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View Full Version : Getting certified, can I make it with landscapes mostly?



Rodney_Ninow
06-18-2008, 07:47 PM
I have looked at a few people's portfolios that they have submitted for review and the overwhelming majority are portraits.

I shoot some weddings and portraits, and I do ok, but am still improving my craft and have a long way to go to get to the level of some of you.

My strong suit is landscapes and I wanted to know if I can get certified with few, if any portraits in my offerings?

Michael_Gan
06-18-2008, 07:53 PM
Most likely, after this weekend when the committee meets. No.

Certification is a consumer driven credential. What good would it be to your customers if you can take pretty landscapes, but can't take their portraits properly? The judges of the images were already starting to see this as a problem and had brought this up for discussion at this weekend's meeting.

Rodney_Ninow
06-18-2008, 07:57 PM
You make a good point Michael. If I understand you correctly, the recent submissions had more non portraits than usual?

Michael_Gan
06-18-2008, 08:05 PM
I think the committee is going to reinstate the "Statement of purpose" which used to be required with each image. The images will have to state what job each of the images were used for. Also, when you apply for certification, you are supposed to state your percentages of Commercial, wedding, portraits and fine art. The images you submit are supposed to reflect those percentages.

Annie_Duncan
06-18-2008, 08:07 PM
I thought the submission images were to be whatever the photographer sold. If 100% of a photographer's business is non-portrait, isn't it ok to submit all non-portraits??

Michael_Gan
06-18-2008, 08:13 PM
Yes, if that is what is stated in your application. But why would you want to get certified for that, unless it's small product advertising? I don't think being certified for landscape photography has any intrinsic value, since it is rarely commissioned work (unless you're trying to get bureau of land management commissions).

Rodney_Ninow
06-18-2008, 08:20 PM
Yes, if that is what is stated in your application. But why would you want to get certified for that, unless it's small product advertising? I don't think being certified for landscape photography has any intrinsic value, since it is rarely commissioned work (unless you're trying to get bureau of land management commissions).

You bring up an interesting point. So I would guess that people like Moose Peterson, Frans Lanting, Art Wolf and the late Galen Rowell aren't certified. All of whom also do occasional outdoor commercial shoots. (Rowell shot the cover of one of David Lee Roth's albums, for example)

Then again, when you are that well known, your clients know who you are, and what you can do, so credentials like CPP aren't necessary, I guess.

Just trying to sort this all out and see if it makes sense for me to apply now, thanks for the replies and discussion.

D._Craig_Flory
06-18-2008, 09:19 PM
You bring up an interesting point. So I would guess that people like Moose Peterson, Frans Lanting, Art Wolf and the late Galen Rowell aren't certified. All of whom also do occasional outdoor commercial shoots. (Rowell shot the cover of one of David Lee Roth's albums, for example)

Then again, when you are that well known, your clients know who you are, and what you can do, so credentials like CPP aren't necessary, I guess.

Just trying to sort this all out and see if it makes sense for me to apply now, thanks for the replies and discussion.

Hi Rodney;

Since PPA is primarily portrait, wedding, and commercial photographers ... it would make sense that those kinds of images would be what to submit. BTW ... who are those people you mentioned. (except for David Lee Roth ... I know who he is)

Rodney_Ninow
06-18-2008, 09:36 PM
I didn't realize PPA was mainly portrait, wedding and commercial photographers, I thought it was for any and all professional photographers in America.

Surprised you have never heard of those four names, they are probably the most widely published and well known travel, wildlife and nature photographers in the world.

Frans Lanting (http://www.lanting.com/index.shtml)
Galen Rowell (http://www.lanting.com/index.shtml)
Moose Peterson (http://www.moosepeterson.com/home.html)
Art Wolf (http://www.artwolfe.com/)

Michael_Gan
06-18-2008, 09:44 PM
Actually, Certification is available for all practicing photographers whether they are members of PPA or not. It is an independent entity outside of PPA. There is no "PPA Certified" anymore. Just CPP.

Mark_Levesque
06-19-2008, 02:17 AM
OMG, Craig. Have you never read a photography magazine? They are VERY well known.

Cheri_MacCallum
06-19-2008, 02:40 AM
There is no "PPA Certified" anymore. Just CPP.

I am certified, however, I'm a certified art/tech specialist, not certified as a photographer. So how can I be called a cpp when the last P is for photographer? I was told that I should use "ppa certified".

George_Hawkins
06-19-2008, 03:24 AM
I too, am puzzled. Seems that PPA, Council, and whoever are constantly changing the specifications. I've been Certified since the 80's. For a while, I was the NHPPA Liaison and administered exams. Applicants used to be required to submit images in proportion to the work they do, as it would be submitted to clients. I watched, after setting out prints, the panels review sets of prints. They looked at the body of work as a unit; if ok, that was it; if not good, they reviewed images individually.

What is correct way to make the designation? I do not think I have had recent notifications, except in my annual dues!

George

Michael_Gan
06-19-2008, 06:33 AM
The only way that certification was going to be a ligitimate entity was for it to be an independent organization. The people involved on the PPA side of this are the "cheerleaders" for certification and offers the manpower to help certification succeed. Certification is run by it's own commission (I believe Kirk is one of them), and has been for the last few years. This makes it possible for all photographers to become certified, not just PPA members (remember, there are other groups out there besides us, like ASMP).

