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Jim_Karr
02-10-2006, 08:03 PM
This is just wrong.. a PPA Member that suggests he is a master in his material, but yet is not. Who does this get reported to at PPA?

D._Craig_Flory
02-10-2006, 08:56 PM
Call Marissa Pitts, right away, at PPA. If this guy is not a Master of Photography he cannot list himself as such. There are too many years of learning and working that go into gaining that degree to have someone just dub themselves a Master. And since he would have had to 1st become certified ... does he also tout himself as a C.P.P. ?

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP, PPA C.P.P. Lisison, PPA Recon
floryphotog@mindspring.com

Jim_Karr
02-10-2006, 09:10 PM
Call Marissa Pitts, right away, at PPA. If this guy is not a Master of Photography he cannot list himself as such. There are too many years of learning and working that go into gaining that degree to have someone just dub themselves a Master. And since he would have had to 1st become certified ... does he also tout himself as a C.P.P. ?

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP, PPA C.P.P. Lisison, PPA Recon
floryphotog@mindspring.com

Spoke with Marissa.. As long as he doesn't say M. Photog or something along those lines, it's perfectly legal to say Master Photographer... Which sucks IHMO

D._Craig_Flory
02-10-2006, 09:53 PM
Hi Jim;

That's just semantics. It still is aluding to the same thing ! If someone says they are a mechanic master ... it would make most people think they were a master mechanic. Just twisting the words around does not cut it with me. I'm still hoping, now that I called PPA Certification & Government Affairs about this, that pressure can be brought. As a PPA Member, he should know better.

I'm going to be interested to see how this progresses. Keep us apprised please.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr. Photog., ASP., PPA C.P.P.Liaison, PPA Recon
floryphotog@mindspring.com

Herman_Robert
02-10-2006, 11:41 PM
Let's not jump the gun here.... PPA does not have a patent on the word "Master"... It can be construed in a very general way to imply extensive experience, an academic degree, or some other self imposed definition. Do we know how it was used.... Let's get the facts before we send out our posse!..

HR

David_A._Lottes
02-10-2006, 11:43 PM
Hi Jim
Does this photographer have some other sort of masters? I don't know of another type of Masters of Photography but there could be one. I know it is possible to get a Masters of Fine Art with a specialization in Photography from Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana. It is meant more for educators at the college level but I suppose someone could have that degree and rightfully call themselves a Master Photographer.

D._Craig_Flory
02-11-2006, 12:38 AM
The key here is that the guy Jim wrote about is a PPA Member. So, he knows that Master is a term to do with the highest Degree that PPA bestows.
If he had a degree, from a college, in photography I seriously doubt a Masters would be available ... photography is usually a minor subject.

So, as a PPA member, this guy should voluntarily delete any mention of Master ... till he earns it. I'll shut up now and let PPA handle this.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP, PPA C.P.P. Liaison, PPA Recon

Jay_Kilgore
02-11-2006, 01:03 AM
For poops and giggles, I've joined the photography degree at my school and yes, it's the major.

I have to agree with Herman, lets pump your breaks and let the man say whatever he is. PPA doesn't own copyright to any wording. Also, it says a lot if HE'S touting himself as a master photographer. The clients should be the ones saying this.

D._Craig_Flory
02-11-2006, 01:37 AM
Jay;

Ok, so someone wants to say he's a Master Plumber ... that's ok ??? Or if someone says they are a Master Electrician, THAT's ok ??? They both require testing ... as does Master of Photography. To be a Master of Photography, a person has to get at least 13 merits from print competition plus 12 merits from going to classes and seminars. And they have to become Certified by taking an exam and also submitting 20 images of their work to determine if they were worthy of that distinction ... before they can get the Master of Photography Degree. I don't think all of that training and studying, as well as competiting and honing their craft, is the same as just declaring yourself to be a master ... with no criteria for it.

"I've joined the photography degree at my school and yes, it's the major" ... what does that mean? Did you mean that you graduated from a college and got a Masters Degree from that college?

