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suebird
02-16-2011, 10:27 PM
I am curious if it has ever been discussed why certification process does not involve or acknowledge prior professional work, awards from other areas of the Photography profession?

Joe_Galioto
02-16-2011, 10:41 PM
suzanne
be more specific
what kinds of prior work or awards are you referring too?

suebird
02-16-2011, 10:49 PM
I guess i am just curious if someone comes to ppa from an advertising commercial background, newspaper magazine background or sports shooting position...why their accomplishments and work as a professional in that field would not be a part of the cpp designation process?

Keith_A_Howe
02-17-2011, 12:13 AM
So are you saying that if somebody has worked in a different field of photography they should get credit for that and not have to go through the same process to get certified? Why should awards or experience in a different but related field exempt them? You can be a Master Photographer in PPA, have a dozen Imaging Excellence bars and still have to go through the same process to become certified. If we want the CPP designation to have any creditability then there standards have to be applied equally to everyone. Maybe I am misunderstanding what you are suggesting?

Keith

suebird
02-17-2011, 01:04 AM
Why would professional accolades and experience from a photography career prior to PPA not be relevant or a part of the designantion process that is declaring a person a certified professional photographer, by all rights they already are a professional photographer.

For sure a prior resume should be relevant, i understand maybe not awards because awards are subjective, but if you are a successful working professional photographer in the industry already...there is not much to debate

Is there any room for this information in the cpp process as maybe supporting evidence of professional status ? It occurred to me that to build the pool of certified photographers and bring the awareness of certified pgotographer status to buying clients , that maybe including this piece of the puzzle in the cpp process may be more inviting to professionals already working, who may be snubbing their noses at having to start alll over proving their professional status all over again.

Our industry is in a crisis, so if we as a collective group across all genres of photography were to acknowledge the pros already working, would the cpp stamp not become more recognized by the buying public and in turn help the recognition of hiring a certified professional.....

I guess as well in my mind when i see craftman, masters ...... They are cpp to me in my mind...

Christine_Walsh-Newton
02-17-2011, 02:20 AM
I'm a CPP liaison. (although I am not speaking on behalf of the certification commission)

Going through the certification process puts everyone on a level playing field - we all pass the same criteria. I think it would be burdensome to the certification body to have to look into each applicant's background and judge their prior work. If an applicant has that much experience and skill, then pulling 20 images to present and taking a 2 hour test is not a hard thing to ask.

And no - a Craftsman is not a Master is not a CPP. Those are very different things. I've been working very hard at obtaining my Craftsman and I'm 2 merits shy of it at this point. It took me several months to get my CPP, it will have taken me almost 3 years by the time I'm awarded the Craftsman and I imagine it's going to take another year or two after that to qualify for the Masters, and that's only *IF* I continue to be as successful in print competition as I was this past year. Not the same by a long shot.

Check out www.certifiedphotographer.com - it explains the process and reasonings much more eloquently than I can.

Angela_Lawson
02-17-2011, 06:23 PM
Well said Christine. I was going to respond too, but I think you've done a great job of explaining it. :)

GregYager
02-17-2011, 07:53 PM
Keep a few things in mind Susan....

CPP is not a PPA certification. It is an independent process that can be done with no PPA involvement.

CPP is a standard, not an award. A Master photographer should have no problem meeting these standards. They still have to go through the process though. No short cuts here and if it's going to maintain any credibility then there can't be any short cuts.

A person can obtain their Master of Photography and their Craftsman Degree without shooting a single portrait. They can sell 100% portrait work to their clients and receive their Master by submitting pictures of farm houses and flowers for competition. Then they earn their Craftsman by speaking to dozens of affiliates about how to advertise your work and package it in pretty boutique bags. None of this is a testament to their knowledge about what they sell to their clients. Certification is.

Building a pool of certified photographers by granting shortcuts to the process would be counterproductive. It's not about being easy. It's about meeting a certain standard.

You wanna drive a car, you have to earn a driver's license by taking a test that includes a written exam and a driving exam. You can be a Race car driver without a driver's license but if you want to drive on a public road you have to take the tests. No short cuts there either.

