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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.
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.
Hopefully 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!
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.