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GregYager
08-14-2010, 03:12 PM
After 15 years in the photography business I finally decided that joining the PPA was the thing to do. What I want to do now is see where I stand within the community by entering some of my work in competitions. Can someone help me find a regional competition or any competition for that matter that will give me the chance to put some of my work to the test? My studio is in Western Kentucky so that puts me in the Southeast region if that helps.

Stephanie_Millner
08-14-2010, 05:08 PM
Pretty sure you'd be SEPPA region, but they're re-districting this year. SEPPA is in March I believe? Anyway, here's the website.
www.4seppa.com

GregYager
08-14-2010, 05:54 PM
Thanks for the reply Stephanie. I checked out the link but still no mention of district competitions. I would have thought all PPA approved competitions would be listed on the website here but I can't seem to find any.

Joe_Campanellie
08-14-2010, 06:19 PM
Clarify what you mean by "district" competition.

I assume by that you mean what used to be called your regional competition. Since you live in Kentucky that would be SEPPA and I'm pretty sure that is in March this year.

There are now five districts that offer this level of competition. Since you have not competed before I would try and find something on the state level first before you just jump in and don't understand the process. That will save you a lot of frustration.

Check the Kentucky website and see if there are any local affiliates near you. Super Monday in coming up in October and there may be a program close to you that may help.

I entered my first competition in 1992 and I wanted to do exactly what you are looking to do. But before you jump in you need to test the waters a little and understand how to prepare and present your entries. Not sure who is president of the KY association but Dave Huntsman can surely point you in the right direction for what you need.

There's a tutorial on the KY website too about the 12 elements of a merit print that is downloadable. Definitely worth a look to give you some idea about competition prints.

A lot of good info here on the forum from a couple of affiliate judges who can look at your entries and give you some good pointers too.

GregYager
08-14-2010, 06:54 PM
Hey Joe. I meant Regional. I was just typing as I thought and district jumped out of my head. I've read the article on here about the 12 elements of a Merit Print and found it rather informative as to what to expect.
I'm the "do it now" kinda guy so when I decided to join I was hoping to jump right in and start honing my skills. I guess I was a bit disappointed when I got on here, saw the competitions link, followed it and said "That's it?" I was expecting to find at least quarterly competitions scheduled for each state or region. I did manage to find the Summer Shootout competition but though it's a PPA event it's not listed under the competition link. Not sure if that's an oversight or if it's because it's a non-merit event.
I'm not looking to sidestep the learning process or anything of that nature, I'm just anxious to start my journey and the best way to start any journey is to determine where you are now.
As for now I'm gonna stop typing long enough to begin my search for the Kentucky site and see if it offers me more information than the SEPPA site did.

Joe_Campanellie
08-14-2010, 08:35 PM
That's ok. They used to be called regional competitions. I think the "official" name for them now is districts. The district competitions as well as the national competition are only annual competitions.

I think the next district competition is Southwest which is in September sometime if me memory serves me correctly. Not sure if you could enter that competition or not since it is technically not your district. You might want to talk to either Dennis Craft or Michael Timmons about that. Dennis is the national PEC chairman and Michael is the assistant chair unless things have changed.

If you're dying to get your feet wet state level may be the best bet. Not sure what KY does. I was lucky when I first started entering. Maryland at that time had five monthly competitions plus our annual competition which gave you plenty of time to put your prints in front of the judges.

Joe_Campanellie
08-14-2010, 08:38 PM
PS...here's the link to the new district map: http://www.ppa.com/competitions/international.php

You might be able to find a competition in a neighboring state. Some state conventions do have "out of state" categories in which you can enter at their annual convention.

GregYager
08-14-2010, 09:12 PM
Thanks Joe. You've been more of a help than you may know. Your quick and straight forward responses let me know that there's knowledge to be gained here. More importantly it tells me that people are willing to share that knowledge. You represent this organization well and I look forward to picking your brain again in the near future.

Cheri_MacCallum
08-15-2010, 01:04 AM
Just fyi, Seppa is in Athens Ga March 26-28. www.4seppa.com

Joe_Campanellie
08-15-2010, 03:09 AM
You're welcome to pick away...just not sure how much is left up there after all these years. But when it comes to print competition I guess most folks would say I'm a good example of a competition junkie...!

