View Full Version : Earning a degree question

06-20-2011, 02:52 AM
Hey everyone, I am new to PPA and am studying for the exam. I have a question that I haven't found the answer to yet and maybe someone can clarify. I have just paid my dues for PPA and am looking into getting a degree.
What I read was that I needed to be a member of PPA for two years before I can get the degree I want... M.Photog.

Here is my noobie question. Can I start earning points toward my degree now like enroling in webinars and print competitions and receive my degree in two years? Assuming I qualify. Or do I need to save my money and time on webinars and print competitions and only do them after I fulfill my two year membership?

I am anxious to get started but didn't want to go through all the time and money trying to earn points only to be told in two years that none of it mattered and I have to start over.

In summary: How long do I have to be a PPA member before I can start earning points?

Thanks in advance!
Chris Keating

06-20-2011, 02:54 AM
Nevermind! I just found the answer.

When can I start earning merits towards a degree?
A PPA member can begin earning merits immediately, but you must be a member for at least 24 months to earn a degree. PPA membership categories that qualify to earn degrees include Professional Active, Associate, Canadian, International, Life and Retired members.

Sorry for wasting everyones time.
Chris Keating

06-20-2011, 03:08 AM
Welcome to the forums, Chris. You didn't waste anyone's time. If you have any more questions, just ask. Good luck on your journey towards your first degree!

06-20-2011, 04:56 AM
Sorry for wasting everyones time.

Please don't EVER think that asking as question on this forum is wasting anyone's time. The reason most of us post on THIS forum is a desire to give something back to our profession. Answering a question from a new member is NOT a waste of our time. Welcome to the forum - and thank you for looking here for an answer !!! We're here to help you.

06-20-2011, 09:33 AM
Well-said, Rick!

And welcome to the forums, Chris!

07-03-2011, 07:19 PM
Since you don't want to waste time or money, please attend print judging as often as possible so you can learn from the comments of the judges and get inspired by the types of prints that do well. This will be beneficial as you consider entering prints.

A lot of photographers shoot special setups to enter in competition; some suggest shooting a few shots of a customer session "just for you." Only two of my print merits were personal assignments and both went loan. All the others, including five wedding albums, were from customer sessions with no special art work. (These were the days before Photoshop)

Attend seminars (Super Monday) and week-long affiliated schools when possible. This not only earns merits, but you'll learn so much from others.

Finally, as you gain experience you will probably develop a style or a practice that can benefit others. Put together a good 90-minute program with visual aids and seek bookings at nearby state and local PPA affiliates to earn speaker merits, which can be applied to a Masters Degree but are required for a Photographic Craftsman Degree.

Good luck.

-- Vaughn Monigold

07-03-2011, 09:26 PM
Chris, welcome to the forum, and welcome to PPA.

Think of the PPA Masters degree as a pursuit very much like any academic Masters degree. That is, you earn it base on your competency to be able to earn it. Much like the academic degrees, some candidates do so in their 2 years, some will take longer. Here, the Master degree is not an easy one to achieve. I forgot what the average time it takes for a PPA member to get their Masters, but it something like 7 years. Some hotshot photographers, like my wife, do it in 2 1/2 years (with the craftsman degree combined), but most take longer, like me ;) The amount of time is not important, but rather your journey towards it in relation to how it helps you to develop as a professional photographer.