WPPIC – Wedding & Portrait Photographer Certification

Wedding & Portrait Photographer Certificaiton

The WPPI & NYIP joint partnership to create WPPIC – Wedding & Portrait Photographer Certification program is a recently launched initiative that I’ve had the privilege of taking part. To put things in perspective, in addition to co-cofounding WPPIC, I’ve also submitted myself to the process of PPA’s great CPP – Certified Professional Photographer program. The word submit is an important word to talk about for a moment.




accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.


The word submit's popularity over time.
Graph of the word submits popularity over time.



It’s not the most popular word to use because it means you are making a choice to give up “control.”

Which is different than the more popular word “Commit” which retains control.

After all, it’s so much easier to commit to something than to submit to it don’t you think?

So why did I submit myself to the process?

Because there is always an opportunity to continue to learn and grow. If you ever think you’ve got it all figured out a part of you starts slipping backward.


WPPIC & Certified Professional Photographer Programs


The CPP and WPPIC programs are both excellent opportunities for our industry to help establish the standards in the eyes of others of what represents a good level for professional photographers today.

Through the process, I’ve learned that everyone’s story can be different.

My story is that I grew up in a family of photographers, was able to get my degree in Filmmaking and have had the opportunity to learn from incredible mentors and continuing education to grow as a person and as a photographer.

For many photographers out there, they may feel like they are on an island. Perhaps they aren’t a member of a community, or that community exists only in an online or virtual context. They may be new or emerging photographers or been in business for 10+ years and have never had the opportunity to learn the foundations and basics of the craft of photography.



Did I need to go through the process of certification to become a “successful” photographer?

Possibly no.

Was the process worth it?



Photography Certification: What I Learned


What submitting myself to the process taught me was that not everyone had taken the time to learn the foundations honestly. Much like a beautiful pose, where the foundation of the pose begins with your feet, not having the proper foundation in the fundamentals can make a drastic difference in your ultimate ceiling in your artistry and your craft.

By participating in the excellent online study guide WPPI & NYIP have put together, I was able to affirm my knowledge of the foundations of not only working with your camera, lighting and post-production but also specific topics related to Wedding & Portrait photographers. Everything from the ability to problem-solve common issues related to Posing, Business & Marketing, Legal and Ethical themes and understanding the nuances of these particular fields regarding timelines and working well with others that make a wedding or portrait session successful.

After you complete and pass the remotely proctored test, the WPPIC program differentiates itself by not only requiring examples of your work but also your marketing materials, business cards, and other publications that evaluate your social media and publicity presence. These materials should not be hard for candidates to pull together but they represent the baseline that all professional wedding and portrait photographers should have to run their business.

I include the MP3 of the review of my submission for you to listen to, and I hope that when you do, the takeaway you get is the “WHY” my submission was successful.

Hopefully at this point in my career, I should be able to pass this certification.





What is important is the things that resonate for all of us. Our presentation is important. Having marketing materials that clearly explain the process and pricing for your clients are critical. Do the work to be better than you were yesterday. Let us all never stop learning and growing and thinking that “we’ve got it all figured out.” There is always something that we don’t know, and there is always going to be someone out there smarter than us.

So keep a humble spirit, love others and if you are a wedding or portrait photographer consider becoming Certified. By submitting yourself to the process, you will not only gain invaluable knowledge about where you are currently, feedback on areas you can improve or perhaps are doing exceptionally well. Your clients will have one more reason to have confidence in their decision to choose you and it’s something that you can be proud of once you have completed your candidacy!

Learn more about our work by visiting our favorite wedding photos, seeing our wedding photography fellowship panel, dive further into photography certification, or read the story of how my father David Edmonson and I became photographers.


Note: This post was updated on July 21st, 2016.

