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."
So if you have seen the AIPP logo on a few photographer's websites as you are searching the internet for a photographer, you now know what does it means!
Unlike many other industries, unfortunately the photography industry is one that doesn't require a license to say you're a 'Professional'. For example, a trade such as an electrician or builder who needs to have completed an apprenticeship and hold a license to be able to work. Because of this, you as the customer 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 looking at a photographer's website you can see their work and decide if it's of a quality and style you are happy with 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.
What does it take to become an Accredited Professional Photographer with the AIPP? The photographer needs to:
* Demonstrate that they have been practicing for a minimum of 2 years.
* Demonstrate that they comply with all legal, ethical and moral business requirements to practice as a professional in Australia.
* Achieve the required portfolio assessment standard.
* Demonstrate that they have satisfied customers by providing written references.
* Demonstrate that their photographic skills are of the required Professional Standard.
* Have a portfolio of their work, assessed by a panel of AIPP judges.
* 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!
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, plus 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.