Discouraged by Sensationalized Wedding Photographer Headlines? We Have a Solution.

By // April 15, 2016 // Posted in Other

One of the reasons that I was so excited to take this job a few years ago was to get the opportunity to serve the community that has been so good to me for the last 30 years. I’d like to think that, with the help of others, I’ve done some good work and together we’ve all helped strengthen this industry. One of the ways the WPPI community has made a difference is through the introduction of WPPI-C, the first of its kind industry certification for wedding and portrait photographers.

The WPPI community is a passionate bunch, and like an extended family that doesn’t always agree on everything, we respect each other for who we are. That being said, we also recognize that there will always be newcomers to our industry, so when the media sensationalizes wedding vendors, making them the big bad wolf and creating headlines like “The Wedding Photographer from Hell” or “Wedding Photographer Bombs Wedding,” it’s clear that we need a call to action.

Instead of throwing up our hands in defeat, let’s rally around what we can do about it. We all want these degrading articles and headlines to stop and here at WPPI we may have a solution.

From the very first day I landed in this office, this issue about integrity in our industry has come up. I have spent much of my time discussing the question, “What can WPPI do?” Overwhelmingly, the solution so many of you clamored for was someway to “certify the industry.”

Fortunately, the folks at New York Institute of Photography expressed their interest in partnering to create such a program, and with the help of renowned wedding photographers like Roberto Valenzuela, Luke Edmonson and many others, we launched the very first certification program specifically for Wedding and Portrait photographers.

This program, WPPI-C, has been available for several months now and it’s making a difference. At WPPI this year, many of you jumped on our special $99 offer and I’m proud of those of you who have taken the steps to become certified.

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As an organization, we are providing you the tools that verify your abilities to your clients. As an industry, it’s up to all of us to educate the public and our clients about the difference they will see when they hire a certified professional photographer. Help us spread the word so the media has something truly outstanding to cover. There are people out there who are qualified to do the job and have proven it time and time again. Take this the vital step forward and force the self-serving media to cover something truly meaningful. Make your clients ask the question, “What are your qualifications? Are you certified to do this job?”

Whether you take our course, PPA’s, PPOC‘s or any other certification program, know that you can stand out and PROVE you’ve got what it takes. We are extending our $99 offer for a limited time, if you are ready to make a difference. We know that the events we shoot are once in a lifetime and showing you are “forever ready” helps move things forward in a positive direction.

Want to learn more? Go here to read up on WPPI’s certification program—we are here to serve you. We know that the events we shoot are once in a lifetime and proving you’re “forever ready” is one way for you to help move our industry forward.

Still not convinced? Here’s a few people who have taken the steps and are proudly displaying their certifications:

Luke Edmonson

Ian Messenger

Katrin Mooney

Erin Costa


Sophia’s Art Photography

And my favorite, Brian Mcmillen even proudly displays his as a profile pic!


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Jason Groupp

Jason Groupp

Jason Groupp is the Director of WPPI and a New York City photographer heavily steeped in the industry. Adoring New York City far beyond any healthy proportion, Jason has maintained his photography studio in West Chelsea for the past 12 years.

Previously from Jason Groupp:


  1. Thank you, Jason, for the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve put into creating this program and for those helping behind the scenes and going through the program.

  2. And how is this going to stop the “Wedding Photographer from Hell” type ??? Oh you mean a piece of paper that the photographer who already steals photos for his website, can just make a copy to fool clients again. Its not like those planning weddings have time do their research. Ask anyone who is Not a photographer if theyve ever heard of WPPI. To joe public it means nothing, especially those planning weddings who are just looking to save $ on paying the photographer. All this is, is another pay to be certified program, here’s my $300, yippie im a photographer now, whos main focus is weddings and taking pictures of cats and dogs. Being certified does not mean your a photographer, it just means you have enough funds to be called a photographer on a piece of paper. (Funny as Ive met 15 year olds who hands down destroy my work, and they dont have nor need a certificate to be known as a great photographer in town). Without a way to show the entire general public that this means something, this is a waste. (Example: when I see this program reviewed by multiple major news networks on TV then maybe i might change my mind, this would show your backing up your program to spread knowledge to the general public and not just taking cash for paper from photographers)
    As of now certifications like this is like paying to put a guarantee on a box to back up a bad product….