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Degrees And Certifications


Master of Photography

Master of Photography (M.Photog.)
Awarded for superior photographic skills—demonstrated through PPA's International Photographic Competition, advanced education, and service to the industry.

13 Exhibition Merits + 12 Additional Merits

Earned by competing in PPA's International Photographic Competition.


Photographic Craftsman

Photographic Craftsman (Cr.Photog.)
Awarded for service as an orator, author, or mentor. This degree shows that you have gone beyond the creation of images and dedicated your time to move the industry forward and encourage education.

13 Speaking Merits + 12 Additional Merits

Earned by instructing or contributing to the PPA and PPA Affiliate photographic community. Sharing your knowledge and experience is important in moving this industry forward, and PPA wants to reward you for contributing to that effort.

Master of Wedding Photography

Master of Wedding Photography (M.Wed.Photog.)
Awarded to photographers for superior photographic skills demonstrated through excellence in the Wedding competition of PPA's International Photographic Competition, advanced education, and service to the industry.

13 Wedding Exhibition Merits + 12 Additional Merits

Earned by competing in PPA's International Photographic Competition.


Master Artist

Master Artist (M.Artist) (formerly known as the Master of Electronic Imaging Degree)
Awarded for superior photographic skills demonstrated through the Artist Exhibition category of PPA's International Photographic Competition (with images evaluated for computer-applied techniques and proficiency), advanced education, and service to the industry.

13 Artist Exhibition Merits + 12 Additional Merits

Earned by competing in the more technical Master Artist category of PPA's International Photographic Competition. These images are evaluated for computer-applied techniques and proficiency.

   

Certified Professional Photographer

The Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) program from PPA assures others of a photographer's knowledge, experience, and continuance to develop new skills and techniques. It is a declaration of your professional competence! The certification program assures the general public that you, as a Certified Professional Photographer, are a quality professional. It's like quality assurance because certification is a credential consumers and businesses understand. More importantly, it provides you with a tool for telling the world and all those potential clients why they should call you rather than the competitor down the street.

  • 25+ Gold Merit Bar Members can earn one 25+ gold merit bar for every additional 25 merits earned beyond those required for any one degree.
  • IPC 50 Bar The IPC 50 bar is awarded to members who earn a total of 50 exhibition/artist exhibition merits. Exhibition or Artist Exhibition merits used toward your Master of Photography or Master Artist degree are included in the total count for the IPC 50 bar.
  •  Imaging Excellence Award – Awarded to members who hold a Master of Photography or Master Artist degree and who have a minimum of 13 images accepted into the PPA Loan Collection.
  • Imaging Excellence Bar – Awarded to members who already received the Imaging Excellence Award and go on to earn an additional 13 Loan Collection images for a total of 26 Loan Collection images. Members will continue to earn Imaging Excellence Bars for every additional 13 Loan Collection images awarded.

The Journey

The first time I saw the Master Photographer and Photographic Craftsman medallions hanging around someone's neck, I knew this was something I wanted to work for. I did it all backwards. The typical order for degrees and certifications is CPP, Craftsman, and then Masters. I did mine in the reverse order!  It doesn't matter which order you do them in; making the journey is well worth the effort. All of the degrees and certification take a lot of hard work. I don't think I will ever forget my very first merit image and thinking that I was on my way. With each District and IPC competition, my work improved by leaps and bounds. My confidence also increased by leaps and bounds. I wanted to set my own personal goal of getting my Master's Degree with images that started as client work. I did it! The day that I walked across the stage at Imaging USA to have the Master's medallion placed around my neck is another time in my life I will not forget.

When you look around at photographic events or at Imaging USA, you see how few people are Master photographers. It truly is an honor to be recognized by your peers for your accomplishments. And my clients recognize it, too. They may not know what a Master Photographer is, but they see the work that I submit to competitions and know that the photographer they are hiring has some mad skills to do the job!

It is an incredible journey, and the best part is you will have everyone who came before you cheering you on!

~Margaret Bryant


"Traveling throughout Texas and other states while sharing my knowledge of photographing children, families, and how to run a business was challenging. It made me not only a better photographer but also a better communicator. The process of earning this degree provided a learning experience both artistically and in the business aspect of photography. I felt a great sense of pride and accomplishment when I earned the Photographic Craftsman Degree in 1986!"

~Gail Nogle


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