What it is, why it’s important and the state of the photographic industry
By Walter Borchenko – B3K Digital
The Phase One POCP program evolved out of the need to establish industry standards. This requires the support of Phase One distributors, dealers and rental houses globally.
Training like our Capture-U program or establishing your own system is fine, however, the basics must be covered and maintained. The POCP program delivers the basics and a whole lot more, exceptionally well. This is a strong reason to include the POCP program in any Capture One and or Medium format training strategy.
The program is designed for Digital Techs, Assistants and Photographers who manage their own equipment and workflow or find the additional knowledge valuable in a studio / team environment.
Training starts with an on-line component that averages 4 to 6 hours to complete. The training is broken up into a number of modules, each with a quiz that must be passed by 80%. The second stage involves a 2-day workshop. The 2nd day of the workshop concludes with a final exam. To receive the Phase One Certified Professional designation, the on-line scores and the final exam must have scores of 80% or better. If passing scores are not achieved for the final exam, a retest is arranged for a fee.
As part of the program, each attendee receives one of the most comprehensive Phase One trouble shooting guides available. These guides are not publicly distributed and are available only through taking the POCP program.
Program content is constantly being updated and expanded. Due to the changing nature of the material, certification is valid for 2 years and then a re-certification is required. Fees for re-certification are significantly reduced. As part of the certification, each successful candidate is listed on the Phase One International registry. Canadian graduates now number 30+ from our 2013 and 2014 programs in Montreal and Toronto. This year we are expecting to expand the program to Calgary and Vancouver.
POCP graduates can show the POCP logo on their websites, business cards and marketing. On average, approximately 2/3rds of the attendees graduate from the Phase One workshop.
If Capture One and DSLR’s or Phase One / Mamiya – Leaf digital backs are something you use regularly, there is a very high likelihood of graduating the POCP program.
Medium Format and POCP
Phase One and Mamiya-Leaf backs and systems are the most installed, most purchased and most widely rented globally in the medium format category. If this market situation were occasional, the need for POCP would be small. However, Phase One has been in this lead position for almost a decade.
The install base has grown to a very significant number partially through photographer loyalty and partially due to the incredible life span of these products. Photographers who invest in Phase One / Mamiya Leaf backs typically stay invested making medium format part of their daily workflow. Assistants and digital techs come and go fairly regularly. There is a limited amount of time to train and or learn workflow and equipment operation. POCP graduates have a solid knowledge base and are a great solution to this dilemma.
DSLR’s and POCP
The increase in image quality of DSLR RAW files handled thru Capture One is well established. Significant savings in post-production time and retouching offered by Capture One is a key cost savings and competitive advantage in today’s economy. Clients are no longer willing to pay for significant retouching as in the past. Additionally , tethered workflow for studio photographers increases productivity, quality of the creative process.
Due to the success of Capture One with busy photographers, the POCP program incorporates a significant segment on DLSR tethering, and workflow. If Capture One is new to your DSLR workflow or you would like to take advantage of some of the most effective workflow tools, consider hiring a POCP graduate on a consultative basis. The POCP program gives graduates the tools to work out an efficient workflow and highlight the key tools and functions that save time and produce a better job.
Working around the Globe – finding the right team
The demands of clients can lead to travel and having to produce high-level jobs in other cities or countries. The global nature of business means that travel is an essential part of many photo businesses. To define travel as complicated would be an understatement, especially for photographers. In many cases, renting just about everything is about the only way to simplify the process. Working with POCP graduates in whatever country you happen to be in, provides a high level of consistency. The POCP listing on the Phase One site is organized by world region and then by country making it easy to find someone in or near where you need to shoot.
State of the industry
The photographic industry has changed beyond all recognition. A single photographer produces as much or more work than 10 photographers did even 6 or 8 years ago. In many categories the price of photography has come down significantly putting pressure on studios to find new efficiencies. As the efficiencies of Capture One and the Phase One / Mamiya-Leaf backs is understood by more and more of the remaining market, Phase One solutions have become successful in all categories of photography. The POCP program jump starts staff to a high level of efficiency quickly. If a quick solution is required, a POCP graduate is the perfect consultant to get things going.
In the top photographic categories, costs and prices have gone up, especially when significant production and expertise is required. Phase One solutions have always been a favorite of the higher end of photography. These categories are where many of the POCP graduates come from.
The POCP program provides essential knowledge to take advantage of the 20% of Capture One, Phase One and Mamiya-Leaf backs and DSLR’s that accounts for 80% of the value. In many cases, there is so much riding on a photo shoot that even a small hiccup can be tough to handle. POCP graduates and the POCP program are your best bet to ensure smooth operation.
If you are interested in becoming POCP certified, please contact us. We require a minimum of 10 participants and a maximum of 15. Contact us at email@example.com
Special Note: B3K Digital offers the POCP training opportunities as a photographic community service thru our distribution and sales agreements with Phase One and Mamiya-Leaf. The POCP program is developed, presented and administered by Phase One.