It’s amazing what happens when you shift your life towards things you love.
I languished as a commercial and editorial photographer for years before giving in to what I really wanted to shoot: portraits. Since I began my portrait photography journey two years ago, I have had a burning desire to make sure my clients are getting the best possible images and products.
But never in a million years did I think about winning awards. It’s just not part of why I do what I do.
When I joined the Portrait Masters community via Sue Bryce Education in late 2017, it was before I had even opened a studio. I just wanted to learn how other successful photographers were running their businesses, to learn the best way to light portraiture, and how to up-level my skills in every way possible.
In 2018, I learned about the Portrait Masters Awards & Accreditation process. It is a twice-yearly photography contest where any work is submitted anonymously and then judged by master photographers all over the world. There is a Bronze, Silver, Gold method of ranking photos with Bronze signifying High Professional Standard for technique and delivery. Basically a Bronze from TPM means that the work is at a consistently high professional level and that clients are receiving top level images. Silver is a much harder level to attain, and given to a small group of images. Gold are the best of the best and truly extraordinary work. Gold is world-class photography.
There are three levels of accreditation: Associate (25 points), Master (50 points), and Fellow (75 points). To achieve Master and Fellow, a good portion of your work must receive Silver or Gold level awards.
In order to attain Associate level accreditation with the Portrait Masters, you must receive 25 points.
Bronze images earn 1/2 point, Silver is 1 point, and Gold is 2 points.
I started submitting my photos in late 2018 and here’s how I scored:
Late 2018: 6 submitted, 2 Bronze
Early 2019 : 16 submitted, 15 Bronze
Late 2019: 8 Submitted, 7 Bronze
Early 2020: 26 submitted, 20 Bronze, 1 Silver
Late 2020: 28 submitted, 23 Bronze
I don’t get hung up on how many Bronze or Silvers I receive, I just want to make sure that my work is improving over time. All of the images I submitted were 100% client work. I did not submit any styled shoots because I wanted to be able to tell my clients that their images helped me win awards!
So in just under two years I was able to achieve an Associate Level with the Portrait Masters. Something I never would have thought possible when I submitted those first few images. I’m incredibly proud of this achievement.
All of the Portrait Masters accredited photographers in the world are listed here: https://suebryceeducation.com/directory/
There aren’t many of us north of New York City, so when you come to the studio, you know you are guaranteed to receive portraits of the highest professional standards.
Next stop? Master!