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Elizabeth_Pokela
02-10-2009, 01:03 PM
Do you get merits in state comp or just regional? I live in NC and my first comp was last year. The PPNC convention and SEPPA were at the same time in the same city. This year they are very close together but in different locations and SEPPA has granted an extended deadline to NC members so that they can prepare their images (or something like that as I understand it). So my question is, do I enter both? I can watch judging at PPNC in March because I live close to where it's being held, but I'd rather enter where I might have a chance of earning a merit if I can only do one due to time and money constraints. I've read the stuff on the merit section of and it reads "PPA regional affiliate competition" which leads me to believe there are no merits awarded for state comp. Can someone clarify for me?

Thanks!
Elizabeth

John_Stein
02-10-2009, 01:21 PM
Elizabeth,

If you enter SEPPA and get a seal of approval then when you send the image to national you will recieve the merit.

There are no national merits for prints that merit at the state level.

John

Keith_A_Howe
02-10-2009, 01:24 PM
Elizabeth,

You don't actually earn merits at either one. At an affilate judging you earn a seal for an 80 or above. In order to get the merit that sealed print has to be submitted to national judging. People say it merited at an affilate comp but while that's the accepted "lingo" it's not totally accurate. The regionals are the afflilate judgings. I believe Wisconsin is the only single state region. Most regions are made up of several states. So I don't know how each region works but I think that some regions don't have a seperate regional conference with a seperate print competition. In that case the states of the region take turns hosting the affliate comp for the year. That's why you may have an affilate comp in your state one year, but the next it's some other state. In my own region HOA, we used to have a regional conference every other year. On the off years the 4 states would each take turns being the affilate. The other states would still have thier own print comp, but it would not be the afflaite judging for that year and seals would not be awarded.

So do you enter both? Two trains of thought here. If cost is an issue and your most important goal is the seals then just enter the regional. However you still have the prints already paid for and the case from last year so the only extra cost to enter both is the entry fee- which should not be a big deal. The other side is that at your own state you can go watch and that's a better learning experience. Plus on the state level - at least in my region - you would be more likely to pick up some awards that could be used to market your business. If it were me, I would enter both. You are lucky to have that opportunity because it gives you a chance to hear what the judges have to say and make adjustments before you submit for potential seals.

Keith

Barbi_Barnum
02-10-2009, 02:36 PM
Thanks for explaining that Keith. I was a little unsure how that worked as well.

I do still have a question though. Can you send in a print to nationals that has not been to either regionals or a state competition? Also, what is the benefit of having that seal other than personal satisfaction?

Keith_A_Howe
02-10-2009, 02:59 PM
Absolutely you can send a print to national without entering it at a state or regional. The seal doesn't really help the print at national. It's just that instead of sending to national and it having one time at a merit, by entering first at regionals it gives the prints two times through a panel. If a print is really great or fairly weak that second time won't make any difference. Where it can matter is on a borderline print, say a 79-80. That's when a different panel may fall to one side or another and having it looked at twice may be to your benefit.

The other benefit to a regional is more chances for awards. On the national level you do have something to press release, that a print was accepted into the exhibition, or maybe a POTY award. On the regional level there as usually more possible awards - like 1rst place in various catergories. So there is more potential for marketing. Maybe getting the POTY is actually more prestiguos but in a client's mind a Best of Show at a regional sounds better. At a regional you also get more peer recognition. The other photographers in your area will see your prints. If you are hoping for referrals from other studios that can be a plus. Also if you have any aspirations for speaking, it helps to have the people who will potentially hire you, see your work.

Keith

Rick_Massarini
02-10-2009, 06:43 PM
I do still have a question though. Can you send in a print to nationals that has not been to either regionals or a state competition?

Yes you can. In fact, many of the prints that we receive at the National Judging have never been judged before. These prints go to a panel of jurors who are judging prints for acceptance (for merit). Some of these prints have been through state and regionals and some have not. You can enter any print that has not previously received a merit at a National Exhibition.



