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PPA Today: Certified Professional Photographer: June 2013 Archives

Certified Professional Photographer: June 2013 Archives

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, 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:

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When you're looking for professional services, you pay attention to any certifications or designations the business may have, right? Well, the same can be said for your potential customers searching for a professional photographer.

That's where PPA's Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation can help you out!buck_husson_taylor_cppblog.jpg 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

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Certified Professional Photographer category from June 2013.

Certified Professional Photographer: May 2012 is the previous archive.

Certified Professional Photographer: July 2013 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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