If you are a new member of PPA, I suggest that you read about the degree programs.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP, PPA C.P.P. Liaison, PPA Recon
floryphotog@mindspring.com

Jim_Karr
02-11-2006, 02:30 AM
I had my client respond with the exact portion of his price list (which is the only place this text occurs..) Mind you, I've had this guy help me on 3 weddings this year and nearly fell off my chair when my client told me this.. He accidentally had left his camera on Av mode 1/2 the day screwing about 75% of the ceremony pictures up. Another day it was leaving the ISO on his camera at 3200 the entire day up to the reception. That is nowhere near close to master of anything in my book. Anyway, the text:



8 Hours of Wedding Coverage with Master Photographer

Jay_Kilgore
02-11-2006, 03:12 AM
Jay;

Ok, so someone wants to say he's a Master Plumber ... that's ok ??? Or if someone says they are a Master Electrician, THAT's ok ??? They both require testing ... as does Master of Photography. To be a Master of Photography, a person has to get at least 13 merits from print competition plus 12 merits from going to classes and seminars. And they have to become Certified by taking an exam and also submitting 20 images of their work to determine if they were worthy of that distinction ... before they can get the Master of Photography Degree. I don't think all of that training and studying, as well as competiting and honing their craft, is the same as just declaring yourself to be a master ... with no criteria for it.

"I've joined the photography degree at my school and yes, it's the major" ... what does that mean? Did you mean that you graduated from a college and got a Masters Degree from that college?

If you are a new member of PPA, I suggest that you read about the degree programs.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP, PPA C.P.P. Liaison, PPA Recon
floryphotog@mindspring.com

Guy,

You make it blatenly clear your very proud of your PPA degrees and this is cool for you. But please for once, step OUTSIDE the PPA box and realize that although YOU may think the world revolves around PPA, it doesn't. You nor myself is better suited to say one is or isn't a master of photography. I realize this concept may be foregin to you, but it's true, a lot of people don't live by the standards PPA sets fourth.

To be a master of photography imho, one does NOT have to test with PPA. I think its closed minded to say PPA is the only credible way to say your a professional. I've existed three years with out ppa and I'd laugh at anyone who said I wasn't a photographer. I know many people who very well could call themselves master photographers, but they don't get caught up in the gimmick of it all.

Just pump your breaks and realize that for you, ppa is the end all, be all of your business, but for others, it may not be. And allow me to drop one other bomb on you. I was talking to a client and I told her I was a member of PPA, she didn't seem to really care, I told her I was in school for photography just for poos and giggles and she put much more emphasis on the school part. So I'm just saying remember not everyone loves PPA as much as you and it's silly for you to demand others to have as much respect as you do for it.

PhotogCraig
02-11-2006, 03:28 AM
Guy,

You make it blatenly clear your very proud of your PPA degrees and this is cool for you. But please for once, step OUTSIDE the PPA box and realize that although YOU may think the world revolves around PPA, it doesn't. You nor myself is better suited to say one is or isn't a master of photography. I realize this concept may be foregin to you, but it's true, a lot of people don't live by the standards PPA sets fourth.

To be a master of photography imho, one does NOT have to test with PPA. I think its closed minded to say PPA is the only credible way to say your a professional. I've existed three years with out ppa and I'd laugh at anyone who said I wasn't a photographer. I know many people who very well could call themselves master photographers, but they don't get caught up in the gimmick of it all.

Just pump your breaks and realize that for you, ppa is the end all, be all of your business, but for others, it may not be. And allow me to drop one other bomb on you. I was talking to a client and I told her I was a member of PPA, she didn't seem to really care, I told her I was in school for photography just for poos and giggles and she put much more emphasis on the school part. So I'm just saying remember not everyone loves PPA as much as you and it's silly for you to demand others to have as much respect as you do for it.

I now do not understand Jay, I thought you started this thread, with some degree of anger that someone is calling himself a “Master Photographer” and yet did not hold the PPA degree, and who could you report it to.

Then you make this last post that I quoted?

You lead me to believe that you started this thread to just start trouble for some reason.

Although I do agree to some of the points in your last post, it’s not a reason to use the term in ones website.

I earned two merits my first year, and only entered PPA print competition once in my entire life.

Could I have earned the PPA Master degree, I would think so, but that was not my goal in life.

The fact that I don’t own such a degree does not ever come up with any customer or even any student I have ever taught.

But I still think that using that term on ones website if they have not earned it from the PPA, is dishonest and misleading others for what ever reason they have for doing it.

Now if the have a masters from a university and it was in photography, hopefully they would have said exactly what their masters is all about.

But again, why the first post, and then this last one Jay, you seem to be talking out of both ends, or did I miss something?

Mark_Turner
02-11-2006, 03:45 AM
Craig, that was Jim Karr that began this thread.

While I am here, let me say that if this guy was NOT a PPA member, then I could be more understanding. But since he IS a PPA member, he is bound to respect it's by-laws, and rules. The rules are you must get the degree before you can claim to have the degree. "Master" is a title that must be bestowed by some accrediting agency to carry any significance. You can't just mislead the public, and therefore do a disservice to the rest of us playing by the rules.

