Many people saw the news piece last night on Channel 9 entitled
“Consumer Watch: Bride’s Wedding Pictures Turns into Nightmare.”
For the benefit of those who did not see the piece; the professional photographer did a very poor job photographing the wedding. Many, many images were out of focus or blurry. The photographer was also delinquent in delivery of the images and has yet to fulfill the contract for prints. The station was unable to reach the photographer.
My sympathies go out to the bride. I know this is difficult and heart wrenching. However, this would not have happened if the bride had selected Certified Professional Photographer, or a Master photographer.
Certified Professional Photographers must pass a comprehensive exam on photographic knowledge and submit a portfolio of works to a panel for approval. Less than 3% of the professional photographers in America will qualify. Much like the Good Housekeeping seal or the Underwriters Laboratory seal, the Certified Professional Photographer credential is a stamp of confidence from the Professional Photographers of America that consumers can count on. Purchasers of professional photography can have confidence in Certified Professional Photographer knowing they have the knowledge and skill to produce quality photographs.
The Master of Photography designation takes a minimum of four years to earn and it takes most recipients at least eight years. The Master of Photography is earned through a combination of excellence in print competition and lectures to fellow professional photographers. Masters of Photography are revered by their peers in the professional photography industry for their knowledge and skill.
No photographer is perfect. No equipment is infallible. Even the best photographers will have a rare occasion when they are unable to deliver the finished product. That is why the Professional Photographers of America automatically enrolls its wedding and portrait photographers in the Malpractice/Indemnity Trust program. This program gives member photographers resources to correct or refund situations where they were unable to deliver the finished product. If the bride in the story had selected a photographer that was a member of the Professional Photographers of America, then she would not have needed to resort to calling a TV station to mediate her issues.
The lesson to be learned? Always select a Certified and/or a Master Photographer to be your professional photographer. Ask the photographers you are interviewing if they are members of the Professional Photographers of America. The consumer can put their faith in these credentials knowing that those who hold them are the very best.
——— follow up
The photographer in the news story did make good on the photographs and the arrangement. Channel 9’s follow up can be found here.