odd, sad state of affairs (long message)
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  1. #1

    Unhappy odd, sad state of affairs (long message)

    Hello! I received my CPP back in October.

    Something came up recently that I would like an opinion on.
    First, a little background:
    I am employed at a Fortune 200 financial services company whose primary function is NOT photography. I work in the Media Department as a corporate photographer along with one other person. (There are videographers and other media specialists in the mix.) The colleague who is my "back up" corporate photographer submitted his portfolio for CPP review. He recently received word that his portfolio did not merit these credentials.

    In a meeting this morning with my manager (whose background is not photography but technical broadcast) he said that since my colleague and I submitted our portfolios at separate times; "... you must've had a 'different' set of judges." I took it to mean that he thought the judges were harder on his portfolio than on mine. (Never mind that they are submitted anonymously.) I said that I was sure this was not the case, & that I was not sure how long the judges served. Then I reminded him that one thing was definitely different: the portfolios of submitted work. The submission of work and taking the test was not a "just filling out the paperwork" exercise and nothing is rubber stamped. (I did paraphrase here a little - but the quoted part is accurate. The whole conversation took about 10-15 minutes and encompassed other subject matter.)

    After working hard over a 2 year period to achieve the credentials, I was, of course, taken aback. I believe he is just not educated in this area. He is a more "technically minded" person and has no problems with test scores... so that has not been called into question. Things are more - off or on - black or white - 1 or 0 for him. He is always asking me to write down how I shot this photo or that photo so it can be recreated at anytime. Always wanting a level playing field.

    But to his inference: How long does the panel of judges serve? Is there a resource that I can point to in order to educate him in the merits of the portfolio review and the basis of judgment used? I believe I know the answer to this last question, but as I think you can infer, I need to have this answer come from an expert resource.

    I am struggling even now - whether or not to submit this question... but gosh darn it! Has anyone out there ever come up against someone who just doesn't get it?

    one confused and yes, a little hurt, CPP...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Clarksburg, WV
    Posts
    1,043

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn Snow View Post
    I am struggling even now - whether or not to submit this question... but gosh darn it! Has anyone out there ever come up against someone who just doesn't get it?
    Yes... I like to call them clients.

    Seriously, though... we all do butt up against those that are uneducated, but your situation is definitely unique. I do not know the answers to your questions about the board, but sit tight for a bit... someone will pop in here that knows.
    Dan Leary, CPP

    When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to stop and reconsider - Mark Twain

    www.learyweddings.com
    www.dmaxphotography.com

  3. #3

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    I wonder if it ever occurred that the images were just bad.
    -Marc Benjamin, M. Photog. Cr. F-PPC
    marcbenjamin.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Normal, Illinois
    Posts
    7,783

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    In a meeting this morning with my manager (whose background is not photography but technical broadcast) he said that since my colleague and I submitted our portfolios at separate times; "... you must've had a 'different' set of judges." I took it to mean that he thought the judges were harder on his portfolio than on mine. (Never mind that they are submitted anonymously.)
    This indicates a manager you need to get away from. A manager that does not give you credit for your own achievements--and even denigrates them-- is not a manager you want to work for a second longer than necessary.
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Palmyra, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,214

    Default Do you have ...

    Hi Dawn;

    Do you own one of the PPA General Collection Books ? They are all images that received at least a score of 80 or higher in the international print competition. As a C.P.P. Liaison, when asked the criteria for inages for C.P.P. subnission I point them to the PPA scoring range. The level right below merit / blue ribbons (state and regional print competition) is scores of 76 to 79. That is considered above average. That is where image scores must fall as a minimum to pass I tell them. Show your boss what merit images look like and tell him that images for certification must be just about as good.

    In addition ... while the written exam is strictly abour knowing the correct answers, the print submission is having alll images meet a standard of excellence. All judges hold the Master of Photography Degree. All have been to judging school. And all are affiliated judges meaning they are allowed to judge at regional as well as the International print competition so they are the best of the best.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    32

    Default Thanks

    Crag, Kirk, Marc and Dan,
    thank you for all your kind words.
    In truth, this is a manager who "inherited" me and my department... Kirk, you are right - I shouldn't work for someone who does not appreciate what talents are in his department. Yes, my knee jerk reaction was to respond back that if my colleague's images were better he would've made it. My second knee-jerk reaction was to submit my resignation, but my personal financial commitments prevented me from doing so. I don't have the luxury of quitting just yet.
    So, I decided to try to educate him and the rest of the department on what makes the "grade" and what doesn't. Thus, i queried the forum. I hadn't thought of the Books - and will get one as soon as possible. For my personal photographic journey, one of my goals was to submit image(s) for competition this year - so this will be an added adventure. I have only just started to research and study what makes a Print, the 12 elements and all the particulars. So, in educating the "masses" I will gain valuable knowledge and hopefully, at least one of my prints will make the grade!!
    I am looking for a silver lining and with your help - I think I found it!!! And thanks for helping me be proud once again to have made the grade! (I even did a little happy dance!) You guys ROCK!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Petaluma, CA
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    All have been to judging school. And all are affiliated judges meaning they are allowed to judge at regional as well as the International print competition so they are the best of the best.
    Not entirely correct. The judges are from the certification committee that has been, by and large, pretty consistant. I'm the newest one on the committee and will be in the judging in June. But, I don't have the credentials of the PEC to judge at PPA, and I will be heading to the judging workshop in July.

    btw, any states interested in me judging for them?
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,643

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    Dawn-
    Be confident in your achievements. YOU know what you did and how hard you worked for it. It is sometimes difficult for folks outside our industry to understand the differences in the images and the work you have put into them, that is ok- there are lots of industries you don't understand either.

    I would probably tell the boss, in private, that you are so excited that your collegue is working on her CPP, but please don't demean your accomplishments, and the work you put into them by assuming things.

    Good job on the CPP- and best of luck as you start your competition journey.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hampstead, New Hampshire
    Posts
    187

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    Just to put a different spin on things -- I was at a workshop recently where it was said that you get much further growing as a photographer when you help another photographer -- (it was put much more eloquently) -- perhaps a new approach would be to work with the other photographer to help him or her to improve their work so it isn't so much a competitive situation rather an educational one where you can both improve and learn from it. Perhaps the manager was simply trying to make the other person not feel so badly about not passing -- maybe it isn't personal at all. Just another viewpoint...for what it is worth.
    Marilyn Dillon, CPP

    www.marilyndillonphoto.com
    www.naturalexpressions-photo.com

    "The question is not what you look at but what you see!"
    -Henry David Thoreau

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Central New Hampshire
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    The judges do look at a "body of work" first and must be as consistent as possible. It used to be and may still be that if one panel does no like a submission, the work is taken to a second panel.

    Next: You could tell your situation to the CPP committee at PPA, and ask for an independent article describing the procedure for your employer to understand. Then maybe all of us CPP's can use the same for our potential & existing clients; but maybe such an article exists.

    Call Al Hopper or Marissa, and they will direct you to correct person.

    George
    George Hawkins
    Cr. Photog.

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