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What is a Certified Professional Photographer?

In short, it is your way to know your wedding photographer is qualified to photograph your special day.  As I discussed in a previous article there is nothing that prevents anybody from pretending to be a professional wedding photographer.  So how can the consumer know who to trust?  Fortunately, the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in conjunction with the Professional Photographic Certification Commission, the world’s leading certification agency for imaging professionals, created the certification process.

Anybody can buy a camera, get a sales tax number and claim to be a wedding photographer. Why risk such important photographs to somebody who has not proven they can deliver? A Certified Professional Wedding Photographer has taken and passed a written exam administered by the same folks who give the Bar and CPA exams to assure the photographer knows photographic theory. But book knowledge is not enough! Photos from 20 events are sent to a jury of photographers to be judged. Only after the photographer's work has passed does the photographer become certified. Finally, a Certified Professional Wedding Photographer must continue to maintain their certification by attending professional photographer continuing education workshops and be recertified every five years.  Certification can be your assurance that you are dealing with a professional photographer who is dedicated to providing you with professional service.


A Chicago Illinois professional wedding photographer and owner of Magical Moments Photography, Howard's honors and achievements include becoming one of the first local Certified Professional Wedding Photographers. His work has been published in "Chicago Style Weddings," "Wedding Guide Chicago," "The Perfect Wedding Guide,"  and the "Daily Herald."

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  1. Before the Wedding
  2. Looking Your Best
  3. At The Wedding
  4. After The Wedding