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Monday, January 2, 2012

CPP Accreditation Is A Good Thing (But Only If It Covers Everyone)

There is this push from Winnipeg PPOC with regards to adding on a requirement for certification before anyone who is a photographer can do business. Mainly due to a push by "Master Photographer" Bruce Allen Hendricks. MPA, F.Ph. CPP. I think the motive is good but I think this certification process requires a major rethink. I have no problem with certification, however the certification process involves a whole bunch of crap for a genre of photography that I am not interested in doing. I will not be associating with portrait photography, nor will I be doing event/sports, or weddings. I will not be using reflectors, strobe flashes or concentrating on Rembrandt, Short, Broad, Loop or Split lighting because in no uncertain terms: animals will not sit and wait for photographers to cart out and set up a fancy flash setup out in the wild. Anyone who thinks so, is a first class idiot and doesn't know the first thing about doing wildlife or nature photography. Does he realize just exactly what would happen if he tried to attempt 3:1 lighting on an American Alligator??? My suggestion is: Get your head out of your ass, stay in the studio and leave the wildlife/nature photography to the "professionals" whom you ignored in your CPP requirements.

In his own words: "What I REALLY want is licensing requirements from PPA and PPOC in Canada and the USA. If you are not good enough to meet a specificed standard of those associations.... you are not allowed to get a business license. Un-licensed photographers would be subject to a fine for conducting business illegally. Hey, if you are good enough to make the cut, go for it! But if you are not stay off the field and watch the starters play.

Bruce Allen Hendricks MPA, F.Ph." (Well, I'm certain that there are many wildlife/nature photographers who are unlicenced or not certified but they're damned good at what they do. However congratulations. Bruce, That makes it legal for you to do wildlife photography badly, just because YOU have a certification/licence. But what we can do is turn around and make sure you don't get any business at all in wildlife/nature photography because your nature/wildlife photos would SUCK.) What Bruce A. Hendricks is saying in his quote is that he wants to make it illegal for anyone to present themselves as a professional photographer unless they have CPP accreditation (he's trying to force PPOC to play ball with PPCC) and from what I can see, there is no accreditation process in the works for anyone who is anything other than a commercial, wedding, portrait, or event/sport photographer, leaving us nature and wildlife photographers out in the cold. In otherwords he's trying to skim off the photographers who do nature/wildlife by only allowing those who also do portrait/commercial/weddings/sports and event photography to make any money out of ANY photography. The PPCC do not intend to deal with those who are working nature and wildlife or even bother certifying them because to them, the certification process does not apply. Even the PPCC says this: "If 100% of your images are in this class (I'm still not sure why you'd need certification for this)" Illustrative/Scenics - evidently wildlife falls into this category. The simple answer to this is "people like Bruce who want to eliminate the equal playing field"

And this I will not let happen. If a photographer is good at portrait/commercial/weddings/sports and event photography, then stick to that. Don't take away the market for those professional wildlife/nature photographers who specialize in those genres exclusively by enforcing it so that "only those you choose to be in the higher echelon" who don't have any experience shooting wildlife/nature to begin with. Don't step into my arena and the arena of those of my friends (who are well-known photographers with many publishing credits to their names) who have chosen to do wildlife/nature for a living.

I'll go toe to toe with anyone who says that he or she wants to make CPP mandatory when the CPP credentials are incomplete for all genres of professional photography when they don't know anything other than portrait photography. I absolutely guarantee you that the only things he's accredited in (7X according to his profile are) categories related to portraits and weddings. And I see he spams in Winnipeg Amateur Wildlife Photography Group's Facebook page when he doesn't know anything about wildlife photography and what constitutes a good wildlife photo in order to promote his lighting seminars. In that case he needs to shut the hell up and stick to what he's good at. I don't like it when someone who earns the majority of their money in weddings and portraits moonlights as a wildlife photographer, (unless he/she shows artistic merit in the field of wildlife). Just because they have a CPP after their name doesn't entitle them to a free ride in wildlife/nature photography. That brings down the quality of work for those who have paid their dues and earned the right through experience and hard work to call themselves a professional wildife/nature photographer.

I'm planning on pursuing accreditation through the PPOC in category 48 Nature and further pursing my Master Photographer certification with a further accreditation in category 73 Wildlife and a possible 3rd in Category 09 Botanical. But I will steadfastly refuse to support the CPP designation until it covers all genres of photography and produces an analogous and fitting requirement that meets the criteria of certification for those categories that BAH roundly ignored in his "Draft of Proposal to Certify All Professional Photographers". In doing so, I do not want to see portrait techniques applied to wildlife certification criteria. I want to see WILDLIFE techniques applied to wildlife criteria for certification as a Certified Wildlife Professional Photographer and if he cannot propose fitting requirements for certification then his whole certification process can go jump in a lake.

I do not take lightly to self-proclaimed "know-it-alls" like Bruce Allen Hendricks (regardless of how nationally acclaimed in his field he is by his peers) stepping into the wild to take photos using techniques that are better left in the studio, tromping all over vegetation and wildlife in the process and then pass themselves off as professional wildlife photographers. My advice to Bruce Allen Hendricks is: 1) quit spamming your lighting technique in Winnipeg Amateur Wildlife Photography Group's FB page because your "studio lighting techniques" don't apply out in the field of nature and wildlife photography and 2) Stay the hell out of the wildlife/nature arena and leave that to those who know what the hell they're doing. If you want to pursue your agenda of CPP requirement for all professional photographers, then make damned sure that your CPP requirement COVERS all professional photographers including wildlife/nature photographers and make those requirements FIT THE BILL! Because your lighting techniques would SUCK...out in the field.

In otherwords, to put it plainly, Bruce Allen Hendricks, I don't give a shit about your Masters in Photographic Arts. I don't give a rats ass about your Fellowship in Photography, I don't give a tinker's damn about your Certified Professional Photographer credentials, I don't give a monkey's behind about your 7X national accreditation with the PPOC. Unless you have paid your dues with wildlife/nature photography, then you don't know JACK SHIT about wildlife/nature photography. So stay the fuck in the studio and whine your ass off about photographers who would take your business. Because you sure as hell ain't takin' away my nature/wildlife photography business. PERIOD...and THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE!!!

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I think this guy is full of himself. Personally, if I want to do aviation/sports and wildlife, I don't need some piece of paper saying I'm a pro. I'd let my work determine that.