PhotogCraig
02-11-2006, 03:59 AM
Thank you Mark, I guess I should check better but I thought I remembered that name as the one who started this thread.

I could go back and edit that, but I believe in standing behind what I say, and then admitting I am wrong when I am.

And I am with you, if he is a member of the PPA and not a holder of a PPA masters, that is not a proper thing to do at all.

But again to assume that photographers who didn't do that are not able to have the talent, knowledge and traits that would have allowed them to earn such a title, is somewhat short sighted, but I don't think D'other Craig :) is really trying to say that, so I do not hold his posting against him at all.

Michael_Gan
02-11-2006, 04:49 AM
To be a master of photography imho, one does NOT have to test with PPA. I think its closed minded to say PPA is the only credible way to say your a professional. I've existed three years with out ppa and I'd laugh at anyone who said I wasn't a photographer. I know many people who very well could call themselves master photographers, but they don't get caught up in the gimmick of it all. I agree that PPA isn't the end all, be all for this profession. But, in the last 125 years, it has been the most significant voice in helping hundreds of thousand photographers make a living with what they love to do, photography. Without it, I think all of us would still be charging $80 for an 11x14, or less.

Jay, I think the point you're missing is that the Masters program is something for the average photographer, which is about 80% of the practicing population, to work hard, better themselves (and for their clients), and have a personal accomplishment in life. Yes, there are those with pure talent and it comes easy, but for many of the Masters, it took many years of hard work and dedication to attain that degree. Many photographers "from the outside looking in" don't realize how hard it is to get those 13 merits in the competition, and [the outsiders]are usually the ones who are quick to criticize those who've made the committment for the betterment of the profession. To me, this is the selfish attitude that has kept our profession from really, truly flourishing.

I've been raised in a family where everyone was either a Doctor or Dentist. And I find it amusing when someone says "that doctor is a quack" or "she doesn't know what they're doing". Very hurtful for someone who has dedicated their lives to a profession.

Those hurtful comments generally come from those who cannot attain those goals for themselves and think they're so great based on their own self evaluations.

Michael

Jay_Kilgore
02-11-2006, 05:45 AM
Jay, I think the point you're missing is that the Masters program is something for the average photographer, which is about 80% of the practicing population, to work hard, better themselves (and for their clients), and have a personal accomplishment in life.

Excellent comment and I have no retort.

It just struck a nerve that Dcraig would be so closed minded about the situation.

I will also agree that if the guy is a member of PPA, it is tacky and possibly unethical to use the term "Master photographer" if he's really not one. But again, I don't believe Ansel Adams or Helmut Newton were M.Photographers and as I've found out, if you say you don't like their work, you pay hell. Would they get trashed for saying they were master photographers?

Jay_Kilgore
02-11-2006, 05:46 AM
Thank you Mark, I guess I should check better but I thought I remembered that name as the one who started this thread.

I could go back and edit that, but I believe in standing behind what I say, and then admitting I am wrong when I am.

And I am with you, if he is a member of the PPA and not a holder of a PPA masters, that is not a proper thing to do at all.

But again to assume that photographers who didn't do that are not able to have the talent, knowledge and traits that would have allowed them to earn such a title, is somewhat short sighted, but I don't think D'other Craig :) is really trying to say that, so I do not hold his posting against him at all.

No worries, and for sure no apologies needed or wanted. We all make mistakes. It's an interesting discussion, so it's ok that we get lost in it from time to time

Mark_Turner
02-11-2006, 01:05 PM
OK, let's use the example of Ansel Adams. Everyone does not agree that he was a "Master" photographer. I was told by someone a few years ago that Ansel Adams had other people print his stuff, and they fixed a lot for him, that his photography was not that good. OK, before everyone falls over, I do not have any way of knowing if that is true. I'm sure somebody here does. But for this example, there is dispute by at least that one that he was good. If he had been certified a "Master" by an accrediting agency then that discussion would be moot. That is the value of PPA certification. Your work has been studied, and approved as that of a master. There can be no discussion of whether it is merited at that point.

As I reread this post, I'm not sure I make the point clear enough that I wanted to, but I'll let it stand. Ya'll can figure it out.

