Why hire a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP)?
I am thrilled to announce that I recently completed the certification process with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), and am now a CPP (Certified Professional Photographer). What does that mean to you, as a potential client trying to find a Houston newborn photographer in what seems to be an endless sea of Google listings? Here’s what the PPA website has to say about it:
“These days, photography is practiced by anyone with a smartphone, but it’s mastered by few. When it comes to those once-in-a-lifetime moments—when you’ve got one shot at getting it right—you’d better make sure the person behind the camera is a pro. A proven professional photographer that is. There’s no greater proof than when the letters “CPP” follow a photographer’s name. They designate a Certified Professional Photographer, someone who is putting in the extra work to stay above the rest. It assures you of this photographer’s professional knowledge and experience, while also declaring that photographer as one who has achieved and maintains a higher standard.”
There are hundreds of photographers in the greater Houston area, but according to the PPA website, only 60 of us are CPPs. (You can check the list here: Houston CPPs.) You will also find a large number of photographers in the Houston area who offer newborn photography services, but of those, only a handful are CPPs. Narrow that small group of CPPs who will photograph newborns even further, to CPPs who actually specialize in newborn photography, and it’s down to just a few. I am proud to count myself among what I believe to be less than five Houston newborn photographers in the greater Houston area with CPP certification, plus extensive training and experience in safely posing and photographing newborns. See a list of the training I’ve completed here.
In order to become a CPP, you must first pass a written exam which is to photographers what the bar exam is to lawyers, or the CPA exam is to accountants. Once you’ve passed that you move on to image submission. You must submit a portfolio of 15 images including 6 compulsory images demonstrating specific techniques in lighting, composition and camera skills, plus 9 images from paid client work which adhere to the standards of the judging panel. This was not an easy task, and I have to say I grew as a photographer during the process. Feedback and critique from fellow photographers who have already achieved this level of excellence was invaluable in putting my portfolio together, and I learned so much. I’m including several images from my portfolio in this post.
Just as you don’t have to be a CPA to prepare someone’s taxes, you don’t have to be a CPP to be a good photographer. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of photographers in the greater Houston area, and many of them are very talented. But if you have a complicated tax return, or a tiny human only a few days old… wouldn’t you feel better hiring a certified professional? I’m proud to be one of the few PPA certified Houston newborn photographers.