Find Your Path to Success with PPA!

These videos highlight the major accomplishments you can attain through PPA’s education, competitions, and volunteer opportunities. Discover essential information to help you take the next step in your journey as a professional photographer.


Hone your photography skills.
Master business strategies.

Whether you're just starting out or have years of experience, PPA's classes and workshops help you learn new techniques to grow your craft and your business. Available online and in-person, these educational opportunities are designed and led by professional photographers who know the challenges of running a small business.

Over fifteen hundred online classes are available as part of PPA membership. They cover topics ranging from lighting and posing to branding, marketing, sales, and more. There are even videos on specialties like wedding, pet, and portrait photography. The unique online platform makes it easy to track your progress and reach new milestones in your learning, all from your computer or smartphone. There are also free webinars and Facebook Live sessions to help you stay up to date and inspired.

If you're looking to learn in person, check out our photography workshops held every spring and fall. Taking place across the country and online, these small, intimate classes give you an entire day dedicated to a topic of your choice. Plus, you get to network with photographers in your area!  

And of course, there's Imaging USA, the industry's best conference and expo dedicated to all things photography. Each January, over ten thousand photographers gather for three days of classes, live demonstrations, and hands-on activities. It's an annual celebration of our craft that energizes attendees for the entire year to come.

It's never too late to learn something new. And as a PPA member, you earn merits towards a degree when you attend workshops and Imaging USA. So, why wait? Get started on your path to success with all the educational opportunities included in PPA membership.

Bridge the Gap

Get down to business.

Photography is your passion, but as a professional, it's also your business. To aid your growth as an entrepreneur, PPA provides resources and content that help you bridge the gap between you and your consumers. After all, clients' needs and expectations are constantly changing, and the success of your business relies on being able to connect with them.

PPA members have access to an online curriculum devoted specifically to Bridging the Gap topics. They also can view webinars, Facebook Live sessions, and a handy library of recommended reading to find the answers they need to build a successful, sustainable business. Using these tools, you can learn how to establish a healthy entrepreneurial mindset, attract the right clients, understand what your customers want, and take control of your sales process. And to give you even more knowledge, there's a special track of classes dedicated to Bridging the Gap topics each year at Imaging USA, our signature photography conference and expo.

Bridging the Gap classes and resources are an exclusive benefit of PPA membership. Nowhere else will you find this much information about developing your business acumen and keeping your clients satisfied! Take a step towards a more profitable business with these unique resources, designed exclusively for PPA members.


Elevate your craft.

Every industry has its benchmark. Photography has the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation. No matter your specialty, certification is a fundamental step in mastering your craft. Whether you're just getting started or have years of experience under your belt, you'll come out of the certification experience with the knowledge you need to succeed as a photographer in this competitive business.

Our certification program empowers photographers to be knowledgeable, successful, and technically equipped. PPA members pursue certification for a variety of personal and professional reasons, but the most common theme is it helps you sell yourself. Simply put, the CPP gives members a leg up on the competition by inspiring confidence, justifying pricing, and conveying competence to clients. And get this: there's even a certification for drone photographers!

There are three steps to becoming certified. First, declare your candidacy and submit your application. Next, use the resources provided to prepare for and then take the exam in-person or online—by the way, we'll help you get ready for that! Once you've aced the test, you'll submit a selection of photos for technical evaluation. We'll help you get ready for that, too!

If you want to improve your skills and stand out to clients, there's no better way than by becoming a Certified Professional Photographer or Certified Drone Photographer. Take the next step on your path to success by declaring your candidacy today!  

Competition & Awards

Hone your skills and put your images to the test.

PPA competitions are a truly unique way to take your photography to the next level. These events focus on helping you grow as a photographer through constructive feedback that tells you exactly where and how you can improve your work.

When you enter PPA's International Photographic Competition, you can request a personalized critique of your image from a trained juror. Jurors are fellow PPA members who want to help you be the best you can be while making participation both fun and eye-opening! 

The year-round process begins with District Competitions, followed by the International Photographic Competition. It all culminates at Imaging USA with the Grand Imaging Awards ceremony, where award-winners are recognized for their dedication and talent. Participating in competitions not only gives you the chance to earn merits towards a degree, your work might even appear in the prestigious Imaging Excellence Collection or Showcase books, each published annually by Marathon Press.

PPA also recognizes organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to our organization and to the industry as a whole. PPA members nominate their choices, and winners are announced each year at Imaging USA.

Everyone's path to success is unique, but PPA competitions and awards are a surefire way to receive feedback on your work and get recognized for your accomplishments! Take the next step on your journey today.


Give your business an edge.

Anyone can pick up a camera and call themselves a photographer, but not everyone can show that they've put in the work to be the best. PPA degrees help you keep up with the latest the photographic industry has to offer while setting your business apart from the competition. Customers see proof of your expertise, which in turn helps land more clients and justify your prices.

You can pursue 4 degrees: Photographic Craftsman, Master of Photography, Master Artist, and Master of Wedding Photography.

Each degree is obtained by earning 25 merits in specific categories. Merits can be gained through teaching a PPA or PPA Affiliate class, entering photographic competitions, having an image published in Professional Photographer magazine, and volunteering in our community. Once you've earned the required merits, you'll receive your degree as part of an exciting ceremony at Imaging USA, our signature conference and expo.

Stand out from the crowd and show clients you mean business by earning a PPA degree! It's a huge step on your journey to being a successful and profitable photographer.


Get involved and make a difference.

As a nonprofit, PPA relies on its members to make our community the best it can be. There's no better way to give back and help fellow photographers than by volunteering your time and talents to our organization. Not only can you earn merits toward a degree, but you'll help foster professional relationships that last a lifetime while creating learning opportunities for our members.   

One of the best ways to get involved is by serving on one of our many committees. These dedicated groups help guide our organization. Committees help with everything from judging awards and overseeing ethics and bylaws to selecting Imaging USA speakers, organizing photo competitions, and assisting with finances. 

You can also volunteer by sharing your knowledge and expertise with fellow members at our PPA Workshops. Each spring and fall, members of our community apply to lead a day-long session. Held online and across the country, these intimate classes each focus on a specific topic that helps attendees learn a new technical skill or business strategy. Members can also volunteer to lead a Community Network class in their area or train to be a photographic competition juror. Each of these options results in you earning merits towards a degree.  

And if you want a really rewarding experience, consider serving on PPA Council. Councilors make big decisions by attending and voting on changes to PPA's bylaws and electing the Board of Directors. Council elections occur every 3 years, and PPA members vote to decide who they want to represent their region. You can also volunteer to be on PPA's Board of Directors. The board takes an active role in our organization's legal and financial responsibilities, visioning, and policy. Each director serves up to three two-year terms and becomes eligible to run for the executive board after completing their first term.

Nothing shows your commitment to our community like volunteering! Get involved and take the next step on your journey to becoming a PPA superstar!