Benefits / Resources / Articles
March 15, 2024

What Does it Take to Become a Certified Professional Photographer?

What Is a Certified Professional Photographer? 

The CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) designation is the official credential for photographers looking to distinguish themselves within the industry. The program, offered by PPA, assures potential clients of a photographer's knowledge, experience, and ability to develop new skills and techniques. In essence, earning the CPP designation is a declaration of one's professional competence and ability. For photographers who may have entered the industry with loads of passion but a limited formal education, the CPP program provides a solid foundation to elevate their craft and achieve new heights.


Why Become a Certified Professional Photographer?

Photographers who earn their CPP credential do so for three primary reasons:

  • It gives them an edge in advertising their services, as certification promotes trust in clients' and consumers' minds.
  • It's a way to justify the price of services offered by the industry's top photographers.
  • It greatly boosts a photographers confidence and enhances their fluency in the technical aspects of photography.


The CPP Journey

Becoming a certified professional photographer includes these steps: 

  1. Declare Your Candidacy. Your application fee is valid for two years.
  2. Access the Online Curriculum, Videos, Study Materials, and Handbook. PPA gives photographers all the tools they need to prepare for the exam.
  3. Pass the Exam. The test can be taken online with three days' notice or in person at Imaging USA.
  4. Pass the Image Evaluation. Create three assigned images using a CPP Image Kit and submit them for evaluation, which takes place every other month.

The most important effect of the certification process is the impact it has on photographers. Studying for the exam, consulting PPA's resources, and chipping away at a goal is important in any professional's career. Once the CPP credential is achieved, many photographers report feeling more confident in their sessions with clients. Having a handle on the entire technical process allows a photographer to place their focus on the intricacies of what's happening in their sessions, further pushing their creativity. Photographers remark that they stretch their creativity and take greater risks that have huge pay-offs after getting certified. What can the CPP credential do for you? Learn more about the process and consider declaring your candidacy today!