Photography Certification
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    North Platte, NE
    Posts
    1,884

    Default Photography Certification

    Just ran to Walmart and as I went past their photo studio, I saw a big poster advertizing for help wanted. One of the benefits listed was "Photography Certification". I'm wondering how close that comes to trademark infringement of Certified Professional Photography. The way my lawyer explained it to me (several years ago though) was if the name was close enough as to create confusion in the mind of consumers then it was considered infringement - or some other such legal term.

    Holly
    Holly Howe M.Photog., Cr.
    www.1224artdolls.com

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi Holly
    Thanks for the heads up. I'm kinda surprised they haven't done this before now. One thing it tells me is that our certification process must be making waves around the industry. Imitation is the highest form of flattery. To be honest with you I'm not a big fan of state organizations certification programs either. It becomes redundant and confusing. I know PPA now has a program of multiple certifications and frankly I think it just dilutes the designation. I know it is supposed to seperate the disciplines but I'm certified period. Not a certified senior portrait photographer or certified wedding photographer or certified banana photographer etc. I don't think Wal-Mart certified will be much use outside their own studios. I can see them holding it over one anothers heads but so few of them work there for more than six months that I doubt that it will have much clout even in their own shops. If consumers can't distinguish between PPA Certified and Wal-Mart Certified than we are in trouble.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Palmyra, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,214

    Default The next time ...

    Hi Holly;

    The Walmart in my town has no "portrait studio". The next time I'm near a town where the Walmart has one I'll casually ask about it. Now that PPA joined all other professions that have certification, we have more clout. Once I get some info I'll talk to PPA about it.

    Hi David;

    The only state that I know of with their own certification is Ohio. They had it first and PPA got the idea from them. Here in Pa., we have a group of C.P.P.'s but we meet for programs and speakers. I am a liaison and proctor the exam for PPA but otherwise our state has nothing to do with it. If you know of other states, besides Ohio, that have their own certifiction please let me know.

    D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog, PPA C.P.P. Liaison, ASP
    floryphotog@mindspring.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Albemarle, NC
    Posts
    2

    Default Certification

    This may not be the place to ask this but here goes anyway. I am very new to the forum. I will graduate on Saturday with my associates degree in portrait photography. How do you go about becoming certified through PPA?

    Smiles,
    Kelly Story
    Her Story Photography & Art

  5. #5

    Default

    Hello Craig
    I am a member of the Associated Professional Photographers of Illinois. I have never looked into it because I think my PPA Cert is more valuable but on the "About" page of the APPI it says they have a certification program. Now I don't know for sure but I don't think it is a study group. I think it is their own certification. Here is the link http://www.appillinois.org/html/AboutUs.php

    Kelly
    Send Craig a private message. He is the most knowledgeable about certification on the forum. I had no idea Ohio's certification was older than PPA's! Learn something new from Craig everyday!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Normal, Illinois
    Posts
    7,783

    Default

    Craig, any company can set up its own "certification" program the same way Microsoft has set up certification programs for Microsoft Office, et cetera. Anyone can become "Word Certified" or "Access Certified" through Microsoft.

    It may be possible to force Wal-Mart to asterisk it with "Not associated with Professional Photographers of America" or something like that.
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  7. #7

    Default Certification

    I may be way off base here but I was under the impression that Certification for photographers was no longer specific to PPA that anyone anywhere can become certified now as long as they met the requirements ( Passing the test, image submission).

    If I am wrong please correct me on this.

    John

  8. #8

    Default

    Having been involved on the Board of Directors during the time the Certification prograpm was revamped, I can tell you that one of the NOCA (National Organization of Credentialing Associations) guidelines is that there has to be a separation between the credential and the credentialing association. Microsoft does not run the Microsoft credentialing program. That is why the PPA Certified program had to be spun off under the leadership of a new association and was made available to non-PPA members. While PPA, through the Board of Directors, has representation on the Certification Board, it is a separate entity outside of the PPA governing body.
    This being said, I am at a loss to explain how or why the current Board of Directors at the June meeting could vote to eliminate usage of the PPA Certified logo and the term PPA Certified, by September 1, 2007, in favor of the "generic" term Certified Professional Photographer or CPP. This would be like Microsoft Certified being reduce to the term "Certified Database Professional". PPA has spent millions of dollars in brand recognition and now is eliminating that brand from a very popular consumer awareness program. In addition, as of Sept 1 of this year, the recognition of PPA Certified will no longer be used in any PPA publications. The Degree recognitions will once again come first, followed by the generic term CPP.

    Just a little FYI

    Don Mitchell,
    PPA Certified, M.Photog.,Cr.,Hon.M.Photog

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Central New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,322

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly Howe
    Just ran to Walmart and as I went past their photo studio, I saw a big poster advertizing for help wanted. One of the benefits listed was "Photography Certification". I'm wondering how close that comes to trademark infringement of Certified Professional Photography. The way my lawyer explained it to me (several years ago though) was if the name was close enough as to create confusion in the mind of consumers then it was considered infringement - or some other such legal term.

    Holly
    Talking about it here will not help stop infringement.

    CALL PPA STAFF and inform them. A free call....
    Certainly Al Hopper would tell you who to contact.

    To the one who wants to become "Certified", there is a section of www.ppa.com to anwswer all your questions. A forum is not necessarily the place to get totally correct and complete answers.

    George
    George Hawkins
    Cr. Photog.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    North Platte, NE
    Posts
    1,884

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by George Hawkins
    CALL PPA STAFF and inform them. A free call....
    Certainly Al Hopper would tell you who to contact.

    George
    Thanks George, You are absolutely correct. However I am not certified nor plan to be at any time in the future. So I have no vested interest in correcting what might be an infraction of trademark. I noticed it and thought perhaps, if this was a cause for concern, maybe a CPP would like to pursue it and contact PPA. Thanks again for the good advice. I hope someone takes you up on it.

    Holly
    Holly Howe M.Photog., Cr.
    www.1224artdolls.com

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