Since I get lots of questions from photographers who want advice, I'll be writing blog posts sharing free information and tips. If you are charging money for your photography services, then technically you are looked upon as a professional photographer and these posts for photographers are for you regardless of how new or seasoned you are.
It's something that has already improved my ability significantly and I think it can do the same for you.....
This summer I am declaring my candidacy for becoming a Certified Professional Photographer. YEP!!!
(I am so excited and nervous to share this news.)
It's crazy because the more I learn, the more I realize how LITTLE I know. If you have had the pleasure of CRINGING when looking at your past work, then you you know exactly what the phrase "you don't know what you don't know" means. Having this certification is kind of a BIG thing because only 8% of Professional Photographers have achieved it.
Of the nearly 200 Professional Photographers in the CSRA, about 40 of us are members of the Professional Photographers of America, and only four have managed to achieve the certification.
I want to be #5.
Seriously, right now in June 2012, most clients don't care if you are certified, if you shoot in RAW or jpg, or if you shoot in AUTO or manual mode. BUT that is slowly changing because with soooo many professional photographers to choose from, clients are becoming more and more savvy and they are starting to expect better photography quality. Most moms are simply looking for someone to snap decent pictures of their kiddos just to print a little 8x10 print or whatever.
Boudoir is a little bit different though because women want to make sure they will look beautiful in the pictures. We moms pretty much think all pictures of our kiddos are cute, but we're very critical of ourselves in pictures so technical know-how becomes more critical.
I assure you that at this point, the LAST thing most clients care about is if you are certified because most people don't even know a certification exists (YET).
So WHY consider certification if clients don't even care right now?
Honestly, just by deciding to declare my candidacy for certification, my skills have improved exponentially already. That's why.
I have been devouring every bit of technical photography information I can get my hands on so I will not waste any time becoming certified once the clock starts officially ticking. Certification is a two step process that has a time limit for completing. The process includes submitting images to be reviewed and taking a very technical and difficult test.
I love love love natural light photography, but I also love love love that I can harness and control light to get certain outcomes and looks. Natural light is beautiful but honestly I am limited by so many factors if I am just a natural light photographer, especially with Boudoir. I completely understand if you don't feel the need to take the certification path, but I think by at least learning what you need to know for certification, you will definitely be a well rounded photographer who has the technical skills and "know-how" to deliver a high quality session.
Okay, so the bottom line is that I am devoted to learning EVERYTHING possible about photography.... I don't want to be a one trick photographer.
Certification is a good endeavor for any photographer to consider regardless of your skill level. The process for preparing to become a Certified Professional Photographer will challenge you to become a more well-rounded photographer in the process. It's not so much about having a piece of paper saying "I'm certified"...it's about demonstrating enough skill to be certified. Read more about how you can become certified: http://certifiedphotographer.com/what-is-certification/
For a consultation or to reserve your Augusta Boudoir Experience, visit the website: www.augustaboudoir.com