Photography Certification - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    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

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Stein
    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
    John, you are correct. Both PPA members and non-PPA members may become certified. There is a difference in the application fee amount ($100 per year for members, $500 up front for non-members if I remember correctly).
    Betsy Finn, Cr.Photog., CPP
    bphotoart :: learnwithbetsy :: email

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holly Howe
    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
    Alright I did a little of my online research ....

    Lifetouch allows their photographers to become certified (that's the company that has studios at Walmart, btw). Besides finding this comment by a former employee, I was unable to find anything about certification relating to Lifetouch -- except myspace profiles of those employed as "certified photographers with Lifetouch Studios.
    I became a 'certified' photographer through Lifetouch and it did not get me squat in the real world. I started assisting an old-school medium format all metering by hand wedding photographer 3 years ago, and humped equipment, and set up lights, and sweat, and I learned more doing that in 2 weekends than in 3 years in a perfect little climate controlled studio with a remote control camera. You CAN learn the basics of posing, composition, and developing expression in a corporate studio. But you will learn nothing about lighting, exposure, or developing a client relationship. Corporate studios are just that, and if robots could zerbert, fall down, and make faces, they could be corporate studio photographers. (link to thread)
    [I've sent an email to Al Hopper, if/when I get a response, I'll paste the results here]
    Last edited by Betsy_Finn; 08-08-2006 at 03:07 PM.
    Betsy Finn, Cr.Photog., CPP
    bphotoart :: learnwithbetsy :: email

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mitchell
    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.

    Hey Don,

    To answer your question about eliminating PPA Certified logo, please read the first paragraph of your own post above.

    In order to make Certification more valuable and not an "association" certification, but an industry certification, like CPAs, we followed NOCA's suggestion and separated Certification into it's own entity. As such, it's no longer PPA Certified.
    Why would we want to add confusion in the marketplace with competing certifications, if PPA no longer does certification?
    Having a "PPA" certification would dilute the value of Certification. Rather than being perceived as an industry designation, it would appear to be only an association designation, which it's now not.

    As someone involved very early on, as you were, I’m confused as to why you question this. It seems very logical to me.

    Would you go to an accountant that was certified by "The Association of a Bunch of Us That Got Together to Give Each Other Awards" (Known by their acronym ABUTGTTGEOA) , or would you rather an accountant that the industry certified?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Reznicki
    Hey Don,

    To answer your question about eliminating PPA Certified logo, please read the first paragraph of your own post above.

    In order to make Certification more valuable and not an "association" certification, but an industry certification, like CPAs, we followed NOCA's suggestion and separated Certification into it's own entity. As such, it's no longer PPA Certified.

    Why would we want to add confusion in the marketplace with competing certifications, if PPA no longer does certification?
    Having a "PPA" certification would dilute the value of Certification. Rather than being perceived as an industry designation, it would appear to be only an association designation, which it's now not.
    Because nobody would know who was doing the certification. We know what the Bar Association is for lawyers. We know who the State is for nurses and such (does the state certify CPA? I thought so. If not, then I don't trust those buggers, either). We know about trade unions. In all those cases, we basically do have professionals creating the certification requirements and doing the certification, and we have a hazy idea of who those professionals are (at least we think we do).

    So who the heck is certifying photographers, and how are they any better than a Wal-Mart certification? I'm sitting here as a PPA member having read what you've said and realizing I don't have the slightest idea who these people are or what they stand for, or what the certification means.

    Microsoft may not do the actual certification for an MCSE, but I can be sure an MCSE knows Microsoft processes. I can be sure someone with a Cisco certification knows Cisco processes. What, now, does CPP actually mean?

    Would you go to an accountant that was certified by "The Association of a Bunch of Us That Got Together to Give Each Other Awards" (Known by their acronym ABUTGTTGEOA)
    ABUTGTTGEOA is the definition of "the industry." Who else should be doing the certification? Who else but accountants should certify accountants?
    Last edited by KirkDarling; 08-08-2006 at 06:14 PM.
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkDarling
    So who the heck is certifying photographers, and how are they any better than a Wal-Mart certification?
    Good question.
    To me, if you are OK with a "Wal-Mart" certification on anything, then you're a loyal WM shopper. Odds are you're concerned with price over anything else.

    Certification is about educating your own clients. You sort of have to do that work.
    There was a previous thread where someone said they asked they prospective client, if the other photographers they were looking at were certified. The client asked "What's certification" which gave the photographer an opening to explain and educate that client. He booked the job.