WPPI 2015 Photo Walk Guide – From The Photographers

Excited about my photo walk in Vegas. Join Julia & Danny Dong to explore the amazing Vegas during twilight time. We will be demonstrating off camera flash and video/LED light. How to do quick set up for beautiful back lighting. Danny will be shooting Nikon and Julia will be shooting Canon. So you can see how to setup for each system. We will bring some extra Phottix Odin Remote Trigger for people to test and try.
— Danny Dong

It’s all about the light, how to create it, shape it, mold it to evoke emotion, style and mood. I use light to draw your to the subject, why not get it right in-camera instead layering and crating the image in post. Join me on this photo walk lighting adventure where I will share my What the Flash lighting techniques using various light modifiers to create stunning light anywhere anytime. All these images have some additional kiss of light using Speedlites and my ©Triangle of Light. It’s doesn’t matter if you use Canon, Nikon, continuous light or flash lights, it’s all LIGHT and I’m going to show how I use my favorite lighting tool Speedlites!
— Bob Davis

On Monday March 2nd 6.30 to 8.00 pm i will be more than happy to share my way of lighting under any condition.Strobes,led and continues warm light and the combinations of them to Las Vegas city light ??? Sounds pretty cool! See you there!
— Nik Pekridis

Please join me on my Photo Walk on Monday at 6:30pm. We’ll have an adorable couple modeling for us (think casual wedding or dressy engagement attire) and we will be on the move just as you would be during a real portrait session in less than ideal locations that you just have to make work. We will explore the MGM and surrounding areas and I’ll talk you through how I size up a location, looking for backgrounds that are simple and uncluttered so as not to distract from your subjects. We’ll look for available light and pop in a little extra when necessary to enhance what is already there. We’ll talk about how to create portraits that are flattering as well as sophisticated and breathable. I’ll be shooting with my PhaseOne camera and tethered wirelessly to an iPad so that we can all see the images and make adjustments until we get it just right. My sponsor Digital Transitions will be on hand with a couple of extra medium format digital cameras for you all to shoot with in addition to your own gear. Plan to travel somewhat light and bring an extra CF card if you’d like to shoot with a PhaseOne as well. See you there, can’t wait!!
— Justine Ungaro

Super STOKED about my Photo Walk in Vegas. Join me and explore multiple quick and easy lighting techniques ranging from Natural Light and Reflectors, Off Camera Strobe and some inexpensive flashlights to get some great results while still moving quickly and efficiently. We may even play in the pool…..Be sure to chime in if there is something specific you would like to learn. These should be smaller groups and we can tweak the format to fit your educational goals.
— Travis Gadsby

#‎WPPI2015 has brought me out of Facebook hibernation to let you all know that my photo walk will be out of this world! For all you budding filmmakers out there, join me on March 4th, 2015 at 8:30am! I’m taking a slightly different approach to my photo walk by making it a brief introduction to thinking like a filmmaker. We will spend our time together creating and capturing footage that illustrates simple actions. The goal is for everyone to capture enough footage to put an edit together when they get home. All skill levels are welcome. Please make sure to bring a monopod with a head if you have one. If you have a video monopod, even better!
— Victor Ha

I’m getting so excited for #‎WPPI2015 ! Please join me on my #‎photowalk where I’ll be photographing the beautiful (and supposedly hard to pose) Tara Welch Photography. I’ll be focusing on the language necessary to make your boudoir subject feel comfortable, and how to pose insanely fast and efficiently. I’ll also be sharing some tips on how to light any room with two handheld flashes and an LED video light. See more info on my blog!
— Lindsey Thorne

Hi everyone! I am SO excited for the Photo Walk this year. I literally give a little squeal every time I think about it! I requested my photo walk to be on my birthday so that I can be surrounded by creative, beautiful people to start my day. There *will* be cake and balloons for a special fantasy/birthday themed shoot. We will go searching for props, find a location that allows us to get dirty and have some fun, and focus on storytelling to create conceptual works straight from our dreams. I personally look forward to taking an extra special birthday self-portrait and inviting everyone to jump in with their own take! Hugs to all!
— Brooke Shaden

Next huge event on my calendar is our trip to the USA for WPPI. I love judging but the photowalk…….that is my favourite type of event. We’ll explore a whole range of light, just as we did on my London photowalk last week at the SWPP. Lighting, as in Vegas, courtesy of Elinchrom LTD
— John Denton

So excited to lead this photowalk where we will go over how to get dramatic images no matter what time of day or weather condition we get! We will also demonstrate how I turn day into night and get some really cool fashion forward looks for weddings and portraits.
— Kevin Jairaj

MovingPortrait Photo Walk (PW40) with Joseph Victor Stefanchik at WPPI 2015!

