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By Chris Homer

Last week, PPA's jurors judged 5,190 images during the International Photographic Competition. The results from the judging are available for you to view now

Thanks to everyone who entered, and a big congratulations to those of you that had images earn merits towards your PPA degree or earn a spot in the prestigious loan collection, which will be on display at the International Photographic Exhibit at Imaging USA in Atlanta January 10-12, 2016. Of the 5,190 entries, only 1,085 (21%) became part of the loan collection, so this is a huge accomplishment! 

We also hope you enjoyed the live streaming of the judging and IPC Live. And for you 895 folks that tuned into the live stream and didn't enter the competition, we hope that seeing how the process works has inspired you to enter the 2016 competition. It's never too early to start preparing, so visit the IPC section of PPA.com to find a host of resources to help you succeed in the competition. 

Once again, congratulations to those photographers who earned merits or had images selected to be part of the loan collection. Get the full list of results now.


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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It's just a week away so make sure you have plans to tune in. IPC Live will give you behind-the-scenes access to the competition like never before.

And here's your host, Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP, with a quick video preview on the show!


With the judging streaming live alongside the show, you won't miss any of the action. Read our previous blog for details. The full broadcast schedule is below.

Watch at Stream.theIPC.org!

Here is the full schedule (all times are Eastern Standard):

IPC Judging Live Stream

·         Monday, Aug. 3, 8:15am-6pm ET

·         Tuesday, Aug. 4, 12:15-9pm  ET

·         Wednesday, Aug. 5, 9:15am-6pm ET

·         Thursday, Aug. 6, 8:15am-6pm ET

 

IPC Live broadcast hosted by Booray 

·         Monday, Aug. 3, 10am & 2pm ET

·         Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2pm & 5pm ET

·         Wednesday, Aug. 5, 10am & 2pm ET

·         Thursday, Aug. 6, 10am & 2pm ET

 

 

By Chris Homer

If you're thinking about entering the International Photographic Competition (IPC), make sure to get your images entered by Midnight ET, June 25! After that date, there's a $35 late entry surcharge! You'll still be able to enter until July 10, but why waste $35? 

If you've never entered the IPC before, don't fear having your images judged. The process can be intimidating, but entering the competition really is one of the best ways to improve your technique as a photographer. Read all about why PPA members enter the IPC and how it can help your career in this post. 

When you enter, you'll also have the option to request your images critiqued by an IPC judge. Go for it! The judges have entered the competition in the past and have achieved success, so they know exactly what to look for in an image. They'll point out ways to improve your photography that you may not have considered before. Check out a critique from last year's IPC. 

Are you ready to Be More Confident in your images? Remember to enter the IPC by June 25 and avoid the late fee! 

And remember - the IPC judging will take place August 3-6 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA. Judging is open to the public, so feel free to attend and watch the judging. If you can't make it to the IPC to see the judging live, it will also be streamed online! This year there will even be a live broadcast, twice a day, to answer judging questions and go over some of the image reviews and challenges that will be happening during judging.


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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PPA is now accepting entries for the International Photographic Competition (IPC). Do you have your images ready?!

The IPC challenges photographers to grow their artistic and technical photography skills by creatively capturing and presenting their best images, and by doing so, improving their businesses. The competition is open to all, but also gives PPA photographers the opportunity to earn merits toward photography degrees.

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The competition attracts submissions from the best of the best in the photography industry from all over the world and urges others to push themselves to join the ranks of the elite. Last year, nearly 5,000 images were entered in the competition.

To enter, photographers submit prints, electronic files and physical and/or digital albums to be judged by a panel of qualified photographic experts. Competitors must designate the category under which each image is being submitted. The four categories include: portrait, illustrative and album (event and non-event).

Submissions will either merit or not merit and are judged against a standard of excellence using PPA's 12 elements of a merit image. Images that earn merits will move on to a second round of judging, which could possibly earn an additional merit and a place in the prestigious Loan Collection. These images are compiled into a book, published by Marathon Press, and showcased in a special exhibit at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta. Just over 900 images (roughly 18 percent) went loan last year.

Those who don't earn merits don't have to leave empty-handed; critiques from IPC judges will be available upon request as a way to help participants find areas of improvement and prepare for future photo competitions.

"Once photographers get over the initial fear of competition, most keep entering year after year and become better photographers in the process," said Randy McNeilly, M.Photog.MEI.Cr., CPP, API, F-ASP, PPA's photographic exhibition committee chairman. "Even if they don't earn a merit right away, there's so much they can learn. Plus, it's a huge confidence boost, not only for the photographer, but also the client who commissions their work--especially once they start to win awards."

