a small percentage of photographers have earned this credential, as it represents an extensive preparation process that involves experience, a current comprehensive knowledge and skills of photography, and a control of light and photography equipment under any circumstances. This CPP designation conveys that you have identified photographers who are up to date (they have to renew their certification every three years) and who are on top of critical photography knowledge and technique, clearly separating them from inexperienced or amateur photographers. You can even set the search results to only show you CPPs to be certain to find bullet-proof photographers. Just check that CPP box in the specialty area of the Find-a-Photographer advanced search.
Now that you know how to use the system, good luck and happy searching for the photographer that meets your needs! If you run into any problems, check out the Find-a-Photographer FAQs or call 800.786.6277.