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  1. #1

    Default CPP Image Review

    Dare I say...I have uploaded images for review!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: CPP Image Review

    To: who ever PM'ed anonymously,

    I'm not able to respond to you directly because well because the PM was anonymous.
    But I did want to say...Thank you for your PM...I was a little short on the comments on some of the critiques because it was late at night and others I wanted to wait until I could see them on a calibrated screen at work.

    That being said. You are not a bad photographer and you are producing salable work. However, CPP image review is tough for some. Here is an article I wrote that might help with selection:
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    Selecting Images for CPP: Why is it so hard?
    By Vance Wagener on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 3:05am

    Selecting Images for CPP
    Why is it so hard?

    These are images my client loved! Why are you telling me they wouldn't do well for CPP certification?

    This is a question that is often asked in the CPP upload area and other places where CPP image critique can be found. I can understand where some of the confusion comes from. Many images are solid, salable work. The reality is that they are differently goal oriented. While what is required for CPP image review can be very salable, not all images that are salable or merit-worthy will meet the requirements.

    Client images are usually goal-driven to the client's wants and needs. Thus, client images are graded with those issues in mind, as opposed to compulsory images that must meet the exact requirements to pass.

    The goal of image submission for CPP is to demonstrate the competencies and skills needed for the Commission to certify that you have the minimum skill set that any professional photographer should have. As such, your selection needs to goal-directed, as well. The certification itself is meant to draw a base line and consistency in the industry.

    When client images are critiqued by experienced CPP's, you'll often hear things like, "The shadows are blocked up"; "You don't have 3:1 lighting"; "The image would have difficulties because of [this or that]." Often they will have suggestions on how the image could have been improved upon when it was made.

    Here is an example of just one critique:
    "In this particular image there is the lack of separation of the foreground elements (the silhouetted couple) and background elements. The blacks are blocking up to make the couple indistinguishable from the background behind the male and are hurting the image. Had an accent/edge light been used, it would have provided the separation needed for this image to do well for CPP."

    This sounds like arm chair quarterbacking. I can relate to how frustrating it is to hear, especially if it was an image that sold well. I've been there, and so has anyone else who becomes certified. Ideally, a CPP candidate would make their compulsory images first and then shoot client images with an eye for what is needed for CPP. This would make selecting CPP client images easier. The reality is that virtually all of us decide to go for CPP, make the compulsories and hunt for client images that we shot in the last 2 years that fit the criteria. We all go for our "A" game images first. But as I pointed out, these are sometimes differently goal-oriented. This makes it seem sometimes like other CPP's are trying to keep the club exclusive by suggesting these great images would not pass. Really the opposite is true. We want as many as can to become certified. It is my hope that as the number of certified photographers goes up so does the public's expectation of what it means to be a professional photographer, hopefully making them less willing to hire someone who becomes an instant professional by simply buying a camera.

    It is also possible to "merit" a photograph without proving elements needed for CPP Certification. This sounds like a strange statement, but it's true because the goals are different. Due to the goal of CPP images, some of the 12 elements of a competition print are excluded ? most notably, style, print quality, and to some extent creativity. This means that CPP judges want to see basically classical portrait posing and lighting. There is no print quality, as the submissions are electronic; and treatments are not allowed because it interferes with the appraisal of skills. Merit images are driven by artistic goals that may or may not conform to general rules of photography.

    If you are a CPP candidate, I can tell you the CPP written exam was actually harder for me. The image selection process, although frustrating at times, is doable. After all, we make images for living. You just have to remember that goal as you are selecting images. If you are thinking of becoming a candidate, I would encourage you to check out: What is certification and hope you join us. I think you'll find the journey is worth it. I did.

    Vance Wagener, CPP

    Please note: The above is my opinion and observation of the CPP image selection process. CPP liaisons are CPP volunteers who serve at the pleasure of the PPCC and do not write or enforce policy. It is my hope in writing this that CPP candidates may be able to better understand the CPP process.
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    Hope it helps.

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