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FAMILIES

Certification and What It Means

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Certification and What It Means

One year go I started a personal journey in my photography career. A year ago I declared my candidacy with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) to achieve my Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) certification.

I know you’re asking, ”What is a CPP?”. This is a program that assures others that photographers have the knowledge, experience and the desire to learn new skills and techniques on a continual basis. In other words, it is not a one time thing. We have to go thru recertification every three years to retain our credentials. It is also an acknowledgement of my professional qualifications. The CPP credentials serve to distinguish professional photographers who have demonstrated technical skills through a written examanation and an image submission. Image submission consists of 15 images, six (6) are compulsory and the remaining nine (9) are client based. The compulsory images must show certain lighting techniques, which compliment the subject well. There are about 15 judges during each round of image submission. I was shocked and even more nervous when I discovered this information.  Just imagine being interviewed by a panel of 15 judges. There are less than 40 in the state of Oklahoma. That is a very small percentage compared to all the photographers in Oklahoma.

Being a CPP is similar to a quality assurance certification, a credential consumers and businesses understand. It was really neat to watch my transformation over the last year. I could see myself improving in so many ways, from posing to lighting and understanding what I was seeing and performing. Most of all my confidence improved.

I chose to earn my CPP certification as way to set myself apart from the average “Joe”. I wanted to grow and challenge myself. I’ve never had any formal training and wanted to fill in the holes where I lacked knowledge. Was I scared, you better believe it. Was I challenged? Yes, most definitely, I had a lot of failures in this process, but in the end it was all worth it. I never gave up, there were times I wanted to, but then what would that serve? It would have meant time was wasted by me and I would have wasted my clients time. I don’t want to settle, I want to succeed. “If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing,”, I heard this quote a couple of years ago at a conference and it totally blew me away. That quote has stuck with me ever since. It’s a reminder that if I am feeling uncomfortable then I am growing which is always a good thing.

If you want more information regarding the CPP program or PPA, I would be happy to visit with you over coffee.

Let a Certified Professional Photographer show you the difference and capture your families memories. Email me and we will set up a time to visit over coffee and danish too.

Special Thanks to Jennifer Tiffany of Jen Tiffany Photography for the awesome images and a Huge Thank You to all my clients for helping me achieve my certification. I could not have done it without you.

Last but certainly not least, a heart felt Thank You to two people who pushed me, advised me and just told me NO, go back and redo. I so appreciate their honesty in this journey. Dawn Muncy of Muncy Photography and Tony Gatlin of Tony Gatlin Photography you both are invaluable to this industry. Thank you for keeping me accountable, pushing me and for believing in me.

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How do you show your family portraits?

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How do you show your family portraits?

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Why I choose to print.

Vanessa Sr Pic
Vanessa Sr Pic

WHY I CHOOSE TO PRINT

When I was a senior in high school I didn’t get senior pictures. Actually I did, but since I was paying for this myself, I couldn’t afford much.  I had them taken as required by the school/studio.  A few poses were chosen and purchased in the 4x6 size.   I made copies of the 4x6 prints, which resulted in very dark and over saturated pictures. Oh my… how wrong was I back then.

When Danielle, my eldest became a senior I knew she was going to have the senior pictures I never had. You know what I’m talking about. We all want our kids to have what we didn’t. The session was set up and we carefully picked the outfits that would represent who she was.  A few weeks later and several hundred dollars and I have a beautiful senior portrait on my wall.

When it came time for Kiley, my youngest to have her senior pictures taken we did the studio session for yearbook purposes. But we also wanted something different. Not your typical studio look and feel. We wanted the on location look and feel.  She was a soccer player and we wanted to incorporate that into her pictures.  We hired a photographer, had the session and a couple weeks later we had the CD in hand with her senior pictures.  We were so excited to finally have her senior pictures and get them hung on the wall next to her sister’s portrait. At the time, I thought this was the easiest and cheapest way to go. Easiest because I would not have to sit down with someone to pick and choose.  I could do that from the comfort of my own home on my own time. I wasn’t accountable to anyone.

Many of you know what it’s like when you have a senior in the house. There are so many activities and functions and things on the calendar, this in addition to everyday life. You get busy and don’t have time for anything else..much less decide which picture you like the best and what size and who gets what and where to print. Graduation came and went as did summer then college. Needless to say, I didn’t print any of her senior pictures. To this day I still do not have any of her pictures on the wall. Sad but very true. It’s not because I didn’t like them. Time just got away from me. I wasn’t held accountable.  You know what they say out of sight out of mind.  The CD was put away and I forgot about it.  Uber fail on my part. In fact I went and searched out the CD for this blog and I’ll be printing some out.  Soon I’ll have both sisters’ senior portraits on my wall.

When I opened my business I knew immediately what I wanted my business model to be. I wanted to be a full service photographer for my clients. I want to ease the stress and for them to have a great experience from beginning to end.  I mean really…who needs or wants more stress in their life.  I want to help them pick their favorites images and sizes and know when they return from the lab the color is the same color as the pictures in their gallery. Not the dark or overly saturated ugliness.  All my clients have to do is hang the pictures in their home. Easy peasy no stress, just pure excitement, joy and happiness. Your memories deserve prints.

If you would like a stress free fun session contact me at www.vanessawellsimages.com and we’ll get you on the books.

Photo credit would go to the studio, but I don't remember who the studio was or if they are still in business.

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