A snapshot in time

CHEESE: Miranda Green, 29, of Chase, recently earned the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation from the Professional Photographic Certification Commission. She is one of less than 2,000 CPPs, 52 of which are in Michigan. (Courtesy photo)
CHEESE: Miranda Green, 29, of Chase, recently earned the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation from the Professional Photographic Certification Commission. She is one of less than 2,000 CPPs, 52 of which are in Michigan. (Courtesy photo)

Chase photographer earns professional certification designation

CHASE — Everyone is different in their own way. In Miranda Green’s case, she knows one of her talents is so different that no one in a 50 mile radius of her is similar. The 29-year-old Chase resident recently earned the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation from the Professional Photographic Certification Commission. Although you do not need to be certified to have a photography business, Green believes the designation suggests her skill level to potential clients. “It’s something that sets me apart from everybody else,” Green said. “Hopefully it means something to somebody if they were looking for area photographers.” The designation is awarded to a photographer who meets requirements that measure their artistic and technical competence. The Professional Photographic Certification Commission recognizes less than 2,000 CPPs, 52 of which are in Michigan, including Green. To receive the designation, Green, a Reed City graduate, had to complete a written examination, an image evaluation and adhere to a code of conduct. The certification also must be renewed periodically. Although Green has taken photos throughout her life, it wasn’t until college that she was exposed to the medium and began pursuing it. Mostly taking portraits, Green has been practicing photography for 10 years, the last four of which professionally. Green’s favorite part about taking portraits is interacting with people and being able to watch individuals and families grow over time. The
Lake County Star
sat down with Green to take a snapshot in time and discuss photography, film versus digital and working with children. Lake County Star: What do you think makes a good photo? GREEN: A good portrait to me is expression. Obviously if it is a child, you want that expression, that light in the eyes, that reaction to something. It doesn’t always have to be a smile, it can just be an expression. Color, saturation. Skin tone should look like skin, grass should look like grass. That comes from the technical side of things. Cropping, leading lines, “How does it make you feel.” If you could travel anywhere in the world to take pictures, what location would you most like to go? GREEN: Anywhere on a beach for sure. I am an ocean person. There are great photos anywhere, but that’s a personal choice. I prefer to be on the beach. What is something that you are really passionate about that many people don’t know? GREEN: I am still passionate about sports. I still play in the rec(reation) leagues in the area. When that athlete walks through the door for senior pictures, then I am like, “Oh, let’s do this.” When I go to the (photography) conferences, those are the classes or extras that get me excited is still the sports. The athletics and people trying to be the physically best in their sport that they can be. What’s a perfect day for you? GREEN: The perfect day is probably a one-year-old session, with a couple toddlers, four-year-old sessions, definitely kid oriented. Followed up by a senior in the afternoon that completely knows what they want. … After playing all day long, it is kind of nice to wrap up with that. Definitely kids and newborns are always fun and energetic because even if you aren’t quite feeling it that day, you have to be. They totally get you into it. Isn’t shooting picture of children supposed to be notoriously difficult? GREEN: We play. It’s the key to my style. … We can play for 10 to 15 minutes. We don’t have to start snapping right away. Sometimes you have to make it a game. You have to play catch, “I’m going to come tickle you,” “Dad’s going to come kiss you,” and try to work the parents in if the child is responding to that. … Every kid responds differently. If you weren’t in your profession, what other career would you enjoy? GREEN: Probably working with children, a teacher, pre-school, day care, somewhere along those lines. Not that I can’t be professional and adult, but I do like to play. It is fun. Those basically were my side jobs through college and grad-school. It was definitely working at day cares. You started out learning to take photos on film. Do you prefer using digital or film? GREEN: Obviously I prefer digital because it is cheaper and easier to produce your product to your clients quicker. If somebody came for a portrait session and I was going to tell them it’s going to take three months for them to come back and you are going to get 24 pictures, they probably would move on. There is definitely a different look and quality of a print that comes from film that is made in a dark room. It is more of a piece of art because you have to create it from start to finish. You have to develop the film you have to develop the print in the dark room. It’s definitely something I would love to keep doing, but the companies basically make it harder and harder Who is your favorite photographer? GREEN: Sally Mann. She photographs her children playing throughout the day. They’re nudes. If her children didn’t want to wear clothes that day, they didn’t have to. They lived out in, I believe, West Virginia and just completely captured her children’s’ lives. Running free, doing what ever they wanted. Back to the expressions and what she captured in her children. It was very controversial because she was photographing her daughters nude. In college I brought up these issues. I took a lot of women’s rights classes and children and motherhood classes. It was a huge controversy and it raised really good discussion in our classes talking about her photographs and what it would mean back in the ’70s and ’80s to see these photographs and what it would mean today. She has been one of my favorite photographers for a while. What is your favorite photo that you have taken? GREEN: It is of my nephew for his one year birthday pictures. He has these piercing, crazy-huge blue eyes. The whole session, of course, he is smashing the cake, laughing, throwing it in his mouth. He’s covered head to toe and I moved in because I wanted a close up and he just looks at me totally serious. He’s got cake all over his face, his big blue eyes totally open and his face totally fills up the frame. It is just his expression, that seriousness out of eating cake. Where do you see yourself in the future? GREEN: There is always that hope to maybe pay all the bills with my photography and only do the studio which would be amazing. Possibly one day but it is not the end all. Probably married, hopefully with family. If not, I will still have fun taking pictures either professionally or just for fun. That is a given. What is the hardest part about being a photographer? GREEN: The scheduling. Everybody believes you are available 24/7 and that their issue that they are having is the main thing you have to address at that point in time. I have a million other things on my plate. Scheduling is huge just because I do try to work full-time as well. What sets you apart from other photographers? GREEN: I truly do think it is me and my personality. I am younger. I can relate to a bunch of different age groups. I’m younger to the sense where I will literally work all the time and get it done and I don’t feel right to go out and do something for myself if I’m pending session. I will stay up later and sacrifice my personal time to get things done. Green’s work can be seen at mgreenphoto.net.