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View Full Version : odd, sad state of affairs (long message)



Dawn_Snow
03-08-2008, 01:04 AM
Hello! I received my CPP back in October.

Something came up recently that I would like an opinion on.
First, a little background:
I am employed at a Fortune 200 financial services company whose primary function is NOT photography. I work in the Media Department as a corporate photographer along with one other person. (There are videographers and other media specialists in the mix.) The colleague who is my "back up" corporate photographer submitted his portfolio for CPP review. He recently received word that his portfolio did not merit these credentials.

In a meeting this morning with my manager (whose background is not photography but technical broadcast) he said that since my colleague and I submitted our portfolios at separate times; "... you must've had a 'different' set of judges." I took it to mean that he thought the judges were harder on his portfolio than on mine. (Never mind that they are submitted anonymously.) I said that I was sure this was not the case, & that I was not sure how long the judges served. Then I reminded him that one thing was definitely different: the portfolios of submitted work. The submission of work and taking the test was not a "just filling out the paperwork" exercise and nothing is rubber stamped. (I did paraphrase here a little - but the quoted part is accurate. The whole conversation took about 10-15 minutes and encompassed other subject matter.)

After working hard over a 2 year period to achieve the credentials, I was, of course, taken aback. I believe he is just not educated in this area. He is a more "technically minded" person and has no problems with test scores... so that has not been called into question. Things are more - off or on - black or white - 1 or 0 for him. He is always asking me to write down how I shot this photo or that photo so it can be recreated at anytime. Always wanting a level playing field.

But to his inference: How long does the panel of judges serve? Is there a resource that I can point to in order to educate him in the merits of the portfolio review and the basis of judgment used? I believe I know the answer to this last question, but as I think you can infer, I need to have this answer come from an expert resource.

I am struggling even now - whether or not to submit this question... but gosh darn it! Has anyone out there ever come up against someone who just doesn't get it?

one confused and yes, a little hurt, CPP...

Dan_Leary
03-08-2008, 01:15 AM
I am struggling even now - whether or not to submit this question... but gosh darn it! Has anyone out there ever come up against someone who just doesn't get it?

Yes... I like to call them clients.;)

Seriously, though... we all do butt up against those that are uneducated, but your situation is definitely unique. I do not know the answers to your questions about the board, but sit tight for a bit... someone will pop in here that knows.

Marc_Benjamin
03-08-2008, 01:15 AM
I wonder if it ever occurred that the images were just bad.

KirkDarling
03-08-2008, 02:31 AM
In a meeting this morning with my manager (whose background is not photography but technical broadcast) he said that since my colleague and I submitted our portfolios at separate times; "... you must've had a 'different' set of judges." I took it to mean that he thought the judges were harder on his portfolio than on mine. (Never mind that they are submitted anonymously.)

This indicates a manager you need to get away from. A manager that does not give you credit for your own achievements--and even denigrates them-- is not a manager you want to work for a second longer than necessary.

D._Craig_Flory
03-08-2008, 12:28 PM
Hi Dawn;

Do you own one of the PPA General Collection Books ? They are all images that received at least a score of 80 or higher in the international print competition. As a C.P.P. Liaison, when asked the criteria for inages for C.P.P. subnission I point them to the PPA scoring range. The level right below merit / blue ribbons (state and regional print competition) is scores of 76 to 79. That is considered above average. That is where image scores must fall as a minimum to pass I tell them. Show your boss what merit images look like and tell him that images for certification must be just about as good.

In addition ... while the written exam is strictly abour knowing the correct answers, the print submission is having alll images meet a standard of excellence. All judges hold the Master of Photography Degree. All have been to judging school. And all are affiliated judges meaning they are allowed to judge at regional as well as the International print competition so they are the best of the best.

dawnsnow
03-08-2008, 10:54 PM
Crag, Kirk, Marc and Dan,
thank you for all your kind words.
In truth, this is a manager who "inherited" me and my department... Kirk, you are right - I shouldn't work for someone who does not appreciate what talents are in his department. Yes, my knee jerk reaction was to respond back that if my colleague's images were better he would've made it. My second knee-jerk reaction was to submit my resignation, but my personal financial commitments prevented me from doing so. I don't have the luxury of quitting just yet.
So, I decided to try to educate him and the rest of the department on what makes the "grade" and what doesn't. Thus, i queried the forum. I hadn't thought of the Books - and will get one as soon as possible. For my personal photographic journey, one of my goals was to submit image(s) for competition this year - so this will be an added adventure. I have only just started to research and study what makes a Print, the 12 elements and all the particulars. So, in educating the "masses" I will gain valuable knowledge and hopefully, at least one of my prints will make the grade!!
I am looking for a silver lining and with your help - I think I found it!!! And thanks for helping me be proud once again to have made the grade! (I even did a little happy dance!) You guys ROCK!!!:D

