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Professional Photographers of America- Confering Degrees

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Professional Photographers of America- Confering Degrees

Apparently, Professional Photographers of America confers their own degrees for photographer. Obviously these aren't traditional collegiate degrees, but I'm wondering, has anyone pursued one of these degrees or found them as useful as they're advertised?

Oct 06, 2017 at 12:16 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Professional Photographers of America- Confering Degrees

All I'll say is that I have a real degree from one of the best photography schools in the country, if not the world (BFA Art Center College of Design 1986) and in the last thirty plus years not a single person, client or anyone has ever asked to see a diploma. Unless you're going after a teaching position where you pretty much need a Phd these days, no one cares about your diploma, only if you can produce the images they need or want. If that PPA education helps you do that, then maybe it's worth it. Maybe not. The most important thing the college did for me was introduce me to other students who I would end up working with after our time in school. Of course, those were virtually all graphic design or advertising majors - y'know - the type that actually hire photographers. A lot depends on exactly what you're trying to accomplish as a photographer.

Oct 06, 2017 at 08:05 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Professional Photographers of America- Confering Degrees

As a member of PPA, I'm not totally comfortable with the term "degree", but it's what they call some of them. The various PPA degree and certification programs were developed to differentiate photographic skill and ability from the person who just bought a DSLR and set up a wedding business while they learn photography. To earn a degree or certificate requires submitting multiple photos to a panel of professional photographer judges, winning photo contest awards, attending conferences, teaching classes, etc.

I'm most familiar with the CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) program. There, you have to submit a portfolio of 15 photos to a panel of master photographers for review. You have 6 compulsory photos and 9 individual client photos (must be paid clients). Everything must be perfect, lighting, catch lights, background, hair, makeup, white balance, lens choice, lighting ratios, etc. Heavy post processing is not allowed. In other words, you have to get it 99% right in the camera. If you fail any of the compulsory photos or more than one of the client photos, your portfolio fails.

I forgot there's also a mandatory test that covers everything photographic - lighting and light theory, using the correct lenses, flash photography, equivalent exposures, filters, post processing, color theory, etc. It's very comprehensive.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of the PPA degrees and certification programs.

Oct 08, 2017 at 02:11 PM

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