Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Coming Soon: Me, CPP {New Braunfels Photographer}

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
Two years ago I eavesdropped on a conversation between photographers about the Certified Professional Photographer exam. One had recently taken it and not passed and was looking for help on how to pass it the next time he sat for it. The other told him to forget about it, it was too hard and technical and you really didn't need to get that CPP designation anyway. Just keep on doing what you're doing and don't worry about it.

I made up my mind then and there that I wouldn't bother with it. If it was too hard to pass for those guys, I had no hope for it. My weakness had always been the technical side of photography, whereas my love was for the artistic. I put it out of my mind, yet it kept popping up. I attended a photography seminar and the speaker talked about the importance of getting certified, I attended a few webinars and it came up again -- over and over. More and more photographers that I admired were talking about it. I finally accepted that this certification was important to me. To me. Not to those guys I overheard two years ago. It's important to me. I needed to get over my fear of techno talk, my fear of tests, my fear of things that are hard, and take this exam. Wasn't it Kennedy who said "We will go to the moon and do other things, NOT because they are easy but because they are HARD." I didn't want to go to the moon. I wanted to pass this test.

I declared my candidacy last fall. That was the first step, passing that exam, was the second and hardest step. The third step is a review of my work by a board of certified photography judges.

I sat for the exam last month during the PPA convention in San Antonio. I forced myself to learn the things that always scared me -- inverse square law, lighting ratios, formulas, corrective lighting, filters, gels, digital terminology. I took my time on the test. We had two hours to answer 100 questions and I took roughly an hour and a half before I was comfortable handing my test over to the proctor. I did a count of the questions I was sure I got right beyond a shadow of a doubt. It came to 66. Not good enough. I'd have to hope my best guess and my estimates were able to pull me through at least 4 of the rest.

I got my test results in the other day -- a full two weeks before they told me to start looking for them. It took me by surprise and I feared the worst. Imagine my thrill when seeing the phrase "congratulations" in the first graph of that letter. Yes, I passed it! It was hard, and I passed it.

I am now ready to tackle the next phase of this process. I will stand before those judges with some of my favorite images and I will ask them to approve me for certification, not because it's easy, because it's hard. Not because I need to do this to be a photographer, but because I want to. Because it may not mean anything to those guys two years ago, but it means something to me.


  1. Good for you girl! I'm proud of you! ~ CrisB

  2. Love it! I agree totally and you are an inspiration to others who have the same fears as you did!!!