Competitors must submit their images by midnight, June 25. Physical print entry cases must be received within seven days of the entry deadline. The judging will be streamed live August 3 to 6 from Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Get the rules and learn how to enter at PPA.com/IPC

By Chris Homer

By now, you've heard us say this before, but we'll say it again: Entering your work into a photographic competition like PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) is one of the best ways you can improve as an artist. Having your work judged and listening to the critique can help you improve your images in ways you probably have not have considered before.

To make the most of the IPC, we recommend signing up to have your images critiqued by one of PPA's International Jurors, who are themselves accomplished photographers. We understand that if you've never entered the IPC and had your images critiqued the whole process can seem overwhelming! To ease your anxiety, take a look at an actual critique from last year's IPC. Below you'll see Matthew Kauffmann's image "Medic" critiqued by PPA juror Mark Garber, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. 



Ready to enter the IPC and improve your skills? Entries for this year's competition open May 26!


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.



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By Chris Homer

As a photographer, you're probably always looking for ways to improve your photography skills. One of the best ways to do this is by entering photographic competitions that provide you some very useful feedback. PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) allows you to get just that! The IPC entry submissions open May 26, 2015. Participating is already a great way to push your skills to the next level, but if you choose to get your images critiqued by one of the competition's jurors, you're simply bound to learn more as an artist.

If you've never entered an image into a PPA competition, we understand the process can seem a little daunting at first - but it really is a great way to become a better photographer and it is the structured process that raises the quality of the results. To get rid of some of your apprehensions about entering, check out Andrew Jenkins, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, critiquing an image by Gary Hughes, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, called "Just Do It". It  was accepted into PPA's general collection! 




Ready to enter your work? Be More Daring and learn tons! Entries for the International Photographic Competition open May 26.


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 



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By Chris Homer

Have you ever entered PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) or one of the District Photographic Competitions? If you haven't, you really should consider it. Why? Simply put, entering the competitions and having your work critiqued by one of our accomplished judges is one of the best ways to improve your skill as a photographer. 

If you've never entered before, you may be a little intimidated. Fear not! Instead, take a look at the critique below. Once you've seen how it works, hopefully you'll be more comfortable entering and... you'll understand how much you can get from getting feedback on your images! In the video, juror Larry Lourcey, M.Photog.Cr., CPP goes over "My Dad" by PPA photographer Lisa Duncan. 


Another great way to learn about photographic competition is by live streaming the district competition judging. You'll be able to view the images and hear what the judges take into consideration. The Northcentral district judging airs live May 20 - 21. It is free to watch, you don't even have to be with PPA and a link will be posted on the Northcentral District website and PPA's Facebook page.
 
Ready to enter your work in a photographic competition to learn and get recognized? Several District Competitions are accepting entries now and entries for the International Photographic Competition will open May 26. Get those images ready! 


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About the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages. 



IPC_Rules_SW.jpgHopefully you will get a chance to check out the International Photographic Exhibit (right next to the Expo) at Imaging USA in Nashville. When you do, you might wonder where those beautiful images come from. You might even daydream a bit about seeing your own work up there at Imaging USA 2016 in Atlanta.

You can make it happen. The displayed images make up PPA's Loan Collection and are chosen by a panel of judges at the International Photographic Competition (IPC), held each year in August. Only the top images make it to the prestigious Loan Collection each year, but don't let that intimidate you.

 If you're feeling inspired and want to be more recognized, a good place to start is your local district competition. Take a look at the 2015 dates. Entries for the Southwest District competition open next week!

If you've never entered a photographic competition before, you're probably feeling some fear of having your images judged by another photographer. It can be nerve-wracking, but as we've heard from members that participate, PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) and the District Competitions are some of the best ways to improve your images and your technique as a photographer. To get the most out of the IPC, we recommend getting the images you enter critiqued by a judge who's trained for and dedicated to this photo competition.

To help you get rid of some of your fears, and maybe even encourage you to request a critique at the next District Competition, here's an example of what you can expect! This is "Rustic Cabin" by David Bair, critiqued by Jon Allyn. Take a look!


On Monday, May 26, entries will open for the 2014 International Photographic Competition
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 (IPC). PPA members that have entered the competition before know that not only can IPC help you earn merits toward your PPA degree; it can also help improve your photography business! 

While having your work judged can be intimidating, especially if it's your first time entering, we get tons of positive feedback on how entering IPC has made entrants better photographers. From keeping you inspired by seeing other IPC entries to being able to charge higher prices if you earn an award, there are many great reasons to enter IPC. Check out 10 of the ways competition can help your business here. 

