I Did It! [Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert Professional Photographer]

           There are many things than make a great photographer.... more than just shooting, shooting, shooting. Working with really great mentors within the industry, continuing education, putting yourself in situations that push you, entering print competitions, and being affiliated with local and/or nationally recognized organizations are just some of the things that a true professional will do. Sometimes potential clients just don't know how to look for differences in a photographer. Being a professional photographer is so much more than having good gear and a website! I have been a member of PPA- Professional Photographers of America, and the local affiliate, AZPPA for awhile now. While I'm happy with the work I'm producing for clients, sometimes you want or need another gauge for where your skills are at. PPA works hard to educate both photographers and the community about using professional photographers. They have a CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) designation. There are 2 parts that have to be completed in order to earn this designation: 1) you must submit a portfolio showing different lighting ratios and patterns with an overview of client work, and 2) take the written exam PPA offers by the Professional Photographic Certification Commission. You declare your candidacy, pay your registration, study a big book for what seems like forever, and go to a college classroom where the exam is proctored. I just took the. hardest. test. ever. Don't believe me? 
           i.e) Thomas used two lights to light a portrait. Both were identical in power, size and reflector quality. He placed the main light 4 feet from the subject, about 45 degrees off the viewing angle. The fill light was 5 1/2 feet away, and next to the camera lens. His subject is illuminated with what lighting ratio? 
            Yup. 100 of those type questions. The exam is offered 2x's a year in the state of Arizona. My original plan was to take the exam at state convention in January. Since I don't test well, I decided I would take the exam in July fully expecting not to pass. The idea behind it was: no one would know I took the exam in July, I would get my jitters out of the way, and know where I needed to study more. This just arrived in the mail:

I won't share with you my reaction, but I was pretty happy with my score.  I'm just glad it's not on video!

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