KirkDarling
02-17-2011, 08:00 PM
You wanna drive a car, you have to earn a driver's license by taking a test that includes a written exam and a driving exam. You can be a Race car driver without a driver's license but if you want to drive on a public road you have to take the tests. No short cuts there either.

I like that analogy.

suebird
02-17-2011, 08:25 PM
I hear what you are saying and understand about qualifying the elements of knowledge, but i will not agree that acknowledging someone's career in photography as a professional as an addition to the cpp process is giving anyone a short cut, calling it a short cut is discounting many many incredible shooters who are professional without cpp beside their names that in reality in my opninion should have certified professional photographer tatooed on their arms.;) there were no short cuts taken in their careers, just hard work, clients who respect their work, counting on them to know their job inside and out and phenominally talented.

I am actually quite shocked to hear and dismayed a bit to learn you could actually attain a masters with not shooting one photo.

Enticing professionals to mAintain their crAft and be a part of a designation has to make them feel welcome and acknowledged. Just wondering if they would be more willing to keep their cpp or get their cpp if there were some acknowledgment of their years served in the profession already?

I like th car analogy, but people have to practice to be able to drive....they would not be able to just take an exam, submit examples of what to do in soem scenarios and be able to drive, thye would still rely on their experience at practicing.

Fyi , i am working towards cpp as well, but was just throwing out some thoughts on cpp and what the state of thw industry is in.

Mark_Levesque
02-17-2011, 08:43 PM
I am actually quite shocked to hear and dismayed a bit to learn you could actually attain a masters with not shooting one photo.

What he said was one "portrait." You still have to achieve 13 exhibition merits, but they can simply be "pretty pictures" as opposed to client work.

Keith_A_Howe
02-17-2011, 09:00 PM
I hear what you are saying and understand about qualifying the elements of knowledge, but i will not agree that acknowledging someone's career in photography as a professional as an addition to the cpp process is giving anyone a short cut, calling it a short cut is discounting many many incredible shooters who are professional without cpp beside their names that in reality in my opninion should have certified professional photographer tatooed on their arms.;) there were no short cuts taken in their careers, just hard work, clients who respect their work, counting on them to know their job inside and out and phenominally talented..

So who decides? Because there are photographers out there, who have been in business for years and maybe even made a pile of money but their work is sub par. In order for the designation to mean something, there has to be some kind of governing body that somehow rates the photography to see if it lives up to the designation. So how are those "govenors" going to decide who gets credit for past life experience and who doesn't? Because to just say "oh if you have been in business X# of years you automatically are certified" would dilute the meaning of the designation. I suppose they could ask the people who have been in business a long time to submit samples of their work. Oh wait a minute! that's already what they do.


I am actually quite shocked to hear and dismayed a bit to learn you could actually attain a masters with not shooting one photo.

You didn't read that right - you can get a Master's without ever taking a portrait, you can enter landscapes, or art photograhy, or commercial, sports, journalism etc etc. But you do have to create and enter photographs to get a Master's


Enticing professionals to mAintain their crAft and be a part of a designation has to make them feel welcome and acknowledged. Just wondering if they would be more willing to keep their cpp or get their cpp if there were some acknowledgment of their years served in the profession already?

I like th car analogy, but people have to practice to be able to drive....they would not be able to just take an exam, submit examples of what to do in soem scenarios and be able to drive, thye would still rely on their experience at practicing.

Fyi , i am working towards cpp as well, but was just throwing out some thoughts on cpp and what the state of thw industry is in.

And how are they not letting them rely on their experience to practise for the exam currently? I don't understand what it is that you want. Your posts are sounding like you feel if someone has years of experience, that should be enough and they shouldn't have to take the test or submit work. It sounds like you want a CPP pin that has an extra little dangly showing how many years they have been certified? Most people who are interested in that kind of recognition have gone on past CPP to the degree program. Giving them another little pin is probably not going to motivate anyone. It certainly would not encourage me to get certified again. If someone truly is talented and gifted they probably already have plenty of awards and recognition and don't need some extra designation to motivate them. FWIW I believe you can get special endorsements to the CPP designation, like senior photographer, wedding photographer etc. But you still have to submit images to do that.

Keith

Jeff_Dachowski
02-17-2011, 09:02 PM
Suzanne,
a lot of folks want that CPP after their name. There is a ton of folks who want to just do the bare min, and get those letters. If you want those letters, you submit your images, and then you take a test, or vice versa. Even being a master photographer does not give you that credential.

