A while back I was told by another (possibly well intentioned) photographer regarding my Certification in Photography, “Don’t push your Certification around. It absolutely holds no value whatsoever and means nothing to the end client”. After I left our conversation, it sort of made sense to me at the moment… then it started to simmer in. His justification for that comment: if (I quote) my photography didn’t have a leg to stand on, then I would use my Certification to validate that my work was in fact good enough. Another argument made was, “how do I know the people giving out the certification are accredited?”. In essence he was asking, who is this Professional Photographic Certification Commission?

While I agree at some level with what he was saying, I realized he felt threatened. Threatened of what? After all, he was a successful photographer with a thriving business model and without a Certification… take that PPA! Regardless, the experience not only strengthened my resolve but it also made me realize how much value the designation is for me (I’ll show him!!).

This subject has come up for a while and I thought it would be great to address it. Several people have asked me, “what is a Certified Professional Photographer?” The following is pulled from www.ppa.com – It’s important to note that holding the Certified designation itself doesn’t make any photographer a rock star (but it sure helps), read on…

“It’s no surprise that the advent of the digital camera spurred a tremendous growth of newer photographers competing with established professional photographers for clients. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, there will be 169,500 individuals in the United States claiming to be professional photographers by 2018, a 12% increase in just ten years.

Professional photographers today are finding themselves having to re-evaluate their place in the market. Now, more than ever, it’s essential that professional photographers obtain and maintain a competitive advantage to ensure business longevity. One of the many ways to obtain this competitive advantage is through the Certified Professional Photographer program.

What is the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) program?
Studies show that certification is the most widely recognized consumer credential. Consumers may not know a lot about professional photography, but they know that certification should ensure professional-quality goods and services. Clients in every industry seek out credentialed professionals, as the public recognizes certification as a sign that one is an authority in the field. A Certified Professional Photographer designation offers potential clients an assurance, not just of quality, but of technical skill and artistic expertise.

Those who have earned the Certified Professional Photographer designation have passed a comprehensive written exam measuring their technical expertise, and have successfully submitted their work to a panel of judges for review and approval.

It’s important to note that while PPA supports the endeavors of the CPP program participants, the designation itself is administered by The Professional Photographic Certification Commission (PPCC), following the standards for certification established by Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE). The Professional Photographic Certification Commission meets on a regular basis to insure that the certification process is always current and reflects the new advances in our profession of photography.”

Soooooo in a nutshell, it doesn’t hurt to be a Certified Professional Photographer. Since my Certification, my work has not gone unnoticed. I recently landed a great opportunity to do some commercial work in the Hollywood scene, that is freak’n awesome! Now you tell me if Certification doesn’t help?

Comments are more than welcomed, even criticism. Bring it!! LOL 😉