Last year after entering my first Korean photo contest at Gyeongju City, Korea I learned about the Korea Association of Photographers (한국사진작가협회). This is the organization that certifies professional photographers in Korea. I found out the process to become a certified photographer (사진작가) and began the task of meeting all the requirements. My photography instructor at MokWon University told me I need to earn 50 points over a two year period in order to become certified. Points are earned through education, seminars, winning certified contests and through publication.
Contest points range from six points to one point depending on the contest and what place the photo wins. Usually the contests have one 1st place gold medal, 1 or 2 silver medals, 1 or 2 bronze medals, 5 meritorious mention, and 12 to 100 or more honorable mention winners. The number of entries usually range in the high hundreds to a few thousand.
My goal in 2011 is to complete all the requirements by winning a few more contests and by attending seminars.
Here are few examples of the certificates and a photo fro the opening ceremony at the Gyeongju contest last June.