Navigating the skies as a certified UAV pilot and professional drone photographer demands continuous learning, regulatory updates, and skill upgrades. In that effort, recently I obtained the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 61 certification.
The Call to Upgrade: From Part 107 to Part 61
As a certified Part 107 Small UAS Recurrent pilot, I was already very familiar with the challenging but thrilling world of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – commonly known as drones. However, once you’ve earned your license, it must be maintained.
Part 61 certification, compared to Part 107, allows for a broader range of operations, and prepares you for a more diverse set of flying conditions. This certification was my next step to enhance my flight credentials and keep up with my drone certification and licensing.
Moreover, the world of UAVs is continuously evolving, with new regulations, technologies, and best practices. To keep my knowledge and skills current, I regularly participate in online drone communities, and continue learning through professional development courses. It’s all part of maintaining a professional level of competence, skill, and flight safety.
Achieving the FAA Part 61 certification was a fulfilling and enriching experience. It not only allowed me to elevate my drone flying capabilities but also deepened my understanding of aviation regulations, safety practices, and operational efficiency.
From a Child with a Polaroid to a Certified Professional Photographer in Natchez
There’s certainly a sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with becoming a Certified Professional Photographer in Natchez. It signifies a mastery of skills, a commitment to excellence, and a dedication to the craft. Today, I’m excited to share my journey to becoming a certified professional photographer in Natchez, Mississippi, through the Professional Photographers of America (PPA).
The Path to Professional Photography
My passion for photography started as a hobby when I was a child, capturing family moments and my G.I. Joe in desperate battle with WWII enemies. I started out with my parents’ Polaroid camera as a boy. As an older teen I graduated to film photography in high school. I took Journalism under a teacher named Charlie Ross. Mr. Ross took the time to teach me and others photography, even dark room developing. I purchased a Canon AE1, and when I joined the Army, it went with me everywhere. This included West Germany and my travels in Europe.
In the late 1990’s, I transitioned to digital cameras and was taking macro shots of jewelry and other small pieces of art in a business I had at the time. A few years later, I realized that I wanted to turn my passion into a secondary career. My “day job” was as a Criminal Investigator with the local Sheriff’s Department. Both careers led to a multitude of various genres of photography and experiences, including crime scene photography. I began researching the best ways to enhance my skills and gain credibility in the industry. That’s when I came across the PPA and their certification program.
The Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
The PPA is a renowned organization that aims to foster growth and development in the photography industry. With over 30,000 members worldwide, it offers invaluable resources, education, and networking opportunities to photographers at all levels.
One of the PPA’s most prestigious offerings is the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation. This certification is a mark of excellence, demonstrating that a photographer possesses the technical expertise and artistic vision necessary to create exceptional images.
The Journey to Becoming a CPP
The road to becoming a certified professional photographer in Natchez was both challenging and rewarding. It truly was a journey of study and practice that made me better as a photographer in many ways. The process involved an extremely comprehensive exam covering technical aspects of photography, such as lighting, composition, and post-processing just to name a few. Additionally, I had to submit a portfolio of images that showcased my skills and artistic vision.
Throughout this process, I benefited from PPA’s extensive educational resources, including online courses, workshops, and webinars. These learning opportunities not only prepared me for the certification process but again, also helped me grow as a photographer.
MY CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY CPP CERTIFICATE WITH THE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OF AMERCA.
The Impact of Certification on My Career
Achieving the CPP designation is going to be a game-changer for my photography career. The certification has already opened doors to new opportunities and allowed me to connect with other professional photographers in my region and far beyond Natchez.
As a certified professional photographer, I can confidently assure my clients that they are hiring a skilled, knowledgeable, and dedicated professional. This distinction sets me apart from the competition as I am the only P.P.A. Certified Professional Photographer in Natchez, and indeed in our entire region of Southwest, Mississippi.
Becoming a certified professional photographer in Natchez through the PPA has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The journey has allowed me to hone my skills, gain credibility in the industry, and ultimately provide my clients with the highest quality images.
If you’re looking for a photographer who is dedicated to excellence and committed to capturing your most cherished moments, look no further. As a certified professional photographer in Natchez, I am here to turn your dreams into stunning, lasting memories!