If you were a musician, you would want to know a bit about music and the notes and chords that go into creating a pleasing composition. You would also want to acquire the skills to play an instrument and to be able to play well enough that people want to hear you play. You might also want to be able to recognize the difference between a great musician and someone who just knows how to play the notes. The same can be said for photography.
Sadly, far too many photographers get ahead of themselves and start trying to run before they have learned to walk. In the photographic industry, these individuals find themselves in way over their heads when it comes to their ability to photograph at a high degree of technical savvy and artistic creativity. Their work is often sub-par and because they don’t have a solid fundamental background, they don’t have a discerning eye for what is a good photograph with proper exposure and what is not.
Many often try to charge for their work before they are technically ready or before they have come to understand the sound principles of running a photographic business. As a result, they wind up working for cheap – often only selling images on a CD at below market prices only to soon realize that this business model is not sustainable. It often leads to “burn-out” because the time spent working on images is not worth what they are paid.
We do NOT want this to happen to you. We want you to develop a sound fundamental knowledge of photography and all that relates to it. We want you to know what goes into a great photograph and to recognize one when you see it. Furthermore, we want you to be able to produce outstanding images – consistently. That is why you begin with the “First Steps”.
We have identified several “First Step” topics that make up something of a lesson plan for those who really want to begin their journey on the Pathway to Success. Each of the First Steps is identified with a green “Success Badge” which identifies the topic followed by a description of what needs to be studied and the skills that need to be mastered to earn that badge. There are eleven badges on the First Steps pathway.
As you prepare for your journey, don’t be offended or embarrassed by the green badges or the “Beginner” label. We actually consider these badges to be equivalent to the education that you might receive during the first and second year of a college or technical school. When you think about it in these terms, you can clearly see the value of your TPPA membership.