The Importance of Knowing and Understanding what Level of Experience you are hiring.

Having a good relationship with your photographer is more than knowing them through acquaintances. We have come across many instances where we hear “ I hired my friend or a friend of a friend or my cousin or uncle” Then we hear “ They did not know what they were doing and I don’t know what to say to them” or “ I hired someone from Facebook as I liked the photos he or she had” “I thought being the images looked great and that they would have no problem capturing my wedding.

I could write many horror stories that I have heard over the years but I will only mention why looking for a qualified professional is important.

Hiring a friend or a friend of a friend or relative is not always the best solution unless they have credentials or a history that you can refer back to and that you like what you see. Even then, if you look at hiring them for a wedding, most likely they will not turn you down however it takes away from them enjoying your wedding, your day and theirs memories of that day as a special guest not a working guest. Then there is the financial item, asking them to capture your day and not offer to pay them what they usually charge is in a way an insult to their years of experience.

Let’s talk about hiring a photographer that you saw on Facebook or other social media or that has a great looking site. There are many unqualified professional photographers out there that granted they are FANTASTIC and legit. In saying that, are you aware that there are also many photographers that have set up Facebook Pages or Websites with bought stock or stolen images from other photographers and it is not their work you are seeing or hiring?

It is known that many of these PRETEND PROFESSIONALS will take your deposits and run or not deliver at all. When I say they do not deliver, it is not because they do not want to but because they cannot due to lack of experience. Stories and disasters as these are growing with PRETEND PROFESSIONALS who are trying to break into the market without education and or years of experience. Being more aware helps that you do not get caught up in these deceptions. Members of Master Photographers International are all qualified. Member on the MPI site that are not qualified yet, are noted on their Member Galleries. We ensure that you are aware of this.

We have included the levels of the MPI Members here with an outline and some images samples in portrait category only demonstrating these levels and experience.

LEVEL # 5 - GRANDMASTER PHOTOGRAPHER – Highest Level of Experience

The Grandmaster Level is the highest Designation and Honor that can be achieved within MPI. Members must achieved 3 Master Category Designations in order to accomplish this distinguished title. This level is extremely difficult to achieve and many of our members are working towards this Honor.

LEVEL # 4 - GRANDMASTER PHOTOGRAPHER IN CATEGORY – Highest Level of Experience in One Category

The Grandmaster in Category Level is the highest Designation and Honor that can be achieved for a single category within MPI. MPI has 6 Grandmaster Designation Categories (see below).Usually these members only focus on one area within their photography and art career. This is also an extremely difficult level to achieve and many of our members focusing on a single category are working towards achieving this Honor.

Grandmaster Quality Image from Master Photographer in Commercial
MPC Erich Caparas





Grandmaster Quality Image from
Master Photographer in Portrait
MPP Louise Simone










Grandmaster Quality Image from
Master Photographer in Portrait
MPP William Branson III






LEVEL # 3 – MASTER PHOTOGRAPHER IN CATEGORY – Mastered the Art and Craft of Photography

Once an MPIO member achieves one of the Master Designations, rest assured that you will be hiring a professional with strong skills in both photography and business of photography. Many MPI Masters are also Instructors.

Master Quality Image from Master Photographer in Portrait - MPP Eden Bao

Master Quality Image from Master Photographer in Wedding - MPW Haley Shandro

LEVEL # 2 – CRAFTSMAN PHOTOGRAPHER - Skilled in the Art and Craft of Photography

When hiring a Craftsman Photographer, you will be hiring a level # 4 skilled photographer that has a good understanding of lighting, posing and creating a good image. Many of our Craftsman Photographers are very close to a Level 3 Master however still have some pre requisites that need to be completed.

Here we demonstrate an image from one of our Craftsman members - Jennifer Kapala. As you can see this images shows more control of lighting along being more creative.

Craftsman Quality Image from Craftsman Photographer - CP Jennifer Kapala

Craftsman Quality Image from Craftsman Photographer - CP Lisa Ruzicki



LEVEL # 1 – ASSOCIATE PHOTOGRAPHER – Aspiring Photographers (Beginner)



An Associate Photographer is a level # 5 and beginner. Our Associates are aspiring photographers who have begun the Master Program and have already achieved a successful portfolio review in their level.

Here we demonstrate an image of an entry level Associate-AP. Please note many MPI Associates are higher levels than the image below. The image here is a sample only of an Associate just starting out.



  • Commercial
  • Digital Illustration
  • Fine Art
  • Nature
  • Portrait
  • Wedding


To find a Qualified Professional Photographer for your needs, please visit our Qualified Professionals Page at If you are a photographer and would like to learn more about photography, we have numerous members who are available that give workshops and/or photo tours.


If you are looking for Fine Art - Check out some out our Fine Art Masters!

Feedback - We would love to hear your stories about hiring one of the MPI Qualified Professionals. Please email your reviews to us at and tell us about your experience.

Membership - Membership into the Master Photographers Organization is by Invitation. MPI only invites a limited number of members in annually. To be included in our list, please email us at





Thank you for taking time to read our post.
Warmest regards,
Arete Edmunds - MPI VP


Original LinkedIn Post
October 26, 2016
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