Image Competition

Why Enter Image Competition?

Image competition is a challenging but rewarding experience. As an AzPPA member, entering your best images into state competition offers your studio the opportunity to compete for numerous awards and rise to the top to be named Arizona PPA Photographer Of The Year. With awards for first, second and third place in a variety of categories such as portrait, illustrative, commercial and wedding as well as an award for the highest image score for a first time competition entrant, you never know what awards you may go home with. These awards also help studios garner attention from the media with your press releases as well as with potential clients.

In addition to being an excellent educational experience by entering and watching image competition, the scores and occasional comments made by the distinguished national panel of PPA approved judges will help prepare you for submitting your images to regional and international competitions. This is where your hard work as a photographer really shines and puts you on a path to achieving a Master of Photography degree with the Professional Photographers of America, achieving one of the highest levels of photographic excellence in the industry (to learn more about PPA's Master of Photographer Degree visit the PPA website).

How Do You Enter Image Competition? 

Entering image competition is relatively easy.

Detailed Instructions on preparing your images for competition can be found in the Image Registration section on the previous page. Once prepared, click on the 'Register Your Images Now' link on the bottom of that page. You will then step through the process of registering for image competition and then uploading each digital image one at a time, making sure to select the proper category for each image and checking any boxes that apply.

Our Distinguished Panel Of Judges

AzPPA is honored to have a distinguished panel of judges: 

Pete Rezac:          M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Ella Carlson:         M.Photog.,M.Artist,Cr, CPP, EA-ASP
Bryan Welsh:        M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API. FP-OR 
Lisa Dillon:           M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Jessica Robertson:M.Photog.Cr.

The 12 Elements Of A Meritable Image

The Photographic Exhibitions Committee (PEC) of PPA uses the 12 elements below as the “gold standard” to define a merit image. PEC trains judges to be mindful of these elements when judging images to the PPA merit level and to be placed in the International Print Exhibit at Imaging USA, the annual convention. The use of these 12 elements connects the modern practice of photography and its photographers to the historical practice of photography begun nearly two centuries ago.

Twelve elements have been defined as necessary for the success of an art piece or image. Any image, art piece, or photograph will reveal some measure of all twelve elements, while a visually superior example will reveal obvious consideration of each one

The Twelve elements listed below are in accordance to their importance.

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

Technical excellence is the quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the 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. It 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 holds 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, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.

Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An 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 feelings for effect.

Center of Interest is the point 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 of light—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. Lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.

Story Telling 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.