Certified Professional Photographer

This program includes both the prep course and the PPA exam to become a Certified Professional Photographer.


Interested in raising your skills to an intermediate or advanced level? This certification program includes both the prep course and the PPA exam to become a Certified Professional Photographer with the Professional Photographers of America.


*This LIVE ONLINE class meets every Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM starting September 22, 2021, for ten weeks through December 1, 2021!


Whether you want to improve your photography from beginner to immediate or become a certified professional photographer, this course has a wealth of information for you! By the end of this course, you will have strengthened your photography knowledge and be better prepared to pass the certification exam from PPA.

*An official test from PPA will be administered on the last day of the course.



  • Camera controls, settings, and methods used to set the white balance.
  • Impact on file size and format (TIFF, JPG, RAW, etc) on the final image.
  • Lens attachments.


  • Incident, reflective, and spot meters.
  • How to interpret light meter readings.
  • Relationship between shutter speed, f-stop, and ISO to produce the desired result.
  • F-stop for depth of field.
  • Dragging the shutter.
  • Equivalent exposures.
  • Exposure compensation relative to lighting situations.
  • How to read and interpret a histogram.
  • Exposure compensation while using a filter.


  • Light sources and specialized light equipment to create desired effects.
  • Establishing desired lighting ratios (main light and fill light).
  • Light modifiers (light blockers, black reflectors, gels, spots, flags, etc) and their uses.
  • Type of lighting design (Rembrandt, split, broad, short, etc).
  • Controlling/utilizing light (natural light, window, outdoor, studio, mixed, incandescent, florescent, painting with light).
  • Theory of light.
  • Select the appropriate filter for color correction of the light source.
  • Lighting techniques as composition and design elements.
  • Best color relationship to complement subjects to achieve the desired effect.


  • Frame or crop the picture within the camera’s viewfinder.
  • The angle of view to produce the desired effect (mood, power, size, strength, etc).
  • How to compose the elements within a scene.
  • Posing individuals and multiple subjects.


  • Color spaces and which to work in.
  • RGB, CMYK. LAB color, additive color, subtractive color.
  • File formats.
  • Creating/employing a color management system.
  • Cause and effect in the manipulation of digital images.


  • Selecting the appropriate capture media for the subject matter.
  • Format requirements.
  • Identifying and correcting problems in images.


Certification, conferred through PPA, serves to identify professional photographers who have demonstrated technical competence through a written examination and photographic image submission.

Why Become A Certified Professional Photographer?

Some background: Established in 1977 by Professional Photographers of America the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) credential serves to identify professional photographers who have demonstrated technical competence through a written examination and photographic image submission. PPA and the Certification Committee follow standards for certification which are established by the National Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE). ICE sets the guidelines for creating the written certification exam and makes sure the questions are relevant to professional photography today. ICE also provides PPA and the Certification Committee with support and information to maintain the certification process. And now, here are a few reasons to become a certified photographer Orange County:


Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) is a professional accreditation unlike any other. Not only is this quite a milestone personally, but the perfect illustration of your commitment to excellence.

A Big Part Of Your Resume

You don’t want to miss this opportunity to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd. It is your silent salesman. The degree of prominence you can’t say aloud about yourself. But, can say quietly in all of your marketing efforts.


While consumers may not know a lot about professional photography, they DO know that certification should ensure professional-quality goods and services.

Consumers understand and value credentials. Earning the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation shows them that you have a strong understanding and that you take your profession seriously.


When you hire a CPP, you know you’re getting someone who is willing to go the extra mile to deliver the best possible images. They are business owners who thrive on customer service and satisfaction, and they continuously aim to produce products that exceed your—and their—best expectations. These images are keepsakes whose stories you’ll tell time and time again and treasure forever.


Below are the steps required to become a Certified Professional Photographer. They are designed to help you polish your technical and artistic skills.

  • Enroll in the Certified Professional Photographers Preparation class.
  • Pass a comprehensive written exam measuring your technical expertise.
  • Successfully submit your work to a panel of judges for review & approval.
  • Renewing credentials every 3 years with continuing education units or retaking the CP test.
  • Certification (written exam) also gives you a competitive edge in the market. After all, you will be one of approximately 2,000 professional photographers around the world who have attained certification. That’s certainly something to help leverage your self above the rest of the crowd.


  • Bring something to take notes on, and a snack or drink.
    • If you are not already a PPA member, you will need to join and pay the membership dues to PPA: PPA Membership after the course begins. (Approx. $28/month)
    • There will also be a $200 exam fee payable to PPA during the course.
    • These additional fees will be explained on the first day of class.
    • Includes 1 hour of studio time to help you complete the practical portion of the test.
  • Included in your PPA membership are many benefits such as:
    • Insurance & Protection
    • Perks, Savings & Member discounts
    • Resources
    • Professional Development
    • Medical & Dental Insurance
    • Indemnification Trust
    • Professional Photographer Magazine
    • and much more!
    • There’s no greater proof than when the letters “CPP” follow a photographer’s name. They designate a Certified Professional Photographer, someone who is putting in the extra work to stay above the rest. It assures you of this photographer’s professional knowledge and experience.


  • Intermediate / Advanced


David LaNeve, CPP
John Aranas

All of our standard Payment Terms apply.