2021 PPA Councilor report                                                                                                                    .

 Council is the legislative body of Professional Photographers of America, Inc., (PPA), representing members in 53 countries, territories, and provinces. Our first purpose is to represent the best interests of PPA members. Special interests come second to the good of the whole organization.

My name is Kimberly Pezeshki,M.Photog.Cr., CPP. I’m a Wyoming Past President & Fellowship Director, and CPP Liaison. As your elected Wyoming PPA Councilor I am your ambassador for PPA. I'm here to answer any questions or pass on any concerns to PPA. 

Charge to Councilors "We, the PPA Council, have been elected by our peers to represent this, the world's greatest professional photographic and imaging association. Our goal is to create an environment where the free exchange of ideas will foster the proactive thought needed for any enterprise to flourish. Each of us brings to the Council a unique point of view and set of experiences which, when combined with those of other imaging professionals, creates a greater collective vision. With that understanding, we believe that our obligation is not to any single interest, but the interest of the association and profession as a whole. In this way, we will have the greatest impact on the world we love. Our specific job is to be that of visionary and protector of the Bylaws. Creative work cannot be accomplished successfully by committee. Therefore, we will elect a Board of Directors that represents the best in creativity and professional skill that our trade has to offer. We take this responsibility seriously, and pledge to elect those people only of outstanding character, leadership and business acumen to run the day-to-day operations of our association. We recognize that PPA's primary responsibility is to help its members prosper in changing creative and business environments. We believe that no other professional photographic organization can do this -- the responsibility rests with this body. The burden is heavy and the responsibility great. The reward for our service will be an imaging industry that is stronger and more prosperous than it is today. This will be our legacy. To this end, We pledge to conduct the business of this Council with respect, professionalism and courtesy."



Currently, we have had 622 members declare their candidacy for Certification this year as compared to 628 in 2019 and 604 in 2018. 258 candidates have taken the exam this year as compared to 269 in 2019 with a passing rate of 84%. Almost all exams have been taken online since March due to social distancing guidelines. 

Year-End Statistics 

Total CPP count: 1977 Total CPP Candidate count: 1273 

Total number of members participating in the CPP program: 3,250


From the total of 490 current members that were due to recertify in 2020, a total of 255 recertified putting our retention percentage around 52% for the year. This percentage is about 20% lower than normal, however, due to many educational events being canceled and the one-year Board waiver being implemented we feel confident the Recertification rate for 2021 will be much higher as CPPs take advantage of the Covid resources PPA has offered. 

Technical Image Evaluation In April the Certification Committee reviewed and adjusted the focal length requirement in the technical image evaluation allowing equivalents to be used to meet the specified criteria. The consensus was reached that images should be reviewed based according to camera/lens type and the evaluation checklist should be updated to reflect this: “The lens focal length should be between 70-105 mm or equivalent.”

The 2021 Technical Image Evaluations dates have been selected and are posted below and on PPA.com:

Friday, February 5, 2021 12PM (noon) ET – Friday, February 19, 2021 12PM (noon) ET 

  • Friday, April 2, 2021 12PM (noon) ET – Friday, April 16, 2021 12PM (noon) ET 
  • Friday, June 4, 2021 12PM (noon) ET – Friday, June 18, 2021 12PM (noon) ET 
  • Friday, August 6, 2021 12PM (noon) ET – Friday, August 20, 2021 12PM (noon) ET 
  • Friday, October 1, 2021 12PM (noon) ET – Friday, October 15, 2021 12PM (noon) ET

Exam Resources 

Staff has been working closely with the Certification Committee this year to revamp the sample exam available to candidates for CPP study. The Committee was able to rework several of the items on the sample exam and update references. We plan to release the new sample exam in early 2021. The new exam will be offered online and as a PDF. Each question will also have feedback providing the book and page number each question is referenced from. 


After working with an outside video production company in late 2019 we launched a new CPP video in February via social media and the updated PPA.com. The 3-minute video highlights two new (2019) CPPs and their Certification journeys. We have been excited to start using the video as a part of our peer to peer marketing campaign and using real CPPs to share the power of Certification. 

Updated Logos 

With the revamp of the PPA logo and website in March we also updated the Certification logo to reflect the new color guidelines of PPA. The new CPP logo is available for download in the CPP insiders section of PPA.com. We have also updated the CPP Liaison signature logo and it can be downloaded in the CPP Liaison loop community. The Drone Certification Logo has also been updated with new coloring.


With the help of the Certification Committee, the Recertification CEU chart was updated in mid-April to be more streamlined and offer more options for CPPs to earn online CEUs. We have also added a Recertification FAQ section to the CPP FAQs online. The list below highlights the changes that were made: • adding in a 2 CEU increment option • aligning the number of days to the accrual options (the old chart used language such as “multiday” which was confusing) • removing the cap on teaching or speaking CEU accrual (the old chart was a max of 5) • increasing the online accrual options to a max of 10 CEUs instead of 5 (this is accrued through PPA or PPA Affiliate online education) 

Certification Curriculum on PPAedu 

The Certification department worked closely with the Education department this spring and summer on mapping out the new CPP Curriculum for PPAedu. The new curriculum outlines the process of Certification from start to finish and has a section on “Post-Certification” that highlights topics such as the Recertification process and how to incorporate CPP into your brand. We are very excited about this new curriculum and the ability to have collateral materials and resources assigned to videos. In total there are over 50 videos devoted to Certification in the Curriculum and it has been one of the most popular Curriculums in the platform.