The story is the most import part of a moving portrait. Dating back to the 1900’s, claymation is the grandfather of the moving portrait. Jump forward to the 21st century and we’re refining how to tell stories through stop motion.

We’ll begin the evening talking about storyboards and then go over the gear. We’ll be using a mix of available light, LED and flash to enliven the shoot. Next, we’ll head out to the strip and shoot up to ten different scenes, making sure to capture great movement and composition.

Join me Tuesday, March 3rd at 6:30PM as together we create 500 stills to compose 45 seconds for a single moving portrait.

Hey, photog pals! Eileen and I are stoked to be your personal guides on this excursion to capture more epic images during fast-paced weddings. We’ll be sharing our simplified secrets to off-camera lighting — as well as how to know when it’s best to go “au natural.”

A couple notes for you: 1) You’ll have two instructors on this PhotoWalk; so we look forward to offering as much personalized attention and help as possible; 2) We’re very excited to have a beautiful (inside and out!) couple, whom you likely know, as our models for the day; can’t wait to work with them; and 3) Yes, please bring any off-camera flash gear you desire, or not — you’ll be learning and creating awesome images either way! Did I mention, we’re in no rush to end this exciting time — so hang out with us for some extra shooting if you want to get really crazy!
— Phillip Blume

Tue, Mar 3, 2015 – 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM PW34-Pete Wright

Join me on my Photo Walk as we take a beautiful bride through the MGM Grand and find spaces that are ordinary and turn them into something extraordinary. I love finding spots that most people would walk right by and turning them into the background for an amazing image of a bride on her wedding day. Join me as we take a step out of the box!
— Pete Wright

Here’s info about my photowalk… It will be Monday from 6:30pm-8:00pm. It will be a Bohemian Bride styled shoot. The first 20-30 minutes will be instructional talking about how to use off camera-lighting, light patterns, light setups etc. Then we will set up constant lights on the model so everyone can be shooting at the same time and get shots for their own portfolio to use. The shoot will be professionally styled, stunning dress, flower head wreath. Last check, there were 4 spots left on the walk. Looking forward to meeting you all!
— Trevor Dayley

My photowalk subject will be Learning Headshots (hands on) with a little training beforehand.
The sign up link is listed here … You will experience shooting and being the subject if willing, so you may see how it feels to be directed into an expression and pose. Great lesson. Join me. smile emoticon
— Lori Patrick

I’m stoked about my photo walk in Vegas at WPPI. We’ll be learning a lighting technique that will allow you to get amazing light all wedding day long without missing a beat. If you are a natural light wedding photographer or a off camera flash person who wants to speed up their workflow…this is for you! We’ll have a tattooed model (of course) and learn High Speed Sync, TTL and Manual one & two light setups. Even if you are an off camera lighting expert, you’ll want to attend *cough* .

So sign up today for WPPI and my photo walk on Mon, Mar 2, 2015 – 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (PW19-Mike Allebach)
— Mike Allebach

Nailing the Cover Shot – Creative Editorial Portraits w/ Craig’s PhotoWalk
Nothing’s finer than getting the front cover, or creating the perfect wall canvas from your portrait sessions! This Photowalk will be a hands on experience working with Craig, as you see what’s possible when you mix locations, light, subjects and any kind of storyline.

Internationally published for the last 35 years, a Nikon Ambassador and Yousuf Karsh Award recipient, Craig will be bringing his sense of funky fun, and showing how to enhance your location session into a dynamic and graphic image series that will make art directors come to attention and portrait clients sing with their wallets!

