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LadyLux
01-16-2010, 08:04 PM
The PPA has no qualifications to join other than a membership fee. Any person who spent $50 to $5000 on a digital camera can join and call themselves a photographer. Why not have a panel that reviews portfolios before membership is granted?

edited to add: I did not know all these benefits came with membership. I am sorry for this negative initial post. I am very embarrassed. Please delete it and my registration. I am going to do more research and try again :)

Joe_Campanellie
01-16-2010, 08:55 PM
So, what's the point of the portfolio...what's the point of having a process that will "grant" you membership...? And how would you ever create standards for admission? I understand what you are saying about everyone with a camera calling themselves a photographer. But, it's up to us to separate ourselves based on the quality of the work we can provide on a day to day basis.

Everyone has to start somewhere and everyone is at different points in the tunnel. When I first joined PPA many years ago I thought I was a pretty decent photographer. I soon learned that most of my stuff was crap...! If there was a process like you want to implement in place when I first joined I doubt very seriously if I would have measured up to any sort of review standards. And...I think that would be very true for a lot of very talented photographers in this industry. I can't speak for the others but I didn't wake up one day as a professional photographers. It took years of study and a whole lot of hard work and dedication to the "craft" of photography.

Like I said...everyone has to start somewhere and start their own journey so to speak. I'm sure that there are others who can say this much more eloquently but my opinion is that if it wasn't for PPA the many good things that happened to me this year would never have happened.

I thank God for the many dedicated and talented people within PPA who took an interest in me and who mentored me over the years. And to the people who run this organization...what an incredible task to take on. And so many who do this strickly as volunteers.

I have always believed that you get out of an organization what you put into it. I know that in our own state organization it is so hard to get people involved. I also know that in my case that when I did get involved it opened so many doors for me because I was willing to "pay it forward" so to speak.

I hope that someday you will reconsider you decision and join PPA. There are always good characteristics and bad to any organization...no matter who they are. I just think the positives far outweigh the negatives in the case of PPA.

The opportunities for education and mentors is endless within PPA and I hope that someday you will chose to take advantage of those benefits.

KirkDarling
01-16-2010, 10:09 PM
The PPA has no qualifications to join other than a membership fee. Any person who spent $50 to $5000 on a digital camera can join and call themselves a photographer. Why not have a panel that reviews portfolios before membership is granted?

Is that kind of like the old Groucho Marx joke: "I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member?"

The purpose of PPA is not particularly to ensure a minimum level of photographic competence--there are other reasons the PPA exists and more impotrant reasons to join it.

We have an organization dedicated to elevating the competence of the profession: The Professional Photographic Certification Commission (www.certifiedphotographer.com (http://www.certifiedphotographer.com)) and PPA fully endorses it.

This is where the line is drawn in the sand. Anyone is truly interested in an organization that is dedicated to elevating the technical competence of the profession will put his money where his mouth is and get certified. Otherwise, it's just an excuse.

For those who want to learn the craft and get certified, as Joseph has said, PPA provides the means.

Don_Chick
01-16-2010, 10:16 PM
Any person who spent $50 to $5000 on a digital camera can join and call themselves a photographer.

Any person who has not joined the PPA can call themselves a photographer.

So why limit yourself because of what some else may or may not do....?

Ron_Jackson
01-16-2010, 10:19 PM
Don't join for the reasons you posted, join for all the many things that the PPA does and stands for and the things it does to protect you. The indemnity insurance alone is worth the price of membership. This issue of criteria to become a member is being beaten to death in another thread. I have my own opinion on the subject but the fact is, I will always be a member for all the other reasons this incredible organization does and stands for. Like car insurance, I wouldn't be caught dead without my PPA membership. They've got my back.

phildogbph
01-16-2010, 11:27 PM
I consider myself a photographer, but by no means a professional.

A year & a half ago I spent a lot of time reading a photography book that contained the how & how-to's of running the business side. I thought I had a pretty good grasp on things until it exposed me to PPA.

If the PPA had qualifications, I wouldn't have a chance... I am already at ground zero. By joining, watching & listening to the professionals that dedicate a ton of time on this forum, that alone has enhanced my knowledge of what I NEED to accomplish within the next year. (As you can see, the previous 4 Professionals to post on this thread nearly post on every thread, THANKS!)