As you're preparing your images for entry (digital or physical prints), it's important to keep in mind the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. These are the standards by which all photographs in the IPC are judged. By adhering to these standards, you are more likely to earn a high score so you can get those merits towards your degree. Practicing these elements will also help keep your photography at its best! 
 
If you're new to the IPC, or just need a refresher on the 12 Elements, check out our PPAedu video series on the topic with IPC judge Michael Timmons. In part one, Michael covers the elements Impact, Creativity, Style and Composition.  Part two covers Print Presentation, Center Of Interest, Lighting and Subject Matter and part three focuses on  the last 4 elements; Color Balance, Technical Excellence, Technique and Storytelling. You've got to be a PPA member to watch these videos, so join today! 

Once you've reviewed the 12 Elements and are ready to enter, you can read the rules and register for the competition at PPA.com/IPC. Here, you'll also find video tutorials covering topics like choosing the correct category for your images, setting profiles and calibration, entering albums and more. Make sure to review these videos before you enter your images to ensure that you are doing everything correctly! Oh, and if you're planning on mailing in physical prints, you can find a list of approved print cases for shipping to the competition. 

Be sure to enter by June 26 to avoid late fees! Entries will be accepted until July 10, but after June 26, an additional fee is required. 

Once you enter, watch the judging live in-person or streaming online
As we mentioned earlier, entering the IPC is a great way to improve your images and your business as a whole. However, the score you receive won't include all those great judges' comments about your work. You might be surprised by some of the things the judges pick up on!

So, to get the most out of IPC, you'll want to be present while your image is being judged so that you can absorb all of the judges' comments and ideas, and use these to continue to improve your photography. You'll also learn some great lessons while watching others' work being judged, and you may be inspired as well!

Judging will take place August 3 - 7 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA. Judging is open to the public, so we encourage you to attend and watch  the judging live. Can't make it to Georgia for the judging? No worries, we've got you covered there too! For the first time ever, all of the judging will be streamed live on PPA.com, so you can still watch from the comfort of your couch. Remember, watching the judging is the best way to learn at IPC, so we hope to see you there, in person or virtually. Stay tuned for more details about the streaming as we get closer to the judging. 

In the meantime, start getting those images ready and enter the IPC beginning May 26! 
The International Photographic Competition is quickly approaching! 

Participating in PPA's International Photographic Competition is one of the best ways for you to grow your craft and skills as a creative, professional photographer. It gives you a unique opportunity to engage with others who are just as passionate as you are about this crazy world of photography, along with a chance to improve on your finest work (your best will become even better--how exciting is that?).  

By pushing the limits of your creativity, you allow yourself to grow as an artist. 

"My fellow PPA friends have proven priceless in mentoring me to take my artwork farther so I can create art in a sustainable business," said Heather Michelle Chinn, M.Artist.Cr. "Print Competition alone has continually challenged me as an artist to grow and get out of my comfort zone. When we're uncomfortable, that's when the biggest growth occurs. Without, we stay stagnant or wither away."

And it's not just about you--it's about your clients too! 

"Image competition has made me strive to be a better photographer while challenging me to create better and more unique images for my clients," said Damon Fecitt, Cr.Photog., CPP. 

If you're curious to know or want to brush up on what the IPC judges are looking for, check this post on the 12 elements of a merit image. It's not easy as it might sound... are you ready for the challenge? You can also go full-on behind-the-scenes and see what motivates others to put themselves in such a vulnerable position. Read Christine Walsh-Newton's post about why she competes here.

So what are you waiting for?

The rules are currently online, and entries open May 26th and close June 26th (if you need a little more time, you can enter by July 10th, but there will be a late fee). 
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Written by guest blogger, Christine Walsh-Newton

When I began my journey to being a professional photographer, I was determined to do it right. I wanted to find ways to measure my capability and skills. Ways that would keep me in check and provide me the opportunity to continually learn and improve. 


Through my membership, I may enter the district and international print competitions sponsored by PPA. Through my state affiliate (Professional Photographers of Ohio), I also participate on a local level. 

Each spring, I compete at my state. There, I am allowed to enter six of my best images. Then I choose the four best from that group and send them on to the Northeast District competition. Depending on the results of that competition, I may forward all four images to the international competition in the summer, or I may elect to do some more work on them first. I may even decide to replace them with a different images.

One of the delightful benefits to competition is that you can order critiques of your images recorded by the affiliated judges that were at the competition. I always purchase the critiques and generally follow the advice of the juror who recorded it. I feel fortunate that PPA offers this service. What a wonderful way to get input on our images!