    Others have stated they booked clients because the clients understood certification. Will everyone? I doubt it. I don't believe that's the norm. But it does give you a marketing tool, a very powerful one, and explaining that it's an independant certification association approved nationally by the certification board, does carry more weight.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Reznicki
    Good question.
    To me, if you are OK with a "Wal-Mart" certification on anything, then you're a loyal WM shopper. Odds are you're concerned with price over anything else.
    Jack, you sidestepped the question. If I saw "Wal-Mart Certified," at least I know who to blame if the picture is lousy.

    Who is currently responsible for the CPP criteria? What organization? What is the membership? What is the URL of their website? Where can I read their mission and vision statements? ISO has a website. Where is there's?

    How can I be expected to "educate" my client on the value of certification when I don't have the slightest idea of who these people actually are and what their criteria really are?
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkDarling
    Who is currently responsible for the CPP criteria? What organization? What is the membership? What is the URL of their website? Where can I read their mission and vision statements? ISO has a website. Where is there's?
    http://www.certifiedphotographer.com/
    -Marc Benjamin, M. Photog. Cr. F-PPC
    marcbenjamin.com

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkDarling
    Jack, you sidestepped the question.
    Kirk,

    Sorry if it appeared that way. Not my intention. I was trying to clear it up, not add confusion.
    So rather than trip over my tongue again, I asked staff at PPA to try and clarify. Al Hopper, who is involved with this, will be posting a message here shortly.

    Thanks.

  10. #20

    Default CPP program

    Comments on the CPP program and who is actually minding the store when it comes to certification.

    First, I want to thank Holly for giving us a “heads up” Wal-Mart “Photography Certification.” Kirk’s post about how companies use the word “certification” is right on the money. We can’t trademark the term certified, but we can and do trademark the Certified Professional Photographer logos.

    Wal-Mart portrait studios are operated by PCA (Portrait Corporation of America) and it appears that they advertise a multi-level “certification program” to potential employees.

    The issue with PCA’s “certification” is whether it could possibly cause confusion in the marketplace (legal term). This might give us the basis of an objection to their use of the term. We will be investigating this through our attorneys shortly.

    Let me also comment and attempt to answer some of the other points made in this thread.

    The whole purpose of a certification program is to give professional photographers and members a means of setting themselves apart in the marketplace. Consumers understand what “certified” means and can relate it to other certifications such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A consumer may not know who “certified” a professional, like an accountant, but they perceive that some group reviewed a professional’s skills and knowledge and pronounced them competent in a profession.

    The Certified Professional Photographer program has significantly evolved over the last decade to make it better for CPPs, more credible as a credential and to better withstand legal challenges.

    At the direction of PPA’s Board, with technical guidance from the standards established by the National Organization of Competency Assurance (NOCA, the overseer of credentialing organizations) the Certification program was revamped. Following an in-depth study of what it really takes to be a professional photographer, in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities; diverse teams of experienced and knowledgeable professional photographers were involved in developing the questions used on the certification exam. The exam is how technical competency is measured. Candidates must also have a submission of 20 “client” images be judged has being of good professional quality.

    For legal reasons certification must be available to any professional photographer, regardless of membership in an organization. For this, we must allow non-members to become certified; however since PPA pioneered the development of the credential our members can (legally) get a huge discount (the non-member application fee is $500). In my 12 years at PPA it has not happened.

    In order to be credible to the public and to meet potential legal scrutiny a further step in the evolution took place last year with the establishment of the Professional Photographic Certification Commission, generally referred to as the Commission. It is a legally separate entity, but is still very closely allied to PPA. The Commission is charged with the behind the scenes administration of the CPP program including research and the development of exam questions.

    More information about certification and the commission can be found at http://certifiedphotographer.com. You can also navigate to it via www.ppa.com.

    The specialties that were referred to in one post are “specialty endorsements.” These were developed, at the request of photographers, to give a CPP some additional marketing muscle. The concept is that if a CPP wanted to enter the high school senior market they can earn the Certified High School Senior Photographer specialty endorsement and use it to advertise their services to that specific market.

    Specialty endorsements are not required to be a CPP.

    Special thanks to Betsy Finn for her informative post on how to become certified. BTW – I met some of the members of the study group at the MMM Conference. We are very impressed at what all of you are doing.

    There are currently just under 2,000 Certified Professional Photographers. Some successfully use certification to expand their business and tell potential clients why they (the potential client or customer) should hire them instead of the competition.

    Please feel free ask questions and get further information by visiting our web sites or contact me directly.

    Al Hopper, CAE (it stands for Certified Association Executive)
    PPA
    800-786-6277 or ahopper@ppa.com

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