This page is designed to give you a Members' perspective into why professional photographers choose to qualify with the BIPP and how the process of qualification works.
Carol Frost LBIPP
"I believe achieving qualification with recognised professional photography organisations such as the BIPP shows that I have been accepted by my peers in the photography industry and the standard of my photography is professional. Hopefully this is something the public will think about when they are looking for their perfect photographer.
The photography industry is now extremely saturated and unfortunately there are no governed regulations to who can call themselves a professional photographer. The disappointing truth is that more and more people are receiving technically substandard photographs and this is something that needs to change. Photography is an art, and of course everyone has a budget. However, like photography, anyone can call themselves a cook but there is a huge difference between fast food and a michelin star restaurant".
'All-in-all, joining the BIPP has been the best decision I have ever made.'
Scott Johnson FBIPP, May 2013
Scott Johnson joined the BIPP in July 2012. Since then he has gained his Licentiate
qualification and was recently awarded BIPP Licentiate of the Year 2012. Later in the
year Scott was awarded a Merit in the BIPP South East Region Awards and then
went on to achieve his Associate qualification.
Take a look at Scott’s Blog about why he chose to join the BIPP and what he has
gone on to achieve in the last year.
Image copyright - Scott Johnson FBIPP
Tim Stubbings ABIPP on choosing to Qualify with BIPP
Tim Stubbings gained his Licentiate Qualification with the BIPP in 2006 and later on his Associate qualification. Here he explains why choosing the BIPP was an important step in "turning pro".
I initially started my business part time and before going full time the BIPP played an important part in helping make the leap. Selecting a member organisation that was committed to education and support was key in making the transition to pro. It's always given me a quality level to aspire to, not just trying my best but always looking for ways to become better. It has also helped focus my direction in terms of work type. It is now 90% commercial and the mentoring I've received as part of the qualification process has been critical.
In a saturated market, part of my job is to educate the buyer as to why they should hire a professional and it's hard to do that on your own. Less experienced image buyers can't always see the difference or value in a professionally created image. The BIPP will help you if one of your goals is to alter the perception of "we're all photographers now" and build a professional platform.
View Tim's work at www.timstubbings.com
Claire Hill on Gaining her Associateship with the BIPP
In August 2012 Claire Hill achieved her Associate Qualification with the BIPP in Wedding Photography. Here she tells of her experience of BIPP Qualifications and why she chose the BIPP.
‘Photography was not my first career; previously accreditation, licensing and continuing professional development were obligatory components to be able to continue practicing. When I made the decision to have a complete career change, these same principles were an important part of my journey in photography.
I have distinctions and accreditations elsewhere but always wanted to be accredited with the BIPP; they are one of the oldest institutions that serve professional photographers in a much wider spectrum of genres. I was also impressed with the BIPP's qualification criteria. They have moved away from the traditional panel entry for qualification and revolutionised the procedure. Their aim is to really see more of a photographer's work to get to know their style; initially I was not sure but once the submission was ready I felt much happier being able to showcase all facets of the photography that makes up my business.
My wedding submission also included studio work and environmental portraiture along with extra wedding work as I wanted the judges to see consistency; we show our clients a wealth of work and this ethos should remain during qualification.
The BIPP believe in having a mentor; Kevin Pengelly FBIPP is my mentor and was prior to my joining the BIPP; as an approved mentor we were able to get to grips with the new qualification procedure.
On judging day I drove to the BIPP's head office, the institute is very professional and efficient and this became more apparent during my time there. I was relieved when Chris Harper told me I was successful in my Licentiate qualification; he then went on to say the work was then judged again for an Associate qualification and I had been successful. At that point you could have knocked me down with a feather. After the ensuing excitement that involved jumping, tears and a lot of "are you sures" I had plenty of time to talk with the judges. Having seen so much of my work they were able to give me lots of advice and also give me some insight into my progression to fellowship, and I found this time invaluable.
To sum up being a member of the BIPP gives me the accreditation that clients should be looking for. One would not seek the services of a solicitor, accountant, plumber, electrician or other profession based solely on "my work speaks for itself" they use this along with their recognised qualifications and photography should be no different.
Our profession finds itself in a rapidly changing marketplace with many new entrants; it is now that expertise backed up with qualification will set us apart and set the standard. The BIPP is more than just qualification though, it is training enabling continuing professional development, the chance to enter competitions to have one's work judged alongside their peers; it is support in an ever changing environment and assurance that you are a true professional who is serious about your business and approach.’
Image copyright - Claire Hill ABIPP
View more of Claire’s images at www.woodlandhillphotography.co.uk