I am throughly thrilled to announce that my accreditation submission to the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) for Child and Infant Portraiture was accepted. Judging took place in Albert this past monday where a panel of judges reviewed my 10 submitted images and decided all of them showed a nationally accepted standard of proficiency.
You may be asking yourself exactly what that means, so I want to explain to give you a full understanding of the what and why this is so important to me and should be to you. Over the past 8 years I have seen this industry blossom and then explode (bam) your neighbour/uncle/sister is a “professional” photographer and the reason why so many people find ease in calling themselves professionals is that there is no requirement for education/experience to do so. You can buy yourself an affordable DSLR barely get to know how it works, take a handful of images that your family all rave to you about and set up a Facebook page and boom you’re in business….I will stop here and admit that I just explained pretty much what I did except one significant step…I went to college to get educated in my profession.
Admittedly, I know of a small handful of professional photographers who I have mad respect for, who didn’t go to school but have such huge talent and were able to develop it into strong business’s. However, they are all charging appropriately and I personally know they are and have studied with other professional photographers and are in groups and forums sharing and learning all they can and demonstrate a respect for the industry.
I have spent years building my business, which is consistently a work in process, while it feels I am constantly losing clients to the more affordable option, so I am making it my personal mission to educate the people around me and beyond as to what it takes to be a professional, the importance of investing in a photographer with a high skill level and most importantly I am making it my personal mission become a master in my trade. This goal is the goal you should be searching for in all of your skilled workers. I wouldn’t want someone with a Time Life book and a new fancy drill building my house, or a guy who has space in his garage and can tune up his lawn mower to fix my Ferrari, or my aunt who makes fantastic lasagne to cater my wedding, so why are so many people trusting their family memories to someone who is just starting out offering a great deal? Search for better, budget for the best, and you will no longer be saying “they are still on a disk” but they will be hanging proudly in your home where your friends and family will stop and pause to soak them in for a moment and remember them for years and years.
Okay, bringing it back after getting that rant off my chest, the PPOC is the association in which Canadian photographers are recognized and can gain the levels of CPA (Craftsman of Photographic Arts), MPA (Master of Photographic Arts) and SPA (Service of Photographic Arts). These designations are gained by becoming accredited, gaining a set amount of merits, volunteering nationally, attending educational events, and promoting professional photography. I am very excited to be working towards my MPA and the first step in that has been gaining my accreditation in Child and Infant Portraiture. I hope to also gain further accreditations in Newborn photography and Family Portraiture as well as few others that pique my interest.
The process of choosing my images for accreditation was not an easy one. Firstly I spent hours going through years of files trying to weed out near perfect images but finding fault in almost everyone of them. The PPOC have a pre accreditation process where you can submit 15 images to a panel esteemed peers for their review and, with hours to spare to meet the deadline, I came up with my 15 and waited patiently for my review to come back. The news was not so hot. There were a few peers who seemed to really love the images I submitted but for the most part the majority marked them a lot of them in the Close but likely or On the fence range with 3 or 4 in the Close but not likely range when rating them. However, there was a short list of those peer judges who volunteered to help me further with my submission so I picked myself up and took the best out of that group a decided to enlist the help of a few friends and family to lend me their littles to create a few near perfect images to close out my submission. I am truly thankful to everyone who gave feedback and volunteered their littles and to the clients who’s children are too adorable beyond words that allowed for me to make these beautiful portraits. I can’t wait to further create and I am thankful on a daily basis that this is my career.
Criteria for gaining the accreditation for Child and Infant Portraiture:
Ten (10) images of ten (10) different children (12 and under) in ten (10) different poses from ten (10) different photo sessions, and have enough variety in the submission to show the photographer’s creative and technical ability. A variety of head and shoulders, 3/4 and full-length poses must be shown. Singles, Infants (new born) and groups (2 or more people) must be represented and may include environmental images.
So there they are, a few scored very good (which is like scoring 9 out of 10 I am guessing 🙂 all images had to score over 8 to pass. I want to thank everyone who has trusted me to freeze time for their little ones. I hope to continue so many amazing relationships and can’t wait to create more beautiful timeless imagery.
Official Press Release:
PPOC Press release