Had my share of success...and failures so hopefully some of us can help you through the rough spots without making all the same mistakes we did in the beginning.

GregYager
08-15-2010, 03:42 AM
Thank you Cheri. I found the ad for the conference but it must be too early for them to have entry or registration information. I'll keep checking their website occasionally for updates.

Rick_Massarini
08-15-2010, 05:54 AM
Greg,

Getting your feet wet at your local Guild level or your state level is usually the best first step into competition since the Guilds and the State Associations often allow you to enter a larger number of images so you can pick the best four to send on to your PPA District competitions. Your State association, the Kentucky PPA, would be your best first place to start networking. You have a really outstanding group of individuals currently running your state association, (Randy Fraley, Jessica Vogel, Stephen Bates, David Ziser and Dave Huntsman) and if you contact any of them, I'm sure that they will do their utmost to make sure that you get the most benefit out of your initial state competition experience. You can find all of their contact information including their phone numbers at www.kyppa.com and look under the people page for your Officers and Directors. I personally know several of these individuals, and know that they will do everything in their power to help you when it comes to competition (especially Dave Huntsman - he's an absolutely GREAT guy and so totally dedicated to the educational value of competition that he's one of only about four people who actually teach the PPA International Judges workshop.

Now - just because I encourage you to try your work out first at your state level doesn't mean that you should not send your images directly into your District or even directly to the PPA International Judging, since they can receive a seal of approval at a regional (which will become a PPA merit if went to the very next PPA International Judging) or an immediate Merit at the PPA International judging without going through a state judging or District judging first. In fact, your local or state judging results have no bearing whatsoever on it's merit status on the PPA District or National level (unless it is sealed at a Distict judging), but it is a Wonderful place to start - and an even better place to start networking with your fellow professionals at one of your state get-togethers. And I've heard that Kentucky has a lot of fun at theirs... never been to one, but I've heard that Kentucky always as a great time at their conventions - maybe I'll make it up there one of these days...

So don't be deterred from sending your images directly to your District or National Judging right out the box. A Warning - You might come away a bit disappointed at a District judging if your images do not receive a "Seal of Approval" since they do not offer image critiques, but at the National Judging, image critiques are offered for a slight additional charge. If you order this, you will get a video critique of your images by one of the PPA International Jurors who will tell you what is good in your image and what can be improved in the image. I believe that it is a great bargain.

I Googled your city to see just where you were, and found that you are close to the borders of Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. It looks like you are in a great spot since you are in a geographical position where you can avail yourself of the offerings of several state associations educational opportunities. I don't know what the other states have to offer, but your own state, Kentucky, has Randy Fraley, Dave Huntsman, Jessica Vogel and David Ziser (I've never met your State President, Stephen Bates) ... but really, with this caliber of people running your association - how can you go wrong ???

Join - Compete - Learn - Improve - Excell - Profit !!!

GregYager
08-15-2010, 03:58 PM
Thanks Rick. I think you've read my competitive spirit quite well. I don't compete against others, I compete against myself so any and all critiques both good and bad are beneficial to me. I plan to contact the people you mentioned at my state level and inquire about competitions, critiques and learning opportunities.
I spent the better part of the day yesterday searching for this and was disappointed however when I discovered not one photographer in the state of Kentucky was offering a Super Monday class. Hopefully I will be able to change that in the future because sharing knowledge is very important to me.
I currently have an "open door" policy at my studio. By this I mean I'm willing to help anyone that wishes to learn the trade. I let them watch me during photo shoots. I give them one on one time where I show them how I do my lighting. I teach them the basics of how to use their cameras to get the effects they desire. I have friends volunteer to help me teach them posing. I even rent my studio out for a very small fee so they can pursue their passion without investing their life savings. Some people think I'm crazy for this but it's helped me grow tremendously.
I guess you could say I'm on a quest to find more knowledge to bring back to my area and share with other aspiring photographers and I want that knowledge to be of the utmost quality. Competing and having my work critiqued is my way of seeing where I stand and finding out what it takes to make a good image great.
Once again I thank you for your in depth advice and I will contact my state association to try and get this ball rolling.

