Certification Course

The Photo Managers certification course increases your knowledge and understanding of photo management practices and running a photo management business. It’s the only way to earn a place in the public directory of Professional Photo Managers and you’ll receive a badge to display proudly on your website.

Ready to become a Certified Photo Manager?

Professional Advantages of Certification

  • Identify and fill knowledge gaps
  • Enable better decision making
  • Increase efficiency and competence
  • Demonstrate mastery of photo management best practices and industry standards
  • Recognition from peers and within the industry
  • Bolster professional credibility with clients

Course Overview

The Photo Managers certification course contains five self-paced study modules you can view online or download as PDFs. Each has an accompanying review quiz*. There is no in-person exam or classroom study. We also require documentation of a client project, a client reference, and an informational interview with a member of The Photo Managers staff.



  1. Understand the role of a Certified Photo Manager and the wide range of services and products you can offer.
  2. Describe The Photo Managers and know its resources.
  3. Learn the best practices for the elements of photo management.
  4. Understand The Photo Managers Code of Ethics.

  1. Review successful relationship-building techniques.
  2. Understand the elements of a client’s needs assessment and why it’s important.
  3. Through six elements of project management, learn the basics of keeping a project on time and on budget.


  1. Implement best practices for gathering and organizing images and memorabilia, including using the ABCs acronym to sort. 
  2. Explain the pros and cons of chronological vs. thematic organizing.
  3. Learn to gather not only pictures but context and stories as well.
  4. Understand the elements of digitizing, from copyright to equipment, to editing and adding metadata. 
  5. Know the options for organizing and digitizing different types of memorabilia.

  1. Identify and work with a variety of different media types and operating systems.
  2. Understand best practices in digital organizing and create an organizing workflow to best meet your client’s needs..
  3. Learn the features of popular cloud services and best practices that relate to cloud storage.


  1. Be able to guide clients through decisions about what photos to keep including where and why.
  2. Learn the basics of archival storage so you can make informed purchases of supplies and set up appropriate storage in clients’ locations.
  3. Understand best practices for storing various types of materials.
  4. Recognize the numerous ways you can share your finished work with your client, always striving to over-deliver.
  5. Be inspired by the myriad ways to help clients share their photos and stories.

*Each module has a review quiz at the end to test knowledge. You must pass with at least a score of 95 to have it qualify for the certification requirements. You can retake the quizzes as many times as necessary.


“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”

-Seth Godin

Getting Started

Step 1

Review the requirements. The certification course is taken on our learning site, where you’ll get an account once you join. The training documents can be printed, filed on your computer, or stored on your tablet for easy viewing. This material contains the course of study needed to pass the quizzes. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the Client Project Documentation & Client Reference Guidelines.

Step 2

When you are ready, take the quiz assigned to that module. You can take these quizzes as many times as you need to pass the module.

Step 3

Complete and submit your client project documentation. We need this information before conducting the client reference and your certification interview.

This documentation shows us that you are understanding and utilizing many of the best practices of photo management. Here are the guidelines for your submission:

> Please document paying client project(s), not work for family or friends that was done without compensation. Pricing and dealing with non-family client relationships are an important part of the best practices and we want to see your approach to them!
> Please have your business website up and running when you submit so that you are ready to welcome new clients as soon as your profile becomes visible in the Public Directory.
> Your client reference does not have to be the one that you submit documentation for, but should also be a paying client.

Once submitted, you will receive an email confirmation and we will reach out to your client reference within 3-5 business days (Monday-Friday, business hours, ET). Then we’ll contact you to arrange a time for your interview. This is a friendly, informational interview and takes approximately 10-15 minutes of your time.

Congratulations! After the interview, you are officially certified and your account status will be updated. Your profile will now be searchable in the public directory and we will email you a certification badge for use in online or print marketing.