TPPA encourages those entering the profession to also become members of Professional Photographers of
America (PPA) and complete the PPA Certification program and to participate in the International Print
Competition in working towards the PPA Craftsman and Master of Photography Degrees.
Benefits include the above degree programs as well as free equipment insurance, low-cost liability insurance,
the Indemnification Trust and much more. All of these are important programs and benefits for photographers who start dealing with
the public and charging for their work.
For those considering a career as a part-time or full time professional, TPPA also supports a study of solid
fundamental business and marketing ideals.
Begin with a fundamental knowledge of getting a business up and running including: obtaining a DBA,
acquiring a sales tax permit, business and equipment insurance and more. Also includes developing a solid
business plan and defining a suitable target market. Other topics include creating a marketing plan and
business brand and developing a social media strategy, partnering with a professional lab and creating
TPPA supports the idea of setting the stage early on for participation in TPPA State Image Competition and
the International Photographic Competition through PPA. We believe these two important steps provide an
excellent opportunity to develop the strength, creativity and quality of your own images.
Begin with an understanding of the benefit of participation in image competition and the differences in the
various competitions and the requirements to enter images. Also, an understanding of the judging processes
and the scoring methods of various competitions is included. Also includes a study of the “12 Elements” and
the beginnings of how to evaluate images and determine their appropriateness for competition.
TPPA advocates the concurrent membership and participation in the local guild structure. TPPA recognizes the
vast educational opportunities and networking benefits of our local affiliated guilds throughout Texas. TPPA
understands that the benefit of local guild membership enhances and compliments our own endeavors to create
strong community of skilled and prosperous photographic artists. To connect to a guild near you, check out the
links to the local guilds at the bottom of this page.
TPPA supports the idea of setting the stage early on, to begin work on earning the Certified Professional
Photographer designation from PPA. This important step goes a long way in acquiring a strong
Begin with an understanding of the benefit of participation in the Certified Professional Photographer program
and the requirements to earn the designation. Also included is the preparation of study for the written exam.
At this level, photographers should have an understanding of metering including reflective metering and
incident metering and the differences between the two. Also, a working knowledge of 18% grey and it’s
place in understanding exposure. Photographers should have an understanding of the Sunny 16 rule and
equivalent exposures and how changing the ISO impacts an exposure.
At this level, photographers should have the skills of editing images in RAW and JPG in Photoshop, Lightroom
or other imaging software. Furthermore, photographers should be able to navigate with a degree of confidence,
the Lightroom or Photoshop workspace and have the skill set to use menus, tools, dialogue boxes and layers to
do basic retouching, selective adjustments of exposure and enhancements and color adjustments.
Photographers should have a working understanding portable flash and recognizing situations where its use
is appropriate. Includes knowledge of using the flash in TTL vs manual and how to determine exposures
accurately. Also, knowledge of using the flash’s adjustments to control the output of the flash and controlling
the flash’s zoom head and its impact on exposures. In addition, photographers should have an understanding
of the quality of light from a portable strobe and the variety of options for modifying the quality of the light.
These skills begin with an understanding of posing individuals, couples and families and creating poses that
flatter the subject and provide nice compositions. Also, includes an understanding of posing terms (headshot,
¾ view, feminine and masculine poses) and how to accomplish them.
The next step includes the visual aspects of image making including lens selections and the composition arts of
creating an image with strong visual interests. Compositional elements include the classic concepts of image
design including leading lines, repetition, framing and more. Add to this an understanding of how lens
selection plays a role in depth of field, angle of view, compression and distortion as well as other important
aspects of lens choice.
Since lighting is the basis in which all images are crafted, a study of the science of light and the qualities of
light are in order. This includes an understanding some of the basic physics of light and a comprehension
and of the various qualities of light (hard light, soft light, direct light, reflected light, etc.). In addition,
photographers should gain a working knowledge of the color properties of light with a basic understanding
of the Kelvin color temperature scale.
This level looks at recognizing natural lighting indoors and outdoors and finding the best source of light in
these situations. Photographers should have a knowledge basic lighting patterns and of the tools and
techniques for controlling natural light. In addition, photographers should be able to recognize situations that
require supplemental lighting and a working knowledge of how to use it. Finally, a basic knowledge of studio
lighting and basic lighting patterns is recommended.
Success at any level begins with a working knowledge of the fundamentals of photographic principles and a
basic understanding of camera menus and exposure controls. This includes the ability to operate one’s camera
in Manual Mode or to work in automatic modes with the understanding of how the photographer’s influence
over these modes is needed to render proper exposures. Also, an understanding of the benefits of working in
RAW verses Jpeg is encouraged. Once this level of skill has been achieved, photographers will then have a
better opportunity for success as they pursue other areas of photographic interests.