Michael_Gan
03-09-2008, 12:20 AM
All have been to judging school. And all are affiliated judges meaning they are allowed to judge at regional as well as the International print competition so they are the best of the best.Not entirely correct. The judges are from the certification committee that has been, by and large, pretty consistant. I'm the newest one on the committee and will be in the judging in June. But, I don't have the credentials of the PEC to judge at PPA, and I will be heading to the judging workshop in July.

btw, any states interested in me judging for them?

DianeDavis
03-09-2008, 01:17 AM
Dawn-
Be confident in your achievements. YOU know what you did and how hard you worked for it. It is sometimes difficult for folks outside our industry to understand the differences in the images and the work you have put into them, that is ok- there are lots of industries you don't understand either.

I would probably tell the boss, in private, that you are so excited that your collegue is working on her CPP, but please don't demean your accomplishments, and the work you put into them by assuming things.

Good job on the CPP- and best of luck as you start your competition journey.

MarilynDillon
03-09-2008, 02:40 PM
Just to put a different spin on things -- I was at a workshop recently where it was said that you get much further growing as a photographer when you help another photographer -- (it was put much more eloquently) -- perhaps a new approach would be to work with the other photographer to help him or her to improve their work so it isn't so much a competitive situation rather an educational one where you can both improve and learn from it. Perhaps the manager was simply trying to make the other person not feel so badly about not passing -- maybe it isn't personal at all. Just another viewpoint...for what it is worth.

George_Hawkins
03-09-2008, 04:23 PM
The judges do look at a "body of work" first and must be as consistent as possible. It used to be and may still be that if one panel does no like a submission, the work is taken to a second panel.

Next: You could tell your situation to the CPP committee at PPA, and ask for an independent article describing the procedure for your employer to understand. Then maybe all of us CPP's can use the same for our potential & existing clients; but maybe such an article exists.

Call Al Hopper or Marissa, and they will direct you to correct person.

George

dawnsnow
03-10-2008, 03:35 PM
thanks to everyone for weighing in. :)

Ed_Conner
03-11-2008, 12:33 AM
When I submitted my images you had to fill out a form that asked for a short explanation why the image was made the way it was. As these images were supposed to be everyday "client"work. When I got my first submissions back a tape came with it explaining why some prints were rejected. Is that still not the case? If so have your colleague play the tape and actually listen to it. Did he give a detailed reason for each print to circumvent some of the objections?

When I re submitted I explained in more detail that despite the apparent background flaws this was the expected norm for what I do most of the time(horse shows) and had no control when in the arena. I also reminded them that my clients weren't looking for Master Loan Collection images which, was not on the list of criteria for CPP prints. Which, was my reaction to the tape that those 2 "judges"were trying to make me measure up to.

And yes 10 years ago they were judged by a different panel. It changed from venue to venue. I know PPA has outsourced some of this to keep it more standardized but I believe the panel will most likely be different if the prints are sent in months apart. Particularly if they are sent for a different Judging deadline.

My apologies if things have changed and I missed the notice for it.http://www.ourppa.com/forums/images/smilies/redface.gif

Ed Conner- CPP, M-Photog

dawnsnow
03-11-2008, 10:13 PM
Ed,
yes, our porfolios were submitted months apart - for different deadlines. I just heard from Marissa about the tenure of the judges - she told me there were a different group for each "deadline" - so they rotate quite a bit.
As far as reasons given, i am not sure how much information he received, he was not in the mood to discuss it. he did tell me that it was not received well as "a body of work". that is all the information I have.
These days, portfolios are submitted on portfolios.com. There is really no place to put alot of information concerning the whys and hows...

thanks for weighing in. What a great bunch of folk you guys are. You've all helped me to re-establish my "am I crazy :eek: meter" that gets so screwy in the coporate world! (the verdict - I'm not!!:p)