From the Professional Photographers of Canada ( PPOC ) explaining Accreditation

An Accreditation is achieved by submitting ten images in a chosen category to a PPOC Board of Review. This peer-reviewed program challenges candidates to demonstrate their capability of delivering exceptional quality photography in a chosen category. In assessing Accreditation Submissions, the judges consider the following criteria: Impact, Creativity, Style, Composition, Presentation, Colour Balance, Centre of Interest, Lighting, Subject Matter, Quality, Technique, and Storytelling. Once a member has earned an Accreditation and upgraded to PPOC Accredited Member they can use the title 'Accredited Professional Photographer'.

Presently hold 12 Accreditations: Portraiture, Animals, Botanical, Fine Art / Photo Decor, Image Manipulation, Macro and Micro, Nature, Night, Ornithology / Bird, Pictorial / Scenic, Stock and Wildlife


Ten (10) images of ten (10) different subjects showing ten (10) different poses from ten (10) different photo sessions and ten (10) different locations and have enough variety in the submission to show the photographer’s creative and technical ability. Head and shoulders, 3/4 and full-length poses must be shown. Singles, couples (2 people), groups (3 or more people), children (aged 12 and under), adults, business portraits, both indoors and outdoors, must be represented in the general class. Four (4) images must be outdoor portraits and four (4) images must be indoor portraits. The remaining two (2) images can be from either outdoors or indoors. No wedding portraits or animal portraits are accepted in the general portrait class.

Image Manipulation

Ten (10) before and ten (10) after examples of images that have been manipulated and enhanced.

Samples should demonstrate the potential of computer manipulation. Examples should include at

least five (5) of the following:

1. Removing people, objects or color from a photograph

2. Adding people, objects or color to an image

3. Major restoration of damaged images

4. Combining several elements from more than two images

5. Moving objects within a photograph

6. Cloning objects.

Macro and Micro Photography

Submit ten (10) images of ten (10) different subjects using special techniques and equipment that show the photographer has an understanding of the concept of Macro and/or Micro Photography. At least 2 of the 10 images must be Micro Photography.
Note: Macro photography is defined as showing a subject in a 1:1 magnification as compared to their actual size. On a 35mm sensor, a 35mm subject should encompass the entire sensor. RAW files may be requested. Microphotography shows the subject in a greater than 1:1 magnification. For Microphotography, special equipment including but not limited to Microscopes may be used.

A good understanding of lighting and software techniques used to enhance this type of photography must be demonstrated.

Ornithology (Birds)

Wildlife Accreditation guidelines from the PPOC website\

Produce 10 images of 10 different subjects, from 10 different photo sessions on 10 different occasions, and have enough variety in the submission to show the photographer's creative and technical ability. Images should show at least three of either birds in flight, flocks of migrating birds, at the nest, with their young, and in the environment they live in, close-ups and could include backyard/garden birds. These images should be a cut above in their ability to distinguish the features of the birds and their environment.


Wildlife Accreditation guidelines from the PPOC website

Ten (10) images of ten (10) different wild animal made in 10 different situations, on ten (10) different occasions. Wildlife refers to any animal that is free to roam and include mammals, birds, reptile and amphibians, rodents, marine and land animals. Animals photographed in zoos or fenced in areas do not qualify. Images should include three (3) environmental images where the animal is shown as part of a landscape and three (3) close-up images where the animal is captured in either a head and shoulder, 3/4 or full length pose. The other four (4) images may include a combination of environmental and portrait images. You may also include a maximum of two (2) images that show details of the animals (i.e. eyes, spots, stripes, etc.). Motion studies are also permitted to a maximum of two (2) images.


Animal Accreditation category description from the PPOC website

Ten (10) images of ten (10) different types of animals taken on ten (10) different sessions. This may include animals such as bears, lions, giraffes, birds, horses, elephants, deer, foxes, chipmunks, tigers, domestic cats, turtles, fish, snails, gorillas, dogs and any other distinctly different animals. This is a general animals category and the judges are looking for variety so only include one of the same type, i.e. one bird, one horse, one bear, etc. May include wild, farm or domesticated animals, in singles, pairs or group (3 or more). Only one (1) photograph may be of a group of animals. Must include six (6) images of the entire animal and two (2) environmental images in an appropriate setting. The two (2) remaining images may be of either entire animals, environmental, headshots or abstract images of a body part. May be taken indoors or outdoors.


Botanical Accreditation category description from the PPOC website

Ten (10) images of ten (10) different types of plants in ten (10) different settings. Botanical photography is the accurate and/or beautiful images of plant life in both the natural and laboratory environments. Subjects consist of flowering and non-flowering plants, native or cultivated, such as trees, shrubs, herbs, fungi, ferns, mosses and liverworts, lichens, club mosses, horsetails and algae. Parts of plants such as flowers, fruits, leaves, stems, berries may be photographed, as well as microscopic grains of pollen, spores, and the like.

Pictorial / Scenic

Accreditation category description from the PPOC website

Ten (10) images of ten (10) different scenes on ten (10) different occasions that illustrate the natural and man-made geographical features relating to our environment. Landscapes, seascapes, mountains, aerials, city skylines are acceptable. Flowers are not accepted in this category. All images must be a “cut above” in their impact and visual interest.

Fine Art / Photo Decor

Accreditation category description from the PPOC website

(10) images of ten (10) different subjects taken in ten (10) different situations. Fine art images may consist of unusual images, individual images or a series of images. The range of styles and treatments varies greatly, from the classic B/W scenes to more unconventional images. In fact, conventional beauty, formal design and familiar subjects are often not components of fine art images and can include painterly effects, soft-focus, journalistic, bizarre and erotic images and other unconventional approaches. Fine art images are usually sold to individual collectors, museums and business clients. Photo Decor is usually the term used to designate a print hung to decorate a room, whether in a private home, an institution, a corporate boardroom, a gallery, etc.
All images must be a “cut above” in their impact and visual interest.

Night Photography

Accreditation category description from the PPOC website

Requires the photographer to have an understanding and knowledge of photography done during the night. “Night” is defined as a period of darkness or partial darkness that occurs after sunset and before sunrise. Ten (10) images, of ten different scenes, on ten different occasions that illustrates an expertise in photographing subjects using extended exposures in low light. The photographer must demonstrate the ability to balance different sources of man- made and naturally occurring light sources, in a minimum of two (2) architectural subjects. The photographer should present a variety of images such as moonscapes, star trails, astrophotography, Aurora Borealis (northern lights), street scenes, city skylines, fireworks, lightning, and “painting with light” images.

Stock Photography

Accreditation category description from the PPOC website

Ten (10) images of ten (10) different subjects made in ten (10) different situations on ten (10) different occasions. A stock photograph refers to a photograph that has already been produced, either on assignment or on speculation, that can now be licensed (leased) to a client. Stock photographers may be generalists, photographing many different subjects (i.e. barns, trees, dogs, etc.) and/or categories (i.e. agriculture, industrial, lifestyles, etc.); or they may be specialists dealing with only one or a few specific subjects or categories of photography. Photographic quality must be above average.

Nature Photography

Accreditation category description from the PPOC website

Ten (10) images of ten (10) different subjects in ten (10) different situations on ten (10) different occasions. Nature photography encompasses all that is natural, including plants, animals and landscapes. It does not however, include man made subjects, landscapes that have been modified by man, domesticated animals or plants, or any situation where the “hand of man” is evident. All images must be a “cut above” in their impact and visual interest.

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