I don't believe I can accomplish what I want in the next year, but I definitely know where I stand & what I need to study harder & longer (giggitty).

On top of all that, attending Imaging USA this year filled my head with knowledge & my notebook with ink. The great advice that was shared by the many talented Professionals left me with an overwhelmed feeling of where to go next.

I am one of those photographers that had no direction before joining the PPA. Allowing students of the profession like me to join has & will make me a better photographer. Hopefully one day I can consider myself a professional of the trade.

George_Hawkins
01-16-2010, 11:58 PM
Joe, Kirk, Don, Ron, B. Phil,
Hope I did not miss a post. Could not be stated any better, than any of you. I too was so green when I joined PPA. I was more green when I joined my local state affiliate; my arm was twisted, by one saying study and take Certified test; I did and maintained it since; I was asked to be the liaison; I did not say no; I was asked to do other tasks, and kept saying yes, but I stalled a few times and then said I accept.
There are so many things that will never be forgotten by me for being member. I've met many who are here, in person, and such a loss, if I never met!!!
It's a members learning organization. There is a natural attrition. A trade association, if I am using the correct term, should never be exclusive.

LadyLux, this was your first post, but have you been lurking and reading posts? If not, hang in, there are some incredible people involved.

ChrisGrandell
01-17-2010, 12:08 AM
The PPA has no qualifications to join other than a membership fee. Any person who spent $50 to $5000 on a digital camera can join and call themselves a photographer. Why not have a panel that reviews portfolios before membership is granted?

There is the certification process, if you want something like that.

This may sound a little harsh, but it is your loss. You really don't know what you are missing out on. I have just come out of the financially hardest year in my business' short three year life, and I can tell you that there was NO WAY my PPA membership was going to expire. Try it for a year. I'll bet you'll renew.

Mark_Turner
01-17-2010, 01:59 AM
Doesn't OurPPA have qualifications? Like a full name?

Stan_Lawrence
01-17-2010, 03:03 AM
The PPA has no qualifications to join other than a membership fee. Any person who spent $50 to $5000 on a digital camera can join and call themselves a photographer. Why not have a panel that reviews portfolios before membership is granted?

Interesting idea. This would bring up the discussion of what make a photog a pro. That discussion would guarantee all kinds of really irritated people.... the challenge for any organization would be who's taste/criteria would be used to make the decision? You're right, PPA membership does not mean someone is a pro, nor does certification. Bottom line, it's up to you to show your clients your a pro, not PPA. :cool:

Heather_L._Smith
01-17-2010, 03:20 AM
My fellow colleagues have made some great points about PPA membership, so I really don't want this to come off the wrong way, but I'm curious to know why your first post on a forum that is organized by PPA seems so terribly antagonistic? Call me a simple girl, but I tend to focus on the things an organization like PPA can do for me, rather than focus on the bar of entry. I just received my first degree from PPA last week, and can honestly say that I would not be the photographer I am today without this organization and the things it has directly and indirectly provided for me.

Frankly, I've seen folks who have been shooting professionally for 20+ years who are terrible photographers... and newbies who are just learning how to run a business and are amazing photographers. PPA provides for both ends of that spectrum, as evidenced by the talent on this forum.

Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now, but I just found the post to be a bit off-putting, so I had to chime in.

LadyLux
01-17-2010, 03:51 AM
I did a search for photogs in my area, and I see horrible images in a couple of the portfolios. Just because you have a digital camera and working knowledge of Photoshop doesn't make you a photographer. There are many "photographers" like that here.

What other benefits does membership have?

Rick_Massarini
01-17-2010, 04:31 AM
I, like Heather, don't quite understand why you would want to join a forum that is run by an organization that you do not want to join. PPA has a lot to offer - more than any other photographic organization. I have been a PPA member for 31 years, and I really don't understand your position or your opposition to PPA. And if you are that opposed to PPA, then why are you posting on the PPA forum??????

If you're wondering what PPA does, how about...
Professional Indemnification Trust - basically a malpractice insurance that costs all of $50 per year.
A Life Insurance Program
Equipment Insurance Program
Representation on an industry level in Washington
The PPA merits and degree program
The PPA Certification Program
PPA Charities
Discounts on Credit Cards, Shipping, and Insurance
Special offers through their vendor supporters that are only available to PPA members
The PPA National Convention and Expo - the ultimate networking opportunity
The International Print Competition and International Exhibition
The Our PPA.com forum that you are currently utilizing
And a bunch of other things that I didn't think of....

