Wondering why I made that logo up there so BIG? Well because it's a BIG DEAL!
I set a goal for 2018 to become a CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER. THIS WEEKEND MY COMPLETED GOAL FOR 2018 WILL BE CELEBRATED.
For the 4th time, I am attending the largest convention for professional photographers in the nation. This year I am attending as a CERTIFIED professional photographer. As I pack for my trip to Atlanta, Georgia I wanted to take a minute to share with you all why this year seems so special! I will even get to wear my CERTIFIED pin on my name badge! (eeeekkkk seems silly but it's sorta a big deal!)
I have been a member of the Professional Photographers of America organization since 2014. Why? Well because they offer so many resources and education for photographers. They push each member to be the best, most creative, most educated, most protected and most successful photographer possible. Just a few of the things they offer are equipment insurance, legal advocacy, challenges, tools, a monthly magazine, a huge annual convention where over 10,000 photographers & videographers gather to further their education, 'talk shop' and speak the same language, and be awarded the most prestigious credentials and awards in the industry! To put it simply, PPA helps professional photographers to stay knowledgable and up to date with the constant changes in the craft and the industry.. but to become a CERTIFIED photographer requires extra work to achieve and maintain a higher standard.
The journey to becoming a Certified Professional Photographer isn't easy....
PPA currently recognizes fewer than 2,500 CPPs NATIONWIDE, so you gotta know your stuff or you simply don't earn the title and letters behind your name! In order to become a Certified Professional Photographer, I had to complete an intensive program that measured artistic and technical competence. CPPs must pass a written examination, finish an image portfolio evaluation by accomplished judges, and adhere to a strict code of conduct. Trust me.. I was nervous about the entire process!
Becoming certified was added to my 'bucket list' for about 2 years now. I decided that doing this for myself would also mean a lot to my clients. Secretly I love being a lifetime student and want to constantly learn and be tested on my knowledge!
But let me tell you, its just like any other goal we tend to put off... my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner!
So why was it on my bucket list?
Well, first... because these days, it's too easy to buy a camera, get a website or facebook page, call yourself a "photographer", and start taking money before you even have a clue of how to get the darn camera out of 'auto mode'! Think about it.. can a doctor run out and buy a scalpel and start performing surgeries? Heck no and thank goodness! What about other industries? There are several professions that have a set of standards and accomplishments that anyone desiring to be a professional must perform.
Personally, I prefer to do business with professionals that know what they're doing and have a proven track record. It matters... plain and simple!
The truth is that Certified Professionals give you:
Consistency- To achieve great results.. every time.
Technical Skills- Because we understand the equipment and technical side of our art.. we are more than 'picture takers'.
Unique Artistry- We have the skills to create unique, customized works of art—not cookie-cutter pictures.
Professionalism- You know you’re getting someone who is willing to go the extra mile to deliver the best possible images and products for your family.
So what does this mean for you as my clients? That I'll continually work hard to provide the best that I can offer in my craft, knowledge, creativity, latest products and equipment to give you a greatest experience from the moment you book me to the second your beautiful portraits are displayed in your home.
What's next? I'm thankful and proud to have accomplished a big goal I set for myself this past year... and I won't stop here! I have so many new and exciting things up my sleeve for the coming months and year... and I can't wait to share each of them with you! Having earned my CPP doesn't mean that I'll stop learning and growing as a portrait artist... to stop now would be going backwards!
Guess What? PPA has another level of certification as a photographer that I can set as my next goal and even an option to become a photographer educator as well. HUMMM what should I do next for my goals?
What do you think should I become a teacher of photography? Tell me what you think!!