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Subject: "Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) " Previous topic | Next topic
Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011Sun 13-Jan-13 11:37 PM
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"Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "


Chula Vista, US
          

The owner of the company I work for thought it would be a good idea for me to become a credentialed professional photographer. The company provides services to businesses and government by supplying subject matter experts for consulting or contracted work. The owner seems to believe that adding a professional photographers credentials to the company resume would help to gain new clients. He has also asked that I create a sort of qualification standard/program which should probably include some sort of minimum photography/arts degree and would use these standards in hiring more photographers.

He mentioned Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) or said any other recognized certification program would be welcomed. Have you heard of the CPP program? Is it widely recognized? If you are a CPP have you seen benefits from having the CPP? Are there other certified photographer programs available?

Visit my Nikonians gallery - my Spare Time gallery

  

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ZoneV Silver Member
14th Jan 2013
1
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Ned_L Moderator
14th Jan 2013
2
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mklass Platinum Member
14th Jan 2013
3
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Ned_L Moderator
14th Jan 2013
4
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Ned_L Moderator
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ZoneV Silver Member
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8
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mklass Platinum Member
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ZoneV Silver Member
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gkaiseril Gold Member
14th Jan 2013
11
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Ferguson Silver Member
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13
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Luke_Miller Silver Member
16th Jan 2013
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ZoneV Silver Member
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Clint S Silver Member
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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Mon 14-Jan-13 01:51 AM
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#1. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 14-Jan-13 01:53 AM by ZoneV

US
          

I am not, and I doubt I will do it anytime soon, as it costs $650, and you have to renew it every 6 years. Not cost effective for a part-time freelancer/student.

But if I had my own company, you bet I would! A colleague I sometimes help out has his certification, and it's nice to be able to tell his clients he is certified.

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 14-Jan-13 02:31 AM
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#2. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 0


Philadelphia, US
          

I have heard of the program and think very little of it. I checked their sample exam before and now, and it's mind boggling how elementary it is.

On the CPP website they say, "Certification represents a declaration of a particular individual’s professional competence. In some professions certification is a requirement for employment or practice. Doctors, mechanics, accountants, professional secretaries, surveyors and many others are all required to go through a certification process of some kind."

Ah, but that's not exactly true. These professions have licensing as a requirement. I have a degree in Chemical Engineering. We have a professional Chemical Engineering license that some Chem E's have. For the most part, they are the ones who need to sign plans, and the ones who work for large corporations who require it for advancement within their company. Those who testify in legal actions also need it. As a professional Chemical Engineer we are required to take continuing education and are tested periodically. Like physicians, attorneys, plumbers, electricians, surveyors, boiler engineers, and accountants (they also take a CPA test), professional engineers are licensed. We are licensed in the US by state governments, not by a private for profit corporation.

Some of these professions have certifications. Physicians, for examples, have board certifications, as do Chemical Engineers.

Here's the thing, the standards for certification. licensing, or academic requirements of various professions, and the certifications themselves are set by a large nationally and internationally recognized non-profit organizations of peers, who have vast educational and professional experience, such as in the world of chemical engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, not by a profit making corporation who declared themselves the industry's certifier.

Give me a person with a degree from a great art school or university with a great photography program, who did well, and let me see their portfolio, and if they're good, I'll hire them. Give me a person with no degree in photography, but a great portfolio, and I'll give them a shot.

We're talking about art here. Photography is art. We're talking about talent, and the results of that talent. We're not talking about book learning competence.

In deference to CPP, they do look at the photographer's portfolios, but who's on this panel? Is it an internationally recognized group of outstanding photographers? Is it a well known group of photography professors from among the best universities and art schools in the nation? From what I can tell, the answer is none of the above.

Sure, photographers need to understand some physics, mechanics, etc., but they can have all the book knowledge in the world and it doesn't mean they can be a great photographer, or even a competent photographer. Certifications don't measure inherent talent to visualize a scene and capture it, to see a face and body and capture its image.

If I want to hire a lawyer, they better be licensed. If I go to a doctor, they better be licensed and board certified.