Anne_LeBouton
02-11-2006, 03:28 PM
Just for a point of reference, it is possible for a professional organization to trademark a degree such as Master Photographer. The PPFA (Professional Picture Framers Association) has trademarked the terms Certified Picture Framer and Master Certified Picture Framer. These are degrees very similar to the PPA's. They did because some of the big box framing stores were "certifying" their framers based on very little compared to what the PPFA's degrees required. Because these terms are now trademarked, you can no longer use them with out the trademark holder's permission. Permission is granted when you get your degree. I'm a CPF. I passed my exam. :)

Ernst-Ulrich_Schafer
02-11-2006, 03:39 PM
Hey Mark, You really need to read up on the History of Photography alittle and also read up on Ansel. If someone doesn't believe that Ansel was a Master of Photography, IMHO, they really don't know much. Oh ya, he did have quite a few assistance's work for him in his darkroom and print many special edition photographs, but that's what Masters do. Lets see, if I'm not mistaken Michael Kenna worked for Ruth Bernhard for many years printing her negatives. As far as I'm concerned these are both Masters of Photography.

Personally I don't need PPA to tell me if I'm good enough to be a Master in their eyes. I studied with a Master FineArt BW photographer, about 20 years ago, have been practicing the craft of BW photography since then, Hmmmmm maybe I can call myself a Master if I wanted to. If I wanted to label myself as a Master, I would think it's up to me.

Best to ya, Ernst

KirkDarling
02-11-2006, 04:20 PM
If we were to take a survey of the general public, I think most would agree that someone calling himself a "master" at anything would be expected to have been officially recognized as such by an authoritatve association or have wide public acclaim as a master.

I doubt very many people would accept "I'm a master because I say so." They expect the word to carry a major degree of "credentials" even if it's just "street cred."

In fact, I'd bet most people on the street even think the PPA title is the same thing as an MFA in photography. If you compare the requirements of the PPA master degree with a college MFA, you'd probably find that the actual effort expended by the photographer to gain either degee is pretty much the same. The PPA program just doesn't require a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite.

David_A._Lottes
02-11-2006, 04:43 PM
Kirk is right about the MFA and the PPA Masters. A friend of mine who got her masters several years ago sat down and figured out how much time and money she spent getting her PPA Degree and sure enough she could have gotten a masters from I.U. for the same investment. The only difference being she would have got it faster from I.U. because of the time it took her to get the 13 comp merits. For some folks the time frame would be about the same. On an unrelated note I think it would be nice for those persuing both if some exchange of credits/merits could be worked out between the PPA and Universities with photography programs.

Anne_LeBouton
02-11-2006, 05:43 PM
Wouldn't there be legal issues to just declaring yourself a master of anything? That would be claiming false credentials if you have never actually earned the degree from an accredited authority. Isn't claiming false credentials illegal (not to mention immoral)? I would think that it would be no different than claiming you have a doctorate degree that you never earned.

Jack_Reznicki
02-11-2006, 05:52 PM
Man o man, where to start on this thread. It's all over the place. As is this response <s>.

First, PPA has a "Bylaws, Rules, and Ethics committee". If someone wants to file a grievance against a member, we have the process. While PPA can't control anyone using the word "Master" we do have influence over our members, especially if it creates confusion in the marketplace, but it has to go through a correct procedure. We eliminated lynching years ago <s>.
In other words, this Forum is not the place to place someone on trial.
This is a Forum for discussion and sharing information.
As a board member, I can tell you we vote on matters brought to us by the BRE committee at every meeting. And they spend a lot of time resolving such issues as this.
In other words, don't get your lens in a knot. Contact PPA. If something can be done, it will be.

As far as Certification, PPA has gone through a procedure over the last few years to transform our certification process, hiring the same consultants and technicians that oversee the certification processes of industries, like accountants. We are still in the process of this conversion. One of the things is that certification will no longer be an in-house committee of PPA, but rather it's own outside association. The process and the confusion it's caused with most PPA members has been interesting, but when it's done, it will be very interesting. Imagine, the same process accountants will be certifying photographers. Wow.

I have a BFA degree in photography from RIT, which I'm very proud of. It is way different than a PPA degree. Where certification is a consumer marketing tool for many photographers, PPA degrees are a peer-to-peer recognition. As I talk to degree holders, and I never met one to say they regret getting it. In fact, it is usually one of their proudest moments. And it's not the degree itself that matter the most to those people, but the process.
PPA degrees are as much the trip itself, not just the destination, as far as I'm concerned. Degree holders talk about how it raised the level of their work, how many friends they made along the way, how much they learned in the judging and critics, and so on.
It seems that those who knock and discount the PPA degrees have not really examined it closely.
The degree programs survives and thrives because it works. People who get involved, usually stay involved. You can always find people who tsk tsk it, but there is usually other issues at play.

