It was June and I was in Cherokee, NC on a missions trip with our church. I was sitting at long table in the dining all with another mama working on her graduate school. I was checking my email and keeping up with inquiries when I got it. My jaw dropped, I immediately jumped up and danced!
No music and several pairs of eyes staring at me wondering what on earth was going on. I just danced and sang, “I did it! I did it!” over and over and over. When I wore myself out and caught my breathe I quite dramatically announced to the five people around me that I had earned the title Master Family Photographer!
The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is a professional organization membership requirements and standards for professional photographers. NAPCP hosts a number of Master Certifications in several categories including child, newborn, maternity, senior and more!
They required portfolio of 25 images each with completely different families and subjects with:
- At least 15 of all images should contain 3 or more subjects.
- At least 5 images should be of siblings (2 or more related children) – any combination of ages below 18 years. There should not be adults in these images.
- At least 20 images MUST contain at least one adult (parent / guardian relationship).
Even with eleven years experience photographing families all over the world (thank you Marine Corps!), finding enough quality images to meet the criteria was TOUGH!
This certification will last 3 years before I’m required to renew it.
Why Certifications Matter
Master photographer certificates are important because they provide a formal recognition of a photographer’s skills, knowledge, and experience in the field. Achieving this certification shows that the photographer has not only developed a high level of technical proficiency but also has an artistic vision that sets them apart from others.
It also demonstrates a commitment to the profession and a desire for continuous learning and improvement. Obtaining a master photographer certificate can increase a photographer’s credibility and reputation, making it easier to attract new clients and earn a higher income. These certifications are an important way for photographers to showcase their expertise and stand out in a competitive industry.
If you’re considering submitting
Do it! Photography can be an isolating, subjective and personal field. But putting yourself out there can make all the difference.
The idea of submitting your work in front of accomplished peers is terrifying. There’s no way around it. Get support from other other photographers you trust to help curate your submission. Another set of eyes on your work will help you make clear decisions that you may not see because you’re so close to it. But be careful of who you ask!
If the results are positive, CONGRATS! I felt like dancing for weeks after getting my first certification. It was empowering, validating and so very reassuring that other photographers in my niche saw value in my work. It helped to justify all the work I’d be doing in my business and in my craft. Now I’m out for as many certifications as I can get it!
And even if the results aren’t what you hoped, you’ll grow so much in the process, I promise. If you’re unsure, join printcompetition.com and hear live critiques of image competitions all over the world.
The 25 Image Porftfolio
This was hard. I went back and forth and dug deep into the archives to find images with great lighting, movement, interest and a variety of subjects. Some of these images are several years old, and some were really new!HEY! I'm Alison, Your Fun And Hilarious Family & Newborn Photographer!
I'm a South Carolina native, USMC spouse, and recovering homeschool mama of a four boy circus. Bring me your crazy!
After 11 years of photographing families all over the world, I've realized my clients aren't printing their images. We go through all this work to get dressed, coordinated and then let those photos die on the hard drive.
There's nothing easy about family photos but I'm here to help you with every step from what to wear to printed in your hands whether thats an album or wall art. I want you to Make your people the rock star of your house!
You'll be reminded of what really matters every day when you see the giant prints of your crew laughing on your walls every. single. day.
Currently stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia photographing families all over the Hampton Roads area from Suffolk, Norfolk, Chesapeake and the Eastern Shore all the way to Portsmouth and Elizabeth City!
Follow along on the Gram at @alisonbellphotog or reach out today!
I find joy in chaos. The louder, the better!
I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus. They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!