I'd like to initiate a discussion about a professional society for real estate photographers. Perhaps it could be called the International Association of Real Estate Photographers (IAREP).
Today I had a reader that is entering the business of real estate photography ask if there was a real estate photographer certification or a professional society of real estate photographers. He also pointed out that the PFRE community was currently the closest thing to a professional association for real estate photographers. Over the last couple of years I've talked to a number of people that felt the need for a professional certification or professional association that would add credibility to a newcomer to this business. I tend to lump the concepts of a professional certification and a professional association together because they both seem to be a way to enhance the professional stature of members or certification holders.
I must say, I'm not a fan of the typical real estate certification concept. These certifications tend to just be a recognition that the agent has taken some particular classes not that they learned anything. To me a more meaningful certification would be a peer review type of certification where the applicants work would be reviewed against some criteria.
If you look at professional associations like IAAP or IVRPA the PFRE community already has many of the components of these two associations although the PFRE community is much less formal. Being less formal can be better or worse depending on your point of view. I guess the down side of a professional association is that only members participate, whereas with an informal community like PFRE there is potentially much wider participation.
So, I'd like to hear what readers think about the importance of having a formal professional association for real estate photographers. Either leave a comment or take the poll below or both.