Anyone else want to chime in with things that I forgot ???

I probably forgot a few benefits, but just the ones that I've listed more than covers our membership dues...

Just my opinion, of course...

ArtScott
01-17-2010, 04:33 AM
I did a search for photogs in my area, and I see horrible images in a couple of the portfolios. Just because you have a digital camera and working knowledge of Photoshop doesn't make you a photographer. There are many "photographers" like that here.

What other benefits does membership have?

Have you taken the time to click on the BENEFITS tab and look.

Howard_Kier
01-17-2010, 07:25 AM
Hello

Welcome to OurPPA.com. I can't help but wonder in light of a thread called "Instant Professional Photographers (http://www.ppa.com/community/forums/showthread.php?t=18918)" that you are just pulling our legs. But in that thread, I've argued there should be novice/apprentice membership for those just entering the profession. However, where do you draw the line. At a bare minimum, the requirement should be operating legally in your home state, whatever those requirements are. However, the only way to change an organization is from within as a voting member. So come on in, join, take advantage of the benefits and work for the changes you desire.

Keith_A_Howe
01-17-2010, 12:12 PM
Howard,
The instant photographer thread is in the members only section, so Lady Lux as a non-member could not have read it. The timing, coupled with the no real name, does make it seem a little suspicious but weird coincidences do happen.
As far as the members voting on it - when as a member have you ever voted on anything? Your only vote as a member is for your state councilors. The councilors then elect the board of directors and vote on bylaw issues. Procedural issues are handled by the board or the committeees. I do believe this change would be a bylaw issue. I also believe the only way you could ever get it to pass council is if the board of directors were in favor of it. Because it seems like the main motive is to get the most members possible, I would be surprised if the board would ever support an idea that may limit membership even slightly. There are benefits to us to have a large membership and the board has to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks of every decision. While I agree there should be a requirment of a tax number or business permit, I think the board's feelings would be that the strength they have from a large membership, when lobbying on capital hill, inticing sposors for IUSA, advertisers for the magazine etc, outweighs the benefit of requiring that membership to operate their businesses legally. I don't know if I would agree with that, but then I am not on the board and not privy to the whole picture.
Keith

Howard_Kier
01-17-2010, 06:47 PM
I am not on the board and not privy to the whole picture.

I nominate Keith for the board!

Todd_Reichman
01-17-2010, 06:51 PM
I'm going to try and keep this simple after the round-and-round we've had in the Instant Photographers thread. I had dinner with The PPA Director of membership on Friday and this whole issue came up. Her stance was that no barrier to entry was on the table or would likely be considered. The reason being that above all the mission of PPA is education. Remember, this isn't an organization that is certifying professionalism, its an organization that is trying to cultivate and educate on the issue of professionalism. An empty punishment of exclusivity works counter to the baseline mission of the organization.

Plus, there are other methods or proving your worth that the organization provides.

- trr

KirkDarling
01-17-2010, 07:27 PM
Remember, this isn't an organization that is certifying professionalism, its an organization that is trying to cultivate and educate on the issue of professionalism.Because there is an organization that certifies professionalism--there is no need for two of them. The existence of a separate organization for that purpose liberates PPA to the purpose of indoctrination (which is not a bad word).

ChrisGrandell
01-17-2010, 07:33 PM
I did a search for photogs in my area, and I see horrible images in a couple of the portfolios. Just because you have a digital camera and working knowledge of Photoshop doesn't make you a photographer. There are many "photographers" like that here.

So really, it seems that your complaint is more the free market, than the way that PPA is setup? If you are what you call a "photographer", and they are not, than what difference is it to you? Everybody has to start somewhere! If they are really that bad, then they aren't really your competition are they?

I find it amusing that somebody who knows absolutely nothing about an organization, and obviously spent little time researching it would trash it. Trolling from another organization perhaps?

Joe_Galioto
01-17-2010, 07:47 PM
lady lux,
it would be interesting to see your website listed.
joe
and how come the monitors have not inforced the real name tjing.

Betsy_Finn
01-17-2010, 07:51 PM
**Moderator Note**
LadyLux has already been asked to add their real name to their profile. (Things like this are usually done without making a public spectacle -- sometimes people just forget to fill out all the fields :) )