So, I'm running around after my regular 40 hour/week job, securing licenses, editing this website (not as easy as it looks!), learning about great business practices, etc. I recently joined PPA, because they offer some really amazing benefits to photographers and their forums are filled with people who love to lend a hand!
PPA offers a professional photographer certification program and I'm sure I could pass the test after a little bit of study. Having that certificate would really make me feel great. But I didn't start this business just to feel great, and I'm wondering if my owning a several hundred dollar piece of paper would really make that much of a difference to YOU.
Let me tell you how I see it. YOU, my clients, have worked with me and you know I have the ability to create great portraits in nearly any circumstances. You've seen me work with large groups and watched me make my own light when the available is less than ideal. You guys have confidence in me! But what about new clients? What about people who are coming to me for the first time and have only what they see on my website, paired with my winning personality to go by?
What will set me apart from the newest photography business down the block? My personality, portraits, customer service, satisfaction guarantee? I have to wonder if, when deciding between HR Photography and another local photographer, that certification could be the difference between getting to photograph a new client and seeing the photos business B posts on Facebook.
So, as a photography client, what difference would "Certified Professional Photographer" make to you?