Now, when I enter my state, they require a portfolio review to help identify those are are professional, and those who aspire to be professional. My state accepts either a CPP or a M.Photog as proof you are professional.

Specifically what are you looking to have the commission take into account, and which step would it elieminate for you?

Maybe I dont get what you are saying, and I do want to hear your response.
Jeff

Keith_A_Howe
02-17-2011, 09:03 PM
they can simply be "pretty pictures" as opposed to client work.

Nothing "simple" about pretty pictures. It has been way more difficult to create loan quality illustrative work then it ever was to do the same with portraits or weddings for me.

Keith

Jeff_Dachowski
02-17-2011, 09:05 PM
Nothing "simple" about pretty pictures. It has been way more difficult to create loan quality illustrative work then it ever was to do the same with portraits or weddings for me.

Keith
I think it has been easier for you once you found a poor little bunny's foot...:p
Jeff

suebird
02-17-2011, 09:58 PM
Not sure i would eliminate anything, i am inspired to work on cpp due the fact that it is an internationally recognized certifying body, but i think i would add in a resume type of option where during certification, a photographer could have the option to list their career so far in photography.

Possibly what concerns me about professional photography is that we are all in our own corners like little cliques, we are all seperate camps of photographers in the industry in different corners complaining about the plight of the industry, yet we do not attempt to unite as a collective group of professionals, acknowledging that one's experience in this industry can all be different and relevant in differrent ways.

Is a new photographer to the industry who is great at exams, and has a good eye and passes submission with coaching help on what types of images to submit, the same as a photographer who passes the exam, passes image submission but also has over 10 years of business, shooting and client experience? Or is there room to acknowlegde that it does take experience to claim you are a professional photographer?

I really hope that i have not caused any ill feelings here, i just really love this profession and only want to see photographers start to work together on making the industry better collectively. Open dialogue is a great way for me to learn more about the ins and outs of what cpp is and what it means to the profession. Who knows i may make a few non beleivers change their tune and set their issues aside. The more professional shooters we have as cpp is only going to benefit the industry.

Jeff_Dachowski
02-17-2011, 10:07 PM
Is a new photographer to the industry who is great at exams, and has a good eye and passes submission with coaching help on what types of images to submit, the same as a photographer who passes the exam, passes image submission but also has over 10 years of business, shooting and client experience? Or is there room to acknowlegde that it does take experience to claim you are a professional photographer?

.

Suzanne,
I dont think anyones feathers are fuffled here.

To answer your question above, there is nothing but what you put into it that will seperate you from your competition. If you choose to say cpp, and nothing else, then you client will apply the same weight to you that you do. If you present it to them as a benefit, they will certainly see it that way.

It does not take experience to be a CPP. It only requires that you have had 20 paying clients. Many of the applicants do not even have that. There are no self assignments allowed, and photographing a flower outside of a winery is not a commercial job...well unless they really did hire you to come to the winery and photograph that flower.

FWIW, you can take the CPA exam with no experience, and in some states the Bar Exam without going to college.
Jeff

suebird
02-17-2011, 10:26 PM
Okay good, ruffled feathers is not my intention,
:)

Mark_Levesque
02-17-2011, 11:09 PM
Nothing "simple" about pretty pictures. It has been way more difficult to create loan quality illustrative work then it ever was to do the same with portraits or weddings for me.

All I meant to say, Keith, was that the images submitted for the Masters degree do not have to be portrait or client work; they can be any sort of merit-worthy image. I was trying to clarify Greg's comment that you can become a master without creating a single portrait, which Suzanne misinterpreted to mean that you could become a master without creating a single photograph. Not that it's "simple" to do.

GregYager
02-17-2011, 11:57 PM
Now, when I enter my state, they require a portfolio review to help identify those are are professional, and those who aspire to be professional. My state accepts either a CPP or a M.Photog as proof you are professional.



Wow Jeff, this truly impresses me. I like your state a little more now.

