Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What is a Master Photographer exactly?

Today as I was dinning on lunch at the Greek Hibiscus Cafe , with a young photographer, the subject came up with the owners of the restaurant, of hiring a photographer.
 
The owner was complaining about hiring someone, and not being satisfied with his work and service for wedding photography.  When I asked the owners how did they find the young man, they said from a friend.  I inquired "Did you check his credentials? or References?"  They replied Sadly No. 
I took a moment to explain, that the field of professional Photography does not currently require licensing like other fields.
I mean, a Plumber has to obtain certain licenses before he can be allowed to enter peoples homes or business and work.  Can you imagine the medical field, Dr.s Dentists, specialists not having to be licensed or have any one looking at them requiring them to be qualified before taking peoples money and proclaiming themselves professional?
Its Ludicrous!
However, anyone, and I mean anyone, can purchase a camera, have some business cards printed up and declare themselves a photographer!  And many are!
Ive noticed there are 19 new Photographers on Facebook in just the Wichita Falls area!  I know a few of these casually, and they are no where near qualified to call themselves professional photographers!
What qualifies them?  A Degree?  A Certification Test?  No. They just Say so.
and this is destroying the reputation of the professional photographer.
I got an email last night from a past client, who explained to me that her daughters surprised her with a photographer coming to her home to create some portraits.
She went on how this "FAUXTographer did not seem to know what she was doing, with lighting or posing or anything. That she took two hours and how the few images that she has showed them were "HORRIFIC" . She stated that I have "ruined" her.
We laughed about it, but it got me to thinking.
John Q. Public doesn't know the first thing about where to locate a Certified Master Photographer?
Well there is a place and its called the PPA
PPA stands for Professional Photographers of America.  Http://www.PPA.com
for short.
and I have been a proud member for 17 years.
I have earned my Certification.  I have earned the Craftsman Degree and also the Prestigious Master Of Photography Degree.
Photography is a lot more complex than just buying a camera and putting it on P for program.
Much much more complex.
and I hate to see people being burned or disappointed.
Its true, you Get what you Pay for.
I have made a few mistakes in my lifetime. I will admit. But I always made it up, re shot or something.
I am not perfect. But I have a room full of awards, and ribbons and published books and I can 99 times out of 100 create a beautiful portrait.
I have studied lighting for years, posing, Light ratios, f stops, shutter speeds, the Kelvin color charts, etc.etc. etc.
Why am i  telling you this? Ive had this blog for 6.5 years and I don't believe in thumping my chest or bragging, but I think the Public just has no idea who a REAL photographer is!
or How to go about locating one!
Please people, if you can not hire me, then please ask for a referral. Or go to the PPA site. If they have the degrees of Certified, Master Craftsman, then i Guarantee you, they know what they are doing.
Also you can go to the Texas Sales Tax website and see if they even have a Texas sales tax license!  This is also very important to see if they are even legal!
I know some good photographers in the area, that are not Certified, and have no degrees. They just have a love of the craft and work hard at it.  There are 3 that come to mind, that are basically self taught, but they are the EXCEPTION.  I have referred them before and will until I hear otherwise.
Ok.. I'm off my soap box now.
Thank you for listening.
Hugs, Dixie
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