Jessica_Edwards
08-16-2010, 07:01 AM
I don't know what the other states have to offer, but your own state, Kentucky, has Randy Fraley, Dave Huntsman, Jessica Vogel and David Ziser (I've never met your State President, Stephen Bates) ... but really, with this caliber of people running your association - how can you go wrong ???

I used to live in KY so I attended quite a few KYPPA and MES (Mid East States) seminars/conventions. The people Rick mentioned are great people. Jessica Vogel, Barbara Yonts and Dave Huntsman welcomed my newbie self with open arms and took me under their wing and for that, I'll be forever grateful. :)

You'll love all the KYPPA people!

Paul_Witkowski
08-29-2010, 04:31 PM
Clarify what you mean by "district" competition.

I assume by that you mean what used to be called your regional competition..

Joe, the major article on competitions that appears in the August issue is very inspiring. The article recommends as follows: (p.110) "Entering a district competiton before entering the IPC is recommended but not mandatory." It then gives a link to find your district (I'm Northeast), but there is very little other information I can find either.

The PPA link for District Competitons provides no information at all as to when most districts (including my Northeast District) are having competitons. All that's mentioned is that Southwest PPA has one going on right now.

The article got me very excited and motivated to begin entering competitons. I think the article will generate a lot of new interest, but it is unfortunately leading us to some dead-ends right now.

Jeff_Dachowski
08-29-2010, 04:52 PM
Joe, the major article on competitions that appears in the August issue is very inspiring. The article recommends as follows: (p.110) "Entering a district competiton before entering the IPC is recommended but not mandatory." It then gives a link to find your district (I'm Northeast), but there is very little other information I can find either.

The PPA link for District Competitons provides no information at all as to when most districts (including my Northeast District) are having competitons. All that's mentioned is that Southwest PPA has one going on right now.

The article got me very excited and motivated to begin entering competitons. I think the article will generate a lot of new interest, but it is unfortunately leading us to some dead-ends right now.

Paul,
The District judging will for the Northeast will be held in April on Cape Cod, Mass. They just determined the date a couple of months ago, so it is probably not as wide spread as they would like it yet.
Jeff

Paul_Witkowski
08-29-2010, 09:06 PM
Thanks, Jeff.

As I said, the August article plus seeing the small images of the kinds of compositions that have been accepted makes me feel much more like participating. Good, solid, real-world work.

I'll be excited to submit some images and wait for the critique.

Jonathan_Brown
08-30-2010, 02:14 AM
Hi, Greg! I saw your post and just wanted to let you know that I am an active member of KPPA--my husband, Jon, serves on the executive board of directors and we are both on the print comp crew. Please feel free to e-mail me at Rosemary@monarch-photography.com with any questions--if I cannot answer them, I will lead you to the people who can! Welcome aboard! We would love to see you at the state KPPA convention up in Covington in January! We were with Mid-East, but now we fall under SEPPA.

GregYager
08-30-2010, 03:15 AM
Hey Rosemary!
I will most definitely be there in January. I'm a guy with a million questions(just ask Keith Howe). I look forward to being a part of KPPA, I just hope you guys feel the same after meeting me. :D

Lori_Clapp
09-03-2010, 01:45 PM
I hope I'm not hijacking this thread - but I have searched everywhere and can't fine when the District Competitions are. I know some are not until March, but it would still be nice to see a schedule of them. I am trying to find Western District - but isn't there a list out there somewhere as to the general time frame when the comps will be??

GregYager
09-03-2010, 02:59 PM
We've all run in to that problem. There's a link here called Competitions and under that is District Competitions however the only district to list theirs so far is the Southwest.

Considering the time it takes to prepare for these competitions I would have thought the information would be more readily available.

I book my weddings 1-2 years in advance so it would be nice If competition dates were set(and posted) about a year in advance as well.