What competition means to me:
Each year that I've participated in print competition, I've learned and I've grown. Sometimes I get decent scores or an award, but the important part to me is that I improve. I listen quietly during the judging and take notes. Even if the judges speak about an image that isn't mine, the knowledge they impart is applicable to my work. Through judging I'm learning the intricacies of lighting, presentation and composition. I learn what color combinations work and which ones are best left alone. I learn the subtleties of posing and body language.

I've learned all these things in a general manner through my own education and study and have refined them through use, but listening to judge after judge make a quiet comment here or point out a flaw there has trained me to look hard at the details. Little by little my work has improved. The subtle differences and changes I have made have started to add up and my work has shown tremendous strides in technical competence in just a few short years of competing.

Scoring is important to me and the fact that PPA has a standard scoring system that is consistently maintained gives print competition the credibility that I need in order to trust that it is a valid evaluation of my work. The judges are thoroughly trained and vetted and must also use the scoring system in a manner that provides consistency. My scores show me where I'm at in relation to standard expectations for photographic quality. In the beginning it took awhile for my work to reach the "deserving of a merit" range of scores, and with hard and consistent work, I've been given the pleasure of watching those scores rise over time.

A benefit of competing that was surprising is the inspiration I've gained from viewing images from other competitors. Over the last few years I've probably watched several thousand images go through judging. The amount of talent exhibited is enormous and overwhelming at times. Other competitors have been generous with their time and advice, assisting me along my journey. Sometimes I think "competition" isn't quite the correct term as my fellow competitors and I seem to have bonded into a beneficial family of sorts. It's rare for there to be competition between competitors that I know and some of my best competitor friends and I share ideas, techniques and images with each other while preparing for competition. Sometimes we find ourselves cheering and commiserating with each other, depending on our results. 

How it helps me grow: 
At my first competition, I volunteered in the print room. After a few hours of unpacking print cases and viewing a large number of exquisite images, I was afraid for my own. I tried to figure out how to "unenter" and hide my print case in my car. I was unsure of my skills and my talent. I was scared. And I was embarrassed to show my work. I was not confident and those first few rounds of critiques were difficult to digest.

Progressively, through competition, critiques, judgings and just plain old networking with other competitors, I am now more sure of what I'm doing and have a higher level of faith in my work. Competition has given me the confidence to recognize when I'm creating nice work. And the humility to realize it when I'm not and ask for help. And when I receive that help, I can now view it objectively and embrace it as part of my learning and growing process. 

Once upon a time I only dreamed of doing well in competition and of learning from photographers who were leading the way. For awhile I thought it was a goal well out of my grasp. Through competition, I've learned to set goals and work towards them progressively so that over time I'd get there. The journey will never be complete, but with the help of PPA competition, it has been a progressive and positive one.

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This week the third annual Southeastern District Photographic Competition results were announced. The 2013 competition had over 800 entries, with 310 photographs earning a Seal of Approval with a score of 80 or above. The sealed images can then be entered into the 2013 International Photographic Competition to earn a merit and they will automatically be accepted as part of the PPA's prestigious General Collection.

For the photographers who received high enough scores to merit, now is the time to ramp up your marketing and public relation skills! Issue press releases (we have press release templates to make it easier for you!), promote your achievements across your social media channels and add a mention on your website! Go ahead and toot you own horn - you earned it!

As Sandra Pearce, M. Photog. MEI. Cr. of Sandra Pearce Photography says, your customers might not completely comprehend what earning merits means, but they will recognize that your work has been honored by some hard to impress judges. Like most competitors, Pearce has had both successes and what we'll call "opportunities for improvement" with photographic competitions.

"Competing gives photographers those extra credentials," said Pearce. "Clients can read an article about your awards and--though they may not understand what the awards are--it shows that other people think your work is great, too. I believe I've done well in photographic competition because I love what I do. And even if I don't win, it won't ruin my life or make me stop competing. I do it to become better."

If your images did not merit, please don't be discouraged! Remember that shooting for competition is not the same thing as getting a fabulous image that your clients will want ten 30x40 copies of. It's a different kind of beast and learning from this experience is a great opportunity to discover areas that may require some continuing education to meet the inexorable 12 elements! To boost your chances, explore PPAedu for online support, or see if there is a Super Monday class in your area that covers areas that need a little extra attention. Practice does make perfect (or we should say practice makes a merit worth image)!

To continue to perfect your passion, the International Photographic Competition is now accepting entries through June 28, 2013. Why wait to show the world what you're made of?

Photographers who requested critiques from the Southeast District Competition will be notified when they become available. 



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