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NCPhoto05
03-03-2009, 08:51 PM
Hi everyone. Nick Corona Photography is looking to take our photography to the next level and we are interested in entering prints in some competitions this year to get some critiques and feedback. What general "theme" should we aim for... or is it a free for all?

We specialize in wedding photography, but we also do engagements and portraits. We do not, however do scenery... and I did not know if this competition was more centered around scenic images? We appreciate any direction you can give... and then we can come up with some images to get some critiques!

D._Craig_Flory
03-03-2009, 09:59 PM
My first suggestion is to buy one of the PPA General Collection or Loan Collection books.(you can see what types of images did well in the past) I also suggest buying the book on print competition by Patrick Rice.

Start posting images, in the competition threads, for critique. You will get ideas for which images to enter as well as what to do to improve.

First look at entering at a low level. Enter a state association or even a sub state sized group. When you start to do well you can look at entering at a higher level like a regional.

As for what to enter ... I suggest entering what you feel you do the best. That can be portraits, weddings, commercial - advertising etc.

Keith_A_Howe
03-03-2009, 10:20 PM
Nicholas,

D. Craig has given you good advice to get ahold of a Showcase or Loan book. They are available from Marathon Press. It is also a good idea to seek out local or state competitions, but I disagree with him that you should wait to enter regional or national until you are scoring well on a state or local level. One level is not neccesarily a stepping stone to the next. You can certainly enter at national without ever participating on a local, state or even regional level.

Keith

Rick_Massarini
03-03-2009, 10:49 PM
If you want some quick inspiration, you can go to the American Society of Photographers (ASP) website. It doesn't have the entire PPA Loan Collection, but it does have a nice chunk of it (those images from the ASP Masters which were accepted for Loan and for the Traveling Exhibit) The ASP Traveling Loan Collections for 2002-2007 are available for viewing online. Go to www.asofp-online.com and look at the Portfolio page, that's where you'll find the ASP Masters Loan Collection. There's some really outstanding work there, so it might give you some inspiration !

NCPhoto05
03-04-2009, 07:46 AM
Thank you!! We certainly appreciate any advice. This is a new arena for us, and we are excited to get started! We have entered into a regional (county) competition this month and are on the edge of our seats to hear the critiques. We have discovered that is how we grow best - through constructive critiques. We will get some images posted soon of what we are thinking of entering - and we would definititely appreciate any time you can take to look at them!

Rick_Massarini
03-05-2009, 07:14 AM
We have discovered that is how we grow best - through constructive critiques.

If you're looking for competitions that offer critiques, you can get your entries critiqued if you send them to the PPA International Judging. And you don't have to go through any local or regionals first, you can send your entries directly to the International Judging. At the International Judging, they offer a video critique of the entries for a small additional charge. You can request a critique, and after your prints have been judged, they will be reviewed by a PPA-PEC affiliate juror who will do their best to tell you what they find good about your image, and what you can do to improve it. You will be mailed the DVD with the video ciritque to you after the judging is over. It's well worth the extra few dollars.

Keith_A_Howe
03-05-2009, 02:23 PM
In re reading your first post I see that we have not addressed your inital questions. In a PPA International judging there are 2 options, 1 is for photographers and the 2nd is EI for digital artist. Here is a link to the rules for each. http://www.ppa.com/competitions/international/rules.php
In the photographers area you have the following catagories: COMMERCIAL consists of Commercial and Industrial entries. If a tear sheet is included, enclose it in an envelope attached to the back, top, center of the entry and PHOTOGRAPHIC OPEN consists of Portrait, Illustrative, Wedding, and Album entries.
So for how you described yourself I would look at entering Albums, wedding images or portraits.
Judging is based on the 12 elements - here is the link http://www.ppa.com/competitions/international/12elements.php
Check out your state and region for their rules. You can always post images here on the forum for CC if you want and my best advice is to dive in - enter and then ask as many judges (one at a time) why the image (yours or anyones you have questions on) scored what it did and how you could improve the image for next time.
Good Luck
Keith