“I welcome this level of professionalism into our industry; all wedding and portrait photographers should become certified,” says Roberto Valenzuela, who is not only an incredible wedding photographer and teacher but also co-creator of the WPPIC certification program.
Since first opening the doors at Kingdom Wedding Photography by Kat LLC here in Vermont back in 2009, I’ve never settled for “business as usual”. I’ve always liked learning and pushing myself to become better and better. I joined PPA (Professional Photographers of America) and WPPI (Wedding Photography Association) and tremendously enjoyed the yearly conventions with industry leaders & workshops. During a master class with Roberto in Las Vegas last year, I heard him talk about becoming a certified wedding photographer and signed up before heading back to Vermont.
What does “certified wedding photographer” mean?
From NYIP’s press release “Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) partnered with the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) for the industry’s first online certification program created specifically for wedding and portrait photographers. The Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Certification (WPPIC) aims to become the industry’s gold standard for setting a new level of professionalism that guides the artistry and business practices for wedding and portrait photography worldwide.
What does the certification process look like?
It was intimidating at first. I swear, I was probably as nervous as I was when taking my GRE. The written exam consisted of 100 questions that tested everything from the nuts and bolts of photography (lens choice, aperture, lighting, posing) to wedding day timelines, running a photography business and client interaction.
After passing the written test, it was on to submitting my portfolio to a panel of our industry’s best (no pressure there!). They judged the photos sent in, looked at marketing materials, business cards, social media sites and provided me with invaluable insights in the 10 minute audio evaluation.
Not only did I pass but I passed with flying colors and can now officially call myself a “Certified Wedding Photographer”.
Why go through this process in the first place?
Our industry is not really highly regulated. We see new photographers set up shop every week. Some stick around, others don’t. Some of them are hobbyists. Some have insurance, some don’t. Some are legal businesses, others aren’t. Few, if any, are certified. I see it as if I were going to get my house renovated (a girl can dream 😉 ); I am going to look for someone who is a licensed and insured contractor and who has the license to prove it, not just some random guy who says, “oh I’ve been doing renovations for years.” Or “renovating has always been my passion”. It’s the same when searching for a photographer.
And on this note, I’m heading into a weekend for an engagement session on the slopes!
Kat – Kingdom Wedding Photography by Kat
Your Certified Boston and Vermont Wedding Photographer