Image Competition

2020 PPSO Annual Image Competition

Dates and deadlines to be announced.

Entry Categories

This category should include portraits of humans or pets, studio or environmental. This may include portraits taken in conjunction with an event such as a wedding, bar/batmitzvah, or other social event but shall not include portraits taken of a bride and/or groom.

This category includes creative, abstract, nature, wildlife, sports, photo journalism and creative Portraits that would not normally do well in the portrait category. No photograph containing a bride and/or groom should be entered in this category.

All photographs of a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah or other social event are included in this category, Whether studio or environmental, singles or couples or groups, posed or candid. Portraits that include a bride/groom must be entered into this category.

Conceptual images that have been altered or manipulated from their original condition would fall into this category. All finished pieces’ work and ideas are derived from the artist. Using post-processing techniques or dramatic combination of details should suggest a story from the image.

Consists of images that have additional elements not created by the maker. All elements not created by the maker must be shown in a guide image.

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This category includes event and non-event albums and books. Event albums/books document social events such as weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, etc. Non-event albums/books tell stories about one or more subjects.

The Print Chairperson has the right to question the category of a print as submitted and to change the Category at his/her discretion. Once an entry has been accepted for competition by the Print Chairperson, it cannot be withdrawn or its category changed by the entrant without the approval of the Print Chairperson. The Print Chairperson’s decisions in these matters are final.

No more than one entry of the same subject by any photographer will be accepted at the competitions unless treatment of the subject is such that it produces an entirely different photograph. The final interpretation of this rule is up to the Print Chairperson.

No entry that has already received a Seal of Approval at either the Regional or National Convention can be entered in a PPSO image competition.

No images or albums/books created during any PPSO class, bonus day event or as part of a class assignment are allowed in any print competition

Rules for submitting entries

Rules for Portrait, Illustrative, Wedding/Event, Artist and Creative Open Entries

  • You may submit 9 single image entries, in whichever category you wish. All entries must be sent via web.
  • Cost of each entry is $6.00 for members and $8.00 for non-members.
  • Files must be sized so the longest dimension is 4000 pixels (20 inches at 200 ppi). Consider this your 
mount board and be as creative as you want. Judges will be awarding creativity and the WOW factor. Each 
file must contain an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB1998 and be saved at a JPEG 
quality setting of 10. Total file size should not exceed 10 MB.
  • Label each entry file as follows: 01_CategoryInitial_Title_FirstnameLastname.jpeg
    (example: 01_GP_Title_JoeSmith.jpeg).  Entry #Master or General, Category code: P =Portrait, W = Wedding, I = Illustrative, A = Artist, CO = Creative Open Title of pieceArtist Name
  • Label each entry file as M = Master or G = General (non-Master) – see above
  • The image title goes only as the file name. Do not place the title on the image as part of the presentation.  The image title will be announced when the image is displayed to the judges. All images MUST be titled.

Rules for Album Entries

  • You may submit up to 6 albums in multiple categories.
  • Cost of each album entry is $6.00 for members and $8.00 for non-members.
  • You may use up to 36 jpegs to tell the story of the album. You may use a minimum of 5 jpg files/spreads.
  • All page/spread files must be sized so the longest dimension is 4000 pixels (20 inches at 200 ppi). Start your album with a blank page numbered 01. Number your remaining jpegs consecutively.
  • Label each album folder as follows: 01_CategoryInitial_Title_FirstnameLastname.jpeg (example: 01_AP_Title_JoeSmith.jpeg)

How do I submit my entries? - NEW SUBMISSION PROCESS!

PPSO members and Non-members can enter this print competition. Here are some of the details about entering.

  1. If you are not already registered at, go there and select “new artist registration.” You will need at least a standard registration for $8/year.
  2. Once you register, log on, and select PPSO as your competition.
  3. Click the “CREATE NEW IMAGE ENTRY” button to begin. Follow the file size instructions.

What scores can my images receive and what do they mean?

  • 100 – 95  Exceptional (Deserving of merit)
  • 94 – 90  Superior (Deserving of merit)
  • 89 – 85  Excellent (Deserving of merit)
  • 80 – 84  Deserving of Merit (Deserving of merit)
  • 79 – 76  Above Average
  • 75 – 74  Average
  • 73 – 70  Fair
  • 69 – 0  Unacceptable

All entries receiving an initial score of 78 and 79 are automatically challenged and reviewed. On the “thumbs-up/thumbs down” rejudging, a majority vote of the judges determine the final score for each print. If the majority of the judges vote “thumbs-up”, the print score is changed to 80. If the majority votes “thumbs-down”, the score of the print remains that same.

The Print Chairperson has final say in all matters pertaining to these rules and regulations.

The 12 Elements of a Merit Image

Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evolve laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these 12 elements.

Technical excellence is the quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, mounting, presentation and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical image.

Creativity is the original, fresh and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.

Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. If might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.

Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition olds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.

Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.

Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. And image in which the tones work together effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feels for effect.

Center of interest is the points or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.

Lighting, the use and control, refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.

Subject matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.

Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media and more are part of the technique applies to an image.

Storytelling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.

Why would I want to enter print competitions?

There are so many reasons and no better way to improve your images! Whether you are entering your own or listening to the judging of others’ work, the feedback is invaluable and can only give you information that will help you talk your art to the next level. It is also the one of the pathways of earning your degrees through PPA.

GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. That puts you into your GROW ZONE. Entering a print competition like this can be emotionally challenging, but it can be rewarding as well as you learn to improve your work for your clients.

EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT READY TO ENTER, come learn from others who have. You will be able to observe as the judges discuss and score each image.