You may have seen the AIPP logo on a few photographer's websites as you are searching the internet for a photographer. But what does it mean?
AIPP stands for the Australian Institute of Professional Photography. Quoted from their own website "An Accredited Professional Photographer is a photographer, who doesn't just claim to be a "professional" but earns that title by successfully completing the rigorous AIPP accreditation process."
Unfortunately the photography industry is one that doesn't require a license to say you're a 'Professional' - unlike so many other industries. For example, a trade such as a plumber or electrician who needs to have completed an apprenticeship and hold a license to be able to work. Because of this, you as the consumer may find it hard to filter through those people who claim to be a 'professional' photographer to find someone who actually is. I'm sure that by viewing a photographer's website you can see the quality of work and decide if it's a style you like or not, but being able to see the AIPP logo gives you more confidence in knowing that the photographer you have chosen is someone who knows what they are doing.
So what does it take to become an AIPP Accredited Professional Photographer? The photographer needs to:
* Demonstrate that they have been practicing for a minimum of 2 years.
* Demonstrate that they have satisfied customers by providing written references.
* Demonstrate that they comply with all legal, ethical and moral business requirements to practice as a professional in Australia.
* Demonstrate that their photographic skills are of the required Professional Standard.
* Have a portfolio of their work, assessed by a panel of AIPP judges.
* Achieve the required portfolio assessment standard.
* Agree to continue their professional development, maintaining up-to-date skills and business practices each year.
In other words, it's not easy! But most of those who are serious about being a Professional Photographer and running a proper business will strive to achieve this accreditation. I know I did! When I learnt I was successful it felt like a massive achievement and I definitely had a little celebration!
Looking for this logo and hiring a photographer who holds this accreditation means you can have confidence in them and their work. You can trust that their status of a 'professional' has been formally validated and recognised. They also run a proper business and have the business requirements which should really be mandatory when working with families and children - Public Liability Insurance and a Working With Children Check.
I proudly advertise that I am an AIPP Accredited Professional Photographer because I believe being recognised as a 'professional' is important for customers.