Keith_A_Howe
02-18-2011, 04:04 AM
No Problem Mark.
Yea JEff - that "poor little bunny" is pretty lucky!!!
Keith

Jack_Reznicki
02-18-2011, 04:43 AM
Is a new photographer to the industry who is great at exams, and has a good eye and passes submission with coaching help on what types of images to submit, the same as a photographer who passes the exam, passes image submission but also has over 10 years of business, shooting and client experience? Or is there room to acknowlegde that it does take experience to claim you are a professional photographer?

I want a pin because I had to truck through 10 feet of snow, without shoes, uphill, to develop wet plates in a darkroom with no heat. And no candy bars.
I deserve that pin.

In the photography business, skill, not longevity, is what counts. Sorry, but I've run across many photographers who think that doing it for a long time earns them something, that the business owes them something because they've been doing it for 15, 20, 30, 50 years. And you look at their work and they never kept up, they never changed, they never grew. I've seen many "pro" shooters who are frankly, terrible in my opinion. And I've seen newbies and students who knocked my socks off. And vice-versa. I got to hear Albert Watson give a talk at a lunch today. What an icon photographer. Humble beginnings and started shooting National ads right out of the chute. Knocked my socks off.

And then you run across someone like Joey Lawrence, who FINALLY turned 21. Take a look at his work if you don't know it. http://www.joeyl.com/

So to answer your question, yeah, a new photographer who can pass the test and has a good eye is deserving. And a photographer doing it for X years as a "pro" may not be deserving.

Each photographers earns it on their skills, not just because they've been doing it for years.

Angela_Lawson
02-18-2011, 02:25 PM
Not to get off topic, but WOW. I didn't know that Joey Lawrence had turned photographer, but he is definitely a better photographer than I am. And I am a CPP. So I guess we can bring this back around to the point...in order to become certified, he would still have to go thru the same process that all of us do. However, that doesn't mean he can't be considered a professional photographer now...it just means that he's not certified.

KirkDarling
02-18-2011, 02:45 PM
Not to get off topic, but WOW. I didn't know that Joey Lawrence had turned photographer, but he is definitely a better photographer than I am. And I am a CPP. So I guess we can bring this back around to the point...in order to become certified, he would still have to go thru the same process that all of us do. However, that doesn't mean he can't be considered a professional photographer now...it just means that he's not certified.

Moreover...you have to re-certify every five years. Although showing the proper continuing education events for the intervening five years can substitute for the test, it's still necessary to face the commission each five years to maintain certification.

Mark_Turner
02-18-2011, 02:57 PM
Your previous experience does count toward your CPP, in that it gives you a better chance to pass the test than someone that just started.

Joe_Galioto
02-18-2011, 03:26 PM
joey l. work is amazing, especially for a 21 year old he's like a prodigy
joey doesn't need no stinking cpp or degrees or even professional memberships

Jack_Reznicki
02-18-2011, 09:39 PM
Not to get off topic, but WOW. I didn't know that Joey Lawrence had turned photographer,

Angela,
Just to clarify, this is not the actor Joey Lawrence and this Joey is definitively a working professional photographer with a good agent, since about age 17 or 18. He just has the same name as the actor, hence he goes by "Joey L" a lot

Angela_Lawson
02-18-2011, 11:25 PM
Angela,
Just to clarify, this is not the actor Joey Lawrence and this Joey is definitively a working professional photographer with a good agent, since about age 17 or 18. He just has the same name as the actor, hence he goes by "Joey L" a lot

Oops, my mistake! :o His work is stunning though! And almost half my age. Grrrr!

KirkDarling
02-18-2011, 11:56 PM
Oops, my mistake! :o His work is stunning though! And almost half my age. Grrrr!

I've got camera equipment older than him.

danarm7
02-21-2011, 02:27 AM
I agree with the posters who said that thaving "X" amount of years as an established professional will easily give you a leg up on the exam and the portfolio review.

I am starting from the ground up, myself in pursuit of the CPP designation. Had I had 10 years of experience, the exam and the portfolio review would be less intimidating. Right now I am buried under self-study material (although I am actually enjoying it).

suebird
02-25-2011, 02:06 PM
I thought we could have some more fun with this thread, I know I know, all of these questions have been asked before....but it gets the mind working for us that are new ;)

okay, If someone's 20 images are outstanding and proof of their ability to shoot professionally and is a clear representation of the past experience in their career, why do you need the extra proof with writing the exam? Should not the body of work be the proof in the pudding so to speak? if you have a great portfolio then obviously you know what you are doing right? or no?

