Commissioning a qualified professional photographer
What is a qualified photographer?
Every photographer has to start somewhere and professional photographers follow what I call “a photographic journey”. At the start of a professional social photography career, it’s all about gaining qualifications and then evolving in the craft over the years.
I believe that the key of developing into a professional photographer is to continue gaining qualifications, continue learning, improving, experimenting and perfecting the craft. I did, and my professional photographic journey has evolved over the years, with many twists and turns.
What is the difference between photography qualifications?
A qualified photographer has spent time training and has submitted a selection of work to photography experts. Photographic work is assessed at a specific level - Licentiateship Level, Associateship Level and Fellowship Level.
Why do you tutor and mentor other photographers?
Because I am passionate about standards of work in the professional photography industry. I am the current Head of Mentorship former Chairman of the Master Photographers Association (MPA).
I love to encourage talented new photographers arriving into the profession so they can move into part-time or full-time professional photographic careers and attain higher standards as they move forward.
Why should I use a professional photographer?
Because nearly everyone owns a camera these days, it does not make them a professional photographer. If you are searching for a portrait or wedding photographer, it is advisable to use a professional who is qualified and who understands lighting, direction, background choice and is able to direct.
If you do not use a professional photographer, you could waste money on bad quality, poorly lit images with unsuitable backgrounds and generally a poor standard of work.
Can I afford a professional photographer?
If you want something special, be prepared to pay for a good photographer. Why would you risk losing the memories? Most professional photographers will have a price list to accommodate flexible pricing. The bottom line is that photography is like everything in life - you get what you pay for!
Professional Photographic Qualifications - an explanation
The first step on the photography ladder is where you see a capital letter L for Licentiateship, before the initials of a professional organisation qualification, for example, LMPA, LBIPP, LSWPP. This means that the photographer has had a panel of work judged on an assessment day, usually a panel of 20 images as a set.
The photographer has learned the basic skills of lighting, direction, background choice and has the beginnings of getting together a style in his or her particular genre of photography. The photographer would also have had to submit a working document or book to support their submission from information about work ethics, to public liability and indemnity insurance and details of business practice.
A photographer who has acquired and worked hard for this qualification will have a capital letter A after their name, for example, AMPA, ABIPP, ASWPP. Usually gained some years after the first L level, this means
The cream of the crop. Now the photographer has become a master of the craft. This style has really developed to an extremely high level above their competitors.
When a photographer becomes a Fellow, they being to get involved more in 'giving back' to the industry and to other photographers either by mentoring, judging competitions and/or giving seminars to newcomers and improvers. Most social photographers aspire to gaining their Fellowship.