My CPP Story

By Tracy Page, CPP

My path to a CPP has just been a natural part of my journey as an artist. As a portrait painter coming into portrait photography, I am on a quest to soak in every possible detail of how I create my images. You could say this has completely possessed me.

In this process of being completely possessed, I outlined goals for myself that seemed natural in progression. It was a very tough time in my life with a dying parent that divided my attention. But the CPP seemed like having a child—there might never be an ideal time to go through the process but it's a process I needed to go through nonetheless.

And it was through this process that I realized my first extremely valuable, unexpected tool. I gained my first mentor when I met Eric Richards and was suddenly no longer operating in a vacuum. Eric was not only the instructor of my Certification class that I took through PPA, but he was also my Certification Liaison for Georgia. I did not realize the value of a CPP Liaison until I spent some time with Eric (who also taught the value of starting a class with a great Krispy Kreme donut). Because of Eric I learned to reach out to other photographers and learn from a growing number, all of who have impacted who I am as a portrait artist. And with each one of these mentors and a growing number of friends, my circle has grown and I have learned to share not just knowledge but common experience.

I am a CPP but that is just the start of the process. I am competing now and working on my PPA Masters and Craftsman degree. Where it was once just me, myself and I, I am now a part of a greater and growing community of photographers. I have discovered I enjoy leading and teaching as much as I enjoy learning. I really am in love with the direction my photography and my journey is headed. I consider myself a very lucky girl—some people never discover where their journey in this life is supposed to head. I am well on my path.

Just as a side note, I mentioned my Dad above. My greatest cheerleader called me every day after my test to see if the mail had brought my results and he was the first one I called when they arrived. My Dad passed away the week my image submission was due and it was my Liaison Eric Richards who encouraged me to complete my submission regardless of what that week had brought. In honor of my Dad I am happy to say that I completed the process that week just as Dad would have expected me to do. Somewhere upstairs, I know Dad is guiding me still.

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