I think the CPP is a colossal waste and is an absurd consideration as a requirement or even consideration for employment, by the company's owner, who clearly doesn't understand what it takes to be a terrific photographer, professional or not.

Now if you want me to be a little more definite in my opinion ... (LOL)

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Mon 14-Jan-13 04:03 AM
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#3. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 14-Jan-13 01:15 PM by mklass

Tacoma, US
          

In my opinion, the CPP certification is an attempt by some members of the photography profession to create the equivalent of a Photographer's Guild, with the purpose of doing what guilds were famous for, keeping the number of members of the craft low, and keeping prices high. The PPA is very proud of CPPs of various stripes, and seem to only use their images in the PPA magazine.

Digital has democratized photography, for good or bad. Those that want ourstanding results will find an outstanding photographer and pay the appropriate price. The opposite is also true. In any event, attempts to license photographers will fail because that horse has left teh barn.

Getting a CPP is no guarantee of artistic talent, no more than being a member of the bar insures you have a good lawyer, or that all members of the AMA are good doctors. It may denote meeting some level of competence in technical skills, it doesn't say that you know how to use them well.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 14-Jan-13 04:13 AM
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#4. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 3
Mon 14-Jan-13 04:14 AM by Ned_L

Philadelphia, US
          

Mick, I hadn't realized PPA was part of the CPP picture. I dumped PPA years ago. I didn't see much good from the organization. It's not that I'm against organizations, I just didn't think much of them. I've been a member of the National Press Photographers Association for quite some time. It's an organization which really does a lot of good for photography, photographers generally, and its members particularly.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Mon 14-Jan-13 01:18 PM
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#5. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 4


Tacoma, US
          

Ned,

PPA constantly touts CPP and CPP photographers. They are very much into trying to maintain higher prices.

I joined PPA because a wedding photographer that I did second shooting for demanded that I join. The main benefit that I see now is the insurance and indemnification coverage that they provide.

The local PPA chapter has proved to be far more beneficial. I've actually gotten some jobs through it.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

  

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberMon 14-Jan-13 02:01 PM
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#7. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 5


Philadelphia, US
          

That's great about getting the jobs via the local chapter.

I get insurance via the National Press Photographers Association. As primarily a travel photographer and journalist, PPA offers little other than a very fair rate for insurance.

Regards,

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
Visit my Travel Photography Blog and my Galleries.

  

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Mon 14-Jan-13 03:00 PM
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#8. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 5
Mon 14-Jan-13 03:02 PM by ZoneV

US
          

>I joined PPA because a wedding photographer that I did second
>shooting for demanded that I join. The main benefit that I see
>now is the insurance and indemnification coverage that they
>provide.

Does a second shooter really need insurance to work a wedding? I mean, assuming you don't trip the bride by stepping on her dress, or shatter some glass by backing into a waiter or something...?

My primary does not seem concerned about whether or not I'm insured.

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Mon 14-Jan-13 03:16 PM
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#9. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 8


Tacoma, US
          

>Does a second shooter really need insurance to work a wedding?
>I mean, assuming you don't trip the bride by stepping on her
>dress, or shatter some glass by backing into a waiter or
>something...?
>
>My primary does not seem concerned about whether or not I'm
>insure

I guess that depends on the primary shooter's coverage and your relationship with them. In my case the primary wasn't concerned about insurance, they just had this thing about PPA membership.

Since I also do weddings on my own ( as well as other work), insurance coverage is important.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

  

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Mon 14-Jan-13 03:27 PM
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#10. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 9
Mon 14-Jan-13 03:27 PM by ZoneV

US
          

>I guess that depends on the primary shooter's coverage and
>your relationship with them.

We have a good, relatively long-standing relationship.

>In my case the primary wasn't
>concerned about insurance, they just had this thing about PPA
>membership.

Sounds typical. My primary is also a PPA member, but it makes a lot of sense for him to be.

>Since I also do weddings on my own ( as well as other work),
>insurance coverage is important.

Yeah, that's the difference. I don't do weddings on my own at this time.

