PPA Today: Certified Professional Photographer Archives
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There's always plenty going on here at PPA. So how about a monthly blog to keep you up to date?
At the start of each month, we'll give you an update on what workshops and live webinars are coming up! There's no excuse to miss out now!
Without further ado, let's take a look.
PPAedu's live webinars are offered FREE to members and non-members alike, but only available on-demand to PPA professional active members and PPAedu subscribers.
Here are this month's live webinars:
November 12, 2 p.m. ET
Learn strategies that can potentially lower your taxes and more with THE expert--PPA's resident CPA, Bridget Jackson!
November 19, 2 p.m. ET
Don't miss part four of SEO expert Brett Snyder's series on... you guessed it... SEO! Read our blog post from last week for more info.
look out for part 5 in early December!
December 3, 2 p.m. ET
And make arrangements for PPA's upcoming workshops!
PPA's Studio Management Services are hosting a few workshops at Imaging USA in Phoenix to help you be more in 2014. If you really want to get the most out of your Imaging experience, head out a few days early for these great pre-convention workshops!
Thursday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
with Carrie Wildes, CPP & Allison Tyler Jones
Register for Business Breakthroughs and we'll throw in a FULL Imaging USA registration for free! Don't miss out on this exclusive deal to get a comprehensive and intimate workshop on your business followed by three days of Imaging USA to give you all the inspiration you need to put your new business plan to action!
And TWO Certification Prep Classes
With Gary Meek, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, A- ASP, EA-ASP
& Kathy Meek, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API
with Al Audleman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API
Friday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
PPA is also offering two SMS Business Basics workshops in Phoenix.
$379 $279 (Save $100!)
with Ann Monteith, M.Photog.Cr.Hon.M.Photog., CPP, ABI, API, A-ASP
$379 $279 (Save $100!)
with Carrie Wildes, CPP
These experts and PPA's Benchmark Survey will help you understand your numbers and be more profitable in 2014!
PPA member, Super Monday instructor and recent CPP recipient, Dave Goldman, has been named a CPP Liaison for the state of North Carolina.
"Becoming a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) was a huge accomplishment for me! Passing the CPP exam and image submission process was incredibly difficult. I now hold a designation that less than 8% of the photographers worldwide hold," stated Goldman. "I also now know that I have the necessary skill set to be professionally recognized by my peers as a Certified Professional Photographer. My clients always love my work, but it takes the recognition to a whole new level when it comes from the industry itself. Working towards the CPP has given me the ability and confidence to create strong images under any conditions and I can produce consistent, repeatable results each and every time."
Dave's passion for teaching inspired him to go above and beyond becoming a CPP to become the first and only state Liaison for North Carolina in Charlotte.
"I love to teach and I wanted to give back to the photography community. Most people have no idea where to turn for learning and they end up at local meet-up groups. These groups are okay when you are starting in the [photography] business," said Dave. "I get very motivated when I see beginners aspire to become certified and I can now help them achieve that. I hope to raise the bar and educate other photographers through workshops and hands-on classes."
Dave has a reason to be motivated--becoming a Certified Professional Photographer has made an significant difference in his business.
"Most photographers claim that certification means nothing to their clients; however in my case that is far from the truth. Would you use a first-year resident as a doctor because you can save a few dollars on an operation or use a specialist recognized by his peers in a particular profession? Certification shows that you took the time to learn about what you are doing and how you perform to a higher standard," said Dave. "Each client that comes to my studio asks me about the very visible certificate on the wall. I explain the difference between CPPs and every-day photographers with a camera and educate them on the investment they are about to make. Certification makes it a critical difference."
View some of Dave's Certification passing images below and if you are interested in pursuing the certification program, here are some easy steps to get started:
First, check out http://certifiedphotographer.com/, then to look for a CPP liaison in your local area and get connected. Find other CPP's and speak with them about what the process, what it brought to them and to their business. They'll help you sort through what certification can do for you. Finally, pair up with a CPP (shadow or second shoot are great options) and see how they do things and learn from them. After all, they are trained to create beautiful images under any circumstances, so you are bound to learn something.
Do you have something you want us to brag on? Tell us here: www.ppa.com/bragbook.
That's where PPA's Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation can help you out! While a consumer may not know much about professional photography, having the CPP designation for your business tells them that they can expect professional quality services and goods from you.