We’ll be hunting the natural light and then working with enhanced speedlight flash techniques, all while studying compositional possibilities for maximum impact and creative flexibility. We’ll also be working with the Mag Mod and CamRanger products, so this will be a fast moving and image packed session – See you there!
— Craig Minielly

Studio Lighting On The Go. Super easy, low cost gear to knock your images out of the park. Hands on shooting. Sponsored by RadioPopper
— Dave Doeppelh

Looking to learn how to produce highend architectural and interior photography? Join me on March 2nd for my photo walk #‎wppishoots I’ll be showing how I deal with complex spaces and high end lighting techniques to bring out the most of these spaces!!
— Christian Lalondeh

Looking forward to this year at WPPI. We’ll do a hands on session illustrating light quality and light quantity…enlightening and entertaining. oh, we laugh a little too…
— Tony Corbellh

Go on a #‎wppishoots photowalk w/Shawn Lee #‎pw06
I’ll teach you not only how to get phenomenal photographs of absolutely beautiful models…I’LL TEACH YOU HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR CLIENTS AND MODELS TO GET GREAT ENERGY FROM THEM!
— Shawn Leeh

Tue, Mar 3, 2015 – 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM PW25-Adrian Henson
We are going to bring studio quality lighting to the street. This Photo Walk will show you how I shoot high school seniors on location any where any time because of the control that off camera flash gives me. Tag a long and learn or feel free to jump in and shoot.
— Adrian Hensonh

Boudoir Photowalk! Monday March 2nd, 830-10AM. You WON’T be sorry you got up early! Hands on using alternative light, natural light, created light, found light to pose and shape with shadows women of every body type. Model will be dressed to impress. #‎WPPI2015 #‎wppishoots #‎realwomenphotography #‎boudoir #‎photographybyjacquelynnbuck
— Jacquelynn Buckh

Please join me March 3rd – learn posing, lighting and how to take boudoir pics ANYWHERE!
— Jennifer Rozenbaumh

Hello Photowalkers! Signe and I are going to show how we work through a session with an average client on location, wedding or portrait. I will show quick-and-dirty speedlighting techniques (see examples!), we’ll demonstrate our tried and true posing (that clients never feel posed), I’ll show how to use compositional variety to get more out of each shot, and how we work to give our clients a fun and memorable experience. This is a meat-and-potatoes class that will add substance to your business.
— Nick Adamsh

My Photo Walk at WPPI 2015 is called the “Light Weight Photo Walk” We are going to be using the latest in small compact camera gear (all the buzz these days) to capture some awesome photos around the MGM. Bring your own gear to shoot with. We will have some of the smaller cameras for you to try out during the walk.

We will demonstrate simple lighting techniques and the use of 4K Photo mode which will allow you to never miss a moment again. Its amazing and all done in camera!

Looking forward to seeing you in Vegas.
Tue, Mar 3, 2015 – 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
— William Innesh

Looking forward to my Photowalk. We will have the lovely model Katie Layne. We will be working with an Einstein strobe, Beauty dish and some JG Professional Lighting strip boxes, a couple speed lights and the new RadioPopper JR2 triggers with the Einstein module. I will also be shooting with a Camranger so you can download the Camranger Share app on your iOS or Android device and see my shots as I take them. We will then pass the trigger around and everyone will get a chance to get some fabulous shots. Guaranteed to learn something new and have fun while doing it.
I hope you will join me:
Tue, Mar 3, 2015 – 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
PW39-Dave Doeppel
— Dave Doeppelh

Early morning light and composition for me. Monday 2nd 8-10am. The early morning sunlight can play magical tricks with the architecture and how you can use natural light & shadow to make creative portraiture.
— Dennis Orchardh

I’m currently traveling for boudoir shoots… But that’s what I’ll be showing on my walk – and I’ll get my bigger description and some example photos up next week! I’ll be focusing mostly on posing. Tuesday 8:30am, and if there are any lady photogs who may want to volunteer as my subject (I don’t want to use a model for this since I’ll be showing you how to pose real people) please let me know!
— Lindsey Thorneh

Post updated on July 21st, 2016

WPPI 2015 PhotoWalk Guide – Top Photographers

We meet new people every year at WPPI…People who motivate & inspire us and that’s never gonna end. Our list isn’t “The Complete List” by any stretch of the imagination. Check out a few of our friends and people we know who are leading Photo Walks along with us and run get yourself signed up!


WPPI PhotoWalks

My first 3 suggestions aren’t even people we know personally, but I know their work and it’s outstanding.