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Mon 14-Jan-13 08:43 PM
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#11. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 8


Chicago, US
          

If you are hired as a professional subcontractor, you are not his employee. You are sort of like the primary, and independent contractor and you need to protect yourself, your equipment, your health, and pay your income and self-employment taxes.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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Ferguson Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004Mon 14-Jan-13 09:16 PM
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#13. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 8


Cape Coral, US
          

>Does a second shooter really need insurance to work a wedding?
>I mean, assuming you don't trip the bride by stepping on her
>dress, or shatter some glass by backing into a waiter or
>something...?
>
>My primary does not seem concerned about whether or not I'm
>insured.

In the US, if something really bad happened, everyone involved will be named in a lawsuit.

If working as an employee you would be in a better position than as a subcontractor, but in either case it might be wise to ensure your agreement with your primary spells out what happens in such cases.

We could argue all day how safe any such steps make you, but in the US your only safety from being sued is to be completely broke.


Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

  

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Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006Wed 16-Jan-13 02:08 PM
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#17. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 8


Rural Virginia, US
          

>Does a second shooter really need insurance to work a wedding?
>I mean, assuming you don't trip the bride by stepping on her
>dress, or shatter some glass by backing into a waiter or
>something...?
>
>My primary does not seem concerned about whether or not I'm
>insured.

I've not experienced it myself, but I'm told some venues require liability insurance in order to work there. Personnally I would not do a shoot without at least liability coverage.

Places We Have Been

www.peppermill-multimedia.com

  

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Mon 14-Jan-13 01:22 PM
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#6. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Like others have stated, photography is not a licensed profession, so the certification means little.

But if one has a business and wants to advertise that they have certification, and is willing to spend the money on it, I see no issue.

What I think it comes down to in your situation: if the company strongly wants you to have it, they should pay for you to take the exam, period.

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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Nola Nikon Team Member Nikonian since 13th Nov 2008Mon 14-Jan-13 09:08 PM
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#12. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 0


GNO, US
          

I am currently going through the process of becoming a CPP, so not so sure I appreciate the demeaning remarks.
There is a multiple choice written test that I did pass on my first try. There were others testing that were on their second or third attempt and they did not seem stupid to me, so the test can be challenging. One does have to so some math to arrive at the correct answer.

The second component is the image review and that has been changed to have stricter and more defined requirements since 2011. That is the component I am currently working on.

The price quoted is for an applicant that is not a member of PPA. For a member, the charge is $100. There will be renewals, and more details will be on the website.

I decided to pursue it for the purpose of enhancing my own knowlege. My college degree was awarded in 1992 and so much has changed since then. For me, the continuing education and having to get myself to make the 20 images to the standard needed to pass is good for me whether a client is aware of it or not. As always, your mileage may vary. I just don't think that someone who has never pursued it should not be putting it down.

  

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Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011Wed 16-Jan-13 05:37 AM
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#14. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 0


Chula Vista, US
          

I was hoping for more repsonses - Have you heard of the CPP program? Is it widely recognized? If you are a CPP have you seen benefits from having the CPP? Are there other certified photographer programs available?

Visit my Nikonians gallery - my Spare Time gallery

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Wed 16-Jan-13 01:05 PM
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#15. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 14


Tacoma, US
          

Perhaps the reason that you have gotten so few answers is that it is not widespread. The only place I have seen reference to it is in PPA publications.

I know of no other "certification" programs, other than a degree from a photography program at some higher education institution.

If your company wants you to have it (and is willing to give you the money and time to do it) it won't hurt. But, in my opinion, if you are a capable photographer with a body of work that demonstrates it, you aren't going to gain much unless standing in PPA is important to you.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

  

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Ferguson Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004Wed 16-Jan-13 02:07 PM
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#16. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 0


Cape Coral, US
          


I'll give you a non-photographic perspective from someone who hires.

My real job is information technology, and there are numerous certification bodies - Cisco, Microsoft, specific training boards, etc. Just like what I read about CPP, it is a non-official (i.e. not licensing/regulatory driven), basically PR driven activity. It is important only if someone has convinced a hiring manager it is important.

