The Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) is a national group of photographers that offers a wide variety of services to it's members including education and the ability to earn awards and designations. Not only does the PPOC provide a way for a photographer to gain professional status in the industry, they also provide a way for a consumer to connect with those photographers. See here: PPOC
I joined the PPOC this fall with the goal of getting "accredited" and therefore being recognized as a professional photographer in Canada. "The accreditation process recognizes photographers who have reached a nationally accepted standard of proficiency and knowledge in photographic arts. It is achieved by submitting samples of photography to a PPOC Board of Review. This peer-reviewed program challenges candidates to demonstrate their capability of delivering exceptional quality in a chosen categorey." (from the PPOC accreditation brochure)
I recently submitted 10 images for accreditation in the category of Environmental Portraiture, meaning portraits taken in an environment other than in a studio. Today I got the results back and my submission was fully accepted! I was actually shocked to get the news because I didn't think I would get accepted. Not only are the standards high, but they are also subjective. For example, one judge may really like a photograph, but another judge may reject it because there is something about it they just don't like...like the clothing of the model, or the cropping, etc. So I didn't really know what to expect. I have to give a huge thanks to Tracy Grabowski, the PPOC regional consulting judge, for helping me select and edit my accreditation images.
This is a huge personal accomplishment for me! I'm a 52 year old mom who is a self-taught photographer. Even though I worked in the photography industry during the 80's and the 90's I only worked in the back end, as a retoucher, assistant, office worker, and lab technician. I always wanted to be a photographer but didn't think I was good enough. So, I really wanted to get accredited to prove to myself that I was.
I'm looking forward to getting to know the PPOC better and working towards further accreditations and designations. Here are the 10 images I submitted and my letter of acceptance.