Chuck Arlund – We’ve followed Chuck for years and recommended his class to our students to sign-up for the year after we spoke at MARS. He’s got a great way of using flash and coming up with creative, off-the-wall ideas. Who knows what he’s going to have planned and up his sleeve and it’s that mystery that would make me so intrigued to join in and find out!

Jennifer Rozenbaum – Boudoir extraordinaire – when her images come across my path, from Facebook to Instagram whatever – I’m stopping down to look and admire. It’s not just the beauty she shoots; it’s the beautiful way she does it!

Mike Allebach – He’s got this reputation for tattooed brides but we think what is great at relating with the people he shoots, and he’s not limited in the ways he can approach it. The guy gives everything he seems to focus on his full attention and delivers the results. We know if you were to attend his walk you’d be in for a genuinely excellent experience!

The next three we know a bit better, we’ve at least shared a meal wiht them.

Craig Minielly – Incredible photographer from Vancouver, just spent some time with him at the ASP (American Society of Photographers) banquet in Nashville. If you’ve ever wondered how to make things work when you are on location, and there is an outstanding job to do, he’s your man. He is a master photographer who has been doing it long enough that “he can help you get unstuck” because he’s solved that and many more problems before. What we’d say about this guy is that he had a huge range of directions he could take his Walk and whichever way he chooses to put it together…from off-camera flash to street scenes he’s got the skills and skins to prove it!

Peter Ellis – A true living legend that continues to inspire. When we first started attending WPPI’s 16×20 print competition, we would love to sit in the room and hear Peter’s comments. His insight and clarity are always spot on! There is a tangible feeling of believability to his imagery and anyone who grabs a spot on his walk is sure to be in for a treat!

Mike Fulton – Being from Texas and being a photographer, means you’ve heard of Mike Fulton and the massive operation he is riding herd. When he’s not out shooting, he’s busy being getting ready for his new twins or serving on the board of PPA or teaching yet another class on Off-Camera Flash. We’ve taught together at Texas School in the past and consistently year after year people who didn’t know how to use their flash to make dramatic portraits walk away feeling that they finally had their “Lightbulb” moment!


Dallas Professional Photographers PhotoWalks

These are our “hometown hero’s.” The photographer peeps who at some point called Dallas home.

Kevin Jairaj – Is he a portrait photographer? Wedding Photographer? Sports Photographer? Or all of the above. This photo hero is the guy you find shooting the Olympics one week and then jetting off to do a shoot in a desert only to come home and make some bride’s day perfect. Just being around KJ is like a bowl of happiness and he’s going to make some lucky group of people better photographers for the time they spend with him!

JVS – The Master of Off-Camera Lighting in whatever form he wants to do it. Still motion movies? Yep, that too. Creativity off the charts? You know it! One of my favorite workshops to date was the day we spent with him. Throw in a background steeped in newspaper photojournalism and a legacy as one of the most revered wedding photojournalists out there. So he moved to Washington DC – we still claim him as one of ours. You want to be challenged to see differently – go on his walk!

Tony Corbell – Most living legends are either old or irrelevant & out of touch. Not this guy. UN Photographic Award, MAC Group Sultan of Light, more PPA, WPPI and other worldwide honors to shake a stick at, he forgets more about lighting that most of us will ever learn and yet you won’t find a kinder, warmer and more patient educator out there. Tony makes all of us a better person!

This next group are all people who have touched us in some way. Personally, or through their influence via inspiration and their passion for photography and creativity. Many of them are friends, and some are photographers we follow and admire.


Great Photographers To Learn From

Dennis Orchard – The legendary Englishman, Dennis is sure to inspire both with how he looks at light and works with people, but also with his perpetual whit and pithy commentary. Fresh off an exciting year in his life, my guess is that he is primed to be more passionate than ever to pouring himself out into the “next generation” and continuing to make a difference in people’s lives.

Kelly Brown – There must be something in that water in Australia right? Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves to feel better. But it’s not the water; it’s a tight-knit community of dedicated photographers who pursue excellence on a regular basis. This lady is pushing her arena into new and fresh areas and every time we see one of her images, we think to ourselves “Brilliant!”