I've hired hundreds (directly or indirectly) over the years, and I would say have paid attention to certification only a tiny fraction of the time. I pay much more attention to a solid degree from a real university, but even then not so much (I've hired some MBA's that had ZERO sense for business). Mostly I look at experience, and whether their resume makes sense.

For some specific positions where there is a certification demonstrated as very selective I pay attention. The only one that comes to mind is a CCIE for networking.

Now that said I know other companies where my counterparts may pay a LOT of attention, and not even see resumes without a specific certification. Why the difference? Because someone (e.g. Microsoft) managed to indoctrinate that CIO that it is important. It's a business circle -- they convince you it is important, so you hire based on it, so people will come pay Microsoft to certify them. It may arguably be in Microsoft's interest to make the certification meaningful, but it is more in their financial interest to make it widely sought after. Which means accessible. If only 5% of the people could earn it, they make 5% of the money they would if 100% of the people can earn it.

So guess what -- most certifications are so easy that they are basically something you buy, and anyone with fee for the course can pass. Which is why I mostly ignore them, but people that bought into the story Microsoft (etc) sells, use them as a real litmus test.

But my point is "it all depends on the person hiring you".

And from that perspective the short answer is "it can't hurt, no one is likely to look at having the certification as a negative". They just might give it all the attention they give the fact you like golf (or all the other items people put at the end of resumes to show they are human and no one pays attention to).

We now leave I.T. and return to your photographic question (but I wager the answers are all the same).

Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

  

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Wed 16-Jan-13 02:24 PM
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#18. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 16
Wed 16-Jan-13 02:40 PM by ZoneV

US
          

>
>I'll give you a non-photographic perspective from someone who
>hires.
>
>My real job is information technology, and there are numerous
>certification bodies - Cisco, Microsoft, specific training
>boards, etc. Just like what I read about CPP, it is a
>non-official (i.e. not licensing/regulatory driven), basically
>PR driven activity. It is important only if someone has
>convinced a hiring manager it is important.
>
>I've hired hundreds (directly or indirectly) over the years,
>and I would say have paid attention to certification only a
>tiny fraction of the time. I pay much more attention to a
>solid degree from a real university, but even then not so much
>(I've hired some MBA's that had ZERO sense for business).
>Mostly I look at experience, and whether their resume makes
>sense.
>
>For some specific positions where there is a certification
>demonstrated as very selective I pay attention. The only one
>that comes to mind is a CCIE for networking.
>
>Now that said I know other companies where my counterparts may
>pay a LOT of attention, and not even see resumes without a
>specific certification. Why the difference? Because someone
>(e.g. Microsoft) managed to indoctrinate that CIO that it is
>important. It's a business circle -- they convince you it is
>important, so you hire based on it, so people will come pay
>Microsoft to certify them. It may arguably be in Microsoft's
>interest to make the certification meaningful, but it is more
>in their financial interest to make it widely sought after.
>Which means accessible. If only 5% of the people could earn
>it, they make 5% of the money they would if 100% of the people
>can earn it.
>
>So guess what -- most certifications are so easy that they are
>basically something you buy, and anyone with fee for the
>course can pass. Which is why I mostly ignore them, but
>people that bought into the story Microsoft (etc) sells, use
>them as a real litmus test.
>
>But my point is "it all depends on the person hiring
>you".
>
>And from that perspective the short answer is "it can't
>hurt, no one is likely to look at having the certification as
>a negative". They just might give it all the attention
>they give the fact you like golf (or all the other items
>people put at the end of resumes to show they are human and no
>one pays attention to).
>
>We now leave I.T. and return to your photographic question
>(but I wager the answers are all the same).


Nice analysis. Since you mentioned your "real job", I thought maybe you'd also address the relative scarcity of photographers who went to school for photography. Most photographers today seem not to have gone to school for it, but rather learned it as a craft/trade, and went to school for something not directy related, such as business, biology, math, history, or criminal justice. Even a lot of the well-known ones: Gary Fong studied biology and was pre-med, Joe Buissink has a PhD in Neuroscience...and the list goes on.

Does that reinforce and/or challenge your assessment?

