In the Professional Photographers of Canada, once you’ve achieved the coveted Master of Photographic Arts designation, you can continue to accumulate service and print merits based on the images that are accepted in the National Image Salon and your involvement with the association. Once you reach a certain threshold, you will receive a bar in recognition of your efforts. I’m very pleased to say that this year, I received my second bar! I’ve been sitting on the executive committee of the Eastern Ontario Branch in some capacity for almost the entire time I’ve been a member. I’ve been secretary, treasurer, vice-chair, chair, past-chair and am now a director. I also mentor new members who want to become accredited. Being involved has really helped me make the most out of being a member. There is tremendous support which is pretty incredible considering how saturated and cut-throat the industry can feel at times. Most of us are solopreneurs so we understand the ups and downs that come with this business. When I had my accident, so many stepped up and offered to cover my teaching and shooting engagements. Feeling alone and like every other photographer is a competitor is a recipe for disaster – or at the very least, it can breed anxiety and negative thoughts that just aren’t helpful. No matter your niche or where you live, try to find a group of like-minded people. It will help you on your path to success. While it can be intimidating at first, especially if you don’t feel quite up to the same standard, remember that we all started somewhere and most of us are more than happy to help anyone who is serious about improving their craft.
So don’t be shy and reach out if you have any questions about the PPOC!