I started Fresh Sugar back in July of 2005, which kind of seems forever ago, but in reality – it’s really not all that long as a career as a photographer. Next year will be my 10th year in business, which I will say is an accomplishment I’m proud of, as I’ve seen photographers come and go both in Calgary and all over North America. Some good friends of mine have gone on to new careers, so believe me when I say I feel very fortunate to still be able to do what I love so much.
Being a self-taught photographer, it’s been quite the learning experience for me – learning a brand new skill, and then learning how to run my own business. It’s amazing to realize that the business side of things tends to be a LOT more important than the art of photography. And when someone tells me that I’m lucky to be my own boss, I always say – “oh, I used to have one boss at a time – now I have several! All my clients are my bosses”.
As I’ve been reflecting on the whole photography industry as of late, I’ve starting thinking about the ways I can continue to grow and improve as a photographer. One thing I enjoyed in the past was competition, in fact I recently learned that I am considered an Associate of WPPI, with only a few points more to go to earn my Master of WPPI. Which is a bunch of gobbledegook that means I’ve scored enough high points in competition with Wedding and Portrait Photographers International to earn myself a title.
Another huge milestone in my career has been earning my Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation from Professional Photographers of America. Not only did I have to submit a portfolio of images showing that I understand lighting, posing and other aspects of photography, but I also had to take a two-hour written test in San Antonio, Texas. It was incredibly intensive and scary, but I passed both the image review and exam and earned my CPP! According to their website, I am the only CPP within a 50 mile radius.
If you’re interested in learning more about Certified Professional Photographers, you can view the PPA’s site! Here’s a bit of what they say about the CPP designation:
These days, photography is practiced by anyone with a smartphone, but it’s mastered by few. When it comes to those once-in-a-lifetime moments—when you’ve got one shot at getting it right—you better make sure the person behind the camera is a pro. A proven professional photographer that is.
There’s no greater proof than when the letters “CPP” follow a photographer’s name. They designate a Certified Professional Photographer, someone who is putting in the extra work to stay above the rest. It assures you of this photographer’s professional knowledge and experience, while also declaring that photographer as one who has achieved and maintains a higher standard.
Pretty cool stuff for this self-taught girl.