Why Did I Become a Certified Professional Photographer?
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Monday, October 09, 2017
By CHELSEA TRACY
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Several years ago, photography was a fun side hobby to fill my time until we moved from remote Alaska back to horse country. Until, without realizing it, it became a pursuit of excellence. I have art and vision and stories in my mind that I want to create - I want to create them for myself, and I want to create them for my clients. However, I knew that I needed to learn true technical excellence in order to free my creativity. Technical skill is the foundation on which creative freedom lies. This is true in all fields, but it bears repeating. If one does not have the technical skill, or is the technical skill is sub-par, then one will never be able to truly create art.  For my clients, I do not want to create images that are “good enough”. I want to create excellence for you. 

The Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) program through the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the standard set forth to ensure that those who call themselves professional photographers have the technical and artistic skills to truly be a professional. After passing an exam encompassing any topic that a professional photographer should understand, candidates must submit a portfolio of fifteen images.  Six of the images must show a specific technical skill, while nine of the images must be different paid client images over the prior two years.  These images are then reviewed by a panel of judges who scrutinize the portfolio as a whole, as well as the individual images, to ensure the candidate meets the CPP standards. I received my email on September 7 that my portfolio was approved and that I am a CPP.  The CPP has been a year-long journey, during which time I studied color theory, the behavior of light, internal functioning of the camera, lens construction, advanced posing techniques, advanced composition, studio lighting control, computer functioning, post-processing and editing techniques, and more.

 

My tagline is “Passion • Vision • Creation”, and I truly believe it. Passion gives a vision; vision CAN lead to creation if the individual is prepared to create to the level of their vision. My goal is also to be prepared enough to create to the level of YOUR vision so that when you come to me and describe the image that you want but cannot create, I am able to create it for you.

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