Keith_A_Howe
09-03-2010, 04:23 PM
Greg & Lori,
First of all PPA/PEC is not responsible for setting those dates. The dates are set by the state or region that is hosting the competition. We are right at the start of the switch over from regions to districts. Southwest will be the first "district" competition. Also they will be the first to offer the option of digital submission on a sub-national level. They are also the first district to use the new computer program for judging on a sub-national level. The new sizes also go into effect at SW. All these new changes were debuted at IPC last June in Atlanta. So because of all these changes, there are accompanying changes with how PPA/PEC handles some things. In order to be listed on the website, a state or region has to request from PEC/PPA to be the affiliate competition for the district that year. Before they can request that, most everything has to be nailed down. With all the new changes there are a lot of details to be worked out. For example how many people will submit files as opposed to prints. And how many total cases to expect from the new larger districts. Numbers make a difference on how many judges are needed, which effects what has to be charged for case fees. That's just one of many many details. I know my own region, Heart of America which is hosting the central district for 2011, is waiting till after Southwest to finalize some of their plans. I suspect that some other districts are possibly doing the same thing. This inaugural district competition will answer a lot of questions and help the rest of the districts in their planning. My hat is off to all my friends in Southwest for leading the way for the rest of us. I am thrilled that I get to judge there and be a part of PPA history making. Nobody is disagreeing with you that the dates should be posted in advance but PPA can't post dates they don't have yet and districts are all basically like newborns and feeling their way this year. I am sure in the future you will have more lead time. There is just a very unique set of circumstances occuring right now. I also bet that the dates have been set for your district but they are just not official with PEC yet and if you make some phone calls to your state board of directors you can find out what they are.

That being said, it doesn't take months and months to prepare for competition. Most people wait till the last minute. One of the big reasons (but of course not only reason!) that digital submissions are now being offered is because it allows members to enter right up until the absolute deadline, without having to allow turn around time from a lab to get prints back and ship to the competition. As far as not schedualing a wedding in order to attend print comp? I wouldn't turn away that kind of money. Yes, it is beneficial to actually watch the competition take place, but attendence is not required to enter.

Keith

Keith_A_Howe
09-03-2010, 04:41 PM
This took me about two minutes to find on line.

North Central District hosted by HOA March 31 - April 4, 2011
Northeast District hosted by PPANE April 14-17, 2011
Southeast District pretty sure it will be hosted at the SEPPA conference which is March 26-29, 2011
Southwest is coming up in a couple weeks Sept 17 - 21, 2010
These don't give you exact judging dates or deadlines because some of them are held in conjunction with a conference.
The only one I couldn't find quickly was western states and I called Sam Gardner to ask him to post those dates here.


Keith

Rick_Massarini
09-03-2010, 06:09 PM
Also - one of the reasons for the dates of the judgings not being posted a year or more in advance is that the Regional (now District) judgings are usually held in conjunction with a Regional/District convention. You can't plan the judging until all of the details have been worked out for the convention - and planning a convention and a trade show is a big deal - especially when one state has to expand their plans from a state event to a much larger event to include a Regional/District convention and judging. PPA can schedule the International Judging years in advance since it "only" entails the scheduling of the school's availability for the dates. For the last 8 years the International Judging has been held at a college - First at the University of San Diego, then at Daytona Beach Community College and most recently at Gwinette College near Atlanta.

GregYager
09-03-2010, 06:53 PM
Thanks for the information guys.

I'm sure the digital submissions will help with people submitting last minute entries however my plans are to stick with print.

I have contacted my state affiliate and they are working on competition details now. Should have them nailed down by next week.

Glad it only took you 2 minutes to find Keith. I'm sure the system here will be easier to navigate once I have a few years under my belt as well.

Now all I need it a cooperative rat. :D

samgardnermcr
09-03-2010, 07:31 PM
The Western States PPA District judging and print competition will be held April 8th and 9th, 2011 in Yakima Washington.
As of this time the official District map shows the "Western States" to include:
Alaska, British Columbia, Alberta, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.
All entries will need to be registered and uploaded to PPA regardless of your entry method- Prints or digital files. You will need to upload files and pay through the PPA website. More details will follow.
Thanks for your interest! Let's make this the best participation level in decades.

Sam Gardner M.Photog.Cr. CPP PPA Int. Juror