It may seem easier to ignore the certification process, but it can greatly help you and your business' image. Several PPA members weighed-in with their thoughts on the worth of the program.
In a former life, Mary Buck, CPP, was in real estate. As such, licensing and keeping up with the credential requirements was a must in her line of business.
"Even before I started turning photography into my full-time business, I could see how some people could resist the certification process, because there is such a low barrier to entry into the field," she said. "I believe there should be a certain bar, in any industry, and certification does that for us photographers.
"The clients who care, and the ones I want, are the ones that respect me for making a commitment to my profession."
Studies have shown that having professional certification is the most widely recognized consumer credential, so certification can turn into a big advantage over your competition.
However, the CPP designation has more advantages than just giving you a leg up on your competitors. It will also make you a more confident photographer.
"What happened to me on the business side wasn't nearly as profound as what I found on the inside," said Stuart Husson, CPP. "The process to become certified was personal. I thought it would enhance my business, but that turned out to be secondary.
"I simply wanted to see if I was good enough, but the boost in self-confidence was such that it gave me the assurance that it was okay to turn down potential clients who did not meet my preferred client profile."
As you might expect, earning a CPP designation does take some effort and work on your part. In order to become a CPP, you must pass both a written exam on photography techniques and skills as well as the image submission review, where you'll submit your own photographs to be accepted by the Certification panel.
The process can also help fill in any gaps in your photographic knowledge, as 2013 first time CPP, Andrea Taylor, CPP, shared.
"I decided to become certified because I didn't go to photography school," she said. "I'm an emotional photographer, so it forced me to study and do things I wouldn't have done otherwise. I really tapped into a lot of technical parts of photography and I expect this process to impact my business because of my personal feelings about the whole process. The more confident I am, the better I can serve my clients."
To help you along the way towards becoming a CPP and to prepare you for the challenges of the exam, PPA hosts Certification Preparation classes. There's one coming up July 15-17, at PPA's headquarters in Atlanta, GA.
If you've ever considered taking the CPP exam, this class is for you. In fact, during these three days we will review all the technical topics covered by the exam. It's an in-depth study of the technical side of photography, almost equivalent to a semester of college!
Topics covered during the class include:
- The Inverse Square Law, Filter Factors, Bellows Factor
- Lenses and Filters
- Color Theory and H&D Curves
- Lighting Ratios, Corrective Lighting and Posing, Depth of Field, Angle of View
- The Zone System (and how it helps you understand the digital histogram)
- Difference between a Bit, a Byte and Bit Depth
Are you 100% familiar with these six topics? Taking the Certification Preparation class is sure to make you more relaxed and confident when it comes time to take the exam. Better yet, you'll be able to choose to take the exam at the end of the class when all this information is fresh in your head.
If you're nervous about the image submission portion of the certification process, there is an optional fourth day of class on July 18 that will explain the submission criteria and show you some examples of certifiable images.
If you're ready to become a Certified Professional Photographer, sign up for the Certification Preparation class in Atlanta July 15-17! And don't forget about the optional Image Submission Preparation class on July 18.
Need more? Check out how becoming a CPP can help your business.
Plus, the CPP program can help assure clients of your competency--certification is a credential the public can easily understand. After all, many industries have certification programs for their professionals.
Add it all together, and you may be wondering, "Why AREN'T I certified?" But we saved the best news for last: It's easy to get started. Just go to CertifiedPhotographer.com to declare your candidacy.
Even better? There's a Certification Prep Class in Atlanta (July 9-11) that will help you study for the exam and then take it! Many past attendees have praised these prep classes with helping them pass the rigorous exam, so it might be a smart action to consider.
So, are you ready to get certified?
Ever wondered what certification can really do for you as a photographer? As Lew Everling, Cr.Photog., CPP, of L-Photography & Design says: "The fact that you have worked hard to pass the examination and qualify your images proves you have the ability to work under pressure, handle nearly any situation, and take the initiative!"
But do your clients understand that? Do they even know if you are a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP)? It's one of the most widely recognized credentials (almost every industry has certifications), but it won't promote itself. That's why Lew stresses the need to market certification--showcase those extra steps you took to set yourself apart from the competition.
Whether you're a newly minted CPP, have had the bragging rights for years or are considering the program, browse these tips on boosting awareness in print, in public and beyond.