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Photography Question 
Micah Unruh

How to Become a Master Photographer

I've often seen numerous letters and credits behind the names of professional photographers. One of them that I'm interested in is that of "master photographer." What must be done to attain that title? What credits would you suggest I receive to become the most marketable? Thanks for your help!

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5/28/2004 7:02:03 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  I think what you've seen is actually somebody calling themselves "master photographer". Somebody who's been able to make a successful career can be considered by others to be a "master photographer". But success can be anything from somebody who's been doing weddings in a town for 15 years straight and has built a good local reputation. Or it can mean somebody who's built a career making a good amount of money doing magazine covers, album covers, books, fashion and celebrity shots, like Mark Seliger. Then there are those who attend an actual art school like Brooks Institute, and other places, and gets a degree.
But I don't feel it's an actual title, like getting a degree in accounting, taking the board for law, getting certified for nursing. It's more of building a niche, actually being good at it, and the market saying that you're a "master of photography" because people keep coming back to you, wanting your stuff.

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5/28/2004 1:36:31 PM

Peggy Wolff
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2003
  I think Greg you are way off. Unfortunatly, I do not have the correct answer for you either Micah and tried to find it last year. To be a Master Photographer (which really is a title) you have to have a certain amount of education but you also have to have so many points built up for winning professional photography awards. It is something I will defenetly be looking into soon because I want to start accomplishing that. It is why I joined BP a year ago, so I could get my feet wet with out spending the high cost of prints and entrance fees.

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6/1/2004 5:59:23 AM

Peter K. Burian
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/8/2004
  Micah: The Master Photographer accreditation is awarded by PPA - Professional Photographers of America.


Cheers! Peter Burian

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6/1/2004 6:02:38 AM

Colleen Mairead   I believe PPA has the authority to designate a Master of Photography, but I also think there is a stipulation for having a masters degree in Fine Arts.

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6/1/2004 7:56:22 AM

Michael Daily   Micah there is a designation as master photographer, my understanding is that you have to submit work and it is judged on it's merits, in order to receive such a designation one has to have many pictures merited to be perfect. I met a Master Photographer Ersnt (something, he is assoicated with Hasselblad) at a seminar. He stated that there is several organizations that have the ability to grant such a title, such as in black&white, landscape etc....
I do not recall Ernst saying you had to have a degree to qualify, more had to have so many pieces of work merited of the highest quality.

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6/1/2004 10:10:22 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  So there is an "official title" from ppa. It looks more like something for wedding, high school senior portrait photogs. It's something that you can use to put in an add, for extra marketing tactics.

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6/1/2004 10:26:22 AM

Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2003
The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the most widely recognized professional sanctioning organization in the U.S. There are other international professional bodies such as Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) who offer professional designations. When you see someone referring to themselves as a Master of Photography, that is a specific certification of PPA -- an it has legal implications. PPA also has other photographic designations all earned through testing, print competition, and service points earned. Information on all these professional certifications offerred by PPA can be found on their website.
God Bless,

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6/1/2004 11:17:21 AM

Nick Milton
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/25/2003
  Got to agree with greg la grange here,"master" anything is decide by different institutions,who made "americans" the benchmark here,im british and live in australia,and absolutely wouldnt aim for an american award of anytype?dont get me wrong here,i love americans and believe in the ideals of americans,I just look toward my own area for what can decide a is a hobby/career,basically learnt "on the fly"bit like computers?I agree that there are disign colleges etc etc,but some of the best work is "hobbiest"its just stroke of luck if you get a job for a major newspaper or similar?look at tom ang!people can call themselves what they want,some will believe,some wont,your work will provide proof in the pudding.Im an ex british sas trooper!(who believes me)see?
great site this,and by the way,i love you all.

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6/5/2004 7:03:36 PM

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