Master Photographer: Professional Family Photographer

NAPCP master photographer in family alison bell, photographer

Professional Family Photographer

I just danced and sang in the middle of a quiet camp mess hall, “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!

This is a peer review as a professional family photographer. Not a contest

What is the National Association of Professional Child Photographers?

The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is a professional family photographer 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.


DSC 7962 by Alison Bell, Photographer

Hi! I’m Alison, your chaos coordinator, toddler briber, and parent commiserator. Oh! And Oahu family photographer!

As the ringleader of my own 4-boy circus, I know how hard getting family photos can be.

I run my photo session like a party. I give you something TO DO so you don’t feel awkward wondering, “Where do I put my HANDS?!”

Dad is playing with the kids, everyone forgets what’s ACTUALLY happening, and you look amazing bc you’re actually enjoying yourself. #whoknewphotoscouldbefun

Fast. Fun. Done.


MasterPhotographerOverlayBlack by Alison Bell, Photographer

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 a Professional Photographer Certification

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.

Professional Family Photographer: The images

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!

NAPCP required a very diverse collection of images:

  • 25 total images
  • No duplicates of any subject
  • All different locations
  • 2 or more subjects in every image
  • at least 10 with an adult
Master Family Photographer Certification from National association of professional child photgraphers by Alison Bell
Professional family photographer NAPCP
Professional family photographer NAPCP
Professional family photographer NAPCP
Professional family photographer NAPCP
Professional family photographer NAPCP

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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!

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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!

hey, I'm Alison!

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