And the remark about Ansel Adams. Please. Give me a break. I've talk to Chris Ranier, a great National Geographic photographer who was one of Ansel's assistants. Ansel was a master of his craft and knew how to make incredible prints. I've heard stories in NY about how little this or that photographer knows and how the assistants do everything and saved their bacon. The funny thing is that the assistants come and go through the years and yet the work stays consistent.
Have you ever seen one of Ansels prints in person? Have you read what he wrote about photography or zone system?
I would question the friend who made that remark about Ansel before I would question Ansel's photographic talents.
There is a strange delight people have at throwing stones and undercutting people of stature.

OK, I think I'm done. <s>

PatrickFaries
02-11-2006, 06:43 PM
That was a great speech and I think it pretty much puts the mark for everything in this discussion.

Though one thing people need to remember about Ansel Adams. He was old school. He didn't have anything like digital retouching or many of those advanced tools we have today. Imagine creating those works of art entirely in the darkroom. That means no photoshop, and media with less leniancy. People need to remember that.

Mark_Turner
02-11-2006, 08:08 PM
Jack, no one was throwing stones at anyone. I was merely using that example of how if you have not been declared a "Master" by an organization using a set of recognized standards, then anyone can question your "Master" status. I don't question his stature as a pioneer and great photographer. I tried to make clear this was just an example.
Obviously, some here think that the PPA Masters certification isn't worth anything. I disagree, and was only trying to show that a program like the PPA's is the only way to avoid dispute about your qualifications, even if you're Ansel Adams.

Jack_Reznicki
02-11-2006, 09:37 PM
Though one thing people need to remember about Ansel Adams. He was old school. He didn't have anything like digital retouching or many of those advanced tools we have today. Imagine creating those works of art entirely in the darkroom. That means no photoshop, and media with less leniancy. People need to remember that.

Patrick,

That was incredible to do in a darkroom. And his prints are breath taking no matter how they were made.

The funny thing is that Ansel is an example I use a lot in my talks to say that if he was around, he's be one of the first people into the digital arena. I always said this unqualified, figuring that with all he did with tone control, he's be drawn to digital.
It has since been confirmed by two different sources for me. One was Chris Ranier, who assisted Ansel for years and I heard him say the exact same thing during an interview at my studio last April. It was surprising to hear my words coming out of his mouth, with all his experiance with Ansel.
I also had a student at a workshop ssay she heard Ansel answer a question during the last year of his life if he regretted anything in photography. He said he regretted that he wouldn't be around to see what computers could do with photography, as it was just starting then.

Jack_Reznicki
02-11-2006, 09:41 PM
I tried to make clear this was just an example.
Obviously, some here think that the PPA Masters certification isn't worth anything. I disagree, and was only trying to show that a program like the PPA's is the only way to avoid dispute about your qualifications, even if you're Ansel Adams.

Hey Mark,

Sorry, but I didn't mean to sound like I was talking about you. It was more about the person you said made that statement to you.
But I learned a long time ago, misunderstanding what someone is saying on the Internet is sooooo easy.

Thanks for clarifying.

Mark_Turner
02-12-2006, 02:33 AM
You know after I posted that reply, I thought of that possibility.

Constance_Rawlins
02-14-2006, 08:34 PM
In reading over the comments by many of you in this post, there has been alot of controversial comments made. As a moderator, I will ask each of you to keep your comments more general and less personal. This forum is here to learn from each other without personal attacks.
I think for most PPA members, PPA Degrees are a personal goal. The average client has no idea what our PPA degrees represent. Amongst other PPA photographers is where our respect comes.
Each of us who have set our personal goals and attained PPA degrees, admire one another knowing we each have walked the path before.
I have set my goals and have attained two of my PPA degrees. It is gives me something to push towards to continue to go to higher levels and work on my PPA Master's Degree.
The education I've learned from setting goals and attaining them has been the beneficiary for the degrees I've earned.
Constance Rawlins, Cr., CPP
McComb, MS
crawlins@cableone.net

Don_Eisenhart
02-16-2006, 03:55 AM
I can certainly understand why we could all get upset about someone implying that they are a PPA Master in their marketing. But, lets keep some perspective...

1. If this individual is using misleading advertising, it will come back to haunt him. Maybe not legally, and maybe not immediately. But you do reap what you sow.

2. All of his prospects know that he wrote that marketing piece, and made that reference to himself. Which means, that not only does it lack all credibility, but it's also a bit arrogant, and most likely, costing him sales.

3. Most prospective clients could give a flying furry rats butt less about what stinking awards, degrees, merits, and what organizations we all belong to. Sad, but true. People do not invest in photography because they want to do business with a Master Certified Craftsman Wiz-bang Monte Zucker Understudy Photographer, they invest in photography, and the photographer for emotional reasons. They are always thinking "What's in it for me?". All they care about is "Can this guy capture the emotion of my wedding day in a way that I am going to cherish for years to come?"

