This is probably the biggest single event in the life of my photography business and I’m absolutely delighted to be able to share it now that the news has finally sunk in! In January 2012, we began an application process to probably the most exclusive worldwide society of wedding photographers, the ISPWP.
It is, without doubt, one of, if not the hardest photographic societies to gain entry into.
Here is some info from their website to give some background…
“The International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (ISPWP) is a rarity among wedding photography organizations. Photographers cannot simply buy an ISPWP membership, they have to earn it.
Our requirements are experience, talent, and professionalism. To be accepted, a photographer must have shot at least 50 weddings, submit their portfolio for review, agree to operate under the ISPWP Code of Conduct, and have an ISPWP Sponsor or four references. And THEN they have to be voted in by current members.
In short, when you hire an ISPWP Photographer, you are hiring a talented veteran with a track record, peer recognition, and a passion for creating heirloom images of your wedding.”
The process involves an invitation or recommendation from a photographer who is already a member followed by the submission of client references and complete collections of weddings one has photographed. When a position becomes available, references are called for and the wedding images are reviewed by a panel of judges to see if the photographer can consistently produce images that match or exceed the very high standards set by the members.
“The International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers is an organization of the best wedding photographers in the world. It was created by professional photographers to raise the standards of the wedding photography profession.
We are a resource for wedding clients who know they want to hire the best and the brightest for their wedding. We provide assurance and peace of mind that they are hiring the most respected, most ethical, most professional and most talented wedding photographers in the industry. It’s no secret there are many online directories of wedding photographers. Some of them have hundreds, even thousands of photographers.
That SOUNDS great because there are so many to choose from! But most of these directories have little or no criteria for membership, they are simply link farms that oftentimes include photographers with zero experience and unknown backgrounds who have simply paid the applicable fee.
When you hire an ISPWP member, you can be sure they have passed a rigorous application process and are recognized by their peers to be at the top of their field.”
What makes the ISPWP different than other similar organisations?
“We’re picky. Most online wedding photography directories are simply glorified yellow pages that anyone can join if they simply pay the fee. Experienced pros could be listed alongside someone who just bought their first camera, took a few pictures at their cousin’s wedding, and put up a website.
The ISPWP is an exclusive organization of truly experienced professionals for discerning clientele. Our requirements in the areas of experience, talent, integrity, and professionalism set us apart. We will never compromise our standards just to get more members.
If that means we remain small and exclusive, so be it.”
I was lost for words last week when I received an email saying:
“Your ISPWP application has been on our waiting list as we awaited openings to become available for the the UK directory page. Thank you for your patience. We maintain a waiting list because the ISPWP has limits on how many photographers we will accept in each location. This provides a certain level of exclusivity and ensures all of our members receive adequate exposure.
Congratulations! Your ISPWP application has been reviewed, voted upon, and approved by the Membership Application Review Team.
The ISPWP takes pride in accepting only the most experienced, talented, and professional wedding photographers in the world. We welcome you into the group and we look forward to your participation.“
I am delighted and humbled in equal measure to have become a part of this exclusive world wide group of the world’s best wedding photographers…I’m still a little in shock even a week after receiving the news.
I must say a very big thank you to Emma, Annmarie, Claire and Helen who were our bride references, I guess you guys said some good stuff, so thank you so very much.
Well, I think I’ll leave it there…for now…..