Sam Sciarrino – The Canadian sensation. A master photographer in umpteen photography organizations and thirteen solar systems, it stands to reason he’s accomplished it all. But this guy keeps his head down, churning out the work, pushing the industry and inspiring so many fellow photographers when he stops down and puts on his “Educator” hat. You want to learn how to see different and think different? Grab a seat on Sam’s walk!

David Beckstead – So David has a saying…50/50. Anyone who has ever spent time with him knows his wife thinks he might be doing more like 60/40. What’s the 50%? It’s how he balances shooting for his clients’ needs and experimenting, pushing his boundaries and trying new things for himself! We’ve been a part of David’s classes at Mentors in Miami and when he lead some of our Thirst Relief Night Shoots. Founder of Abstract Canvas FB group and author of loads of books on Composition and wedding photography – a Walk with Beckstead is sure to delight!

Justine Ungaro – Such a classy lass! We love the time we get to spend with Justine, and it’s never enough! We’ve heard rumors that she might be bringing out her MF camera for her walk so ANYONE who has ever wanted to get into the medium format game should look no further. When she’s not walking the red carpet, you can find us stopping down on our FB feed just to see the latest gorgeous, elegant and effortless (looking) photos you are ever going to see!

Joe Cogliandro – Everything IS bigger in TEXAS including the legendary work of our brother from down in Houston. Running a crazy business of big fat Indian weddings, landscape gallery work, incredible portraiture and capturing phenomenal elegant affairs, we’ve run out of superlatives to describe this guy. The biggest thing about him? His heart. When David was sick, Joe stepped in along with Roberto Valenzuela to help us out. This guy is the real deal, and you won’t regret tagging along for his shoot!

Danny Dong – Oh my! Again the time suck of Facebook. Everytime Danny posts another of his excellent shots from the previous weekend’s wedding; it’s a must view. He’s got this whole photography thing down. How to light. How to pose. How to create something different and unique. Danny’s photos are some of the one’s we most look forward. Top it off with the fact that he’s a great guy, and you’ve got the winning combination!

Note: This post was updated on July 21st, 2016.

WPPI PhotoWalk Guide – Las Vegas – 2015

Just a few weeks from now, thousands of wedding & portrait photographers will be descending on the MGM Hotel to learn, grow, network and of course, do some shooting.

By no means are David & I “the experts” when it comes to who to see or what to do. We’ve been doing this long enough that we’ve made a few lifelong friendships along the way and thought…”Wouldn’t it be great to put together something on who we would want to shoot when we aren’t leading our PhotoWalk sponsored by Queensberry on Monday Night from 6:30 to 8 pm.” And then, we found out our dear friend, Tony Corbell will be hosting his own at the same time as us, and we said…well then let’s just make it a list of all the people we would want to go on a Photo Walk with regardless!


Who should attend the Edmonson’s WPPI Photowalk?

We put a big emphasis on being a Family. Whether you are a first-timer or an old-timer, the right people for our photo walk are those who want to feel like they have made real connections with the other members and us in our group. It’s not a place for people with bad back’s, bad hearts or bad attitudes! Will we have fun? Absolutely! Will we learn? You bet! Should you worry about being shy or fitting? Not with us!
— David & Luke Edmonson

We are still meeting new people ourselves every year at WPPI, who inspire us, and that will never end. Our list isn’t “The Complete List” by any stretch of the imagination! Check out a few of our friends and people we know about leading Photo Walks and run get yourself signed up!


What To Bring On Our PhotoWalk

  • A cheerful spirit & your camera of course.
  • We have one confirmed lovely model and possibly a 2nd (90% sure).
  • Your favorite form of lighting – as long as you can carry it and be ready to move quickly.
  • Will we shoot ourselves? Absolutely.
  • Will we make sure we are accessible, available and helpful to get you unstuck if needed? You bet!

The most important thing about our Photo Walk to us? That the people out there who may be introverts, shy or easily intimidated, know that there is a definite warm and welcoming place for you to come. We are a family and welcome you to join in with us!

This post last updated on July 21st, 2016.