Btw, I also don't like the idea of having to go to an independent organization, and essentially buy my way into a certification. That doesn't seem right. (Because of cost, and because anyone can later claim I just bought into it and it proves little as far as competency.) How is that a professional organization with our best interest in mind?

(Post edited)

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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Ferguson Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004Wed 16-Jan-13 02:36 PM
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#19. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 18


Cape Coral, US
          


>Nice analysis. Since you mentioned your "real job",
>I thought maybe you'd also address the relative scarcity of
>photographers who went to school for photography. Most
>photographers today seem not to have gone to school for it,
>but rather learned it as a craft/trade, and went to school for
>something not directy related, such as business, biology,
>math, history, or criminal justice. Does that reinforce and/or
>challenge your assessment?

Actually it is right in line with my experience. It is perhaps changing now a bit, but I very rarely hire someone who went to school for a particular field they are in. My best programmer (for example) was a nuclear engineer, but I've also had great programmers who were English majors, math majors, etc.

I think when there are not real regulatory pressures, that professions where one can learn independently have little barrier to entry for people lacking formal education. It's hard to be a doctor that way, as that is all tied up in a college-intern-resident program that is very regulated. Similar with lawyer, and even some engineering professions that have real regulation.

But so long as there are people who are allowed to hire based on expected results and not having someone fit a precise educational mold, I think you will find lots of "walk on" players in that field.

Linwood

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Wed 16-Jan-13 02:43 PM
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#20. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 19
Wed 16-Jan-13 02:48 PM by ZoneV

US
          

>Actually it is right in line with my experience. It is perhaps
>changing now a bit, but I very rarely hire someone who went to
>school for a particular field they are in. My best programmer
>(for example) was a nuclear engineer, but I've also had great
>programmers who were English majors, math majors, etc.

I've heard this from many. Do you feel that you intentionally avoid people with a degree in the field, or is it due to scarcity? Heck, I've got a friend (also does photography) who switched his major from engineering to English because he had trouble with the one chemistry course he had to take. Talk about barrier to entry. The guy loves computers and programming.

As for photography curricula, I've heard people disparage/denegrate studying photography in a regular college/university program. My own personal feelings on the topic are in fact mixed at best. (No way was I going to major in art!)

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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Ferguson Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004Wed 16-Jan-13 03:23 PM
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#21. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 20
Wed 16-Jan-13 03:25 PM by Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
          

>I've heard this from many. Do you feel that you intentionally
>avoid people with a degree in the field, or is it due to
>scarcity? Heck, I've got a friend (also does photography) who
>switched his major from engineering to English because he had
>trouble with the one chemistry course he had to take. Talk
>about barrier to entry. The guy loves computers and
>programming.

Not at all, I would give preference to someone with a degree in an appropriate field (if it was a good school). The older the degree (and longer track record of employment) however the more relevant experience is vs. the degree. But I certainly do not avoid them. I can't imagine someone wanting to in photography or journalism either.

I will comment that most hiring that I see today gets LOTS of applicants for any given job. Robo-applications on line make it much worse, as you get them from worldwide. Everyone needs some screening tests to filter the flood down to something worth diving into. Often these filtering techniques are unfair -- one I use and am often criticized for is a college degree. I hear a lot of "some people just didn't go and they may be just as good as those who did". But it's about trying to filter the pool down to a higher probability set of candidates. Any filtering is going to include people it should not, and exclude people you might want. It's all about improving the odds.

An employer may well decide arbitrarily that one of their filters is certification or a degree or a specific number of years of experience. And at larger companies if you don't meet the hurdles you are likely just screwed, as it is usually an HR clerk (or a computer) doing the filtering before it ever gets to a hiring manager. In that sense being able to check off a meaningless box (but one used as a filter) is a good thing. It just depends.

And of course there is the old standby which bypasses all the tests -- if you know someone who recommends you.

