Aly Kuler, CPP, is a photographer from Parsippany, New Jersey. He’s been a member of PPA since 2018, and his work placed first in the wedding category at the 2021 Grand Imaging Awards. Aly has developed a creative and dynamic style of wedding photography, thanks in part to the Certified Professional Photographer designation from PPA.
We asked Aly to tell us about his experience becoming a Certified Professional Photographer and what PPA members can expect out of the process. If you’ve ever wanted a firsthand account of what the CPP process entails and what the benefits of being certified are, keep reading!
I'm a self-taught photographer, so I always wondered if I was missing something. I started the CPP process because I wanted to see if I was on the right path and to educate myself more. On top of that, I wanted to stand out from so many amateur photographers and give solid support to my business.
Honestly, I would say the CPP process would have been overwhelming without PPA education center help. I didn't know where to go or what to do, but PPA has links to everything and instructions on how to get ready for the exam. They even have prep classes. I signed up for the CPP in April 2018 but never had the time to finish it. I was super busy with the business. In 2020, when the coronavirus started to spread and all weddings were postponed, I took advantage of this time and restarted the process at the end of March. It was very short time, but I was very determined to finish it on time. I won't lie, I have learned way more than I know.
Taking this process has already doubled my skills and knowledge of photography. It added finesse to my style and gave me confidence in my business. It's the golden phrase to say to my clients when they are thinking of hiring me. Also, it helped me increase my prices, and the clients can not disagree with it. It added value to my business.
If you're on the fence about whether or not to get certified, definitely go for it. I was thinking the same at the beginning, but I'm so happy that I did it. I even became certified after I was already a professional and award-winning photographer, but I still doubled my skills thanks to this process.
Of course, you don't need a certification to be a professional, but if you want to elevate yourself from the crowd, there's no better way than by becoming a CPP.
Interested in learning more? Check out this article on becoming a Certified Professional Photographer.