Also, what is the benefit of having that seal other than personal satisfaction?

This is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of the regional judgings. A couple years ago, two photographers from Louisiana lost a total of 5 exhibition merits simply because they did not understand what a "Seal of Approval" meant. They thought that since the print was "sealed", that they had already earned a merit and it was a "done-deal", what they didn't understand was that the print was only "Sealed" or "Pre-Approved" but was not a merit until it was received at the next PPA International Judging. The only place a print can receive an Exhibition merit is at the annual PPA International Judging...

If a print scores 80 or above at a PPA affiliated regional judging, itr receives a PPA "Seal of Approval". This seal is signed by the Jury Chairman and dated. Prints receiving a Seal of Approval are basically pre-approved for merit status when sent to the National Judging. These prints will be automatically accepted and will receive PPA print merits when they are sent to the VERY NEXT PPA International Judging. So a sealed print is not a merit print, but it will automatically become a merit print once it is received at the International Judging. Sealed prints that are not sent to the VERY NEXT International Judging "expire" and do not receive merits - so in order to receive a merit for a sealed print, you MUST send it to the International Judging. At the International Judging, sealed prints are sent into a judging room where they are judged for the PPA Loan Collection. If they are accepted into the Loan Collection, you will receive an additional exhibition merit (2) for that image and the print will be retained by PPA for exhibition in the Traveling Loan Collection. If it is not accepted into the Loan Collection, it goes into the PPA General Exhibition and you would receive one Exhibition merit for the print. General Exhibition prints are returned to the maker after the next PPA Annual Exhibition (if you subnmitted the prints in an approved print case - if you used a lab print box to ship your entries to the exhibition, your prints will not be returned to you.

So the advantage of having a print receive a Seal of Approval at an affiliated regional judging is that a sealed print is already pre-approved for merit status when it arrives at the International Judging. Just remember - if you don't send it to the VERY NEXT PPA International Judging, that seal expires and it is then just like any other print that has never been judged before. It can still be submitted the next year, but it must then be rejudged for acceptance before being exhibited and receiving a merit.

Barbi_Barnum
02-10-2009, 08:30 PM
Thanks for the explanation. It was very helpful.

Cheri_MacCallum
02-11-2009, 02:25 AM
Just FYI, if you are a member of your state ppa (if your state has an assoc.), you can receive merits for competition prints that go strictly towards your state's various degrees.

D._Craig_Flory
02-11-2009, 02:28 PM
Just FYI, if you are a member of your state ppa (if your state has an assoc.), you can receive merits for competition prints that go strictly towards your state's various degrees.

Hi Cheri;

You are correct. Here in Pa., our state degree actually requires more than the PPA Masters Degree. While Master only requires 13 merits, our state degree requires 16 blue ribbons. (80 or higher)

Kimberly_Hill
02-11-2009, 10:21 PM
Thank you so much for the helpful responses on this thread!

Rick_Massarini
02-11-2009, 10:45 PM
Hi Cheri;

You are correct. Here in Pa., our state degree actually requires more than the PPA Masters Degree. While Master only requires 13 merits, our state degree requires 16 blue ribbons. (80 or higher)

A question for DCF -
Your state requires 16 blue ribbons at the state level, but how close is your state judging to that of the International? Does Pa run an affiliate judging with all of the jurors having to be trained current PEC jurors or do you have lower standards for your jurors - like maybe using untrained judges or pulling the judges from the state convention talent as many states do? I was just curious since you've mentioned that Bob is your usual Jury Chairman (one of the best), and I was just curious about what a typical Pa panel looked like.

It's just that I've seen images score above 80 at state judgings but score lower at affiliated regional judgings or not be accepted at the International Judging. State Judgings are usually where the Jurors get their training before moving on to become PEC approved. I have many prints of my own from over the years that scored high at our state judging but were not accepted at National.