Cheri, I would guess that you are a "CA", but I will ask about your designation as soon as I arrive in Atlanta on Saturday.

D._Craig_Flory
06-19-2008, 01:59 PM
Actually, Certification is available for all practicing photographers whether they are members of PPA or not. It is an independent entity outside of PPA. There is no "PPA Certified" anymore. Just CPP.

Hi Michael;

Given that the process costs $100.00 for PPA members, and $500.00 for non members, I'd guess that most go ahead and join if not already a member. As a liaison, I know that and know that it is separate.

KirkDarling
06-19-2008, 02:26 PM
Michael is correct. The Professional Photographic Certification Commission is not an entity of PPA.

It is not necessary to be a member of PPA to become certified.

However, PPA members do get a substantial discount in the fees to apply for and maintain certification, and it's mainly PPA members who provide the troops to handle the PCC's activities in the field (liaisons, test proctors, and such). But the PCC is actually an separate entity from PPA.

It seems to me pretty clear by the language of the submission requirements that the work must be from actual commissioned jobs as opposed to work done on speculation (even if later sold commercially).

As far as I know at the moment, it's not impossible that landscapes might be assigned by, say, a magazine (such as National Geographic), and I don't presently see anything preventing such magazine photographers from applying--but it's likely that subject needs discussion and confirmation to make sure everyone involved understands. As Michael mentioned, there are other groups like ASMP that should be accomodated.

"Self-assignment images are not considered a job assignment and will be rejected."

"The image submissions should reflect in proportion the types of photography work/services the candidate normally provides."

http://www.certifiedphotographer.com/documents/CPPimage.pdf

OurPPA's own Betsy Finn has documented her experience with becoming certified: http://www.certifiedphotographer.com/documents/CertificationProcess.pdf

The designation should be "Certified Professional Photographer." On my website, I use the CPP logo as a link to the CPP site.

Corrie_Zacharias
06-19-2008, 02:40 PM
It seems to me pretty clear by the language of the submission requirements that the work must be from actual commissioned jobs as opposed to work done on speculation (even if later sold commercially).

So that would effectively eliminate all stock photographers, right? Although I have to admit I don't know any stock photographers who are burning to become certified....:D

KirkDarling
06-19-2008, 03:20 PM
As Michael as alluded, the question would be, "What is certification for?"

Think about other certified professionals, such as accountants and auto mechanics. They don't get certification to impress their peers, but rather to validate their competence for prospective clients.

Traditionally photographers have used testimonials and portfolios, and both of these are still powerful and necessary marketing aids (which are used by other professionals as well), but certification is also something that can be a final discriminating factor when other things appear equal.

For someone whose work is primarily speculative, however, the photographer isn't selling his ability to do a commissioned service, he's selling a product in being.

Jeffrey_Hutchinson
06-20-2008, 06:20 PM
As I passed the written exam in April, I'm ALSO beginning to wonder if PPA is the right organization for me as I do a variety of work for all types of clients both consumer and commercial. This includes Portrait, Wedding, Products, Stock Photography, Sports, Events, etc. I'm in a relatively small market and enjoy the variety in my days. I do however understand the thinking of the experts who say pick one area and "own it".

I have however posted a link to a gallery of images which would represent the cross-section of my work.

I would value any and all input on this gallery of images from the PPA community.

Please be gentle.


http://www.hutchgraphics.com/lr/PPA Certification Possibilities

Rodney_Ninow
06-20-2008, 06:30 PM
Jeff, I am no expert, but I think PPA is a good fit for you, especially since you shoot weddings.

From what I understand, the CPP certification is independent of PPA and you can be a CPP without being a member of PPA.

Your work looks great to me BTW.

Jeffrey_Hutchinson
06-20-2008, 06:43 PM
Thanks Rodney.

Michael_Gan
06-20-2008, 07:08 PM
PPA is the right association for you because of all the fields you mentioned. For portrait, wedding and commercial, the indemnity trust is worth the price of admission. SEP is closely allied with PPA, so this covers your sports and events. PPA's copyright lobbying covers everything you've mentioned, including stock photography. You are in the right place!

I can't look at your images because I am one of the judges for certification, but the key is to match your percentage of work in Portraits, wedding and commercial with the number of images you select. You can also apply for specialty designation as well.

Stacey_West
06-21-2008, 10:12 PM
...people like Moose Peterson, Frans Lanting, Art Wolf and the late Galen Rowell...


BTW ... who are those people you mentioned. (except for David Lee Roth ... I know who he is)

Galen Rowell was an awesome mountain climber and photographer. He shot slide film in 35mm cameras. Probably his most famous image is "Rainbow over the Potala Palace". He was killed, along with his wife, in a plane crash five or six years ago. You can see a lot of his work at http://www.mountainlight.com/index.html.

Up until about 10 years ago I had dreams of someday climbing big mountains; age has snuck up on me so that's not going to happpen now but Galen Rowell's work is not too bad a substitute.