Achieving new goals is always a good place for me to be. I love to be challenged, even when I don’t know how to attain that goal.
The goal in this case was both a personal goal, and a business goal. As many of you know, I recently decided to begin the process of being registered by the only recognized professional photographers certification board available to US photographers (at the time of writing this). The PPA is a body comprised of accomplished professional photographers who work on all manner of things, from copyright law to competitive business practice.
For this article, I want to share the program they offer to photographer who wish to be recognized for their craft and ability.
Firstly, you will have to register with the PPA and submit your application for the professional certification process. Then you must share a collection of images that demonstrate several things. Ability to frame and expose an image with purpose and technical proficiency. Composition that makes sense for the subject and what you were hoping to show/capture. Exposure that is correct for the intended purpose. Good impact for the intended subject, and several other components. These will then be evaluated by a board of professional photographers (your peers) for acceptance within those requirements. Thankfully, I have just passed the bar for that portion of getting certified (yes, I am certifiable).
The next step is to submit your application to take their exam. I found this to be somewhat exciting and a little bit scary. Exciting as I love challenges, and this one offers a long term benefit that some of my challenges don’t. Scary because it has been about 25 or so years since I sat for any kind of exam. When I arrived to take the exam, I had not really considered the outcome too much. Felling sublime, I strolled into a room full of other photographer aspiring to pass the exam. That’s when I began feeling a little “whoa, this look serious”, and less confident than a few minutes earlier. Needless to say, you cannot have your iphone at the ready, so googling answers is out (nothing allowed but you, your pencils and the test papers). OK, settle down and do the test right? Yup. I decided to swallow hard and get busy with the answers. We had two hours (which in retrospect seemed like 10) to complete the exam. About an hour later, I completed the exam and handed it back to the man who was responsible for all the applicants paperwork. So, now what? I went outside, ran into a couple other Denver wedding photographers who were there for image competition judging. Having discussed the industry and some fun thing that have happened in the past few years, I said my farewells and took off.
Skip forward to this morning. I received a letter marked with the PPA’s logo and looking very official. Of course, like an eager kid, I tore it open in anticipation…
I PASSED THE EXAM. ( yay PPA)
So, for all you aspiring wedding photographers in Denver Colorado, I encourage you to start your journey. Get the professional certification, become recognized for your commitment to the craft. And don’t forget to do your homework.
Footnote: Thanks again to Steve for your push. I need a little nudge now and then.