Linwood

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005Wed 16-Jan-13 04:39 PM
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#22. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 21
Wed 16-Jan-13 04:41 PM by ZoneV

US
          

>I will comment that most hiring that I see today gets LOTS of
>applicants for any given job. Robo-applications on line make
>it much worse, as you get them from worldwide. Everyone needs
>some screening tests to filter the flood down to something
>worth diving into. Often these filtering techniques are
>unfair -- one I use and am often criticized for is a college
>degree. I hear a lot of "some people just didn't go and
>they may be just as good as those who did". But it's
>about trying to filter the pool down to a higher probability
>set of candidates. Any filtering is going to include people
>it should not, and exclude people you might want. It's all
>about improving the odds.

I disagree with a lot of what we, students at undergrad or graduate levels, are being taught by career services counselors or professors who are supposedly experts on "getting a job". Many of them say things like, "You should generally not cold call and ask for a meeting or walk in, even if you know they are looking to fill a certain position. Instead, send a resume via email. That is standard practice."

The problem with this advice is two-fold:
1.) A lot of resumes sent by email without a follow-up call tend to get caught in spam filters.

2.) Some employers actually might value a candidate taking the initiative to follow-through. I know I would if I were an employer; it shows someone is serious about it. Worst case, if I were real busy with something more important at the moment than hiring, I'd have to make them wait a little while. Hypothetically, if someone called and said they're very interested in the field, they like what they see on our website, and were wondering if I'd be willing to sit down and talk sometime, and get some advice, I'd probably ask them for a resume first...just in case they became a contact who I might want to eventually hire, or in case they knew someone else I might want to hire.

And if I were looking to be hired, I'd say that's the sort of employer I'd be looking for...the one whose personal values are most similar to my own...mainly who believes in following through on tasks.

An undeniable paradox: To think that there is any such thing as an absolute rule is at worst naïve, and at best, shortsighted. There is no such thing as an always-true, all context- or situation-salient, absolute rule that always holds true…including this one!

  

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Ferguson Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004Wed 16-Jan-13 05:11 PM
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#23. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 22
Wed 16-Jan-13 05:15 PM by Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
          

At the risk of further diverting the topic, but perhaps someone germain if this is about hiring....

>I disagree with a lot of what we, students at undergrad or
>graduate levels, are being taught by career services
>counselors or professors who are supposedly experts on
>"getting a job". Many of them say things like,
>"You should generally not cold call and ask for a meeting
>or walk in, even if you know they are looking to fill a
>certain position. Instead, send a resume via email. That is
>standard practice."
>
>The problem with this advice is two-fold:
>1.) A lot of resumes sent by email without a follow-up call
>tend to get caught in spam filters.
>
>2.) Some employers actually might value a candidate taking the
>initiative to follow-through. I know I would if I were an
>employer; it shows someone is serious about it. Worst case, if
>I were real busy with something more important at the moment
>than hiring, I'd have to make them wait a little while.
>Hypothetically, if someone called and said they're very
>interested in the field, they like what they see on our
>website, and were wondering if I'd be willing to sit down and
>talk sometime, and get some advice, I'd probably ask them for
>a resume first...just in case they became a contact who I
>might want to eventually hire, or in case they knew someone
>else I might want to hire.
>
>And if I were looking to be hired, I'd say that's the sort of
>employer I'd be looking for...the one whose personal values
>are most similar to my own...mainly who believes in following
>through on tasks.

Again, non-photography, but I've done this now in companies ranging from about $600 million to $2.5B in size, and they are somewhat consistent when we are talking professional positions (as opposed to say someone in an assembly line or for service positions.

A hiring manager first of all is unlikely to be reachable, as you will not know their name or email address. Most postings are likely to be to a job number or email, where someone in HR is doing the filtering. Or someone at a recruiting firm.

So at best in most cases you might reach that HR person. I do not think it is bad to have reached them (and they might remember you), but you have about a 1% chance of any response other than "send me a resume". They just don't start anywhere else.

Now that said, your absolute best chance is if somehow you get called to the attention of the hiring manager in a positive light. Someone you mutually know recommends you, or the hiring manager (or someone who works for them) encounters you and recommends you. Then you go either past HR, or you get a free pass through them by the hiring manager offering a phone call.

