If you are new to the “association world”, then you may not understand the framework behind the relationship of TPPA with other photographic associations.

I first want you to know that I think the process is brilliant, and it is why folks join a photographic association and tend to stay.

Let’s begin with the Texas Professional Photographers Association (TPPA) since you are now part of us.

What is TPPA?
TPPA is a state association with the mission to serve professional photographers and photographic enthusiasts throughout Texas and beyond.

We serve our members by providing education, information, networking and advocacy for photographers who are in business or who have a dedicated interest in being the best photographer they can be.

TPPA is a PPA Affiliate
As a state association, TPPA is networked or “affiliated” with a larger, national association, The Professional Photographers of America (PPA).

It is important to understand, we are completely separate entities, but we work together to bring a stronger experience for photographers.
Why is TPPA Affiliated with PPA?
PPA is also a member run, non-profit just like TPPA. An international association, PPA is the oldest photographic association in the world. I could go on and on about all that PPA offers its members, but I want to highlight three important elements of PPA’s offerings:
Certification, Merits & Degrees, and Image Competition.

TPPA Helps You Get Certified!

Certified Professional Photographer
The CPP designation from PPA is an important step for photographers who want to set themselves apart by earning this important achievement.
The process requires passing a 100 question exam and submitting images for a technical image evaluation.

In short, earning your CPP demonstrates a higher working knowledge of the craft and provides photographers with a strong sense of confidence.

TPPA wants to help all of those who wish to become a CPP by providing a great deal of programming to help our members achieve this important milestone.

TPPA Helps You Earn Merits!
PPA Certificate of MeritMerits and Degrees
PPA offers its members the opportunity to earn recognition for service, education and success in photographic competition.

The instrument used to keep up with a member’s progress is knows as a “Certificate of Merit”.

Merits are earned for service such as speaking at an event, serving on a committee, attending an educational event and for images that score an 80 or above at a PPA Photographic Competition.

These merits are used toward earning various PPA Degrees such as the Photographic Craftsman Degree (based on service) or the Master of Photography Degree (based on image competition).

You must be a member of PPA to earn merits.

Because TPPA is Affiliated with PPA, we can provide our members with easier access to opportunities to earn these coveted merits. TPPA awards merits to our members who are also PPA members for attending our events or serving as an instructor at a qualifying TPPA event such as Texas School or the iHeart Photography Conference as well as other TPPA Events.

The bottom line is, you can earn your degrees faster when you are a member of TPPA because you can earn more merits.

TPPA Helps You Succeed in Image Competition!

Image Competition

Image Competition is one of the cornerstones of PPA.

At TPPA, we believe that there is no better process for photographers to improve their work and their skills than to participate in photographic competition.

Image competition is a process where photographers showcase their best images each year and hope that the judges will recognize their work for its outstanding craftsmanship and creativity.

The competition comes in two parts: Districts and The International Competition (IPC). Images are submitted within assigned districts across the US and are judged for inclusion into the National Exhibition at Imaging USA.
Images that are accepted move onto IPC and are judged for additional awards including the Grand Imaging Awards (GIA’s) and for inclusion in the World Photographic Cup where countries all across the globe compete.

Images scoring 80 or above at District or IPC earn one merit and are included in the International Exhibit at Imaging USA.

Q. So, how do you prepare your images for District Competition?
A. You enter your images at the TPPA Annual Photographic Competition for
valuable feedback!

TPPA encourages our members to get involved in photographic competition by providing outstanding education on the process (Image Competition Boot Camp) and classes to help you become a better photographer.

Q. So how do you prepare for the State Competition?
A. You get involved with your local association!

Local Associations
The same way that TPPA is Affiliated with PPA, so too, are local associations. Texas has local PPA affiliates in Abilene, Austin, Bryan/College Station, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, San Antonio and Waco.

Local associations usually meet monthly and offer educational programs, image evaluations and wonderful face to face camaraderie with other like-minded photographers.

TPPA keeps you up to date with each guilds’ activities with a monthly email letting you know what is going on near you.
That’s it for now. I hope you will look for my final email in this series where I will share with you how to get plugged into TPPA’s Social Media outlets.