It’s no small feat to become an accredited photographer through the Professional Photographers of Canada. Hari Singh of Medicine Hat, who is accredited in both commercial and performing artists, failed several times before receiving his accreditation.

“Very few pass on the first attempt,” explained Singh. “You submit 10 images and all of them have to pass for the accreditation process. Depending on the genre you are being accredited for, more than likely the common thing is 10 different subjects at different times.”

PPOC has an accreditation process three or four times a year. There are 82 classes of accreditation. Each image is judged for vision, impact, composition and technical merit.

With each failure though, some images were accepted, so the next round Singh had fewer images to submit.

“If you submit the first time and you get one or two images, those count so the next time you only have eight to do. That process, it’s a learning curve because you think you are good, but you have these well seasoned photographers telling you, ‘no, this is wrong.’ You look at it, ‘oh, OK, that’s why.’ It’s not only that, one thing I found is that out of all the reviews I’ve gotten, before I shoot, those comments are going through my head.”

Singh has been a professional engineer for more than 30 years and is close to retirement. He initially got into photography after he graduated but ended up taking a break for about 15 years until his wife wanted a camera. Singh bought her a Nikon DSLR, which was too big for her, so he started using it for nature and landscape photography.

All his love of photography came back and he bought another camera, which is when everything changed. His wife told him if he was going to keep buying equipment, he needed to start making money from it.

Commercial photography was where Singh’s interest was, and photographing musicians happened by accident.

“One Friday night, Logan Straub, a local musician, was playing at Travois Ale. I went and asked if I could photograph him.”

From there, Singh was invited to a second gig.

“I love music. With an instrument, I am so inept at it. I tried when I was young and I was just awful.”

He enjoyed photographing musicians and Straub was impressed with the images, which was affirming for Singh. Next, Straub’s father invited Singh to photograph the Hat Rocks Cancer concert at the Esplanade, and everything took off from there.

“One thing I like about musicians is you don’t have to tell them to pose, they do it automatically. They are so animated, it is phenomenal.”

By SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 17, 2023 at 08:31

This item reprinted with permission from   Medicine Hat News   Medicine Hat, Alberta

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