4. Chuck Lewis, who is perhaps the greatest marketer and seller of photographic services I have ever met, is a Master Photographer, and a Craftsman (but he is not Certified). And do you know what? Nowhere in his marketing to his portrait clients and prospects, does he even mention that he is a PPA Master. There is not a single ribbon, award, or merit hanging anywhere in his studio. Not even in his office (but there are plenty of portraits of Todd and Erin in his office, who are his children). Why? Because it does not help him close the sale, that's why.

I am not sure, but I do believe Chuck only mentions that he is a Master, and a Craftsman as part of his signature block in marketing pieces to fellow photographers.

Bottom line - If this guys want to call himself a Master, let him. He is not hurting any of us, but he is hurting himself. And chances are, he has to call himself that because that might be all that he has in his bag of tricks.

The empty can rattles the most...

Ernst-Ulrich_Schafer
02-16-2006, 06:06 AM
Constance, I myself have not seen any "Personal Attacks" concerning this thread. Some strong opinions and thoughts, but nothing more.

Ernst

Mark_Levesque
02-16-2006, 12:28 PM
I can certainly understand why we could all get upset about someone implying that they are a PPA Master in their marketing. But, lets keep some perspective...

1. If this individual is using misleading advertising, it will come back to haunt him. Maybe not legally, and maybe not immediately. But you do reap what you sow.

However, since he is a PPA member it also reflects badly on the PPA. Why does the PPA offer levels of certification if not to provide some sort of objective measure of a photographer's skills? Does it not dilute the value of said certification if one can simply adopt whatever title one wants with no repercussions from the PPA?


2. All of his prospects know that he wrote that marketing piece, and made that reference to himself. Which means, that not only does it lack all credibility, but it's also a bit arrogant, and most likely, costing him sales.


You are assuming facts not in evidence, and to be frank, I think you are likely wrong about this.


Bottom line - If this guys want to call himself a Master, let him. He is not hurting any of us, but he is hurting himself. And chances are, he has to call himself that because that might be all that he has in his bag of tricks.


I disagree that he's not harming the PPA. He's usurping a title, yes, but more than that he's misrepresenting himself under the cloak of the PPA. Blithely allowing him to continue this misrepresentation is like Goodyear allowing an off brand to sell knock-offs of Goodyear tires. When the "Goodyear" tires eventually demonstrate their inferiority, whose reputation do you think suffers?

I don't see how the PPA can do anything but vigorously defend itself against the fraudulent use and misuse of credentials. If they allow their reputation to be sullied, it will be a long way back.

Don_Eisenhart
02-16-2006, 02:54 PM
Mark,

I think I failed to properly communicate my thoughts to you, and I offer my apologies.

What I am saying is that for us, we are business people first, and there are certain physiological aspects of marketing that we should all be aware of.

Yes, I agree that that the photographer in question should be spoken with, and perhaps persuaded to change his marketing material.

Yes, it is an insult to all who have earned their degrees.

But, if I was a direct competitor of this photographer, I would not sweat it, because from a simple sales point of view, it's not really helping him, and it could be hurting him (the photographer in question) in the sales department.

Case in point - I have a competition photographer whose big claim in his marketing is that he is trained, and studied under Monte. The extent of that training is only a few hours in a seminar, so this really borders on a big fat misrepresentation. It's not a big f-ing deal. None of his prospect know who Monte is, and the truth is, his largest senior sale is about where my starting price is for seniors.

Not really a huge threat to me, is he? Monte trained and all.

Report the guy, then get on with the business of running your business!

Mark_Levesque
02-16-2006, 06:02 PM
Oh, I agree that from the perspective of business impact it's probably not a huge deal. But the PPA charges a lot of money for dues, and one of the things you're getting for that money is "branding" for lack of a better term. We need to make an effort to keep the PPA image as pristine as possible, and allowing PPA members to claim undeserved certifications willy-nilly would be antithetical to such an endeavor. That's all. I certainly wouldn't lose sleep about how it would be impacting my business. To me, you need to focus on your business, not someone else's.

Leon_Adelstone
02-16-2006, 09:39 PM
......Most prospective clients could give a flying furry rats butt less about what stinking awards, degrees, merits, and what organizations we all belong to. Sad, but true. People do not invest in photography because they want to do business with a Master Certified Craftsman Wiz-bang Monte Zucker Understudy Photographer...