One way this can happen (for me not that often, but it has) is to encounter someone in the field -- in IT I might find them in discussion forums, I might use public domain software they wrote, they may answer questions for me on a support forum, it might be at a user group conference in person, it may be as a consultant for some other company that did some work for us (though non-competes often kill that). Having a positive encounter, if I then heard "and I'm looking for work" I would very naturally say "send me a resume". That "me" would be to me personally, and would not go through HR and I would read it carefully not as described below.

So I think people looking to advance are well served to make a positive impression on well known forums and do some networking as an alternative to cold calls and resume mailings. It's a blunt instrument, as you never know if the right people are watching, but it can be a real win sometimes, and a lot of the web remains for years -- it might benefit you 5 years later, when someone runs across your work.

If you are following the "normal" path of emailing resumes, I would say that the most important thing to do is make an impression quickly (you have maybe 15-30 seconds)

- Brief, personalized cover letter that shows you know why you are applying to this job; mass mailed generic letters dramatically reduce your chances of making it through the first seconds.

- A concise, informative resume that is relevant to the job, and is in clear English

I believe you should have more than one resume, tweaked carefully to apply to specific jobs. Maybe I'm a competent DBA and a competent web programmer; I darn well should have two different resumes, and pick the right one depending on the job I apply to.

And if in the opening paragraphs you have english and spelling mistakes, it goes in the trash. Sorry -- this is YOU you are presenting, and if you can't take the time to make it be spelled correctly, you aren't going to be careful in less important work you do for me.

If you make it through the first 10 seconds then it's about content, what you did, where you went to school, etc. But of resumes I actually see, I suspect 50% don't make it through that first blush view. Sorry to people who think that's unfair -- it's reality.

And HR is doing the same thing, just with more arbitrary rules -- they look for key words, specific qualifications (number of years, college, etc.). If those are not clearly spelled out, forget it. HR staff are almost never evaluating your real job qualifications, they are seeing if you get past the arbitrary filters to winnow the field. So persistence won't count much with them, and might annoy them if too strong.

Where persistent personal contact does count -- Afterwards. If you get an interview, write a thank you, but write something RELEVANT. How you look forward to bringing your skill in X to the problems Y we discussed. Show you paid attention, and are not just sending a form letter because the rule book said to.

In short: I have to agree mostly with the advice you are getting. It's very hard to cold call. Most people in hiring positions just won't take the call. HR is going to be in a specific workflow and won't care. It doesn't hurt to try (if you remain polite), but it won't help in larger companies. Small ones maybe, where the person answering the phone will make decisions.

BUT... call calls help if you can find that "in". Some way to get noticed outside of persistence, a way to have them either recognize your name, your work, or someone who they know. Then it's best to try to skip around HR and the normal process. Networking remains the best way to land a good job, in my opinion. Might not be fair, but it is true.

Linwood

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Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011Fri 18-Jan-13 03:31 AM
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#25. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 23


Chula Vista, US
          

"An employer may well decide arbitrarily that one of their filters is certification or a degree or a specific number of years of experience. And at larger companies if you don't meet the hurdles you are likely just screwed, ..."

If you can't get in the door then that meaningless box is anything but meaningless!

On the other hand, networking and getting that personal referral is still the best means to get in the door for an interview.

BTW - Each resume should be written specifically to the specific job/position description the resume is being submitted for.

Visit my Nikonians gallery - my Spare Time gallery

  

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Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011Fri 18-Jan-13 03:42 AM
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#26. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 23


Chula Vista, US
          

And since the topic is diverted - in a good direction

I relate degrees, certifications and life to a making baskets on a basketball court.

If you have no high school diploma you have to shoot from full court.

If you have an associate, or minor certifications you get to shoot from the half court.

If you have a bachelor's degree or advanced certifications you get to shoot from the three point line.

A Masters or even more advanced gets you shooting from the free throw line.

A Doctorate or master certifications get you gets you the layup shot right at the basket.

Experience will help you cut down the distance you have to shoot, but while you are progressing so are many others that were already closer than you.

Passion, zeal, and experience can allow you to set your own shooting distance - but you make your own way, usually by having to outmaneuver those ahead of you of on the court.

I think professional artist of all kinds fall into the passion, zeal, and experince.

