©Aly Kuler

Symbol of Achievement

Accounting, counseling, investing—no matter what kind of service consumers are seeking, they consistently value the credential of certification. Photography is no exception. Prospective clients may not understand the craft of photography, but they intuitively appreciate the idea of using a certified professional.

PPA’s certified professional photographer designation is the credential for photographers who want to set themselves apart in the minds of consumers. The CPP program assures potential clients of a photographer’s knowledge and commitment to continual development of their skills. It’s a declaration of professional competence and ability.

Many photographers enter the profession with lots of passion but not a lot of formal photography education. In addition to adding professional credibility, the CPP program gives photographers a solid foundation in the craft.

©Aly Kuler
©Aly Kuler

Research by PPA finds that photographers who earn their CPP credential do so for three primary reasons:

  1. It gives them an edge in advertising their services, as certification promotes trust in the minds of consumers.
  2. It’s one more way for photographers to justify the price of their services.
  3. The process of earning certification provides an education that elevates photographers’ skills.

In other words, it helps you improve and sell your abilities as a photographer. “You don’t need a certification to be a professional, but I wanted to elevate myself from the crowd,” says Aly Kuler, CPP, of Cornwall, New York. “As a self-taught photographer, I wanted to see if I was on the right path and to educate myself more. The CPP process has doubled my skills and knowledge of photography. It added finesse to my style and huge confidence in my business. And as a result, it added value to my business and helped me increase my prices.”

There’s a three-step process to becoming a certified professional photographer:

  1. Declare your CPP candidacy to PPA.
  2. Pass the CPP exam.
  3. Create a prescribed set of images and pass the technical image evaluation.

Certified photographers recertify every three years to maintain the credential, which is as straightforward as earning 15 continuing education units during that time period.