2018 has been an incredibly difficult and painful year for so many reasons, but there have also been some amazing things happen along the way.
I am proud to announce that I have been notified last week that my application to the Australian Institute of Professional Photography has been successful and I am now an Accredited Professional Photographer.
This means that both my work and my business have been assessed to be of a professional standard through an in depth (and unexpectedly nerve wracking) professional accreditation process that is formally recognised by the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission).
In an industry where anyone can get a camera for Christmas and then set themselves up as a ‘professional’ the next week without even having the basics of a registered business, contracts, experience, working with children check or public liability insurance…its a pretty big deal and being able to legally sign my name with post nominals ( ‘Michelle Wrighton, APP’) is an achievement I am very proud of.
I have to admit that submitting a portfolio of my work to be assessed by some of the best photographers in the country was a far more nerve wracking and humbling experience than I had anticipated, but I am so glad I did it and look forwards to putting my heart and my art on the line more frequently in the future.
What it means for you
The AIPP defines an Accredited Professional Photographer as a ‘photographer, who doesn’t just claim to be a “professional” but earns that title by successfully completing the rigorous AIPP accreditation process. Accreditation is designed to give you, the consumer, confidence that your Professional Photographer is a proven, experienced, technically capable, professional practitioner, who complies with all legal business requirements, has appropriate insurance and who is willing to agree to the mandatory Code of Professional Practice and to the requirement to continually improve their photographic skills by committing to continue their professional development.”
You can read more about the Accreditation process and what it means here, but in real terms it means that you are assured of hiring an experienced photographer who will provide a professional standard of images that have been created with professional equipment (not so important when you just want photos for your phone and to share on your facebook – but very important when you want beautiful wall art and heirloom albums for your home) by a photographer who knows their craft and has the experience and knowledge to provide you with a professional service and product from start to finish.
This professional service includes things like having back-ups of all equipment so that equipment failure (which can happen to anyone) is not a waste of your time and money, a system of archive storage of your purchased images for an extended period of time and an established warranty, quality assurance and guarantee for all products sold.
An easy way to tell if a photographer anywhere in Australia is an Accredited Professional is to look for the following logo on their website.