Have you ever had a goal that just nagged at you for some reason? Something you wanted to achieve, but you just never took the steps to make it happen? Last week I achieved one of those goals!

For the past 4 years I have had my eye on becoming a Certified Professional Photographer through the Professional Photographers of America. I chose to get certified through the PPA because it was the only organization that issued an extensive written test. Being largely self-taught, I’ve never had the opportunity to dive deep into the theory of photography. I wanted to reverse engineer the theory I was already putting into practise and discover WHY it worked. 

I applied to start my studies twice, and the first time the deadline passed without me making any attempt because “life” got in the way.

I was disappointed in myself and in order to make myself feel better, I decided it wasn’t that important and that I really didn’t need to be certified (do clients really care?) to be a successful photographer!

But the nagging feeling didn’t go away. I really want to prove to MYSELF that I could do it. And this past February I got an email from the PPA telling me that my second deadline was nearly up. A month away in fact. That’s not much time to make it happen.

I was about to give up again, but instead I asked the PPA for a month extension. Thankfully, they said YES and I got my ass in gear, and I passed the detailed and extensive written test! I was half way there, and over the hardest part, or so I thought…

Next up was image submission. The PPA changed their image submission process this year and I think I may have been one of the first groups to participate in the new process. The way it works is that the PPA gives you a set of detailed instructions to follow and you must successfully mimic their sample images following those instructions to a T and by filling in the blanks – no Photoshop allowed. I will admit – it was a lot harder than I anticipated it would be.

CPP Certification

I am proud to say that on May 23rd, 2019 I received the fantastic news that my images passed the test! That means that I am now officially a “Certified Professional Photographer”!! And to make the accomplishment even sweeter, after doing a little digging I was surprised to learn that at the time of this writing I am the ONLY CPP in Calgary. Not the only CPP PET photographer, the ONLY PHOTOGRAPHER. How cool is that??

So what does my CPP designation mean to you? Well I hope what it means is that it can give you some confidence in hiring me to capture your precious memories. With less than 2500 CCPs in existence, you can rest assured that I’ve had my technical and artistic competence literally put to the test.

This certification demonstrates my dedication to my craft and that I am committed to continue to learn the best photography techniques and practises AND continue to operate my business in an ethical and professional manner.

So, back to that goal… Do you have one? You should accomplish it. Nothing feels better than achieving something – nearly four years in the making!

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