That's only true if the credential holder has not done an effective job of marketing "the difference". That difference is currently often called a "USP", or Unique Selling Proposition. If we properly educate our market, credentials give added credibility. They tell the public that one person has earned something that some others haven't. It separates a professional photographer from someone who just bought a digital camera.

If someone is claiming a PPA credential that he hasn't earned, he should be censured, penalized, and if not corrected, dropped from membership. If it persisted beyond that, legal action should be taken.

I don't know about others, but I struggled to earn my certification and degrees. These mean far more to me than just being able to wear pretty ribbons among colleagues, at conventions. Should someone who has not earned them be allowed to benefit as if they had also earned them.

I was certified for 20 years before retiring. Because I no longer accepted assignments when I retired, I could not maintain my certification.

I can truthfully claim that I was a CPP for 20 years, because that's a fact. But I can NOT say that I'm a CPP...because I'm not.

If you notice someone claiming a PPA credential that he has not earned Please....report it to PPA.

Don_Eisenhart
02-16-2006, 10:06 PM
Leon,

You earned it your CPP. You should be proud of it, and you should be darned upset that if someone leads the public to believe that they are a Master, or CPP, you have earned the right to be upset about it.

But, on the other hand, I am not a Master, CPP, or a Craftsman (although someday, I would like to earn all of these things!). But, plent of my competitors are at least one of these things, and the put it in their marketing materials?

And do you know what? Since I started really studying what makes people tick, and using that in my marketing and my sales, I have only not closed a sale for one of two reasons:

1. The investment, or

2. People did not want to do business my way.

I have not, to the best of my knowledge, failed to close a sale to my competitors who are CPP and Masters because I myself, am not either.

But, to be honest, we do mostly seniors, and babies, and families from our existing client base, and their is not a whole lot of competition from the "Pro" guys using PHD (Push Here, Dummy) cameras like there is with weddings.

So, if I was still into weddings, I might very well make that a very big USP.

Good point, Leon.

Leon_Adelstone
02-16-2006, 10:36 PM
I am not a Master, CPP, or a Craftsman (although someday, I would like to earn all of these things!). But, plenty of my competitors are at least one of these things, and the put it in their marketing materials?

And do you know what? Since I started really studying what makes people tick, and using that in my marketing and my sales, I have only not closed a sale for one of two reasons:

1. The investment, or

2. People did not want to do business my way.

I have not, to the best of my knowledge, failed to close a sale to my competitors who are CPP and Masters because I myself, am not either.

Don, the clients you serve from your customer list are yours. You've already earned them. If you serve them well and keep them happy, most of them will continue to stay with you. It's up to you to keep or lose them by this service.

Credentials are a greater benefit for new prospects looking for a Photographer, or for those who prefer to be served by a credentialed photographer.

Now, ask yourself. If you had any of these credentials, would it cause any of your clients to leave? Do you not believe that credentials can be beneficial in growing your business? Do you not agree that in striving to acquire these credentials you will be improving both your education and your ability?

I am certainly aware that there are many highly talented photographers without credentials. But even so, I submit that, at worse, it's like chicken soup when your sick.....It can never hurt.

Don_Eisenhart
02-16-2006, 10:55 PM
Don, the clients you serve from your customer list are yours. You've already earned them. If you serve them well and keep them happy, most of them will continue to stay with you. It's up to you to keep or lose them by this service.

Credentials are a greater benefit for new prospects looking for a Photographer, or for those who prefer to be served by a credentialed photographer.

Now, ask yourself. If you had any of these credentials, would it cause any of your clients to leave? Do you not believe that credentials can be beneficial in growing your business? Do you not agree that in striving to acquire these credentials you will be improving both your education and your ability?

I am certainly aware that there are many highly talented photographers without credentials. But even so, I submit that, at worse, it's like chicken soup when your sick.....It can never hurt.

Leon,

You are sir, are obviously a well trained, and a very talented sales person.

I agree with you about keeping clients, it rests solely on my shoulders to keep the relationship with them health.

Yes, credentials can be a huge benefit if someone is looking for a photographer, as often happens with weddings, I agree.

No, credentials won't cause any of my clients to leave me.

I do not believe that being a Master, or CPP alone will help me to grow my business (Oh, here comes the HEAT rounds {High Explosive Anti-Tank}, I just know it!).

But, I do believe (and have benefited from) the pursuit of becoming a Master or CPP, or Craftsman, is highly beneficial, if, and only if, the skills that are learned along the way can be used to befit your clients, by giving them more then they have paid for. Hey, if you can throw Chuck stuff at me, I can throw back Napoleon, eh?

