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{Sioux Falls Photographer} Three Little Letters

It’s getting a little hard for me to believe that I’ve been a photographer for almost a whole decade. As a Sioux Falls Photographer I have many goals for my business but some of those goals are for me personally as an artist.

Recently I accomplished one of those goals that I’ve spent the last 2 years working toward. I’m a proud member of the PPA, the Professional Photographers of America. (I’m also a board member of our state PPA chapter). The national PPA has several degrees and a certification process that you can work toward. I enter prints for competition to push myself to be a better artist. But I also knew that I wanted to go through the certification process. Anyone can buy a camera and take some pictures, but a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation shows clients that you are a true professional in your field.

I love the Mission Statement for the CPP: To acknowledge and validate a consistent standard by which professional photographers can achieve and maintain a recognizable mark of excellence. Because I want to be VERY good at what I do for my clients. Not just mediocre.

The first part of the certification process is a big nasty test. The test covers a wide range of photographic knowledge such as Lighting, Composition, Post Processing. All of the things a true professional photographer should know.

After passing the test you then submit an image portfolio to PPA where your images are scrutinized by a panel of judges to show that you not only have ‘book knowledge’ but ‘working knowledge’ as well. The first few images are required elements and the remaining images are client examples from your portfolio of work in the last 2 years.

In the last decade there have been 3 little people who inspired my work and gave me many chance to practice my skills and I was so proud that there was an image of each one of them in my portfolio.

Leona  – my ‘High Key’ (bright white) portrait submission

Sioux Falls Photographer

Sam – with my ‘Selective Focus’ (flag is in focus – Sam is out of focus) image submission

Photographer Sioux Falls SD

Gabe – my ‘Broad Light’ (the main light is directed at the side of the face closest tot he camera)


It was an exciting day when my Gold Tube arrived! There are only a little over 2000 CPP’s in the country and I’m so proud of reaching my goad. It’s such a great feeling and I’m so grateful to my many wonderful clients and amazing family who over the years have supported me on this adventure. I would not be where I am today without your love and support!

Julie Prairie, CPP

Julie Prairie Photography

If you’d like to schedule a session, we’d love to chat with you! Feel free to give us a call at 605.359.6640 or send us an e-mail at


Julie Prairie Photography


400 N. Main #203

Sioux Falls, SD 57104



Sioux Falls, SD Portrait Studio

Julie Prairie Photography

Sioux Falls South Dakota

Portrait Studio


400 N. Main #203