So Example Joey Lawrence above, is he not a certified professional photographer? Definition if certify is : officially recognize (someone or something) as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards , I think his work proves he meets certain qualifications and standards.

Same for VII agency shooters, Magnum, Reuters, Canadian Press, Photojournalists.
They are all highly certified professional photographers by the very definition of certified. Does it matter how they create their body of work or just that they are super talented and then that qualifies them to be a certified professional photographer.

I can hear the answers coming back again that if the shooter has that much experience and is that good then they would pass the exam anyway......so if it is that redundant, why incorporate it? if someone can show they are already at the professional level producing professional work.

So this makes me come back to the HOW someone produces the work, is this what the exam is all about? To determine how someone produces their images and is this a valid part of the determining factor in who is pro and who is not. MAybe this is our last string we can cling to in determining who is pro and who is not? Is this where we are able to draw the line in the sand?

Is the exam giving us a tangible way of dividing the line in a very subjective industry.

KirkDarling
02-25-2011, 02:41 PM
I thought we could have some more fun with this thread, I know I know, all of these questions have been asked before....but it gets the mind working for us that are new ;)

okay, If someone's 20 images are outstanding and proof of their ability to shoot professionally and is a clear representation of the past experience in their career, why do you need the extra proof with writing the exam? Should not the body of work be the proof in the pudding so to speak? if you have a great portfolio then obviously you know what you are doing right? or no?

So Example Joey Lawrence above, is he not a certified professional photographer? Definition if certify is : officially recognize (someone or something) as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards , I think his work proves he meets certain qualifications and standards.

JL, however, is clearly a statistical outlier, and the process has to be set up for the peak of the bell curve. There would not be any way for the commission to know whether 20 images represented the only decent twenty images the photographer had taken in her life, or was truly representative of her actual talents.

It helps to determine exactly what she's got in her head about the craft across the board.


I can hear the answers coming back again that if the shooter has that much experience and is that good then they would pass the exam anyway......so if it is that redundant, why incorporate it? if someone can show they are already at the professional level producing professional work.

But he may show only one type of skill in his portfolio, and the certification is intended to convey expertise/knowledge of more than one narrow type or style of work.

In the IT world, the discussion is going in the opposite direction: A lot of IT professionals don't like the fact that most certifications are based solely on testing ("paper qualified"). They'd like to see some evidence of real on-the-job expertise as part of the certification process.

I don't know where the certification commission is on this issue right now, but last year they were planning to institute "compulsory" portfolio requirements.

GregYager
02-25-2011, 08:32 PM
I'm not sure why this is an issue but I think it can be pretty easy to explain.

The test confirms your knowledge.
The images confirm what you can do with that knowledge.

If you want the certification commission to stand behind that and declare you certified by their standards then you have to prove you meet them on their terms.

It's obviously not mandatory to be certified but they have to draw their lines in order to be credible.

I couldn't imagine a reason I would want a short cut.

Mark_Levesque
02-25-2011, 10:33 PM
okay, If someone's 20 images are outstanding and proof of their ability to shoot professionally and is a clear representation of the past experience in their career, why do you need the extra proof with writing the exam? Should not the body of work be the proof in the pudding so to speak? if you have a great portfolio then obviously you know what you are doing right? or no?

Imagine a really prolific shooter that managed to spray and pray 20 good images over 2 years. Someone that had vision, but poor technical skills. This person could pass the image submission portion, but have little to no idea how to replicate such images on demand. And that's part of what being a professional is; being able to produce top quality images on demand.

Additionally, producing 20 "above average" images over 2 years at 650 pixels on the large dimension provides no proof of being able to produce large prints or follow best practices. The exam covers such practical matters as well. There's just no good reason not to include both phases of the certification process. It's a reasonable stake in the ground to provide proof of a basic level of competence.

suebird
02-25-2011, 11:38 PM
I like this statement Mark,
This person could pass the image submission portion, but have little to no idea how to replicate such images on demand. And that's part of what being a professional is; being able to produce top quality images on demand.
This is something that i can use to argue further to someone challenging the certification process.