In December I took the exam to become a Certified Professional Photographer. I just got news that I passed! This was the second requirement to gain this certification. With less than 8% of photographers worldwide being certified, this is quite an accomplishment! The first part of the certification process is submitting 20 images taken over the past 2 years to a panel of judges. These images must be from paying clients (no cute pictures of your own kids allowed!) and must meet a strict standard of excellence in order to pass inspection. It's quite nerve-wracking to wait for your results in the mail, but I was thrilled in April when I received the news that I had passed.
So what exactly does this mean? Well, it means that I get to put "CPP" behind my name and that I join an elite group of photographers who are recognized by the photographic community as attaining a standard of excellence. Does this mean that I know everything and am the best photographer in the world? Absolutely not! If anything, this process has just taught me how much more there is to learn! The photography world is always changing with new equipment and techniques, and I am constantly inspired by other photographers who are doing absolutely amazing work. I will continue to learn and grow as a photographer. And maybe after a while, I'll go for a more advanced photographic degree.
Are certified professional photographers the only ones who are good photographers? Absolutely not! I have many photographer friends who are amazing, but have not yet taken the steps to become certified. My friend and mentor just became certified last year, but before that, she won second place in the cover contest for Professional Photographer magazine, and later had an article published about her in the same magazine. She had won numerous other contests and had images selected for the PPA Loan Collection (Professional Photographers of America). Clearly, she was amazing even before becoming certified, like so many other photographers. But when you're looking for a photographer, the CPP designation gives you added assurance that this photographer has the experience and knowledge to truly give you an exceptional product. (For more suggestions on how to choose a good photographer, please see this post).
I am so excited to have accomplished this goal. I look forward to continuing my education and to becoming the best photographer I can be!
(For information on the CPP exam and what subjects are covered, click here. For information on image submission, click here.)
My name is Melissa Howell and I specialize in custom portrait design for your home. You can visit my official photography website at http://www.blueprintsphotography.com/ to view more of my work and to contact me to set up a consultation.