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PPA Today: PPA Merits and Degrees Archives

Recently in PPA Merits and Degrees Category

Lasting structures are built on great foundations.

PPA was created way back in the 1800's, and you, our members, have been pushing yourselves to be more ever since. One of the big ways to do so and to create an ever-lasting impact on your business is to pursue professional merits and degrees in photography!

Created in 1937, PPA's Merit & Degree program (this is PPA's longest-standing educational program) works hand-in-hand with other educational events and competitions, helping you earn a photographic degree that recognizes your achievements in the profession. It means you have met PPA's standards of excellence and service. More importantly, it provides you with another tool for telling the world--and all those potential clients--why they should call you, rather than the competitor down the street.

Chasing a photography degree is one of the best ways to boost your confidence (and your clients' too!) and rub elbows with the best in the business. If you're a PPA member, you're in the right place to seek these marks of competence and excellence. You can earn many credentials through PPA, including becoming a Photographic Craftsman and even a Master Photographer. 

But how do you earn them? The International Photographic Competition (IPC) is a good start!
Entering photographic competitions like the IPC is one of the best ways to earn merits toward your degrees. I wrote in length about the experience itself  from a spectator's perspective, but the growth potential for a photographer is huge. And on top of just the potential merits, we're talking skill AND dollars here. Have I already mentioned that the growth potential for a photographer is huge?

It's easy enough to enter; you just need to push yourself just that little bit more. You must want to achieve a certain standard of artistry that will set you apart from the rest. You'll grow your skillset, you'll meet fellow photographers and even mentors, and the best part? You and your clients will notice your work improve.  

And odd as it may seem very few photographers currently hold degrees. By urging yourself to be more and entering those competitions, once you earn enough merits for a degree, you will simply and truly be joining the elite.

As I mentioned, this year's IPC just took place, but it is never too early to start preparing your images for next year! Be on the lookout for district competitions opening in the Spring! And come to Imaging USA in Phoenix this January to see for yourself all those images that merited and went Loan.

And if you need any more inspiration, make sure you read longtime member Dave Huntsman's essay on why he earned his degrees.

Be more accomplished! Go after a PPA degree.

degrees.JPGWendy Newman, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, recently earned both her Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees from PPA. One of her reasons for pushing herself toward those degrees was her clientele. "My clientele are predominately professionals, such as physicians, lawyers and pro athletes...all of whom are familiar with what it takes to become a 'professional,'" she says. "In all of those fields, it takes a lot of hard work, practice, dedication and continual testing or trials to validate their abilities. My PPA degrees assure my clients that they are dealing with a qualified photographer who is at the top of her game. "

Curious about PPA's degrees and how you can earn them (and use them), too? PPA has created a website that walks you through the what, why and how of those degrees and merits:

According to the latest PPA member survey, many members would like more explanation about the Merit & Degree program and what is involved with it. Inquiring minds want to know, so take a look at the following articles that dip into the inner workings:

judging.jpgDuring a week where the halls of Gwinnett Technical College in Atlanta, Ga., would normally be quiet for the summer, a different kind of education is underway. Forty-nine PPA-Approved Affiliate Jurors are applying new technology to the long-standing processes in the annual International Photographic Competition judging for PPA merits and the coveted Showcase and Loan Collections.

Some 5,000 images are making their way through a rigorous selection process where trained jurors critique each individually, based on the 12 elements of a merit image. That said, this year's judging process is moving faster and more efficiently than ever, thanks to new, hand-held scoring pads based on Apple's iPod technology, which allow jurors to vote electronically and quickly tally decisions.

Have you ever heard the expression, "Go big or go home"? It entails giving something your all and not looking back--committing to put in 100 percent and nothing less. It's a phrase meant to inspire and thrust you into action.

Now, I admit that "go big or go home" is not a phrase commonly associated with photography. But when you apply it to PPA's International Photographic Competition, it fits perfectly.

If you've entered the competition before, you know what I'm talking about. But if you've never entered the International Photographic Competition, you have no idea what you are missing out on (and it's a lot!). You have the opportunity to gain so much from the experience alone, not to mention the honors and awards you have the potential to earn. Make this year the year to go big! Read this week's vital signs here.

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

P.S. Name your price to advertise! PPA has a new, members-only mall advertising offer that will allow you to display your work in local malls at a price with which you feel comfortable. This opportunity is only available until June 27, 2010, so hurry and visit PPA members can login here for the promo code.

Dear PPA Member,

When I graduated college, the people who knew about my accomplishment consisted of my family and anyone who receive a graduation announcement in the mail (well, and anyone who attended the graduation ceremony). There was no assuming that my family's doctor or my childhood friend knew that I had received my college degree. Most importantly, there was no way potential employers could know that I had received my college degree. It was up to me to not only promote my accomplishment, but to use it.

The same goes for your PPA degree. Once you've earned your merits and received your ribbon at the Award & Degree Ceremony at Imaging USA, the power of your degree lies in your hands. This week's Vital Signs gives you some ideas on how to promote and market your PPA degree. But don't feel like you're limited to our ideas--use what works best for you to show both your peers AND your clients what you have accomplished!

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

Dear PPA Member,

Last week I talked about the joys of summer break--no homework, no waking up early and a little bit of free time. But don't forget I also mentioned that I enjoyed school! I looked forward to learning about the subjects I was passionate about and getting to go on field trips for a firsthand look at what we were learning about in the classroom.

As a photographer, I'm going to guess that you are passionate about photography, right? And I wouldn't be surprised if you said you enjoyed shooting on location or going to industry events--activities that get you out of your studio and let you use your knowledge (like a grown-up field trip). For those of you who find yourself in agreement with these statements, this week's Vital Signs is a must read. PPA's Merit & Degree program not only gives you the opportunity to continue your education, it also rewards you for your effort (and all without the early morning school bus rides)!

Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the PPA Merits and Degrees category.

PPA Membership is the previous category.

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