Young earned this designation after meeting rigorous requirements measuring his artistic and technical competence. Professional Photographers of America currently recognizes less than 2,000 Certified Professional Photographers.
Certified Professional Photographers must complete a written examination, an image evaluation, and adhere to a stringent code of conduct. Certification must be renewed on a periodic basis, ensuring continuing confidence in the professionalism of Certified Professional Photographers.
A 2014 Community Supported Artist through the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte, N.C., Young has won numerous photography awards, including 2014 first place Downtown USA Category Autumn Photography Exhibition at the Burke County Arts Council, 2011 Best in Show Appalachian Mountain Photography Exhibit, 2007 first place Catawba Valley Camera Club Professional Division, and numerous press awards.
His solo gallery shows, N.C. Mountain Folk: Watauga and Surrounding Counties, Country Roads, and Celebration of Heritage: The Face and Voice of Latinos in the Catawba Valley, have been exhibited throughout the state. Young has also been selected in juried group shows, including the 2014 Silver and Ink, Savannah, Ga., 2013 10x10x10xTieton, Tieton, Wa., and 2005 North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, N.C.
He has won numerous grants and fellowships, including the 2010 Martin Luther King Spark Grant, 2009 Regional Artist Project Grant and 2009 Community Folklife Documentary Institute Grant.
Young earned a master’s degree in digital photography at Savannah College of Art and Design and a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology/technical photography at Appalachian State University where he graduated with honors. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems/production operations management at Appalachian State University and an associate degree at Rowan Cabarrus Community College. Young is currently a MFA photography candidate at the Savannah College of Art and Design and plans to graduate May 2015.