Lastly, let me say, I am not anti credentialing. Someday, I would love to have the time, and develop the talent to earn every certification I can. I am very respectfully of my piers who have earned those things, I bow to them.

All I am saying is that those things alone will not close sales for you, that's all.

Leon_Adelstone
02-22-2006, 08:06 PM
Hey, if you can throw Chuck stuff at me, I can throw back Napoleon, eh?

Oh, Yeah ????

If you throw back Napoleon, I'll throw back Jay.

Chuckle, Chuckle

Howard_Kier
03-04-2006, 06:45 AM
8 Hours of Wedding Coverage with Master Photographer

Maybe he meant "Mister" Photographer. ;)

On a serious note, this is a significant issue. When somebody misuses a title it dilutes the value of that title for all of those who properly earned it. It also can cause the general public to misplace their trust. Can you image being sick and visiting Dr. Quack who never attended medical school?

I thought you folks might be interested in noting that I did a Google search on "Master Degree Photography (http://www.universities.com/On-Campus/Masters_degree_Visual_and_Performing_Arts_Photogra phy.html)" and found many fine institutions (including my alma mater SU) which offers a Master's Degree in Photography. Brooks also offers the degree. So it may very well be that this person actually did earn the degree and is properly representing himself.

Now my question is how do you distinguish between a collegate Master in Photography degree and PPA's? Furthermore, as this is a college degree, I suspect that it will be difficult for the PPA to trademark their version.

Michael_Gan
03-04-2006, 04:18 PM
Typically, whenever you receive a degree from a college, you designate the degree letters after your name, like B.A., M.F.A, PhD. Wheras, our designation is M.Photog.

In the Bios, usually we would say "received his/her Master of Photography from PPA. College would read "received his/her Master of Photographic Arts from Brooks institute".

Michael

Howard_Kier
03-04-2006, 05:15 PM
While that is typically true, there are some degrees which are not abreviated. I earned my Masters of Science Computer Engineering many years ago. As there are degrees in Chemical, Civil, and Computer Engineering, these degrees are not as abbreviated.

It may very well be that this individual is not familiar with the proper way to fully disclose his college earned degrees. Heck, between my academic and PPA degrees, I've got a regular alphabet soup after my name (should I choose to use all my degrees and certifications).

I do notice that a lot of energy has been spent by a lot of folks debating the issue and yet nobody seems to have contacted the individual in question to get their side of the story. After all, there are two sides and I'm giving him/her the benefit of the doubt. Remember, you are innocent until PROVEN guilty.

Wilson_Hitchings
03-04-2006, 05:50 PM
A Masters in Computer Science? Whew! I have a BA in MIS, similar but not as techical. Congrats, bub!

Wilson_Hitchings
03-04-2006, 05:52 PM
I think your comment is absolutely true. In fact, for some clients, a string of awards spells EXPENSIVE. I'm not taking away from anyone's merits or certifications (I just got certified this past Jan.) but a wall of awards doesn't matter if the client doesn't like your stuff...


3. Most prospective clients could give a flying furry rats butt less about what stinking awards, degrees, merits, and what organizations we all belong to. Sad, but true. People do not invest in photography because they want to do business with a Master Certified Craftsman Wiz-bang Monte Zucker Understudy Photographer, they invest in photography, and the photographer for emotional reasons. They are always thinking "What's in it for me?". All they care about is "Can this guy capture the emotion of my wedding day in a way that I am going to cherish for years to come?"

Howard_Kier
03-04-2006, 05:53 PM
Actually, the degree is MS on Computer Engineering. Totally different from Master of Information Science. And you're right that did get to be very technical so I went out and got an MBA to round out my education.

Michael_Gan
03-04-2006, 08:09 PM
In fact, for some clients, a string of awards spells EXPENSIVE um, I fail to see what's wrong with that?


Actually, the degree is MS on Computer Engineering

Usually, don't they say that in a bio, but not as a title? Usually, I'll see on a biz card: Joe Schmoe Civil engineering
Joe Schmoe, M.S.
anytown USA

Dave_Buchanan
03-24-2006, 07:21 PM
The key here is that the guy Jim wrote about is a PPA Member. So, he knows that Master is a term to do with the highest Degree that PPA bestows.
If he had a degree, from a college, in photography I seriously doubt a Masters would be available ... photography is usually a minor subject.

So, as a PPA member, this guy should voluntarily delete any mention of Master ... till he earns it. I'll shut up now and let PPA handle this.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP, PPA C.P.P. Liaison, PPA Recon
I think that the graduate degree would be a Master of Fine Arts (MFA)