Board Approved Certification Waiver 

In late October staff sent out notifications to both CPP candidates and current CPPs to let them know about the requirement waiver the Board approved in October. Extensions will be given when the member has reached their expiration date with no additional fee required.

Imaging USA- Right at Hom

Imaging USA – Right at Home preparations are well underway. At the time this report was written we had 71 members registered for the 3-day virtual precon CPP Exam Prep Class and 42 for the half-day Technical Image Evaluation Prep. Staff has been working with Intrado and Marcom to create the virtual Certification lounge and discuss the needs and functionality. We are excited to create a fun, virtual space where Certified members can gather and connect.

Drone Certification 

We continue to monitor FAA developments including the addition of: • Remote ID requirements for commercial drone users • Passing an online safety test and carry proof of passage while flying for recreational drone pilots. That test is still in development per the FAA website. So far this year we have welcomed in 13 new Certified Drone Photographers: Devin Curtis Day – Lilburn, GA Charles Lawson, CPP – Kilmarnock, VA William Long, III – New Orleans, LA Jason Reina – Nacogdoches, TX Brian Bailey – Sewell, NJ Melvin E. Guante, Cr.Photog., CPP – Watertown, MA Chris Kendrick – Columbia, MO Angela Marcotte, CPP – Lufkin, TX John Monaco – Rockfin, CA Nat Seymour, CPP – Redmond, WA Marc A. Smith – Kernersville, NC John Mwangi Wanjiru – Newark, DE Mike Anderson - Madisonville, TN

Education Department


 The new PPAedu learning management system was launched in June of this year. This content will continually be evolving as new content and curriculums are being developed and refined continuously. The learning system that was developed is designed to offer the learner/member options and freedom as they journey on their personal learning path. They’ll be able to choose from a range of curated curriculums, deep dives (topic specific) and of course, browse through all content using a wide variety of filters. In reworking PPAedu’s online presence, we are conscientiously making clear the layered benefits of all of PPA’s educational offerings. Our priority was to create a platform and appearance that is prototypical to that of other educational platforms in order to improve member user experience and to attract new members to our website and educational offerings. Working with the MarCom team, there is a focus on optimizing user experience, differentiating between members, guests and first-time visitors. As a team we have refined the taxonomy for all educational content. This will help all site content be served to members and guests in a very organized and curated way. We have updated the specialties and interests lists, unifying our terminology across all departments. Due to the current state of events, we approached content creation differently in 2020. Instead of being able to bring instructors into the office for filming, we worked with instructors to record their class segments in their own studio. We’ll continue to refine this process but we’re hopeful that this will actually be a great way to curate new content. It shows the artist in their own space and viewers will see a more authentic version of the speakers’ photographic style. Additionally, we’ll be able to add more personal content like studio tours to the EDU collection. 

New Video Classes Created in 2020 

These new classes will be released in 2021 

  • Kim Hartz – Pet Photography – Kim is part of the team working with us to build out a pet photography curriculum. 
  • Arica Dorff – Pet Photography and Business Fundamentals 
  • Allen Cooley – Commercial Photography – Allen is part of the team working with us to develop a commercial curriculum.

Curriculum Development

The following curriculums were launched this year along with the new EDU learning platform: 

  • Certification 
  • Getting Started 
  • Student 
  • Bridging the Gap 

New Curriculums for 2021 The EDU team is working with the EDU Advisory committee and subject matter experts to develop the following curriculums: 

  • Wedding 
  • Commercial 
  • Pet photography


This year we were not able to host IPC Districts although did offer unlimited critiques which came in at 1,018. IPC was held online in October with 5,082 images entered of which, 862 images were accepted into the Loan collection and 1,709 images were accepted into the General collection. IPC critiques came in at 2,230. Below, there is a year over year comparison to show the IPC numbers from 2014 to 2020.

International Photographic Competition Committee 

What a year 2020 has been!

 We had to cancel district competition and do a virtual IPC judging. Everything went great with our virtual event. I big THANK you to staff, board and all the jurors that stepped up and made this happen. 

We reviewed the IPC results, operations and logistic of this year’s event. 

  • Overall 50.77% merited. 
  • 2571 Merit or loan. 
  • 1706 Merit 
  • 865 Loan 33.6% loan rate 
  • 1075 District critiques, 2018 IPC critiques 

The IPCC committee updated the operations manual for the committee and created a separate Rules and Guidelines manual for the public, making all needed changes. We have added and updated training videos on the web site to continue to push education out to our members. 

Competitions in 2021 will be in Atlanta at the PPA office 

District will be May 9-14, 

IPC will be September 12-17 

We are working hard to grow IPC and believe we are making the needed changes to allow the competition to increase in both the number of photographers that enter and the number of entries. 

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