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Ned_L Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, especially Travel Photography Charter MemberFri 18-Jan-13 11:14 AM
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#27. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 26


Philadelphia, US
          

An interesting reference, degrees with basketball.

I'm wondering about the importance of the doctorate though, in most professions, outside of the academic world, and in the sciences.

For example, in engineering. I'm a chemical engineer by bachelor's degree, and worked as one, more or less, for quite some time, while never giving up my photography which I studied academically too, to enhance my knowledge, but didn't pursue a degree in it.

To work as a chemical engineer (in the wide variety of fields for which that knowledge applies) you clearly need the BS degree, and if you want to move ahead, you definitely need an MS, in your more narrow area of work in chemical engineering. By moving ahead, I mean climbing the corporate ladder, essentially out of actually doing chemical engineering work, but staying in the engineering marketplace, such as in an upper supervisory roll. Of course, if you want to move up the general corporate leadership ladder, more often than not, an MBA or MS in economics or finance actually seems to be the way to head with academic credentials.

On the certification/license front, the only reason a chemical engineer needs to go that route to enhance the job prospects as a "professional" engineer is if they are in planning to be at the management level in design. Interestingly, the certification/license, definitely doesn't give the chemical engineer upward mobility into the general corporate ladder, away from the engineering ladder.

More interestingly, a doctorate in chemical engineering, doesn't help the engineer much at all, in either the engineering corporate ladder or the general corporate ladder.

While it's true that there are quite a few engineers with doctorates near or at the top of corporate ladders, on the engineering and the general corporate side, in my opinion, they didn't get there because they had they doctorate, and in fact, the degree had little affect on their rise.

So, I think there may be some positions and corporate ladders in which a doctorate might get you a lot closer to your goal and movement in one's job path, but for many more positions, a doctorate is almost irrelevant.

Ned
A Nikonians Team Member

-----------------------------
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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 18-Jan-13 01:17 PM
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#28. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 27


Richmond, US
          

I'm in engineering. I would say that in my field, a PhD has a relatively low correlation with success. In my staff I have a number with PhD's. One of them has the absolute highest potential of them all and is a lights-out, amazing, get-it-done-and-right individual. Another one left under a cloud since, well, suffice to say that almost exactly the opposite was true, excepting only the potential - there was potential. There are others who are in the middle - just like all the rest.

Amongst my peers at my previous company, which was the most senior of the engineers in a very large organization (say, the most senior 100 out of 20,000), about half had PhDs - and almost a third had no degree at all. It was strangely bimodal.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Ferguson Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004Fri 18-Jan-13 01:42 PM
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#29. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 28


Cape Coral, US
          

>I'm in engineering. I would say that in my field, a PhD has
>a relatively low correlation with success.

The one area in which the PhD seems to correlate strongly is academics and related research, where it is something of a union card.

Linwood

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Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011Sat 19-Jan-13 03:02 AM
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#30. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 28


Chula Vista, US
          

The idea was not so much about becoming successful, but how hard one has to work to become successful.

Having a certification/degree or high level of intelligence does not guarantee success!

A thing most people don't think about higher education - it is not just the education, it is the people they met and grew to know, and to smaller extent the alma mater connections.

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Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011Fri 18-Jan-13 02:53 AM
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#24. "RE: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) "
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 19-Jan-13 02:59 AM by Clint S

Chula Vista, US
          

As a previous business owner I understand the idea and concept of a company's credentials, yet as a photographer not so much. I tried to get the company President to understand that our marketing materials, the 65 plus large photos hanging in the company hallways and offices, and the reports produced pretty much visually states the validity, worthiness and quality of photographers within the company and something that certifications can't match.

And actually, it was all those things that gave one of the Vice Presidents the idea of building the photography into the companies resume. Hmm, sounds like a English major vs. a VP of Marketing discussion to me!

But I was still curious about the CPP and was doing some research while waiting for responses here and on two other boards. I'm guessing that there are fewer than 4,000 CPP's in the US and that it is not a commonly known or understood certification. So much in fact, that many of the CPPs state what the CPP means their web sites.

However if you are a CPP I'd like to know if it has produced the benifts you thought it might before starting the certification.

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